Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lost in Twanslation

I was Christmas shopping in Walmart when I noticed a missed call alert on my cell phone and a voicemail message. I listened to the message and all I heard was a bunch of jibber jabber in an incredibly thick Asian accent. I couldn't understand a thing. So I listened again. Nothing. I listened a third time. Using all my supersonic accent encryption skills (a well-learned talent acquired from 5 years of working with Italians & Mexicans), I was able to decipher the words "store" pronounced on the message as "stwow," and "pick-up" pronounced "wick-wup."

Ah ha, eureka! I had ordered some Christmas presents on and was having them delivered straight to the store for pick-up (no shipping & handling costs that way). My order must be ready for pick-up. I had previous experience ordering my glitter-rific Save the Dates from, and I knew that there was an Asian lady named Rose who worked in the Photo Lab. She must have been the one that called me. So I headed for the Photo Lab. A lot of things went through my mind as I headed towards the back of the store: 1) I couldn't believe my good timing. I was already in Walmart when my shipment arrived, so no special trip needed. 2) How did I so geniusly decipher that impossible to understand voicemail message? I must be the Sherlock Holmes of voicemail messages. 3) Walmart really shouldn't allow Rose from the Photo Lab to do their customer service calls. She seems like a nice lady, but that accent really prevents her from being a capable outbound caller.

I made my way to the Photo Lab and it was a total madhouse. There were packages everywhere and the employees looked overworked and distressed. I didn't see Rose. She must be in the back making more inaudible phone calls. I stood in line and waited to claim my package. When it was my turn at the counter, they looked for my package, but couldn't find it. This did not alarm me at first because I knew from previous experience that while the Walmart Photo Lab did quality work, they were unorganized and unprepared. I remember when I picked up my Save the Dates, it was the slow off-season and it still took them about 15 minutes to locate my package. I spelled my name for them again, and they began to sort through the packages once more. They couldn't find it. They asked me if someone had called and told me it was ready? I told them that someone had called, but didn't go into anymore detail. They began another search for my missing package. That's when Rose walked out.

She must have sensed that another holiday package had gone AWOL because without speaking to any other co-workers first, she looked right at me and said, "How long ago did you order the package -- yesterday or a few days ago?"

Holy crap balls, she doesn't have an accent at all! All the Rs are Rs and not Ls. All the vowels are in the right place. No awkward pauses or mis-conjugated verbs. This was not my mystery Asian! Not at all!

Rose: Could you spell your name again? Is it L-A-C-E-Y? Or L-A-C-Y?

Oh my gosh, what do you do when you are caught in a moment of absolute racism? Do you fess up?

Me: Actually, it's L-A-C-Y H-A-L-L. If you can't find me under Hall, then try looking me up in your "Racist Customers Who Like to Stereotype and Generalize Minorities" file, I'm sure I'll be in there.

What was I supposed to tell these Walmart employees so desperately looking for my package? That I only have business dealings with two Asians -- Rose at the Photo Lab and the girl who does my eyebrows? Do I just fess up to my racism and get the hell out of there with shame carved onto my face like Col. Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds? No, I got all Vegan Hippie Chick on them and said, "when the package wants to be found, it will be found. Just call me then."


I walked a few aisles down and listened to my message again, trying to place this Mystery Asian. I understood even less now then I did before. I gave up and just called the number.

Mystery Asian: Heywhoa.
Me: Hi, I was returning your call. This number was on my Caller ID.
Mystery Asian: Yow dwess iz (sic) tu fu, come no yow und wick-wup.
Me: I'm sorry, what?
Still Patient Mystery Asian: Yow come no yow und git yow dwess.
Me: Say what now?
Slightly Less Patient Mystery Asian: Yow dwess.
Me: One more time?
Totally Frustrated Mystery Asian: YOW WEEDING DWESS! YOW DWESS! Yow weeding dwess iz weady. Yow und yow mom come see. Yow und yow mom come see, and yow twy on so tin we fwix and mak pwefect fit fo yowz.
Me: wedding dress!

It was Betty from the wedding dress boutique! Yes Betty, my beloved Betty! How could I forget Betty. She had helped me and my mom so much when we searched for my perfect wedding dress. And her thick filipino accent and accompanying lisp had made our wedding dress experience so much more fun and joyful. Of course, it was Betty all along. How had I been so daft not to recognize Betty's famously unrecognizable speech? It seemed so obvious now.

Me: My wedding dress is ready? Oh geez, that's so exciting. I can't believe it. My wedding dress, it's seriously ready?
Betty: Yeah, that's what I said. It's weady.

(Fortune cookie pic taken, without permission, from

Monday, October 4, 2010

Strangling My Free Time

I haven't blogged in a while. My mom blames Steven for coming home from Washington and taking up all my time. But Steven isn't to blame; it's Dexter.

I've just started watching Dexter, so I've fully committed all my free time to going back through the four previous seasons, so I'll be up-to-date with the current season. This is a phenomenon known as Box Setting -- sitting on the couch in your pajamas watching multiple seasons of a popular TV show in a ridiculously short span of time. There is normally an absurd deadline involved (i.e. "I have to make it through the first 6 seasons before the season premiere on Monday.") There is typically a lot of false promises to family members and friends (i.e. "I'm just going to watch one more episode, and then I'll turn it off, and I'll get up and do something else.") But you never get up and do something else. The only time you get up is for a bathroom break or to change from Disc 3 to Disc 4. Family and friends be damned, you have to make it through this else will you know what happened!

I feel no real need to justify my actions. I'm convinced that everybody has had at least one experience with Box Setting. I've had three -- The Sopranos, Smallville and now Dexter. Also, I once spent an entire weekend watching all the Harry Potter movies. But I'm not taking responsibility for that one. I blame mother nature and ABC Family for pairing a particularly gloomy and rainy weekend with a Harry Potter movie marathon. What else was I supposed to do? Clean the house? Ha!

I'm not exactly sure why I've decided to watch Dexter now. Why I didn't watch it from the beginning, I'll never know. Everybody told me I'd love Dexter. And of course, I'd love Dexter. I love murder, and I love cop shows. So there you go, I love Dexter. But isn't that always the the way with Box Setting? You hear of a popular show and instead of just watching it, you avoid it. You avoid it for years and years. And then one day, you happen to cross paths with an episode. Usually, somebody makes you watch an episode (television rape). You tell yourself that you're not really going to pay attention cause you don't want to get into it. You don't want "another program" to have to watch. Plus, what's the point of getting into a show after it's already been on for years? But then, you start watching the show and you don't just like the show, you love this show!. You need this show. And you must watch every single episode from the very beginning. And it would be nice if you watched them all in one weekend, while wearing your pajamas.

It's like an addiction. Televised crack.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and The Not So Pretty

I have a little chore that I need to complete for the wedding reception, but in order to proceed I need mugshot-type pics of both me and Steven. The problem is that we never seem to be attractive on the same day. I washed and flat-ironed my hair last night, so I had high hopes to get the pics done this afternoon, but alas, I started my period. That makes me photogenically incapable for the next 4 to 6 days. Which also means that Steven will reach maximum attractiveness this week, then take a sudden homely dive just as my face clears up and my hair stops frizzing. We really should coordinate our looks. At least for the wedding.

I'm going to go and eat ice cream.

Current Status of Mr. Squirrel

As of this morning at approximately 7:15 a.m., Mr. Squirrel was still alive, although he sounded weak and disoriented. Which is exactly how I felt at 7 this morning too.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Operation Bamboo: Complete!

The joke's on you Bamboo Man cause I got my bamboo!
And this bamboo did not just appear under my pillow one night, delivered by the Bamboo Fairy. No sir. This was all the doing of my Aunt Susan (my dad's sister) in Pennsylvania. Aunt Susan made all my bamboo dreams a reality, by getting us this beautiful stack of bamboo here. Brooklyn loves it so much that she decided to pose for a picture with it (and because I smeared it with peanut butter). And this bamboo did not come easy for Aunt Susan. There was some detective work involved, a little bit of sneakiness, and she even had it transported across state lines from Pennsylvania to the Virginia border. The kind of stuff Burt Reynolds, ala Smokey and the Bandit, would be impressed by. And I'm impressed to. Thanks Aunt Susan. Fifty thousand bonus points for you, redeemable on our wedding day weekend.

Things Are Getting Squirrel-ly

I've got a new alarm clock. It's in the form of a squirrel that visits our attic every morning at 7:15 a.m.

