Tuesday, December 16, 2008


When I throw away underwear because it's in a state of disrepair, and it's worn, can I just throw it in the wastebin or do I have to wash it first and then throw it away? It feels disrespectful and unsanitary to throw away worn underdrawers.

Sometimes I have these questions and they remind me of something that Larry David would wonder aloud about on his show. Before becoming a fan of the show, who would have thought that I could identify so closely with a middle-aged bald Jewish man? Certainly not I. But it just goes to show you the universality of the human condition. Or at least the shared experience and camaraderie within the neurotic U.S.-American diaspora.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

I'm a PC, darnit

I just saw the meanest Mac anti-PC commercial. It's getting as mean-spirited as the 2008 presidential campaign in the past month. The PC is a good machine. I'm sorry if I don't feel like a Mac is worth the extravagant price. They are pretty though.

Inspiration station

Compare this "real-life" board to the inspiration board I posted before the wedding (July 31, 2008). I used 100%, all-natural actual wedding photos from our wedding.

Monday, October 20, 2008

R2, it is you!

During my last week of freedom, before I began my first ever real job-without-end, I sat down to do something I never really did before. I watched Star Wars, episodes 4-6 (the newest movies disappointed me and I still feel burned, but I'll give them a second chance some day). The movies are so good! I wouldn't change a thing. Perfectly classic. Everyone should watch them. The world George Lucas created is amazing, and all the detail he put in to it is awesome.

Some things that I love: Not only is Leia the ultimate no-nosense feminist, but she snags the hottest dude in the galaxy. R2D2, although a droid, is as cute as the cutest puppy. If he doesn't make you all warm and fuzzy inside, you have no insides.

When I was younger, my brothers, especially the youngest, used to have Star Wars playing in the VCR all the time. But I realized, when I recently watched, that I never actually sat down and saw all of them from start to finish. It seems I was always doing something else at the same time. Well, my husband was a little miffed that I watched episode 4 while he was at work, but we watched the other two together like a family. Apparently, from the day we met he has been waiting for me to express an interest in watching them with him. I'm glad we had the bonding experience, and I heartily recommend the movies.

Kissing the tasteless

My tongue is having a terrible time today. It doesn't matter what I eat, my tongue feels like it has just licked 50 envelopes and I can't get ride of the awful taste. Awful, horse-hoof gummy taste. Blech. This experience makes me appreciate my tongue, and it's usual ability to taste yummy things, all the more.

I googled my symptom, and it came up with things like gum disease and tooth abscess. I haven't seen the dentist in a while (no insurance), but my coverage under my new job will start soon. But I hope that my tongue gets better sooner than that. I could also have jaundice. My skin has been looking pretty yellow lately. Ach! I just wikipedia'd jaundice and the pictures were so scary I immediately had to close the window. I will never complain about looking like a Simpsons character again. The taste isn't metallic, so it can't be mercury or lead poisoning. Thank goodness. It helps to not have any enemies with access to my food supply.

I tried running minty floss over my tongue. Bad idea. It stung and the taste became even more intense. I scraped my tongue. Didn't help. I'll use some mouthwash before going to bed, and I'll hope that a good night's rest will bring my tongue to a full recovery.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

To splurge or not to splurge

One thing I chose not to splurge on - the cake. I had tasted a devil's food cake at a birthday party at the groom's house and loved it. The cake was from a nearby grocery store, Graul's. So we made an appointment to taste the other flavors there, and I decided on a 3-layer plain pound cake (top layer = devil's food) with buttercream frosting. The cake decorations are very minimal. I never liked the cascading frosting flower look. So the cake is taking up 1% of our budget.

Initially, we had other desserts on the menu to be served with the cake, but we scratched the other desserts so we'll just have the cake, champagne, and some sweet wedding favors for the guests. As a couple, we're not really into sweets that much. We'd rather consume the extra sugar through our signature cocktails. And this is pretty much an adult affair. We might have two child guests, if even that.

We were interested in personalizing M&Ms for the occassion, but decided against spending the extra dough. You can even add pictures to them now! It's just like the personalized stamp thing. It's nice, but it's just extra money for the ability to customize - not a necessity at all.

Personal wedding details

Our wedding will be this September, at the groom's family's house in Baltimore, an hour from where I live now. Having a home wedding is great because it affords you a lot of freedom, but anything you want at your wedding has to be brought over - which means rentals. Lots and lots of rentals: ceremony chairs, tents, tables, tent lighting, table service, tablecloths - and these things add up in a serious way.

The biggest part of the budget is eaten up by the reception food & drink - almost half in our case. We are using a personal chef, who helped us plan the menu, coordinate the rentals, find the music, and visualize lots of other details because we're also using him as a wedding planner. I wanted the food to reflect Californian and Latin American cuisine, to represent where we're from as a couple - with a focus on fresh flavors and ingredients with a lot of Latin flair. We tasted the menu last month, and it was delicious. Tomorrow we're meeting up with the groom's family and some friends to play mixology and mix the perfect pisco sour (Chilean/Peruvian drink), caipirinha (Brazilian), and a purple martini. Only the best recipes will win and be served at the wedding as our "signature cocktails." We're giving the drinks our own names, too.

I find talking about tablecloths boring, but if you work with the right people they can really help you find the perfect "Table Toppers" - a company in Baltimore. They have an overwhelming collection, but they're good at picking out the most relevant styles for any particular event. The reception tent should look awesome because just the tablecloths by themselves are beautiful. I can't wait.

