Thursday, December 18, 2008

Killing Birds with Stones & Ballet Flats

Today felt productive. I actually left the apartment on my own and got stuff done. The past couple of days has really been a matter of avoiding my list of things to do by playing video games.

After having lunch with Stefanie at the (oh fuck, I forgot to put the leftovers away)...(double fuck, I think I left the leftovers in the car)...err, after lunch, I returned shoes to Zappos, picked up my contact lenses, picked up some gift cards, left my lunch leftovers in the car, rode the elevator up and down and back up (I didn't remember if I locked the doors), and called the dance instructor lady to find that the 8 hours of private lessons for $320 for two people was really a pipe dream. (It would be $640 for both of us, which is utterly ridiculous.) It may be that we sign up with a place called Dance With Me instead.

Anyway, I found in my email a marketing newsletter from HarperCollins. I clicked through some books--one book Justin even considered and pushed for too, but it wasn't something enough for us to publish it. Another book, with a generous amount of pages for preview, was about the top 100 things that women should own: The One Hundred by Nina Garcia (the woman from Project Runway). Since it showed the first couple of pages or so, it included the Ballet Flat.

Apparently the ballet flat was made famous by Bridgette Bardot who asked her ballet shoemaker, Repetto, to make a pair of flats for a movie. I don't know how the ballet flat nearly became extinct by the time my feet stopped growing and I could buy my own shoes, but I recall that some of my first Internet searches for these shoes, "ballet flat" and "ballet shoes," came up with either genuine ballet shoes that would never last on the street and look ridiculous or fetish ballet pointe style shoes. They were bizarre to say the least.

The first pair of ballet flats that I coveted I saw at the NYC Takashimaya. They were gorgeous--suede dusty pink. After one of my HarperCollins interviews for an internship, I dragged Jon to Takashimaya and they were there and on sale and it was NYC tax free week AND they FIT! I felt so crappy after my interview, but the shoes really helped.

I did not recognize the brand Hollywould, but I would soon become a Hollywood ballet flat devotee. Every year about twice a year they would have a "Mega Blow Out Sale" at their shop on Elizabeth. In 2005, I scored a number of sample shoes in my size in a bunch of colors. Recently they had a sale for size 7 shoes selling them for $19 dollars--too bad I live in VA now. Hmm...just read their "About" page about how they were bought over by someone in 2006. No wonder their sales that were to my benefit really stopped. And oh snap it gets worse, Hollywould is probably totally dead now--have you heard that I hate living in Virginia? Can you believe that in my research to include hyperlinks, I found this out now? Oh man.

So even before I found out that Hollywood was dead, as in just before writing this post, I hunted for my next ballet flat brand. While I considered Repetto, Repetto is equally expensive as Hollywould on a regular day and even sales day as is London Sole. There are a number of brands that carry ballet flats, but I really liked that Hollywould took pride in their ballet flats. They are gorgeous and ridiculously comfortable as long as you don't walk around London; for some reason they worked well walking Paris though.

Perhaps one day I'll have another crappy interview at HarperCollins and wander into another store and find a new shoe brand to call my love. In the meantime, I urge you to try to get your hands on a pair from a website that still carries whatever is left. I'm searching for ballets that I always wanted but never got and will hopefully get with a steep discount--Tis the Season. Anyway, I did not mean for this to be a memorial post but in any case RIP Hollywould.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Library Card--Check!

But is it completely lazy of me for doing it online?

We have successfully processed your application for a Fairfax County
Public Library card; it should arrive in the mail shortly. To use your
library account before you receive your card, just show a picture ID
(driver's license) to check out library materials.
If you have other questions about your library card, or any of the
programs and services that the Fairfax County Public Library offers,
please contact the branch nearest you. You may locate the branch nearest
you at

Thank you for your interest in the Fairfax County Public Library.

I signed Jon and I up for Kendo lessons and hopefully private dance lessons soon. The deal seems too good to be true. We'll see!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Goals: Week 2

This is a new week! I hope to accomplish or start working on the following:

1) Put away all the laundry. So it's still on the list. I folded all the clothes last week. I just have to put it away. I started sifting out the stuff I don't think I'd wear ever again to make room. Out of a huge pile--three shirts. 1 clothes: 0 me.
2) Mail shoes. Return the extra shoes I got for the Japan trip to Zappos. I bought my Christmas present from Jon from Zappos, and I wanted to make sure it fit before having to make two trips to UPS. And I set up the printer on the Mac and printed up the UPS and return form. Just have to leave the apartment and return it.
3) Find new recipes to make. Make 1 of them. Okay now baby steps. New ones Christina. Focus.
4) Get a library card and pick up contacts. They're in the same mall area. Do it!
5) Get holiday stuff done.
Finish work on designing invitations/overall stationery.
7) Read twenty pages of Infinite Jest. Yup, still reading it.
8) Edit 50 pages of Grandpa's book.
9) Figure out how to get dishes cleaner in dishwasher.
It just won't look clean!
10) Finish two things on this list.

That Story I Said I'd Write

This November Saturday morning was miserable. It was bright but grey outside, and Lux knew this because she forgot to close the blinds entirely before she fell asleep. For a second she thought about feigning sickness so that she could just stay in bed all day and be left alone, but then she thought about how boring that would be. When she heard the bathroom door open, she got up to get ready.

Today, the alternative to bed was temple. Lux went with her father not so much to pray but to help her cousin cater to those who prayed and got hungry. Lux's cousin was lucky in that she won a raffle to be the exclusive caterer for the temple for a year, but she was unlucky in that her waitstaff was bought out by her competitor who made disgusting tasting katirolls. Lux, however, benefited from her cousin's bad luck: She was able to meet the person that she would later save.

