30 April 2009

this just makes me happy

I know I'm late to the party with this, but I just saw an article about Snowball here on the BBC this morning. It seems that the scientific community had always considered the ability to dance a uniquely human characteristic, so this little feathery guy set off quite a re-jiggering of hypotheses. (Since the Beeb link has an ad embedded, I'm posting an older Animal Planet one here.)

But whatev's -- it just makes me smile. And not only because my friend Kristen is married to a member of Snowball's favorite boy band.

You go, boy.

29 April 2009

the continuing adventures of the nerd herd

I really wish I'd thought of that name myself, but it's Mr. UB's baby. He sent me a text message on Saturday morning that said "Since you're teaching all day, I'm off to Ren Faire with the nerd herd." And last night he let me know that members of his Guild have posted links to the "House" promo with me in it on their message board (where I am known as Kazguhl's Future Wife.") Sorry, ladies -- he's taken!

I don't usually get to participate in their weekly activities (which are just like reindeer games, only with less reindeer and more dragons) because they happen on the night I teach at S. But I made an exception a few weeks ago for a very special occassion: the birthday of our Best Man.

Where did we go? Where else!:

Yes, that's right -- Medieval Times. I know you're jealous.

The whole night was organized as a surprise by the birthday boy's girlfriend. They're a lovely, demure couple.
No, there's nothing "metaphorical" about that photo at all -- how dare you?!

It's a good thing that these people arrived last, because he might've guessed what was in store for him if all of us had been milling around his living room like this:
No, that's not anyone's car. We wisely arranged to be transported in style (aka an Airporter shuttle bus.) Why?

That's why. They serve you beverages that are larger than your head. On purpose. (Side note: said beverages were the main reason I agreed to this excursion. I doubt I'd've survived it otherwise.)

I tried repeatedly to photograph this plastic sword thingy so that you could tell it lights up. Stoopid auto-flash camera.

This is our friend D. Mr. UB has known him since college, and he once cast me in a play as a ballet-dancing giant squid. (Yes, really.) He also writes children's books.

What does one do at Medieval Times, while waiting for the jousting to start?
Why, have the birthday boy knighted, of course!

In my habit of regularly finding minutiae in my surroundings to obsess about, I decided that I have to have these for my bathroom at home.

Oh, right ... did somebody say jousting?
Here comes one!
Hello, Lady!
Fortunately for the attention span of anyone still reading this, the battery in my camera died. Suffice to say that those jousters do not eff around. Sadly, the novelty of eating a meal sans utensils (authentically of-the-era, don'tcha know?) was somewhat soured by the other novelty of eating a meal amidst the odor of horse poop.

plodding along with paper products

I've been wanting to make lined envelopes, to fancy up our invitations a little. And I finally figured out how to do it, without spending $$ plus shipping to order a template that I'll never use again.
All I needed was this stuff, a roll of wrapping paper from the clearance aisle at Target that cost 85¢, and a box of 150 leftover Ivory A7 envelopes bought from a girl in Westwood. (Again, Sir Craig, I salute you.)

Step 1: grab a used manila folder
Step 2: carefully measure one of the envelopes you'll be lining, and subtract about 1/2" from the width & height for the ideal liner size. Cut the manila folder into a template to trace onto the wrapping paper.
Step 3: dig remainder of manila file from trash for when you screw this up the 1st time, and try again
Step 4: start cutting!

I'm not sure exactly how long this took, but I watched most of "The Biggest Loser" last night, and listened to a fair amount of Jim Rome's radio show this morning. (Yes, I'm demographically schizophrenic. What of it?)

How many envelope liners does one average-sized roll of wrapping paper make?
About 60.

I made an assembly line to keep from losing my place (and mind). First, I cut the wrapping paper & placed each liner inside an envelope. Then I went back through my stack & glued the liners down. Finally, I used a bone folder to crease the liners along the envelope fold.

The best part is how well everything is matching so far.

That sheet of paper is the stationary for our invites. The ribbon below is what's going to bind the various pieces together.

The colors of the liner look a little grayer on film than they are in person -- everything's a really nice, creamy palette.

