Thursday, July 30, 2009

Part Two

By: Cleary O'Farrell

I know what you’re thinking at this point. Yes, yes I do. Why are these photos so crappy? Isn’t she a photographer? Well the truth is that my camera is so darn heavy I didn’t want to bring it with me. A Canon 5D weighs about 6 pounds and plus with the 16-35 and 24-70 lenses I carry around it would have been a total of oh… about 12 pounds on my shoulder.
So we had 2 disposable cameras and a Flip camera which takes video. I know what else you may be thinking… what the weather was like? Well it was how you say h-o-t at 105 degrees and a very dry heat. Lastly I bet you are wondering what the hell happened. Ok I will tell you.

I said, “I don’t know whatever we want. What do you want to do?”
Dave said “I know what I want to do. I want to marry you. Tonight.”
“WHAT?!?! Really? Really??” I said, and he was laughing and made a joke like “of course!”
I was so jumbled and excited or freaked out or something and I said “Wait-wait-really? Wait-what are you saying?” and then he took my hand and said Cleary, will you marry me?” I screamed, then I laughed, then we had a kissing/I-love-you session right there in front of Vince Neil’s crazy tattoo shop. Very romantic. After a few minutes of this we both felt we needed to get back to our hotel room like now, so we ran across the street into our hotel…. and about 25 minutes later emerged a happily engaged couple.
Since it was getting on 4 pm and we hadn’t eaten since that morning, we decided to go to BLT Burger to look over a list of chapels we had gotten from our concierge. Dave recognized “A Little White Chapel” so we called them and they said they were “Wide open. Come by anytime.”
At that point, Dave, in a rush of strange traditionalism, said “We need to get you a ring.” I said “Nah. We won’t find anything here. And I don’t feel like walking around forever looking.” He said, “Babe, we need to get you something.” So we headed next door to Caesar’s and found a ring for me at Banana Republic, and one for him at Chrome Hearts.

From here everything happened really fast. We got into a taxi, said, “Courthouse please” to which the driver responded with “You guys getting married?” We said “Yes.” He said “You know each other’s names and everything?” to which we said “Only first names.” He was fun.
When we arrived at the courthouse, there were chapel peddlers handing out brochures for places nearby, since you are not legally wed unless you actually have a licensed person perform your ceremony. It is quite an industry. A Joe Peschi impersonator was even there offering his services. We went inside the courthouse, and like any 7-11, we were in-and-out with within 10 minutes with a marriage license. We called the chapel, they said a limo would be there in 15 minutes, so we kicked back, watching several other people go in and out of the 7-11/courthouse and wondering just how many people get married in Vegas every day.
The limo driver’s name was Ed, and he was quite friendly. As we rode in the limo we shot a short video in our giddy state.

Once we entered the chapel, everyone greeted us and was very friendly. They asked what “package” we wanted and offered some choices: how many photos do you want? Would you like to buy a video? How about a ‘bride’ or ‘groom’ hat? Do you want a corsage or roses? Would you like Elvis to conduct the wedding? Would you like a tiara?

Now, there are so many things in Vegas which make it “Vegas”, but I think the most important thing to remember is that nothing about it reflects real life. But we are real people. And we need to keep it real. It’s only about the two of you and this is the one and only time this wedding will ever happen so it’d better be done the way you want it.

Ours was done in our shorts, tank tops, Dave’s favorite button up shirt and sandals. The ceremony was not conducted by Elvis, nor was not done with a pink “bride” hat or any more than 3 people, and it was perfect. And though I’ve heard them way too many times, those traditional wedding vows really hit home when you are actually saying them as a promise to the one you love. “For better or for worse, in sickness and in health… I will love you, honor you, comfort you… with this ring I thee wed… until death do us part.” All of a sudden they really meant something. And I really felt something.

Dave held my hands and said these words and then I said them to him and everything began to feel very real – finally something meaningful, concrete, and deep in this crazy Vegas-Sin-City world full of Elvis and Joe Peschi impersonators, silicone, cubic zirconium, excess glitz and fake glamour. It’s fun to be a part of but when this wedding happened, it was all shut out.
And then we were married!

The photographer took a few more shots of us and then the limo took us back to our hotel where we (ahem ahem) and then made just a couple of phone calls to my mom and sister, and to Dave’s best friend and big brother. Then we changed clothes for the first time since that morning and headed out to dinner at Zefferino’s at the Venetian (outstanding).

It totally felt like we had the best secret, we were in the most private club just the two of us; Dave would smile at me and I’d laugh because we still could not believe what just happened!
Being a married lady now for oh…. 2 weeks or so, I’ve had time to reflect on all of the events of that trip. I have to say I would not change a thing. I love how spontaneous it was, that it was just him & me. Unstructured, sweet, simple but rock & roll, it was just the right way to begin our personal marriage. It was just our style. And I can’t wait to see what’s ahead!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Part One

Staci has invited me into the blogosphere again and I’m very excited to be here as a guest. I am the photographer for and would love to share a very recent story

by: Mrs. Cleary O'Farrell

So my guy and I just got back from a vacation in Vegas. My understanding was that we would go for his birthday, have a great time, lay by the pool, see a show, hit up a buffet... Go to Vegas for what reasons people do; to escape reality. So we left on his birthday and arrived in time to have lunch and lay by the pool for a few hours in the 105 degree heat.