Before getting to work in the cafeteria, Lux's father suggested that they first go to the shrine because Lux had not been there for a few months. The night before, Lux's mother gave her a mango to be blessed, which Lux dutifully did. Lux and her father then proceeded to the cafeteria where Nalnakka was setting up with her abbreviated but loyal team. Nalnakka greeted and thanked them for coming. She looked exhausted but happy and smelled delicious.

At around ten, the cafeteria was filling up, and Lux was relieved from serving both the polihara and gulab jamun when a man took over the polihara.

"Who is this dude?" Lux thought to herself. "Perhaps he is hired help."

After handing off the serving spoon, she did not attempt to start a conversation because he looked like he knew what he was doing. Her other excuse to herself was that she did not want to bother him. In fact, she would have been content to stand next to him for the next twelve hours shoulder to shoulder without saying a word.

Nalnakka's sister broke the silence though when she greeted them. It was obvious then that the man was Nalnakka's friend who was also volunteering. His name was Abijay.

"I heard you worked in finance," Abijay said, "Are you an intern?"

"No, I worked in compliance for awhile and now I'm in marketing," Lux said, "Why would you think I was an intern?"

"I heard that you were in high school."

Lux scowled. "Of course someone would tell him that," she thought to herself.

"What are you?" she asked and answered for him, "Thirty?"

He feigned offense, and said that he turned twenty seven a few days ago.

"Wow, he has a sense of humor, is here to help is friend on a Saturday morning, and is taller than I am," Lux thought to herself, "And he has incredibly cool hair!"

They talked for hours, which was convenient because besides serve food, they could not do much else. Though even if there was much else to do, Lux's father was coordinating the orders at the dosa stations, which was keeping him quite busy, but she did not want to look like she was openly flirting in front of her father at temple.

Abijay laughed at all of Lux's jokes, which showed that not only did he have a sense of humor, but it matched hers. His hair was really cool, and he was really smart. He worked in a parent-approved occupation: Engineer. He fit Lux's description of an ideal mate: He could wear pants and kill threatening monkeys if necessary. The clincher was when they were sitting down to eat that Lux asked her younger cousin and Abijay if they washed their hands, and they both said, "No," and raced off to the bathroom. That a twenty-seven year old and eleven year old can be equally cute in a not obnoxious way made Lux's heart melt. He seemed perfect.

Here was the thing: He was leaving to India for a month on Monday. He had stored up so much vacation time that a trip to India for a month sounded just about right.

Lux was saddened by the revelation that she probably would not see him for the next month, but she would see him tomorrow and perhaps they would be well enough acquainted to exchange contact information. At least, she would be able to get his last name and find out if he is on any social networking websites so she can innocently cyberstalk him until he came back. In the meantime, one of Nalnakka's hired hands provided adequate eye candy for her to be excited about volunteering every weekend for as long as she was needed anyway.

At around nine in the evening when she left his side, he asked if she was coming back tomorrow, and she said she was. Unfortunately, her dad decided that it was too exhausting of a day to repeat, and he told Lux this when they were driving home.

Lux thought about the possibility of driving herself back tomorrow, but she ruled that out since the drive was quite far and her father would definitely not allow it. She told her friend Christina about the wonderful, beautifully maned Abijay, and though Christina implored her to make an effort to get in contact with him to make sure he does not come back from India with a wife, and when that failed, his phone number, Lux laughed off the silly suggestions and reveled in her crush.

*Interactive Part--Two destinies: Choose your ending*

First Destiny...

A month later, Lux found out that he was in fact engaged to be married on account of his trip to India. When Lux expressed shock and horror, Nalnakka was surprised. Nalnakka thought that Lux had gotten his number that day and was contact with him because Abijay talked about Lux to Nalnakka so often.

The next time Lux saw Abijay it was the day before his wedding. He was on the evening news with the headline: "Not Jumping for Joy." It turns out he did not want to marry the woman he met in India. He was under a curse, and it broke that day when he saw her ingrown toenails.

Lux saw that it was at the waterfalls near her town that the scene was unfolding. She went there, and the moment he saw her, he felt the desire to live again. His hair that seemed so disheveled on the news looked very cool again.

His fiancee turned into a squirrel to escape the ensuing witch hunt, but before she could escape to Mexico she was run over by a Rutgers EE bus in New Brunswick, NJ. Lux and Abijay were under investigation for kidnapping, conspiracy, and murder, but with no body they were acquitted.

Lux and Abijay married a few months later and lived happily ever after.

Second Destiny...

A month later, Lux contacted her cousin for Abijay's phone number because her motto all year had been "No Regrets." She debated whether not ever talking to him again this year would count as a regret and a mixture of boredom and strong will to see her 2008 New Year's Resolution through to the final second won over.

Her cousin teased her for a little while about wanting his phone number, but Lux dealt with it. She thought, "I'd do the same thing if I were in her situation. It's cool." Nalnakka told Lux that Abijay was a good guy and wished her luck.

Lux waited until around eight o'clock and then texted the number: "Hey Abijay. It's Lux. How was India?"

She held her breath until she felt like she was going to pass out. Then she decided that waiting for an answer via text was dumb. If she wanted an immediate answer, she would have called him.

She made egg powder and sausage stuffing to keep her mind off of things. Before going to sleep, she made sure her alarm was set, and she saw that she received two texts.

The first one said: "Hey. It was good. Saw lots of family."

The second one said: "What are you doing for New Years Eve?"

So on New Years Eve 2008, Abijay met Lux and her friends at a club in the Big Apple. As the last minutes of 2008 were being counted down by millions of people in eastern standard time, Abijay and Lux went to get some air.

"You saved my life," Abijay said.

"Uh?" Lux asked.

"It was either spending time with you tonight or watching the ball drop with Ryan Seacrest on television. I don't think I could have started another year that way."

