Newport Consignment Gallery – Review

In short, it sucks.

It’s in Newport Beach, and a few blocks away from my work, so I thought it’d be fun to frolic there during lunch sometimes. They’ve changed their name a few times and there’s always a “For Sale or Lease” sign up. For a couple years now. Every once in a while they put out the “Going out of business – 75% off!” sign. Also, going on for a couple years. Not sure what’s happening there, may be a shady sales technique.  They don't seem to be going away, and nothing in there is 75% off.  Not even the Christmas stuff.  (More on that later)

They used to be called Rags to Riches. It seems the name implied that they purchase Rags and expect to get Riches. At your expense, of course. Now it’s called Newport Consignment Gallery/Thrift Shop.

I don’t know what offends me more.. the fact that at the end of January their Christmas stuff is more expensive that Target’s Christmas stuff before Christmas, or the fact that they write their offensive pricing in permanent marker right on the merchandize – wood furniture, fabric, paintings, etc. I love me a thrift shop skirt, but do I really want my ass to say “19.99”? And WHO pays 19.99 for a skirt at a thrift shop?

Jesse pointed out at some very well run in gym shoes for 39.99. The New Balance ones that TJ MAXX regularly sells, new, for about as much. NEW. I’m not a big thrift store shoe person anyway (gotta draw a line somewhere, and mine is shoes – I think other people’s foot sweat is pass out gross, and it’s not like I can throw leather pumps into an extra hot wash for 4-5 cycles.)

Their stuff does get marked down, the longer it stays there. But the Christmas stuff speaks for itself. There’s also a bent plywood chair that has been $3000 the entire time the shop’s been open. That one ain’t getting reduced. There was a pretty cool natural crystal (the rock kind) chandelier for $900.

And a painting I liked. ($399)  I can get behind expensive paintings, I guess.  Art and all.  This one looked like a Picasso nobody knows about.  Except it was signed by a different dude. 

They also had this awesome rocking/high chair that I would like to have made in my full adult size.  It has a screw type mechanism in back, that would lower and rise it, and the little tray lifted up.  $199

Their greatest offense was two sewing machines out by the exit. Both were treadles, a Domestic one, with a pretty wood cabinet with wood appliques, and drawers full of original parts, tin with attachments, bobbins, needles, etc. It was $199.

And then a remake of a treadle machine. The ‘made in China’ "modern antique" version of the treadle machines is inferior to the original ones in every way, anyway and this one looked tacky, in a super crappy plywood cabinet, that was falling apart, and looked like a poor Ikea assembly job to begin with. Glue and screws everywhere and gross all over. That one was $399.   It's an offense to humanity and should be burned, with the cast iron bits remelted into some pots and pans. 

Actually, I take the above back.  The above sewing machine business offended me as a proud sewing machine owner.  Somebody's school craft project took the cake: 

$14.99.  (I mean, I appreciate the religious theme, but)  And, it was on the Christmas clearance shelf. 

On the way out we saw a bicycle from the 80’s, going for $200. I don’t know why they bothered chaining it – nobody would dream of even test riding it.

Bad. All, very very bad.

So, instead I ventured into Huntington Beach's awesome Goodwill and picked up two brilliant skirts for $10.  Which was $4 less than a Christmas craft yarn candy dish type thing.  Go figure.  (Even though I *really* wasn't supposed to get any more clothes till I clean out my closet.  Fail)

In a related story, is it OK to wear mini skirts over yoga pants?  Giraffy said yes, and she's typically the first to jump all over me over really minor fashion offenses..  I LOVE the idea of mini skirts.. but every time I put one on, it's like Slutty Central..  Yoga pants might be the answer to a Snork's severely underused mini skirt closet shelf. 


It's Hump Day!

Here's a small list of things I am currently excited about:

It being hump day, and the fact that I haven't called in sick to work yet. Or at all in, like, MONTHS.

My best friend is coming out to visit from Chicago. We've been friends since high school, and lived together in college, and have matching tattoos even, with our initials. I miss her.

Everlast Shadow Boxing at 24HourFitness (aka Jump Rope Till You Pass Out, and Then Throw a Couple Punches as You're Going Down In a Blackout) was (3d time) awesome, and for the first time today I participated 95% of the class. I was at about 60% first time and 75% second time. I can't drop down in a flurry of pushups just yet, but I can do 4-5 while she's counting 10. Last couple times I rolled around on the ground or stood around and drank water during pushups, jump rope, and a variety of other things she needs you to do while acting like you're on speed. Progress!!!

