So It Begins...

So It Begins...

Tonight is Stu's Seattle bachelor party. We're gonna meet and have some drinks up at the Twilight Exit, then if the fella wanna drag out somewhere they can.
One of his high school buddies got married today and he's going to the wedding, so hopefully everyone will show up around the same time.

I'm taking off now.

Next weekend is our big trip to Vegas!
Rachel got us tickets to La Femme...I think this was a way for us to see boobies -- but not too close up.

Shrewd yin, she is.


Chad and Ylana's Wedding

Chad and Ylana's Wedding.

It was really nice.
They were crackin' me up though. I kept saying, "This is the slackest wedding evar!"

I'd been pestering Chad for weeks. "Dood, what do you need? Where do I need to be?? When???"
And he'd get this sheepish grin and give me a really vague answer.

So a couple of weeks ago, he emails me and asks what shirt size I wear. I assume we're dressing up so I give him neck size, sleeve length, etc. Then he writes me back and says that he meant like L, XL, XXL. Turns out we're wearing Cuban-style shirts and black slacks.

So I go over there for dinner (there was no rehearsal) on Saturday and we're asking Chad what time he wants us at the park. He's like, "I'll be there at noon...but I dunno about you guys."
So we ask Ylana and she's no better. So Dave suggested 2:30.

We get there and spend the next few hours standing around as the guests arrive...it was held outside at the State Park in Pt. Gamble. Quite lovely, actually. It was a semi-traditonal Jewish wedding (Chad's not Jewish, and I don't think Ylana practices) We didn't figure out what we were supposed to do until shortly before we did it...
Chad was pretty nervous, but greeting everyone and talking to all the relatives kept him pretty distracted.

The ceremony itself was simple and really sweet. They brought a cloth (made by Y's grandmother) suspended by four poles, each held by a friend or family member. The cloth was to resemble the home they were making for each other. Chad waited for Y there and she walked out by herself. The look she had on her face was indescribable...a mixture of joy, fear, love.

Anyway, they had a local musician officiate and a family member from Y's side blessed some wine and they drank it. Then the official did his thing, soliciting a verbal promise from all of us to support the union. Then Y's father (a really sweet, intense fella) gave a short speech about how marriage meant the couple was holy to one another...that the holiness of things is like the Dao, it's what makes a melody more than a sequence of notes, or a home more than four walls and a roof.

Then Chad and Ylana had to give an impromptu speech about what they meant to each other. Chad had been fretting about it and I couldn't hear everything he said, but Ylana looked like she was going to burst from pure joy. She stammered a bit when her turn came, but she told him she'd always be there for him and that she'd be his home.

Then they did seven blessings, each from friends and family members. Had more wine, kissed, then stomped on a glass...and that was it!

The food was excellent...but I had to leave a bit early 'cause I wanted to get home before it got super late.
As it was, I got home around midnight.

Pics are up on my Flickr page.


Meatfest 2006!

Meatfest 2006!

It was a raging success!

I got to Robert's house around 7PM Friday night. Jay and Jason had been setting up and doing prep work since 9AM that morning.
The ribs and briskets were already on the grills and the whole backyard smelled like roasting meat.
There was only so much to be done, so Robert, his fiance Kelly, Jason, Jay and I basically sat around drinking, smoking, watching thermometers and cracking each other up!

Anyway, we all went to bed around 2AM. I was on the couch and Jay and Jason were sleeping in hammocks in the back yard. We'd already gotten the 8 slabs of ribs off the grill and were waiting for the brisket to finish. At about 6AM, Jay wakes me up and hands me a tiny sliver of meat. It was HEAVENLY! Perfectly smoked and seasoned with just a bit of fat...*sigh*

We spent the rest of the day setting up and prepping the lamb (soaked in buttermilk and stuffed with whole garlic cloves and rosemary), stuffed ham (fresh basil, feta cheese and garlic) and chicken (rubbed with herbed kosher salt, lemon zest and cooked whole with a can of beer stuffed in it).

Our friends started showing up around 3 and somehow we managed to get everything warmed up (the ribs had to have sauce applied) and finished on time. I personally sliced up half the ribs and most of the brisket...and to make sure my hard work got rewarded I got in line (in front of some jokers already working on seconds!) and got ribs, lamb and brisket, but by that time, the salmon and chicken were long gone...

Poor Jay was so busy socializing and overseeing things, that the only thing he got to eat was the last 5 slices of brisket. By the end of the night, the only thing left out all that meat (easily over 100lbs) and the dozens of side dishes were some kumamoto oysters that his best friend Elmer had brought.

We had something like 85 people show up...and I am beat!!

(Frito's pics are here.)




I haven't updated in awhile, partially 'cause I've been busy but also 'cause that pic of Tess causes me to giggle every time I look at it. If you know her, you know it's spot on.
My friend Mel (who doesn't know her) asked if she's that beautiful in person and I responded, 'Yes. And she smells wonderful!"

I'd planned to stay in and get some rest over the long weekend, but it was not to be. I went to a BBQ at Stu's on Saturday, then to Mercedes' birthday party. On Sunday, I saw the new Superman movie with Stu and Rachel. On Monday, I helped my mother move into her new place, that night I went to dinner at Frito and Cindy's, then the three of us caught AC Lewis, Rebecca West, Kid Hops and DJ Riz at the Baltic Room. Then on Tuesday, Stu, Rachel, Maria and I attended Christina and Dan's wedding and then caught both fireworks displays from the roof of Tabitha's condo building.

I'm beat.

Anyway, it's summa and it's the Birthday and BBQ season. Frito, Patty, Liz, J-Justice, Heidi, Jake and Tabitha all had birthdays recently. Neil, Marcus, George & Derek's are coming up. Mercedes had a birthday AND got engaged! I'm really happy for her!

Saturday is Frito and Jake's B-day bash BBQ and Chad's bachelor party. The following week is Jay's MEATFEST 2006.

Then Chad gets married. Then Stu's bachelor party in Las Vegas. Then Peter, Richelle, Renee, Tyrone, Rachel and I will have birthdays during the second weekend in August. Hopefully me little bruddah will be here to visit! Then Stu and Rachel tie the knot...

It's hard to believe that in just a couple of months, we'll be rushing headlong into the cold and dark season again...but the nice thing is that (for the most part) everyone is healthy and doing OK, if not fuckin' excellent...two of my bestest guy friends are making a life change and two other couples I know will be greeting their firstborns soon.

If this is now I'm gonna spend my energy, then bring it on!