Rehearsal Dinner

May 31, 2007

Kevin and his parents took care of the rehearsal dinner, which was exceptional. We had it at Stellina's in Watertown, and they provided a private room, amazing food, and excellent service. I loved having that many important people in one room -- and then the details of the setting made it truly an evening to remember. :-)

While we were milling, everyone's cameras were out. Here's Stacey (a *very* close Weston family friend), Neen (Kevin's sister, one of my two bridesmaids), me grinning like mad, my great-aunt Irene, and my grandmother.

And then here's a great shot of (my brother/groomsman) David, (my sister/maid of honour) Sharon, and (best man) Larry. Apparently within seconds of this photo, Shar and Larry realized that they were planning to give the same speech/toast at the reception. Larry was *exceedingly* the gentleman and let Sharon take the anecdote. :-) Both speeches were awesome, so here's to both.

(I'm not being nice. The speeches really were excellent. We're incredibly lucky to know people that would say such nice things and so eloquently.)

Here's a great shot of Kevin and his parents:

This photo is dark, and I apologize to Kevin's parents for catching both of them in the middle of a conversation, but it's an awesome photo of my Dad (on the left) smiling. :-)

And Kevin and his grandmothers:

I'll post more once I get my photos off of Kevin's laptop. :-)


Ever True to Brown, part II.

May 26, 2007

Graduation has made me cry ever since my year. There's something so horrible about being forced to leave college. And then there's all this tradition, and pride, and desolation, and rending of bonds, and community. And at Brown, the reunions are all the same weekend, and so the alumni are back, and graduation includes something called an inverted sock (where all the alums march down the hill, then the grads march through them to wild applause, and then the alums march through the grads, to general exulatation), and it's all so emotional and important to me. So.

And then they have bagpipers, which also make me choke up. (Here are a few of the 20-some that solemnly marched by... pipers and muliple kinds of drums. Again, ceremony and formality.)

And then my brother is graduating -- the third Brunonian sibling in five years (and my parents started the trend by meeting at Brown in the seventies) -- and so it's not only his achievement, but something that reverberates around my family.

My brother and his friends positioned themselves as last in line, based on the general agreement that they absolutely wanted to leave less that anyone else in the class. But on their way (literally dancing) down the hill, they led boisterous choruses of the school song. What a good way to go. I joined in for a few yards to end the verse -- it wasn't a reunion year for me (or Dad, Mom or Shar), and I wanted Dave to have someone from the family who'd walked down the hill to cheer for him.

Here's a photo of the two of us as I looped by him with the (temporarily adopted) class of '02:

And another of him as he said "fake happeee!" for the camera...

(There was one with all of his friends, and while they're all generally photogenic and awesome, that phrase doesn't lend itself to awesome photos. :-))

And one of Dave and my parents.


Ever True to Brown

My mom, who really already had enough to do what with moving and weddings and whatnot, booked a room for me and Kevin for my brother's graduation. We were right on the corner of North Wayland, facing Wriston, on the third floor. It's right in the middle of the action -- much fun. I love staying in the dorms. I outgrew wanting to live there permanently midway through senior year, but I love the wave of nostalgia when I'm back to visit.

On Saturday (the morning after Campus Dance), there are classes for all of the returning alums and visiting families of graduates. Aparently the Brown Band marches around as an interlude. Here they are cruising up Wriston, right around noon.


One week to go...

May 25, 2007

Kevin and I flew a redeye into Boston on Thursday night, did a slew of wedding errands (including picking up the marriage license! And dropping of the dress to be pressed after bringing it on our flight as a carry-on -- security was way less daunting that I'd been afraid it would be.), and then headed down to Brown for my brother's graduation.

I don't have the faintest recollection who took this picture, but here are the two of us outside the checkin tent shortly after we arrived, with a mere week before the wedding. :-)

The tank never fails to disappoint

May 24, 2007

The night before we left for the airport, we found an enormous, hairy crab in the refugium. Kevin called me downstairs, and we took photos with a finger for focus and scale. Woah.

