Archive of ‘Uncategorized’ category

Little by Little

It feels like this entire wedding/moving process is taking forever, but it’s really coming up fast. The wedding is 16 days away, and we still need: a bow tie for him, shoes for me, and wedding bands for both of us. We’re thinking of going the Etsy route for bands, and I guess we need to make up our minds, like, yesterday.

In the mean time, we’ve been trying to enjoy everything we possibly can in our corner of Pittsburgh. My bridal shower was last weekend, where we enjoyed dinner at Piccolo Forno and cupcakes from Vanilla.

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We have plans to visit our favorite bar – and the location of our first date – a few more times before we hop on the plane, too. (If you’re curious, it’s called the Squirrel Hill Cafe, but patrons usually call it The Cage. Google ‘at ‘n yinz is in for a good mill and maybe an Ir’n City.)

I’m personally going to be extra nostalgic for another Squirrel Hill staple: the 61C Cafe. I was a barista there for a year and a half, and it’s definitely the job (and staff) I miss the most. Unfortunately, the website hasn’t been updated since I was a sophomore in high school, so don’t go looking there for any relevant information. Facebook them instead, and if you go, get some hot chocolate. With whipped cream, obviously, because this isn’t fucking South Beach.

Oh yeah, and I guess another important thing about the wedding: We haven’t figured out the ceremony yet. Or our vows. And I’ve heard that winging it isn’t a very popular or successful strategy for a ceremony that will, in large part, define the beginning of our (legal) lives together. And since we’re self-officiating, we can’t fall back on whatever the judge/minister/rabbi usually does.

Any last-minute wedding ideas? Things you wish you’d thought of? Thoughts on how to pull of a short, sweet, personal ceremony? 

Bro-chill-orette Party & More

It’s been a little over a week since my last update, mostly because we’re seriously coming up on wedding crunch time. Last Friday was our Bro-chill-orette party, so named because it was for both bachelor and bachelorette, with all kinds of guests.

 

We aimed to go to Industry Public House for dinner (try one of their smokestacks ~ whiskey + smoke + bacon simple syrup), then Arsenal Lanes for bowling and karaoke.  Awesomely, an even bigger party than expected showed up! And we drank and ate and blew penis-shaped whistles until 11:30, at which time we couldn’t get in to bowl or sing our hearts out to 90s songs. And unfortunately, the only picture I have of anyone blowing a penis whistle actually looks like someone toking a bowl, so I won’t be sharing that on the www.

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This was probably early in the evening. And yes, that tiara does have penises on it.

But all was not lost! We continued the party back home, where both Daphne and her cousin Charlie joined us.

At some point, I apparently had such a great time that I don’t remember handing out 1/3 of my wedding invitations. When our guests left, I insisted we put on Adventure time, and then sang along the theme song. So, I guess I did karaoke. …And made sound effects for the 10 minutes of the episode that I got through before throwing up on a pillow.

 

Interested in more wedding stuff? Oh good! Because you’re not getting any respite ’til I do, and that’s not til August 11th.

Because PA is one of the few states that allows self-officiating marriage (thanks, Quakers!), we’ve opted for a self-officiating license. That’s cool because it means we get to officiate our own wedding, but it’s also not cool because um, we have to officiate our own wedding. Stress eating is a thing. I want some damn toast.

 

Wedding Wednesday #1: Wedding Wears

Yeah, that’s right. We’re getting all ~lifestyle blog~ up in here with some Wedding Wednesday shit.

Yesterday, Steve got his official offer from the University of Kiel. So, as long as his defense goes well, we’re gettin’ married and shippin’ out. Because we’re not exactly ballers right now (hint: I have two jobs and one of them I took mostly for the free food), we’re looking to make this a cheap but surprisingly classy affair.

My first priority is finding a dress for around $100 or less. My taste in wedding dresses is mostly nontraditional, and right now, I’m leaning towards this cute piece from ModCloth:

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Our biggest problem (or, should I say, my biggest problem – Steve isn’t much into wedding planning) is trying to differentiate our wedding from some weird combined graduation party. Because the reception will be at my parents’ house in the suburbs, it’s a fine line to walk. Any suggestions? I’m thinking of asking our guests to wear “garden party attire” like cocktail dresses, light suits or pants/jackets, etc. I suppose it’ll help that I’ll be in a white dress and Steve will be wearing a suit (grey, most likely, with some kind of mint green accent).

