The summary of a weekend in California:
The night after arriving, I went with high school friend Dan to the Russian River Brewery in downtown Santa Rosa. It's a pretty new place and was supposed to be good. We had a hard time finding it because neither of us had been there and Dan's phone kept telling us to walk 0.0 miles up the street while none of the places in sight were what we wanted. I finally asked some lady who looked like she was about to pull mace out of her purse if I stepped too close. But her directions were good. Some really old guy sat next to Dan at the bar and would occasionally spew out incoherent words at us. I think the only thing I understood that he said was "Never accept responsibility." The poor guy was probably drinking his sorrows away. The bartender was refusing to serve him any more alcohol, and when he'd finished his drink the bartender came over and said "That's 27 dollars." Dan and I were expecting the old guy to just wander off without paying (which would have been entertaining, and I was planning on shouting at Dan "Yo, your grandfather is walking off!" just to see if the bartender would try to shake Dan down for the cash). But after bumbling around and muttering more incoherencies, the old guy pulled a $50 bill out of his wallet. It was a little disappointing. I was hoping for some excitment.
Justin's wedding dinner was fun, in a family sort of way. It was a buffet dinner and dance. I somewhat-awkwardly talked to a bunch of relatives. I answered "When did you get in?" (thursday) and "When do you leave?" (monday) probably 5 or 6 times each. But that's alright, that's how relational conversation works when everyone is sober. I was well on my way toward being drunk (there was an open bar, with some local light beer that was okay) when my sister asked me to be our driver at the end of the night. Her husband had drunk too much and she wasn't feeling well. So I stopped drinking beer. Still, it was a pretty fun time. Justin got the DJ to play his favorite band at the end of the night and he did a lot of energetic jumping around which was fun to see. Marget (Justin's new wife) seemed much more friendly than she did in New York last Thanksgiving. Maybe it was the zombie show she was forced to see there, or that she was meeting too many people for the first time. Anyway, I like her now, and she works for the same company as Rachel up by Dulles so I may be seeing her more often.
Mike and Maria's wedding was interesting and fun. Mike's Jewish, so there was a lot of talking in Hebrew, and they did that thing where the bride and groom got lifted in their chairs while everyone sang and ran around them. (The do it in a scene of the Wedding Crashers.) It was pretty crazy. I saw some people from the family camp we used to go to back in jr high and high school. Some of these girls who were so small 7-8 years ago are now like 20 years old. They're also much more enjoyable to talk to, though that might just be me being more polite and pleasant than I used to be. Fortunately, I'm not-quite creepy enough to try anything weird, which is more than I can say for my aunt's older brother, who works as a movie producer in Los Angeles and I suppose generally gets away with being weird. I finally met my oldest sister's fiance. Irene had been sneaking him around for months upon months as a not-serious relationship and then just randomly announced that they're engaged to be married some time this spring. He seems okay, but I didn't talk to him enough to be sure. He's sporting the soul patch, and I think it looks retarded, but whatever. I talked to my cousin Rachel for a while. She's a new college graduate and wants to be a writer of children's books so I grilled her about Roald Dahl books, Peter Pan, and Winnie the Pooh, on all of which I am an expert. Rachel was a good sport about it, she only threatened to punch me and never actually followed through.
I have some photos. But like all photos, that will have to wait until I have much more time. I'm so far behind in photos, I think I have like 200 to post from various events. Some day.
(we're sitting in the bar and Dan gets a text message)
me: What did Brittany say?
(he had dropped Brittany off at the airport a few hours earlier. Dan turns his phone so I can see the text: "Just got back. Had a great time. Love you and miss you.")
me: She really likes you.
Dan: Yeah. Check this out.
(he replies "Same.")