Friday, December 17, 2010

They didn't take this thing down yet?

As some of you may have noticed by now, I have a tendency to do most of the posts during the low stress points in grad school. In other words, when I am not in school. Chris and I finished final papers and presentations up this week and I am now officially on the road to getting my degree. All I have to do now is write my thesis. That's all.

In my cyber-absence, we decided where we will be spending our first week as married partners- Aruba. My mom is abso-positively-lutely amazing and has traded in her Marriott Rewards points to book us a week at a resort in Aruba. Neither of us have been to the Caribbean so our only knowledge of the area is derived from a costumed Johnny Depp. I had never really thought about where we would honeymoon- I never really put that much time into the whole wedding concept before a couple months ago, either- and so I had no idea where people go post-nuptials. My only requirements were: 1) room service (get your collective minds out of the gutter, I just want to be able to watch Cesar Milan in a bathrobe while eating dinner); 2) swim up bar (Jesus' greatest invention); and 3) relaxing vibe- preferably a spa attached or near to the hotel; 4) beach with an ocean, not lake or river. As characteristic of our grad student personas, Chris and I turned on the computer and started looking at relaxing beach front hotels. I had always wanted to go to the Caribbean so we checked out the different islands. As per usual, I am going off on a tangent. At least I can recognize them as they are happening (vast improvement). Below are pictures of different Caribbean islands. Your task is to decipher whether the pics are of the same island or if different islands, which ones? Eh? Didn't expect a pop quiz while reading such a whimsical blog? And go...

Having difficulty? Someone obviously was not paying attention in geography class (but neither was I, Senor Kettle). Don't feel embarrassed or inadequate. It's not your fault that you pulled a 2 and 7 from the gene pool. Maybe one day you get a flush or the person next to you thinks she has better cards than she really does. Point of the story: nah nah nah boo boo stick your head in doo doo. This has been a message from Daniel Tosh: The More You Know.

So very slowly we are getting things in order but it is very slow. It will be really interesting once April comes around and I am working on this whole wedding shabam while defending my thesis. Fun. Probably should have planned that better but what can you do? I think Kegel the Elf (Merry Religious Holidays/Observance of Freezing Temperatures to you all) would say to grab a bottle of your favorite booze, warm yourself up from the chilly temps outside, and momentarily silence that crazed voice inside your head. Oh, you don't have that too? Huh. Should get that checked out. I wonder if Dr. Spaceman has any openings.

Well it's fracking late/early in the morning and I have yet to sleep so here's to hoping that I actually made sense in this elongated tweet.

By the why for those of you STILL struggling with the geography quiz above, here are the answers, cheaters and quitters:
From the top it's- Aruba, Antilles, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, and Antigua. Or is it? Honestly, I fracked up the order and forgot to write it down. So if you are needing an answer. You are down the creek without a paddle, my friend. You are a McMuffin lover at 10:31am or a vegetarian in Stockton.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Oh Yeah, I Have a Blog

Whoopsies. Life happens; papers and a seemingly endless requirement of drafts for my thesis happen. Farmville happens and then I have to go and check Frontierville and I still have an account with I love playing Who Wants to be a Millionaire when I am0 supposed to be researching my literature review. Wait, what?

I have a mild tendency to procrastinate. Ok, severe...A life threatening procrastination virus that I have had since high school. I really blame senioritis- the inflammatory disease that strikes poor high school seniors (which is different from the other inflammatory disease- pregnancy), I would be a great student who lives by Larry the Cable Guy's anthem. I wonder how he is doing with that career path- I hear there has been a great migration to satellite. As one might be able to guess, I should be working on my thesis but here I am going on and on about the push and pull dynamics of the cable-satellite business.

Chris and I went up to the venue a couple of weekends ago and were shocked by how awesome the area is during the fall. Seriously amazing! We gorged ourselves on caramel apples, veggie burgers, and fries and drank in the beautiful landscape. Pumpkin patch, hay maze, pony rides, craft fair, non-polluted crisp mountain air! If it were not for the lack of vegan friendly eating establishments and Nopalitos, we would have already started packing up the apartment.

We were finally going to check off the photographer on our ever increasing wedding checklist but my darling little pup (a furry offspring stand-in) got in a scrap with Terra the Terrible that required a frantic trip to the pet ER. The bill for the pet ER should not be comparable to the people ER. Mr. Mittens and Mr. Klienfeld should not be getting charged the same for medical expenses. Patched up and sent home with some eye drops (she nearly required an eye patch) Maia has since healed completely and will not be needing spectacles nor a pirate costume.

What else have I been up to in my month hiatus? Most memorably, I got the stink eye from the cashier at Ettore's. My best lady and I caught up over Vietnamese din-din followed by a romantic dessert. The last time that Chris and I went to Ettore's, we picked out four or five different desserts to test their compatibility with our palettes for our wedding. It's research, ok? Don't judge me! When Casey and I went at 830 pm on a Friday night there was a lot to choose from so we chose them all except a caramel cheesecake- it did not look appetizing in the least. So we grabbed the large gustatory selection and headed back to the apartment to change into our maternity wear and feast on some sugary sweets. In my zeal to lay claim to the slice of the fruit basket cake, which was more like a fruit cup, I did not snap a pic at the beginning of our feast. So you will have to use your imagination to piece together the mangled remains of our confectionery slaughter.

While being given the stink eye (unfortunately, her face didn't just look like that) the truly magnificent red velvet cake caught my eye and lessened my guilt for buying enough calories to sustain a small migrant family from the northeast corner of Russia. They did not have a slice of this (sad-face emoticon) so we opted for the cupcake instead- the remnants of which are visible on the pastry battlefield pic above.

We will definitely be having a red velvet cake at the reception. How can we not? Also- no one is to touch it. It is waaay to pretty to touch. Or eat. Does that mean we have to get two- one to eat and the other to look at, adoringly? But I can't make myself cut into the second cake meant for consumption. What a first-world dilemma!

I was going to end this very sporadic entry but then I remembered the most "important" part of share and tell. Chris and I will be changing our surnames. I will not be taking his surname ("What a hairy arm-pitted feminist" My razor broke, ok. I'm getting a new one. No need to name call)!!! And he will not be taking mine (??). Instead, we are adopting a completely new surname.
Chris and I have spent the last couple of summers in Hawaii and have developed a deep connection to the island. Therefore, we are going to be adopting a Hawaiian name. The name will be cloaked in a metaphorical...cloak until the wedding but you are more than encouraged to guess the name in the new poll.

Happy guessing.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

New Features and Layout

...with flushing toilets!

Here is a brief overview of some of the changes that I have done to the blog over the last couple of months.

*Depending on your internet speed, you may or may not be hearing the sweetly innocent yet folksy sounds of my favorite music. Alexi Murdoch, Ray Lamontage, IZ, Joshua Radin, Amos Lee, and Rachael Yamagata are but a few of the musicians who have created the music of my soul. The player has a list of some of our favorite songs and artists, including the song that will accompany my walk down the aisle ("Somewhere Over the Rainbow"), and our first dance ("Sweet Pea"). Listen and enjoy.

*New picture of our ceremony site at dusk. There are geese in the pond...for now. Bwa-hahahahahaaa!!!

*Search feature on the left underneath the picture. Use this to find whatever your heart desires, as long as it desires the words written in this blog.

*Queries on how to plan our wedding. Current polls will be underneath the search ("Find Stuff") tab with all of the past polls located below my mini-autobiography, which was amazingly well written. Such an articulate author! Bravo!

I hope you enjoy the face lift and boob job to the blog, Joan Rivers and Kathy (with her Kath-eaters) would.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

If I scream in this blog, will it make a sound? Or is there an echo? Hello out there...
Chris is watching Don Draper and Bill Maher talk about politicky-stuff so this is a good time to ramble on and on and on...

I am back in school (recall the teacher from Peanuts: Waah wah waaah) so I am going to use some of the knowledge gleaned from those hours of oh-so-much fun. First up, when writing a lengthy bit of words and phrases- summarize what you are going to discuss in the beginning:

1) I will talk about stuff tangentially related to my wedding....
2) uh, haven't thought this far. Let's just go with it, noting that we will most likely end up in a gonococcus laced (Clap On!) hot tub with the epically coiffed (aerodynamically sound!) Pauly D.

A couple of biggie small accomplishments have been pushed through in the last couple of days. Today, we drove out to the Galleria to meet our new photographer, Jessica, at a Starbucks. We decided against hiring the first photographer because it's all about the Hamiltons, yo. And as grad students we need to save up our US Presidents. By the way, did you know that there is a $100,000 USD bill? I sure as hell didn't. I really wish there will be a point in my life in which I can snort coke off a stripper's ass with a rolled up Wilson. That's the American dream, right there.

