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

View Parking in a larger map

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.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Things you can do

Just a bit of info here --

If you would like to help out with wedding day set-up, I have a volunteer "volunteer coordinator" now, whom we shall call Shiela L. Contact me for her contact information.

If you would like to contribute a food item (think tapas), the food man is my very own father, the famous El Sid. Likewise, I can provide you with his contact information upon request (it's also on the insert in the invitations that are going out).

I am also on the lookout for likely prospects for day-of child-minding duties. Several people may have young-ish children in tow. While this is an afternoon-into-evening affair -- cocktail attire encouraged -- I'm not of the school holding that children do not belong at weddings. Weddings are the touchstone of familial celebrations, and to exclude the end product of many a wedding strikes me as peculiar. That said, I am planning on setting up a Kiddy Zone with a couple of tough-minded, yet child empathetic minders to ride herd on the hordes, so that the mamas and the papas can enjoy themselves.

Finally, I will be encouraging carpooling up to the Nolan residence for the event, and can help poolers get in touch with one another, if they let me know their intentions/needs.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Anxiety Dream

I had my first anxiety dream about getting married last night. It involved the actual ceremony taking so long to perform, that it went far into the night. People started to drift away out of sheer boredom, having better things to do. Rings kept getting lost and the procedure interrupted by arriving and departing guests.

To make matters worse, the groom was not wearing his suit. He was wearing a dingy white tunic robe. He kept morphing into some other body that was shorter than me by about a foot, bald and rotund. In fact, I think he kept turning into a particular bald guru-guy on the local Public Access channel who wears a white robe and sits in a chair in front of the camera speaking with slow condescension about things spiritual (readers from this area will know to whom I'm referring). I was getting married to that guy. And when I started to cry, because he wasn't wearing his suit, people chastised me for being demanding with my to-be husband. They suggested I was losing sight of what I was really there for.

I was there to marry a four foot tall, pasty-white, bald public access guru who doesn't have the decency to put on a tolerable suit for his wedding? Reminds me of the women in my family admonishing me endlessly as a girl that I could "catch more flies with honey than with vinegar." You mean, men are flies, and women are supposed to not only be content with that, but to want to actually attract the buzzy creatures? Is that what it's all about?

Pass the vinegar, please.

The anxiety dreams were bound to start right about this time. I'm just amazed that first one didn't involve me putting on tremendous amounts of weight and being unable to get into my dress. According to the targeted advertising that keeps popping up on my Facebook page, this is what I'm supposed to be fretting over in my nocturnal musings. I'm going to have to quiz the groom to see what -- if any -- anxiety dreams he's having. Surely he must be. Then again, he's far less inclined toward angsty obsessions than I am.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Seperated at birth

Fiance, circa 1987

Brother, circa 2005


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Another way to ruin a perfectly good party

This morning, I had a new message on my MySpace page (yes, I'm on MySpace, but find it overall pretty lame and much prefer Facebook, as far as I can possibly much prefer one social networking site over another). The "My Space Video Team" wants to give me a free "wedding of the century," or at least "social event of the summer."

"So you’re engaged… Do you want the wedding experience of a lifetime—for free? We’re looking for a couple to star in MySpace’s new wedding reality series and we think you’d be great! To enter, send us a video of your proposal story by April 17th. Check out the video below for more info. Click here to get Married on MySpace!"

Evidently, judging by the trailer, David picking me up and spinning me around is part of what makes a "wedding of the century" or "social event of the summer." I did not know this was one of the many requirements of the only "perfect day" I, as a woman, am allowed to have in my life. I think I'm going to need to lose some more weight.

Married on MySpace Trailer

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


It is done, my friends. It is done.

Ms. K and I met with the dressmaker today, and washed our over-stressed, over-reaching hands of the dressmaking affair. We handed some custom to a slight, charming and seemingly very competent Cambodian dressmaker from a long line of silk weavers and garment makers. Sovanna (or "Sovan," as he goes by, because "Sovanna" is either too difficult for Amis to get out of their mouths, or because, like me, it makes them assume he's a woman) and the K Lady walked me through fabric choices and styling details this afternoon. For $280, I'm getting a custom fitted and made silk dress, fabric imported from the village where he, himself, grew up and used to climb mulberry trees to pick the cocoons as a child. Or so the story goes. It sounds good to me.

