Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It's Days Like This

Bitch-fest. Right here. Right now.

So I get to Delhi last night after being delayed in both Bangkok and in the air space over Delhi. I was supposed to get in around 7:45pm. We didn't land until 9:45pm. I didn't get to the hotel until after 11pm. I checked in and my room was disgusting. I've stayed here twice before and it was OK. The carpet was filthy, there was a layer of dust an inch thick over all. Nasty. I was too tired to fight it, but did in the morning. I had my room changed pronto. Annoying, at best.

I started out the day fine. I had a good meeting at the Noida Mart, a trade fair location. No shows are in progress, so the mart was VERY empty. I had to use the restroom before we left so walked to the end of a very long hall. I stepped into the restroom vestibule and into the single-seater potty. I locked the door and did the obvious. I went to leave, unlocked the door and the door would not open. The door refused to unlock. I locked and unlocked. I locked and unlocked. Nadda. I kicked the door. Kicked the handle. Nadda. I started pounding on the door. Oh, and by the way, no air conditioning on in the mart. In July. In India. In a 3x3 stall in India. I knew my agent would start to investigate soon, but still. I started pounding on the door and yelling. "HELLO! HELLO!" No response. I can whistle REALLY loud so started doing that although I was totally skeeving out at the fact that my fingers were in my mouth after going potty in the mart toilet in India. But, it was the loudest noise I could make. So then I hear a guy speaking Hindi and I'm like, "Yeah, hi! I don't speak Hindi! I speak English. Please help!" He said something in Hindi and left. A few minutes later, a timid female, "Hello?" Me: "Yes, hi. I'm locked in here. Could you please walk to the end of the hall and tell Manu Talwar that Louise is trapped in the toilet?" And a timid reply, "Of course." A few hot minutes later, Manu and a team of crack pot engineers (OK, security guards with keys) were able to free me from my Porcelain Prison.

The rest of the day was fine, except for the fact that I am jet-lagged as all hell. So Manu and I go to my favorite Indian hot spot called Shalom. Hindi's tend to fast on Tuesdays so the place was relatively quiet. His wonderful wife Vinny met up with us and we had a great time. I get back to my hotel and go to check emails on my Blackberry and I note that the pocket that holds my phone is unzipped. My cell is either lost or in Manu's car. Of course, I can't call him because his number is in my cell. Goddammitalltohell. I call Shalom with no luck. I will have to wait until tomorrow to see if I am cell phoneless, which would completely suck ass and I'm sure I'll have hell to pay for losing a work cell phone if it's gone. Goddammitalltohell.

It is SO time for me to get the hell out of foreign countries and to come home. Please someone give me blog love. I so need it. PLEASE let my phone be in Manu's car. Yes, I've already tried calling it.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Hey Guys,
Stay tuned for exciting Blog News! It's not necessarily a secret, but I would like to wait to share with you all the gory details. Here's a hint:

OK, so maybe that's a little more than a hint! Until I get back and can share more, go check out the Beta version of Weddzilla.com and the Weddzilla blog!


I've been so busy with travel and work, I've so neglected the blog part of blogging! In the recent past, I was "Splashed" by two fellow bloggers, Sarah Elizabeth and Marian over at Escaping the Single Life.

The Splash Award is given to alluring, amusing, bewitching, impressive and inspiring blogs. When you receive this award you must:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate up to 9 blogs which allure, amuse, bewitch, impress or inspire you.
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let your nominees know that they have been splashed by commenting on their blog

Thanks so much for the kudos, you guys! I really appreciate it. In addition to these two wonderful fellow bloggers, I'd like to "Splash" a few of my favorites!

Liza Hippler at Maiden to Married. Liza has some wonderful insights for brides. She has been an amazing "resource" for me and I am so thankful to have met her.

Kristina over at Wedding on Half a Dime. I love her style!

Sharon and Jonathon over at Jonathon Campbell's blog. I truly believe that choosing these guys as our photographer was kismet, fate, karma - something. These two have become a wonderful addition to our lives.

Ashely of Ashley's Bride Guide. Because she's freakin cool, that's why.

Luzel, Mandy and Sharon from iDIY. I love this site for all it's amazing freebies, downloads, ideas and insights. Just love it. You must go check it out.

Thanks again to Marian and Miss SE for the award!

Flower Girl Loot

So I am 99.8% sure I'm going to do OOT bags. I've already purchased some snacks from Costco, so it looks like it's heading in that direction. I've been seeing all these "By My Bridesmaid/Flower Girl" invitations and such and really didn't think I had to do anything like that for the flower girl. But the more I thought about it, the more I'm thinking that goodies might help sway a 4-year old into behaving. Probably not, but what the hell do I know about kids? That answer would be "big, fat zippo." I do know the Flower Girl is totally into girly princess crap, the antithesis of her clog wearing-flowy skirt-all I own is elastic waist garments mother, aka - my MOH! Cousin, don't try to deny, you know it's true.

