30 April 2007

every day

i think the only way for me not to feel useless and wasteful is to do something every day. and i don't mean watch three movies or clean the dishes, which is what i used to mean by it. today, for example, i forced my way through the creative photography handbook even though i really didn't feel like it. i really didn't feel like doing anything, but i'm glad i did if for no other reason than i didn't waste the whole day.

taking memories

i did some research about photography portfolios yesterday, found some good how-to articles but realized this: i don't want to be a photographer.

the reason i want to take photographs is not to get a job or hang in a gallery. i simply want to record this world that is unique to me and document the moments in my life - to capture memories. that is my only purpose.

to this end, i will not go out and try to take good pictures, instead i will always have my little camera with me, i will try to keep my eyes always open, and take a picture whenever i feel inspired of whatever is inspiring me.

the only exception i can think of is weddings. i do love all the lovely details of weddings, and even considered becoming a wedding planner at some point in my life. i think i would like documenting other people moments in that regards. maybe i can volunteer to photograph other people's weddings that are like my recent one and wouldn't have a photographer otherwise.

(i found the picture above of me at my old apartment when i was looking through three years of pictures on my computer. it's weird because i've spent hours organizing these pictures, assigning key-words, but i don't remember every even seeing this one.)

29 April 2007


here's a painting on the wall of my living room:

i made it two christmases ago. we had a bare apartment and wanted to throw a new years party. i remember sitting in the pizza parlor and looking at the giant horrible and expensive painting on the wall and saying i think we could do better than that ourselves. my boyfriend (now husband, i never get tired of saying that) said you know i've always wanted to make my own art for the walls, and i said me too!

so we left and went straight to the art supply store and bought the cheapest and biggest canvases they had and to the hardware store for a couple of cans of paint. we taped butcher paper to the floor and for a week made our own little (actually rather big) masterpieces. and you know, that was the most fun i've ever had. it might be crappy (i've been told that before, by persons who then got very embarrassed when i said i had made it), but i am so proud. every single time i look at that painting i feel it.

maybe i don't know exactly what i want to do with my life. but i do already know a lot of things i'd love to do in my life. that i love to do.

  • taking pictures - god, i really think i'd love to be a wedding photographer.
  • editing and design layout - i spent nights and weekends all by myself happily doing this at the school newspaper.
  • theater - by no means acting, but remember that rush i felt when called a theater person? i worked every weekend and until 1 am most nights, and that's the last time i really felt like a part of something special.
i'd also love to be able to create something special, and maybe it's ok if it's only special to me.

three steps

i have read several things now about painting, photography, sketching, writing, and on just being creative. i've found a pattern in the advice, a 3-step process but not necessarily in that order:

  • learn your tools and how to use them.
  • practice, practice, practice. (or just do it.)
  • have a subject you are passionate about.
i am guessing these steps apply to doing anything creatively. this has given me the greatest sense of relief. because i don't even have to begin to wonder whether i will be any good at anything, i can start by learning and practicing, by doing.

i finished alex's whole journey, and found it very moving (until the last two years, when she stops seeming happy). i thought over and over, that's exactly the way i feel. i started reading her site a few years ago, but this time what i took from it was different. that she got where she wanted to be by simply believing, and bluffing (having boldness and self-worth instead of being scared, as do what i love says), and by working.

i learned that she didn't start out knowing even where to start, she was scared, she was alone. i read a long time ago that she left a "successful career as a corporate executive", but she was really just an executive secretary. would i have the guts to refer to my old job like that? i need to. what's the worse that could happen, someone say, oh you were a secretary? (actually, i think i also have a fear - a hatred - of anything that can conceivably sound pretentious, so much so that i'd even downgrade my actual title to secretary, but i'll deal with that later.)

i think i have also admitted a lot to myself over the past week. like i'm holding myself back from doing things i need to do to feel self-worthy. i know i have a lot more to think through and realize and learn from, but i think i'm off to a good start. i feel crabby, and tired, and scared, but also a little bit at peace.

i am trying to grasp that i can just be me. that's all. and that nothing will make me me except for me. nothing - money, a degree, more time - nothing but me being me. i think this is why i always felt like a fake, no matter what i was doing. i was always afraid, ashamed, embarrassed just to be me. silently, i've known this (look at my blog title: me without me) but i haven't been ready or able to change it until now.

