Monday, March 25, 2013

The Best Thing Ever

The Best Thing Ever

I don't think anything could make me any happier than this little picture

It combines my favorite actor with one of my favorite teen authors.... It is going to be printed and hung by desk....

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Past Imperfect by Joan Collins

So I am on a Joan Collins kick. I love her-the look, the attuide and the lifesytle and so when I discovered her autobiography I had to get it.

And it was a great read when it comes to finding out her long and drama filled backstory. Starting from her days growing up in London with her small family, the early days at the Royal Dramatic Academy, to her early career in film I found this to be a page turner. It was interesting to learn about the last days of the studio system, her friendships with various Hollywood elite and her career comeback with the one and only "Dynasty".

She pulls no punches and almost nothing is sacred--except her relationship with sister Jackie--and she goes in great detail about her marriages, romances, and career highs and lows. I learned a lot of surprising facts from her early engagement with Warren Beaty, the infamous french hotel fire she was trapped in in real life to the near life derailing accident that befell one of her children.

What I took from her story is how to be a survivor, how the backend of your life can change into sucess and how personal courage and charisma can be the biggest assest anyone has. Well worth the read

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Mystery Solved

Mystery Solved

So I finally figured out who sent me the "God Hates Bags" bag... I am glad I wasn't crazy and didn't buy it myself for myself in some weird stupor... It turns out Johnno's friend Andie randomly saw my post and bought it for me for Valentine's Day. She emailed me the other day to make sure it came, was surprised to find out that didn't have a note and now the case is closed.

Good to know.

I was wish I was better at doing things like that myself. Just randomly finding things for others and giving gifts in the moment. Maybe this is a sign that I should work on doing just that... Or more people could put hints out there and I could be the Secret Santa they have been hoping for.

I'd like


Love and Desire and Hate

Classic Smut

I had bought this book as a joke for my upcoming wedding--we're doing a library theme and using all types of books--so why not Joan Collins? I decided to read this top to bottom in a week just make sure it wasnt God awful and I loved it!!!

Every word

I love that it has the classic smut 80-90s feel--beautiful characters behaving badly, too much detail on the wealth that surrounds them and a dedication to campy dialouge. But what I really loved is that there is this period of time in the smut fiction era that ALWAYS had beautiful people haunted by the events of World War II--something real caught authors mind back then and has not let go. It's really kind of amazing.

It wont win any awards--but it did win my heart briefly.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Who Is Going To Let The Cat Out of The Bag? Literally?

Who Is Going To Let The Cat Out of The Bag? Literally?

So I have a Tumblr account where I like to post my favorite fashion things happening--looks from the runway shows I like, stylized picture of how to wear things and items that are on my on-going fashion hit list. It's about shoes and hats, ways to wear layers and pants cuffs and a general look into what I enjoy wearing. It's not going to change the world but I like it.

And a while back a posted a piece about this new tote bag I had seen out and about--it's cute and clever with more than enough irony and whimsy to make me feel like the happiest boy in the world.

It's clever

So I posted this on my tumblr which goes to my facebook and I just kind of forgot about the whole thing. I have been on a serious budget due to the wedding and though it was inexpensive I just didnt have the extra cash but wanted to keep it on my list since I could go back at some point and pick up pieces. Hope springs eternal.

Imagine my surprise a few weeks later when late night at the Dollhouse a mysterious package arrived. I thought it might have been from Johnno at first as I opened the unknown plain brown wrapper to have the bag fall out in my lap. He claimed he hadnt bought it for me--even though he was known to spring a gift or 3 on me. I was confused and tried to figure it out.

I knew I hadnt bought it but still spent part of the night going through my bank statements, debit card statements and even my credit card bills to see if I had somehow bought it without remembering. It's not like me but I was concerned. Johnno was delighted at how much the gift was freaking me out--it was like I had a stalker--one who couldnt spell my last name properly. (Per the mailing label)

I couldnt find a clue then so I then took the bag out with me the next day. I was heading out with the bridesmaids to try on dresses and figure if one of them bought the bag I could bust them out. I must have looked crazy as I made my big show of the bag throughout the day and eventually questioned each of the six girls--all of whom never claimed the gift as their own.

So now I am at a loss... I have no idea who sent it to me, where it came from or if I am sleep shopping. I feel like I have lost my mind in a fashion conspiracy.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Book Whore

Anne of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery

As I continue my way through the Anne of Green Gable series I find myself struggling more and more as the series grows. While I still enjoy the writing style of L.M. Montgomery I found myself growing more and more disinterested as Anne is phased out more and more in favor of her children. There are some great moments in the book with Diana and Anne, a fear of Anne losing Gilbert and the brief return of Christine Stuart which helps to shake the core of the family and what they all think and feel about each other.

It is just the drama with the children that wears thin due to obvious and sometimes trying use of small moral pieces to teach lessons without the same care in characterization which made Anne such a great heroine. The only story that stuck with me was the one concerning a graveyard and God--the rest simply kept me from the charcaters I cared about.

