Hey little sister, what have you done?
Hey little sister, who’s the only one?
Hey little sister, who’s your superman?
Hey little sister, who’s the one you want?
Hey little sister, shotgun!
— Billy Idol, White Wedding

So it’s Friday night at 10, and David is, unfortunately, still at work.  Fortunately for me, though, this allows me to indulge in one of my favorite guilty pleasure shows – Say Yes to the Dress on TLC.

The premise behind this show is that women come to Kleinfeld – a widely known high-end bridal salon in Manhattan – to search for the perfect wedding dress.  Each of them is paired with a “consultant,” which is really just a fancy word for salesperson, and shown multiple dresses in the hopes that one will catch the bride-to-be’s eye (and wallet).

This show is like the ultimate in wedding porn.  Kleinfeld carries thousands of dresses in all styles and price ranges.  That is, assuming your price range starts around $1500.  The brides generally come in with a budget, be it $1500, $3000, or $10,000.  Sometimes, like tonight’s lesbian couple searching for “matching pantsuits,” the budget is unlimited.  This is actually the part of the show that irks me the most: no matter what the stated budget is, the consultants – without fail, always bring in dresses that are out of the bride’s price range.  The goal, of course, is to get the bride to fall in love with one of those dresses, and they count on the absolute madness that surrounds so many women planning weddings – the idea that the day has to be perfect and that every detail matters immensely – to convince her that she must have THIS dress or the wedding will be a disaster.  It’s kind of unsavory, frankly.  And watching the struggle some of these brides and their families go through – one bride’s obviously working class mother agreed to take a second job to afford the out-of-her-price-range dress her daughter wanted –  is a little more reality than this show needs, I think.  It should be pure fantasy.

To be honest, however, part of the appeal in watching this, for me, is to marvel at that very same madness that I just criticized. It’s amazing to me that women will pay thousands of dollars for a wedding dress. I just cannot fathom that.  Even those brides whose wedding budgets would have paid for my law school education with change leftover – I just don’t get it.  It’s one day, you wear the dress for 6 hours, and you never wear it again.  And you can’t do anything else with it, either, except put it in a box and hope you have a daughter who might want to wear it.  I’d rather spend the money to rent a Dippin’ Dots cart.

And I don’t travel in circles where these kinds of things matter, either.  My mother would die if I told her I wanted to spend $2000 on a wedding dress.  I happen to know that Aimee got everything – wedding dress, veil, undergarments, shoes, etc – for under about $700.  And her dress was absolutely perfect for her.  See?My Pictures0018

(That’s hands-down my favorite picture of her, ever.)

And if I were as crafty as Lydia, I’d make my own wedding dress, too.  I absolutely love the pattern she chose.  Oooh, maybe I’ll pay Lydia to make my wedding dress!

Look: there’s no doubt the dresses on this show are, for the most part, beautiful.  And if these women are comfortable spending that kind of money for a dress, and it makes them happy, then more power to them.  I’ll just sit back and enjoy the show.

Random News

Be your own master!
Be your own Jesus!
Be your own flying saucer! Rescue yourself!
Be your own valentine! Free the heart!

— from Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, by Tom Robbins (talk about random . . .)

Man, this blogging thing is hard to keep up with!  I apologize for my absence . . . two Saturdays ago I was down in Richmond for the day watching the kids, and I took my computer with me.  When I packed up to come home, I managed to leave my power cord plugged in at Nate’s, and I wasn’t able to get it back til this past weekend, so that explains much of the dearth of posting (I’ve not yet gotten the courage to blog from work!).

So, what’s new?  I’m reading your blogs, and you’re going on dates and training for new jobs and reporting on your quest to visit 25 different Hooters’ locations (seriously – go read that one) and so many other exciting things, I feel like my life is pretty boring.

In relationship news, David came down to Richmond with me this weekend, and my grandma drove up from Greensboro to meet him.  Everything went great, and we had dinner with Nate and Molly and the kids, and I rolled around on the floor with the kids laughing my fool head off because how could I not?  They are ridiculous.  Later, David said, “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen you happier.”