If you've never been to our apartment, then let me give you a brief layout. We live in a row of conjoined rental townhouses. We don't actually have a singular attic, but a joint space that spans the entire row of townhouses. According to Steven, it's a dismal & horrid place. He said there are so many holes in the roof that it's not even dark in the attic because so much sunlight is allowed in. Of course, when he describes this, I picture a serene Baptist church punctured by beams of sunlight coming through massive stain glass windows. I don't think it's quite that lovely. On the contrary. When Steven merely lifts his upper torso into the forbidden zone, he's masked in a hat, goggles, gloves, and clothes that he does not care for. He looks like one of those guys at the end of E.T.

So through these roof holes we obtain some new friends from time to time. A few months ago, we had a rat. I know it's a rat because I actually saw him one day. I came downstairs and walked into the kitchen to make my coffee. I was still rubbing the sleepy out of my eyes when we saw each other. We actually saw each other. He was sitting on my kitchen counter. He looked at me. I looked at him. And then we both panicked. I screamed, and he hauled ass across the counter. Of course, the sight of him in motion took my scream to a higher octave and that was enough to wake Brooklyn (and believe me, that's saying something. Normally, she doesn't get up until the coffee's ready). I don't like rats. Or mice. I never wanted a hamster. But I must say, this was a very handsome rat. He did not look like a hoodlum rat. Oh no, this rat knew people. He was white with black splotches, and had a gorgeous coat of disgusting, puke-out-my guts rat fur. I would not be surprised if this rat had an agent, and would potentially be in some absurd family comedy starring Eddie Murphy or Brendan Fraser. But for the time being, he was on my counter....hauling ass. He hauled is little furry butt right into the top of my oven. I've since been baffled by his choice in escape routes. It would not seem wise to use any sort of major kitchen appliance as a getaway vehicle. But I've never been able to escape anything, so what do I know?

Of course, Steven was out-of-town and unable to handle this little rodent problem. And Brooklyn was completely unwilling. So that left me to deal with it. At first, I tried to be civil with the rat. I thought, WWWDD? (What Would Walt Disney Do?) If there was only some way I could exploit this thing for millions of dollars. Maybe this was not a disgusting rat eating breadcrumbs off my kitchen counter, but a mouse with a dream. Maybe he was planning on cooking me breakfast or tidying my house. Soon, I realized this was highly unlikely. I had no eggs or pancake mix, and he would not be able to push the vacuum cleaner with those tiny little paws. I decided that he had to be murdered.

I planned on being humane by purchasing "no kill" traps and sonic sound things, but that crap didn't work. I didn't have the heart (or stomach) for sticky traps. I could not get old-fashioned snap traps to work without hurting myself in the process. And...I'm about to confess day....I stole a cat. I borrowed the cat really. And she was already in my yard, so technically she was trespassing. But it was pointless. Turns out, I catnapped the laziest damn animal next to Brooklyn on a rainy day. She was a napper, not a mouse hunter.

So I moved on to poison. It worked for the girls in 9 to 5, the evil queen in Snow White, and it worked for me too. Rat problem solved. But now we've got a new problem -- Mr. Squirrel. How do I know it's a squirrel? Context clues. He sounds very acrobatic and busy. He's much more motivated than a rat. Plus, he's very punctual. He keeps a set schedule every single day. At 7:15 a.m., he starts to scratch and gnaw in the attic and he actually moves in a set path throughout the ceiling. By 9 a.m., he's done. This is his schedule, every single day! Now, everybody knows that rats don't have enough pocket space to carry a watch, much less a map and compass. But squirrels do -- why do you think they have those bushy tails? It's not for balance, it's cargo space.

Yeah, I know. It could be something else. But I'm not Discovery Earth, I don't have a film crew capturing the goings-on of my attic. There could be another rat up there, or a wayward penguin. Maybe a drunk and confused Rip Torn, looking for his house. Hell, it could be that cat that I kidnapped, suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. I really don't know what's up there, and I don't care. This stupid freaking thing has been waking me up every morning for 4 days now and it must die. With any luck, after a few days and a few handfuls of poison, it'll be nothing more than a dead lump of furry regrets.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Splendor in the Grass

My dad is sick, so I mowed my parents lawn out of the sheer goodness of my heart (read- my parents guilted me into it. Ugh, why don't I have a brother and/or why don't my parents own a goat?!?) I'm really crappy at mowing lawns. I can't get the lawn mower started at all. Someone else has to start it for me, which means I have to do the front and back lawns all at once cause I can't let the mower shut off. The real problem is the shaking. I've got kinda puny arms, so lawnmowers and weed trimmers shake the crap out of my arms. I overcompensate by holding on with a death grip. So needless to say, I've got blisters on my hands.

The mowing actually went pretty well until the very end when the lawn mower started making strange sounds. Maybe it was running out of gas, maybe it was tired? I'm not really sure. I'll admit, I have rarely ever mowed a lawn, so I'm not up-to-date on my lawnmower sound diagnostics. I only had a small section of the yard left. And you know the section of the yard I'm talking about. It's the small patch of grass on the side of the house where it connects with the neighbors crappy little patch of grass. You both secretly hope the other one over-mows so you don't have to, but that rarely happens. So I half-assed finished the job and put the mower back in the shed.

Then I saw Brooklyn. Apparently, she thought it was a good idea to roll in dog poop, followed by grass clippings. Basically, she tar and feathered herself.

So now I had to give Brooklyn a bath. It's actually pretty easy to give Brooklyn a bath at my parents house. When they had their master bath remodeled, I don't think they planned on creating a dog spa utopia, but they did. They have a very large walk-in shower with swinging glass doors and stone floors. So once a dog gets trapped in there, they can't get out. The shower head is removable, so no matter what corner they try to hide in, you can squirt them down easily. My favorite thing about giving Brooklyn a bath in that shower is, without fail, she will attempt to open the door with her paw at least once during the bath. She walks up to the glass door and rests her paw against it. It never moves. The problem is that I don't think Brooklyn knows how to push. I think she assumes doors work by merely placing your palm against them -- like in Star Trek. She doesn't get the whole pushing thing, or she's just too lazy to push...I'm not sure which it is.

In the middle of Brooklyn's bath, I heard a loud KABOOM!!! My initial reaction was that it was the lawnmower exploding in the shed. It was not. It was the Blue Angels practicing for the air show this weekend, and they got a little close to the house. Hopefully, they didn't get too close. I would hate for them to notice the crap job I did on the lawn.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Magical World of Home

We're back from Florida! We had the best vacation ever. Technically, it was Steven's first vacation, so it was especially exciting for him. But it really was a great, super fantastic time. I have nothing bad to say about anything. Those Disney people, they run a really top notch organization there. They've got it all figured out. Pretty much all their rides are family friendly*, and when you exit the ride you walk directly into a gift shop. Seriously, every ride emptied into a gift shop. And no worries about having to carry anything around their park cause they send it right to your hotel of charge. Genius!

*Family Friendly...ha! Check out this short clip of me on some runaway train ride at Magic Kingdom. I'm a wiener. I'm not good on rides.

We went to 5 theme parks in 5 days (Magical Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Universal's Islands of Adventure, and Universal Studios). So needless to say, I'm pretty freaking tired. I need a vacation from my vacation. We had a blast, but it's nice to be home. The only problem is, some little punk fairy wrecked our house when we were gone. I could have sworn we left a clean, meticulously organized and spotless house. But when we came home...clothes everywhere, mail everywhere, unwashed glasses in the sink, and no toilet paper in the bathroom. How could I leave on vacation and not stock the toilet paper first? Did I think, upon return, we would no longer need to use the bathroom? Did I think Disney World would equip us with some sort of non-defecating superpower -- like a lame, lesser known superhero? My only real option was to use old wet naps from Buffalo Wild Wing that I found in the junk drawer. And that's not good for anybody involved -- not for me, not for the toilet, and definitely not for Buffalo Wild Wing's branding department. So needless to say, I had to pretty much hold it until I went to work on Monday. I don't know what Steven did. And I don't want to know.

So what I'm getting at is this...I'm too tired to post right now.
I'll post more later. But in the meantime, here is treasured picture from our vacation. It's a borderline racist pic from a It's a Small World-esque boat ride in Epcot. Notice that the little Mexican kids have Donald Duck strung up like a pinata and are having a grand ol' time beating him to get to those sugary treats they love so much. Maybe a cinnamon churro even? Good times!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Anatomy of a Half Marathon

The Rock n' Roll Half Marathon was this morning.

Here's my timeline:

5:30 am- Alarm goes off. I've only gotten 4 and a half hours of sleep. Steven has only slept 2 hours, staying up till 3 am with a tummy ache and watching old Richard Pryor movies on his laptop. Brooklyn having had 10 hours of solid sleep feels well rested, but questions our motives for getting up so early. She retreats under the covers.