Back to Starbucks- I sipped on my Passion Tea while she talked about the package deals and pricing. I was in a state of half-sleep, trying desperately to jolt my recently awaken body to full capacity before I passed into a sleep deprived coma in the midst of bustling shoppers. Thank Florence + the Machine, I survived the meet and drink, dodging mini-vans full of middle class drones filing into the doors of the authentic Mexican eatery, Jimboy's. "Excuse me waiter/cashier, it seems as if someone emptied their stomach contents onto my plate. Oh, that's how it's supposed to look and...smell? I'm gonna need to have someone do me a solid and call Poison Control."

Speaking of things that annoy, disturb, and upset the delicate nature of my gastrointestinal system- do you know about the "sizing" of wedding dresses? *breathe in, breathe out* So take the average American woman (size 14 according to Wiki). She walks into David's Bridal/The Bridal Depot/Brides-R-Us/Dress, Train, and Beyond and goes to try on a size 14. Sorry dear but that dress ain't fitting that ass. By walking through the doors of whatever overpriced tulle factory is nearest to her, she automatically jumps up two dress sizes. Two! Is the gravity in this place different? Did we move to Jupiter? I want to go back to Earth but I will settle for Pluto. A size 14 goes to a size 18 in a snap. How does that affect the bride's self esteem? Is she really going to feel like a princess on the "most important day of her life?" I used to ridicule the women who woke up at dawn to pound the cement, eating a slice of cheese coupled with a floret of broccoli as her daily nourishment but now I hear the treadmill calling my butt. Too much junk in the trunk. What is seriously disturbing is that there are size 0 wedding dresses. Think about that for a minute. [Size 0] - [2 dress sizes] = 1 seriously malnourished woman. During her Ally McBeal days, Callista Flockhart rocked the clothes hanger look with a size 0 but her chunky ass and thunder thighs must resort to a size 4 wedding dress. If the average model is a size 2, is the average wedding dress model a size 2, a size -2, or a size 6? How does that work? Do you go back to children's sizes? Can I get the Hannah Montana themed wedding attire, please? This flipping industry is going to give me an ulcer. It is absolutely mind-boggling how they can make a woman feel like Violet Beauregarde after her life altering gum chewing incident. Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee-do/I have another Zoloft for you.

If I don't end the rant now, it will never stop and I will be concocting Oompa Loompa lyrics for the remainder of the weekend. Moving on. Tomorrow, we once again travel up to the mountainous hills of Placerville to take a peek at our venue and Bob, the two-foot catfish. I have my pinkie toes crossed hoping that he has successfully deterred my Canadian foes from nesting in my future ceremony site. I see your Avril Lavigne and raise you a Ted Nugent. Game on, birdie. Game on.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Food Comas Abound

You think you know...but you have no idea. This is the Diary of a Mad Brown Woman.

Eh?? Anyone? No. I was the only one that watched that? Well that does explain oodles of noodles about me but I am a popular culture aficionado. Hm...maybe not an aficionado because they savor the sound, video, and images that flash before their eyes. They gently imbibe cultural artifacts, letting each bit sit on their tongue to allow for maximum appreciation. I'm not an aficionado. I am a pop culture junkie- I shoot up dangerously concentrated doses of reality tv, which is enough for those with lesser tolerances to end up in a Speidi induced coma. I greedily gulp down the high caloric content, dutifully chomping away at pop culture, one massive bite at a time. But I digress...

Well, that was only slightly tangential to the purpose of this blog but I haven't posted anything in a while so I am trying to satiate the readers, all four of them. Speaking of my absence, there was a good week or two with no substantial gains in wedding planning. We have the location, and singer but may change the photographer as we found someone for a third of the price with a portfolio comparable to the ideal of Ellie.

This weekend, Chris and I went to dine at Mama Susana's in River Park across from campus. It is the only Italian restaurant in town that serves actual Italian food. If you even mention Buca di Beppo I will punch you in the face- in...the...face. That is not Italian food and I am not even sure if it qualifies as food. Yes, the caloric content is present but who wants to actually ingest that crap? Not me. Does Buca serve hand-made, home-made, and fresh gnocchi? Unless the red dude downstairs is outfitted in a parka I am going to go Mama Susanna's sure as hell does and it is amazing. The dish was comparable to the home-made meals that I enjoyed during my semester abroad in Italy. I realized mid-ingestion that I should probably take a pic of my mind blowingly delicious dinner but I argue that my lapse in cognition is a testament to the yummy-ness of the dish. Mmmm..."knock-ees"

After a stomach expanding dinner, I had the brilliant idea of testing the elasticity of said organ by stopping at Ettore's and sampling the desserts that will comprise our dessert table. As a reminder- Chris and I are going to get an assortment of desserts for the wedding rather than the traditional wedding cake. Reasons? 1) adding the descriptor of "wedding," "nuptial," etc adds a couple of Benjamins on the final tab and that is not gonna happen when I hold the checks 2) neither of us enjoy chomping down on cake. Chris is a cheesecake man whereas I am a fruit tart gal all the way 3) we can all enjoy whatever dessert we crave at the time: pie? Gotcha covered. Chocolate? Which type? Yeah, there are multiple variations. Fruit? Have you seen this? Bam. I am amazing.

I have not been to Ettore's for nearly a decade yet even with such a long separation, I knew that they would be supplying the sugary treats for the nuptial celebration. Not quite sure why I chose to be dragged to Rick's when I could have enjoyed this the delectable Euro deliciousness all this time. We waddled into the establishment seconds away from food coma and stood in amazement at the beauty beaming forth from the glass display cases. Drool pooled under our feet as we jumped into line. A little kid was pacing back and forth eying what dessert he would conquer but homeboy never stepped in line. Sucker. It was later in the evening so they did not have a stocked shelf but we did see four of the desserts that we planned on having at the wedding so we sighed as we were forced to taste test the cakes and pastries. FML.

Oh, sweet dessert of the gods. Is that fresh mango? Whaaat? That was the best fruit tart that has ever gone down my esophagus. With descriptions like that- I should totally be a food writer: food taste good. Go down stomach. Nicole like. Nicole sleep now...I totally want to get another one of these. It was so amazingly good. Whoever made this particular tart needs an award. Send these over to war torn countries- war over. Everyone will be too consumed by their sweet treat to rip out any throats a la MacGruber.

Chris' strawberry cheesecake. He is not a fan of the non-traditional or non-chocolate cheesecake but he ingested that sucker quick. I have a feeling I won't have to twist his arm to go out on a dessert date to Ettore's.

Did somebody say eggs? We know how to grill them. Bring it on in to Omeletteville...No one said eggs? Oh, you said chocolate. Chocolate cake. Oh, yeah because of the picture. Well don't I feel stupid. Not really, I will snub Benny's and head over to Omeletteville every time I meander around 30 Rock.

Not a big choc-o-holic but this sucker was delish. Probably not going to have this on the wedding- give momma some fruit tart but it is in no way vomit inducing so help yourself.

I did not think that I was going to like this cake at all. AT ALL. It's pink. So strike 1 and it's pink- so strike 2 and 3 but this is amazing. I might actually stop gorging myself with a heaping helping of fruit tarts to get a couple of bites of this monster. If that isn't a compliment, I don't know what is and I don't want to live in a world in which my compliment isn't the compliment.

After the back-to-back entrances into an edible heaven, we crashed. Well, actually we came home and drank then crashed. I really need to stop drinking so I can work on my thesis. Who would ever think that alcohol would be such an effective procrastination tool?

To beat the oppressive heat of the weekend, we putt putted up the hill to the Sierras for a relaxing bit of natural beauty and escape from the chaos of the city.... Why can't I make a call? Do you have any bars? I don't have any bars!!!! I'm freaking out man, I'm freaking out. Flipping AT&T! Covers 95% of all Americans? LIARS!! I do not have the upper body strength to climb 2/3 up the tree to make a call.

At least Maia had some fun up there. Didn't realize my lapdog was a dirt devil at heart. Even though she was covered, and I do mean COVERED, in dirt and other nature-y debris, she still looked adorably majestic while she sat on my lap in the sun.

Well, minions. I have procrastinated yet again and should get back to reading for class, which will most likely devolve into pouring a glass of Casal Nova's Brachetto. Huh, well that sounds like a good idea...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

An Evening in the Hills

Greetings all. I don't mean to startle any of you with delicate tickers but...I am writing a post and it is earlier than 3 am. I think that this a cause for celebration! Wait, now I'm not quite sure why we should celebrate as the evening will inevitably be ruled by my cruel dictator, Insomnia. Frack!

