Sunday, January 31, 2010

Friday, January 29, 2010

Mangalitsa Pig Feast

Hell's Kitchen: Ardesia hosts its second Mangalitsa pig feast this Sunday night when a three-course pork fest goes for $30, with apple crumble for dessert and an optional $15 wine pairing. [Grub Street]

Jonathan: thats what happens when you have babies
they are cute
and then someone eats them

Thursday, January 28, 2010

RIP JD Salinger


In Reston, had I read this, I'd be suicidal. But now I need to figure out how to taste all the flavors of the festival. Will I succeed or fail miserably? Well, if I manage to get even one flavor, especially the ones that end with "chocolate," I'll be freakin happy!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Weird Trip

So this new book I'm working on involves animals. They're cute animals because they're small and mostly cuddly looking, but the art as it is right now is bizarre:

1. There's a smiling squid whose face is upside down. Squids can't smile, and he really should be right side up no matter how happy he is.

2. They're eating a holiday dinner, including grilled chicken. Maybe it's tofurkey, but seriously, they shouldn't be eating anything that looks like one of their own.

3. In one spread, the small animals are visiting a larger animal, but yet the small animals are nearly as large as the large animals. Imagine, say, a mouse visiting a bear and its cub, but the mouse is almost as big as the cub.

Strange, but true.

*All illustrations on this page are my own. (C) solazzo

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Let's Go, Go, Go!

Not to HNL, yet. Prices went up $20, again.

But let's go to Go Go Curry!

Wedding Advice IV

Invitations and Photographers

i took a look at buying invitations and it costs so much! did you make your own invitations? if so, how? i really love the raised print you had. this seems a little daunting to me. i read about it on weddingbee and i'm not sure if i have the time. paper..stamps..font..printing.
..images...cutting...what's the deal? did you do engagement photo session? the idea is kind of cheesy but i wonder if i can find the right photographer. how much did you pay for your photographer and the package? i was wondering how much it is on the east coast.


They are ridiculous to buy I think unless you're deadset on letterpress/real embossing. We made ours. We designed them with InDesign. We gocco-ed the main invite, used embossing powder, and a thermal embossing gun. We bought paper from Paper Source, though I think if you like the weight/color of watercolor paper, it's much cheaper to get watercolor paper than precut invitation paper. You can make your own envelopes with a stencil too.

Time could definitely be an issue, but if you're planning a long engagement, it may be something to do a little bit of during the weekends. I was unemployed when I created mine--I assembled them with the help of my sister and Lakshmi and my sister's bf. Jon helped me stamp and double-check them off the list.

I think our stationery budget was about $500 (including invitations for 375--envelope, main card, rsvp, rsvp envelope--and thank you notes for the shower--and thank you notes for the wedding). We went for the discount of saving some % if buying x-packages of paper and after making the main invites, used the leftover paper for thank you notes of varying sizes. We recycled our main invites that were leftover for programs and the reception card for the reception menu.

I threw escort cards and real calligraphy under the bus because no one appreciates that stuff unless they've had a wedding in the last 2 years I think, so it all gets thrown out. Also, we decided against having an inner envelope because of paper waste too.

STDs: We decided against them since everyone we really wanted to come knew the date and anyone else would find out word of mouth (parents), and personally, it's just something I file away in a miscellaneous folder. Judging by how many people asked me about when my wedding was after they sent in the RSVP, I think that sending an STD would have been a waste of time, money, and trees. However, Jon's parents swear that their friends didn't have enough notice for our wedding because we didn't send out STDs, which is annoying because it's something they should have discussed at least once or twice in life before our invitations went out. I'm not sure how many people you're inviting from out of town, but I guess it would depend on that. If a lot of people need to fly in--STDs would be a good idea so that travel arrangements and time off can be arranged.

Stamps: They can be pricey, but they're so freakin easy to choose and use--just keep in mind they go up every year around the end of May--so if you're expecting RSVPs back in June make sure to use the Forever stamp.

Images: They can be hard to decide on. Really, really hard. Which is why we didn't use any images on our invitations. We almost used a block printing effect (photoshop) of the google maps of the locations of our events for the ancillary cards, but it looked too cluttered for us.

Cutting: Try to stay standard with the paper unless kinkos can cut it for you. Rounding edges while it looks nice is never a good idea for more than 75-100 pieces of paper. You will get blisters! and probably bored after awhile...and then mad at yourself for going ahead with this and then mad at yourself again because you can't stop now or else be inconsistent.

Engagement photo session: Some photographers throw it in with the package. I'm really not sure what people use it for. Some I guess use it for invitations and other projects. I honestly think they're best for people who don't have a bunch of pictures of themselves that they're happy with (like, say, you met your fiance 2 months before proposing). I don't know if a kind of fashion shoot is for most people, but I knew that if I made Jon do this with me he'd not be very cooperative.