At any rate, in my shopping excursion last weekend, I found a cute little store with really cheap princess crap. I thought I'd make my little Flower Girl her own special princess OOT bag. The stuff was so cheap, I couldn't pass it up!

The booty.

The princess bag. It's pretty big - a small duffel size, I guess. It was all of HK$33, or $4.50.

This is a princess place mat. Does a four year old have a need or use for this? I have no idea. However, it was cheap and flat - ease of transportation home is key.

Princess notebooks. These are lined pages she can draw in. The princess pen lights up and has a rolling stamp built into the cap. How cool is that?

A little zippered pouch. You know, for your strawberry Lip Smackers!

I'm not sure of the purpose of this, but it's a little towel. It's bigger than a hand towel, but smaller than a regular bath towel. I'm sure it's paper thin. However, it could be used as a blankie, or a cape. Perhaps an interesting princess turban?

I think it all totalled up to about $12 or so. I can't remember what it all cost. I have to admit though, the sales girls in this place were falling all over themselves to help me find all the princess stuff they could. It was pretty fun. Definitely $12 worth of entertainment for me.

I'll add sweets and goodies to the bag too. I'm hoping this will bribe her sufficiently enough to walk down the aisle without too many issues. Her mom will be coaxing her from up front, so I'm sure it will be fine. Since I'll be experiencing my own stage fright, I'm sure a little girl will have some of her own!

Did I do OK? What do you guys think? To be honest, I'm kind of thinking of keeping the place mat for some reason. I think it would be a good take-out dinner thing I could use. I'd call it my Princess Place Mat. All the other girls will be jealous. It's true. ;)

Oh, for goodness sake. Just Twitter, already.

I signed up for Twitter a few months ago and have done nothing with it, until now. It's pouring rain in Hong Kong, I need to regroup before I head out to India tomorrow and I'm procrastinating by blogging. At any rate, I'm twittering and RSS feeding and doing all sorts of crap and I have no idea what it all really means. At any rate, follow me, yo.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Message from The Candyman: Part Three


Gentlemen, it is now time to have that open and candid discussion about sex and marriage and all that it entails. First, we must acknowledge the elephant in the room, we have decided that the woman that we are about to marry is the last woman we will ever sleep with. While our fairer counterparts will also have to address this same issue, I suspect they feel the anxiety that it provokes less acutely. I also suspect that it is an issue that every man has to address before taking that final plunge.

Lets face it guys, we are genetically programmed to want to screw everything that moves. It's a scientific fact. We should not feel bad about this; as many Oprahites might suggest we should. It is why our species has flourished, or at least one reason. In this regard, DJ from Hustle and Flow was right "Man is like a dog." How can we reasonable expect to sleep with only one woman for the rest of our lives? Gentlemen, God has given us our primal nature so that we might learn to overcome it.

I think every man fears the day when that hot magical spark fades and we settle into that seemingly sexless-void known as marriage that we have often been warned about. And that can definitely happen if you take each other for granted or let the demands of everyday life provide you with an excuse to not take care of each other intimately.

But take heart my friends, statistically speaking, married folk have significantly more sex than their single counter-parts . Most married couples also have much better sex and more of it than singles. According to a University of Chicago National Sex Survey, 43 percent of married men reported having sex at least twice a week, while only 1.26 percent of single men not cohabiting had sex that often. Single men were 20 times more likely to be celibate than married men.

Familiarity does not dampen sexual ardor; indeed, marriage actually facilitates sexual activity. Sex is easier for married couples. Any single act of sex costs them less in time, money and psychic energy. For the married, sex is more likely to happen because it is so easy to arrange and so compatible with the rest of their day to day life. And don't forget fellows practice makes perfect. 50 percent of married men and 42 percent of married women find sex physically and emotionally satisfying. This stat might seem a bit low, but if we consider the 52 percent of marriages end in divorce, I think this boils down to if you are happily married, then you are pretty much going to have a great sex life.

So fear not my friends "I Do's" of marriage are not the death churgle of our sex life, but really the culmination of our sexual experience coming to fruition. We have just begun!

But what troubles me still is why there is still seemingly so much infidelity among married couples. After reviewing 25 studies of infidelity, renowned psychologist and marital researcher Shirley Glass, author of several books on the subject of infidelity, estimates that “25% of wives and 44 percent of husbands have committed infidelity.” Another source, The Monogamy Myth, authored by Peggy Vaughan, approximates that 60% of husbands and 40% of wives will have an affair at some time in their marriage. WTF!

So if this is true, it is a statistical likelihood that either me or my spouse will commit adultery. Well then what is the point? We see the destructive effects of this played out in the media every day. Why is this? What happens to people.

First of all, I think a lot of folks that shouldn't be getting married are getting married. I think, maybe much the TSB readers chagrin, the whole business of weddings, wedding planning and the whole infatuation with this process and industry seduces our attention away from the real meaning and gravity of the vows we are about to take. People take marriage too lightly and sometimes might be swept away by their more immediate passions.

