Saturday, June 12, 2010

As I wipe the dust
from artifacts of a forgotten life,
packing them in boxes
to be forgotten until next time,
I am an inch from tears.

I'm happy to be leaving
(I don't like it here at all),
but I spent five years as a nomad,
and this is the first home I've had
since leaving the place I grew up.

I grow attached to places
to walls and walks and views,
to Sunday morning bells,
and the sounds a house makes
when everyone is asleep.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"Tori" tea

I consider this beverage to be a sort of magical elixir, without which many of my less-healthy vocal performances would not have been possible. When I first started making it, I had 20 weekly hours of scheduled singing, plus any practicing or just-for-fun singing I did on my own. High in vitamin c for if you're actually sick, perfect for a scratchy or tickly throat, and the thing that can carry you to the end of your set, when it seems like nothing can. I figure, if it's good enough for Tori Amos, it's good enough for me. I've shared it with a number of people, over the years, and even if they didn't like it at first, they've all become converts.

This was a recipe I got from Neil Gaiman's blog and then scaled up and added some extra tips for brewing.

Neil said:
"Okay. Duncan is Tori's personal chef. This is the drink he makes for her, and is posted with his permission. He says to make sure it's not too hot when you drink it, and he adds that an ice-pack on the throat for about 20 minutes after coming off stage can reduce inflammation of the vocal chords."

I say:
I usually make this stuff about a half-gallon at a time with the following measurements:

1 tbsp powdered slippery elm bark in about 1/2 c of cold water
1/4 c honey
1/4 c lemon juice
24 slices ginger
12 slices lemon
~64oz boiling water

-Put the cold water in the bowl of a food processor *then* add the powder. Process until the lumps are gone. (this does not work as well in a blender)
-Pour the mixture into a heat-resistant container, preferably one with a strainer. I use a plastic Rubbermaid pitcher with straining spout.
-Add lemon juice, honey, ginger and boiling water, and stir to mix thoroughly and dissolve honey.
-Add lemon slices.

Can be drunk as soon as it's cool enough, or for better potency from the ginger, cool to room temp, refridgerate, and let steep overnight before straining. I don't recommend leaving the ginger in much longer than that. Will keep about a week after straining, when kept in a resealable container in the fridge.

Before dispensing, mix/shake thoroughly. Microwave a cup at a time or drink cold or at room temp.

-Finding powdered slippery elm bark: This is the key ingredient that intimidates most people. I get mine from these guys: whose shop is on Spring Garden, just near the Spring Garden Street El stop. The $9 bag should last a good long while, and they also ship from their online store, for non-Philly folks.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Egg

Easter egg

1. A dyed or decorated egg, traditionally associated with Easter.
2. A hidden feature in computer software, a DVD, or a video game.

So, for anyone still hanging in, here is a special treat. My engagement ring and wedding band, together.

More to come. Really.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

My Twiggy Wedding Cake

As tempted as I was to learn to sculpt sugar gum into tiny birds, as I mention here, there was no place for birds on our cake.

But wintry, twiggy, and DIY, as mentioned here, it was indeed.

Naked in full view:

In the wild:

Under attack:

Going to the big bakery in the sky:

Pound cake with raspberry preserve filling, after significant discussion. I wish I'd documented it, but back in October we got a plain sample pound cake (we'd decided on that much) with pint-sized containers of the following: caramel buttercream, caramel mousse, white chocolate buttercream, white chocolate mousse, vanilla buttercream, vanilla bettercream, vanilla mousse, raspberry preserves, cream cheese icing. Yes. 9 pint-containers (not all full) of cake filling. For one approximately 10-inch cake. Well, fortunately 5 of the fillings were immediately not to our taste, but let me tell you, fiance spent the next few days scouring the house for anything and everything suitable for dipping into the other four. And raspberry won out.

The pastry chef thought I was insane when I asked them not to do anything fancy to the icing, but I think it worked out okay. And we ate leftovers for weeks and still have the top layer wrapped up in the bottom of our freezer. I sort of used these instructions, though didn't strictly adhere to them, so I won't blame them if my cake is less than awesome, next January.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I learned during my brief stay at Zen Center that it is considered un-Zen to cook with a microwave, because you're supposed to appreciate every step in a process... every thing you do. So, thought experiment: if I really enjoy using my food processor and appreciate its quick efficiency (it is a better chopper than I), is it a Zen experience, even though it's technically a short cut?