In the rest of my spare time, I've been working on these:

I bought 12 styrofoam balls, but only need 6 to hang on the chairs at our ceremony. The decorator lady from our party venue suggested re-using them to decorate the patio at the party, which I think is a great idea -- so I'm just going to make all 12 into these paper pomanders. (Original project how-to found here.) It occurred to me that we could hang 2 from each chair at the ceremony ... but I'm wondering if that won't make it appear as if our chairs have testicles. Thoughts?

... Is all of this starting to erode my sanity? Why do you ask?

27 April 2009

a better perspective

I need to hang out with my friend Tolley more often. I auditioned for a project she's casting today, and while we were chatting afterwards I told her that my non-planning snit was still running strong. (She knows ... she reads this.)

Her: Couldn't spending time with someone who's doing a reading at your wedding technically be considered "doing wedding stuff"?

Me: I should think so.

Her: Mani/pedi?

Me: I love you.

And that's how I found myself in a tiny shop on Robertson, being massaged simultaneously by 3 surprisingly strong Asian women. (Hands, feet, shoulders.) I kind of want to live there.

I skipped nail polish, because one of the things I know about myself is that I will ruin it before I get to my car. Tolley suggested that I get them buffed (am I really writing about this? No wonder my friends are teasing me ...) and I have to say, they look quite nice. I should do this a couple more times before my hands are featured prominently in photographs.

As an old model (you know, over 23) I have a wealth of model tricks to make things look better in pictures. (No one puts Preparation H under their eyes -- that one's an urban myth.) But my hands ... they've always been a lost cause. To wit: I remember being asked by my first Italian modeling agent, Alfonso, to show him my hands and see if I could be sent on specialty jobs. (Go ahead, say "hand jobs." I'll wait.) The girl in line in front of me had the most elegant hands, with smooth skin & long, narrow fingers. (Think you obsess about your body?) "Like a classical piano player," he said approvingly. And then he looked at my hands.

"You ... you have hands like you've been working in the field." This from the more-than-a-little-portly, hairy man who once pinched my stomach & told me to lose one kilo. (That's 2.2 lbs. for those of you playing the home game.) But I digress ... my point is, my hands are strong, and generally useful, but not exceptionally pretty. And when I'm at S Factor, we use spray bottles of rubbing alcohol to keep the poles non-slippery. Try grinding that toxic stuff into your cuticles 4 days a week, and tell me how your hands look.

But after today, I'm willing to consider moving them out of the "lost cause" column.

Also, in addition to my episode of "House" airing tonight (woo hoo!!), I booked the play I went out for a few days ago. Apparently, I'm going to be playing most if not all of the female roles, which is awesome on two counts. First, because that's going to be a lot of fun, and second, because I won't have to do my wretched Nicholson impression in public.

25 April 2009

when procrastination equals planning

I bought the latest issue of Martha Stewart Weddings three days ago, and I haven't read it yet. Not because I'm testing myself, in some sort of weird willpower-that-no one-will-ever-see exercise, but just because I haven't bothered yet. I view this as tremendous progress in re-claiming my sanity.

In other, "real" progress this week, Mr. UB's father, aka His Dad, has come through with a major favor: the Mark Hopkins Hotel, where he always stays when he's in the city for business, is giving our wedding party & guests rooms at $75/night.

It's an incredibly nice hotel, with a bar on the top floor (in a building at the top of a hill) that has views to die for. And in a city that's not exactly famous for its hotel bargains ... as much as I try to keep her in check, my inner snob is very happy. On our budget, I was afraid we'd be at a Motel 6.

I'm amazed at how many things are coming together for this wedding. Maybe I should take another week off from planning, and see if a free-roaming caterer rings my doorbell.

23 April 2009

the Actress Diaries, ch. 3

{At the suggestion of A.Mountain.Bride, who was actually helpful in response to my griping about wedding burn-out, I'm just going to ramble on about my strange days as an actress in L.A. Please note that, even when I seem like I'm whining, I'm still very happy that I don't work in a cubicle.}

Yesterday was quite the busy day. Three auditions, a photo shoot, and an S class to teach. (Yes, I slept well when it was over.) Part of my brain is always in Observation Mode, because I'm aware of just how absurd most of what constitutes an actor's day is. It helps me keep my sense of humor about it ... most of the time.