Today we had plans to travel East towards the beautiful hills of apple orchards and wineries to introduce my three year old Red Tailed Catfish, Bob, to the expansive waters of Evelyn's pond. However, my iron-fisted ruler, see above, kept me from making a mid-afternoon visit; rather, we put-putted up the hill closer to sunset.

While watching Bob swim around his voluminous new home we snapped some pics of the scenery that is so much more beautiful at sunset. Now, I am not saying that the scenery is better with a dimer light (a la bars and clubs around 2am). Nope. The setting sun and the change in light casts a glimmering blanket of romanticism and beauty along the winding roads and rolling hills of the area. Ah, I cannot wait to go back up there! The pics are a bit fuzzy but the iPhone has the primary function of receiving and making calls (supposedly). Also, I must admit that I am a horrific example of a stereotypical Asian. Not only did I drive home without receiving a ticket or bashing my front or rear end into...well, anything but I did not have an elaborate camera swinging from my neck. I am the absolute worst when it comes to keeping cords together; thus, I lost both the cord that connects the camera to the computer to download the awe-inspiring bits of photographic beauty taken by impressively artistic self and the cord to charge the battery. Damn technology! When cameras ran off of AAA batteries, I could always take pictures (presumably if I could find said camera) and ruin the environment; now, I have to dump toxic waste into the sewer to get the same effect. Ugh too much effort, camera and now you require a cord. TWO cords? I'm screwed. I need to get a high quality camera that has the ability to zoom (*cough* Senor Jobs). On that note, when in the world (is Carmen Sandiego) am I going to be able to purchase your overpriced "phone" in white? June 2010...whoopsies, China fucked up, so, before 2011? Crap, I'm going to be able to legitimately switch (carrier service, not sperm) with Verizon- suck it AT&T, suck it long, suck it hard...savor it, SAVOR it!- before I can get the white iPhone 4. Argh. I know, I know. I digress and that is a conversation for an entirely different blog.

Once depositing Bob into his new home of lily pads, reeds, frogs, and geese we joined Evelyn and my aunt for some chocolate zucchini cake (it sounds "interesting" but I swear on Alexander Skarsagard's abs that it was super yummy) and got to talking about the wedding while E's horse Eclipse, who was not named in honor of Stephanie Meyer's literary prowess, galloped in the nearby apple trees. Heaven. I want to move up to the Hills; but not the Hills filled with self-tanner, silicone, and eating disorders but rather the Hills up North- the rolling landscape that reminds you to relax and enjoy your time on this giant rock we call Gaia.

Bob's new home. The pond is filled with Canadian geese, who are the devil's minions. As a proud card having (somewhere in the apartment) member of PETA, I have to say I hate geese. I hope Bob picks them off one by one (similar to the style of any American horror film- the first to go are the people of color, then the slutties, then the random girl who always, always trips over herself and falls to the ground, ugh. You seriously need to wear sensible shoes or enlist in some balance training classes. Those left will be the man and woman who have a steaming helping of sexual tension but respect E's land enough not to leave mounds of excrement every 3 feet). I think my distaste/extreme hatred of geese is rooted in my childhood interaction with them. However "interaction" may not be the best word for my experiences as I was mercilessly chased down the beaches of Lake Tahoe by rabid, foaming at the mouth, crazy eyed, open winged Canadian geese. I thought Canadians were by nature a group of sweet, mild tempered individuals who enjoyed soft rock and a good flannel shirt. Apparently, their geese do not abide by Canada's informal behavioral policies. Thus, after a childhood of running in fear from the geese coupled with stepping in their "presents" along the beach during the before mentioned chases, I developed a strong sentiment toward our feathered neighbours to the North along with long walks on the beach.

Sunset at the pond. Absolute beauty. Rage toward geese extinguished as I watched the slowly setting sun disappear beneath the trees.

What? It's sunny again? How can this be? I am the master of time and space, which I usurped from Hiro Nakamura in the year 2000 with help from Coco the Conando. Ok, serious time. This is where we decided to exchange our vows. Originally we planned on "getting wed, yo" on the opposite side of the pond but I like the layout better on this side. Two willow trees! Next to Bob's habitat! By the waterfall! Not in front of the main road! Rid of geese (get 'em Bob)!

After an evening in the hillside we drove home and checked out the site for our rehearsal dinner. I am uber-controlling, shocker, and wanted to taste test the food to assure quality because nothing is more embarrassing than taking family and friends to dinner and eating horrendous food. So we stopped in and gormandized (word of the day, what!) the food set before us.

Expecting something else? We are graduate students who are vegetarian. There are a total of 0 vegan/vegetarian restaurants in the area AND we enjoy a good grilled cheese. So, In and Out it is. If there was a Loving Hut in the area, the decision would be made but as there is not, we are going with another college favorite, In and Out. Mmmm.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Can You Pass the Milk?

Still awake. Good for you, loyal-ish reader but not so good for me. What to discuss? Nuclear physics? I learned a butt-load, which I recently learned after a colonoscopy is a very small amount, from my religious-like devotion to LOST. How about dessert? During our semi-productive weekend, Chris and I were able to hammer out (hammer, time) what we were going to do for dessert at the wedding. Currently, our apartment is dessert desert but we hope to remedy that this upcoming weekend when we go and visit a fancy-schmancy bakery to taste test/purchase some tasty treats for the dessert menu for our wedding reception.

Chris and I disagree on a number of things: 1) what qualifies a "good" movie, 2) how to properly maneuver a motor vehicle, and 3) the definition of a "good" neighborhood, but most importantly, 4) what is a delicious, delicious dessert. He argues that copious amounts of sugar (not that high fructose corn syrup crap) coupled with a comatose-leading amount of chocolate is the key to a heavenly dessert. I dissent. Rather, I find post-supper fulfillment from the freshest of fresh fruit tarts. Heaven. When I was looking for pastry chefs/bakeries that would serve as our wedding cake makers (shockingly not found in hollowed out tree trunks or Seacrest's basement), our dessert disagreement resurfaced and I realized that neither Chris nor myself really enjoy cake- I prefer my FFTs and he enjoys a sinful serving(s) of chocolate cheesecake so why should we spend hundreds of dollars on a dessert that neither of us enjoy? Screw some four layered cake. Give me a fork and a slice of FFT and I am good to go. So we shifted gears and opted to rather have a myriad of desserts available at the reception so guests could choose their own dessert. Here is a list of the delectable desserts that will most likely be on display at the reception from the before-mentioned fancy schmancy bakery:

Cheesecake with a Strawberry Glazed Top encircled with a white chocolate band. A dessert that makes Strawberry Shortcake feel inferior.

My absolute favorite dessert EVER. I first nibbled on this at my high school's senior luncheon and it has been a glorious love affair ever since. Ahh, that was a good day. Shared a table with my BFF and future Best Lady and learned that she is the absolute slowest eater that I have ever met. I gobbled down my dessert, glanced over towards her and noticed that she was barely through her entree. Damn you Casey, I get to now watch you enjoy my no good, cheating fruity lover.

For my Italians out there- here is your dessert. Just as my dessert (generally) would be a fortune cookie, here is your dessert from the Jersey Shore. I am a fan of tiramisu (who isn't??) but it wasn't until I read the description that I craved some: "Made with creamy mascarpone filling and layered with mocha baked ladyfingers and rum laced chocolate ganache. Finished with a lady finger border and topped with chocolate shavings." Mocha, ladyfingers, rum, chocolate ganache, chocolate shavings...*drool*

This next dessert is for all of you chocolate lovahs out there. It is the truffle cake that comes with a skyrocketing glucose level of three layers of delicious, delicious chocolate. Mmm...chocolate. I feel like a vagina-having Homer Simpson. I blame the hormones on my sudden and frequent food cravings.

Last but not least. Well it actually is going to be the smallest in size when compared with the other desserts...Ok, so last and least: the Princess Cake. Vanilla cake with raspberry filling. And it's all purty and pink. This is going to act as our "wedding cake" so we will cut this and ram it into each other's faces in roughly a year.

We are also going to *hopefully* get an apple pie from our very courteous host for the dessert table as a way to incorporate our venue into our wedding. Mmm...apples.

