So a long silence on a blog somewhat devoted to “thinking,” may or may not be a good thing. I could say I just haven't been thinking much lately. But that would be a pretty miserable lie. The truth is, I've been thinking so much and so fast that the documentation is lacking due to time and sheer volume. Here is a sampling of my thoughts during a random 1.2 second, brain-bite last week.
"If he rolls out the aisle runner first then I will need tape. When will I get to actually shower? So if I buy mums from Costco I can use them instead of the topiaries. Praise the Lord the canvases arrived in time! How should I get more volume to the bride's hair right at the crown? So if the flower order just arrived, that gives me fifteen minutes to stop and buy paper to matte the photos into frames before I need to hike to the back of the farm to cut curly willow stems. Nevermind. I should do that at 6am while it is still cool outside. Oh! Anna can buy the last two dripless tapers and ginger ale. Wait. The entire stage is practically backlit with sun at 3pm. I hope the wedding photographer meters correctly. But, he will. I need to paint that other canvas tonight. I think I better go and put a thermometer in the fridge RIGHT NOW so I can put the flowers in in twenty minutes and will know I know they won't freeze. I probably should hem my bridesmaid dress. Better stop and check Goodwill for more silver service, too. So glad grandma is turning that bolt of fabric into runners for me. Oooh, better save all the extra petals for the flower girl. Is that person looking at me with their mouth moving, actually speaking to me?..."
Yes, we had a wedding last weekend. Last week was a dream come true, albeit a very realistic nightmare, as anyone doing a wedding knows. I haven't woken up quite yet, and thus, I might just be dead. After work at night, I am still packing and sorting and cleaning and planning for the mega-reception coming soon and the wedding shower. And I’m heading to Houston the end of next week to hopefully do it all again for my dearest friend. And yes, I've been thinking.
· I NEED a honeymoon alone in Hawaii wherein I will lay face down, in the sand, until further notice. I guess that is traditionally dubbed a "vacation." I wouldn't know.
· A colorful, artistic personality working at an unimaginitive job, is equal to getting a mind wipe without even the minimal positive benefits of a lobotomy.
· I am ready for my sister to stop calling me “Pepper Potts.”
· Everyone younger than me at work is pregnant, or their spouse is. I feel ancient.
· I didn't need a cold right now. I didn’t need to accidentally ingest something AGAIN, that I’m extremely allergic to. I didn’t need to miss National Coffee Day. But, I’ve got nothing to complain about, really. There is still dark chocolate in our world and a God in Heaven.
· “Thelga” and “Velga” are some name options my sister is throwing around for her pretend children. I suggested she might as well go with “Chokey” and “Hokey” while she’s tossing about such vile name choices. No, seriously. I had a doll named “Barfa,” as a child. That’s a long story. Let’s just say she had a pull-string that malfunctioned, causing an unusual and vivid reaction in my babydoll…
· The Zell Family’s home is ideal for a small wedding. Not just based on appearance of the marble floor, delicate chandelier, sky bridge, porch, staircases, and columns on sunny afternoons, but because of the proprietors. The nicest people in the world live in that house that hosted my brother’s wedding on Sunday. Just sayin.
· I saved a bakery this week! My sister looked perplexed and went off on a tirade, pacing and flustering. That girl knows business: she especially knows you can’t fix any real monetary obstacle in one sentence. Her school assignment to write a story, included the requirement of “saving the bakery from closing”—in one sentence. I suggested the unexpected: proprietor actually sells, instead of eating, all delicious, flaky, gooey, cherry turnovers herself. Bakery saved! And I felt like O. Henry must have felt every time he finished a story plot.
· Friday I sat perched on a stool arranging flowers and making corsages and boutonnières for an entire day. ‘Twas a great time to mentally plan out the following couple days leading up to the wedding. So glad I did. Planning ahead pays in dividends of time.
|The finished groom's boutonniere surrounded by |
grandparents' boutonnieres and corsages.
|Please pardon my appearance...Working on the bridal bouquet.|
|Wrist corsage for bridesmaids...|
|A cell phone pic of the bridal bouquet |
before ribbon wrapping.