Since we arrived on his birthday I had laid out little gifts for him along the way: a pancake breakfast with "2" & "9" candles on top, a treasure map leading him to his gift from the cats, and then to the one from me (a book about soccer of course).
I made some Mad Libs poems for him as well, sixth-grade-crush style. At the airport I whipped out some mini bottles of liquor, on the plane I gave him an "Outdoors" mag and his favorite candies, blah blah blah. You get the pic.

That night we got 'done up' I took him out to a steak dinner at Mon Ami Gabi in the Paris. It all turned out great- our table had a wonderful view of the Bellagio fountains and we had so much fun (and so much wine) that we ended up walking back to the hotel amongst the romantic sounds of the sex peddlers throwing pamphlets at us. (and of course we made use of a casino or two).

The next day we went poolside for a while, and ended up going to see "Zumanity" that night. It was 'the sexy side of Cirque de Soliel' and wowza. It's the type of show where people grab you and make you come on stage - one guy ended up losing his pants AND shirt in front of many many people and he didn't speak a word of English. Another couple of people (both with someone else but brought on stage separately) were put on a bed and told to demonstrate their favorite sex position. Outside the show there were peepholes in the walls that had dirty pics in them. It was all very gratuitous...

We had so much fun that night we decided to forego the cab again and walk back to the hotel. Saw the M&M factory for the first time which was kinda fun.

Woke up the next day and decided to see the dolphins and tigers at the Mirage. I was super excited and the exhibit did not disappoint. Dolphins are such lovely and smart animals & so peaceful and happy. Quite a contrast to the tigers and lions which paced around and stared blankly with glazed-over/bored looks.
Afterwards we decided to go get tattoos at the Vince Neil tattoo shop (you know the guy from Motley Crue). I picked out a lion from my family crest but it turned out it needed to be super big to show all of the detail. So after looking around for 20 minutes we headed out. I noticed Dave was quiet for a while and when we got out on the sidewalk, he spoke and his voice sounded different. It was deeper or something and he was almost hesitant. He said "What do you want to do now?" I said "Whatever we want!" and he had a question for me. be continued......

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Rotten Banana Waitress

by: Christi Stevens Somera

As Staci's sisters I decided to guest write this week’s blog. I wanted to share my eclectic (at times hazardous) experience's with beauty products. Simply said, I am a disastrous mix of vanity and laziness, so I need to find ways to achieve my end result without spending a lot of money or taking longer than 10 mins. As you might of guessed I am very passionate about short cuts.

I have a nasty little tendency to try out any beauty product that will fake a genuine result. For example the other day I rolled into a Walgreens with no particular need. This is THE worst situation for me to be in because I had all the time in the world to scour the isles.

Near the "Lee Press-on Nails" vicinity I noticed Sally Hansen Spray on Panty Hose. You can only guesstimate the level of simultaneous excitement and fear. Hmmm.... light or medium tint? Disclaimer: for those of you that have never had the pleasure of laying eyes on my alabaster legs they are rear end white. I cautiously choose the medium.

Check. My tan legs are taken care of, now if I can just figure out a way to mask my brown head band of roots. I take a sharp right down the next isle and there is an array of hair products. I don’t want to permanently alter my hair color just temporarily give me a boost in between hair appointments. Like a moth to the flame I find a spray bottle of hair color with a picture of a happy bleach blond 14 year old. Perfect.

Naturally I choose the lightest of the blond and away I went. At the check out the very nice cashier with the bright orange acrylics asked me to get back to her with my results. Like any other Beauty Warrior, I'll take it for the team to save others pain.

My husband wasn't home when I got back so I quickly dumped my bag of goodies all over the bed. First things first: change into your oldest & saddest workout shorts and tee. Then I knowingly sauntered into the bathroom and liberally sprayed the panty hose all over my legs.

Nice...... they appear perfectly even and glowing (out of all fairness I should note that that I have 3 out of 5 lights working in my bathroom vanity).

Next mission is to remedy those &*%$# roots. The directions asked me to spray 11-12 inches from head. Ummmm.... I don’t want to get this toxic stuff all over my body, counter and floors (the top of my head is just fine). I decided to be more focused in my efforts, 3 inches should work just fine.

Wow roots magically disappear! Oh, who is ready to party? I look good! Ok time for my huz to get home. I know he is going to be so impressed with the new me. The one minor is that I do smell pretty bad, somewhere between aqua net and old fruit. Well, there's only so much I can do in 10 mins. Proudly I walk into the bedroom to admire myself in the full length mirror.
What? Who? When? Where? Embarrassingly I found a heinous Hooters waitress who looked like a rotten banana. Oh my heavens - is that me??? It never occurred to me that bad indoor lighting can really be so deceiving.

