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 mid-July....er, 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:

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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.

video


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.

video

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....

video

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 dictionary.com 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? Yup...to 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 much...work? 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.