Sunday, August 23, 2009

All done with all that

It was said and done on June 20. We had a grand ol' time, but I must say, the best vignette of the day was the flower arranging melee out on the deck, with David's sister, Concha directing a slew of relations in a mad capped frenzy to get six large buckets of flowers whipped into shape...

Meanwhile, I ran about with my hair in curlers...

And despite the fact that my father was still in his grungy cooking clothes as the first guests were arriving....

...we managed to pull it off.

All told, it was exactly what we set out for it to be -- a fun, unscripted party without great hooplas of fanfare, without excess, without obsessive attention to detail and without undue encroachment of the Wedding-Industrial Complex.

Thanks to all who contributed: Cousin Erik and El Sid for the food... my god, the food....; Jimbo and Ann, who stocked us up on some unbelievably yummy Patz & Hall wines; Shiela L, who brought her engineer's mind to the task of coordinating volunteers; Sistah Concha for her creative eye on the flowers; The Right Reverand Lisa Gaines for performing the necessary ceremonials and overseeing the signing of papers, to say nothing of cleaning up the next day; The Divine Ms K for help sorting out the dress situation in my mind, suggesting a nice string of pearls to the groom for a wedding present and transporting the cupcakes down from Cupcake Jones; Nurse Susan for letting herself be directed here and there on the day and for helping with clean up the next; my sons and nephews, David, Bryan, Marcos & Gregory, for lending their youthful strength to the task of moving stuff around; Uncle Keith, Charlie B. and Marcos for shuttling guests from the park; Keith-Beat, Joseph, Aunt Suzanne and various others who took pictures; my parents, my sons, Stepson Logan, Sistah Concha and sister-in-law Mariana for "giving us away," so to speak; and to everyone who came and had a grand time.

Following the wedding, we headed to the coast on a family camping trip.

Yes, that was a little outside the norm, but we did go on a right proper honeymoon to Kauai in due time.

Since our return from that paradise for chickens -- not figurative chickens, as in people with no nerve, but literal chickens --

we've been trying to get our house in order between teaching a summer course down in Corvallis, and heading out on the annual pilgrimage to Santa Cruz, stopping to see various friends and relations down Californy way.

Now it's time to get back to real life and a new blog conceit. I'm closing down this one -- meaning, not making any more entries -- because I am so very done with the whole wedding theme. I only marginally got into it in the first place, to be honest. The blog, that is, not the marrying thing. I'm a happy camper as far as the marrying thing goes. I have the proverbial "sweetest man on Earth," by golly, and all said, it was a job well done.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Parking issues

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Monday, June 15, 2009

I need more rouge if I really want to compete.... to say nothing of bigger hair

Those drag queens down at Darcelle's in Portland... they're larger than life. I mean really.

We did the Brides with Queens thing on Saturday night. It's the first time I've ever been to a drag review, and there are two things that stand out: the size of the performers and the number of brides-to-be in the audience. Now it has to be said, a number of those ladies (the former) are getting a bit long in the tooth (Darcelle, herself, is 78), and with age frequently comes a certain amount of girth. But even the relatively young, relatively slim ones were very large people. Oh yes, of course, they were wearing four inch heels, but so was I, and even in all my fleshiness, I looked positively diminutive next to these creatures. That poor guy that they pulled up onto the stage could have been swallowed in the undergarments of one of those gals.

But the brides, I mean, the brides...... There were only five in the audience for the 8:30 show (me at far left in my purple flutter dress), but every fifth woman in the throng waiting outside to get in for the 10:30 show was a feted bride, complete with veil and mini-penis festooned tiara indicating a recent gleeful purchase from the Bachelorette Super Store or the House of Bachelorette.

How very primal, all this bridal obsession over the phallus. I never would have thought I could write these words, but it almost makes me long for the feminist fantasy of the "Golden Age" of female goddess worship, when the phallus was relegated to rather a back seat to the ripe pudendum of the Great Mother. I mean, come on... where are the bachelor boys running around all over town wearing Venus of Willendorf t-shirts with "Property of Jennifer" emblazoned in rhinestone across the chest?

Parade of penis veils

You can just make out that there are two brides with different permutations of the penis tiara captured in this picture.

A line-up of phalli all heading for her cranium like so many sperm rushing for an egg.
My friend Susan and I encountered this gal in the ladies room sans tiara. Susan asked, "Where's your tiara?" Bride -- who seemed a little slow on the uptake, possibly because of one too many really bad Cosmopolitans -- replied, "Well, it kind of hurts my head, and I really don't much like pink, anyway."

Oh. So
that's the problem with that thing. It's pink.

This gal went for the tastefully understated and far less primal silver bauble antennae.

And, of course, let's not forget the Queens....
Come to the cabaret, old chum
My favorite feminine archetype: The heart-broken boozy floozy
The perennially elegant, Miss Diana Ross
Miss Darcelle, herself, in all her 78 year old, taloned glory

How could I possibly compete?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Anxiety Dream #2

So, I'm greeting people who have arrived for the ceremony part of the nuptial festivities, and there's a huge throng (looks to be two parents with several dozen youngsters in tow) that I cannot identify to save my life. The man/father starts talking to me with great familiarity, noting that he didn't get an invitation to the ceremony, or, indeed, the wedding party at all, but since they are as close as family, he figured he would bring his crew, anyway.

