Archive for October, 2007

How To Plan A Wedding In Sacramento: The Dress

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Take lots of these sorts of photos. They’ll help you later. And no, I didn’t buy this dress. Or spend anywhere near that amount of money. Not that I judge anyone else for doing so.

(Btw: before you read about the dress hunt – if you already have a dress, but need alterations, skip to the jump and the end for more on that. Also after the jump – menswear)

Ah the dress. Perhaps the most romantic aspect of all girls’ wedding day dreams. You know the lore: you try on a few, but then, you just “know.” Just like you know when you meet The One man, you know when you meet The One dress, right?

Well, maybe. It wasn’t that fairy-tale is for me. In fact, at times, it was downright frustrating. As mentioned earlier in the series, the wedding industry is doing gangbusters these days. Mostly because of weak brides. In the dress arena, however, the problem of weak brides is compounded by the problem of stupid brides.

Repeat after me: a wedding dress is just another good available to me in the marketplace. [I said repeat.] A wedding dress is not magic and it is something that can be replicated, found elsewhere, and shopped around for. [Go ahead, I’ll wait.]
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The Dead Can Dance

It’s Hallowe’en time, also known as Samhain to a pre-Christian. They say it’s when the veil between the worlds of life and death is at its thinnest. I once attended a holiday dinner where the living guests were encouraged to invite a deceased guest to the meal as well. We sat with our ‘guest’ (a plate of his or her favorite food nearby) and broke bread and shared water. (No, I didn’t give any water to my deceased grandfather, but I did serve him a Snickers bar–his favorite treat.)

If you can’t invite a dead person to dinner, go and check out Sacramento’s Old City Cemetery. It’s lovely this time of year–not too hot, the trees still have leaves, and it’s fairly quiet. The gardens are lovely, and if you are a closet gardener living in an apartment, they’re always looking for gardening volunteers. There are benches throughout the park, should you feel like meditating or praying or respecting the dead. It’s a great place to commune with Sacramento’s past, and maybe your own, as well.

Hallowed Ground

Forgive my recent morbidity, but Halloween is coming, and the dead are on my mind. Tomorrow is their day, after all.
This evening on my way home from work I saw a woman (a mother, an aunt?) placing a new wreath and organizing items on the impromptu memorial on Florin where an accident claimed the lives of two young men on a late night drive–too fast, too dark, and too much alcohol are the purported reasons for the crash. It’s a treacherous curve even in daylight.

I notice many of these types of memorials lately. One is on a telephone pole on W Street at 12th (not for a car crash but for a murder), on the right hand side. A young woman by the name of Mary Ourk was murdered there in June. As far as I know, the murder is still unsolved.

There’s another one of these memorials on South Land Park Drive in front of Vic’s grocery store. It’s right near the bus stop. This is where four people were killed in a head-on collision in the daytime in March of this year.

It has been a memorial strewn year. I wish there were less of these memorials popping up–instead of what seems to be continuously increasing numbers. Some losses though, are hard to forget.

Even though so many changes have occurred downtown in Sacramento’s Fremont Park, I still recall vividly the day a tree branch crushed a baby boy. They tore the tree down and planted a new one. There’s no wreath there, no photo, no candles. No balloons. But the ghost of that tragedy lingers. We still remember. It has been 6 years, but the memory lingers.

How To Plan A Wedding In Sacramento: A Series

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The Temple Room and Rings by Rachelle Stogner, Rachelle Photography

Getting married can be a full-time job. More precisely, planning a wedding can be a full-time job. When you already have one full-time job, wedding planning can leave little time for life’s more fulfilling pursuits, like blogging. Our wedding having come and gone, however, I can now return to blogging – Ta-Da! – since I know how you’ve been missing me. Right? No? Oh well.

Since I relied heavily on the web for wedding research, but found little in the way of Sacramento-based wedding advice. Google can help. Word-of-mouth is more reliable. One unexpected but very helpful resource proved to be Flickr. Search tags for “Sacramento Wedding” or any particular venue or vendor and see what you find. I used it to shop for photographers (though I found mine elsewhere). It also can provide clues about hair, make-up, cakes, etc. When in doubt, send flickr mail and see if the bride, groom, guest, or photographer can provide further information.

I figured maybe some of what we learned in the process – tips, money-saving ideas, and vendor recommendations – might be useful to some readers and future wedding planners out there.

So over the next week or so, I’ll be posting about choosing: the venue, the dress, the photographer, live musicians, the DJ, the florist, the cake bakery, and a few other odds-and-ends. I hope that upcoming Sacramento brides find something useful here and encourage others to leave comments with their own experiences and advice.

Oh – and a quick preface for what’s to come: Weddings can suck. More precisely, weddings are usually great, but planning them can suck – at least that’s what conventional wisdom and poorly written sitcoms and movies tell us. But do you know what led to weddings being potentially un-fun money pits?

Weak brides.

Follow me after the jump for a better explanation and the first part of this series: The Venue.
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Sugar, aw honey honey

The cookie truck crash on Florin and 99 early this morning is almost as good as the beer truck crash a few months ago. Someone must have wanted a late night snack…

Need help with cleanup? Oh darn, guess I was a little too late with my plate and hot cocoa.

If a burrito truck crashes, though–I’ll be there instead of here blogging. And I’ll be trying to lure the Diet Pepsi truck into the same ditch.

What’s your truck fantasy? Make it good.

Last weekend for camping

After this one, you’re pretty much outta luck: PDT will roll into PST, the weather will finally change, and your campfire will just sputter and splurt. I highly recommend picking yourself up, throwing the tent in the back of the van, and heading out somewhere. I can recommend Indian Grinding Rock as a fabulous spot. It’s the only place where grinding holes have been decorated with pictographs, some of them thousands of years old. There are snakes and gods and something that looks suspiciously like an Excel spreadsheet. (gotta account for every single acorn…)

I was there two weekends ago, and it was just perfect. There’s a half-mile nature trail with a lovely guidebook to tell you about mugwort and madrones and such, and we saw a beautiful deer as well as some not-quite-as-beautiful turkeys. As the stars came out, we wandered to the middle of the gaming field and found the Giant Dipper, the Little Dipper, Cassiopeia, Pegasus…you could even see the Milky Way looking milky.

It’s only about an hour away, and at 2000 feet it’s not too freezing at night. On your way home, make sure to stop by the Chatterbox Cafe in downtown Sutter Creek for some of the best chicken-fried steak you’ve ever tasted. Get a milkshake, too.

You know you want to–it’s the best local camping you’ll find, and one can never have too much nature!

The faces of Safeway: same map, different feel

Last night I stopped at the Safeway on Del Paso Road to pick up a few items. I regularly frequent the newer R Street Safeway (the one with the horse), and figured this one on Del Paso Road would be similar.

The similarities were eerie. Every aisle was pretty much a twin of the R Street, although Del Paso had much more room to maneuver. The Del Paso site also had a teeny bit more product–particularly in the vitamin/weight loss aisle. (Hmmm?)

What interested me more were the differences. The Del Paso store was nearly empty at 9 PM, and there was beaucoup parking. Lighting was dim. Store patrons walked as if you should move out of the way in an empty aisle–synonymous with the gas guzzling behemothic vehicles that hog the road sprawling in a nearly empty parking lot. It was a Safeway for zombies…look out Frankenstein!!

I think the Horsy Safeway is much livelier, friendlier, and just more of a busy beehive. I’ll skip the Del Paso ghost town Safeway in the future, thank you, and support my midtown fave.

Our own little fire

I got to see the aftermath of our own little midtown fire this morning. It’s on 24th and Q Streets–you can’t miss it. One house (the one that has been balancing precariously on stilts) is now nothing but rubble. The house behind it looks like it was the victim of a bad barbecue. It’s charred where it shouldn’t be.

I’m particularly sad for the painted lady (the house, not a midtown resident) whose roof was eaten by flame. That was one pretty house. Alas, no more.

Just four houses burnt and it makes a big imprint in the psyche–not just visually, but “olfactorily” (i.e. it reeked) as well. I can’t imagine how bad it must be down in Southern California, but I’m really glad I don’t live there anymore.

This is just yuk.

SACRAMENTO – Police are commending an 11-year-old boy who evaded two men who attempted to kidnap him in the Pocket area Friday afternoon. —SacBee article

I saw this article yesterday and immediately called home to make sure everyone was on alert. Watch out for slowing cars. Don’t accept a ride with strangers. And never, ever let them grab you. Kudos to the potential victim who swung his backpack at the grabby male. I relayed the tale to my oldest child who said, “Gee Mom, he must have had a heavy backpack–” So I guess kudos are in order for Sac City schools, since our kids have heavy backpacks.

This is just one of those reminders…look out for your kids. Go over a few safety tips with them. It may have happened over here, but it can happen anywhere. I suspect with media attention, the suspects have probably moved on to pedophilic pursuits in another neighborhood. Yuk yuk, and another yuk.

May your children and mine be safe.

Moseying East

The crew took a trip to Davis Farms this afternoon. Contrary to popular opinion, this is not actually in Davis. It’s actually out the Jackson Road, aka Highway 16, just after the hamlet of Sloughhouse. We got a large quantity of punkins: four bigguns and one littlun for $18. According to the gent who took our money, “Up in Apple Hill, they’re selling this ‘un right here for twenty bucks!” He also told us that he had 8 children, 26 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren; on Saturday he was going to hit 79 years. Very excellent.

The pumpkins were great. The corn maze was frustrating. The 70-cent pomegranate I ate whilst the rest were navigating said corn maze was just mind-bending. The new asphalt on Highway 16 is pretty darn impressive too, to say nothing of the myriad signs proclaiming the new housing development springing up out there. Horse properties, new homes from $140,000, you name it, they want to sell it to you.

I’m scared about what’s going to happen once all this stuff gets built.
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