Category Archives: relationships

when does it get real?

So this Facebook thing has really screwed up my blogging.  Having an extraordinary person in my life who keeps me busy doesn’t help either.  I get sucked into these stupid games, like Frontierville, because my sweet nephew talks me into playing.  And then he quits playing almost immediately, leaving me to frantically harvest crap and whomp critters all by myself.  I’m not proud.

Anyways, Teh Smitten and I are getting married.  Next month.  This is how it happened:

My sister calls after our Labor Day staycation at the Hotel Palomar in Arlington (we had a suite with a Japanese soaking tub for two – it was kind of fantastic) to see if we had gotten engaged yet.  She expresses deep disappointment that we had not gotten engaged in that I’m-kidding-but-not-really sort of way.  (She has been a little panicked that we might get married on the upcoming cruise in November despite my telling her repeatedly that we would not do so as it costs $2500 for a very dinky sort of to-do.)  Anyway, her concern tickles me to no end and I tell Teh Smitten, who later says something like, “Well… I guess I could ruin the surprise…”

It turns out he was planning to propose on the cruise, buy the ring in St. Maarten, etc.  He thought I wanted a wedding with the dress and the people, etc.  Except I don’t.  I want the marriage.  I suggested we just go ahead and do the civil wedding thing next to file cabinets and then use the cruise as our honeymoon.  He countered by suggesting a party for our friends and family in a few months and I happily agreed.

But planning the civil wedding and a small dinner with our family has ballooned a little.  First, I found a dress:

$198 from Nordstom.  No lie.   So, I thought I’d order it and if it didn’t work, it would be a very simple thing to return.  Except, it fits.  Beautifully.  I think it could use a little tailoring around the bust area to make sure it doesn’t gape shamefully and all.  $198 and I LOVE it.

Tomorrow, my awesome minion from work, who really has become a good friend more than anything, will be headed to Nordstrom with me to meet with my personal stylist to work out a wrap, sufficient undergarments (finding a plunging bra in my size is going to be fun, and by “fun” I really mean a fucking nightmare because they don’t make plunging bras that actually provide support in a 40F), shoes, maybe a bag…

I swung by the store on my way home last night and, with the stylist’s help, picked up an ivory dress shirt, a very lovely Armani tie and pocket square for Smit, and then moseyed over to the shoe area to see if I could improve upon his current dress shoe dilemma.  Why must men hold onto awful worn-out shoes? He has been quite devoted to his Bill Blass wingtips, which have seen better days.  Anyways, there were a pair of Cole Hahn Nike Air technology wingtips on sale for $129.  Now, if I can just convince him to “retire” the old pair.

Teh Smitten and I met at the Arlington Courthouse yesterday to pick up our marriage license and have lunch at a potential dinner venue.  Getting the license was pretty painless.  If Virginia allowed gay marriages it really would be a great state.  We dropped the license off at the official Arlington County celebrant’s office afterward so that he could have the certificate prepared on October 23rd.  He is a lovely fellow – an older gentleman who estimates he has officiated the weddings for about 54,000 couples in the last 45 years or so.  Wow.  His offices, not so lovely.  When people say they’re getting married next to file cabinets, they’re not kidding.  The officiant’s conference room is decorated in what I’d call Early 80’s Legal Office Banal.  There’s a very sad looking silk flower arrangement in one corner – a nightmare of red roses in a white basket. Truly awful.  At least the chairs aren’t folding chairs.  And his office itself is a maze of stacks of paperwork.  I can’t imagine how shocked my sister and brother-in-law will be when they compare the venue to theirs, but how much better can you do for $100 cash?

Despite my negativity towards the Wedding Industrial Complex, I find myself buying wedding favors and place cards.  I’m trying to find that fine line between simple and special.  It is very very hard when you have a shopping addiction.  I totally see how this gets out of control very quickly.  Teh Smitten gets this nervous look every time he hears me say, “Oh guess what I found today for the wedding!”

So, even if we’re only having our parents and maybe a couple friends in addition for dinner, don’t we need to have a favor of some sort?  No.  But I’m not letting reasonableness stop me.

I’ve ordered travertine tile magnets, sample photo on the left, from Etsy.

But it was all so easy!  And then I got completely mired down in the wedding craftiness parts of Etsy, that seem to go on forever in a very Gormenghast sort of way.  Its pure evil.  There are personalized antique handkerchiefs, specially handmade invitation suites, apparel, headbands…

And that is when I ordered the place setting cards, as seen in the sample photo on the right for our party of approximately 15 people.  So cute!!!  And so very unnecessary.

We’ll be doing cupcakes instead of a wedding cake.  I hear that cupcakes are passe but I don’t care. The wedding cake business is a total racket and they’re usually a dry tasteless mess. DC’s Red Velvet Cupcakery is our running favorite, and they do lovely decorations.  I’ve ordered a disposable cupcake tier thingy of Amazon for it.

As for rings, we bought mine – an Art Deco estate piece circa 1925-1930 – last weekend from Pampillonia Jewelers in Dupont Circle.  It is exactly what I wanted.  We’re now searching for its partner for Smitty, who would also like an Art Deco look.  Hopefully we will find what he wants before the wedding.

