I'm not entirely sure how I know Jess (ariiadne). That is, I know we met on OpenDiary, but I can't quite figure out how. I can see that she was leaving me notes as early as 2001, on some of my very first entries, but there's no indication of how she stumbled upon my diary. And she changed her name a couple times, so I'm not sure whether she was noting me continuously from the beginning or whether she just resurfaced in 2003. And I don't remember when I started reading her diary regularly. But I suppose it's unimportant how it started because what matters is how it is now.
At least I know exactly how I know Colin (vyrin), since I met him for the first time at a Timecube party. Or...was it at Dan's birthday party? This is why I write things down, people.
The gist of it is this: Jess is great and Colin is great and Jess + Colin = SUPERGREAT. If you don't believe me, allow me to change your mind by telling you two simple facts: he proposed on Cute Overload and she said yes the same way. It follows that their wedding would be totally awesome and unlike any wedding in recorded history. And definitely unlike any wedding in unrecorded history: they didn't have Rock Band in 10,000 B.C.
The festivities began on Friday night. Kelsey (pixie37373), a friend from Rice, had flown in the night before and was crashing on my couch for the weekend. I was nice enough to take her with me into the City to Squid Labs.
As we walked down Clementina toward the building, we saw a couple other people who seemed to be heading to the same place. They were! We were buzzed into the building, and we all got into the elevator. Which did not work. Because it was after hours and we didn't work there. So we took the stairs.
Upon entering, I gravitated to the Rock Band room, as it was something familiar and I had no idea what was going on and who all these people were. Luckily, Jess and Colin were there. Colin was distracted with the game, but I wished Jess "Happy wedding!" and presented her with Family Business and Mad Scientist University, neither of which she had or, nay, even heard of! So, score one for me (and the dude at my comic book store). It was Game Night, after all, so it seemed appropriate to give her these gifts a day early.
Jess then proceeded to inform me what was going on and who all these people were. Well, not so much with the latter, but she at least enabled me to find out through the power of nametags! I wrote my name in integral form, as I always do (∫unil dx [integrating from 1 to infinity, of course]). Then, as instructed, I found my name among several sheets of paper and cut out my List of People to Meet.
It was not long, in fact, before I ran into one of those people, Sylvia (paraleipsis). She had drawn the little LJ dude on her nametag along with her LJ name, which was a good idea. She looked like a Sylvia, although I had the continual urge to follow her name up with "Plath." I don't think I'd met a Sylvia before, although I'd met a couple Sylvies. In any case, we conversed, and it seemed that we we were on each other's lists because of our interest in theatre. She was a stage manager for fringe theatre companies that were worse funded than her college theatre productions. So her life was essentially Slings and Arrows, she said.
While it was nice to meet Sylvia, it was even nicer to meet pizza, as I was very hungry. I gobbled down many slices. Also, I met Dan (incidentist) and Alexis. But I already knew them; I didn't even have to read their nametags.
Another person on my list was Wally, who was lively and fun to talk to. He was a freelance science writer, which, amusingly enough, was what I had ostensibly quit grad school to become until I realized, as I said, that I would become him, who was finding it hard to make a living. Medical writing paid the bills very well. Again, the reason we were on each other's list was pretty clear. Later, Colin asked me if I'd met Wally and said he thought we'd get along with each other since we were both "verbose." Heh. We did do a lot of talking, come to think of it. We examined each other's lists to see if we'd seen someone the other needed to meet. He had someone on his list named "Candy Tan," which he thought sounded like an alias.
The night would only be useful to describe had I written about it on Friday night when most of it was still fresh and I could have painstakingly reconstructed most of my actions, our conversations (including facial expressions and telling reactions), the choices and answers for every round of Apples to Apples, the exact order of the songs and what instruments I played on Rock Band, and when I ate which slice of pizza. But you wouldn't want to have read that. This will be enough of a chore, after all.
Instead, let me Willa Cather this shit up and summarize everything. There were many conversations with many people, and I moved from group to group, as I do, but the conversation I most remember began with the pyramids and...went to many other places I cannot recall. Those present included a guy who had lived in Cairo for three years, Nadia, Stephanie, and a couple whose name I can't remember even though I liked them and don't think I saw them again all weekend unless I did and just didn't realize they were the same people. Also, there may have been another person or two.
