Thursday, August 30, 2007

Feeling Crafty

My latest craft project - the catnip cigar.

We bought something similar at Furry Paws and I decided I could make my own - so I did. Chandler had a recent vet visit and I thought he needed a little something something to feel better. I made the Maui Wowie version of the catnip cigar. According to Mel it was an instant hit.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Meow Mix Acatemy

Last week Meow Mix presented its 'Think Like a Cat Acatemy' in Union Square.

All week they had free seminars so you could learn how to understand your cat better - and to promote Meow Mix, of course!

These stone cats stood outside the entrance - just like the lions at the public library.

Inside they had rows of lockers, classrooms, a cafeteria, and of course cats up for adoption. It was all pretty cute.

The cafeteria was full of Meow Mix treats and wet food free samples. The first day I visited there was no one in the cafeteria, so I loaded up on the treats and wet food. The cats loved the wet food! The second day the food was being monitored, so I was only allowed to take one of each item offered. They were handing out full size bags of treats and cans of wet food - so even when limiting what people could take it was a very generous promotion.

One of the 'classrooms' was a gym, it had this rock climbing wall and

a human size ball of string and human size cat trees for climbing. I just took photos - no climbing for me!

Last Friday I took advantage of one of the free 'classes'. Artist Jenny Belin was on hand to create a portrait of your kitty - for free! It corresponded nicely with Roxy's 1 year anniversary of living in NYC and finding her human. Below is the artist, Jenny, with the sketch she created from photos of Roxy. (You should have seen the woman that pushed her way to the front of the line to get her kitty portrait done first. She was a complete whack-a-doodle. Apparently she wants to start a website that would be a virtual cat zoo/museum - people could post photos of their cats and look at other cats, for a fee! She actually asked me if I would pay for something like that - uh no, not really.)

I framed the sketch and Roxy gave it to Michael Friday night. Jenny did such a good job - the portrait is awesome. She does human portraits as well - if you are interested in her work her website is (And after seeing her prices, it was a real steal getting this portrait for free!)

And now it is hanging on the 'cat' wall in the apartment.

For more information on the Acatemy go to:
They are taking it on the road and will be touring the US - if they come to your town be sure to visit!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Behind the Wedding

Behind the wedding - the true life tales and behind the scenes look at Viva Las Wedding.

It all started while on vacation in Oregon. I get a phone call from Jason and the conversation went something like:

Jason: Are you doing anything next weekend?

KO: Uh, no

Jason: Can you come to Vegas?

KO: Are you getting married?

Jason: Yes

And so it began - the scramble to find the best price on a plane ticket. After some searching we found a good deal on a combo package through Expedia. It only cost an arm, not an arm and a leg.

We flew out Saturday morning 8/11. Because we booked so late we were both in middle seats and in different rows. I took the second row and Michael headed farther back. I ended up between some of the nicest and most fun people I've ever sat next to on an airplane. Karen and Anthony from Brooklyn. They were travelling as part of a group of 9, with plans to stay in Vegas for a week. They purposely booked one seat in the aisle and one by the window, probably hoping no one would take the middle seat. They were so friendly! Karen had cookies from a fabulous Italian bakery in Brooklyn for the flight attendants, pilots, her friends - and me! She also had fresh fruit, bagels, and plenty of liquor. They kept me in food and cocktails the entire flight. My new favorite drink from my NBFs - vodka and Sprite Zero, clear and delicious. Karen even went back to check on Michael and make sure he had some of the Italian pastries too. Anthony was a retired police officer and Karen sold cars. They had some great stories, it made for a quick and lively trip to Vegas. Karen even sent a box of cookies with me to share with the family. Little CJO took a quick liking to the cookies.

Once in Vegas we headed straight to Imperial Palace (IP). Almost everyone was staying at IP. Jason and Sahra and the kids were all at Venetian and Michael and I were staying at the Monte Carlo. After going through a maze of corridors we found wedding prep central. Now as we were walking through IP we noticed many young (some burly) women dressed in short shorts, knee socks, and shirts that said things like 'Derby Princess'. Yes, it was roller derby weekend in Vegas and a majority of the girls were staying at IP. Apparently Friday night was their 'Black and Blue Ball'. From what Jason described we missed quite a show.

Of course any time family and large groups of people are involved confusion reigns supreme. While figuring out the pre-wedding plan everyone helped me finish up the favors. Michael and BDO secured the needed supply of Venetian poker chips. They were able to get brand new $1 chips, straight from the cage, the chips never touched the casino floor. It was a nice touch.

The favors folded up and ready for presentation.

The inside of the favors read "May you be as lucky in life as we are in love"

Once the favors were done Michael and I headed over to the Monte Carlo to check in to our hotel. We had a few hours to relax and then it was back to IP to do the flowers and get ready for the main event.

