Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Sitting here in my dress I'm so nervous I can't remember my vows. Lord help me!
Sent on the Now Network� from my Sprint® BlackBerry
The day has started out as it should. An anti-histamine induced fog, my absolutely wonderful hairstylist getting stuck in zero visibility weather, and a cabbie who almost hit a Yukon. But the folks at Honey Child have done a miracle that I will always remember. I am sitting under the dryer after an amazing shampoo. The owner Bambi came in to style me. Customer service at its best. So at least for this 45 minutes of peaceful dryer time I am calm, relaxed, and thankful.
As for the raining, flooding, and 60 degree temps in December, I'm looking forward to a long marriage that moves heaven and earth.
Friday, December 26, 2008
I'm spending the night before in a wonderfully modern hotel room contemplating why I suddenly developed an allergy. Woke up this morning with an angry face of bumps and welts. Figured that they would go away. Then I finally reach the hotel, after the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, and doing my aunts hair, only to realize they had gotten much worse. So two Benadryl and a prayer that I can wake up in time for my pedi and hair. The wedding will be blogged.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
We popped a bottle of Moet last night to celebrate our first Christmas Eve! 2 days, 50 degree weather in Chicago, and whole heaps of food, this is the best Christmas a girl could ever ask for. My dress is cleaned and pressed, I'll be checking into the Blackstone Hotel tomorrow afternoon and having a rehearsal. My girls will be here! I am ready minus floorcloth and sash.But today it's time to grub.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Wow, I will be married in 4 days.
Don't know if that fact has sunk in but I know that my stress has hit that 4 day mark. From falling on my butt in the mall to driving through this slush that Mayor Daley refuses to plow, I have cussed out most of the people around me. I'm a control freak and in no way do I have control of this event. Everybody expects something and there is only so much I can bend to.
Met with the DJ yesterday. It's amazing that I have known him since I was 11 and when to some of elementary, high school, and college with him So we might hear some Tallahassee hits circa 2001 and Baja's with the Usual Suspects. Oh to be in college again :)
Thursday, December 18, 2008
The hair decision . . . I'm going to get both! I'm getting it cut like Kelis and then styled like Rihanna for the actual wedding. Got to return to my roots of funky hair.
The necklace is done and now just have to bang out the earrings. The attendants jewelry is almost done. Now if I could just get this floor cloth done we'll be doing just peachy.
PG-13 alert! Now I've been debating on sharing this but I'll try to be PC. What in the hell possessed me to do pre-wedding celibacy for a month? Especially a month where I've only had one off day so far and the next one is tomorrow in which I'm driving to the suburbs after a snow storm to get my nails done and then returning to a city to have my hair done. Was I completely batshit?! But maybe that's what honeymoons are for :) This must be the makings of Bridezilla because my stress level is way up and my patience is way down, but my arms and glutes look great courtesy of the Bar Method. And I think that my morning workout is the only thing saving everyone from my celibacy induced Bridezillaness.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
The vows are done! Yay! I'll actually have time to memorize them because I absolutely hate to see people standing in front of each other at a wedding reading off some tacky note cards.
So for the hair it's gonna be either of these
Monday, December 15, 2008
How did I get here?
Did a search to find some old (way old) poetry on this website. Me and an ex that shall remain nameless (she know who she is) used to post religiously. Now that relationship/non-relationship was hell on wheels and put me through almost every relationship horror you could think of. I read the progression of love, anger, bitterness, and drama that happened. The last vestiges of that relationship ended about two and a half years ago, but it seemed as if the emotional roller coaster would never end. At the precipice of getting married, I feel compelled to review and make sure I learned all of the lessons of my past. Although that woman literally almost drove me crazy (Sunshine Manor anyone?) I am forever thankful for the experience. I learned that I could never love someone if I didn't first love myself. The craziness went on for four years too long because I loved her more than myself. I accepted being treated terribly because I didn't believe I deserved better. In that state I could have never accepted the love that Ms. J gives me everyday. Somewhere along the way I became the person that I am supposed to be for her, but more specifically for me. I am so much more than I was then. There is so much that I can't say about those years but I made it through the fire.
Now maybe this reflection will help me with those vows :)
I'm not ready.
This wedding has been in the planning for about 4 months and I can honestly say that in 12 days I will be marrying my soul mate, but I'm not ready. Nothing is finished, I can't find the right words for my vows (I wonder if she'll let me dance my vows), the dress is still at the cleaners. All sorts of hell is breaking loose because in all actuality I only have 6 days to get this thing rolling. HELP!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
My house is clean and it is snowing in New Orleans!
