Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Weddings, weddings, weddings!

I thought last year was a crazy year for weddings (I went to 7 and 4 were in the span of 15 days - Sunday, Saturday, Saturday, Sunday) but this year is even crazier because of the multiple destinations.

The FI (I'm promoting him from "boy", I think that stands for "future intended") and I counted up the weddings we're going to this year and we're already at 8!

- April - his friends' wedding in Long Island
- May - his cousin's wedding where he's best man
- June - my best friend's wedding where I'm maid of honor
- July - my cousin's wedding (technically this could be 2 since they're having ceremonies in Japan and Taiwan)
- August #1 - my college friend's wedding in VA
- August #2 - we each have one on the same day! - he's going to his friend's in long island and I'm going to my b-school friend's in Portland, Oregon
- September - my college friend's wedding in VA
- December - my friend's destination wedding on a cruise!

Whew, at least they're fairly spaced out. We've still got some room in October and November if anyone else is thinking of getting hitched. :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My favorite wrap...

It gets really cold in our offices. Like shivering, have-to-wear-your-outerwear cold.

There are a few staples that every woman in our building has in her cube. Underneath the desk, there is a pile of dress shoes. Everyone wears sneakers or flip-flops or rainboots or snowboots (depending on the weather) in to work. Then when we get to our desks, we kick off our shoes and pull on a pair of heels.

I finally got a shoe rack to put underneath my desk. My shoes (which ended up being 10 pairs after I sorted and stacked them) were just lost in a big pile and I would never wear some of them. Instead I'd wear the same pair day-in and day-out because I find them right in front.

Back to the cold thing...

The other item every lady has is some sort of wrap/sweater/scarf that hangs on a hook or hanger in their cube. I have a pink wild silk scarf that I got from my Madagascar trip. I also have a beautiful cashmere/silk wrap from BCBG. I saw Su-Cha with 2 when we were in San Francisco and knew I had to have one as well. It's one of my more expensive splurges (yes, I am thrifty), but it's totally worth it. It's light and soft but still warm. I love throwing the long pieces in front over my shoulders so I'm all wrapped up. It's good to look good and be warm at the same time.

Pretty perfume bottles...

I love buying stuff at Sephora. Both in the store and online. In the store I love running around trying lipsticks and perfumes on and testing out new lotions.

I even learned from a Sephora saleslady how to use testers with makeup. You first take a cotton pad, soak it in alcohol, and then wipe the tester. Then you take a q-tip or applicator and scrape off whatever make-up you want to test. Finally you take another applicator and test the make-up on you. Basically your germs never touch the tester and vice-versa.

I did some online shopping last week at Sephora's. I wanted to get some new perfume and I had grown to like Marc Jacobs' Daisy. I had a small sample that was almost out so I wanted to buy a bottle. It smells super delicious - a combination of fresh flowers and a little bit of exoticness. Also the bottle is super pretty and elegant.

Look how cute it is! The bottle itself is sturdy and classy, a very sleek and substantial design. The daisies on the cap are rubber and they make pulling the cap off really easy. What a great combination of cute and elegant.
I told the boy that it was going to sit on the dresser and "girlify" up the place.
I also bought the Sephora Brand Sun Safety Kit which is filled with oodles of sample sof sun products. I am a huge user of sunscreen and sunblock, having had a few painful sunburns. Thanks to mulitple tubes and spray cans of Neutrogena sun protection, that hasn't happend for a while. I love Neutrogena sun products! They're non-greasy, absorb really quickly, smell really nice, and keep me sun protected. I think I have 5 tubes and 2 spray bottles currently in my apartment. :)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Math as arts & crafts...

I just finished making a cross-stitch for my best friend's 2nd baby. I put in all the backstitching last night and embroidered her name and birthday.
I love doing the backstitching and personalization on a piece because 1) I'm excited that I'm nearing the end and 2) backstitching always adds a extra layer of detail and realism (in as much as it can to a bear sitting on the moon) that makes the image more alive and clear.

Now it's under a pile of magazines and books. Since the fabric came in a kit, it was folded up and there were heavy creases. I'm trying to flatten it out as much as possible before I frame it. I'll probably have to take a hot iron to it, but it's really hard to get folds out of aida fabric (the graphy fabric used for cross-stitch).

I really like doing cross-stitch for babies and weddings because the final touch is always the personalization. You know the piece isn't going to be given away or regifted because it was made just for them.

Cross-stitching has been a long-time hobby of mine. I like the exactness required, the variations of patterns and design, and I spend the same brain power I use towards puzzles on trying to figure out how to use the least amount of thread and not waste any material. As I do the cross-stitches, my mind is always one step ahead thinking, "Where should I stitch so I don't waste thread and get to the next row of stitches?"

When I started doing cross-stitch, the one thing that stuck in my mind from everything I read was that "the back of your cross-stitch should be as neat as the front." I pride myself on having extremely neat and clean emboirdery backs because it's that much more difficult to do.

