Monthly archives of “December 2011

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Taking a break.

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The reason I think Scott’s a tremendous photographer, even without much practice or training, is that he manages to capture the essence of people in those moments where they don’t have have any kind of mask up.

 

Like this photo, which, in all its tremendous hilarity and irony, is me.

 

I am so stressed out.

 

Even in Ravello, looking at that view, on my honeymoon, I’m just so stressed out. *I* don’t even know why—because I’m breathing maybe?

 

And it’s gotta stop.

 

Before I get wrinkles.

 

So I’m taking a break.

 

I really wish it meant I was going somewhere like this.

 

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(I’m not, but thankfully there is a little pool and spa time in my future.)

 

Or even taking a four-day weekend off from work.

 

But I can’t.

 

Instead my break’s going to have to be a little more metaphorical.

 

For the holidays, until at least January 4th and possibly forever, I’m going to take a break from trying so damn hard. A bit of a break from the mentally constructed have-to’s, if you will.

 

See, I have to work. But it doesn’t have to be a pain in the ass. In fact, it can be easy. I said I’d go in today to install some computer programs. Maybe I’ll answer some emails. But I’m not going to let anybody bother me or turn anything into an emergency. Monday I might work from home or not work at all.

 

I don’t have to blog. But that doesn’t mean I won’t. Maybe I’ll actually feel like it. (I probably will feel like it when it comes to the nosy bitch gift exchange!)

 

I might read or do laundry. Hopefully I’ll read a bunch of blogs and magazines. But who knows, maybe I’ll nap or watch movies the whole time. It would be good to do some mending. I’d love to fix that hole in my sweater poncho so I can wear it again…

 

Because despite being in a constant race to discover what I should be doing with my life, I’m not really getting anywhere.

 

So I’m going to see where giving up and giving in gets me.

 

And if it’s nowhere but three months of sitting on the couch older, then I’ll reconsider this new approach.

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Weekend : Asking for it.

 

Fiat 500 me and the Fiat500. getting to it, getting to it…

 

As we have previously discussed, I have a jest a touch of social anxiety.

 

[Understatement.]

 

For example, the other day at work my boss offhandedly mentioned needing to get in touch with the building dog-walker because the friend that was cat sitting for her over the holidays would be away for a few days around Christmas. A few hours later I happened to be in the lobby waiting for the elevator when I overheard a dog walker arrive and mention filling in for the regular guy. Now a normal person would’ve easily walked over to her and asked about getting her or the regular guy’s contact info.

 

And so for 5 minutes I was a normal person.

 

Because I did just that.

 

And that was HUGE for me. Seriously, embarrassingly huge. I was beaming proud of myself for a half an hour.

 

It’s like, which is more embarrassing, right? Approaching a stranger being a huge deal, or wanting to tell everyone I know that I had the courage to approach a stranger?!

 

But in all seriousness, I realized that recognizing/acknowledging my achievement as such, was huge in and of itself. What I more often do is berate myself for being such a wuss—regardless of whether I take action or remain frozen with fear. So yea, apparently mental congratulations are apparently way more rewarding and motivating.

 

Because not two days later did I get even gutsier.

 

We were going away for the weekend on Friday, and on Thursday morning I looked out the window from the train at the parked cars and idly wondered to myself, Wouldn’t it be awesome if our rental car was a Mini Cooper…or EVEN BETTER, my personal reachable dream car, a FIAT 500?!

 

Well, as the Universe would have it, we roll up to Enterprise the next morning and sitting in the parking lot is a shiny white Fiat 500. Scott and I both ogle in unison and wonder aloud if it could possibly be a rental. He is convinced it belongs to a person.

 

“I’m asking,” I announce.

 

It has suddenly become glaringly obvious that it doesn’t really matter if the car is a rental or if we can rent it. (Though in my heart I’m already convinced it’s there for me and me alone.) What matters is KNOWING if the car is a rental or not. I knew I had to ask because the thought of sitting through a 3 hour drive upstate in a Ford Focus wondering if we could’ve been in a Fiat 500 was just unbearable.