Friday, February 20, 2009


Buckle up, mouseketeers. I think I'm going to take this time to wrap up talking about the decor and other visual elements. It will be fun. I promise. Though now that I look at all the photos, I think this may take two posts.

My little sister stayed with us for about a week back in early September and in addition to helping with the invitations and finding my mom's (lovely) dress, we put together some centerpiece prototypes.

Not to be unappreciative of her effort, but they never clicked for me. Which is somewhat unusual in the realm of my craft projects, but not entirely unheard of. While some of the component pieces made it to the wedding serving other functions (like holding programs), the only piece that survived outright was the foil frames intended to hold the numbers.

Table numbers:
The metal frames were just a few dollars apiece from Ikea, and other supplies used were aluminum foil and ink-jet printable transparencies.
-First, I figured that for the size of my frames, I could print about four numbers per 8.5x11 transparency sheet, then proceeded to print numbers in our signature font. Best to use the highest quality setting on the printer to get a nice solid black on the transparency. Then let the ink dry thoroughly and cut into quarters for individual frames.

-Meanwhile, cut a piece of aluminum foil for each frame that is a good bit bigger than the frame back, since you'll need to wrap around the edges. Crumple each piece of foil and carefully un-crumple. Took a while to get the hang of this without tearing the foil to shreds, so make some extra for practice. Then wrap each frame back with the foil, folding the corners around as neatly as you can, like wrapping a gift.

-Lay the transparency sheets into the frames behind the glass, put the foil-covered frame back in place, fasten, and voila. You may need to loosen the little tabs that hold the frame in to allow room for the foil, but this can usually just be done with a screwdriver. Then trim excess foil from the back, but careful not to trim too much.

What happened to the rest of the centerpieces? Well, they went away. And trust me when I say that they were not missed. There are many good things to be said for simplicity. At the event:

And just in case anyone was curious about the result of my LED tea light venture, check out the stairs and the mantle here:

Very candle-looking, if I do say so myself! Dad, stepmom, and step-aunt laboriously placed all 144 of them around the mansion, which makes it even funnier that in the photo below, my dad is definitely telling me not to worry about the "candles" I'm knocking over as we walk down the "aisle."

train + me = wake of destruction.

Fortunately, I had a day-of-coordinator and a professional flouffer to clean up after me, since the top stairs photo was taken after the ceremony.

Still to come (I can't believe there's more, but hopefully it's not a bad thing):
-the cake, in production
-non-floral boutonnières & corsages, seen in the wild
-programs (for real)
-place cards!
-other, non-decor things, as previously promised.

Anything you want to see?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

We are both oldest children, and the significance of that cannot be dismissed. No matter how slight the expectations projected onto us by our parents, it has been our (spoken or unspoken) responsibility to set the bar and be an example since before we can even remember. Whatever the success metric, we pressure ourselves to meet it.

I wonder whether I would be as free-spirited and brave as they seem to be, if I had been raised by her parents. She used to wear the denim jacket her father wore when he hitchhiked to father would never, in a million years, hitchhike to Alaska. From what I know, they are brilliant, beautiful, and caring, all of them. We are just brilliant and arguably beautiful, but self-interested in a way that they are not.

The approach is the same, only the emphasis is different. We have so few guidelines, no instructions on how to get to point B from here, just the implication of where we're supposed to end up, and the desperate wish of every child not to disappoint. While they make their own paths, we pour ourselves into the mold of intellectual superiority, financial stability, and social normality, inasmuch as such a thing is possible or even exists, today. I wonder whether, under other circumstances, my mother could have raised such spiritually courageous offspring as they are.

My step-sisters have, I think, suffered much worse. They have no point B, they have only the unconditional but slightly exasperated love of their mother, and my father's thinly-veiled suspicion that he is too late to help them. Though I do finally think that he would be a good parent, now. They appear to have chosen for themselves, but rather than make their way towards a stated goal, they stumble, blind, resisting direction, as my siblings and I look on baffled and horrified.