We'd caught a crab about a year ago and let him loose in the refugium, and then he disappeared. I'm guessing that this is the guy -- he's huge. He was really speedy once he got spooked, but amazing that it took a year before we found him. I still can't guess how he made it up the 21" wall of the baffles. Crazy!

Here's a shot with his eyes.

Creepy, no? :-)


Something to fill the hours

May 21, 2007

Last night, despite the fact that I probably need another project like I need a hole in the head, I finally decided to do something with this pile of fabric:

That's black knit suiting with vertical stripes, and blue cotton with vertical lines of lace, plus contrasting ribbon for each. I've been shopping endlessly recently. Between David's graduation, a party for my high school swim coach who's retiring, the rehearsal, and the evening before, I need several dresses, shoes, and wraps, since Boston in May/June will either be 90 degrees or 40. Then, we leave for a week in Hawaii, and I need honeymoon-worthy beach clothes. Since Seattle is neither a dressy town, nor a sunny one, this has meant a lot of shopping. A bit exhausting. I finally gave up on finding a cover-up for walking from the hotel to our snorkeling beaches, and just decided to make one. Everything I was finding was either gaudy or non-functional, and everything was expensive, so I just went to Joann's last week, found sale items, and "splurged".

I came up with a detailed plan:

(note ubiquitous printouts of registry information and collection of readings for the service -- still need to choose two!)
Then I used a dress and a sleeveless v-neck to approximate a good size and shape.

And then I hemmed the sides (My first time using a walking foot! Good fun.), sewed on the ribbon, decided that the back wasn't working and so removed the cross and replaced with strait straps, and then used a zig-zag stitch to hem the bottom. It turns out that the only black thread that I have causes my sewing machine to choke, and so the thread was orange, turquoise (from two decades ago, since the label has a Canadian flag and French on it), and navy. Good enough!

It actually fits very well. Yay! The body is perfect, and the hem is straight. The ribbon is slightly puckery, and so I'm considering adding darts to it, but it really barely even needs it, and for beach-wear, it's just fine. :-)

My favourite parts are (1) where the two ribbons join at the shoulder, and (2) the seam for the v-neck.

And this morning, I woke up feeling accomplished (for thirty seconds until I remembered the rest of the things on the list.) :-) Only three more days until we leave for Boston!

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New Yarn!!

May 17, 2007

Can you guess the (apparent) color of the week?

:-) I've been sitting on Christmas "yarn" money for months, waiting to be inspired. Best of all, not only did they all come at once, but they were all on sale. Best kind of yarn! :-)

I've been admiring the Soy Silk for the better part of three years now. Finding it for 1/2 off in the Parrot color was worth two skeins. I don't have plans... Maybe wrist warmers, maybe a scarf. Any thoughts?

The blue cotton ease was an impulse sale purchase. All of a sudden, there are a bunch of fall babies. It seems like something that wouldn't go to waste.

Next was the sock yarn. I've been mulling over a new pair of "Knitting on the Road" socks for Hawaii (advantage -- small enough not to interfere with tanning in a bikini!). Meanwhile, I've been coveting a fellow S&Bers' Trekking XXL-- I'm hoping this is a monochromatic enough blue to satisfy my rules against self-striping yarn. We'll see! In any case, it's pretty, soft, and machine-washable. Trekking XXL, color 104:

Then there was the Rogue cardigan yarn. I've been looking for a good machine-washable cotton for ages. I knit a Rogue two and a half years ago and loved it. The cardigan, though, is more my style, and I'd love the zip. This yarn was billed as "True medium blue", and after a few days of looking at it, I haven't come up with a better name. It will be a great match for khaki, black and grey pants. The yarn itself is shiny and round -- I can't wait to knit it up. King Tut, %100 finest cotton, color #1142:

Yay new yarn. Other than two baby sweaters, the last time I bought yarn was March 2006! The shopping has been fun!



May 14, 2007

Kevin made strawberry basil martinis after he got back from Vegas. Very fancy. :-) I love the garnish.

They bloom!

May 13, 2007

The irises are blooming! This astounds me. Two weeks ago, they looked like this, and were totally stemless and budless.

In the last week, they sent up shoots, budded, and bloomed. (I love how the bud structure for each plant looks identical.)