Audition #1: Low-budget feature film (that's a movie that barely pays, in non-jargon). It was in the valley, which is also known as the portal to the sun on warm days, so I was happy to be going there early. I had to wait longer than expected, and as I sat there going over my script, I noticed the conference room we were sitting in had rather strange decor:
It's hard to tell in the crappy cell phone pic I took on the sly, but all of the posters on the wall (required by law in an office where movies are produced) were covered with plain brown paper.

For the un-initiated, the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles is widely known as the epicenter of pornography production worldwide. Yes, we're so proud. I took a few seconds to process this, and texted Mr. UB:

Me: All the movie posters in this production office are covered by brown paper. I'm in the valley. I smell a porno!

Him: Ew.

Me: google _____ pls

Him: There's a company that made 1 movie in 1990. It starred Esai Morales.

Me: weird but not scary

Him: also an anime company, but that would be a voice-over audition. ____ is a popular name.

Him again: Oh, wait. Yep, there's a porn company called that. Run!

Of course by the time that message came through, it was already my turn to audition. They were polite & normal-seeming, and liked my read. All in all, I'm guessing their company is trying to "cross-over" into mainstream stuff. (Because crappy B-movies are where the real money is?!) The character I was reading for is a reporter investigating a serial killer who's targeting porn stars. Here comes my Oscar bid.

Audition #2: A play, which is being produced by people who's last show I did. (That last show, "All About Walken," was sheer brilliance & heaps of fun to do. It re-enacted the life & times of Christopher Walken, both on & off-screen, with 8 different actors playing Walken. Two were women, 2 were Asian, all were hilarious.) Their new show is going to be "All About Jack." As in Nicholson. I suspect hilarity will ensue. We weren't given a script for the audition, so I went in just expecting to riff with P., the writer/producer/head guy in charge.

P: Do you do a Jack impression?

Me: Um, no.

P: Try.

Me: (painfully unsuccessful attempt, accompanied by the realization that I should've predicted this, and perhaps PREPARED?!?!)

P: Okay, moving on. How about these women -- Faye Dunaway.

Me: Vaguely Transylvanian, with a beret & a cigarette holder. Sister! Daughter! Sister! Daughter!

P: Shelley Duvall.

Me: You're gonna have to be Kubrick & call me a worthless dumbass for several months. No, seriously, I always picture her in Faerie Tale Theatre, dressed in a huge princess gown, with that wide, odd smile of hers.

P: Jane Fonda

Me: (on the floor doing Jazzercize) Feel the burn & you can marry a billionaire!

P: Kim Basinger.

Me: Ooh! Vicky Vale - best comic book heroine name ever. (Mussing my hair, using breathy voice) "F**k you, Katie Holmes!"

I think it went well. We shall see.

On the way to my photo shoot, I stopped by the dry cleaners because I needed to ransom out a shirt for my last audition. They were using these new green canvas "eco-friendly" re-usable garment bags. As in non-transparent. As in, I got home & realized that I had someone else's clothes. And I didn't like them better than mine.
Me: "F**k you, Earth Day!" (I sometimes lose that sense of humor. Usually when it impacts my feeding schedule, like when I have to make a second freakin' trip to the damned dry cleaners. Grrrr.)

Photo shoot: Product shots for S Factor's new & improved website.

I enjoy these because I don't have to fix my make-up.

Audition #3: Short film. Really interesting script, where I got to play an actress for the first time. It's an interesting exercise to "change characters" mid-script like that. Although they made me do a French accent on the fly ... dammit, that is on my resume, isn't it? I was pleased with how I did, but the absolute best part: they validated parking. Hooray, saving $12!

Work: (Yes, none of the above really constituted "going to work" for me. And people wonder why I'm a little nuts sometimes.) I love teaching my classes. It's the only possible explanation for how I could work out for 2 hours (8-10pm) after a day like this one. The best part is that I think my last 2 girls are going to sign on for another session with me -- no small thing, in this economy. I wish sometimes that there was a way to give it away for free ... but that seems like a poor business plan. Yet another reason why I teach, instead of working upstairs in Corporate.

