Three things: I am pregnant, I am not writing a mom blog, I am still riding a bike.

Some people have asked me “are you going to blog about pregnancy?” The answer to that is clearly “not very much.” First of all, there’s the very real STFU parents factor to consider. Second of all, there’s nothing I can say, do or wear that won’t be executed with a great deal more style and good cheer by the 25 year old Mormon mom bloggers.  Third, when it comes to actual medical information, I have no idea what I’m doing. Fourth, when it comes to pregnancy and parenthood, ditto. There is nothing I can share with you that can’t be resolved yourself with a few simple google searches, for example “stabbing breast pain normal 8 weeks?” or “sonogram looks like a t-rex wtf.”

t rex

meet “Lady Mary” who may or may not have an unhinged jaw to swallow her prey

If you’re reading this, you have the technology, so get to it. It can only lead you down a saner path than I could ever hope to blaze… unless the path is to the comments section on babycenter.com, in which case, ignore those crazy, paranoid beeshes. Seriously. I guarantee you will land on a thread where a user named daenerys123 homebirths some dragons in a tire fire and honestly, that only happens in like 1-2% of pregnancies so avoid, avoid, avoid.

this was NOT a water birth

this was NOT a water birth

The only bit of wisdom I have to share that I never found in any pregnancy book or website is, “if you are taking a s***load of pills- and if you are a geriatric mom, you probably will be to allay your crushing guilt & paranoia- take them in ascending order, from smallest to largest.” This will ensure that the fist-sized prenatal you are taking doesn’t create a log jam of other smaller pills, causing you to belch up orange scented fish oil all night. Of course, a good old fashioned addiction memoir probably could have told you as much, but you’re probably not looking at those for prenatal tips.

Patty Duke in Valley of the Dolls, 1967.

though perhaps we should be consulting sources like Valley of the Dolls… could go for a quart of Mike and Ikes myself.

The one other thing I have a little bit of experience with is biking while pregnant. At this point, lots of women are starting to write about this non-issue but until it becomes accepted as an actual non-issue, I think it deserves more coverage. For every website featuring a woman who biked safely and happily while pregnant, you will find 15 quoting the APA’s warning, saying”why risk it” etc. Although I think more women have probably almost died choking on fist sized prenatals than riding a bike while pregnant [raises hand]  biking gets the bad rep. Meanwhile on a typical morning at 8 a.m., NPR reported three crashes on the Capital Beltway, yet car commuting with your children is assumed to be the safest bet? Really? So with the alleged safety issue dispensed with (at least for advice scofflaws like me), here’s my experience researching and purchasing my very first MOM BIKE:

Sure, I don’t have a crib mattress, a car seat, or child care lined up, but I am now the proud owner of a brand new MOM BIKE. At least I have my priorities straight. To be fair, I’ve already put in a s***load of work on the nursery…

nursery final

hope “Lady Mary” like sleeping on plywood! Note: that crib was purchased for $50 in an alley

and put the bicycle replacement off for a lot longer than I meant to, but at 27 weeks my belly was coming dangerously close to the stem of my Jamis when I “stop short” so it was either this, or wrap myself in bubble packing.

I chose this:

smurfbike

photo credit goes to Constance Winters of Lovely Bicycle, from her review of the Civia Twin City @ Bicycling.com

Of course, some people might choose not to ride a bicycle at all at this or any other point in pregnancy, but, clearly that was not the choice for me. I think many women who wouldn’t ride a bike while pregnant wouldn’t ride one while not pregnant either, so there’s that. But many who do ride daily find that biking well into their pregnancies is just as safe, healthy, and enjoyable as it always was. I’m not going to chastise anyone for choosing not to if she isn’t comfortable, but am firm in my belief that it’s just dandy for anyone who does decide to continue.

There are a few things to consider… number one is “how are you feeling?” If pregnancy has turned you into a puking, exhausted mess, biking might not be the right thing for you till you get to feeling better. One thing I will say is that I was often pleasantly surprised by how good it felt to just sit down on a bicycle and take the weight off my widening, hobbit like feet after a long day of walking, but this might not be the case for everybody. It turns out that long distance walking is aggravating my hips right now in a way that cycling does not, however, everyone carries their baby and extra weight differently. Remember that some people jog comfortably up to the day of delivery while others experience all sorts of nasty aches and pains they’ve never felt before despite a lifetime of 10ks. So, don’t be surprised if you still love biking, but don’t lose any sleep at night if you don’t. That’s what hours of belching up fish oil is for.

Second is your route, weather conditions, and distances. Maybe you don’t want to do a 20 mile round trip commute anymore when it’s 90 degrees, or ride in heavy traffic, or maybe you do, just be aware that your feelings may change. For example, I have felt fine riding to every one of my prenatal appointments, however the one day Eric and I drove together due to an off site meeting later in the day, was the day of our anatomy scan. Suddenly, our baby went from being a brine shrimp to a tiny person in my mind, and while I’m not sure I would have been scared to get on a bike right afterwards, I was suprisingly grateful not to have to make the choice.

hey you

hey you

Of course, the next day I was back to my usual hijinx. The next big mental hurdle occurred for me very recently, right around the time of “viability.” I had read about a doctor who reacted the same way and thought at the time, “how weird. I’m not sure I see the logic there.” Well, right around week 25 I started to get a little more nervous and could indeed see where she was coming from. Not enough for me to stop riding, but enough for me to notice it.

If # 1 and # 2 are in order, you may eventually get to # 3: the equipment. I envisioned myself transitioning to a more upright, step over frame with more stem/belly clearance and a comfier saddle around week 20, but due to travel, laziness, and satisfaction with my touring bike, I didn’t bother looking too hard for a solution. Suddenly, right at the kickoff of the 3rd trimester, I was really ready to make the change.

One option is to make adjustments to your current bike. That would have been okay for me, except that my touring bike frames were already a tad small for me, hence the belly/stem issue.

good for biking across Germany and bouquets, not so good for my current physique

good for biking across Germany and bouquets, not so good for my current physique

The smaller size felt more comfortable at the time that I bought them, but if I’d seen this day coming, perhaps I would have opted for the next size up. Even raising the handlebars wasn’t really going to help on the stem clearance issue, plus I wasn’t loving the idea of eventually putting a child seat on a bike I have to swing my leg over (they both have a men’s top tube). So, I sold a second touring bike I had and began the search for a new or used bicycle that would suit my current, and hopefully future needs.

Used is a great option, and one I would have taken if I’d been more diligent about searching Craigslist in August. But, I left it too late and didn’t really have weeks to spend searching for a) a bike with a suitable frame and gearing and b) the requisite parts to bring it up to Eric’s safety standards.  It was a disappointment really, because if there’s one thing I’m up for these days it’s Quixotic projects, but many of the frames were way too small or a little too big, and either single or three speed. My 9 mile round trip commute to work isn’t hills galore, but 1-3 gears with a bike seat or trailer plus child was not going to suffice, and I didn’t want to spend a lot of time or money exploring upgrading the gearing, seat, & brakes for a 30 year old, non warrantied frame. Maybe next time.

a friend was selling a Raleigh Tourist like this in great shape, but the three speeds, the rod brakes... it wasn't to be

a friend was selling a Raleigh Tourist like this in great shape, but the three speeds, the rod brakes… it wasn’t to be (not my photo)

So, it was off to the races at the bike shops. There are plenty to choose from around DC and of the ones I visited, 50% were insulting or indifferent to my needs. We’ll not waste time on them or name names, but if you’re reading this dudes, tune up the bikes in your shop, and don’t talk to me like I’m an idiot. Moving on to the GREAT shops: Bicycle Space and the Daily Rider (don’t let Daily Rider’s work in progress website and use of the word “curated” deter you. It’s not too twee-dy.) I ended up buying through Bicycle Space, but would have been thrilled to hand money over to either of these establishments. They have affordable bikes, they have pricey bikes, they’ll also order and build-what-you-like- bikes. Employees at both stores offered great advice and were pretty much unlimited in their patience as I dragged anything and everything with two wheels out of the store for a test ride, and I can’t say enough good things about them.

During the fact-finding portion of this endeavor, I also relied heavily on the blog Lovely Bicycle for her very comprehensive reviews. One perk to her stature as a pretty well known bike blogger is access to all kinds of fancy bikes for pretty extensive test rides, usually five miles or more through the hilly Boston area. Somerville seems to have good bike shops, and the author’s readers and friends seemed more than willing let her give their bikes a spin. Her reviews and photos suggest a (healthy IMO) preoccupation with aesthetics, but don’t let the loveliness fool you. Constance Winters is familiar with the ins and outs of daily riding, the strengths and weaknesses of various bicycle design and construction elements, and has ridden more bikes and for longer periods of time than I’d ever be able to, so I was a happy beneficiary of her wisdom. Another good resource is www.bikeforums.net- you have to register, but it’s simple and after that you can ask 4,000 obsessive questions about 8 vs 11 gear internal hubs or whatever the h*** you need to know. People there are friendly know-it-alls, which a) makes me think they’re all secretly librarians and b) puts me completely at ease.

At the end of the journey, what I sort of wanted was a custom build Soma Buena Vista

can ya blame me? (not my photo)

can ya blame me? (not my photo)

but SOMEONE told me we couldn’t afford it so SOMEONE ELSE had to cry about it in a taco shop. Spoiler: SOMEONE ELSE = me, and it wasn’t because there were no tacos left on my plate. It was because the weight of my life choices suddenly became overwhelming to me and I thought “I’LL NEVER HAVE ANYTHING THAT’S BEAUTIFUL OR FANCY AS LONG AS I LIVE.” The next morning, I realized that while this may be true, I will have a baby, and that’s super fancy! Kind of?! And after much deliberation, we did decide to get me a sweet new ride, just not a $2,000 one, and I felt a little bit like an Onion headline: “Pregnant Woman Buys Shiny New Bicycle, Cries About It.” In retrospect, it’s all for the best since I don’t know how long I’ll be out of work.

thar she blows

thar she blows

It is a Civia Twin City (see reviews here and here), currently outfitted with a generous 5 gears but as suspected, I’ve only use the highest three so far in about sixty miles of bicycle commuting. First and second may come in handy when I’m pulling more weight- I could also upgrade to an 8 or 11 speed hub if it seems necessary. Belly clearance is EXCELLENT, and one additional benefit I hadn’t anticipated was the lack of toe-verlap, which I’ve always experienced on my Jamis. I can turn this way and that without hitting my foot, no matter what shoes I’m wearing or where I am in my pedal stroke. Fabulous! I upgraded to (springy) Brooks saddle and grips for prettiness, added a bell, water bottle cage, and zip tied a small bread basket to the back rack we already had to throw my purse in.  I thought I wanted block pedals, but the factory pedals are actually very comfortable with any type of shoe. Last but not least, my lighting situation is just blinky LED lights at the moment, but I will probably upgrade to something nicer in a few weeks. One other important upgrade that I went ahead and made already: the double kickstand. Apparently this can keep the bike much more stable when loading or offloading a kid.

civia kick stand

no spills!

All in all: the bike is just about perfect. It’s so comfortable in fact, that I was considering a longish (25 mile) ride today, just to see how it would feel but for several reasons (Nat. Park bike trails shut down, haven’t done a long ride in too long) decided against it. I’m a bit disappointed, but the idea of having a pregnancy related issue on a solo ride and dragging furloughed Park Rangers to come rescue me from my own self absorption just didn’t appeal. Even I have rules sometimes. Might have to wait till sometime in 2014 to enjoy something like that again. Sigh. But, I’m happy to still be up to short rides and commuting, this bike sure makes it a pleasure.

Thanks for reading! And please feel free to weigh in with any thoughts or experiences biking while pregnant.

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all the single ladies- some advice

If you start dating someone new, do not tell them all the secrets of your past. You will never be able to believe your own B.S. again. Case in point, last night we went to a Nats game where a newish policy is in place.  It didn’t go over well, see my responses to a user survey below.

 During player at bats, fans are not permitted to proceed down aisles from any concourse; aisles are kept clear until an at bat has been completed.  Did you notice this policy at the game you attended?

( x) Yes
( ) No
( ) Not Sure

Please answer question 35 before continuing.

Would you like to see this policy continued?

( ) Yes
( ) No
(x ) Not Sure

feedback:

The woman who was in charge in our section was EXTREMELY unpleasant and enforced this rule selectively. She was pretty rude to me and my friends; I believe she even used her “stop sign” to tap my friend on the arm. Who does that? We went out of our way to avoid her for the rest of the game.

I worked at Fenway right out of college, and never would have behaved that way towards a guest in the park. Furthermore, my family has split season tickets at Camden Yards since the inaugural season and have never been treated with the disrespect or attitude we got from this employee. I’ve always felt comfortable sharing our season tix with friends at Camden Yards, knowing that they’ll be treated courteously at the very least, and often we are treated like family, even by new employees who don’t recognize us from prior seasons. But needless to say we are never bossed around the way we were last night.

My husband and I love the Nats (despite my native love of the Os) and used some of our wedding money to buy a ticket package this year. Last night’s game was outside the package, but it was still a situation where we organized the outing and were more or less hosting. Because I provided the tickets to friends, I felt guilty that they were subjected to this crazy behavior. Honestly, it’s the kind of thing that makes me think twice about investing more money in a ticket package so I hope you take this feedback to heart.

As far as the policy itself goes, I guess it’s “ok” (but not great), and if people like it, feel free to continue but please give your employees mental health screenings prior to deputizing them with those stop signs!

Eric’s response:

Didn’t you put a Chewbacca action figure in someone’s hotdog bun while you were serving Fenway Franks?

Well played Gilliland, well played.

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chewbacca

vintagechewbaccaactionfigure

related to the ALL THE SINGLE LADIES post: if anyone saw me cracking up during my sister’s Maid of Honor toast, this might have been one of the reasons….

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a rare political post

Though my politics are probably pretty clear, I don’t (can’t) post about them much due to my job. I am of the opinion that I shouldn’t have an opinion about the opinion till that opinion is in my hand (I’m looking at you CNN) but so far it seems that Jay Carney’s remarks from yesterday are being upheld. I’m sure no one is more pleasantly surprised than he is right now. Update: OPINION HERE. Carney’s remarks below. 

PS The best opinion I’ve heard so far will remain anonymous! And only makes sense if you’ve seen The Producers:”Springtime, for Obama, in America.”

Q    Thank you.  On health care and the Supreme Court tomorrow, the President yesterday, the last two days, has vigorously defended some of the kind of consumer aspects that are already in effect on health care reform.  He doesn’t talk about the individual mandate and some of the government changes.  Does the President think that popularity of those individual — of those areas that he’s been talking about is enough to justify the constitutionality of the whole act?  And what should we expect tomorrow in terms of presidential reaction?  Will the President make a statement after the Court rules?

MR. CARNEY:  The constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act depends not on public opinion of polls, but on legal precedent, which is well established.  The President has spoken to this.  Many, many legal scholars have spoken to it.  Several very prominent conservative jurists have ruled in favor of the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act because of their view of that precedent.  The fact is the Affordable Care Act gives hardworking middle-class families the security they deserve.  And we are confident that the law is constitutional, and I think that’s what the President has been referring to, and that’s why we’re focused on implementing the law.