They were looking spectacular on the deck railing, but had to be moved to the table after I woke up this morning and found that they'd launched themselves to the ground. I'm guessing that there was wind and they were just top-heavy enough? Somehow they survived the fall without any apparent injury, but I don't want them to have to go through another one.

From afar, they're striking (especially for their height), but up close, they're spectacular.

(Kevin left his camera at home... When the cat's away, the mice play with the amazing digital XLRS-or-something. :-) fun.)

The best part is that only about a third of the blooms have flowered, so this should be a fun week. I am so, so glad that they decided to bloom before we left for the wedding. To miss this would have been a disappointment.


May 12, 2007

One night of watching all of the backloaded Grey's Anatomy and 24, and I actually got a lot done on the Isabella tank. Enough, even to take a picture that isn't just a mad curl.

It's at the waist, now -- once I hit 6", I'll start increasing again. The knitting is shown to advantage with the Batchelor Party Tulips. Kevin went to Vegas this weekend with his fraternity. I came home to find that before he left, he went grocery shopping and bought tulips. :-) He's clearly with the program, and gets what makes me happy. :-) Nothing (and I'm being totally serious) better than $4 tulips.

Only three weeks till the wedding!

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Knitting, flowers, spiders

May 11, 2007

I started working on Isabella (a new knitty pattern). The major draw was all of that stockinette, plus I have hopes (we'll see...) that it will be a perfect amount of yarn for the leaf green Jaeger Siena 4-ply that I bought on sale in New Hampshire last year. In any case, given the things to think about , and the buses (I've gotten back on the public transportation bandwagon), and the impending planes for the wedding and honeymoon, stockinette seems perfect. :-)

Despite many hours and many rows, at a gauge of 7 st/inch it doesn't really knit up all that quickly, so pictures so far are boring. The best I can do is show you it with the over-bright pansies, geraniums, and mystery pink flowers. :-)

The interesting part of that picture though, is the little dude that you can't see without the zoom. I discovered him a week ago when I was watering the planter and inadvertantly watered him. He was not pleased.

The best I can tell is that he's one of the 3000 species of the family Thomisidae. The common names are Flower Spiders or Crab Spiders. Both are apt, but the second one especially rings true -- when I first saw him, especially moving, he looks like something we'd discover in our tank at one in the morning.

The lavendar spots are especially cool. While I am *not* a spider fan, and he's big, he genuinely acts more scared of me than I am of him. He's always on or under the same bloom, and I'm getting used to him.

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A wedding Present!

May 10, 2007

I've been spending a decent percentage of the last few weeks at my eye doctor. For the first time in many years, it's looking like my prescription is actually *improving*! Woah! Sweet. This means that, combined with all of the next lenses that have come on the market in the last year, there are all sorts of new combinations for me to try. My doctor's great, and he's far less willing to throw in the towel than I am. (I'd love to be able to look up from my work at a colleague and give them a "yes?" look, instead of the stare of death. But, I work in front of a computer all day, in an air conditioned environment due to all the computers, and so I can't wear contacts at work, so I can't really see the people who enter my office. I wear glasses in the hall, and flip them up in front of the computer. I don't expect this to change.)
(I'd also love to wear contacts for our whole wedding -- a major increase from the 2-4 hours that have been comfortable before.)
Anyway, I more or less have a good contact to order at this point, but he wanted to try me for one more set (two weeks). As he usually does, he threw in an extra pair of samples. Since that would take me to exactly the middle of my wedding/honeymoon trip, I asked if I could buy two extra sets. It's a small office, and when he heard that it was my wedding and honeymoon (apparently, he's an avid Hawaii snorkeler), everyone pitched in. They gave me extra contacts, more solution, and even single-use contacts to use while I went snorkeling! Woah. Good fun. Thanks, Redmond Eye Clinic!

(For those with contacts, you will recognize the generosity. Woah!)

Everyone has been very interested in the wedding, but I think that this was my first "It's a bride!!!" experience. :-) Mad cool. I left grinning.