The power to choose our own destinies is, as everything, a blessing and a curse. Choice and opportunity paralyze us at every turn, the fear of regret often outweighing the fear of failure. And so we try to pack too much into lives already consumed with empty tasks, gaining satisfaction from so precious little of it.

My heart goes out to those who are bold enough to refuse to decide until they are damned good and ready, for even if the pattern of the universe does not reveal itself to you while you look on it, I think the wait alone will prove worthwhile.

Best of luck, Kyle.

For context.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Hair and Makeup DIY

I had always intended to do my own makeup and, through my own (gasp!) bad project management in failing to properly secure my fantastic hairstylist for the wedding, also ended up doing my own hair. So a couple of weeks before the wedding, I did a test run.

The photos below are from before my stylist gave me a lesson in how to do the tiara myself, but you'll see those results soon enough. This test showed me that the lip color I'd chosen was awful and that I really needed to be shown how to do my hair, because otherwise, my tiara would no doubt fall from atop my head in a fit of wild failing (aka: dancing), and be crushed underfoot by many happy guests. I will intersperse quick reviews of the products I used as we progress through the evening. I apologize for being less than entirely empirical by taking this series of photos under varying lighting conditions. Just use your imagination.

3pm, 3:15, and 4

Foundation: Revlon Colorstay mineral foundation ~$14: Love this stuff. Have found new uses for it since the wedding, and would have used it more extensively then if I had known. I may stockpile this on the off-chance that they discontinue it. Long-lasting, light-wearing, looks awesome.
Concealer: Revlon Colorstay Under-Eye concealer ~$7: Big thumbs down. Found it difficult to apply, not great coverage, definitely settles into creases. Reverted to my Mac concealer for the wedding.
Blush: Neutrogena mineral sheer $?: Don't remember what I paid for this stuff, but it's the kind that dispenses through the brush. I really like the color, feel, and application of this, but I don't usually find it to be very long wearing. This is my everyday blush. I wasn't too worried about looking too pale at the wedding, given the circumstances ("blushing bride" blah blah blah) and the aforementioned wild flailing.

7, 9:30

Mascara: Cargo Better-than-waterproof $20: Got this from Sephora after sampling a couple of others. This is a great tubular mascara that actually doesn't wind up with me looking like I've been punched. Seriously, I've tried many "waterproof" mascaras, and someone finally realized that I'm not looking for mascara to stay on when I go swimming, so water really isn't the issue. I guess it's just my skin, or some anti-mascara radiation that my eyes give off. The downside is that it's pricey and rather difficult to apply. I would not put this on without a lash comb handy. Comes off easily, when you want it to. Okay, I'll shut up.
Eyeshadow: Revlon Colorstay 12-hour eyeshadow ~$7 for a palette of 4 colors: Doesn't fool around. Comfy and doesn't settle into creases. A+. This was the first Revlon Colorstay item I bought, and as you can see, I was impressed.
Eyeliner: Physician's Formula Eyebrightener $?: Also don't recall what I paid for this. Nice liquid liner, pretty easy to use, tends to end up beneath my eyes so I skipped it for the wedding.

11pm, and 1am

Lip color: Revlon Colorstay Overtime Sheer lip color ~$7: Yes, more Revlon. Didn't end up using the color shown in photos above (too cool for me), but went with another shade of the same. Warning: this stuff is impossible to get off. Apply with care and conviction. Texture of it can get a little funny if you eat anything oily (say, wedding salmon), but comfortable, ridiculously long-wearing, can apply either lip gloss or chapstick over it. More of an A-.
Nail polish (not shown): Maybelline Express Finish base and top coat $?, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri color in Blazing Blue ~$5: As you can see, time was of the essence, especially since I didn't get to do my nails until the morning of the wedding. The Maybelline is flimsy on its own, but fine when used over another nail enamel. Does dry very quickly, as does the Sally Hansen, which I think actually dries a touch too fast. Difficult to clean up the edges before it dries, and don't even think about painting two nails before going back, at least not with a dark color. Also requires a top coat, or it chips immediately. Weird brush, extra-wide and with a rounded edge since you're meant to do the whole nail with one brush-stroke, but good coverage.