 

And so we went inside and the second sentence out of my mouth might have been, “So, is the Fiat yours and if so, is it available?”

 

And you know what, ladies and gentleman [hi Scott], IT WAS.

 

SO THERE.

 

My question was greeted by a room full of grinning women (it’s a whole nother story about why I was happy to be in a room full of women but suffice it to say that a previous Enterprise rep who made fun of myself and my friends for chatting about a Fiat 500 3 years ago is something I’m still angry about), that were over the moon about renting me the Fiat.

 

And so we took the little lady for the weekend, and were honestly just as happy with her comfort and driving skills as we had hoped to be—but I’ll save the car review for another time.

 

And then, because I am on a fucking roll here people, I asked if it was possible to request the Fiat for our next rental New Year’s weekend. And it was noted in my reservation.

 

And THEN, between drafting this last nite and posting it tonite, I totally grabbed yet-to-be-stocked polenta out of a carton in Trader Joe’s because I wanted it for dinner, and dammit if they’d yet to put it in the freezer case.

 

Apparently, I’m breaking all the rules here people, so just try and stop me.

 

our little buddy

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Wedding : Dress Search Part 2

Read Part 1 here

 

So we left off with me having left The Bridal Garden with two dresses on my mind. As soon as I saw the pictures from Kerri, I knew.

 

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Elizabeth Fillmore

 

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Junko Yoshioka

 

Serious note to ladies who are shopping – even if it’s not allowed, take pictures. I was shocked by how what I thought looked fabulous on—the Elizabeth Fillmore in the first pictures—did not photograph quite so. Body dysmorphia FTLoss.

 

Scott and I were at brunch for Valentine’s Day when these arrived in my inbox and I was so excited about the pictures I may have a) accidentally showed him, and b) spent a significant amount of time forwarding them to interested parties.

 

Another note to ladies who are shopping – if you accidentally show your fiancé a photo of the dress, with or without you in it, he absolutely will not remember it come the wedding. (Unless he is some kind of whore for fashion with the memory of an elephant.) And as an interesting sidebar to those of you already marrieds, asking your fiancé to remember and describe your dress is a really hilarious game to play—and win. Thinking this was a sad WIC cliché after reading it in UK Cosmo, I asked Scott while on the plane home from our honeymoon. Even he, who generally notices clothes and has an eye for them, was way way off.

 

So I loved the dress, but there was still the matter of the price.

 

And my own indecisiveness.

 

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The dress was also dirty, and though it mostly fit, it would need some altering. I wasn’t prepared for the cost ($250! for cleaning, and $275! for alterations) associated with those either. So I brought another friend, this one with some dress cleaning/altering experience—Beverly Hills Bloomingdales FTW.

 

And then I made an appointment at the salon my friend Aimee’s dress came from. (Because yes, she had bought her dress back in September, the day after we went shopping together. And I’d hate her for it, except she wound up having waaay more dress drama than me in the end.)

 

It was there that I tried on a bunch of dresses I never would have except they were the only things in my price range/size. Because uh yea, I’m not a Kirstie Kelly for Disney Bridal kinda girl. Or so I thought.

 

Much like David’s Bridal (or so I hear – I never did get to go into a David’s), the Disney Princess line was surprisingly okay.

 

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This little jam did in fact make me feel like a princess. Probably because it’s like, what, an exact replica of Belle’s gold dress? But even for a 28 year old, getting to dress up for five minutes as Belle one last time was pretty awesome.

 

And then I realized, uh yea, I don’t want to be Belle for my wedding.

 

Next came a couple womp, womp dresses that were not from Kirstie Kelly, but are proof that sometimes things (usually the ones that didn’t make it out of the fitting room), can look just plain shitty.