That said--I will continue with the series to see how it all turns out. Hopefully I will be less bothered by the children as the age and grow into their own charcacters. I also hope that there is more development with the actual female characters beyond Anne--L.M. Montgomery doesnt seem to enjoy writing for them nearly as much as her boys.

Boo to that.

Street Art Valley Style

You have to find something pretty everywhere

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Worst Week Ever

Worst Week Ever

It has taken me a full week to recover but I recently had the worst week ever. Like beyond anything I have gone through in a long time but I solidered on and was able to function beyond it. That said--I'm not looking to relive it in full detail so here are the highlights.

1) My brother is in jail. Now I have known for awhile now that my brother is a heroin addict. It is a gut-wretching situation to be in--part of what I have learned on my show is how hard a drug that is to kick, how overdose is as common as recovery and that they will do anything for the habit. So when my mother called me about him being in jail I knew the worse case scenario but had to hold my tongue.

Instead I used my job to research what he had been arrested for--breaking into houses, stolen credit cards and cash, the common thug crimes addicts committ. He is probably facing some serious jail time, my mother has been falling apart and blaming herself and I am angry at how he has behaved towards us but sad that he has gone this far. And being so removed from it all due to location hasnt helped--all I can do is be honest with my mom to help her make decisions but it is still a heavy burden.

2) Johnno lost his job. Now here's the thing--Johnno's company has always had a high turnover rate which I knew since Kelly was his boss and hired him. I warned him for months to be careful, put his face out there with the bigwigs in a hope it would keep him safe.

Didnt happen.

And when he was let go--my heart broke not only for Johnno but for both of us. So much of the last two and a half years has been about budgeting for the wedding. Our parents have been able to help much--though his parents recently did make a big donation--so we have been very careful about how and where we send our money. I havent bought a fashion piece in almost a year. Crazy town.

So when this went down I wasnt nearly upset about losing Johnno losing his job as I was about the reality of how it was changing the wedding. We were always cutting it cloed myse when it came to the budget and this just shifted everything--open bars, cake options, what room we would have for our wedding night. And so I did what I do best--I took it hard and deep, spent some time crying and almost called the wedding off. I'm not proud of it but I need to process and wallow until I could let go of my fears and anger.

It sucked.

3) Craig's medical incident. My boss Craig is one of the healthist and outdoorsy people I know so imagine to my surprise when the next day (Tues) Jenna and I found him half asleep in his office. We both thought it was because he had been away for a long weekend and was probably just tired.

We were wrong.

After what sounded like a loud snoring fit--Craig began screaming at the top of his lungs. I really wish I could find the words to describe how terrible and loud the sound was--but now I know what it really would sound like to murder someone. (Ironic since I work on a prison show). So I rushed into his office and found him eyes wide open, clutching his chair and just screaming. Jenna and I were the only two in that early--she didnt know what to do and I could tell he was having some type of night terror while asleep. His eyes didnt focus on either one of us in the office.

So while I had her call 911--which doesnt dial out of our office--surprise. I tried my best to wake Craig up without touching him since that could make things worse. He then snapped out of it but still didnt seem to know I was there. He instead tried--failingly-to walk out of his office towards me but i had to catch him to prevent the fall. Eventually I managed to get him to see me and talk to me haltingly but it was scary.

We finally got him into an ambulence after a struggle and while he turned out to be fine--it was stressful. I dont know how I kept such a clear head but I did and even managed to keep Jenna calm on top of that.

4) Facebook drama aka Rory's Creek. So within a few days my friends in the office were aware about the entire wedding/no wedding, Johnno losing his job and how much it was effecting me. My co-worker Jenna and I have been close for over a year-but she is 22 and this is her 2nd adult job in her life and sometimes that comes out in weird ways. So when she posted a supportive but snarky thing on my wall--I was worried that both Johnno and Kelly would think it was attacking them in light of them working together.

So I removed it.

This set off a scene out of a telenovella. Jenna was beyond hurt that I removed it, didnt want to let me explain and when I tried to make it up to her with a joking post about the Craig medical incident--she wasnt having it. So I did what I do best--I backed off to let her cool down so I could talk with her later about it. Turns out this was the worst move I could have made.

The next morning she didnt speak to me at all--awkward since we are in the same space and I am her boss and thought I was her friend. I stilll kept my distance to let her set the pace of whatever was going on--bigger mistake could not have been made. Afterward a whole day of awkwardness she finished out the situation by sending me one of the worst emails I have ever recieved--she wanted to cut the friendship, never talk to me again and only wanted us to email from then on. Unfortunately that wouldnt work in our office and I also wanted a chance to explain the situation.

When she finally let me have that conversation she just ripped me to streads in a way I never saw coming. What really hurt was not only was she overreacting she wasnt letting me explains--she just stood there expressionless as I tried to explain myself then when I finished--she just shook her head and walked away. This after I had fought for her job several times over, been there for her through some deep personal shit and I considered her my protege and a friend. And while I didnt cry--I really wanted to.

Summary) And so I spent that week on an emotional rollercoaster beyond anything I have felt in a while. And I have since shook off parts of it, made some strong decisions regarding what I can and can't do and put it behind me. It was rough but also reminded me I am strong and capable and not a bad person.

