growing up i always thought that quicksand was going to be a much bigger problem than it turned out to be



Thoughts on weddings

I never wanted to get married. Not that it was a terrible thing, it just wasn’t in my game plan.  What’s funny to me now that I’m planning my wedding, is just exactly how much I think about the damn thing all the time.  I know that people say these things, but it really is all-consuming. I read once about women who suffered from post-wedding depression because after the wedding they felt sort of let down, like they had nothing to look forward to anymore. When I first read about this I thought, “what selfish, shallow bitches.” And now I can almost relate. Not that I’ll be depressed or anything afterwards, but there is just so much TIME devoted to everything wedding that it will be odd not to have to think about it anymore.

Here’s the thing. We’ve been engaged for just over two years. We did this because we’re having the wedding in Mexico and we wanted to make sure everyone could make arrangements if they wanted to.  And, also because when Simon proposed, I still wasn’t exactly ready to get married.  I liked the idea of a long engagement exactly because of the let down factor. After marriage, there are only so many things to look forward to (that sounds really pessimistic, but I only mean heart-fluttery milestones, like the first time you admit that you’re in love, etc).  It made sense at the time, and I hold firm to it when talking to women who “just want to get this over with.” (!?)  But, it turns out that the longer you’re engaged, the more time people have to tell you just exactly how the wedding will be a pain in the ass for them. You also have lots and lots of time to think about all of the things that can go wrong, and lots and lots of time to hear from other people how things will go wrong (Did you know that Mexico is a dangerous place?!).  Oh, and for all of you “destination wedding” people, it doesn’t matter: everyone will buy their tickets 2 months before the wedding, even when you give them a year’s notice. Not that I regret our decision, buuuuut I might have thought long and hard about it had I really known. Live and learn. And elope.

Just kidding. Not really. The place we chose is super remote, but exactly us and we can afford to do things we way we want to.  Which means that we rented the entire hotel for the night of the wedding so that everyone can stay there and we get to hang out with our families and friends for more than a couple of hours during the reception. Well, we think we did anyway, we haven’t put any money down yet, but they tell us (in Spanish) that this is happening.  It also means that it’s super inconvenient for everyone to get there. Have I mentioned that the wedding is on a Wednesday? We’re assholes.

What kills me is that this is all for one day. Yes, we’ve arranged it so that our families will be there for a week, but it will go By. So. Fast.  I have seven (seven!) google docs devoted to wedding stuff, including the travel arrangements of both families, our work friends that are coming, and the other various friends that randomly decided to show up.  I have literally just taken my hair out of curlers so I can practice the hairdo I want to have.  Earlier this evening (ok, and during work), I downloaded songs for the playlist.  I wish I could say that if we paid people to do everything it would be easier, but you still have to make ALL OF the decisions.  I’m extremely lucky in that I have a partner who is fully engaged and is half of the process, but it is still just amazingly complicated.

And you know who I hate the most? The people who say “Oh, it will all turn out fine! Don’t worry about it!”  (My recently married friends never say this to me, to be fair. They all just nod seriously and hand me another drink). I would accept that if we were having it at the church down the street, and I wouldn’t really care about many of the details. But, the fact of the matter is that if I/we don’t make a list of photographs to be taken, find meaningful readings and vows for the ceremony, make the playlist, make the schedule, and find a mothereffing bagpiper, this wedding will literally just be us plus 70 people standing around in nice clothes while a bunch of people babble at us in Spanish.  So, no. It will not just turn out fine, I’m sorry.

I guess what it comes down to is this.  I never planned on getting married, and here I am fussing over goddamn seating arrangements.  I despise the bridal industry drama princess bullshit.  So, the lesson for time traveling younger Ivy is: don’t be so cocky.  And then don’t be too hard on yourself when you end up doing exactly what you said you’d never do.


When I got married, I lost my tulle-forsaken mind. Many brides do; there’s a lot of societal pressure to be unique and individual and have every last detail pinned down to the nth degree because it’s YOUR WEDDING, WHORE, GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER.

-Oh Noa.


Frans de Waal [The Netherlands and USA] and Jennifer Pokorny [USA] for discovering that chimpanzees can identify other chimpanzees individually from seeing photographs of their rear ends.
REFERENCE: “Faces and Behinds: Chimpanzee Sex Perception” Frans B.M. de Waal and Jennifer J. Pokorny, Advanced Science Letters, vol. 1, 99–103, 2008.

Scientific American


I’m procrastinating at work by starting to make our reception playlist today.  It seems like the British contingent will be pretty small, so I’m only putting in a few standards for that crowd (Ace of Base, Take That, etc). So far I’ve come across some pretty helpful sites, like this one from the Daily MirrorThis one is especially good for comprehensiveness.  There are some truly awful songs on there, but what wedding have you ever been to that didn’t play at least 5 awful songs? I’m trying to keep it down to 2.

I’ve also come across some real gems, like this version of Fools Rush In.  It seems a little sacrilegious not to use the Elvis version, so I’m torn. Maybe I’ll put In the Ghetto in there to make up for it.  Oh hell, I just listened to the Elvis version again, of course I have to go with him.  My main problem is that my musical tastes tend to run along the eclectic/sad bastard lines, so I’m fighting with myself to keep it mainstream and fun while throwing a few of my favorites in.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t quite see a way to make The Shins work.  I’ll probably post the list at a later date, after Simon has looked at it and slashed and burned.

I don’t know much, but I know this: there will be no Black Eyed Peas at my wedding.

World’s best popcorn

This is really only half of the true Hawaiian hurricane popcorn, but I like the simplicity (and usually can’t find li hing powder and kakimochi). The first step is to find the right furikake, which is traditionally a Japanese rice seasoning made with shredded seaweed, sesame seeds, and some other flavorings we don’t need to get in to.  There are tons of varieties, which you should be able to find at your local Asian market.  If Panama City has it, your town probably does too.  But, if all else fails, you can order it on Amazon. This is my favorite kind for popcorn:

Nori komi furikake is nutty and slightly sweet without a fishy flavor.

Once you’ve popped plain popcorn on the stove (no microwaved popcorn!), you’ll need to add melted butter to give the furikake something to stick to. You can also use a butter-flavored spray if you’re counting calories, but I advise against it.  Some people choose to do this step in a plastic bag to ensure proper coating, but I find a large bowl works fine.  Pour in half the butter over the top, give it a toss, then add the rest and toss again.

Mmmm… butter

Finally, sprinkle a generous amount of the furikake over top of the popcorn. Don’t toss it too much or it will all end up at the bottom of the bowl.  If you have some soy rice crackers, or better yet, some wasabi flavored ones, throw those in there for added crunch.


You’ll never want to go back to regular popcorn again.