28 April 2007


i have worked long and hard this week. i'm tired of self-reflection. i'm tired of being lonely. i'm tired of eating pancakes because i haven't gone grocery shopping all week. i'm ready for my husband to be home. and i know that, the real work hasn't even begun. at least he will be home tomorrow.

i looked through two years of constant picture taking today to see if there was anything worth showing. anything i could call good. and there wasn't really. but i noticed that the pictures i love, that make me smile, really are of subjects i care about. in other words, my emotions sometimes show in the photograph. now, i really don't know whether an outsider would be able to tell. guess i'll have to show them and ask.


The questions are constant right now: What will make me into what I want to be? I have a degree in journalism and yet, I would never say I am a journalist. Why not? What would happen? Why do I care so much about being judged or “found out” by people I don’t know or care about? How do I define success?

My feelings towards a lot of these issues were instilled in me over years growing up. I heard constantly, you’re smart, you’re pretty. But it was always in a too bad kind of way. Like you’re smart enough to make something of yourself, too bad we don’t have the money, the connections, the know-how, the whatever, to allow you to be successful. I grew up very conflicted: I can be anything I want, except I can’t.

My parents really didn’t know better, that is what they still believe. But I am learning better. It doesn’t matter what school you went to, who you know, where you came from. Those things can help, dramatically sometimes, but all they do is help. They don’t make or break.

My dad is smart. He has good ideas. He is always building, tinkering, making. At one point he had a successful business but he chose to close instead of expanding, because he was afraid of taking risks. He wished his parents had encouraged him, but they never did. He’s voiced that to me and my sister over the years. However, he is also the first one to say don’t do it when we are contemplating anything at all risky. (And I really do mean anything, even driving to the mall at night.) Regardless of what he said, his own regrets, he taught us that safety and security is number one. Well, I’ve learned that safety and security are just concepts, they aren’t even real.

I listened to these quiet limitations for a long time. The first thing I did as an young adult was moved in with a man and married him. I worked the same job for 10 years (my first one out of high school). I bought a house around the corner from my parents (in a city I hated). I never had credit card debt. I saved every year and went on one vacation. I never did anything I wanted to do without careful deliberation and weighing risks against definite benefits. Any surprise I was scared and miserable and deflated? The risks always outweigh the guaranteed benefits, that is why they’re called risks.

Confession: When I was young, I could see myself in a porno more easily than I could see myself married with children. I’m not saying I wish I would’ve done that, only saying why on earth would pursue a path that I never wanted in the first place. Why didn’t I try to become a porn star?

Two years ago, I went out (without my dad) and found an apartment. I moved from my nice brick three-bedroom house in the safe small town I was born in, to an overpriced crappy one-bedroom apartment in the dangerous big city next door. And I’ve never felt so safe or so free or so happy. I left my perfectly-fine can-count-on husband who never made me feel one bit of passion or life and started dating a man that I was pretty sure I shouldn’t be dating and that I was completely unsure whether would be there the next day, but one that made me feel more passionate and alive than I had ever been. He made me feel poetic. I expected heartbreak, but I decided not to care.

For the past year, I haven’t been a secretary. I’ve been at home, with really no structure at all to my time. I’ve been able to do whatever I wanted to do. And when people ask at dinner or a party what do you do, it causes more stress and embarrassment than ever. Because the answer I feel inside is, Nothing. Failure.

But what I’ve done is this: Reading and writing blogs. Taking photographs. Traveling. Helping my boyfriend with his business and legal issues. Organizing and cleaning the house. Baby-sitting. Above in order of quantity of time spent. So why isn’t my answer: reader, writer, photographer, traveler, or assistant?