It was the father of one of my sons' old high school friends. I had actually never met the man, but because our children were so close, and I did, in fact, invite that old school chum, the dad felt he belonged there, too. He brought his second wife and the several dozen children he had had with her in the time since our school chum sons had grown up and moved on along.

Actually, this is not the second anxiety dream I've had. I've had several, as a matter of fact, but they tend to be fleeting and not worth commentary. This one, like the first, went on for quite some time. It was a long, extended dream about me putting on a brave face in the face of too many unexpected people. That and terrors about ceremonies that will not end seem to be at the root of all of my wedding anxieties, seeing as how they provide the content for all of my anxiety dreams, long or fleeting: too many people and painfully long ceremonies. Really now, if that's all one is worried about pre-wedding, I'd say things are looking pretty good. In this one, the groom didn't even morph into a diminutive guru in dingy white robes, unctuously spilling forth on things spiritual.

Still no word from the groom on any anxiety dreams he might be having. Apparently, he is having none. You will pardon me, folks, for finding something utterly precious in that. This means only one of us goes through life as an anxiety-ridden, over-thinking bundle of nerves.

I lay claim to that description with some hesitation, mind you, given what is reported to happen to women truly sucked into the evil vortex of the Wedding Industrial Complex.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Lodging in Portland

I've added two links to the Portland Visitor's Bureau site for those who may wish to spend some time up in the big city before/after the event. Look on the side bar, third list down...

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Ms. K and the girls have been putting their heads together to think up some sort of bachelorette party scheme. Upon consultation with me, the idea of going to a drag review has been more or less settled upon.

Why do brides and drag queens go together? Because they are both about hyped and jacked-up femininity. Frankly, I love drag queens. I think they serve a very useful purpose to womankind; they de-essentialize femininity. If a man can come off as more feminine than any 'natural born' woman, then it just goes to show that femininity is not about some inherent biological quality, but about cultural trappings. As far as I'm concerned, that relieves the pressure. So what if I can't undulate doing Nia like the other girls (although, I have to say, I do it better than a lot of them)? It's really no reflection on the degree to which I am a "real" woman, clearly.

Of course, if I really want to be stereotypically feminine, me and my gal friends will all dress up in bedazzled t-shirts indicating our roles in the bridal party (mine will say: "the Future Mrs. Munoz" or "Property of David"), and we'll go out, get tight and kick about the streets yelling "woo HOO!" out in high-pitched gurly voices.

Ms. K and I considered that for a moment, then moved on to drag queens.

Monday, May 18, 2009


For the past four days, I've been laid up in bed with some gawd-awful illness that is not swine flu, but between its hard edge and my low tolerance threshold for feeling ill, might as well have been. I've managed to stumble back into the classroom today (I've promised two classes tests today, and I don't like disappointing the kidz), but am still hacking and wheezing and people are throwing their hands up in front of them with feigned displays of horror to ward me off whenever I come into sight. I feel so loved.

But back to being laid up in bed... . Sometimes during teacher in-service days (when the teachers are not necessarily "in-service," I've learned), spring break or summer break, David M. has a thing for turning on the noon airing of old 'Perry Mason' reruns. There is something about that sound that takes me right beck to staying home from school sick with some sort of hacking cough and fever. It starts a whole chain of remembrance: "Perry Mason' comes on; I visualize myself as a child lying sick on a sofa in the family room; I start to feel a remembrance of feeling flu-ish; the file drawers in my mind open, spilling out theme songs and sound-bites I cannot control -- 'Dialing for Dollars', 'Let's Make a Deal', 'Dark Shadows', 'Love That Bob'. I have a sound-track for childhood illness.

I may have created a sound-track for adulthood illness over the past four days, and it involves design shows on HGTV, and reruns of 'The Beverly Hillbillies', 'America's Next Top Model' and 'Say Yes to the Dress'. I could not bear to turn on 'Perry Mason', of course, because that would have just made me feel sicker, but I don't think I did myself any favors with the programs I picked. Or perhaps I did. Is it really acceptable to ever say you watch 'America's Next Top Model' other than when you're sick? I do, of course, and I'm not in the habit of apologizing for it. Why do that, when I can intellectualize it? As a colleague of mine recently noted upon her return from a conference in Norway, teevee really provides quite a rich source of data for content analysis portions of one's field research methodology. I'm an anthropologist interested in popular culture. Of course I watch bad teevee. Wanna make something of it...?

What all this teevee watching did during the course of my bed rest, however, was to make me literally sick of those shows. I've finally had enough of 'Say Yes to the Dress', or so it seems at this particular moment. I may be back in mid-season form by next Friday's new airing, and I'll even be willing to make book on it, but right now, the thought just sends me into a coughing frenzy.

It could be that, or it could be I've thought and said just about all there is to think and say about the Wedding-Industrial Complex. Surely not. Surely there is much more to go into, many more levels of analysis and interpretation with which to engage. I'm going to guess that my interest peak has been reached, rather than my stupendous brain with its stupendous powers of interpretive analysis tapping out the subject. I'm pretty much just personally done with it.

That said, it could just be that I'm now having anxiety dreams about 200 guests showing up (the house maxes out at about 75-100, and those RSVP postcards begin to look like a mighty high stack when the "# in party" spot is filled in with the number "2" or "3" or "4"), and am, consequently, so finding the idea of a small, quiet affair with one witness and presided over by an Elvis impersonator in everybody's favorite Sin City rather appealing.