Sadly, there was not a lot of gaming on Game Night, save for some sort of Munchkin game and a game of Apples to Apples with way too many people. When I joined, it brought the total to a dozen or so. It made it practically impossible for anyone to play with any sort of strategy since there were so many choices that it was A) overwhelming, B) increasingly probable that someone would have a card that was a perfect match for the adjective, and C) thus more likely for a person to choose the most absurd answer, even when the absurdity wasn't particularly clever. No, I didn't win a single round, although I was in the top two or three a couple times.
Rock Band continues to be a whole lot of fun, and it appears to be successful as a spectator sport.
Luminous personalities! Minutes upon entering, I heard a woman named Faye introduce herself to someone and, when asked what she did, matter-of-factly declare, "I'm a sex worker. I fuck people up the ass for a living." Welcome to Jess and Colin's wedding, people! There was a lively bundle of energy called Katie (redsouffle), always in motion. A Brit named Sarah went around taking pictures. I met Christy, hostess of the brunch on Sunday, and I couldn't figure out whether she looked familiar because I'd met her before or...just because. I later realized she reminded me of Kristine. Occasionally, I would see the large, towering figure of the aptly named Bear (bonobo23). Later, I would wonder whether Bear was his real name, and how fortuitous it was, if so. Was anyone's real name Bear? What about Bear McCreary? Did his parents foresee his adult stature when he was a mere newborn? What if he had turned out to be a meek half-pint? Perhaps we just naturally grow into our names or away from them. These are the things I think about.
The next morning, we had to wake up early to make it into the City by 8:30. Kelsey was still on Texas time, so she had no trouble. The trouble came later with, of course, parking. That shiny quarter in your hand? That'll get you a whopping five minutes on Powell St. The problem was that there was a one-hour limit, and I needed at least ninety minutes, so Kelsey was responsible for feeding the meter while I was gone. She'd entertain herself in the Borders across the street. Like most of my friends, she could spend hours in a bookstore.
I was auditioning for Pride and Succubus, a production by the Thunderbird Theatre, who brought us Release the Kraken! and Aaah! Rosebud!. As there were only four male roles, my odds weren't great, but I figured, what the hell. I missed theatre, and here was something.
The auditions were in a conference room in the Westin St. Francis. Funnily enough, when I went up to the table, I saw e_juliana's theatre résumé sticking out of the fax machine. "Hey, I know her!" I said. Oh, world. Never change.
I filled out the audition form and took a look at the sides and character descriptions. As there was a Mr. Beenthere, I asked where Mr. Donethat was. A Thunderbird woman said that was a great idea and gave me the part immediately. Okay, that last part didn't happen.
We went into another conference room for the audition proper. The director greeted us and started us out with warmups, asking us to introduce ourselves with an adjective. I chose to be Jocular Sunil. Dan chose to be late. And then Duplicitous.
Then we each got to do an intentionally bad audition, which was fun. For mine, I nervously gave a monologue, "It is a truth universally ac..ac-k-no...ac-k-now-led-ged..." "Acknowledged!" cried someone at the table, setting me up for my shameful exit. It's the led-ged that makes it art.
Next, we did scenes. First, I was Mr. Darcy (a vampire), and I...wasn't all that great. I forgot that the hardest part of acting is knowing what to do onstage when you're not speaking. I did get to demonstrate Darcy's "short temper" when Mr. Bigley started reading my line and I roared, "THAT'S MY LINE!" That was fun. To my surprise, I was asked to read for Darcy again in a second scene. I felt better about my second go at it, which was only natural, I suppose. The fun in this scene came at the end, when Bigley and I concluded a heated discussion, and we just sort of stood there for a few seconds until I read aloud the stage direction, "They exit."
After the scenes, we did some dancing! Which involved pattycake. And being on fire.
Finally, we had fun with accents by reading aloud from some Harry Potter books. I can't do a British accent, but I faked it for my reading of the last page of "The Mirror of Erised." Dumbledore and his socks, that's a winner.