A lot of folks say that men cheat for the sex. This is complete BS! This is also contrary to the statistics about married sex being good that I mentioned previously. Why go out for hamburgers when you have steak at home. Plus as all men know, there is no sex worth the devastating backlash that comes when you get caught, and you will get caught. So why then.

I have a theory, Sex is Communication. Communication is the key to any successful marriage. In our next installment we'll explore this concept as well as the fundamental importance and beauty of fidelity and monogamy.

Many Blessings

The Candyman

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The King of Pop - RIP

Wow. Totally weird. While I'm sure mothers of young boys around the world are heaving a huge sigh of relief, you gotta admit the guy had talent.

I remember seeing him on the American Music Awards in the early 80's. It was the first time he did the Moon Walk and I remember jumping off the couch and going absolutely ballistic. "What was that move? How did he float across the stage like that? OH. MY. GOD!" I remember that same week in my dance class - we watched the VHS video tape in the studio over and over so we could mimic his moves. I swear, that feels like yesterday, not 25 years ago!

I've always loved his music and am the proud owner of the Off the Wall LP record. At least I hope I am. I'm assuming it's still in the attic at my parents house!

Both he and Farrah - gone in the same day. Both nut jobs. But Michael was a true talent. The music world would not be where it is today without him. RIP, buddy. Hope you find some peace.

Post date correction: it was the Mowtown 25 show he Moon Walked on, not the American Music Awards! Whatever it was, it was so cool!

Hong Kong - Wedding Centeral Part III

Are you sick of Hong Kong weddings yet? I might be. I swear, it's every day at my hotel! Why did I never notice this before? I mean, I'm sure I did, but I never ran around like a crazy woman snapping photos of total strangers! Here's another wedding from last weekend.

The grand staircase, again festooned with fake flowers!

The busy-busy bridesmaids, all in white. So weird.

A rare glimpse of the bride herself! I stepped in front of three photographers for these shots. Like I'm going to listen to a bunch of men yapping at me in Cantonese, right? I have a very important blog to post these pictures on people! A few catty comments - her dress really didn't fit. She was swimming in it. Look how long it is! Her Madonna-style lace gloves, circa 1983, were an odd choice. The color of lace of her gloves, dress and veil were all different, and not in a good way.

And because I'm feeling particularly bitchy this evening, I'll also say that her hair looked dirty, it had so much product in it. It really did.

No shirking of the bridesmaid responsibilities though. Check out her weird hair!

Awesome photo op, I must admit!

The banquet hall all set up. Not as fancy as the previous weddings.

Again with the fake flower center pieces! Clearly, these folks have no idea how to DIY a fabulous centerpiece, sans flowers. I don't think the candle/mason jar look is big here. :)

I spoke with The Candyman this morning. Twice, actually. I had about 5 minutes with him on Skype and then I called him on my cell because I had yet another irritating China moment involving late vendors and poor communication. Like the good soul that he is, he listened to me vent. Are you anticipating his next blog post? I know I am!

More later, when I can! I know what I'll be doing when I'm wide awake at 3am when I get home, suffering from jet lag. I'll be catching up on all the blogs I love and have no time to read!! Miss you all!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Boiling Point

Oh holy matrimony, Batman! The Candyman has gotten a hold of The Thirty Something Bride's blog! I have to admit, I'm curious as to what he's got up his sleeve regarding the sex blog. I'd like to subtly remind The Candyman that family members read this blog. 'Nuff said. However, I do think the poor man is allowed a little leeway - I have been MIA since June 8th. I think we both have sex on the brain.

First, I love the responses The Candyman is getting! So cool! Thanks to my fellow bridal bloggers and followers! Second, many thanks to The Candyman for stepping up and into blog-master in my absence. I couldn't even get onto Blogger for any website, much less my own in the last city I was in, Fuzhou, China. Damn Communists. I am now in ChangAn, which is close to Shenzhen, which is close to Hong Kong. The closer I get to Hong Kong, the happier I get and the more Internet access I have. I have to say it, I've reached my Chinese boiling point. I've been here for 16 days with 9 more to go and I want to start murdering people. I miss home. I miss obese Americans. I miss ordering my food by speaking, rather than pointing. I'm tired of eating my knees in coach class on China Southern airlines. I'm tired of the constant staring. There are so many Westerners here now - it's nothing like the old days when I was the only round-eye in town. You'd think they'd be used to it, or me, by now. Sadly, no.

I have to make a few things clear - make no mistake, I am the foreigner here. I am the one out of my element. The customs are not mine. I try to fit in as best I can though. I try to learn the language, but Mandarin is hard. It doesn't help that all the little villages I go to have different dialects anyway, so whatever I learn to say is wrong somewhere. There are just little things that drive me mad. First, the personal space issue. Here, it's a LOT closer than anywhere else I've been. People are just all up in your grill constantly. Waiters/waitresses hover over your shoulder when you eat, leaping to action at the slightest non-existent inclination that you might need something.

