January 2009


There are many things I am most excited about when it comes to getting married, including the boxed dinner that our caterer said she would make for us to take home, the adorable babies that are not invited to the ceremony but that we might see anyway, the honeymoon, and meeting Rich’s friends and my new internet best pals.   Oh also getting married.

Some back story: Years ago I got too poor to make my car payment with my record store income and had to move back in with my parents, and after that I became pretty good about my money —  saving it, spending it, not spending it when I didn’t have it.  I thought that everyone thought that I was weird about money, but now in these lean times I feel like a financial wizard.  Also I now work in finance so I am a limited expert anyway, at least on what everyone is doing wrong.

So excuse my nerdiness when I think that one of the neater things about buying a house was that we were able to push the economy forward by hundreds of thousands of dollars.  That two newbies came into the market and took a house off someone’s hands was able to create a chain of buying and selling and getting new shower curtains at Target.  You’re welcome, America!  Glad to do it.

Same with the wedding.  We have a modest budget, and although we didn’t discuss it much beforehand, my associate and I have managed to have a very Richmond-friendly wedding.  The vendors and venue that we’re using are still just starting out and have been a pleasure to work with.  I won’t name names yet in case terrible things happen in the next quarter and I am boycotting something.   It’s more responsible than romantic, but it’s cool to think that we are creating business for people/things that we like.  I know it’s not going to make anyone rich but it’s still nice.

We did have to splurge on this thing I read about on the Internet:  We are having an ice sculpture flown in from Holland.  It’s being chiseled there and flown in on a private jet that we had to rent with two handlers to keep it cool.  It’s a six-foot sculpture of Noel Gallagher and Bruce Springsteen arm wrestling.  It’s putting us back by about $11,000 (most of that is just for the jet) but it’s totally worth it.  I want to think that I have wanted this since I was a little girl.

Finally, Richmond(ish) theaters are getting “the Wrestler” (Short Pump & Commonwealth 20).  I thought for sure that the Byrd would get it before any first run places came through.

I am one of the more frugal people that you will ever meet, so I usually wait for Netflix, but I am willing to pay real money for this, mainly because the trailer made me cry a little.  Though I get so emotional during movies that using my Regal Crown Club card causes me to shed a tear.  Free popcorn sometimes is really nice.

I lovingly wrote an outline for a new movie called “Gang Planes.”

It’s about rival gangs who are flying home from a gang-related event in Chicago back to D.C. — one flight is set to land at Reagan, the other at Dulles, but due to a booking error, the gangs are mixed up.  They call a truce and decide the best way to handle the mix up is to have the planes fly next to each other (the pilots are also former gang members and are okay with this) and the gang members will get in their race cars and jump from one plane to the other until the correct gang members are on the correct flights.  But — oh no! — one gang leader’s younger sister and the other gang leader are not just near planes that fly — they are near sparks that fly, in a romantically comedic fashion.

This movie will have everything: cars, planes, jokes about plane food, gang members, love, Dennis Hopper.   Gang Planes!

I have read a book about how to write movie scripts, so I’m going to start working on it.   I recently watched parts of “Death Race” with Richard so judging by that I’m guessing that it’s easy to get movies made.

We had our first dinner guests at the new house and they brought a chocolate fudge pie from Ukrop’s.  If I had ever had this pie before it must have been at a funeral or something where it would have been inappropriate to gush about it.  Holy crap, it’s like a rich pudding on a flaky crust. So good.

We have two pieces left and to keep myself from eating it right now I have been occupying myself by eating everything else.  I can’t stop thinking about it.  It’s like living in a version of “the Tell-Tale Heart” minus the dead body.  That story was about baked goods, right?

Though the pie was just part of a delicious meal.  My associate put together a tortellini with garlic cream sauce dish served on top of roasted acorn squash.  Then our buddy Aaron opened a wine bottle using a screw, a screw driver and a pair of pliers.  The corkscrew is part of the contents of a missing box, not because we have a series of challenges that need to be met before dinner can be served.

I can’t stop listening to the two new Peter Bjorn and John songs posted on Stereogum.   They’re pretty awesome.  I don’t know when the new album comes out but now I have two things to look forward to this year.

I gave myself a three-day weekend during which minimal accomplishments were made, including:

I learned a valuable lesson about fuelperks! not being that great of a deal (I’m ashamed to admit that I drove an extra mile to redeem the last of my ten cents just to find out when I came home that the gas station on the corner was cheaper post-discount anyway).

