Thursday, February 28, 2008


i heard an excited noise come from andrew's bedroom the other morning, and i came in to see him tying his tie while our little friend hugged the french doors.

in the garden...


shoot. we don't know the first thing about gardening. we got away pretty lucky buying the house in the fall, but now that spring is fast approaching, we don't know what to do. all the flyers i get in the mail are for people to either just mow the lawn, or landscape from scratch. what i really need is someone with a green thumb to take my hand and walk me through the garden, explain what things are, what to do with them, and when to do them. but i can take pretty pictures in the meantime.





DSC_5738take these for example - are they weeds? i can't even tell! and then there are a lot of dried out growths around, some are sprouting leaves all the way up the stem, some, however, have greenery erupting from the ground which makes me think i should chop the dried growth down?

i can't even tell if the little plastic signs in the ground are for annuals of years gone by or not. i think the "hardy garden flox," above, is indeed this plant at the left here, from a photo i took when we were closing on the house in the fall. so do i chop it? in the front we have a tall flowering section, probably 3-4 feet high with purple flowers that hummingbirds love. right now it's just a bunch of twigs, but i can't tell what type of flower they were or what to do with them. the plastic thing in the ground says azaelia but i think it's referring to the bushes below. i'm tempted to say they look like this salvia sage, but i don't think they're "sage." they look like this cardinal flower, but they're purple...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

miss jenn

jennrussiasomeone made a post on weddingbee lately about how every woman wants to have carrie bradshaw, charlotte, samantha and miranda as their close personal friends. who wouldn't want a group of successful women to both confide in and to go for classy luncheons with and experience new york's nightlife. after high school, i never had any close girlfriends, and for a few years, not even girlfriend acquaintances. but then again, in this day and age, maybe it's a little different. with men and women pulling off successful relationships that stemmed from many hours typing furiously at the computer screen, anything's possible. my maid of honor often describes me as the girl she shared a ridiculously small bed with in russia, a bed that perhaps half the width of a twin size bed. we've always lived too many miles away from each other, with little to no car transportation to speak of, to meet up "regularly" throughout these years. we've even been such poor students as to not even own our own phone lines, land or cell. but when i was flipping through my hoards of photos recently, i realized she really is my close friend. the girl without a car somehow showed up at my high school grad night to give me a huge bouquet of flowers that was most certainly out of her budget....
...i can always count on seeing her at least once a year at a fantastic dinner party that she throws, a la martha stewart...
...and she's got exactly the same social life as me...she's always there for me on a friday night to chat with about random things on the zappos or bananarepublic websites. that's a friend. so thanks, jenn. thanks for being my friend.



I have a great love for candid photography. Here are a few of my own shots, and I love how even candids can have almost pre-meditated composition and portrait-type feels to them. I try to convey to people that I don't want every photograph of my wedding day to be serene and picture-perfect, like the photographer is holding their breath and waiting for that moment that conveys the bride's tranquility while she's in quiet thought. I want photos of me being stressed out. I want photos that convey tension, that accurately convey all the emotion that is going on throughout the day. But they just don't get it.

My parents look at the image below, of my aunt and uncle at a wedding, a photo which I love because it carries such emotion, in a way you might describe a painting or any piece of art, but they think it's just terribly unflattering. I think a photo like this would have likely been tossed out in the editing process from a wedding collection that a photographer presented to the bride. But I still love it, and hey - my wedding photos are for me, and I'm sure at the 500-1000 some odd images that photographers are able to pump out throughout the day there will be plenty of "normal" photos to satisfy the parents.


Photojournalism seems to be a big bridal craze, but how many brides out there really know what they're getting into? More than one book I've read has touched on the fact that many brides think that they want a photojournalistic approach to capture the day just as it unfolds and don't see the merit in posing against a fake backdrop with the studio lights set just so, but then they are let down when they realize they missed out on the "formals." Granted, I think most seasoned wedding photographers out there that tout a photojournalistic approach do allow time for formals, and do manage to pull them off wonderfully in more natural settings, it's something to keep in mind to make sure of and to allow time for even if just for 20 or 30 minutes.