In the other room, I met Claire, the author of the play, and told her that Juliana had mentioned her (Claire's boyfriend was in Juliana's show, aha!). I also asked her where Mr. Donethat was, and she agreed that there was a place for that joke, but she couldn't find it. But then right there in front of me, I think she found it. That's the fun of original theatre; the author can do rewrites!
Dan had to take care of his administrative business now since he had been late, so I waited for him; I had assumed I would be giving him a ride to Golden Gate Park. Outside, we ran into Kelsey, who had dumped all the change she had into the meter since she didn't know when we would be returning. She hadn't wanted to call in case we were in the middle of auditioning. There were still fifteen halfway legal minutes on the meter, so we went into the Borders to let Dan grab some coffee and breakfast. Then, however, we were off to more wedding shenanigans!
We reached Elk Grove after eleven to find very few people there. Amusingly enough, we had actually driven right past the area and commented on it without seeing any identifying factors, instead focusing on the cult-ish group of tree worshippers, all in blue shirts. I ended up driving all the way to the end of Golden Gate Park and turning around, carefully looking at the map to determine that, well, that was our destination! And as we approached the second time, I saw Colin, which confirmed my suspicion. Parking was not a problem, for once.
Alexis was about the only other person there, but more and more people began arriving, which led to more and more food being put on the table.
THINGS I ATE:
- some sort of yummy pastry whose name and origin I have forgotten
- a couple apple gummies, shaped like hearts
- various types of chips, including blue potato chips
- vegan sushi
- strawberries with dipping chocolate
- grilled asparagus (nom nom nom)
- an award-winning vanilla cookie stick thing
- a pita with hummus and cucumbers
- baby carrots
- chicken-apple sausage on a sourdough roll, with dijon mustard to satisfy my random craving for horseradish from a few days ago
I labeled my cup "Property of Galactus" because I figured no one would touch the cup of Galactus. Dude eats universes. Or planets or whatever. The Cup of Galactus was not immune to the wind, however, which kept knocking it to the floor, forcing me to get a new cup. Kelsey's cup, on the other hand, was labeled "Kelsey's Cup (I have diseases)" and remained on the bench.
Kelsey and I had already affixed our nametags when Sylvia's nametag reminded us to put our LJ names on them. Kelsey expertly wrote her LJ name upside down. I attempted the same, even though I had no boob for support. It was not perfect. In fact, it looked like it was written by Delirium. I removed the nametag and wrote on a new one, but that one turned out even worse, as my "<lj user=spectralbovine>" ran off the white space and barely fit. So I smoothed out my original one and wore it. I liked my Delirium-style name, anyway.
In the hours preceding the wedding, there was much frolicking! But because this was Jess and Colin's wedding, it was not your ordinary frolicking.
This was a Swedish game called Cube, I think. But Dan thought it might as well be called Sisyphus. Because the game goes like this:
As you might expect, you throw these little wooden rods at the other team's wooden blocks. First of all, this is way harder than it looks. DAMN YOU, PHYSICS. If you manage to knock over a block, you take that block prisoner. The way this is done is that the other team tosses the prisoner over to your side, and you set it up where it lands. Now, the other team has to "rescue" its prisoner by knocking it down before trying to knock down your blocks (any blocks knocked down during a rescue attempt do not count), and you get to move up to the closest prisoner when you toss your rods, giving you an advantage.
Once a prisoner is rescued, however, it is returned to the other team. So you end up returning to the status quo very often, having exerted a lot of effort and made no actual progress. Ideally, you would be able to knock down a lot of blocks and then knock down the king in the middle to win (the king is like the 8-ball; you lose the game if you knock it down early).
It's a very frustrating game, but I thought it was fun. When Dan and I played, we were kind of awful at rescuing our prisoners, continually knocking over other blocks uselessly in the process. I did get to be MVP one round, with an assist from Dan, who managed to toss a new prisoner into the same spot as another one, which meant they were stacked on top of each other. We had four prisoners to be rescued, and I had three rods to throw. My first rod landed vertically on the stack, causing both of the blocks to fall. And I hit our other two prisoners right on with my other two tosses. Which brought the game back to the original state. Our strategy of GETTING BETTER didn't really come to fruition.
Colin's family played croquet. Croquet! I don't even know how croquet works. You hit balls with mallets. That's about all I know.
