• mallorean
  • stiff"
  • pledged"
  • Buffy"

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Style, Color, and Cost... my current enemies

Finding bridesmaid dresses is difficult.  To find the winning dress, three factors need to be met:

1)  style

2)  color

3)  cost

So far in my experience I may have as many as two factors met, but there is always the third one lurking out there. 

As for 1) style... I can't have strapless.  Why?  Because a) strapless doesn't usually fit everyone correctly and they'll probably be unwilling to get alterations, so then it just won't look right  b) I don't want any photos with people pulling up their strapless dress  c) one of my maids said she's uncomfortable in strapless and d) I don't want boobs everywhere.

This should be fine, except that it seems almost all the popular style bridesmaid dresses are strapless!  But, we can still work around this.

Considering 2) color... this is, in my opinion, maybe the hardest part.  You can't really search dresses by color, you have to fall in love with a style first, only to find that it doesn't come in the colors you like.  Many people have suggested that I use David's Bridal or Alfred Angelo, who offer the two piece dresses where the bridesmaid can pick the top and bottom that they're most comfortable in.  This sounds great and all, but I really don't like the colors that these places offer... they're usually pretty bland. 

I had wanted to use a shade of green, but green is an easy color to mess up.  You could end up with a shade of puke.  The color of these dresses will influence all the other colors of things that are used in the wedding.  It is no easy task.

All of my bridesmaid have so far been understanding with 3) cost.  I explained straight up that weddings are expensive because I didn't want anyone to feel manhandled or guilted into having to pay for various things.  One bm dress that's on the table right now is this chiffon, tea length Jim Hjelm dress.  At Netbride it will be about $154; at a boutique it will certainly be more.  $154 isn't obscene for a bridesmaid dress and not a deal-breaker, but being under $150 would be nice.  A few things I love about this dress is that it's chiffon (ie, flowy), the colors it comes in are gorgeous (great, subtle hues rather than flat primary colors), and it comes with a ribbon (I really like the idea of having some color contrast... maybe a sage colored dress with a chocolate ribbon?). 

I haven't tried the Jim Hjelm on yet, and that really makes all the difference in the world.  I'll have to make that a priority.

A dress I more recently found is this chiffon, tea length Jasmine Bridal (B2) dress.  I tried it on on Sunday, and it fit great and was very flattering.  I think all the bms would be comfortable in it, and they could even wear it again without looking too "bridesmaidy" in it.  At the store where I found it, it's $150... but if you buy 5 or more (which we would), it's $135 per dress.  But it doesn't come with a ribbon (I could buy a ribbon separately, but would that look alright?) and good old 2) color is causing me some grief.  The colors aren't bad, they just don't make me go wild.  Of course, I'd need to look more closely at color swatches in a store. 

Of course the bms don't need their dresses for a long time yet, but because the color is such an influential part in the rest of the planning it would be nice to know. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Dear Blog

Yes, I went away for a while.  When you're in a crunch at work, and a crunch at home, and you're not even home on the weekends, things happen.  You know I don't like to explain myself.

I've come to terms a bit with my school dilemma.  I think it may still all work out, although I did drop the class for this fall.  I am still trying to finish the two classes I'm currently enrolled in.

Fiance and I have booked our photographer, DJ, cake person, and today I am sending in the check to the minister.  Big things still to do include: wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, ceremony music, and florist.  And, of course, all the other million things that go into weddings.  It's nice to have those big things under our belt, though.

I tried on some wedding dresses for the first time on Sunday with my mom.  I liked all the ones I tried on, so how do I pick one?  Those things are ridiculously heavy... I should probably try to find something much lighter so that I can actually walk. 

Better, richer updates will follow... for now I just wanted to say, "I'm still alive."

Thursday, August 16, 2007



They say that bad things always look better in the morning, but what happens when they don't?  Last night I took another BIO exam and, as has been my pattern lately, I didn't do well at all.  I'm not saying, "Oh, no, I got a B!"  I'm saying bad.

I'm desperate to pull off an acceptable grade in this class and the PSYCH class.  The second half of the BIO class (fall semester) starts August 22, even though the current two classes I'm taking don't end until September 10.  I don't see any possible way I could finish either of the classes before August 22, and I would start this new BIO class being behind again, as usual.  So last night, although I didn't want to at all, I dropped the second half of the BIO class.

It's terrifying.  It means that I probably won't be able to go to grad school Fall '08 because I won't have enough prerequisites under my belt.  It's terrifying also because I don't know when I will be able to take more classes.  Spring and Summer '08 are already looking insane.  Let's think about what my Spring '08 will look like - four weddings, lots of wedding showers including my own, wedding planning all over the place... I just don't know how it would work.  Then that summer is our wedding, and obviously I can't be taking classes in the thick of that!  What if they change the book by the time I'm able to take the class and I wasted almost $1,000?  What if I forget everything about bones and joints and muscles?  What if, what if... my mind is racing.

I'm struggling so much right now.  I don't have a good amount of time to study, this weekend is packed with various wedding vendor appointments, and I feel like I'm suffocating.  Taking classes when you're working full-time at a stressful job is a whole different ball game than being a full-time student.  I give part-time students SO MUCH credit.  I had absolutely no idea how difficult it is.  Obviously the study methods I'm using right now aren't working. 

My brain keeps wanting to fast forward to a future that has me working a crappy lame job like this forever and never being able to do something that makes me happy.  It's a melodramatic thought, fine, but isn't that what most blogs are about?  A little melodrama?  A little self-indulgence?  Maybe I just need to chill... if it takes longer to get there, then it takes longer to get there.  But the thought of starting a family while in school sounds pretty awful to me.  I guess I feel like I'm getting older and have nothing to show for it.  As I said in a previous entry, my history degree means very little in the 'real world.'  I don't know where I'm going or what we're doing and I am scared. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2007



Of all the games that people play with each other, the job search games seem to be one of the most absurd.  Late at night before bed I search for jobs on the usual sites.  Companies ask for hard-working individuals, someone who can work independently without supervision and someone who can interact well with a team, someone with sound judgment and who can think quickly on their feet, superb writing and research skills, superb communication skills and customer service... who is writing these ads?

Let's get realistic.  All the job postings I see list these inane and cliched buzzwords.  They give no sense of the position itself and what the day to day tasks would be like.  The best candidate for a job is someone who is well-suited for that job, how does either the candidate or the employer know if someone is a good fit when they can't even articulate what Position X does?

Job postings are arbitrary, resumes and cover letters follow suit so as not to be left out of the game.  We tweak our cover letters to include the maximum number of active buzz words, including things that we don't even know the definition of.  I remember going to a college fair with my older brother when he was a junior in high school.  He was filling out an information card for a college, and as one of his interests he wrote "clocking."  I asked him what "clocking" was and he responded, "No idea.. but it sets me apart, and that's what you want!"  Competent people are turned incompetent trying to fit into the buzzword mold the company sets forth in their Want Ad. 

Every company wants their shining, energetic and bright young thing, even though they might not necessarily have the work to support such an individual, even though such a person may not be the right fit at all.

Can an entry-level college grad do the same work that my father has done for 30 years?  No, but which candidate would companies rather hire?
Does my office need a top-university grad with straight A's and flawless references to remove staples, collate papers and distribute memos in his outbox?  No.  Could this job be done by a person with a high school diploma looking for a decent job?  Yes.  Which person will my company hire?

The disparity is almost sickening.  The thought that I may soon be sitting in interviews where I have to parrot back these buzzwords (detail-oriented, team player, my weakness is that I have no weakness) or get shown the door seems like too much!  I suppose it does just give me more incentive to look graduate school and nursing... I've never been a corporate player, but don't tell that to my resume.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007



This past weekend I was really looking forward to doing nothing.   Sitting, vegging, staring at the wall, sleeping, watching movies, casually doing school works, these were my dreams for August 11 and 12.  I sort of succeeded.  It was not a total failure.

