Thursday, September 25, 2008

Everything Changes

Do all brides have bouts of insomnia? And do they all use them to start thinking, in ever-greater detail than before, about the wedding plans - the very thing that sent them to this hellish sleeplessness in the first place?

I've always had trouble with insomnia, and the combined craziness of my brother's looming nuptials (this Saturday!) and planning my own wedding isn't helping at all.

A few nights ago, it was full-on Talking Heads. Or, at least, one talking head. I couldn't shut my thoughts up to focus on sleeping. To-do lists, gifts to be purchased, home-repair needing to be done, a little thing called My Job, all clamoring for attention at 11:30 pm.

And still, at 2:30 a.m. By 3:20 am, I thought, "This is ridiculous. I've gotta get up," and pried myself away from my hotwater bottle of a fiance.

What to do? I know, we'll stare at the guest list and will it mentally to shrink. Shrink, list, shrink.

Or we'll think about colors. I had thought we'd go for nature-inspired, warm colors. I flipped through my inspiration book, "American Bungalow" magazine. Every house, every ad for hand-crafted, Stickley-inspired furniture glows with a warm, sunset light. Everything is gold, olive, taupe.

Hmm.. writing that down, it doesn't sound beautiful - but it is. This wallpaper frieze is a little picture I've been dragging around with me for a couple years:

So, since this is what I love, this would be my wedding colors, right?

But wait - I'm not marrying myself. And while my hunk of burning love doesn't care "that much" about the colors, shouldn't this be a reflection of us - I mean, isn't that why we're going through all this?

So I start writing. What is "us"? What do we love to do together? We love to travel, to go camping, to go to the beach, or the springs. In three years, we've been to the Grand Canyon to whitewater raft down the Colorado, we've been to Brazil to see friends marry, we've been to Mexico to, uh . . . lay around in the sun and drink margaritas. What's the continuing thread?

Water. I love the beach and can't imagine living too far from the coast. Kyle is scuba-certified and has dove many of the springs around here; he lives for the springs in the summertime.

I look up from my writing and find my inspiration. A large, framed photograph of a Florida spring hangs over our bookcase. I don't have it digitally, but here's something similar:

If you've never seen a Florida spring before, you are missing out. It's the most beautifully clear water. And it's so cold - great when you're baking in the hundred-plus Florida summertime. And that blue - that beautiful turquoise blue.

That's it! It makes so much more sense than my Arts & Crafts-driven plan. Kyle and I are both Florida natives, and in this town, that appears to be unusual. I want to celebrate what he and I love - Florida. And not the beachy, Miami, Disney World Florida. The inner heart of Florida, with its moss-hung oaks, numerous springs and rivers, fields of everything from St. Augustine turfgrass to lowly cabbage. And the spring water would be my inspiration.

Impressive, for 4 am.

Here's what I've got so far:

(Click to see full size)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me...

Or at least a fake pirate's life for me.

Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day and for all ye mutton-headed scallywags out there, you land-lubbin' loonybirds, it's a day to reflect deeply on your heritage as a pirate. Or lack thereof, which is even a better reason, in my opinion, to talk like someone out of a Disney movie ("Treasure Island" you twittering nitwits, not that other movie).

I wish I had brought my camera, because my wonderful coworker Georgia brought us pirate caps and even better, non-dairy pirate cupcakes!

Yes, I know the non-dairy part kinda messes with the piratical theme, but our Georgia has dietary sensitivities and if you're making the cupcakes, you get to pick the ingrediants.

If you are still in the dark on this fine holiday, see the official web site:

Ol Chumbucket and Cap'n Slappy will put you right.


In other news, we missed a not-entirely-unrelated event.

This week marked the 57th birthday of Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.

Hmm. I wish I had kick-ass font to announce that better...

That'll do.
I suppose you have to be a of certain age to really remember Elvira as she's not on TV as she was in my day (yes, and I'm on the porch in my rocking chair with a shotgun . . . get off my lawn!).

But she hosted "Movie Macabra," on late-night television. You know, kids, like a VJ for movies. Wait, they don't have those anymore either, do they? Okay, like . . . oh, forget it. She's cool.

