Aloha Friday: Mens Wear At BlogHer’s SparkleCorn

Next week, I’ll be attending BlogHer 2010. Among the events, is a party billed as “glitterlicious” where people are told to “dress in glitter and leotards.” Obviously, as a guy attendee, this doesn’t quite match up with my wardrobe. There aren’t many glittery men’s outfits around. Call us guys crazy, but “glitter and leotards” just hasn’t hit it off as the macho fashion trend for 2010.

So what should I wear? After all, I don’t want to show up in a sea of sparkle wearing a plain shirt and pants. After some thought, I remembered back to when my friend G got married. Part of my groomsman outfit was an orange silk vest/tie combination. Here’s a photo of me wearing it (my friend got the gold version since he was the groom).

The Vest/Tie

I got to keep this set post-wedding, but they weren’t exactly my day-to-day style so they got put into the closet and ignored. With BlogHer, and SparkleCorn, approaching, however, I’ve began thinking of taking them out. I could easily wear this with a pair of brown pants and a nice shirt underneath. Of course, if I really wanted to embarass B, I’d take LastMinuteMandy up on her double-dog dare and wear this mask from G’s costumed wedding reception.


Hey, it is sparkly! And you’ll definitely be able to tell me apart from the crowd. I’d be The Masked TechyDad!

Since we’ll be driving to BlogHer, I don’t need to worry about airlines charging extra for luggage. Still, I don’t want to overpack. Plus, we might be hopping from party to party so do I really want to leave the previous party, stop back at my room for my vest/tie (and mask) and then head back for SparkleCorn?

My Aloha Friday question for today is: If you were in my shoes, would you pack this vest/tie? If not, what would you suggest for a guy to wear to a party like SparkleCorn?

Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the MckLinky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #49

The Charleston Trip, Part 6: Costume Ball and Heading Home

As I mentioned in my last post, G & L had a costume ball reception in addition to the Secret Gardens reception.  When I got back to my room after taking photos at the stables, I got into my costume and proceeded to the parking lot in front of G & L’s room.  There, the guests were arriving.  Everyone had a costume on.  Mine was Aragorn from Lord of the Rings.

After taking a few photos, I was ushered into G & L’s room.  The wedding party members were going to go separate from the regular guests so we could be introduced at the reception.  While waiting, I was handed my mask.  It was nice, but I was afraid that it would mean I’d need to remove my glasses.  Luckily, it fit over my glasses quite easily.  I’m not sure if this was planning on G & L’s part or just plain luck, but it worked nicely.  The mask had only one drawback:  No peripheral vision.  More on that later.

After waiting for awhile, we headed to the reception.  It wasn’t far.  The reception hall was at another section of Middleton Place.  We waited outside while everyone got ready.  It was nighttime and the entire place was pitch black.  Our main source of light (besides the reception hall) was a series of torches lining our path.  I glanced to one side and realized that I was dangeriously close to one of the torches.  Any closer and I’d have had to change my blog name to CrispyDad!

When it was time for us to be introduced, we all donned our masks and the band started playing the Closing Theme from Star Wars.  Yes, G chose this musical selection.  I guess L should be happy he didn’t choose Vader’s March.  It actually worked out very nicely.  The big fanfare at the end came up just as G & L entered the room.

The reception itself was great.  There was dancing, food, music, more dancing.  I even got G to do the Sher (which I mistakenly called the Horah during the dance).  This is a dance often performed at Jewish celebrations.  All of the dancers form a circle and two dancers move to the middle.  They lock arms and circle one another.  Then they break the lock, lock their other arms, and circle in the opposite direction.  One or both of the dancers then goes back to the circle and another dancer or pair of dancers moves to the middle.

G and I had danced this dance at my wedding during which time I spun him so fast that he fell down.  This isn’t as mean as it seems.  G and I have a running gag where I do something and he performs a pratfall.  If I recall correctly, he even met L when he tripped and fell onto her lap.  In any event, I decided not to repeat the G-Toss.  G had other ideas, though and intentionally broke the lock and went flying.

In a nice moment of cultural spillover, there was a Sudden Outbreak of Sher.  Everyone was doing it including an elderly Italian couple.  Due to my participation, I didn’t get any Sudden Outbreak of Sher photos, but I did get these:

I also took a video of my friend doing some rather embarassing dance moves.  Unfortunately, that came out so dark that you can’t see anything.  The blackmail qualities of the video are gone!

All too soon, I realized that I should be getting back to my room.  I had an early flight the next morning and needed to pack my things.  I said my goodbyes and some final congratulations.  Then I got a ride back to my room.  I quickly changed out of my costume, packed my things up as best I could at the time, and went to sleep.