Someone had brought this neat little thing called a Skywriter, I believe it was. It was basically a long stick with colored cloth at the end, but...it was fun and pretty! Lookit!
Katie is not signaling a touchdown in that last picture, by the way. She is getting ready to catch...this thing:
It's like a giant stretchy Frisbee thing!
Now, you can catch it like a regular Frisbee, of course.
But, of course, the best way to catch it is like so:
We also played Frisbee, but you all know what Frisbee looks like. It was pretty fun, actually. I joined a circle with several of Colin's siblings and their significant others, which is how I learned that Becky was a lemur, according to the Frisbee. And there was a great deal of sibling rivalry, as the brothers and sister would run in front of each other to catch the disc. After a while, the noun became plural, as another Frisbee and then another were added to the circle. It was a good time.
Noble personages! One of the members of the Frisbee circle wore a shirt with Sawyer from Lost on it. After he complimented my fabulous green corduroys (which had been complimented earlier in the day and would be complimented later, as well they should be), I said, "Nice shirt." It turned out his name was Sawyer. Awesome.
Early in the afternoon, I met the last person my list, Sarah "Bee." Also apparently known as "the Crushinator." Within a couple sentences, I discovered she'd gone to WonderCon, so I figured we were Listies by virtue of being comic book geeks.
It was good to see people I'd met at the Timecube previously. Like Elina, Jess's purple-haired Montessori meatsmoker clone. And Robin, who had given me a ride from the Leap Day party.
Since I was wearing my "I'm famous on the internet" shirt (appropriate since I met Jess on the Internet), I was asked numerous times whether I was, in fact, famous on the Internet and, if so, why. I knew this would be a crowd who would appreciate my shirt, but I hadn't expected them to be so inquisitive about it! I usually just said "Veronica Mars fandom" without much qualification. The first time, I brought up the fact that I corresponded with the creator in an attempt to back up my credentials, but I didn't bother later on. Because I'm really not that famous on the Internet. Especially not now. Although it's fun to pretend. For instance, whenever someone saw my LJ name and went, "Oooh!!" having seen me comment on Jess's LJ. Which was weird because I don't think I comment to her LJ all that often. But spectralbovine is a memorable name, like Polter-Cow.
One person asked why she hadn't heard of me if I was famous on the Internet. Because she had heard of Candy Tan, who was the resident D-list Internet celebrity. I did not know who this Candy Tan was, but now I wanted to find out why she was famous on the Internet. Several people who had admired my shirt had wondered if she had the shirt and, if not, who should get it for her. I did meet the illustrious Candy Tan for a minute or two in Elk Grove, but I didn't really find out what gave her her D-list status. But it was clear that if she was D-list, I must be F-list or G-list or something.
As we reach the point in our narrative that describes the actual ceremony, I feel that I should mention that the wedding playlist had a lot of They Might Be Giants on it.
Around 4:30, we all gathered in the designated ceremonial area. And as we waited, the wedding playlist continued, and there, in the presence of mothers and aunts and grandmothers alike, I sang along to "Mope" by the Bloodhound Gang, which features Pac-Man, high on crack, announcing, "Yo yo yo yo yo, what it is, motherfuckers!"
I examined the program:
I don't know who made the program (ETA: It was, of course, Katie), but that's a pretty good depiction of Colin and Jess, as you'll soon see. Look, Jess even has five fingers, just like in real life! If you look closely at the word search on the back, you can see that, yes, it includes such gems as forthewin and excelsior.
The "Order of Happenings" inside described the Processional as "Something Awesome." What was this something awesome? Well, we knew something was up when the wedding music suddenly switched to "O Fortuna." We stood up and focused on the changing tent, from which the bride and groom had emerged. They were now doing a terrible job of "sneaking" about as they made their way toward us. Carl Orff welcomed them as they walked down the aisle to, um, the minister at the altar.
We clapped and cheered and whooped and hollered as Jess and Colin prepared themselves for MARRIAGE.
If anyone took a better picture of Colin at the wedding, they are...lying.
Jofish, who was doing the deed, declared, "Yes, we can has wedding!" And then he gave his opening statement, which was sort of rambly and off-the-cuff and, as a result, completely sincere and adorable.
