Thursday, March 30, 2006

this is why i miss California*

oh, glorious In-n-Out Double Double, why can't you live in New York?
i also miss California because it has my sister. but, to be fair, she can fly out here. the Double Double? it doesn't travel as well...

photographer search (cont'd)

with Tanya Tribble still our number one contender, Thurston and i (or, at times, my mom and i) continued to meet photographers.

Gruber Studios

Gruber Studios has the advantage of being part of a studio. i found the idea of a built-in back up plan somewhat more comforting than the idea of working with a solo photog. although the style of Gruber was a bit less photojournalistic than Tanya's work, i was still happy with our meeting there. they had done their share of celebrity weddings (the Michael Douglas/Catherine Zeta-Jones nuptials being one example) and their price (with a 2nd photographer) was comparable to Tanya's, though a bit less. alas, i just was not over the moon after meeting with them. as i told my wedding planner--i would be more than happy with Gruber and, had we not met with Tanya, i probably would have booked them on the spot. however, i'm now comparing all photographers to this Tanya-based standard, which they do not meet.

the Tanya price point was still sticking in my craw (not to mention the craw of my poor beleaguered dad, who--like Thurston--just cannot comprehend the amount of money that all things "wedding" seem to cost). so the search continued...

Karen Hill

Karen's photography was wonderful, and her price point was a bit more reasonable. i really liked her work, and there was no reason *not* to book her, except for the omnipresent Tanya Tribble comparison. Karen's work was 100% photojournalistic and completely the style i sought. but there was just a certain chemistry that we did not have with her. nothing specific, and nothing negative about her-- i just did not have any strong connection with her and was concerned that that might play out in the photos from the wedding.

Lilian Haidar

pretty much resigned to paying more than we'd planned and booking Tanya, we met with Lilian. and loved her. love love LOVED her. her work captured the *exact* look i'd been seeking. and the price, though more than we'd originally contemplated, was less than Tanya's. plus, Lilian was fun, smart, and Thurston thought she had a lot of spunk. she really "got" my ideas without being obsequious--no small feat. and she seemed to somehow manage to be both an artist *and* a wedding photographer. like we found with bands, a true Photographer (capital P intentional) might not be able to do the table pictures that my mom so desired, but a wedding photographer might not give me anything beyond a Bar Mitzvah style album, that i so eschewed.

we booked Lilian and i can now sleep at night. for a while anyway...

booking florists comes next. what fun!

Friday, March 24, 2006

i'm going back to Cali...

Going back to Cali, stylin', profilin'
Growlin', and smilin', while in the sun.
The top is down, on the black Corvette

that's right, i'm off to San Francisco for an extended weekend of visiting the California sister, the wine country and the Matterhorn. be back next week!

ok, like a dork, i forgot to actually post the above, rather than "Save As Draft."

so, yes, i was in California and now i am back.

more on this (with photos!) once i have upoloaded them.

just like "bum fights"...

only with your own kids!

Police said the tape shows the soldier commanding his daughter to knock the victim down, kick him and hit him in the face. The girl follows her father's instructions as the boy cries and pleads for her to stop, police said.


Friday, March 17, 2006

say cheese! (the photographer search)

...but not just any cheese-- pick a really expensive cheese. like a $40/lb. Roquefort.

yes, when Thurston and i began to seek out photographers we suffered from the same sticker shock that we did during both the band and venue searches. (and don't even get me started on the majorly high price tags involved with wedding planners. more on that to come...) when we spoke to people about what photographers might cost, they gave us some numbers. these numbers did not sound low to us. then we met with photographers and heard price quotes of twice what "people" had advised us they'd be. fun, no? to give you some context: the actual album (with a decent amount of photos in it) can cost upwards of $5,000. the parent albums? oh, maybe $1,800 or so each. (maybe more!) and this does not even include the 10 hours of wedding day photography + a second photographer. you could ask yourself the question: photographer or car?; choose "car"; and still save some money. scary stuff, y'all.

so far we have considered and/or have met with, the following photographers:

Mark Nelson

we knew we wanted a "photojournalistic" approach to our wedding. upon browsing photographer web sites, i immediately loved Mark Nelson's work. the photos of all the weddings were beautiful (as were each of the brides) and he really "got" my style. plus, Mark had worked in the Metropolitan Club before, and was on their "recommended vendors" list. we met with Mark on New Year's Eve day--it was snowy and wet out but we trekked down to Wall Street to meet with him.

i still loved all of his photos, but my mother was keen on table pictures/portraits. this came up at our meeting and my mom and i quickly realized we were polar opposites on this issue: i say it's gauche and she says it's necessary.* it seemed that Mark, like me, was averse to table pictures, although he could bring in a second photographer to get them done. (table shots or no, with a wedding of well over 200 people, a second photographer is kind of a given--there's just no way one guy could cover all that's going on.) we left Mark Nelson's and all were starving so we went to grab a bite and think about his proposal at the most expensive T.G.I. Friday's in the world, at 47 Broadway.