6:30 am- Steven has dropped me off at the race start. I do my stretches, eat half a bagel, GU Chomps (energy gummy bears), and contemplate standing in line for the port-a-potties. I do not need to go to the bathroom, but last year I found a 20 dollar bill in a port-a-potty. It was a surreal moment finding a perfect 20 bill on the ground of a disgusting port-a-potty. Like finding pirate treasure while pissing. I left it on the ground because I didn't know where to put it (I would have had to stuff it down my sports bra). Gross. This year, I came prepared with a running belt. Still...I don't wait in line for the port-a-potties.

7:00 am- Race begins for the fast people (i.e. the Kenyans). Everybody else waits patiently for their start. I begin to daydream about the riches I could have found in the port-a-potty.

Mile 2.5- My right knee is bothering the hell out of me. This is particularly alarming because my right knee is my "good knee." I pull to the side and try to stretch it out. It doesn't work; it still hurts. I think if I keep running, it will eventually "pop" but it doesn't. I start feeling like a schmuck for finally reaching the age where I have a "good knee" and a "bad knee."

Mile 4- My iPod shuffle has played 4 songs in a row from Britney's Spears album Circus. I begin to question my iPod's judgement.

Mile 5- I get behind a jogger with a "Running in Memory of BLANK" on the back of their shirt. Under the name is a picture of an American soldier. While I truly appreciate people running for fallen friends and family, I don't want to get emotional. I divert my eyes.

Mile 5.5- Enrique Iglesias's "I Like It" comes on my iPod. I start thinking about The Jersey Shore.

Mile 6- I get behind a girl with a virtual rose garden tattooed across her entire back. Red roses. Yellow roses. Black roses. On the small of her back (tramp stamp area), it says "Rose." Really? I thought your name might have been Lily. There are a lot of bad tattoos on full display during the race. Tattoos on thighs and hips and necks. I appreciate bad tattoos while running. In school, I learned that Buddhist monks cherished imperfections in pottery because it gave them something to stare at while they were meditating. The worst idea for a tattoo that I have ever heard was this girl wanted to get the story of her and her boyfriend tattooed down her mermaids. That's right, I said mermaids. Damn, I wish I was running behind that girl right now.

Mile 6.5- I'm given a GU Energy Gel. It's vanilla. I do not eat vanilla or chocolate GU. For the reasons, you might be thinking (she whispers- when they get warm, it's like eating poo-poo and man juice). Gross. I give my vanilla GU back to the volunteer. He is not pleased and tries to hand it back. I ball up my hand little kid-style so he can't force it back into my hand. My little kid trickery works. I go to the next volunteer and grab some more GU. It's blueberry. I hate blueberry. Curses.

Mile 7- For no apparent reason, I begin thinking about Pat Benatar, the headliner for the American Music Festival in Virginia Beach this weekend. Years ago, I saw her perform for free at the 24th Street Stage at the oceanfront. She destroyed it. Her husband plays guitar in her band and they've been married for 28 years. His nickname is Spyder. During his guitar solos, she stared at him with the sort of adoration that only a young girl could hold for Justin Beiber.

Mile 8- I see a guy dressed in all white and wearing angel wings. He is running in memoriam of his friend, Erik. I divert my eyes.

Mile 8.5- I get behind a father and daughter team. On the back of her shirt it reads, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!" On the back of Dad's shirt it reads, "WHAT? THIS IS MY PRESENT?"

Mile 9- I start thinking about chocolate chip pancakes. This is not unusual. Steven and I are having brunch at Citrus immediately after the race. When I ran the Shamrock Marathon in March, I was motivated by Captain George's seafood buffet. I actually developed a cadence around mile 16 where I just repeated "Shrimp, shrimp, shrimp, shrimp" with every step. It's what I imagine gets Brooklyn through her day.

Mile 9.75- The race course runs past Croatan, an affluent oceanfront neighborhood. Like always, some of the people of Croatan have set out yard sprinklers for runners to cool off under. They are also passing out orange slices and cantaloupe. I begin to reassess all the bad thoughts I've had about rich people.

Mile 10.5- I am no longer thinking about rich people. I am thinking about making it over the Rudee Inlet bridge. My right knee is questioning my judgement.

Mile 11- I fart. I know that it's not physically plausible, but I always feel that when I fart, it gives me a little turbo boost. And I run real fast for like 30 seconds. Sorta like hitting the nitro boost button in a hot car.

Mile 12- The longest mile. I begin to think about Burt Reynolds and that prison/football movie.

Mile 12.2- People always pass out during this last mile. It's a potpourri of dropping runners and fallen bodies. You really have to have your wits about you not trip or get pulled down by a delirious runner. Kind of like playing Frogger, but with fallen runners instead of cars. This one lady drops right in front of me. A medic rushes to her side and repeatedly asks, "Do you know where you are?" For some reason, I want her to answer, "Cleveland." She does not. She, in fact, does not know where she is.

Mile 12.5- My morale and stamina is at dangerously low levels. I become increasingly annoyed with spectators on the sidelines yelling things like, "You can do it! Finish strong!" I suppose it's meant to sound motivational and inspirational, but it comes across as condescending to a tired runner, when yelled by spectators in flip flops and eating snow cones.

Mile 12.75- Flo Rida's song "Low" comes on. I begin thinking about big asses and Reebok's with the straps. I notice that several women are wearing jogging pants with built-in ass support. While I have sometimes wished for a slightly larger, more curvaceous rump, I am very happy that I do not have to wear a sports bra for my ass.

Mile 13.1- I finish! To my surprise and dismay, I did not win. I finish 2nd to 6,226 people. It's been a long day; I'll take 2nd.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Florida or Bust!!!!!

We're going to Disney World!!!!!! Well, to Disney World & to Universal Studios Florida. It was a very spontaneous move on our part. Steven is coming back this Friday and he has off on Monday for Labor Day, as well as, the rest of the week per request of his company. I just kept thinking, "Gee, I wish we would have known this before hand. We could have planned a trip." And then late Friday night, it hit me...why don't we plan a trip? What's stopping us? I got online and looked at some prices and found out that a Disney trip was plausible.

I seriously could not sleep at all Friday night; I was so excited. I didn't go to sleep until 4am and I woke up at 9am. I tried to call the travel agency (CI Travel, the same one who booked our honeymoon), but they weren't open until 10am. At 10am on the dot, I called them and booked the trip. And yes, I did get travel insurance. I normally don't. I like to gamble with the weather. But I figured that during hurricane season, insurance was a good idea. The "responsible" thing to do.

So we're leaving Monday, September 6th at 8:30am and arriving in Orlando at around 10:30am. And then coming back on Saturday, September 11th at like 5pm. We're staying at the Disney All-Star Music Resort, which is a value hotel that I picked purely for the price and the picture-taking opportunities. Ironic since neither one of us owns a camera. We've got tickets for three days at Disney World and two days at Universal Studios. What am I most excited about? The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Ever since the first film came out I've been waiting for some sort of Harry Potter/Quidditch type ride to be built. I didn't understand why no amusement park had gotten a Harry Potter ride yet. And then Universal comes out with an entire Harry Potter Land, complete with Butter Beer and The Three Broomsticks and everything. I've been plotting to go there ever since I heard about it.

Me and Steven are soooooooo excited! I don't know about him, but ever since I booked the trip, I haven't been able to sleep at all. I can't sleep. I'm too excited. I'm like one of those kids in the commercials.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Adventures of Bamboo Man

I'm on the hunt for bamboo. I need 8 poles of bamboo, a minimum of 3 inches in diameter and (at least) 10 feet long. Bamboo -- it's so free and plentiful in Hawaii, and yet so expensive and evasive in Virginia. But we got a lot of ham! So suck on that Hawaii. Oh wait, they've got a ton of pigs too. That whole luau, cook the pig in the ground thing. (Sigh) Whatever, Hawaii, whatever.

So I'm looking for bamboo and I've found a lot of stuff online, but it's still a little pricey. So I did a google search for "local garden nurseries bamboo." I got maybe 7 potential places and I wrote down all their phone numbers, but honestly...I don't want to call them. So after two months, I threw the list away. I actually destroyed it in a paper shredder. That upset my mom a bit, who didn't understand why I would throw the list away. But she didn't want to call them either. And now that I've destroyed the list, I've eliminated any obligation I previously had to make any phone calls. So there. Doesn't make much sense, but it does.

Over the weekend, me and my parents made random drop-ins on local nurseries to see if they had any bamboo. We found this one crazy guy at this one nursery. He looked like, at one time, he might have been a surfer dude and/or an alcoholic. He had crazy gray hair that went with his crazy gray beard. He walked way too fast and had way too much information. Picture Epic Beard Man with a weekend job selling petunias.

