Friday, February 26, 2010

I kind of want to punch the wedding industry in the face

***Warning - this is a very venty and un-Jane-like post***

Dear Internets,

I still don't have a wedding dress. The wedding is four weeks away.

In normal life - normal reality - four weeks is plenty of time to find a dress. In normal life, I go into a store, try on a dress, and see if it fits. If it doesn't, no big deal! There's probably another size or another style of dress that will fit perfectly. And if I don't like anything? Well, there are always other stores. Whatever dress I find, my friends and family are unlikely to express strong positive or negative opinions about it. I have rarely, if ever, felt ugly or flabby or disgusting trying on everyday dresses. I know I've never ended up in tears.

Finding a wedding dress is completely different.

I'm convinced that no matter when you start shopping, people act like you're waiting until the last minute to shop for a dress. I started in October and was treated like I'd waited until the last minute. "Wedding dresses take at least six weeks to come in." Why that long? It's not like I want something custom made. The dress is right there, on page 23 of your catalog. It's being shipped from your distribution center. I have ordered items from Hong Kong via regular mail that arrived within two weeks. Maybe it takes so long because that's how long it takes your dresses to be shipped from Chinese sweatshops? Maybe you just want to gouge people by charging "rush" shipping? I just don't know.

Trying on dresses is even worse. They are designed not to fit off the rack. "You'll want to order a size larger and get it altered to fit you perfectly," the salesperson says. No, you want me to spend $300-$400 on alterations, on top of whatever exorbitant amount you're already charging for the dress. I have found dresses on the clearance rack at Target for $7 that fit me perfectly and make me feel like a million dollars every time I wear them. Why can't stores carry dresses like that?

What makes it worse is that when you're trying on wedding dresses, everyone has an opinion. "I really can't imagine you in anything other than a strapless white A-line dress." "You need something that isn't too plain." "You should order a simple silk dress from J.Crew."

If I try on a dress that doesn't make me feel ugly and out of shape? My mom or sister or friends or the salesperson tell me all the reasons it's entirely wrong.

I'm so done, Internets. My goal, originally, was to spend less than $300 total on dress, hair, shoes, and makeup. The dress everyone else likes (that I bitterly despise at this point, partly because I was baited-and-switched by the bridal shop) will cost $300+ just to alter.

I love Achilles. I like most of the wedding plans we've made so far (although people have definitely tried to me second guess myself whenever they have had the opportunity). I guess I should just wear the stupid dress that everyone likes just to shut them up and get this all over with. I just wish I didn't have to be there.

Thanks for letting me vent, Internets.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dear Pen pal...

Dear Internets,

One of my most long-term readers and favorite bloggers, the texpat is blogging every day for Lent. I think this is awesome for two reasons:

1. I love reading her blog. She's a (lovely) Texan living in Germany who does crafts and has a ukulele and is awesome.

2. It is not nearly as overwhelming for me to keep up with one daily blogger as it is to keep up with a zillion during NaBloPoMo. Also, I think a lot of you that have stopped blogging as often right now, perhaps due to the things you have given up for Lent. (Chocolate? Caffeine? Where have you gone, Internets???)

Anyhoodles, I asked her a bunch of questions today as though I were her new pen pal. I figured it might be fun to answer the questions myself here, since I sort of think of the Internets as my pen pal.

Do you like pets? Do you have any pets?
Yes, I like pets. I'm allergic to almost everything with fur, although I am usually fine with inside dogs as long as they aren't too licky (I break out in hives when I come in contact with dog or cat saliva, but that doesn't stop me from cuddling even the slobberiest of dogs). I have a dog, Bailey, and a betta fish, Valentino. There's a snail in Valentino's tank named Olive, but I don't really consider her a pet, because she's not very interactive. (She did once lay pink eggs when I added pink gravel to the tank. That was weird.)

What is your favorite season?
Fall, I think, although spring and winter really aren't bad in Texas. We get a lot of really nice weather seven or eight months out of the year. (Nice weather, to me, is anything that's not extremely hot or cold.)