What astounds me is that he is running this business, "Cocoon Silk" -- with two brick and mortar shops in Portland's Pearl and NW 23rd -- to help pay his way through a business management degree at Marylhurst. Wow. Whatever happened to waiting tables? Or stripping?

Just as a reminder, this is the vintage number I'm having reproduced (with some slight alterations). And guess what? Forget the peach....

Mary is getting married in a RED dress, baybee. Oh yeah. Uh hu.


Next stop: shoes.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Such a productive day

We have paper. That is a tremendous leap forward in the whole wedding planning schema. We also have our bands orders, and have scheduled a 'consultation' with Cupcake Jones about the making of the cupcakes-instead-of-traditional-cake thing.

But wait! There's more!

We hit Goodwill and bought a bunch of pressed glass serving platters of varying sizes. I'm going to make a 'cupcake tower' out of them, using vases or some such as serperators between the layers (mine's going to look so way more awesome...).

And I may have found a place that can make my dress with much less stress and not that much more money than Ms. K and I making it would cost.

Finally, tomorrow night, the man and I will be subjecting our social dancing to public scrutiny for the first time. Wish us luck.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Help Desk

It's not about weddings, but it seems reasonable enough to post this in any sort of blog...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


You've seen the tacky wedding favors, the horrifically suggestive 'Property of the Groom' t-shirts, the really bad bridal gowns, the disturbing cultural obsession with women driven mad by the quest for the one perfect day they will ever get to experience in their entire lives, the over-the-top cost add-ons....

...but you haven't been exposed to SLuv (Second Life love) and the Second Life virtual wedding.

For the blessedly uninitiated, Second Life is an online social networking site that is similar to online multiplayer role-playing games (MMORPGs), in that you go online in the form of an avatar (a digital persona/representation of self, commonly called an avi or AV) and interact with other people, who are also online as their avis. What makes Second Life (or SL) different from, say, World of Warcraft, is that there really is no 'game' to play. There's no plot or point or goal beyond what people create in the course of their interactions with others. While some people swear they just spend time "in world" (being online in SL) to do creative stuff like building virtual Romes or jungle paradises or Amsterdams complete with hookers, drug dealers and bicycles, the big attractions really seem to be A) dressing up and B) cybering, meaning finding other avis who will play on sex pose balls with you. Granted, the place is absolutely lousy with academics who are convinced that this is the cutting edge platform for cutting edge pedagogy and/or the ultimate Brave New World of social science field research, but I suspect half or more of them are getting jiggy on the pose balls from time to time, too. Anyone who's ever witnessed the Shriner's convention-like shenanigans that go on at the annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association would find it fairly creditable that academic types in sexy avi guise engage in a bit of virtual bouncy-bouncy in the Neva Naughty virtual orgy room, when not holding online lectures about the real meaning of Second Life and hosting discussion groups on the great Foucault-Habermas debate.

Another, seemingly more benign (although I might question that) activity is to get really dressed up to the nines and hit Frank's Place for some flirtation and romantic couples dancing to jazz standards. I question this sort of activity being more benign than the do-it-yourself cartoon porn, because it's precisely these sorts of places that suck people into online romantic entanglements and emotional imbroglios.

Now, back in the old days -- and by this I mean 2006 -- it seemed like every time I turned around in world, I was running into some damn fool who was "getting married" to his or her Second Life boyfriend or girlfriend, fiance or fiancee, master or slave (don't ask...), lover, partner or what have you. More often than not, these folks had never met each other in real life (RL, in MMORPG lingo), and quite possibly had an RL spouse or significant other over in the next room, who may or may not be aware of the more intimate details of hubby's or wifey's little hobby.

It seems lately that I've run into fewer people playing the game in quite that fashion. Now it appears vampires are all the rage. An avi just can't turn around anymore without running into a vampire requesting a little nibble. It's gotten so bad, sim (virtual land) owners have starting putting up 'no bite zone' signs (you may enlarge any picture by clicking on it).

Well, fads come and go, and while the frenzy to get married to your sweetheart, Domysus Hotshot or Mistyfloss Mavendorf, has, perhaps, toned down, there's still a hopping wedding industry in world.

Indeed, the wedding-industrial complex has virtually replicated itself.

