26 October 2009

wedding recap: ceremony readings

With a guest list of only 40 people, the Mr. & I wanted to keep the number of "attendants" to a reasonable number. (Yes, that's me adding the parentheses -- there are some things I just can't take too seriously. Like having people "attend" to us. But I digress ...)

The only problem with this was how to include as many people in the goings-on as possible. We had His Parents enter at the beginning of the processional, and both My Mom & My Dad walked me down the aisle. And we included two more of our friends by asking them to do readings. (Yes, the 2nd person reading is dressed as a groomsman -- he generously stepped into that role, too, for a friend who couldn't make it from the east coast.)

So: the near-&-dear people were in ... but what to have them read? My brain was glazing over at this point, so thankfully they both stepped up with suggestions. Perfect suggestions.

First, our friend T. read Shakespeare's Sonnet #119.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love

Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove:

O no! it is an ever-fixed mark

That looks on tempests and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wandering bark,

Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle's compass come:

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,

But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,

I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

(We're both actors, so this was both lovely & extra-fitting.)

Then groomsman R. read "Oh, The Places You'll Go!" by Dr. Seuss. (I credited him as Theodor Geisel on the programs, so as not to give it away.)
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look’em over with care. About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.” With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down a not-so-good street.

And you may not find any you’ll want to go down. In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out of town. It’s opener there in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!

You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)

Kid, you’ll move mountains!
So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So get on your way!

(We're also both very silly.)

It was the perfect combination of "us" ....

23 October 2009

the Actress Diaries, ch. 9

So this is what happens when you have actor friends. Who call you with 2 hours notice. And don't have a script (thank YOU, improv classes!). But they can edit fast.

Imagine if that kid who was never in a balloon in the first place turned up at 36, trying to wrangle a reality show out of his "fame". (These things don't seem remotely unreasonable when you live in Los Angeles.)

(It's a little wide -- click on the video to see the whole thing in a new window.)

If it makes you giggle, click "funny", won't you?

treading water

General status update:

*Closed the show. Don't know if we'll be back -- it's an amazing project, but theater is extra-hard right now. Stoopid economy, wrecking all our fun.

*Been sick all week. This always happens after I close a show. Despite valiant efforts to the contrary, apparently one cannot expend that much energy indefinitely. At least, not without consequences. Sneeze.

*Fired our first realtor. He's a nice guy, and a friend-of-a-friend. But he's also effing flakey, and we can't afford to only make it out 1 of every 3 times we have an appointment to see places. I'm afraid I'm gonna kill somebody (possibly somebody I like) without at least the appearance of progress.

*Had one friend give up & move home, and news that another friend's band is breaking up. Tough week to stay inspired.

* This helped:
I saw 3 deer on Monday. In Pasadena. Only one of them stood still long enough for me to get a picture, but there were 3 of them. Right there in the middle of the big bad city. I gotta figure -- if freaking Bambi can hack it here ...

14 October 2009

the Actress Diaries, ch. 7 & 8

Chapter 7: The Pole Whisperer

(No, that's not what the show is really called. But since I'm playing another stripper ... and yes, that's 4 this year. I seem to have found my niche. Mom's gonna be so proud.)

Time I was due on set: 9am.
Time I got into hair/ make-up/ wardrobe: immediately.
Time my first scene started shooting: 5pm.
Next time anybody you know says they want to be an actor ... ask them why. Please. Then tell me. (I'll be the one playing with her iPhone for 8 hours in a trailer.)

I just found out my episode airs Friday, November 6th at 8pm PST. Set your DVR, and don't blink or you'll miss me.

Chapter 8: San Francisco

The play I'm currently in went on the road last weekend, to San Francisco. And it was just ... one of those trips. I gave our newest cast member a mafia nickname ("Charlie Underpants"). Our resident pothead provided constant amusement as he attempted to score weed off everyone from an abuela at a bus stop in the 'burbs, to "his crackhead" in the city. We went sightseeing at midnight on Sunday. And the show went well, too.

Actually, Saturday's show was the best performance I've ever been a part of -- every joke hit, and we could literally do no wrong. I had a ton of family come -- though I'm glad I didn't know my dad was in the front row until after the show, especially during the scene where Fidel Castro snorts coke off my boobs. It may have helped that the crowd was drinking heavily (Sunday they were much quieter), but whatever. It was truly awesome.

I'm still getting used to Traveling While Married. But telling a guy "Look, I'm married, so you've got no shot, but if you want to stand here & keep buying me drinks & acting like you're getting somewhere, I will flirt with you 'til last call" actually worked: it limited the creepy & netted a few cocktails.

Also, I learned that unorthodox professions can confuse service industry professionals. To wit: the waiter who asked "What are you in town for?" and was told "We're a traveling band of Jack Nicholson impersonators," is probably still not sure if we meant it. When he asked me, "Really?" I told him, "No, I play a representative sample of all the women he's slept with." That didn't seem to help very much. Oh well.

