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15 posts from March 2006

The Gift of a SheepMarch 31, 2006

I'm not sure if this person wanted blogish recognition (well, knowing her, she didn't want it, but I'm not sure if she'd mind) so I'm leaving names out of it, but Lala and I got the gift of a sheep.

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Made me cry. One of my all-time favorite gifts. A sheep! A sheep that will help someone else, a family that needs help. Amazing.

Also: Those of you kindest, sweetest human beans who have sent us gifts, please know that it's just because I've been flying through the hours busier than I've ever been that I haven't blogged each and every giddy box-opening. We do get giddy and then we fight over who gets to use the salt grinder/oil-vinegar cruet first. (That oil and vinegar cruet? Shoulda been me using it first. Just saying. Ask Lala to explain. No, it's not broken! It's just drying.) And this: If you did send us something, would you please send me your address? Pretty please? I mean it. I want your address.

Weird. It just dumped rain for about thirty seconds. Now it's over.

The house is CLEAN! Lala's parents will see the house for the first time today, and my parents will see it furnished for the first time. I'm so proud and excited.

And tomorrow, well. Tomorrow. I can't wait.

Oh! I just realized I can tell you this, since I'm going to preblog this to post later than I'm writing it. Friday morning Lala thinks she's running errands with me (Costco, Trader Joe's, Longs, all the things I've been busting my ass to finish so she won't have to) and then getting her hair cut. But what she doesn't know is this: I've moved her hair appointment and we're going out to breakfast at 10, just the two of us, Merrit Bakery down by the lake. Then we're going to Piedmont Springs at 11 for a half-hour hot tub (I hope it rains, I love hot tubs in the rain) and then at 11:30 we both have a 75 minute massage. Nope, we can't afford it, but I have an old gift certificate to blow there, and I think it's worth it. Time for us to relax and NOT THINK about the wedding (can I do that? I'm not sure. I'll try) and chill out. This idea came from readers, and I thank you. I always thank my readers.

Because out of all the readers in the whole world, I have the very best ones.

Wedding ShoppingMarch 30, 2006

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Things I Learned Not To Do From Last Night's DreamMarch 29, 2006

1. Do not stand on top of a ladder so someone can hem your dress at the last minute.

2. Do not let some horrid little blonde that you've never met before do your makeup because you will look like Tammy Faye and she and all her sorority sisters will laugh at you.

3. Do remember to bring the veil to the dressing area.

4. If you forget, do not attempt to make one with raffia. This will not work, even if you try for hours.

5. The hole that rips in the back of the dress right over your tuckus should probably be mended. Someone will notice.

6. It is better to take off the dress before letting that horrible, catty blonde sew it up from behind you.

7. Do not accept a package from the UPS guy and let him accidentally carry away your envelope holding your plane tickets and passport.

8. Take off your dress and put something else on before you search his filthy, oily garage. Don't crawl under cars in your dress. You'll regret it.

9. Quit looking at the clock. Yes, you're two hours late now, and you know that your fiance and all your guests have given up on you and are drinking all the booze you spent this week planning, buying, and transporting.

10. If you DO make out with the UPS guy, don't feel guilty. It's a dream, and he's hot. Just do it where that blonde bitch can't see you.

11. Don't agree to transport the cake yourself. If you do, the veil you found will be covered with frosting, you will get in a fender bender, the cake will end up in pieces on the backseat floor, and you'll be arguing in the rain in your torn, oily dress with the other driver and then you'll look up to find your friends and family leaving the church, not sparing you a glance. You will cry and then wake up to realize it's only a dream and Lala's still there and Harriet is snoring and it's okay. So that part of the dream is good.

PlanningMarch 28, 2006

Holy crap. Lists upon lists upon lists. I'm not to the point of making lists of my lists yet, but I'm very close. I'm just rewriting them at this point.

And I have to remember to take with us to the wedding everything we want to take on the honeymoon, as well, since the sisters are spiriting us away to a hotel room that night after the party, and then we leave in the morning for Vancouver!

I am so excited. I am also ready for the party. Then I'm ready to leave. You know? I enjoy planning, but even with a tiny little cheap wedding, this is extreme planning, yo. We want to have a housewarming at some point, but that would be planning, and I just can't bear it.