We had a tight time plan and it all went out the window once we got back to the IP. There were major elevator problems and it seems every roller derby queen and hotel guest was headed back to their room at the same time we were headed up to the florist suite. It took us over 20 minutes to get from the lobby to my parents room.

We had to bump up our departure time (to allow for the slow elevators down), which left about an hour for everyone to get ready and the flowers to get done.

Luckily Michael was there to keep an eye on the baby. Oh, I don't think I mentioned that - my parents had the baby in their room for the weekend. Of course little CJO wanted to get in to everything having to do with the flowers - the scissors, the plastic wrap, the ribbon, and the flowers themselves. His ghetto busy baby activity center consisting of a cardboard paper box and 5 plastic cups kept him pretty entertained - but he still managed to scoot around and find trouble.

Mom O had already cleaned and prepped the flowers, which meant everything came together pretty quickly (luckily). Mom got ready while I wrapped up the boutonnieres. When the bridal bouquet was done, she found a nice cool place to keep it out of baby's reach.

Here I am hard at work on the MOH bouquet.

Does this look OK?

With flowers in hand and baby on the hip, we made it to A Elvis Chapel at 7:25 - 5 minutes ahead of our planned arrival time of 7:30. Somehow we were the last to arrive, but at least we weren't late! And from that point on you've already seen the photos.

Michael and I stayed in Vegas until Monday. Along with JasO and his family, we spent Sunday afternoon at the Monte Carlo pool area. The kids loved the lazy river and the wave pool. So did I - Monday I was not ready to check out, but it was back to work on Tuesday.

The Reception

After all of that Elvis we needed some food and drinks. We all gathered at Sir Galahad's Prime Rib House for a very nice dinner hosted by Sahra's dad. We were in our own private dining room and they printed custom menus just for our party. (Of course I pulled a few of the menus for the scrapbook, but as it turned out at the end of the night the hostess had pulled them all out of the menu cover and handed us the entire stack.)

The wedding party and a very good baby!

Best Man Jason making a toast to the happy couple.

MOH (that's Maid of Honor for those of you not in the know) Richelle making her toast.

Parents of the groom - Mom O and Big Daddy OEd and Stella - long time family friends of Sahra.

The Arizona O's - Andy, Dawn, and Marissa

The siblings - Jason, KO, and Andy (I used to call Jason my little brother, now I call him my younger brother.)

KO and photographer extraordinaire Michael (he took all of the reception photos and lots of the wedding photos)

Our prime rib carving station and chef. The staff at Sir Galahad's was so attentive, we could not have asked for a better place to have dinner.

That's it for the Elvis Viva Las Vegas Wedding. It was a blast and a perfect way for Jason to get married.

The Elvis Show

Immediately after the ceremony, Elvis asks the newlyweds to take a seat.

Now that everyone is sitting, it's time for the show to begin!

I think they are laughing at me on stage - but I can't be sure!

David gets a chance to learn some signature Elvis dance moves.

The Best Man and Maid of Honor get up on stage with Elvis.

Little CJO is trying to figure out what is happening - he was mesmerized by the swirling disco lights (because really what is an Elvis wedding chapel without swirling colored lights...)

And just when the people in the audience thought it was safe, Elvis started working the crowd.

I'm pretty sure little CJO will either have a lifetime fascination or complete fear of men with sideburns and gold lame jackets.

Time for Michael and I to get in on the act. We get to sing one of my all time Elvis favorites -Suspicious Minds.

Getting ready for a big finish, Elvis starts pulling everyone up on stage.

We finished the night with the group singing a spirited round of Viva Las Vegas! It just doesn't get much better.

The group photo - where were all of those kids when the adults were on stage?

The Wedding Ceremony

Elvis begins the ceremony.

Vows are exchanged.

Rings are exchanged.

And now the fun begins. After the proper ceremony, we get the Elvis ceremony - of course it wouldn't be complete without the signature Elvis glasses. (I wonder if they got to keep them?)

And just when you think it's over - we still have the Elvis show! Elvis sang a 12 song set and pulled most of the family and friends on to the stage to finish up the celebration.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Viva Las Wedding

And so it begins, the tale of a Las Vegas wedding.

With family and friends assembled at 'A Elvis Wedding Chapel' (yes that is the correct name - how else can you be listed first in the phone book?) the groom takes his place with the ceremony officiant. Wait, that's no minister - it's ELVIS!

OK, back to your typical wedding ceremony. The best man and maid of honor walk down the aisle.

Next the ring bearer - with the gold silk Hawaiian print pillow finished off with the Elvis TCB lightening bolt!

Here comes the flower girl, expertly dropping rose petals along the way.

Everyone is in place, anxiously awaiting the beautiful bride.

Serenaded by the sweet sounds of Elvis, the bride makes her way down the aisle.

Her father gives her away - and Elvis is ready to get things started.

Time for the ceremony to begin.