Giant black beehive, before-it-was-cool-gothic dress cut down-to-there, and up-to-here, with the legs and bosom to work it, eyeliner to die for . . . she's the anti-Martha Quinn. I loved her.

One thing I didn't know about our Elvira is that before she was our lady in black, she was struggling singer-actress Cassandra Peterson. This is interesting to me only because she's mentioned in "Let's Spend the Night Together," the infamous tell-all by uber-groupie Pamela DesBarres. (And if you're lost, either get in a time machine and join me in my nostalgia, or buy the book)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Kick-ass wedding dress

My wedding, originally uploaded by hellishcheeky.

Not for the conventional, but I love the beautiful audacity of it. Had to share. Yes, I am officially addicted to online wedding stuff.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Getting inspired

I've said before that I'm not the most creative/imaginative person. Thus, many of the decisions to be made in wedding planning are not coming easy to me.
I had said I didn't want to have official "colors," and then I decided to get some "save-the-date" type thing for our out-of-state guests.
It was then that I realized - I gotta pick something.
The "thing" has to be some color, has to have some sort of imagry (sic?) on it. I mean, this is much like having an party. You're going to decorate, so you have to have some sort of overlying format to pull it all together, be it a theme or a palette. I don't want to just pull some colors out of my tuchas, excuse my language. The one thing I know we want this wedding to be is something personal, something meaningful for us.
So I've started something that seems popular in the wedding forums I'm in, an "inspiration board." A real-life board would have fabric swatches, pages torn out of magazines, etc. An electronic inspiration board, from the examples I've seen, has photos of where you're getting married, somewhere you want to get married or a place like it, thematic stuff (stars, fish, polka dots), and pictures of dresses and bridal whatnot.
Well, all I have so far is some photos of where I'm getting married and art I love, but it's a start, right?

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Today, I visited the Florida Museum of Natural History, to scout it out as a reception location.

It was pretty nice. We'd have the museum to ourselves for three hours, with all of the regular exhibits available for the guests to check out. However, it's not cheap. I'm not sure it's in our budget.

But one of the coolest things is the Butterfly Rainforest.

butterfly rainforest It was like a Disney movie - you walk in and BAM! Butterflies everywhere - hundreds of them. And the variety was amazing - blue ones, little tiny yellow ones, huge tiger-striped ones. I can't do it justice with a description.

Even if we don't go with the museum as a reception site, I'm still going to suggest my guests visit the museum before the wedding; it's not that far from the ceremony site as they're both on campus. I may be able to get a group discount if I bought the tickets myself...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What happens at the tailgate...

First, I have to brag: my insanely talented friend Douglas Matthews has agreed to play at my wedding ceremony.

He and his wife Melissa have been two of the best friends a girl could have. Along with a few others, they were my rock at an especially low point in my life.

I was so nervous asking him, because, well, he plays piano for a living - what a pain, right? Invited to a wedding and now you gotta work? But he was terribly gracious about it.

I have a hard time asking people for things, even people who, rationally, I know love the heck out of me and want to help me. But there's this stupid part of me that's so afraid to ask. It's stupid. I think I said that already. Moving on...

Tile update: I cut the tile too small and we didn't get it fixed before our guests came. Turned out we had less than expected, so it went smoothly anyway.

The tailgate was a success. Kyle got up around 6 a.m. and headed out to campus. The tailgate was set up, and manned, from 7 a.m. until roughly 1 a.m. that evening/next morning. Crazy, I know. But it's Kyle's thing and it was before I showed up - I'm just an observer/assistant/beer bitch.

Yes, beer bitch. Half of my "job" is to be kinda nasty about who's sticking their hand in our coolers. It's not fun, but if you don't make it known that somebody's paying attention, there are plenty of jackasses who are ready to suck you dry. Food, too - but I left that up to our cook.

A ton of people showed up, including many I hadn't seen in months. It really was fun. And we had a most important element at the tailgate: hot women. And strangely enough, that's part of my "job" as well - taking photos of everybody, including the hot chicks.

