Staying Shiny

My life as a Uber-geek in a Bridal world

Best Christmas Instructional Video EVER

A friend of mine sent me this video and I just had to share so you can all be prepared to celebrate Christmas in the event of the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse.  Happy Headshots!!

Christmas Traditions

Today is Yule (or Winter Solstice) and I find myself reflecting on what makes the Christmas season special to me.  Everyone has their own traditions so I thought I'd share a few of mine with you.

The Christmas season is really almost all of December in my house.  With so many family and friend parties going on it make for a busy month.  Usually the first big holiday tradition is my grandparents Christmas party.  We get together for dinner and visit and play a few games but the biggest tradition with this part of the family is doing the Nativity.  My grandparents are quite religious and have been doing this as a family tradition for generations.  When I was young, we all dressed up and my Grandpa would read the story out of the Bible but about 6 years ago we put a new spin on the tradition.  My Grandparents live on a farm and have a huge barn.  My Grandpa asked me to take over the Christmas party one year when my Grandma was feeling particularly stressed and I convinced him we should do the party in the barn and make it a live nativity with the animals and everything.  We now do it every year in the barn and have people from all over the town they live in come and watch.  We do it a little different now.  We don't read from the Bible anymore.  In fact, we don't speak at all.  The entire nativity is done to music now and features all different member of my family as actors.  It makes may grandparents happy so we keep doing it every year.

Next is Christmas with my dad and his wife and my half brother.  This tradition involves gifts and tacos and visiting.  Just nice and low key.

On the 21st every year J and I do our gift exchange and drive around the city to check out the great light displays.  We take 6 plates of Christmas goodies with us and when we find a house that we like, we give them a little treat.

Christmas eve is spent at my mom's place.  We eat way to much food, go sledding, eat more food, watch National Lampoons Christmas Vacation and exchange gifts by the light of the Christmas tree.  I love the sledding and look forward to my brother popping his newest tube every year.

Late that night we pile in the car and drive out to J's parents farm for Christmas day.  There is always the same thing waiting for me when we arrive every year.  A nicely chilled bottle of wine and all the "Santa" gifts to wrap.  I made the mistake of telling his mom that I liked to wrap gifts my first Christmas out there and now 8 years later it's a tradition for me to wrap everything.  Eventually we get a few hours of shut eye before the kids are up and excited.  We open gifts with plenty of coffee (with a little extra Christmas Cheer in it) and the spend the rest of the day gorging on my nephews amazing holiday fare.  I think he's trying to make me fat.

I love the holiday season.  The best part about it for me is getting to spend time with all my family and giving everyone that perfect gift.  Speaking of's time to go give J his gift this year.  I can't wait to see his face when he opens it!

Christmas Album of the Year

I ran across this video quite by accident and thought I'd spread a little geeky holiday cheer.  Enjoy!

Top 10 Shows that were cancelled too soon.

Ever get really in to a new TV show only to have it cancelled on you before it's time.  That has happened to me way to many times.  Here's my list of shows that I would love to have back.

10. God, The Devil and Bob

Never heard of this show?  You should look it up.  Great premise.  God and the Devil make a bet regarding the fate of humanity and now all of creation could be scrapped if one unsuspecting Detroit assembly line worker can't prove that people can be decent.  I just love watching the Devil screw with poor Bob.

9. Twin Peaks

Idiosyncratic characters, sweet music and backwards talking midgets all surrounding the mystery of who brutally murdered Laura Palmer.  I love shows that really make you think and mess with your head and no one has ever done that better than this show!  Why oh why leave us hanging and questioning for eternity as to who or what BOB actually was.

8. Dollhouse

Poor Joss Whedon.  Why do you keep getting screwed over?  I really enjoyed the premise of this show.  It really lent itself to an infinite number of possibilities.  And a killer cast featuring actors from tons of my favorite shows.  How can you go wrong with Eliza Dushku (Buffy), Tahmoh Penikett (Battlestar Galactica), Amy Acker (Angel), Summer Glau (Firefly) and Alan Tudyk (Firefly) just to name a few.  At least they got a chance to wrap this up, albeit quickly, so at least some of our questions were answered.

7. Journeyman

This ill-fated show became a very unfortunate victim of the writer's strike.  I really wish that it had been pitched in a different year so it would have been given a fair shake.  It was like a very serious and dark version of "Quantum Leap" without the feel good life-lessons.  This one was about a man who travels in time without any control over when he will go and has no idea what is happening when it does.  Along the way he keeps running in to his ex-fiance who disappeared earlier in his life.  I love how he was able to convince his wife that he was telling the truth by stealing her wedding ring and burying it under the concrete slab in their back yard.  This one could have gone far.

6. Rome
Another show staring Kevin McKidd (Journeyman).  Poor guy!  At least he has a steady gig on Grey's Anatomy now.  This is the only show on my list that I can actually understand the reasoning behind it's cancellation.  It was just too damn expensive to make.  Every episode was like a feature film in quality, but that's what made it so great!  There are so many stories they could have done and so much history to draw on.  I liked how each season followed the reign of an Emperor and would have loved to see what they would have done with Caligula!  (Look him up!  Crazy dude killed tons of people and made his horse a Senator)

5. Carnivale

Another HBO show.  This was a fascinating glimpse into life in the Depression era following a traveling Carnival and a boy they have taken in who has the power to heal and bring life, but at a price and the Preacher who appears to be a force of Evil.  There is so much going on in this show that it really must be devoured in sequence.  I hate that it ended with so many unanswered questions.  Who was Sofie and what was her relationship to Brother Justin?  How many avatars have there been?  And which side was actually good and which was evil?  Why oh why will we never know!

4. Earth 2

Another show staring Clancy Brown (Carnivale).  This one was about a group of colonists who crash land on a planet they are set to live on and the journey they undertake to get to their designated landing site.  On their journey they meet the original inhabitants of the planet and learn to live with them and each other.  A refreshing Sci-Fi show that doesn't actually take place on a space ship and deserved way more than the 22 episodes it got.

3. The Adventures of Briscoe County Jr.
The genre description of this show says it all.  A Sci-Fi western action adventure comedy staring Bruce Campbell.  What's not to love about that!  Bruce Campbell is hilarious as usual, even with the lack of zombies in this one.  The character Lord Bowler and the horse Comet really make this one worth the watch.

2. Space: Above and Beyond.
.How in the world is this show so under-rated!  It follows a group of marines as they battle to protect Earth from alien attack.  While it may sound like "Starship: Troopers" from it's description it is if far from it.  Serious and in-depth characters really drive this show.  It had great writing and a great ensemble cast.  I loved that you never really got to see the Chigs.  I hate that this one died another Fox screw job "lets move this around time slots and days constantly so the fans can't find it" death.

1. Firefly
No if's and's or but's.  This is the greatest show cancelled before it's time by far and if you haven't seen it what the heck is wrong with you!  This has to be the ultimate victim of a screw job ever.  How can you give a show a fighting chance when you air the episodes out of order and change time slots constantly?  This show has such great writing and amazing actors and funny as hell one liners.  If you doubt that this show should have had a longer run look closely at what happened after it was cancelled.  Name one other show that got a feature film years after it was cancelled due to the fans screaming for it.  Thank you for the memories Joss Whedon and don't give up the goram fight.  Browncoats forever!

The Sing-off

I'm a former Glee-club member and I do love a good choir/ensemble when I hear one.  You can probably guess that I am a fan of the show "Glee" but I have to say, I am really diggin' this season of "The Sing-Off".  I will admit that it wasn't the premise of this show that interested me at first, but one of it's celebrity stars. No...not Nick Lachey.  Ben Folds!  He is one of my favorite singers/songwriters and I have been following him since his Ben Folds Five days after seeing them at the North by Northeast Music Festival. (I won't include the year I discovered them here as I really don't want to date myself.)  I have a bit of experience with acappella music so I truly appreciate how difficult this competition really is.  I decided to blog along with the show tonight and record my thoughts from my armchair judges position while sipping my vanilla rooibos tea.  Enjoy!

                                                          Photo credit : NBC

Round 1 : Musical Medleys

On The Rocks: This awesome group of college boys is best known for their You Tube video that went viral of them doing Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance"
Elton John Medley - Actually showcased their musicality while still sticking to their goofy college boy roots with little touches like the star sunglasses.  They did seem to rush their tempo a bit but their vocals blended very nicely.

Committed:  This smooth group of Church boys have great sound and even better looks.
Usher Medley - This is probably the first time I've enjoyed their version of modern songs.  To me they just have never been able to break out of their own Gospel roots.  But tonight they seemed to loosen up and have fun.  With that being said, it still wasn't my favorite as I found their gospel music runs ill placed.  They do have an amazing bassist and he was beat on tonight.  I loved Ben Folds reference to "Birth control music".

Street Corner Symphony:  This awesome group of down home Nashville boys are as smooth at silk and fun to watch.
Beatles Medley - Man these guys are incredible!  It was nice to see a few more of the guys showcase their voices with solos.  Their percussionist was amazing and sounded like he was actually rocking a set of drums at points.  I enjoyed the simplicity of their arrangement and think they did the Beatles justice.  They were a little off tempo to start but reigned it in and did a splendid job.