So, where did this leave me?

at 9:30 on our wedding evening, after some dancing, many many tears of joy, and more professional photos than I care to recall, this photo shows that my eyeshadow and company were still going strong. After zero touch ups. Since 3pm. The photo from my post the other day was the last professional photo of me for the night, taken just before 11pm, and I still look like myself. Which is all that I wanted.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Day-of Schedule and Other Day-of Info

I'm not sure how many of these we brought with us, but I know it was a lot. Most of the wedding party had copies, the photographer, the day-of coordinator, we definitely had a copy for the DJ (though he didn't arrive until most of the way through cocktail hour, so I'm not sure whether he received one), and of course many spares.

The Alex and Karen optionally called at 5pm were our fabulous first song musicians, and the Damon and Maggi called at 6:05 are my dad and our reader. We did skip the Party Announcements (which I didn't realize until just now) and I'm sure the music cues were not followed precisely, but the timetable was otherwise adhered to.

I also printed out a couple of cards with contact numbers for key personnel. They included the names and cell numbers of:
Maid of Honor
Co Best Ladies
Ceremony cellist
Cocktail hour music
Guest Vocalist
Civilian Shuttle Captain
Shuttle Company

I think one of these cards stayed in the possession of Team Groom and the other with Team Bride, though really I'm not sure. As far as I know, only the aforementioned delinquent DJ was phoned, but that alone made these cards worth the slight effort it took to make them.

For anyone curious, our civilian shuttle captain was a guest who would be taking the shuttle over to the venue from the hotel who we empowered to make executive decisions in case of any complications. Since Teams Bride and Groom (as well as the actual bride and groom) would be at the venue early for photos, this was a guest that would be traveling at the same time as the other guests. She and the Maid of Honor's boyfriend were also tasked with bringing over anything that we had forgotten at the hotel (like the marriage license, which is at least a less conspicuous item to forget than my bouquet and the boutonnières which I'd left at home before going to the hotel the previous night).

Up next: more of that stuff I said I'd tell you about. Stay tuned! For real.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Our Surprise Ceremony Readings

Us and Maggi
Let me share with you the fantastic readings done by our dear friend Maggi, who Peter and I have known since our days at Drexel. We gave her some general guidelines (no God, marriage-equality-friendly, less than 2 minutes, etc.) and asked her to select for herself. The results exceeded any of our hopes. I had started to tear up when I first walked down the aisle, but then I got my act back together and totally kept it under control...until partway through her reading when I had tears absolutely pouring down my face.

The underlining was hers, handwritten on her printed copy, and I think the line breaks were her own as well.
You are holding up a ceiling
with both arms. It is very heavy,
but you must hold it up, or else
it will fall down on you. Your arms
are tired, terribly tired,
and, as the day goes on, it feels
as if either your arms or the ceiling
will soon collapse.

But then,
something wonderful happens:
a man or a woman,
walks into the room
and holds their arms up
to the ceiling beside you.

So you finally get
to take down your arms.
You feel the relief of respite,
the blood flowing back
to your fingers and arms.
And when your partner's arms tire,
you hold up your own
to relieve him again.

And it can go on like this
for many years
without the house falling.

A Marriage
By Michael Blumenthal

And she also read us a Judy Garland quote which was part of the ceremony that wedded her to her amazing husband, Ed:
It was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart.
It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.

We really could not be luckier to have in our lives such brilliant, loving, theatrical, creative people who know us so well.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Coming Soon...

If things get slow (which they haven't...I think only Americans run around Paris like crazy people trying to fit a zillion activities into their scheduled stay) or when I get home, I will blog the following:
-hair and makeup trials and DIY
-the completion of the boutonnieres
-the card box (which was a "DIMP" or "Do It Mom, Please?" project)
-table numbers and what befell our centerpieces
-final programs (none of that crazy die-cut business)
-the day-of schedule
-the shot list, sanity-saving shot list helper, and other things photographic
-wedding top 5s: Dos, Don'ts, and Favorite Moments (of which it will be difficult to choose 5)
-Paris top 5s (see above)
-many many many pictures