Harold Hechler Photography

we then spent January scoping out planners and dresses and bands (oh my!) so we did not get back into the photographer hunt until early February. our next meeting was with Harold Hechler Photography. HH does not advertise and has no web site. all its referrals are by word of mouth. Thurston and my mom *loved* the guy with whom we met. i liked the photos but found them to be a little not my more "photojournalistic" taste. which was sad because Art would have been superfun to work with and also HH's price quote was reasonable. i didn't yet rule them out, though, since we had a few more appointments coming up...

Tanya Tribble

Tanya Tribble is genius. her photos were exactly how my dream photos would be. and my mom and i adored her--bearing in mind that on your wedding day you spend, oh, about ten hours with the photographer, personality is more important than you might think. and she did Lulu Johnson's wedding. for-freaking-ever, i have been a huge fan of Betsey Johnson and her fashion show cartwheels (i think this somehow relates to her being written about in Sassy, but i could be wrong) and was very excited that should i choose to book Tanya, i'd be echoing Betsey's taste.

my mom had some qualms about working with a solo studio photographer, i.e., if Tanya gets sick on my wedding day, who takes the pictures? Tanya reassured us that she had a network of other solo photogs who came to each other's rescue in the rare event such aid was needed. that seemed to set my mom at ease. Tanya's price tag did not. but, her stuff was on a par with no other we'd yet seen, so... we kept our fingers crossed that a) she's negotiate; b) we'd get over our sticker shock; or c) we'd find someone else just as good for less. i was pretty sure we'd end up with a combination of a and b.

ok, to be continued. this is an overly long post!

* with the JadedParents footing the bill for this whole affair, i am sure you can just guess whose opinion triumphed. wedding guests, get ready for your close-ups--tableside and all.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

a man of wealth and taste

Rolling Stones concert tonight, and i'm invited!

yes, Thurston, wonderful fellow that he is, took me to my first Rolling Stones concert back in September. i was happy, thinking that it was probably the one and only time i would see the old guys play a show, bearing in mind how freaking old they are.

well, come 2006 and a private benefit concert being put on at Radio City Music Hall. tickets are only available to those who have donated to Robin Hood (an amazing charity--"venture philanthropy," they call it). lo and behold, T is a Robin Hood donor (since meeting me and JadedDad, who are great supporters of the foundation) and gets the passcode to obtain tickets.

and now we have seats in the center of row A of one of the mezzanines. yay, Thurston! and yay for me since seeing the Stones in a venue of this size promises to be awesome.

we'll be hitting Cité Grill for dinner prior to the show, which includes a three-hour open bar. the B-52's* are opening, which i that much cooler since they just played the Planet on my favorite non-HBO-pay-cable show, The L Word.**
*Sheryl Crow was scheduled to open but had to cancel when she underwent surgery.
** yes, i do realize that only
Jolie cares about this reference.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Thurston Howell, you're my hero...

this morning, Thurston got down to the subway platform and spied an unattended backpack. as a clear rule-follower (such a good boy, that T), he immediately left the platform and reported the backpack to the guy in the token booth. then, since his train was pulling into the station, he went right back onto the platform, unattended backpack notwithstanding, to catch his train.

me, i would have told the booth guy quickly as i hightailed it in another direction from the station. but maybe that's just me...

in any event, 1010 WINS and NY1 have not reported any transit delays, so maybe it was just a carelessly forgotten item.

ok, this scares the bejesus out of me...

