Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Weddings and Stuff

Hello everyone.

No, I'm not going to talk about the Occupy movement today. I know there's a lot to talk about, but I'm just burned out on the whole thing, and that's nothing against the movement or its supporters. In fact, I'm not even planning on talking politics at all right now, even though there's plenty to talk about. I just need a break from it right now.

So for this post I'm just going to focus on stuff happening in my life.  Of course, I suppose everything is political, even stuff happening in my life, but you know what I mean.

The point I'm trying to make is that if you've dropped by specifically for my insightful middling political commentary, and/or if you couldn't give two craps what's going on in my life, you might want to skip this one. Your loss.

Rob Happenings

Cathy and I went down to Eugene last weekend to see two of our friends get married. Yes, to each other. Technically, they got married last spring, but no one was there to see it, so Saturday was the big ceremony with family and friends.

It was a success. They had the ceremony at an art gallery, and as they're both creative, artistic people, it was not only appropriate, but it was also really fun to be around all the art. Notwithstanding my snarky comments about a few of the paintings looking like Froot Loops cereal, there was some amazing work there, and it was inspiring to be surrounded by it.

During the ceremony, the bride and groom each gave a little speech to each other, sort of like vows but not really, and both of their respective speeches was well-written, tear-jerking stuff. Each of their moms also went up front and gave a little speech as well, and their speeches were also top-notch.

I began to worry.

Here's the thing: I was the Best Man. And I had to also give a little speech when I did the toast later on. I wasn't terribly worried about the public speaking aspect, as I had gotten used to speaking in public on a semi-regular basis while working as an academic advisor, and besides, I already knew a lot of the people who were there. Speaking in front of people you know and who know you is much easier than speaking in front of strangers, at least to me.

Leading up to the ceremony I had (mostly) teased the groom that I was going to give a Celebrity Roast-style speech about him, and he was a bit worried I'd embarrass him in front of his family and coworkers. In reality, I was just going to tell a few funny stories about him, none of which would make anyone think less of him. Truth be told, I'd have to make something up if I wanted people to think less of him, because he's a really good guy. But I had at least 15 minutes worth of material and only 2-3 minutes of allotted time, so I had to pare it down.

I had a tough time finding the line between saying nice, appropriate things and being myself. It's much easier for me to be an asshole than to be nice. In fact, I can be an asshole with little to no effort, but it takes a lot of work to be nice. I'm also much better at being an asshole than being nice.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a professional wrestler. I wanted to be a bad guy, naturally.

It's not that I want to be an asshole--I really don't. It's just the way I'm programmed. That's why I write. I can focus my asshole-ishness into a character, and that allows me to be me without hurting anyone I care about.

Anyway, before the ceremony I got my speech pared down to a couple minutes. I planned on saying mostly nice things that truly came from the heart without having to resort to stupid cliches, and I also managed to get in a few lighthearted jabs. I felt confident.

But then after hearing everyone else's speeches, I was a bit worried that mine wouldn't measure up. The thing was, it wasn't so much about my ego. Mostly, I didn't want to disappoint my two friends at their wedding.

But I went through with my speech anyway, more or less as I had planned, and I think it went well. I didn't screw up in front of everyone and make a fool of myself. People laughed when they were supposed to laugh, and people "Awwed" when I hoped they would. Afterward a couple people said it was a good speech. The bride and groom didn't seem upset afterward. If they were, they hid it well.

Cathy and I stuck around to the end to help tear down and clean up. We were exhausted, but some friends wanted to go out for drinks afterward. We went along and ended up more exhausteder. But it was fun.

Even without weddings and wedding-type events, these Oregon trips are incredibly draining. I hate the 9-10 hour drive each way. There's a couple hours in the middle of the drive that snakes though the Columbia Gorge, which is nice when it's not windy or icy. The rest of it sucks.

And when we're in town, we never have enough time. Never. This trip was even worse in that respect. We drove down on Thursday, did the rehearsal and then went to the rehearsal dinner on Friday, had the wedding on Saturday, and came home on Sunday. This meant that there was really no way we'd be able to see any of our numerous Eugene friends who weren't at the wedding. And we didn't even get to spend much time with our friends who were at the wedding. So this trip also included a generous helping of guilt.

But then again, it's a one day drive from Eugene to our place, and all our Eugene friends have an open invitation to come up here and spend as much time with us as they can handle.

I did, however, manage to pick up a few bottles of something very special from Oakshire. Stay tuned.

And Now, A Musical Interlude

I came across this recording of Nirvana doing "Something in the Way" during a 1991 BBC session. This version is heavier and darker, and I like it better than the one on Nevermind, which is pretty darn good in itself. Anyway, here it is:

I think my last music-related post was about Nirvana, too. I like Nirvana, but I wouldn't call myself a hardcore fan. I guess I've just had them on my brain recently.

I'll try to branch out and post something different next time.

In Closing

There's a Winter Storm Warning in effect for our area.  We're supposed to get up to three inches of snow over the next 36 hours.  They've really lowered the bar on Winter Storm Warnings lately.  It used to be you had to get a blizzard, freezing rain, and/or snow accumulation that could be measured in feet before it was considered Winter Storm Warning worthy.  Three inches in 36 hours?  Sounds like typical North Idaho winter weather to me.  But what do I know?

Now here it is, your moment of Tucker:


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