Friday I made (yes, made) fiance walk down memory lane a bit with me.  We rented a few movies, among them was She-Devil.  She-Devil is a movie from 1989 with Roseanne Barr and Meryl Streep.  I'd watch anything with Meryl Streep, but when I was younger I just remember thinking this movie was hilarious!  Rewatching it with fiance showed that

1) I must have been a strange child
2) Things are never as good as your memories

BUT, I won't give up.  I still look forward to watching other childhood favorites with fiance such as Death Becomes Her (another Meryl Streep classic), Teen Witch, and Soap Dish.  I hope have more luck with these than I did with either She-Devil or Legend (the oft-forgotten Tom Cruise movie from 1985).

Things I did check off my agenda this weekend include getting responses from all my bridesmaids and sending out a "hello" and introduction email to everyone.  All 6 ladies seem to be very excited and ready to party it up!  Fiance and I also met with a photographer on Sunday, a woman who I worked with briefly last summer.  Her photos were fine, but, as fiance said, "our socks stayed on."  We'll keep looking. 

I found another bridesmaid dress that I like a lot.  I have to recommend Netbride to anyone looking for wedding or bridesmaid dresses.  So far their customer service has been great.  They sell designer dresses much cheaper than the bridal boutiques hose you for.   One bridal boutique in Richmond, VA quoted me at $250 for a dress that Netbride quoted me at $150.  Of course, I'll have to go to the boutique to actually see the dress.  Seeing a dress online and in person are two very different things for bridesmaid dresses!

What's your favorite 80's/early 90's movie?

Friday, August 10, 2007


I want the world, I want the whole world

So even though I know that the job hunting process takes a while, and I’ve advised despondent friends to this fact as well, that doesn’t mean that when I woke up this morning I didn’t expect a response email in my inbox from a resume I submitted last night at 10:30pm. I doesn’t matter that no one has even had a chance to SEE it yet, let alone compare it to other applicants and do whatever other dirty things that hiring managers do… I want my answer NOW.

Never been good with waiting…

I found some great jobs last night… crossing guard and Administrative butt monkey just to name a few. It seems that without some higher degree (higher than a BA, higher than your all-American competitive liberal arts education), I’m either overqualified or under qualified for jobs. I don’t have 5-10 years experience, and I don’t want to make lunch reservations for high powered Executives. Looking for jobs makes me think I can’t wait to get to nursing school. I can’t wait to be qualified for something useful in society (why oh why did I major in History… seemed like a good idea at the time?).

And, as always, thank freaking God it’s FRIDAY. Enjoy yours weekends.


Thursday, August 09, 2007


Shake, Rattle, and Roll

Yesterday I went positively bonkers with wedding vendors. I was emailing back and forth with my friend who is having her wedding at the same location in May 2008, and I was telling her about my upcoming appointments with vendors.

I mentioned something about meeting a particular wedding cake maker next Sunday and sampling a bunch of her cakes. My friend told me she’d heard bad things about this place. She didn’t really have any specific examples, so who knows how accurate this assessment is. I started my search to find reviews of the cake maker.

And, I did find a review… only it was the most website EVER. What I found was actually a link to a woman’s theknot.com message board. She posted extensively about each and every vendor she was using, but up tons of photos as examples, put up more photos of the day of the wedding, and then rated each and every vendor she’d used. The cake maker got an A+ according to this woman.

But even better, the girl had listed a photographer that was actually not yet on my spreadsheet! You can imagine how I felt about this!

This photographer looked awesome, and she also got an A+ rating. And looking through the samples on her website, she had photos up of someone fiancé and I went to high school with! It was wild. When I heard back from her via e-mail she was exceptionally nice as well. The price is right, and the only thing I didn’t love about her photography package she was very flexible about changing! We’re meeting next Sunday… we may have a winner!