Lux was speechless. "What did this mean?" she thought. Rather than overthink it though, she found that contentment from when they first met. She felt that she could stay this way with him for the next few months or maybe even more and be happy. She silently thanked her cousin for befriending Abijay and giving her his number and her friend Christina for enthusiastically encouraging her to text him a small message.

Two thousand and nine for Lux started with a kiss with a guy with really awesome hair.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Invitations & Christmas Parties

Yesterday, I started designing our invitations again. I was thinking so much about what color or elements we wanted, but with the dress in place, it just seems that something classic and plain seems best. (Something we won't regret in 20 years--those colors! that font! so early oughts! Might well as be lamb-leg sleeves on dresses, etc.) So we decided to go for a luxe white or cream (I forget which--it's at the store down the block) and heat emboss some gorgeous calligraphy font in black (like thermography, but DIY kind of thermography). I made two mock-ups--one with a kind of legible calligraphy and one with really pretty kind-of-hard-to-read calligraphy, and Jon and I both agreed that the latter is gorgeous. The easy one to read is kind of boring. Man, are we going to get crap about it from our parents...I'm a bit fed up with compromising with them and Jon and myself though, so fancy calligraphy and crap it is!

Speaking of invitations--just a quick update about the guest list count. With just family (that is all the family at the engagement party) and then half of my mom's all-inclusive list, we have 160. I think Jon's parents' are a bit confused about the process--where my directions were to invite whomever they want but make suggestions about the rehearsal dinner invitees. I think we totally confused them on that subject because that was our original ceremony/reception, and now they're still telling themselves that we're having two weddings. In any case, they're nervous about having too many people for the rehearsal dinner, which albeit a much nicer space than our actual reception place, is very very limited as far as seating. It's a bit grating because Jon hates a lot of the people that they want to invite to the rehearsal dinner.

Anyway, tonight is Jon's Christmas party. It's in the building between our apartment and his office. Here's what we're looking forward to:

Passed hors d'oeurves: Shrimp Bienville and mini beef and andouille sausage brochettes
Mesquite tenderloin, grilled, sliced and served with rolls and assorted sauces
A pasta station with two offerings: tortellini alla procini and lombard seafood tortellini with andouille pomodoro sauce and no pasta is complete without its Caesar salad!
An Italian "torte" of cheese, pesto, herbs, pinenuts with crackers and baguettes
A wild mushroom and pinenut "pate"
Brownie lollipops dipped in chocolate
Rice Krispy Treat lollipops
Double chocolate cupcakes with peppermint frosting
Plenty of beverages soft and not-so to include wine, beer, Cosmos and Love Martinis!

What are Love Martinis? If they're any good, I'll pass along the recipe.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Maids' Dresses

After applying to some jobs this morning, I started seriously browsing the JCrew sale site again because with HOHOHO as a coupon code for free shipping and 30% off of a $200 order that ends today, I thought it might be a good opportunity to buy some dresses for Lisa and Sam to try on. I picked out three styles and colors--unfortunately, I browsed too long and the black Gracie dress ran out--so I think I got the P4 size, but who knows since JCrew might just yank that away from me too.

Anyway,we'll shop my favorite way: buy stuff online; try it on; return it. We'll see what looks good and try to exchange for the right size and return the rest. It will be fun I think.

So that I could get a better idea of what everything looks like together (with tux options of ties or bow ties) I used Polyvore. (It's a cool site if you haven't already come across it--it meshes shopping and trying to tie together looks.) Without further ado, the shabang:

Pink and white by solaz

Jon likes this the least because he thinks the dresses are too short. It's also probably because the dresses are pink. I'm not in love with the short dresses, but I love the shape. Maybe my grandma can use it to make longer dresses? I love that the fabric is the same as my dress though. And these dresses have pockets!

Black & Red by solaz

I'm not in love with this color, but it was the most favorable one I think. I think I have to see what it looks like on Lisa and Sam to see if it's a keeper. I thought it might work because it's long, and I like the neckline.

pink and black by solaz

This is Jon's favorite. I like it too, and I think the pink flowers would really be nice, but like I said, I could only get 1 of the dresses if that. We shall see. There are tons of the ivory versions of this dress, but the ivory looks really white, which would probably be too weird for them to wear. I considered buying them and dying them, but I'm not sure how well that would work out, and why risk it? The dress, even on sale, is the most expensive of the bunch. No risks on that account.

Well, what do you think will work out best? Are there any JCrew dresses I should have considered? Colors?

Also, between Sam and Lisa about their sizes, I got the most unhelpful texts--basically: I dunno. Uhh...

Just a quick tip about Polyvore--you can't use an existing set and alter it to "save as" a new one. It will wipe out whatever you did. That's been my experience anyway. So save the one you just finished, start new, redo what you liked about the original version and change it up, etc.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gettin Stuff Done

So I'm getting through my Monday list and adding some extra flourishes like having lunch with Stefanie at Moe's and getting the Mr. Moo Moo (best deal ever: kid sized burrito--cause seriously the adult-sized one is ridiculous--soda, chips, and a cookie!).

I finished reading In Her Shoes yesterday. It was freezing in the apartment, so I thought it might be fun to turn on the "fireplace"--it was still freezing though. The book was good. I'm happy I finished it. It was a lot better than the movie anyway. I talked to Ellie about Jennifer Wiener's other titles, and I think I'll try to get Good in Bed from the library if I ever get there or borrow Lisa's copy.

Tonight I'll be brining chicken for a yogurt chicken dish with peppers for tomorrow night that Jon and I dreamed up at HTitty yesterday, while making tomato beef with black bean sauce for dinner tonight. Why does black bean sauce taste so freakin good? What kind of beans are they anyway? So while I won't technically be using recipes from cookbooks--cooking is cooking right?