I think we need massages. Yup. I may need to make some phone calls today. Not like we have ANY money to spare, but can't we justify this? We NEED it. I'm feeling mostly good, and mostly together, and mostly happy, and then something little will happen, and I'll snap -- GRRROWWWWWL! Kerthunk. Humph. Stomp, stomp, stomp. Of course, it's Lala I snap on most -- or if it's not snapping, then it's moods. Growly moods, for bad reasons like tripping over the dog, or not having chocolate in the house. Stooopid.

But I've learned this, and it's a good lesson: On my days off, for the last three months, I've been busy from morning until night. From 7am until 9pm, I Do Stuff, constantly and without ceasing (mothers all around the country are saying SHUT UP! I'VE DONE THAT FOR YEARS!). First it was packing, then moving, then unpacking, then wedding planning.

That's not complaining, that's an observation that I am able to be productive when I need to be. Which means this: When we come home from the honeymoon, I will spend that time writing. Or at least a lot of it. If I can spend all day running errands and doing things that I don't particularly like to do, then I can spend more hours than I am now writing, which I LOVE to do.

So that's the plan.

Oh, my god. I'm still planning. Erg.

Bachelorettes' PartyMarch 25, 2006

It just took me WAY too long to type those words up there in the title line, and I'm pretty hungover. I asked Lala why I was so hungover, since I didn't drink that much last night. She said, "It's because you drank a LOT." Welp, don't remember that part so well, but she's probably right.

It was our bachelorette party! Yay! If you didn't get invited, it's not our fault! We didn't have to plan it! Christy and Bethany planned EVERYTHING and I think that's one of the bachelorettes' party's best features. The brides don't have to do sh*t but show up. And drink, apparently.

I did use the evening as a trial run for my wedding makeup. I figured it's probably not the best idea to wear false eyelashes for the very first time on your wedding day. I could just imagine being allergic to the glue or something. MAN, are those things hard to get on. But look: aren't they fun?

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The first part of the evening was at Christy's fabulous pad, where we had cocktails and little teeny wonderful sammiches and nice cheese. Stuff like that. Yummy, yummy. Fun people. Martinis. Good times.

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Isn't she dapper?

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There were knitters! (And a shy Won-ju.) I didn't even bring knitting. Can you imagine?

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And so it begins.

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Accosted by Rachael's camera. Who could ask for more?

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Celia serenaded us with a beeeyoootiful western yodel.

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Smush-face. This might be my favorite picture all night.

So we ate and drank and laughed and talked and sang, and that was just the beginning. We piled into cars and went into the City to Encore, our favorite little karaoke bar in the world. I was tired as we were driving over, and I wondered if I would find more energy once we got there (I hate it when you're so out of it that you try to type once starting with a W). But I found MUSIC, people. That's what I needed.

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Camilla and Joni tore it up. Whitesnake never looked so good.

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The sisters! Both have FABULOUS voices which they put to excellent use.

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I think I thought that was in focus last night.

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Me and Mike Shut-In. I heart Mike.

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Bring it.

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Oh, it was brought, all right.

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He never should have said that about Dwight Yoakam.

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I don't actually remember there being food there, so I don't know what that is..... (No, wait! It's coming back! There was cheese, I think, and taquito-looking things. Oh, I hope I didn't eat any of the taquitos....)

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Caught! (I love this shot.)

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I went a little Crazy, too. (Oh, Patsy.....)

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Lala, apparently, was Bewitched. (And bothered and bewildered, for those keeping score.)

Best party ever. To have a planner like Christy plan all this out, and then just to show up and be feted, that was the best.

Of course, today, this is what I look like.

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Heh. Now I'm going back to bed.

The Post that Won't QuitMarch 23, 2006

I'm lying on the couch, the sun behind me, two dogs curled against me, and an angry Digit glaring at me from the dining room table. He'd really like to be on my stomach right now, but he can't quite get over the dogs. He's getting much closer, though, and doesn't run every time they walk past him anymore. Kind of a small cat-miracle, that. Digit, the cat who never, ever came off the tops of the kitchen cabinets when the dogs were visiting at my condo (even if they stayed for days, he stayed up there, only venturing to the kitty litter box in the dead of night), is now wandering the house almost at his leisure. He still hates to see the dogs coming. But he is tolerant now. He also has a LOT more room here. We all do.