And just to prove that not all my candid shots have the subject doing a stare down of sorts with the camera, here are a couple more, again with a bit of an emotional charge to them, but in a more light-hearted sense:



Friday, February 22, 2008

how to tie wedding related business into a typical day off with the beau

this somewhat un-wedding related post could also be thought of as: "how to tie wedding related business into a typical day off with the beau," if not just to trick myself into thinking i'm working harder on my wedding than i really am. and of course it's a good excuse to post pretty pictures.
after a lunch at arby's, the mister and i drove out to uwajimaya, which turned out to be a large-ish asian supermarket that doesn't hold a candle to vancouver's t&t, or even renton, washington's 99 ranch. i recently picked up reading douglas coupland's microserfs again, which chronicles the mundane life of a microsoft employee, which includes the obligatory trips to costco and sometimes uwajimaya for everyone, microsoft and non-microsoft alike, who lives on seattle's "east side." so after loading up on tofu, philippino buns, green tea ice cream, and a myriad of sauces, we headed to costco. i bought a $499 HD video camera to empower me with recording capabilities for my friend's upcoming wedding, and i also entertained the idea of buying the simplest of simplest bouquets that are both monochromatic and monofloramatic. so without further ado, here's a pictoral recap of my day.








Saturday, February 16, 2008

me filming a wedding, à la the office

so if you watch the first 45 seconds, you get the feel of how they.... "interview" the characters in the office if you've never seen it. after i offered to do the photography for my girlfriend's wedding, i somehow agreed to do the filming instead. as in .... walking around with a camcorder. which i know nothing about. so patrick had faith in me and suggested the best way to pull it off was to do it à la the office or the bourne identity series. ie pretty shaky and amateur. at the time i hadn't seen the office, but i've since fallen more in like with it than arrested development, which also has that reality film type filming, i believe. when i was trying to find a decent youtube clip of arrested development (which i never ended up finding), i stumbled across i watched episode one and totally LOL'ed at about 1 minute 20 seconds. and hmm, maybe our show is not dead after all?

ooh there's a lot of Gob love out there: brothers solomon, let's go to prison, doing a voiceover for a gmc commercial (kind of reminds me of showtime in burnout paradise, andrew), hot rod with the doo-doo-doo-doo magician music, will ferrell's semi pro and ... ohmygoodness, a dr. suess movie with jim carey, steve carrell and will arnett (gob)?! can you tell i don't watch tv?

hey, maybe our show really will live on. who on eternal sunshine and garden state, and which will ferrell costars were on the show?

somehow Gob's in this 2006 independent movie the great new wonderful with maggie gyllenhall - andrew i want to add this to our blockbuster list. like at the top.

so anyway, i've been contemplating making a second, third, even fourth blog that are better focused to each of my interests - photography, random journalings, home decorating, etc etc. but i think i'm entitled to put my random musings on one blog. so to tie this post up and to bring us back to the topic at hand: me being a little anxious about filming a bunch of's all worth it because this is what the bride says:

you da bomb. but not like those scary exploding ones in foreign countries. more like the kind that explodes and kitties and rainbows and unicorns come out.

ok i'm done.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

le chat dans le jardin

apparently everyone at work has been bugging the mister about what he's going to do for valentine's, to which his response was "nothing." but they don't understand -- i'm so easy to please! i came home to something better than any card or chocolates. he found a meow in our backyard today, pulled out my d300 to snap some photos, and then set it as the desktop background so i'd be sure to see it when i got home from work.
garden cat
when we first moved into our house, there was a cat that came to visit us every night and would sit, meowing at the back door for hours. i tried feeding it milk day after day, but after about a week it realized its cat friend was no longer at the house and haven't seen him since. i think this garden cat was a new one.

