Bridesmaid Plots Aplenty

So there’s another reason I’m so excited about May, which I couldn’t mention last week, because…it is (well, was) the surprise bridal shower Mom and I have been planning for my sister for the last month, which finally happened this past Saturday. And on the assumption that Kari reads this blog (ahem…right?), I didn’t want to give it away, but now that it’s over and she knows all about it: Yay bridal shower!

And WHEW. I can’t BELIEVE we actually managed to surprise her! O, the subterfuge! The deceit! The imaginary dress hunt my mom took her on to keep her out of the house! This was my favorite part — to stall her, Mom dragged Kari around a department store pretending she’d seen a dress Kari would like and going, “goodness, I’m sure it was over here…or maybe it was over here…I think it was blue…but maybe it was green…my, I have NO idea WHERE it could be…let’s just keep looking…” Mwa ha ha.

And it worked! Mostly because Kari thought the shower was going to be next weekend, which I’ve been telling her to keep clear because there’s another surprise in store for her then, but obviously I can’t tell you what it is yet (in case she actually does read this blog (ahem)), so come back next week to find out!

For anyone out there planning a shower and looking for ideas, these are the games we played:

(1) The Icebreaker Guest Scavenger Hunt: I made a chart with descriptions of people (i.e. “Someone who was born overseas,” “Someone who went to college with Kari,” etc.) (NOT “Someone who could stand to lose ten pounds” or “Someone who looks like a hobbit”, people!) and everyone had to find a matching person to write in each box. First one to fill it all out correctly wins!

(2) Romantic Couples: We gave everyone one minute to write down as many famous couples from history, literature, or pop culture as they could think of. The person who came up with the most couples won a prize, and so did the person whose list matched Kari’s most closely.

(3) The Newlywed Game: Beforehand, I sent Kari’s fiancé a list of questions about the two of them (like “What did you do on your first date?” and “What was your first pet’s name?” and “If there were a movie of your love story, which actor and actress would play each of you?”), and he sent me back his answers. Then I asked Kari the same questions to see how many they would answer the same. Everyone else had to write down how many they thought she’d get “right” (as it turns out, about half, which was pretty impressive considering how hard they were!).

(4) Wedding Taboo: Basically like regular Taboo, where you try to get people to guess a word on a card without saying the other five related words on the card, except I made up all the cards, so they were either about weddings or Kari or her fiancé. (For example, the word might be “Costa Rica,” but you couldn’t say “honeymoon,” “Central America,” “country,” “rainforest,” or “San Jose” – or “Veronica Mars,” but you couldn’t say “TV show”, “Kristen Bell,” “Logan Echolls,” “detective” or “favorite”) (Or “trumpet” but you couldn’t say “Steve was a band geek, ha ha.”) 😉 Each person had a minute to get everyone else to guess as many cards as possible, and the person with the most at the end wins!

Yay! And of course we made a ribbon hat (by “we” I mean "her very talented friend Elizabeth"). Do you know about this? It’s a hilariously bizarre bridal shower tradition –- basically, you take a paper plate and attach all the ribbons from the presents to it as she’s opening them. And then at the end, she has to wear it (mwa ha ha!). The first time I was instructed to make a ribbon hat, I had no idea what was going on. But this time I was prepared, which is to say, I ran around beforehand attaching extra big sparkly bows to all the presents, because I’m sinister like that.

So now that’s over, and Kari can go back to fretting about the wedding, at least until next weekend, when something else mysterious and alarming is going to happen to her (more on that later).

So how anticlimactic was The Amazing Race: All-Stars finale? When they’re all on the same flight at the end and it basically comes down to a taxi ride, it makes me sad, although I thought at least the final task was kind of unusual. And at least Mirna didn’t win (woo!). The actual winners, Eric and Danielle, weren’t particularly amazing and probably shouldn’t have been on All-Stars in the first place, but I did feel sorry for them after everything they went through on this race. I don’t think any other team has ever suffered that much! Not even just with being Yielded twice and Marked for Elimination once, but their bad luck in airports (getting pulled off a plane after they were already seated?! Yikes!) was just kind of staggering. And Danielle put up with a lot, and Eric kind of was a star in his own season, so I’m OK with their win, because…at least it wasn’t Mirna. But it should have been the Beauty Queens.

This is why I prefer scripted TV to reality TV. A satisfying ending is much more likely, at least if the show is allowed to end when the producers want it to end (which is why I am all in favor of this new Lost plan where it’s going to end after three more seasons, and everyone knows it. Genius!).

But back to The Amazing Race — as Kari pointed out, this does mean she and I still have a chance to be the first all-girl team to win! Sure! It could happen! You know, in a universe where (1) The Amazing Race is still on by the time Kari and I are free to do it, (2) we actually get cast, despite not being models or beauty queens or an adorable gay couple or feisty old people (unless we are by then, YIKES), and (3) we actually win, which would probably require more challenges like “identify this brand of Ben & Jerry’s by taste” or “list every Buffy episode by title and specify in which ones Buffy kisses Angel or Spike,” instead of, say, "climb straight up the Great Wall of China."

Horseback riding, sky diving, swimming, and bridal shower planning we can do; sea kayaking, bulldozer driving, and eating cow lips, not so much. Hmmm. So we’re not quite Dustin and Kandice. SIIIIGH.

Also, did y’all see the two-hour Grey’s Anatomy episode that was kind of a pilot for the new Addison spin-off? Um…was it just me, or was it really weird? First, I love all the people they cast (Piz from Veronica Mars! Francie from Alias! Tim Daly from Eyes! The guy Adam and I have been calling “evil Fred Savage” from Prison Break! Taye Diggs!).

But…I felt no chemistry at all between any of them. Did you? And dude, Piz and Tim Daly are cute enough that they could probably have chemistry with a cheese sandwich. But I didn’t love any of these women (even Addison, whom I normally adore, or Francie, who is so cute), and I found myself completely uninterested in ever seeing any of them hook up, which really is the best reason to watch Grey’s Anatomy, if you ask me (and, I suspect, if you ask some of the producers, too).

I think these characters are just too old for me. I’ve barely reconciled myself to finding thirty-year-olds attractive; anyone around forty is a major struggle. And seriously, how can I watch Piz go from kissing Veronica Mars, the coolest girl on the planet, to pining after a divorced, sad, nowhere-near-as-sassy woman literally nearly twice Veronica’s age? Too hard!

And then one of my favorite critics, Kristin from EOnline, revealed that the network and the producers were deliberately trying to make the spin-off (which is now called Private Practice), and I quote: “Slower! Older! Soapier!” Eeeeuugh. Really? Slower and older? When would that ever make anything better? Apart from, like, Rug Rats? No, no, no. More adorable characters, please, especially in the female category. There’s no Izzie, no Cristina, no Bailey here, and even though certain of those can be annoying at times, at least they didn’t all have crying fits in their first episode.

Of course I’ll still watch the first few episodes if it does get picked up, though. I mean, Piz! Tim Daly! So we’ll see if it gets better in the fall…and what my favorite critics think of it then.

Yup. Didn’t you all want my editorial musings on new TV?

Oh, and here’s a recommendation — I just saw a movie I totally loved: "The Painted Veil," starring Naomi Watts and Edward Norton, who are both amazing. It’s a love story set in the 1920”s and based on a W. Somerset Maugham book. It’s kind of a beautiful movie, with just incredible acting, and it totally made me want to marry a good, noble man (which I am doing, yay!) and visit China (you know, sometime when it’s not 1921 and there isn’t cholera or angry nationalists everywhere).

All right, I must go prepare for the super-secret surprise weekend. Hopefully by next week I’ll be back in my clean, shiny, finished, stranger-free house and ready to post lots of pictures of our mystery destination (woo hoo!). 😀

Quote of the Week: "If people only spoke when they had something to say, the human race would soon lose the power of speech." — Kitty Fane, The Painted Veil