I'm Off To Eastern Pangea

Assuming the rain stops and Philly International clears a plane to leave on-time the first time in its history, I'll be heading to London tonight. Then I'll board Ethiopian Airlines (I know I know, they serve empty bags of peanuts...), and fly to Rome. Then I'll head to Addis Abba, Ethiopia. Then I'll land in Lilongwe, Malawi, which is apparently a land-locked country in eastern Africa. When I get there, it will be approximately two weeks from now.

I'll be hanging out with my wonderful do-gooder friends, Mel and Jeremy, who have a wonderful do-gooder organization, Goods For Good International, where they take surplus goods from corporate giants in our country and ship them to children in need in Africa. Read about their adventures here, and don't forget about me while I'm gone. Seriously. Don't go and find some other place on the interwebs to kill your time. If you do that, that means you hate Africa. See you some time in early November....


Speaking Of Flowers...

Deborah caught the bouquet! Deborah caught the bouquet! Holy shit that means I'm gonna get married!

We went to a gorgeous, rocking wedding the Sunday before last for two of our favorite Philly people, Sarah and Sam. The venue was unreal -- the Constitution Center in Philly, where Deborah got way too friendly with the delegation from Massachusetts...

and Aaron got extremely friendly with Benjamin Franklin...

...right before Steve beat Franklin's ass in thumb wrestling.

Sarah and Sam can't make it to our wedding because their friends are getting married the same day. So instead of tossing her bouquet, Sarah told tradition to go eff itself: The band stopped playing, Sarah said a few kind words, and then she handed the flowers off to Deborah. I may or may not have cried.

As Deborah kissed the bride and groom, I snapped pics. Then Sam turned to me and said (as far as I can tell from this picture): "Matt, Why are you so awkward? You're supposed to come up here also. You're always soooooo awkward."

Then I got in on the hug action too. Good times. Thank you again, Sam and Sarah.

At our wedding, we're planning to attach Deborah's bouquet to a string of water balloons and drop the whole damn thing onto the crowd from the balcony when no one's paying attention.


Worst Wife Ever?

New rule: From now on, if I find myself unappreciative of my wifetobe in any way, I will drop to my knees and thank everything that is holy that I am not married to Elana Elbogen.

Elana is the overly litigious bridezilla who this week sued her wedding florist for $400,000 because--oh, just wait for this....wait wait wait wait---her hydrangeas were green and "pastel pink" instead of green and "dark rust," like she ordered. This color clashed with the linens, favor boxes, wedding cake and decor, according to The New York Times. Shockingly, the couple lives and got married in New York, of all places.

The flowers, which at $27,000 is pretty much my annual salary, were "entirely inconsistent with the vision the plaintiffs had bargained for," according to the suit. The florist, Stamos Arakas, who for sympathy's-sake let's pretend looks like Gepetto, said Mother Nature and the lighting in the room controlled the look of the flowers.

We thank new favorite fan Randi for this tidbit, and for the idea for a new poll I'm posting on centerpieces. You know how it works: You vote, and we'll do it (maybe) at our wedding. Vote early and often at your left so it looks like we're popular. The centerpiece choices: Bobblehead dolls of the couple, bobblehead dolls of just the groom, big boxes of sour candies, giant Peeps, seasonal wildflowers, bowls of goldfish like you get at the carnival, sparklers, green and pastel pink hydrangeas, thick bushes of amazing green plants, Wandering Jews, herb gardens OR....ironic pictures of Elena Elbogen!

P.S. Photo reprinted from the Kelley Drye law firm web site. Elena please don't sue me.


Puppy, 4/05 - 10/07

We've been dealing with the life cycles here at Apartment 1002 these days. A long-time member of our family, Puppy, died last week. Puppy was the name of our beta fish, because we're ironic like that. We got him as a sign of domestic commitment and because this semi-professional weed dealer we knew had one and it seemed sorta badass.

Puppy went on and lived 2 1/2 years, which is insanely long for a beta, becoming a significant part of our lives. He shared aquatic living quarters in the pot of our bamboo plant, and our (new defunct) band D(o)SP even wrote a song about the imagined love between Puppy and the plant. It was called, appropriately, "Puppy and the Plant." Eventually, Shmelvis fell in love with Puppy, too, spending his days staring at him pathetically through the glass. And that's why Puppy's death was such a shock to him. Here is a confused Shmelvis after Puppy was flushed:
I told Shmelvis to man up, but he just went into a hysterical temper tantrum, knocking shit down all over the place:To shut him up, and to numb the pain in our own hearts, we bought a new beta, named Kitty, naturally. We bought other fish too: 1360 and Sinacki. Shmelvis was excited when they were delivered:
The End.


DJ Update: I Think He Likes Me

So I've been corresponding via MySpace with this deejay candidate, and things are going well. I'm definitely ready to finally tell you about him, even though at this point there is a good possibility that he will actually read this and realize that I'm live-blogging my correspondence with him. And that might make our relationship awkward.