Although, there are little things that are sweet. Today I visited a factory in a Fuzhou village. Fuzhou is a mountain town on the southern coast of China. This factory had been a sub-contractor for a major factory my company used to do business with. This major factory has had massive internal conflicts and is quickly dissolving, much to it's sub-contractor's chagrin. So, a smarty-pants subcontractor got his own export license and invited me to visit his factory. Apparently, I was the first Gweilo (slang for 'white person') to ever set foot on his turf. He was mucho happy about this and drove me himself to the airport - quite an honor by Chinese standards. He also hooked me up with some local tea (the Fujian province if uber-famous for it) which will make The Candyman verrrrrry happy.

Sadly, when I got to the airport and checked in, I found out that my flight was delayed an hour. Left-overs from the level 1 typhoon we'd experienced the night before. Sweet!

I am now at the World's Most Annoying Hotel. I swear, I just don't get it. Here's the scoop: this hotel caters to Westerners and has been around for about 10 years. It's chock full of Americans and Europeans scooping up goodies to export to various countries from a plethora of Chinese ports. Yet not one person here seems to speak any semblance of English other than the bellboys, who really have the least use for it, in my opinion. These guys actually make conversation with me in the elevator.
Them: Welcome, miss. Where you from?
Me: The United States
Them: Ah, America. First time you ChangAn?
Me: No, I practically live here.
Them: Huh?
Me: Nevermind.
Them: I think you very beautiful.
Me: Really? You are very handsome.
Them: *looking down and away* Oh, I do not think this is true.
Me: Left or right to my room?
Them: Left.
This is the most extensive conversation I've had with an employee here.

The waitresses in the Japanese restaurant where I like to grab a quick roll or two, seem totally baffled by their own menu, printed in both English and Mandarin. I point to "California Roll" and they seem confused, write something down, run away to get a supervisor, come back and write something down again. Order the unagi nigiri and repeat. Order the grilled mushrooms and repeat. It seems part of the service protocol is to run back and forth to my table to get my order, serve or constantly move shit around on my table. I am left handed. I move things around to suit this (sake cup, chopstick rest, plates, soy sauce bowl). Every time I do this, they come to my table and rearrange it, AS I'M EATING. Every time, I have to shoo them away and rearrange again. This happens at least three times during the course of a 20 minute dinner. They finally stop when I shoo and scowl simultaneously. Eating here is exhausting. I swear every time I come here I'm going to order room service, but in reality, the sushi is good and it's not offered on the room service menu. Damn it all to hell.

I get to stay in The Most Annoying Hotel for three days, then I'm to Zuhai for a day and then back to Hong Kong to pick up luggage, repack and head out to India. Have I mentioned I'm exhausted?

So while this is more annoying-life oriented, then wedding related, I needed to vent. So far I'm on my 6th hotel, with only 3 more to go! I do have other wedding stuff to blog about, but I needed to get my bitch on, y'know. It happens.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Message from the Candyman: Part 2

Well the storms have passed and as promised I shall soldier on through filling in for TSB as she travels through areas of China in which it is forbidden to blog. Thanks so much for the kind responses and the praise. But I'm afraid that it is a bit premature. First, I am not this perfect fiancee who "gets it". I most certainly do not "get it" really. But I do know that I don't get it and that's a start. These are just some things I've learned from the mistakes I've made which might help some some of my fellow clueless grooms to be.

Furthermore, I do have a few bones to pick with you ladies (and a list or two as well). Some of these things I am certain will not be well received, but nonetheless I feel need to be addressed. But that is an issue for another post. Today, we'll be finishing up the "To Do" list for the groom to be.

Number Four: Make a "To Do" list

You are going to be inundated with a thousand little things that you would have never thought of, nor should you have, in preparation for the big day. I was surprised to find out that I have to by my groomsmen gifts, I have to buy my bride a zero anniversary gift, and plan a day-after brunch for our out of town guests among the zillion other little things that I'm sure were cleverly crafted by the wedding to leech every red cent out of this deal and convince your bride to be that it is simply tradition. But I digress, it can quickly become overwhelming and it is easy to get side tracked and drop the ball on the big day (remember Super Bowl-No fumbles allowed). A simple TO DO list will help you keep track of what you need to be doing, when you need to be doing it. And your bride to be will be more than happy to help you out with a list of honey do's. But if you really want to blow her panties right on off, without prompting say "Honey I'm working on my wedding planning "To Do" list can you help me out?" Trust me... it will work like a charm... it will help you stay on task and maybe get you a little sumpin'-sumpin' to boot

Number Five: Take Charge!