Dear OPEC: Please lower the price of gasoline. Thank you.

21 April 2009

chuck it all

It's finally happened: Wedding Blog Burnout. I did next to nothing in regards to wedding planning last week, and could barely even bring myself to look at my daily roster of must-read wedding blogs. Perhaps because work has (finally) picked back up & I have less free time? Perhaps because I was still reeling from our best man's joust-a-thon birthday party? Or because I've just reached a saturation point?

The truth is, I don't really care. Mr. UB is being his usual amazing self & picking up the slack. And I've got scripts to study for three (3!) auditions tomorrow. I'm sure this is just a temporary lapse ... but forgive me, for not having a damn thing to say about the shindig we're planning.

Oh, and I'm trying to swear less, ever since I found out how many family members are reading this. (Hi, Aunt Lee!) Please feel free to follow my lead & blame Billy Bob.

18 April 2009

sooner than I expected

So apparently my episode of "House" is going to air in 2 weeks. That's Monday the 27th, for those of you playing the home game. 8pm PDT on Fox.

A couple of people have told me they "saw" me in this. By which I think they mean that I told them what I was doing, and they saw a blonde hair-blur in approxmately that position. But whatev's -- I'll take it. I made the promo. Woo hoo!

15 April 2009

now that's just silly

Okay, this is only tangentially related to wedding planning, but I can justify it on the grounds that a) it started as a thought about Our Future Home decor, b) swung past a Former Idea For B'maid Gifts, and c) well, it's just a blog, afterall. And my damn blog, at that. Besides, I sometimes need to come up for air, y'know?

So yesterday was my first day in a long while working for one of my personal assistant clients. How long a while? He didn't know I was engaged. I'd suspected that the reasons for my discontinued employment could've been a) he's in the financial biz, and may have needed to cut expenses, b) his new girlfriend wasn't crazy about me being around (Errand Monkeys can be very ... threatening?) or c) reports of my untimely demise had been slightly exaggerated. At any rate, he's a zero-maintenance client, and I'm glad to be working for him again. (He's also single again ... any gals out there within spitting distance of Pasadena? There's a good one on the market.)

One of the things he's been up to is renovating a house with his brother. I went by yesterday to take notes on a few remaining projects, and had to bite my tongue not to blurt out "I love it! We'll buy it!" Mainly because I thought I should run things by Mr. UB before making such a commitment. But it put my brain back into its "I can't wait 'til we start making a home together" groove.

And then I found an ad for Engrish.com in my inbox. For the un-initiated, Engrish is the peculiar, ubiquitous mangling of the English language on signs/advertisements in Asian countries. I have a weakness for it because I spent a year in Japan when I started modelling. The stuff is everywhere, and it's often hysterical. To wit:
I kinda want this poster next to the bathroom mirror. Just in case I forget why I'm there.

I'd originally thought of these as b'maid gifts:
But I'm pretty sure they already know that.

And I have no idea who these would be for, but I love them anyway:

Unfortunately, I'm not making any frivolous purchases right now. But I'm saving the link.

13 April 2009

celebrity garbage i actually care about

It's hard sometimes, living in L.A., especially when I'm working for the casting biz, to avoid Useless Celebrity News. The weird part is how much I know about shows/people I've never seen, due to the relentlessness of the coverage. My favorite morning radio show breaks down the train-wreck reality show du jour (so I can disdain what I do not watch) and somehow a lot of what appears on TMZ seeps into my brain.

But two things have happened over the last few days that a) concern celebrities, and b) matter to me. I shall break it down here:

1) Phil Spector convicted of murdering Lana Clarkson in the 2nd degree. (For non-US-based readers, that means an intentional killing that was not pre-meditated.) Spector's first trial for killing Clarkson ended in a hung jury two years ago.

