Monthly Archives: February 2007

i have found my wedding dress solution

The thought of shopping at a chain bridal store practically makes me break out in hives.

The idea of going to bridal salons to look at overpriced designer dresses is only moderately better – but more expensive.

So, after a few Google searches, I found out that Dark Garden corsetry in San Francisco also has a side specialization in wedding dresses.

I definitely foresee a road trip up there in the near future.

monkey lit appreciation 101

my engagement ring is on my desk

‘K. So for everyone who hasn’t quite figured out how I’m planning a wedding without an engagement, here’s what happened. Basically, my family wanted me to have my grandmother’s wedding ring as an engagement ring, so Paul and I have been waiting for six weeks for my uncle to send it. Paul would have loved to propose weeks ago, but I said once I didn’t want a proposal without the ring, and he was sticking to that. So, while I KNOW we’re getting married, and I KNOW we want to spend the rest of our lives together, and I KNOW my boyfriend is looking forward to actually marrying me – I don’t have the official engagement to back it up.

(Trust me on this one, folks – Paul has already told most of his friends to make sure they have passports so they can travel to Canada next summer for our wedding. A man who wasn’t serious about proposing would not do such things.)

However, the ring is FINALLY here. So now, my boyfriend can execute whatever plan he has to ask me for my hand in marriage. I know he’s up to something, but I have no idea what. He says he wants to make it at least a bit special though, even if it is anticlimactic after all the drama surrounding getting the ring. I also know I’ve broken every tradition possible, and probably violated a whole slew of Rules in the way this has been handled – I’ve known about the marriage for too long without a proposal – but as Paul says, neither of us excels at being typical for our gender.

I also know that the transition from “boyfriend” to “fiance” is due sometime in the next three weeks. When is anyone’s guess – except Paul’s. So there will be a slight element of surprise. But then, I’ve never had a single doubt about my boyfriend’s intent to marry me since we got truly serious last summer. Even if he had bought the ring himself, and I’d been left completely out of it, I still would have known it was going to happen sometime this spring. Marriage, and the rest of our lives together, is inevitable.

my countrypeople are having some advertising issues

See? When all the people like me move to the States, you end up with messy, messy advertising in Canada:

City of Victoria promises “perfect orgasm” in latest tourism campaign.
You can bet that I’m putting THAT slogan on my save-the-date cards for my wedding.

Mounties recruiting Los Angeles gang members by mistake.
What do you expect from the likes of the organization whose biggest priority on campus was busting up the Cheez?

a slight repeat of history

The big inspiration for me to get a digital camera, three years ago,
was that I was going to New Orleans.

That camera is no longer in its prime (translation: blurs regular
photos and overexposes when the flash is on), so, because I’m going to
New Orleans (yet again) soon, I ordered a new one off Amazon. I had
some gift certificates to use, the result of trading in my American
Airlines miles after realizing I WAS NEVER GOING TO GET TO USE THEM.
Better I get a camera than have to work with blackout dates. So this little beastie will get here in a few days,
along with a 1GB card, a 2 year warranty, and a carrying case.

I’m really looking forward to having a good camera again. I
think it really adds to my blogging when I can put in photos – and I
really regret not being able to take photos of my boyfriend when he
looked all hot in his tux at the wedding in JAX two weekends ago.

And why are we going to New Orleans, you ask? Because it has been almost
a year
since Paul asked me to dance at Bar Sinister, and a
Romantic Anniversary Weekend was called for. And because we are
visiting with Paul’s family while we’re there. Paul’s father’s
family’s ancestral homestead is an hour out of the city, and Paul’s
aunt is still there. In addition, his parents have been able to
coincide their visit with ours, so it will be a very small family
reunion. Since I adore Paul’s parents (my future in laws are
AWESOME), I’m very happy about that.

diy, homemaking, and third-wave feminism

I’m getting more into DIY lately. I’m currently gathering the materials for a decorative project that involves a wallful of repainted thrift-store plates (JANE features the ceramic paint stencil plate craft a while ago, and the brocade home catalogue had a really cool use of it). I really want a sewing machine so I can make curtains for the dining room (and learn to sew my own goth wardrobe). I just finished planting a miniature herb garden in little starter pots, because I use a lot of fresh herbs in my everyday cooking (which is improving, if I do say so myself) And I cook on a daily basis – most days, all of my meals are from scratch to some degree or other.

However, I find it hard to reconcile all these things with my existing third-wave feminist beliefs. Is getting into DIY just sinking into traditional gender roles that I should be rising above? Isn’t this kind of homemaking just reinforcing the old repressive, Victorian-era ideals that women should be creating a home for their husbands, a “haven in a harsh world”? And would I be OK with it if, say, Paul spontaneously decided he wanted to stencil borders in the kitchen, or pick out new dishes? (Well, actually, I would be – I’m secure enough in my boyfriend’s masculinity that, if he wanted to express his aesthetic sense in the home, that would be fine.)