And, by the way, I take consolation in the fact that I seem only to suffer from the dreaded double-boob in photos in which I am sitting. Which will be hardly any of the professional shots and can't be too many of our friends' either, since I know I hardly sat down. Whew.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Saturday, January 17th, ~6:20pm

While it's probably not entirely true that the atoms in the human body turn over into new ones every seven years, if it were, there would not be an atom in my body that hasn't known you it's entire life. We've been through so much and learned so much about ourselves that it's almost like being an entirely new person.
Our love is not a storybook story. It is richer, dynamic, and thoroughly three-dimensional...occasionally driving each other crazy is just an added bonus. Whatever might happen, and whatever other people may think of us, we know that this is how it's meant to be. So, Peter, in honor of that love:

I promise not to hold against you the fact that you thought I was bitchy, when you first got to know me. You were right.
I promise to hold your hand, and not to give you raspberries
-to listen - to new songs, old songs, and your monthly billability report, among other things
I promise to dance, especially when it would be less weird to be taking pictures
-to find new and exciting ways to include goat cheese in our cooking.
I promise to try to explain art when you ask because, with a little prompting, you usually understand it better than I do
-and to rise to the challenge when we hear a song I've never heard before and you ask me to name not just the band, but the singer as well.
I promise to be honest, even though you won't always like what I have to say
I promise to learn when not to give my opinion and, when you do the same for me, to try not to ask, "what is that look supposed to mean?"

I promise to learn from your strengths and lend you mine.
I promise to follow you in your passionate drive and lead when you are weary of blazing our trail
-and to leave room to explore separate paths but to work together to be sure we don't get too lost
I promise to always look to the future with optimism, knowing that you will bring, not pessimism, but realism to temper it.
-to smile, because when we think we have nothing to smile about, we must be forgetting something.
I promise to keep on doing what we've been doing, but to get better at it all the time...or at least make measurable progress on a quarterly basis.
I promise to improve our lives not only by the achievement of our dreams but also by helping to change how we view our triumphs and defeats.
We've already started on this path, and watching you become a happier person has made me a happier person.

I love you.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Where to even begin

Obviously, we're married. And aside from the wicked double-boob I've got going on in this photo (which appears to be absent from the other photos we've seen, but this one is otherwise the cutest) this photo gives a pretty good idea of what the day was like, for us.

The venue and staff were fantastic, my minimal decor and gung-ho helper team worked beautifully in the space, the cake looked just as I imagined, everyone loved their food, and the ceremony had our guests (and us!) laughing and crying. Everyone was fascinated by my non-floral bouquet and boutonnieres. Plus, did I mention that we're married!! I even put our filled-out marriage license in the mailbox at the airport Monday night.

I cannot say enough about how wonderful our first dance was. Local singer-songwriter Alexandra Day arranged the song of our choice (Open Window by Sarah Harmer) and learned the harmony to accompany our very good friend Karen who sang the lead. We were just wowed.

And everyone at the reception danced their asses off...even my mom, who looked beautiful.

We *LOVED* our photographer, Tiffany Atlas, and we're very very excited to see what she comes back to us with. We've actually let her know that if there are more good images than our package permits, we'll be happy to pay a bit extra to get some more.

Today is our first day in Paris, and we're a bit jet lagged, but we're off to get some groceries and explore!

Friday, January 09, 2009

How is it?

I guess it's about how you'd expect, with 8 days to go. People who accepted are canceling, bridesmaids are attempting to get themselves kicked out of the wedding, but overall we're very excited. I have just one significantly outstanding project, which is...pretty much anything that would sit on a table, other than consumables. Centerpieces, table numbers, card box. In theory, those were to have been resolved tomorrow, but now that fiance is sick, I'm not entirely sure what their fate will be.

In other news, I've finished up the bare minimum of boutonnières required:

though I'll see if I can get some more in for any of our gazillion parents & helpers.

