Friday, April 28, 2006

you had a bad day

oh, Daniel Powter has got my number. and how!
because today, my bad day, i found out that my formal china pattern has been discontinued.
fare thee well, Orsay Powder Blue place setting.

so, yeah, it's not the *end* of the world. but i really, really, really loved my china. (see how i call it "my china" still, even though it's not to be?)
and who better to express my bad day than John Dryden? (oh, come *on*, you did not think i was going to channel my grief through Daniel Powter*, did you?!)

To The Memory Of Mr. Oldham
by John Dryden

Farewell, too little and too lately known,
Whom I began to think and call my own;
For sure our souls were near allied, and thine
Cast in the same poetic mould with mine.
One common note on either lyre did strike,
And knaves and fools we both abhorred alike.
To the same goal did both our studies drive;
The last set out the soonest did arrive.
Thus Nisus fell upon the slippery place,
While his young friend performed and won the race.
O early ripe! to thy abundant store
What could advancing age have added more?
It might (what Nature never gives the young)
Have taught the numbers of thy native tongue.
But satire needs not those, and wit will shine
Through the harsh cadence of a rugged line.
A noble error, and but seldom made,
When poets are by too much force betrayed.
Thy generous fruits, though gathered ere their prime,
Still showed a quickness; and maturing time
But mellows what we write to the dull sweets of rhyme.
Once more, hail and farewell! farewell, thou young,
But ah too short, Marcellus of our tongue!
Thy brows with ivy and with laurels bound;
But fate and gloomy night encompass thee around.

ok, it's not on target point-for-point, but still...

now i have to find new china! what fun that ought to be for Thurston.
some early contenders:

Darley Abbey by Royal Crown Derby

Elysée by Bernardaud

Hampton Court Blue by William Yeoward
* though i will admit that the ending of his Samaire-Armstrong-starring Bad Day video, did bring me to tears just now.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

how to be a Howell

i now realize that i never actually explained how this blog became The Tales of Lovey and Thurston rather than, let's say, The Story of Emily and Justin.

i've actually never had a nickname.* not one that was anything besides a schoolyard taunt (i.e. "Walking Dictionary"; "Eggilbee"; "Smellily"; etc.), and even those never stuck. my sister got to be Dizzy or Lizard. my brother was Basher or Smasher. even my cat Winston had aliases-- Fatston, Fatty, Fatass, Mr. Pickles (ok, i never said most of them were flattering). i did have computer "handles" when i used to log on to BBSes and chatrooms in the early-to-mid-80s. i was unstoppable** with my 300 baud modem and my Commodore 64 and my awesome handles: "Scarlett O'Hara" and "Alice in Wonderland". (i believe one of the boards i used to go to was called Falken's Maze, but my memories of from when i was 11 are a bit hazy.)

i get to law school and, still, no nickname. but the EvilAlchemist, prime minister of nicknames and my first law school friend (Section 5 FOREVA!) , started calling me by my IM name: JadedEm. another law school classmate followed suit, calling me that or JadedE. and i was thrilled. a nickname that stuck! well, for a while, and at least with those two.

later on, EvilA and i end up on the same journal. one of our editors is this seriously uptight guy who has the pretty much exact same voice as Thurston Howell III, so the Alchemist anoints him thusly.

we then graduate law school and forget all about THIII, until...
i meet *my* Thurston, who also has a deep and resounding voice, not unlike Thurston Howell. and EvilA hears him speak and, in a post which fortuitously predicted our engagement, EvilA referred to him as such. it was only natural that i would be Lovey to his Thurston, so... a blog was born.
* it bears noting that one summer at sleepaway camp, when i was in the midst of my very, very awkward early teen years, a super-mean camper/waiter (a teenage boy, natch) decided to call me "Rocky Dennis" after the horribly deformed character played by Eric Stoltz in Mask. the waiter guy (i think his name was Eric but i blocked most of that summer out) actually called me "RD" for short, more often than not. although i don't think i really fit the elephant man mold, my strawberry blonde perm certainly wasn't helping my case. of course, when i got home from camp i insisted upon plastic surgery to ensure such torture would not happen again. the joy that only a new nose can bring!
do you think this qualifies me for some sort of PTSD accommodation?

