This entry is pretty much just going to be an extended remix version of the following statement: I Sure Do Love My Friends. That’s what a lot of my entries are, actually, so to differentiate this one from all the others, it will really be an extended dance remix of the following statement: “I Sure Do Love My Friends, And Weddings, And Canoeing, And Conveyor-Belt Sushi, And My Hot New Dress That I Got, And Dancing, And Karaoke, And Sumo Wrestling, And The Space Needle.”
Let’s just go chronologically here: Friday night four of my friends from the ABL (whom I’d visited just a couple of weekends ago) flew up here for our friends’ Ian and Katie’s wedding, the first of five to which I’m invited this year. Carl had to go pick them up by himself because not all six of us plus luggage would fit in the Volvo, so I spent the time frantically cleaning the house so that when my friends arrived, they would have plenty of floor space to cover with their stuff. This was when I discovered that both Dawn and John would not be staying with me in my apartment but would actually be staying outside…in a tent. Really. Dawn said something about cat allergies and wanting to test out her exciting new sleeping bag, but I am privately convinced that they just don’t like my decorating scheme. Still, if you have a small apartment, as I do, it’s not an unhandy thing to have half your houseguests sleep outside on the floor. Anyone who is thinking about coming to stay with me in the future, be aware: I may be extending this policy more often in the future.
So we all had hot chocolate and cookies and Anna gave me an early birthday present: a beautifully framed picture of…myself! Isn’t that great? She’d taken some pictures of me when I was there a couple of weeks ago and one of the ones of me in the red vinyl tank top came out pretty well. This is very handy because I am thinking of creating a shrine to myself at my party on Friday, you know, with the framed photo and then some candles and maybe some oranges and flowers and stuff. And when you walk into the party you have to leave an offering or something, unless you want me to rain my wrath down upon the earth in the form of a mighty flood. I think it’s just the thing.
Saturday involved a large and delicious breakfast and a trip to the local mall by Anna, Rob, and myself to get Ian and Katie something off their registry for a wedding gift. Four of us went in together to get them a KitchenAid stand mixer thingy. We’dhoped they wanted one of the three different shades of purple that were on display, but no, they went with white. The saleslady told us that we could inform the bride and groom that they could trade up to a purple one if they choose…we never did (unless you’re reading this, Ian and/or Katie, in which case I would recommend the darker purple, not the really eighties’ purple or the lavender). On our way out of the gift registry department we ran into John and Treasa and Andrew, who were on their way to get their wedding presents, and so we went back up with them and wandered among the crystal vases and Kate Spade place settings for a while. I decided, while I was there, that I do not like most china patterns and also reaffirmed my love for Fiesta Ware, much to the delight of those of you scratching your heads about what to give me for my birthday (Hint: green, yellow, and dark blue).
The wedding was on Sunday, for reasons to be later elucidated, and so we had the rest of Saturday to hang out and be ridiculous. The vehicle for our ridiculosity was a couple of hours in canoes by the university Waterfront Activities Center, which is connected to the Arboretum. We paddled around and yelled “Ramming speed!” which is what everyone yells when they go canoeing and we saw a lot of ducks with white beaks and very big do this funny thing that involved flapping and looking as if they were running across the water. There was also a lot of going down little side channels and having to back the canoes out through whippy branches and mud and reeds. A good, if slightly damp, time was had by all.
After we brought the canoes back, everyone but me wanted to go play on a nearby rock climbing wall. I elected to take a nap curled up in the way back of the Volvo. I was happily snoring when I heard voices above me and opened my eyes to discover that all my so-called “friends” were looking at me through the car windows as if I was some sort of zoo animal, pointing and going “Look! It’s waking up! Maybe it will do a trick!” This didn’t faze me too much, I guess, because I fell right back asleep and awoke in front of our friend Craig’s apartment, all alone in the way back of a Volvo. They eventually came down with Craig (but they’re on antibiotics now so it should clear up soon) and we hurtled off into the night on a quest for conveyor belt sushi.