In a stunning non sequitor, I’ll tell you that David and I have been watching season 1 of The West Wing on DVD at my place and, until recently when it rolled over and started at the beginning again, season 7 on Bravo — via TiVo — at his place.  I own several shows on DVD, but TWW is the only one I’ve watched twice so far, though Friday Night Lights is up next in preparation for the new season (on NBC; season 3 is already airing on a special channel on DirectTV) in February.  What shows can you watch over and over?

I love TWW.  For practically every episode of the first 3 or 4 seasons, a bunch of us would head to our friend Andre’s place to watch as a group every Wednesday.  We’d drink beer and smoke (back then, we all smoked; now almost none of us do) and kid about what it would be like if we were the party in power.  Andre was selected as president; Robert was his chief of staff (because, like Jed Bartlett says, if you trust your best friend with your life and he’s smarter than you, he should be your chief of staff); I can’t remember Nate’s job or Aimee’s (chime in, will you?), but I was always gunning for press secretary.  I wanted to be like CJ.  Robert was never sure that was the job for me, and I can’t remember if I ever convinced him.  He’s right though – I’m a smart girl, but I’m not good at thinking on my feet (which is why I’ll never be a trial lawyer).  Anyway, I also have season 2 on DVD, so we’ll watch that next and wait for Bravo to get around to Season 3.

TiVo is both a blessing and a curse.  I can watch so much that I would otherwise miss, which is great.  But, because I can watch it whenever, I almost never watch stuff the night it airs, so I can’t talk about the shows with people (like Grey’s Anatomy – last week Karen put GA spoilers in her Facebook status and I was still two weeks behind!) until the buzz has already worn off.  But I love that it suggests things for you to watch – David’s TiVo always records Ace of Cakes as a suggestion, and I dig that show.

My fantasy football season is all but done.  It’s all over but the crying now.  I’m in second to last place and it stinks.  I never win.  I was wrong before when I said I’d never made the playoffs in all the seasons I’ve played — I made it once and placed third.  This year I won’t even get close.  Boo.

Thanksgiving is coming!  I love Thanksgiving; it really is my favorite holiday.  David and I are going to my grandparents – everyone will be there, and I can’t wait!  What are your plans?

Dancing With One Star in Particular

Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose.
— Tom Krause

Ok, if Marlee Matlin can dance on TV in front of millions of people, surely I can sing karaoke in a bar in front of 30 drunk people, right? (Which would, hopefully, be a prelude to something more official and public.)

In all seriousness, I’ve never watched much of Dancing With the Stars, and I forgot to watch last night, even though I meant to, but I saw this video today, and it actually brought tears to my eyes. I was so proud of her.

And leaving aside the deafness issue, how hot does she look? She’s in her 40s and has 4 kids; I’m 31 and childless, and I wouldn’t look half that good in that dress. Good for her!

Did You Miss Me? (Or: Houston, Part 1)

There is a growing feeling that perhaps Texas really is another country, a place where the skies, the disasters, the diamonds, the politicians, the women, the fortunes, the football players, and the murders are all bigger than anywhere else.
— Pete Hamill

I’m back, and I have pictures, thanks to Aimee indulging my blogger whims and loaning me her digital camera! I almost bought my own while I was in Texas, but the 8.25% sales tax persuaded me to wait and get it here. There’s too much to tell, I think, for one post, so I’m going to split it up and see how it goes, and I’m exhausted today, so I’ll just start with this:

Things I Learned In/About Texas:

1. It is FLAT

2. There is at least one Sonic in approximately every square mile (we have plenty of Sonic commercials here, but I’d never actually seen a Sonic until I got to Houston)

3. They love gullies:


But a gully, despite the image it might conjure in your head, is really just a low-rent stream or a glorified ditch:


4. They also love donuts. I have never seen so many individual, independently-owned donut places in my life.

5. They have more car dealerships than you can shake a bundle full of sticks at. Driving down I-45 into Houston, you can buy any kind of car you can dream of.

6. I now love America’s Next Top Model. I had never seen it before and was sure it was inane and not worth my time, but Aimee Tivo’d one of the marathons on MTV, and I got so into it, I stayed up way too late last night just so I could see who won before I had to leave this morning. According to that link, a new “cycle” starts this week. I may be in trouble.

