Met up with Jim and Derek and one thing we did was pick up the alcohol and get it to the venue. I was under the impression that we’d be stuffing their rented Mitsubishi Lancer with so much booze that it would noticeably lower its ground clearance. I was prepared to carry a two-four on my lap at the very least. But it turned out to be five boxes of wine bottles and it all fit easily. Anyway, there were other vehicles involved in the operation.
We had the rehearsal at the venue, and I picked up a few jobs – walking in Art’s mom (Barbara), and co-ushering with Derek, Monique’s younger brother. So that’s cool. I’m not part of the wedding party but it’s almost kinda sorta close. j/k
The rehearsal dinner was at a Mexican restaurant – a really authentic one. Their margaritas are a generous pour. I needed to chase mine with a beer. I had chicken tacos but one thing my cousin Maria and her husband Chris say I should try are fish tacos. They didn’t have them there, but you can get battered haddock tacos elsewhere in San Diego. Almost like good old fish and chips! Except it’s corn chips, not potato fries. It was a good experience and we had a great time – the company and atmosphere were superb – but for food that I (personally) would like to eat, I would probably go to a place like Sombreros back in Tokushima – oh darn, they’re closed! Man, good thing we went when we did.
From what I’ve seen, this is a beautiful city. Even the suburbs are ornate. The roads are awesome, too. I’m loving the single-digit Interstate action. If I were on my own I’d probably try to go to Tijuana, although getting back into the United States is reportedly not much fun. If I went across on foot, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad? Anyway, it probably won’t happen this time around.
Jim and Derek slept in a bit, so I had a chance to catch up on the e-side of things. We went out for brunch. Random thoughts:
1. If the bus guy instinctively says "Good job!" when he picks up your empty plate, maybe the serving sizes are just a tad big. Food was really good, though.
2. It seems like every restaurant urinal in San Diego is one foot off the floor. There must be an epidemic of dwarfism here.
3. One of us saw a Hispanic guy wearing a "I am not a second class citizen" t-shirt and mused going up to him and saying "I'm gay, too!"
(We were laughing about the ambiguity of the t-shirt, not the plight of Hispanic Americans.)
4. Diesel busses made to look like ye olde trolleys should immediately be banned in every jurisdiction in North America. (Charlottetown, I’m lookin’ at you too.)
5. I’ll be riding to the wedding with Barbara and her close friends Chih-Mei and Kathy. The sun’s out a bit now, so it might be a really good afternoon to walk on the beach a bit before everything starts. I wonder if I should go so far as to bring swim trunks and a towel and when the time comes, just stand around dripping wet in my trunks and help usher people as if it’s normal. Nah.
6. I’ve lost at least four Facebook friends in the past few days, so you can tell my views and opinions must be pretty good. j/k
* * *
(Writing this stuff Saturday morning.)
I wore a new pair of pants which fit reasonably well and have an elastic waistband. I bought them so I wouldn’t be ACK GACK I CAN’T FEEL MY LEGS. They were more or less effective in this regard. I also spilled champagne on myself while I was filming something and it beaded and was really easy to wipe off. Anyway, I mention them because as I was walking down the hall to the hotel elevator, a maid stopped me and asked me to turn around. I thought I was in trouble. She then nonchalantly yanked a sticker off the back of my leg. Thank you!
When we arrived at the wedding venue, the weather was sunny and warm and the place was gorgeous. It was also easy to find – there were professional signs right on the road pointing the way to parking for the “T./H. Wedding”.
I became the video-go-to-person and shot the proceedings with Monique’s father’s camera. That was pretty easy to do; I think I’d rather do that than be tasked with taking photos, all things being equal.
The skies were overcast by the time the ceremony took place, but it was still a nice spot and a good moment and at least it wasn’t raining.
Afterwards, they had lots of different kinds of family photos, and there was one I belonged in, and they took that, but then they did another one and Maria and I got pulled away from conversations again and called up – but unnecessarily, since the second one was just siblings, not cousins. :-p The wedding crew were fuzzy on the distinction. It was kind of funny, really. When I was a kid, I was fuzzy on the distinctions myself.
The reception and dinner were a lot of fun and a great chance to meet a lot of new people. Monique has a lot of smart and powerful Ivy League-calibre friends and it again brought back the idea “What’s she doing with him?” j/k But Art is incredibly creative and funny, although there’s not a lot else I can say about him. Rob, a lawyer from Stanford, asked me “So what kind of stories can you tell about Art?” I replied, “Well, all the stories I have about Art are about Art telling stories. Kind of meta.”
At our table the following interaction generated enough laughter to grab Art’s attention:
E.: “My roommates’ boyfriend was a Navy SEAL.”
A.: “In my previous life, I was a Navy SEAL. But not in this life!”
Me: “In my previous life, I was a seal. Until I was clubbed by a Canadian fur trader.”
I also met G., a software engineer, to whom I complained fruitlessly about Java. j/k Also, she loved Extreme Programming. I should have told her I just contributed part of a small-time “paper” on it, in which I basically tore a strip off of it, thanks in part to Matt Stephen’s insightful and droll commentary. :-) But she’s had experience in the field, and I haven’t. If she’s a 10, I’m a .2.
When it came time to leave the wedding venue, we were stopped at an interminably long red light – I hopped out of the car to press the walk button and then we had a green. There was construction at that intersection earlier that day, and perhaps something they did disrupted the connection between the lights and a sensory pad in the pavement.
We finished off the evening with drinks in the hotel lobby. At first we were seated around a fireplace. Some of us were still wearing suits. We looked like a caricature of power brokers, so I opened with, “So, gentlemen, which Southeast Asian country should we invade tomorrow?” Jim soon jocularly retorted with, “We’re losing Afghanistan, no thanks to Canada!” Hah. It seems like we were there for the better part of a decade. Then I ventured some opinions on Afghanistan, including the absurdity of centralized government on a tribal system and that we won’t let them grow poppies since our value system is drugs = bad. It’s a big mess by any objective measure.
Anyway, sensing perhaps that I was prepared to go on an alcohol-influenced roll, one of our companions stated loudly and firmly, “I am from Israel, so I do not talk politics.”
Well, that killed that conversation.
But we had lots of other great conversations (well, they got better after one particular person retired for the evening), and we kept it going past 2 in the morning, up until the cleaner started vacuuming between our legs. I made the acquaintance of two of Monique’s friends that I hadn’t spoken to at the wedding or reception, and somehow I ended up speaking French with one of them. I think it was because Jim asked me to just start speaking French, so I did, and it turns out she studied French extensively. It was like opening a velvet box and seeing a huge diamond where you expect to see only a small one. I’m going to miss her – she was quite something.
And given how much I had to drink, I am in much better shape than I could have been. I pretty much stuck to beer the whole night, which was probably a wise decision. Beer tends to make me a little sleepy, which slows me down before I get into too much trouble.
Now it’s time to get cleaned up and dressed and find my cousins and/or something to do!