I've had a personal reason to pay attention to this trial, over the last six (6!) years. You see, I was booked to work a print modelling job with Lana Clarkson two days after she died. It was a good gig -- a nice "commercial rate" for a print ad, for an electronics company, to be used in Sweden only. They shot several models over 3 days, and Lana & I were supposed to work the same date. I only found this out because the producer on the job used to be my L.A. print agent (big city, small business) and we got to talking during some down time.

It really pissed me off, how the defense smeared this woman in the public -- calling her a "failed actress," an "aging starlet," and worse. The fact that she was still booking print work at age 40 was proof that nothing was over yet for her; she had a body of work that, while admittedly not A-level, insured that she'd be able to make a comfortable living for some time to come. I don't think the wider world realizes how many people in "show business" are considered successful, even if they aren't household names.

I can say with 99.9% certainty that, after 19 years in this business, of all the times that I've been down enough to consider "ending things" (which are mercifully few) ... days before a high-paying print gig was never one of those times. That creepy fucking troll killed her, and he deserves to rot for it.

2) "Billy Bob" is Ar-kansan for JackAss. I refuse to post the actual video on my blog, but you can follow the link above. It's got over 1.6 million hits on YouTube, so people probably know what I'm talking about.

Basically, Billy Bob Thornton went on a national Canadian radio show to promote his band, which was on tour at the time. The host of the show dared to mention that Thornton was also known as an Oscar-winning actor & screenwriter ... which prompted him (Thornton) to give the host the "silent treatment," a la a tempermental 3 yr-old, for the remainder of the interview.

I don't know where the f**k people get off. I mean, seriously ... you were one of those non-famous-but-working people I mentioned earlier, and you were lucky/talented enough to become a bona-fide star on top of it. How dare you berate the radio guy, telling him that he "was instructed not to talk about that"? Do you think anyone would care about your ratty-ass band, if it weren't for your celebrity? The host was dead-on correct when he said that you're a young band, and even the greats needed sufficiently more than 2 years to garner accolades in the press. Oh, and if you didn't ever want your "secret" acting life mentioned, then what the hell was this?

You twice admonished the host with "Would you ask that of Tom Petty?" Mr. Thornton: do you really pre-suppose that your musical career is comparable to that of Tom Petty? Because I'll save you the trouble -- it's not. And guess what? Tom Petty's acting career (his music videos + what else? ...) isn't comparable to yours. So get the fuck over it, and answer the questions like a big boy.

I truly hope that someday I can have the horrendous burden of dealing with interviewers mentioning that I've won an oscar or two. Until that happens, though, I admire your fortitude. How do you stand it?

I think my "favorite" part, though, is watching your band-mates squirm as they realize what's happening. The "I hate when mommy makes daddy hit her" expressions on their faces are as priceless as they are disturbing.

I recently heard a different radio interview that featured a friend of mine who's "made it" on a successful TV show. I don't know what's become of him, or if it was too early in the morning, or maybe Jupiter wasn't aligning well with Venus that day ... but the humble, sweet guy I used to work with did not make an appearance. Instead, there was this unrecognizable, smug zombie who seemed to be trying to make the host (and his listeners) feel unworthy of his time and attention. And as someone who would sell a limb, or possibly even a non-essential family member, for the incredible opportunities that either of these jerk-offs have ... it boggles my mind. Can we all just get the fuck over ourselves, and remember that we're acting, not curing cancer? Thank you.

Oh ... one more thing: Billy Bob -- is your band's name really a juvenile sexual innuendo? 'Cuz that's classy.

10 April 2009

because I'm just that good

Wedding Front News:
1) We've officially booked our ceremony and reception venues. Woo hoo!

2) Dad has a truck. Dad lives in S.F. Which means we won't have to pay $200 to get $70 worth of chairs delivered to the ceremony site. Yay, dad!

3) We met with the decorator lady from the reception site. She understands our budget. Phew!

4) I'm on my way down to the LBC after work tomorrow, to pick up some linens. $100 will give us just about everything we need, and we can re-coup some of the cost by selling it when we're done. Craig, I heart you.

5) A hint of possible future wonderfulness arrived tonight, c/o the fabulous His Parents. Even if it doesn't pan out, I'm just so touched by their generosity.