· For Friday night we planned a small birthday celebration for my Mom and Dad. They both had the audacity to get older this very week; one of them chose this week 51 years ago, and the other 55 years. Grandma, Jess, Ben, Nate, everybody ate outside with candlelight and a fading sunset: strips of tender sirloin across the puffy rice beds, smothered in the savory sauce, followed by ice cream with fresh-picked blackberries and strawberries. Oh, and chocolate syrup. Mine had dark chocolate syrup, indeed.
|Backyard birthday. No frills. All fun.|
· Jess’ cat, “Mouse,” came to work twice this week. She seems to think it is grand to be doted over by the ladies there. Throughout the day, she apparently likes to lie around the back of one’s neck like a vibrating, feather boa of calico dilute. Thankfully, her claws have been calmer lately, as people don’t like the “massage setting” when set on “high.”
· My sister went to science class with a beard and lab coat, depicting Pierre Curry. She wore leather gloves, a beret, and had small, black and white photos of her wife, kids, and cat in her coat pocket. She also admits to starting fires at her lab table and causing frustration in supervisors.
· Jess gasped, shaking her head seriously, “Oh! I would have hit her a good one!” when I told her about the cat biting grandma on the wrist one morning while she was reading in bed. I gave Jess a very cold look, “Really, now? I would have smacked the cat under those circumstances. Poor grandma had already had enough.” That clarified. She apparently had meant the cat, after all, this time.
· My dear brother, Nate, sorted jelly beans for me. I kid you not. I wished out loud that the jelly beans would be color-coordinated into the wedding décor, and before I knew it, he was touching every one of over five hundred jelly bellies. The nature colors, with a few bright touches of red and burnt orange, ended up in the appropriate corked, tall jar, ready to go. What a guy!
|Super Best Man and Jelly Bean Sorter Extradonaire, |
Nathanael, giving a toast at the wedding
with Mom looking on.
· Goodwill is my friend. There are lots of cheap, burnished silver and tall, square glass objects that I appropriated for wedding décor. Even with short time, I looked at other stores I was in, just to congratulate myself on how much money I saved. Couldn’t help it.
· “Joking” I am not. My phone died, again, this week of all weeks. “Dash” just stopped charging out of the blue and had to be replaced. Thus, I have a new phone…We will name her “Invincible” and see if that helps her future any.
· How I love quality minions. When the actually epic set up and tear down times arrived this week for the wedding, it seemed like all I had to do was give a steady stream of orders and watch things flare up, leaping like fire, or melt down…um, completely in a good way, I mean.
|My little sis is the best helper ever! This her at the wedding |
location cleaning some mirrors for me. She also put up the ribbons
on all the photos of Ben & Jess along the stairs.
· The canvases arrived in time and looked fantastic, faux-hanging from gilded ivory ribbon. The same gilded ivory ribbon that was insanely difficult to find, in a sea of imperfect ribbon choices. Thank goodness Christmas is almost here, and stores are selling extra ribbon options!
· “Yes, Johanna, it OK, to not have everything perfect.” I told myself a million times this week, as I watched detail after detail fly by. I think I can now say that I have successfully cut corners without hurting my conscious or conscience until all that was left was the little tiny circle: the very bull’s-eye. Don’t laugh. That’s achievement for Type A’ers.
· The rehearsal dinner was a special time at the Yacht Club around a huge table. We went around and all told stories, one-by-one, some with tears, some with hilarity, and some with serious pointed morale. The summary? “Jess walks softly and carries a big stick.” and “Ben is unusual, intellectual, imaginative, communicative, caring, and…very not athletic.”
· Thursday morning I took my groom-brother to Cash & Carry at just the early morning hour when every Korean teriyaki joint is stocking up, and we found treasure. Such amazing prices hid around the corners for the last few items on my list: limes and cups. And then I made another list. Naturally. Just so we would have something to run crazily after at the last minute. It worked out nicely.
