I’m Ready for my Closeup

Turns out that a lot of the aspects of planning a wedding are really awkward.  I already wrote about how awkward it was trying on wedding dresses.  Now I am going to write about getting your lovey-dovey picture taken.

I am one of those people who actually loves getting my picture taken.  Ever since I was little, I’ve been a ham (hard to believe, I know).  I actually have very few pictures of me taken where I am smiling like a normal person, because whenever I see a camera I tend to do the over-the-top imsoexcitedtobehereanditookmymethtoday pose.  I think I’ve got that one down.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Case in point.

Let it be known that the above three pictures were not hard to find.  Quite the opposite – I had to choose my three faves amongst the ample caffine-induced euphoria (or irritability as the case may be).

Since we decided it would’ve been too much work to have our wedding at the summer camp where we met and fell in love – cue fireworks and rainbows – we were very happy that our photog agreed to make the drive down to the Bay Area so we could have our engagement session be shot at camp.  Huzzah!

The weather was amazing for the middle of January – sunny and not very cold at all.  Couldn’t have asked for better circumstances.  White Baby Jesus was looking down on us that day.

Our photographer told us to bring a lot of stuff.  Makeup, lotion, hairbrush, and different changes of clothes.  Never having had a real strike-a-pose onsite photo shoot before, Brian and I filled our car with the contents of about half our closets.  Oh, and we brought our bikes, since biking is one of our favorite past times and our photog thought that would make for some great shots.

So picture a little Civic filled to the brim with clothes, shoes, and makeup bags, complete with two bikes on the back.  It looked like we were moving out.

Best part – we used maybe 5% of the crap we brought.

It was kind of ridiculous.

But we’re totally in love, so it’s ok.

Let’s just get right to it – posing for engagement photographs in front of a stranger and in public is weird.

Our first stop was in the ice cream shop where Brian and I had our first date – cue fireworks and rainbows.  We were told to “snuggle” and “cuddle” and “make lovey-eyes” at each other.  And then the photographer stood on the table to get a better angle (because bird’s eye view is apparently where it’s at these days).

We ran out of there before the owners could ask us to leave.

We got to camp and started posing with soakem balls (I’ll refrain from making a ball joke here – soakem is the exact same game they play in the movie Dodgeball).  This is more like it, I thought as I pelted Brian with brightly colored, enflamed clown testicles (zing!).

But then – Brian, I want you to chase Melissa, catch her, and then swing her around!  the photographer said.  Long story short, we couldn’t get through that part of the shoot without drawing blood.  My blood.  If Brian had been a sparkly vampire, our love palace would have come crashing down.  In other words, I think this photo shoot was making us question the status of our relationship.

As if we weren’t being tested with hot enough coals, we were then asked to ride our bikes up a hill, slowly, and as closely together as possible, all while smiling at a camera, and looking gloriously in love…without falling off.  Capturing love on camera was harder than I thought!  Cary Elwes and Robin Wright made it look so easy!  …maybe it would’ve been a whole lot easier to put Brian in a black mask and then shove him down a hill.  Mental note for next time.

I think the best part of the whole day was watching our photographer – after she stressed to us that she was an “indoor girl” – roll around on the ground and get leaves all up in her hair just so she could get that perfect shot of the flappy skin under our chins.  That’s true dedication to a craft, my friends.

Here’s a little peek at how we looked when told to “dear nuzzle” and “stop grabbing Brian’s ass.”

This one wasn’t posed. I jump on B a lot, and when I did this, we heard our photog shout from the bottom of the hill, “OH, YOU LOOK SO CUTE! HOLD THAT POSE!” Boom.

I think the day was quite successful (minus the blood loss).


My Cup Runneth Over

I’m way behind in my blog-postiness and that pains me.

I still need to blog about the awesome flour bombing competition me and my pilotboy practiced for and participated in.

Someone awesome nominated me for another blogging award, and I have yet to write a post accepting that.

But before those can happen, I must spread the joy that is growing in leaps and bounds in my life.  Not only did I recently get licensed as a real live therapist, but this happened as well:

That’s right, my friends!  This shit is happening!

Brian and I met at the most awesome job in the world – Summer Nature Camp – and he wanted to propose in the place where it all started.  Full circle.  Cue fireworks and rainbows.

Apparently he had been trying to get me to go geocaching (yet another awesome post I have yet to write) in the park where the camp takes place for a couple of weeks as a way of luring me back to camp so he could make me the happiest woman alive.  And apparently I was very stubborn.  See, he said “let’s go geocaching at the park” and I heard “let’s go traipse through waist-high, snake-filled weeds and get dirty and smelly.”

Unless there’s a very expensive piece of jewelry involved, no thanks.

Well, Brian finally convinced me to go despite it being the hottest day of the year thus far.  As I was getting ready to go, I had a fluttering thought that maybe – just maaayybe – this might be the day.

So we gooped up with sunscreen and traipsed around and we found 4 lovely geocaches and got supremely sweaty and smelly.  We also had an awesome time getting all sentimental with memories from camp – the best job ever in the history of jobs.

Brian wanted to propose in front of the Seven Bedroom House – the building from which we ran camp, and also the building in front of which Brian and I first met almost exactly 10 years ago and also the building in front of which I first asked Brian out almost exactly 9 years ago.  This building is extra special, right down to the peeling lead paint and the attic covered in Hantavirus.