 

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I actually didn’t mind the first one, but it was too “trendy” for me. I hate to use that word because I think trendiness can save one from decision overload—there’s no greater validation or safety than “everyone else doing it”—but part of the allure of the Junko Yoshioka was that no one else had it. Short of making something custom or finding something vintage (and believe you me, I searched in every dark corner of the interwebs—despite longing for a story like Meg’s, I couldn’t bring myself to actually pound the pavement), how impossibly awesome to have a dress that you cannot find on a single “real wedding” blog post anywhere?!

 

But then, there came the dress that made me reconsider everything.

 

It was unlike anything I’d ever thought I wanted. Covered in beading. Flowy, not structured. And well, inspired by Princess Jasmine.

 

But it reminded me of this.

 

And come on, that is a truly great moment.

 

As a girl who once [seriously] considered spending $6,000 to have her wedding here and just sit on the floor and eat Chinese takeout, the easy comfort of this dress suddenly seemed like a forgotten necessity,

 

And then there was the price.

 

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Dress + cleaning + alterations, for a total number exactly matching my max budget.

 

It was a very nice deal, and all the salesladies were just about bouncing off the walls with excitement, though of course you can never tell if that’s authentic or just put on to make the sale.

 

It was all so very tempting…

 

But I wasn’t thrilled with how I looked in the pictures, and regardless, I had one more appointment with Flora (which is the style name of the Junko Yoshioka), and 2 more friend’s opinions to gauge.

 

So I left behind Princess Jasmine, and put on my best big girl bargaining pants.

 

And bargain I did. I put on Flora, my friends fell in love, and I got that saleslady to knock $500 off the price (with only a little crying). Of course there was still cleaning and alterations, and I COMPLETELY forgot about sales tax until my credit card was out of my wallet. But this was my dress and I just didn’t want to look anymore. (That, and bargaining down money that’s going to a non-profit felt sort of wrong.)

 

My initial budget was an arbitrary and seemingly high number. But, as anyone can tell you, I am a Clothes Person, so putting some financial focus on The Dress seemed like the right thing to do. On the other hand, I am a Bargain Person, and so I also had the pipe dream that I’d be about to somehow conjure a $13,000 couture gown out of thin air for about $300. Because that’s how I roll.

 

So I was feeling a little down on myself for going over budget while forking over my Visa, when my friend Maureen observed (Maureen is getting married in August and clearly she will not be having any issues because she is far wiser than I), that based on the original number on the price tag, I was getting the dress at 80% off.

 

Score.

 

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how awesome is the foreign dude (he was! I’m not just making assumptions!) trying to shop amidst the madness?

 

Epilogue: The memory of Jasmine did not go quietly into the night. In fact, I spent the entire evening after buying Flora wondering if I made a mistake. I set up an eBay saved search and even wound up trying on some Sue Wong wannabe Jasmine’s while helping Maureen at the Battle of the Brides. Thankfully, by the time a reasonably sized, reasonably priced Jasmine turned up on eBay, I had come to my senses and didn’t buy it.

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Wedding : Something Blue

 

Keriann & Scott 0044 © Jimena Roquero Photography

© jimena roquero photography
doing my hair. myself. (with help.) the one thing i was afraid of…

 

I hate losing things.

 

And by hate I mean, I have a sneaking suspicion I have some strand of mental illness centered around losing things.

 

I hate it so much I simply do not lose things.

 

Except sometimes I do.

 

Not so much “lose” as “leave somewhere I cannot retrieve them”.

 

The last thing I lost was a grey American Apparel circle scarf that I left at a bar on Nicole’s birthday in February this year. It was pretty devastating because the scarf that I thought (for once!) was easily replaceable apparently was not due to a dramatic backslide in the quality of American Apparel’s fabrics since I got it several years ago.

 

But what does all this have to do with the wedding you ask?

 

Well as I was getting ready, my ponytail holder broke, and my friend Aimee lent me one of hers with the apology that it was blue. But hey!, my something blue!