Then came the readings! And, well, I don't think you've been to any wedding with readings like these. Unless you went to this wedding. Which is possible.
Next up, Jess's dad (with backup from her mom) read from "Notes on the Construction of Arches" from the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci. He'd hoped to find something Da Vinci wrote about weddings, but when he looked over this section on arches, he realized that he was actually talking about marriage: "An arch is two weaknesses which together make a strength." He read an excerpt, and it did make a lot of sense. He then skipped to another section that was about the stones outside the arch, the ones that supported the arch and kept it from falling apart. That was us, the friends and family. I thought it was a lovely idea. Thumbs up, Jess's dad.
It's Katie! Who read from the Massachusetts and California State Supreme Court Rulings on Same Sex Marriage. Jess was very pleased that their wedding was taking place a mere two days before the California law went into effect, and she thought it was important that gay people had the right to do what she and Colin were doing. The section Katie read had nothing to do with being gay and everything to do with the benefits of civil unions to both the people involved in them and the community at large. I had no idea court rulings could be so pretty.
The final reading was done by Colin's sister, Kara, who read an excerpt from one of Jess and Colin's favorite books, So Long and Thanks for All the Fish. After flipping through my mass market paperback copy, I have determined that it came from Chapter 18 and spanned pages 98 and 99. It began, "They looked at each other for a moment."
At first, Jess and Colin played along, jokingly re-enacting the text. But "[t]he moment became a longer moment, and suddenly it was a very long moment, so long one could hardly tell where all the time was coming from." And as Kara continued reading about Arthur Dent's moment of revelation, we watched Jess and Colin sincerely re-enact the text.
He hadn't realized that life speaks with a voice to you, a voice that brings you answers to the questions you continually ask of it, had never consciously detected it or recognized its tones until it now said something it had never said to him before, which was "yes."
They might as well have been married by the ghost of Douglas Adams right then and there, as far as I was concerned.
Next on the agenda was Jess and Colin's Statement to the Community. Which, as far as I can remember, was that we were awesome or something. Except they were more flowery about it. It was really nice because at most weddings, you're just a spectator, but it really felt like we were part of this wedding, that we were important and necessary.
Further proof came next, when Jofish led the community vows. That's right, even we had vows! We were to promise to love and support the two of them and strengthen their marriage with the power of our awesome or whatever. He asked all of Colin's family to, if they agreed to these conditions, yell, "Hell yeah!"
"Hell yeah!" I yelled. Because I hadn't heard the first part. As he continued and asked for Jess's family to give a "Hell yeah!" I realized why everyone hadn't vowed the first time. Oops. Then he got to Jess's friends ("Hell yeah!" Or, if you're Katie, "FUCK YEAH!") and Colin's friends ("Hell yeah!") and the girls ("Hell yeah!") and the boys ("Hell yeah!") and the men (..."Hell yeah!") and everyone sitting down ("Hell yeah!") and everyone standing up ("Hell yeah!") and...so on. It was pretty great.
After Jofish had had enough vowing, we finally got down to business, with Jess and Colin's statements and vows to each other. Jess went first.
She said a bunch of stuff about love and happiness and all that sort of thing, but it was from the heart and not manufactured. She vowed to love him in good times and in AWESOME. She vowed to always show him the silly side of life (Colin stuck out his tongue). She vowed a lot of things! They were good.
"Top that!" I yelled from my front-row seat.
So Colin said a bunch of stuff about love and happiness and all that sort of thing. He vowed to love her in good times and in AWESOME. He vowed to always show her the silly side of life (he knocked on his head three times, left-front-right). He vowed a lot of things! They were good.
And then there were rings!
By the power vested in him by us...and the Universal Life Church, Jofish pronounced them man and wife. Actually, I don't remember whether he said "man and wife." I definitely know Jess didn't say "I do," so she's still good to marry Westley.
IS THIS A KISSING BOOK?
Jofish announced Colin and Jess [Awesome], at which point I realized that Colin had taken Jess's name! Ha! I didn't know about that. You know, since there is a high probability I will marry someone whose last name is Patel, I'll just tell people I'm taking her name. That'll score me some points with the ladies. Wait.
The Recessional was described as "Something Silly." Observe:
With joyous shout and ringing cheer, we welcomed the newly married couple.
