Feb 25, 2008

These Are The Good Times

  • My sweet kitty is sitting on my lap, clawing the heck out of my thighs, and fascinated with the pointer moving around on the screen. He's so cute you could die.
  • The pile of clothes in the middle of the bedroom is gone. We didn't have a dresser until two weeks ago and since then I've been slowly doing laundry and putting things away, chipping ever so slowly into the monster that we created when we had few other clothes storage options. On Saturday, the task was complete. It felt really good.
  • The girl in HR has toned down her makeup tremendously over the last few weeks. The fake eyelashes are gone. Blues and greens have been traded for beiges and pinks. She's actually still far too made up, but it's a significant improvement. I'm not sure why the change has taken place, but I do know it's nice to not feel compelled to stare at her and wonder what's going on underneath whenever she's around.
  • Trevor purchased a Wii today. In anticipation of the release of Super Smash Brothers Brawl, we've been in the market for one for some time and they are near impossible to obtain. It'll be the first game console that we actually own, though we now have three in our house (Trapper's XBox and the old roommate's Game Cube), since we are, naturally, party central for Trevor's friends.
  • The weather is warming up quite a bit. It rained a bunch yesterday (rain, not snow, hooray!) and it was beautiful. I just wore a hoodie on the way to work and it was just fine. I can't wait for spring.
  • I'm kicking so much butt at work. I'm not sure why it's happening, because it seems like I'm doing everything about the same as I used to be, but I'm doing so well lately. I'm the top out of four collectors for February, when I'm normally in the 3rd or 4th spot.
  • Obama's recent momentum makes me hopeful that he will be the Democratic nominee, but the Clinton camp is still a threat and it makes for a very good game. I love the intensity of such a close race.
  • Tax returns and solid paychecks (no vacations or holidays messing with things, plus higher commission for me just because I'm doing really well) mean Trevor and I have more money than we ever have before. It's nice to finally reach that comfortable stage where you don't have to wait until the next payday to buy what you want. And we're getting savings going, which is nice.

Feb 17, 2008

Bridesmaid Dress Shopping

I've just found out that my dear friend Rachael's sister Crystal is engaged, and Rachael will be a bridesmaid at the wedding. As I have recently been through a wedding myself, I wish to impart my wisdom to her, and the general masses:

Bridesmaid dress shopping is a nightmare. Finding a dress for two to five girls of completely different body types and that would match the colors and styles of the rest of the wedding things is a feat that only someone who is truly in love and must get married should put herself through. A search for modest bridesmaid dresses comes up with things that look like these:

They are often either a) the "I'm trying to be unique so my dress has some sort of weird feature" dress, b) boring and shapeless, or c) the most hideous colors imaginable. My suggestion: stay away from anything that is actually called "bridesmaid dress", because 90% of them are repulsive. And definitely stay away from anything that looks like this:

(Sorry, I just had fun looking at bridesmaid dresses and couldn't trim down my selection of ugly ones to post.)

Search for "cocktail dresses" for the best results, though you can also find good stuff if you look for "semi-formals" or "party dresses". This will always find cuter things than "bridesmaid dresses", though you do have to wade through a lot more, if you're looking for a modest dress. While there are dozens of sites and stores dedicated to modest bridalwear, there isn't much out there for modest party dresses. It's still worthwhile to go this avenue, though. Not only will the dresses you find be more stylish and more easily worn to other events (who wants to buy a dress only to wear it once?), but they are generally less expensive as well.

And don't settle for something halfway decent because after hours and hours and lots of sweat and blood and tears shed, I found bridesmaid dresses that I absolutely loved (and somehow this is the only picture featuring them that I have on this computer, and I know it's not especially good at showing off the dress, but here's at least an idea of how they go), and I know you can, too:

It worked out really well to do wrap-style dresses, because they look good on every body shape and you can fudge a little on sizes since you can wrap them as tight or loose as they need to be (my sisters didn't try on their dresses until the night before the wedding, because I purchased them in Provo, but we knew sizing wouldn't be too difficult).

