Monthly Archives: September 2010

Bridezilla Watch 9/30/10

So: perhaps you thought we were done with the Bridezilla Watches? Well, I can’t blame you. The last one was over three months ago, and frankly, that’s unacceptable.

But check it: we’re not done. In fact, our super-spies at Bridezilla Watch HQ spotted an occurrence this very morning.

“Baby,” I said to Jessica (my Baby), as she ate breakfast and read her blogs, “did you see I posted some photos of me playing guitar to Mary before her wedding?”

“Yeah,” she said, without looking up. “But when are you going to start posting more about OUR WEDDING?????”


“Oh boy,” I said.


Tales From Fishers Island, Part III: Stranger In A Strange Land

When Mary and I were in college together at Pomona, we used to spend hours making up songs together, as well as singing some of our favorite folk songs. Sometimes I’d just sit in her room and play while she did her work; sometimes we’d go sit out on the quad. And what’s more “college-y” than playing guitar on the quad? Besides cheap beer, all-nighters, hacky-sacking, and mixing sprite and coke in the dining hall soda machine, nothing. Playing guitar has always been very meditative for me, a way of zoning out the outside world for a while, and Mary’s presence has always been welcome.

The day of her wedding, I arrived early to help set up and to practice the processional music. Mary, who was remarkably calm and composed, invited me up to her room to serenade her and her bridesmaids as they got ready.

Mary and Dominick didn’t hire an official photographer – instead, they asked friends to split up the day into shifts and take pictures for a couple hours at a time. It’s a truism of wedding planning that the one thing you don’t want to outsource to friends is photography, and I’d imagine that for the most part that’s very wise – but if the photos I’ve seen so far are any indication, in this case it worked really well. Mary’s good friend Izzi had the first shift, and she popped into the dressing room and snapped off a few shots, some of which I’ve posted below.

It was an honor to be there with Mary as she got ready for her wedding. She told me the music helped keep her calm, which obviously went to my head and now I have a huuuuuge ego. Huge. I mostly just diddled around, fingerpicky-styles, until finally I was kicked out when crunch time was approaching and talk turned to boobs and stuff like that.

I’ll leave you with a few photos:

They’re Photos And We’re Engaged

But they’re not “engagement photos.” But these photos prove a few things: One, Drew is a smashingly good photographer. Two, you don’t need to plan all that much to have a swell photoshoot – this one was totally impromptu. Three, Jessica is the best and really pretty and awesome. Four, I’ve lost 35 pounds since these photos and you can totally tell.

Five, well: here are some fun photos of me and Jessica on the last day of our old apartment, 1905 1/2 Delaware Street in Berkeley, the first (and only) place I’ve ever lived alone and the first place Jessica and I lived together. Thanks again to Drew and Julien for all their help on our moving day (and again to Julien for helping on our second moving day), and to Drew for being such a great photographer and pal.

[The whole set]

Julien is so goddamned photogenic it kills me

Monday Smoochery

I was just chatting with Drew about photos of kissing. He was pointing out the trend in wedding photography to show lots of kissing, and how it felt sort of odd to look at them, and I agreed. It’s weirdly personal, and even though a wedding is a celebration of love and closeness, there’s something indescribably uncomfortable (to me, at least) about gazing upon still shots of people locking lips in a close embrace.

And then I started to think, do I have any photos of me, at all, from any point in my life, kissing anyone? And I couldn’t recall a single one.

And so then, of course, Drew sent me this photo today:

He was helping me and Jessica move a couple months ago, and when the old place was mostly empty we did a little impromptu photoshoot in the bare living room. At one point I grabbed Jessica, probably said “shut up and kiss me,” and planted one on her. It looks like you can see a slight smile on her face; at least I’d like to think that.

And then I thought: well, there’s a photo of me kissing. And I kind of like it, even though it’s also a bit embarrassing. But I decided to post it, because this is a wedding blog, and because I love Jessica, and because, well – shit. Just ’cause.

And if I’m a hypocrite, at least I got a good smooch out of it.

Friday Bits Of Tid

It’s been a while since my last installment of Bits of Tid. Entire TV shows have been created and canceled during that time period. Insects have been conceived, born, and died. Celestial bodies have been discovered. Pat Burrell was picked up by the Giants and has been a shot in the arm – Jose Guillen was also picked up and has been OK I guess.

And so on.

So hey, it’s Friday. It’s finally warm here in the Bay – nay, hot – and the little preschoolers are prancing around outdoors, being hosed off by teachers, giggling and screaming ridiculous things that only little kids can say. “Poop is actually yucky when it’s hot!” for example. Or, “I went two thousand five million six hundred twenty five seventy one million miles on the scooter. That’s too far.”

The other night, Drew and Julien and I went on an excursion to the city (ie San Francisco) to take in a movie and hang out old-school-style. We saw Machete – which was really great – and then went to Mel’s Diner, a local (I think?) diner chain that has jukeboxes at every table and I used to think served horrible food, but my burger wasn’t half bad. It wasn’t half good, either. It was 100% “pretty good.” At one point Jessica called and I snuck off to talk to her and Drew snapped this shot of me:

Drew is such a freakin’ Peeping Tom. Geez, Drew.