7. I may also need to get Tivo. It’s genius and I want it.

8. They have funny stoplights:


But they have normal “stoplight ahead” signs:


Go figure.

9. Without any sense of irony, George Bush Intercontinental Airport is less than a mile from Halliburton.

10. Young Benjamin is supremely handsome:


Monday Night Roundup

“Think as I think,” said a man ,
“Or you are abominably wicked;
you are a toad.”
And after I had thought of it,
I said, “I will, then, be a toad.”
— Stephen Crane, “Think As I Think”

I had a good weekend. I left work a little early Friday and came home and worked out, even though I usually take Fridays off. Didn’t do much that night, just watched a new episode of Friday Night Lights – that, if you don’t already know, is the best show on TV, and there are grumblings that NBC might not renew it for a third season, and to that I say: boo.

Saturday, I headed down to Richmond. Nate was going to take me out for my birthday, but he and Molly (my SIL) were both sick, so I took the kids to the Children’s Museum for an “extra-special day with Mel-Mel,” as the Princess called it. They had never been, and they had so much fun, if you don’t count the part where the Princess got whacked in the eye with a bucket by accident in the fossil digging sandbox. We took a tear-filled trip to First Aid and I had a minor aunt-freak out, worrying whether I should call Nate and if he’d be mad and if she needed to go to the hospital to get stitches and whether, if I didn’t take her to the hospital, she’d wind up scarred for life, literally. I decided it wasn’t that bad after all, and once we got back out there, she got distracted by all there was to do and soon enough, it was all forgotten. Whew.

I have to say, though, I don’t know how parents do it. I only had the two of them, and every 10 seconds I was sure I’d lost the Conductor forever because he was constantly running from one thing to another and I was trying to catch him but not lose sight of the Princess, and at the end of the day, I was exhausted, both from the running all over the place and the anxiety. Karen has four kids, so she does this on a bigger scale on a regular basis, and I think I would just die. My hat is off to you people and I am revising the number of kids I think I want downward.

We met Karen and baby Caroline for dinner at Friendly’s where we had possibly the worst service I’ve ever had at a restaurant, even considering that it was Friendly’s. I don’t stand for poor service – 40 minutes to get macaroni and cheese and hot dogs for the kids, without the waitress coming over once to check on us or let us know there was a hold up in the kitchen? Hell no. – so after speaking with the manager, who was an unprofessional mess, she agreed to take the kids’ meals off our tab. In the end, we actually only paid $10 for 4 meals, because she gave us our meals at half-price; a bargain to be sure, but it wasn’t worth the near melt-down of the Conductor who was so, so hungry (I had ordered their meals right away because I knew it was busy and I wanted to avoid just such a scene). The Princess was remarkably patient and well-behaved, and even leaned over to comfort the Conductor when he was crying. They’re such good kids. Conehead sundaes went a long way toward erasing the memory of waiting so long for dinner, and we all went home exhausted.

I hung out with the kids Sunday morning – they tag-teamed me and begged me to be “the Mel-Mel monster” or “the Kissing Monster” and we just generally goofed around. There is no place in the world that makes me happier than being with them. Things are just easy with them; I don’t worry about anything when I’m hanging out with the two of them. Would you like to see a picture of them? I thought you might:november-20070010.jpg

(Nate said it was ok for me to post their pictures “as long as they get famous,” whatever that means. I think he’s jealous of my site view stats.)

When I got home yesterday, it was just the usual Sunday stuff – laundry and cleaning and whatnot. I ordered The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford on pay-per-view because I’m an awards show junkie and I’m trying to watch as many Oscar-nominated performances as I can before the show on the 24th (and yay – the writers’ strike is over, so the show WILL go on!). I thought it was well done, and Casey Affleck deserved his nomination. Then I watched week 2 of In Treatment on HBO InDemand, and was as impressed as I was with week 1. It’s quite an interesting concept, and Gabriel Byrne may be older than dirt, but he’s still hot.

Oh, before I forget: Those of you in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, don’t forget to vote in the primary tomorrow! I’m not allowed to tell you who I’m voting for or campaign in any way for any candidate because of my job, but I do think it’s super-important to exercise your right to vote, so be sure to vote early and vote often. Oh, wait . . .