I also eliminated a major stressor for no additional monetary investment. I had been planning to get frosted candle holders for my 144 LED tealights. I may or may not have raved about these things previously, but they're little battery-operated plastic tealights that flicker a rather flame-like yellow. I got them because the venue doesn't permit real candles to be lit anywhere but the dinner tables, and it seemed like it would be fun to have candlelight elsewhere. They're great because there's no smoke, no heat, no melted wax, they require no oxygen, and they last longer than your average tealight. (While careful testing has shown that they do last the 120 hours suggested on the package, they start to get noticeably dim after 10 hours or so.) But, they still last a good long while, and that means you can turn them on in advance of the event and have one less thing to do.

The problem is that while they are candle-shaped and they give off realistic candle light, they don't actually look like candles, head on. So the trick is to put them in frosted candle holders, obscuring their appearance, but emitting their light. Well, I don't have a good party supply outlet nearby, and shipping on crates of glass is rather expensive, so this was looking to be a rather pricy decor choice. And after months of stalling only to decide that I really did want to use them as decor for the mansion, it finally struck me yesterday morning, well before I was properly awake. Paper. I had a whole bunch of extra vellum (platinum, from the invite fronts) with no particular destiny. Since these are not actual candles, there's no problem with surrounding them with paper.

So, using a runner full of permanent adhesive tape that was not invisible enough for the vellum fronts of the invites, I made 144 vellum candle shades. Some careful math and less-careful trimming yielded 144 slips of paper from 24 sheets producing an assortment of 2", 2.5", and 3" tall shades. Using one LED candle as a template, I ran the tape down one short edge and wrapped the paper around the candle into a cylinder, sticking it back down to itself, then slid the candle out. At the end of the night, all of the cylinders were packed in layers in a cardboard box, ready to be easily slid onto the LED candles by my conscripted helpers on the day of the wedding.

Supplies I already had lying around and a few hours of labor yielded the solution to a bothersome and potentially expensive problem. I spent at least an entire day patting myself on the back for this one.

What's been your most brilliant DIY solution?

Up next: hair and makeup trials.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Pseudo Florals

Oh-kay. I still, sadly, am not finished with the boutonnieres, but here are the latest in the series:

I'm hoping I take to compulsively making boutonnieres as a form of stress therapy, over the next two weeks.

I did finish up the bouquet. I mention in my original post about the bouquet that I was having trouble bundling it without it getting sort of crushed-together and indistinguishable. I was finally able to resolve this by adding filler to just the "stem" area. So, I took some of the spare pieces of curly willow, cut them to the length of stem that would be wrapped up, and distributed them amongst the stems of the actual elements. So the handle is tightly wrapped, but the bouquet remains un-crunched.

I did decide to get fancy when wrapping the handle.

Yes, that's my very chipped but very color-coordinated nail-polish. I think it's what I'll be wearing for the wedding.

As mentioned in my original cake post, I wanted to go with some wiry branches. My cake will be four layers of vanilla pound cake with raspberry preserve filling. The bottom layer will be 14", the second 11", then 8" and 5". I've asked the caterers not to add any detailing to the cake, but the following will go on the 11" tier, hugging the base of the 8" tier:

...and this little fella atop the top 5" tier:

That one still needs to have the extra wire trimmed, and all pieces are going to need to be wrapped up to be made food-safe. I have some white ribbon, but I think I might like the way the black looks. Any suggestions?

Thursday, January 01, 2009

The Surreal Life

There are, unbelievably, just over two weeks to go. There's a great lot going on, but let's take a deep breath and catch up on a few things I've been sitting on.

Final seating chart:

Also, first program prototype. Two pieces of vellum printed on one side each:

Then die-cut and nested like so:

Resulting in this two-sided wonder of translucency:

I thought it would be amusing to provide our guests with a family tree to help them navigate the many "steps" of my and fiance's families. However, I think the die-cut programs might be a little more effort than the result is worth, though I'd probably only make about 75 total. A big part of why I'm using the vellum (which can't be properly printed two-sided) is that it's what I have extra of, and I don't want to buy/waste more paper. Any thoughts?

Next up: pseudo-florals. The continuation of the cake ornaments and boutonnières and the completion of the bouquet.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Open Letter #1

Dear Obese Mass-Transit Passenger,

First, let me say that I do not hate you for being obese. Perhaps you have a thyroid problem or perhaps you have made a conscious decision to prioritize the enjoyment of food over your physical well-being. Or perhaps you are the fourth South Philly man I have seen that could be 8.5 months pregnant. With twins. Whatever the case, I do not hate you for being obese.