I miss sewing on a regular basis. I didn't have room for all my arts & crafts stuff when I moved to NYC, so I haven't done it for a while. Now I'm just working with some all-in-one kits. Next time I go back to VA, I need to dig out all my threads and fabrics and pattern books. One kit probably costs 8 to 10 bucks, but buying all of the materials (threads and fabrics) separately would cost me just 5 bucks and I would be able to do several projects from the same materials. I had a couple of books of hundreds of fonts and lettering designs. I would spend so much time designing a cross-stitch by picking out a font, spelling the name out, counting the stitches, measuring out fabric, picking out colors, and then working on the piece. It was fun to see those come together.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Pouring coffee all day...

This morning the boy and I went help out at University Soup Kitchens. They're an all-volunteer organization that does a soup kitchen once a week in the Lower East Side. The NYC UVA Alumni Association goes and volunteers once a month, which is how I heard about them.

This was my 2nd time volunteering. I signed up for the 2nd shift which starts at 11:45am. The first shift starts at 8:45 and who can get up that early on a Saturday?

It's a very cool set-up for a soup kitchen. Instead of having a buffet/cafeteria style service, it's actually restaurant style, where the volunteers serve the patrons at their seats. The main course is always meatloaf and they have salad and veggies and bread and bananas and brownies for dessert. They also started branching out into other services, like there's a free clothes table and everyone gets a bag of food when they leave.

The first time I was there, I managed the clothes table. Once we got a sense of what was available, we'd try to find something for each person to take with them. We became fashion consultants. We'd ask what they'd like and then offer recommendations and tell them they looked good or tell them they should go for something different.

This time the boy got bussing duties and I was responsible for serving coffee. The coffee was made in this gigantic brewer with 1 pound of coffee at a time and a filter with a 1 foot diameter. The first time I tried to brew coffee, I nearly spilled grounds everywhere because I didn't realize you could pull the whole grill out with the filter and grounds all in it. After brewing, we'd have to transfer it, pot by pot, into a dispenser, and then wheel it out into the eating area. Then we'd fill a pot and walk around to fill people's cups.

It was fun to walk around and talk to people and offer them drinks. My hands got really cramped up since I had to clutch the coffee pot pretty tightly. There was no insulation on the pot, so you couldn't use your other hand to support it. But I can pour coffee with my left hand, so I was able to switch back and forth. Although my hands will be pretty cramped tomorrow.

We serve for 1 hour and a half and the time just flies by. You are on your feet the entire time moving around and trying to help everyone as fast as you can. But everyone was very nice and polite and grateful that they were getting some good food.

It was a good morning, but we were pretty tired afterwards and ended up taking a nap for 2 hours.

The start of the guest list...

The wedding planning.... eek! Our friends who had just gotten married or are in the middle of planning their weddings kept telling us it's incredibly stressful and it's like a 2nd job.

The fact that 3 couples told us this in a row at a wedding we attended recently made us very nervous (not that we weren't already about being engaged and getting married). But then one friend told the boy that he (and I) shouldn't do anything wedding-related for 2 weeks after getting engaged. "Enjoy the engagement!" he said.

So the 2 weeks are up now and we need to start thinking about all the parts of the wedding. I've signed up for The Knot, Wedding Channel, and set up RSS feeds to wedding blogs. I even tried to buy a wedding planner at Borders, but after seeing the 2 bookshelves full of pink and flower books, I got scared and left without buying anything.

So we took our first stab at making a guest list. Easiest to start with family of course... because even if you're not very close, you have to invite them.

The boy opened a spreadsheet and started typing in all of his family's names. Heehee... several were labeled "uncle's wife" or "kid" or "kid?". He was like, "I don't know their names!" or "I'm pretty sure they have a kid..." I then added mine - all of the aunts and uncles and cousins and significant others and first cousins once removed.

And the grand total? 154 adults, 20 kids (under 13) for a total of 174 family members!

Good grief!

I think we'll enjoy our engagement a little longer...

Friday, May 9, 2008

Don't have time to laugh...

I just started watching 30 Rock this season because the boy really likes it. I actually didn't watch it last season because I had too many shows on my t.v. schedule (e.g. a color-coordinated spreadsheet) and I didn't think Tina Fey would be a great leading lady.

Oh how that's changed. I love 30 Rock! It is so absurd and extreme with jokes and plotlines. I love how jokes and one-liners don't get reaction scenes from the characters. They just take the absurdity as part of life, which makes it even funnier. The boy pauses episodes sometimes just so he has "time to laugh".

The one scene that I love to repeat word-for-word is everyone's reactions when Kenneth the page announces he's leaving New York and NBC to return home to Georgia.

Dot Com or Grizz: Who's going to see Spamalot with me?
Dot Com or Grizz: Who's going to be my wingman at speed dating?
Tracy: Who's going to help me tell white people apart?


The Proposal...

So for everyone who hasn't heard the story... here we go...

After getting the ring, he wanted to propose down in Battery Park by the Statue of Liberty. But the problem was, how was he going to get me out of the apartment? If we hang out on weekday evenings, we cook dinner and watch tv and are total homebodies.

If he asked about going for a walk, I would know something was up. So dilemma...

Meanwhile I just had lunch outside with co-workers and the weather was gorgeous. Plus we saw all of the set-up that was going on for the Tribeca Film Festival. They were going to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Thriller with a giant outdoor screen, popcorn, free juice, face painting, etc.