It only took 5-10 business days for all of the flaky hair spray color and moldy spray tan to fade away. Will this experience slow me down? NO. I've been to Walgreens 5 times since. However, I have also been initiating a balance between product and fashion fixes. For every blond bombshell hair shortcut there is an equally valuable fashion shortcut.

As of present I've been waking up to days that will certainly consist of 90 degree weather. Almost as certain as the temperature is my tendency to snooze 6 times before allowing myself only 10 minutes to get ready. This means I do not have time to lotion and love my legs. Something like this is Nothing for a shortcut vixen like myself. I pull on my Veronica M Maxi Dress. I stay cool all day & look pretty damn cool too. Essentially any Maxi dress will do the trick, and in case you have not been paying attention the Maxi dress is THE silhouette of the summer.

Perhaps you are dying to wear your jeans with gladiator sandals but never got around to getting them altered. No worries. This summer most denim brands are offering flip flop length or petite length jeans. You can't wear these with your stilettos- but you can certainly pair with your summer sexy gladiators. While in Leavenworth last I picked up the Citizens Dita Petite & love how buttery soft they are.

Although I have to bear 90 degree weather mid day it always cools down to a pleasant temperature. Once the weather chills a bit I'm certain to need a light weight wrap or pull over. Last weekend I went to a bbq and paired my cargo pants with this versatile stevie wrap.

Admit it- we all have days when we're feeling a little.... dark. Maybe even "gothic". That's not to say you're obsessed with vampires (except for the Twilight kind). You just like to feel a little urban and spiky sometimes. Offset the goth with this chic gold clutch.

Best for Last. All time summer favorite frock. Drum roll please.... I am living (yes living) in my Veronica M double V Dress. It's beyond comfortable (not form fitting at all) and super sexy. It blends grecian and kimono aesthetics. I love.

Sincerly, Fellow Beauty Warrior

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Earlier this week I got together with some friends for a reality TV marathon (I'm voting Ed all the way- he is total cutie'). While driving home I realized I have been keeping a secret from my blog readers.
(?Do I have "blog readers"? For the sake of conversation let's change that to read "blog browsers" because I know you don't really READ what I write- it's more of a selective speed read and quick glance at my pics.)

At no point in my 2 + years of blog'ing have I mentioned my participation in an organized fraternal group. Why have I never revealed my 4 collegian years in a sorority and 8 years of advising for my sorority?

I think my hesitation to mention my sorority started just after graduation when I was a design assistant for a large department store. I won't name names- but it rhymes with Nordstrom. The design team would sit in fit sessions and ask the same questions while reviewing a garment:

-is the armhole placement correct
-are the shoulder points at least 15.5 apart
-does the neck drop call for a cami

At some point someone would inevitably ask "Would the DG buy it". In our fit sessions DG was intended to mean two things 1. "Dumb Girl" 2. An organized fraternal group that I won't mention.

I think from that moment forward I was selective who I mentioned my sorority involvement to. Similar to religion or politics I learned to keep a poker face until it was time to reveal my cards.

So, in an effort to wash away my previous sins and come clean I am confessing my involvement (given my volunteer work it should actually read "over involvement") in an organized fraternal group. I would like to further my confession to read "I love it". I am terribly proud to be an alumni member and to have the opportunity to volunteer for my sorority.

I look forward to catching up with my sorority sisters when I'm in Portland and savoring O'fest with them in October and celebrating weddings and new family additions together.

This weekend I am looking forward to & greatly anticipating the visit of 4 amazing sorority sisters that I have the privilege of advising with for the UW chapter. The 5 of us will paint L'worth an electric shade of black and gold and I can't wait!!!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Short... but not so Sweet

I’m going to keep this week’s blog entry short because I know you’re ready for the holiday weekend and just sitting in front of your computer “pretend” working. I know how it goes- I worked in corporate America for over 6 years….. you’re itching for the weekend and just “trying” to look busy until the bell rings and you’re outta there.

So- this last Saturday I was working in the store navigating my way through a typical day of customers. At the end of the day there was one group of customers that really stood out to me. I was helping the mother decide which purse best suited her lifestyle and needs. It was clear from the multiple prodigies toting behind her she needed a carry all that could help her multi task and keep up with her stylish appearance. While she was at the cash wrap we realized her 2 year old daughter (the youngest of 5) was standing near the front of the store facing us- with her pants and undergarments down to her knees. Without a single flinch the mother quickly asked “what are you doing- why are your pants down”.

The little girl responded by turning around to leave her bare buns facing us. Well- I should actually retract that statement because it wasn’t just her bare buns facing us. I guess part of the learning curve of potty training involves a few “hiccups” along the way. Well- this little girl had a bad case of the hiccups- all across her bare buns.

Short story shorter- I have been working in retail for over a decade but I have never (NEVER) had anyone “hiccup” in my store. For those of you that have not caught on yet- “hiccup” is code word for something a little less pleasant.