Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tokyo is going down.

I wasn't going to post this, but I saw a commercial for a popular tv show "Bridezilla" this morning and thought I would offer my vast experience (3 months) to the blogosphere.

Ways to not be a bridezilla

1. Choose the correct vocabulary – Replace “my wedding” with “our wedding”. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot get married without your fiancé, and at the end of the wedding, he will be just as married as you are. The wedding isn’t about the bride. The wedding is about the couple.

2. Choose when to laugh – Whenever you go into a bridal store, pick out invitations, etc., find at least one option that makes you laugh. This might be the dress targeted at mothers with a miniskirt and spaghetti straps, or (my favorite) the post-wedding brunch. The ability to laugh during the planning process reduces stress, grounds you in reality, and keeps you from thinking that you have to have it all. (After all…those tie-dyed roses are ridiculous…why would you want those?)

3. Choose who matters – The list of whose opinion matters should be a short and uniform one. Here’s a sample:
Your fiancé and you
Whoever is paying
Martha Stewart is not on this list. Neither are your guests. Your wedding shouldn’t be dictated by Oprah or the Knot. (If you are already a Bridezilla, then this step doesn’t help you at all, as your opinion is corrupted.)

4. Choose your battles – Sometimes there are things not worth arguing over. Your bridesmaids can’t afford the $500 dresses you had your heart set on? What is more important-who is in the pictures or what they’re wearing? Your fiancé have his heart set on a white tux when you’d never even considered it? He deserves to feel as amazing in his tux as you do in your dress. (Besides, he’s going to look great in anything.)

5. Choose to be happy – Things will go wrong and not match your vision. There is no such thing as a perfect wedding. In the end, it is your choice to make the time leading up to your wedding and the ceremony itself a joyous occasion for all involved. Remember, after the honeymoon, all that’s left is your husband, a few pictures, and the memories. Don’t alienate the first, overspend on the second, or forget to make the third pleasant.

Monday, July 28, 2008

General stuff

1. My iPhone arrives today. Tonight will be AWESOME.
2. Everybody has cashed checks from me. My bank account pleads for mercy, but debt is decreasing. Peasants rejoice.
3. I don't get what the big deal is with Dooce. I get that she's the biggest blogger EVER, but I really don't see what's so groundbreaking.
4. I woke up last night around 2:30AM. I'm pretty sure that there was a storm going through, but I wasn't awake enough to recognize it. In fact, I'm pretty sure that the only thoughts going through my head were 'Crap. Now I will be tired in four hours.' and 'At least I get to go back to sleep.'
5. Tonight I am looking forward to unpacking, cleaning up, playing DDR, eating leftovers, and organizing my iPhone.
6. Crap. I'm getting a new electronic device today and it doesn't have a name yet. Maybe that's why it's taken so long. Now taking suggestions for names.
7. Julie starts school today. I really used to enjoy the first day of school. It was a fresh start and there were new office supplies.
8. WiiFit is cool. I wish that I could play it more than just on the weekends.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

When I Grow Up, I Wanna Be an Adult

I am in the habit of turning the tv to VH1 as soon as I shut off the alarm. The noise and light reminds me that I need to get out of bed, and since music videos have an average length of four minutes, I can calculate what time it is by counting how many songs have played.

This morning, Gavin Degraw’s “I’m in Love With A Girl” was the song that woke me up (translation: got me into the shower). It’s one of my favorites – peppy, easy to sing along with, and slightly romantic.

While I was dressing, I noticed a very different song playing. At first I wasn’t sure if it was a song or a commercial for atonal exhalations. This was the first time that I’d seen part of the video for The Pussycat Dolls “When I Grow Up”. For those of you lucky enough to not have seen this piece of crap, here is an excerpt of the lyrics:

When I grow up
I wanna be famous
I wanna be a star
I wanna be in movies

When I grow up
I wanna see the world
Drive nice cars
I wanna have boobies

Be careful what you wish for
‘Cause you just might get it
Yeah, you just might get it
Yeah, you just might get it.

The video itself didn’t have a concept, but if your group’s main theme is “We can’t sing, dance, write music or play instruments, but if you buy our cd’s, I’ll take off my shirt” then the bar is admittedly set low. There are about 6 of them, chosen so as to fulfill all of the stereotypical male fantasies – redhead, blonde, exotic one, etc. Only one of them sings (and her solo career was a spectacular flop, so she’s not star material individually either).