More wedding attire - for the menfolk

I have to give a shout-out to a great company with great service, value, and selection for your men's formalwear needs: http://www.beautiesltd.com/. After deciding on the right color (you can ask the company for swatches in your color scheme, I asked for purple) I ordered ties for the groom, groomsmen, and fathers. If the tux rental and the bow tie didn't already consume your budget, you could also order a matching cummerbund. How cool is that. We're doing black tuxes, wingtip collars, black cummerbunds, and the purple ties. The groom is wearing a different color in the same style as the bridal party - he wanted to stand out. They're going to look sauve and debonair.

I've been seeing a lot of bridal parties rockin' the hipster formalwear socks and suspenders. I also appreciate that look, but the groom in my case is a lot more classic and formal than that. It's his special day too, you know. So in the few cases that he provides input I try to comply.

At this point I don't really know what the flowers are going to look like, including the boutonnieres, but I plan on having a 2nd meeting with the florist to iron out such details.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Unrelated to weddings: cool movie alert

Last night I watched "Eagle vs. Shark." I rented it based upon the fact that Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords is the love interest, and I was not disappointed. It's like "Napoleon Dynamite" but with cool kiwi accents, a coherent plot, and stop animation.

I'm fascinated with New Zealand from the snippets I've seen/ learned from other films. I like the small-town feel, the 70s/80s-kitsch, the mellow math rock, the unabashed nerdiness, and the accents - which I cannot faithfully mimic, by the way. I'm horrible at accents because I lack consistency. Also, New Zealand is undeniably beautiful. I'm going to look up how much plane tickets to NZ cost and cry now.

Name change

There's a crustacean on my driver's license. I have found myself compelled to become the resident of a new state, officially leaving my beloved California for the east coast. I feel like in California they're a lot more serious with their licenses, because there are a ton of cutesy little things on my new one, including a donor's heart. I also took the opportunity to apply to register to vote in my new district, so that's pretty exciting.

My "new" name is also on the license -- the first step to what will be a series of notifications of name changes, to creditors (student loan people!), alumni associations, banks -- but social security should be my next big step. It took some soul-searching for me to decide on changing my name and the combination of names I wanted, but I'm satisfied with the result. The thing is, I suddenly have an extremely exotic name. People are already confused about where I'm from because of the way I look and my weird way of speaking English (due to spending most of my time with non-native English speakers and being a confused language person in general, I think), so now the name is just going to throw them completely of my scent. Maybe I'll run into a certain Mr. Higgins who could tell me where I'm from upon my uttering a simple sentence.

The most important thing for me, regarding the name change, was that I share the same name as any future children we might have. And it's also kind of fun to have a new name.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Inspiration for wedding look-feel

The right side of this is from an inspiration board I found on a different website, and the left side reflects many little images I found which inspire the theme of my wedding.

I recommend browsing as many wedding magazines and websites as possible to get a feel for the colors, styles, and images that appeal to you. It's also helpful to have these kinds of pictures and sketches to bring with you as you order your wedding cake, invitations, flowers, and rentals (tablecloths, dinnerware, etc.).

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

First things first - bridal attire

So the very 2nd time I went to try on dresses (the 1st time wasn't so great - I went to a place where I couldn't find a single decent dress and the sample sizes I had to put on where at least 8 sizes too big for me. I'm sorry I don't remember the name of the place) I found my dream dress. Unfortunately the dream dress came with a heavy price tag which I just couldn't reconcile with my budget. Unfortunately, the store didn't allow pictures (pretty common practice with these places) so I don't have a picture of myself in the dress.

By the way, this whole wedding business is quite a racket. The lack of transparency is incredible. Not only are cameras banned from the dress stores, but often times the price tags are hidden or non-existent and it's pretty much impossible to return your purchase, even if you don't end up wearing it. Not your typical American shopping experience.

So of course I'm not going to put my dress up on this site, as it is a secret, but once the wedding transpires you might get a glimpse. I will say where I ended up purchasing the item - The Running of the Brides event at Filene's Basement in Tyson's Corner. I got there a few hours after the initial madness of the early AM opening. 3 of my lady friends helped me pick out and put on dresses, and after 2 hours I finally settled on a nice dress for 1/10 the price of the dream dress pictured. Of course, all sales are final at this event, and you take the dress just as it is - in my case, with a few mysterious black marks that should come out after spot cleaning, and with a much too large bust that will also be fixed by the time of the wedding.

If you want to see some bridal madness, check out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVtisU3yFj0.

First things first - wedding attire

I thought that since I'm not super-busy at this moment in time, I could do something perhaps useful to society by taking all of the stuff I've found and learned since I started planning my wedding in January of 2008. I hadn't really given my "ideal" wedding a thought before my fiance proposed early this year. But since, I have spent countless hours thinking/ planning/ collaborating with my many helpers (my friends and family members).

The first thing I did was choose bridal attire to set the overall theme, tone, and formality for the wedding. I choose this tactic because all of those things determine other very important elements such as the time of day and budget for the event, which play into pretty much every decision you will make about your wedding.

I spent pretty much all of February and March looking online at hundreds of wedding gowns and bridesmaids dresses. I got my Donna Ricco bridesmaids' dresses at Nordstrom - they're cocktail length, simple, elegant purple dresses. The best part is the color. The quality of the fabric isn't too high (it's a little itchy), but they really go with my vision of the color scheme. The maids will wear silver strappy shoes.

I choose 3 lovely bridesmaids, but the sad thing is that one of them is probably not going to make it to the wedding after all. So I will probably have my youngest brother, 22, sub as the "bridesman."