It only took me 2 tries in one eye and 3 in the other to put in contact lenses, and I didn't have glasses fogging up and bouncing on my nose during all the jumping/hopping/boxing/push uping.  I don't wear contact lenses often, so it usually take me a half hour to wrestle them into my eyeballs, and then I look like i've been in a crying fit for the rest of the day.  More progress!

Giraffy and I are heading to Big Bear this weekend, where us SoCal-ers can see some REAL snow!! YIHAW. I've been looking for a sled on Craigslist and Goodwill, but not so much.

The pants we dumpstered for Giraffy's anklebiter#2 FIT her!!! $2.25 snowboard pants. WIN. I've enjoyed actually having something specific to look for while 'dumpstering', and it's prevented me from bringing crap home. ($2 Clothing items are addicting)

If we didn't end up going to Big Bear, some friends are going dirt biking in the hills (Also in snow!). I love having weekend fun options, doing cool things, and having awesome friends to do them with.  I am secretly hoping that we end up needing chains on the way to/from Big Bear, because giraffy delcared today she would not pay $30 for those road side men to put them on, and instead she will look up.  Youtube videos.  Of how to put chains.  On a vehicle.  With any luck and chain law in effect, I have some quality snowside entertainment coming.

While dropping off said pants, we got to partake in freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.

Jill at Bluebonnet Trails sent me some Shea Butter soap, and some Camommile Lavender Soap, and wicked good smelling wax tarts, and all just in time for my hair washing day (which is an exciting affair to beging with. Ever since this no 'poo experiment any time I get to wash my hair I'm happy like a mud puddle piglet)

Jesse downloaded "Keeping Up Appearances" for me,

and I am about to go watch a couple episodes and dissolve in a cup of tea..from my Royal Doulton with handpainted blue periwinkles.

(that last part only makes sense if you're also an avid Hyacinth Bucket fan) 


Few More Wedding Dresses to Consider.

Afred Angelo in Huntington beach had pretty underwear for under the dress. No giant padded boobs this time or sweating in a ridiculous Spanx slip.

Looks like a wedding getup all by itself, yes?:

I wanted to try on the two colored dresses that I mentioned in my previous post. 

They were OK.  I think I still like the dress Giraffy and I tried on at David's Bridal more, but I find it really hard to dislike any wedding dress.  They are all so incredibly white, shiny, beady, and sequen-y.

If I was smarter, I'd have done up my make up and hair. 

But, even without, when the dress shop lady grabbed the dress behind, and bunched it up in the back to draw in my waist, to match my wrists, and held me up in the front the mirror, kinda like a puppet, I felt all types of pretty.

Couldn't breath or anything, but who needs oxygen when you're wearing a pretty beaded veil (her idea, she was pretty good at this playing dress up thing).

And then.  THEN.  At a Huntington Beach Goodwill (I'm so weak).  There was this:

Jesse played horrified, pretended he didn't know me, and babbled a lot about "awful", "ugly", and "80's".  But, he's a little confused.

Granted, the dress was a bit torn up at the bottom, the tulle, and stuff.  But, did you see the beads??!

I tend to shop by colors and textures.   I kind of want this dress, to take home, cut shorter, dip in a purple dye bath, and wear out.  Until I get tired of the ballerina look, and then I can cut the skirt off entirely and rock the beaded tube top thingy.  Either under a blazer or alone.  I'm feeling warm just talking about it. 

Unfortunately, it was $99.  Which was steep, even for Goodwill. 

Especially what with David's Bridal having their 99 dollar sale - which I checked out - ALL of those dresses are beautiful and can be had.  Was I not knee deep in stalking out the Cinderella dress, I would absolutely acquire one.  I hear they have that couple times a year, so there's still chance.  I really don't know how people get married WITHOUT procuring a David's Bridal $99 dress.  May be this next sale will include the Cinderella dress in the $99 line up.

Anyway.  On the way out the door (most ungracefully, and kinda pouty), I used an opportunity to encounter and harrass the store manager, who waved his hand towards the back the store (and my wedding dress) and said I can have it for $50.  Had it not been for Jesse's side eyeing me, I could have hung around a little longer and whittle it down to something more acceptable, like, $10.  They really need to develop a larger books section so the men may be entertained longer while their girlfriends ambush store employees for discounts.   Which, reminds me, it's time for my weekly phonecall to Debbie's Dumpster to see if they wanna sell me their 'display' dress form yet.  87th time might be the charm.


Gym Win (4x Week) and Hair Madness

We were at gym like losers on Friday night, so why not end it same way. I was really froggy in the afternoon, but after dinner and nap, only the thought that Heather will strangle me with her yoga mat Monday if I stand her up, got me off the couch. Thanks to J's 4th attempt at wake up call.

Elliptistupidness and twice around circuit training. That'll teach me to drink margaritas and eat Trader Joe Joe's by the pound.

In other news, it is time for my weekly hair washing.  Well, twice-a-weekly washing.  I'm thinking of skipping the vinegar rinse this time and the next.  I washed it last two times with some homemade soap from Bluebonnet Trails, and rinsed with vinegar.   First time I wasn't sure about the soap, so I only used a bit.  I didn't want to to spoil the grossnessfest by introducing something that might, *gasp* clean.  No, but really, I wanted to make sure I'm not regressing back to shampoo-like stuff.  But it didn't strip the hair, it didn't even dry out the hair as bad as baking soda.  Last Wednesday  I used plenty of soap (I missed suds) so I'm officially off baking soda and onto this soap thing.  Which will also allow me to finally colour my hair again.  The roots are ghastly. 

I still have the Super Fancy Whole Foods conditioner, but I haven't really used it much.  It's no Pantene, and as such, it seems useless.  I want to see what soap alone does.  The hair, as it is now is doing OK.  They grey crap that was in it seems to have fallen off, travelled down the hair shaft, or however else it disappears.  There's no longer mass amounts of it on my head, making me feel like a hobo.  I noticed the hair doesn't get greasy on the front as it normally would by day 3 post wash,  but it does in the back.  Kind of opposite of what it used to be.  Hopefully this back of the head business levels itself out.  Any day now, I can picture just washing my hair with water.  With water lillies and candles in the back ground.  It's a well developed dream.

Meanwhile, the soap thing is kind of neat, since I can use it for hair and body and de-clutter my shower.  It also is less likely to spill in my luggage, what with being a solid bar and all, or run amok all over my week's worth of clothing in my vehicle when camping.  I wonder what the cost difference is, but I don't have any of the necessary data to run comparisons.  I'm guessing it's probably cheaper.  If it ever gets too expensive, I guess I can cut down the bathing to once a week and ration the soap. 

Now I'm motivated to go raid the scary under the sink cabinet in the bathroom and toss some things out.  Like the foundation that I haven't used since high school, but can't quite part with, you know..


Gym Is Finally A WIN

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Granted, I ate today a bunch of Trader Joe's Joe Joes. If you don't know what that is, it's best for you. It's like cookie crack. I followed this up with a loaf of bread and a saucer of olive oil and garlic. So, the gym thing is kinda a wash, but not even, since I ate a lot more than 300 calories.


I was telling Heather, whom I plucked out of near nap to go to the gym (it was her idea to begin with), that for the first time today, I got to the gym, stepped on the elliptical and didn't feel like I was fighting to stay upright and breathe by minute 5.

We started ellipticalling this summer, though not very regularly, and I remember it was hard for us. HARD. By .75 of a mile we were both hoping the other is ready to quit. It was pretty theatrical up at Heather's apartment gym. But we weren't very consistent, which I think got in the way of us getting better.

We have been doing the gym thing for 4 weeks now, 3 times a week about. Jesse read somewhere that it takes 30 days of repeating behavior to form a habit. I felt today was a breakthrough. Not only did we get up, out of our warm house, stopped sewing (in my case) and made it to the gym, but it just felt right. After all, having eaten a loaf of bread for dinner, it really should feel right. I felt antsy after dinner.

Not only did gym feel like a natural part of the day, when we got there, and I hopped on the elliptical - even though I haven't really done it much, I felt fine. I didn't even sweat the first 5-7 minutes. Usually, by then I am trying to slither off it as gracefully as possible and go walk a treadmill or something less challenging. Like a beer by the pool.