Well, not really... you control very little my friend...accept it. But I find it really helpful to be the main planner on certain aspects of the wedding. I am our wedding's music director. Its something I know a little about, it isn't totally emasculating and it is dare I say...fun. Booking musicians and DJ's was kinda fun and it really took the pressure a little off the TSB, which any time you can give a little support in the planning department to avoid a WPM (wedding planning meltdown) take it. But remember. YOU ARE NOT REALLY IN CHARGE! Run all final decisions through the little lady. But even if all of your suggestion are ultimately vetoed, take heart, she will not be able to accuse you of not trying to be involved in the process, which is what, I think, they want. I think it goes something like they want you to care, help out, be active in the process, but be comfortable enough having no real pull in the decision making process. We can do that.. I can speak for us clueless grooms when I say, we just want you to be happy.

Number Six: Have Fun

Check the attitudes brother, you will be doing yourself a big favor if you learn how to have fun shopping for shoes, going to the fabric store, and doing girl stuff that you hate doing. Remember the first principle! You are going to do a lot of stuff like this and life is too short to be miserable going about it. And guess what I've learned... when it comes to wedding planning girls hate this shit too! Every little detail contains so much significance and pressure (whether it be societal or self-imposed) to achieve such a level of perfection that things (such a shoe shopping) that used to give them great pleasure become maddening. She is going to need you to help remind her that this is supposed to be fun. Try on every pair of heels that she does, make her laugh, just be there quietly without a tude and it will help a bunch. By the way, did you know that every time a woman tries on shoes, especially heels, they always check to see how it makes their butt look...fascinating.

Number Seven: Learn How to Talk Openly about Finances

I don't want to talk about it.

Number Eight: Tell her how you feel

Never ever waste an opportunity to express your gratitude for all the hard work she is putting into your wedding.
You may not understand the importance of all the details, but you would go through anything with her. Tell her that you are honored to be her man, even when she is behaving badly. That you hate to see her upset or stressed over something that is supposed to bring you both joy. When you are confused about what to do, or frustrated, just say so. It helps a great deal. Trust me.

Well I'm out of steam again. In tomorrow's installment we are going to have an open and candid discussion about sex gentlemen. This, I assure you, is a topic you will not often find addressed in bridal blogs. But our fairer counterparts have called for insight from the groom's perspective, who are we to deny.

Many Blessings

The Candyman

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Message from The Candyman: Part One

Greetings faithful followers of The Thirty-Something Bride (TSB). It is with great pleasure that I am humbly filling in for TSB while she sojourns through communist China. She sends her warmest regards. She thought it might be novel for me to guest-blog about the wedding preparation process from the often neglected perspective of the thirty-something groom. She has given me free range to write about whatever I wish, but as a caveat I must say the opinions expressed here are do not necessarily reflect those of TCB and if they don't, I assure you retribution from TCB will be swift! And to the ladies, I intend to be candid, it is not my intention to be mean spirited or misogynistic, because neither are in my nature, so I beg your pardon from the outset.

Disclaimers aside, Gentlemen, it is incumbent upon me to prepare you for the process of wedding planning. Hopefully, with a little guidance you may avoid some of the pitfalls that I have found myself in. I hope it helps.

I have heard it said that a wedding to a lady is like their version of the Super Bowl. This is an over-simplification. It's more like you are being asked to QB for your favorite team in the Super Bowl down by 4 with 2 minutes left on the clock. Just the scenario that you reenacted thousands of times in you backyard during your childhood and no doubt thousands of times playing Madden in your adolescence. It is important to them beyond our capacity to really understand. And each detail of wedding planning takes on an awesome significance which is a means to this end. And that's OK.

The process itself is baffling, things that we have taken for granted as mundane take on a whole new significance. You will be introduced to a whole new vocabulary and you'll learn such words as tulle and fondant. Your beautiful bride to be will be reduced to tears over the improper formatting of the fonts used on your wedding invitations and you will be expected to be sensitive and understand why. You will be awestruck at how much everything costs (both financially and emotionally). You WILL be asked to do things that are contrary to your very idea of what be a man is.

Let me tell you this right now, My Brothers, the majority of what being a real man means is setting your own needs and desires aside and doing things that you don't want to do. To be a dutiful groom to be, husband, or especially, a future father, you must master this concept. You are about to take a wife, if you cannot come to terms with this concept...then you are not ready grasshopper.

Sounds tough ehh? Take heart, you will be rewarded ten-fold. If you master this principle you will hold the undying affection of your betrothed. But for the time being I have compiled a "To Do" list that should help move you towards domestic tranquility.

Number One: Invest in Tivo or DVR

If you are familiar with the stand-up comedy of Ralphie May then you know exactly why this is first on the To Do list. It is the greatest martial aid ever invented and I'm sure divorce rates will drop because of it. Still can't figure it out my neophyte friends, put simple, you are going to miss a lot of games buddy. Deal!

