This is How We Do It: British Style

I can't even write anything snarky about this!
I can't even write anything snarky about this!

I think I have a new obsession: Wills and Kate. I mean, I just want to wrap them up and import them to America. They’re just too cute for words.

I decided a few days ago I’d wake up and catch the important bits of the wedding: Kate getting out of the car (must, must see the dress live), the wedding and the balcony kiss. After all, the last time this all happened was nine days before I was BORN. What’s a few hours sleep? Plus, I’d grown up thinking William was pretty attractive, in a British-way (although he’s looking more and more like Charles every day…).

My internal “royals getting married” alarm clock went off at 2:39am, a full seven minutes before my real alarm clock. I timed it so I would sleep through the interminable parade of hats and myriad Lords of Havalotmorethanyou arriving, but early enough to catch Kate even if they were running ahead of schedule (lesson learned, the British are IMPECCABLY well-timed. I could have set my alarm for 2:58am and still caught Kate emerging from the Rolls).

I had set up TiVo to be on CNN (I simply couldn’t do E! Can you imagine listening to like, Billy Bush, at 2:30am?), with the volume down low so as to not shock my own Wills out of bed (don’t worry; I won’t start calling him that. Creepy!). All I got from Mr. Sesh was a glance over his shoulder and a “Wha…?” before conking back out. Not a Royal Wedding fan apparently.

Someone, somewhere, thought this was a good idea.
Someone, somewhere, thought this was a good idea.

Luckily I made it in time for some INSANE hats, notably Beatrice, who is potentially the daughter of Sarah Ferguson, and probably has some titles that I’m too lazy to look up (I am, at heart, American, after all). General fashion media has given her props, but I say it screamed “I thought this shellacked cow intestine would be perfect!” or, simply, “look at me!”

Finally came the Queen, who looked very cheery in a nice, stylish little yellow number and a boring hat that she could just have easily worn to Diana’s wedding, in terms of style.

What every bride in England will be wearing for the next 12 months.
What every bride in England will be wearing for the next 12 months.

Then it was all eyes on Kate, who unfortunately exited the hotel at the same time the Queen was entering Westminster, making for a mad split screen for all the slavering fans. All we got was a tiny peek of her dress as she entered the car, most notably that it had lace, long sleeves, a V-neck and some serious skirt (her dad somehow managed to fit in the car as well, props to him). And one extremely harried looking wedding photographer lady (also in a mad hat) who was dodging around trying to get pics.

As I was watching Kate’s motorcade I was like “Wow, this is one area we really differ from Britain…” It was all huge, clear windows on the Rolls, one motorcycle and one Range Rover flanking the car, nothing too fast….MASSES of cheering fans lining the street. No one throwing themselves past the barriers… In America it would be 16 black decoy SUVs with full tint windows, some riot police and nary a wave.

I loved the pomp of it all, and Kate looked super calm (whereas I would be sweating like I’d just run marathon). When she got out of the car at Westminster we got to see the whole dress (ok, so I have to admit, I loved, loved, LOVED the top and when she got out I was like, “oh….that’s a whole lot of bridal silk”). But after a minute I decided it was quite, quite gorgeous. I thought the skirt had a bit of a vintage ‘50s feel to it, with the full hips and gathered waist. The lace overlay up top was very flattering and I can hear the sound of thousands of sweat shop laborers the world over turning out copycat looks as I type. The only thing I didn’t love was the blusher, which seems so, so dated. And she got caught in it when she was trying to wave to the crowd. Once it was pulled back she looked awesome (seriously, love her! She is the perfect modern princess- beautiful but in a natural, approachable way. And she’s 29! Woot!)

The ceremony was fantastically short and I used the hymn section afterward to scan the crowd for Posh and Becks (not nearly enough camera time for them!) and any other famous people, but really only saw Elton John and, I’m pretty sure, Posh rubbing her nose (the 18 carat diamond she was sporting and her tiny pointy chin gave her away, even when she was half cut off the screen).

This girl would not be allowed in my wedding party looking this amazing.
This girl would not be allowed in my wedding party looking this amazing.

I clicked off for some more sleep during the rest of it; I really wanted to see the big balcony kiss live but would have been livid if I’d stayed up and they didn’t do it (apparently Wills is not big on the whole PDA thing). So woke up this morning and scrolled through Twitter to see that it happened not once, but twice and then watched it online (ooh! Romantic!). Also, love this priceless shot of the bridesmaid who looks to be just DONE with the whole thing.

Say what you will about monarchies, the British, the Royal family…but these people know how to do a wedding.

Ps- Forgot to mention her sister and Maid of Honor, Pippa. She looked, like, out of control beautiful and I loved her dress (she also looked like she stopped eating a month ago in preparation). If this was MY wedding, I’d be like “Right, so…Sister Sesh…I’m going to need you to ugly it up a little for me today…this just isn’t working.”

The Good: The dress (amazing!), Kate, everything

The Bad: Beatrice’s cow intestine hat

XOXO,

The Sessionista, Duchess of Snoqualamishire

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The Heat is On!

Just call me Appliance Vanna
Just call me Appliance Vanna

Now that the my clothes pile (and Mr. Sesh’s) is about to the ceiling, we thought it would be a good time to tackle fixing the dryer. The part arrived on Wednesday but I felt like this was going to be a weekend project since NOTHING is quick when it comes to me doing anything even remotely handy.