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Digit watches Harriet walk away.

Hey, I finished the wedding stole! I'll block it later today and take a picture for you. Promise.

Suddenly, I just realized what that meant. For the first time in a long time, I don't have a project. That. Is. So. Cool. That means I can go into my room and play with yarn and patterns and come up with something. What I really want to make is another handspun cardigan, a knock-arounder, but that requires spinning, and I'm so busy the next couple of weeks, that won't happen. (A wedding will do that to you, I hear. It's like having PMS, all the time. Sometimes good, something bad.)

Wait. Did I ever show you the handspun sweater that I DID finish? No? Sigh. I didn't think so. I finished it about three weeks ago, maybe a little more, during the throes of moving hell, so I wasn't in any mood to hurry and blog it. Plus, I didn't really like it when I finished it. I just kind of knitted it, no pattern, throwing math-like numbers on a piece of scratch paper when I felt like it, which sounds so very blase and don't-I-know-what-I'm-talking-about, and I was prepared to feel all proud of myself when it was done, but I wasn't because it kind of sucked. Okay, it didn't SUCK, but it just wasn't quite right. The back was the problem -- there was a lot of room back there. It was as if I had made the sweater for a person with boobs in the front AND back. Just kind of hung weird. When my shoulders moved, the back draped and swung, lifting the hem, showing the back bottom of whatever shirt I was wearing (or the top of my low-rise jeans, which while I understand that's the style for the kids today, I personally feel a little nekkid showing that particular area of skin). It was weird. Bell-like. (What's this I hear about reverse-ease and making a sweater with the circumference taken from under your armpits and not the chest? Anyone?)

But then I washed it (yes, washed!) in the machine (yes, machine!) and blocked it somewhat on the table, and it's okay now. Lala said now it looks like a normal sweater, and it's nice and warm, but I'm going to have to get over the initial disappointment I felt upon putting it on. I've only worn it once since I finished it.

Hey, that's TWICE lately I've been disappointed in something I've designed and knitted. Erg. I don't like that. But I do heartily love the stole, so that's something.

Anyway, your patience will get you everywhere. Here you go:

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Blurry, but you get the gist of the fit.

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More true to color -- it was a merino two-ply I made of a green/blue and a brown/orange, obtained at Deep Color in Kensington.

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Hello!

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I realized when I finally sat down with my wheel here at the new house that this was left on it, ready to be plied, so I did, and now I can make a baby sweater, perhaps.

This post just keeps going, doesn't it? See, I'm doing like nine other things at the same time, wandering the house, doing laundry, thinking of things I MUST do today, and then I pop over here and write a little more. You used to get a lot of short posts, and lately you've been getting big ole long ones, not as reg'larly. Hope you don't mind.

But what that's good for is this: I just took a picture of the stole in its bath!

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Next, I'm going to use the WASHER (which is still like a happy miracle every time I look at it or think of it) to spin it out.

This is a nice day. It's only 9:30, and I've been very busy since I got up. I suppose at some point I'll make breakfast, since my Cadbury Creme Egg and coffee isn't really the breakfast (heh, typo: breakfat) of champions. (Lala brought me TEN boxes the other day when I was in the absolute worst mood. She didn't even tell me, just let me grump my way into sleep, and then I found them in the morning, in front of the coffee machine. O, joy divine.)

Also, this is a reclaimed day, since it was an on-call day for me. Today I'm getting paid to be on-call, and you usually know whether or not you'll have to go in to work by 4am, which is when people are supposed to call in sick by. So you sleep rather badly until 4am, wondering if your phone is going to ring, and you don't make any plans, and you count on going to work, and you lay out your uniform, and then when they don't call, you get a whole nice unexpected day off. Loving it.

I'm really done rambling now. Have a good day, all.