Behind the Music

As usual, it is 2:09 am and I am trying hard to coax my body to sleep. I can't believe that the weekend has come and gone. That much closer to the "sanitarium white" painted walls of AMD 250 and a persistent daze of research, readings, and Rollos. I wish that last one was true but alas, an obsession with the chocolate covered car-A-mel candies has prevented me from ever consuming another drop of chocolate goodness. I was all aboard the "R" train and couldn't end it with just two cabs. Geez, I am definitely going to have to gather my thoughts to stay afloat in the seminars this semester.

I promised further wedding posts but got caught up in the craziness of contacting our wonderful musician, Tini, and hopefully our photographer for the wedding; that and my farm and frontier do not tend themselves. I am so thrilled about possibly booking Tini. As I have already blabbed, I was not the little Asian who has intricately planned out her nuptials by the age of seven. Not quite sure why I escaped the wedding thought police. Perhaps the lack of women of color in the adverts or my socialization that focused less on Barbie's Dream Wedding Palace and more on allowing me (and the Troll with the green gem-ed naval, Rainbow Brite, and Captain Planet) to play in the grass.

However, while I was spared from the neurotic collecting of clippings from Elle, Vogue, and Seventeen that featured hairstyles, dresses, and decorations for my future wedding I did trip and one day found myself in my college classroom dreaming about my future wedding. Did I dream of Dr. McDreamy/Steamy/Ginger with his fortune and fame waiting at the end of the aisle with his million...pardon, billion-dollar smile? Not once. Did I dream of the color palette or the wedding cake? Unfortunately not. Of the wedding dress hanging perfectly on a wooden hanger in my changing room? Once again, I unfortunately have not been planning this one for over two decades. Nope, I dreamt of walking down an aisle of petals to an acoustic version of IZ's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Gently navigating the freshly picked rose petals, I walk in the afternoon's warmth toward a darkened silhouette waiting at the end of the aisle. The music lifts me up and I slowly make my way towards my partner, gliding softly forward on each note. Ahh...I dreamed a little- well, large and intricate- dream.

Thus, when Chris and I started planning for the wedding I had one request: a ukulele player to help me glide down the aisle. Well, that along with a ceremony that was outdoors and devoid of any religious pomp. My dream wedding was one similar to the final wedding ceremony in Runaway Bride. Except the horses. While I do love horses I do not want to be dragged down a hill on the most important day of my life. Ok, so maybe I did read a couple of magazines...but I bought them so I could read the articles, right boys? I remember watching that movie and thinking, "Hrhm. I want that. Nothing frilly- just an aisle of leaves and petals, a minister, and my partner."

So I incorporated my simple wedding with my Hawaiian heritage. I googled "ukulele player" in our area and came up with Ukulele Ray. Click. WTF? Ukulele Ray is white and an uber creeper? He looked like someone who owns a window-less van. I'm just sayin'...While it isn't necessary to be Hawaiian/A,P-I in order to be a ukulele player; I envisioned a trim version of Brudda IZ playing "Under the Rainbow" while I walked down the aisle. A major collision crash clogged my gray matter- I want a ukulele player but Ukulele Ray? Can he just play while clamping his mouth shut? I want to honor my heritage and there is nothing Hawaiian about Ray other than his guitar. What is a girl going to do? After finding no other alternatives in our area, I expanded my search to include the entire state- maybe someone got lost in the tubes and tunnels of the internet and would pop up on this search. A site that has information on all ukulele players in the State? Click. Ohh, this guy looks Hawaiian/A,P-I...and he has really positive reviews that are all in reference to weddings in...SoCal. Frack. Please tell me he just really enjoys traveling...not so much. He had recordings of some of his songs (including covers) up on his site so we listened just for the fun of it. He had a cover of IZ's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and I hoped it would make Heidi Spencer/Pratt sound like Enya. Not so much. His version brought tears to my normally dry eyes. Crap. He is it. He is our wedding singer. We checked out his calendar to see if he was booked near our wedding date, well wedding month- we haven't quite hammered out a date quite yet- and as luck would have it, he was playing about an hour and a half away from us during our wedding month. We inquired into his availability and his willingness to stretch out his NorCal tour a couple of days. Crossing our fingers and toes, we sent the email and waited anxiously. He was willing to visit us up North and if all pans out, will be present at our ceremony to help me down the aisle (musically, not physically as that is the job of my Momma) and play during the reception. Eek!

So that is that. That's the story of the man behind the ukulele and the girl geeking out to the Island flavor and the man holding the previous individual's purse. I rode the crimson wave hard today/yesterday which prevented me from partaking in the religious drowning of a friend's toddler, the bustling marketplace under the freeway, and the drunken debauchery of my elementary/middle school's festival. I enjoy the latter's face painting and dime throwing booths and frequent the pizza ("Yummy, Yummy/ I got pizza in my tummy") rather than the beer garden. Why do they coin it the "beer garden?" The phrase alludes to some gentle and beautiful atmosphere in which people mingle amidst blue mountaintops and galloping Clydesdales (with the occasional donkey) but reality gives you smelly, uncoordinated messes that can give Ke$ha a run for her dollar dollar bill$, yo. Argh! Concentration lost! Back to my lost day and the lack of activity's hindrance on my wedding planning. As I did not bustle with the rest of cow-town (minus the Asians and some haku-jin) at the farmers' market, I did not get any more pictures of flowers. I still need to get a florist to do the arrangements for the tables and my bridal bouquet- Casey, you get to just stand there. If you want to hold something, you can hold onto the tree. So any suggestions on florists that are too legit to quit would be awesomely awesome and perhaps beautiful. Not quite sure how well all 8 of you are at memory recall. That was a test. It is always a test. There. You have all received an immeasurable life lesson but I guess I could measure that bad boy at about $500 USD. I will contact you all to give you my bank's routing number and account.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Venue with...flushing toilets!!

Yes, minions. We have indeed found ourselves a beautiful venue and as Chris' mother exclaimed: "...with flushing toilets?" We headed east on Sunday and found ourselves in engulfed in the beauty of the Sierras. Driving up 50 and further and further away from the smog and dirt of the city we took a big breath of *gasp* fresh (???) air and immediately felt at home. Seriously. We were ready to pack up the menagerie and head out to stay with Evelyn.

Here are some of the promised pics from the weekend. I am a dunce and tilted the camera on my phone, so the video of the pond and the deck are sideways. Just flop the laptop on the side and have a viewing party. If you like your computing power a bit more stationary- lay alongside the computer and just tilt your head to get the right angle. Well, I feel like a bit (or huge) fool as Blogger is amazing and flipped the videos so you don't have to kink your necks to view the vids. I think they learned from the mid 90's Taco Bell ads and consider neck-kinked customers as not nearly as profit generating as those with limber and bendable necks a la Linda Blair.

First up is video of the pond. Nothing fancy with the camera, just a quick scan of the area in which we plan on saying "I do." While we were down looking at the area, we agreed that the tree alongside the pond on the left side would be the perfect spot for the Minister of the Whales, Chris and myself to stand while we have the rest of the guests seated in the Sierra Sun just south of us.

Here is a better image of the pond where we will embark on our journey of saying "I do" or the "Well, I guess?" I kid, I kid. Chris has already suffered through the sickness part of it. I highly doubt it can get any worse. Well, I have yet to give birth to any spawn. Oooh. A new blog, perhaps? The pond is still a bit moldy but with the introduction of Bob and a healthy dose of copper sulfate, it should be all sparkly for the nuptials.

After the ceremony, guests will bustle across the less bustling road to the barn and deck, where we will be holding the reception. The deck overlooks a breathtaking view of a meadow and is beautiful. I have a feeling I might be using that word a couple times in tonight's post.

Here is the view from the deck. The observant viewer may notice something in the far left corner of the meadow. Well, thee of grand observational skills...that would be a maze made out of hay barrels. Fingers crossed, the maze will be made again in a year and my new Aunt Evelyn will allow us to go through it....

Here are the beautiful and gorgeous white tents that are, wouldn't cha know it, already at the venue! I get to check that off the ever increasing budget! Which means...more (and higher quality) alcohol for the guests. Yup, we have gone from Popov's to Smirnoff. Luxury. I am going to drape linens over the tents so they match with the color scheme of the wedding. Or maybe I won't. It depends on what the quote for doing that would cost.

Next up are the metal gazebos. Is the plural an -oes or an -os? Well, I am way to tired to go that mother; plus, who reads this blog for its impeccable grammar and vocabulary? Think of the gazebos as less Riker's-y and more like a really really sturdy and beautiful anti-bug den. It's the antithesis of a green wedding but yet we are "environmentalist-ish." I consider this the non-Steve Irwin which makes it perfect for me as I don't plan on eating it after an unfortunate encounter with a stingray. However, he does live on in the form of a floating metal chunk that annoys the crap out of Japanese whalers. Oooooo! An L-RAD. I should leisurely go get my ear plugs and be scared while doing so because you guys are bad-ass. Anyway, at the wedding there will be limited bugs in these tents...hopefully. Bugs be gone! From the same makers of the popular PMS medication...