First step was watching the parts repair video from Parts Select (this site is amazing. There’s like VIDEOS for how to repair EVERYTHING, complete with soothing background music and a repairman that looks like a grandpa). Mr. Sesh kept uttering “This is going to be SO easy…” which naturally had me getting worried about jinxing it.

Suffice to say the diagnosing part ended up being WAY harder than the repairing part. We just unplugged the thermostat from the dryer (“we”=Mr. Sesh), attached the new heating element, replugged everything and turned it on. I know, sort of anticlimactic. So there was a little squabbling back and forth about the best way to unhook the thermostat (Mr. Sesh won). And I was a little worried about the heating element since I didn’t see any visible cracks in the old heating one when we pulled it out of the dryer (visions of having to call the repairman after all this insanity were floating through my head). But when we hooked everything up, plugged it in…the sweet orange glow of a working heating element greeted us.

The beautiful, fiery glow of a good ole' working dryer.
The beautiful, fiery glow of a good ole' working dryer.

So on the fixing side of things, most of the credit has to go to Mr. Sesh, who successfully unhooked the thermostat from the old heating element. I got the joy of screwing it all back together and attaching the vent. Fun! Well, actually Mr. Sesh had to get back there since he’s the only one nimble enough to vault back over the washing machine after it all got hooked back up. Good thing he’s thin.

The Good: Working dryer! Feel smarter!

The Bad: NOTHING! YAYYYYYYYYY!

The Sessionista Taps Into Her Handy Side

The Sessionista Gets Her Voltmeter On.
The Sessionista Gets Her Voltmeter On.

Last Sunday I went to fold my clothes only to discover they’d been tumbling around in a cold, miserable wet pile for the last 90 minutes. The dreaded dryer breakdown. I know they often only last 10 or so years, but I have only had mine 6 years, and after spending $500 on car maintenance a few weeks ago, I wasn’t keen on having to buy a new dryer (since neither items can be worn on my body or feet and “Whirlpool” and “Suzuki” are far from designer).

So this weekend me and The Sessionista’s Man are tackling some DIY repairs. First step is diagnosing what the hell is wrong.  So far I’ve spent a whole lot more time on appliance forums than I ever thought I would in my life (all called things like “Dan’s DIY” or “Al’s At Home Appliance Repair.” I’m developing “Leslie’s Fucking Fabulous Fixes” as we speak…).

So I am just going to admit these photos were staged, seeing as I am wearing running clothes.
So I am just going to admit these photos were staged, seeing as I am wearing running clothes.

From those many hours spent trolling the forums, I’ve learned there are about 5 things that can be wrong with a dryer that spins but doesn’t heat up: one of the house circuits tripped, the vent is clogged, one of the three fuses inside the dryer is blown, or the heating element is toast. So far I know the vent isn’t clogged, and the house circuits haven’t tripped.

So I’m just diving in and assuming something is wrong at the dryer level. Taking the back off a dryer seems simple enough except if you’re me, who was perplexed when I came upon a screw that was shaped like a hexagon. Phone call to Sessionista’s Man:

Me: “Right. So….the things on the back are shaped like hexagons. They’re not Philips head or flat screws. Maybe they aren’t screws. Bolts? I don’t know what they’re called.”
Mr. Sesh: “Well a socket wrench will probably work…”
Me: “Ok, well…none of our sockets are hexagonal. They are square” (cue me trying all of them). “Nope, none fit. Wait. Wait. Oh. Ooops. They have two sides. Ooh! One side is a hexagon!!!”

I actually had that conversation, and actually did spend 10 minutes trying to put sockets on the wrench backwards. So twenty minutes later I’ve now managed to vacuum out the 6 years of dust behind the dryer and discover how to put together a socket wrench. Congratulations! You’re now as smart as a 10 year old Boy Scout.

Once my magic socket wrench was together, it took me another 5 minutes to figure out how to make it reverse the screws out instead of make them go in. At this point I should probably have packed up and called an appliance man. Luckily, Mr. Sesh came home with the voltmeter and it’s off to the next step…figuring out what the hell is wrong!

So four hours, one pity party, one BLT sub, one break for a Sounders game and 423 YouTube videos and Google searches later, Mr. Sesh and I have finally found a video that really showed us how to do the troubleshooting. Sure, the guy in the video actually used the phrase “I don’t care if you electrocute yourself” but what else do you expect from a

Mr. Sesh thought it would just be HIL. ARIOUS. to trap me behind the dryer.
Mr. Sesh thought it would just be HIL. ARIOUS. to trap me behind the dryer.

YouTube video for appliance repair? I like ’em rogue.

I was too weak/lame to unhook the wires so Mr Sesh crawled back there and with the computer perched on the

washing machine, we followed our YouTube repair guy and confirmed all the fuses were good and that the heating element is bad. Which brings a whole new host of fun times… buying a new heating element and getting in there. Stay tuned.

The Good: Cleaned out an amazing amount of dust and lint; learned what a socket wrench is and does; didn’t electrocute self

The Bad: Dryer is still not functioning one week after it died; can’t reach pantry without severe body contortion