Monday, February 11, 2008


so i briefly mentioned having a third dress - this would be the dress i would wear to a chinese banquet that will function as the rehearsal dinner, in lieu of the jeans or modest skirts i normally wear on such 12 course occasions. and i'm sad to admit that my cute retro twiggy dresses just won't do for this. but that's okay, because who knew there were so many more options than just the typical snap-diagonally-together-below-the-shoulder number featuring an inverted peter pan neckline. look! there are even mod options!


i realize the traditional color is red, but i honestly didn't know there were so many styles! via
i was having an msn conversation with my MOH as we absently sifted through good orient website:

MOH: they sell wedding gowns!!!
me: i noticed the wedding gowns but steered away
MOH: HELLO knockoffs
me: yeah. especially since the models are white women
MOH: but for the price?
me: haha. it's just like my ebay post
MOH: haha

me: why are ALL wedding dresses poofy and tube top?
MOH: a world of women who believe looking like your hiding the groom under your skirt is a attractive

MOH: i love how they found all the slutty wedding dress shots

MOH: you notice the name on the dress - pocahontas
who names these things?
I want to wear a dress that is named after a underage bride whose people were taken over by the white man...

so it looks like good orient also carries western wedding wear, and when it doesn't look like it's a five season old ad from a famous designer that i can't quite put my finger on....
phoenixeveningdress ends up looking like some random caucasian person they pulled off the street to model their dresses. don't think it doesn't happen! i went to high school with a guy that ended up having some whirlwind acting career in japan because he was simply a white boy in an asian city.

wow i adore this color combination! via fall in cola at flickr

linencheongsam i managed to find a similar dress at my workmate mentioned that she rented her chinese dress for her wedding, and i was flabberghasted to find out that the $50-100 dresses that are so commonplace in vancouver's chinatown are apparently nowhere to be found in Seattle, or at least at that price. i remember there being very striking dresses at these shops - one had a large peacock motif on a gloriously rich turquoise fabric, others had large dragons. i did a quick google search to find chinese dresses with these large animal images on them but came up with nothing. perhaps this flickr image gives you a vague idea of what i'm talking about, but the dresses i'm thinking of are less "busy" and their motif is more stunning.

so i think i'll have to go on a fun shopping trip in chinatown next time i'm in vancouver. i'll be sure to take lots of photos if i can ;)

pick your favorite

so i didn't expect to be a one of those brides. you know the kind. the kind with two dresses. three dresses. four? okay well i don't want to get to the point of four. so i bought my tafetta david angelo solely for the purpose of using it for my trash the dress, since my favorites, silk charmeuse, would make me look like a drowned rat the second i hit water.

then i got to thinking, i could alter the alfred angelo to be that mermaid style that i like so much, that none of my top dress contenders boasted, and despite the tafetta swishing around all day and sounding very huggies diaper-like, it would facilitate my birdcage veil and it could function as my sole wedding dress. here's my bad photoshop rendition, i even made the sleeves a little skinnier.
option 1: alfred angelo 1148, altered mermaid style

option 2, birnbaum and bullock: $2700 + probably $400 for a rush order, + $300-500 for alterations at the fancy pants kind of shop it comes from (although it is made specifically for my body specifications to minimize the need for alterations...). the one thing i am totally in love with is that i can dance holding my train on either my wrist or my pinky and it would look fabulous. is that brief effect worth thirty five hundred some odd dollars? again, see my terrible photoshop rendition:

option 3, random dress, $875, no train, silk charmeuse
i originally had no budget, but $875 seems like too good of an idea to pass up on....but i don't have the great train-dancing action....originally i didn't care for a train because of my outdoor ceremony, but that train is so great....

