The Lance+Jeff Wedding: Bonus Features

I mentioned in our last post that Lance and I decided it would be fun to have little comics featuring the two of us scattered throughout our reception.  Through the help of GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program, basically a free version of Photoshop) and the free version of Comic Life (since I wasn’t about to spend $14.99 on the full-featured version, hell no!), we came up with the following.  I printed them up as 11″x14″ glossy posters on Vistaprint, and they were perched on little easels around our reception:
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I will admit that this is a very mean joke at the expense of not only Tony-nominated Emily Skinner, but at myself, since Lance always calls me names like “porker” and “chunk-butt” due to my weight. ::SOB!::

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I also hand-painted this one, which was on display as people were entering the reception:

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Lance: “Uhh…you’re not going to dance, are you?”
Jeff: “I won’t dance as long as you don’t sing.”
Lance: “Deal.”

All said, it was a way for us to try and capture our personalities and interests in a cute little way, keeping consistent with the cartoon versions of ourselves which we introduced in our Save-the-Dates.

My dad was really insistent, encouraging us to continue our little cartoon adventures online, which is why the Lance+Jeff blog exists in the first place!  Thanks, Pop!

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Travels With Lance

[Continuing our series on the origins of Lance+Jeff! You can see our other entries here, here, and here!]

It was never a conscious choice of ours, to travel so much, but looking back to compile these posts, it’s pretty clear that going on adventures is a fundamental element of our relationship.

Our first trip together was actually the start of a rapid-fire succession of mini-trips, about five months after we began dating.  We went to New York for the day to catch the original off-Broadway production of future Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Next to Normal, starring Lance’s fave stage actress of all-time, Alice Ripley.

[Sidebar: Lance’s obsession with Alice Ripley started in a Tower Records.  “I just saw her name on the back of a CD and I KNEW I had a connection with her!!” he describes. Stalker, much?]

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Since this was supposed to be Alice’s big Broadway comeback show (“It’s a RETURN!” says Lance) after an unsuccessful detour to Hollywood and rock music, Lance was terribly excited…and nervous, since the show was still working through some kinks in this limited off-Broadway run.  At that point, it was doubtful that it would even transfer to Broadway…and then what would happen to Alice??

So, after we saw the show that weekend, we decided to bus it back to New York to see it again…twice…the following week.

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It was obviously windy that day. This is why Lance no longer has his Milo Ventimagina hair.

New York, twice in one month (not the only time we’ve done that)–a test for any couple.  But wait, there’s more!

Some four days after this second NYC trip, we flew to Chicago!  Lance was checking out grad school programs at the time, and both of us have a mad metropolitan crush on the Windy City.

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Since that chilly March in 2008, we’ve travelled a bunch. Probably too much.

There was Universal Studios Orlando in May 2008…

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Yes, those are cargo shorts. 2008 was the darkest timeline.

DC in January of 2009 (for Next to Normal’s off-off Broadway re-tooling run):

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…then Atlantic City…

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…Finally back to NYC to see Next to Normal play on Broadway, just a few months before Alice won her Tony for the role (and will be forever remembered for her Tony acceptance speech.)

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…Then to Las Vegas…

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…And back to Chicago in October 2009…

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…And then to Hawaii in April 2010, where our Lance+Jeff story will continue tomorrow:

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Our first trip to Hawaii also marks quite a significant event in the long slog of our relationship (I bet you can’t guess what it is!!!1!), a turning point for our relationship, but also for our travels.  Ever since this trip, we’ve gone even more travel-crazy, going back to NYC multiple times, back to Vegas two more times, then to New Orleans, Dollywood (x2), Disney World (x2), Tokyo…and I think there was even a trip to Lincoln, Nebraska in there somewhere…not to mention our trips home to Michigan…

Why does it work for us? That’s hard to say.  If you don’t like the bussle and anxiety of travel, this might not be for you. Thankfully, both of us like travelling and like spending a lot of time together, though we have, over time, established guidelines and agreements so that we don’t kill each other.

This isn’t to say that we’re the world’s most-traveled couple. Obviously not! Nevertheless, our desire to hop on a plane together, to hold hands as the wheels slip free of the runway, and go off exploring somewhere…that’s in the chemistry of our relationship.

Jeff and Lance, Big In Japan Part II: Let’s Lose Our Way Together

Didn’t read Part I of our trip report? You should be embarrassed! Go read it right now before all your friends point and laugh at you.

I will admit that my first impression of Tokyo-Narita Airport was not favorable.  Where was the futuristic Blade Runner design everybody was telling me Tokyo had in abundance?  Narita was gray and plain–did we just fly halfway around the world for a carbon copy of Philadelphia International Airport??

Thankfully, once you get past customs, you truly enter the Japan of your dreams: efficient and multiple modes of public transportation connect the airport to Tokyo, there’s new and exotic candy at the airport shop, and most importantly of all, seemingly crazy and elaborate vending machines!

I never did have Pocari Sweat (ick!). Thankfully, the Asian market close to our house keeps it in stock!

I love how nearly all of the drink vending machines actually have these displays in the door so you know exactly what you’re getting.  I’m not sure if it’s really that big of a deal and is kind of a space-killer compared to American vending machines, but having the actual product showcased to us consumer whores is somehow very appealing.

Above, Lance enjoys the peach tea concoction for which we never learned the actual name.  We instead referred to it by its slogan: HAPPY UP!

…We then proceeded to spend the next seven days checking every vending machine we stumbled across (and man, there are a ton.  Seriously, vending machines just in the middle of city blocks, on every train platform and inside every home!) for Happy Up! (more…)

Alias: Ripley

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Shocker! Nobody in our neighborhood can get Ripley’s name right, even though whenever we tell them what his name is, the involuntary response seems to be, “Oh, believe it or not!”  Apparently a built-in tagline is not enough for most people to remember his name.

There is a big, shameful secret behind Rip’s name.  No, it’s not from “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” (Believe it or not, I think that whole “whacky crap” thing they do is kind of obnoxious).  And no, it’s not based on Sigourney Weaver’s character from the “Alien” movies.

Ripley is actually named after BROADWAY WHACKADOO ALICE RIPLEY (she likes to capitalize everything on Twitter and Facebook, much like her Tony acceptance speech).

Could we be any more cliche? Why didn’t we just name him Chiffon or Scented Body Product?