Tuesday, September 23, 2008

We Have Returned

We are back from our journey to Houston. All in all we saw very little damage where we were. There were still isolated spots without power, it was strange to drive down a road and hit 3 blocks where there wasn't electricity. We saw two gas stations on 2920 that didn't have power and were closed, all the ones that were open had gas that was cheaper than Austin prices. It was as low as $3.45 for the low grade at one Exxon near my dad's apartment.

The biggest problem we had was that my dad's apartment still doesn't have cable. I am lost without regular access to internet or tv apparently. I was reduced to watching the electronic picture frame for entertainment. Even over at Tricia's parents we couldn't catch a wifi signal. There was one at the TCBY that Jeff hung out at for a bit, but that didn't help me much.

Despite Jean driving everyone a bit crazy, and damn near losing her mind, the weekend was a total win. Friday was the rehearsal dinner where everyone tried to eat the pounds and pounds of food that Jean had prepared. I can't even estimate the ungodly amount of food, but we took several dozen tamales home afterward, so it was a lot. She had a couple of appetizers that I missed out on, beef and chicken fajitas, tortillas, beans, rice, queso, guac, salsa, chips, pork and chicken tamales, and probably something else I forgot. We washed it all down with margaritas, beer (2 homemade by Jeff), wine, water, and tea. She had piles of desserts, and in general it was a great big party.We got back to my dad's around 1 am and promptly sacked out for the night. Laura and I had hair appointments Saturday morning at a salon in The Woodlands. We both got cute little up-dos, because if you're going to pay someone to style your hair you might as well go fancy. A woman that I will treasure always, even if she never told us her name, asked if we were going to prom. Laura's only a year younger than me, so it made both of our day.The wedding itself was Catholic, and done by a priest who unfortunately doesn't believe in letting his congregation sit because he thinks it helps them pay attention to be standing, fortunately he also believes in talking as fast as possible and he managed to skip some items on the program. I had estimated we were looking at an hour or so service, and I think he got it done in less than 30 minutes. I then hung around in the church killing time while hours of photos were taken.
After all the photos were completed the wedding party (and tag-a-longs like me) piled into a big ol' limo to head off to a pub called Gooses Acre Pub. We had 3 long tables and everyone was drinking beers and eating various snacks. Then one after another each table got a round of Irish Car Bombs (1/2 pint of Guinness that you drop a shot glass of Bailey's into then drink before it fuzzes over on you). Once everyone was nice and happy it was time for a few more photos outside, and then off to the actual reception. I have to admit, having a party before the party was a lot of fun. In my next life I'm stealing that idea.The reception is kind of a blur. I remember good food, an open bar, chatting with tons of people, and even dancing. Those who know me know that I do not dance. If I do dance it is brief and because I love the song. That night I loved dancing, if that weren't evidence enough the next day hangover is proof that I had a wee bit much to drink. Highlights of the evening include:
- Sarah and I buying a pack a cigarettes so we could each have a single smoke while the boys were on the balcony smoking cigars. I left the rest of the pack at my dad's house.
- Everyone showing off the flipflops they brought to change into once the reception started. Julie Kieth had the biggest sparkles on her and deserves a prize.
- The best man basically implying that he heard the bride and groom having sex the first year they new each other. (yup, that was part of his toast)
- Me getting mad when they only played 5 seconds of "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" then stopped it to announce the bouquet toss.*
- A friend of the family, who is old enough to be my dad, venting about his own father is dating a younger woman (she's in her 60s). I kind of know how he feels from previous relationships my own dad had, but had a hard time sympathizing because my current step-mom is really cool, and she's great for my dad.
- The only good picture of the reception that I have is of our empty table.
As previously stated I woke up Sunday with a pretty good sized hangover. I had managed to get a to go box of wedding cake for Iza and that meant I was free to eat the slice I stuffed into a ziploc bag. I started off the day with rootbeer and wedding cake, and that got me going enough to make it to the after-party brunch. I was not the only hangover around. Many of us were clutching mimosas or bloody marys in our hands, shielding our eyes from the sun, and grateful for someone else making us some food. I feasted on quiche, cheese cake, and various fruits. It was one of those mornings where you start feeling a little better only to find that you're still exhausted under all that hangover. Daniel and Tricia opened their gifts, and then we said our goodbyes.

After a bit of a nap we cleaned up all of our belongings from my dad's apartment** and headed back home. Jeff kindly drove the whole way, and I made questionable snacking choices.*** We got back to Austin around 8:30 pm and that was that. I went to bed early and woke up Monday feeling much better.

*The next morning I caught shit from various old women that I'm related to by marriage laughing at me for going to the floor for the bouquet toss. I finally (hangover remember) got mad enough and announced that I didn't want the fucking bouquet, that I'd had plenty of bouquets in my life, and that I wanted to hear the goddamn song. I think I declared it time to go home very shortly after that.

**Except for the charger for the camera battery. I just got a message from Iza that we left that plugged into their wall.

***There are new Whoppers with Reeses peanut butter on the outside, and a regular malted milk ball inside. They are not good. Don't buy them. If I don't like a candy it's probably pretty bad.

**** I will eat most things that have sugar as a key ingredient. I ate 2 or 3 of these and threw the rest of the box in the trash.

****The exception is sour candy. I'm not real big on super sour candy, but if it's a sweet candy you can trust my opinion.

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