I'm taking stock of everything. How a year ago today I was grieving one of the most important men in my life who I didn't get to say goodbye to. He knew how much I loved him and hoped he knew just how much he influenced my being. The ability to be an out lesbian, openly professing my faith, openly questioning doctrine and dogma, loving myself through the tough times. I think he is somewhere over my shoulder orchestrating this joining.
I wish he could be there and walk me down the aisle with my father to the woman I think he knew I was destined for.
I came back to Chicago on December 1st for his homegoing service. I met her on the 17th and didn't intend on staying in Chicago, but soon after we met I knew she was the one. Thank you Anthony. I love you. I know you will be dancing down the aisle with me.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
So . . . 18 days. My hair is waaaaaaay too long in the back and I am fighting the urge to cut my hair boy short for the wedding, like this (this is me after my last birthday)
The fiancee somehow managed to convince me to grow it so it now looks like this (although this pic is a year old)
And would absolutely murdalize me if I cut it. So I'm fighting between this
and a mohawkish style like this
Monday, December 8, 2008
To the fabulous planners who held Cocktails & Details on Thursday I haven't forgotten you. Thank you for answering the few lingering, nagging questions I had about this wedding in 19 days.
Liene from Blue Orchid Designs
Andria Lewis of Andria Lewis Events
Aletha Vandermaas of Pearl Events
Isis Petire of Posh Events, LLC
and of course Terrica of Fabuluxe Events, Inc
They gave me some absolutely fabulous ideas for the flow of the event and our exit. They also inspired me to loose the attitude over the fact that the guest list is so over the limit that the event I envisioned is not the event we will have. Their knowledge was invaluable. I think they will be holding another one on December 11, but don't quote me. So head over to Fabuluxe and check out the soiree page.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I about cried when I saw this. Now I consider myself fairly religious and very gay, and always wondered about how oxymoronic that predicament was. But Jack Black as Jesus is classic
Sunday, November 30, 2008
I have good intentions, but life takes over. This week was just plain ole fat. I've been indulging myself with the delusion that it's okay for the holidays. Between our families meeting, work and the wedding, food an drink has been the comfort. No more. This upcoming week is the week of being good to myself. The families loved each other, my bff for life just got engaged on Thanksgiving, and I'm dancing today in honor of a man who shaped my fabulous black gay self.
So this week:
1. No Harolds ( I swear they put crack in the hot sauce)
2. No Cocktails
3. No restaurant food
This next 28 days I will live by the bar method, loose 15 lbs, and care for myself like the blushing bride I'm supposed to be.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Last night was amazing! I was supposed to be at a dance rehearsal for an upcoming perfromance but only 3 of us showed up so me, the fiancee, a long time friend/fellow dancer and his fiancee/husband decided to have cocktails in the attached restaurant. Life, love, and the pursuit of happyness.
It is amazing how life just intervenes in all of the best laid plans. I met the fiancee in a city I was just passing though and knew she was the one. They had a similar story of fate. Over two and a half Red Velvet Martinis I saw my relationship mirrored in maleness and realized that we were on to something. I think the black gays are coming a long way in realizing that there is a life beyond the stereotype of promiscuity and detachment. We can form attachments that are just as lovely and just as screwy as the straights. The white ones have figured that out already and that's why the Prop 8 demonstrations seem totally devoid of color. But we need to be more visible, love more, be more open so it's known that yes, we do exist and no, we aren't going anywhere any time soon.
34 days to go.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Man oh man, it's been a week. Usually I'll have time to read my favorite blogs and update my own, but not this week. From meeting my mother to figure out if we can fit the doubled guest list (that's right, doubled), to running hither, thither, and yon to get the last details of cake and food, to meeting with our lovely officiant who is located across the world on Harlem and 63rd, I've been a bit of everywhere this week.
The DIY list is getting smaller without me doing anything. Everything I can outsource for the cheap is being done (thanks Sam) or eliminated. 35 days is nothing in the scheme of wedding planning.
Great news though, we are going to NOLA on our honeymoon!!!!! WHOOOO - HOOOO for the lushly overfed, southern fried, creole spicy week long honeymoon in the most decadent city in the country. Beginets here I come!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
300 guests + food and liquor + 40 mi outside of the city = this wedding I went to last night
The fiancee and I had a marvelous time at a wedding last night. It was everything a good girl would hope it to be, and as a guest, it was a great time to get politely smashed on free liquor. As with everything in life, there is always a running commentary going through my brain so I can never just enjoy the simplicity in anything and this wedding has given me plenty of fodder. As much as I would love to recount the night with catty play by plays a la Queer Eye, the couple seemed so happy and in love that I don't have the heart. But I do have a few lingering questions:
1. Between the two of you, are you really that super tight with over 300 people?
2. Why do DJ's have to be obnoxious as all hell while you and the now spouse are having the first dance?
3 Does the vidioegrapher have to carry the tripod while he's filming said dance, instead of picking the dang thing up and acting like he knows what he's doing?