But Brian couldn’t propose in front of the Seven Bedroom House because our former fellow counselors were working, getting ready for the next day (today), the first day of camp for the summer.  So after visiting with them, Brian acted like it was time to go and we walked back down the hill, hand-in-hand, past the fire pit and across the footbridge that goes over the pond on the way to the car.  In the middle of the footbridge Brian stops me and BAM – he’s on one knee.  The rest is history!

Thank goodness we didn’t drop that ring in the water.

One Ring to rule them all…


Memories from summer camp: Dodgeball, peanut butter, and bodily fluids

I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t know what the frick to write about.   This sucks.

So, I think I will post about a blast from the past, the best job I ever had – a summer camp counselor.

This camp was a day camp for different age ranges of kids in the town I grew up in, run by the local park district.  One week we’d have Tadpoles (kids 4-6), and the next week we’d have a combo of Explorers (7-9) and Ohlones (10-13), and these weeks alternated.  Camp was always M-F, and the Tapoles went home around 1:30ish, but the older kids stayed later, and for Explorer/Ohlone week, on Thursday nights they’d all stay for an overnight campout extravaganza!

This camp was called Summer Nature Camp, and it freaking rocked.  Every day the counselors planned a different theme.  Examples of themes: Reptile Day, Bug Day, Pond Day (usually a Wednesday, when kids would get to wade into the pond and catch amazing creatures), Unpopular Animal Day (you know – bats, skunks, snakes), Bird Day, Ranger Day (kids got to dress up like the rangers and learn about what rangers do all day.  hint: not much.  we taught the kids to write parking tickets for our fellow camp counselors, for instance).  For Explorer/Ohlone weeks, on Thursdays we did a big day hike, followed by face painting and games, then a campfire and stories, followed by an epic game of capture the flag at night.  Friday was always Adventure Day, where the counselors would plan a plot where some sort of evildoer was planning harm to the park, its plants and animals, and to the campers themselves.  The campers would then have to do a series of tasks completely unrelated to the danger at hand (like a trust fall, and passing kids through sections of a giant spiderweb made of rope), and magically the danger would be vanquished by the end of the day!

Some days, I think I had more fun than the kids, if that was even possible.  Don’t tell my former boss, but this job was so cool that I probably would have done it for free.  Below are the best examples of what I learned from working at this camp several summers in a row.

1. The younger the child and the greater the number of children, the more they must be herded like sheep

Always place one counselor at the beginning, one at the end, and several spotters throughout.  Try not to nip at the kids’ heels; parents really hate that.

Herding done right

2. Kids are hilarious when you least expect it

Some of my favorite quotes over the years:

During dodgeball: It’s like the Civil War, and that side’s Europe!

I love it when kids share TMI:  My daddy wears bandaids on his nipples!

I’m this many (holds up 3 fingers) but mom says to say I’m this many (holds up four).   Remember the age limit to be a camper is 4.  Yeeeeah.

My who-who itches!   Another wonderful example of TMI.  Keep it coming, kids.

3. Whipped cream spoils incredibly quickly in the sun

At the very end of the week, the kids got to cash in their Counselor Cards they had earned throughout the previous few days.  Counselors wrote these cards for other fellow counselors and no one counselor got to write the card pertaining to veself.  As an example, one of my counselor cards once read:  Melissa is a birthing cow.  Please encourage her young to be born quickly and healthy by spraying Melissa with whipped cream for 10 seconds.

10 seconds never felt so long.

4. It sucks trying to get peanut butter out of hair

For some reason, peanut butter is also a proven method for helping cows safety birth their young.  Who’dathunk?

5.  They’d better invent mucous and blood free humans when I’m in the market for a newborn, cuz I can’t handle the bodily fluids

It was summer.  It was hot.  There were rubber balls flying about, and there were kids running.  Kids broke skin a lot, but what was literally gag-inducing for me was when fluids flowed freely from noses in particular.  Skinned knee?  No problem.  Broken arm?  Come here, I’ll make a splint.  Walk it off.  Rub some dirt in it.  Blood running out of your nose and down your shirt?  Hells no.  You’re on your own, kid.  Actually, stay here and hold my hair while I throw up.

6.  I will never be able to rid myself of the trauma I suffered playing dodgeball at camp

Imagine this: you’re the only counselor still left on your team full of small, defenseless campers.  The reason you’re the last counselor on this team is because career counselor K is on the opposing team, and you’ve been hiding behind the chunkier kids on your own team for fear of ball-to-face humiliation.  Now, counselor K is fucking terrifying when playing dodgeball.  Picture a gorilla, all bent over with arms swinging and a look of intense concentration with knowledge of victory across his face.  His eyes practically glowed red.  He’d wait for the perfect moment when I wasn’t behind a kid, trying to grab a ball for a smaller tyke, and then I’d see it.  The wind up.  My body initiated an involuntary response that involved me hunching over, arms in front of my boobs and face (gotta protect the goods), one leg comes up to protect the abdominal vital organs, and then the scream.  Blood-curdling doesn’t even begin to describe it.  Wait for shame-inducing SMACK of the rubber ball against my exposed thigh, and then the collective sighs of disappointment from the little shits on my team.  Thanks a lot, you guys.  Then I went and cried in the bathroom.  I still have nightmares that involve my mom suddenly turning into a gorilla and serving me eggs that smell of sweat-covered rubber.