We aren’t having a wedding party, partly because we’re having a very small ceremony at the courthouse. Also, I just didn’t feel right prioritizing some friends, and then asking them to spend money on dresses and all of the other expenses that come with it. Because the one thing I’m willing to splurge on is a great photographer, I’m considering asking our immediate family to coordinate something so we all look good in photos together. Grey/mint green/coral pink/white?

Last, but not least, I’m planning on involving the dogs in the reception festivities. They’re both very social pups. Since they both love attending parties and having guests over, so I’m not worried about them being overwhelmed. I’m hell bent on finding Dmitri a mint green bow-tie and some kind of matching accessory for Daphne. I honestly could not care less if this is considered tacky.

Any ideas or suggestions for our big day?

Support Dildology.org

Last week, I posted a link to Dildology.org, along with a simple explanation of what they do. Today, I want to get deeper into that, since I’m proud to be part of the Dildology.org Blog Carnival!

So what is Dildology?

In their own words… “The sex toy industry is on the rise, yet it remains largely unregulated. Dildology.org intends to provide material verification services and maintain a public database of the results, adding transparency and oversight to the industry while educating the public about the science behind pleasure products. We stand on our own, unaffiliated and uninfluenced, and we are dedicated to protecting the health and well-being of the dildo-loving population at large through education (and maybe a little entertainment).”

Crista, Lilly, and Crista’s partner V want to know what the hell is in our sex toys, and they’re tired of relying on faulty manufacturer information to find out. Did you know that absolutely nothing – no one – stops manufacturers from claiming “phthalate free”, even if their product is actually 30-50% phthalates? Are you as angry as we are now? You should be!

The goal of Dildology.org is to provide 100% comprehensive, independent testing, which is very expensive. Testing for each toy is $200-$450, which is quite a chunk.They are purchasing toys directly from locations around the US, and are refusing toys offered by manufacturers so as to remain 100% objective. (They are, however, taking product donations from third-party retailers – if you run a store and want to help, hit them up.)

At this time, they need $20,000 to start this amazing project, and you can help. They’re offering some awesome rewards to get started, including a 15% off SheVibe coupon when you donate $15 or more and a baller Dildologist t-shirt when you donate $50!

In addition to their donation perks, if you are a blogger and donate more than $15 to Dildology, I will give you a code for a free 1 month advertising slot, which you can use now or for the month of June (or, if a ton of you donate, I’ll queue you up and let you know when your month will come). Shoot me an email after you donate, and once I confirm your donation, we’ll get you set up through PassionFruit.

Leaving Adult Retail

After almost exactly a year, I’m leaving adult retail (for now).  I’m not really sure if or when I’ll get back into it.  Obviously, I’m not done with the industry.  I have a lot of reviews to catch up on, and I don’t plan to quit reviewing any time soon.  But I could not be more burnt out from answering the same questions and having the same sales frustrations, day after day.

I’ve learned that I’m just not someone who thinks in sales dollars.  I will not ever lie to you to get you to purchase something, and if I think a product is shit, I will tell you that (nicely).  A lot of products in the adult industry are absolute shit.  Phthalates, parabens, porous rubber…  It gets to be exhausting trying to wade through the sea of utter crap to help someone find a toy that’s well made and body safe.  In a mainstream sex shop, that’s fucking difficult.  (To clarify: I was never, ever asked to lie.  But saying anything good about a jelly rabbit is impossible for me, I can’t just gloss over the toxicity issue.)

I’m so, so thankful for shops that are paving the way toward a higher standard of quality products and sex education.  There are a lot of people standing on the shoulders of folks at Babeland and Good Vibrations, and if Catalyst Con was any indication, things will  get better.  I would absolutely love to work for any of the amazing sex-positive retailers, like SheVibe or Tantus, that I’ve met during this journey.  And yes, maybe I am name-dropping to plant the seeds for someone awesome to throw my name in the ring.

But, I digress.  What does this mean for you?  It means I have time and motivation to do shit like write reviews!  And spend the required time with myself to formulate opinions, to write those reviews!  Also, I’m going to try to bring back Lazy Sunday links, which I didn’t know was a Lonely Island song until someone thought I was clever.  In hindsight, I bet they were being sarcastic.  Hm.

I will be back for tomorrow’s resurrection of Lazy Sunday linkfest!

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