(Oh! To you, and you know who you are, who have sent us gifts, bless you. We've had the MOST fun in the kitchen at night, opening boxes and squealing in bride-like joy. Okay, that's me. Lala's a little more suave about it.  Thank you, thank you, thank you. xo)

Truly AnnoyingMarch 21, 2006

I had a fabulous post on entering the fourth year of this war, and how Jon Stewart told Larry King that proportionally, more dentists recommend sugary gum for their patients who chew gum than support Dick Cheney (18% approval rating), but the post got eaten. Bah.

But I have Cadbury Creme Eggs with me today, so all is right with my tiny little world.

The wedding stole is coming along nicely! I'm using the double-rose leaf pattern for the central motif, and little bippy-boppies on the outside (can't remember what pattern). The nice, unexpected result is that held one direction, it looks like the pattern is all hearts, big ones in the middle, small ones running down the side. Yes. Sure. I planned that.

Yawn. I need more coffee. Mwah.

Of Babies and GuiltMarch 17, 2006

I absolutely know that baby pictures, to people who don't know the baby personally, just look like baby pictures. Kinda like dog pictures. Dogs is dogs, babies is babies. (Cats are different and communicate their personalities clearly, even in photos.) You seen one baby you don't know, you've seen 'em all. But oh, boy, I have to show you some more of our little Dyl pickle. (I really don't know why Joni picked us for godparents. We've already given him an embarrassing name and it's fun.)

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Oui, I have eyes!

I saw him three times before I believed Joni had given him eyes as well as starfish hands and a kicky little nose.

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Drunk, at two weeks. Shameful, really.

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Lala tells Dylan about Guitar Hero and other video games.

Joni says no video games. We nod. Of COURSE no video games. Not at OUR house. Nope. None at all. No sugar either.

This has to be a pop-up  because I'm a little embarrassed, but Lala says the accompanying text reads, "Good god, woman, if those aren't for me, put them away!"

And because it's a photo kind of day, here's one of Lala checking to see if we really WILL be able to grill the elephant that we're going to catch in Vancouver (there are wild elephant in Vancouver, right?).

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What the hell? Who needs a grill that big? We've been all dreamy, stocking our cunning cottage with things that grownups buy (I bought a wee food processor and used it this morning to make cranberry bread), but no one needs a grill that big, yo. Scary.

Also, speaking of stocking our cottage, this is what I look like when opening gifts that arrive on the doorstep:

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(My vest is a thrifted one that says "The Beavers," which I understand is a sports team up north, but which I still find hysterical, much like Alison's vacationing at Crotch Lake.)

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But yes, it's weird. It's odd saying, "This is what we want," and it feels like it would be sterile and cold and honestly, selfish, to open boxes that hold what we asked for, but it's not. It's wildly fun, but I feel greedy and strange. And I sure don't like the greedy feeling at ALL. But it's there. When I opened the red silicone baking pan yesterday from KT, I did a little dance. That's what I cooked the bread in this morning. When I fondled the gorgeous wooden salad bowls from Gina, I was in heaven. Mmmmm.

Then, a mental slap! Greedy! Selfish! I shouldn't covet so much. But we do, don't we? Got yarn? Eh. I'm not quite sure where to put this low-level nagging feeling, so I suppose I'll keep opening boxes and doing skippy little leaps and pushing the guilt into a corner of my mind to use in my writing later. Yeah! Wait, that's a selfish thought......

And I'm not even Catholic.

Knit WitsMarch 15, 2006

This may have already made the blog-ring rounds last week or month, for all that I've been keeping up, but THIS was quite cute.

Off to sit in front of my TiVo and knit the shawl-scarf-like thing. What does one call that? Bigger than a scarf, and lacy, but not big enough to really be called a shawl. A long rectangle, worn around the shoulders. There has to be a name, and I can't think of it. (I'm finally using up some of the old hoarded Cascade Indulgence alpaca in cream.) Yay!

** update, added later: Yes, it's a STOLE, as in what Lala did to my heart. (Thanks, y'all.)

AccoutrementsMarch 11, 2006

To those asking, I bought the dress at Macy's. Off the rack, yo. I was just trying on back-up dresses! And then I found it. Yup.

Then I bought a veil at Lacis. (Go look at that site, really. Vintage lace shop in Berkeley, exTREMEly cool.) They had me put on my dress in their dressing room at the front of the old wooden shop, and then I traipsed over the floors in my dress through two rooms to get to the bride's room, where all the veils were. People said, "Look! A bride!" and moved of the way. Really, they said that. The women at Lacis loved the dress, and I'm thinkin' it takes quite a bit to make the vintage-specialists oooohh-ah over a dress.

I tried on veils. Mantillas. Long lacy ones, short sheer ones. I looked in the mirror at me, a bride. A real bride. I never really wanted this. I never pictured myself married, really, let married in white. A hand-knitted skirt or a red cocktail dress would have been good enough. Yesterday, when I called Lala to tell her I'd accidentally found my wedding dress, and that I felt like it was really bride-like, and did she think I was compromising my ideas, she said, "No! Good! You're getting  married! That's the way it should be."

She's relieved, too. I guess she'd been a bit worried about my sanity and sleep pattern with the dress-deadline looming. Boy, am I relieved, too. But I prolly WILL make at least a scarf/shawl-like thing. MUST have something I've made, right?

I found the shoes, too. Best heel in the world, and they have cameos on them! Cameos surrounded by rhinestones! Ridiculously, so far over-the-top sweet. Bride-ish. Sigh.....

I'm glad I won't be bride-giddy like this for much longer. Three weeks is about all I can handle. But it's intense, and fun, and romantic, and rather all-consuming. I'm so GLAD I refused to think about the wedding until the first of this month.

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We got our first gift off our registry! (Target, under Rachael Herron, since a couple of people have asked.) A toaster! A red toaster! We were very, very, very excited. Never knew I could feel like that about a toaster. Thank you, Sara. We love it, and I love that you can tell it the bread is frozen. That's cool.

We also have the red coffee-maker which we bought ourselves, and just got the red microwave from sister Bethany. Lala is a widow, so that necessarily means she's been married before. She was registered then, too, and she brought into our relationship not only music  and cute little dogs but really great cookware, so we don't need things like forks and heavy-duty pans.  But dude, red appliances. Those were fun to register for.

See? All-consuming. I'm enjoying every minute of this, but when it's all over, I will sit on the couch and knit and catch up on the L-Word and Lost. And I will be married. We will be married. In California, unlawfully, in Canada, legally, and in our hearts, happily.

Yay.

DressedMarch 10, 2006

Tonight, by chance, I bought my wedding dress.

Yep. You read that right.

This afternoon, I finished the skirt of the dress I was knitting. (More than a year, and not even a bodice yet.) I held it up, and knew. Then I tried it on, and knew it even more. Just not Right. Sure, it was cute. It looked hand-knitted, and god knows that's a good thing, usually. Okay?

But maybe not in a wedding dress. Or maybe not in MY wedding dress.

I still hadn't given the idea up, not yet. My sister Christy and I went shopping -- I needed shoes for the big day. We looked and didn't find anything. We wandered into the dresses, browsing. We called our other sister Bethany, who had had a terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad day, and told her to meet us. Bethany found us in the dresses, flinging fabric over our arms, giddy with sequin-lust. Just having fun. A lark. We brought piles of dresses into the fitting rooms and starting trying things on.

The first dress. Oh, my god. Awesome. Fun. Retro. A dress I could wear again to a fancy party.

The second dress. How do I get INTO this thing? A costume fitter, who happened to be helping her friend try on dresses, got me zipped up, and bam. Holy cow. I looked like a bride-bride. Princess neck, gold details, full floor length skirt.

Just having fun. These are inexpensive dresses, by the way. Off the rack. Not in the fancy-schmancy section, just out on the dress racks.

Then I tried on The One. Know what I did when I got it zipped up? Laughed my ass off. I felt like the top part of the wedding cake, that fancy piece that you're supposed to keep. I glanced in the mirror, howled, and went to show my sisters. The costume designer said, "Oh! That's my favorite." I said, "Are you kidding me?" Then Bethany gasped. I took a real look, for the first time.

Yes, it's the kind of dress that makes me feel like a bride. I have no idea why I fought that for so long. I'm getting MARRIED. It's good to look like a bride. It's definitely unique, and vintage-looking, and it looks like me, but it's still a wedding dress. You couldn't wear this to the opera and call it fancy. Nope. This is a dress to dance the first dance in. You know? I won't describe it, because I'm not going to show Lala until the day itself (although we'll see each other that day -- non-traditional that way), but suffice it to say that it's a vavoom dress. Lots of vavoom. Lala likes my voom.