4. Should your planner really be walking around your ceremony in socks?
5. Why does some catered food taste like cardboard? (just for the record, my salmon was good)
On a side note, I also had a makeup assignment in the suburbs before the wedding and did the makeup for a bride and her mother. The bride seemed genuinely disinterested in her big day. I can only speculate from the 30 minuts I spent with her, but it didn't seem like she wanted to be getting married. Now, I'm NOT trying to make the point that she didn't love her fiancee and want to spend the rest of her life with him. She seemed to have given into the idea of a wedding of tradition that did not fit her personality. Her hair was done in a beautiful updo that she seemed uncomfrtable in. She stressed to me that she didn't want any makeup but I managed to convince her to add a bit of color for the pitures. She just went with what her family said to do with not much joy or any other emotion.
I think it is so important that a wedding reflects the personality and desires of the couple as a whole. No one elses will, not tradition or family, should impose on those desires. A wedding is a celebration of committment that two people are making to each other. I always believed that how you go into something determines the outcome. I hope that bride does not encounter in her marriage what she encountered in her wedding.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
What possessed me to have my wedding in the wintertime in Chicago? Six years in the sunny state of Florida must have made me delusional about just how grey and depressing winter really is. So for all of the winter brides who will not be touched by the sun for months before and after your wedding, this inspiration board is for you.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Wedding dress = Princess for a day
When this whole shebang started, I was the bride who was dead set on bucking tradition. A right hand ring for engagement, a slinky, sexy dress with colorful, killer pumps, and absolutely no bridesmaids. No aisles or giving away. Then something called the wedding bug hit me. Maybe it was all of that Knotting and Wedding Beeing that I did like a good little bride. The online browsing turned to shopping which turned into a full fledged wedding complete with dress, shoes, and attendants (not bridesmaids, more on that later)
As a newbie to this wedding thing I had absolutely no idea that the wedding dress industrial society was so, shall I say, involved. Mothers and best friends making a day of helping you put on and take off dresses that cost as much as two semesters of tuition at FAMU (Go Rattlers!). It was all so overwhelming to think of spending $2,000 on a dress when our budget was only $10,000. Then I learned of the sample sale, which actually should be named the cattle call for stylishly frugal brides.
Not knowing what to expect, I got up early, dropped the fiance off at work, and drove to Oak Brook in rush hour traffic, thinking I would be the first one there at 9:00 a.m. Not so much. There were about ten other brides and their mothers and best friends squealing and fawning over the most amazing dresses. The wait for a dressing suite was about 30 minutes so I continued to browse while trying not to drown in the taffeta and silk the other girls were slinging.
THE dress was the first one I tried on. Princess AJ took over as soon as the silk hit my skin and the dress lady zipped me up. At that moment I realized just how my practical, non-traditional lesbian wedding turned into this amalgamation of who knows what. But the great part about that princess moment is that it only set the budget back $215 + $100 for alterations. (hint: one of these dresses is the one I'll be wearing)
Photos from Brides.com
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
It is a new day and I'm through pouting about those amendments. Staring into my beloved's eyes this morning made all that bitterness melt away and made me realize the only way people will see that love is love, is for us to love each other with our whole beings. That's what makes a marriage.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
How do you put peoples rights up for a vote? How do you install within a constitution the denial of rights for anyone? Will it be you next? Will there ever be a vote on how you excercise your chosen religious views? Will there be an amendment banning churches who fuel hate against me from recieveing my gay tax money? Will there be a constitutional amendment that bars infertile couples from getting married, because we know that marriage is only for procreation? I am flabbergasted at the unmitigated moral superiority that the proponents of these measures have over the lives of others. How many of their husbands and wives are cheating, abusing, distant, divorced, and unloving? How many of their marriages are perfect pictures of domesticity? Why does my relationship affect theirs? I'm so sad right now.