Jessica and I are once again doggie-sitting for our favorite pair of pitty mutts, Dumpy and Ziggy. You may recall one of my all-time favorite photos of Jessica, which I will re-post here for the umpteenth* time:

*[Here is a glimpse into how my mind works, and for that matter, how Drew’s mind works, and probably Kale too, the third Jokemaker. When I hear the word “umpteenth” I think “there’s a joke in there and it involves and umpire and maybe teeth, or the word teens pronounced with a lisp.” It’s kind of an affliction, really. One I hope I am never cured of.]

Dumpy and Ziggy now live in a great old house in Piedmont, Oakland, in a charming neighborhood near some great restaurants, a rose garden, and Fenton’s, which is a delicious and old ice creamery. Tonight is date Night (w00t!) and we’re likely to eat burgers and watch true Blood.

The handful of you who read this blog on the regular might have noticed that it’s been a while since I posted anything substantive about my own wedding. How astute you are, handful. So clever. You think you know me? You don’t know me.

I mean: we haven’t done much wedding planning in recent times, which frankly is going to have to change, and soon. Now it’s under 10 months until D-Day, and while that’s still a long time, it was just last week that it was 12 months away. Or, it felt like last week. It was probably longer. Like two months.

But I have a lot of fun stuff to post about in the coming days. Photos of me serenading Mary before her wedding on Fishers Island. Photos of a wedding from the guy we just hired to be our photographer. A really exciting new registry site we discovered that’s in Beta mode. Updates on engagement photos. Random jokes. You know, the yoozh.

Anyway. Have a great weekend, and I love you all.

Reception Is Great On The West Coast

This past weekend saw the coming and going of what came to be called the “West Coast Reception,” a wedding party at Jessica’s parents’ home to celebrate her brother Sam’s wedding to his lovely wife Emily, thrown especially for all the Bay Area friends and family. This is them, if you’ll recall:

I mean seriously – that is a good-looking couple. Plus, they’re really cool people, so they’re – at the least – two-dimensional. Good-looking AND cool. Beat that!

If anyone cares for some context, or feels like taking a trip down Sam & Emily Memory Lane, or really loves clicking links with their mouse, here are the recaps of the wedding weekend in St. Joe Missouri: Part I | II | III. You’ll note I never got around to writing Part IV, which is too bad because it was going to raise the roof and bring the house down, something never before thought possible by structural engineers.

Probably the first thing to tell about the event was that Jessica’s mom Terri made her amazing mac ‘n’ cheese, which I had the pleasure of tasting for the very first time:

Look at that photo without drooling, I dare you. I double-dare you, even. This is the type of mac ‘n’ cheese that can turn a vegan into a plain old vegetarian, a lactose-intolerant into a cheese-eater, and a Republican into a Democrat for some reason. When I was about to sample it, I said to Emily who was nearby: “Man I can’t wait to try this finally!” and she looked at me with shocked eyes and a cartoonishly dropped jaw, disbelieving, and did one of those rub-your-eyes double takes.

“You’ve never had it?!?!?” she shrieked, causing the little kids in the house to cry in terror. I jumped and dropped my plate and it was a big mess, but the point here was that Emily loves the dish so much she just couldn’t fathom that I’d never tried it before. I eventually regained my composure enough to sample it, and it blew my mind.

Not only did Terri make two pans of it, she also made a delicious pulled pork dish, a giant pot of turkey chili, several different kinds of salads including a curry one and one with bread in it with an Italian name (panakopita?), and stuffed pheasant with a radicchio coulis reduction. Well, OK, not the pheasant one, but she totally was going to until she ran out of time.

My parents came, their first ever visit to Jessica’s parents’ place, and I think it’s clear by the following photo mashup that they had a good time, or at least are very good at faking good-time smiles:

I managed to snap several funny photos of my sister Katy, which I didn’t do on purpose, but my camera has this little button that gets accidentally set to “Make Katy Look Silly” mode all the time without me noticing, like:

Steve, as he does better than anyone on Earth outside of Jesus, Johnny Storyteller, and this one guy who used to tell great stories at my school when I was little, told lots of stories:

At one point, a large crowd of people gathered downstairs in the Steve Walker Media Room to watch some old movies that Steve and his buddies had made many years ago, westerns and detective movies with titles like Innersquad and Hickory & Satch And The Deadly Doctor D. They counted no fewer than seven friends in the room who’d been in the movies; one of the kids of the movie stars who was playing soccer in the street suddenly dropped everything and ran inside, screaming “I’m gonna go see my dad in a movie when he was a kid!” giddily.

Note: I have only seen one, the Deadly Dr. D, a situation I really need to remedy post-haste. It was a fantastic film and I am a fool for not having seen more of them. A damned fool.

As semi-official event photographer, I captured a few raucous reunion-type photos like this one:

And some good ol-fashioned smiling faces like these:

Tom & Emily, clearly looking at two different photographers

Not to mention all the ping-pong that was played:

The whole event was really wonderful, and we especially had Terri to thank for her incredibly hard work cooking and hosting such a lovely affair. It was great to see Sam & Emily, and to have them meet my family, and to meet so many of Steve & Terri’s longtime friends.

And, once again: congrats to Sam & Emily. Now move to California already.

I Mean, Come On

Isn’t Jessica just the prettiest?