I shared this with Heather, and she agreed, she's had a similar experience with running on treadmill this week. (Even though when she showed at the gym today, she acted like I had just skinned a favorite kitten of hers throughout most of the 'circuit trainin' deal. But we're supposed to motivate each other, so she sucked it up eventually. I think. ) We haven't even made it to the treadmill portion of the gym in our class taking. By the time the classes are over we are tired, the legs are trembling, and we either hot tub or go home. We dare not try run before class, lest it causes us to collapse halfway through the class. And the classes still kick my ass, the 4th week in. It doesn't feel any easier. Doing lunges on one leg for what seems like an hour is still a sucky way to spend what feels like an hour.

My favorite class so far is Everlast Shadow Boxing. Like every other class, it wasn't at all what I expected. You don't get to punch stuff for an hour straight. Instead, for 40 minutes (with two 30 second water breaks) you "train like a boxer", which apparently involves jumping rope for 2 minutes, doing jumping jacks, 'mountain climbers', running like madman in one place, and generally acting like you're on crack, punctuated by a few 'boxing combos'. By the time the combos are introduced I'm about to ready to pass out from the rope jumping nonsense, so I flail around with my fists aimlessly. However, I see great potential. Two weeks ago I spent about a third of the class standing around, wondering if I can make an unnoticed exit. Last week it was only may be a fifth of the class. It's getting better.

I haven't lost any weight, (can't be the Joe Joe's, can it?) But my body fat has gone done from 25.1 a month ago to 23.1 now, and I can spend a half hour on the elliptical, and feel good about it. I hope this post reminds me why it's important to keep this up - it is HARD to get back on the gym wagon once you fall off, even briefly. But when you're on, if feels AWESOME. Not to mention that I no longer send $20 to 24HourFitness just for giggles once every month, it's actually FOR something. WIN.


Knee Deep in Survival Mode

I may have mentioned is it a gray, cold, stormy Southern California week. Three days this week there have been thunder storms. Do you ever worry that lightning will hit you through the window? If you don't, don't worry, I worry for you.

I remember when I was may be 9, in a village in Ukraine, my grandmother was burning the fire stove, and a thunderstorm came. My grandmother took me and my great grand mother across the yard to the underground cellar each house has next to it, in lieu of a fridge. We stood there, in the dark, next to sacks of potatoes, pickled tomatoes, and fruit jellies for a good half hour, waiting out the storm. I wondered at the time why a lightning would pick ours, the smallest of all village houses, to strike, but my grandmother was determined to wait it out, since "lightning looks for heat". We giggled whilw we were in there. I think my great grandmother may have sworn out loud. It was pitch dark. But it never occurred to my grandmother to take a chance and go back tot eh warm house. So, I guess, it's genetic.

It crept up on me with age, and fear of heights, and I wonder if it has to do with being OCD, but I am action packed with paranoia. There's lightning outside right now, and I am pretty sure it's out to get me. I researched online and found out I am safe in my vehicle in a storm. But not in my tent. Check out the National Weather Service Lightning Safety Site. The dude who got killed in his tent?? "A bolt struck a boulder next to the the tent, travelled through the ground, into the tent, and into the guy's elbow" ?! I am scarred for life just having read that. It travelled through the ground, and INTO the tent. How sneaky and underhanded is that? I think lightning, and I think avoid standing in a puddle, touching the tent poles and my thermos. I never think, 'float in the air'. I will now, though. I'm all over it.

Or, same site, check out these cows:

A little more straightforward, they were feeding through the fence when the lightning came. But still.

It also JUMPS. Take note, it travels underground, and JUMPS. This is why they tell you not to stand next to large objects that might attract the current. What they don't tell you is stuff like it can travel horizontally for 5-10 miles. Next time you're out about in a storm, try and make sure you're not next to anything for about 5-10 miles. Oh, except, I guess, if you succeed, you ARE the large object.

I am learning to make sure that when a storm hits I'm in a non convertible vehicle of some sort. Everything points to these being pretty safe. As long as you're not listening to the radio. There's always a catch. Like, the fact that it travels under ground. Or through plumbing. Or jumps.