But to answer our question? No, they didn't have any bamboo. BUT they did have a patch of bamboo that was growing in the woods behind the nursery. What happened next, I'm confused about. He showed us where the bamboo was growing. Told us when a good time of the year would be to cut it down (aka when tick season was over). Told us what kind of saw to cut it down with. Told us the type of truck and rack to use to load the bamboo in. He told us when he would be working and when other people wouldn't be working. And he told us not to bother asking anybody else at the store about the bamboo because they wouldn't know about he would.

So, is Bamboo Man:

A) Someone who just won't shut-up and is an over-sharer,

B) Trying to tell us the how, when, and where of stealing bamboo from his employer,

C) A hustler who wants us to come back and pay him on the side to steal bamboo from his employer,

D) In need of Just For Men: Blend-Away Gray for Moustaches, Beards and Sideburns

Hmmmmm, while you think about that I'm going to go and have a "country dinner" and my Aunt Jan's house.

Orange Panties or a Girdle?

I was just at a department store at MacArthur Mall trying on white cocktail dresses for my wedding day weekend. They were all at ridiculously low prices because (I'm assuming) Labor Day is coming up and you're not supposed to wear white after Labor Day. I guess they gotta drop their white dress inventory stat! I tried on this one dress and it was so tight, and there was so much ruching, that I looked like a blonde version of Snooki. Like seriously, the dress was so tight that I almost threw my back out trying to get it over my head. When I finally got it over my body, my hair was so messed up, I had like a comb-over/poof thing going. I looked like a sausage. Literally a Snooki sausage. I didn't buy it. But that's not the important thing.

The important thing is that in the dressing room next to me, I could hear this one lady talking to her friend and she was really unsure about the dress she had tried on. Apparently, it was for a wedding too, but she was going to be a guest. She kept asking, "Is it too tight right here?" And her friend would never answer her. She would ask if the dress made her look fat, and the friend would respond, "Do you have a bra that will work for this?" And they had this entire discussion about whether or not she should wear orange panties or a girdle? They went back and forth on that forever, "orange panties or a girdle?" They couldn't decide which would be best. What the hell sort of situation was there with the dress that it could either be solved with orange panties OR a girdle, but not both? And they never resolved the orange panties/girdle dilemma. They walked out of the dressing room to do some further investigating and I tried so hard to peek at them through the slotted doors, but alas...I couldn't! I'll never know.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The $7 Tub

Me and my parents got into a very long "discussion" while at Lowe's on Sunday. My dad has a blue all-purpose tub, which looks like the one above. For the wedding reception, we're planning on filling this tub with ice and an assortment of refreshing non-alcoholic beverages including, but not limited to, soda pop, bottled water, juice boxes, and Yoo-Hoo. This tub would be for the reception, and would be located on the deck of the beachouse. My dad already owns this tub. It's a part of the family. It's free and already booked for the wedding.

Me, ever the considerate hostess, was wanting to purchase a second all-purpose tub to place directly on the beach so that BEFORE the wedding, guests could grab a bottled water, while they were waiting for the ceremony to begin. This is to prevent guests from getting too parched and/or dehydrated (READ: Thirsty). They have all-purpose tubs available at Lowe's. They are $7.

This is where things got dicey. Neither one of my parents wanted me to buy this tub. The following account is a paraphrase of the "discussion" that took place in the garden center of Lowe's.

Mom's Proposal: Why don't you just put your dad's tub on the edge of the deck so that it's closer to the ceremony site? People will walk by and they'll grab a drink if they want one.
My Counter-Argument: No, I don't think most people will just grab a drink if it's on the deck. They'll be polite and think it's for the reception.
Mom's Counter Idea to My Counter-Argument: Then have the tub on the beach during the ceremony and then move it on the deck for the reception.
My Counter to the Counter: No, it will be too heavy.
Dad's Expert Opinion: Yeah, it'll be too heavy.
Mom's Second Proposal: Why don't we put the tub of bottled water and ice on the beach for the ceremony, then after the ceremony dump out the ice on the beach, so it won't be so heavy to move it.
My Second Counter-Argument to the Second Proposal: Then you'll have to take out all the water that didn't get drank, dump the ice on the sand, move the tub, then re-fill it with new ice and more drinks. That's a lot of work.
Mom's Third Proposal: Let's use one of your dad's little coolers then. They're small enough to carry on the sand.
My Counter-Argument to the Third Proposal: That's ghetto.
Dad's Proposal: This might sound wild. (UH OH!) But what if I bring my wheelbarrow, cover the basin with plastic, fill it with ice and water, and then just wheel it on to the beach.
My Counter: You're gonna load that heavy wheelbarrow into your truck, and then drive it all the way to Sandbridge and then wheel it in the sand!?!
Dad's Counter to My Counter: It's got a big giant tire, it won't get stuck.
My Proposal: Why don't I just get the's $7.
Dad Closing Arguments: Fine, get the tub then.

So, I got the tub. It was $7.

This might seem like a small moment in a series of numerous small moments in planning this wedding. And, I'm pretty sure that my parents still disagree with me about buying the $7 tub. But, to all the men in my family and in Steven's family -- there is going to be a point between our wedding ceremony and reception, where you are going to be moving around a lot of shit (i.e. chairs, tables, kegs, archways) and you'll feel very tired, and be in a moderate amount of pain. In that moment, I want you to look down at this $7 purple tub, that will be filled with an assortment of refreshing non-alcoholic beverages. I want you to look down at this tub, sitting comfortably on the beach and think, "Thank God, I don't have to move that freaking heavy ass tub too!"

And then I will have won.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Operation Skimpy Bikini

For our honeymoon, we're going to Jamaica for 7 days. You know what that means? I need 7 bikinis! (All the girls say, "Of course.")

Now is the best time to shop for bathing suits because everything is on sale. If I wait till next spring, then I'll be paying triple the amount for the same thing. (All the girls nod their heads in agreement.) But I don't want just any bathing suits. I want some ridiculous, skimpy bikinis. The kind of bikinis that would only be acceptable during a honeymoon in Jamaica. I want a "oh no, she didn't" kind of bikini. Remember the kind of bathing suits Goldie Hawn wore in the 80s classic Overboard? That's what I'm thinking. Nothing practical. Nothing demure. Nothing classy. You know, Coco approved bikinis. (As in, Ice T's wife Coco, not Coco Chanel) I figure, I'm on my honeymoon in a foreign country, and I don't have kids yet. This is my last chance to wear a ridiculously inappropriate bikini and get away with it.

Steven is not a cheap ass, but with everything (from the beach house to the napkins to the forks)I've purchased for this wedding, he has asked, "How much is it gonna cost?" How much? How much? How much? The same questions over and over again. I told him that I was going to buy a few bikinis for the honeymoon. Suddenly, he turned into Lil Jon. "YEAH! OKAAAAAY! YEAH" Not once has he asked me the price of a single bikini, much less the combined total of all of them.

My bikinis arrived yesterday and I must say, Goldie Hawn would be proud. There is one that is silver. Not like a grayish silver, but a shiny metallic silver. If I scratched the material with my fingernail, I could get some of the silver to chip off. It's that kinda silver. It's a chipable silver, not a practical silver. It's a pretty cute bikini, but when I tried the top on, it was a little too snug. Normally, I would exchange it for a bigger size, but who cares? I don't think Steven is going to complain. Babe, I think you should have gotten a size bigger. Ha!

You've heard of a string bikini? Well, one bikini has 8 strings to the bottoms -- 4 on each side with a little patch thing in the middle. If I saw a girl wearing this thing in Virginia Beach, I would question her upbringing and make speculations about her chosen career path. In Jamaica, I think it's going to be considered conservative.

I even got a tangerine colored cover-up. Emphasis on the tangerine, and not so much the cover-up part. On the tag, it's described as "incredibly delicate material." I would describe it as "bright-ass colored fishnet." But that's just me.

There is one bikini in particular that has all of them beat. It's a snakeskin print string bikini, with hot pink piping trim. It's not just trashy, it's fashionably reckless and irresponsible. If this bikini could be a crime, it would be drunk driving. If it was a meal, it would be the Monte Cristo sandwich at Bennigan's (may you rest in peace sweet sandwich). It's the kind of bikini that begs for a full-face of make-up, hoop earrings, and to be worn poolside with 6-inch pumps. It just doesn't make any sense, and yet it makes total sense. I don't even think it's suitable to wear in the water. It has a ridiculous amount cleavage-encouraging padding in the bikini cups. And they aren't even gel cups. It's like old-school cotton. I think if I wore this bikini in the ocean, the cups would saturate with salt water and I would sink to the ocean floor.