We are planning on converting these dens into...decked out dens of decadence. Bam! Love that alliteration. One will house appetizers for guests to munch on after the ceremony. Another will keep the non-alcoholic beverages pest-free and beautiful. Gotta make Tyra proud. I don't know...what I will do without the ignorant and (slightly more) narcissistic Oprah. Why, Tyra? Now who will bark in imitation of a dog with rabies? WHY?

Back to the wedding, the real world, and reason...Finally, one of the gazebos will be our "photobooth" where guests can snap pictures of themselves to place in our guest book. Found the creative idea whilst I was perusing the sparse wedding related websites.

If you haven't guessed, Chris and I are a bit left-leaning. Just a bit. We are just three of four ticks from Cheney.Therefore, I found the architecture of the deck as awesome. I was trying to think of a better word than awesome...but my brain has started it's shut down process so you get what you get.

Well, my internet although speedy is having one hell of a time trying to upload all of the weekend's pictures so there will be more detailed posts to come. Of our weekly outing to the farmers' market that included the purchasing of the flowers that I intend on having as table centerpieces? come. Also, some of the detailing at our venue. Ah, our venue. Sounds good. Oooh, also...a post on our wedding singer. Line up ladies, this one is amazing. Imagine a thinner IZ. Yah, I told yah...line starts here. Finally, I thought it would be fun to just include the beautiful word "beautiful" at random (yet sensible locations throughout the blog). Yeah, that was planned. Beautiful.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Early Morning Musings

It is very early in the 'morn or extremely late at night; it's simply a matter of perspective. As I have yet to fall into a blissful slumber, it is profanely late in my book. So much has been on my mind lately- finding a suitable ukulele player for the wedding ceremony and reception, finding a photographer, making sure that Lilo is fulfilling her Promises (eh, get it...because it's the name of a rehab facility...nevermind), revamping my thesis in a way that won't further aggravate my thesis chair into a homicidal rage, and cleaning up the apartment to prevent the taping of Hoarders- we moved in how many months ago? But are still roughly fifty percent unpacked, oops. Ugh, who thought not working would be so Well, to be fair, this whole wedding planning deal takes a huge chunk out of my time pie (mmm...pie) chart. The TiVo isn't going to watch itself, don't cha know! I would even take a gander and say that one could find employ in this wedding planning business.

So what progress have we done since the last nuptially themed post? Eh...we are working on it?

We have found an amazing musician from Southern Cal (it's hella, weirdos) that we are hoping we can snag for the ceremony and reception. One of the musts for the wedding is walking down the aisle to IZ's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" played on the ukulele. I have always felt at home on Kauai and would love to bring some Island love to the Mainland. We sent a nervous email out to the musician- gushing at his talent and pleading with him to play at our wedding. We actually told him that he could pick the date and we would work around him. At that moment, I understood Bieber-fever. I had Grey-fever. Hrm. Well that doesn't sound nearly as cool and hip as Bieber fever. I think it is the former's proximity to a double entendre that makes it oh soo appealing. Bieber has beaver fever and fuck a duck, those beavers have Bieber fever. I am so sorry mother. Blame my nautically enhanced language on the year I spent in UNIQUE hanging out with the brutish masculinity of the sound and lighting techs. I would offer my stint interviewing arrestees as the source of my amusingly profane take on the English language but they the dialogue was surprisingly G Rated.

I also happened across a photographer in the area. Searching Facebook for the latest post for FarmVille/Frontierville/Treasure Island (I know- I have a disease and I am in the process of seeking medical attention to free me from Zynga's manipulative grasp), I happened to notice a post from a high school classmate who was recently married. She posted the engagement photographs along with a link to the photographer. Click. Gorgeous photos ensued. However, it wasn't until I heard Amos Lee's "Sweat Pea" that I was convinced that I wanted this photographer. Yes, I base my choices on the alternative and folksy nature and musical tastes of individuals. So sent off another geekish and awkward email asking her to be my photographer. Is a rose/clock/backstage pass/name tag ceremony appropriate for this occasion? Should I call up Chris Harrison to officiate? Fingers crossed she says, yes. Well that and she's cheap. Not in moral character but... in professional and financial terms? Have we crawled out of the gutter yet?

In a couple of hours- five to be exact, I will be driving up to Apple Hill, CA to visit my Aunt's BFF who happens to own an apple orchard that just happens to rent out to weddings. Coincidence? It's 5:19 in the morning, so...why not? Blurred pictures will be posted pronto- after the inevitable exhaustion induced crash around 6pm. So by pronto, I mean the Italian interpretation- it will get done before September. I really should find my camera as I believe that taking photographs is its primary function but if my sleepless daze prevents me from doing such, my iPhone will work in a pinch. Thus, even blurry-er pictures.

Sweet dreams!

Monday, August 2, 2010

And the Best Lady Gift Is....

A used baby!!!

After much thought on what a "used baby" meant, I am leaning toward the overpopulation/6B marker and think that the absolute best gift for my Best Lady would be setting in motion a legal adoption of a child.

As per the description, I am hoping that a used baby will be markedly cheaper than one of those sparkling or goop smothered infants. Nope, we want one whose charm and cool baby effect has deteriorated faster than relations in the BB household. Not even the Chenbot can calm those waters.

Now, I was doing some preliminary research for adoptable used babies. I have two options but I am heavily favoring the first. Well, now I have convinced myself that the second choice really isn't an option. I have been trying for months to adopt Alexis Gosselin but to no avail. I was offered Maddie but that is a no go. This is a strictly Alexis "aldergater" household. Ah, so without further ado, here is my favorite choice in the used baby category.

I think the girl with the mini-Snooki coiffed hair is a bit out of our age range although the parenting (for better or worse) has already been completed. She did get engaged and then disengaged (?) with Playgirl's favorite Northern Centerfold. To be honest, I have no idea if the infant in the picture is the offspring of the two teens or the other older, Russian-spying "lady" but it really doesn't matter. The kid's ability to sell newspapers and magazines has slumped and with it, hopefully, has his/her value to the family. Now I heard that the Palins adore them a good aerial lupinicide so I am hoping that the Twilight series along with Team Edward fanny-packs that I have already sent via UPS will seal the deal.

Fingers crossed, Casey. If all goes well, I can finally get rid of Chris' Twilight gear AND you get yourself a used baby. Now, if a rench or AK-47 is thrown into the gears of my wonderfully planned baby coup, I will have to head out to Hollywood to go searching for the Safe Facility that is located near the upcoming reunion show for 16 and Pregnant.

You're welcome.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

An Anatomy of an Enigma

After a late start on Tuesday, I shuffled my way over to campus to check out the oral history that Jichan completed back in the late 90s. I have to say that despite the three minute panic in library when I thought that the copy was missing/stolen, the affair was successful. No parking ticket equals successful outing.

I checked out and rushed home to start reading. Even though I read the copy from cover to cover, I still feel like I don't know the whole story. This may come from my unrelenting methodological elitism as I thought that the interviewer was horrendous- my "interviews" (if you can call them such) for a project in undergrad were more detailed and nuanced than this woman but I will leave my methodological concerns for a different blog.

I was hooked on every word, as if it could single-handedly give me insight into the enigma that was my Jichan. Here is a list (I do believe I like lists) of some of his amazing achievements:

1) Born in Kauai, HI and spent the first decade and a half on the island but moved to our family's temple in Japan.

2) Although 15 generations had taken up the Buddhist ministry, Jichan was enchanted with Christianity and attended a Lutheran school during his youth in Japan.

3) After becoming frustrated with Christianity's view on salvation, he turned to Buddhism and later became ordained in the faith.

4) At the outbreak of WWII, was urged by friends in the US Embassy to leave Japan as the police were becoming suspicious of his anti-war and peace ideologies and were considering jailing him.

5) Left all family behind in Japan and sailed to SF. Later, he traveled to LA then Bakersfield, where he was given the position of minister for the small church.

6) Executive Order 9066 forced Jichan into the Santa Anita Racetrack Detainment Center. There he developed TB and was transferred to a hospital for internees.

7) Asked by the US Army to teach soldiers the Japanese language so he traveled to Yale University and used the drama department's props and stage to help young soldiers learn Japanese.

8) Married my Bachan, who graduated with a BA in Sociology (I guess it runs in the family).

9) Led Churches in Honolulu, Toronto, Berkeley, and Florin.

10) In Honolulu, he acted as the first Buddhist chaplain to the State Legislature.

11) Was "promoted" to the first Bishop of the Buddhist Churches of Canada.

12) Met with the Queen and Prince Phillip during Canada's bicentennial celebration.

13) Met Mother Teresa at a UN meeting and had a brief conversation with her.

14) Created the first Buddhist award for the Boys Scouts Organization.

15) Pushed to have the Dharma Wheel be installed as the signifier on Buddhist Soldiers' dog tags. Previously, soldiers who were Buddhist were labeled as belonging to no religion or were mis-identified as Christian.

16) Near the end of his life, he was asked to minister at a Buddhist Church in Kenya. He learned Swahili in preparation but was unable to ever make the journey due to his deteriorating health.

Nothing like reading the transcript to realize that I am doing nothing with my life. At my age, my Jichan was already managing his own Church in Bakersfield. Right now, my main responsibilities are to water and feed the cats and dog. And Chris.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A comedy hooker with a heart of (fool's) gold

Planning this wedding has had it's lighter moments, which are sporadically rare but oh so enjoyable- like our impromptu dance in the middle of Ikea's mattress section when we heard the song that we plan on having as our "first" dance. However, much of this process has been stressful- how in the world are two graduate students going to afford a wedding? Especially when one of said grad students grew up in the lolly-pop fairyland of East Sacramento with its aging hippie residents that have slid effortlessly into the petit bourgeoisie? Green and eco-friendly has a cost, friends. And that price tag is labeled for those living in the manicured lawns of the Fab Forties. Social awareness aside, the wedding planning has sparked an almost constant self-reflection that would make the psych grad students across the hall in Amador wizz with anticipatory glee. Because when you come down to it; weddings are about one thing- family. The spiritual, physical, economical, religious, and psychological merging of two distinctly separate families into one amorphous blob.

Family, for me, has always been an open-ended term to describe anyone who I hold dear to my heart. My girls in the cohort, Shawnie (I still feel weird using this term, dear!), "preggers" (who gave birth to a gorgeous bouncing baby of testosterone nearly a year ago, will always be nicknamed as such), Cha (my pint-sized hero who can do damn near everything), my newly seeing-able Christina; Sanhita, the sweetest person I have had the privilege of knowing; our newest member to the sleep-deprived cohort clan- Margaret, and many many more. I love you all but I don't want this post to challenge my thesis (which I should really get to...) so I am keeping it a bit short. So, for me, family does not just include those with whom I share a biological connection but rather an emotional connection. See- told you I am from the hippie commune of East Sacramento.

My "extended" family, however, has not been the cause of my introspection. Rather, as I have been trying to determine who to put on the ever changing guest list to the ceremony and reception, I have realized how little I know about those with whom I share genetic material. Last year, my grandfather ("Jichan" in Japanese) passed and I felt a strange lack of emotion or connection when I heard the news and also later at the funeral. I empathized with my aunt who had spent her entire adult life caring for her father but I didn't mourn the loss of my grandfather. Rather, I mourned for her loss. I am usually an emotionally-led person, so this seemingly cold-heartedness perplexed me. Months passed and it was not until I stepped onto the pebbled grounds of a Buddhist Church that he had once presided over as a minister that I truly felt his absence. It was a moment that stands out as it was in that moment that I realized that I never truly knew the man whom I called Jichan. Tonight, I browsed through archived bits and pieces of history that chronicled my Jichan and Bachan's ("grandmother" in Japanese) life in Toronto, Hawaii, Berkeley, and Florin. In the short hour in which I searched, I learned more about my deceased relatives than I did in their lifetimes. Granted, cancer took my Bachan before I was ever able to meet her but I shared twenty-three years with my Jichan and never truly knew the man.

If I don't know where I come from, how can I know myself? Maybe sociology was not my true calling- dare I admit that I may need to sit across an equally baffled Steve Martin in Philosophy 101? I have been struggling with this question for some time now and feel that amidst planning a wedding, a search for my history- my roots, is in order. How well do we know the ones we love? I know fragmented pieces of those that I love that come together like a ragged and age-worn puzzle but I know the completed image cannot be viewed.

Tomorrow, I plan on visiting the local university to find an oral history that Jichan gave back in the late 90s in an effort to piece together the man and in some way, myself. This is quite the deviation for me (both in this blog and in real life) as I tend to keep matters light but maybe I need to air some things out. Dust and mold can kill (see Brittany Murphy and hubbie Simon Monjack) and I don't plan to go down like that. Even when I'm trying to serious, the comedy oozes out; well, at least I see it as comical. I reign you in with the chuckles and then just when you think all you are getting out of this is empty comedic calories a la a Big Gulp of Dane Cook, I make you feel. Well, at least I got myself to shed a tear or two during the writing of this post but as Max says, I am a woman. So, [insert overtly chauvinistic and female stereotype here].

Back to my point- I urge all eight (or nine, fingers crossed!) of you to look inward and see if you know you who truly are. I know that I have no idea who I am. Maybe this is just a mid-twenties/wedding planning crisis of self but I plan on figuring out who I am along with those around me while we are still living. Do the same. I wonder if Oprah has offered such insightful and slightly psychologically damaging advice/mental cleaning orders? If not, I think I deserve her ma-billions. She carted out a wagon full of fat and I present my vacuum of family history. Mine is more salacious although hers is more savory.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Drowning in Tulle

The California State Fair is raging across the street with Rick Springfield's Aussie muzak slamming against the walls of our complex. I am in hiding with my Glee playlist on shuffle. Ahh, the sounds of Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, and the adorable and Emmy Nominated Chris Colfer can calm my most hysterical panic attacks or my current migraine induced from Outback musical thumping.

With "Imagine" lofting across the room, I realize that I am too a dreamer. Dreaming of soft tulle and lace themed fantasies in which the perfect dress is just there- sitting on the rack. Why do I fear that my daydreams may be closer to delusions? A few days ago, I posted pictures of the dress that America Ferrera wore in the "comedy" Our Family Wedding. The only comical bit about the film was that people actually paid money (as compared to the Monocled Millionaire's colorfully hued financial notes) to see that brain numbing bit of cinema. It was lust at first sight, beautifully draped across America's body was the epitome of bridal gown perfection. Must...have. Google search results spit out the designer's deets: Monique Lhuillier's Scarlet wedding dress with the price tag of- $7,000 USD. Hrm. Must find similarly designed dress with a price in the range of someone who shops at The Rack not Nordstroms. So as Rick's audible assault continues- seriously, it's been an hour, I think the fair-goers and the tenants of the Palms have had enough; we understand that you lust after Jessie's gf but it's been twenty-eight years; move on, dude- I forge ahead in search of the dress.

Craigslist and I had some quality time and I found a pre-tested dress. Upside of purchasing a pre-worn wedding dress:
1) It has already made its way down the aisle so there is no need to be nervous. There is a pro in our midst. Just leave the thinking to the tulle.
2) Aligns with my "green" thinking- one less wedding dress purchased new? The pits may also be green or yellowish, should probably find a good dry cleaner.
3) Cheaper than new. Get the designer dress without the designer price. I could totally write commercials for The Rack- that is, of course, if they made commercials for The Rack but they don't so...must come up with another income generating idea that requires no actual work. Crossing my fingers for a lottery/deceased millionaire relative situation. No Whammies, no whammies....

Although I present a strong list of reasons to buy a sweat-infused dress, I will most likely be purchasing new. The Craigslist dress was designed by Maggie Sottero. As mentioned in previous posts, I was not properly socialized into the wedding fantasy so my knowledge of wedding dress designers are limited to Vera Wang and (recently) Monique Lhiullier but I can appreciate bridal beauty when I "C" it (on a tangent, Sue and I "C" things in similar veins- we both love a good tracksuit and are outraged at the ruling that cheerleading isn't a sport; those girls diet and drug up just like McGuire and Kobe, so boo to you, Mr. Judgey-pants). Here are a couple of the dresses that I also fell into lust with. I may need to seek advice from David Duchovny as my lustfulness may spiral out of control:

This is the original Craigslist dress. I have no idea why I am so attracted to the poofy ("cupcake" a la Hayley) bottom of the dress. All joking aside, props to the photographer from her wedding as this pic is amazing- something you would find on a site in which you purchase and consume objects relegated to a wedding or events of similar fashion ("bridal sites?")

This is the "Maeleigh" dress by Maggie Sottero. Again, poofy bottom with a tight bodice. Slightly afraid one of my boobs may go rogue and pop out if not watched carefully. I adore the detail done to the skirt and will most likely go in that direction unless, of course, I resemble an ivory elephant when trying this style on. In which case, I will go with something with less pizz-azz around my azz. Something like...

"Ruby" by Maggie Sottero. Gorgeous bead and lace work along the dress. I would be so paranoid of dropping anything on this or getting it caught on something. Do not like that the dress is strapless- my boobs are going to need support and the lack of any support beams or flying buttresses makes me weary. A post-purchase addition would definitely include the creation of thin yet resilient lace straps for the dress. No need to pull a Janet Jackson at my wedding.

By far my favorite dress. Eh, favorite-ish. As the frail Rachel Zoe would exclaim: "I die!" As when anyone uses those words, I respond with, "promises, promises..." I fell hard for the skirt on Sottero's "Venecia" dress. Amazing detail. My complaint: the "swooping-boob detailing." I appreciate the breast support; however, I really do not need any more attention going toward that area and would be so much happier sans the detailing.

Finally, a non-Sottero dress for viewing. I free you from the monotony of Sottero but not from white/egg-shell/ivory dresses. I may be non-traditional but I am not getting hitched in a pink leopard get-up. This dress was worn by Mena Suvari at her wedding and was designed by Stacey Bendet of alice + olivia fame. I am not a fan of length of the bodice- I would prefer it to end at the top of the hips rather than below it. While this ensures that you will not be showing your guests your vay-jay-jay during the dancing portion of the event, your new husband may have trouble in the bridal suite. So, for Alec's sake, we will go with something less...troubling.

There you have it. The dresses that I have come to favor. Who knows what I will end up with as I have yet to step into a bridal shop out of sheer terror. I will definitely need a Klonopin and some Grey Goose to get my behind into a dressing room along with the support (ahem- mother! and Casey!) of those with whom I try dresses on with. Support.

Ah, Rick Springfield has vacated and now I get to hear explosions. 10pm means a Maia/Sookie/Terra panic attack- I really need to go and get the kitty cats some treats to placate their nightly terrors.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Delicious, delicious food coma

My sunburnt sweetheart went out and grabbed breakfast for us before he headed off to work, which got me thinking. I wonder if I could get Nopalitos to cater the wedding. Now that would be heaven. I would eat myself into a coma and rest peacefully until someone pulled the sword out of the stone or destroyed the ring in the lava pits of Mount Doom. For all of those who have yet to taste the mind-numbingly amazing food at Nopalitos- go. Now. Seriously, get your butts up and travel to East Sacramento and experience the best breakfast in Sacramento or one of the best lunches in the area. Go. I can see the reflection of the computer in your glasses. No matter what Corey Heart says, wearing sunglasses at night (or indoors) makes you look a bit mentally unstable. I would be more inclined to trust a liquored up Mel Gibson than someone chilling out indoors with sunglasses on. So ditch the shades and run over to Nopalitos.

Our sunburnt selves munched on the Nops goodness and alas, I believe I feel a wonderful food coma setting in, which is such sweet relief as my skin feels like it has been beaten by a hot iron. Before we taunted sunscreen users, informing them that we are all going to die of some sort of cancer and we were going to pick ours, gosh darn it!- incoming tangent.... do you know how much radiation pulses through your body when you get a CT scan of your abdomen? Or that it is strongly recommended to not have your cell phone near your head when you sleep due to radiation seepage? Thus, we decided to choose our poison, which in this case was nasty UV rays. At least you will look golden brown and tanned at your memorial. Ugh, gave myself a visual of that and wondered if I would match the exterior wood of the coffin. Moot point, however, as I would much rather be cremated and turned into a diamond ring that one of my relatives could wear on a daily basis because that would not be weird at all. B-t-dubs: that is an actual services that is out there on the internet. Apparently all you need is a bit of their DNA and the lab can whip you up a diamond made out of nanna. Ugh.

Now, my highly intellectual and logical argument to choose the noose around my neck made sense roughly twenty hours ago when it was not excruciatingly painful to lay down. I look like I colored myself with Crayola's "Commie Red" crayon. Unfortunately, I not only get to look like a Communist baby-eater but I must also live in the soul and freedom crushing mentality of the Red State (not to be confused with the freedom loving Red States who insist that we don't tread on them). After a long night of attempting to find a sweet spot where I could be in the fifth rather than sixth layer of Hell I believe I may have changed my mind on my perception of sunscreen. I don't think I will be tanning for the wedding. At best, I will get sprayed with orange chemicals and attempt to have the spewing liquid hit my body rather than my (open) mouth or mistakenly open eyes. Whaaa? I was supposed to keep my mouth shut and wear protective goggles? Knuckle-futz. On second thought, maybe I should just embrace my Asian hue of off-white/light brown and skip the chemicals and UV rays all together. That makes sense, which is why I will most likely tan and/or spray tan.

As I now have seven followers- Oh yeah, not just my mom (who by the way is not following me- lameness!) but seven-ish actual followers. Okay, so I may be following myself but how else will I know if I posted a new blog filled-ish with hilarity/chuckles/awkward laughs- I think it is the perfect time to assemble a list of Nicole's Favorite Things. Don't check under your chair, there is nothing there other than rotting gum and an umbrella that someone left after the downpour in October. Once again, most of this has nothing to do with the wedding but I am bored and you get to read about it. So there.

Mmmmmm....Nops' Smothered Burrito. Nothing and I do mean nothing beats this burrito, it is amazing!

It's a bit hard to read but that is SPF 100. Science has come to a new low! Now the albinos can roam free in society. What will we do. What can we do? Does this mean that Edward "Dreamboat" Cullen won't be as sparkly? That would totally kill his appeal for me- I like my man freezing cold (it was 101F yesterday), sparkling under the obscured and clouded sun, and pouting because nothing says mature relationship like longing looks of teenage angst in the biology lab. Does it also mean that Paul Bettany can flog himself out in the park? That must be nice for him- being able to torture himself for Jesus? I don't know- I didn't watch that movie. It looked ridiculously stupid plus I believe there was a brief discussion about religion and I'm okay with not doing that.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Nothing to do with the wedding but...

Ah, IKEA. How I adore, thee. I would count the ways but I'm tired and Jessi Slaughter's dad called the internet poh-leece on me and we are in a hurry to pack and get the hell out of Dodge. If the name Jessi Slaughter escapes you, google it. My hope in the human race dropped significantly after watching her comment video posted up on YouTube. I am going to shelter the hell out of my child so she (if it's a boy, we are shipping his ass of to Asia; I want a baby girl) never knows what the words "glock" and an array of expletives are at the age of eleven.

Pulling myself back from the hellish darkness that is prepubescent violent threats....IKEA. Oh, your cheap but delicious Swedish food- mac and cheese, penne with garlic bread, veggie wraps, chicken strips- that is so exotic to my American mouth. We ate tonight as the steaming hot Alexander Skarsgard does in his native Sweden all for $16, which is a freaking steal for three people. I think I may be enjoying Swedish food more often if it is only gonna set us back a couple of Washingtons.

After our exotic gastro quest, we roamed the expansive store looking for a way out. Jigsaw is a cruel mother-what? You go in for dish-towels and leave three days later, dehydrated and confused. My Asian-ness drew me to the "As-Is" section of the store hidden amongst the rows of inventory. When we first moved into our tropically named apartment complex, we (and by we, I mean Alec) ripped the George Michael out of the couch cover. Mistakenly considering IKEA a discount (or at least reasonably priced) retailer, we thought we could replace the torn cover for under $50. The price is wrong, Bobby! The actual retail price of an Ektorp cover is $129. So, we have just had to avert our eyes from the gaping hole in the upholstery...until tonight. We rummaged through a bin of mixed upholstery for everything from shams to couches to beds. It was a mess and so were we. After minutes of sorting through the cloth we looked liked contestants on the last leg of the Iron Man Triathlon. Sweating like Ryan Secreast at the W. Hollywood Curves, we emptied the first of two bins and started scratching through the second seemingly bottom-less bin. Seeing the remaining bits of cloth at the bottom, I resigned any hope of getting a complete set (couch cover, back cushion cover, and seat cushion cover) in the same design much less the same color palette. Alec starts jumping up and down like a child on Christmas 'morn- one set complete. Seconds later, the second couch set is complete. Holy mother load! How much did this set us back? Well, nothing as my mommy paid the bill even though we had a heated argument at the register. A deep apology to Cindy at the W. Sac IKEA- our bad. However, as we do live in a capitalist society, money was exchanged and the total price of the couch set was...$16. $10 for the couch cover, $3 for the seat cover, and $3 for the back cushion cover. Asian said "Whaaa?" $32 for two sets of couch covers? Let's call it a day, as we just hit the gold mine.