** i was also *very* underage and reall am convinced that the supposed teenage boys i chatted with online (the phone line, yo) were actually pedophiles. seriously. i have seen all of Dateline's "To Catch a Predator" installments and really identify the chat behaviors of these current perps with the ways of the guys i used to make "friends" with. gross!!!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

the last of the florists (Matthew Robbins)

my meeting with Matthew Robbins of Artfool was my first solo vendor meeting. my mom was at the ancestral home and T was at work. so i took a lunch meeting with Matthew on my own. and, if i do say so myself, it went quite well.

Matthew was great. he was very enthusiastic and had a lot of ideas about flowers and less traditional arrangements. he was all about texture and flow, and i really got a sense that if he does our flowers, they will be very catered to us and original. i had feared his ideas would be too country and "too Martha Stewart" (since his arrangements and bouquets are in pretty much every Martha Stewart Weddings), but they weren't.

this cluster arrangement, is what i consider "too Martha"

this bouquet is lovely and not too Martha.

Matthew is on vacation (lucky guy), so i'm awaiting his proposal. hopefully it will come in reasonably. DeJuan Stroud's proposal was within our budget, but he also didn't include any cocktail hour flowers. this may be an oversight, but if it was purposeful then once we add cocktails he may be a bit high.

Stonekelly's proposal was also high, but included some things i think we don't need. fingers crossed that someone will come in a) affordably and b) with all the elements we need.

i believe our planner has us onto cakes and videographers next. this will mark the first bit of excitement Thurston will have regarding the planning process. he has been eagerly awaiting the day where he will get to consume food as part of the planning. thank goodness for cakes, because i think he's just about lost interest in the wedding. cake-tasting may well lure him back in!

Monday, April 24, 2006

i wonder if she does weddings...

through Lola, i found Kit's blog and what could perhaps be the single best post in the blogosphere:

here you have the genius of Sondra Prill.

Friday, April 21, 2006

i've been tagged

by Lola.
and since this is the very first meme with which i have been tagged, i shall take it very seriously. here goes:

My Vote for the 10 Worst Songs Ever
(in no particular order)

  1. Don't Know Much
    this Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville collaboration actually makes me feel queasy. just thinking about it now. gah!
  2. Conga by Gloria Estefan
    honestly, almost anything by G.E. makes me want to cover my ears. this song particularly having been played at every single Bar/Bat Mitzvah i attended as a youth. (and is it any coincidence that she shares the same initials as my other musical nemesis, G.E. Smith? hmmm?)

  3. I've Got My Mind Set on You by George Harrison.
  4. Lullaby by Shawn Mullins. as Joles would say, gros.
  5. Into the Night by Benny Mardones - a fun statutory rape ditty. (nothing like Jermaine Stewart's awesome abstinence gem: We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off (To Have a Good Time)).
  6. Haitian Divorce by Steely Dan. for the record, i hate Steely Dan generally.
  7. Cats in the Cradle by Ugly Kid Joe (of that also-awful " i hate everything about you" song). i don't hate this song otherwise. just this version. nightmare!

  8. Songbird by Kenny G.
  9. Hard Day by George Michael (interchangeable with Monkey). maybe just because the rest of the album is so fricking great do these two songs seem so godawful. but they do.
  10. Rhythm is a Dancer by Snap!. this was omnipresent during my junior and senior uears of high school and if i never hear it again it will be too soon. so cheesy!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

film as literature

that's the name of a course i took as an undergrad where we'd first read a book and then see the movie made from it. this is also highly applicable to this list of the Guardian's top 50 fifty films made from books. Jolie just posted this list, marking which books she'd read and which movies she'd seen (as did those before her). in the spirit of my own lack of originality, i will do the same.

