Saturday, October 1, 2011


And, that's a wrap on September!

We just returned to the Burgh from [the former JEG] JGS's wedding in the Detroit area. As far as weddings go, this was one of the best to which I have ever been. Held at The Inn at St. John's, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. JGS and her new husband RPS made excellent choices for every aspect of the wedding planning (i.e. flowers, music, venue, menu, favors, bridal party gifts, etc.) because their choices reflected their personalities. It was their wedding.

One of the reasons why JTP and I had such a great time was the convenience factor. Generally, when the chapel, reception location, and hotel accommodations are all within the same facility, the events are more enjoyable for the guests. In this case, The Inn at St. John's has a historic chapel, an amazing space for receptions called The Atrium, and a boutique hotel. Compound this with the luxury factor, and it's ideal. Add a lively crowd, a solid band, inspiring toasts from my Uncle JFG (the father of the bride), an open bar (two nights in a row), a bride and groom who have so much love for each other that it's almost tangible, a late night pool party, a big family breakfast, a solid wedding party (with yours truly as the maid of honor), and an intimate rehearsal dinner at Fiamma Grille, and we've got nothing but wedding success, folks!

I am a bridesmaid veteran, but this was the first time that I got to be a maid of honor. I'll be the first to admit that being a bridesmaid is always a blessing and sometimes a curse. It's a blessing to be part of such a special occasion; but every now and then, there's the curse which surfaces because of the hectic schedule, the stress of getting wedding related things done on time, and the stress of unflattering dresses and uncomfortable shoes. Yet, despite my standard melodramatic moans, groans and eye rolls, the stresses were gone once the festivities were underway. You see, in truth, it was a heartwarming experience to be JGS's maid of honor. Interestingly, I didn't anticipate the flood of emotions that I felt during the rehearsal, wedding, and reception... I felt happiness, admiration, peace, and love. These emotional moments brought clarity to my relationship with JGS and I fell in love with my family all over again. And, getting to give a toast for someone that I care for dearly was both challenging and fun. Who's next? I'm ready!

Another thing I'll be the first to admit is that baby showers can be pretty unbearable. And yet, this month, I attended one that was fantastic. That's right. I said it was fantastic. One of my best friends, JLD, had her baby shower at La Casa Narcisi Winery. JLD's motivation for having a baby shower at a winery was brilliant. She knew no one wanted to play games, and that everyone would want to drink, eat, socialize, and "ohh" and "ahh" over presents... which we did! The food was fantastic (mixed green salad, chicken, pasta, and roasted vegetables); and the wine tasting component of this event was lovely. There was a white, a pink, and a red (Riesling, Steuben, and Deer Creek respectively); which was nice for everyone's varying wine preferences. I meant to try them all, but the Deer Creek was quite tasty and I ended up sticking with it. In addition, the customer service was excellent. Although the weather was bleak and wet, we were under a large pavilion with patio heaters, and we were surrounded by a lush, green lawn. In the future, I will certainly suggest this venue for an outing or an event.

Sidenote: I did the favors for this shower, which were wine glasses that I purchased at IKEA. Jenny Wren, the graphic designer who did the invitations, made circular tags to match; and I attached them to each glass with a simple gross grain ribbon. They read, "We're in the pink. Let's share a drink." Yes, JLD is having a girl!

La Casa Narcisi Winery on Urbanspoon

Fall television is up and running. So far, I've caught all episodes of Community, Parks and Recreation, The Office, and Grey's Anatomy. Overall, I'm pleased with each one and I'm happy to be back in my DVR routine. Meaning, I record "our" shows and watch them with JTP the following evening or whenever we have time; or I record "my" shows and watch them before JTP gets home from work. Now, as far as new shows go, I've caught Pan Am, The Playboy Club, Whitney, and The New Girl. I might give Pan Am one more episode, mainly out of curiosity; but The Playboy Club and Whitney were largely disappointing.  However, I am really excited about The New Girl with Zooey Deschanel (who would play me in the HGB biopic). She's quirky, she sings, and she's funny. It's a residential premise, with her character "Jess" as the new roommate in an apartment with three guys after she and her boyfriend have broken up. She's also a broke school teacher, which is vaguely familiar. I was always a Three's Company fan (starting at a very young age when I didn't even get most of the jokes), and perhaps with Deschanel in a role similar John Ritter's mis-adventurous "Jack," this show will make for some quality entertaining television.

To keep things current, I've updated our list of television shows to reflect series that have ended and new series that have started. You'll notice that JTP has jumped on board with Parks and Recreation, mainly because he adores the "Ron Swanson" character.  Also, we've temporarily given up on Burn Notice because we missed a whole season. From my list, I cut Hoarders to make room for Dance Moms and The New Girl.

JTP's List
The Killing (AMC)
Breaking Bad (AMC)
Dexter (Showtime)
Mad Money (CNBC)
Pardon the Interruption (ESPN)
Shark Tank (ABC)
South Park (Comedy Central)

HGB's List
White Collar (USA)
Psych (USA)
Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
General Hospital (ABC)
Bored to Death (HBO)
Dance Moms (Lifetime)
The New Girl (FOX)

Our List
Community (NBC)
The Office (NBC)
Parks and Recreation (NBC)
True Blood (HBO)
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)
Mad Men (AMC)
Seinfeld (FOX)

So what's upcoming in October? Hopefully, some weekends without plans. A month with a completely booked calendar can be exhausting; and as I get older, having nothing to do becomes more and more valuable. I am looking forward to Fort Ligonier Days, Phantom Fright Nights, and Halloween. I have a costume idea in the works, but no concrete plans to go anywhere yet. I suppose I have some time to figure it ahhhht. Lastly, Psych and Bored to Death are starting in October, which is exciting! Psych is the whole reason I became addicted to USA shows.

As always, thank you for reading!
Helloooo October!