Sunday, April 27, 2008

Garlic and Bile

Friday 8:19 p.m. Post previous blog entry. More radio silence in comments. Wonder if all blog readers suddenly dead like male mammals in supercool comic book talked into reading by Ex-Boyfriend. Pesky headache. Loll around. Feed pets dinner. Finish off the last of the cat food, only one bowl of kibble for both. Eh. I'll go out in a little while and buy a bag. Too lazy to make self dinner.

9 p.m. Headachey, cranky, decide not to pack for overnight trip to Lancaster to meet with florist. Forget loading car. Loll. Lolling. Work on wedding client stuff on laptop while lolling.

10 p.m. UUUUHHHH, sick. Sick, I say! And hungry. I should go buy cat food. Joel can pick up cat food on his way home from Mets game. Mucus in sinuses becoming boiling cauldron of pain and pressure. And goo. Watch Lost episode on iTunes. Smokey the Black Smoke Monster's greatest hour.

10:50 p.m. Cats whiney. Well, Fred is whiny. Ollie doesn't have a proper meow. He mostly squeaks like a mouse being stepped on by a lumberjack. He is making big sad hungry kitty eyes at me, a move I call "Ollivander Twist." No sir. You can not has more. Not right now.

10:52 Check Closet of Enchantment and Mystery for extra cat food. I went through a phase of buying food when we already had food, which made me think we'd always have some laying around. We do not. Headache. Headache. HEAD. ACHE.

10:53 p.m. Need painkiller. Need sandwich to make pleasant cushion in stomach for pill. Eat half of sandwich when....

10:55 p.m. Phone rings. Joel's car is dead. Dead dead dead. Snapped s-belt or other such thing that manly men know about manly things like cars. He is trapped in Queens. I need to come get him and drop him off at subway first thing in the morning on my way to Lancaster for wedding planning weekend.

Friday, 11 p.m. Grunt. Search for shoes. No shoes. Headache. Where is pill? Goddamn dog ate my goddamn sandwich while I was on phone with fiancee with goddamn broken car.

Friday, 11:05 p.m. Drive through increasingly shady neighborhood toward Stop and Shop for cat food, pill, sandwich. See youth giving friend piggy back ride out of alley while friends watch. Um, strike that: See kid getting jumped while gang stands by with yelping malnourished pitbull. Keep driving.

11: 09 p.m. Purchase cat food, disgusting fake chicken Lunchables, watermelon chunks and Tylenol.

11: 25 p.m. Drive while trying to open hermetically sealed Tylenol bottle. Spill Tylenol all over car. Find single Tylenol in my own jean-clad crotch while in driving. Scarf it down, wolf down fake chicken Lunchables.

11:26 p.m.-11:57 p.m. Witness ten acts of heinously dangerous New York driving. Headache.

11:58 p.m. Locate fiancee in Long Island City in rain. Move j.v. baseball team's worth of bats, balls, bases , and portable defibrillator out of dead car, into my car. Snap at each other and sit side by side while mutually loathing our idiosyncratic lives.

Saturday 12:07 a.m. Witness four acts of heinously dangerous New York driving.

12:19 p.m. Slow rainy traffic hell. Churning stomach. Headache. Joel and I try to sing the "Yay, Pepto-Bismol!" commercial, but can't we remember what symptom comes between "indigestion" and "diarrhea" in the "nausea heartburn indigestion upset stomach diarrhea" song. We snap at each other about it. It's a very mature and productive exchange.

1:11 a.m. Almost home, sweet home. Joel asked if I walked the dog before I drove out to Queens to pick him up. No I did not walk the dog because it is your turn to walk the dog and I was feeling sick, so sick I was going to make you pick up cat food and no I can't carry the enormous bag of baseball bats because I! Am Carrying! THE CAT FOOD, JOEL. It's heavy, and I'm in real danger of crapping my pants here.

1:12 a.m. Joel laughs uncontrollably and it's contagious and I remember why this is the man I want to share my life with 'til I'm 90.

1:13 a.m. Fall laughingly into apartment with big plans for bed, early wakeup call, packing and subway dropoff en route to parents' house with dog for fun wedding planning la la la-laARGGAH

1:13 a.m. DOOM! I left the Closet of Enchantment and Mystery open when I was looking for the invisible bag of cat food and got distracted by Joel's emergency phone call and Bella tore open the big bag of organic, earth-friendly wheat kitty litter and ate a lot of it while I was gone picking up Joel. I have no idea why she think that stuff is like Cream of Wheat, but she does, and when I see this, I know the next 24 hours is going to mean a lot of diarrhea and not for me. (Yay, Pepto-Bismol!) One of our cats- and I won't name names but it rhymes with OLLIE YOU PUNKASS CAT I AM GOING TO KILL YOU AND WEAR YOU AS A HAT- couldn't resist all that fresh litter and PISSED and SHAT in Mount-Spill-in-the-Closet.