I wonder if the Dolls have any self-respect. Sure they can lip sync to lyrics that state that they are ‘hot’, ‘raw’, and ‘fun’, but when it comes down to it, are they satisfied with the career they have chosen for themselves? Do they think about the fact that somewhere is an eight year old wearing leopard print and singing about wanting to have breasts? Do they want children to look at them and think “Being in Hollywood is the best thing that I could ever do with my life”? Do they know that they are contributing to the cheapening of sexual behavior?

People say that the Dolls aren’t doing anything wrong. I contest. They are not doing anything illegal. They are doing things that are morally objectionable. They are teaching kids that it is fine to sell your body to get money and fame. They are showing women that if you are pretty, it doesn’t matter what’s inside your head. They are teaching men that it is a good thing to be subjugated by a pair of breasts. They are teaching those same men that those same breasts are the only two things worthwhile about a woman. (Unless you’re an ass man, and in that case, look at Doll number four!)

I admit to some questionable taste in music. In middle school, I was a huge *N Sync fan. Earlier than that, one of my first cds was Hanson. (Yes…MMMBop.) However, I would like to offer a differentiation: Some bad music is just silly (boybands, Hannah Montana, and almost everything you see on American Idol). Other bad music is downright harmful, and this qualifies.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Patience is not a virtue.

(My estimated delivery time is between Wednesday of this week and Monday of next.) If it is beyond that, I will probably mug someone coming out of the AT&T store.

The funny

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I stand corrected

We booked a photographer today.  It was not the photographer linked in the previous post.  (That one was busy on our date.)   I'm really pleased with who we have.  I'm sure that our pictures will end up being beautiful and representative of B.J. and me.

Let this be a lesson to me - there is nothing so vital in the wedding plans that a change will ruin the entire process.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More Wedding stuff, because I know you're interested

First off, go here:

Frankly, I'm more excited looking at some of these pictures than I have been about any other aspect of the wedding (excepting the groom and the dress). This photographer has done several weddings of friends, so I'm waiting to get their feedback before I really make up my mind. (But holy cow, how pretty are these pictures?)

In other news, if anybody wants to give me a gift, money is always good. I have a feeling that the wedding, despite my best efforts, is going to end up being pricier than I was hoping. What a racket.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I'm already too late.

Currently, there are 317 days until my beloved and I descend into wedded bliss. We got engaged roughly 24 days ago, which gives me a total wedding planning time of 341 days. Note that this is longer than the gestation time for a child (a mere 280 days), the time necessary to complete an associate's degree (216 days spent in class, assuming four semesters of 18 weeks apiece) and the amount of time it would take to completely read War and Peace (1358 pages, read ten pages a day comes out to 136 days).

Yet, it is obvious that I got a late start on planning my wedding.

My wedding dress was purchased a few weeks ago at a well-known bridal store. Before you are allowed to try on a single dress, you must "register". "Registering" is a ploy, designed to get three pieces of information out of you-the number of bridesmaids (so they know how much money they can squeeze out of you), the date of your wedding (so they know when that money will materialize), and your email address.

As soon as I purchased a dress, my email was inundated. I now get at least three messages a day, informing me of a blow-out sale, a special promotion, or the existance of placetag holders--things that I was not aware existed, but apparently am not officially married without.

The information avalanche doesn't stop there. I've gotten phone calls to schedule tuxedo consultations and let me know about drawings that I've won. I'm starting to see wedding coordinators in dark alleys and dream about cumberbund blindfolds and being pelted with bouquets.

Worst of all, I'm starting to understand some of the Bridezilla urges. Even Christmas pales in comparision to the amount of propaganda you're force fed. (At least Christmas will come again next year.) Your wedding is the Most Important Day Of Your Life and everything that you give up is something that you will Never Have Again.

The pressure mounts even more when you start looking at bridal magazines. At first, you just want a couple of ideas on a hairstyle. It's not long before you start to believe that a post-wedding breakfast is a good idea, and once you start down that slippery slope, it's only a matter of time before you begin to salivate over weddings in St. Thomas.