During your engagement you will see tons of engagement shoots, but the only reason for them on a practical wedding level is to test your photographer out. Still your photographer's portfolio should speak for itself. If you do get a photographer for a free session and you're feeling iffy, I'd ask him/her to shoot the rehearsal instead. It'll be a better record for yourself I think--of course, unless you want to test the photographer out before the wedding.


We used Henry Chan: He has a flat fee that is competitive in this area. For less, you get college-type students looking for a break. For more, it's about $10,000 for more. We liked his portfolio. We hired him for the rehearsal dinner and the wedding. For the rehearsal dinner we paid a little extra. We got the photos, and I think some of them are great. I found him on weddingbee (he did snowpea I think) and theknot, and then went to his website, and got really excited about his flat fee and his low key personality.

Monday, January 25, 2010

American Stories

I forgot how cool the Met Museum is. My favorite story of admittance is when Jon took his Por Por, and she called him clever for paying a nickel for both of them.

This weekend was the last for the exhibition called American Stories. It was really good. American artists were nearly as talented as their European counterparts who were more famous by a long shot. Still, it was nice to see recognizable things--like women drying their hair on west 4th and 6th ave.

My favorite was seeing Mary Cassatt's Little Girl in Blue Armchair:

Jon's favorite was this painting because the woman looks like one of those exotic pigeons:

This painting was by an American woman--it was really refreshing after seeing so many freakin men's paintings. Plus, I thought the only notable woman artist of the period was Mary Cassatt--good to know that there's at least one other one.

I love the baby in this painting. So round and cute. It looks like the one that Jon made friends with outside Cafe Luxembourg.

We also looked at their other collections--including the modern art. Fortunately, it was not me who fell into the Picasso.

My coworker mentioned this to me, and he also pointed out that the figure in the painting is appropriately unamused by where the woman might have broken the canvas.

Art--it's so freakin great to be back in NYC! Though ironically, the Cassatt that I like is actually from the National Gallery in DC.

Wedding Advice III

Other Blogs/Dresses

Weddingbee is pretty intense. If the blogs are too much, then you might find the message boards helpful--there's also one for NYC-area/North Jersey brides, and there's also a wiki for terms/customs that might be unfamiliar. The message boards are a good place to query other brides if they can recommend a certain vendor or know the price range of things. Of course, you can ask me anything, and I'll do my research to provide you the best answer--so you have an in on the message boards.

If you like theknot, then you might like martha stewart's wedding website and I find the photos on the most helpful and up to date. I think theknot doesn't update their dresses as often, so if you fall in love with a dress--it may not even be made anymore. It's a bummer.

Another thing to keep in mind that you want to order your wedding dress at least 8 mos in advance--and if you want to go to Kleinfeld you need to book at least a month or two in advance. Most bridal gowns for Fall 2010 are either out or are coming out in the next few months--so if you love a Fall 2009 or earlier dress, you may want to get to a store quickly to see if you can still order it! Bridesmaid dresses should be ordered at least 4 or 5 mos in advance. Rush fees suck!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Back to Where We Started

New York (NYC) to Honolulu (HNL), round trip
Saturday, Oct 2 to Sunday, Oct 10

$768$20 since yesterday
per person, economy, nonstop

Boo...alas, better than going up or staying at 788.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wedding Advice II

Prelim Advice and Words of Wisdom

now i'm trying to get started on the wedding, eek. ok, hit me with some prelim advice/words of wisdom! what was your best resource? budget advice? how long was your engagement? etc, etc. i'm all ears!

words of wisdom: planning for your wedding will be ridiculous, but once you're married it will be awesome because you'll never have to plan your wedding again; no regrets!; if time does not permit, throw it under the bus--that diy thing there 2 days before your wedding?--throw it under the bus! as cute as that diy thing is no one will really notice or care very much, so get a facial or massage or something to eat instead!

best resource: weddingbee hands down; magazines are fun, but you don't really get much information out of it; the knot is good if you need quick generic information--honestly, i think that you'll be looking at a lot of wedding related things just because they're pretty; the books out there get outdated pretty quickly too

budget (venue): in the NYC/North Jersey area, most places charge 200/pp if you're having it at a regular wedding hall on a saturday night. it usually includes open bar for a few hours, cocktail hour, a salad, chicken/beef/fish, and dessert table and wedding cake. we thought those places were cheesey so we looked at prices at restaurants. to buy out most restaurants to accommodate 150 people (usually the maximum) it was on average 50K. so we threw that under the bus.

jon and i would have paid for a small wedding ourselves with immediate family and friends at blue hill in the room that we had our rehearsal dinner, but our parents could not bear not inviting their coworkers or college friends who we've never met before, etc. so we decided to have a chinese banquet extravaganza. we could have made about 150 if we cut out "nonessential people," but we allowed for 250 guests, which was the minimum (or 25 tables) at Linden Place.