Mail is out, but I need to return my Zappos shoes. I did set up the new printer on the Mac yesterday without much help from Jon to print the shipping label and return form. Go me!

Today I worked on the guest list/time line/invitation wording. I basically took all the addresses used for the engagement party and stuck them in a Google Excel sheet with columns to indicate how they're related exactly; their full names; outstanding questions, etc. Then I drafted an email to my parents and Jon's parents about how they should fill it in/answer questions; guidelines for invitations; the invitation wording; and the time line for the invitations and the day. I also organized all my vendors and their emails in my gmail and on the spreadsheet (with their payment schedules). I think the spreadsheet I created for myself is pretty neat--better than the template Google came up with anyway. There are way too many tabs for the Google template.

Anyway, here's my wedding vent for today: my mom called today and made me a little crazy because she's including her own Save the Dates in her Christmas cards, which is a good idea and all, but I could have totally put together my own Save the Dates for everyone. I feel that now it's just my family and my family's friends who are getting the date and now Jon's parents have to tell their folks to save dates and what not. I really wanted to avoid all the extra reminding and such by mailing my invitations out really early, but my mom said that was dumb. So we'll be mailing it out in late March/early April I guess. I guess our friends will be getting a reminder in an email early next year or so. I mean if people are going to lose our invitations if we sent them out early--they're also going to lose their Save the Dates right? The perpetual cycle of not giving anyone the benefit of the doubt for being responsible kills me. What also kills me is that on the one hand I have my mom who is all about accomodating everyone--and I get it. So we have the huge wedding that won't leave out a soul. On the other I have Jon who reminds me that we need to retain some sort of sanity and happiness. So we hire the band we want though my mom says that no one will dance to them and leave early (nice right?).

The final straw of talking to my mom today was when she was talking about flowergirl dresses. Frankly, I don't give a damn. If the flower girl already has one (which I heard she did), great. If not, we have about 6 months to figure that shizz out. For real. I mean, it's the holiday season right? People are busy with their small children, why would I want to bother her mom about flowergirl dresses now? I'm not nutters. Lisa and Sam have to figure out their dresses too--and that might be even more complicated than a flowergirl dress.

My head spins. I should start brining or at least stop staring at this computer.

Hopefully, I'll get my library card tomorrow, and it will be awesome times.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Plan B: The Easy Money Wedding

You know Easy Money. It's the Rodney Dangerfield movie that begins with his daughter's wedding in his backyard. That's plan B or maybe C for my wedding.

So yesterday, I called the place where we booked our reception back in May. I was told that the guy we signed up with no longer works there. Holy shit! So after talking to a couple of people that barely understood me, we established that they still have the deposit and not much has changed except now they have "better" packages. Turns out their package includes a cake, ice sculpture, DJ/MC, and tax and tip, which is great except that we don't want DJ/MC--and as I could imagine their DJ/MC would be a scary screaming Chinese man and woman that did magic tricks and performed Karaoke. I tried confirming that the band we were hiring was OK to play there, and I think I got an OK. It was pretty confusing.

Regardless, we'll have to work on the details in person. The woman I spoke with, Sunny Kim, seemed reasonable and willing to help. She sent menus (in Chinese only), listed what was included in the packages and prices, and pictures of two schemes: white and red. We shall see.

When I talked to my dad about it, he said that if all else fails we'll have a wedding reception in our backyard and made references to Easy Money.

Today I got an email from him saying, "Grandma said she'll cook!" and these photos posted here. Oh my goodness! At least the commute from the church (consisting of crossing the street) won't be too bad.

Monday, December 8, 2008


This week I hope to accomplish or start working on the following:

1) Put away all the laundry. I still have laundry from our Japan trip that I've yet to put in drawers that are seriously overflowing.
2) Mail items. This includes my Cobra, contract for the band (who we saw on Saturday and are marvelous!), and Thailand contract. I should really get these all out. Plus return the extra shoes I got for the Japan trip to Zappos.
3) Find new recipes to make. Make 3 of them. Pam from Wiley generously sent me the new BA FEF book. I don't know why, but it's difficult for me to look through my cookbooks. Or maybe I know why and it is because I miss working with them.
4) Call Johnny Shek--our catering manager guy. There are some issues to resolve like whether the band we're hiring is fine and what to feed our vegetarian guests as well as what money is owed when.
5) Get a library card. Check out one of the Kathy Reichs books to see how it compares to the Bones series.
6) Finish reading In Her Shoes and JK Rowling's new book.
7) Work on guest list/addresses.
8) Work on designing invitations/overall stationery.
9) Decide if save the dates are what we really want to do now that my mom's given her opinion...and is sending out her own in the family holiday cards.
10) Finish one thing on this list. The difficulty of tackling these items include my wanting to procrastinate by working on another task. That and I'm hungry.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Got it!

On Saturday, I bought my dress. It's an Amsale '09, and gorgeous! I'd post a picture, but I don't think the pictures available online really do it justice. The runway model is kind of scary and the lighting is odd. So while I'd just crop off her head, I'm not sure how to fix the lighting in a jiffy. But it's so pretty! And it has pockets! It's silk taffeta, true A-line, natural waist, faux crumb catcher/asymetrical top. I love it.

So on Saturday, Wee and I went into the city for my 9:30 Kleinfeld appointment--print outs in hand and all. The other ladies were running late and said they'd meet at some point: Sam woke up too late; Dani had to run an errand earlier; and Lakshmi was on her way. Wee and I got into the city early--Wee got a coffee at a Starbucks where there was a guy who looked a lot like Larry David.