I grew up without Wedding Day Barbies and stopped watching Disney Princess movies after I started high school. I know now that this was a tragic mistake. How else will I know how poofy the sleeves on my bridesmaids dresses should be or how much money I need to spend on flowers to be truly happy? And most important, what kind of horse should my prince, er, fiance ride?

These issues are just some of the many that I will debate over the next 317 days...time that is now not nearly enough.


A close college friend inserted a non-sequitor about gay Vikings into an email conversation. The following is the beginning of a Prachett-inspired story, entitled "Vlad, the Very Virile Viking".

Vikings are generally more civilized than most people realize. They have their own rich history, spanning centuries. The earliest known Viking, Leothar the First (they weren't creative with the appelations until much later), known for his twisted sense of humor (or his extremely poor vocabulary, depending on which version of the legend you subscribe to) was the first man to set foot on what he named Greenland. When questioned about the slighly incongruous name, Leothar replied that it was a small prank on all of the buggers who don't read travel brochures completely.

Several hundred years after the advent of the word 'Viking', a colony of Leothar's descendants were still eeking out a living on the eastern coast of Greenland, and cursing their ancestor for his sense of humor.

Vlad's father, Vincent the Vitrolic had gone to great lengths to instill proper behavior in his son since he was old enough to brandish a spikey-ball-on-chain-attached-to-stick. (The Viking language Voscrast has thirteen words for 'rape' and another twenty-seven for 'pillage', but remains utilitarian in all other areas.)

Vlad's earliest memories were of his mother, Shalastra the Shrewish shrieking at his father that that boy needed to learn to learn to potty in the toilet before you could properly teach him to urinate on the flaming corpses of your enemies. The fights between the two were epic, but Vincent usually won by playing the 'name' trump card.

Ten years ago, when Vlad was not yet a notch in his father's battle-ax, Shalastra had won the right to name their firstborn by winning a rather large hand of Stab-thine-Wench. Upon his firstborn son's brith, Vincent waited in anticipation to hear what the name would be. (Viking sons are traditionally named after their father's largest shortcoming as a form of cosmic insurance against genetics. Vincent's father was notoriously softspoken.) Shalastra called Vincent into the bedroom and pointed at a bundle of fur at the foot of the bed. "Say hello to Vlad the Very Virile." Even though Vlad was old enough to start asking the difficult questions, Vincent had yet to explain to his son what 'virile' really meant. (Vlad was under the impression that 'virile' was a type of French cuisine that his father was abysmal at making.)

Some would suggest that Vlad's name would have been an asset growing up, especially in a culture where youthful sexual encounters are more like Hustler than Dick and Jane. However, there was a problem.

Vlad was confused. While other boys seemed to enjoy endless games of Chase-Thine-Wench and Red-River-of-Blood, he much rather preferred creating the detailed interiors of the villages intended for sacking (v. plundering with an emphasis on carrying off the contents unharmed) practice. He was horrible at Stomp-the-Rodent (too much gore on his boots) and at the absolute bottom of his class when it came to Mandatory Naughty Activities.

In fact, about all that Vlad enjoyed about Viking education was the uniform, and anyone that looked as fetching as Vlad in the horned helmet and coordinated trousers/battle-ax combination can't be blamed for preening.

Some self-disclosure

The following was originally written to be part of my Facebook profile. It ended up being a bit too cerebral, and so it will reside here.

The last three months have been some of the most defining of my life. I graduated from college in May, which ended up being a little anticlimactic. After five years of working your butt off, they hand you an empty binder, mail you a diploma, and wish you well, patting you on the back with one hand and holding out the other for a donation.
I left a lot of myself at college, especially the parts of me that were desperate for the approval of others and defined myself by being miserable. As unsettling as it is, I’m enjoying being happy, and there’s a few things that are helping me stay that way.
My previous experiences in the work force had me thinking that my destiny was to work as a cubicle rat with people that neither enjoyed their work or each other’s company. Thankfully, I took a job with a company that proves the opposite. I’m using my degree to do exactly what I want, at a place that is going to get me where I want to go. Sure, it’s not perfect, but it’s a damn sight better than I thought I’d ever get.
My cynicism took a serious blow a few months ago, when I met the man who is now my fiancé. I don’t want to be one of those horribly sappy couples, so suffice to say that B.J. challenges me, supports me, and loves me, and I adore him for the person that he is.
My life has taken on a new direction…I was expecting monotony and loneliness after graduation, and instead I found entirely new challenges and someone to take them on with me.

