August 22nd, 2006

Flames of Vanity

Hat-like object

"You're with Kevin. He's the king of updos." said the receptionist as the three of us checked in for our wedding-day hair appointments. I was having my hair done so it could stand up to the excitement which was my first formal British-style hat. pittenweem, bridesmaid, and chamaeleoncat, bride, were also having theirs done. Coordinating appointments with them was a handy way of spending a little more time with Toronto friends. We'd driven through a flash thunderstorm and flooding streets to reach the salon in time, the only obvious source of panic for the bride over the course of the day.

Kevin really got into the project of matching hair to hat. He curled all my hair first until it was a mass of ringlets; then he styled it back, tucked it up, redid it once until it was what he was after. And the results were glamorous. All of a sudden, I understood how to look like Hollywood - go to a hairdresser at least once a day, possibly more often.

I was the only one at the wedding with a hat, out of the three hundred or so attendees. I stood out. The florist said it looked British. One woman said it reminded her of Camilla Parker-Bowles. Yes, yes it was British. Hats are still fairly staple formal wear there, enough that walking into a somewhat random womenswear store to buy wedding clothing could result in me walking out again with a hat-like object, just another snazzy accessory, like a belt or matching heels.

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I'm now in Little Rock, one big family reunion. In the past two days, I've visited two federal monuments: NASA in Houston (the Saturn rock is SO BIG) and the Clinton Presidential Library (did you know that the first presidential armored car was one seized from Al Capone?). There have been transportation complications (a taxi that never came; no rental cars to be had in all the city), but generally things are going well. Seeing innostrantsa again was wonderful, as if it hadn't been eight years since the last time. And I have hundreds of photos to go through from the past week.

Evening highlight: wild ducks, roasted with bacon for some fat to keep them from drying out, rich and full-flavored.