· I drank too much coffee and made myself a doozy of a stress/caffeine migraine all day, one day: which was a problem since it kept me up all night vomiting…In my nausea, all I could think about was a disgusting kind of cheese that made me want to vomit, and every time I thought of it, I did. It was a long and dark night, in so many ways.
· I very nearly forgot this week once that “the customer is always right.” Don’t you love those people that nothing is ever good enough for their bad attitude? That’s not to mention the “guilt trip people.” Sometimes, I want to shake them. But that’s not cool, and I did not say that at all.
· I love the people I work with and see every day.
Driving quietly to work together every morning and home at night, by the waterfronts, past the breathtaking mountain views, the huge carriers docked in the shipyard, and the seedy espresso stands, listening to sports radio all the way, is really actually fun. Am I easy to please? Maybe. Or maybe I don’t get to see my dad that often…
We talk, and it’s always great and she gives me black licorice drops for my sustenance. Once, as she was getting ready to dial out, she concluded our joking conversation with a teasing, “Now wasn’t that just sexist!?!?” Its too bad that when she pressed the phone line to dial out while making that remark, that someone rung into that line and got to hear that for a greeting… For the record, she is actually truly the paragon of real professionalism. Praise the Lord; it was only our boss dialing in, which is fortunate since we receive innumerable calls in a day.
I like her team spirit—and sense of humor…At church the projector blinked out while she was singing along, “We Walk by Faith and Not by Sight.” The big picture came back into view just as the song was ending. Sound familiar?
She’s prego and works so hard! She carries quite a load—a workload, I mean. The baby(ies?) is(are?) not showing that much, yet. I’m so excited for her while being so amazed by her sweet spirit hour after hour. I’m also astounded again at how strange mankind is. Every day, at least a couple gentlemen seem to lean over her reception counter and bemoan at her that “all the ‘good ones’ are taken” as she carefully and tactfully displays her wedding ring in the course of business. I disagree with these men in so many ways.
He’s the real deal: knows the Lord, legit cute, has a cute wife, a cute baby, a cute car, and a cute dog. My favorite quote this week from him has to be, “Husswahubbajananahba?” complete with very big eyes and rapid blinking. I guess I can talk too fast, sometimes, and it requires clarification, as such.
If the resident stand-up comedian is going to keep teasing me about my always present nylon runs, I will keep teasing him about his lipstick. I like to catch him off guard with dead-pan with hand motions and facial expressions, privately indicating he needs to clean a spot on his teeth or face: stopping him just barely before he heads into a patient room. I can’t help it, ever since he borrowed lipstick for a project in the lab…
Mr. Steady does more than anyone will ever know. Just sayin.
o Mr. Jerry:
How shall I say this? How about just some anecdotal evidence and then you say it? A lady at the hardware store was moving a large display pallet of product and it flipped off and scattered across the floor. It just so happened to be a pallet of “Goof Off”…Mr Gary asks her, “Why are you goofing off at work?”
· I hated my job once this week, when I told a woman with a broken back that she had no insurance coverage for her immediate medical need and explained her options. She looked at her husband sorrowfully, wincing in pain, and resignedly said, “Well…I guess…We won’t go on vacation this year after all.” I winced, too. I wanna go work at Disneyland.
· The groomsmen kidnapped Ben the night before his wedding for some surprising (and completely harmless in every way imaginable) enterprises, and we, the bridesmaids, took out Jess. We topped off the French manicure in the mall and bag of surprising, beautiful, amazing things, with just plain old talking over milkshakes. We thought of going pole-dancing on her last night single. Like, you know, dancing around a flag pole, holding hands and singing a happy children’s song, almost like a Maypole, of course. But we just laughed instead, and sipped on pre-nuptial, liquid-therapy-chocolate you can get at Shari’s off the milkshake menu.