1:20 a.m. Joel and I bitch and moan and scoop out the animal waste and find a fresh bag to hold the giant mountain of clean litter. I am literally up to my ankles in the stuff. Joel takes out Bella, and I start sucking up the mess with the Wicked Hella Expensive Dyson Animal Vaccum Cleaner.

Dyson Animal Vacuum: *kerplatck*
Me: Kerplack? No kerplatck. Whoosh, not kerplatck! ENOUGH WITH THE KERPLATCK!

Time of Death: 1:26 a.m. Wicked Hella Expensive Dyson Animal Vaccum Cleaner officially dies. Turns out there was a popsicle stick in one of its main arteries. No one could have known. *sob* It was so young!

1:27 a.m. Beat vacuum into submission and it roars back to life. I look at the clock, smile grimly and know deep in my heart of hearts that the downstairs neighbors are plotting Joel's and my slow and painful demise.

1:41 a.m. Get ice water for bed and notice that an entire bag of garlic croutons- which I pulled out of the pantry while making sandwich at 10:53 p.m.- has been eaten by someone with teeth that tear stuff. I can't decide if I should just take the dog to the monkey house at the Bronx Zoo and leave her there or just stick her outside with a "Free To Bad Home" sign.

1:42 a.m. Turn to Joel to say goodnight, remark that tomorrow will be another day, embrace him gently, smile sweetly while looking deeply into his eyes and tell him that his fly is down and with his black greasy hands (from pulling the shredded s-belt away from his car engine) that he kind of looks like a homeless person. He is not amused.

7:43 a.m. Wake up, and run around apartment packing for overnight stay. Grab clean shirt, pjs, underwear, but figure I'll just wear the same jeans on the way back on Sunday. Wedding planning bag o' stuff, Purse. Camera. Laptop. Chargers. Sparklers, swatches for florist, where is diagram of tent? I hate morning. Joel walks Bella.

7:45 a.m. Hear Joel gagging in hallway. Nothing good ever, ever happens when I hear Joel gagging in the hallway. Open door, get out of way. Dog has puked croutons and semi-digested wheat kitty litter on stairs. Hallway smells of bile and garlic. Certain now that the neighbors may try to kill us in our sleep.

7:46 a.m. I clean the mess because Joel is dry-heaving.

8:05 a.m. Miracle of miracles, we're ready to leave to take Joel to the subway so he can go back to his dead car to have it towed to Pep Boys. There is a kerfluffle over keys, a sick dog hauled to the car, a forgotten cell phone upstairs, and my urgent need for a clean shirt now that I dribbled mouthwash all over the one I'm wearing.

8:17 a.m. Joel dropped at subway in Bronx. Turn on GPS to find nearby entrance to 1-95. GPS unit dead. Can't find charger. Head in direction of very tall McDonald's sign that I know can be seen from 1-95. Mmmm, hash browns.

8:21 a.m. Self-medicating with fast food breakfast. They even threw in ketchup for my hash brown, bless them. Hash brown? Where *is* my hash brown? I don't see a hash brown. You know why? They forgot to GIVE me my hash brown. Sullenly eat Egg McMuffin while glowering.

8:38 a.m. Turn on AM radio for traffic report.

Radio: "1010 WINS bringing you bridges and tunnels five times an hour on the 8s. Inbound and outbound all around the city looks pretty clear at the moment, with the GWB being our only exception this beautiful morning. Lower levels on the bridge closed for construction which means you! Hey, you! Yeah, you, in the red Suzuki with the sick dog! You're going to spend your childbearing years trying to get to the New Jersey Turnpike. Ha ha, sucker!"

Me: I hate you.

9:17 a.m. Traffic moving, panting dog. See Vince Lombardi rest stop approaching. I should let Bella out because she hasn't shot semi-digested wheat out of her ass at high speeds in over half an hour and I'm sure she needs to, but I'm only just moving steadily with the flow of traffic and YURK-

9:18 a.m. There is dog vomit everywhere- the gear shift, emergency break, my jeans- MY GOD MY ONLY PANTS that only a mere hour ago seemed enough to get me through 24 hours in Lancaster are caked in dog vomit. The car stinks of garlic and bile.

9:32 a.m. Vince Lombardi rest stop. I try to salvage car with items bought at rest stop- baby wipes, windex, napkins, evergreen-shaped air fresheners (You know what flavor those things NEVER come in? Garlic and bile. No one wants their car to smell like garlic and bile!) while dog has rampant, quivering diarrhea on grass outside car. Awesome!

