Thursday, January 31, 2008

I don't know what it is, but I want it!

Welcome to the newest member of our family--a 52" Sony Bravia 1080p LCD television. I just call him Bubba. Good lord, this thing is enormous! The picture here really does not do justice to the sheer size of the thing. Also, I would like to point out G's impressive 1,123,936 point total. Apparently he got something called "Package damaged in transit" that was a major boost. I leave it to your imagination to figure out what that means.

Anyhoo, thanks to Bubba, we'll have a great day Saturday inspecting Tom Brady's nose hairs.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Adventures of a Not-So-Buff Bride

Although I'm at a healthy BMI, I'm not what one might call "in shape." Unless, of course, the shape is question is Jello. So I have embarked on an at-home toning plan called The Buff Bride Challenge. It's generally a bunch of the same weight-bearing exercises everyone recommends for toning, with a focus on the arms, shoulders, and back, which most wedding dresses these days reveal.

Day 1 of the 12 week challenge was Monday and I can confidently say it was a disaster. I started off with what I thought was a light 3 lb. weight. Scratch that. It was a light 3 lb. weight. And I couldn't even do 12 triceps presses. Soooo embarrassing. Day 2 of strength training is today. Let's hope it goes a little better.

There is a secondary reason (aside from not wanting to subject you all to the wind gusts coming from my flabby arms)--I'm not sure my dress will fit! When the bridal salon measured me, my bust came in at a Size 6, my waist at a Size 8, and my hips at a Size 12! Cue Sir Mixalot! We went ahead and ordered the 8 because the sample dress was a 10 and too big, but let's just say that the notion of trying to cram my Size 12 booty into a Size 8 dress is a big motivator!!

Friday, January 25, 2008

It's official!

We're headed to Paris for the honeymoon! After a long and annoying phone call to the United Airlines ticket office, our flights are all booked. I'm afraid to check my credit card balance to see whether we got the credit for G's missed trip to Japan. If we haven't, that's a whole other way more annoying call to United that I just don't even want to think about right now.

In addition to Paris, we're going to spend about 4 or 5 days in Amsterdam, checking out Anne Frank's attic, the canals, and, yes, the cafes. Here's hoping I don't start throwing things (if you've never heard that story, be sure to ask me the next time you see me). We'll miss tulip season, but Holland is home to the world's largest flower auction, so I may drag G off to that (poor G).

I'm still trying to locate decently-priced nice hotel rooms, which I'm coming to decide is an impossibility. But who knows? Maybe the hotel fairy will come and bestow a three-star reservation upon us. I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Some brides have a "winter wonderland" theme or a "beach" theme or a "vintage" theme, or some other theme that carries throughout the wedding. Me, I have a "No Stress" theme. I have implemented it thusly: If I can pay someone else to do something, I will. Then I find the absolute best vendor I can find, tell them vaguely what I want, and then let them do what they do best without worrying about exactly how it's going to look. It's an amazing feat for me, given my usual control-freak nature, but it's working pretty well so far.

As you can imagine given my theme, there is very little DIY happening for my wedding. But there were a couple of things that I saw and wanted, but couldn't outright purchase. And so there is a teensy bit of crafting afoot at Chez Partial Ocean View. One is the ring pillow. Ever since I saw this pillow (it's the bottom one in the above picture), I thought it was the Cutest Thing Ever and SO SIMPLE! You simply take a pillow, place it on an embroidered handkerchief, pull the corners around the pillow, and tack into place. Brilliant! Except that it is nigh impossible to find a large enough handkerchief. I have searched linen stores. I have scoured the depths of the internet. I have tried *everywhere*. It has now officially made me cranky and is therefore no longer thematic.

So the search began for the new ring pillows. I found some really beautiful dupioni silk, monogrammed pillows on Etsy that I really, really loved...for $35 each. And since I have two of the cutest ring bearers in the history of ringbearerdom, I need two of them...making it $70. For pillows. That I would probably throw out after the wedding. Now, I know what you're thinking and you're right. But pointing out my hypocrisy is also not thematic and I am, therefore, ignoring you.

So what's a girl to do? Why, knit them, of course! Inspired by the pillows on the right, I'm going to make simple, stockinette pillows and pucker them with a matching button. If I'm feeling really fancy I might make some cables. The only question remaining is what color--navy or white? What do you think?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Mmmmm...breakfast cake.

Saturday morning, G & I headed back up to Santa Rosa to taste our second wedding cake option. We tasted with Fleur de Lisa Cakes. Our appointment was at 10am, but I think we were both up for some early morning dessert. Here's what we tasted:

Dark chocolate devil's food cake layered with semi-sweek chocolate mousse, with garden-fresh raspberries

Dark chocolate devils food cake with layers of espresso buttercream and dark chocolate mousse

Dark chocolate devils food cake layered with caramel and chocolate mousse

Victorian vanilla cake layered with strawberry puree

Victorian vanilla cake layered with raspberry puree

Classic white cake layered with white chocolate cream cheese and tangy lemon curd

Lemon poppy seed cake with cream cheese and lemon curd

Traditional spicy carrot cake with cream cheese filling

These were what I consider more traditional wedding cake flavors and fillings, while Laurie Lucov's cakes felt more home-made. G preferred Fleur de Lisa's fillings, but Laurie's cakes. Since my favorite cake comes from a Betty Crocker box, I preferred Laurie's everything. Plus, we both really liked Laurie's dedication to fresh, local ingredients. We were talking with her about the possibility of incorporating strawberries and she was telling us that June is strawberry season and there's a local farmer who would pick strawberries for her that morning. Now that's what I call fresh produce!