  1. 1984
  2. [B/M]Alice in Wonderland
  3. [B/M]American Psycho
  4. [M]Breakfast at Tiffany's
  5. Brighton Rock
  6. Catch 22
  7. [M]Charlie & the Chocolate Factory
  8. A Clockwork Orange
  9. Close Range (inc Brokeback Mountain)
  10. The Day of the Triffids
  11. Devil in a Blue Dress
  12. [B/m*]Different Seasons (inc The Shawshank Redemption)
  13. [m (again, i've not watched the whole movie]Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (aka Bladerunner)
  14. Doctor Zhivago
  15. Empire of the Sun
  16. The English Patient
  17. [M]Fight Club
  18. The French Lieutenant's Woman
  19. [M]Get Shorty
  20. [M]The Godfather
  21. [M]Goldfinger
  22. [M]Goodfellas
  23. [BM]Heart of Darkness (aka Apocalypse Now)
  24. The Hound of the Baskervilles
  25. [M]Jaws
  26. [M]The Jungle Book
  27. A Kestrel for a Knave (aka Kes)
  28. [M]LA Confidential
  29. [M]Les Liaisons Dangereuses
  30. Lolita
  31. [BM]Lord of the Flies
  32. The Maltese Falcon
  33. [M]Oliver Twist
  34. [P**]One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
  35. Orlando
  36. The Outsiders
  37. Pride and Prejudice
  38. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
  39. The Railway Children
  40. Rebecca
  41. The Remains of the Day
  42. Schindler's Ark (aka Schindler's List)
  43. Sin City
  44. The Spy Who Came in From the Cold
  45. [M]The Talented Mr Ripley
  46. [B]Tess of the D'Urbervilles
  47. To Kill a Mockingbird
  48. [M]Trainspotting
  49. [M]The Vanishing
  50. Watership Down

* this gets a little "m" because i have only watched part of the movie. although Thurston's parents have this movie at their house, taped off the TV and labeled "Shamshank Penitentiary". classic!

** T and i saw this play in London, with Christian Slater as the poor man's Jack Nicholson.

driving Mrs. Kennedy (or another night, another skipped workout)

well, almost.
last night Thurston and i joined my family (sans the California sister) at the Riverkeeper annual dinner--a benefit to keep the Hudson River made of water rather than poison--at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers.

at the benefit, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (who's on the Board of Directors) spoke and due to his presence there, his mom, Ethel Kennedy was also in attendance.

the evening, emceed by Darrell Hammond (hysterical!) and featuring a performance by Carly Simon and her kids--Sally and Ben Taylor (sans their father James), ended at about 11:00 p.m.
at that point one of the event planners asked my dad if he'd driven to the benefit. he had and was planning on driving back to the Upper East, after dropping me, T, my brother and his lady back at our apartment building* downtown. the event planner asked my dad if he had room for Mrs. Kennedy, who needed a ride to UES and he promptly answered "of course," children be damned!

we then hung out for a bit while my dad waited for his fare. i made him promise me he'd treat the car ride as a very Driving Miss Daisy experience, with my dad in the Morgan Freeman role and speaking only when spoken to. (i really thought that if my dad behaved, somehow my family would be weekending in Hyannis Port and the Vineyard in no time at all. i live a delusional life, what can i say...)

in any event, Mrs. Kennedy found another ride uptown and my parents were back to carpooling the riff-raff, viz., their own kids. such a shame!

although our car was light on American royalty, the gift bags were heavy on the Kiehl's products. (yay!) and also included a Carly SImon cd. and also, to top off the evening, Carly sang Let the River Run, which is easily in my top ten songs ever. and she did it as a sing-along. love love love that one. and not just for its association with Tess McGill's triumph.

here are the empowering lyrics that i belt out with all my might on an almost daily basis. even when such singing is not at Carly's behest. (yeah, i'm supercool. you know it!)

We're coming to the edge,
running on the water,
coming through the fog,
your sons and daughters.

Let the river run,
let all the dreamers
wake the nation.
Come, the New Jerusalem.