Before they got out of sight, however, they had to take care of some logistical business. Perlick was in charge of hooking people up with rides to the reception. Also, we were in charge of cleaning up the area, and we needed to leave it in better condition than we found it.
I had two seats free in my car, so Kelsey offered them to Alexis and Gavin. I immediately realized that we needed one more person to lie across their laps in honor of Jess. I told Perlick I was looking for just such an adventurous person. Everyone I talked to, however, was already taken care of.
Meanwhile, I waited to pee. I had helped out earlier in the day, setting up chairs and carrying food, so I would join the efforts a little late. But in the time it took to pee, everything got cleaned up. It was kind of amazing. This was a very special group of people, to whom you could say, "This needs to be done," and it would be done.
Since Gavin had been charged with Final Cleanup, we were some of the last to leave, which meant we were able to transport some of Jess's forgotten belongings. Oh, saviors were we!
As we had not gotten an extra passenger, we staged the photo.
As it turned out, my car is very small and not really conducive to that arrangement, so it's good that we didn't force someone to lie that way all the way to Alameda.
Kelsey played navigator and led us to the Squid Labs Control Tower, which was on a decommissioned
The vantage point also allowed us to see the entire Bay Bridge, spanning from East Bay through Treasure Island and into the City. I'd never seen it like that before!
The manly men were busy pulling pork, so I hung out in the tower and socialized. This was where I really got to talk with the illustrious Candy Tan. I asked her why she was famous, and she replied that she ran a "fairly popular blog with a self-explanatory title, smartbitcheswholovetrashybooks.com [sic]."
"Ooh!!!" I responded, as I totally knew that site! The Buffistas were all up in that site. They were the ones who broke the Cassie Edwards plagiarism scandal. And I was talking to one of them! Holy crap, the Buffistas would be so jealous. I told her one other thing I loved was this hilarious table that showed how so many different books in various genres could be distilled into the same basic stories. There were genres like "Dead White Dude Fiction" and "He's motherfucking Shakespeare. He doesn't need a motherfucking genre classification." And it turned out she was the one who had written that! OMG! Yeah, I wasn't famous at all in comparison. Or funny. At least my armpits were hairier than hers. Take that!
I met Colin's brother Bryan, who looked like a younger version of my boss. He was in organ transplants. Not performing them but talking to the families and facilitating them. When I told him about my job, he asked if we had a sales department, since he was looking to get into that field. So I gave him my business card. I'm such a professional!
I met Kiyash and Jane, who was a huge Wire fan. I met several Wire fans over the course of the weekend, and I was able to pimp it to the people around us with great gusto. Some hadn't even heard of it. Later, Wally was for some reason shouting, "Red tops! WMDs!" "Pandemic!" I added.
Next to them were Kevin and Kevin. Or so it seemed from their nametags. The second Kevin was in fact Rhiannon. The first Kevin, however, worked on Kingdom of Loathing. Holy crap! My Internet fame was nothing in this crowd. Nothing! I did not even deserve to wear the shirt.
I walked down to the deck to see how the food was coming along and saw that Jasmine and others were setting up the cupcakes, so I helped with that. Witness the final product:
In lieu of a wedding cake, Jess and Colin had a mountain of cupcakes instead. But these were no ordinary cupcakes! They came from the Jasmine Rae Bakery.
I finally got my hands on the guestbook, which had made the rounds at the park along with Dan's pirate hat. The two items had become unattached by this point, however, and I retired to an empty table, hatless, to write some message of great import to Jess and Colin. I wasn't sure what to write, so I made something up and went with it and made sure to sign it "Crapfully yours."
Then I had to pass the damn thing off to someone. I thought I'd found my lucky victim, but she wrote in it and then gave it back to me. Dammit! "Guestbook! Get your guestbook here!" I cried. Finally, I found someone who hadn't signed it, gave it to her, and said, "Have fun with that!" as I quickly walked away.
The British contingent were concocting a Pimm's cocktail, which contained strawberries and mint and...cucumber slices. It looked more like a crazy stew than a drink.
Food! There was a long line. I would have been at the front had I not had to pass off the guestbook. But waiting in line gave me more time to talk to Sarah about her adventures at WonderCon.
