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adventures of a red-headed stepchild in the house of love
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A year ago this weekend, we went to Decompression and Remember the Party. It was too much in one day so I decided I'd only do RTP this year, and stay til the end. But you know what they say about the plans of mice and men... I'm sure you've heard it.

Also: hi!!! I know, I've been scarce. Gotten lazy, posting little fb snippets. I'm back! Hopefully someone still cares. ;-)

Anyway... this weekend turned out to be all about fluidity for me. I'd been planning on Remember the Party since last year. It's an old-school disco party where they have one DJ for the entire night, the music is all old school and classic style - meaning, the musical flow takes you on a journey throughout the night and the style varies, ending up with Sleaze/Morning Music (my personal favorite). Last year, Decom wore us out so much that we had to grab a cab home before the end, so I missed the icing on the cake. (Although the cake was delicious!) THIS year would be different!

Well... and then, life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. This year was certainly different!

Even before the weekend, we'd had an extra busy week, and the kitchen reflected it. ;-) I woke up feeling crappy yesterday, but the kitchen HAD to be wrangled, and we absolutely couldn't think of letting our dear friends leave for their cross-country move without offering a helping hand and a hug.

Then it really got crazy. I woke up early, fed the cats, and decided to chill out a bit and maybe go back to bed after doinking on fb. A note comes over the transom: the truck has been stolen. As in, our friends' rental truck with (just about) all of their worldly goods in it. Thank heavens the cat was still in the house!

Friends mobilized to drive around looking for the truck. We took part in the wardrive, but had no luck. Then we brought lunch over to our friends and tried to strategize. Still no word on the truck. They decided to just head out, to get on the road and make some progress. (It was a good decision; the truck turned up several days later, mostly trashed with only a few recoverable items, while our friends were already settling into their new place by then.)

So to make a long story short, there wasn't going to be any disco. Which was fine, actually. We really love these friends and that means so much more than any party.

Bonus points to you if you catch the ref in the title! ;-)

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I just flew back from FC... and boy are my wings tired!

10pm on Tuesday has never seemed so late.

I would really like to make a longer post but for now, I have to say that even though it was (as ever) a shit-ton of work, it was super AWESOME to see friends - some of whom we only see once a year. (Also as ever - but I'd really like to change that!)

Being back home is great, but weird - we can't send down for more raw fish, and if I get bored sitting here there isn't a lobby full of furries (many of whom are friends) just a short elevator ride away. Then again, this couch is AWFULLY comfortable! I guess I can trade their crisp 400 thread count cotton sheets for my significantly less crisp (I don't iron sheets) but still pretty nice bed linen. If I can convince Bruce or Ninj to lounge over my ankles and purr, I'll defo be ahead of the game!

Also, Holy Cats but my feets are tired! We did a trade for some chair massage right after packing up our booth and that was sure a good investment! My feet are really sore and my back isn't great, but shoulders and arms (where he did the most) feel pretty decent. I think we have ourselves a new FC tradition here. ;-)

This year we didn't spin at all, and also didn't sign up to do any panels. Last year we were way overscheduled and it really kicked our asses! This year, we took it much more chill (even so, we're both exhausted). I think the Bunny may have a touch of the con crud. Hopefully it's just exhaustion.

Our room party was fantastic - the company was the most stellar evar, and people brought so many treats and bevvies! And I totally loved watching folks eat my home made crackers and canapes, and hearing Jovino brag about how good they were. ;-)

Sales went well and the new critter totally went over! I super super miss FCTV though. It seems like every year the hotels charge us more and offer us less. Oh for the days when we could sit on our asses on our bed, drinking a beer and reconciling receipts while watching the variety show or the masquerade!

Next year I would really like to arrange some boof help such that Jovino and I could both not be there at the same time for at least a little while. That would rock.

Ok, sooper tyord. Will post a better organized con report tomorrow!

I'm feeling: groggy zzzzzzzzz...

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I haven't posted as much as I hope to... mostly I've been off doing things! Am really enjoying watching the Occupy Wall Street saga unfold. You go, kids! More on this later. Hopefully. ;-)
This past weekend, the Bunnydome was occupied by Jovino's Extra Life team - it's an annual fundraiser for Children's Hospitals in the form of a 24 hour video game marathon. Jovino and our friend (and his best man) Todd did it last year at Todd's place, and this year they expanded the team to four players and so set up over here in our bigger space. Todd and Frank brought a metric fuckton of gear and the living room was fully tricked out - including multiple webcams so that donors could watch the action from home!
I decided that if this was going to go on in my living room then I was going to set up a WAG Salon so the ladies would have something fun to do! If it's going to eat the entire weekend anyway, might as well make it a party!
The WAGs hung out, gossiped, set up a DIY nail salon, served numerous snacks to the team and one another (mostly home-cooked, although we also ordered in pizza, natch) and generally had a fantastic time! So lovely to have hangout time with my dear chickie friends. I invited folks who'd donated to the team to come by for lounging and snacks. We had a blast!
We'd started at around 8:30 am on Saturday, and by the time Sunday rolled around we were pretty beat! I have to give the guys credit for rocking out. We also had some fabulous guest stars sitting in to bring our hourly total up. I even gamed a little, but we never could get Pong hooked up, and the Simpsons driving game I tried turned out to be a lot more fun to watch than play - eventually I got stuck in a house! So I gave up and passed off the controller to an actual Team Bunnydome gamer. I'm plenty geeky, but not really cut out for video games. ;-)
Instead, I presided over the kitchen, and we rolled out snack after snack to keep our team's blood sugar up - nearly all home cooked! I cooked Hasselback potatoes with fingerlings and, late at night, salmon onigiri. We also offered scrambled eggs with sausage, pizza, chips, apples (which were universally ignored, lol) and grilled cheese sammitches. It was great fun swooping into the living room, asking, "who's hungry?!" and busting out a platter of noms!
We also set up the inversion table for back stretching goodness. I'd expected the gamers to use it more than they did, but it really came in handy for a fellow WAG who was having back issues. I do attempt to run a full service salon!
The guys rocked socks and the WAGs were there lending support (and occasionally providing a distraction from the task at hand). Our nail salon was fantastic! We made swatches on paper plates and then layered custom colors. My nails are a sparkly fuchsia!
Sunday rolled around and I wound up sleeping until 2 or so. I did some basic tidying but mostly just lolled around. Today I've accomplished more and the house is down to to a dull roar.
Last weekend I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a lovely party in San Francisco. My ex-husband and his wife hosted. It was amazing! Many of the people there I've known since 1996. Our friends are The Best Friends!

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Well, that was a night to remember! One of my best disco sets yet! What a trip.

I was invited to DJ for a Comfort & Joy fundraiser - one of my very favorite Burning Man camps, and a home away from home on the playa. I love these folks. Allison was a founder. They called it Octopus' Garden at first!

I got to spin about 90 minutes of sleaze at the very beginning of the party which was a fantastic warmup. Then Jovino and I ran sound for the drag disco aerobics class (which was as hilarious as you are thinking and also a lot of fun). People really dressed up and turned out for it! I love burners, I really do. If for no other reason than that they are generally willing to make themselves look silly in order to have a good time!

The last disco aerobics track was "San Francisco" by the Village People, and then it was off to the races. When the class was done, a surprising number of folks stayed in the room so I went from there, starting off my set with The Boss, by Miss Ross. I like to think that song might be about a certain Mr Simmons who she was involved with BITD... but she's a lady and will never tell. I managed to keep the dance groove going, and had a complete and total blast spinning. I'm finally, finally starting to really figure out how to put this stuff together. DAG but it has taken me a long time!

Last night was one of those nights where the mixes almost just flowed from my fingers. I'm not saying it was effortless - that rarely happens - but I am saying that it WORKED. HELLS YEAH!

DJ-wise, one of the best nights of my life. Also awesome to see so many friends. And I got to wear a hot outfit that showed off my Disco tattoo, and my favorite disco shoes - the ones I was Sainted in!

Need moar disco gigs! There is nothing like seeing the people dancing to inspire a DJ!

I am elated and exhausted. Is there anything going on tonight?

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I'm feeling: calm chill

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I have to say, this city really does know how to do Pride.  

I loved nearly every second of it! As usual! :-D

Pink Saturday went off like a dream. We were back in our old spot out in front of BofA! Back where we belong! It was sweet, just knowing exactly how to set up. Start time was an hour earlier this year (as was the end time) so it stayed light for longer - not that it mattered much. :-)

The Pink Saturday crowd is one of my favorites. Everyone is so happy to be there! The Sisters really rock this party - it is a lot of work for a lot of people, but it always goes off!

I was really out of practice so I actually planned out a significant part of my set this year. It really helped, as the environment is somewhat chaotic and people are continually wanting to say hi, take my photo, make requests, etc etc all while I am spinning. I really love it when my friends come up and say hi! So it was nice to be able to look up and wave back. I saw SO MANY friends! That was awesome! Made me really happy.

A word about requests: A DJ is a person who plays recorded music in such a way that it sounds good together and creates a musical flow.
A jukebox is a machine which plays whatever you tell it to, if you put in money.
These are not the same thing. ;-)

I don't know what it is about playing "retro" music (I played disco and Jovino spun '80s) that makes people do this, but dag. Trust me! I has a plan! They usually want to hear something that is either way out of the tempo range I am in, or just completely not like what I am already playing... and then there are the ones who pull out a laundry list. If you say you don't have Track A, they will ask for something else... and if you don't have that, they will just keep going, like playing darts. At that point, they are just trying to get me to do *something* that they want. It's not bingo (or radio)! Just let me DJ! I promise you I will play something good. Although I *do* always listen to requests, because sometimes people have really good ideas. (Those are the ones I encourage to give it a try themselves.)

But seriously, if you do not personally know the DJ, the only question they generally want you to ask them is, "Can I get you something?"

:-)

Ahem. Where were we?

Oh yes, Pink Saturday. My opening set went by in a whirl and then Jovino came on and totally blew the roof off the place with his mad '80s Fu. People were loving it! The party really hotted up and he had a packed and pumping floor!

He played '80s new wave which was so much fun to dance to! I'm glad we brought the floor tiles for our little DJ booth. ;-) Then he went into a freestyle setlet that had them contorting on the dancefloor! Seriously, it was such fun to watch. People seem to ask for hip-hop every year, and I don't know whether there is a hip-hop stage or not, but I can tell you the breakdancers in the vicinity were blowing up out in front of his speakers. He was going over like mad!

I actually decided that I was just going to wait until he let me know he was done because people were loving it so much and he looked like he was loving dishing it up, so why get in the way of that?! Also, I get to open and close so I get more time. I used to do the whole 6 hours, which was awesome in its own way (but a lot of work too) and I love having Jovino spin. He's so good, he always gets them going!
So of course my "programming" flew out the window as I reworked my set to hit the essentials and still come in on time. He handed me a super packed dancefloor! Could I keep 'em?


I felt a certain amount of trepidation because we were switching gears, and I wanted to get everyone to cheer for Jovino so I let his track totally run out and yelled out, "Yeah! Give it up for Jovino!" and they all cheered!

I started off with Last Dance, and they cheered again! It's like 9:30 at night (but at least it's finally dark) so perhaps a bit early to pull that one out, but it totally worked. They even cheered at the start of my next two songs!

My set went well, although I did clear the floor. I got them back eventually! Seems like the more obscure disco actually worked better earlier. I think I have a strategy for next year. ;-)

There were a lot of young kids (like 20s) dancing to the disco! That was pretty rad. And of course, folks more my age, coming up to politely ask the name of a track or artist, and tell me how much a song meant to them. This is what I am trying to do with my Pink Saturday DJing - to bring the music that is the soundtrack to gay liberation. Overall, my closing set went over very well, and was a joy to spin. We are Family brought cheers (and the Sisters to the yard) and people grooved on Hold On to My Love and Hott Butterfly (Gregg Diamond/Luther Vandross version - no disrespect to Chaka, but that is The One) as well as There But for the Grace of God Go I and Love to Love You, Baby. 

I split my set pretty evenly between dancy and sleaze... did about 45 mins of pure sleaze, with about 15 mins of denouement (let track run out, play downtempo track, let that run out, do two more that way). We attempted to record but there were glitches in both my parts, so what I think I'm going to do is work out a recorded set based on the Pink Saturday music and record it.

Also, music sounds SO good outdoors. What a joy that was!

We didn't have any other DJ gigs (I've had up to three over Pride weekend, which is fun and occasionally lucrative, but exhausting) so we were free to enjoy Pride freeform. Which is nice, because there sure are a lot of people there!

On Sunday, I woke up before Jovino did, so got on the computer to see what was going on in the world. Chatted with a friend and decided to meet up at our place and head over together. *That* is the way to do Pride! It's always better with a posse. We took BART over, enjoying the already festive mood as other people were clearly going where we were. When we got there, we visited the Faerie Freedom Village, and then walked up to the booth where our friend was volunteering. After that, we visited a tiki bar being run by friends supporting SFSI (San Francisco Sex Information) and then back to the FFV - it has been our home base at Pride for years now. I don't know that I'd be all that into going if we didn't have the Faerie Village.

I see the Faeries and the Sisters as very connected to the roots of Pride. We are fortunate to have them around!

Ran into a few friends and then that was enough. Back to Oakland. It was a good year!

I'm feeling: jubilant jubilant

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 Pink Saturday is tonight! Jovino and I will be DJing on Castro Street, out in front of the BofA, at 18th! (It's where they have the tree in december.) Please come on by!

Music starts at 6pm and goes til 11. I'm bringing the disco and rare groove and he is bringing some amazing '80s!

This is my 13th year doing this and I am very grateful and honored, and super stoked!!!

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I'm feeling: ecstatic Awesomesauce!

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 Well... we got married.

Bunnies are Married - Photo by Splat!



Photo by Dave Le.

I am SO happy!!! 

What an incredible outpouring of love, support, joy, and down-home freakiness.

<3 <3 <3!!!

Our fambly and friends totally came through - and so did the rellies! It was AWESOME.

I don't even know where to start. I guess I'll just go in order! So after some obligatory last-minute stress (and a late-afternoon nap) we finally hit the road. The van was *packed* with stuff, and we even used the clamshell topper (a first for a CnS trip). We got there late, but friends had saved our spot for us.

It was so good to be back at our beloved home away from home on the mountain! One of the first treats was to see *so many* people wearing jammies (admittedly, it was pretty chilly out).

There sure were a lot of raccoons! You know how it is, one raccoon finds out about a place, more show up... ;-) It was sweet and a wonderful memory. One of these days we should try to get a group photo - I never think to. The first night, all we did was set up and chill and greet people. It was great, just what we needed!

The next morning, I woke up and immediately realized that what I'd thought was just an "oh well" mistake - forgetting my CD case in Oakland - was actually BAD as it meant I was also without the music for the ceremony *and* our first dance - which was the first thing we'd decided about the wedding immediately upon deciding to get married at all, and which I was not especially willing to give up on!

Uh-oh.  I don't feel so good. Oh god, I hope I'm not getting sick.

Ok, I've got to get internet access. Jovino's concern was that he'd left the printout of his vows at home on the printer, so was trying to arrange with the catsitter to email them. I tried to tell him to just make some notes, there was plenty of time to recreate them and that it would be fine, and he gave me A Look that said no, there wasn't and it wouldn't. Ok then. We will find a way to get them.

Someone gave me a Chinese nausea remedy (which worked really well despite tasting rather terrible) and I got a ride to town, where our miraculous smarty-phones could connect to the internet. Music all arranged. WHEW! Jovino's phone wouldn't turn on all the way, so I messaged the catsitter asking her to email me instead. I figured I could just send the phone to town with someone to collect the email the next day.

Back to camp, where I worked on my last-minute craft project. Well... some. Mostly I spent what seemed like hours looking for an extension cord. Very Burning Man, actually, in that I had many pleasant interactions and dealt with numerous other things during my lengthy quest. ;-)

My dad and stepmom were flying in from the midwest, landing at SFO at 4:15 pm... with all that entails (in other words, sitting in traffic for an extra hour-or-so while driving north). Well, I didn't make that reservation, and I couldn't fix it. I didn't figure we'd be seeing them that night, but I'd emailed them directions to the site from the hotel (and they also had a GPS) so you never know. At 71 my dad is not the party animal he once was (although he does still enjoy a cold one). Jovino and I hiked around trying for a cel signal but no dice.

That night was planned for the bachelorette party: my friend (and wonderful campout co-organizer who also did a metric fuckton of stuff for the wedding despite being a very busy person with a full life of her own) had planned a bachelorette party for me, telling people to wear pink and bring champagne! We were taking a nap (an actual nap) in the tent when she came to get us for the party so we begged for a little extra getting ready time. She went off, and a bit later on, the best man came around and informed us that it was Party Time and that we would be exiting the tent and heading for the party, NOW.

Well, then. Out we went. He ushered us into the hot tub, fixed us cocktails (the most delicious gin and tonic I have ever had, as a matter of fact) and was generally a super genial host. About 20 minutes later, peeps from the other party showed up, and I realized I'd been kidnapped into the *bachelor* party. LOL, as the kids say!

I didn't even have time to feel bad about it. I was presented with a truly astounding bachelorette gift (<3) and a pink satin "Bachelorette" sash. Thank god they didn't hire the Chippendales too!

The rest of the evening was a lovely blur of hanging out with old friends, meeting new people whose names I probably wasn't going to manage to remember, and just basically kicking back. DAMN did we need it by that point! Planning a wedding AND a campout while running a small business is rather a lot of work, and two of the three have hard deadlines! More on this later.

Off to bed! The next morning we awoke to the sound of rain falling. We went down to the kitchen and saw that folks had set up e-z-ups for the DJ booth as well as general hanging out already, folks were in the kitchen turning out food (I had some excellent steak and eggs dished up by a long time friend) and all was well.

It had rained a little bit on Friday but not much, so we figured it would clear up soon. Main concern today was rellie arrival and procurement of vows, and finishing up the boutonnieres. (Music was already onsite.) Well, and the rain. Whenever someone asked us what we most needed, we'd ask them to get it to stop. Several said they would work on it. :-)

Going down for breakfast made it clear that this was a day to hide in the tent if I wanted to do anything other than be congratulated (in advance). Not that I didn't like it. It's just that I tend to be a bit introverted. People sure are sweet! It was overwhelming. In a lovely way, but still overwhelming. I love the affection but all at once it can be a lot to take in. That's part of why I'm making such a long post, I want to remember as much as I can. :-)

Sitting in our cozy tent organizing music and copying my vows over from my laptop into my little notebook (as the rain came down) I noticed that I had Wi-Fi.

Freakin' WI-FI.

In my TENT, at CnS!!!!! Ohhhhhh hells yeah. The day is saved!

I'm not even exaggerating. The day is freakin' SAVED!!!

Not only was Jovino finally able to have his vows as written, I could actually call my dad over google voice instead of someone having to drive most of the way into freakin' TOWN just to get a celly signal to be able to try! I was astounded.

They should put us in a freakin' ad.

In the meantime, we're also taking turns hemming the dress. My blindstitch brings all the boys to the yard, oh yes. Jovino does a mean one, too (and in fact, he did most of it on the dress). I love that we both worked (including hand stitching) on our garments together. It's so romantic! I was truly proud - although far prouder to be marrying Jovino. I'm so fortunate. He's amazing.

People keep telling me rain on a wedding day is good luck... in that case, we've surely been pelted with blessings from the heavens!

A friend came into the tent (good thing it is so large and cozy) to set up rellie shuttle coordination. Great! Now I don't have to think about it! And I had really dumb ideas like wanting her to take my cel phone into town, while she was clearheaded enough to simply write the numbers down on a piece of paper. Heh.

After this, we continued to work on hem and vows (I was also doing a final edit on mine) when two more friends came by to suggest we consider having the ceremony on Sunday instead, saying they'd just recently checked (I'm pretty sure they must've walked up to the owners' house and asked them to look it up) and that it was supposed to rain steadily until 4 or 5 Saturday but not at all Sunday.

I'd actually had the thought myself that we could postpone, but immediately blew it off since I knew people were coming for the day and there were all of these Plans... food and the music schedule and every damn other thing you can think of, all of which that would screw up.

It just seemed way too selfish. We'd figure something out, the rain would have to stop eventually...

But somehow, they talked us into it. Coming from them, it sounded so sensible. True, we really didn't want to have 150+ people crammed under two e-z-ups in the rain... true... it *is* beautiful when it's sunny and we wanted to let the rellies see that... true, the weather prevented anyone from busting out nice clothes they'd brought... but, most importantly, it occurred to me that we could just choose to *not* really change the kitchen/food schedule (well, much) :-/ but, we could go ahead and do the appetizers and cocktails and fancy dinner anyway. Have the party on Saturday, and just do champy on Sunday after the ceremony. Perfect!

Or as perfect as it's gonna get in the woods in the pouring rain. Hey, we even got an extra chance for some premarital s*x!

So now, if you have a magnet, sorry, but the date is wrong. It's actually the 29th! %-)

We radioed back to town to let the rellies know the plan, and tell them not to dress up. Waiting around for them to arrive was a bit nervewracking but the new plan was a huge relief!