Silver cities rise,
the morning lights
the streets that meet them,
and sirens call them on
with a song.

It's asking for the taking.
Trembling, shaking.
Oh, my heart is aching,

We're coming to the edge,
running on the water,
coming through the fog,
your sons and daughters.

We the great and small,
stand on a star
and blaze a trail of desire
through the dark'ning dawn.

It's asking for the taking.

Come run with me now,
the sky is the color of blue
you've never even seen
in the eyes of your lover.

Oh, my heart is aching.

We're coming to the edge,
running on the water,
coming through the fog,
your sons and daughters.

It's asking for the taking.
Trembling, shaking.
Oh, my heart is aching.

We're coming to the edge,
running on the water,
coming through the fog,
your sons and daughters.

Let the river run,
let all the dreamers
wake the nation.
Come, the New Jerusalem.
* yes, i live in the same building as my little brother and his girlfriend. same apartment layout and everything. very convenient when it comes to borrowing sugar and DVDs.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

get in shape, girl!

at pretty much every wedding i have attended, i have noticed the significant bridal weight loss--the complete shedding of what i like to call "wedding weight." so about the moment T proposed, i decided that i, too, would change my name from Fatty McButterpants prior to becoming Mrs. Thurston Howell.

sadly, i was unable to locate my sister's "Get In Shape, Girl!" cassettes and workout gear and was, thus, forced to hire a trainer to get me in shape for my upcoming nuptials. my wedding planner referred me to Matt Hayes and i am now a (semi-)willing participant in his Bridal Boot Camp, which is, how do you say?, kicking my ass. (and, ideally, shrinking it as well.)

i see Matt twice a week and am also meant to hit the gym the five days that i don't see him. i've been trying at that, but, well...

see last night i was sure i'd head to the gym right after my other personal trainer, the one for my psyche (read: therapy). but then at about noon, my friend the Car Wash King called me to see if i wanted to have dinner. since Thurston is in a darts league with his college buddies, i'm a darts widow every Monday night and am always happy for a plan. however, i knew i was supposed to be on the treadmill and/or rower for a 1/2 hour minimum. but then the CW King suggested DB Bistro Moderne. how can a girl refuse?

i can tell you one thing, i sure enjoyed last night's meal a million times more than i would have enjoyed my cardio. (does lifting a fork repeatedly count in any way as "reps"?)

my meal (cut and pasted from the db menu. you think i have time to invent food descriptions? nope!):

  • appetizer: TOMATO TARTE TATIN with Goat Cheese Frisée, and Black Olives
  • main: THE ORIGINAL db BURGER (rare, because that's how i roll) Sirloin Burger filled with Braised Short Ribs, Foie Gras and Black Tuffles, Served on a Parmesan Bun with Pommes Frites

  • cheeses: Ossau Iraty (France) A firmly textured cheese with a nutty, fruity and slightly tart flavor; Selles sur Cher (Loire, France) Soft and charismatic, with a flaky and creamy texture; and another one, but i forget which.

everything was ridiculously delicious, from the amuse bouche (olive tapenade with little bread rounds) to the petits fours. and, while the CW King went on an extended bathroom visit (read: text messaging sojourn), i chatted with my waiter and mentioned that i had met the fiancée of the sous chef at Mrs. Doctor's bridal shower and bachelorette party. about three minutes later, the chef/fiancé came out to say hi. very exciting for me, since anyone who had any hand in that spectacular dinner is clearly genius. as i told Jolie and Lola, even the vanilla ice cream (which the King generously let me try) was sublime. if you have a spare $120 lying around, i highly recommend you hit up DB Bistro. so worth it!

and so much more delicious than water from the gym water fountain!

is there a spell to take her back to her Maxim* days?

because Sabrina the Teenage Witch isn't looking so much like herself these days...

* yes, i know the Maxim spread was photoshopped to death, but still...

...this is the same person??