I know it's in vogue to do the different-dress-cuts-in-the-same-color thing or the same-dress-cut-in-different-colors thing, but I don't really agree with it. The same dresses in different colors is just tacky, it looks like you tried to give each bridesmaid her own personal style without actually giving them a different style whatsoever. It also makes things too colorful (I'm probably not the best consultant on color, we all know that my favorites are brown and gray and that my wedding colors were gray and gold and I'm just generally anti-too-much-color, but still...).

The same color dress in different cuts is a better way to go, but the trouble is getting them to match well enough that you know they go together and are part of the wedding party. Finding four dresses that are all the same color is near impossible, unless you trek into dresses that are actually meant to be bridesmaid dresses, which, as we have already discussed, is dangerous territory. And it's tricky, because often you'll have something like two dresses that look almost exactly the same with slight differences and then one that's completely different, or something like that.

In my opinion, just letting the bridesmaids do their hair/makeup/jewelry (oh man, the worst thing EVER is when all the bridesmaids have the exact same makeup...) how they want it but keeping them all in the same dress is the best way to go. It adds enough personal style that they look like themselves, but they'll still look like bridesmaids and belong to the wedding party. My bridesmaids also all wore their own closed-toed black shoes, and we had three very different styles there, but it wasn't a distracting difference, just one that gave each girl her own bit of style in her outfit.

I realize this post sounds a little "you should do it exactly the way I did", and I didn't want to sound like that. So here are my actual suggestions to the potential brides and bridesmaids out there: Think about what you like and have something definite in mind when you are looking. Be prepared to spend a lot of time to find something good. Think about each bridesmaid and how she will individually look in the dress and what she will think of the dress. Don't make it look like you tried too hard; good fashion should always look effortless.

Oh, and here's my suggestion to those potential grooms out there: Pretend to be interested when your bride discusses/agonizes/raves about bridesmaid dresses, and tell her that they are very pretty when she does settle on something. Trevor did this well and it was appreciated.

Feb 9, 2008

Huckabese and Bible Illiteracy

I heard this story on the radio yesterday and found it interesting:

Understanding the Gospel According to Huckabee

It was very surprising to me that so many people from the freaking Bible Belt didn't know what I thought were clearly understandable Bible allusions. Perhaps I'm just a religion snob, but I most definitely knew what every one of the Huckabee quotes was referring to right off. Practicing Christians make up 78% of our country's population and out of those, I would guess that minimum three-fourths of them would catch Bible allusions and that out of the Evangelical and Southern Baptist types it would be more than that. And for my money, the 1% of Americans that are practicing Jews should have been able to get the Old Testament ones. Apparently not.

Granted, it's not like news reporters picking random people off the street is a scientific study, but nonetheless, I didn't expect the results they got.

My question to you, dear readers, is how would you do on a Huckabese quiz? I'm thinking through those that read my blog religiously (hehe)...mostly Mormon, with a couple Lutherans, a Methodist, a Jew...and it seems most would do well (probably not the Hindu, but that's understandable), but perhaps I'm completely off on my assessment of the average American's Bible literacy.

Feb 1, 2008

Goal-Breaking and Something Completely Unrelated

I just realized that the last three posts here are me-getting-married-related. This drives me farther from two important goals in my life:

1) To keep my blog interesting by posting about a variety of topics; stay away from "so, this is what's going on in my life" attitude and be more of a "this is something interesting to me and I hope it's interesting to you, too, and it may or may not be relevant to anything, but it may also be crucially relevant to something important in my life or your life or the world, and I hope you like it, but it's okay if you don't because I wrote this to explore something for myself" attitude.

2) To not sound anything like the new payroll person at work. She was married five months ago and it is ALL she ever talks about. I was married three weeks ago, but realize that beyond the details I have already shared with the department, nobody cares.

On a completely unrelated note, Utah Transit Authority busses all have a sign under the money receiver that says "Transfers Issued 'ONLY' Upon Payment". Is it just me, or do the quotes around the "ONLY" (which I assume are meant to emphasize the word) do anything but emphasize it and might as well be the bus driver bending two sets of two fingers in the universally recognized hand symbol for "don't take this seriously" and winking? It drives me nuts.