Wednesday, June 25, 2008


This is what I had for breakfast today.
  • Scottish Steel-Cut Oatmeal with ground flax seed and dried blueberries
  • a whole bunch of fruit
  • Veggie sausage (some protein?)
  • and, today only, a tasty, tasty scone
Minus the scone (it was dried cherry and vanilla bean! How could I resist?) this is what I've been eating for breakfast for the past week or so. And? Stopping for a better breakfast really seems to make a difference in the way I feel all day.

Monday, June 23, 2008


I just, finally, posted two blobs I wrote on the airplane ride back from Atlanta. "What?" you say, "you were in Atlanta?!??! I didn't know that from your blog!"

It's true, I've become very lazy and late about posting. All kinds of things are going on that don't get posted anymore. I simply don't find the time these days.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Dress, or How I lost my mind and turned into a "bride"

This is an overdue post that I've been meaning to process for a while. So now as I sit on an overly turbulent (now they call it "rough air" -- can I use to to exfoliate?) flight back from training in Atlanta, I'm catching up.

I tend to be a fairly pragmatic person, so the big expenditures on stuff that can't be re-used isn't my bag. A lot of brides are buying their dresses used on eBay and selling them after the event. How practical! I'm practical! Why, then am I going through making a wedding dress? And why is said wedding dress being made of silks, with hours of handwork? And a dress that can't be reworn anywhere else? A dress I plan to pack away and carry around with me for the rest of my life, in box? Isn't it a waste? What happened to that reasonable girl???

It is not, as one might think, because I majored in fashion design. Hell, I could have designed it and had someone else make it.

Maybe it goes back to the sewing machine. I was very tempted to sew the whole thing on my great-grandmother's sewing machine. The sewing machine I learned to sew on. The one I used through high school. The one I will pass on to my son or daughter one day, along with its story? The story of this machine is fairly personal, but the takeaway is that this machine is made of memories of my grandmother (even though we never used it together) My grandmother is quite a seamstress, as was her mother, and...? before her? I can only guess.

My mother taught me to sew by pinning the seams and sending me off to run the stitches. After each seam, I would return and she would pin the next seam. She says she doesn't know how to sew, I guess because I later ran off to art school to learn how to sew *correctly,* which is a lot more stressful.

Whether she sews or not, she embroiders, tats, knits, quilts, does blackwork, and god knows what else. Growing up, there was always a craft, a scrap, a project, something. When I made my dress for a high school dance, I knew the pride in replying "Thank you, I made it." usually met with surprise.

No surprise. This is what you do, isn't it? You learn from your mother, and she from hers, and so on. And when a baby is born, the ceder chest is opened, and all the things laid out. Grandma so-and-so made this piece of lace. This was the veil I made for my wedding, here is you first communion gown...

So of course you make the wedding dress. And of course it is impractical, and hopefully made beautiful for no reason other than, this is what we do. And it will be worn once, and then kept forever, and someday, I will pull it out of my cedar chest and say "here is the dress from my wedding. I made it of silk, and my mother embroidered it. And then it was put away, and all for the sole purpose of this moment, and all the similar moments that will follow as you pass it down in its bits and pieces along with the fragments of lace, linen, sweat, pride, and memory that I have received from my mothers and grandmothers.

If I had the time, I'd love to hand make every element of the wedding, ceremony, and decor. I love crafts and I like design (duh). But that isn't something I have time for, and I know those fancy flowers won't keep.

But the dress, it has to be impractical. No $200 Target dress will do, nor will selling it so that someone else can use it, to keep it recycled. It is a selfish thing, a manifestation of history and personality and love. A thread in the fabric of my family story.

Impractical? Maybe, but not as much as the beer donkeys I also wanted for the wedding.

Stupid Wedding -isms

for reasons that are probably apparent (to everyone except Paul, who thinks I'm crazy), I have been reading blogs and books and such about weddings lately.

I learned this: everyone has a different idea of what this wedding things should be for them (and sometimes for others)

There are a lot of "shoulds" and trends, and emphasis on trying to create "Your Perfect Day"

Martha Stewart is a clumsy preschooler compared to some of the really nice wedding plan and design stuff out there.

So you get poisoning from reading too much of it. Not because it is, like Drano. More like a bellyache from too much candy. It's OK, but not a good full diet.
After reading too many posts about Out of Town Baskets and Chocolate Fountains (I like my chocolate in its purest form, no fountaining, thank you very much) it is nice to take a look at some of the other end of the spectrum. I tend to fall somewhere in the range of "let's just have a big party," and "Oh! Craft Projects! I LOVE crafts!" So I'm a little bipolar. I think Paul has given up on me.

There are a few really terrible phrases I keep coming across in wedding planning propaganda, that are really really terrible.

My Perfect Day
There is no such thing as a perfect day. Or a perfect anything, *unless* you are able to understand that perfect isn't, so it follows that a little imperfect might be perfect. case in point? Paul is perfect. My mother seemed concerned with this declaration, and asked "surely he must have *some* flaws?" Yes! of course he does! If he were totally perfect, that would be an insult to god. He has just the right imperfections to be perfect for me. Duh. So Your Perfect Day will only be perfect if you are ready to roll with the flaws it will certainly give you. Besides, I like challenges, and surprises, to some extent. That said, I am still demanding dolphins.

The only thing worse that The Perfect Day is The Most Important Day of My Life. OMG. That is really pathetic. This bride ought to be shot at the end of the wedding. After all, it's all downhill from there anyway.

Then we move on to, and I really think this is the tagline that makes the wedding industry the most money "It's the Details that really make The Day Special." Kill me! This was not on the practice PMP test I took today, but:
What makes your wedding day special?
a. monogrammed napkin rings and signature cocktails in your colors
b. That guy, the one you are pledging your undying love to and joining lives with
c. the gathering of your friends and family to celebrate this love and commitment
d. the donkey with a sombrero, and beer in its saddlebags.
e. b, c, & d

I'm hoping for "e", but the donkey apparently lives in Texas. (damn, and I think this is the one wedding detail Paul seemed on board with)

Am I getting bitter about weddings? No! In fact, I am enjoying it quite a bit.. I just think it's important to step back every so often as you get swept into all these skewed expectations, commercialism, and weird fantasies.

At the same time, the craft and design loving part of me would love to go ape shit and personally hand paint every invitation, after sewing it together out of scraps from the dress I am making. I want to say "I made everything-- the invitations, the dress, the cake, the chairs you are sitting on, the sun that is shining right now (I needed just the perfect hue of light)-- everything!"

Craftiness aside, I need to keep it fairly simple given other things needing my attention these days. I'm just excited about having a party with everyone there.
Repeat after me! "A wedding is not an elaborate photo shoot. It is the unique story and celebration of you two and the family you are a part of." Or, "it is an excuse to gather your family and friends and wear fancy clothes and eat cake!"

Or something
And a chance to rent a beer donkey.