 

After the wedding I intended on taking it off and putting it in the pile of things to scrapbook, silly as it may have been, Except I continued using it instead. Hey, I don’t lose things, remember.

 

So I wore it to Italy and have been wearing it everyday since, right up until yesterday.

 

When I lost it.

 

Or rather, left it at the hotel.

 

I think.

 

And it’s not like housekeeping is going to not throw out a nondescript ponytail holder.

 

So I have been forced to come to terms with losing it. Mostly by berating myself for being so overdramatically sentimental and attached to objects, and publicly shaming myself in this forum.

 

Cruel, but I think that that worked.

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Weekend : Awesome

I had a really great weekend.

It was fun, but it was also meaningful. Friday on Twitter there was an ongoing discussion about weddings [imagine that], and loving or not loving one’s wedding, including whether it felt huge or not.

While I haven’t talked about it much yet, I can decidedly say my wedding did not feel huge. And oddly enough, for better or worse, this weekend felt more quietly huge than the wedding certainly did.

So I’m probably going to talk about it a lot. But not right now. Because I don’t feel like talking about much of anything. Which I will also talk about later.

I’ll leave you here with that photo that pretty much sums up what I’ve yet to talk about.

Sorry for the mystery…

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House : Office continued.

P1020870 this photo was not staged. nope, not at all.

Last year on Thanksgiving weekend we converted a spare bedroom into a proper office for Scott. (And me too, kinda. I got a desk!)

Yet, with my plodding nature and all the other things (read : wedding) we had going on, half of the room was filled with a snap-together type metal crate college dorm appropriate storage unit that I—shocker—got for my college dorm ten years ago.

A few weeks ago I made the executive decision that I would lay off the shoes (one day I’ll link this sentence to an as-yet unwritten post about my pre-Italy shoe problem), and use my personal money to buy stuff for the house. (Nesting much?)

The first order of business was ditching the godawful wire crates and getting some real live grownup Billy bookcases. Cause, yes, in this case IKEA is a step up.

Along with the Billy’s came a new light fixture! This was an overly simple stroke of genius if I do say so. I threw away the $7 Walmart emergency purchase floor lamp from 2006, and just hung a simple bulb and cord combo with one of our leftover wedding lanterns.

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Because everything barely fit in the car (and dammit if I didn’t totally forget to take pictures of how we managed to squeeze it all in there), I’m still waiting on this shelf for my collection of Vogues. Not quite the invisible spine shelf I really want, but good enough for now.

And because I’m a regular Holly Homemaker, I also finally [this one’s only a year and a half late] installed a medicine cabinet in our bathroom, and put a door handle on the vanity!

Checking stuff off the list feels really good. I guess sometimes in the world of home decor and personal style it’s doable, or even preferable, to work with what you have. And other times you just need to go out and buy new stuff.

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Thoughts : Mass Transit Tirade

1313796644386 these girls where stupid, spoiled whores

 

The thing about New Yorkers is, they are the kind of people that will one day stop randomly and help carry a stroller up the stairs and the very next day will push you down them all because of what mood they’re in.

 

I know this, because I am one of them.

 

I could go on and on about the assholes I encounter and the ridiculous situations I endure whilst commuting, but I try not to. Mostly because I think the things you dwell on and talk about breed similar things, so if I don’t focus on assholes, I’ll encounter less of them. But sometimes I wonder if bottling it all up as I do isn’t perhaps worse for me in some grander scheme of things…

 

1312982659928 if this were an airplane, you’d be buying two seats

 

Anyway, last week two incidents happened in quick succession that made me want to rant. First the drawstring of my jacket got caught in the seat as I went to stand up at my stop. After the initial panic of getting stuck on the train an extra stop (really not that much of an emergency), I extricated myself and attempted to exit but was faced with a wall of blank faces attached to zombie-shuffling bodies who were somehow unable to move intelligently aside. I was sitting next to the door, for crying out loud—anybody with a modicum of observational skills should’ve seen me struggling 3 seconds earlier!