Last show in L.A. is tonight -- woo hoo!

playing hooky

I'm supposed to be doing "real" posts about our wedding, but I'm distracted. A) We're trying to find a house, and it's just not sane out there, kids. At least, not in our price range. And B) I've been busy with Ahk-ting. For money, even. But I'll get to that eventually. For now, I just want to post silly photos that make me giggle.

Yes, babe, that's a much better use of the reception decor. Excellent work.

To be honest, I have no idea what's happening here ... there are so many options. But I love that Marija captured it. This may be my Christmas card this year. "Happy Holidays, and Don't Even Jest About Taking My Slice of Cake!"

My friends are awesome. Notice the lack of boys -- they were all hiding on the deck outside. Wussies.

Yes, we'll probably photoshop the panties out when we make prints for the parentals. Probably.

08 October 2009

cost breakdown: candy buffet

One of the biggest "non-practical" elements of our wedding was our candy buffet. (It's also one of the only things featured in wedding magazines that I fell in love with. What can I say? I'm not completely impervious to pretty pictures.) I'm sure that we could have come up with a less expensive cost-per-guest party favor, but I figured that people had earned their sugar comas after all the dancing at our reception!

We had 9 different containers in our buffet: 3 apothecary jars & 2 decorative plates, all snagged at Ross. (I started looking very early in our planning process, in order to take advantage of post-Christmas sales. I basically grabbed anything white or metallic I could get my hands on.) I got creative when I found 2 big mercury class candle holders at Target (I just covered the pointy thing in the bottom with tissue paper), and I made a cake stand from a tutorial on OnceWed.com. At the last minute, I found a giant clear-glass vase that I already owned -- score!

Total: $69.18

For the candy, I realized pretty quickly that while lots of websites out there offer "discount bulk candy", the overnight shipping required to get it to Southern California in the summer, hopefully without melting, was a potential budget-buster. I got as much of it as I could at a local warehouse in downtown L.A.

10 lbs. each grapefruit sour gummies, butterscotch & Hershey's kisses = $68.88.

I got the rest from 2 online resources, and went for the 2-day shipping in protective packaging (still cheaper than overnighting it) just before temps soared for the summer.

10 lbs. each 7-up jelly bellies & white jordan almonds from bulkfoods.com = $99.56 + approx. $60 shipping.
10 lbs. "milkies" (like M&M's, but without the "M" so cheaper) & 5 lbs. champagne bubbles from Groovy Candies = $115.85 + approx. $40 shipping.

I also got 5 lbs. of white mints from Smart & Final for about $10. And somehow I got it into my head that I'd have a) the time, and b) the skill to make a thing or two. Yeah, I know ... overly ambitious = me. Fortunately, after my test run turned out poorly, I found these at Target:

White Oreos! Who knew?! (I didn't.) About $10 for 3 bags.

I made the signs for each container with leftover cardstock from our invitations -- printed at Kinko's -- and attached it with ribbon I found on sale. Instead of buying pricey labels from some online site, I printed some using Word on my home computer:

They seemed to get what I wanted to say across ... and I already had those labels, so they were free.

We decorated the table with the leftover bubble liquid bottles from our ceremony, and some matchbook notebooks that I made. I used the cardstock samples I'd bought when looking for our invitation paper, plus stamps that were in the set used on our invitations & plain computer paper. The upside to doing things yourself = re-purposing your leftovers!

I found the big scoops at a local party supply store (about $10) & decorated them with the same ribbon as on the container signs, and got the bags through a wholesale company. (I ended up with twice the amount I needed, so after selling the extras on Craigslist, they cost a net $13.)

Altogether, the candy buffet cost us about $545. Admittedly, it was kind of an extravagance, and I might have changed my mind if I'd known about the extra $100 in shipping charges from the beginning ... but it turned out beautifully, our guests loved it, and I was really proud of myself for pulling it off. So if anyone out there is planning something similar, I hope you find this useful!

01 October 2009

random return to recaps: dancing

... Who knows why I do anything anymore, let alone understands my timing? So: just because:

We originally planned to have a live band at our reception, but when that started to get expensive & complicated we switched to my iPod, which worked perfectly. (In hindsight, I would've changed the crossfade time between songs to zero, but that's just me nit-picking.)

For our First Dance, we danced to "You Are The Best Thing" by Ray LaMontagne. I'm going to attempt to re-create our conversation, based on the pics.
Me: "This is such a sweet song. And we're doing so well!"

Him: "We're not half bad at this. We should take lessons."
Me: "Sounds fun!"

Him: "Ow!"
Me: "Oops -- sorry! You know I don't know how to follow!"

Him: "Dammit, woman! Good thing I think you're hot."

Me: "Hehe ... wait, really? A Spin? Um, those lessons haven't happened yet ... "

Me: "Phew -- made it!"

Me: "Again? Okay ... watch your toes!"

Me: "Show off."
Him: "Yup!"

Me: "Hey, where'd your jacket go?"

Him: "Quiet, Woman! I'm getting funky."
Me: "Oh dear. Help! Assistance! GIRLS!!"

Me: "That's it -- create a diversion. Excellent work!"

(That's just a view from the balcony of everyone dancing under the lights. 'Cuz I think it's pretty.)

** all photos by Marija Thomas Photography