I got woken up by the thunder noise, and I couldn't go back to sleep. (that's what I get for skipping gym and napping). Jesse isn't troubled at all, and I hesitate to share with him that I have calculated approximately 65 lightning paths that all lead to me. Most of them have to do with the bedroom window, and a couple with my mug of tea. It JUMPS, people!

Last time we camped in Moab, UT, there was a giant lightning storm dancing on the rock rides all around us. I was fascinated, and took a million pictures to catch just a few flashes.

My absolutely favorite camping picture EVER:

If you zoom in on the lightning, it even looks like a little man falling down. I think it was speaking to me. Talk about omens.

I also asked Jesse if I would be safe if, say, I curled up on top of the truck tire. As in the wheel. I spent a good 10 minutes mentally arranging myself on top of a truck wheel, in a fashion that would have all my body parts off the ground and under th truck, simultaneously. Talk about survival instinct kicking in. I decided there was about 50 lbs too much of me to effectively carry it out. Or we need much bigger tires.

Back then, cell phones weren't working, and I didn't know about this truck safety thing, it seemed like a giant steel electrocuter box, and I was safer planted on some nice, non conductive rocks; I even stayed away from the grill you see there in the picture. We were even camped out on the National Weather Safety No-no: a hill ridge. To be fair, the storm seemed to be pretty far off, and cell phones had no reception to read about how it travels horizontally for up to 10 miles. Next time I am camping though, and a storm hits, you best believe I will be holed up in the truck, folding up myself as compact as possible and thinking very small thoughts. I am not trying to hang out somewhere and wait till I feel my hair stand up (St Elmo's Fire, old sailors call it)

On the bright side, this has taken my mnd off the constant worrying that an earthquake is looming (Southern California, we're long overdue, says the History Channel). If ever I DO get lightning struck, the headlines will never say, "Unsuspecting SoCal Woman Taken Out by Freak Lightning Strike". Insead, I hope they have the good sense for something like, "A Very Suspicious Woman Taken Out By Lightning She Fully Expected As It Struck Through the Window, Travelled Alarm Clock Wire, and Jumped Out Her Tea Mug At Her".


Yoga Mat Bag - Sewing Project

I forget which bet Mr Snork lost, but he ended up tagging along to the 24Hour Fitness classes with me one night when Giraffy couldn’t make it. Now he’s kinda hooked. I guess he thought that we just flail around aimlessly in there, and trade eyeliner tips for an hour. Then he came, sweated for an hour like a squirrel in heat, found out he couldn’t hold a plank as well as the ladies, and rolled around on the floor with a towel over his face during the whole Abs session (aka 15 Minutes of Shame and Drama), and spent an hour of Yoga laying flat on his belly. There may have been some movement, but it wasn’t discernible.

Well, now we’re on this 3 days a week kick, and classes seem to be the only sure way to get us there, and he goes to class, because it probably makes him work harder than he would otherwise. (I saw that bicycle thing he pedals – padded armrests? Really?) And we try to shuffle clubs and schedules go on days that end in Yoga, it's a really nice way to end stupid work out madness.

Anyway, because of a severe global lack of manly yoga mats (I mean, they’re out there, but, $60?) he got the purple one I had, I got a pink one, and I am sewing him a yoga bag so he can look all manly, like he’s just passing on his way to some Big Boy Weights, and happened to accidentally stop in Yoga. Until he gets him a manly mat. Plus, it is a gray, rainy, cold Southern California this week, and perfect for crafts.

I had some manly upholstery weight camouflage fabric in my stash, and some black mystery fabric I had used to line the back of my bookshelves (I guess Ikea didn’t wanna spring for the plywood backing on this particular model).

I eyeballed yoga bags online, and then came across a couple free patterns. I liked Amy Butler's designs, which you can download for free here. I like her fabrics, too.

I like the wide strap (manly-ness potential) and the lining inside makes it look less 'homemade' and more finished. I think I'll make another one for me, in pretty flowery/lizardy/froggy fabrics.

It calls for the main piece to be 19x27, but I cut a 20x35, because I want it to be a little looser, and with enough room on top to fashion a drawstring or some sort of other closure. Amy’s pattern leaves the bag open, which is also OK.

The main outside pocket (I thought was nifty) I cut 20x15 (Instead of 19 x 12) the liner as well, but didn’t divide in 3 equal parts, it would make deep and narrow pockets, that would be a pain to fish keys/cell phone out of. I eyeballed into something like 1.25/.75 width ratio to the total width and made two pockets.