Friday, April 14, 2006

well, hello, Dolly!

ok, this is some simple math:

Dolly Parton
a cookbook

i am so so so buying Dolly's new cookbook: Dolly’s Dixie Fixin’s
how cute is that title? and what's better than an appliqued, jean-short wearing Dolly replete with hose and
open-toe shoes hawking said book?
well, i'll tell you--

the opportunity to win a backyard barbecque with Truvy herself!!!! just by buying the book!!! i'm not a huge "OMG"-user, but OMG, how much would that RULE?? Dolly in my backyard? (ok, i have no backyard at present but would so coopt my parents' yard should i be lucky enough to win this awesome prize).

honestly, the only way this could possibly be better were if Dolly would collaborate on a recipe with the chicken lovin' Kenny Rogers and create the culinary equivalent of "Islands in the Stream," the *best* *song* *ever*, fyi.

T, can we go to Dollywood for our honeymoon? pretty please?

here are the lyrics for those of you too uncool to know them:

Baby, when I met you there was peace unknown,
I set out to get you with a fine tooth comb
I was soft inside, there was something going on
You do something to me that I can't explain,
Hold me closer and I feel no pain.
Every beat of my heart
We got something going on.

Tender love is blind,
It requires a dedication
All this love we feel needs no conversation
We can ride it together, aha
Making love with each other, aha

Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in between
How can we be wrong?
Sail away with me
To another world
And we rely on each other, ah ah
From one lover to another, ah ah

I can't live without you if the love was gone
Everything is nothing when you got no one
And you walk in the night,
Slowly losing sight of the real thing.
But that won't happen to us and we got no doubt,
Too deep in love and we got no way out
And the message is clear,
This could be the year for the real thing

No more will you cry,
Baby, I will hurt you never
We start and end as one,
In love forever.

We can ride it together, aha
Making love with each other, aha.
Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in between
How can we be wrong?
Sail away with me
To another world
And we rely on each other, ah ah
From one lover to another, ah ah
i apologize for the bifurcated Dolly-- that's how i had to grab the pics from her web site!

jello-shots for the bride-to-be

last weekend i had the bachelorette party of a girlfriend, whom i shall refer to as Mrs. Doctor (trust me, she wouldn't want it any other way!)
due to conflicts and what-have-you, i have only been to three other bachelorette parties in my life: that of bridesmaid Sam; Mrs. A and my cousin's wife.
the parties of Mrs. A and the cousin both involved drag queens, with varying degrees of success. (the cousin's party was at the lower-key Lips, while Mrs. A's party was a wilder time at Lucky Cheng's, including a lap dance with acrobatic skills unlike any i have previously seen.)

ah, the phallic-shaped straws at Mrs. A's shindig. a bachelorette tradition!

both Sam and Mrs. A had parties ending in karaoke (at Tracy J's Watering Hole where--pre-Thurston--i had an ever-so-brief dalliance with the KJ*), although Sam's started out at Hunk-o-Mania, which was everything the name implies.

anyway, this last Saturday was also a ton-of-fun. the b-party began with a mini bar crawl-- Mrs. Doctor started out at her apartment with various bridesmaids and her maid-of-honor (also a law school pal) and then headed to the first stop: Tortilla Flats, in the way-West Village. the idea was that the 1st apartment-gathered-group would stop off at bars along the way to dinner and pick up the rest of the guests. our instructions were to be at Tortilla Flats at 7:15pm sharp, and have a shot ready for each of us and the bride-to-be. i, of course, was late for my arrival time and rolled up just as Mrs. Doctor and her crew arrived. happily, the rest of my group got a pitcher of frozen margaritas and there was time enough for me to down a bev and also chip in for my share of the bill.

