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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Entries in International (4)

Wednesday
Mar232011

I'm International, Bitches.

I know The Candyman's skin is crawling because he hates when I use the term "bitches" in reference to people, but I can't help myself sometimes....

For those of you outside the blogging world, there's this whole other side to blogging. It's all about Google Analytics and html code and page rank and SEO...it's all bullshit, but it's also absolutely fascinating. You can see where traffic is coming from and what kinds of posts get a ton of hits (for me, it's generally the snarky ones) and it can be kind of addicting. Most times though, it's simply information overload. I go through spurts of being completely submersed in it versus not paying any attention whatsoever.What I really like though is checking out my "Map Overlay" in Google Analytics. I'm completely intrigued by this. Why? Because I have some unique-ass people coming to this blog from all over the place. I would like to say the following: Hallo an alle meine Bonn leser! That's right, I get crazy with the folks from Bonn, Germany. And you guys in Milan, Italy? Mandarmi alcuni piuttosto pattini! And to the handful of the Serbians? Dobrodošli! Seriously, this is where I can get sucked into a the Super Time-Warp of the Internet. If I start playing around my analytics, I get sucked into the Vortex of Disappearing Time and right now, that vortex is reserved specifically for Pinterest. 

These last couple of weeks I just haven't been paying attention because I have been busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest and cannot allow myself the time suckage (except for the whole Pinterest thing). Until yesterday, that is.  I noticed that a few days ago I got all kinds of traffic and I'm all, "What the eff? I have NOT been any kind of bitchy or snarky. What's the deal-io?" So I go all clicky-clicky-clicky and find this:

Yeah, that's right. The Thirty-Something Bride has been included in the top 10 wedding blogs of Australian wedding magazine, Complete Weddings. Booya. Who else made the cut? Well, I am so honored and humbled to be listed along the likes of: Polka Dot Bride, Eat Drink Chic, 100 Layer Cake, Once Wed, Snippet & Ink , Ruffled Blog, Junebug Weddings, The Pretty Blog and This is Glamorous. How cool is that? You can check out the full post here.

Thanks gobs and gobs to the folks down under (sorry, I couldn't resist) at Complete Weddings for the kudos. I'm just tickled pink at the whole shebang.

 

Saturday
Jan232010

Personal Propaganda Pontifications

I just love alliteration.

I returned to Hong Kong yesterday and was all excited to get my blog on! I had escaped the throes of Communist-run internet blockage and was all giddy about getting on-line. Alas, it had to wait as I had to work. I then had a nice long dinner with one of my vendors that included several glasses of wine.

 

Now, as all of you other bloggers out there I’m sure already know,you shouldn’t drink and blog. Just say no. I did not follow this advice and wrote a masterpiece. A MASTERPIECE! It involved all sorts of theories and tales of woe of my recent trek into mainland China.

 

And then I fell asleep at my computer.

 

When I woke up to take myself to bed, I got an error message when I tried to save my MASTERPIECE of a blog. It appeared to save and I stumbled the four feet to bed. Alas, this morning the only thing I have to show for my MASTERPIECE is a headache and a slightly queasy tummy.

 

The gist of my MASTERPIECE was this: all of China’s claims about Google are lies. The most innocuous of sites are blocked. For instance, The Thirty-Something Bride is blocked. It makes sense. I pose such a threat to the well-being of The People’s Republic of China. My blog is a complete impose to their national security, is ripe with political rhetoric and as you all know, I post regular links to all the hottest child-porn sites.

 

Their claims that they are not infringing on their people’s rights is a load of crap and they know it. The propaganda I read in the China Daily News last week was laughable. The sad thing is that when you live in a country that completely controls your access to information, twists the facts and creates events to promote its own value in the eyes of its citizens, it’s all that’s known and it is believed.

 

There was an article about three Chinese soldiers who were killed in Haiti. There was a HUGE parade to honor their deaths as well as the homecoming of their coffins. They had these giant posters both in the parade and held by on-lookers in the parade. What I found odd was that there were hundreds, if not a thousand on-lookers. Where did they get these posters? Why were all the on-lookers really old or really young? The paper said that the sacrifice made by these soldiers was revered the world over and showed China as a leader in relief efforts to Haiti.

 

Hm. Really? Here are my questions:

  1. How did they die? In the earthquake itself? I haven’t heard of many folks dying in the relief effort. Have you?
  2. Do only old people and children attend parades?
  3. Did all the spectators make a run to Kinko’s to get the SAME posters?
  4. Did these spectators (whose average salary is a few hundred dollars a month) get time off during the work week to attend this parade?
  5. Would you want to take your child to a death parade?

It’s all fake, folks. The parade was real, but the spectators were told to be there. They were told to hold signs and cheer their dead countrymen. It’s all just creepy-creepy propaganda.

 

I am just so happy to live in a country that allows me to think freely, write freely and express myself in ways that other countries forbid of their citizens, especially their women-folk.

 

On a funnier note, I met a woman who had just graduated from college and I was the first round-eye she had ever met. Her English was really good, much better than my Mandarin, that’s for sure. She told me that she had a favorite American movie that she watched to learn English. She said it was called “Go Slip Go.” I don’t know if this was the Chinese name or what, but that’s what it sounded like. She said it had 5 American women in it that lived in really big houses. Hm? I wracked my brain and could think of nothing. She whipped out her little movie-watcher thingy from her purse and started the “movie.” It was “Desperate Housewives.” The Great Westernization of China begins with Terri Hatcher. So sad.

 

I come home on Monday and I promise to write more pretty things more fitting of a wedding obsessed bridal blogger. I miss my place in the world!



Sunday
Jan172010

Communism and Playing Dr. Phil

I am so annoyed with China. I have had a blog brewing in my brain for several days now and I have had NO TIME to write. I am all go-go-go in the land of rice and pork and I just haven’t had a moment to gather my thoughts and put type to blog. I woke this morning at 5am and my blogging thoughts were racing and ideas were churning so I decided to get up and write.

 

Well, I couldn’t get onto my new blog over a SquareSpace. Eh? What is up with that? I tried a few entry portals to no avail. Sigh. Is the hotel server down or something? So what’s the next best thing to writing the blog? Well, the Google Reader, of course! So I go giddily over to gorge myself on my favorite blogs. I see that Mismikado's Journey Down The Aisle has posted about her DIY cake plates. They are so uber-pretty! However, I saw that her tallest cake stand is top heavy. Since I am a home décor designer and product developer, I know that as soon as she stacks her wonderful Mexican Wedding Cookies atop this sucker, it’s going to topple over. Or, someone will touch the edge and it’s going to fall over. I am worried about this bride’s desserts. Silly? Perhaps. Nonetheless, I click on the link to leave a comment to tell her of my fear of her impending cookie doom. I get the same bullshit “connection timed out, unable to connect to server” error message that I did for my blog.

 

Hold on a second here……

 

Twitter.com? Error message.

Any blog I know the address for off-hand? Error message.

Facebook? Error message.

 

Let us not forget that I am in a Communist country, right? Damn Communists keeping me from my social networking. WTF?

 

I go back to Hong Kong just for the night, so will post my brewing then. I’ve settled for purging into a Word document for the time being.

 

One of the things I had brewing in my noggin’ was prompted by a sweet email I received from one of the brides who reads my blog. She’s getting married in Nashville, liked our idea of a cake buffet, but was meeting resistance from her parents on having a non-traditional wedding cake, even though the happy couple is paying for the wedding on their own.

 

A few thoughts and comments on this, of course:

 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. In the wise, wise words of CJ Dickson from CJ’s Off the Square in lovely Franklin, TN, DO NOT be tortured by tradition. If a stacked, fondant, over-priced concoction of flour and sugar is important to you, by all means, blow the cash. Hey, The Candyman and I shot our wad on our kick-ass ride. It was our splurge. We knew it, we accepted it, and we paid for it. However, there is no one to tell you that you must have any sort of cake anywhere at anytime.

 

Wait, strike that. Back up. There are PLENTY of people to tell you what you should have, what you should want. That, my dears, is the Wedding Industry Complex selling you a load of shit. Do what you want, not what people expect, or what The Knot tells you. There are some people out there who don’t like cake. I don’t personally know any of these people and I think maybe they might be a little nutso, but if you are a bride and you don’t like cake, then serve pie, dammit.

 

As for the parents, well that’s a touchy subject. However, since these particular parents are not ponying up for the shindig, they truly have no say. Truly, they do not. If they are laying out the cashola, that’s a whole other conversation.

 

Do you guys ever read Oprah magazine? I do and it’s a love/hate relationship going on with me and Oprah. Anyway, Dr.Phil has a column where he gives these suggestions for dialogues to wives who have cheated and want to come clean, or to the adult child whose siblings are stealing money from the aging parent or whatever drama lives in the world of Dr. Phil. I’m going to play Dr. Phil for a second.

 

The Cake Conversation with The Parents Who Are Not Paying:

Mom? Dad? Can The Fiancé and I have a quick discussion about the wedding plans? Great, thanks! We’d like to talk to you about the plans for our wedding cake. Since we are paying for this wedding ourselves, there are things that need to be budgeted. In that budget we have decided on aspects that are important to us in both our ceremony and our reception and we have allotted our funds to those things. One of the things that does not hold great importance to us is a traditional wedding cake. We understand your position on the traditional wedding cake and respect it. However, it is simply not something that is important or affordable for me and The Fiancé . We would much rather have a fun and interesting cake buffet/candy buffet/cupcake tower/cookie buffet and put our money towards my dream dress/bitchin’ ride/honeymoon/top shelf liquor. We hope that you understand and respect our budget as well as our wish to have the wedding of our dreams. We’ve done some research and we can show you how acceptable it is in today’s wedding world to stray from the “norm” of a traditional wedding cake. *This is when you whip out the pictures from all over the blog-o-sphere of all the available options. *

 

The Cake Conversation with The Parents Who Are Paying:

Mom? Dad? Can The Fiancé and I have a quick discussion about the wedding plans? Great, thanks! We’d like to talk to you about our plans for our wedding cake. Mom and I have been talking about having a traditional wedding cake versus another dessert option. Since you are paying for this wedding for us, for which we are completely grateful, we do have some personal preferences. We have agreed that there are things that need to be budgeted. We also need to discuss what is truly important to each of us regarding this wedding. The Fiancé and I are committing ourselves to one another – that is first and foremost. One of the things that does not hold great importance to us is a traditional wedding cake. We understand your position on the traditional wedding cake and respect it. However, it is simply not something that is important to us. We would much rather have a fun and interesting cake buffet/candy buffet/cupcake tower/cookie buffet and put our money towards my dream dress/bitchin’ ride/honeymoon/top shelf liquor. We hope that you understand and respect our opinion as well as our wish to have the wedding of our dreams with the funds you have provided for us. We’ve done some research and we can show you how acceptable it is in today’s wedding world to stray from the “norm” of a traditional wedding cake. *This is when you whip out the pictures from all over the blog-o-sphere of all the available options. *

 

OR – If you’re the sassy Thirty-Something Bride….

 

The Cake Conversation with The Parents Who Are Not Paying:

We’re having a cake buffet and that’s it. It’s cheap, it’s tasty and we’re blowing our cash on a phat ride.

 

The Cake Conversation with The Parents Who Are Paying:

I swear to God, if you make me buy that hideous tower of hell, I’m eloping.

 

You know, either way.

 

And speaking of cucake towers (OK, I wasn't really, but I did mention cupcakes as a possible dessert option), check out THIS bad-boy!

Because I haven't channeled Rachel Zoe in a while, I have to tell you I totally pulled an "I DIE!" when I saw this! Yes, it's a white cupcake tower that holds 48 cupcakes and is dripping with sparkling dangles.

Is it possible to renew your vows like 3 months in? I'd love to plan it all over again, but already be married. How fun would that be? 

Oodles. So. Much. Fun.

Later folks, I gotta go Skype The Candyman.


Tuesday
Jan122010

Things To Do When Jet-Lag Sets In 

1. Try to sleep. You will fail.

2. Watch a little Hong Kong TV and note that the show According to Jim blows.

3. Finish your book Still Alice about a woman living with Alzheimer's disease. Cry a little at the end.

4. Realize you're starving and eat a Kashi bar stashed in your suitcase for moments just like this. Note you are prepared. Note that you are not prepared enough to remember packing a belt to keep your damn pants on.

5. Lay in the dark and answer work emails on your Blackberry. Make everyone at work think you are a crazy, workaholic when really, you're an insomniac, jet-lagged freak.

6. Toss and turn for another 20 minutes.

7. Try the TV again. Note that American Idol is coming on tonight, even in Hong Kong. Wonder if it will be on in China too, since you'll be there tonight. Send a word of thanks to the DVR god (aka The Candyman) for making sure I don't miss a flipping moment of the world's guiltiest pleasure.

8. Watch a show about harvesting seaweed in Japan. Enjoy the English overlay with the actual people speaking Japanese underneath the super-imposed audio. Note the male voice. Is English his first language? If so, his script reading is abominable. See. Spot. See. Spot. Run. 

9. Consider a game of Bubble Words on Facebook. Remember your connection is slow and it will just frustrate you when your score sucks. 

10. Consider an inane blog-post about the last three hours of sleeplessness in your hotel room in Hong Kong. Go with that.

11. Decide coffee and a visit to the gym can't make things any worse.