I was really hoping it would be a one night project, but because I eyeballed a lot of measurements instead of measuring, the piecing together became tedious.

I made the strap – 14” width, 35” length, folded in half, then in half again, and sewed along that middle crease. The idea is to turn it inside out. I wanted to center my seam, but if you don't feel like spending 10 minutes turning stuff inside out, you can also just fold the wrong sides together, and fold again the two edges in toward the center (makes 4 layers of fabric) and stitch the strap closed .25” from edge, and run another .25” edge seam on the other side for symmetry.

I attached the wrong side of the Camo Fabric to liner, and stitched .5” seam along top edge. This will be top edge of pocket, if you were using a fabric pattern where it mattered. Turned the right sides out, press flat, and mashine baste .25” edges to attach panels. Then I attached pocket to right side of bottom main panel.

After the pocket is attached, I sewed the main panel shut (right sides together, then turned inside out), and stuck the lucky yoga mat in there to make sure it fits.
I spent a good half hour cutting out circles of various wrong diameter, and eventually settled on the least butchered one. (Yeah, I do all my drafting right on my carpet..)

Basted it in place, learned it was 4” too big (all the way around, if you were competent, it would have been readily apparent before any stitching took place), and took out the stitches. Got the very first circle I cut, that I had deemed too small, and tried it again.

The bottom edge of the ‘bag’ has to be notched, to allow flaring to fit the circle bottom. It didn’t look pretty but it worked.
By the time I basted the second bottom onto the bag, it was 1am. It occurred to me I’ll have to, at least partially, take the basting stitches out to attach the strap (between main panel center seam and bottom).

But I turned it inside out, stuck the yoga mat in there again, and it looked pretty cool, so I’m pleased. I wish I had a "right side out' picture that was a little more aesthetically pleasing, but..alas.

I will figure out today what kind of closing contraption I want on top, and hopefully finish it tonight. I got hooks and a drawstring.. I’m thinking I’ll stitch the strap to the top, fold the top inward, stitch around, and then attach another tube piece – extended the top above the strap, and drawstring that. This way, the strap will be below the strap – the strap plus any layers of the main panel is really thick to sew through for drawstringing and such.

Tonight - Shadow Boxing, Abs, Turbo Kick, and Yoga! (for now, without a bag for Jesse, but hopefully next week he'll be in style and making all the other [1-2] men jealous of his homemade gym stuff.


The Search for Awesome Wedding Dress is ON.

I thought about making my own wedding dress, but, let's face it, I"m just not that good. Or fast. Track record shows it would take me 5-7 years to make even a crappy, start up version of a dress. Think Nora, the duct tape dress form. (She's still hanging unfinished.) So, I'm looking for the perfect wedding dress. And by perfect, I mean:

it fits me
it's ridiculously fluffy, glittery, and awesome
it's around $50
it would help if it lent itself to being drug around beaches, mountains, and on top of a dirtbike for the various photos I care to have taken in it.

and may be a splash of color?

I mean, I guess if it comes around and it's awesome, and my size, and a $100, that's OK, since I never went to prom. I really have no other wedding plans. I was thinking of sending people $7 with the invitation and a map of the closest Subway to the beach. This is an upgrade of my plan to cater breadsticks and calling, instead of sending invitations. (Who doesn't like breadsticks?!). Renting a loudspeaker is still on the menu. I'm sort of hoping Jesse develops an affinity for planning stuff, and jumps all over it, and invites me at the end.

Anyway, $7 for about 30 people (I'm generously overestimating the number of our friends and relatives who like Subway), leaves me with near $10,000 of a typical wedding budget for the dress (I'm guessing here). I would like to use about $50 of that on the dress, and the rest should go towards my vacation in Costa Rica, and possibly wind surfing (I heard it's an expensive start up sport), and a new snowboard. This is [imaginary] money managing 101 here, people.

So, I decided that may be I ought go into a shop and try on some dresses to see what size I am (I learned on Craigslist they run small) and what I like.