My purpose in re-telling these stories is to remember that I took chances, and I became what I wanted in my personal life. I wasn't easy or smart or safe, but it has been amazingly successful. I have never been so happy or felt so right about my love life. That has been my saving grace when I really look at my life and know I haven’t even tried career-wise. Personal life: 100%. Professional life: 0%. Well, that’s 50% average, so I am doing ok. But I’m not doing ok and that has to change. And I have a feeling if I apply what I’ve learned in my personal life to my professional life, it will also be successful – whatever I decide that is.

what i've learned

warning: this may not seem revolutionary to anyone but me.

art doesn't just happen, it has to be inspired. you start with a picture in your head that you want to come out, or a subject that you just love (or feel strongly about), or a statement that you want to make.

i paid my $27.70 (for book late fees!) fine at the library yesterday and got some books and have actually been pouring through them, not just waiting for the information to come to me through osmosis.

i picked up design and composition secrets of professional artists. instead of the rules i thought i would learn (don't divide in halfs), i just flipped through and read about the art i liked. i noticed that none of these artists - real, professional, trained and talented artists - just sit down and make a fabulous artwork. they all have long, detailed processes.

some start with thumbnail drawings of the abstract shapes and add and delete until it's pleasing. one did a photo, then a realistic painting, then the third real painting expressing his feelings. one lady had a little rectangle cut in cardboard that she used as a viewfinder, then sketched pages of different views of her subject before picking one. know what her subject was? three lemons.

i read should i do what i love, which i know sounds like some pathetic self-help book, but it was actually full of practical tips and advice and different ways of looking at things. like you don't want to start over, you want to transition.

i also read about the scanning and digital pictures, and i really learned. with a notebook and pen and everything. also, the history of photography, which is pretty interesting. it seems like cameras came about because of people wanting to be able to make making art easier.

i'm continuing to read alex's chronicles, because it makes me feel like i am normal. maybe everyone is afraid of their insides at first. maybe all of us have doubt. also reminds me that simply enough: if i don't do it, i won't do it.

so, i feel like i'm onto the right path here. i need help. i need to learn. i need to undo and change. if these great artists have to work so hard to get a painting right, i certainly shouldn't expect to do it effortlessly.

27 April 2007

what i care about

i've experienced these periods of soul-searching and realization before, but they were different. each time before i'd feel excited and empowered, now i feel just scared and sad. i know that if i don't do it this time, i never will.

i'm haven't even really been sure what it is, but i think it's being something i can be proud of. i hated passionately being a secretary, not because of the work - it was easy and i was good at it and i enjoyed my work friends. i hated it because it defined me, because i knew i was taking the easy way out.

i knew inside i was more than a good secretary. i knew i was hiding behind something i wasn't. i was working as a secretary, but that's not all i was and i pretended that that's all i was even while i was longing to be something more.

i've never cared about being successful or making a lot of money. i still don't. what i care about is doing something that i am proud of and not feeling like i wasted my life.

nutty turkish martini

the white rainbow closed for the season and just never reopened, gone with it my favorite cocktail of all time: the nutty turkish martini.

i really am not a martini person at all, so i don't know if this is something widely available or their specialty. but this is the best drink ever, better even than the pink drinks my sister and i used to make and get drunk on at my old house (i miss those days). i have to get that recipe from her sometime, but for now, here are the ingredients for the nutty turkish as posted on the now defunct white rainbow's website (don't you love the internet?):

Nutty (Musa) Turkish Martini
Vanilla Vodka, Amaretto, and Frangelico
with a cherry garnish

one day i will experiment with the proportions and let you know, but i suspect however you combine it will taste pretty good...