A sample:

Okay, I'm kidding. That's just a cute chick and her pretty mommy.

More like this:

Luckily, as we age, so goes the tailgate. It's a lot more "chill" this year, and I had plenty of people come up to me to agree and that it was a good thing.

I had to run off some little girls, but not before they got their fill of our beer and BBQ. You'd be surprised how much a skinny little thang can eat when someone else cooked it and it's free. :)

An exhausting weekend, but great fun.

Oh yeah - the Gators won. Forgot about that...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

New Flower in the Scurrilous Yard

Kyle saw this little plant pushing up between edger stones. He contemplated taking the weed wacker to it, but decided to wait and see what it turned out to be. Turns out it's Pentas:

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Two posts in one day? Inconceivable!

Perusing my blog, admiring the lovely photo of Cancun I used as the header, I realized I had forgotten to post my photos of the Baughman Center, where indeed, Kyle and I will be getting married May 9.

I snapped a few shots after paying the deposit and getting a contract. They're all small here, but clicking a photo should bring up a larger version (if you so desire).

The front of the Baughman Center:

The view of Lake Alice immediately behind the center (any closer and it would be in the water):

Inside - you can see how small it is:

The ceiling:

The view from the grounds:

I also have my dress! But I'm not showing those photos. Suffice to say it feels completely me, and my mother got the littlest bit teary when I tried it on.

I've been waiting to try it on; I've had it since June. But it was very important to me to try it on with my mother. I don't have any sisters, my oldest/closest friends live out of town, and I don't have a sister.

It had to be pointed out to me that I'm an only daughter. I've been rather flippant about the whole wedding thing, and I didn't realize that both of my parents are feeling some strong emotions about this. After all, I moved out at 18. I bought my own home three years ago and lived alone in big scary Jacksonville for two years. Why now? I had no idea that your little girl getting married would still be a big deal at ... 35. But it is, so I'm making efforts to keep my parents, who live about an hour away and work what seems to be all the time, in the loop on the process of putting together a sane, meaningful wedding.

But more on that later.

Look, people actually live here!

We have a few people coming for the weekend - seven or eight, actually. I'm freaking out a bit. At first it was, "Bob and Jane are flying down from New York for the Miami game, and they're going to stay with us." Which is great, because this is the couple who got married in Brazil and invited us to stay with them in Cancun this year, so it's definitely our turn to be hospitable. And we have a bed . . . and a mattress, so they get the bed, we get the mattress - it's all good.

But then it was, "Oh yeah, Tom, Dick and Harry are coming up from South Florida, and they're gonna crash with us." A day goes by, "Oh, did I mention John's coming from South Carolina? And Tim from North Carolina - in fact, he got a ticket to the game for me*, so he's staying here, too." And on it went.

Guess who's being quoted there? Not me. And I was always being told after the fact. But it's our house, and these are all actually lovely people, so no biggie.

Except we have no more beds. In fact, at the time, we had no furniture. Seriously, we were watching a kick-ass, 46" 1080i flat screen television** in two camp chairs. We were eating our meals on the back porch, regardless of temperature - because the patio set was the only table! And the only chairs besides camp chairs.

But that would not stop our hospitality. Noooo.

So here we are, two days before people start pouring in, and we're racing around like the proverbial headless chickens - finishing baseboards, painting pantry doors, trying to get that damn shower tile replaced (that's a whole 'nother blog).

Oh, and finally dragging in our couches. And buying an area rug. Bringing in the coffee table we hate because it jumps out and hits people in the shin but it's the only one we have. One room of the house actually looks rather inviting now.

But first, a trip down memory lane. The den when we first moved in:

And then with its floor being laid:

And now, as of this morning:

(Please excuse the different angle; the kitchen's breakfast bar is still covered with construction crap.)

Not bad.


*-Notice that "ticket" in the singular. I'm not going to the game - I'm going to guard the tailgate. I am the coolest wife ever. Just ask Jay.

**-This is Kyle's present to himself that he's been wanting forever. It was agreed upon at least a year ago. And he loves it. Hell, I love it. The picture is amazing.