And then I thought about it some more, and I thought about the other extreme: the idea that women should buy the homemaking items that they aren’t creating because they’re outside the home. Is it possible to take that liberty too far? I’m thinking specifically of the episode of Sex & The City where Miranda tells her housekeeper that if she wants a pie, she will buy a pie. The impetus is, of course, that Miranda is a lawyer, and that she prefers to use her time and energy on her career and her life outside her home. The question is: what is the effect of the idea of buying the pie? Is the idea of using resources earned outside the home really representative of freedom for women, or is it just a way for more stuff to get sold? Doesn’t that idea, that women can now buy all the things they’re not making for themselves, just push the consumer ideal?

Here’s the question: in liberating ourselves, as a gender, from being trapped in the home, have we given the corporations the opportunity to sell the home back to us? And where is the balance between accepting that idea of a place in the home, and using that place in the home to exercise alternatives to consumer society?

So here I am, and I’m only hoping to be one of those annoying Whole Women, who are able to come home from their fantastic jobs, and cook a meal from scratch, using herbs from their windowsill gardens and potholders they knitted while watching documentaries on TV. And part of that is simply that I want to live a more sustainable life, and incoporate more of my beliefs into how I manage my own home life. Which means that, even if I was a full time homemaker, it would be OK, because my actions in the private sphere, within my own apartment, are consciously designed to impact the public sphere beyond my doorstep. Whereas, by contrast, the pre-1960s domestic female role was supposed to stop at the front door, with no effect on the rest of the world.

I can live with that. And yet, these traditional actions and attributes are coming up more and more in my life. Again, I’m reluctant to use them as part of the definition of “grownup” – but they are symptoms of my own passage into full-blown adulthood. I’ve started taking the first tentative steps in wedding planning, and my wedding, while it will incorporate many, many elements of mine and Paul’s own beliefs and interests and loves, will also have a heavy traditionalism associated with it. I’m going to be (G’d willing) taking on one of the most female roles possible, and having children in a few years. And accepting all these things as important, and as things I want very much, when I’d always been a third-waver with a firm belief in women’s lives beyond family, marriage and children, is a bit difficult. Again, I’m choosing these things, and I have the luxury of discovering that this is what I want, and of having a boyfriend (soon to be fiance, soon to be husband) who firmly believes that he is as much an equal partner in the home as I am. It’s just the change, from external to internal focus, that makes me wary of the parallels with the old gender roles.

sunday in sifi

I went to a party at the Surf Shaque last night. It was the first party there since I left. And, as everything evolves, so has the invite list: it’s now mostly Nick and Sam(antha)’s friends, as opposed to the extended party list that Andrew and I invited. Our closest people were there, but it’s very different than it was when I ran the parties. As it should be.

A couple people asked me if it was weird to be in my old house without living there. I thought about it, and then shook my head. “No, not really,” I said. And in some inexplicable way, it wasn’t. I wasn’t in the house more than a few nights a week over the last several months anyways. I wasn’t even curious enough to go look at how the new girl has set up my old room. I suppose that I can only attach myself to one place as “home”, and my new apartment is so very much “home” that it’s hard to have any real weirdness about former homes.

We had a pretty solid Saturday yesterday. Starting with when we finally got up and dragged ourselves out of the house. At 2:30. I was happily history-nerding out all morning, watching “The Presidents” series on the History Channel, so I didn’t get around to movement until late. But we decided to go out for lunch, and that Papa Cristos sounded like the best idea ever. And we’re in line, and there’s a tug on my hair, and I’m about to berate Paul, and then I realize that Annika did it. And there she was, with her baby and husband. So we all ended up having lunch together. I adore Annika and Will, whom we’ve seen a couple times at blogger meetup. We had a really nice lunch, especially as Paul and I are both extremely fascinated and curious by people our age with offspring. And Papa Cristos makes some of the best Greek food I’ve ever had.

Lunch over, we started the rounds of errands. To Beverly Hills, to pick up some prescriptions at my designated CVS by my office. To the Beverly Center, because I had to replace my brand-new black H&M shirtdress that was stolen out of the hotel room in Tampa. And to Trader Joe’s. And then we had enough time to come home, finish some work (me), take a nap (Paul) and then get to the Surf Shaque party.
i also still hate bed bath & beyond and everything they stand for!

a slightly altered version of the goth coachella poster

Edited, as per dream_king‘s recommendation. And because I forgot Icon of Coil.

Also, bonus points to anyone who can spot the two (two!) vampire novel bands. I mean, what would a goth Coachella poster be if there wasn’t some acknowledgement of vampires?

Protected: still trying to figure out this “grownup” thing

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if I ran Coachella…

…it would look more like this: