Friday, July 28, 2006


I haven't lined up a replacement hairstylist yet. I've contacted a couple of people, but I haven't been pursuing it as doggedly as I could, because a thought has been growing in my mind: maybe I don't truly need one. The rubberbands and hairpins necessary to create the gorgeous mass of cascading curls in both of my trials began giving me a bit of a headache, later in each afternoon. Don't want headache. Maybe a simple braid, of the front part of my hair, down the back of the rest of my hair, naturally straight, long and free-flowing, like usual. Not only shouldn't it give me a headache, but it feels more ME. The me who, normally, hardly gives much thought to hair or makeup. The braiding would still allow for putting in some flowers and attaching the veil. I think. And it's something that my mother used to do with my hair once in a while, back in the day. We could probably do it again. In fact, that might be kind of neat.

6. Gold or silver?

Silver, the mirror, the moonlight and starlight, the echo of
mithril, the family heirlooms, the jewelry gift of my love on a birthday.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

5. Favorite physical feature of the opposite sex

Smile, which is as much about the eyes as it is about the mouth. Both are incredibly sexy on my sweetie.

His nice strong arms are close runners-up, though. Hugs good.

Friday, July 21, 2006


Right. Wedding. So. Everything has been going fine, until yesterday, when drama at last arrived. The short version, as best I can tell, is that my hair and makeup artist decamped to Boston sometime around mid to late June, without notifying me or indeed many other brides who had booked her. And paid her. It seems likely that if I had not attempted to check in and confirm our arrangements yesterday, I might have discovered this only when she did not show up the day of. Luckily I've got a couple more weeks, and have already lined up another makeup artist who is a friend of a friend. Still working on the hairstylist, but at least we've got two weeks to find one instead of two hours.

Long version:

Yesterday I decided to call her just to confirm everything was set, and discuss exactly what time we wanted her to show up. I tried to pull up her website for her phone number, and discovered the site no longer exists.


I googled the website's name, Artistry By Tess (also known as the Artistry Group), and discovered an entry called "Special Report: The Artistry Group" at a blog called Wedding Bee.

Goodbye disconcerting, hello lead weights in my stomach. I'm one of the people who paid in full to get the discount, back in April, on the basis of several years' (I think) worth of glowing reviews on the and forums with nary a dissenting voice. At least I paid only for me, and my maid of honor's hair, and not more. It sounds like others may have lost significantly more.

The bottom line appears to be that Tess Standley (aka maiden name Teresa Johnson, according to her pricing page) says she has cancer, and also a pending divorce from her husband, and has decided to stay in Boston with her family while she undergoes treatment and tries to rebuild her career there. A blog where she made several posts about these things during early July had already been taken down by yesterday, but helpful Google has cached a copy here.

Using emails previously exchanged, I looked up her (Pasadena studio) phone number and tried calling it, and it is indeed disconnected. I sent a brief email inquiry, half expecting it to completely bounce, and got an autoreply, which seems to be missing a few lines in the first paragraph:

For updates pleasde visit:

As you may or not be aware, I have been fighting cancer since March. On
a recent trip to Boston to see my family have been my closest
assistance for the past 5 years and can always mimic what I have done.

I understand that this may cause you stress and anxiety and having been
a bride, I can completely understand.

I have provided a list of contacts below as replacements for your
services. Design Visage and Stacy Oliver are happily taking brides.

I am so sad that I will not be able to personally fulfill my obligation
to you on your wedding day.

Love and Thanks

followed by a list of contact information for several Southern California hair and makeup stylists.

I did discover a mirror of her website which is still up at this writing, which announces "Booking both Los Angeles and New England appointments for 2007," although the phone number listed is still the disconnected Pasadena one:

I'm a patient sort (sometimes too patient) who usually gives a person the benefit of the doubt, until I have reason to do otherwise. It is possible that she is telling the truth. Fighting cancer is as good a reason as any to have a bit of a nervous breakdown, BUT: not notifying her clients of this situation is a big ol' honkin' red flag. She had enough energy to set up and publish a blog, if only for a week or so. Said blog, and the email auto-reply, would only reach those who attempt to find her. Those who do not suspect that anything is wrong, which was me until yesterday, would have none of that information. In my opinion, the honest professional's very first response to a situation beyond their control would be the mass-email notification of all clients. The autoreply demonstrates that she does or did have access to her email, which presumably contains her clients' addresses, yet she did not do this.

That said, I sent her another email today taking her at her word and inquiring about refund procedure, and I will give her a chance to answer before I decide whether to take further action. Anyway, I've got a few errands this weekend, what with getting married in a couple weeks and having to find a new hairstylist and all.

feral feline update

At least for this last stretch of falling-down-on-the-posting, I have the pretty good excuse of getting ready for my imminent wedding. More on that front in a moment, but first I want to follow up to that last post.

We've only done the one round of trapping so far, with the two traps we borrowed from TLC Adoptions. We got the mother and the black-and-white kitten, who also turned out to be female. Poor kitties were freaked right the hell out, of course, to be picked up and carried along in strange boxes to be stashed in the garage. It was a bit stressful on me, too, keeping them in the traps in the garage overnight for those two nights on either side of the trip to the vet (they were still groggy afterwards, and it wouldn't have been safe for them to let them out yet) -- I hated causing them so much fear, even though we were doing it For Their Own Good.

Of course after I let them out, those two in particular made themselves very scarce for the next many days. Happily, they seem to have forgotten now, a month and a half later, and have resumed thinking of me as the Person Who Puts Food Out. (If Fiance steps outside though, whist! no cats anywhere. They don't associate him with anything else besides the traps.) Mom and kids are always waiting for me outside the sliding door every morning now.

Gray kitten ... I really need to figure out what their names are. Gray kitten is bold enough to even brush past me now and then, dancing around my feet when I have a food bowl in hand. He probably won't do that any more after we trap him, sigh. But my goal is to have at least our core little family -- mama and two kittens -- fixed and living happily in our yard, as long as they choose to.

My digital camera's been broken for the last couple months. When I decide either to fix it or get a new one, maybe I'll put up some pictures of them.