the group (at least eight of us now) then headed to Automatic Slims, where more girls yet were waiting. all of them, apparently, on time. (show offs!) then, en masse, we went to Matsuri, where we had a table for 17 or so and a *ton* of food. surprisingly, there was more than enough for everyone. the first course was assorted sushi; 2nd: shrimp and veg tempura and miso-glazed cod; 3rd: steak (teriyaki, i think); dessert: yuzu creme brulee or warm chocolate cake. anyway, the food was great and plentiful--as is often *not* the case with large, family-style dinner parties. (huzzahs and kudos to whomever picked the venue.) and the wine flowed like water. and the water flowed like water too as we had carafes on the table. this is something i wish all restaurants did--waiting to snag a waiter for something as basic as water can be a pain in the ass. (even i, entitled lazybones that i am, am happy enough to pour my own water.)

and what to do after dinner? karaoke, mais oui! we headed to Encore, which is on 6th Avenue in the 20's. to say the KJ at Encore was self-indulgent would be the understatement of the millennium. this guy took himself *way* too seriously as he belted out Mr. Big and Cyndi Lauper classics... (the sunglasses indoors and the Lee Hotti hair were just gravy).

we quickly found out that the KJ was playing it like Charon** and pocketing a hefty fee for the "favor" of getting to have a turn at the mike. (about $20 per turn). Mrs. Doctor's bridesmaids ponied up the required ducats and the pink-boa'd Mrs. D took the mike, accompanied by some friends for a rousing rendition of Time After Time. unlike Bucky Covington, no one can accuse the bride-to-be of swallowing her words--she belted that song like she meant it.

sans permission, i shan't out the bride-to-be's backup singers.

for some reason (perhaps in part due to the jell-o shots so classily provided by a shot girl), nostalgia or convenience, Mrs. Doctor decided that Brother Jimmy's was the next destination. ah, BJ's-- the stomping grounds of 20 year olds and other fans of theit jumbo drinks. i spent many an under-age night at Brother Jimmy's and, upon our arrival at the Upper West Side location, i found that the kids were still there. moths to the flame and all that. i felt old. but then i saw the Taylor Hicks look-alike that the bride-to-be was dancing with/near and felt young again.

he looked much more like T.H. when i was drunk. mostly his gray hair (grayer in real life) and jerky dance moves were what evoked the spastic Taylor. (sorry, Tiger!)

anyway, it was a fun night and you *so* wish you were there. really, you do. because i never got a chance to sing my karaoke pick of the night. any of you who have heard me sing must surely long for the occasion where you could be with me in a karaoke bar and *not* have to hear me desecrate one 80's tune or another. i only hope that my bachelorette party goes as well. except for the me not singing part, of course.
* that's Karaoke DJ to all of you cool enough to *not* know that prized but of information. oh, the shame! and, truth be told, i met him *at* Sam's b-party. by the time Mel's party rolled around the bloom was off the rose, however, although KJ and i did manage to perform a rousing rendition of "Summer Nights" from Grease.

** of the River Styx-- not to be confused with Cherone, Gary of the band Extreme.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

almost like Valentine's Day (Stonekelly)

... in that there were flowers and chocolates involved. the fiancé? not so much as he tends to avoid the florist appointments in lieu of more "manly" pursuits. such as darts. (because, really, what's tougher than darts? ha!)
last night, my mom and i had a florist meeting with Stonekelly. my dad, ever the good sport (read: masochist) decided to tag alone and also drive us over to the appointment, which was just about in the Hudson River.

the Stonekelly shop/workspace was filled with flowers and other pretty decorations. when we arrived, someone was working on arrangements that were very similar to the colors of one of my bridesmaid's wedding bouquets. (that would be bridesmaid Sam, since she's the only one of who's yet married.) we met with Jen Stone, who was utterly charming and let me eat Hershey's kisses that were glued* to an ice skate (from a Bat Mitzvah centerpiece). they were hard to pry off, but well worth the effort.