Composition with Bridal Shoes

May 09, 2007

I finally found shoes to go with my dress! This is a huge relief. I've been looking with increasing urgency for the last three months.

I finally went back to DSW and found these (the link is a picture of them with the hem of my dress). They're a shade whiter that I was picturing, but they're as comfortable as flats and will do the job. Given the lace at the hem of the dress, and the way the waist is structured, the only way to shorten it was to remove portions of the lace. With two inch heels, that wouldn't be an issue, so that was the length I needed. Other considerations: they needed to be comfortable, white or metallic, dressy, and not wedges (which are apparently madly fashionable right now).

I love (love!) the stacked wood heels, that they're not slippery or tippy, and all of the frippery (the bow, the lacing, the scalloped edges) seems appropriate to the occasion. Better yet, they show a pedicure, even if it's self-applied. :-)

I've gotten positive marks from both mothers and one bridesmaid. Even though the second bridesmaid hasn't responded yet, I'm feeling ready to cross one more thing off the list. Yay! On to get the dress bustled. :-)

PS. I also found a pair of backup shoes. They're silver and sort of clash (not that anyone would notice under that much netting...), but more importantly just didn't fit as well. I want something that I can stand in for eight hours.

*But* they're pretty with black capris. :-) (Admire, if you will, the mass of crinoline behind my legs in that photo...) And better yet, they were $25 at the Nordstrom rack. Between the fun mirror picture and my deep desire not to return to that store, looks like a bargain!


Knitting progress

May 07, 2007

Two plane flights, and I have two Fetchings just in need of thumbs and a side seam!

Don't they look festive with the sunflowers? After a weekend of clouds, the sun finally broke through this morning. Pretty!

P.S. No, your RSS feed didn't break. I just had a backup of posts awaiting pictures, and so I figured better to load them all at once than let April 2007 fade into oblivion. :-) Sorry for the delay!

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Once in Vegas is probably enough

May 04, 2007

I had a short, short workday on Monday, before leaving for the airport for a conference.

It was my first time in Vegas. I love how it looks like if you hopped off the plane and rolled your bag to the edge of the runway, you'd be at the casinos. I was also very impressed at the mountains -- for some reason, I thought that Las Vegas was surrounded by flat desert. The major rocks pushing up everywhere as the plane descended were quite impressive, especially as they were so unexpected. There were huge red areas -- some mineral? Quite pretty. (You can see the edge of the city faintly in the background before the next series of mountains.)

As we flew in closer, I found the view shockingly green. All of the palms, lawns and swimming pools were so bizarre given the brown, tan, and red we'd been flying over.

The conference was at the Venetian, and the rooms were enormous. Here's Kris (Kevin's roommate from intern days. So fun that he was at the conference, too!) frolicking in my bathroom.

I was up on the 19th floor, and the view was lovely: the mountains, the Wynn, and the pools.

The windows were glazed, and so it actually looked kind of overcast all of the time. It wasn't until you looked down and saw the dark shadow of the building that you could tell how sunny it was. I managed to sneak a few hours by the pool, which barely made a dent. After two and a half years of Seattle, my body doesn't remember how to tan. Hopefully it remembers before Hawaii.

On the whole, I thought it was a very weird, uncomfortable week. The hotel was a maze -- they really don't want you to find your way outside. I thought the casino was disturbing (my first time in one). Given how much air conditioning, and pageantry, and faux-gold finishing, and flowing water, and electricity is used, it's hard to imagine someone looking around and thinking that they feel lucky. So much money has to be lost for it all to be profitable. Many, many people worked on convincing me to gamble (it's odd how excited other people get about introducing you to their favourite game), but setting aside money to lose just didn't seem compelling. The restaurants were delicious, but ridiculously expensive. The gender thing is bizarre. The conference had maybe 5% female attendees (though I suspect I'm being very generous), and most of the women at the hotel ranged from arm candy to the drink and cigarette ladies in their costumes on the casino floor. I felt totally out of my element.

I left at sunset, though, and got some spectacular views of the mountains. (None of the pictures came out -- the glass just reflected all of the slot machines next to the gate. I would have included them for artistry's sake, but they were too blurry. You'll just have to imagine.)