The Backbeats: A recently formed group of great acappella singers with some great members, but occasionally you can tell that they haven't been together for long.
Lady Gaga Medley - Brave choice since OTR is known for doing Gaga.  But these guys are great singers and took that challenge.  They started off like they were on their way to a fire.  Holy fast!  And then slowed down a little to much and then had some pacing problems.  But vocally they seemed fairly clean and I did enjoy how they turned the medley into a mash up.  Courtney, the only female beatboxer in the competition, was amazing as usual.  This chick is awesome! Not their greatest performance but good.

Jerry Lawson and Talk of the Town:  This group just isn't fair.  How can you compete with the godfather of acappella music!  It is great to see Jerry Lawson making a comeback though.
Otis Redding Medley - These guys are just too good for words.  Great vocals and an awesome arrangement. Their transitions from song to song were genius and it was great to see a few more guys do some solos. I always love their classic choreography too.  While their pitch was off in a few small spots they are so good it's hard to nit-pick.

After round 1 On The Rocks is eliminated.  While I don't agree with them leaving at this point, I do agree that they don't deserve to be in the final.  Their choice of swan song ("The Final Countdown") as well as their exit speech made me remember why I love these guys!

Round 2 - Judge's Choice

Lets Stay Together - Buttery and sweet and almost a little sugary.  I am warming up to these boys.  Great harmonies and good choice of just staying still and keeping it simple.  Still a little unsure if these guys are ready to win, but kudos and doing so well thus far.

Street Corner Symphony:
Down on the Corner - Great song choice for these guys!  I got so into this one I almost forget to write anything.  That was awesome and I would pay to hear that again! Great vocal and awesome arrangement and I loved the last cord.  These guys deserve a shot to win this.

The Backbeats:
Landslide- Wow this girl can sing and the group was very strong at backing her up.  If these guys don't continue on someone needs to sign Joanna to a contract.  That was an emotional and powerful performance. This is truly the style in which this group excels and I'm glad the judges chose to let them shine with this song. I don't envy the judges trying to figure out who should go to the final!

Jerry Lawson and Talk of the Town:
House of the Rising Sun - How do you even judge these guys!  They are too good for words and turned this song into something new and exciting.  Wonderful!  It wouldn't surprise me if these guys take to whole thing and even if they don't...Jerry's back baby!

At the end of Round 2... a shocker!  The judges made the right call and let everyone go through to the final! No one is eliminated.  How could you eliminate anyone when they were all so amazing.  Now it's in America's hands...which means I'm out of a vote as I'm Canadian.  Good luck to everyone.  You are all amazing groups and have done wonders for acappella music.

A special thanks to the Judges for actually picking songs in the Judge's Choice round that actually showcased each groups talents and gave them a fair shot at the finals! (Unlike other reality singing contests that shall remain nameless...)  I can't wait for Monday to see who wins this one.

What's wrong with the world today

J told me about this new reality tv show that made my stomach turn.  It's called Bridalplasty.  The premise of the show is 12 Brides-to-be compete for the dream wedding....and plastic surgery.  Being an intelligent person, I decided to make an informed decision about this show rather than form an opinion based on heresay.  I came across a marathon of the first few episodes on TV last night and decided to watch.

I was right.  This show is sick and wrong.  The women on this show are beautiful and are not in need of plastic surgery.  Perhaps I should state that I am not a big fan of plastic surgery to begin with although I do agree that there are certain cases where it is needed.  I understand the need in cases of trauma or cancer or defects and I even understand in cases of extreme weight loss where the skin is hanging loose.  But I have never understood plastic surgery to "improve" what was already perfect in the first place.  Your man fell in love with you the way you are so why do you need to change?  Everyone has beauty in them and if you can't see that when you look in the mirror surgery is not the answer.  Don't get me wrong, there are the odd cases on this show where surgery would be a benefit to the woman (ie one girl had a lumpectomy in her left breast and is now misshapen while another has lost about 100 lbs and has alot of loose skin that could be tightened) but most of these girls do not need anything.  I actually died a little inside when the one girl with a stunning body and no visible bad areas had lypo on her "wish list".  What really sealed the deal for me was the line they use when a bride is voted out.  "Your wedding will still go on, it just won't be perfect"  If I didn't love my TV, I may have broken it at that point.  LADIES!!!!  If you have found a man who loves you for who you are and wants to spend the rest of his life with you, be happy!  And stay away from monstrosities like this show.

The Good, The Bad, and the WTF??

It has been an interesting week at work.  Although this time of year we are slower at work because people are more focused on Christmas shopping it is by no means uninteresting.  Here's a slice of the week I had.

The Good:  About a month ago I helped a grad girl find the perfect gown and all the trimmings to go with it.  She was so excited.  I found out last week that her home had recently burned down and she lost the dress and everything else to go with it.  Her mom called me this week and asked if we still had any of the stuff that she had purchased so she could replace it for her.  I did some rooting through our stock and found everything she had purchased except for the tiara.  When I told my boss about he situation she contacted the manufacturer and had the piece custom made for the girl and decided that we would replace the pieces for this lovely young girl for free.  I love working for a caring company.

The Bad:  A bride came in to shop for a gown with her terror of a child.  I love children, but this was no little boy.  I think he was a demon.  He ran all over the place, knocked over things, went into the private office area, stepped on gowns and even stole money out of our cash box.  And what did she do about all this....absolutely NOTHING!!  Please brides, we don't mind if you bring your children with you.  We even have a toy box for them.  But if you are raising a demon-child that you won't even try to control please come another day...when you have a sitter or someone with you to wrangle the monster.

The WTF??:  And lastly, I helped a walk-in customer and her fiance search for a gown.  Everything was going very smoothly and we were having alot of fun in the appointment until he asked me if he could speak to her alone.  This isn't an uncommon request, but it usually happens at the end of the appointment once the gown has been found and people want to discuss finances...but we were only 2 dresses into the start of the appointment.  They got into a very heated discussion and he ended up leaving the store.  I took her back to change out of the gown she had been in the whole time and she told me that she must have gotten a text message while we were in the dressing room and he checked it.  Turned out it was from he ex-boyfriend saying how he couldn't wait to see her again and blah blah blah...  Needless to say, she left without purchasing a dress...and I'm not too sure, but i think she left single as well.

Ahhh the drama of working in a Bridal store.  Keeps my life interesting at least.

The Walking Dead:Review

I've been waiting until the end of season one to officially review this show.  I am a big fan of the comic and have been reading it for a long time so when I found out they were making this, I was stoked!  And a little hesitant.  I was worried that they would ruin things by going too far off the rails.  I am glad to see that they didn't.  For anyone that has read the comic you know that there is alot of things that have happened in this season that didn't happen in the comic.  The CDC thing for one.  And Shane still being alive for another.  I have read and watched a few things on this show and understand the logic behind their decision to go away from the cannon.  They want to keep it fresh and new for people that have read it and I think they have done an excellent job of that.  I love the balance of the new elements with the major elements from the comic staying intact.  The characters are who they should be.  They have stayed very true to the ones in the book and had breathed life into the characters that I love...and love to hate.

Andrew Lincoln is fantastic as Rick Grimes.  He captures the angst and weight of the character who is trying to keep his family and a group of survivors together in a world gone mad.  I am glad I read the comic so I know where things are going and I can see how these actors are breathing life into the emotional journey their characters are on.  Jon Bernthal is fantastic as Shane and I can see why they decided to keep his character around.  While I find the entire cast excellent I have to say the stand out for me has to be Jeffrey DeMunn who is amazing as Dale.  He has made a character that didn't really resonate with me much before one of my favorites.  I love his quiet strength and vulnerability.

I can't wait until next season when they get to the farm, but more than that....the Jail.  The wait is killing me.  Come back soon Walkers.  I give this show a resounding 4.9 out of 5 head shots.

The perfect gift

Christmas is coming and I have had a really hard time coming up with any ideas this year.  I just wasn't feeling inspired...until the last couple of days and know I feel like I'm on a roll.  The best part is, they are uber-geeky and super sweet gifts!

For my sister and brother-in-law:
Weekend passes to Calgary Comicon.  I am totally enjoying turning them into geeks.  last year we took them for one day and drug them into the Battlestar Gallactica forum and now...they have watched every episode and my sister even called me a little while ago and was so excited that "the Old Man" was on CSI:New York that she had to share...and then called again when "Starbuck" was on CSI.  I love turning her into a fangirl!  

For J:

The R2D2 Astromech Droid Robot.  When he saw this, he yelled in the store " can bring me beer!!!"  Yes this amazing voice activated droid has a built in drink holder so he can bring you a nice cold beverage.  I can't wait to see his face on this one!  It's gonna be epic.

Ok so maybe I'm not really on a roll.....but I got 3 done so that's something.  Just 7 nephews, 3 neices, 3 brothers, 3 sister-in-laws, and the parents to go....geek inspiration don't fail me now!

Geek overload!!!

I am so excited.  They have started announcing confirmed guests for the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo for 2011.  I was stoked when I heard William Shatner was coming...and Jonathan Frakes...and Mike Mignola....but I almost had a stroke when I saw that the god of all Zombie flicks is coming!
That's right!  George A. Romero is coming!!!  I am going to be on pins and needles until I get to this thing in June!!  SQUEEEEEEEE.  Ok must contain the geek.  Time to go to work.  Must resurrect the fashion.  But geek side is winning out by far!

Thanks for making my day!