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

how a random weddingbee reader found my dress

if this post could have two titles, the second would be: Total. Impulse. Buy.

after seeing one of my last posts, one reader suggested an alfred angelo number, because she happened across it that day and somehow thought of me. me! don't i feel special. now i get to make her feel special too, because i bought the dress! i think most of you out there in blogland will be horrified, shocked, and entirely disappointed to find out that i bought the dress without trying it on.

DSC06641i found a stockist about 30-45 minutes north of seattle in a town called everett. their website listed monday to be their day off, but when i tried to call tuesday to book an appointment, i discovered they were closed tuesdays, too. so i left a message saying i'd pop in at 10am wednesday morning if possible since i was working up in that direction that day. i showed up at 11am (i slept in a wee bit) only to have the lady tell me she was booked all day till 4pm. 4pm! i told her i was really only interested in one dress if she could squeeze me in, so she had me browse through the store and the alfred angelo catalogue while she went back to assisting her 11am appointment. she came back and i pointed out the dress in the catalogue, but explained i hadn't found it in the store.

i hadn't seen it in the store because her bride was trying on the dress right. that. moment. she agreed to let me see the girl in the dress - and what are the chances a) that a sample would a size 2 (not a 6, not a 4, but a TWO) b) that the bride trying it on was actually a size two as well. so she told me to come back in an hour. i looked longingly at the second empty dressing room, but walked away. $70 worth of used books later, i came back to find the girl buying that dress, and taking advantage of the 50% off sample sale. this left her with a smoking < $300 gown, and left me without a dress to try on. i'd bided my time wandering the desolate streets of downtown everett for an hour already and i had to get to work. i asked if i could just call with a credit card number later, but the lady declined, insisting on measurements. i had a silent argument with her in my head that the size 2 would still be too big but i kept quiet and decided to buy it on the spot.

i decided a few days ago that i had fallen head over heels in love with silk charmeuse, and although i have held steadfast onto the "i'm never going to wear the dress again, so i'd better damn well have fun in it and trash it the next day" mentality for many months, i realized that i am entirely unable to come to terms with destroying silk charmeuse. that, and i think it would cling to me in the ocean and my video would come across like a trashy wet tee contest.

so as the lady [who had been bordering on being politely rude to me for not having an appointment but realizing the opportunity to make six hundred bucks] was writing down the details for the tafetta alfred angelo, i had a brief moment of - oh my goodness what am i doing? it's the exactly same style as the silk charmeuse dress that i would buy, why am i not getting an entirely different dress?! i was tempted to bolt for the door right then and there while she was mid-receipt. but then i thought about it, and i was like - well, if i'm going to be trapezing around downtown for a few hours, and then jumpinging into a body of water, it makes more sense to have something with sleevish things than worry about swimming out of my dress as i swim up to the surface of the water. on the way home i was like, but i could have had a pink dress, but i pushed that aside. then i thought about all the mermaid dresses that made me look pretty smoking, like jessica rabbit, but perhaps a little too trampy and voluptuous (if a person my size can make that claim) for my wedding day - but then i put the kabosh on that thought because i wouldn't be able to run around in a mermaid. my only possible way out of the "all sales final" is perhaps when she realizes that it isn't available in ivory (though she said she had an ivory sample in last week) since the site only lists white and (shudder) diamond white.

so out of all the non-charmeuse dresses i tried on, i think i liked this one the best:

gradand although the alfred angelo has a bit of a fuller a-line skirt to it which is generally a no no with my body type, it does lace up the back. my grad dress (aka "prom dress" as americans and perhaps some other canadian high schools call it) had a bigger skirt. come to think of it - i bought it in probably a size 10 or so and had it altered to include a lace up back. i love how my grad dress has more beading than i'd ever consider for a wedding dress. i still think that dress is pretty grand, i got genuine "wow you look fantastic in your dress" comments all night from even the "cool kids" in my class.


so without further ado, here she be, alfred angelo, style 1148:
special thanks to miss teaberry! side note, i found it on ebay tonight for about $200 cheaper, but hey, go local, right?