The jeweler, Richard Pampillonia, had just taken the ring out of the “cooler”, where all estate jewelry must sit for 30 days before it can be sold.  He overheard that I was looking for an antique look and brought it over for us to look at.  Here is a photo of me wearing the ring before it had even been shined or cleaned. It is a platinum setting with a mine cut diamond in the center, baguettes on two sides, and then about 20 teensy diamonds sprinkled around the rest of the setting.

I’m not getting a band.  The ring is enough.  And, yes, I’m wearing that sucker before the wedding.  My mom and I had a fun 30 second argument about that until she conceded, good naturedly.   It is the precious and I have become Gollum.

So, yeah.  Its not really real yet.  When does that happen?  The night before?

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furtive mornings

I am the only person at home (in family’s home) right now.  This is very unusual.  I am secretly relishing it and feel a twinge of guilt as a result.  All 3500 or 3800 or whatever square feet are all mine.  Mostly.  I take advantage of the time and quiet to catch up on Facebook, email, and the news.  It is hard to keep up with the news when I am visiting the family.

My parents and the nephew and niece were banished to a hotel last night so that my sister and brother in law could host a fantasty football party.  It reminded me, acutely, about the marvelousness of East Coast men and Teh Smitten.  Midwesterners, as a whole, are lovely and friendly.  St. Louisans in particular.  But the men are hard-core sports fans and macho, and they really don’t know how to talk to women.  These guys showed up with spreadsheets and laptops and proceeded to have a very intense (and beer filled) draft.  I vastly prefer Teh Smitten’s online gaming stuff to the sports crap.  I will actively support his gaming, in fact.

My mom doesn’t think I should have children.  I don’t think my sister thinks I should either.  Either they have gotten so used to me not having children that they think it is my natural state, or they think there is something flawed in my personality that would keep me from being a good mom.  This is starting to get to me.  At this point I’m not exactly interested in having children, but what if I change my mind next year?  There’s also the matter of my getting closer and closer to 40, and having to worry about Downs Syndrome and fertility issues.  Maybe I’m meant to just be the favorite aunt.  It still rankles.

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“everyone cries when they’re stabbed. there’s no shame in that.”

Teh Smitten and I have been netflixing Slings and Arrows, a Canadian Shakespeare Theatre sitcom recommended to us by Mr. Odney.  The title line is courtesy of this very dysfunctional, twisted and enjoyable show.  Rachel McAdams is in it and is charming.  I dunno – my friends with artsy backgrounds need to rent this show and relive their days at DC’s Shakespeare Theatre.

I’m headed to St. Louis on Wednesday night.  I’m going alone this time and my nephew is quite put out about it (“why didn’t you bring Teh Smitten?!?”), so I’ll be bringing gifts from us both.  But, I had the time off and I’m going to be subjecting my darling to family in October as it is.  In the crucible that is Disney World.  39 more days till the 4-day massive pub crawl and then another 4 to dry out on a beach in Treasure Island.

My sister has gotten reservations for the entire fam at Epcot’s Japanese restaurant  on my birthday, and a romantic date for just Smit and me at the French Bistro the night before.  We’re staying in the god-awful Disney Budget All Stars Resort.  I suppose I should try to get a reservation at one of the other spots, but really the kiosks with the wine and snacks might suffice and be all we can afford as it is.

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i love quick time harch

Here we are again. Tomorrow is my “compressed day”, meaning I have the day off and a four day weekend. The day was almost a good one – I let a very junior and useless employee get to me today. I’m a short timer in this department – I’ve been transferred to much greener pastures and am just waiting for them to find nice space for me at the headquarters. Accordingly, the old administrative staff is taking out their frustrations on the one person they no longer have to be nice to.

The good part of the day involved the short walk to get lunch at Cowgirl Creamery. CC usually makes two kinds of sandwiches for lunch – a vegetarian or a meat option. Today there was a “special option”: pork pate with sliced cornichons and lightly dressed field greens. It was fantastic. After spending the better part of my afternoon with my office door closed (I generally don’t advocate closed doors in office settings but it was either close the door or let my anger overcome me) I headed out a little early to the weekly farmer’s market where I picked up a delicious quiche ever: For $24, the baker has an applewood smoked bacon and spinach quiche made with a very nice gruyere. I also bought some baby bella mushrooms as they are nice for stuffing, and a pretty bunch of flowers. The quiche is pretty huge and makes 2-3 meals for us both. It may seem expensive, but I get six healthy slices out of that quiche for $4 a pop – really an excellent deal considering the quality and quantity.

Its game night for Teh Smitten, so while he geeks out next to me I’m, well, geeking out by blogging next to him. We’re really quite the pair. Teh Smit is very funny while he games. He’s playing some sort of cyberpunk adventure game online and via conference call with a few people across the US and world. He uses different voices for his character, makes little machine gun noises and such (he has been yammering on about “distant lizards”? “rats ate his pants”? “armor chafes with no pants”? really?). It makes him happy so it makes me happy.