Into my plate went salad (atop which went homemade ranch dressing), rice, pasta salad, and a burger of smoked turkey with barbecue sauce and coleslaw. Mmm. Kelsey made room for me at their table, and someone told us gross emergency room stories while we ate.
After dinner, it was time for speeches! I think Jess's dad tried to go first, but then a breaker blew and the microphone stopped working. Jess blamed the teapot set up to warm up the chilly weddinggoers. With the microphone temporarily out of commission, anyone who had something to say and could be LOUD was invited to speak. Who better but Bear! Bear was braving the cold in a kilt. He gave the couple his wishes and led us all in the popular meatsmoker cheer "Hip hip, huzzah!" Someone finally got the microphone working by switching the breaker or something, stealing electricity from the lights on the right of the ship. Colin's mom came up, and Jess introduced her as her mother-in-law, bragging to Katie in the front that now she had two moms. Katie replied that she had three. Colin's mom said that she knew this day was coming from the moment she'd met Jess since Colin had introduced her, "Mom, this is Jess." She had known from the way he said her name that she was the One. Jofish took the microphone (or he might have done it microphoneless) and plugged a very good Japanese restaurant called Minako while giving us a behind-the-scenes look at the wedding planning...or lack thereof. Jess and Colin asked for us to clap for Jofish's excellent ceremony. Colin gave him a kiss to great applause. There may have been other speeches, but how much can you expect me to remember and/or write about? My fingers hurt.
Jess and Colin would have no First Dance. Instead, they would have a First Rock.
Jess and Colin's first Rock Band song as a married couple! They did "Wanted Dead or Alive."
UNISON BONUS! We cheered. As Jess said later on, marriage was the ultimate Unison Bonus. In fact, she wanted someone to take a picture of their wedding kiss and add the Unison Bonus graphic to it.
And then it was cupcake time! I could not see them cut the first cupcake, but there seemed to be laughter and mirth, so all was well. They said that each person had been allotted 2.2 cupcakes. I grabbed a wasabi cupcake and a cheese plate. Kelsey and Dan had gotten an assortment to cut up, so she let me try the others so that I could taste them all. The chocolate with lavender was predictably good, and the white wine with raspberry goat-cheese frosting did have some tasty frosting. The brie inside the cheese plate was quite interesting. Sadly, I had really been looking forward to the wasabi cupcakes and recommending them to people, but I was a little disappointed by this incarnation. I didn't recall there being so much sesame before; it was all I could taste. There didn't seem to be as much wasabi flavor. The cupcakes were still very good, however, and surprisingly filling. I couldn't even finish all I had.
There was craziness afoot down the deck!
What wedding is complete without a little Hava Nagila?
Then, for the final event, Jess and Colin would have a Second Rock, and for this one, they needed someone who could sing in a high-pitched computer voice. Jess recruited me, knowing I knew the song.
And so I sang "Still Alive" with Jess on guitar and Colin on drums. Someone singing along replaced all mentions of "cake" with "cupcake." I felt really awesome and honored to be a part of the wedding. I also felt like it really kills your throat to sing like GLaDOS.
Jess and Colin quietly slipped away, and we all continued to play Rock Band in the cold. It was, as expected, a great deal of fun.
I had expected the festivities to go well past midnight, but it seemed like a lot of people were leaving pretty early, as it had been a long, tiring day. Kelsey was about ready to keel over, since it was two hours later for her. So a little after eleven o'clock, we departed, also taking Dan and Tanjent back to Berkeley.
I slept till close to 10, but I was still tired and slightly sore when I got out of bed. Kelsey was going to be leaving for lunch with Chuff (another Owl) soon. He arrived while I was in the shower, so I had Kelsey let him in.
After putting on some clothes, I greeted him. As Chuff noted, it had been a long time, about seven years. He still looked the same. I caught him up on my last seven years. It was nice to see a familiar face. My Hypotamoose shirt fulfilled his geek quotient for the day.
Kelsey and Chris were hungry, so they went on their merry way, and I picked up Dan and Tanjent. Dan's place was conveniently near Ashby, which was 13, which was the highway I needed to take to get to Christy and Eric's house, also known as the Isle of Tortuga for no apparent reason. We had to walk up a damn hill to get to it.