This morning I was waiting at the bus stop to go to work and was thinking to myself..."Here we go again.  Another cold and snowy day means no customers at work and I still haven't started Christmas shopping and I have so much to to and..."  Round and round my brain went and I was beginning to think this was going to be a crappy day when a car drove by and stopped at the light right in front of the stop.  I was so caught up in my thoughts I didn't even notice at first until I heard his stereo start blaring.  At first I was annoyed and then I realized what song was playing.  He was blaring "Eye of the Tiger" so loud that even with his windows rolled up against the cold I could hear it clearly and suddenly my day got a little brighter.  I had a good day today.  My co-worker offered to help with my Christmas shopping by doing some running around for me when I can't.  I even did a good deed by finding a cell phone in a snow drift and managing to track down it's owner and return it.  He was very grateful.  And then I got an unexpected phone call from a friend I haven't seen in forever with a dinner invitation.  I think by making my attitude a little more positive first thing I was open to seeing things a little better today.  Thank you random guy in the red car blaring a kick ass tune at 9 in the morning.  You really did help make my day!

"Does anybody even notice..."

I've had a couple of songs stuck in my head for weeks now that seem to be summing up m feelings lately.  Both of them are from the Buffy episode "Once More with Feeling". (Points for the geek half right?)  Maybe it's because I'm having a bit of an early mid-life crisis from turning 30 recently or maybe it's the holiday season or maybe it's the crappy weather but any way you slice it, I'm feeling a bit out of sorts.  I started this blog to have a bit of an outlet for myself and I don't know if anyone is even reading anything I write, but I'll continue on for now and just blog for me.  Maybe it's time for me to make a change in life.  The only problem is, I don't know what to change.  I have a great job that I love (most days) and an awesome hubby, great friends and wonderful family.  I do wish we had a bigger place, but it's so hard to find something affordable here.  I'm feeling a bit in a rut and I'm hoping to find a new outlet to stop that.  Maybe it's time to start painting again.  I'm not sure what I need to change, but something'f gotta give...and soon.  I don't know if anyone out there will ever see this, but I promise to try and at the very least get tis song out of my head.

(Buffy)         Every single night, the same arrangement,
                    I go out and fight the fight.
                    Still I always feel this strange estrangement,
                    Nothing here is real, nothing here is right.
                    I've been making shows of trading blows
                    Just hoping no one knows
                    That I've been go - ing through the motions,
                    Walking though the part,
                    Nothing seems to penetrate my - heart.

                    I was always brave and kind of righteous,
                    Now I find I'm wa - vering.
                    Crawl out of your grave, ya find this fight
            Just doesn't mean a thing
(Henchman) She ain't got that swing.
(Buffy)          -pause-     Thanks for noticing.
(Demon & Henchmen) She does pretty well with fiends from Hell
                    But lately we can tell
                    That she's just going through the motions
                    Faking it somehow.
(Demon)      She's not even half the girl she...owww!

(Buffy)         Will I stay this way forever?
                    Sleepwalk through my life's endeavor.
(Handsome Young Man) How can I repay - (Buffy) Whatever!
(Buffy)         I don't want to b - e
                    Going through the motions,
                    Losing all my drive.
                    I can't even see
                    If this is really me
                    And I just want to b - e    a - live.

A sad day for the world of entertainment

Yesterday I was watching football and logged on to Twitter only to be met with a shock.  Leslie Nielsen had passed away.

While I may have found a lot of his work schlocky, there is no denying he had made a huge contribution to the world of entertainment.  From his work in "Gunsmoke" and "The Man From U.N.C.L.E" to "The Naked Gun" and my favorite "Men With Brooms" his has left us with a large list of films that make us laugh.  I am proud that he is a fellow Canadian and that there are many people out there who will always remember and love him.  It's funny how just knowing that he was in a film, even as a bit part, meant that you knew there would be slapstick laughs and crazy low-brow humour ensuing.  Sometime pure cheese is all you need to brighten your day and it's sad that he won't be around to make more films to brighten more days.

But to top it off, another great contributor to the entertainment world passed away as well.  Acclaimed director Irvin Kershner also passed away.

He is best known for directing a little film called "The Empire Strikes Back"  He also directed Sean Connery in the James Bond flick "Never Say Never Again"  I hate it when we loose multiple good people in the same day.  Here's hoping :

"He's in a better place."

"A better place? What is it?"

"A construct to help cope with grief, but that's not important right now."

Rest in Peace Leslie and Irvin.  You will both truly be missed.