But...too late now. Here goes. His name is DJ Deejay, which we enjoy. He does these very bumping Madonna-Michael-Prince dance parties, one of which we went to over New Year's Eve, which we liked not only because of the tunes but also because one of our friends gyrated against our other friend's friend during Prince's "Kiss" and a picture of said gyration ended up on the web site of the party promoter on Jan. 1. Happy new year!

DJ (that's the name he goes by--I'm not sure if it refers to his real name, his deejay name, or his profession) seems excited about the wedding, although we haven't spoken specifics. Do I recommend artists, and he picks the tunes? Do I give him suggestions about what to play, or are those suggestions actually mandatory? And does anyone have any suggestions on the mandatory suggestions, if there are are any?


I Totally Think I Just Did Something For The Wedding

We now sort of have a photographer, and I'm definitely responsible for hiring her. True, I work with her, so I didn't even have to make a phone call to find her. And true, when it came time to talk price I freaked out and had to have the wife deal with it. But I'm taking credit anyway -- this is my special day too, dammit.

Next up: Matt finds a DJ. To recap, I want a dirty tatted-up scenester who plays parties that I'm not cool enough to attend. There's risk in this, of course, because he (she? no, probably not) could be too hung-over or OD'd to actually show up at the wedding. But with risk comes reward, right? Or with risk comes your friend Steve spinning your iPod mini on your iHome while your new iNlaws shoot you disappointed looks. Either way, I'm on the case. After getting rejected by the last DJ I messaged on MySpace, this time I am trying a more deejay-friendly approach, which means I started this message with a "yo." Check it:

Yo DJ Deejay (that's his real name),
Possibly ridiculous question: I'm getting married next Labor Day weekend at the FUEL gallery, and we don't want a wedding band, because they're sometimes cheesedick, so would you consider doing a wedding? We're just looking to have a big party, heavy on the dancing. Oh, and a big, big horah.

Now we wait. What will he say? If finding a DJ requires me leaving MySpace, I'm in trouble.


You People Are Sick

By an overwhelming majority, a song that opens with...You know I thug 'em, fuck 'em, love 'em, leave 'em/Cause I don't fuckin' need 'em...will be the song that I walk to down the aisle to.

As I've written, barring a spousal veto, I will follow whatever the monthly polls tell us to do for our wedding. Last month we asked how to give some love to gay couples, and readers voted for a rainbow chupah. So we shall have a rainbow chupah hovering above us as we get married.

This month, we asked what song should play when I walk down the aisle. "Big Pimpin'" from Jay-Z won. Readers voted to send me walking into holy matrimonty one of the most anti-true-love songs in human history.

But what's worse? In second place came "Captain Jack" by Billy Joel, which includes the romantic ballad: Your sister's gone out, she's on a date/You just sit at home and masturbate.

Due to this hijacking of democracy, for the immediate future polling will be temporarily suspended. I want everyone to think about what they've done and start taking this shit seriously. I also need time to come up with another poll idea.


Neurosis Of The Day: I Look Like A Jackass On Wedding Dance Floors

Deborah and I recently attended the wedding of this banging-hot couple...Mark and Yumi. The photography, by the shockingly good Anna Kuperberg, caught the magic of the night in the Redwoods of Northern California. The camera also captured, in full splendor, my flamboyance, my attention-whorishness and my general lack of coolness on a wedding dance floor. Consider:

By the way, I don't remember posing for these pictures.
And I don't remember my future wife laughing at me behind my back.
But if I was her, I wouldn't be laughing.I'd be worried about the kind of DNA I'll be passing on to her children.


Become A Communist...About Wedding Gifts

How much do you give for a wedding gift? Is it based on the per-person caterer costs -- and if so, shouldn't you have a vote on whether they get that extra cheese platter at the cocktail hour? Is it based on the value of your relationship or friendship -- but how do you quantify such a thing without sounding like a d-bag? Is it based on the amount of time you've seen that person in the last year -- or the amount of time you've spent with that person in your life?

Every Saturday afternoon at about 3 p.m., after wedding guests have stuffed themselves into dresses and rented tuxes, they sit down in front of their checkbooks (or online in front of The Knot registry) and try to figure out how much to give a couple.

There are various theories on this. One site suggests spending $75 per person -- and then subtracting $25 if the bride is pregnant but adding $100 if you're the father. It says to add $25 if there's an open bar, but subtract $20 if your date goes home with the drummer.

Of course, you could reimburse the couple (or their parents) for the amount spent on the wedding, but do you even like these people? And aren't they going to get divorced (probably) anyways?

Exactly. So do this: Pay what you can, just like at museums on those special "donation-only" days. If you're rich, give $500, a toaster and one of those musical cards. But if you've got a few credit cards loaded with some debt, if you don't even open the cable bill unless it says "3rd notice," if you've already dropped $1,000 on the bachelor(ette) party and $550 on a flight, if you're renting a tux and getting a hotel and taking a day off work, then don't worry about it. Pay what you can. Staple a $5 bill to a postcard or regift that wok in your cabinet with some nice wrapping paper. The only ones filing for bankruptcy at a wedding should be the bride, groom and their parents.

For this system to work, those rich cheap-asses need to buck up and add some zeroes to some wedding checks, quick-stat. Poor people, rise up!


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