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First comes the pre-nup, then comes marriage... - Tkil [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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First comes the pre-nup, then comes marriage... [Oct. 9th, 2003|02:30 am]
[mood |amusedamused]
[music |Collide -- Chasing the Ghost]

This last weekend’s trip was pretty amusing. I went to El Paso for the wedding of M and J. In full-on Ferris Bueller mode, she’s actually the high school ex-girlfriend of my little brother. That was fun to explain to people, when they asked how I knew the couple. It was a good trip down memory lane, I had a great time, and I think they’ll make a great team.

I’ve known M for about 13 years; since my little brother and I shared a house when we were both attending New Mexico State University, I ended up seeing her and her friends a lot. She has always been on the activist side of things, and her group of friends reflected those interests. The living room was often an impromptu meeting place for the high school’s local Amnesty International chapter, and it seemed that a substantial portion of the Las Cruces “Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual” community would end up there as well. It was certainly never boring.

I also ended up meeting a fair bit of M’s family, especially her next-youngest sister T. Who was, even at 14, extremely attractive. (Hey, I was only 18 or so at the time, and she was tall for her age. Stop looking at me like that. And stop humming that Oingo Boing song.) And it wasn’t my fault that M would come over, disappear with my brother, and I’d be left to entertain T and her friends, who were also exceedingly cute. Erf. What’s a neurotic guy to do?

It was good to see T again, and I enjoyed seeing that, 10+ years later, she is still a total hottie. Annoyingly enough, she had been living in Ventura for the last two years, moving back to Albuquerque only this last June or so; I have no designs on her (honest!), but it still would have been fun to visit with her occasionally.

There were a few other people from her high school crowd there. It was fun chatting with T, who spent the last 7 years in the U.S. Air Force. He’s studying Biochemical Engineering at the University of Arkansas, and is planning on going on to law school (concentrating on IP law). C is living in San Francisco, dating a girl in NYC, and looking to go to graduate school for a Master’s in Philosophy (Meta-Ethics). When I asked her what she was doing with her existing Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy: “Oh, I’m still waiting tables. But now I’m a professional.”

M was a weird case. I mostly knew him through my little brother, but i also knew him directly at NMSU. (Heh. He also had a cute younger sister. Lots of that going around, apparently...) He left NMSU to work on video games, which he did for 6 years — I remember one of his comments along the lines of: “I don’t have one 80k USD/year job; I have two 40k/year ones...” Needless to say, he eventually burned out, spent a year or two in Europe, and is now working on finishing his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering.

I split my room with B, another old Las Cruces acquaintance. He works for the FAA, and his favorite phrase is “Safety Third”. I’ve never had the guts to ask what were first and second, and I’ve never looked at flying quite the same way ever again. He’s usually lots of fun to hang out with; my only complaint is that he can be a little too intense and focussed on having fun right now, damnit! So seeing him once or twice a year is nearly perfect.

Friday night, B and I grabbed some food, then met up with my little brother J (another J, sorry.) J and his friends were thinking about going to a topless bar, but apparently El Paso has just passed a “six-foot minimum distance” rule for such establishments. M wanted to go down to Juarez, the Mexican border town across the Rio Grande from El Paso. None of these options really appealed to me, so when J decided to just hang out a bar or two for a while, that worked for me. I offered to be designated driver: since it was his ex-girlfriend who was getting married, he needed to get drunk quite a bit more than I did.

We ended up back at the hotel, drinking beer and talking until sunrise. Many people were introduced to the glories of Home Star Runner, especially the infamous StrongBad E-Mail. I’d almost forgotten how painful dial-up access can be. And the barbarians at the hotel charge 0.50 per local call! Horrors!

Saturday, we got a fairly late start. Surprise. Some of my brother’s friends wanted to go into Juarez during the day, to buy some cheap tequila; others wandered off on various errands. I spent a bit of time meeting the groom’s friends, many of whom are computer geeks to various extents. I brought along a bag of games, which never got played, but we talked about them a fair bit. We also geeked out about preferred operating systems, first computer in the home, and similar dinosaur stories.

They had to go get suited up for photos by 16:00, so I wandered around on my own for a while. Maybe I was just looking in the wrong spots, but it was really hard to find an ATM and/or decent liquor store in the downtown area there. Irksome.

Seeing J (the groom) and J (my brother) standing next to each other was a bizarre sight. My brother is 6'5" (or about 196 cm), and I’m used to him being the tallest person around me (6'3", 192 cm). The groom is at least 6'8" (203 cm); panning from my brother’s face to J’s face and having to crane my head up was really weird.