You never forget your first Doctor

I got my copy of Doctor Who Series 5 the other day and I was stoked,  But I have to admit that as much as I love Doctor Who, I miss my Doctor.  It's so true what they say about Doctor Who.  You will always love the first Doctor that you watched.  For me, David Tennant will forever and always be my Doctor.  I have watched episodes now featuring every Doctor I can find and while I admit that Tom Baker is a sweet ass Doctor, he will never be the same for me.  Christopher Eccelston rocked as a bitter and jaded post-timewar Doctor and Matt Smith has his charm as the Doctor who is back to just enjoying life without alot of the problems from his previous incarnations, but no one will ever be David Tennant.  He had charm and style and grace and poise and it didn't hurt that he is amazingly attractive!  I will always love Doctor Who and am happy with the direction that Stephen Moffat is taking the series and I can't wait until next season's episode written by one of my favorite authors Neil Gaiman, but I miss my Doctor!  I'll write more on the different Doctors another time but for now, I'm gonna throw in "Blink" and just get nostalgic.

Really Brides??? Really??

So today was one of those days that I thought WTF???  Do you really think the world revolves around you just because you're getting married and spending money?  Don't get me wrong, I strive to make every bride feel as special as possible no matter what her situation or budget but there is a line people!  Employees at Bridal stores are just that...employees.  We are not miracle workers (although sometimes we do can) and we have lives outside of our work just like you do.

Let me fill you in on where this all began today.  Last week we had a bride come in searching for her dream gown and, as often happens, she came in without an appointment.  We always strive to serve everyone whether they have an appointment or not so we shuffled things around a but and were able to fit her in.  Her consultant worked tirelessly with her to help her find the perfect gown for her and it was well within her stated budget (under by $700 actually) and was able to find a gown in stock that would need very little done to it which helped with her tight timeline.  In case you are unaware of how things work in bridal, it typically takes between 4 and 6 months from the time of ordering a gown for it to arrive in the store and sometimes takes 2 months for alterations as the seamstresses can be very busy working on multiple gowns at a time.  So when this girl...we'll can her "Jane" came in with a wedding date of February, her consultant jumped into action and pulled out all the stops to not only find a gown that would work, but one that she would love.  Jane seemed very pleased at the end of her shopping with everything until she got to the register.  Suddenly she wasn't feeling so sure about the price of the gown and wanted to shop around.  We allowed her to put the gown on hold and told her she might want to go check out our outlet store when she got a chance as the gowns there are sold 25 - 50% off and are still really great gowns.  Keep in mind dear reader that this was at 5:15 pm and our stores close at 5:30....and she came in at 3:00.  Jane the proceeded to go to our outlet store and demand that she be allowed to try on as many dresses as she wanted because she "was going to be spending alot of money in our stores so we should stay open late for her."  Our outlet consultant didn't want to be rude to her or make her feel like we didn't care so she proceeded to help her shop for gowns until almost 6:30.  The stores have now been closed for over an hour and she still hadn't made a decision.  We decided to hold 2 gowns for her until she could make a decision so she wouldn't feel pressured.

That brings us to today.  Jane had decided on the gown from our main store and had booked an appointment to see our seamstress for alterations at 4:30.  She slowly sauntered into the store at about 4:45.  My seamstress usually only works until 5 pm as she has young children at home and needs to get back to them so we had already made an exception by booking her in at 4:30.  To top things off, she didn't bring shoes with her and it's very difficult to hem a gown if you don't have shoes.  We have a large selection of shoes avaliable for purchase so now Jane decided to start shopping again.  We finally find a pair of shoes that are the right height for her (she was very specific) but once again she balks at the price.  Now she wants to go look for shoes at our outlet store....5:00.  I let her know that she is welcome to go shop for shoes and I would be happy to reschedule her appointment with our seamstress for another day so she wasn't rushed.....nope...Jane wants her alterations done today.  So we settle on shoes and now I remind her that she needs to pay for the gown in full before we can do any alterations on it and she is fine with it...until I tell her how much the gown is.  Now she starts accusing me of changing the price on her and trying to rip her off.  I calmly show her the original tag on the gown with the price and show her it's the same as what her invoice says plus tax.  Now she is freaking out because of the tax.  Where we live, there is ALWAYS tax on everything.  We have no control over it.  Her friend calms her down and she hand over her credit card to pay for the gown.  Once again, even with the taxes added this gown is still $650 under what she said she wanted to spend.  So now we have shoes and a gown and it's time to get her in the gown for alterations...5:15

Our alterations appointment are booked in 1 hour time slots.  Jane had an exception made for her as she didn't need major alterations done on the gown so she was booked for half hour as the later time was better for her and my seamstress could do the pinning in half hour....had she been on time and prepared.  Now my seamstress in already 15 minutes late getting off work and she still hasn't started her job.  I get Jane into the gown and then she drops the bomb.  Jane wants the alterations completed and the gown ready for pick up by next week.  Alterations take time...even when you are really good at them.  And we have tons of other dresses being altered as well.  EVERY bride gets equal time no matter what they spend or when their wedding is so when you come in and demand that everything be done to your timetable that means taking time and effort away from other brides.  Jane doesn't need the gown to be completed for next week because of something like she is moving and won't be back before the wedding or the wedding is in another country and she is flying out, she just wants it done so she can have a photo shoot done in the gown....without her send out to people for Christmas with the invitation to the wedding that may or may not be in February or June or maybe in 2012 now because they haven't actually talked about when the wedding will be or where it will be held.  REALLY?!?!?!  We are bending over backwards and working into our own personal time and leaving our families so that you can do things now because you just feel like it?  People please promise me you will have a little consideration for employees at any store you go in to.  They are there to assist you and hopefully help make things easier for you, but they are not slaves or punching bags.