Stonekelly's florals were very up my alley. Jen had a great vision of color and was very familiar with the Met Club space. her ideas about lighting and incorporating the Club's own decor were spot on, and she had great bouquet ideas, especially since my bridesmaids dresses definitely could be tricky colorwise. all in all, it was a fabulous meeting and we all adored Jen and her designs.

then, to top it off, she gave my mom and i each some loose flowers to take home (pictured at right). that part ruled since i do like flowers and i do like free. the free part of my night only got better, though, since my parents then took me out to dinner. we specifically (or, rather, i) chose a place right near T's darts game (East 40's) so that post-dinner, i could pop over to say hi. then, of course, dinner ended and i was sleepy and my parents offered to drive me home. thus, i bailed on the darts visit.** it was only 10pm and the darts thing usually goes until after 11, and i wanted to watch last week's Veronica Mars, which i had on DVR.

once at home, i called T who informed me that they were almost done. so i called my parents, to tell them that "i might as well have gone to darts, since they're almost done anyway." my mom, also a good sport, offered to loop back around "only four blocks away!" and come get me so i could surprise T and show up at the darts game. (later i found out from my father that, to my mom, "four" = "twenty"). anyway, i run down to meet my parents and as they pull up to the curb i get T on the phone who tells me that he and his buddies/darts team have just paid their tab and are heading home. timing is everything i guess. and i got nothing. except for free flowers and glue kisses, that is. awesome!

* actually, the wrappers were glued on, not the kisses themselves. this is why i did not eat the glued-on jelly beans--though i thought about it--those ones had glue/epoxy right on them and i figured that might not be healthy. but glue right there on the thin foil layer? perfectly healthy!

** having had the forethought not to mention to T that i was even in the area, there would be no fallout from my last minute "abort mission" call.

Friday, April 07, 2006

pros and cons: the wedding planner

back in 2003 or so, i was unemployed. hence, i watched a lot, a *lot* of television. unlike the television i watched in law school, when homebound with mono, which was all Food Network, all the time, by 2003 i had diversified my tv portfolio.

TLC (or, to the unhip, "The Learning Channel") played heavily in my channel flipping rotation. one show of which i was particularly fond was called Pros and Cons: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. the concept of this show was as follows: one party (the "victim") needs the help of an "expert"--to plan a trip, direct a music video, supervise a fashion show, etc. the victim is then presented with three people and he or she has to choose one of them to help them in whatever endeavor is on the table.

the catch is that only one of the the three "experts" is actually a professional in the field. the other two are either quasi-experienced or completely unqualified. for example, on the show where a band needed someone to direct its video, there were the following three choices:

  1. an acclaimed video director;
  2. a video artist, who did experimental videos;
  3. a guy who worked at Blockbuster or something.

the victim gets to interview the three candidates before he/she chooses, but cannot ask them biographical questions--just general hypotheticals.

well, on Pros and Cons they did a wedding show, where the couple sought a planner to orchestrate their entire New York wedding.

this is the cached page i found seeking "victims" for the show.

and this is the relevant portion...

well, on the wedding show, the couple of "victims" had to choose among:

  1. a real wedding planner ("to the stars!");
  2. the party planner for a senior center/retirement home;
  3. someone totally unqualified (maybe a comedian?).

after much debate, the couple chose the real wedding planner! (unlike the ill-fated band that ended up with the video shoot from hell)... however, the couple decided to *lie* to the wedding planner-- telling her that they only had a $20,000 budget* when really they had $50,000 or so, but wanted to pocket the difference.

the wedding planner dealt with all of the bride's lying and hijinx with aplomb. that wedding planner was Harriette Rose Katz and i told myself right then--despite not even having a hope of a Thurston at that point--that should i ever marry, i would use Harriette as my wedding planner. although the bride wanted a tented reception with barbecque food in her aunt's (unspacious) Tenafly backyard, Harriette convinced them otherwise. somehow, magically, on the purported $20K budget, Harriette planned a perfectly wonderful wedding-- at the Toy Building space formerly known as the 200 Fifth Club (now a Cipriani space) and with Soul Solution--Paul McCartney's wedding band--providing the music.

the whole time the bride lied to Harriette and pissed off the vendors. it was actually tough to watch and (not) a small part of me kind of thought that the bride did not deserve this wonderful wedding when she was so difficult and peevish with Harriette!