I can't explain to you how much fun it was getting these bathing suits. Normally, when you try on a bikini, you aren't just considering your comfort and preference. You're thinking about everybody else in the world too. Do I look too fat? Too skinny? Are my boobies too small? Does this look too young for me? Too old? Will people stare at me on the beach and think bad things? Will it fall off in the ocean? It's stressful buying a bathing suit. But not a honeymoon bathing suit! It is the most freeing thing ever because there are no rules. Will your fiance like it? Of course he will -- you're in Jamaica, drinking cocktails, wearing a skimpy bikini, and you're newly married! There are no worries. No bikini worries.

Operation Skimpy Bikini was a success.

Next mission: Operation Slutty Sundress

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Picture Perfect Memory

Apparently, I have very expensive tastes when it comes to wedding photography. I don't like posed pictures; I prefer candid shots. I've learned that the correct term is photojournalistic wedding photography. Basically, magazine/newspaper style photography -- the pictures should be organically taken and unforced. I say this with a "wink wink/nudge nudge" because obviously some of the pictures are going to be posed. You and your groom don't just "happen" to be walking down the beach, hand-in-hand, while holding balloons (coincidentally) in your wedding colors. But the point is to take as few posed pictures as possible and make the obligatory posed shots seem more natural. So more pics of Grandma yanking up her slipping stockings and less of "hey, everybody look into the camera and say, 'CHEESE!'"

If you need an example of what I'm talking about, then check out David Schwartz Photography. I love this guy's work. I recommend checking out not only the different wedding pictures in the portfolio section, but also the engagement shots. This guy does great engagement photos. Typically, I think engagement photos look cheesy as hell -- couple sits on the beach in a warm embrace and stares awkwardly into the camera with their best and well-rehearsed fake smiles. But David really has a natural feel to his work, that I really like. But be warned before you go to this site...there will be Dave Matthews. Lots of Dave Matthews. Either embrace it or find the mute button on your computer pretty quick.

The problem with photojournalistic wedding photography is that it's expensive. It's the same with food. If you want the fresh organic, unprocessed stuff, you're gonna have to pay for it. If you want cheap, there's Taco Bell. I've looked at a ton of local wedding photographers and if you want a good one, you've got to pay for that talent. For a decent photojournalistic-style photographer, you're looking at anywhere from $3,000 all the way up to $7,000. Yahtzee! When you're looking at photographers' websites, you know that they are going to be expensive when instead of having a tab that says "Prices/Packages," it says "Investments." As in, you're going to invest every penny of your savings into these pics. Sure, I could go cheap, but what's the point? Why should I pay $500 for some hack with a camera to stand me and Steven next to a tree and take lo-res, blurry pics? I'm not going to pay $500 to $1,000 for someone to capture blurry pics of Steven's fake smile. I'm not going to pay $1,000 for someone to take goofy posed shots like this one to the left. (From My mom's got a camera and is quite the shutterbug. Steven's dad has a camera and is quite the shutterbug. Hell, we all have cameras. Kids have cameras. I've seen dog collars with cameras on them. We can take our own crappy pictures, share them online, and even take them to Wal-Mart and have a hardcover photobook made. Maybe not as good as what the pros are doing (hell, nowhere near as good), but we're on a budget here and quality costs.

I blame school for my love of photojournalistic wedding photography. I spent two years in Journalism school at NYU (which my parents dubbed NYFU) getting it pounded into my head that framing a story or a picture was the equivalent of lying. If you were interviewing someone and you didn't get good quotes, it's not because they were a crappy interviewee. It's because you suck as a reporter, and you didn't ask the right questions. You weren't at the right place at the right time and you blew it. Same with photojournalism. Sure, you can pose a subject in front of a scene, but that is frowned upon and not respected at all. You're suppose to get the shot -- so do what it takes to get the shot! I went to school with a petite Asian girl who climbed over a brick wall behind a security-laden hotel trying to get a quote from Monica Lewinsky. She didn't get the quote, and our professor was quick to point out that she should have tried harder.

Even when I was in yearbook club in high school, we were only allowed to use candid shots with our stories. Do you know how hard it is to get candid shots of high-schoolers? You come anywhere near a sophomore girl with a camera and she either hides her face behind her hair or starts pouting and posing like she's on an underaged version of America's Next Top Model. In yearbook, we found you could get away with a posed picture by making it look candid. How did you do that? Have the subject look off-camera and point to something. I can't tell you how many pictures are in the Ocean Lakes High School yearbook with random kids smiling and waving, and/or pointing to people off-camera who don't really exist. It looked so obviously faked, that I'm embarrassed by it now. But it worked.

So basically, I blame years and years of expensive schooling on my desire to have a photojournalistic wedding photographer. You would think that after spending all that tuition at NYU, they would have some sort of perks program where they supply you with a photographer, free of charge. I guess I should blame myself. For years, I was surrounded by talented photographers and I never thought to manipulate any friendships into pro bono work later on. It's kinda like when you're a kid, and it's a smart move to make friends with the kid that has a pool and/or trampoline. I shoulda made friends with the kid that had the expensive camera.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Creepy Caketopper

This is a blog post that only a small group of people will get. Check out this caketopper that I found on Does this look like Nash and Briana or what? It's even made out of wood. You know Nash would totally whittle his own caketopper, while playing a harmonica, no less. I really wanted to post a pic of Nash and Briana together so the rest of you would know what I was talking about, but I do not have any Nash and Briana pictures. I attempted to steal a pic off of Briana's Facebook page, but she doesn't seem to ever get Nash in frame when taking his picture. Another couple who don't have proper couple pics. It has now officially become a trend.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Stare Master

Everytime I see my cousin Jeni she always says the same thing: "If you need my help with this wedding, Lacy Lou, don't be afraid to ask." First off, Lacy Lou is not my name. Lacy Lou is short for Lacy Louise. Which is also not my name. My full name is Lacy Ann Hall. My Aunt Jan (Jeni's mom) started calling me Lacy Louise when I was a kid. When she says it in her Texas accent, it sounds like LaCee Le'Weeeez. Sounds beautiful, but still not my name.

Secondly, I genuinely appreciate my cousin's offer to help with the wedding planning. I really, really do. The only problem is, there's nothing for her to do. Oh sure, later on, there will be tons and tons of stuff for her to do, and for a lot of other people to do too. There's going to be chairs to set up, catering picked up, a wedding arch erected, pink flamingos to be placed along the side of the road (yeah, you read that right), Brooklyn chauffeured around (yup, you read that right too), and chocolate chip muffins & mimosas to be fetched for my bridal morning breakfast (oh yeah, I just took it up to Bridezilla-level with that one). But there's really nothing for anybody else to do now.

This early in the wedding planning process, a bride can't really outsource. I can't send in someone else to try on wedding dresses for me. I can't get someone else to go to my bank, withdraw money, and get a cashier's check for a vendor deposit. Plus, there are things that I really wouldn't want other people to do. Like order Brooklyn a dress for the wedding. And there are other things that I would be too embarrassed to ask other people to do. Like putting different colored tank tops on Brooklyn to see which color best flatters her.

Side Note- If you are feeling sorry for Brooklyn right now...don't. After this photoshoot she got the holy grail of doggy treats, a peanut butter Kong, which is normally reserved solely as a reward for getting a bath. So shed no tears for Miss Brooklyn here. Remember, she's kind of a brat, and would pull the sheets off your bed and piss on them, if the mood struck.

I'm not going to say that I haven't spent a daunting amount of time working on this wedding already. But when planning a wedding, do you want to know what you spend most of your time doing? Staring. I spend a lot of time just staring at things. Just staring at stuff, and thinking. Sometimes I stare and ponder. Sometimes I stare and reflect. Sometimes I stare and contemplate. Sometimes I just stare and don't think about anything.

What do I stare at? I stare at pictures in bridal magazines a lot. I used to stare at them and think about what dresses would look good on me. Now, since I've bought my dress, I stare at wedding dress pictures and think, "I wonder what the alterations process on that dress would entail?" Sometimes I stare at the picture and have just a passing thought. Sometimes I actually imagine the entire process of altering the dress. Once again, I'm not staring at a picture of the dress that I bought, but just staring at wedding dress pictures in general.

The internet is a great place to stare at things. I stare at a lot of tiaras. I stare at invitations. I stare at cakes. I stare at pictures of the beachhouses that we've already rented. I re-read descriptions of the beachhouses; descriptions that I've already read a hundred times over. I spend a lot of time staring at the catalog for our honeymoon resort. I keep this catalog next to my bed. I sometimes flip through the pictures, and look at it like I'm 5-years-old and re-reading a comforting bedtime story.

Sometimes I do need help staring. That's when I call for staring back-up. Me and my mom stare at a lot of stuff in stores. Me and my dad stare at lumber in Home Depot. I send Steven links so he can stare at things that I've already spent hours and hours staring at.

My plan is simple: Translate all my staring into informed and practical decisions. Get stuff intermittently done throughout the year, so there isn't a bottleneck of last minute tasks. There's a lot of stuff that must be done right before the wedding, so do everything else I can early. Stay organized, make lists, stay ahead of my budget, and lastly, delegate. Cause honestly, while I'm doing most everything now, I'm not planning on doing a god damn thing the day of my wedding.

And in regards to my cousin's remarks, "If you need my help with this wedding, Lacy Lou, don't be afraid to ask." Yes, I do need your help. I will need lots and lots of your help. But not now, later.

But thanks for asking...Jeni Po.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Reality TV Round-up: Thursday Edition

I didn't catch too much TV tonight because I watched Gangs of New York on DVD, but only Disc 1 (Thanks Netflix). Man, I knew that they were going to end Disc 1 during the sex scene. Sure enough! I'm completely transfixed by Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz smacking each other around (Rhett & Scarlett sexy-style, not Tina and Ike-style), then they start smooching, then Leo picks Cameron up, and....BAM...end of Disc 1. Screw you Martin Scorsese. And screw you Netflix, send both discs at the same time!!!!!!!

The Jersey Shore: Angelina smacked Pauly D in the face 3 times (I'll acknowledge that 1 was an actual smack, the other 2 were more like drunken smears than a smack) and then looked at Pauly D and denied hitting him, not two minutes after just hitting him. I can totally identify with Pauly D and The Situation's frustration with Angelina's drunken amnesia. I once partied with some kids and everybody was way drunker than me (never fun). This one particular drunk girl went into house (not her house) and discovered a small pile of poop on the ground from the owner's new puppy. For whatever reason, she fell on the ground and then rolled around in the poop, smearing it everywhere. Then she ransacked the fridge Godzilla-style, not actually eating anything, just hitting everything and knocking stuff over. Then she passed out on the couch covered in puppy poop, and started her period...leaving a blood stain. I come in the house, kinda sober, discover the poop kitchen/Godzilla fridge/period couch mayhem and alert the others. I get this reaction...

Nameless Drunk: Whaaaaaaat are you talking about Lazy? There'z no poop. You crazy! Shuuuuut up.
Me: You don't see all this poop that's smeared everywhere? There is dog poop smashed all over the floor!
Nameless Drunk: Laaaazy, you druuuuuunky.

The next morning, I see Nameless Drunk's roommate who was asleep during the party and he came up to me and said this...

Sober Befuddled Roommate: What the hell happened last night? I came downstairs and there was shit smeared all over the kitchen?!?!

I wanted to hug him, just for validating my sanity.

But in summation of tonight's episode of Jersey Shore...they got drunk, they creeped, grenades, more drunk, gelato, I love Pauly D.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

In Defense of the Nap

One year, my buddy John had this New Year's resolution:

If I feel like taking a nap, I'm just gonna take the nap. I'm not gonna fight it anymore.

Napping is one of my favorite hobbies, but I've gotten lazy with it the past few years. Like most things, I blame Steven. When you're in a relationship and you live together, napping works like this -- the person who gets home first gets the nap. Steven is the one who wakes up at 4:30 am to go to work, and typically gets home an hour or two before me. I've got no chance in hell of winning the nap. Sometimes I think he rushes home through traffic just to secure his rightful ownership of the nap.

Some of you might ask -- why don't you just join Steven for a nap when you get home? If you ask this question then clearly you are not currently in a relationship. A major rule of taking a nap is that you can't get caught by your significant other taking the nap. You have to sneak the nap. I don't know why it's like this. I don't write the rules of relationships. But for whatever reason, it is crucial that the other person is not aware of the nap. If they are aware of the nap, then shit talk ensues. "Oh, so you took a nap, huh? Must be nice. Wish I had time to take a nap. But someone has to start dinner/mow the lawn/go grocery shopping/take out the trash/fill in your least favorite domestic chore here."

Steven is better at sneaking the nap than me. Men typically are. Steven's dad can fall asleep in his chair with a roomful of noisy people, a loud television set, multiple cats and dogs climbing on him and not be disturbed at all. What's best is that he'll suddenly wake up and immediately go back to what he was doing -- not acknowledging at all that he was dead ass asleep, and snoring loudly just two seconds ago. My dad also has a sleeping chair, but his is conveniently located in his own living room. Away from pets and noise; not that that would stop him. The crazy thing about my dad napping is that you really can't tell he's napping. He's sitting there in his La-Z-Boy recliner, hands over his stomach, glasses on, staring straight at the television like he does when he's awake. You really can't tell he's asleep at all. I've had full conversations with my dad before while he was totally asleep.

Steven is still a young man, so he hasn't quite mastered his napping technique yet, but he's got a pretty solid base nap. He lays on the couch, fully clothed and naps. Not as sneaky as his dad's and my dad's recliner naps, but it'll get there. Steven typically has his head wedged under his folded arm. I think that this is completely uncomfortable for him, but he does it simply to make it look more realistic that he was "just watching TV" and not napping.

Steven's major handicap is Brooklyn. She is a dead giveaway. Brooklyn loves naps and feels no need to camouflage her love of sleep. If you are napping, then she is napping. And she really gets comfortable when she naps. She'll wedge herself tight between you and the couch or even between your legs. If you wanna know if someone has been napping, then just look at Brooklyn's face, that's the tell. Her face will be all smushed and distorted (known as Brooklyn smushy face), she'll have an unusual amount of sleep boogers in her squinty eyes, and she'll look unbelievably pissed that you just woke her up from her nap.

I'm horrible at hiding my naps. The first problem is that I can't fall asleep sitting up, or even reclining. I have to be fully horizontal. Another problem is that when I nap, I can't be wearing any sort of jewelry or pants. I've tried to nap in shorts, sweatpants, whatever. I can't do it. The pants must come off, as well as any jewelry. So when Steven comes home and I'm wandering around the house without my engagement ring on and not wearing any pants, with a pissed off look on my face, then he can only assume that: A) I'm having a torrid affair with Leonardo DiCaprio, or B) I'm taking a nap.

Only since Steven has been out of town, have I reconnected with my love of naps. That is probably the best and only good thing about living alone...naps. You can take them whenever the hell you want, and you really don't have to explain yourself to anyone. But in case you do, I have found that following your nap with a grand gesture usually minimizes any potential trash talk you may get from your significant other. In essence, you need to counteract the nap. So when you list off your daily activities, it goes like this "I came home from work, checked the mail, took a little nap.....(then quickly add before your mate can say something smartass)...then I went for a 3 mile jog/mowed the lawn/gave the dog a bath/baked your mom a birthday cake/fill in your own equally impressive grand gesture here." It works every time.

The other day I took a nap in Brooklyn's room. Yes, she has her own room with her own twin bed. No, she never sleeps in there. Yes, she sleeps in the king-sized bed with me and Steven. (sigh) So I was taking a nap and I took off my pants and set them on the floor with my engagement ring. I woke up some time later to see Brooklyn nestled on my pants and chewing on something. A loud clicking sound coming from her mouth. The scene that followed would only be appreciated and/or appropriate on a dairy farm in the Midwest. In one swift motion, I had her jaws pulled apart with one hand while my other hand was traveling far down her gullet, searching for my diamond ring. I would like to say that my forceful dental exam of Brooklyn was unusual, but with her being a beagle, it's an almost daily occurrence. Luckily, she was not, in fact, chewing on my engagement ring, but one of her own fingernails. Yes, she eats her own fingernails. (Beagles!) She was actually sitting on my engagement ring like a chicken trying to hatch some sort of bridal egg.

Am I happy that my beloved engagement ring was actually a half inch from Brooklyn's booty hole and not traveling down her throat? Absolutely. Am I upset that this little incident eclipsed my much needed nap? Yes. But there will be other naps. There won't be other engagement rings.

Another Wonderful Mother/Daughter Wedding Moment, With Special Guest Star Betty White

Mom: We really gotta find that "Thank You for Being a Friend" song
Me: For what?
Mom: To play at your wedding reception.
Me: From The Golden Girls?
Mom: Yeah. Man, you loved that show!
Me: Hell, let's just throw Alf in the mix too.

Parking Lot O' Death

I think the Wal-Mart parking lot is the most dangerous spot in the entire world. Have you ever been to Wal-Mart and not almost been hit by a car while walking through the parking lot? Have you ever had an easy time parking without almost hitting somebody else, or an entire family for that matter? You gotta have your wits about you if you're going to Wal-Mart.