we looked at 9 places before Linden Place--3 others in Flushing, 3 in midtown, and 3 in Chinatown. they all except one in midtown that had the weirdest floorplan either did not give us the entire room or had filthy bathrooms or bad food reviews. so we went with Linden Place. jon and i paid for our immediate family and friends' tables. our parents paid each for their friends and extended family tables. we calculated it by a per person cost based on the tables/open bar/music/cake/favors/stationery, etc.--anything that was shared.

we made an excel sheet and coded the guests so we sort them by whose guests they were. so my parents because there were so many of their family and friends there paid the bulk, while jon's parents paid a smaller amount because they had less people, and jon and i paid the rest and the rehearsal dinner.

regarding budgeting for individual items: it's really a matter of how important something is to you. after you figure out your guest count and realistic budget, you might want to rank what is important to you:

ceremony location
reception location
rehearsal dinner
wedding dress/shoes/accessories
wedding suit/tux/shoes/accessories
(if you're paying for other people's attire)
website (if you're going to pay for your own domain/space)

engagement length:
we were engaged from dec. 25, 2007 to jun. 27, 2009. it was LONG. and about 6 mos. before the wedding i was ready to throw the whole thing under the bus because it just seemed that jon stopped caring all together while i was caring more. i think a year or less is ideal, however, we did have a lot of time to get our act together which is nice.

choosing a date: if you think vendors and finding a perfect place for your date will be too difficult i'd give yourselves a long engagement to work out any kinks--but personally, i was ready to get married in august 2008 if need be. obviously, you want to factor in what time of year works best for your family/friends (consider med school/law school) and when you will have vacation time and when is the least busiest time of year in your work schedules, etc.!


Continental direct flight just went up 20 bucks today for the dates we want...

Wedding Advice I

I've been spending a lot of time doling out wedding advice. I thought I'd post some of it up here.

The Engagement

Happy engagement!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll deluge you with wedding planning advice when you're ready. For now, enjoy not planning :) (If you want a peek at what's out there though, theknot is an okay place to start, but is seriously intense stuff.)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Use Points. Save Lives, maybe?


I had 606 points this morning. Now I have 106 points because I donated 500 to the Red Cross. What happened in Haiti is horrible. I hope it helps someone.

What is MyPoints? You get 5 points for each e-mail or two you open from them and click on some advertisement, and you also can earn more by shopping through their website. You can redeem your points for gift cards for stores or you can donate to charity. It's easy and free.

Interested? Shoot me an e-mail so that I can send you a referral link.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Shoes again

I'm wearing the gray suede ones today. They make my feet feel so cute. Well worth the extra $5 the meeting cost me.

The other colors turned out equally nice!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Al Green

Al Green is so freakin sexy. Not the man himself per se, but his music. My favorite Al Green song is "Let's Stay Together":

I, I'm so in love with you
Whatever you want to do
Is all right with me
'Cause you make me feel so brand new
And I want to spend my life with you

Since, since we've been together
Loving you forever
Is what I need
Let me be the one you come running to
I'll never be untrue

Let's, let's stay together
Lovin' you whether, whether
Times are good or bad, happy or sad

Whether times are good or bad, happy or sad

Why, why some people break up
Then turn around and make up
I just can't see
You'd never do that to me (would you, baby)
Staying around you is all I see
(Here's what I want us to do)

(Repeat To Fade):

Let's, we oughta stay together
Loving you whether, whether
Times are good or bad, happy or sad

If we hired a motown band for our wedding instead of the jazz band, they would have HAD to play this song well. (I heard some pretty awful versions of this when viewing video clips of some $10K bands--this song and "Turn the Beat Around" never really passed the test.)

My favorite part of this song is when he asks why people break up to turn around and make up because I agree--I just can't see. It just seems like a waste of time to me.

Friday, January 8, 2010


I hate smug people. I want to sock 'em in the mouth. What do they get from being smug?


I'm learning to ignore the little things that bother me. I'm hoping drugs and alcohol will help.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Whoppie Pie

I'm re-cold-reading a book, and the character mentions whoppie pies. I AM CRAVING ONE SO BADLY.

Today, I'm wearing the only pants that fit me--all the others I own are too big. My butt used to be so much bigger so the waist and length were fine, but now, they're unwearable. I've been wanting to eat donuts and pastries, but I don't want to be that fat again until I get knocked up. How does one avoid 1,000 calorie snacks of goodness and not become depressed?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Car is coming!

Car is coming!

Is here!

Tomorrow at 7!

Honda needs to be spic and span though too.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Meeting Cost Me $10

So I bought the work...while working...I was going to be late to a meeting too, putting in my credit card I came back, put it in, and by the time that happened, all the prices increased by 5 dollars. (The black leather was already $55. I got the suede black and gray too.)

I hope they're awesome. I thought I should start wearing heels at work--but seriously, I just sit all day except when I need to route something. Exercise.

Related Posts with Thumbnails