So this is my life now, and I’m pretty damn lucky to have it.

First, a meme

The ABCs of Me

Accent: I was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, which is smack dab in the middle of the Midwest—known for no accents. The most that I can convince myself that I have is a slight lazy tongue (“Gonna” as opposed to “Going to”).

Breakfast or no breakfast: I like breakfast, but I almost never have the chance to eat a real one. Given my druthers, I’d start each day with a bowl of cereal and some toast, but the most I ever have is a couple of cereal bars and a cup of tea at my desk. I indulge my craving for breakfast with Cracker Barrel’s blueberry pancakes once every blue moon.

Chore I don’t care for: Packing and anything remotely related to the same. It’s completely monotonous and I put it off as long as I can, regardless of how much I’m looking forward to the trip.

Dog or Cat: Dogs, plural, but I can only claim one of the three that live at my permanent address. Pepper, the Boston Terrier, is small, but makes up for it with personality.

Essential Electronics: My cell phone and MacBook Pro come to mind immediately, but my iPods (yes, plural) and I have a deeply special bond as well. I’ll be getting an iPhone in a matter of weeks, and I’m pretty sure that we’ll be inseparable as well. (Go ahead and call me a Mac-ophile. I’ll be too busy looking at my beautiful, functional, and completely integrated electronics to mind.)

Font: Verdana is a good, readable all purpose font, and should I need a serif, I’ll go with Garamond every time. Comic Sans is horrible and should only be used when kindergarteners are involved.

Gold or Silver: White gold or silver. Yellow gold is nasty looking.

Handbag I carry most often: Black Kate Spade bag…a graduation gift from my brother and sister-in-law. It is sleek and beautiful, and I love it.

Insomnia: HA! I need seven to eight hours of sleep a night to be functional, and my body does an excellent job of seeing that I get it. I fall asleep in long car rides (where I’m not driving), while talking on the phone, on the couch…you name it.

Job Title: Project Engineer

Kids: I don’t have any, and I don’t want any at the moment. I’d like a few in the future, but right now I’m enjoying spoiling nieces and nephews.

Living Arrangements: My permanent address is with my parents in St. Charles. Work has sent me to Indianapolis, so I live in an extended stay hotel during the week, and drive home on the weekends, when my time is split between my parents’ home and B.J.’s place. Come May of next year, I’ll be moving out forever, probably to an apartment for a while.

Most Admirable Trait: Is there a difference between an “admirable” trait and a ‘best’ trait? I’d have to say that at the moment, my most admirable trait is my ability to *ahem* creatively embellish any situation to the most strategic advantage. In other words, I am a damn good BS-er.

Naughtiest Childhood Behavior: I had a very smart mouth, which got me in a lot of trouble.

Overnight hospital stays: I haven’t had any so far.

Pet Peeves: Chewing gum, being patronized, poor grammar (especially text-speak), adult childishness, MTV’s concept of reality programming, commercials, the majority of garnishes (i.e. the green stuff on Italian food), taxes (and the welfare system), being bored, electronics that don’t work as they should, adolescent females

Quote: “I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him quietly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.” – Mark Twain

Reason to smile: At the risk of being sappy, B.J. He’s a hilarious guy, and when he’s not cracking me up, he’s making me feel better about myself and grateful that I have him.

Siblings: I have three natural siblings (two older brothers and a younger sister). My two brothers are married, so that brings my total up to five. (B.J. has two brothers, and they have spouses, so there’s an eventual four more.)

Time I wake up: Usually around 6AM, EST nowadays. Darn time zones.

Unusual Talent or Skill: I can turn my tongue into a three leaf clover shape, which makes me popular with the three and under crowd.

Vegetable I Refuse to Eat: I will never touch an onion.

Websites I visit daily: (which is kind of a cop-out), but when pressed, I read,,, and a few other blog-type sites.

X-rays: Other than dental x-rays, and checking out a sprain when I was in elementary school, I’m a novice.

Yummy Stuff: I love Italian food, cheddar cheese, fresh fruit, and Macaroni Grill’s bread.

Zoo Animal I Like Most: Probably penguins. They’re so somber and comic at the same time.