6) It's almost Easter. Hooray, bunnies!

(yeah, it's a rabbit with a comp card. whaddya want from me? it's L.A.)

7) This is officially Post #101. How'd that happen? Thanks for coming along for the ride. You kids keep me sane.*

*as long as we're grading on a curve.

i'll take Random for 500

Does anyone else always try to pronounce the weird-ass wavy "words" that pop up when you post a comment, to make sure you're not a) a robot, b) impersonating a robot, or c) short on patience? Because I do, and some of them are freaking me out.

Also, in the last 24 hours, two of my supposed non-words have been "trout" and "sperm."

I'm actively trying not to see a connnection.

08 April 2009

i heart my hat!

My veil/hat/fascinator thingy (yes, that's a technical term; please try to keep up) is ready!

(I think I'll wear it a little more to the side than the bottom photo shows.)


I met the lovely, amazing Kelly, aka Satanica, at a local craft fair called Unique L.A., back in December. I'd gone to the event on a hunt for "stuff I need for the wedding," without having any idea what that stuff might be. After wandering around cluelessly for almost as much time as I had on my meter (parking downtown = grrrrr) I found her stand. As I pawed, repeatedly, through a wide variety of veiled hats & headbands, she mentioned that she could custom-make something for me, if I didn't see exactly what I wanted. Oh, swoon.

The best part is that I bartered a little for an extra-friendly price. I'm "donating" my modelling skills for her upcoming photo-shoot needs. Hooray!

And just in case you're wondering, Satanica is her stage name, from back when she used to twirl fire batons.

** Holy crap ... I have a veil. I'm getting freakin' married!

05 April 2009

Houston, we have a venue!

Not that I think the city of Houston would care. And while my Gay Ex-Boyfriend's last name is pronounced "Houston", I frankly don't think he's aware of our wedding plans, and it would be odd, to say the least, for me to call him out of the blue & inform him. (How I ended up dating a gay man for 11 months is a story for another day. Which I may or may not get to. Moving on.)

We found a venue for our L.A. fiesta!

(images from their website)
This is Malibu West Beach Club. It's exactly what we need -- a great big room, in a gorgeous location, for an affordable price. They even want you to BYO vendors, which means we can make full use of our friends' offers to help us with stuff like drinks & food.

It already has a dance floor, and the cost of the rental includes tables & chairs and the clean-up fee. It has a great food-prep kitchen, complete with wet bar. They also have big tables for things like a buffet, cake and favors.

The best part: weekday rentals are discounted at 50% of the regular rate. Everything from pricing to available dates are easily found on their website. (Side note: why the hell are most places so damn coy about those things?!?) They don't consider Friday to be a "weekday" -- grammatically amusing, even as it's fiscally understandable. My favorite quote from our meeting with their event coordinator: "Monday is the new Friday." Um, okay. And Tuesday is the new October. Whatever -- we love it and we can afford it. Done.

Now there's just the simple matter of squaring the whole "small S.F. ceremony followed by big, informal L.A. party" thing with the nay-sayers. Normally, I wouldn't consider their opinions worthy of a vote. Except that the loudest member of said camp is Mr. UB. (Yes, exactly -- oh dear.)

To be fair, the exactly 5 people who don't live an easy car drive from one city or the other are all his family & friends. (Well, I really hope that my friend Carla will be coming from Italy, but I'm waiting to sort all of this crap out before I talk logistics with her. Otherwise she might buy a plane ticket for the wrong date/city.) I came up with the extraordinarily novel idea that he should, rather than just fretting silently/arguing with me ... you know, call and ask them. (I know. I'm a rare sort of genius. It's my cross to bear.)

His buddy in Florida promptly responded, "Dude, it's your wedding -- of course I'll be there." Of course, a) he's in the wedding, which necessitates the S.F. part, and b) he's "an enthusiastic heterosexual" who knows that many of my S Girls will be at the L.A. party. But who am I to question the man's motives? I'm just thrilled to hear that it's not a problem. One down.