Divers have discovered a new crustacean in the South Pacific that resembles a lobster and is covered with what looks like silky, blond fur, French researchers said Tuesday.
Scientists said the animal, which they named Kiwa hirsuta, was so distinct from other species that they created a new family and genus for it.

this is so not what i want for dinner. to be sure, it may even turn me off plain old, bald lobster for a while. yuck!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

my club perspective...

in the mid-to-late nineties, before i did the whole "become a lawyer" thing, i used to work at a nightclub.* and in my capacity as a receptionist/cashier/promotions assistant there, i had a hand in the administrative process of hiring new bouncers/security guards. that is why i am so surprised that the main suspect in the Imette St. Guillen tragedy is Darell Littlejohn, the bouncer from the Falls, the bar at which Imette was last seen. apparently, the bouncer was an ex-con with a history of violence. last night i was talking to my mother about how such a person could end up bouncing at a bar. maybe the club where i worked (the now defunct Life (at the Ki Club)) was an anomaly, but we did such extensive background checks, hiring an outside security firm to perform them, that an applicant such as Littlejohn--guilty of the instant crime or not--could not have been hired.

i guess i could see how a small bar might not spend the time and resources to do background checks on employees. but the Falls is not a small "one-off" bar; rather it's part of a chain-of-sorts that includes Dorian's (hello, Robert Chambers) and Barna (on Park Avenue South). to me, this gives the Falls' owners little excuse for not checking out their employees pre-hiring.

see Clublife for a more extensive take on the situation.

* as any of you who know me are well-aware, having been regaled (read: bored-to-tears) time and again with my "i used to work at the coolest club" stories.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

by the power of greyskull...

emily robin [last name omitted] --


An immortal

'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at

ah, yes, these little quizzes rule. thanks for the link, smellyknee!

Friday, March 03, 2006

what comes around...

...goes around

Mo'Nique Wants You: Auditions Start Next Week

i just received the above photo in an email that asked me the following question:

Do you have what it takes to be the next "Miss F.A.T." (that's Fabulous And Thick)? If so, come down to one of our cross-country open casting calls and show Mo'Nique—and the rest of the world—what it takes to be a larger than life beauty queen. Find a Casting Call Near You

i guess i shouldn't have been so quick to criticize Mo'Nique. apparently, i could be a winner!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

wedding bands (but wait--there's more!)

Total Entertainment

Total Entertainment represents a couple of "marquee" bands.
i had seen one of them, Soul Solution, play at the wedding of a family friend and they were amazingly excellent. i *hate* to dance, and could not help but stay on the dance floor the entire night. T's one reservation about Soul Solution was the "soul" factor; in meeting with bands so far, we'd found that the rock n'roll component of soul-centered bands was a little bit lacking. it's not that they sucked at singing the Boss or Bon Jovi, they just were a little out of their element.

Soul Solution, however, has an impressive pedigree, having been the band that Paul McCartney booked for his wedding to Heather McCartney née Mills.

then Total also represents Soul Street, another band with a celeb wedding to its credit-- that of Billy Joel to his child bride a summer or two ago.

according to the rep at Total, they also had a "new" band--nothing like the others, and people either love or hate. this band was called "White Light," again furthering Thurston's speculations on Aryan rock. (again, happily, he was wrong!) since we met with the agency, it seems that White Light is now known as Soul Connection, to fit with the soul theme, i guess.

we watched the DVD of Soul Solution (about $23K) and really liked them. then we saw Soul Street ($18.5K) and were pretty sure that this was it. we had a wedding band! they were young and had great energy and did a remarkably unembarassing version of "Milkshake," which i insisted that we have played at our wedding.* i was ready to sign on the dotted line, but T wanted to hear the last band.

sure enough, we all (mom, dad and Thurston) loved them the most. the thing was they actually rocked when singing rock. (what a novelty!) in booking rither Soul Solution or Soul Street, T had resigned himself to request that the band sort of avoid the rock genre altogether. a tragedy of sorts, since T is kind of rock-obsessed. (anyone who has seen his Billy Idol karaoke performances knows this all too well.)

so that was that. except that we still had a meeting left with

Greg Denard
the thing about Greg Denard, is that he used to be the lead singer for Soul Solution (and was in this gig when SS played at the aforementioned family friend wedding.) he was really quite the entertainer and had a great crowd rapport. however, at one point between 2004 (when said wedding occurred) and now, Mr. Denard and Soul Solution parted ways, with the former starting his own band-- the Greg Denard Orchestra. they looked great to me, so i was excited to meet them.

however, as the appointment approached, i was more and more convinced that White Light** was the band for us-- so i called to cancel the Greg Denard appointment. as it turns out, they were about to call me, since Mr. Denard did not really have my date available. alls well...

so we now had a band and a venue. what's next? oh, the fun of finding a wedding planner and a photographer. good times!

* and not just because Kelis admired my change purse/keychain at the bloomingdale's gift wrap counter, where we she was waiting with Nas. although, it sure didn't hurt.

** they may officially be called Soul Connection, but they remain White Light to me.