Number Two: Insist on Pre-Marital Counseling

This one is a bit counter-intuitive, but it falls squarely into the category of being a man and doing what you don't really want to. But this one often has very positive results. It will teach you both the skills you need to resolve conflicts in a healthier way. Plus, a good counselor can act as sounding board for some of your complaints. Often our observations are dismissed because "we are just guys and don't understand" sometimes it takes a third party voicing your complaints or observations to overcome this stereotype. I can say without hesitation that it has been the most helpful thing TSB and I have done for each other. But be careful and shop around for the right counselor for you both, visit several counselors if need be, because the last thing you need is a finger-wagging old wench who's office smells of cat piss telling you everything is all your fault.

Number Three: Be Proactive

Rack up those brownie points wherever you can fellas. For example I got tickets for TSB and I to go to the nightmare known as the bridal expo. Going sucked but the fringe benefits really paid off. Try to do something every week wedding planning related on your own (but don't make ANY decisions by yourself) to show that you are engaged in the process. Most of your suggestions will be promptly discarded (thankfully) but you will nonetheless reap the benefits of having done them just by showing your bride to be you care.

That's all I can bear to blog at the moment, as storms in the area are threatening power failure. In our next installment, we'll complete the list and discuss some headier topics.

Many Blessings,

The Candyman

The Something Blue

On a much lighter note from my last post, I have some rockin' good news. I bought shoes! I think theses are it!

I was out shopping last weekend in Hong Kong and found these in a little shop near my hotel. They are 2" high (but look more, don't you think?) and are actually comfortable!

While they are not Manolo's, like the coveted style Carrie wore in Sex and the City, they do feel reminiscent of the look. At least to me they do!

The saleswoman in the shop was getting irritated with me (I think) because I couldn't make up my mind. I kept walking back and forth in them and trying to decide what to do. I finally told her they were for my wedding and she seemed to get it. In her best English (and me with my best Cantonese), we had a conversation about the Western tradition of "Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue." It was comical, at best. The shoes were HK$598 and were 10% off. When I went up to the register, they were magically 20% off! LOVE when that happens! All told, the shoes were just under $68! Not too shabby, me thinks.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy (or The Thirty-Something Bride)

Here it is Saturday night in Hong Kong. What a lovely day I had today. A quick recap.... a friend of mine from high school has been living in Guangzhou, China, for the last 2 years. We kept in touch sporadically since high school, mostly just Christmas cards. It was weird, we were really good friends freshman and sophomore year and then not so much the latter part of high school, mostly because we traveled in different packs. No animosity or fall out, just different interests. I'm not sure why we kept in touch. Perhaps out of habit? I'm not sure. I am a big believer in fate, divine intervention and karma. I do believe that her presence in my life at this moment is important, meaningful and not without a touch of serendipity.

At any rate, I met up with her last October when I was in Guangdong and we had drinks and dinner together. I had not seen her in 20+ years, but it was like no time had passed at all. It felt like we had just finished watching "Purple Rain" on the Beta Max for the umpteenth time and had settled in for boy-talk and cookie dough consumption.
She was able to take the train to Hong Kong today and I met her around 11am and we spent the day having lunch, shopping at H&M and Gucci (I officially own my first Gucci drawstring Hobo) and sitting by Victoria Harbour, enjoying a few glasses of chardonnay. My friend has experienced many personal trials this year. While I'd love to get specific so that I can get specific, I must respect her privacy. However, I can share some of the outcomes of our conversations here that don't necessarily breach the trust of friendship.

  • I cannot judge my relationship based on what I see in other relationships. No one knows what happens behind closed doors, when life gets real.
  • Making a commitment of your body and soul to another human being is HUGE. What this means in the long run is any persons guess. There is no guide book that determines YOUR path.
  • I believe that there is a process of maturation for women. Maybe not maturation, but one of self-discovery. I can only describe it as a time where you finally pull you head out of your ass, take a look around and assess the damage - both internally and externally. What you do at that stage can determine a lot about your future and who you decide to be.
  • You need to commit yourself to your partner and your marriage every day - as a conscious choice.
  • Take no one thing or person for granted - ever.

There are a few things I feel lucky about:
  • That I know I can change.
  • That I know I will change.
  • That I know that I don't know it all.
  • That I know that I will never know it all.
  • That I know I can't control everything, try as I might.
  • That I am aware.
  • That I met my soon-to-be husband and fell in love with him, faults and all.
  • That my soon-to-be husband was willing and able to chip away at my self-built wall to take a peek inside.
  • That once he got a glimpse of the insides, wanted to stay.

There are a few things I feel somewhat unlucky about:
  • That I had to do what I did to be in a place to welcome my soon-to-be husband into my life. While there are no regrets, I wish I was still a twenty-nothing with the same experiences under my belt. This wish is purely for vanity reasons alone.
  • That the tick-tick of the clock is a part of procreation conversations between me and The Candyman.

I think as long as the pro list continues to out-weigh the con list, we're doing A-OK.

Ah, the trials and tribulations of The Thirty-Something Bride.

Friday, June 19, 2009

WeddingChannel.com Bridal Blog Awards!