Inside, there was food. So much food!
THINGS I ATE:
- bagel with cream cheese, onions, tomatoes, capers, and smoked salmon (How have I lived my life without smoked salmon on bagels? HOW?)
- apple-rhubarb stew, which looked more like rhubarb entrails, and sour cream
- shrimp grits (How have I lived my life without shrimp?)
- hash browns
- a Dorito
Brunch involved less running around and more talking, although we weren't wearing nametags, so I couldn't remember whether I knew some people or not. I did find some good conversations, though.
I stepped into one conversation that seemed to involve fisting Candy. I had misheard the original statement, which made the ensuing statements very strange and incomprehensible. Then the original statement was clarified. And I likely made what Seanan and Co. have deemed my "cat face." Someone remarked, "I love his face; it's so expressive." Thanks, but I think I'm just coasting on the cat face. It's a winner. It's my Blue Steel.
Someone brought Candy over since we were speaking of her small fists. She showed off her small hands, which were noticeably smaller than my own. And then Katie proved she could fit Candy's fist in her mouth. And then Candy demonstrated a lesbian fist (all five fingertips around a single point).
All this talk of fisting led to a discussion of Barack and Michelle Obama's adorable fist-bump, which led to Katie fist-bumping everyone. She brought up FOX News's characterizing of it as a "terrorist fist jab." Sylvia brought up the recent "baby mama" brouhaha. We started talking about slang terms and actions that confounded the older generation. People started joking about things like "that rock music kids listen to these days." I added, in old-geezer voice, "They're always listening to it on their portable phonographs!" This made Candy laugh really hard and approve my joke, and I was very pleased, since, as you guys know, I crave validation. Someone I thought was funny thought I was funny. I WIN.
In more intellectual news, I talked with Bryan about oncology and Tristan about parasitology.
Another topic of discussion was the List. It seemed that list or no list, we had all met new people we liked. But had we noticed any List hook-ups? Because that had to be Jess and Colin's secret plan! See, they met at the wedding of ashfae and randomchris three years ago. So I said that some couple had to meet at their wedding, and another couple had to meet at their wedding, and so on. Katie added that they had to get married within three years. "It's like The Ring!" said Dan.
I'm probably going to be married within three years anyway, but the wedding was no help! Despite there being a number of pretty girls, it seemed that most of them were taken and none of them were Indian. I mean, if there were a hot, awesome Indian girl out there for me, you'd think she be at Jess's wedding! That was the kind of place she'd be! These were the sort of people she would be around! That was the great thing about the wedding and the weekend: everyone there sort of belonged there in their own way. We were all likely to have more in common than just knowing Jess or Colin. And if relationships weren't going to be forged, friendships were. I think it was jenelope who once said that I existed to bring cool people together, and that was clearly the job of Jess and Colin as well.
I did make an attempt to befriend the Indian guy. I don't think it took. Sorry, Dad.
The guestbook was on a table, and the promised colored markers were finally alongside it. I flipped to my page and added some color. I drew a purple bubble around Jess's name. I asked Kara what color I should use for Colin, and she suggested the teal marker.
About a half-dozen people tried to figure out my shirt. It was awesome. It's really fun to bring the Hypotamoose to the right crowds, the ones who will be curious enough about the shirt to try to guess what it means. And then you lead their thought processes until it dawns on them and they either love it or hate it.
Colin's brother Sean's girlfriend, Becky (who was a lemur), reminded me of Mary Shelly from UMGASS, I realized later. Becky was studying library science, so I introduced her to Dan so they could geek out over information science and whatnot. Behind them, people played Bubble Bobble on an emulator.
Katie discovered that her family reunion was taking place right down the street, so she left to pay a token visit. Sadly, she didn't return before I left, so I didn't get to say goodbye to her properly.
I got proper goodbyes from several other people, though. People like Elina and Robin I know I'll see again, but who knows when I'll see Kevin and Rhiannon? Or the many other out-of-towners like Sylvia and Tristan?
I also got some leftover cupcakes to take into the office. Leftover cupcakes are like goodbyes you can eat.
I hugged Jess and Colin before leaving. They throw a good wedding.