This would be that "career" thing I've heard so much about...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Yes, I'm Tall.

A kind of weird thing happened to me at work yesterday. I was actually - actively - recruited for the Corporate Basketball Team. And - after protesting that I would likely do more damage than good for whatever team I was let loose on and having all my well-reasoned excuses waived down - I said "sure, I'll sign up."

Brace yourselves for a shock: I was never what you might call an "athletic" child. More what you might call a "bookish" child. I HATED the "team" sports at school because I had glasses and braces and coltishly-awkward skinny long legs and was - yes - generally picked last-ish.

I'm thinking it's PMS. Or... some part of me has recognized that it's possible that the universe has gotten tired of listening to me whine about not having enough physical activity in my life and has presented me with this opportunity that will either 1) give me some physical activity or 2) convince me to cease and desist with the complaining about exercise already.

I asked the lady who recruited me when we start rehearsals. She kind of smiled this half-sweet / half-worried smile and told me "practices" hadn't been scheduled yet.

And did you know you have to have special shoes to play basketball? I mean - not the same sneakers you go running in. A whole different kind of sneaker with a high-top to protect your ankles. I have to worry about my ANKLES.

I signed a waiver promising that if I get hurt I'll admit it's my own damn fault and not sue the company.

Who knows. Maybe I never got into basketball because as a child I was so afraid of rejection that I decided that team sports were stupid and who wanted to get caught up in some pointless exercise where two groups of people expend vast amounts of energy trying to get a ball through a hoop when that time could just as well be spent devouring the entire collection of Sweet Valley High books? SWEET VALLEY HIGH, people. THAT'S how much I hated the idea of playing team sports.

It's going to be an interesting spring.


Monday, March 20, 2006

Popcorn Picnic - Lucas Vs. Whedon

Okay... I thought this was pretty awesome:

Popcorn Picnic comic about Lucas critiquing "Serenity."

Tee hee hee.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Thank God It's Monday

Seriously. I'm amazed we survived this weekend.

I have to say here that I am indebted to JW and AW for their amazing skills in navigating flower marts, arranging transportation and prepping and storage of cut flowers, and keeping me from hyperventilating and/or exploding into a panic-cloud.

And to JB for being a saint.

Wedding Recap: Sunday


Sunday morning JB cooked us all a lovely breakfast and I got my family prepping green orchids for the bouquets assembly-line style. Thank you, family!!! It would have taken me another 1-2 hours to do everything you guys did that morning - which would have been a disaster as we were just exactly on time as it was. JB was a saint, the whole weekend.

By the time JW and AW arrived, I had made 4 bridesmaid's bouquets and was starting on the bridal bouquet. JW made the two tall vases for the sides of the fountain which was the backdrop for the ceremony.

We really hauled ass and finished all 20 boutonnieres and corsages.

We packed up the flowers into the SUV and JW and AW transported them down. JB and I said goodbye to my family, turned the condo's heater back on, and piled into our car complete with our change-of-clothes for the wedding and some cameras. We blasted through the In N Out drive through and battled SUNDAY AFTERNOON?! traffic on the 101 south. It took longer than I thought it would, and I spent the entire car ride (JB will verify this) panicking.

We got to the wedding site (on top of a building in the open air - it was beautiful but COLD!) and started prepping. I don't even remember in what order this happened:
- delivered the bouquets (one bridal and 4 bridesmaids') to the bridal party.
- made 9 pew bows to decorate the aisle and a beautiful stair case.
- made a vase arrangement for a wall-cubby leading out to the wedding site.
- built a calla lily arrangement on top of a wall fountain which was the ceremony site.
- JW and AW decorated the wedding cake and cake table.
- JB and I changed into our "guest" clothing.
- found 20 people to pin boutonnieres and corsages on.
- battled with the wind to light the wedding candles.

Then they had the wedding ceremony - which was lovely. I'm very happy for my friend, she looked beautiful and very much in love.

Then the guests went back inside while we waited for the caterers to strike the ceremony chairs and set up the reception tables. We had 12 table arrangements and sprinkled rose petals all over everything.

AW and JW stayed until the reception site was up, then loaded up the floral arranging supplies and headed home, exhausted, wet, and tired. I am so grateful to them for all their help.

Then the guests came back out, they had the dances, and people started eating. JB and I ducked inside and got some drinks from the bar (vodka and cranberry, thank you). Then we sat down at our table and toasted with the crowd.

Then it started raining.

JB and I had a moment, almost alone on the top of this building as everyone scurried for the shelter inside, with the wedding flowers and the rain. It was so peaceful and - well, wet, but I felt this huge feeling of relief.

For us, the wedding was over, and I think it turned out beautifully.

I got home (lovely, warmly heated home!) and took a quick hot bath. JW and AW arrived to pick up left-over flower tools and drop off the "extras" - out of which I made one really awesome lily and rose vase arrangement for our kitchen table.

I think I was in bed by 9:30. I was asleep by 9:31.

Wedding Recap: Saturday


Did I mentioned that my family was in town for my cousin's fiancee's bridal shower?

Saturday everyone woke up and had some coffee, but none of us felt hungry enough to really eat a big breakfast. Keep this in mind, it will play a not-insignificant part of this day's story.

We were looking at a one to one and a half hour drive up to the bridal shower, and neither MQF nor I had managed to secure a bridal shower gift before the event, so we raced from our condo to the mall, haggled with a variety of sales people over the bridal registry, gave up, spent 20 minutes trying to buy a gift card, and finally got out of the store. We hit the road for the hour and a half drive in Los Angeles traffic and very un-Los Angeles rain.

The bridal shower was nice, though I'm always nervous around large groups of strangers that know each other very well. Lots of college friends, so there was definitely shared history here. But everyone was nice, and the hardest thing about the shower was standing outside in our party clothes for a photo in the 40 degree weather.

I left my sister and step mom at a local mall to hang with the rest of the family who was in town for the shower and then drove back to LA, battling to keep my eyes open.

I had this lovely thought that there would be time for a nap (delirium?) before JW and AW arrived to help me start the flowers. However, I needed to rearrange / prep the room for flower arranging, and just as I finished that, JW and AW arrived! We started made 12 table arrangements and JW started working on the orchid and rose corsages (couldn't do the calla lily boutonnieres until Sunday morning for fear they'd die if we cut them too early). We worked until past midnight, at which point we called it a night (though we hadn't accomplished as much as we'd hoped to) and I crashed into bed. Oh, sometime in there my family returned from the shower and my sister and brother-in-law left to drive back to San Diego, and she forgot her purse.

That night I had one nightmare after another about the wedding. First I was so behind that I was making bridesmaids' bouquets as they were walking down the aisle and I ran out of time and couldn't make the bride's! Then someone had mixed all my emergency-in-case-it's-too-windy-for-the-altar-vases stones up with gravy so I couldn't put them in the vases or they'd make the water greasy. Then I dreamt we had had to park the cars really far away from the ceremony site, and every time I started to make another arrangement I had to run back for something I'd forgotten, and finally I got so lost I couldn't even find my way back to the wedding.

Night two of crappy sleep.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Wedding Recap: Friday

I decided to break this down into days, so here is...


People don't seem to understand how hard it is to do flowers for a wedding (look, I didn't realize it myself, and I've "helped" with 3 weddings and was a co-production designer on a short film set at "a wedding" for which we did flower arrangements too).

Keep this in mind: you have to buy the flowers for all the bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages (there were 20 boutonnieres and corsages in this wedding alone), table arrangements, and alter pieces (there was one I had to build on site, that was very frightening...) within a day or so of the event because if you buy them too early, they will die. You can't make boutonnieres or corsages until the night before at the earliest - if you are working with hardy flowers like roses or orchids. Calla lilies... not hardy flowers, so that's day-of prep too. You can't make bouquets until the day of. I am a little neurotic when it comes to preparation, and there is literally very little you can do other than plan what the design is going to look like IF you can find the flowers you need at the flower mart and if you can find enough.

All week I was stressed about what we would be able to find at the flower mart, and how much they would charge us, and if there would be enough of everything we needed, and if we could find the very few ULTRA-SPECIFIC flowers we needed to pull it all off.

At 7:15 AM on Friday, JW and AW arrived to pick me up so we could be there at 8:00 AM when the flower mart opens it's doors to the public (after having already been open for 6 hours - flowers get delivered at 2:00 AM on Friday "morning" but you have to have a wholesaler's licesence to get in before 8:00 AM).

8:00 AM - The flower mart. JW and AW are amazing people. This wedding's design called for more than 100 tall white calla lilies, green orchids, in red calla lilies, green calla lilies, white dendrobs, green dendrobs, red dendrobs, red roses, and white roses. The only "greenery" we had was a tall grass (which became known as "bendy grass") to be used as a design accent. That means we had to FIND 100 calla lilies that were the same white - because flowers come in all sorts of different colors, and "white" calla lilies from one grower might not be the same color as "white" calla lilies from another grower.

As we were heading into the flower mart, I got a call from JB saying my boss was sick - but I couldn't go into work until we were done shopping for the flowers because Friday is the last delivery day for the week adn if we waited until Saturday morning we'd just be picking through the "left overs."

It should be noted that - while they SAY they're open until 12:00 noon - the flower mart vendors pretty much close up shop around 10:00 AM. Which means that we had 2 hours to find and purchase close to 300 flowers.

There was a lot of feverish running around (on my part), but the flowers were all found and purchased. We even had time for a quick coffee and croisant before we loaded the flowers up into AW and JW's SUV and drove them back to Burbank to unwrap and prep them.

JW and AW have a variety of buckets stashed around for this purpose, and some special flower-juice that keeps them happy longer. We cut off all the newspaper and plastic and arranged them in buckets trying to keep them from squishing each other as much as possible.

Then I want to work and AW and JW took the flowers to my condo and left them in the office which - thanks to the fact that #1 it was freezing in LA last weekend and #2 we'd turned off the heat and left the office window open - was almost the same temperature as a flower refridgerator.

Then I went to work.

JB brought me dinner (I'd completely forgotten to pack a dinner before the flower mart). My dad and stepmom arrived at 8:00 PM and I gave them a quick tour of the office, then they followed JB home to our condo where everyone sat around in blankets until bedtime. I came home at 10:30 and crashed.

Then had nightmares ALL NIGHT LONG about not having bought the right flowers, or enough flowers, and that when I woke up the flowers would have all died...

Not a restful night.