Fleur de Lisa does some really amazing cake decorating, as you can see from the above photo, but in the end it's the flavor that G & I are most concerned about, so we're going with Laurie! I'm so excited and I can't wait for y'all to get a taste of that espresso buttercream!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

2 down, 61.54 to go.

How much coffee will it take to kill you?

Monday, January 14, 2008


Saturday, G & I had our first cake tasting. We tasted with Laurie Lucov, who made the cake on the left. We tasted:

Dark chocolate buttermilk cake with bittersweet chocolate ganache

Carrot and walnut cake with cream cheese frosting

Pound cake with meyer lemon syrup and vanilla buttercream

Chocolate buttermilk cake with espresso buttercream

Pound cake with orange syrup and orange infused chocolate ganache

Coconut chiffon cake with amaretto buttercream frosting

Those in the know will not be shocked that I wasn't a big fan of the carrot or the coconut chiffon. And that I really liked the bittersweet chocolate ganache and the espresso buttercream. Layer all those together and that's what we've decided we want from Laurie. The cake design would be very similar to the one on the left, as well, only with the wedding flowers at the base and on the top, as well. The cake is also finished with modeling chocolate (bittersweet chocolate mixed with corn syrup), which Laurie promises is significantly more edible than fondant.

Also, G was so impressed with the carrot cake that we may have a carrot groom's cake! Mmmm...two kinds of cake.

This was easily the most fun part so far of this whole wedding planning process. It's also the first vendor meeting I've had so far where I was fed upon arrival. I think there may be a correlation there.

G & I are tasting next week with Fleur de Lisa Cakes, so stay tuned for more cakey goodness!

Friday, January 11, 2008

To think I could have knit it, instead...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

FBI wiretaps dropped due to unpaid phone bills.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

It's not just a river in Egypt.

A couple of weeks ago, I read this article in the Chron, which outlined a University of Michigan study that concluded that parents of obese children don't realize that their children are fat. In fact, 43% of parents involved in the study categorized their (obese) children as "about the right weight." An additional 37% categorized their (obese) children as "slightly overweight." Some small percentage actually categorized their (obese) children as "slightly underweight."

Then, yesterday I read this article online about a gentleman in Louisiana who alleges he was overcharged and eventually banned from an all-you-can-eat restaurant because he was too fat and ate too much. He was quoted as saying "I ain't that fat; I only weigh 277." In reality, if he lost 37 pounds, he'd still be obese.

I'm not shocked these people are overweight--bacon tastes good and exercise is a drag. It's a miracle I'm not 277 pounds. It's the utter lack of self-awareness that's surprising the hell out of me. 66% of Americans are overweight and 32% of Americans are obese and apparently most of them are blissfully unaware.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

2007 In Review: A Meme

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?

Got engaged, of course!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Of course not...and of course. Isn't it that the best part of being American--there's no accountability!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Not that I'm aware of.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Only the poinsetta on my desk. RIP.

5. What countries did you visit?

Didn't leave California the whole year.

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?

A baby! Now there's a scary thought. Wait, nevermind. No baby for me in 2008; that would involve being pregnant by March and, Allah willing, that won't happen.

7. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Definitely getting a new job and leaving behind the horribleness of my old one. It was really an awful environment, an awful job, and awful management. And, rumor has it, the place has actually gotten worse since I left.

8. What was your biggest failure?
Not finishing the Weasley sweater in time for Christmas. Poor W. He was a good sport, though. I talked to him a couple of days ago and he's anxious for it, but excited to hear about progress. I really hope it lives up to his expectations, because I have some concerns!

9. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Both! Of course there was the Thanksgiving trip to the emergency room for my neck. And then the week of Christmas, G & I got the Worst. Cold. Ever. We were really quite the pathetic pair. We're pretty sure M brought it when he came to visit, even though he was never sick. He's still getting blamed, though, because it's either that or my having shared endless plates of cookies with my co-workers. It couldn't possibly have been the cookies...cookies are good...cookies would never cause harm. Yes, definitely M.

10. What was the best thing you bought?

A Les Paul guitar for G.

11. Where did most of your money go?

To the wedding!

12. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

The wedding!

13. Compared to this time last year, are you:
 a) happier or sadder? 
b) thinner or fatter? 
c) richer or poorer?

Happier, fatter, and financially about the same (see: new job, but: wedding).

14. What do you wish you’d done more of?

15. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Not knitting.

16. What was the best book you read?

Ooh, that's a tough one. And heavily biased, I'm afraid, to what I've recently read (poor memory, me). I really loved A Thousand Splendid Suns. But I just finished up (before NYE, so it still counts!) Look Me In the Eye and it's amazing. It's the memoir of Augusten Burroughs' brother, who has Asperger's. Given that my nephew has Asperger's I was really hoping to gain some insight into how an Aspergian sees the world. I'm not sure the book really provided that kind of insight, but it was so well written and full of great stories that I loved it, anyway.

17. What did you want and get?

18. What did you want and not get?

A new car. I'm trying to be responsible and hang in there with my perfectly fine (if mildly ghetto) Grandmamobile.

19. What kept you sane?
That assumes I started sane.

20. Who did you miss?
My mom.

Good lord.

Now milk gives you prostate cancer: