Monthly Archives: June 2011

Love is Love.

I interrupt this frivolous blog to bring you an important message.  Feel free to tune out if you were hoping for a diatribe on save-the-date etiquette (which I totally have questions on…but now’s not the time).

Richie and I released our engagement announcement today.  And we waited until now for a very specific reason.  As I type this, same sex marriage is being put to the Senate floor for a vote in New York.

Although I have strong beliefs across the board, there are very few political issues that I speak about publicly.  Coming from a family I love that happens to be filled with staunchly opposing political viewpoints, I’ve learned to shut my yap & just enjoy playing dominoes with the people I absolutely adore.  Because at the end of the day, they’re so much more than a party ticket.  Nothing I say will change their minds, just as nothing they say will change mine.  And instead of the frustration of trying again and again to craft the perfect argument that will cause some big “a ha!” moment where they’ll all see why my perspective clearly makes the most sense, I learned a long time ago that I don’t need someone to agree with me to make me “right”.  And when you really let go of that quest for approval of your opinion, you’re free to just love and appreciate other people, exactly where they are.

That being said, there are times when it’s important to take a stand.  When sitting in silence legitimately hurts another person.  I have too many gay friends not to stand up and say that equality matters.  I’ve watched them be mocked behind their backs, rejected by family, passed over for employment, turned down for adoptions.   I’m not speaking theoretically, I’ve seen every one of those examples first hand.  And it breaks my heart. 

So why is the word Marriage important, versus a Domestic Partnership or a Civil Union?  Very simply, our country tried “Separate but Equal” and we saw how well that turned out with Jim Crow Laws.  The truth is, separate is never equal.  It’s separate.  It separates.  It inherently teaches our children that one group of people are of a different class than another. 

I believe our grandchildren will look back at this time in history with some shame, and that saddens me.  It saddens me in the way our country’s discrimination towards women prior to the Suffrage Movement and, more poignantly, the dark blemish our practice of slavery left on our Nation’s history saddens me.   

All this to say that today, as this vote goes to the Senate, I’m encouraged.  I feel the excitement, the ground swell of change.  I feel an awakening and an awareness of an evolving generation that says “enough is enough”.  For the first time, I think progress is truly imminent.

So we chose to celebrate our engagement by standing up and saying something:

Love is love.

-Rachel

UPDATE 06/24/11 10:51 PM ET: GAY MARRIAGE PASSES IN NEW YORK!!!!  New York is now the 6th (& largest) state in the Union to adopt gay marriage!  Here’s my favorite quote: “when Republican Roy McDonald famously defended his unexpected decision, saying “fuck it, I don’t care what you think. I’m trying to do the right thing” — the scale in favor of gay marriage seemed to tip.”

What an amazing day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Heinous dresses.

I’m back in town from my first weekend away from Richie since the engagement.  Missed him!  I spent time with my family; Richie had the “work” assignment of covering Ronnie Mund’s appearance at a strip club in Indy.  Tough day at the office, eh?

While I was home, I finally had the face-to-face chance to sit down with my sisters annnnnnnnd ask them to be my bridesmaids! 🙂  I don’t want a big crazy wedding party- just my two sisters & one of my childhood best friends, Cyndi. 

It’s got me thinking dresses & I thought I’d bring the debate to you guys because you’re awesome at this stuff.  Generally I despise bridesmaid dresses (no offense, Cyn- I loved* the dress I wore as your Maid of Honor and am going to wear** it all the time).

Here are the priorities: 

-I want the three of them to look and feel beautiful & elegant.

-I want the dress to be appropriate for different ages, my sisters are (mumblecough) years older than me (I was a flower girl in one sister’s wedding & a 10 yr old bridesmaid in the others) and I don’t want them to feel like their wearing something out of the juniors section that they’re uncomfortable in.

-I want colors that complement some of the design elements.  One thing we’re dealing with is a unique shade of blue in the wall behind us and some centerpieces we’re looking at that are made of old amber/brown glass.  So maybe in the neutral/blush colors?

-I don’t want them to spend a boatload of money.

What do you guys think about using three related colors for dresses rather than them matching?  Like different shades of the same basic color.  What about doing that AND using three different style dresses so each person looks their best?  But then how do you tie them together?  Use the same material maybe?  And how do you coordinate it with the groomsmen?  I feel like the whole matching cummerbund thing is very prom-esque.

I’m prepared for your genius thoughts on all things bridesmaid dressy.  Go.

Use these for some quick inspiration:

 

The dresses are awful enough to have distracted me from the shotgun the first 3 times I looked at this pic.

 

Where the "bridesmaid dress/ curtain" comparitive originated.

 

Perhaps camo IS the best option. At least no one can see you.

 

*read: theoretically appreciated

**read: remember it fondly

Cake & eat it too!

I’m going to be honest & say that aside from the ring, the wedding planning component I’m most excited about is cake shopping.  Mostly the eating part of the cake shopping.

Let’s talk wedding cakes.  I have questions.  And you guys always seem to have answers.

First off, is the cupcake fad over? Or is that still happening?  I like the portability of this dessert option, but have concern over A) triteness and B) over-it factor for our work friends.  I don’t want the wedding cake to be a tired extension of Cupcake Wednesdays.

Second, can you go with any flavor or are there rules about this?  For instance, I could live on chocolate.  Richie could live on peanut butter.  Can we just have some kind of crazy chocolate peanut butter cake or is that way too out there?  Wait, If we did that, wouldn’t we need to have some sort of non-peanut option for allergic people?  I feel like 74% of the population is allergic to peanuts (source: made up).  Can you have a cake that is all different flavors?  Or then is everyone cutting into each tier to get to the kind they like, the way I would with an unmarked box of chocolates?

Third, umm, can we schedule tastings with dozens (hundreds?) of bakeries?  And if so, uh, how am I just now finding out about this?  And why aren’t more people regularly taking advantage of free cake?!  I actually went out and bought a piece of cake last week when I clearly should have just flashed the bling & begged to be fed.

I’m just not into the giant, flowery, gaudy, drawbridge & princessy looking mountains of frosting.  And I’m not even exaggerating.  Please tell me at least one of you has seen My Big, Fat, Gypsy Wedding.  Because if I don’t post this recurring monstrosity, the terrorists will have won. 

Yep. That's Ken & Barbie on there. And their friends I think. Subtle, just like I like it.

Thoughts on more non-traditional/less weddingy looking cakes? 

Sweetly*,

Rach

*thought ” Fondantly,” might be too much of a stretch

Mambo #5

Richie & I have (mumblecough) years between us.  The only time I *ever* notice a difference from the age gap is in our taste in music.  If the words “Apache, Jump On It” mean something to you, you’re totally on Team Richie*.  If the words “Crash Into Me” mean anything to you, you’re Team Rach.  I expect the lot of you to print up t-shirts declaring your loyalty & post them on my fb page.  Just a suggestion.

Our Venn Diagram slightly overlaps at 80s new wave, 90s hair metal, the rare happy rap and Smashing Pumpkins.  So mostly we listen to Howard in the car, cause that’s the one station we completely agree on.

It’s hard!  I’m a musician!  Music is HUGELY important to me!  And when I share a song that absolutely crushes me, completely breaks my heart, it’s like sharing an intimate little piece of myself.  So when it’s met with a passive “meh”, I almost take it personally, like you’re not taking a minute to understand me better, to see why this is so important to me, to find the beauty in it.  I know, I’m weird.  Sigh.  Maybe it’s a musician thing?  The stuff that moves him is WAY old school hip hop.  Like the origins of hip hop, which I’m told is really historically important- and I’m certain he’s right.  I’m just more into where it evolved TO than the very basic beginnings that sound like the pre-programmed beats on my first casio keyboard (he’s so gonna kick my butt for saying that :))   The point is, our taste is so divergent that I literally thought about putting something in my vows about trying really hard to learn to tolerate his music.  He didn’t find that so cute.

I’ve been thinking about songs a lot lately. It’s particularly weird as a singer/songwriter to analyze music for a big, emotional event like a wedding.  For instance- a completely lame verse in the middle of an otherwise amazing song can totally turn me off.   Sometimes the emotionality of a song’s chord structure is so powerful to me that I completely miss the horrendous word choice.

And sometimes the memory of a song is so great that you never took a minute to listen to the inappropriate lyrics  (anyone see the Arrested Development episode called “Afternoon Delight”?).  Here’s an unfortunate example of that- I was thinking about the father/daughter dance.  I remember being a kid, standing on my dad’s feet while he danced me around the room wailing an overdramatic version of the Sinatra classic “Strangers in the Night” while I giggled hysterically.  That’s my song with my dad- always makes me smile when I hear it.  When I mentioned it to Richie, he found the lyrical content slightly disturbing for a father/daughter dance.  And he’s right!!!  I’ve never noticed one lyric.  But a song about a secret torrid love affair is a little bit creepy for a dad and daughter to dance to.  Sorry pops, I know it’s gonna creep you out now, too.

I was also thinking about a non-traditional song to walk down the aisle to.  Something personal, that encapsulates our relationship and hits my heart.  I’ve got a couple ideas, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on great walk down the aisle songs because there is just not a chance in hell “here comes the bride” will be played at my wedding.

To recap your homework for the comment section of this blog, I need the following suggestions from you:

1) Good father/daughter songs

2) Unique & meaningful walk down the aisle songs

3) Oh, and some fun, right after we just got married & we’re walking out songs

Thanks guys.  Your help really does make this all easier.

Rach

PS- I just named this blog Mambo #5 so I wouldn’t be the only one with that horrendous song stuck in my head.  Sorry.

*EDITOR’S (fiance’s) NOTE:  Richie is insisting I include his clarification: “Apache from Sugar Hill Gang sucks – reminds me of Carlton! Apache from the Incredible Bongo Band is pure old school!”

Rings & Things.

We’re back from Philly!  We had an awesome time (& awesome cheesesteak).  While we were there, we visited our pals at Steven Singer to talk wedding bands.

Let me say this to start: I’m not a jewelry-crazy chick.  No, really.  I’ve never been spoiled with jewelry in my life, and while I think it’s all pretty, it’s just never been a financial reality or better yet- priority- for me.  I have one diamond necklace I bought myself a zillion years ago, but generally, I dig sh*tty street jewelry that looks cool and different.  So for me to be this mesmerized by a diamond ring is, in fact, out of character.  But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t stare at my sparkly engagement ring pretty much 90% of the day.

Disclaimer over.  Now I will proceed.

I love Steven Singer (http://ihatestevensinger.com).  Mostly because of the personalized VIP service (and sort of because of the free wine and cookies).   We wanted to pop in & discuss wedding bands (and have free wine & cookies).

We started with Richie.  He needed something simple and a little edgy.  And while he entertained the idea of black diamonds for a solid minute, the truth is, he’s just not a blingy guy.  He was pretty much “meh” on all the rings he tried on until this one:

Richie's wedding ring!

And he got the “THIS is the one” chills.

Look how married he looks!!!

Done deal.  Guys are so easy!

Next it was my turn. And here’s the thing- I LOVE my engagement ring.  It is- without question- the most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen. It’s an utterly blinding perfect diamond in the most delicate, antiquey, unique setting I could dream of.  It’s so beautiful just how it is, I feel like a wedding band is gonna eff it up.  Wait, it’s high time I unveiled the ring so we can have a proper conversation about it.  Side note: I’ve learned (through A LOT of practice this last month) that it’s pretty much impossible to photograph a diamond & capture how crazy sparkly it is.  So this is as good as I can get:

I just died again, looking at it.

See what I’m saying?!  It’s perfect how it is!  I tried on a few bands that fit the ring and it just changed the balance and shape I fell in love with.  So I was ready to write off the whole wedding band thing all together.  It’s not like it makes me more or less married & I love my ring as is.  Plus, it’s not like I need more diamonds.

But then cooler heads prevailed.  What the eff was I thinking?  Of course everyone needs more diamonds.  What I needed was a solution, which I found in the suggestion of the “right hand ring”.  Basically, this is the deal- you get a small wedding band that you use for the ceremony that looks beautiful enough to wear alone on your right hand.  You can also wear it on your left hand if you’re going somewhere you don’t want to bring the big ‘ole rock to.  Truly an ingenious solution.

Our friends at Steven Singer brought me a ton of cool bands.  Ultimately, the one I liked most wasn’t an exact match to my engagement ring (although diamonds…kind of match diamonds), but it was a nice compliment to the ring that could stand on its own.  In fact, the more I looked at it, the more I loved it.  Check it out!

So pretty!!

Although I’ll wear them on two different hands, I put them on next to each other so you can see them together (and because I’m just not coordinated enough to photograph both of my hands at the same time while holding a cell phone camera).

I recognize these look redick next to each other. Imagine on two different hands.

So, in summary, I appreciate you allowing me to geek out on all things ring.  I look forward to sprinkling diamonds on the other 8 fingers in the near future.

(KIDDING RICHIE! :))

Pre-Honeymoon Honeymoon.

Richie & I need a minute away.  I’ve been SWAMPED lately with business stuff- most people don’t know that much like Clark Kent, I live a secret life.  I run my own company- it’s nothing like what I do on camera, I’ll tell you about it another day.  But here’s the point-  I’ve worked the last 17 days straight and I think my need to chillax has just hit clinical levels.

The beauty of working with clients around the country is I can occasionally coordinate the combo work/pleasure trip.  So this weekend, we’re grabbing the pooch & heading to the lovely city of Philadelphia.  I’ve got a full day of intense client meetings Thursday and a couple hours Friday but the rest of the time will be dedicated to hotel jacuzzis and the great cheesesteak quest.

Side note on weddingy stuff- Richie got my engagement ring from Steven Singer, so we’ll stop by while we’re in Philly & check out wedding rings for him.  He needs something edgy & cool, will let you know what we look at.  Plus I’m on the fence with the whole engagement ring AND wedding ring thing- not that I don’t want 4 trillion diamonds, I just think the ring he picked is so beautiful by itself… I’ll blog about this debate when I get back.  Who knows, maybe I’ll feel different after we swing by http://ihatestevensinger.com & see what they suggest.

Ideas on other stuff to see/do in Philly?

PS, we’re taking Rupert, not Elvis.  Because one fits in the jeep better.

10 lbs (jeep-friendly)

 

185 lbs (less jeep-friendly)