26 April 2007

learned creativity?

i was in bed a few minutes ago wondering whether a person can learn to open her eyes. is it something one gets better at with practice? and i remembered something my sister said to me earlier and suddenly it made some sort of sense within me.

she said that even if i didn't have an ounce of creativity or talent within me, i am smart enough to fake it well enough to come out with something just as good or better than other people could. not her exact words, and i think we were talking about writing and i am transferring it to photography.

i think she may be right, i have always felt that although i am not at all original, i am a very good copier. by this i don't mean stealing people's work, i mean when i did love to draw as a child, i was always drawing faces from magazine ads. and in college i loved rewriting all of my friends essays even though it was painful to do my own. i think this allowed me to be enjoy my creativity and protected me from the feelings of embarrassment and failure that came from doing something original.

what it made me realize is that instead of worrying about whether i will ever be able to see the pictures i want to take, i should concentrate on learning to fake it. learning composition and color and studying artists who move me and learning what i like and don't like. and emulating what i like. and even if i can never get my eyes to truly open, maybe i can learn to create something that i am happy with.

i don't know how to see

i read that your first assignment in a photography class is often to lock yourself in the bathroom and take a whole roll of film.

so, before i got into the bath today, i tried it. i looked at everything in that bathroom and i tried to "see". and maybe i just don't have it in me, because i didn't see anything. and then i thought maybe i saw some things, the way the light streaked, the was the towels looked like abstract art, so i took pictures. and the best from the roll are these crappy, obvious pictures:

the article said "Opening your eyes is required for photography regardless of where you are. Closed eyes in even the loveliest of places still lead to dull photos. Open eyes even in the crappiest of locations leads to brilliant work."

i am ready to believe that. but how do i learn to open my eyes? i'm not sure you can even learn, it seems like you either have a creative vision or you don't.

investing in myself

if i am going to do anything, i need to invest in myself.

i used to think this meant buying a better camera, or getting a graduate degree. last night i realized that i have been thinking for a long time that when we have more money, i will buy a better camera, take a photography class, and then maybe i can be a photographer.

but the truth is, i haven't invested any time into simply learning to use my camera. i take a lot of pictures and often complain that i'm not recording what i am seeing, but i haven't read a book or tried to experiment to figure out why that is. to learn how to make what i see be what i record. i haven't invested time and work into what i want to do. i've used not having money as an excuse for not just doing what needs to be done. i want to fix this.

this is not original, even to me, i think i've said or at least thought all of this before and more than once. but i've never done it. maybe i won't now either, maybe this is another temporary mind-clearing, that i'll forget when jack come back into town. i'm going to try to change my approach, to just do. that's what i haven't tried yet.

money is the easy way out. also the least effective. in the past, whenever i've been in ass-kicking mode, i'd go to the bookstore and buy the book i thought would make me into something. i've just gathered these books from around the house, all unread, and it's quite a little collection: the backstage guide to stage management, starting your career as a freelance writer, graphic design portfolio-builder, digital photography handbook, introduction to magazine writing. all unread.

buying isn't the answer, work is. i've been saying for so long that i don't know what i want to do, the truth is i do, i just don't know how to do it. and i'm the only one who can figure that out, and it's going to take hard work and dedication. maybe i should start by reading these books?

like i said, this is not original, i'm not the first to go through this, but i'm just starting to admit it in my own life. for years i thought i would follow my dream, become someone different, after graduating, when i had time, because i was so busy with work and school i never had time. so here's my fancy journalism degree, and i still have no idea how to be a writer.

and i've had so much time in the last year, and i filled it with other things, taking care of my boyfriend, and keeping a clean house. visiting my family. watching movies. anything, i am disappointed in myself that i did this, essentially wasted all that time. so many people would love the opportunity to not have to work and i've squandered it. i felt selfish, felt like since i was able to stay home, it was my duty to always have the sink free of dishes and the clothes washed. since i moved so far away, it was my duty to spend a week a month back home. i want to change, i want to start.

i want my mindset to change. i need to stop being embarrassed of my dreams. i need to stop being embarrassed and scared that i won't accomplish anything. that i won't be any good at what i try to do and that it has taken me so long. i need to own up to my dreams and pursue them and also own up to my fears. that's the only way it's going to work.


i started this blog because i needed to write. i had all of this inspiration and feelings and thoughts to sort through and i needed a safe place to do it. when people i knew found out, i changed the address. it to me, was a diary of secrets, that i didn't even have to worry about someone finding under my bed. that i never wanted to censor.

it wound up doing more than it's duty, gave me a place to be expressive and creative and to document the process of coming alive again. somehow, over the last year and a half, this blog changed. the style and content both changed and lately, i haven't really been saying anything at all.

i don't know the root cause of this yet, but since i don't have an audience, i think i have been censoring, holding back, for myself.