His friends from New York are also in the wedding -- both of them. Groomsman (him) and Officiant (her). We need them, to say the least. Fortunately, they can make our new date in S.F. (phew!), and are going to try to combine our L.A. party with an already-planned trip to see her parents in Santa Barbara. Perfect! (They'll actually be closer to the north end of Malibu, coming from S.B., than I will, living east of Hollywood.) So that's three.

Which must've been enough to tip the scales. On our way to a game show run-through today (we pretended to play the game as part of the pitch to the network) I mentioned that we need to put money down this week to keep our date for the Palace. He asked me if I really, really wanted to get married there. I said yes, and he said okay. I love him.

And in hindsight, it's probably good that I asked him before the run-through. Because as part of the game, I had to feed him a chocolate-covered onion. While he was blindfolded, and couldn't see it coming.

It's a good thing I travel with Altoids.

02 April 2009

music, maestro

I mentioned our "wedding band" in my Playlist from Hell post a few days ago, but I didn't say much about them. It turns out they have a website ... well, a MySpace page, actually (and did you know that MySpace started as a networking site specialized to bands, before it became a way to get famous by being a giant whore?) so I can tell you more about them.

Meet Sensei John Kreese & the Cobra Kai Dojo:
Perhaps you can see why I put "wedding band" in quotes. Russ, aka the Guy in the Red Bandana (and yes, you can call him Sensei) is one of our groomsmen. We went to see his band play a gig recently, and it was beyond fantastic. (How fantastic? We drove to f**king Fullerton.) In the midst of dancing like very silly white people, recently arrived from 1984, Mr. UB blurted out "Will you guys play at our wedding?"

Now, lest you think he lacks manners, I need you to understand that my fiance does not normally ask his friends to perform their professional services at his random bequest. But he was in a rare state of Sustained Bon Jovi Exposure, and it went to his head. Lucky for us, they said yes!

They wear ghees. They play covers (from Zepplin through the John Hughes movie soundtrack era). They're loud & funny & better musicians than their gimmick would indicate. (In fact, they're all music conservatory graduate students.) They're unbelievably fun. And I can't wait to dance all night at my wedding.

** If you have no idea who Sensei John Kreese is, click here. Or here. And stop reminding me that I was born before you.

we went shopping ...

We went shopping today for our wedding bands. It was a spur of the moment, "I'm 2 minutes from your apartment getting my windshield repaired (stoopid truck) and I know your job interview isn't until 2:00" kind of thing.

I knew that he had the Ghost of Turban Man -- almost a full ounce of gold. I had Stuff From Mom -- a ring & earrings that my dad gave me when I was a kid (they'd lived in her jewelry box, just waiting for me to need them) and the remnants of Mom's wedding ring from my dad. Which apparently has donated all but one of its diamonds to other causes over the years. Whatev's. We had gold and we had a stone. We were off to the jewelers.

Mr. UB found a lovely little shop just blocks from his home. They made my engagement ring, so I liked them already. And they're going to take all of our materiƩl, which should total between 1/3 to 1/2 of the cost of the wedding bands we picked out.

This is weird. And not just because the Jeweler Lady got all teary-eyed about "Gran Torino" when we were talking about movies. But because we keep taking all of these little steps that drive the reality of "We're Getting Married" home for each of us. For him, it was while on the drive home from the venue we found in Malibu. For me, it was handing over the teensy sapphires my dad got me as a kid + the remnants of my parents' wedding ring, for a Much Higher Purpose.

"There are more things in heaven & earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

... or something like that.

(Image on Flickr here.)

01 April 2009

what about Bob?

One of the neighbor kids drew a picture of Bob on the steps to my apartment.
You know ... B.O.B. from Monsters vs. Aliens? One eye? Blue? Yeah, that Bob.

I'm surprised, because I don't usually get nice surprises involving the neighbor kids. I'm more accustomed to hearing things like, "Hey, Jess. That kid's standing on your car." (Yes, really. I've started waxing it with olive oil -- it's a Beetle.) But I really liked that movie, and I especially liked Bob.

Of course, now I have to step over the drawing when I come up the stairs. I'd feel rude, stepping on Bob.