Pushing Daisies

As well as being one of my all time favorite shows, they are beautiful flowers that in the right hue of purple can complement my wedding bouquet. At the farmers' market today (W St. at 8th, or somewhere in that general area- across from Southside Park, where they found a floater last summer), we came across some great flower vendors who had a large array of liliac and white flowers. It was a bit of a shock as we are used to going to the Oak Park Farmers' Market that has a total of eight-ish vendors and at the maximum has ten middle-aged hippies strolling around the bark-filled lot. Today's Farmers' Market (FM as I suspect I will refer to this more than once and as I have previously mentioned, laziness is totally my thing, totally) was the Mecca for local farmers, all collecting under white tents that advertised their proximity to our fair city.

As I walked into the bustling marketplace, I had a wonderfully unexpected panic attack. Damn you, agoraphobia! I thought we had moved past this but alas, you are here to stay. You are my deeply hidden "Gimme" alter. Please, no wetting of the bed, as it irritates John Corbett. Despite the tens of vendors, I could not find a head of lettuce. What the Toni Collete, FM? Free range eggs, fresh roma and vine tomatoes, three pound onions, garlic and herb cheese, live fish, Jews Against Zionism, and strawberries but no romaine lettuce? Argh! Oh well, I guess I will have to go and slum it over at Whole Check.

At the FM, my mother and I browsed the purple blossoms and ooh'ed and ahh'ed at their beauty and magnificence- they were adjacent to the meat section of the FM, so there was no competition. Here is a selection of (blurred) images that I took with Alec's new-ish iphone. I am the furthest thing from a botanist- my MOMA had gifted us a gorgeous Bonsai con panda that lasted roughly a month although its demon-esque prickly appendages hide in our carpet and plan sneak attacks upon our unsuspecting and angelically innocent feet (not to be mistaken for Gardein's feat)- thus, I have absolutely no idea what type of flowers/plants these are. They just purty.

white purty thing-a-ma-bobber that does not have talon like stems

bluish/purple foliage

white foliage with garlic-like appendages.

This is what I have so far. Some pictures of some flowers from the FM. My Best Lady who has "unfortunately read [my] blog" has scrutinized me for not picking out a vendor, caterer, and well...everything. My pimp is on it and we are planning a trip up to the Hill of Apples to check out the venue and see if they can provide a vegan menu for our nuptials.

Jessi Slaughter has made my brain a slushie. Bridezilla, out.

Friday, July 16, 2010

I Dreamed a Dream

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I'm living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed

Thank you, Susan Boyle (or the boil named Susan in "Futurama") as you are the only voice I hear when I think of that song. Well, actually, I get a visual of Susan the boil on Leela's ass. I should probably read more as I think that Alec Baldwin was right and that the evil alien masterminds behind Hulu and the ubiquity of mindless entertainment are liquefying our cerebral matter.

As an itty-bitty little Asian girl, I don't think I really ever dreamed about the details of walking down the aisle. Well, I think I daydreamed of a vague ivory dress made of hopes and dreams while I glided on cotton-candy clouds walking ever so elegantly toward Prince William. An updated version of this dream would definitely involve the younger and thicker coiffed ginger prince. Seriously, Will, William, Billy- have you ever heard of Rogaine? Your hairline is receding faster than the native wildlife in the Gulf. You are caliente, my English compadre but you are losing major hotness points to your Nazi-dressing brother. Shame. As a side note, the dictionary that is embedded in this application does not recognize any Spanish words. *Shudder* Palin, the Earl Grey's, and the Minute Men (who rumor has it, chose their name out of sexual frustration rather than historical events) are winning. Tangent. I think I should buy a diggedy-dog shock collar to keep me on track but I fear I would most likely strap that on Alec mid-dream just to mess with him. Speaking of, after a delish dinner with my mother, he proceeded to find the worm at the bottom of a Chardonnay bottle. Tequila-Chardonnay, same thing, right?

Back to my ramblings- my wedding was never really detailed out in my young and naive years of four. Ok, okay... twenty. I wish I had made a plan a la Patrick Dempsey's Lucky Seven. This Academy Award snub made by the lovely people of ABC Family is a must watch, gents. It's got everything: action- there are explosions in the sky (known to some as "fireworks"); chicks that have lady parts that are sometimes exposed when they wear....tank tops; gore- the wedding is catastrophic- limbs are flying in every direction with morbid onlookers taking photographs to commemorate the horrific event; and sci-fi- OOOOO! There are palm pilots in this strange tech un-savvy world. On a sidenote that will most likely turn into a shooting tangent, Syfy- you are not fooling anyone. You are still the nerdy network and a name change does not make you any cooler. The cool kids over at HBO are still throwing their Tru Blood slushies in your face. Your situation is so dire that even Jack Donaghy's sinking ship refuses to meet you in public. So fly your freak flag, Syfy, and drop the act. I love you for your Giant Shark vs. Mini Giraffe gore-fest. I know Bambi gets his ass kicked by Godzilla so let's keep it that way. Not sure if that last bit will be supported by PETA. Ok, last tangent in this paragraph- is unsolicited bestiality a crime?

Back to the movie and its groundbreaking message of....something. Mother, I am going to blame the absence of a dissertation length dossier on the wedding vendors located in the Western Hemisphere on you . Amy's mother (back to the life altering movie) gave her a road map for life. Literally, seven bfs then marriage; along with college and other stuff but the marriage is the key part of this roadmap. We are women, come on now. We go to college to meet a man and learn how to cook a killer foie gras, right? Your liberal child rearing has given me too much freedom of choice. Damn you for not slapping my ass around, instilling me with the grace to grant all decisions to the nearest penis. Well, I guess if I would have stuck around my biological father more that may have been my future but damn my independent stubbornness!

So let's see. I have no idea what I want to do with this wedding other than having a vegan caterer. Breathe in. Breathe out. In. Out. Chew on twig- ahhh, delicious!

This weekend we are planning on hitting up the local farmers' markets along with the vegan bakery that doubles as a catering service (and communist secret cell) to get our gastro on. In the coming weeks, we are going to head out to Apple Hill, CA; which is not a giant apple shaped like a hill as I had previously believed but rather a haven for apple connoisseurs. I haven't been since I was a child so I have no idea how accurate my childhood memory of the area is- but, fingers (and toes) crossed my memory is better than my dearly beloved betrothed; who, after a lovely afternoon spent strolling the streets of San Francisco, took me to a lovely restaurant that his family had frequented during his youth. Boy, redecorating to have an exterior that resembled an apartment complex sure was sneaky of those restaurateurs. After many attempts to place an order with those leaving said restaurant, we left defeated and chowed instead on the local delicacies of Mel's. Fortunately for the two (or three counting Maia) of us, my aunt is a venerable vacation and entertainment pimp and is burning up all of her roll-over minutes trying to help us with just about everything. My goal is to replicate the style of Star Jones' wedding. Not the gay husband deal but the whoring out of products and merchandise on The View in order to get a final tab of... $0. I may have difficulty gaining access to the squabbling heads on ABC; however, I am totally willing to smack decals all over my car (and Maia) to seal the deal. Venue rental- $0; catering- $0; photography- $0; whoring yourself- priceless.

Well, I believe that I was able to adequately fill space without talking about anything in detail. My gift of gab is honorable and I may have a destiny in politics. Hrm. I can talk about nothing at all for hours on end; however, I can't stand idiots and Capitol Hill is crammed full of the cognitively challenged.

Stay tuned, houseguests, for more Big Brother...Sorry, CBS asked me to fill in for the Chenbot as it was revealed that she was the true saboteur. My hiring will be a true coup d'etat (pronounced, "coop dee-taught," thank you Jeff). All of three of you will get that joke but worth it.

For those who are just joining me on this literary journey of my psychological carnival ride, the best is yet to come. Enjoy Bridezillas or the first month of American Idol, You Think You Can Dance, and the Bachelor/ette or the entire season of Rock of Love [Bus] for the trainwreck TV? You ain't seen nothing yet! Wedding planning/gorging our faces at Sugar Plum this weekend along with some convos with Apple Hill farmers will ensure updates will be made in a disorderly fashion. Shanat- don't worry, they shall come. Just like if you build it, they will come. Now, I believe that it refers to some field of (broken) dreams but I am betting that it really refers to a new Apple Store.

I have realized that with my great gift of verbal diarrhea comes a great responsibility- to subject my friends, family, and some dude from India- to it. You're welcome.