25 April 2007


about two months ago, i got a census survey in the mail. i filled it out, and in the spot where it asked for my occupation i got confused. the truth is i haven't worked a real job in almost exactly a year. i haven't been a secretary in a whole year and i never ever wanted to be one in the first place. the most accurate description i guess would have been housewife, but at the time we weren't married. so, i put artist. and i smiled and slipped it in the envelope and that was that.

about one month ago, i filled out the form for our marriage license. there was that occupation spot again and my same dilemma. i thought about artist and how good that had felt to write and how i wanted to write it again but instead i wrote secretary and i although i wrote it quickly, it didn't feel good at all.

and i'm not sure why it even mattered to me so much, why i couldn't just write down whatever the hell i wanted, and the only difference between the two forms is that for the first one i was alone and for the second one people would have seen that i was lying, that i wasn't an artist at all but just a secretary. and that would be not just embarrassing but humiliating.

i've been thinking about why i haven't worked towards my goals and dreams, not one bit of work towards them in a year of having absolutely nothing else to do. and the only thing i can come up with is that it's embarrassing. i'm so unsure of myself. i want to keep these dreams secret, because i think they are foolish, because then if i fail no one will know.

when i am alone, when i lived alone, i wrote so much, i made art (or tried to). but i just can't do it in front of anyone, even someone i love and trust so much it hurts, someone i know will understand and be crazily supportive and even proud. one time i got really drunk, i pulled out my computer and showed jack some of the things i did when he was away. some collages, a website, photographs. and he went on about how wonderful it all was and that he had no idea and why didn't i tell him what i was doing. and i never showed him anything again.

and i know all this is inside of me and i just don't know how to deal with it. what is wrong with me and how do i make it go away?

chasing dreams

i know some things about following dreams. secondhand, true, but sometimes the best advice to listen to is the advice you would give to a friend.

jack's been chasing his for some time now, he's put in more time and effort than you could imagine. we've given up a lot, made "bad" choices to nurture this dream, waited and trusted and hoped and, mainly, worked. some days it looks good, within reach, and some days bring setbacks. and occasionally, it's all the way back to square one. it's scary, very scary.

i've never said anything less to him than how proud and sure of his abilities i am. when he asks what am i doing, am i crazy? my reply is only if you don't try to do what you love. when he talks about whether we'll regret him quitting his high-paying job, if this dream doesn't work out, i said i'd rather be broke than have him doing something he hates for a living.

i'm proud of myself for encouraging this in him, because it's the exact opposite of what i've been taught people should do. we weren't raised to follow dreams. it's not sensible or stable or security or saving. but it's is liberating. it's exiting. and it's authentic.

this dream, this pursuit of happiness, if you will, is one of my favorite things about my husband. it's inspiring - he makes me feel like i can live my dream, like anything is possible. if it would crash tomorrow for him, it wouldn't really matter, because here's the thing about chasing you dreams: what matters is that you try as hard and for as long as you can, because until you try, you have already failed.

how soon is now?

the sky is grey and dark again. rain and cold are trying to come back. one of my favorite songs is playing on the stereo, how soon is now by the smiths. it fits the weather.

last night, jack called as usual right before they closed the doors on his airplane. three hours later, at 3 am, he still hadn't called to say his one hour flight had arrived. i experienced a fear that i can't describe. i told myself over and over he was just delayed, but i really couldn't see how such a short flight could last that long. it was, and around 3:30 he called to say he was back in the city they left -- the plane had to return for refueling after not being able to land due to bad weather. i don't know what i would do if something terrible really happened to him. how do people live through it? this must be the biggest downside of love. i didn't fall asleep until 5:30 am.

i watched roman holiday last night, and loved it. i finally see what is so special about ms. audrey (above). on the other side of the viewing spectrum, here are three of my favorite youtube videos. embarrassingly, they are all pretty pervy, however all also hilarious. you've been warned:

What do we always tell them?