I called Alfred Angelo in Huntington Beach on Saturday, but they were incredibly snotty. However, I thus found out you need an appointment to try on wedding dresses. That seemed to be as inconceivable as making an appointment at Sears to buy a blender, and my complete lack of planning almost ruined my plans. However, my girlfriend Heather had gotten a baby sitter just to make this outing possible, so I called David's Bridal. They were less snotty, and had a 5:30 appointment.

We went in and went straight to frolicking in the racks, and pulled some awesome dresses off the guessed 'size 8' rack. I only wanted to try on three styles, to see what I liked. But I have a dysfunction when it comes to beads and shiny things, and I was pretty sure I loved every dress in there. Anyway. In the middle of all this excitement, and 6-7 pulled dresses later, we got unceremoniously plucked out of the aisle and sent to the front desk, where I had to make up things like my wedding date, my wedding location, and the type of venue it was going to be. Thankfully, I didn't have to go into details about my $7 Subway sandwiches/loudspeaker plan, since it's not fully developed yet and misunderstood.

Apparently, they frown on you pulling your own dresses. Instead, they put them back (as I watched..) and had me pick out (the same) dresses from the catalogue. To then deliver them to me in size 4. Which, we learned, I am not:

But not before I was stuffed into some sort of a spandex Spanx girdle type "slip" with a bra corset over it.

Let me walk you through this: 34B boobs in a Spanx slip = 34 boobs. They disappeared into the ribcage. That Spanx is good stuff for your ass, and it's JUST as good for your boobs, if you needed it there. Putting the corset bra over the slip is to bring the illusion of boobs BACK. It's all very weird. I guess the "slip" protects the inside of their bra contraption from sweat? Which makes sense, cause once you're wearing two layers on spandex and wrapped in 20 lbs of taffeta, you're sweating. Profusely.

And I got to pick out pretty awesome gold shoes. My high heeled Crocs flip flops were found to be offensive.

Then we got to trying on dresses. I wanted to try on a few, but the catalogue only had 3 that I liked, the rest were on that rack I can't touch, and I didn't want to put up a fight. I was too sweaty, and the girl helping me was super nice, and just let us more or less do our own thing.

Can I lift this over a dirtbike? Is it too much fabric to drag about a beach?

Heather warned me about the 'grandma lace potential' on this one. I think she was right. But still. Pretty.

It was pretty awesome. Except they kept bringing size 6 dresses, and I thought that may be "breath taken away" was a literal concept. There was lots of giggling. And sparkly stuff. I was done by dress #4, it was hot, I got an idea of what I liked, and I was feeling lightheaded from holding my breath while Heather zipped them up.

I LOVED two of the dresses.

The longer, more ridiculous one, I asked to try on in a size 8, which I guessed intially, but wasn't sure. I also took off the ghastly spandex girdle. It fit perfectly, and now I kinda want it, even though I wanted a two colour type dress before.

Like this one:

A friend online helped me find the dress above on preownedweddingdresses.com, but having tried some on on real life, the one selling there would be too big. Even with the fake boob girdle. :(

Even the back on the Saturday dress is pretty:

I briefly thought about spending $900 and showing up at home with a dress, but decided to sleep on it. That would be a gross plan deviation. Heather wasn't helping, cause she liked the idea of TWO wedding dresses. Long for church, short for beach. I hear it's all the rage now. 80% of Craigslist posting start with, "I ended up with two dresses".

When we pulled out own dresses, there were a couple cheap ones I liked, but they weren't in the catalogue, so I never got to try them on. The girl helping us said it's their policy not to let people get their own dresses, because "I someone sprains their neck lifting a 15lbs dress, we can't pay for that". So, I don't know how they even sell those, "other", uncatalogued (older?) dresses. Sigh.

So, I now supplement my usual Craigslist trolling with model numbers and stuff. I found the awesome dress for sale in Dallas. In a literally "breath taking" size 6. May be if I hit 24HourFitness just a l i t t l e bit harder.. ?

Jesse says he's not supposed to see me in a dress. Some sort of a tradition the Russian weddings lack, kinda like the cake, the bridesmaids, and the whole engagement thing. (We call the wedding bands 'engagement rings' and don't actually have sparkly engagement rings. Although I wonder how much of the Western influence has caught on in this regard). All of this makes me wonder if it's OK to post pictures of dresses? I'll probably go ahead and add them in the morning and tell Jesse to not nose around in my blog should he feel 'badlucked' or something :D