WeddingChannel.com is hosting their first ever Bridal Blog Awards! They are asking for nominations so that they can "channel" the best of the best! I went to the nomination board and have found a ton of blogs I didn't even know existed. Very cool. While I feed my blog addictions on a daily basis (I'm suffering some DT's while overseas!), it's always cool to find new and exciting blogs to read!

I would be flattered as all hell to be nominated, that's for sure. However, if you've got a favorite you need to share with the bridal community, I highly suggest it. There are so many great people out there working hard to bring so much information to the wedding community. I know I would have continued to feel a bit lost without this bevy of information. It's the people involved who support me and other brides on a more personal level who deserve some props! To nominate a candidate, go here:

Nominate me for the WeddingChannel.com Bridal Blog Awards!

Forever and a Day!

Oh. My. God. I have totally missed the blogging world! Sorry for the silence, but I am over here working and my time is not always my own, regardless of the hour! And to be honest, connecting to the Internet from China can be a total pain in the ass. In fact, I couldn't even connect to Blogger using a public connection. How strange is that? Access denied via the People's Republic of China!

Last I posted, I was in Hong Kong. I am here again and actually get the entire weekend off (I normally have appointments at least on Saturday if not both Saturday and Sunday)! Why? Because some Canadian brought the H1N1 virus into a town I was supposed to visit. As a result, the government would not allow foreigners to book hotels, so I had to rearrange my trip. I'm telling you, the Chinese are not messing around with this virus. Every where I go I have to fill out health forms telling them where I've been, where I'm going, contact info...it's exhausting. I get my temperature taken at every public transit portal. All these health officials who point a little thermometer gun at your head and then wave you through or pull you into quarantine. Nice.

At any rate, I'm in Hong Kong again for the weekend. I've got some fun stuff to blog about and will do that tomorrow. I actually have two friends in town from the states who I plan to meet up with as well. FUN!

Because I had to cancel my trip, the agent I was to work with took me out to a fabulous dinner in Hong Kong tonight. We then went back to see his new apartment. Holy cow! This photo of his dining room really doesn't do it justice, it's just gorgeous!

Steven (my agent) invited my out to the balcony to hang out while he smoked. Here's a cheesy (and blurry!) photo op of him. I've worked with him for about 10 years now. He's the best!

Last, but certainly not least, check out this amazing view from his 37th floor balcony. I have to admit, I had a little vertigo going on the closer to the railing I got! Their bedroom has the same view - two wall are all floor to ceiling windows! Could you even imaging living here?

Tomorrow, I promise I'll get back to bridal goodness. Sorry for the silence, but I have just been overwhelmed with business! Sometimes my job totally gets in the way of my blogging, y'know? How does the rest of the blogging community cope? :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hong Kong - Wedding Central, Part II and a Half

"Let's Enjoy Gel Magic" Happy Wedding stickies at Jusco - Hong Kong's version of Target. I found this little wedding nugget in the HK$10 (US$1.40) section. What a deal! I'm particularly found of the candle on the cake. Is this a fluke or some other weird tradition I need to investigate?

OK, I had along discussion today with a Hong Kong woman about her wedding and got some interesting scoop.

The men do not carry bouquets. The groom actually goes and gets the bride to take her to marry him. I know Indians do this too (on horseback, no less!). The guys brings the woman her bouquet, which is sort of sweet. He is sort of in charge of it throughout the ceremony, which is why the guy is holding it in the photo I took of the couple in the car. So, that mystery is cleared up.

Now get this....most brides don't buy their wedding day garb, they rent it! One of my agent's told me this interesting little factoid. Only the very rich buy their gowns. Most people go to a store and pay around HK$5000, or US$700 to rent up to 6 ensembles. These 6 outfits can be anything from the Western style white wedding gown and traditional red Chinese dress to the groom's tuxedo, to bridesmaid dresses to Mother of the Bride dresses. How strange is that? I showed my agent the freaky green and black dress from my shopping excursion on Sunday and she explained that it wasn't a bridesmaid's dress, but one of many dresses that the bride could change into during the reception! Apparently, brides change gowns a few times during the course of the evening.

There is yet another wedding in my hotel tonight (it's Tuesday here now). My camera was up in my room and I was just too exhausted to go get it and take pictures (how sad is that?). The party had already started, so I would have had to totally crash the wedding. Hmmmm. On second thought, maybe it's not too late. Wedding crashing - that would be a new experience! Or maybe not. I'm a huge believer in karma. What goes around comes around, right? I seriously don't need any Chinese tourists crashing the day of The Big Show.

I'm off to bed now. I have an early flight to Xiamen (pronounced SHA-MEN), China, in the morning. More updates later. Keep the comment love coming. I've only been gone a week and I'm starting to feel lonely over here.....