The perfect gift for any occasion?

Sloths on SNL

24 April 2007

ambition in the making

so, so, so, i have been feeling ambition-less for quite a while yet, and i have also not fully dealt with the career and job scene, which terrifies me. getting a job - the interviews, the starting something new, the not knowing anyone, the selling yourself part, specifically, i find terrifying.

i'm shy by nature, and although i know i am a hard worker, learn quickly, and am generally a pleasing kind of person, i also don't think there's anything special about what i can or can't do. i feel pretty much like everyone else knows something more and better than i do. i felt this way all through college and for the entire 10 years i worked for my old company, despite praise, promotions etc.

my excuse for not pursuing a fulfulling career for 10 years was that my day job allowed me to pay for night college. i saw no point in trying to advance in that field when my heart wasn't in it and i didn't care about making more money. but i've had the degree for two years now and still haven't even tried to get a job that i might love.

oh, this last year flew by, true, and add to the first paragraph a new city to get used to, and excuses such as having no car, kids to take care of for the summer, traveling for weeks at a time, and my boyfriend - husband - needing someone to help with his start-up company, and i have pretended to feel completely justified in not doing anything career-wise.

but in the back of my head, i know it, it's there and needs to be dealt with. so, this will be the year it gets done. soul-searching done. time to network, pursue opportunities, learn more and work hard towards getting what i want.

22 April 2007

it's his crazy ex, not mine

priceless and hilarious article on what not to do when dealing with a divorced man. or maybe just hilarious to me because i do almost every one of the things they advise against...

i wish i would have read it a long time ago, but, really, would i have listened?

21 April 2007


last night i watched a movie about dreaming. this morning there was an article "how to interpret your dreams" in the new allure. and i just found this tiny fragment that i saved from a magazine when i was about 11 and scanned into my computer a few months ago:

i dream almost every night, and usually again when i wake up and fall back asleep. i've always had vivid dreams, always in color. lots of nightmares too. interestingly, i read today that 2 out of 3 dreams are nightmares. i think mine are 50/50, so i guess i'm lucky.

i dream crazy shit sometimes, like i'm one of the girls in the girls next door or that my husband is cheating or that i'm wandering through mazes. i used to dream a lot about protecting my sister and brother, having to kill people who were trying to hurt us. i also dream a lot about silly mundane stuff, like arranging furniture or packing or grocery shopping.

also, often in my dreams people look like other people i know. like my brother's girlfriend in my dream will look like a schoolmate i had in junior high, but i'll know that she really is my brother's girlfriend. you know? or my dad will look like a guy i used to work with, but it's really my real dad? i know it doesn't make much sense, but i'll tell jack, you were in my dream last night, but you looked like my ex, but in my dream i knew was you. does that happen to anyone else?

more movie semi-reviews

three good movies this week. i know it seems like i watch a lot of movies, but this is what happens when you have no tv, as in channels that you can turn on and flip. whenever i watch tv it is movies.

the holiday.

i loved this movie. it cheered me up even before the sun came out. i might have to own it to watch whenever i feel down...

the science of sleep.

some of this movie i loved, other things about it disappointed me.

conversations with other women.

good movie, but it made me sad.

