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I am home from Rachel's wedding; J. is headed home from same. (We parted ways in Portland.) He and Rachel's friend Kathryn ([ profile] armedwithanoboe) were very pleasantly useful in distracting my from my usual return-trip train-desolation; after they were gone, I (among other things) began to work on this entry in my notebook. Now although I am sleepy I will attempt to type it up and complete it.

The fact of Rachel's marriage is too big to fit in my head all at once; I catch occasional glimpses, but for the most part I have to focus on some smaller detail in relative isolation. This makes it difficult to properly talk about. The ceremony itself was split into three discrete segments: the MARRYING, the EATING, and the PARTYING.

Heath came by around nine o'clock to pick us up from his and Rachel's new apartment, where we'd spent the night,


Their apartment is pretty nice, and friendly, once you figure out how to turn the heat and the hot water on. If it is haunted the spirits in question would seem to be entirely benign.


and - after a brief interlude at the Brewster house, wherein I frantically devoured a bagel - drove us up to the Mormon Temple in Portland, where the actual religious performance of the marriage was to take place. (He told us anecdotes about his brushes with death, and we all sang along to Simon and Garfunkel.) J. and I, being unbaptised (well, J. is probably just the wrong kind of baptised), were not allowed at the ceremony proper, so we waited in the entry chamber. I'm not sure what I was expecting - some grand and echoing hall, dim memories of the conference centre in Salt Lake City stirring in my mind - but it turned out more to resemble a particularly well- and lovingly-taken-care-of lobby; there were elaborate chandeliers, and a nice little atrium (in the sense of a garden-with-skylights), but also couches and plush carpet. For all the occasional vivid ritual and ornamentation, there is something about LDS worship which is very, hm, suburban, which is not a criticism. I wrote a bad but heartfelt poem, and J. may or may not have written a better one, and Rachel's baby nieces and nephews wandered around being unreasonably cute, especially the babiest.

After that, and they emerged, we all went outside (the bride attack-hugged me in passing (that doesn't even need a smug-faced smiley)) and took two million pictures, of which J. or I are in maybe five. Some of the pictures were taken by me and I suppose that eventually I shall upload them, assuming that any of them turn out to be good.

Then there was segment two, an "early supper" where I had basically a bunch of carrots, grapes and corn chips. There they actually exchanged their rings, which unexpectedly made me cry, though I don't think anyone noticed (until now, when I blabbed it to everyone, geeze). Following was the reception, which was held in their church gymnasium (note that a Mormon church is distinct from a Mormon temple! At least one of my friends has been confused by this).

This the first (remotely traditional) wedding I've been to since my early childhood, so it's difficult for me to gauge how well it went relative to others of its type. It seems like it would be nice to pull off an event of this sort without the principals needing to be so stressed as Rachel and Heath seemed to be for much of the day (although of course they were also happy, thrilled, smug, etc., and would no doubt assure any questioners that these latters served quite handily to eclipse that former), but perhaps that's just part of the nature of the thing. I now have, from observing things that seemed less than ideal, a small collection of notes toward any future weddings of my own, including,
  • Make sure that everyone involved is amply fed at appropriate intervals.

  • If there is to be a "line", in which bride and groom and family members are arranged so that guests may file past, shake hands, and offer congratulations, we had best provide thrones. (My feet were sore at the end of the day, and I wasn't even one of those forced to stand in one spot for an hour, and then expected to dance.)

  • I probably don't want a disco ball.
...but I don't know if any of those changes, or any like them, would be fundamental enough to render a wedding unexhausting.

Anyway, after a bunch of receptionizing, and some variously successful attempts to dance in the sort of clothing that requires three people to follow you around and carry it, Rachel and Heath escaped very slowly to their honeymoon, which is someplace so secret that not even the residents can find it, and the rest of us took down decorations and packed up gifts and eventually managed to escape to our various sleepings. It was good to see Rachel, and especially good to see Rachel awesomely happy. I hope I get to see her again soon in a context such that it is reasonable to expect her to pay attention to me (though she did that a lot anyway, considering, so yay).

The wedding was, of course, only the climactic culmination of J.'s west coast visit, the previous week of which was spent in my own fair city. The brevity of the daylight hours and the obligation of my schooling kept us from ranging about Vancouver as much as I would have liked, but we did accomplish some things, which I shall present in approximately chronological order.
  • My birthday party! This was the explicit purpose of the Vancouver leg of J.'s trip. We ate veggie burgers and mushroom gravy and crisp; we played werewolf and David's open-source German board game and another of David's obscure games and talked a whole bunch, and three people stayed over in addition to J. and the reason that they stayed over is that we kept going until 5 in the morning. This all implies - correctly - that my party was awesome. My friend Chona came, who was the one hit by a car (I didn't mention this to my weblog yet, but she came in the school day after I posted about her, with a headache and a bruise on her thigh that looked like a thermal map of a volcanic isle but generally lovely and in high spirits), and got along with everyone, which made me happy.

    Perfection is impossible: notable, conversely, in their absences were, among, I'm sure, others, Jason, Conor, Keri, and Keely. Alas, alas, alas, alas. Also it was raining and for some reason a lot of people get lost (in the rain) on the way to my house. Positive aspects win, though (especially since (at least) most of those lost eventually got there and dried off).

  • Watched a lot of video, including the requisite disc of Witch Hunter Robin (in order to finish this series, we will need to see each other at least six times. It's getting good!) and three or four episodes of Firefly, in various company.

  • Talked on IRC while in the same room.

  • Went used book shopping.

  • Went to my classes together.

  • My actual birthday! (...I was 21 years old when I wrote this song...) This isn't so much a J. thing, though he came to celebratory Chinese food with my family, but I thought I'd take this opportunity to tell you that I got CDs by Ben Folds, Maximo Park, the Weakerthans, Iron and Wine, and the New Pornographers; books by Rowling and Bujold; and the first season DVDs of Veronica Mars. And some money. Also before I'd got a Transmetropolitan graphic novel and, earlier still, an angry raccoon hat.

  • J. got Antiquity talking to Memory. At last, my old, obscure music collection can meld to my newer and more mainstream!

  • Talked a lot.

  • Went shopping for dress shoes for the wedding, at which we both were mildly hapless, but he much less so than I was. The shoes I ended up buying have the special power that everyone who sees them remarks first that they're nondescript and inoffensive (though Rachel spoiled it somewhat by later describing that the toe was unusually long).

  • Gazed soulfully into one another's eyes.
Plus probably some other things. J. is awesome; it was a lot of fun to have him here.

Probably that's the end of this entry. I have some other things to write about; watch the walls.
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Andy H.

February 2013

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