Sometimes something good can come out of something bad.

Thursday, March 07, 2013



So I have 6 bridesmaids for the big gay wedding--I tried to pick from the various eras of my life between college friends, Lodie s Angeles friends, creative group friends, friends from random circumstance and the unexpected people who grew into friendship. I ended up going with Edie, Kelly, Chloe, Valeska, Kirby and Ali--a pretty good mix of the various aspects of my life and thankfully they all said.

That said....

It did NOT occure to me that picking so many people would make certain elements of the wedding a bit more complicated. It means a bigger rehearsal dinner than my poor mother was expecting, the idea of the bridesmaids gifts more difficult because what is universal for all of them, but the hardest part has been the dress. The never-to-be-worn-again, could-be-ugly-and-dated-in-two-years, I-dont-wear-dresses-since-Im-a-dude dress. And with six girls with six different colorings, body types, comfortzones and tastes... I opened up a Pandora's box.

Which isnt to say they have been troopers because they have been

So we finally found a weekend when everyone could be in Los Angeles to try and make something happen; a day of shopping was planned to make the most of the situation and so we were going to be off with coffee and courage. At least for me.

And they tried on everything--I learned about ruching and sweetheart necklines, chiffon and sequins, the difference between long and short. We did the wrong colors, the wrong material, things from the 80s and the 50s, cocktail to prom. And while I wasnt able to make a decision--I'm still torn on how to describe what I will be wearing--I learned a lot about clothes but also my girls. How much they must love me to go through with whole process.

But it also gave me some amazing memories--Edie in a high ruffled collar looking like she escaped from a "Dynasty" ball, Kelly covered in a gold and white number better suited for a quinceanera, Kirby bravely shouldering on through ill fitted clevage, Ali demonstrating the various types of necklines, Chloe in the short 70s numbers and the classic moment of Valeska discovering the accidental "PANTSUIT".

So even though it is probably the hardest part of the process outside of the fundraising--it is also probably my favorite part of the wedding process so far. I'm just glad I didnt add more people to the line up--I dont think the bridal dress industry could have handled it!

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Let Them Eat Cake--Unless It Is Crappy Cake

Let Them Eat Cake--Unless It Is Crappy Cake

So I hate cake. Like I really dont like anything sweet except things like Pop Tarts or short bread cookies but most of the time I cannot do sugar for longer than a bite. It's a problem when you are planning a wedding because your supposed to have cake--for the guests, for the ceremony--its part of the package.

Still-- its a lot of money to spend when you're not really going to enjoy it. So I started to look for other ideas that I could live with but would still allow for those special moments. I fell in with this

It's a King cake--a traditional Madri Gras food and something I thought would be humorous for the day given the name and it being a gay wedding. Johnno didnt really care about this detail of the wedding too much so I was off and running. But since it is a season thing I was worried as to how we would find one--would we have to order one from New Orleans or could we find a local bakery in Seattle to make this happen? Thankfully our wedding planner was on the case.

She was able to find a local bakery to buy a sample from and we had it shipped down to us after the holiday. Now I usually only have a small slice once a year so the taste is familar but not super common so I wasnt sure if I would remember what I liked about it. And even though the cake is covered with icing it was also a bread with praline in the center so it wasnt full sugar top to bottom so it could work

And then the sample cake arrived.

I'm going to be nice and not post a picture of what we recieved--I'm sure it had been properly decorated and just had elements of it shift during the mailing. Johnno and I were both eager as we opened the box but what we recieved didnt look anything like a normal King cake. Imagine a loaf of coffee cake with some type of clear glittery glaze over it--nothing like even part of the above picture.

And the taste was just as disappointing.

Now I dont have King cake all the time but even I can tell when something was wrong with it. Dry, boring with way too much sweetness rolled on top. I almost cried as we ate it because of how bad it was--and Johnno did his best to solider on. But we both knew that it wasnt what we needed or wanted for our special day. And to try and send off for a sample of a proper cake sent from New Orleans was too expensive to consider.

So now we're at a loss.

We have to figure out how to move on beyond cake and to something new that could work just as well. Something that we both would like, that the guests would enjoy and be easy to make special for our day. I'm really getting open to suggestions.

Sunday, March 03, 2013


Cleopatra-A Life by Stacy Schiff

Confession: I'm a Cleopatra nerd. So this might not be the most unbaised review ever. But I simply adored this book. Stacy Schiff does a great job of taking the base facts that could be gathered about the city of Alexandria, the ruling families of Egypt, Roman and various other locales and put together something that is gripping with being overly soap opera like. She uses equal amounts skills, research and various historical accounts to put the life, goals and repurcussions of Cleopatra--and by default Mark Anthony and Julius Caesar--into a complex context with becoming dry or boring.

If there is one account of this amazing, overly romantized, wildly political and legendary life to read then this is the one. It takes someone who is beyond the pale and gives you motivation, inspiration and a sense of depth beyond the various detractors and lovers. I cannot recommend any book higher in recent history