What is one thing you *don’t* miss about Texas?
It's waaaaaay cliche to say this, but if I moved away, I would not miss the heat, especially in August and September, when it gets kind of extreme. I also wouldn't miss the fact that Texas seems to attract a lot of (sometimes very) crazy people.

Do you like silly gifts, sincere gifts, or monetary gifts best?
I like to give either silly or sincere gifts, depending on my relationship with the person. As far as receiving gifts? I don't really enjoy receiving gifts at all; it makes me feel awkward. Anything but gift cards is OK, though. I don't mind the idea of gift cards, but I'm not good about keeping up with them.

If you had to get a tattoo on your upper arm, what would you get and why?
I'm not a tattoo person (too distractible), so I don't know why I asked this question. I guess I would get something that l thought was pretty so that I didn't have to explain some sort of deeper meaning to every stranger that asked. Maybe some sort of vine/flowers (not all the way around) or maybe a curvy tree.


In other news, thanks for being my blog usability guinea pigs. I think you all had great comments and suggestions. I'm going to fix everything I can as soon as I get to a computer that isn't a laptop. (For some reason, I need a real mouse if I'm going to mess with computer code. Double monitors also help. Gosh, I'm a nerd.)

Hope you're having a wonderful day, Internets! Feel free to answer/ask any pen pal questions you think of, and definitely go check out the texpat.


P.S. As part of my blog redesign, I'm working on making new lists of bloggers/artists I love. I took down my old blogroll because half of the people on it either stopped blogging over a year ago or changed URLs. Don't feel unloved, Internets!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New look!

Dear Internets,

I redesigned my blog a bit. If you have a minutes, I'd appreciate it if you could let me know the following:
  1. What do you think of the look overall? Is there anything that is hard for you to read?
  2. How easily are you able to view blog posts? Do you need to scroll horizontally?
  3. Do you use a browser other than Firefox or IE? Do you notice any problems?
  4. Is there anything you wish I hadn't changed? Is there anything else you would like to see on the main page (or on its own separate page)?
  5. Are you able to easily find out:
  • how to subscribe?
  • where to find me on Twitter?
  • the blog archives?
  • how to search the blog?
Thanks for your help Internets! I owe you cupcakes.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Spring cleaning

Dear Internets,

As several of you have noticed, I have a new blog header. I got it from the very talented MiaSpark Designs for a very reasonable price. I heart it lots, and Kayla was great to work with.

I was going to redesign my entire blog after I ordered the new header, but I got... well... distracted. I'll probably get around to fixing things up around here in the next couple of weeks. I want a brighter, cleaner look for the blog. Despite the weirdness and sadness around Austin recently, I really do still believe that 2010 is going to bring about some really positive things, and I'd like this blog's design to reflect that.


[I really want to link to our wedding website right now so you can see how far my website design skills have come in the past year, but it's attached to Achilles' and my last names. Therefore, linking to that site is probably not a good idea. Right? Or is it sooooo 2009 of me to think that way?]


Not much is new with me. I worked a LOT this weekend, which is good for our budget, but bad for my social life. On Sunday, I went to my second stand-up comedy class. It turns out our final performances are going to be videotaped.

That, my friends, is good news for you.

I hereby promise that, barring some sort of unforeseen disaster (i.e. camera malfunction, major illness that keeps me from performing, etc. - i.e. NOT just embarrassment on my part), I will post the video of my live performance on this blog.



Hope you had a wonderful weekend, Internets!


Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day and washing machines

Dear Internets,

First, I would like to thank everyone who voted on which birds Achilles and I should use as a cupcake topper for our wedding. Most people seem to like the first couple, which is probably Achilles' and my favorite as well. I really appreciate the honesty of the two people who voted “None of the above!” (Way to not pull any punches, Internets!) I would like to know what you didn't like – do you just want to see more options, or do you hate the idea entirely?

In other news, I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day and a happy first day of the Year of the Tiger. Achilles and I aren't normally a particularly shmoopy couple, but we had a pretty sickeningly romantic Valentine's weekend. On Friday, Achilles surprised me with tickets to a comedy show. We stayed the night at a hotel downtown, where Achilles had flowers and champagne waiting. (Please quit barfing, Internets)

I tried to match Achilles romantical-ish-ness on Sunday by making fondue. We watched An American Tail while we dipped sausage, meatballs, potatoes, apples, pears, and avocado into Gruyere fondue (which turned out yummy), and angel food cake, strawberries, and oranges into chocolate peanut butter fondue (which was also pretty darn good). Unfortunately, we both ended up eating so much that we spent the rest of the evening clutching our stomachs and complaining that we were too full. Thus, Achilles won the romantic Valentine's planning award this year.

In other other news, I realized this weekend that I'm officially old and boring when I got incredibly excited about having the ability to stack our washer and dryer. (It is going to create so much more storage space!)

How was your weekend, Internets? Did you do anything exciting?


P.S. Achilles' favorite type of cake when he was 10 years old was angel food cake. Plus five agility points to the first person who correctly guesses what my favorite kind of cake was when I was 10.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

To the birds

Dear Internets,

As I mentioned yesterday, I made a few prototypes of little bird statues. I want to pick a pair to serve as cupcake stand (cake) toppers at Achilles' and my wedding. (I made these myself out of Crayola clay and paint, but with the exception of couple 3, the birds were mostly inspired by designs I saw on Etsy. Don't give me too much credit!)

Couple 1

Couple 2

Couple 3

These are just prototypes - I will definitely make a fancier/cleaner version of whichever couple is deemed cutest. (For example, the bride in Couple 1 would not have a Don King veil.) Also, my florist/BFF said she could make a little nest for the birdies to live in, so they wouldn't just be hanging out on top of the cupcakes.

Which birds do you like best?

Thanks for weighing in, Internets!


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wednesday Weecap! With bullet points!

Dear Internets,

It has been a while since I've done a bullet point update. I think we're overdue.
  • Even though Informal Classes got canceled, the currently scheduled classes will still run. This means my stand up comedy class is still on. Yay?
  • I think I'm getting too old for Facebook. Every time they change the interface, I get more confused.
  • We had a baby shower at work. My boss told me she hoped I wasn't getting any ideas about having babies myself. I told her Achilles and I want to go to Europe again before we have kids. Then everyone looked at me like I was the devil. Am I the devil? I thought saying "IwantkidslikeOMGrightnow!" would make me seem crazy.
  • After I politely explained our situation, the guest who added his son's girlfriend apologized profusely and removed her from his RSVP. I felt sort of guilty, but I would feel worse if one of our other guests (who aren't bringing kids or dates) got their feelings hurt.
  • Other wedding news: I made some little bird sculptures to use as cupcake stand toppers. I will post pictures and let you guys vote on which ones you think we should use.
  • Our wedding is turning out to be very traditional. This is not what I originally wanted, but it seemed to take that direction on its own. I think I'm OK with that.
  • I'm going to make my nephew some Hulk/Valentine's cupcakes. We'll see how those turn out.
  • I love Valentine's Day. It has the best color scheme of any holiday. It's like pink and purple and lavender and red got together and exploded into heart-shaped everything. If Halloween had a Valentine's color scheme? My life would be complete.
How are you this week, Internets?


Friday, February 5, 2010


Dear Internets,

Is it wrong to feel INCREDIBLY STABBY because people decided to add their son's girlfriend when they sent their RSVP?

If I couldn't invite my cousins or friends from college to my wedding, I don't want your teenage son's stupid girlfriend there!

At least you understand me, Internets.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Just pluggin along

Dear Internets,

Aside from a series of minor calamities (shattering a bottle of hot pink nail polish all over the bathroom, burning my hand rather severely on my parents' toaster, accidentally slamming the car door on the end of Bailey's tail, etc.) life has been rather uneventful. Most of my energy has been focused on being annoyed angry with UT for canceling their community informal classes program (which hosts my comedy class and my original return to horseback riding class, among others) and taking care of somewhat boring wedding details. Any remaining energy has been directed toward worrying - about anything, everything, nothing.

Other than that, I've been going to work, going home, spending too much time and money on Etsy, and going to bed early. Rinse, repeat.

Life is boring. I should probably be happy about that, I guess.