And now I don't have to hurry up to finish the knitted dress! I know I will finish the knitted dress, because we'll have a wedding for it eventually (we want to get married in every country that legalizes gay marriage -- we're up to five on our list now). But there's no hurry, and less stress, and I'm so relieved. I just wasn't sure, and I want to be SURE on the big day that I look like a million in-love dollars, and this dress will make sure of that.

I'm pretty damn thrilled. Here's a peek:

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March 8, 2006

Lala blogged! And it's way longer than anything I'm going to have time to do, so go enjoy yourself over there, okay?

I have neither knit nor spun in this house yet. And oh, my god, I'm getting married in, like, three weeks. I have a dress to make. I guess with a fifteen month engagement, there's still nothin' like the last minute. Jeesh.

DylanMarch 6, 2006

I just really, really, really like saying "my godson." I am astonished at how many times I've already talked about how proud I am of my godson, how perfect he is, how he, at three days old, looks like he's thinking at at LEAST a seven-day-old level.

I mean, really. With a fiddle-accordian-playing song-writing sailor for a mother, and godmothers like us, he'll get his first tattoo by twelve. And it'll be a GOOD one, too. We did offer to try some designs out last night with a Sharpie, but Joni just shook her head in what was probably exhaustion, but what we took as mild encouragement.

And at the risk of sending our mothers into joint tailspins of grandmotherly dreams, I have to share this picture of my godson and my girl.

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Dylan!March 3, 2006

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Whoreshoe Joni has been very, very pregnant for a very, very long time. She's been cute as hell and sexy as anything, too. She always has this hot stage presence that drives all the boys CRAZY, and that isn't diminished by pregnancy. She kicks her boots, and her shirt doesn't cover her belly, and the boys go crazier. I made her that sweater because she was pregnant and living on a boat, seen here (the sweater, not the boat):

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I made her a wee matchy one for the baby, and she tried it on her belly for size the other night. It seemed to fit. (Made it up as I went along, sorry no notes -- I tried to make it so that it would fit an 8 month old, so he can wear it this next winter.....)

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    Horseshoe cable for the son of a whoreshoe.

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    Anchor buttons for the son of a sailor

And the big news is that the baby is here! Dylan Allan. Hello, Dylan Allan! You're very welcome. Lala went over to Joni's house yesterday for hours and hours and hours and she was there for the birth! Can you imagine? She was one of the very first people to see him, ever. That's cool. And guess what? We're going to be godmothers! Fairy godmother Rachael. I like the sound of that.

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In other news, unpacking continues. I lost Lala two days ago when she accidentally barricaded herself into her room while unpacking. I had to get in to help her move her couch and I had climb OVER that stuff in the door. I felt rather limber, doing it. I didn't break anything, so that was good.

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The animals are adjusting just fine.

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Pardon the poor colors -- the wall is green tea, not horrible teal-whatever-that-is, but the point is: The yarn room is unpacked! I have a writing space! I have a place where I can start addressing the wedding invites that should have gone out two weeks ago. Yipes. I have a floor again!

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Home.

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And THAT'S how I feel about THAT.

VancouverMarch 1, 2006

Good god. It's March 1st, and I promised I wouldn't worry about planning the wedding in great detail until today, giving myself a month to pull together both the wedding here, and the actual marriage in Vancouver. (Please, please don't ask about the dress. Just don't. Please. Must get that back out SOON.)

So now I need help. Anyone know anything about doing Vancouver on the cheap? We need a nice(ish) place to stay that's not expensive.

Also, anyone been married there? I'm working on the wedding commissioner and witnesses now, but I'm still stumped over where people have the ceremony. Outside? In April? Hijack a park? Or does one go to City Hall? Anyone? Ask your gay Vancouverite friends, wouldja?

(This is such a specific question, and I just know that I'm going to be astonished by the answer. I know I've said it before, but having this blog is like having access to this vast pool of knowledge. Truly amazing.