The ceremony itself was at 18:00, in a neat facility just off the plaza in downtown El Paso. The wedding party was a perfect reflection of the genial insanity that M has always attracted: there were men and women on both sides of the party, and some of the women were wearing tuxedos. (As I pointed out to her later, all she needed was a guy to show up in a dress, and she’d have all four possibilities covered...)

They held the reception in the same building; it was fairly standard, although the food was exceptionally varied and tasty. The crowd had a non-trivial number of vegetarians, as well as people coming in from both very modern, cutting-edge cuisines as well as more traditional backgrounds). I juggled occasionally, to distract some of the children there; first a toddler girl who was the flower girl and was getting a bit cranky, then a pair of 4-5 year olds. This would come back to haunt me...

There was also a very intriguing shooter distribution method (left), cut into an ice sculpture of sorts. Some yummy stuff was coming out the bottom of that ziggurat. I helped shut down the party, along with a few other like-minded folk (right). There were the usual big pile of gifts and cards that needed to be transported back to the hotel, and as I told the bride: “Us men may not be good for much, but we can lift heavy things.” A few minutes later, I gave my first gift to the couple, by giving the bride a much-needed foot massage. :)

Later that night, I was hanging out with my brother and his cronies. Some of M’s old HS friends had come back at the end of the reception, and when they went out for a quick smoke, they ran into M’s little sister T and the other (male) M. The four of them decided they wanted to go to Villiage Inn, then over to M & J’s house to crash. After a fair chunk more drinking and watching of bad hotel TV, my brother and some of his friends decided they wanted to go to VI as well. Which left me alone for another few hours, drinking a few more beers, and geeking out.

Sunday morning was a rush to get up, showered, packed, checked out, and to the brunch on time. Everyone was a bit more relaxed than after the ceremony, and it was nice to talk with some new acquaintances a bit more.

This is also when my juggling came back to haunt me. In the middle of brunch, one of the little girls (cousins of the bride, as it turns out) wanders up to my table, gives me a quick hug, and proudly announces in a loud voice: “He let me play with his balls last night!” ... ... ... I guess I simply never saw the really dangerous side of being a juggler.

After brunch, B and I helped M & J haul their presents down to their cars, and drove ourselves and C over to their house. A bit of hanging out (and a few minutes of me arguing with their wireless network) later, they were ready to head off to Cloudcroft, NM, for their honeymoon, and B, C, and I were off to the airport. Originally, we were just going to drop C off so she could pick up a car, but B wanted to get driving back home, so I just took the extra time at the airport.

While waiting there, I ran into T again, and we had another good conversation while he was waiting for his plane. He’s made an amazing transformation; when I last talked to him, he was still a bit reticent, and maybe even shy. These days, he’s completely gregarious, and was talking up the whole room. He had some great stories and good insights from his time in the service; I’m sure he’s tearing that campus apart.

The best man was also there, waiting for the earlier flight to San Diego (although he was flying through to Northern California). We had a good talk about computers, startups, and career paths. It was a little strained, as he’s a bit reserved, and I’m not that good of a conversationalist, but it was still enjoyable.

I also saw the little girl (yes, the one that embarassed me at brunch) and her mom go by. I got lucky — she didn’t see me.

Other than being rather cramped (there's a reason we call Southwest Airlines the “cattle car air”), the trip home was uneventful. I spent most of the flight with my block-out-the-world headphones on, but my neighbors were still amusing. One guy sat down, bitched and moaned, then talked about how he hated people, and how they always did things that pissed him off. I looked over, and said, “Well, I’m as misanthropic as the next guy, but if I start doing something that bugs you, let me know, ok?” He laughed for a while at that...


From: jinglechelle
2003-10-09 05:37 am (UTC)
That sounds like a great weekend! Glad you had fun! But I'm hurt... you never let *me* play with your balls! :)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: tkil
2003-10-09 02:33 pm (UTC)

...but who's got the biggest balls of them all?

But I'm hurt... you never let *me* play with your balls!

You’re far too much woman for me — I’m too scared to let you play with them. :)

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: jinglechelle
2003-10-10 09:21 am (UTC)

Re: ...but who's got the biggest balls of them all?

I'd probably just drop them *grin* - never was very coordinated for that kind of thing! I can juggle two balls - does that count?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)