Monday, 15 May 2006

hens and chicks

ok, indulge me on another wedding-related post.

the british version of a bachelorette party is called a hen night, and (given that nothing else about our wedding has been traditional so far) i had mine last weekend. in other words, *after* the wedding. (click here to read about s's co-ed stag do.)

my chiquitas and i gathered at guanabara, a brazilian club in central london. i'm not one for clubbing often, but i really like guanabara. the music is lively, the caipirinhas are wicked, and the crowd is fun - not the usual sweaty, smoky, meat market.


c made sure that i had appropriate "i'm gonna get lei-d tonight" neckwear. she also provided a shot-glass-on-a-rope that says,

"I'm tying the knot...
So, buy me a shot!"

and a few plastic champagne flutes. she was quite dismayed when i filled my glass with water after doing the obligatory vodka shots.


a brief aside: you may have noticed that i prefer not to use names on my blog. i just think it's a bit creepy to have recognizable photos of people posted on the internet with their names attached (especially since many people i know, like me, have unusual first names.) fortunately, we had such an international bunch at the hen night that i can use nationalities - and dual and triple citizenships - instead.

holland, japan/uk, usa

croatia, ireland, uk

uk, usa/uk

ireland, uk, uk

usa, france, new zealand/canada/uk

we had a great night, and i was pleased that so many people from different stages of my life came along:

* one i have known since high school
* one i met in japan when we were teaching english there
* one from my course at SOAS
* one from student halls
* one from the crazy website (which will remain unlinked to this blog)
* two good friends of s's who have become good friends of mine
* my sister-in-law
* c's aunt, new to the crowd

(plus two unseen future brits who will be joining this world at the end of october!)



check out more pix on m's blog here

Wednesday, 10 May 2006

the goodness of my heart

i did a 10km walk today for the british heart foundation. we walked around the grassy moat of the tower of london, 1 km x 10 laps.



most of the participants, including my friend e, were being sponsored by their companies. e told me earlier this week that she didn't feel prepared enough to jog it, so i volunteered to walk with her. ha ha... she jogged past me in the first lap!



for your amusement, i offer the following:

laps completed: 10

time to complete: just over 1.5 hours

music on ipod: madonna

bottles of water: 2

weather: gorgeous, sunny day (23ºC / 73ºF)

best costume (but certainly hot!): tweety bird

least obvious thing to bring to a jog/walk: not just 1 but 2 cockatoos (sitting on the shoulders of one of the participants)

outfit attracting the most looks and double-looks:


(no, that's not his bare arse. it's a pair of shorts with a rubber bum sewn on.)

all in all, it was a nice afternoon and i felt good - doing something right for my heart and hearts everywhere.


more spam mail poetry

it has been a while since i last displayed some choice spam message subject lines and spam names, so here are some more direct from my inbox.

Marco Hall writes: "squalid brute. He is not reticent out of imbecility or mental weakness."

ShannaHurst leads with: "You think that you own the world, and you must admit you are wrong."

Darla Coffman reports: "from such a source, Okoya considered himself utterly defenceless."

(is anyone else reminded of w?)

Monday, 8 May 2006

best wedding card. ever.

check out this masterpiece from my friend, e. she pieced it together with origami paper, tissue paper, and other bits. doesn't s look dapper in his top hat? i love my lacy dress, too...


Sunday, 7 May 2006

fun for mighty boosh fans

Ninja animation

click here to create your own ninja-animated message.

Wednesday, 3 May 2006

blushing brides and best friends

my best friend has always been like a second sister to me. how amazing, then, that the three of us get married within one year?

my sister was first, last september.


she had a gorgeous wedding at a french-style hotel in lafayette, california. she ordered her dress from san francisco designer, amy kuschel in ivory-colored italian silk organza. my best friend officiated the ceremony, which my sister and her husband wrote together. the food was delicious and the cake was divine. everyone danced and laughed and cried...


my wedding, as you have seen, was quite different.