What I really don’t like, however, is the way your eyes light up when you see me sitting alone in a two-seat bench. You seem to think that my fitting easily into my seat is permission for you to take some of my space for yourself. If you were to offer to pay me a third of my fare in exchange for using a third of my seat, I might be amenable, but flopping alarmingly down next to/on me and then saying “Excuse me” as though I had somehow trespassed upon you is not the way to make me a good neighbor.

While I realize that these transit seats were apparently not designed for Philadelphian proportions, the territory allotted for each fare-paying individual is clearly demarcated with chrome or plastic edges. Why must you overflow? In this chilly weather, are you attempting to confer unto me some of the benefits of your negligible surface-area-to-volume ratio? Thanks, but no thanks.

Please know that my primary method of avoiding you, if there is any remote chance of the bus filling up more than halfway, is to sit next to someone whose approach to commuting appears to be less than imperialistic. Even if they are obviously confused as to why I sat next to them rather than choosing an empty two-seater.

I have encountered well-mannered passengers of size who manage to keep their considerable mass to themselves, and they have my gratitude. As for the rest of you, I have bony little elbows, and I’m not afraid to use them.


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

You might be crazy if...

-you haven't even considered that you could be crazy.
-you can draw a perfect circle.
-you hatch a plan to die-cut your programs.

This has been a public service announcement from the bell jar.
Thank you.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

...and we're back

I've been seriously slacking here, and a lot has happened in the past couple of weeks. When last I posted, I was waiting to be whisked away for bachelorette weekend at a shore house, which was 36 hours of Rock Band, karaoke, wine, cheese, tax-free outlet shopping, and movies with some of the bestest people in the world. They = awesome.

Thanksgiving was interesting as Mom agreed to give up her "& guest" (since we can't stand her lame boyfriend who is not remotely good enough for her) and I took sister-bridesmaid to take her driving test and finally get her license at 23!

This week I started a new job at the same company, so it's been pretty mentally exhausting, but on Thursday, we got our marriage license! See goofy smiles below, taken just moments after in the hallway at City Hall.

Then yesterday we made our third and final trip out to New Hope, PA to pick up Peter's wedding ring, this lovely piece by Humphrey. It's a stainless steel comfort-fit band tension set with a princess cut sapphire, and I've hidden it in with some wedding stuff, so even if I forget where it is for the next month, I will be sure to find it again.

Our RSVP deadline was also yesterday, so with the exception of my uncle who's been in and out of the hospital all year, our final guest count should be established by Tuesday at the latest, allowing for responses postmarked by the 6th.

Updated to-dos:
My dress alterations - with seamstress; final fitting scheduled.
Fiance's tux - decided conclusively
Attire for male attendants - just one open question remaining. Then guys need to get measured.
The rehearsal dinner - casual, optional, and pay-your-own way. Basically just whoever feels like eating together after the rehearsal.
Contract signing for live musicians - Will be drafted and be accompanied by deposit.
Finish learning to dance - Still no progress
Honeymoon plans (and Peter's passport) - Passport acquired, lodging in London secured, Paris apt to be secured today. Still need Eurostar tix.
Hotel rms for wedding - still need to reserve for ourselves!
Wedding bands - Both in our possession! Yay!
Ask readers to participate - 1 of 2.
Guests/tables - Will be nailed down by Tues, latest.
Reception decor (centerpieces, guestbook, card box, etc) - Still need to finish up bouquet and corsages. I'm considering scrapping the centerpieces, and I'm doing my best to outsource the guestbook and card box. Still contemplating how to do decor for the rest of the house...but that might be what happens to most of the centerpiece stuff I already have.
Programs, table numbers, and other print collateral - Started drafting program copy.
Cake - Give final flavors decision to caterer. Make cake ornaments.
Final payments still to be made to - DJ, shuttles, seamstress, tux rentals, photographer, catering

Unfortunately, I haven't been doing much crafty, lately, or I'd tell you all about it. With just under 6 weeks to go, things are truly winding down.