When we got to Kleinfeld, it looked like they were taping Say Yes to the Dress because there was a sign up and all--I've never seen an episode before so I had no idea what I was getting into really. I knew that this experience would be a lot different than RK Bridal. I also was terrified that my ring wouldn't be big enough, and they'd scoff. Or that they'd notice my ratty strapless bra (grabbed the wrong one when packing), and they'd scoff. Or they'd just scoff outright and say, "I hate you. Here's a dress. Give me your money." Wee said I was nuts, but who knows. It seems like a lot of people have had shitty experiences buying dresses.

The waiting area was full of women--their friends, mothers, cousins, and sisters. All women. The feeling was a bit strange. There was a lot of excitement/tension/estrogen in the air. My salesperson, Rita, called out my name. She was a tiny, old Sicilian lady with an accent and red hair. She used to be a seamstress, etc. Seamstresses have a good acute sense of fabric and structure--so I felt like I was in good hands. She said her daughter's b-day was my wedding date--maybe she says that to everyone, but it sure did make her more personable.

As we entered, she said that Amsale was having a trunk sale and introduced me to two of their sales people. One was named Sandra, I think. Anyway, we sat in the dressing room and talked for a few minutes. I pulled out my top 5, and Rita said that she thinks I'd look really nice in classic gowns versus the lacy ones I also chose. I also told her my budget, and she frowned and said that the dresses I chose are a bit over, but we'll take a look. So first things first, we took a look at the Amsale and pulled down some of the dresses. Wee claims she pulled down the dress I eventually chose, and I'll give her that. I mean, we technically did look at them together though. So with a dressing room full of gowns, the first dress I tried on the dress I eventually bought. It fit so well. With the trunk sale price it was closer to my budget than the other dresses, but a lot over the JCrew dress I bought twice on sale. At this point, I didn't even know there were pockets.

We tried on the other dresses I chose from my top 5. Rita just showed me the Claire Pettibone, and honestly, they were so disappointing. They reminded me of the dresses (but longer of course) that we bought for parties from Rave or G+G in the mall. Rita said that with a church wedding you don't really want to be wearing dresses that you could also wear on the beach or other more casual settings and I agreed. Also the lacy dress I tried on looked atrocious. I think I had to be older or something to wear it, which wiped wanting the Carpa dress out of my mind. Surprisingly too the 5K Monique Lhuillier dress I tried on didn't look that nice either. The sample was a bit busted, but still.

Sandra came by and said that she'd like to see me in the first dress, and I tried on one or two more Amsale before putting it back on. Sandra did bring in another dress, but I never tried it on. It may have been the one with the giant bow thing in the back. Honestly, I think Rita decided against it over the one I chose. So I put the dress I bought back on, and Rita brought out some shoes, and we walked to the main floor for a veil and more space. At this point, Dani found us, and it was so nice to have an extra opinion that I could trust. As we were walking toward the main floor, I really had no clue where I was going. Wee was holding my train and directing me. I said, "I don't know where I'm going! I've never seen the show!"

We got there and it was so nice standing there. I don't know why--it just was. Nicole and Randy introduced themselves to me. Nicole or Randy introduced that the dress had pockets too I think. I tried on a two-piece veil and a one piece veil--both were lined all around in white fabric, which was kind of like the thickness of the belt area of the dress and was nice. The stiffer veil got Wee and Dani's vote, but I didn't have to buy a veil yet. I think Grandma will be making it.

I told them that we were heading to Pronovias at noon to see what we could see. I also let it slip that I already bought a very similar dress from JCrew. The trunk sale would only work for today though, so saving $500 today or hunting down the dress for a better sale while time ran out were the only options it seems. I'm also not one to haggle, and so I said I'd likely be back.

Pronovias is a whole other story, but the experience was very nice. Unfortunately, I didn't love those dresses. So after lunch at Cookshop, all of us (me, Wee, Sam, Dani, and Lakshmi) went to Kleinfeld to try on the dress for sizing, sign the contract, and pay the deposit (60%).

My dress ships in April! I'm so excited!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

An Ordinary Thursday

Today I played a few hours of Cake Mania 3 until my laptop seemed like it was about to drop dead from all of the action on screen.

I read some more about Pronovias and tried finding more information about my Carpa dress. I'm having some second thoughts about it. Is the train too short? Bah, I'll just get a crazy long veil. I always wanted a simple dress with an elaborate veil, here's my only opportunity. I can't wait to get a dress picked out. I feel like once I order my dress other things can finally fall into place.

I also worked on some outlines I said I'd finish up. I am almost done with the crummy Peloponnesian War. Woohoo!

Also we started our first round of Elfster--gotta hook up my family soon. The parents come home tomorrow from Venice so I'll bug them about it then. I wonder if my dad used his portable rain boot things.

I owe phone calls and emails.

Tonight is a Thanksgiving party on our roof. The menu looks good. Hopefully, we can avoid having to talk to people and such.

Tomorrow is our first meet up at Gerry's. Hope all goes well.

Hope hope hope.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wedding Dresses

Back up dress--Lucinda from JCrew:


Appointments--Kleinfeld's and Pronovias--check...I know, it's just two really, but I will get to that in a moment.

Photos to show appointment places--check.
This morning I did my more serious wedding dress research.

I got an email from Carine's Bridal about a Reem Acra trunk sale this weekend and thought about whether I wanted a Reem Acra dress if I made an effort to make the appointment and show up. (In the effort of providing the hyperlink for Carine's, I came across Rosa Clara, which looks like Pronovias, but cleaner and even more architecturally interesting. I'm compelled to make an appointment if all else fails. Also I told them that their Rosa Clara link was busted--it lead to some weirdo's blog.)

From there, I ended up at and watched their 2009 video clips from Vera Wang and the gang. Why are Vera Wang dresses just not pretty anymore?

Then I ended up trying to price out Claire Pettibone, and somehow ended up at Kleinfeld's website. It was there that I realized that I needed to pull up 5 dresses that I wanted to show the Kleinfeld's salesperson in a few weeks.