s and i decided pretty much at the last minute to get married, spurred into it sooner than we might have chosen otherwise by my visa problems (but happy about our decision). we couldn't get married in the UK since i had less than six months remaining on my visa; and i needed to apply for a spouse visa in either los angeles, chicago or new york. new york was the best choice - a bit of romance, a bit of a getaway, and (as it happened) more or less in the middle for our families. we did very little planning. i wore a dress that had been hanging in my closet since last summer. mamasita and my brother-in-law handled dinner reservations. s bought a new tie and some shoes.

the ceremony at the city clerk's office was practically over before it started. we were brought into a small chamber with a podium. our families surrounded us and took pictures. after asking if anyone had any objections (thankfully, no one did...!) we said our "i do's", exchanged rings, and were pronounced husband and wife. we were in shock that it happened so fast!

all things considered, though, i don't think we would have changed a thing. we're not big ceremony people; i have never wanted a long white dress; and the people we care about the most were all there with us. plus, we still get to have parties in california and england this summer! woo hoo!

we truly lucked out with the weather, too. we couldn't have ordered a more perfect spring day, and the cherry blossoms were beautiful.


next, it's my best friend's turn. she is having a BIG wedding at the end of this month! her fiance's family is from long island, so they have been celebrating bi-coastally for the past year or so: two engagement parties, two bridal showers. in fact, her long island bridal shower was the day after my wedding.


for those of you who are not familiar with the bridal shower tradition, it is a chance for the women to "shower" the bride with love (and gifts!) there are all sorts of bridal shower games, but one tradition is to make a bouquet using the ribbons on the gifts. the bride then uses the bouquet at her rehearsal. since she had already had one made at her california shower, i was tasked with making a matching hat.



isn't she lovely?!

i can't wait to be one of her "babes of honor" in a few weeks!


three weddings, each with a very different style but the same end result: smug happiness :)

one year ago, i barely knew s. i was the self-appointed president of the bitter singletons club, cursing all those "happy loving couples" and secretly wanting to throw them under buses. now i find it hard to walk down the street without holding s's hand (and not just because i'm clumsy.) see how far we have come?

pictures of people

s and i were lucky to have our "core team" assembled for the wedding - on such short notice, too! my family flew in from california and s's family came from england. all together, we had my parents, my sister and brother-in-law, my best friend and her fiance, s's parents, and s's sister. i had only met my in-laws once in york; s had never met my parents. it was a huge relief that everyone got along so well!

mamasita and pop

the D family, jetlagged but happy

pop and b in battery park on a gorgeous spring day

riding the subway

action shot of s and his sister in times square

my sister and her husband flew overnight, arrived around 6 AM, and were still bright and perky for the wedding

my best friend and her fiance were on the same overnight flight, stopped at his parents' house in long island to freshen up, and got to the city clerk's office before we did! what superstars!

we are collecting photos of the three of us at each of our weddings. we have the one from my sister's wedding last september. here is the one from my wedding. my best friend's wedding is later this month.

everyone held the bouquet that mamasita hand-picked to go with my dress

a and b

she'll always be taller than me, but i'll always be older... ahem!

dad and pop, who coincidentally share the same first name, got along famously

sharing chocolate cake. not tiramisu. but we're not bitter!

the proud parents: pop, mamasita, mum and dad

i'm a D now!

rounding down

Let's step away from marital bliss for a minute and play a game. Ready?

Say you gave me a jar of jellybeans in exchange for use of my nice purple car. We agreed that you would give me another jar of jellybeans every month for about six months. I wasn't sure about the exact timing because I am planning to sell the car, and you weren't sure about the timing because your driver's license was due to expire soon and you weren't sure you could renew it in time. I also asked for jellybeans instead of money because I don't want to pay taxes - no one needs to know about our little "arrangement."

Anyhow, everything was going fine. You were driving the car (I still needed it for the first three weeks, but I sat quietly in the backseat and you barely even noticed. That's why I didn't reduce the number of jellybeans that month or contribute for the petrol.) I placed an ad for the car and people started making appointments to see it. They even opened the glove box and saw the personal items you had stored there. But all of a sudden after five months, you told me that your license was not renewed and you could not drive anymore. I was very kind and said that I would simply keep the extra jar of jellybeans instead of asking you to give me the sixth and final jar. You were sulky, but saw my point. Fair's fair.