We await the Supreme Court decision, as does everyone, but while we do, we continue to implement the law.  And I would note that thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 3.1 million more young adults who otherwise would have been uninsured have health insurance on their parent’s plan, 5.3 million seniors with Medicare have saved $3.7 billion on their prescription drugs, and everyone on Medicare can get preventive services like mammograms for free — again, because of the Affordable Care Act.  And 54 million Americans with private insurance can now receive many preventive services without paying copayments or deductibles.

Since you mentioned it, the mandate, the individual mandate was a product of a conservative think tank.  It was adopted by many leaders in the Republican Party in the ’90s.  It was adopted by and implemented by a Republican governor in Massachusetts.  And while the President opposed it in the campaign he, in the process of crafting a health care reform bill in office, was persuaded by experts in the field that it was the best and most efficient way to ensure that we can bring the largest number of people into and under coverage — getting insurance coverage, and to allow for the — to ensure that those with preexisting conditions get health care coverage. 

And that was the impulse behind it.  Again, it’s not about public opinion of polls; it’s about policy.

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marriage is awesome, also food

Eric and I recently celebrated four years together. Sounds like a long time but we’ve only been married for about four minutes. How is it different from dating/living together? We’re wasting  diligently saving “OUR” money as opposed to “MY” money. It’s kind of the same since we still don’t have much of either. We watch a lot of Friday Night Lights, and instead of emulating Tim Riggins and/or Rally Girls, we try to be more like Tami and Coach Taylor. Sadly, he’s Tami.  And instead of a lot of chatty conversation throughout the day (which often left me more anxious than not in the beginning) we might send one email per day in a “Business Friendly” tone, like this one regarding party preparations.

To: Eric

From: Sarah

Subject: Items

1)      There is a dead something or other on the front porch…  as per usual, I didn’t touch it!

2)      In a manic episode, I did all the floors last night except for the bathroom, dusted off the tv area and the dining room table, and also the wooden table in the kitchen, and tidied the cat area.

3)      The cornbread is by the toaster oven. The coleslaw is in the fridge and dressed, except that it could use a little plain vegetable oil. Maybe stir in 1/3 cup.

4)      I think the house looks really nice! Except for the dead thing!

5)      Chili should be ready for pickup at 7. Ben’s will include spoons, bowls, and napkins.

6)      We could use ice, beer, maybe some liquor and mixers? [And, I just realized: cups] Gin/tonic/limes are popular. For snacks, I’d stick to dips, chips, and maybe some nuts. Cheese and crackers is $$$ for a crowd, require prep, and can be annoying to replenish.

7)      I have high hopes that I will be out of here at a reasonable hour.  I hope you aren’t too tired and are looking forward to tonight.

No fuss, no muss. Where’s the romance you might ask? Well, that’s in the way we trade off who has to clobber the bugs in the bathroom at night. Oh my god. There has been so much brutality this week. Anyone who says global warming isn’t real didn’t see the two “palmetto bugs” crawling up our shower curtain. I thought the most horror movie like item in our bathroom was this moldy loofah… until I used it to crush the entrails out of an insect the size of my fist. We do not get them around our house too much so this was a surprise, and hopefully an anamoly.

Other team projects: We redid some chairs! I had before/during/after pictures, but my phone died so now I only have the after photos. [Actually I still have to take them so the accompanying photo will actually be of another, unrelated team effort. I will replace soon!] It wasn’t an upholstery job- part of the reason why I got the chairs from Craigslist was that I liked the existing fabric. But, the arms and legs were shiny red laquer and that was not looking so hot with our fuschia rug. So we sanded and repainted and now they look excellent.  

Solo projects: I also made my own nutella last night. It’s pretty good, but chunkier than commercial as I tried not to add too much oil and didn’t bother straining it as some recipes call for. The ultimate purpose for making this was the third food item I worked on last night: banana/nutella fudgsicles! I didn’t have enough popsicle molds to make enough for a crowd- just did a few test ones- but I will try to find some on the way home. Otherwise we’re going to have to split 4 among like, twenty people and no one wants HSV1 (or is it 2?) just in time for America’s birthday.

What else has been cooking? Raw kale, like a 1/2 bunch a day. I bought some from the Whole Foods salad bar line to serve as kind of a base for a quinoa, vegetable and shrimp salad and became instantly obsessed. It’s so good! I’m never cooking kale again, well not till baseball season is over and/or the weather gets cool. We love kale but it can get a little expensive to eat, since it cooks down so much and our neighborhood grocery stores have oil lobbyist pricing. Anyway the recipe linked above is a pretty spot on dupe for the Whole Foods version…

Notes: I left out the “nutritional yeast flakes” because, well, duh. It’s great without that fish food. I also cut the dressing in half for one batch, thinking to cut down on the calories from the tahini/oil but you know what? YOU’RE EATING RAW KALE. Live a little and do the whole recipe, it’s awesomer that way. I did cut back on the oil a tiny bit. Anyway, the dressing comes together super fast, would make a great vegetable dip, and it’s nice to have a vegetable side that doesn’t require cooking but feels “beyond salad” if that makes sense. The trick is to really massage it as she says. Do not get lazy people! Massage it like it’s Kerri Strugg’s ankle and she’s got to try to win it all for America. Anyway, a great thing to try this summer when the kitchen is hot.

And speaking of seasonal foods, I made my first batch of lemonade of the season this weekend, that was a nice treat too. This is the same proportion I use, but I dissolve the sugar in 1 cup of hot water first, then add 5 cups cold water and refrigerate. Serve over ice if you can’t wait, obviously. Eric got me this little tool that looks like it would serve some evil purpose on Game of Thrones but in our household, it just juices lemons, and helps release aggression. For a crowd though, I recommend juicing a few lemons and subbing out the rest of the cup with prepared juice from the store. WHATEVER. We are only human.

Image

Thanks for reading this extremely boring post! I know it’s no beer/fight club laugh fest but I’m just building up anticipation for a super dull fascinating expose of bike tour preparation, or maybe a “Best of DC” issue in the following categories: pools, gyms, nail shops and spray tans. You know I roll like real housewife anymore!

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amazing discoveries: goth baby names,Taratibu Youth Association, Pearl Dive

There are far more websites for goth baby names than you might expect considering that many goths seem to consider themselves asexual, or are just too despondent to get it on consistently. But it actually makes a lot of sense- babies are teeny tiny screaming dark overlords, so you may as well name them something appropriately scary like Alaric or Tristessa.

Goth Baby Names

More Goth Baby Names

In case you are wondering, I am not pregnant! But if I was, you’d better believe  my kid would be named something goth. My favorite from those lists for a girl was Diamanda (see below), my least favorite was Sangria.  Sangria might mean something really weird or sad (update: “bleeding!”) but it just sounds like something you’d name a baby conceived in a wild night of passion in Myrtle Beach. It doesn’t get any less goth than that. For boys, it’s tougher, because it’s hard to imagine me having any, but my favorite is Mordred, just to make it clear that we mean (dark) business, and least favorite is “Vance,” because of the Dukes of Hazzards’ sad sad stand ins of Season 5, Coy and Vance.

WHO ARE YOU

 Diamanda Galas is a crazy bad a** and I would love to have a daughter just like her. Chances are if I have a kid, she’ll turn out to be smug and boring little jerk like Stephanie Tanner on Full House (HOW RUDE) but, aim high.

my worst nightmare

Meanwhile, we had a big weekend! I went to the Tacklebox “kid happy hour” in Cleveland Park with my sister and nephew (do not recommend! weird scene there), the Georgetown SFU game (go Hoyas), and African American History Month “Family Day” at the American Art Museum. The Smithsonians usually put together a pretty good spread, and this was no exception. But the best part of Family Day was seeing the Taratibu Youth Association perform songs and dances. They sang in Zulu & Swahili! And stole our hearts. They were so incredible. I said to Laura, “if one of those girls were my daughter, I’d be losing it, crying.” Maybe we did cry, a little. Anyway, I stole a picture from their website! I’m sorry. But it was just too beautiful not to. Those young ladies had a lot going on for themselves.

Later, Eric and I mixed it up with the Capital Bikeshare Folks at their somewhat belated but much needed holiday party. If you were at the Pharmacy Bar on Saturday night and some stranger came up to you with a plate of cake, that was me, my husband, or my friend Mrs. Super Awesome. Email me for the recipe if you liked it!

I usually make breakfast on the weekend, but this Sunday we didn’t feel like doing any dishes at all, so we walked down the street to Pearl Dive. There was a bit of a wait and the servings of food are normal sized (which is usually what I want, but not that day) but it’s a nice place, with a sculpture that looks like a sea beast made of chains. I told Eric I’d be too afraid of it coming alive and whipping us all to death to work there comfortably, but I’m weird.

 

RELEASE THE CRACKEN

There’s also a (much more tasteful than it sounds) oyster trivia game printed on a standard deck of cards which is a good thing, as I’m much better at oyster trivia than I am at “Go Fish.”

PSA: They were advertising an all you can eat/drink crawdad boil on February 20th from 2-4 pm. I don’t think I’ll take that bet, but thought I’d throw it out there.

It’s warm enough outside that our arugala has sprouted. Time for some salads! Have a good week everyone.

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that’s mrs gilliland to you: the soundtrack

Happy 2012! I haven’t written a blog entry in about 700 years because I was too busy planning and executing the wedding of a lifetime.

[I just had a vision. "Wedding of a Lifetime... Movie." SPOILER: it won't end well, unless you like getting poisoned by Dean Cain.]

So it wasn’t the wedding of everyone’s lifetime, for example there was no ice swan, nor did I allow anyone to rip off any of my underwear and fling it into a crowd of male relatives. But, it was the wedding of our lifetime. It’s hard not to have weird buyer’s remorse afterwards (“should there have been a balloon arch? why didn’t I wear something sluttier?”) but as my lady friends pointed out last night, you just need to make your peace with it and move on.

Let’s talk about the best parts: the ceremony, our first dance, getting serenaded by my dad, and toasted by my sister. Those were my favorite parts! Oh yeah, and eating cake. And flirting with the bartenders while doing a quick pre-wedding shot of Jamesons (NOT MARRIED YET Y’ALL). I don’t have pictures to bore you with yet, so I’ll bore you with our playlists instead. As you might expect from me, there was a lot of country and rock and roll and not a lot of popular dance music till the very end. I’m kind of sorry that there was any at all! You know how I roll.

Thanks to Phil Stevenson of Night World Records for sending me some songs including a well-timed clip of the intro to Etta James’ “Stop the Wedding.” HA HA. I do love that song.

Also I guess I should say something about the much played Jon Rauhouse, also known as “Mr. Orchid Fingers” and “the nicest man in show business.” I can certainly attest to the latter.  You might not have heard of him but he’s amazing, as is everyone who plays and performs with him. Consummate professionals, every last one.

Anyway, if you are providing music for your own wedding, or you just feel like living a full and happy life, consider investing in some of his albums. He has a way of classing up a joint, not to mention that fox Rachel Flotard. “Harbour Lights.” Buy it. Also anything by her rock band Visqueen, especially “So Long,” if you like tearing your eyes out crying.

Oh, one other person I should mention specifically because he’s local, Benjy Ferree. I love his song “Fear” so much. Everybody download it! Very talented person with a lot to offer the world, not sure if the world is buying it but the world is stupid! Oh, and if I’d had my wits about me, I would have included “Surrounded By Flowers” by Brandon Butler on the early playlist too. My bad.