That's all I'm saying.

Reality TV Round-Up: Tuesday Edition

Flipping Out: How do these people have such nice houses? All of them. Everybody in California has nice houses, they all wear scarves, and have ample time for idle lunches. When I watch this show, I feel like everybody in the world is rich, but me.

The Rachel Zoe Project: Brad would totally be my boyfriend. He would totally be my boyfriend if, 1) he wasn't gay, 2) didn't live all the way across country, 3) wasn't completely out of my league, and 4) I wasn't already engaged to a straight man.

Teen Mom: Why is that fat girl such a bitch? How are they so poor, and yet she always has a full face of make-up just lay on the couch and yell, "GARY!" How is this kid Tyler so mature? I think he's just 17. Did you see last week's episode where he told his fiance that even though he was having trouble dealing with her dishonesty that he "made a commitment to her, so he was going to honor that commitment and work through this." Did you see this week's episode where he suggested they went to couple's counseling? Where did this kid come from? Boys weren't like this when I was in high school. Did Dr. Drew mold him out of clay during Psych 201 pottery class?

My Life on the D-List: Where are you!!!!!! Why no episode this week?!? I wasn't prepared for this. Nobody warned me.

The Girls Next Door, The Bunny House: I accidentally watched 10 minutes of this show while I was waiting for a classier reality TV show to come on. This show is the biggest bunch of garbage I've seen in a while, and I'm a frequent viewer of garbage. That girl Jade is an idiot. I don't care if she banged Brody Jenner, I'm pretty sure a lot of girls have. The big drama during the 10 minutes I watched was that they were about to announce the Playmate of the Year. This girl named Hope. Hope had written a speech and was practicing it around Jade. But you know Jade. She's soooooo wild and unpredictable. So she grabbed the speech from Hope and ripped it up, she then ate part of it (hey, why not put a couple more things in that mouth), and then threw the rest off the balcony. She advised Hope that it's best for her to just speak from the heart. Then they kept cutting to interviews of Hope saying that she was glad that Jade did that, but now she was so nervous because she didn't have a speech. Oh no, what was she to do? She kept going on and on about how wild and unpredictable they were, but that's just the life of a Playmate. She'll just have to wing it.

Cut to her giving the actual speech...she's totally reading the speech off a teleprompter! I mean like one of those foot teleprompters, so she is clearly looking down at the ground at the speech every 3 seconds and then back up at the audience. And it's less of a speech and more of a list of thank yous. "I'd like to thank Hef....(look back down at the monitor)....the people at Playboy...(quick glance at the monitor) family for being so supportive....(back to the monitor)...and all the great girls I've met here at the Playboy Mansion. It was like an awkward valedictorian speech with more cleavage, but fewer Deepak Chopra quotations.

It was the biggest bunch of garbage I'd ever seen squeezed into a 10 minute segment. I recommend this show highly.

Minor Tragedy of the Day

This kid from my work, Matt (some of you may remember him as the Glitter Wizard), brought in a pineapple upside down cake for all of us to share. Allegedly, his mom made it. I find this suspect. He doesn't live with his mom. He would have had to go to his mom's house to get this cake and then bring it to work by 11am. He's not much of a morning person. I think Matt actually baked the cake and isn't ready to "come out" yet as a baker. Everybody already knows that Matt is a good cook, but I guess baking delicious cakes isn't something he's ready to admit to yet.

Regardless, it was very nice of him to bring in the cake, and it was super moist and delicious. But I made a tragic mistake in my portion selection. You know how you wear lighter make-up during the day and then switch to something more dramatic for going out at night? Well, I figured I'd eat the cake with my lunch so I cut a piece in half, so it would be lunch-time size. BUT I didn't end up eating it for lunch, so I brought it home. Now, I got a crappy little half piece of cake for dessert. That, my friends, is completely inappropriate in my world. You can't have a little half piece of cake for dessert. That's a waste of dessert. Luckily, I keep brownie bites on hand for just such a situation. Brownie bites, while not as pleasing as a full brownie, are the perfect compliment to an incomplete and/or inadequate dessert. Crisis averted.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Bender Band

We got Steven's wedding band while I was visiting him in San Diego back in February. I let Steven pick out his own wedding band, and then I paid for it. We weren't necessarily planning on buying it right then, but I had just gotten my tax return back, so it seemed like a good time. Coincidentally, the ring Steven picked out cost exactly the amount of my tax return. Strange, huh?

Actually, Steven did a good job picking out his ring. Sometimes his tastes in things tend to be, how should I say...expensive! I know when we had looked at some other potential rings online, I had gotten downright worried. I knew Steven liked to see the bling, bling on me. I didn't realize how much he liked it on himself as well. But he really did a good job choosing his band -- not overly decadent, but just flashy enough. He didn't go with anything too trendy either, so it won't feel like a mistake several years from now. Mostly, I was happy with the price. When he finally chose his favorite, he made sure that he wasn't asking for too much. And he wasn't. Certainly, I wanted to give him as much as I could afford, and he chose something that I could afford. That's one of the things I love about Steven. He is always incredibly considerate towards me, not just with my feelings, but with my wallet as well.

This is the wedding band Steven ended up getting. I like it. It's very Steven. But every time I look at it, I think it looks like Bender the robot from Futurama. I just can't get that thought out of my head, and for some reason that makes me like it more. Steven doesn't know this, but I've gotten into the habit of calling it the Bender Band.

I wanted to surprise Steven and have it engraved while he was still away for work. I took it into the local Jared Jewelry store by the Lynnhaven Mall. I've been in this store a million times because it's where I make all my fine jewelry purchases. Actually, the Bender Band was my first fine jewelry purchase, but Jared is where Steven got all my jewelry, and it's conveniently located next to a Starbucks that I know and trust. Typically, when you walk into this Jared, someone charges towards you with a smile, and a "How may I help you today?" When I walked in, I saw a older-looking lady, hunched over the jewelry counter with a stack of papers. She didn't bother to look up.

Jewelry Hunch-Over Lady: Can I help you?

You know when sometimes you go into a store or business and you sense right away that you are getting the dud. You're getting the crappy employee. The riff raff. The castaway. The person with the crappiest schedule and the shittiest attitude. Basically, you're getting the employee that they haven't had a direct reason to fire yet. That was this lady.

Jewelry Hunch-Over Lady: Can I help you?

Now, if I would have had any balls at all, I would have yelled, "I don't think you can!" and then ran to the safety of the Starbucks across the parking lot. But I didn't. I told her that I had my fiance's wedding band, and that I was interested in getting it engraved.

Jewelry Hunch-Over Lady, Who is Still Hunched Over and Hasn't Bother to Look Up at Me Yet: Well...did you buy it here?

Me: No, but I got it at a Jared in San Diego.

Jewelry Hunch-Over Lady, Who is Still Hunched Over and Is Just Now Bothering to Look Up at Me with a Sigh: Oh. Bring it here then.

Things didn't get any more delightful from there. When we were filling out the paperwork, she spelled my name wrong...twice! I know that Lacy isn't the most common of names, but there's only 4 letters involved. Plus, my original purchase slip (with my name on it) was right in front of her and she still managed to spell it wrong...twice! Not exactly a good sign when someone is engraving an eternal message of love on your fiance's wedding band. I asked her if she would be doing the engraving and she said it would be someone else, so that had me a little bit relieved.

When she went to rang me up, she said it would be $22. I only had $20 in cash on me, so I had to use my debit card. This was not my internal dialogue to myself, I actually said all of this out loud. "I really wanted to pay in cash, but I've only got a twenty, so I guess I'll have to use my card." Then when she ran my credit card, it turns out that it was only $15. Where did the $22 come from? Why when she saw that she made an error in the price quote, did she just not tell me, "Oh hey, it's cheaper than I thought. You can pay in cash."

The engraved message was short and sweet, With all my love, Lacy

But what I got was, WITH ALL MY LOVE -LACY

Okay, not a major difference. She used a dash, when it was supposed to be a comma. And it's in all caps when it was supposed to be properly capitalized. But I gotta admit, it sorta drives me nuts. I know that there are some of you reading this that are going, "Yeah, so what -- what's the big deal?" Then there are kids that I went to journalism school with that are going, "What the hell did they do to the Bender Band!?!"

I know it sounds silly, but the dash? Not as romantic as a comma. And the all caps? My grandgraw used to write me e-mails in all caps. Because she didn't know how to turn the caps lock key off! In fact, why didn't they just put an exclamation point at the end of my name too, so that it would really look like I was yelling, WITH ALL MY LOVE -LACY!!!!!