9:35 a.m. Call mom, ask her to please go to mall and buy me clean pants to war to the florist. She does, because she loves me. (Thanks, Mom!)

4:20 p.m. Return from florist to find that my dad has detailed my car, because he loves me. Car now smells of Industrial Lemon with undernotes of garlic and bile. (Thanks, Dad!)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Wedding Planning Weekend Kickoff

A couple weeks ago, dooce posted a funny clip from Man Touch Woman, a British sketch comedy show, about the generally stereotypical way men act when they're sick. Joel and I have taken to sarcastically calling each other "poor little bunny" in bad British accents when one of us feels like crap. Good times.

College Roommate Jo was here for a few days, and after we caught up on all the important stuff (men, work, auditions, friends), we resorted to cracking up over YouTube. Ah, old friends.

I'm heading home for the weekend to meet with the lady who will be driving Bella to and from the Hershey Gardens in August (yeah, the dog is in the wedding party) and drop some things off with the florist. I'm also taking a load of all the wedding stff etc I've accumulated over the last few months. In the spirit of the weekend, I give you three "Man Touch Woman" sketches about marriage and one about a dog.

The dog video is a hilarious commercial for a Volkswagen sold only in Europe. I guess the point is that the dog feels confident enough in the car to sing, and he's singing under his breathe in line at the bank. Yeah. This is one of those things that I find hilarious. You might not. But you might! Sing it with me: I'm a man! Yes I am! And I can't help but love you so!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Baelin's Baptism Video

Yes, Tanii. This will probably make you cry. But in a good way! I swear! :)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Baelin's Baptism

Our friends' baby was baptized yesterday! He is the sweetest, sweetest little boy. Video and slideshow coming soon.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sneak Preview

This past weekend I had the profound privilege to photograph Debbie and Noam's wedding in Leesburg, Virginia. Their wedding was an absolute blast.

I love the moment captured in the image below. The bride's sister Judy is making sure the groom is safely behind closed doors before Debbie came down the stairs.

After Debbie and Noam were photographed with their immediate families on their own, it was time for them to see other in a private moment. Well, private, plus me, your friendly neighborhood wedding photographer!

Then I gave them a few minutes all to themselves (for real) before giving their families a grand entrance.

The bride and groom greeted all of their guests in a somewhat traditional tish. The pre-ceremony reception format was the same: greeting guests, relatives offering speeches and meaningful quotes from the Torah, except the men and women were all together instead of female guests greeting the bride and men greeting the groom.

Then it was upstairs to sign the ketubah, a customary Jewish wedding contract signed by two witnesses....

And THEN it was time to get married!

Introducing the Newlyweds!

I like to mix things up a bit, combining colorful, sharp images with black and white artistic versions of the same scene. This is what the bride and groom looked like, laughing high atop their friends and family...

and this is what it felt like to be in the joyful crowd below.

One final slow dance...

Two more images that I personally really like, just because.

And one last thing.... I would be remiss if I didn't include just one photo of the 1719 housemates. Over the years, these guys have been amazingly kind to me, simply because I'm Gwen's friend. On different occasions, they've let me crash in their bedrooms, share their food, spill my guts after the Heartbreak (thanks, Mollie), huddle under their tarps on a rainy Fourth of July. This weekend was no different. I feel so lucky to know them all, so lucky that they've been a family to Gwen and by extension, to me.

Debbie and Noam, thank you for letting me a part of your wedding day. This is your hearts' true happiness, and it's everything you deserve.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The $4 Book

Yesterday I bought a book off the clearance* table.

Not since delving into the transformative but brutal (and frighteningly local to me, the S.U. grad) memoir "Lucky" by Alice Sebold have I been so deeply moved by a book. "If I am Missing or Dead" by Janine Latus is a revelation, a tribute to a life cut short, a call to action.

For a mere $4, I was given access to the mind, heart and soul of Janine Latus for 23 hours. It took me less than a day to read her book, a day where I worked more than a full shift on the job, got eight hours of sleep, ate three meals, ran errands, etc. I didn't devour this book; it devoured me.

*It seems the paperback version is due out any day now, which explains why the hardcover copy was so reduced.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Ode to My Paper Trimmer

I just need to give a shout-out to my self-sharpening paper trimmer. Man, this thing has been with me for eight years, through thick and thin (heh). In the last 36 hours, Alissa and I made 90 wedding invitations for her upcoming marriage to Todd. Ninety invitations, five pieces of paper per invite, all of which were cut from larger 12 x 12 or 8.5 x 11 pieces of scrapbooking paper.