 

After elbowing my way out through the crowd, I was met with a continued horde of people coming down the stairs three abreast. (All this at 3pm—not even rush hour.) I chose the right hand side of the stairs (you know, the polite side), and head down, I started climbing. That is until I came face to knees with someone who started screaming, “I need the railing. I need the railing. I need the railing.” Paralyzed, I gestured wordlessly at the people coming down the stairs shoulder to shoulder with him blocking me from going anywhere. They too momentarily froze at his alarming yelling until finally one of them scooted aside while the entire subway vestibule watched me make myself as small as possible to scoot around this guy.

 

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this guy stank of so much cologne my eyes were watering

 

And, as I type this, an enormous man has sat down on the outer seat of my three-person seat on the LIRR. He proceeds to gasp for air in the ridiculous November heat, removing his suit jacket and draping it all over my purse that is taking up exactly one third of the middle seat. Fuming already, I move the purse in a huff. He doesn’t notice. He then proceeds to repeatedly drop his enormous paw on the center seat, shaking the entire bench each time.

 

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This is killing me.

 

When it became inevitable that Scott was losing his job, I really didn’t give a shit except for the selfish little girl in me that knew that commuting alone would break me.

 

In the too many years that we’ve been doing this, we’ve been taking the same train home for nearly all of it. It’s so awful and so crowded and I’m so so stupidly sensitive to it, that I immediately started taking a different, later, looonger train just because it’s less crowded.

 

Until this fat, personal-space-oblivious, coughing, seat-shaking asshole ruined it.

 

AND my left hand spells like old black man probably from the overhead bar I grabbed on the subway.

 

That may be the grossest thing that’s ever happened to me.

 

And probably the karma I mentioned at the beginning of this post…

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Wedding : Dress Search Part 1

So I am generally inclined to (some might say “over-“) analyze things. It is unquestioningly my first and strongest instinct, but I am starting to wonder just how often giving in to it can take the fun out of life…

 

For example, I’ve come to the conclusion that, if I want to write about our wedding and honeymoon (and I do!), I should probably stop mentally wailing, “but what does it all mean?” and just continue telling the process and the day like it was.

 

And maybe when I’m done, I’ll know what it all means.

 

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buttons down the back, which at one point in my life I
had to have

 

So dress shopping. In many ways it was a microcosm of the entire process.

 

It was both fun and not fun. I had high hopes and a small budget. The hopes got smaller and the budget bigger. I overanalyzed everything and eventually went with my gut, but continued second-guess the whole thing until the moment I put on the dress the day of the wedding.

 

I love me some clothes. Especially party dresses. But wedding dresses as a genre? Ew.

 

I took a while of casual looking (I think if I’d actually gotten married in ‘08 or ‘09 I would’ve been screwed) before I even found one I liked.

 

It was this:

 

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Spose di Gio

I still like this dress. And eventually I began to like other dresses too. If you’re reading this before I delete my tumblr*, you can see them here: http://ny2cabride.tumblr.com/tagged/dress

 

The Spose di Gio dream died when I saw a few pictures of actual people wearing the dress and it was not quite so ethereal and pink and lovely. And it wasn’t exactly all over ebay/preownedweddingdresses/oncewed/etc (my plan to make an expensive dress work) either.

 

This was okay because despite intended to buy online, I knew I wanted the experience of going to stores and trying stuff on.

 

So in September last year my friend Aimee, her mom, and I went to go do that. It was almost a year to the day of what would become my wedding date, but I didn’t know that at the time. Neither Aimee nor I knew where or when we were getting married, something we were learning got us totally snubbed as brides. At my suggestion, we went to Lovely in the West Village because they had a bunch of eco-friendly type designers that looked very Aimee. Lovely was less than lovely, and we both forgot our cameras. (I’ll just leave it at that. If you want an actual review of the service, I can give you a private one.)