So I IMed him to see if he wanted to go out for dinner and check it out. He agreed. Heehee, so basically I ended up scheduling our special night. :)

We went out for dinner at PJ Clarke's (romantic, I know!). Then he wanted to take a walk down the side of Battery Park. I was just thinking, man, I need to pee and I'm kind of tired, but okay.

So we walked almost all the way down to the bottom of Manhattan and we sat down on a bench to enjoy the beautiful evening.

All of a sudden he got down on one knee and asked me, "Junage, will you... will you let me tie my shoe?" Omigosh! We had just watched The Office and I had told him he better not be like Jim Halpert and do a fake proposal.

But then again he was wearing flip-flops... so this was the real deal...

He told me he loved me and he loved my smile and my love of life and would I spend the rest of my life with him. Of course I would!

Some people asked if I cried. How could I cry? I'm too happy to cry!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

My one-sentence review of Speed Racer...

From a google chat...

[smile]i'm afraid if i watch speed racer i'll have a seizure

oh it was pretty intense
it was like benjamin moore paints bred with a black light and their kids vomited everywhere


My Inner Nerd...

I was watching How I Met Your Mother this Monday (which I love, but that's another post) with some friends. After watching 2 episodes, we moved onto The Big Bang Theory. Which I don't watch usually, but I do enjoy immensely.

I'm glad the show's focus is now on the 4 nerds and their interactions. I love the dialogue and can totally relate to those moments when they go into full verbal diarrhea mode. You can't stop talking but you have to clarify or correct something someone said, regardless of whether it's actually true or just the details of a fantasy or sci-fi world.

I love it also when they engage in geek-outs and fuel on each other's fantasy role-plays. The scene in last week's episode Nerdvana Annihilation where they all act out a scene from The Time Machine is hysterical. Go to the video and watch it at about 7:06.

My inner nerd (geek, dweeb) loves it. Not only do they correct each other about the ramifications of time travel but then they also act it out!

I managed to catch both Ironman last Friday and Speed Racer this past Tuesday. I feel like I satisfied my inner geek for this month.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Here he comes...

Thanks to my friend Calvin, we were able to catch a free screening of Speed Racer last night. As I waited in line to get into the screening, I learned some interesting things about setting up these events from the PR guy who was manning the line in front of me and chatting with some corporate invitees.

- Depending on the movie, they'll distribute passes to seats on a 2:1 ratio or a 3:1 ratio to ensure they get a full house. (I'm guessing for a movie like Speed Racer, they did a 2:1 distribution.)
- However, really good weather or really bad weather can cut the attendance way down. (That's what happened last night; the weather was really nice and the theater ended up being only 3/4 full.)
- They could only let 15 people in at a time, because we had to get our bags searched, any cameras or laptops checked, and get scanned by security. (It was pretty hardcore; I guess they were really trying to prevent bootleggers.)

The movie was visually stunning. I loved the costumes and set design. There's something very cool yet retro about the 50s to 70s era they were evoking. Which made it even cooler when it was combined with the futuristic and crazy technology.

I didn't realize it until the end but Rain was in the movie, which was probably why he was in town to have a dance-off with Stephen Colbert.

And I won't say anything more because my friend Steve said he'd kill me if I spoiled anything about it for him. :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The ring!

The ring! Sorry for the blurry shot but it's from my blackberry.

A little info about it... Picked and designed by the boy himself, he chose a classic tiffanys design that was flat and had a bezeled setting that he knew would prevent me from accidentally injuring myself or it. Then he got his jewelry designer friend to custom make it.

How awesome is it?!? And him too!

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

White men can dance (sort of)

I love The Colbert Report not only for the comedic and acting chops of Stephen Colbert, but in as much I enjoy the twisted logic that he employs to make his arguments.

It's always funny to watch him trip up his guests and stun them for a few seconds when he pulls out a random question.

It's even funnier when he rallies his fans into voting for him in all sorts of causes, like the bridge naming, the Saginaw Spirit mascot, Time's Most Influential People, etc.

But I was laughing out loud last night watching Rain and Stephen have a dance off since he challenged Rain because of the voting in Time's Most Influential People.

Here is the video.

The 2nd part where they play DDR is not as entertaining. I much enjoyed them "sparring" off with their freestyling. And as a dancer (by hobby), I'm impressed with Stephen's moves and fluidity.

The issue with most non-dancers is that they don't use their whole body. When they're taught choreography, they'll just move the body part they're told, but they don't move the rest of their body with the move. The best way to see it is to watch a beginner class do a dance with the teacher. You can really see the differences.

Moving in!

I've decided to move here from xanga. Like Edina from AbFab would say "Minimize! Minimize! Clear surfaces!"

So you can read my last blog here. That one was a recounting (in very full detail until I got too behind) my 2 years of business school.

I think the way to go (if you're not a full-time blogger) is the short posts - quick reviews, instant reactions. My detailed explanations tended to get the best of me.

I should blog the way I used to write my intern journal - what did I learn today?

I think I'll add another question - what made me laugh today?