At $270L (270 Linden dollars, the in world currency) per dollar, I give you the ultimate wedding package at the Cobblestone Vineyard for $14,750L. That's only about $55... can you beat that in RL? For that fifty-five smackers, you get:
  • A private consult appointment with the bride and groom with consultants Rick Wake and Lori Nicholas (both with over 2.5 years experiance together planning weddings [sic]). We'll discuss all the details for the wedding ceremony, reception and the invitation and decoration selections to make your wedding day special.
  • Rehearsal for you and your wedding party to adjust all poses and go over the walk use for your wedding party.
  • All poses adjusted at rehearsal.
  • All poses will have the names of the wedding party on them.
  • Flowers of your color choice.
  • Dressing room for the ladies prior to the ceremony. Comes complete with [virtual] champagne.
  • Officiate for your ceremony with over 2.5 years experiance [sic] with couples from all lifestyles wed in SL.
  • Ceremony of your choice - Traditional, Renewals, Commitment, Gorean, Master Slave, Unity Candles, Gothic, FC Ceremony, Gay, Lesbian, and many others, all ceremonies in a religious or non religious version.
  • Wedding party assisted in getting up to the altar on the walks in an orderly fashion wedding day, both entrance and exit.
  • Two hour reception supervised by your planners after your wedding ceremony from start to finish which includes -
  • Cake of your choice, cake cutting and cake feeding poses for pictures.
  • Champagne display, poses for pictures for the toast.
  • Food and cocktail displays.
  • Intan Couples Dance Ball (28 couples dances), Intan Singles Dance Ball (66 dances, no freebie dances).
  • Garter animation chair.
  • Reception area decorated with flowers of your choice and carpet color.
  • Custom Champagne Glasses (copiable [sic]) with your name's [sic] and wedding date engraved on them for you and all your guests.
  • Custom Wine Bottle set out at the reception area with your name's [sic] and the wedding date, ribbon in your wedding colors on it on the neck of the bottle. Touch the label to receive a custom glass of Merlot, with your names and wedding date engraved on them. You receive the Custom Wine Bottle (copiable [sic]).
  • Dj for your wedding ceremony and reception, a notecard to fill out with your music selections for your wedding ceremony, reception music genre and any special requests.
  • Invitations (copy, transfer).
  • A Personalized Marriage Certificate, framed and texture (full mod), 18 to select from."
Pictures, flowers, programmed dances so you don't screw up the foxtrot, like David M and I are wont to do in RL, cake and champagne for $55? Sounds pretty good.

For additional expenditures, you can get four framed studio portraits of the bride and groom, etc., additional reception time, and even a honeymoon. Do you have any idea what we're spending on the trip to Kauai to go stay in a yurt? We can log on, stop eating, stop showering and only get up from our chairs for absolutely necessary bathroom breaks for a ten day stretch, but mating our avis in newlywed bliss in some virtual tropical paradise for virtually nothing.

I have not yet decided what to make of the virtual romance phenom, other than to suspect that it may be a little crazy-making (as opposed to being only what already crazy people do), and that it's not terribly uncommon, whether elaborately played out in SL or conducted via My Space.

By the way, this illustration here should spell out for one and all in no uncertain terms the difference between Internet dating, and using the Internet to maybe meet people to maybe date.

Sudie Dibou (aka me) puzzles over fairytale weddings in a fairytale land of make believe.

Dress shopping.

Dance poses so me and my guurlfriends can have fun pictures of us having fun to remind us forever of my fun bachelorette party.

Fun picture poses so my groom and I can have fun memories of the fun we had at the rehearsal dinner, although one must say, the dude looks a little distressed.

Virtual lingerie.
One thing that has to be said for it-- it's a whole lot more comfortable than the real thing.

Virtual bridal jewelry.
One thing has to be said for it-- it's a whole lot cheaper than the real thing.

A vineyard wedding venue.

I tried licking the screen, but it just tasted like plastic.

No host bar.

The bride can get plastered on honking-great martinis....

...make an ass of herself on the dance floor...

...and end the evening sitting on balloons sulking.

And just to prove that I'm not making all this up, a collection of real life Second Life wedding videos, from the land where all the women are enormous-breasted, all the men wear gangsta shades and all the children are grown-ups with child avatars: