Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Power of Planking

By now you all know what planking is. My friend Blake introduced me to it and surprisingly I've only had mild success - I thought my (p)lanky frame would make me a natural but my centre of gravity is way off.

Blake is wicked good.

Then he got Ryan into the mix and that bridge didn't have a prayer: Apparently the new thing is 'owling'. Well, that's just ridiculous.

The Cottage Countdown

The Cottage Weekend, by the numbers:

16 - guests
12 - sleeping spaces in the cottage
2 - tents erected
1 - large bathtub offered as a sleeping option
0 - people who took advantage of this offer
4 - kayaks

15 - worms I hooked for Tim

15 - fish caught

0 - fish larger than 8"

1 - times Tim accidentally drank from his cigarette butt beer bottle
6 - times I kept laughing about it throughout the weekend and beyond
4 - Muskoka chairs

2 - damages (lawn chair from before I was born and coffee mug) - not bad at all
1 - bee hive (with corresponding parental notice)

1 - underwater synchronized water 'show'

1 - weak link in aforementioned water 'show' - you decide

12 - Gluten Free beers
18 - fireside s'mores
10 - haaaawwt pockets - Tracy's delicious fireside creation
6 - times Tracy kept having to remind me how awesome she is
15 - banana boats - now a cottage staple
1 - busted cooler - styrofoam just doesn't hold up the way it used to
2 - crossword puzzles completed

2 - star formations identified - this is embarrassing. "Maybe that's Mars??" doesn't count

1 - freak outs experienced by Julie - "Harry Potter" and "I heard what you said even when you weren't in the room to say it" will forever strike fear into my soul

1 - Snakes and Ladders games won
2 - Snakes and Ladders games where I cheated - I guess they were right, cheaters never prosper

1 - water trampoline trespassed - not that fun or worth the long swim to get there
1 - mosquito bite on my left shoulder that is swelling so badly that I look like Quasimodo

These all add up to a great if you'll excuse me, I'm itching to go ring the bell in the clock tower.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

To a Tee

The message t-shirt. I've loved it:

I've laughed at it: (and said, "Really? Are you sure?")

I found myself in a Bluenotes the other day and these made me smile.

And then there's the t-shirt fail:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

11 Year Old

Attn: Neighbourhood kid who decided to befriend me yesterday while I watered the plants.

No, this is not going to turn into a feel-good Lifetime movie where we forge an unlikely friendship and you teach me how to care about people and I help you overcome your stutter. Just because you selected me to strike up a conversation with and we spent an entire 10 minutes talking about summer camp, gardening, the weird kid on the block and why you're sitting your bike on my garden hose, this does not make us friends.

I am not Mr. Wilson to your menacing Dennis. I don't know why you hugged me in the hips. I don't know why you didn't run away when I sprayed you with the hose. I don't know why you kept riding your bike past my house all evening, but it creeped me out.

I don't mean to sound all "Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino" but "Get off my lawn!"

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Happy Canada Day!

Yes, it's belated, but this picture is too awesome not to post.

How cool are we?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Summer School

Trivia has come to an end for another season - or at least it has for me. They're dragging it out a bit this year, but I'm taking back my Monday nights until Thanksgiving. For example, tonight I am eating grilled cheese on the porch then going for a swim - can't let cerebral exercise interfere with that. After winning last week's round (natch) Kevin, Jim and I recapped our season and organized strategy for continued victory in the 2011-2012 season. Yes, we are giant nerds. Ones that will kick your asses each week!

We determined our shortcomings and made a study list for each of us for the summer. This is what we've come up with:

I think I got the short straw. I have to study the whole frickin' universe.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Where Can I Get One Of These?

The Main Event

Several times a year there is an event that is greater than all the other events. Whether it's the size and scale of the party of the VIP nature or even the budget - it's huge and dwarfs every other event that month. Yesterday was one such event - a 600 guest Italian wedding for a notable Hamiltonian. As a regular person, just hearing the words "600 guest Italian wedding" causes me to shudder but as an event planner, it's a major coup and usually turns out to be a great opportunity to impress and excel.

I worked the entire long weekend and my Canada Day celebrations consisted of my grumbling as the fireworks kept me from getting the 4 hours of sleep I would have access to the entire weekend.

Last night, as I furtively ate a cannoli while waiting to cue the best man's speech, I took a moment to compile my thoughts about this major event. In no particular or no particularly sensible order:

- Have you ever been in the massive church near the 403 and Dundurn? It's like our city's Catholic mothership and it's quite grand inside. They're also very strict. Apparently if you leave your keys and phone behind a holy water...statue thing and come back for it after dealing with the wedding party, the doors will be locked. After freaking out and knockin' on heaven's door, the priest (?) will begrudgingly let you in and give you the eye like he knows you're not even Catholic. At the rehearsal he made people put up their hands if they weren't - not sure why. As a Protestant event planner at the Italian wedding, and the only one with a clipboard, I stood out.

- My favourite part of any wedding is that short moment I get alone with the bride right before she walks down the aisle. She's typically really nervous and vulnerable and I can be the calm and professional presence to help her relax and focus - it's just a sweet little moment in the chaotic day where we can connect. Yesterday, this beautiful 23 year old was shaking and about to cry. She asked me what she should think about to avoid freaking out or sobbing. I told her to think about the first thing that came to my mind - the complete opposite of anything wedding related: dog fighting. I actually said this to her. Seriously, sometimes I should just be banned from speaking. Especially at crucial moments in people's lives. Luckily, she laughed as I fanned her with a Bible.

- I have become an expert at standing still with my hands clasped behind my back with reverence and poise while an variety of speeches, presentations, ceremonies or slide shows take place. Behind my back, my thumbs are wrestling each other.

- You know who's NOT so good at standing quietly still? Children. I'm sorry, but I truly do not believe young children have a place at an event like a wedding ceremony. At least not the ones present yesterday. Standing near the back of the church, I found myself in what seemed to be a free-for-all wild playground - at least 9 kids, in varying states of unrest. They were all running around (running!), screaming, being chased by indulgent mothers with not a shred of embarrassment or awareness on their faces. Why do they think it's appropriate to allow their children to interrupt and impair guests' enjoyment of a ceremony? Couldn't they have played outside? At home, in their backyard? Yes, yes, I know, I'm the witch in Hansel and Gretel, but come ON.

- Also, dressing your three children in the ever-subtle Burberry plaid, head to toe, does not make it okay for them to cavort around my ankles and grab at my dress. They all blended together and looked like some plaid super-child trying to take me down.

- If there were Event Professional Olympics, I would surely take gold in boutonniere and corsage pinning. I'm wicked good. I never prick anyone (by accident) and they will be secured for the whole day no matter how many aunts and uncles crush them in hugs.

- People really do not know how to dress in a church. Or to a wedding for that matter. It's not Jersey Shore night at Skank, the hottest new club for the under-20 crowd and you're not competing for the Most Orange Skin Showing trophy. Cover your side boob, already! And put your thighs away.

- Fondant sucks. No one likes to eat it and I don't care if it allows you to create a replica of the Notre Dame cathedral in icing. Let's put a picture of the cathedral beside a really good pie and call it a day.

- Also, cupcakes and candy bars are so played. Pie is the new wave. You heard it here first.

- Regarding the candy bar, I learned something about myself last night. If I accidentally drop a Reese's piece into my dress while eating them by the handful, it will fall out at the end of the night when I get changed. And, at 4am, after I find it on the floor, I will eat it. No shame. Or at least, none at 4am on hour 22 of being awake.

- Going on and on about being 'so into fashion' and name-dropping Phillip Treacy would be more easily believable if you were just stylish and quiet. And weren't still wearing turqoise contact lenses. Who are you, Paris Hilton in 2002? Even she's let that one die.

- I spent most of the night nervously watching a candelabra shake and nearly topple from the head table. Rowdy, drunk groomsmen + cheap rented Chinese fabrication = disaster and panicked event planner.

- I want to marry someone who dances. Watching all these older couples doing their best to the latest from Flo Rida and Lady Gaga was pretty awesome. You know they've never heard the song before but they're out there having fun, doing their little shuffle. I want to be 70 and have my husband beside me giving it our best shot. Why not? I guarantee they were having more fun than the couples sitting watching them.

- One of my favourite things about the field I'm in is the control and power I have on event day. Knowledge is power and having all the answers and ability to tell people where they have to be and what to do is way too much fun. I have the power to interrupt people, direct, and boss - this is what they're paying me for. And really, keeping a 30 person wedding party on track requires a firm hand. Those who recognize and respect my role from the get-go are much appreciated. Those (i.e. that charming groomsman who I had to constantly chase into line or the bridesmaid who thinks I am her slave) who resist...well, I suppose no job's easy.

- It is a guarantee that I will always tear up at the father/daughter speeches. Or really any of the speeches for that matter. I'm a total suck for these and it always makes me think about my parents and my special people. Whenever I feel the tears coming, I just try to think of dog fighting. It works.

Hour 21 and counting...