I learned that the Target near me is more expensive on purpose.

I watched the new episode of “Flight of the Conchords” on HBO.com and didn’t laugh once.  I will blame this on the economy, but only this time.

I think I have perfected buttermilk biscuits!  The secret (which apparently everyone else knows) is to make the dough in a food processor.  Now I just need a biscuit cutter instead of a plastic cup and I’m all set.

Also I’m one step closer to perfecting delicious pizza.   My next pizza attempt will aim for a better cheese than store-bought shredded mozzarella, a garlicky crust, and a thicker sauce.  I get really excited for my associate that he is marrying me because  I’ve downgraded my life’s goals to involve only things that we can eat.

I also watched “The Godfather” for the first time.  There are some movies that I don’t see until 20 years later but I immediately get: “Rocky,” “Jaws,” “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.”  While I liked “The Godfather” and can see how it’s culturally important, I thought it was missing something.  At first I thought heart, but that’s probably just me wanting to like the characters.  Once Sonny died it was pretty lifeless.   He and Papa Don offered the only motivation or personality.

But of course I have been saturated in DVDs of WB/CW series so anything that doesn’t feature troubled teenagers is hard to rate right now.

I gave in and bought my first wedding book today —  Offbeat Bride.  Granted, no one in the wedding party will wear Chucks and we’re not going to have father-daughter dances performed on Dance Dance Revolution, but I have enjoyed reading the website and I like her advice.  I also really like A Practical Wedding, which serves to calm me down whenever I get anxious.

I am pleased with what we have planned so far.  We’re done with our jokey ideas (though the “brick with a sheet of notebook paper tied around it and thrown through a window” save-the-dates were my favorite)(they would have said “our love is stronger than your window”)(ha).  At this point the big decisions have been decided, and it’s all coming down to the details, mainly “what will I do with my hair” and “where can I put the Doritos?”  I also think it’s important to include in the vows that at this point in my life it’s unlikely that I would enjoy watching “Top Gun” for the first time.  Which is what my first husband refused to understand (my first husband being everyone I have met up until now).

Also, I’m hoping that I have some Internet minions who can track down the dress that Martha Plimpton’s character wears in “200 Cigarettes.”  Thanks!

marthaOh maybe I can put the Doritos near my hair.  People will feel obligated to come up to me anyway and with Doritos near me it will at least give them something else to do.

One of the only paper-copy papers I read with any regularity is Style Weekly, which I enjoy, with two exceptions:  the movie reviewer 1) doesn’t live in Richmond, and 2) hates movies; and the crossword puzzles.

I like  word puzzles and games.  I get by on answers, but I am not a genius.  I’m only good at most things because I am an excellent guesser.  However, I think the crossword puzzle in Style (edited by David Levinson Wilk) is ridiculous.

It functions under a puzzle title that sometimes describes a handful of  clues or an answer.  Sometimes all the answers are puns or have bold circles around them that, in most other puzzles, would be explained as to how they come together.  The same clues themselves are used from week to week, and the repeated answers are usually unfamiliar abbreviations (how do you abbreviate “apple”?  It’s not even a long word), odd portions of uncommon phrases, and just strings of letters (“SSE, “EIEIO”, “STU”).

Not to mention the week’s puzzle that was just a combination of possible menu choices at a Mexican/Chinese restaurant (“Food served at Wong’s and Juan’s”, or whatever).  Oh, and the three-year-old as an exotic dancer clue.  Also the guy who invented the womb chair was a clue/answer two weeks in a row, which is only remarkable because I had never heard of him before and this happened right after we saw his exhibit at the Virginia Center for Architecture (which, by the way, is an amazing building and worth a visit).  That’s not really a criticism of the puzzle, I just thought that was weird.

Out of context I know that discussing a crossword puzzle sounds strange, but even in context it doesn’t make much sense.  My first assumption each week is that every letter is a typo, until I realize that “Would —” is an actual clue.

Maybe this a daring, new way of producing crosswords, or maybe Wilk just hates his job or is just a computer-generated program (my other theory is that he uses a 100-year old thesaurus to come up with answers and has no grasp on the English language).   There need to be rules!

This thing is becoming the new “Family Circus” — just something that I pay attention to get myself riled up and angry.  It’s how I feel alive.  When I first started the puzzles early last year I used to be able to finish them in one night, now I only get about halfway through with the help of Google.  Maybe it’s me.