The next morning, I woke up at 3am.  I got ready, packed up my remaining belongings, did a few sweeps of the room to make sure nothing was left behind, and then headed out.  It was pitch black outside and I was barely able to guide myself to the spot where the van was going to meet me to drive me to the airport.  At 4:30am, I met up with the van and got driven to the airport.  At 6am, my flight took off from Charleston, SC to Atlanta, Georgia.

While in Atlanta, I continued a tradition that I started on my trip down:  I picked up some postcards for NHL to add to his photo album.  (He later requested some prints from my trip and has filled up one whole photo album.)  The trip was nice and I didn’t regret not having my wife and kids there.  I missed them, of course, but I don’t think they would have enjoyed themselves as much as I did.  By the time I landed at our airport, I was itching to see my kids.  I had taken a small photo album with me with a few 4×6’s of my wife and kids.  As we neared the airport, I found myself taking out the album more and more.

After getting off the plane, I headed for the security gate where my wife, kids, and in-laws were waiting for me.  It’s a good thing my in-laws were there.  They held JSL and NHL back.  Otherwise, they would have charged past the security line to run to me.  I don’t think airport security would have appreciated that.  Once I got past the security line, though, all bets were off and I was charged by two boys who had missed their daddy.  I gave them both big hugs and we headed home.  It’s fitting that this is being posted on Thanksgiving.  While I had a blast on my trip and would love to go back there one day, I was extremely thankful to be home hugging both of my boys.

The Charleston Trip, Part 5: The Day In Which, G Got Hitched

Where last I left off, we had gone through the wedding rehearsal and prepared for the next day’s nuptials.  I was determined not to repeat the previous day’s oversleeping incident, so I set my alarm early and made it very loud.  Very, very loud.  There was no way I was going to sleep through this thing.

It turned out that I woke up a few minutes before the alarm, but the alarm did blare at the designated time.  I quickly got dressed, grabbed my camera, and headed out.  No, I wasn’t running off to join the wedding party.  Not yet, at least.  I was bound and determined to get the perfect sunrise photo.  Where I live, buildings tend to block the sunrises.  Besides, I tend to be preoccupied with things like getting NHL ready for school, feeding JSL breakfast, and getting myself ready for work.  There’s no time to go outside with a camera and scout around for good shots.  In Charleston, though, free of work and kid time constraints, I was able to go exploring.

I took a few photos, then noticing that the sunrise was blocked from my current vantage point, walked to a different location.  I was a bit nervous.  During the Ghost Walk, we were told by a staff member that part of the grounds were closed and that guards patroled those areas.  I wasn’t sure when the grounds opened, but I figured I’d deal with the guards if/when they confronted me.

It turned out that I didn’t see any guards.  Just steam rising from the warmer water into the cold morning air and the sun spreading color across the dark sky.

After taking some photos, I returned to my room to warm up.  I got showered, dressed, and headed back out for some more shots.  After these, I got some breakfast and then headed back to my room again to get into my Tux.  I met up with my friend and the rest of the groomsmen.  Together we walked to meet our ride.  A horse-drawn carriage that was to take us to the wedding location.

I took some photos during this ride, but many of them came out blurry.  The horse drawn carriage just couldn’t seem to move smoothly along the bumpy dirt road.   When we arrived at the grounds, the setup was nearing completion and there was a half hour before any guests arrived.  We wandered around for awhile and I took a bunch more photos.  (Yes, I know.  Shocking, isn’t it?)

One of the photos shows my friend G hugging a giant oak tree.  That’s the Middleton Oak.  They were originally going to be married under it, but some limbs fell off.  The thing is massive.  About 39 feet around.  They estimate that it is between 500 and 1,000 years old.  Most trees where I live are smaller than this thing’s branches.  They even have wires to help keep the limbs up.  I didn’t feel 100% safe standing under it.  Not that it was going to fall or anything, but if it did fall I’d be TechyDad-brand jelly.  It was an amazing sight, though.

Eventually, we headed back and greeted the minister and guests.  In a particularly gut wrenching scene, I handed my camera over to G’s dad until the ceremony was over.  I figured that L wouldn’t want the camera strap slung over my Tux and wouldn’t want me leaping out of the lineup to snap a few shots.

After the ceremony, the professional photographers took our photos while the rest of the guests headed to the reception in the Secret Gardens.  After our photos were taken, we headed to the Gardens.  Here, my first day wanderings came in handy.  I was able to guide everyone directly to the Gardens without getting lost in the hedge maze.  It wasn’t long before I retrieved my camera and started shooting again.