Thank goodness very few Brides are actually like Jane.  And a huge thank you to all the ones who make my job and my life easier by being polite and considerate!

I love people's creativity

A Very Potter Musical
I came across this video by chance and after watching part one I went on to watch the entire musical and then the sequel  I was fascinated by the creativity and brilliance of all of the people involved in this project.  It is truly a fanboys tribute to something they love and it is extremely well done.  Great writing and fun actors.  I wish I could've seen this live.  If you are a Harry Potter fan you should check this out.

Disney Bridal - a new direction

Almost every little girl dreams of being a Disney princess when they grow up.  We all have a favorite.  It could be Belle, or Snow White, or Jasmine or Sleeping Beauty.  Disney decided to help make those dreams a reality a few years ago by getting into the Bridal industry.  It seems like a very natural progression to make and has been highly popular.  Now you can get married in your favorite Disney princesses wedding gown and why not?  It was a brilliant move.

Disney originally hired Kirstie Kelly as the designer for the line.  The idea was "what if the princesses were alive and getting married today?  What would they wear?".  The gowns were not a direct copy of the ones in the movies, but rather "inspired by".  I was really excited when my store originally picked up the line.  The gowns were (for the most part) gorgeous and the fabrics were brilliant.  Things went along very well for quite a while and then we started having a few problems.  Just little things here and there...beading not quite right...changes in fabric without notification....and very long shipping times  Not too long after we were supposed to be receiving the newest collection of gowns I made a shocking discovery.  Disney was dropping Kirstie Kelly.  There was no notification.  No reasons given.  Just a broken link to a webpage and a notice that a new designer was taking over the line.  The end of an era.  A good friend of mine had really wanted one of the Belle gowns and I now had to break the news to her that she couldn't get it anymore.  Sad day.

But out of the ashes of the Kirstie Kelly fall out, Disney had hired a new designer.  Alfred Angelo is now designing a line for Disney!  I have mixed feelings about this.  Alfred Angelo is a recognizable name and has a lot of clout behind him so I think alot of the little problems from before will disappear.  I know the line will be a lower price point and I like that because I'm all about the budget.  I like that the new line will be accessible to pretty much every price point.  I do know that I will miss the awesome fabrics from the previous collection and I will miss the amazing people that used to work for Kirstie Kelly.  But I have seen a preview of the gowns that are coming and for the most part, I like them and I think Brides will like them too...and the price.

Here are the new gowns and my impression of them.  Keep in mind, I have yet to see them in reality as they have not arrived in store yet so things may change once that happens.

In case you couldn't guess, this is Ariel.  Pretty much what I was expecting.  Mermaid cut, sweetheart neckline.  I am intrigued to see what it looks like standing up.  I think this will be great on taller girls, but really tough on shorter girls and very tough for the plus size girl.

Belle has always been my favorite and to me this gown falls short of the mark.  I can see where the influence comes from but am a little less than impressed with the execution.  To me, Belle is a pick up skirt.  While the overlay is nice, I would like to see a little more.  Just not doing it for me.

I really need to see this one in person because I am just not getting Cinderella from this.  But that could just be the photo.  I expect a full ball gown and this is looking a little flowy to me, but once again it could just be the picture.  I do think it will be a good gown for all body shapes with the cross detail at the waist.

Love the idea for this gown.  Jasmine is represented very well through this. However I can already tell you I dislike the fabric.  This is going to snag, show your underwear and require a deluxe bottle of static guard at all times.  That being said, I think this will be an awesome gown for destination weddings.  You can't see it in this photo but the back is amazing!

This is my favorite of the collection.  I don't know what it is about it but I love it.  I hope the shoulder strap is optional to open it up to more Brides tastes, but this is going to be a very flattering style.  

While many people are not going to get this gown at first, I think it may be the best thought out of the collection.  The stand away flowers on the bust and skirt are apple blossoms.  Brilliant idea.  This may be a hard gown to wear if you have a short torso, but should work well to hide hips and other problem areas.

Once I get to see them in person, I'll review them again...until then the fashionista in me bids you adieu!