What are our weekend plans, you ask? Well, tomorrow I will be taking care of important business such as the dry cleaning, the CVS and the Schneiders (local awesome purveyor of wine and spirits ). If I do anything tomorrow, I must get more booze – we are in need of Stone’s Green Ginger Wine, which is incredibly refreshing served over ice. We also need dark spiced rum so we can make Dark and Stormy’s. If we’re lucky tomorrow, we’ll have another Thin Man movie to watch and drink to (along with?). Saturday we have reservations for the soft launch of Sticky Rice – purveyor of sushi and tater tots! Within walking distance! So much woot, so little time. Sunday will be spent at the home of the Chef and his Clever Girlfriend, and Monday with Teh Smitten’s parents eating fresh crabs at their Chesapeake home.

If I’m smart, I’ll get to the CVS too. I learned that I haven’t been taking the synthroid correctly, which has probably resulted in a lack of proper absorption. I didn’t realize I had to avoid all forms of calcium within 4 hours of taking it. I also learned that I need to be taking several vitamins and other supplements. 16.5 days till we leave on vacation. Hopefully a combination of taking this medication properly, taking vitamins and vacation will help with this hamster heart situation.

I leave you all with a favorite scene from a Mel Brooks movie – it was Empress Nympho or Lily Von Schtupp. Who doesn’t love quick time harch?

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business hours are over

I realize that the Conchords are not new, but this video makes me happy:

Mr. Odney reminded me about their brilliance on his Facebook page, which brings me to another – more complicated – subject:  the Politics of Facebook.

I joined Facebook to see what the fuss was about and quickly got sucked into the insanity of its vampire application and scrabulous.  Mr. Odney has posted about the awkwardness of Facebook previously.  Click here to see the link to the British interpretation of Facebook (I wonder if posting that video to one’s Facebook page would cause the world to implode), and here to read his originating post about hitting the 100 friend mark.

Apparently, there is this unwritten rule that you must accept all friend requests.  Now, this wouldn’t be an issue if you could just hide your profile but that would fly in the face of the whole point of social networking.  Till now I have happily accepted all friend requests, especially since I get points for each person I “bite” via the vampire application.  Until now.  Just recently I received a friend request from someone with whom I attended high school.  It took me a while to figure out who this person was as they appear to have changed their first name (actually, they’re not going by their nickname anymore).  Unfortunately, this person grated on me a bit (no, DSR, not talking about you – you’re a doll) so I am loathe to accept the request.  Not even for the vampire points.  (Or the damnable Pirate v. Ninja application which I have also added in return for a friend who agreed to become a vampire minion.  I am that serious about it.)

So, for any Facebook users – what is the protocol?  If I hit “ignore” is the requester any the wiser?  I hate perpetuating high school bullshit cliquishness, but jeebus.  There is a reason I only keep up with a handful of the 425 people I graduated with.

Also, any of you on it?  If so, let’s be friends!  Vampire friends!

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snoop floops

I don’t think I have a biological clock.  My niece is the cutie-est but I don’t seem to want to create my own mini-me.  We all have our priorities, I suppose, and mine seems to be sleep and extra cash.

Just got back from spending a few days in the heartland with the fam.  My niece is three and quite the sweet loon.  She was my shadow for much of my stay.  She can’t quite wrap her tongue around the words “Fruit Loops”, calling them “snoop floops” instead.  I’ll never call them fruit loops again.  She suffers from mild separation anxiety, and won’t let me pee or shower by myself.  I lost my last shred of dignity this past weekend as I tried modestly to shower while she peered at me through the glass shower door and hooted, “I see your butt!”  She won’t let you brush her hair, put clothes on her, or potty train her.  She’s a little bed-headed princess.

The Thirsty Bunny is finally posting on his food blog, Splendid Table, again.   He’s getting a Masters of Gastronomy at Boston!  I’ve gotten him tuned into Tableau Vivante too.  Here’s hoping for posts on different kinds of salt and olive oils!

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caution: nausea inducing

pipi le chick

Sooooo… Teh Smitten, at my pathetic urging, bought me this little toy for Easter. When you squeeze him he makes this adorable peeping noise. I have named him Pipi (he is French so the pronunciation is Pee-Pee). Pipi le Chick. Teh Smitten likes this name too since it sounds gross. Wait, he says, “Not gross. Funny,” as he is also inclined towards the scatological. Well, he thinks poop is funny. Personally, I prefer gas to poop. Generally less messy and way more entertaining.

We talk to Pipi and cuddle him regularly.  We comfort him when he peeps and find comfort in his “simple peeps of wisdom”.  (Those are Teh Smitten’s words.  I just think the sound is soft and sweet.)  Not always when we’ve been drinking either.  We’re not interested in having children but still need to express our maternal instincts in some meaningless way.

[Explanatory note] Did I mention that I’ve been drinking? I had my first bit of caffeine and alcohol in days today. Being an insomniac is a real bitch.

Tomorrow I’m giving massage a try over acupuncture. Acupuncture is interesting, but I haven’t seen any major results yet.

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