 

nm-HG0013_Metal-Taffeta-Strapless-aNicole Miller 

 

I tried on this Nicole Miller, which I thereon considered my if-I-really-can’t-find-anything-else-there’s-always-this-dress until I actually bought a dress. It actually would’ve been a great choice for Costa Rica, even though I could mentally here my mother rolling in her grave over how it was “wrinkled.” But it holds its value! Secondhand deals were not to be found on this dress, even though about a million people have gotten married in it.

 

After my less than lovely experience, I laid off the dress hunt until February when we had formed a solid foundation of venue + photographer. Then I took a friend to the place I really wanted to go—The Bridal Garden. The Bridal Garden is a non-profit in NYC that accepts donated dresses from designers and brides and resells them with the proceeds going to NYC public schools. As we tried to support nonprofits and small businesses as much as possible in the wedding, I thought the idea of getting my dress there was so, so SWEET. Plus the service is more Marshalls than Kleinfeld’s. As in, you get to pull dresses yourself to try on. Perfect for a control freak like me.

 

There was also the glimmer of the possibility of Oscar de la Renta awaiting me. You see, that was one of two childhood wedding dreams: a Tahiti honeymoon and an OdlR dress. Oscar, it occurred to me, was attainable through the power of Ebay (don’t bother with the other sites: Oscar brides can’t bear to drop the prices that low), but I found myself passing up $600 dresses because though they might have been Oscar but they just weren’t me…

 

So I went into the Bridal Garden with an open mind, and began to just try random stuff on. No beading, no sequins, no ballgowns, no sheaths. Mermaids, trumpets, preferably some straps or sleeves. There was a Rivini that fit none of this criteria, but it was so Art Deco slinky… And there was an Elizabeth Fillmore that seemed like the perfect size. Not too cocktail dress and not too wedding cupcake.,,

 

And then, the saleslady, who was treating me like her personal Barbie, started handing me Junko Yoshioka’s. It was like the designer had just, oh, dropped off the entire runway collection and they happened to all fit me like a glove. (Except for the being about a foot too long part.) It was both fun and emotionally exhausting trying them all on (fitting into clothes is something I do not take for granted, having struggled with just that for most of my adolescence). We snuck as many pictures as we could, mostly of the silly ones:

 

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Junko Yoshioka

 

And then there came the last dress. It took us a few minutes to figure out how it worked (not that that was a surprise after the cape). But once we got it on, I sort of looked in the mirror and said, hmph. It didn’t have the buttons down the back I always wanted. But then again, it wasn’t like anything I had ever pictured. And yet, it was kind of—ok, very—me. (This is sounding like how I feel about Scott.)

 

The saleslady quoted me a price I couldn’t really afford. And I can’t make decisions that fast anyway. There were no promises the dress would still be there without a $100 hold on it (because yes, if I’m having trouble with the price I’m going to drop $100 to hold it). But I figured if it were my dress, and I already knew it was, it wasn’t going anywhere. If another girl my exact size with my exact taste walked in and had to have it then she deserved it anyway.

 

So my intrepid friend Kerri promised to send me the photos she had taken, and we left as I continued to ponder dresses and budgets and dresses. Waiting for the photos was excruciating, as I impatiently wondered if the dresses really looked like I had seen in my head.

 

 To be continued…

 

*I always intended to make my inspiration Tumblr (oh life before Pinterest) private, but couldn’t figure out how. I hate having uncredited images posted anywhere.

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Wedding : Complete

Keriann & Scott 0026 © Jimena Roquero Photography (c) Jimena Roquero Photography

 

Today our wedding was featured on our fantastic photographer’s blog!

 

I think this might just be the kick in the pants I needed to continue blogging about it.

 

Who knows what you’ll see here tomorrow.

 

(Something, though, I promise something.)