20 April 2007


remember that? it's gone for good...

today is utterly gorgeous. for the first time in months. spring is here finally. seagulls are calling, people are walking, and the little shops have even put their wares outside...

it's such happy weather, how can you not be?

how to have a city hall wedding

this big, long post is all about getting married at city hall... the wonderful picture above that i found on thomas hawk's flickr page was i think the eye-opener for me that a city hall wedding could be beautiful and elegant.

when we officially -- meaning that sparkly ring -- decided to get married, i knew i wanted to do it right away and that we didn't want some massive thing.

what i pictured was a quiet celebration of love, secretly imagining just the two of us present. but whenever i started to actually plan it, worries inevitably came up about families being insulted, spending a lot of money, and my tiny dreams evolving into a big, nasty thing. so much so that six months passed and nothing happened.

now, since i am a very research-y kind of girl, i spent way too much time looking for information on simple city hall type weddings. surprisingly i didn't find all that much information on the www. maybe 'cause city hall weddings are less likely to have their own personal wedding sites with stories of how the bride and groom met? not knowing what to expect, i imagined the worse: impersonal and rushed ceremony in an ugly office room.

and almost all of what i found about "eloping" referred to expensive destination weddings in exotic places. i briefly considered our favorite vacation of all time place, puerto vallerta, but i was rather turned off by the idea of having to have the actual getting really married wedding either before or after the pretty but fake wedding in mexico. and all the hoopla to make the mexican wedding real would take away from the simplicity of it. now, if you don't mind this, dreams has an unbelievable special with a free "wedding" with stay.

i also looked into las vegas, and although i think the drive-through (watch it) or elvis (watch it, ok the elvis one is kinda awesome) but, it just isn't my type. what really struck me about all of the pictures that i saw from vegas chapels were the empty pews. i figured all of those empty seats would make me feel lonely and maybe regret not having a bunch of people fill them. the only two places in vegas that i really could have seen myself getting married: valley of fire and my own hotel room.

i already warned that i think way too much about things. in the end, at our next "can't wait to get married" talk, i suggested that we go and get the marriage license and that perhaps that would be the catalyst we needed. so the next day, we did.

it was this easy:

on wednesday, we walked to city hall, filled out two forms, and handed over a $24 dollar check. valid in three days and for sixty days. now, on the form was a space (which we originally left blank) for when and where your wedding would be held. when the city hall lady saw it, she said that we could get married on saturday (shortening the wait period) if we wanted to do it then and there. and i think that's what we were waiting for -- for everything to just fall into place. we met with the jp for 5 minutes and walked home so excited.

on thursday, i cleaned the house, and i'm talking mopping here.

on friday morning, i went to ann taylor and bought the dress. it was so cute the lady helping me with all the dresses -- they do have some cute dresses -- asked if it was a special occasion and was shocked when i said, yes, my wedding tomorrow.

on friday afternoon, we walked to our little jewelry store and picked out bands that were in stock in our size. now, something funny happened with these bands, i started out thinking of them as placeholders until we had time and money to find something better, and now i wouldn't trade it for the world.

on friday evening, jack went out to pick out a new shirt and buy a couple of bottles of champagne.

on saturday, we walked over to city hall and got married. we had just a few people with us, and they all brought cameras. now, the unexpected part here was that instead of holding the ceremony in the dingy office, the jp took up upstairs to the stage of a splendid auditorium, i mean really beautiful murals covering the walls. it really took my breath away (we were giddy already). and the vows he read were the most beautiful, sweet, perfect vows i could imagine.

afterwards, we walked home, put on some music and drank champagne, went out for lunch at a swanky place, drank more champagne after our few guests left and relaxed as mr and mrs. here, we could have headed off on a little trip, but honestly when you travel as much as we do, staying home in your own bed is a luxury.

the thing is this was exactly the wedding of my dreams. the place was gorgeous, the vows could have been written exactly for us, i felt beautiful, and i married my dream man. we are lucky to live in a really old (1623!) little town with beautiful old buildings and live in the middle of downtown where everything is within walking distance. but, if you are even considering a small wedding at least check out your city hall before deciding. i know there's somewhat of a stigma about city hall about the shotgun weddings and all, but please. ask them to see the places available or explore on your own and then request that your ceremony be held there. also ask about times available. since we were married at a time they would otherwise be closed, it was very private. and it was so inexpensive: under $500 including my dress. (although someone else graciously picked up the dinner tab.)

my only (fully anticipated) wish is that i had hired a photographer. friends just can't do the same and it was such a special day...