Survival of the Dead : Review

Let me start by saying I am a HUGE zombie fan.  And I love Romero flicks.  However I have to say I was a little bit disappointed with this one.  It felt as though this lost a little of the "of the Dead" charm of the previous movies, but I did still find it enjoyable.  It still held alot of the fun and silly moment of previous films, but it seemed to be lacking some of the soul and social commentary.

"Survival" is the latest in the Romero "of the Dead" films in case you are living under a rock or are unaware of the impending Zombie Apocalypse.  It was preceded by such classics as "Night of the Living Dead", "Dawn of the Dead", "Day of the Dead", "Land of the Dead" and "Diary of the Dead".  Each of these movies have had their good points and bad points, but there has always been a tie that binds them.  The us vs.them factor. This movie has it's moments of that, but it's schlocky acting made it harder to swallow.  I loved that the main character was a bit part reprise from "Diary" and he was one of the better features of the movie, but the cheesy Hatfields Vs. McCoys type storyline that exists between the survivors of the island really took away from the point of the film.  I enjoyed the idea of someone teaching zombies to eat another food source and found that it was an idea that tied the journey in all of the films together.  I wish they would have spent more time exploring that.  There were alot of little things that did really bother me though.  There were a few moments where I felt that people got entirely to close to zombie without even the hint of getting attacked.  The fear factor was totally gone.  And don't even get me started on how wrong it is that there was a zombie riding a horse.  First off I don't believe for a second that a horse would let a zombie anywhere near it, let alone ride it.  Even if you make the argument that perhaps the character was on the horse when they turned, the fact that the zombies were continually doing what they used to do in life without stopping would mean that the horse was ridden to death about 4 weeks before the movie started.

With all of this being said, it was still an enjoyable film and worth watching if you are a zombie film fan.  I give it a 6/10 and would happily watch it again on a cold day when I am in need of a zombie marathon

Reconciling my two sides

My name is Faeriegoddess and I am a geek.  I like gaming and sci-fi and comics and horror and zombies and all things Doctor Who.  Yet I am forced to deal with hiding my geek side like a secret identity on a daily basis as I work in the fashion industry.  Not just any fashion industry either...I work in Bridal.  That's right, I spend 8 hours a day every day helping girls find the wedding dress of their dreams and dealing with all things shiny and sparkly and rainbows only to come home at night and watch zombies devour people or roll dice to slice a monster myself.  It's funny how the two sides seems to work together so well some days and other days they are very opposed.  Today was a day where my two sides came to odds.

As I was getting ready for work this morning, I saw a delivery guy leaving my house without actually delivering my package.  I tired to catch him but the mad amounts of snow on my doorstep prevented that.  I watched him drive away with my autographed copy of Level 26: Dark Prophecy by Anthony E. Zuiker drive away.  I have been waiting for that book for a while and now it looks like I will wait some more.  Work was pretty slow for most of the day due to the snow storm, but when a Bride cam in to shop I jumped into action.  I work at a full service boutique which means that a day at work for me is very much like an episode of  "Say Yes to the Dress".  She picked gowns.  I helped her try them on.  I went to bat for her when her friend didn't like the gown as much as she did.  I dressed her up in all the finery that comes with being a bride.  She cried.  Her mom cried.  Her friend sulked.  And another wedding dream came true.  It's very rewarding to help someone realize a dream that many girls have from the time they are very young.  Here's a little secret though....I've never been one of those girls.  I wasn't one who dreamed of my wedding day, or pictured the perfect gown or any of that.  In fact, my own wedding featured dragons as centerpieces and a sword cake cutting.  So as I spent the day helping girls find their gowns and dealing with pretty fabrics and shiny tiara's I found my mind drifting to the book that drove away.  A book about a serial killer and the man who hunts him down.  I found myself giggling silently that I was thinking of such violent things while working in such an enchanted environment.  As the sun set on another day in bridal I had to find a way to relieve the screaming geek inside so I headed out to my local gaming shop after my shift ended.

I love my local game shop.  It's quaint and friendly and has some kick-ass decor.  When I got to the shop I discovered that a delightful surprise waiting for me.  My Doctor Who collectors set of action figures had arrived!  All 11 doctors in a display case shaped like that Tardis.  HORAY!!  The geek in me was appeased. To top it off, on my way home I made a detour to the hardware store to pick up a portable heater and in one of those random bins of sale junk I found a copy of "The Sarah Jane Adventures" season 1 for $4!  Ahhh the geek is satisfied for at least another day.

And yet I wonder...will my alter ego even interfere with my daily work.  Will I be able to remain my uber-geeky self while working in the fashion industry for a long time...or will one of my sides win out and remain the only one like a girly version of "Highlander"?  Only time will tell.....