That's, like, more than 600 swipes of the paper trimmer. RAH!

We took turns trimming and printing and making itty bitty flowers (Okay, Liss made all the flowers; I did the lion's share of the trimming.) For a little while there, my left hand turned into "The Claw," but it's loosening up now. I'm so proud of how these invitations turned out. Alissa did all the brainstorming and research, including driving up here three times: once for idea-gathering, once for layout, and once for execution. Woot!

The days are counting down, and it's all becoming more real for both of us.

One thing, though? I can never get over the new, different and rude ways that affianced couples (NOT Alissa and Todd, NEITHER Joel and I) find to ask for cold, hard cash. I personally find the Dollar Dance distasteful, unless it's couple observing the Polish custom of the apron dance, in which the bride and groom have to keep dancing the polka as long as their guests keep tossing money into an apron made out of a tablecloth wrapped around the maid of honor. That's different. Similarly, red envelopes of "lucky money" given at Chinese weddings, dollar bills tossed at Greek weddings during the syrtaki... okay. Also, a lot of Italian-American families traditionally give envelopes of money to the couple as they go table to table, and it's considered polite for the bride to gather a small purse during the "visiting time" since it's more tasteful to tuck them away than it is to have a fistful of envelopes. That's culture; it's guests' choice. Whatever.

That's not what I'm talking about.

This afternoon, Alissa and I were designing various cards and labels for hospitality bathroom baskets, etc. We were trying to find a simple way to explain how guests can contribute to Alissa and Todd's alternative guest book (NOT A MONEY-RELATED PROJECT), and I found a wedding website with "cute" poems couples wrote to ask their guests for cash. Um... What? It isn't less tacky if you say it in a poem... That said, some of this poetry was TERRIBLE. Ugh.

We were particularly dumbfounded by the ones where the couples admit- IN THE POEM- that what they're doing is rude.

Their home is quite complete,
as they've been together so long
So please consider our request,
but do not take it wrong.

A gilded cage will be on display
at the reception hall
To deposit your wishes
for the couple with love from all.
An envelope will be provided
for those who have room
To bestow a gift upon the bride & groom.

This delicate request,
we hope you understand
Please ponder over this,
to give their married life a hand.

Um, eep? I found this one kind of funny, though.

Because at first we lived in sin
We've got the sheets and a rubbish bin!
A gift from you would be swell
But we'd prefer a donation
to our Wishing Well!

I'm a fan of "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy," which Joel has never read, because he is wrong, and therefore he didn't get why this was funny. Anyway, the books also describe Vogon poetry as "the third worst in the Universe."

Douglas Adams writes: Vogon poetry is widely accepted as the third worst in the Universe. The second worst is that of the Azgoths of Kria. During a recitation by their Poet Master Grunthos the Flatulent of his poem "Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in My Armpit One Midsummer Morning" four of his audience died of internal hemorrhaging, but the President of the Mid-Galactic Arts Nobbling Council survived by gnawing one of his own legs off. The absolute worst poetry was written by Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings of Sussex.

I don't know, man. These Wishing Well poems might give the Vogons, and even Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings a run for their money. *rimshot*

Friday, April 04, 2008

The Week in Review

Joel is coaching JV baseball for the first time. The kids haven't won a game in the past three seasons, so his goal is to get them to win a game. Period. Their first game was against Joel's alma mater, reigning BigWig MucketyMucks of NYC public school sports, and predictably, they lost. The score was 26-0 when the ump called a mercy finish in the fourth inning.

There are only two fields for four teams, and JV gets the shaft. He's been alternating between taking the guys to a nearby park or batting cage for practice and making them run around a parking lot using bases he bought at Modell's himself. The school doesn't have enough money to buy baseball caps for the whole team, so they were going to have to share. Nothin' says team unity like shared adolescent forehead sweat. (Yumm!) We're buying everyone their own hat, because EW. 'Nough said.

My week.. how you say.... sucked big time? It's all elated-ray to my ob-jay, so I'll leave it at that.

Joel and I picked out the setting for our wedding rings. Um, woot? And... my printer, which will be churning out about a hundred wedding invitations for Alissa and Todd tomorrow, is fixed, which is a relief. $125 for the privilege of having a technician fish a tiny piece of paper out of the inner guts of the printer. Awesome! At least it's working now.

And the rest is just the minutia of my very busy month. Getting my car serviced, doing taxes, keeping the cats from being Intrepid Explorers Who Must Unearth the Mysteries of the Giant Pile of Wedding Projects. Yup. Pretty much.

How are you? Are you good?