After the reception wound down, I headed to my room to take off my dress shoes.  I hadn’t worn those shoes since B and I got married and now I remember why.  They hurt my feet!  After some resting, I decided to venture out again.  This time, I headed for the stables.  I had snapped a few shots of them the day before, but this time I went back in search of more up-close horse photos.  I wasn’t disappointed.  The horses came right up to me and, in some cases, even posed for photos.  I think they’ve done this before.

After the horse shots, I went back to my room for a short while.  Then it was time for the costume ball.  I’ll save that story for another post, though.

The Charleston Trip, Part 4: Wedding Rehearsal Day

After the Ghost Walk, I returned to my room, set my alarm for 6:30am, and fell asleep.  I neglected to do one important thing, though:  Test the volume on the radio in the room.  Consequently, I woke up at 9:15.  Panicking, I quickly showered, got dressed, and sprinted off to breakfast at 9:30am.  It’s got to be a new record for me. (Getting ready that fast, not being out by that time.)

 They had quite the spread at the inn.  Bagels, eggs, grits (my first time trying… quite good!), muffins, french toast, etc.  After breakfast, I hung out in the honeyroom suite with my friend and his bride-to-be.  It was then that I took the photos off my camera and discovered the creepy face.  I also took photos of their many turtles.

Next, it was Tux time!  We drove out to the tuxedo rental shop.  It was tucked away and tough to find, but we managed to locate it.  Then, while some last minute alterations were done, we walked around the nearby shops grabbing some snacks.  I’m proud to report that my friend (who usually doesn’t like trying new things) tried Hummus for the first time as well as a bagel with Caraway seeds.  He liked both.  (I recommended making a Hummus and Feta cheese sandwich for a healthy lunch.)

Once we had our tuxes in tow, we headed back to the inn. Unfortunately, we took a wrong turn or two, but eventually found our way back.  Some profuse appologies to the bride later, and we ran through how the wedding was to proceed.  My job as a groomsman was easy.  I walk down the aisle, stand in the line during the service, then walk out with one of the bridesmaids.  Simple.

The only complication was that I seemed to have developed a bad cough the week before and it wouldn’t go away.  I started getting afraid that I’d ruin the service from excessive coughing.  I took the rehearsal as an opportunity to try different techniques to suppress the cough.  (I should have gotten some cough syrup when we stopped by Piggley Wiggley after getting our Tuxes, but I didn’t think of it at the time.)

After the rehearsal, we had some down time until the rehearsal dinner.  I used my time to (what else?) take more photos of the grounds.  This time, I also stopped by their stables to take some horse photos.  These came in handy on the bus as a little girl named J was upset.  My daddy instinct (which was going through withdrawal being away from my boys for so long) kicked in and I inquired what was up.  It turned out that they didn’t have time to see the horses which J loves.  He loved horses so much, in fact, that her entire room at home was decorated in horses.  When I found this out, I took out my camera and showed her the horse photos that I had taken.  Seeing the horses helped calm her down.

The rehearsal dinner went smoothly.   The food was good and the restaurant even accomadated a special need of mine.  It seems that the pasta was mixed in the same sauce that they use to cook their meatballs and sausage.  Since I wouldn’t eat those, they brought me a special plate just for me.  (The dishes were family style otherwise.)  Yes, I took photos of the food too.  I think my camera rooted itself to my hands during the trip!

After the dinner, I went back to my room and prepared for the next day’s events.  Coming up next:  It’s Wedding Day!

The Charleston Trip, Part 3: Creepy Ghost Walk

My first night in Charleston, we went on a ghost walk.  Part of it involved a campfire and telling a story about a nice, young lady named Lavinia Fisher and her husband who ran an inn just outside of town.  Lavinia would entice travelers inside, give them a nice (poisoned) drink, show them to their room, then chop up their bodies, hide them under the floorboards and take their possessions.

It was the perfect crime except when a mortician stopped by and recognized the dead body smell emanating from the house.  He excused himself, continued into town, and returned with the sheriff.  When she was hung, Lavinia wore a white wedding dress and proclaimed that she was going to hell to marry the devil.  Like I said, a nice, young lady.

Back to our ghost walk, though.  My main photographic interest at that point was the fire.  It’s not often that I get to take photos of fire.  I can’t exactly ask my wife if I can set one in our living room, after all.  I took many fire shots and the next day, copied my photos to my friend’s laptop.  As I showed him the photos, this one stood out:

Do you see it?

How about now?

That’s a face.  In the fire.  During our ghost stories tales.  Creepy, huh?

Here are the rest of the photos, I took:

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