but to me, Harriette was a miracle worker. as i watched, i said to myself, "if she can do this with this lying bride-to-be and her $20K budget, imagine the amazing wedding she could plan for my honest, and realistically budgeted self." and i committed her name to the memory vault, hoping i'd one day have the chance to call it up.

fast forward to 2005: i have found my one true love and he's proposed. after saying yes; crying for a bit; and registering for a few just-in-case-people-want-to-get-us-an-engagement-gift-better-have-it-be-something-i-like-and-not-something-they-chose-themselves**, i googled Harriette and found her company's web site.

i called her right away, bonded with her over the Pros and Cons show and felt assured that she and i saw eye-to-eye and that i would book her as a wedding planner. then i found out her price: $30,000 for full wedding planning. although this was not "eye-to-eye" as i was thinking she'd be more in the $12-15K neighborhood, for some delusional reason, i felt that this made sense, and tried to convince my parents of the same thing. i think i had a faint hope of winning over JadedMom, but the dad was so not having it. i may have stomped my feet and cried a bit, but to no avail. my father was of the mind that if we were throwing down $30K, it should be to step up the food, the wine, or band--not for planning. this in light of the fact that i have a job that allows me enough time to do research and my mom has plenty of spare time as well, is willing to go on appointments, *and* lives in the city.

so, my dreams of a Harriette-planned wedding were dashed. but not my dreams of a wedding planner. as time progressed (read: another week and a couple of vendor appointments), my parents began to see how very important a planner was to me. i started a new campaign for a planner. more on that to come... and, of course, how it all turned out. (successfully, natch!)

* i know it may sound ridiculous to say "only $20,000", however, if you have contemplate a wedding in the New York area, $20K doesn't go nearly as far as you think. trust me.

** is this bitchy? who knows. but it didn't work anyway.

Monday, April 03, 2006

spring has sprung (finding a florist)*

the weather is warmer, baseball season has begun, and my ability to breathe freely has been greatly compromised. so it's only appropriate that we now begin our florist search, allergies be damned. to recap, so far we've got a wedding planner, a venue, a lighting designer**, a band, a photographer and a dress (no details on that one. a girl's got to have at least one secret...)

just as everything else is important, so too is the florist. just to clarify, a florist is about more than flowers. way more. table coverings, stemware, china, silver, candles, napkin rings--all of these fall within the florist's domain.

florists we are currently thinking about:

DeJuan Stroud
thus far, we've met with DeJuan and loved his portfolio. importantly, he has worked in the Metropolitan Club plenty of times. when my mom and i met with him, he had immediate ideas about the shape and height of arrangements that was 100% in line with my taste. although "low and tight" has been my flowers mantra, i am starting to rethink that. looking at DeJuan's book, there were many fluid arrangements with which i was entirely enamored.

DeJuan was also completely charming, easy to talk to and easy to understand. i know little about flowers and/or tabletop decor, but he made a lot of sense and took time to explain anything i was unfamiliar with. since he's the first (and only) florist we have yet met, we are going to have other appointments. but as it stands now, i really liked him a lot and would feel confident working with him. (his ideas for my bouquet were spectacular!)

* yes, the alliterations are painful-- they hurt me too! but i'm hopped up on my Singulair/Zyrtec/Nasocort prescription cocktail and to my drug-addled brain, they seemed, for a moment, inspired.

** happily, our venue has an exclusive lighting contract with
Bentley Meeker, so that's one decision off of our plate. apparently he did Eddie Murphy's wedding. what's good enough for Eddie is good enough for Thurston! (after all, like Eddie's, T's girl likes to party all the time, party all the time, party all the time.)

Sunday, April 02, 2006

In-N-Out follow-up

i ran into Dr. A today at his fiancée's bridal shower. and he had no idea why i posted photos of my lunch on the blog. i found out that, tragically, he had never been to an In-N-Out Burger. the horror!

so, for Dr. A's benefit, here is a link to the web site.
In-n-out is home to the best burgers ever to be labeled "fast food."
alas, one needs to cross the Mississippi to get near such greatness.

unfair, no?