So hopefully today I won’t look for any more photographers. I think my spreadsheet of information including almost 20 Virginia photographers is quite enough. Fiancé and I have scheduled three meetings with photographers, this last woman being the last meeting, and I think we’re more than equipped to make a good choice.

This Sunday – Photographer 1
Next Saturday – Photographer 2, Cake Maker 1, Cake Maker 2
Next Sunday – Photographer 3, Officiant, DJ


Not to mention that, well, I put a resume out there. We’ll see if anything happens with it, but it felt damn good.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


It's Alive!!!

I thought I was above wedding stuff sucking my brain out with a straw, but I must have seriously underestimated my love of distractions. I have never been very good at saying “no” to a distraction… whether that be writing notes to boys in middle school, staying on the phone until 3AM, or using up all the minutes and then going over by quite a lot on the AOL Account… back when AOL used to charge by the minute.

I got better for a little while… maybe. I never, ever watched television until about my third year of college. I just wasn’t interested. The only shows that I heard about that were ever on were Dawson’s Creek or Melrose Place, and those were shows to be scorned by people like me (“cool” people… too cool). Thursday nights in college I used to order Chinese food and watch some hilarious reality tv with friends. But that was it, just Thursdays.

I think it all slowly started with Buffy that summer. And once you learn the supreme joy of watching a great tv show on dvd, you can never go back. That compounded with the pain of law school after college, where I picked up any distraction possible just to take me out of that place! Google talk, reality tv, blogging (sorry, Blogger)… my thirst for distractions knew no bounds.

Now I’m working and taking two classes. We’re also planning a wedding. Which of these three things sounds the most fun to you? What do you think I’m spending the majority of my time on?

Weddings, weddings, weddings… I stare at photographer sites
forever, trying to discern the hidden differences between images. I talk to DJs. I update spreadsheets. Like an alcoholic, my love of distractions is starting to interference with my work (school)… so I guess I should start getting concerned.

I mailed my “will you be my bridesmaid” trinket to the last person yesterday. I made them each individualized boxes with a note. Fiance and I are zeroing in on a photographer and DJ. We’re scheduling meetings for next weekend, and I think I should really really take a wedding break until then. I think my life depends on it!


Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Easy Bistro Chicken... it's what's for dinner! (It's all we have time for around here, so eat it and shut your mouth!)

Chopped Onions

Stewed Tomatoes, Peppers and Mushrooms

Tomato Paste and Zesty Italian Dressing

Chicken Breasts!


Sprinkling of Mozzarella

Stir, Voila


Thursday, August 02, 2007


Giant Cupcakes on Parade

Well, I made my first Funfetti Giant Cupcake last night. It was someone’s birthday at work yesterday so I figured that I had a great excuse. Of course, I have no idea how I’m going to get it to work.

There are a few small problems with the pan. One box of cake mix does work fine, you just split it evenly between the two sides of the pan. There’s a half that belongs to the base (where the wrapper would be) and the other half is where the icing would be (you cover that part with icing when you put it together). But, the half that you put icing on is very shallow, and it cooked much more quickly than the base. The base actually took quite a bit longer; the middle just did not want to cook. I finally had to shimmy the top half out of the pan (sooner than I like taking it out) and put the base back in for at least 10 more minutes.

Second, maybe this pan does make a giant cupcake, but it does not make a giant cake. You couldn’t take the result of this pan to a 13 year old’s birthday party and expect to feed all the kiddies. Even though it still uses one box of cake mix like another cake you might make, the way it’s put together and the way you’ll have to cut it will just make less slices for hungry, grabbing paws. Remember that since it’s two halves that you have to put together, you have to cut off a good bit of the middle part of the cake that rose; you need two flat halves. I took a picture of the cake next to my cactus margarita glass for perspective.

This cake would be an awesome supplement to something else. After all, it’s pretty cute and decorative. But once you cut the first piece I wonder how much it will even look like a cupcake anymore. I love this pan, I’m excited to make giant cupcakes for people, but I’m just warning you not to put all your eggs in the giant cupcake basket.