|Jess with a new manicure, sparkling ring, |
and chocolate shake. (Cell phone photo)
· Sunday morning I pinned a hundred little curls to Jess’ head at her grandma’s house at 8:30 and drove her to her wedding. While I did her makeup, another bridesmaid, Micaela, painted my toenails on my foot stretched out sideways. We finished everything just in time. Except, the photographers did have to wait for a stressful two minutes, while I finished tying the ribbons on the bridal bouquet. I still wish I could have had just two more minutes on that one…
· So here’s something I never knew. My brother likes to kiss. I mean he likes major, Hollywood, make-out kissing his bride, in front of an audience. Pretty amazing to see your best pal and brother do for the first time, I must say. He didn’t cut any corners on that one, let me tell you…We’ve talked about it before, but he actually did it this time.
|Flower Girl waiting for things to begin.|
|During photos...I think he was plotting that kiss...|
|Ben and his groomsmen waiting for the real deal.|
|Jess coming down the aisle with her dad.|
|Ben and Jess at the altar. That's me on the far left.|
|Ben & Jess greeting guests. Me, fixing her bustle.|
· A good friend made the most incredible cake for Ben and Jess as a gift! Not only was it beautiful, but people could not stop eating it. Even people who don’t like cake went back for seconds. I’m allergic, so I settle for thinking it was the best-smelling cake ever.
|Ben and Jess preparing to cut into THE cake.|
· Invitations to the reception are being masterminded by my mother with the bighearted help of a graphic artist from church and the generous photographer. Have I mentioned lately how amazing Mom is? She even made individualized “wedding survival kits” for everyone in the wedding party wedding. They had Kleenexes and mints for the emotional human aspect, a little Bible for the spiritual human aspect, and food and drink for the physical human aspect. Mints are emotional. Don’t argue. Just think about it.
|Grandma adding the finishing touches to Mom's Wedding Survival Kits.|
· I, meanwhile, finally got invites out, emails sent, and made an actually, really, truly Facebook event for the wedding shower being thrown for Jess on October 6. I know what I’m getting her! I’d tell you about it, but she might read this…People do things like that, you know.
· I keep saying it out loud, “Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Feehan are on their honeymoon!” It just sounds so hilarious to me. And its somewhat consoling as I sit at her desk, doing mounds of paperwork…Imagining them on Sugar Beach in Hawaii. And that’s with having never even seen a photo of said beach. So there.
|Ben & Jess leaving...And being pelted by well-wishers.|
· I confess that I am rather sick. Rest assured, I do not plan to get bad enough to go to the hospital, again. I hereby do solemnly swear to not overdo it and completely bleach out my adrenals as done on previous occasions. I will instead, um, figure something else out.
· Thursday before the wedding, my sister showed Kian at the state fair. She brought home an award of merit and a blue ribbon. She was going pretty low key in her participation, due to the busyness of life. But, we’re proud of her.
|Conversing with the "vulnerable urban public," |
as they call it in her handbook.
|Kian dreaming about cheering crowds. That's his favorite.|
· Both Dad and Mom’s cars needed to go in to the shop this week. What are the odds? Apparently, they are pretty high.
· Tragically, I had to back out of helping a friend do wedding florals because of work this week. I feel like the world’s worst friend, because I said I would help her MONTHS ago…And I can’t make it to another girl’s conference planning meeting. I am just striking out. “Tragic” is a shallow word.
· Somebody gave me a significant monetary gift this week. I am so grateful! I can go finish getting my hair cut now, what’s left of it. I’m hoping they can trim it up, so it can’t be seen where I yanked it out. (Hmm…I took sarcasm too far, there. It turned to actual dishonesty as I have not actually removed my own hair on purpose, yet.)
So that is that. As a photographer I must needs apologize for the snapshots, although generously provided by my little sister. They pain me. I cannot wait to see the “real thing” from the photographers. I wish I had an extra arm I could have taken photos, too…
Life goes on and another day and week is ahead for me. Maybe I can get through another week with just finishing on “delicates: tumble dry, low” instead of the “high heat, permanent press” or even “hang to dry.” We shall see. My forbearing friend, you made it to the end. Yes, you know it. You deserve dark chocolate.