Selecting 5 dresses was a bit difficult at first because I kept hitting the "Next" button instead of the "Search" button so all of my initial selections kept being wiped out. I came up with four with a search for A-line/Ballgown/Sheath, Strapless, and Natural Waist, but I needed 5. So I selected everything but Mermaid and $$$. I saved about a dozen dresses to choose from, and the top 5 included an Amsale, Monique, Claire, Melissa, and some other person that I forget but was $, which meant that it was more affordable than the first three I named. There was a Reem Acra, which seemed nice for $ too, but I couldn't bring myself to deselect another one to replace it. I'll just print out all 6 of them and see what happens. They're for ideas anyway right? Though it would be freakin cool to try all 6 of those on.

Anyway, after swallowing the possibility that my top limit might have to expand to be able to afford any of those, I went to Pronovias to update my Favorites there too. In that adventure, I found what I think is "the dress"--her name is Carpa and she's from their 2008 collection.

I'm a sucker for lace. Crap, I hope they have a sample/still can make it. And yes, it kind of sucks that it does look like it's pronounced "Crapa" if you read it quickly, but I LOVE the silhouette (I don't think it will swallow me whole like ballgowns) and the lace--it's all over!

Then I did a reality check on the price ranges and experience, and though I couldn't find the dresses I loved specifically, I did see that it was in range, which was a relief!

Anyway, the one good thing about watching the Vera Wang show was this Cole Porter song sung by Sinead O'Connor: You Do Something To Me.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tofu and What's Going Through My Head

Second day out. I think I'm doing okay though.

I played hours of games after lunch, and the only one I really liked was Cake Mania 3.

Anyway, at Mitsuwa on Sunday in the bin area by the vegetables, there was some crazy looking tofu. Some were shaped like surfboards and others were shaped like boobs (which reminded me of the guy in Tokyo selling pudding boobs but didn't allow pictures to be taken of them) or Pokeballs. The tofu was pretty delicious if you like creamy tofu. The one called "Johnny" is Jon's favorite.

Anyway, their website is cool and additionally reminiscent of what my head feels like nowadays:

Turn up the sound and enjoy.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Last Day and Food Marathon

So Friday wasn't horrible. I got some work done finally, helped Sarah figure out some stuff for the last time, packed my bags, said I'd finish that ancient Greek project, and said good-bye for now. We went to the South Riding Inn for lunch. I had pigs-in-a-blanket and two huge cups of soda. Then I had a cup of coffee with the ladies, and I felt really sick because of all the caffeine. And then I felt like when I say more than I probably should. The good-bye with Marcy was good though.

I really didn't feel like going to Jersey this weekend, but it turned out to be a good weekend. We got in NJ around 12. Then woke up around 6 to leave around 7 to get to the opening of Momofuku Milk Bar at 8. It said 8 on its website, and all the blogs said that it would open around 8. We parked on 10th, and Jon ran ahead of me. When we got to Ssam, we saw two Japanese girls waiting outside closer to Ssam than the bakery. Perhaps they didn't know where they were supposed to be waiting. However, that they were waiting outside was the first indication that the place wasn't open yet even though the church bells in the area already rang 8. The sign on the door said that they weren't opening until 9. WTF. At least there was a covering to wait under (it was about to rain). We lined up. A man who seemed to have worked at a Momofuku restaurant was there with his camera. Jay? Joe? I was too cranky to pay attention. I brought a hat I'm knitting, so knitted for the next hour while Jon figured out what he wanted to order. Good thing too because if he ordered like the people behind him (thumbs up their butts about what the menu is) I would have freaked out. So around 9, the door opened. We entered. I staked out a table to stand at, and Jon ordered. We got:

  • Strawberry milk--good; probably made with frozen strawberries; tastes like a shake but a really thin shake
  • Chocolate milk--good; not what I was expecting though; it's really rich and dense tasting--like a melted milk chocolate bar; my ideal chocolate milk would be more like a Cocoa Puffs consomme.
  • Knish--would probably get again--it was tasty; bacon is so freakin delicious
  • Crack pie--really good--tasted like toffee but without it hurting my teeth
  • Pistachio ice cream--good, but salty
  • Grapefruit sorbet (yes, it's still 9AM)--tasty but nothing special; it really helped cut all the salt and fat though

The bakery smelled good and all, but with all the extra bodies (about a dozen other people were in line with us for the opening) it got a little stuffy--and I think one of the guys burned something so they opened the door. About half way through our breakfast, I needed air, so we went back to the car with the half eaten food. It was nice sitting and eating.

The tables there were fine conceptually to get people in and out, but they are much too wide for their purpose. I mean look at the photo on the website. Imagine bodies around the table enjoying cake and pie and knish while a line snakes around them. It doesn't work. And the place is definitely not carriage friendly. There's a place down here called Community Canteen, and while not a milk bar per se or David Chang related, it does have some tasty foods that I think is somewhat reminiscent.

Tenth street was nice--a bunch of yellow leaves were falling. It started to pour and thunder too. It sucked not having an apartment to taxi home to anymore, but I guess our car was a like a mobile NYC apt.

Our next stop was lunch with Jon's parents at Park Avenue Autumn at 12:30. They didn't have the broccoli Cheetos dish, which was a little disappointing. I still wasn't very hungry though. Breakfast was pretty heavy, and PAA was serving a set brunch so while I could have gotten $35 granola appetizer and lettuce main, I instead went for the ricotta spinach ravioli and Upper East Sider, which was a split English muffin with a poached egg one end and cream cheese and lox on the other. Stupid I know, but I really couldn't eat. Jon and his parents all got the scallops and filet mignon, which in total was definitely worth the $35. The plate of breads was not that bad either, but there are better brunch bread baskets I think. Jon also got a side of "soft scrambled eggs," but they were just regular scrambled eggs. They forgot the "soft" part so that was also disappointing.