Eventually the rain stopped and folks wanted to know if it was back on, but we said no! Only ONE huge lanechange per event, TYVM. Margot, a dear photographer friend, led us into the garden and took photos of us in our jammies in an immense sea of *pink* poppies. It was ridiculously pink and green and amazing!

Jovino & M by Margot Duane

Photo by Margot Duane.

She also has a show up (as curator) in Marin right now called Black Power/Flower Power, which features documentary photos of both of the famous countercultures, beautifully (and newly) printed in large format. It is at the Marin Community Foundation in Novato, through the end of July. 

I am so so so incredibly grateful to all the photographers. When I was married in 1988 (!) we didn't have an official photographer, and due to a mixup the only person with a good camera missed the ceremony entirely. So we got very few good photos, mostly just blurry snapshots from disc cameras. I wanted to make sure to have good photos, so asked several photographer friends if they'd like to shoot the wedding, and for a variety of reasons, none of them could do it (and I didn't ask another who I knew was having health issues, or one coming up for just the day because you never know how those things will go). Then, at the last minute, all these folks wound up coming, and shooting.

I'm unutterably grateful. The love and support we have received has been amazing. Our friends are awesome.

Here's a shot of Jovino and his mom by Benjy Feen:





Cocktails and appetizers were delicious, and I was pleased to show off our fantastic kitchen crew and Rachel's genius to the rellies. I was especially happy that mine liked her amazing fresh avocado apps, as they live in the midwest and it was a very California dish (and absolutely scrumptious). Cindy even asked what fruit was in them (mango). I could eat them for days!

Another friend made cherry/apple hard cider that was amazing! I'd love to learn how. Fermentation is cool. It's a healthy way to eat (and a cheap way to drink). That cider was fantastic!

We also had a bartender friend make cocktails for us. He went over the top with his glorious combinations of hand-infused flavors. We brought out the Dusty Bunny Bar (now ensconced back in our living room/aka the Bunnydome) and it was such a pleasure seeing them behind our bar.

Party went smoothly. Rellies took off and we breathed a sigh of relief!

Next morning: weather is gorgeous! It's ON! Dress is hemmed, vows written out on paper, rellie rides coordinated... crap! The boutonnieres! Jovino ran down the hill and got some crafty friends together, showed them the sample and explained what the idea was. They even made me a *gorgeous* bouquet! I was thrilled.

My dear Sister Flora Goodthyme of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence came up, camped all weekend (even though she has to use a walker to get around the hilly site this time as she is recovering from a bad bicycle accident) and did my makeup for me. I was SO GLAD I asked! If you want something done right, get a professional. What a gift!

Makeup by Flora Goodthyme; Photo by Benjy Feen

Photo by Benjy Feen.

Makeup: Sister Flora Goodthyme. Bouquet: Janet Miller. Gown: Bunnywarez. Necklace and crown: Elise Matthesen. Earrings: Tom Smith; vintage Moroccan/North African. Watch: Bunny Sutra by Swatch.

As I said, we had some amazing photographers - especially Margot, Splat and Benjy - and many other folks there pitching in, both volunteering for shifts and making things happen in the moment. It takes a village to do anything at all, it would seem. I'm so humbled by all our friends did for us! 

Flora did a wonderful job on my makeup (wish I could have her every day!) and I somehow managed not to cry it all off. Hooray for Kryolan! Although of course I lost an eyelash *in my tent,* damn it. I so wanted to wear them again! Imagine all the good juju on there! ;-)

Anyway! So I'm getting made up by dear Flo. Rellies show up as I am looking this way and that, attempting to be a good canvas. 

I actually got my dad to get me a beer! (Mostly because they were standing around gawking at me getting made up, and, well, the one I had *was* getting warm...) ;-) I did let them snap some photos first. Flora did an amazing job with lil' ol' me!

Piffy, my dear (self-appointed - I mention this *only* because she went WAAAAY beyond the call of what I could have ever asked or expected) wedding planner was absolutely brilliant all weekend (and pre-event) but never more so than during this and the next bit.

She ran interference so I could dress and collect myself in my tent without having to answer 500 million questions that someone else could probably do just fine with. (Then she deftly coordinated the pre- and post-ceremony stuff too.) I arranged my dress, switched my engagement ring to the other hand and took a deep breath. It was on. It was REALLY ON!

I gathered up my bouquet, vows, notes and nerves, and got ready.

We went under the arbor and Toad poured us special premarital cocktails - a delicious greyhound for me. Our music started and people went out. I hid under the arbor and Jovino hid behind a tree on the other side of the patio. I started crying here, realizing it was really going to happen.We came out from the opposite sides, hugged and joined hands, and bounced up to the lawn.

Toad did an AMAZING ceremony! He'd never done a wedding before but I'm sure it it will not be his last. He did a great job! Good thing we had him get ordained instead of just getting a day permit - because otherwise he wouldn't have been qualified to do the ceremony by the time the sun came out! %-)

When Jovino said his vows to me I finally understood why he was so determined to get the actual words - he had written a poem. <3!  I'd fussed and fussed over my notes and then ended up not using them. I think I left out "our creative collaboration feeds my soul" but other than that I think I got everything in.

We'd decided to incorporate the old tradition of jumping the broom, after I heard the phrase and learned that it is a very old Celtic thing, and that the Gypsies also had it as a tradition. I'm a little of both (more Irish than Rom, but it's in there) and Jovino has some Irish too, so that was appealing. Eva did an amazing job decorating the broom! It was so beautiful and full of love and good juju.

There had to be a twist, and in our case, it is that we (inadvertently) wound up asking three freakin' klowns to stand up with us. You knew something had to happen. By the time we realized this, it was WAAAAY too late in the game to do anything about it (and you trust your friends... right?) so, there it was.

The perfect opportunity for *them* to prank us.



Bastards.

We kissed 'em off, though!

HOORAY, WE ARE FINALLY MARRIED!!!

So this is what it feels like when a dream comes true.



We snuck off for a few delicious private moments in the garden while someone assembled folks for a big group photo. After that, there was a very short and sweet rellie-photo session. I see the value in that (especially as in making the family happy) but DAMN I am NOT going to let us spend all day posing - it was perfect!

First dance was fabulous! Worth the hassle over having the *right* track! (I am Love, by the Jacksons - thank you Timmii for getting it for us.) Some things really are worth stressing over, and some are not. Figuring out which is which is a useful skill - not just for wedding planning, but for Real Life!  (Actually, pretty much all of the requirements for planning a wedding are good training for being married: you have to work together, coordinate and plan, find a budget and stick to it, hit a deadline and not rip each other's heads off when it looks like it might go sideways.)

Somehow my fairy-wedding-planner managed to engineer a dance with my dad (and Jovino with his mom) which was photographed without it being an overwrought spectacle. There is *so much* bullshit and spectacle around weddings, and we wanted to only have the *important* stuff. Piff did an amazing job of coordinating the wedding - including engineering some of those moments I'd have never thought we'd have time for, in an unobtrusive way. She kicked a truly unbelievable amount of ass. I actually think this could be an excellent new career, if homegirl ever gets tired of her current digs.

So then it was on to champy, toasts, and general relief all-round that it was over! I only remember who toasted, I have *NO IDEA* what anyone said. One of my friends says she has some video. If you get married, record the toasts, is my advice. It's always something! They were awesome though and I do remember the LOVE. Just wish I remembered the words in more detail.

After that, there was a bit of free-form schmoozing, the rellies packed up and we waved them off and it was straightaway back to the lawn for the Newlywed game (which is exactly what it sounds like: a live version of the cheesy old Newlywed game complete with embarrassing questions thickly laced with innuendo).

They did a great job on the questions. We came in dead last. Are you kidding me? What costume does he wish I'd put in the costume exchange... when I'm ohhhhhhh sooooooooooooo hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh on love and magic and oxytocin?! Please!

I have a sort of an answer today (after thinking about it) but then, hell no! It was ALL perfect! (and it's really not that bad... it took several days to come up with anything at all, unlike in some past relationships where I could have easily pulled out a list). That's not just newlyweditis - we've been together 8 years. Best of both worlds!

Sunday night was lovely, chill, and relaxing. Monday we were sad to say goodbye to friends, but eager to live inside again, and sleep in our own bed.

The whole thing was SIGNIFICANTLY more work, hassle, expense, and hassle-and-work-for-other-people-we-can't-pay than I thought it would be going in. I'd have NEVER asked for all of that, had I truly understood what I was asking for.

That said, it was also PERFECT. I could not have asked for anything more.

AND, we are married! I used to think that the day would never come. :-) I'm really happy. My ring keeps catching my eye and making me smile. Seeing his is hot. I like saying "I made a cocktail for my husband" and hearing Jovino say "my wife." It's sweet!

We haven't sent in the form yet, but I know where it is. This aspect is making me even more determined to keep up the fight for marriage equality. There is absolutely NO reason WHATSOEVER that this should be limited to M/F couples.

EVERYONE deserves it - and they have already proven that quite well in court! AND it is in the freakin' constitution! The other side is simply using legal manipulation techniques to attempt to forestall the inevitable. I want to do more to help speed the plow.

Anyway, there ya go! If you were there, thank you. If you couldn't make it, that's cool and we appreciate your good wishes. We want to have a party soon to drink some of the extra champagne and see folks who had other plans that weekend. Ping me to be sure to hear about it! 

<3 <3 <3!!!

Current Location: home sweet home
I'm feeling: happy happy

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 I've been getting hit with a LOT of spam comments recently. I still allow anonymous comments (although they are screened) because sometimes they come from actual friends and I hate to force anyone to register just to comment - I doubt they'd bother. Many of the spammy comments come from actual registered lj accounts anyway. 

I also had a really stoopid IM session with a bot on AIM. It got all bent outta shape when I figured out it was a bot.

AIM IM with horne084/13/11 12:08 PM
horne084: hey you

me: hi hi

horne084: heIIoo+hii+hiii+heyyy you doin anything l was reaIIy loneIy wnnted to see if u wanted to taIk?

me: who is this?
because you sound like a bot

horne084: weIl ii juust got backk a Iil bit ago from woorkin out and im gonnna get to werrk on here now what ya doing????

me: I'm asking who you are
because you sound like a BOT

horne084: no im not a bot are you?

me: yes, I'm a bot

horne084: cool l been doin these caaamweb caam} shows onIine while i'm in college stiII its reaIIIy fuun u shouId coome join me
no im not a bot are you?

me: awseome. want to have some hot bot tiemz?

horne084: lol i'm not a bot silly

horne08 has gone offline.

(subtext here is that I usually reply to IMs from folks I don't know in case it is a biz thing. bots are dum.)




Current Location: homez
I'm feeling: bored ehh
I'm hearing: Spencer Day - Come Back to Me

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42 days until the wedding!  Which really means, um, let's see... it's really more like 40 (FOR-TY DAYS-EESE DAYS-EESE!!!) since we'll be camping starting on Thursday.  I think that's good, though.  Being onsite for a day or so ahead of time is bound to relax us.  And we've moved the ceremony time a bit later to accommodate folks driving in for the wedding.

I've been looking at online resources and practically everything is a list of expenses - most of which seem really dumb and unnecessary - I mean, even if I had money coming out of my ass I wouldn't be wasting it on this stuff!  We want to keep it simple (and frankly, that is all we can afford in the first place).

It is also clearly time to seriously bust out the spreadsheets and lists.  Bah!  But, today is going to be a day of working on this stuff.  Not just logistics - I have been giving a lot of thought to how to structure our ceremony and I am really enjoying delving more into my woo-woo side.  It's gonna be awesome!  ;-)

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I'm feeling: energetic enthusiastic!

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it's a new dawn.  yesterday, we finished loading out from the shop in SF.  so, today, we don't have to go ANYwhere.  there are a few packages to be mailed out, but we are no longer on a rigid schedule.  YAY.

I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity, and really glad it's over.

I did some back of envelope calculations and it appears to me that between 12/13 and 2/12 we missed a total of seven weekend days - as in, we frequently worked straight through the weekend (or only got one day off) over those 9 weeks.  DAMN.  and, actually looking back, it might be even more since we also had the rather unfortunate Crucible holiday sale - for which we foolishly skipped a fantastic party with friends from out of town - right before that.  so basically our weekends have been taking it in the pants for three months or so.  we didn't even get a break after FC which itself was seven days of working every day!

well, not any moar!

now, we can start up production again, get our house back in order... oh yeah, and plan a freakin' wedding that is in like three months!  yi!

the cats are thrilled already.  and I am really pleased to be getting back to our core business, and other important stuff (like having a life).  we did have a fabulous Valentine's day - Jovino got us AMAZING seats to the Avenue Q preview show on Tuesday, and afterwards we went to one of our favorite late night restaurants for some incredible food.  it was a great kickoff to our new era of NOT working retail!

woo-hoo!!!

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red-headed stepchild in the house of love
User: djmermaid
Name: red-headed stepchild in the house of love
Website: bunnywarez!
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