We did it!! My president is a black man that lives down the street from me. Who's wife had coffee in the cafe attached to my job. His children have taken art classes there. He sat in the same classrooms in law school 18 years ago that my best friend sat in 1 year ago. He is urban, accessible, a scholar, reflective, and steady. He believes that Ms. J and I should have the same access to all legal rights that married couples are afforded. I will pray for his health and safety throughout his presidency.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I VOTED!!!! The fiancee and I got in line at 5:30 and were the 6 or 8th people to vote (we were too excited to count). By the time we walked out the line was through the hallway and out of the building. Black folks are taking this seriously! (I'm not being biased when I say that because I live close to Bronzeville which is occupied almost exclusively by bronze people). But after the voting frenzy, real life resumes. I clean the house, check email, watch Oprah look like she is about to blow a gasket over Obama, and contemplate how to keep this wedding under budget. It's also way too exciting to be receiving the CD of our engagement photos today.
So what is the budget? As far under $10,000 as we can get it without sacrificing the design concept. As an artist it is hard to compromise on aesthetic vision, and Ms. J is soooo super supportive of my need to be a control freak on this issue (only this issue).
So with a budget that small there is no way we could pay some fine art photojournalist wedding photographer $5000 to document 6 hours of our lives together. Next best option: use the resources at our disposal. I work at an art center surrounded by artists, even some of our college interns are amazing artists. One of them is our wedding photographer. Her amateur work is amazing and because we are using her at the beginning of a possible career in photography the fees are considerably more affordable.
For all those brides who are stressing about how to have amazing photography that fits within your budget.
1. Look for upper level students at local art schools, at colleges, and universities
2. Seek out students and instructors at local art centers that aren't necessarily wedding photographers
If you have any other ideas let me know!
Monday, November 3, 2008
After much resistance I became . . . a blogger! So on this soap box, on November 3, 2008, I am standing to make a statement: Lesbians and Gays, more specifically to me, black Lesbians and Gays do get MARRIED. Just because the state does not recognize our unions does not mean that we don't find the ONE and want to celebrate that with friends and supportive family.
The amendments on the ballots of California, Arizona, and Florida are seeking to enshrine in the constitutions of these states the denial of rights to a segment of the population. Now living in Chicago none of these amendments and propositions affect me, but after six years as an undergraduate in Florida, I have many "family" friends up and down the state. Some who are in long term relationships, and some who one day would like to get married in the state, and country, they call home.
It's not just about the word marriage. I'm getting married no matter what the State of Illinois calls it because I will be making the ultimate commitment to my fiance. It is about the 1000+ rights that accompany the word marriage in the eyes of the government. Even before our "unmarried" wedding we have to prove that we are committed to only each other for me to receive her domestic partner health benefits. I have to pay the Cook County Circuit Court $318 to change my last name, plus more BS and money than anyone could imagine after we are "unmarried" married.
So as I step off my soapbox and reapply my MAC Lipglass, if you live in Cali, Florida, or Arizona please vote no on your respective ballots. Thank you!
So everyone for the wedding wants to know what exactly creative cocktail attire is. My ideas for winter creative cocktail are perfect multi-hued, patterned items like these.
dress: anthropologie shrug bonzie on etsy.com, boots: nine west
Paired with some textured tights and you have creative cocktail!
dress: anthropologie.com , necklace and shrug: etsy.com
Ask LaMont: How to dress 'creative cocktail'
Monday, May 12, 2008
By LaMont Jones, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Q: I recently was invited to a work-related evening affair. The invitation described attire as "creative cocktail" and I wasn't sure what that meant. How should I dress?
A: That's not a common dress code. Gone are the days of formal, informal, cocktail or even business casual. People are coming up with all sorts of new things like "creative cocktail."
Newfangled dress requirements don't have to be stressful to navigate. My guess for creative cocktail is something that fuses a less-structured side of evening with a funky sartorial twist. It's polished but not overly dressy, unexpected but not inappropriate, witty but not self-aggrandizingly over-the-top.
What might that look like? I recently helped attire a friend who attended an affair that requested creative cocktail attire. He showed up at the function in navy trousers, a blue-and-white striped shirt with an open collar and a navy-and-white polka dot silk hanky tucked in the breast pocket of his sleek khaki-colored blazer. He completed the look with black loafers and was the picture of debonair.
He also could have gone with khaki pants, a multicolored plaid jacket and a pastel shirt with a skinny bow tie and a Panama hat. Or a two-button business suit with a colored polo shirt and cowboy boots.
A woman dressing for creative cocktail might want to put on a fitted skirt with high heels, interesting hosiery, a bold blouse and numerous ropes of pearls. Or wide-legged solid slacks with a colorful scarf for a belt and a long-sleeve knit top with stacked bracelets. Or a little black dress with colored peep-toe pumps and a straw fedora in the same color family.