The weather cleared up so we walked through the park to the Met, but they didn't allow my leftovers/scramble eggs, so we went to see the new James Bond movie, which was fine for what it was.

We drove into Brooklyn for Jon's cousin's meet-the-fiance's-parents dinner and had a Chinese banquet dinner there. Some of the dishes stood out. I think we figured out there why we stopped taking pictures of restaurants and their food.

On Sunday, we went to Mitsuwa to relive Japan with Bryan. On our way back, Lakshmi called, and I promised to write her love story as fantasized by me out, which I will do now.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

One More Day

One more day until I'm totally unemployed by "the Man."

I think I'm cool. I think that things could have worked out better, but they didn't.

I technically still have to write a little less than half of the outlines I said I would by tomorrow, but I haven't. Things have been rough since "the News" in the office. I couldn't really think until today without my head spinning. Now, my head is clear, and I can do my work, but there's no time to do any work.

I was even really good today. I did not read any wedding blogs all day. Tonight, there are 41 of them to read. 41!

By the way, I also bought a $2500 wedding dress on Tuesday. I thought it might make me feel better, but, though I feel relieved that I have a dress at all at this point, I feel kind of cloudy still.

Stimulate the economy my ass anyway.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

3 Things

So between landing in Japan and now 3 pretty bad things have happened to me:

1) Japan was a lot more traumatic than I thought it would be.
2) I was laid off.
3) My mom chopped off a bit too much of my hair. (We're getting married in 7.5 months.)

Today is my first and last floating holiday, but I need to finish up the project that I said I would before Friday. Friday is my last day as an full-time employed person.

My mom's theory is that 3 bad things happen and then you're safe. For example, the other day before her trip to Amsterdam/Germany/Venice, she was attacked by a softball sized snowball (maybe it came from a plane?), she was attacked by some ass of a customer that claimed he was a chemist but thought that his wife with low blood sugar was going to die without her prenatal vitamins, and then she got into a small car accident when another ass of a driver clipped her rear because the other driver was trying to pass while in a curve. She felt that after those 3 things, she's safe.

I'll post the roller coaster of a ride that Japan was, eventually, but I swear more than 3 bad things happened on that trip, and I thought I was done for the next year or even next two years. But maybe that was to prepare me for the even worse news that I was laid off. That I was laid off was not really that surprising I guess, but it still feels horrible. And on top of feeling horrible, I look it too.

Things can be fixed though and life goes on.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Torso Socks Aside...And Back to...


Today, I was productive.

(Yesterday, I played JoJo's Fashion Show game until I beat it. I'm a sad sad person. But I did make dinner, so I guess it evens out--my feelings of worthlessness and purposefulness balanced itself out yesterday.)

Today, at 9am I spoke with Pam until nearly the break of her dawn. It was really nice. I wore my "whimsical" shirt for her. (The one I got at H&M with the printed little vest on it. Yup. Whimsical--and I sang about it to Jon and Pam. You know you want to hear that song. I'll only sing it when I wear the shirt though. It'd be weird for my other shirts to hear it; I don't think I have any other songs for my shirts.)

Then I read my Google reader and learned some crazy stuff about the world like: gocco. I think it's a potential task for a DIY wedding project. I even may be helping some area brides with their invites (the pressure is on: meeting new people+avoiding screwing up their invites--wedding invites no less). I don't know what to think about all this though. It seems that some people are really crazy and obsessed about their wedding and the details. Maybe it's because our engagement is incredibly long? Maybe it's because it's like we're already married? Jon's perspective is that it's a day to celebrate with everyone we love. And it's a good one. What does perfection really have to do with it then?

Then I went out. First stop was Target where I got these cute shoes:

I swear, I bought two of them (weird that the other shoe isn't in the photo, but I guess that's how it goes). I also bought some wire baskets to hold all of our crap on top of the coffee table that I was complaining about previously. I bought 3 so that in case they didn't fit I didn't have to return all 6. The 3 also gives me motivation to go out tomorrow to get more and stop by BN, which I didn't do because I planned to cook tonight. Anyway, are they cute? I think so. It's been awhile since I've bought ballet flats. I love the pink insole and the bold Asian-print. They were kind of pricey, but it was my treat for getting a job. (Go you! You got a job! shoes...which is much better than, lost another job to someone else shoes--I'd have many shoes in that case.)

Then I went to the bank and to the supermarket Harris Teeter. We call it the H-Titty. It's more fun to call it that. I got some ingredients to make some awesome sounding (and from the photo, looking) chili. The thing about H-Titty is that everyone who works there is so FREAKIN NICE. I enjoy going there because everyone is so nice. It's like we can be friends. The old guy in the spice aisle was extremely helpful (and adorable). I don't know. Maybe I should write a letter commending their service or something.

As a cherry to top off my outing, I dropped off some of Jon's shirts to the dry cleaners. Yeah, it sounds dumb, but I can't have him going to work next week topless. That would be indecent! And if he tried to rewear them, that would be gross. What alternative did I have?

Tomorrow, I am going to go get some more of those basket things from Target and try tidying up a bit more before I start my new job. Eek! not in NYC kind of sucks. Besides the obvious (I mean you dear reader!), there are TONS of wedding sales there that I am sad to read about. I found a blog site about DC brides, and they talk about local stuff, which is great, but still...I really wish we were in NYC.

Okay, going to make chili. First time out. Here's goes...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Progress Report

I used to hate those. In high school we got the ugliest progress reports with the most cryptic symbols telling each of us (err...our parents) on how we should improve before the end of the marking period. Anyway, you be the judge:

Apartment front:
We moved with nearly 100 boxes. Jon has the exact number, but really nearly 100. The boxes were small to wardrobe box sized. About a third were books. There are about three boxes with bags/totes that we haven't unpacked yet, and I have no idea where to store at this point: yarn and other knitting/crocheting tools; crap that I don't know where to put yet. There's a ton of crap on one of our bookshelves (magazines, stationery, cable wires, etc.), more crap on our coffee table (packing materials, more stationery, a shoe, random knick knacks), and more crap on our dining table that we've shuffled from cleaned areas back to the table (mail, office supplies). We've been to IKEA in Woodbridge twice. And on our last outing we learned how to fold down the seats in the back so hopefully we can make less trips in the future. (We learned how to do this after we bought the thing and put it in the car.) Anyway, we bought an Expedit (2x4 shelf) to go with our 5x5 Expedit shelf from our original apartment. If you can imagine, we sandwiched the 5x5 with two 2x4's (so the 2x4s are horizontal and act as another table top). It takes up most of the wall, but I'm happy we have it. It nearly holds all of our books.

Besides that, I need to organize my clothes. I need to put them away in drawers and on hangers and keep them there.

When it's decent to present, I'll take photos :) Also, Pam needs to post pics of her place first. That's the deal. Or you can just come and visit. It'll be awesome because it will be 3-D.

Job front:
I got a job! I'm excited but a bit nervous, but we shall see. Free lunches on Friday--can't beat that.

Wedding front:
We set a date: 6-27-09! We're also setting up an awesome website--at least I hope we do set it up. I'm obsessed with weddingbee now that I have a good reason to be on that site. Something interesting came up, and I wanted to ask your opinion: does it matter that two friends get married within months of the other? There's a board with the topic AM I EVIL? And the response has varied to: "It's nice of you to have been considerate, but it's your own wedding"; "I would be ticked." I don't understand the "ticked" response.

Food front:
So I tried Potbelly (in DC)--got a turkey sandwich with everything on whole grain bread and it was heavenly. The peppers and pickles and all the flavors coming together made it divine.

I went to Nooshi (in DC) and got the dumpling noodles--it was pretty excellent. (At Super H we got more of those noodles. They're regular egg noodles that you would get in a California noodle dish, but they're in the soup, so not dry and crunchy--still great texture though.)

We tried this ramen place by the Super H called Blue Ocean (somewhere south of Reston), and it was decent. Nothing like Santoka though--I can eat that daily.

Super H (somewhere south of Reston) was an excellent Saturday diversion. We got a bunch of tofu, rice (a big sack of it for the same price as we got for a small sack at Mitsuwa/Fresh Direct), lots of crazy Asian sauces, and the best purchase was the basket of kiwis we got to go with the other best purchase: almond tofu (though it was coconut flavor and Jon added some drops of almond extract so that it would taste like it should). The box says that it serves 10, and we've had it everyday since Sunday so I guess it's true. It's crazy delicious. I might have to run out and get some more today!

If I were to give myself a cryptic score that I would have been given in high school I would give myself an ME: meets expectations. Which I guess, makes me want to try harder.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Lux, this one's for you! (Hi, Bryan.)

So here's my theory about cashmere. It's freakin expensive, but it feels really good. It's something like a shoe, but for your torso. Too bad shirts aren't hygienically sound to be worn everyday like a favorite stinky sneaker. I mean technically if you wore the same sweater but a different t-shirt underneath it (think of the t-shirt as a sock for the torso), you would be hygienically as sound as wearing shoes--if not more so.

My first cashmere sweater was from Macy's. I returned a pair of weird sparkley jeans that my aunt got me for Christmas and exchanged it for a cashmere sweater. Best purchase ever--since those jeans would've just sat on my bottom drawer (if that) and then have been donated to "the cousins" or someone who probably would never wear it either. That cashmere sweater is still my favorite--it's a black crewneck and pretty thick for cashmere. It goes with everything I own, and if I could wear it everyday I would--with a t-shirt as a torso sock of course.

JCrew now sells decent cashmere. It's not as awesome as the one I got from Macy's--it's thinner. When they go on sale though--it's worth it. I got a cashmere turtleneck from and it's really not as bad as I feared it would be. It's a bit fuzzier than the JCrew and not as thickly woven as the Macy's, but it was only about $50. If it were a shoe, it'd be a steal.

So the other thing about cashmere besides it being expensive is that it's warm and pretty durable. Sure, I've been kind of crappy about my woven knits (stupid bugs dining on them), BUT they've been reparable. In this sense, they're even more durable than jeans! The first and last time I tried sewing up a hole in my jeans it just ripped some more after I washed it.

(Lux, DO NOT throw out your ripped jeans--that is unless you hate them. Ripped jeans are a sign of luxury or thriftiness and to have an item of that distinction because of thriftiness is so much cooler. A fellow that we know BUYS his jeans ripped--then irons them. (Let's save people that iron their jeans for another time though. In short, they're nuts.) I'd wear those jeans in the summer time--built in air-conditioning. Ohhh yeahh!)

And how hot does a cashmere sweater with ripped jeans sound? You know you've seen it in Lucky and thought it was cool.

In your response, I saw that you have a part cashmere sweater from the GAP. I have one too, but it's incredibly itchy, and I hate wearing it without a shirt underneath it. What do you think about yours?

One last thing about cashmere, and then I'll give it a rest. I read somewhere about this group of indie designers that hangs around rich neighborhoods and goes through their trash (literally) and the thrift shops in the neighborhood to collect and recycle cashmere. They then would make pillows or cute dresses and sweaters out of their findings. And then charge $300.

Find cashmere (on sale). Stock up. Wear it while you're young, so that when you're old you won't be sad that you didn't wear it sooner in life. (Like lined pants.)
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