Hmmm. Can you tell I’m KIND OF IN LOVE WITH MUSIC? Eric seemed bummed that there wasn’t going to be more Black Eyed Peas, I was like “Please. I don’t give a s*** about tablecloths, flowers, or bridesmaid dresses but you have got to know I’m going to have some opinions about music. You want something else? Marry a different woman.”

The new Mrs. Gilliland is a harsh mistress. Without further bulls***, here are the playlists!

Ceremony, all five minutes of it:

“Margaret’s Waltz” performed so sweetly by my old bandmates. This was our processional! Starlingtons played it at a million weddings for a million brides, it was nice to have a shot at it.

“Handle Me with Care” Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins (recessional)

Cocktail Hour:

“She Belongs To Me” Bob Dylan

“The Greatest” Cat Power

“You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova

“Wrecking Ball” Gillian Welch

“Fear” Benjy Ferree

“Our Day Will Come” (don’t know the artist on this version!)

“California Stars” Wilco

“Hero/Heroine” Freakwater (this was in contention for recessional or first dance)

“Wayside” Gillian Welch

“Hold On, Hold On” Neko Case*

“Country Honk” Rolling Stones

“History of Lovers” Calexico w/ Iron & Wine

“So Sleepy” Punch Brothers w/ Fiona Apple

“Winding Wheel” Ryan Adams

“I Hear Them All” Old Crow Medicine Show

“1979″ Lucero

Early Dancing (mostly old fashioned)

“I’ve Loved You All Over the World” Willie Nelson and Emmylou Harris (this was our first dance! buy it! buy it now! It’s on Teatro.)

“Begin the Beguine” Jon Rauhouse

“La Vie en Rose” Edith Piaf

“Something Stupid” Secret Sisters

“Harbour Lights” Jon Rauhouse with Rachel Flotard

“Loretta” Lyle Lovett (also a hot contender for first dance)

“East of the Sun” Jon Rauhouse

“You’ve Got Me Wrapped Around Your Little Finger” Beth Rowley

“10,000 Words” Avett Brothers

“Amen” Jolie Holland

“Paper Wings” Gillian Welch

“Idaho” Jon Rauhouse

Then we did something… cut the cake? Had a toast? Can’t remember. More dancing. We kicked it off with some John Denver due to our love of the Orioles! This is the song they play in the 7th inning stretch:

“Thank God I’m a Country Boy” RIP JD!

“Tell It To Me” Old Crow Medicine Show

“Galway Girl” Steve Earle

“Shakedown on 9th Street” Ryan Adams

“3 Dimes Down” Drive By Truckers

“The Girl Can’t Help It” Little Richard

“Rave On” Buddy Holly

“Let it Bleed” Rolling Stones

“Dream Baby” Roy Orbison

“Valerie” Amy Winehouse

“Good Guys Don’t Wear White”

“Long As I Can See the Light” Creedence Clearwater Revival

“Hollywood Sign” Benjy Ferree

“To Be Young” Ryan Adams

“Christine’s Tune” Flying Burrito Brothers

“Our Generation” John Legend and the Roots

“Deeper Shade of Soul” Urban Dance Squad

“Take Care” Rihanna featuring Drake

“Make Me Better” Fabolous featuring Ne-Yo

“Hard Times” John Legend and the Roots

“The Way I Are” Timbaland featuring Keri Hilson

“We Found Love” Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris

“Saturday” De La Soul

“Boom Boom Pow” Black Eyed Peas

“Cold Blooded” Rick James

“Rock Your Body” Justin Timberlake

“Countdown” Beyonce

“Whatever You Like” T.I. (I shocked my cousins by lip synching this one straight from the heart)

“Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” Michael Jackson

“Barry Horowitz” Action Bronson

Interestingly, the spell check on this thing doesn’t know Neko, Winehouse, bandmate, sluttier, or my last name. Get out more, WordPress! My next post is going to be about cruising Craiglist for love a new kitchen hutch, rug, floor lamp and coffee table. If I could have registered at Salvation Army, you know I would have! 

 

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