here is the best resource that i found on getting married at city hall: an article aptly titled how to get married in city hall. and, if you do decide to go overboard, nothing wrong with that, here are ways 1 and 2 to do it awesomely.

and here is a small selection of the millions of sites about las vegas weddings, only the ones i found helpful enough to bookmark:

some other eloping links:

19 April 2007

good, bad, and ugly

the good, the bad, and the ugly.

so cute, and i am not the western girl but i guess spaghetti westerns are different. classic music and i think a fun must-see.

and who knew clint looked like this 50 years ago?


one of my favorite books ever by luke davies, but as expected the movie was so disappointing, i turned it off mid-way. read the book instead - it's absolutely amazing.

pretty devils.

can't really give an objective comment here, because i love audrey tatou enough to like any movie she's in (even dirty, pretty things).

17 April 2007


i noticed a while ago that although i am always missing home and ready to go, when i get here i invariably start getting depress-y. almost right away. it happened again this time, and i think i;ve figured out why:

this is the view from my bedroom, where i spend almost all of my time- work and play.

this is the sky (at 1 pm!) in general for the last, oh six months at least. this is the brightest it gets, can you understand that?

who wouldn't get depressed? while this place is absolutely GORGEOUS from july to october, winter is a real blues-er. combined with a large and growing pile of bills that we will only be able to pay if we don't eat again for six months and a sink full of week-old dishes and i am ready to cry.

16 April 2007

gabriel garcia marquez

one hundred years of solitude

this is his second book i've read and each one i read through madly. i find his strange tone and manner compelling, along with his habit of writing fantastic and wonderous events in a very traditional literature, almost historical, kind of way. i picked this up in the airport and read it twice. it took rather long to read, and i had to keep referring back to the family tree because i'd get the characters mixed up- they mostly all have the same names.

of love and other demons was also excellentlly wierd.

side note: i love, love wikipedia.


i saw this helen keller quote on a picture frame in hallmark and it sort of fit with how my life's been going and the attitude i want to have towards it:

life is either a daring adventure or nothing.

we're moving again, in less than two months, and i am glad. i have an unhealthy feeling of exitment about it, same as when we moved here.

this has turned into a disaster of nothing, and i want the daring adventure, so at least i am getting another chance to start over, somewhere i don't know and that doesn't know me.

here's a list for now, little things i want to do in my life, things that are oh so easy to forget:

  • get interesting
  • be at least half vegetarian
  • exercise
  • wear pretty clothes when there's no real reason too
  • get a graduate degree
  • take art/photography classes
  • work at a theater
  • connect with people
  • pay off credit cards
  • learn to sketch

i know i'll be allright anywhere, with this man, and happy even with the nothing, and that knowledge scares me.

03 April 2007

the perfect day

the perfect day turned out to be impossible to plan. it had to just happen. and it did. just a simple day of love and celebration. of champagne and happiness. of sweet spring dresses and no ties.

and look at these gorgeous words that were spoken:

You are now taking into your care and keeping the happiness of the one person in the world whom you love best. You are adding to your life not only the affection of each other, but also the companionship and blessing of a deep trust as well. You are agreeing to share strength, responsibilities and to share love.

Marriage is a beautiful tribute of your faith in each other. Henceforth you belong to entirely each other. You will be one in mind, one in heart, and one in affection. Whatever sacrifices you may have to make to preserve this common life, always make them generously. May then, this love in which you have joined your hands and hearts today, never fail but grow deeper and stronger as the years go on.

and later:

Here life is touched by love and love by life, radiating joy like the warmth from fire. Here now, between J and K, lies hidden all t
he future of their lives together.

May that future be blessed with deepening love. May they trust each other wholly, as they trust themselves, so that together they are equal to the needs of their tomorrows. May they be at home wherever they dwell, and gather wisdom from all the seasons of their lives.

and when i look at this man, i know this is how it's supposed to be. i look at him and i could cry because i am so proud and happy and in love. he is perfect for me.