The good news is that your license was renewed and you found a new car with a handsome driver. Then I found someone who said she would like to exchange some jellybeans for the privilege of driving my car. So I told you that I would give you back 195 jellybeans. But you wanted to know how I got that number. You cleverly figured out that I was offering 17.75 jellybeans every day for eleven days (which really should have been 18 whole jellybeans for twelve days, but who's counting? I'm being generous by offering you anything at all.) Then you told me that you thought I should give you 18 jellybeans for 16 days since you had to give up the keys a few days before she could start driving it! As if! It's not like you don't have your own car now.

Clearly, you broke our six month agreement. OK, OK, I said it would be flexible at the start, but I decided that I liked getting jellybeans every month and even got a second car, so I need your jellybeans to pay for it. It's only fair. And I am being more than fair by giving you 195 jellybeans back.


So, that's the end of the game. What would YOU do?

a) Accept the 195 jellybeans but grumble that I am a petty, number-challenged person who is very flexible, as long as things go my way? (I think that is very unfair of you, by the way. Remember, you put me out by losing your license in the first place.)

b) Insist on getting the full 288 jellybeans that you think you are entitled to. And probably are. I'm just so sure I'm right that I'm not about to give in. And you risk getting no jellybeans if you push me too far.

c) Write a sarcastic blog about it.

d) Fight back. Bullies like me deserve a taste of their own medicine. You're not afraid of having things get ugly in small claims court.

e) Move on, and hug the handsome driver.

f) Any or all of the above.

Monday, 1 May 2006

ode to pierre marcolini

s and i discovered pierre marcolini chocolates while we were in brussels and they are sooo special that i thought they deserved their own blog entry.


we found them again on park avenue in new york. i picked out a special box for s (and if he decides to share them with me, i won't argue!)



moreover, when you finish with your box of delicious belgian choccies, it makes a good place to store small earrings.


mmm, c'est si bon!

more from manhattan

ok, technically we're back in blighty now, but i wanted to tell you all a bit more about our trip to new york.


on monday, we went to the british consulate to apply for my spouse visa. as requested, we brought a binder full of personal information: passports, marriage certificate, financial statements, mortgage info, photos and cards to show that we have not entered into a sham marriage, letters of support from friends and family, print-outs of emails and blog entries. we discovered, however, that they only wanted the bare essentials (read: ridiculously expensive application fee) and it only took about an hour and a half from start to finish. HOORAY!

so, with a genuine spouse visa stamped in my passport (HOORAY!), we headed to the statue of liberty and ellis island.


after a rainy weekend, it was lovely to see the statue of liberty in all her dignified glory standing tall against the blue sky.


i love her foot. the gentle curve, the casual stance, breaking free from the chains of oppression, ready to stride out on her own path.


i found it particularly poignant to visit ellis island after my own battles with visas and immigration in the past few months.


we didn't have time to look up my grandma's name in the database, but we enjoyed walking through the museum.


tuesday morning we went to the top of the empire state building. everything looks so small from up there...


no signs of king kong, though.


here is a confession: i have never particularly liked new york. it is crowded, noisy, stressful, claustrophobic with all those tall buildings surrounding you. but i had a very different experience there this time. i think that living in london for the past two years has changed my perception. i am used to walking everywhere and taking the tube to get across town. i am used to weaving through the human traffic and dodging groups and tourists. london has a population of 7 million; new york has 8 million. that one million does make a difference, especially since manhattan is more condensed than london, but i didn't find it as initimidating as before.

in fact, i enjoyed noticing the patterns from above.




now that i read so many craft blogs, i was thinking in terms of quilt patterns. too bad i don't sew!

and how could i resist all the delicious treats? we stopped for cakes on bleeker street.



and i enjoyed a cupcake in central park one afternoon.





we are now settling into life as mr. and mrs. d (!) by rights, i should change the name of this blog, but i still like the subtle pun on FCUK using my initials.


people keep asking how it feels to be married. we are having a good time so far!