Hong Kong - Wedding Central Part II

I stay in an area of Hong Kong called Kowloon. It's across Victoria Harbour from downtown Hong Kong. The area is closer to my appointments and to modes of transportation in and out of mainland China. It's slightly less crowded than the Hong Kong side too.

Yesterday I hit an area of Kowloon called Tsim Sha Tsui that is a bargain shopping mecca. Actually, in recent years it's gotten a little more expensive, but it's an area I love to walk around in. There's a bridal block that I browsed around yesterday. The shops weren't open yet, but I got some window display shots.
How about THIS bridesmaid dress?

I love this necklace!

I love this one too! I actually went back after the store opened and asked them the price. It was HK$790, or about US$110.

I stopped in a shoe store and looked around. I found these adorable shoes that I totally would have purchased if they'd had my size. They were only US$20 or so and they were like walking on little clouds! Loved them! They were a half size too small. :(

After walking around for a while, it was starting to get disgustingly humid. The shops were opening and more people were on the streets and it just was getting to be gross and crowded with tourists and I wanted to get back to my own "neighborhood." I popped into the Sheraton hotel to catch a cab back to my hotel and saw a freshly married couple in their get-away car. Here's the car decoration!

And here's the happy couple!
Note the bride in traditional Chinese garb. She was most likely married in a Western white gown. Also note the groom holding the bouquet. When I had left my hotel on my way out that morning, there was a groom and his groomsmen posing for pictures (I would have snapped some photos, but to do so I would have to have been majorly obnoxious and I opted out of that) and the groom also had a bouquet. It was also lavender like this one, so I'm wondering if there's some significance. I need to try to find out. Quirky, eh?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hong Kong - Wedding Central, Part I

I swear, the hotel I stay in here in Hong Kong has a wedding every other second. First of all, the Chinese do not marry just on Saturdays like Americans do (although I am getting married on a Sunday because it's half-price). They go visit some family fortune teller (or religious guru or astrologist or something like that) and they take the bride and groom's Chinese birth years and measure it up against all sorts of things and determine a proper date for a couple to get married. So, there are weddings on Tuesdays in Hong Kong. It's perfectly normal and acceptable. In fact, from what I hear, lots of couples prefer mid-week weddings to keep attendance down, therefore costs down. Weddings in China are no small deal. I was talking to a Hong Kong resident and she had 750 people at her wedding. WTF?

I am lucky that I get to stay in really nice hotels. It's just another travel perk I get. The hotel here is my home away from home. I know all the doormen and bellhops and concierge guys. They all know me by name and it's nice. It's got a really great view and would be a lovely wedding location. Here are some pics I took last night.
The view from the second floor lobby down into the main lobby.

The marble staircase leading up to the grand ballroom. All the flowers are fake - for every wedding I've ever seen here.

The very bizarre snacks in the registration area. It looks like Starbursts, dried pumpkin seeds and Gorp. Weird.

A close up of the seating assignments. Um, who's at Table 26?

Entering the Grand Ballroom. Swanky, no?

This is the bridal party head table, dressed in red. Traditionally, the Chinese wear red at weddings, but they have adopted the white Western style wedding dress. Lots of times the brides will marry in white and change into a traditional Chinese gown for the reception/exit.

The other tables settings. All the flowers in here are fake too.

Make no mistake, it's Cathy and Leo who are gettin' hitched!

The ice sculptures. I'm not sure if it could get tackier. The Chinese love opulence and gaudy, of this I am certain.

The wedding party bustling about. I'm not sure of the rules and such regarding bridesmaid dresses. The ones I see at the hotel are always ivory/white, but are generally short. They don't match either. I need to find out more about this phenomenon.

Sadly, I didn't catch a glimpse of the bride for this wedding. However, when I came back from my foray this afternoon, I did catch that bride and got photos! Stay tuned, that post with pictures is coming soon! It was a Hong Kong Wedding Extravaganza for The Thirty-Something Bride today! Oh, so much to tell. And yes, shoes are involved!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cathay Pacific

So this has absolutely no wedding relevance whatsoever, but I am compelled to share. I am totally lucky that I get to fly first or business class when I go overseas. I flew Cathay Pacific Airlines for the first time from Manila to Hong Kong. I was totally shocked when I got on the plane. They have the strangest seats! All of the chairs are at angles and each passenger gets his own little pod. No neighbors crawling over you or anything like that. Check it out!

View while sitting in my own pod.

Th tray table and screen on the left pop out and turn towards you for use. The seats goes into a full recline and creates a long bed with the "foot stool" at the bottom. Totally rad for long flights. I'm all about going horizontal!

Pre-flight champagne is a must. Gawd, I am so spoiled! :)

I'm taking Cathay again from Hong Kong to India, so will probably have the same set up. I normally take Thai Airlines, but I got a direct flight this time and I am so stoked. Normally I have a 5 hour layover in Bangkok. Ew. Long layovers blow, especially when they split up equally long flights. This new flight makes me happy happy. Yes, I do believe it's the little things that make all the difference!