Oh, I know why they didn't do that, because my engraved message wasn't centered properly, and so it runs from the bottom of the band and angles towards the top. My name looks like it's about to jump off the top of the ring. Even if they wanted to add an exclamation point, they wouldn't have had the room. Knowing them, they would have put a question mark.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Random Non-Wedding Related Post #45

Lately, I've been fighting off the urge to use profane language at inappropriate times. You may say, "Lacy, isn't profanity always inappropriate?" And I'd say, "Get the hell out of here." Most of the time cussing is unnecessary, but sometimes only a profane word can truly express your full meaning. In those situations, I say cuss. But my problem is that I keep wanting to use profanity in a sarcastic way and with strangers.

When I was at the grocery store today, a clerk asked me if I was doing alright. I wanted to say, "Oh, hell yeah!" in an overly enthusiastic way. I mean, I'm grocery shopping. I'm not doing alright. I wish I was home and not at a grocery store considering what type of salad dressing I'd enjoy most, whenever (if ever) I get in the mood to make, and then eat, a salad. I know she doesn't really care how I'm doing. I know she has to ask me that. And I know I'm supposed to answer, "Yup" and move along to the produce section.

It has become particularly difficult not to cuss while at work. At least several times a day, customers will ask me if the baked ziti is good? What about the cheesesteaks? How about the Italian stromboli -- is that good? It doesn't matter how many different variations of the word "great" I use, the customers always look at me as if I'm suspect. As if I'm trying to steer them away from the supreme edible joys of the stuffed shells towards the dastardly Pizza Steak. But the Pizza Steak is delicious. And when customers look at me and ask, "How is the Pizza Steak?" I wanna look at them with a blank stare and say, "It's fucking delicious!" But I can't.

I get a lot of customers that ask for my opinion about their specific palettes and appetites. I get a lot of, "Do you think I would like that?" or, "Do you think that will fill me up?" I always respond, "Yeah, I do." What I really want to say is, "Lady, how the hell would I know? I don't know you." But I don't.

I know that I shouldn't say these things, but I really want to. Not so much to effectively communicate with people, but I just want to get a reaction out of them. Hearing somebody curse at inappropriate times is understandably shocking. I don't think it's funny when you see kids or toddlers curse. They don't know what they are saying; they are just repeating some garbage their parents said. But I think it's hilarious when old people curse. Old people cursing is one of my favorite things in the world. Because they do know what they are saying. They know that it's possibly inappropriate, and they just don't give a crap.

Six months ago, I met this 88-year-old woman named Gloria while I was at Reginella's. I know she was 88-years-old because she told me her age right when I met her, like most old people do. When I first saw Gloria, she was walking through the parking lot behind an elderly couple that both had walkers. Suddenly, Gloria busted out into a brisk walk (a full fledged run in old people terms) and passed the elderly couple. I thought, "Oh, how nice, she's going to hold the door open for them." Instead, Gloria not only let the door close behind her, but I think I saw her give it a swift kick with the back of her canvas sneaker, so that it would close faster. I knew then that this old lady was going to be a firecracker.

I sat her at a table near the windows where the light was good, and told her I'd be back with a menu. She yelled, "And when you come back, bring some coffee with you!" For a minute, I considered getting in my car, driving to Starbucks, and returning to her 10 minutes later sipping on my own tall, non-fat mocha latte. Since technically, she never asked that the coffee be for her. I considered it, but decided it was a bad idea since I'd once asked Vinnie, my boss, why old people always drink so much coffee? He told me it was because, "It's the only thing still keeping their heart beating."

When I came back with the coffee and her menu, she started to asked me about ziti. She explained that her boyfriend (88 and has a boyfriend?!) loved ziti and talked about it all the time. She looked at me and said, "He's always going on and on about ziti. Ziti, ziti, ziti. But I don't know what the fuck it is!" That was one of the best moments of my life.

I explained to her what ziti was (thick tubes of pasta) and she didn't seem very interested. Then we had a very long discussion about the eggplant parmigiana and whether or not it was like the eggplant parmigiana that her friend Cecilia in New Jersey used to make. I told her that since her friend Cecilia from New Jersey did not pass on her recipe to us before she died, then probably it wouldn't taste like hers. Instead a Mexican named Shaggy would be cooking her dinner, and therefore, the eggplant would probably be more delicious, and be prepared in a lot less time. So eggplant parmigiana with a side of angel hair pasta it was. When she ordered the angel hair pasta, a co-worker said I should have responded, "What -- no fucking ziti?" Ugh, I totally missed an opportunity to use a pop culture reference from The Sopranos. But honestly, I would have never had the chutzpah to say it, even if I did think of it.

Gloria turned out to be a pretty cool old broad. She told me about her boyfriend William and how he took really good care of her. She showed me all the jewelry he had bought her, which coincidentally she was wearing all at once. You can never wear too much jewelry when you're an old lady. A ring for each finger, I say. She told me how William lets her borrow his car since her car's air conditioning broke (8 years ago), and she has not gotten around to having it repaired. She always has to go out to eat alone since William is wheelchair-bound and she is not strong enough to pull his wheelchair out of the trunk of the car. This made me feel kinda sad for the two of them. Gloria said that she once joked that maybe he should dump her, and get a younger girlfriend that was stronger. He said that he preferred "smart and beautiful" over "young and strong."

I helped Gloria pack-up her leftovers, so she could bring dinner home to William and I walked her back to her car, his car I suppose. I haven't seen her since; it's been 6 months. I assume she's dead since that's what I assume of any old person that I haven't seen or heard from in a while. They must have just died. long, Gloria. It was nice fucking knowing you!

Breaking News!


That's the beeping sound that they use to make at the beginning of old school breaking news reports. It's a lot less obnoxious than the EHHHHHHHHHHH, EHHHHHHHHHHH, EHHHHHHHHHH that comes on during bad weather warnings.

But we do have BREAKING NEWS, hot off the presses! Ah man, I'm really having a hard time not busting into some Citizen Kane "News on the March" 1930s-type journalism here. I'm sitting here with Brooklyn and I keep saying "Brrrrreaking Newwwwws" in a this fake pseudo-New York newsboy accent and I think it's getting on her nerves. Yup, she just double winked* at me. She's had enough.

We have rented a second beach house for the wedding! This house is directly across the street from The Four Seasons and will help accommodate out-of-town guests, and can also be used as a dumping ground for tramps, hoodlums and misfits.

The second house is called "Young." It's two-story, has 5 bedrooms, and sleeps 12. There is a pool, but it will be closed during our wedding...wa, wa, waaaaa. But it does have a really cool, screened-in 2nd floor deck, and a hot tub. It's not as super fantastic as The Four Seasons, but it's still pretty chill. I'm including some pics. (My favorite is the one where, from the deck, you can see across the street to the incredibly rad Four Seasons.) I'm also including a link so you can check out more pics of the place.

Now, with two houses of varied degrees of awesomeness, some of you might be thinking? Which house will I get to stay in? I wanna stay at The Four Seasons, not that B-List house**. What if Steven and Lacy put me at Young, does that mean they don't like me as much? Does that mean, I'm not cool? Well, that's absurd. Just because you get put at Young, instead of The Four Seasons does not mean that you are any less liked and/or appreciated. All of our family and friends are loved equally. If we could embrace you all at the same time, we would.

With that being said, me and Steven are accepting bribes. In planning this wedding, integrity and ethics really don't have a place at the table. So feel free to bribe away. It's not only appreciated, but encouraged.

Some things I enjoy include (but are not limited to) Starbucks, massages, sugar-free Red Bull, being told I'm pretty, being told I have nice hair, and cupcakes. Steven likes the Redskins, electronic gadgets, having a clean truck, work tools, processed meat products (i.e. beef jerky), and night-vision goggles. Brooklyn enjoys peanut butter, cheese, taking naps with people, throw blankets for the couch, and going on adventure walks.

*This has really nothing to do with anything, but Brooklyn really did wink at me before. Sometimes she winks. Her right eye, she'll just wink at you. I told Steven that sometimes she'd wink at me and he didn't believe me, until she finally did it to him one day and it blew his mind. I don't know if she winks because she has an eye tick, or maybe she really is winking because I wink at her constantly. Maybe she just picked up the habit. Hell, it could just be that she needs to blink and she's too lazy to blink both eyes at once. I don't know. It's cool when she does it though.

**Yes, Jessica Dillard. I know it's your Sweet 16 Birthday Celebration on the same weekend as our wedding. So, like I told your Dad, you will definitely be staying at The Four Seasons, if you guys are able to come. So hopefully you can!