Conveyor belt sushi, for those of you who may not have had the pleasure, is just what it sounds like: You sit around a big circular conveyor belt thing and little plates of sushi come around at about eye level and you grab the ones you want and go to town. At the place we went the plates are priced by color so you have some idea of what your final bill will be as you grab plates with abandon, especially when you see that some of the plates contain not sushi but rather cream puffs and tiny little brownies. We were extraordinarily hungry by the time we actually got to sit down, as we waited for a table for about an hour. This was only made possible by free edamame from the management, who felt sorry for us or something, and also by the fact that there was live sumo wrestling on the bar TV and it turns out that sumo wrestling is the kind of spectator sport I can appreciate. Each match is very short and involves nearly naked men making horrific faces and doing a lot of what I believe the youth today refer to as “frontin.” They slap their bellies and throw salt on the floor and stomp one foot high in the air and it’s all just very exciting and very very funny. Both Carl and Craig have seen live sumo and they assured us that it’s even better in person. The best part is that the audience was full of little old ladies, smiling and clapping and having the best time. How great would it be to go to wrestling with your grandmother, I ask you.
That pretty much wrapped up Saturday, and as soon as we put Dawn and John back outside (“Back into the tent with you!”) we were all happy to go to bed early in preparation for the wedding the next day.
Now, the reason this wedding was on a Sunday was very specific: it was Pi Day. 3.14. Get it? Get it? Pi? 3.14? The ceremony started at 1:59 because, you know, 3.14159, or something. Ian is something of a math geek and was very excited to get married on such a significant date. Sunday morning Treasa came by so we could get stuff to decorate their car with; we went, of course, to the fantastic Display And Costume which is so conveniently near my house (right down the street from Target, if you can imagine anything better). We got some silver streamers and balloons and that weird car-window-foamy stuff you can write with, and as a the final coup we picked up some very funny Honeymoon Sandals, which, of course, spell out “Just Married” when you walk down the beach with your beloved. You sort of have to see them to be able to appreciate them fully. I was very proud of myself. The essential purchases made, it was then time to head back to my house, get dressed up, and book it to the church.
It was a very lovely and simple ceremony, and Katie looked beautiful in her wedding dress and a huge happy smile. The wedding sermon (performed, interestingly enough, by one of Ian’s improv comedy friends) was all about how pi is this magical number and love is also this magical thing and how that’s really good…I didn’t quite follow all of it, but the main thing was that they said their vows and gave each other rings and kissed, and just like that! Married!
The reception was at the Space Needle and we all went to the top first thing…the weather, miraculously, cooperated, and so we had some gorgeous views of the Sound and the mountains and the islands off in the distance. It was very windy and exhilarating and of course all the geeks in the group started calculating how best to cut through the cables that keep you from hurling yourself off the Needle onto the concrete of the Seattle Center in a most unlovely fashion, and what one’s rate of fall might be, and what sorts of physics and math might be involved in deciphering what, exactly, would happen to you when you jumped. These are the same geeks who wrote math problems that solved to pi on the getaway car, right alongside the Just Married! Sandals and everything. It was quite clearly time to get to the party and think about happier things.
It was late afternoon and the sun was shining on the cake (the wedding topper was a bride and groom leaning on a, you guessed it, pi sign) and there were assigned tables which I totally love because it eliminates that awkward where-are-we-sitting thing. We were all very happy to be there and to be there together. We became even happier…some of us, at least…when we learned that this was a wedding that involved not only probably the best wedding cake I have ever eaten, but also karaoke.
I know. Daring, right? Possibly very humiliating for some people. I was, frankly, not so sure how it would pan out. It’s a mixed crowd, a lot of people don’t know each other, it’s not really certain if the audience is going to be supportive, and who knows what the wedding DJ’s song list would be like. I was intrigued, certainly, having seen with my own eyes at JournalCon the unifying qualities karaoke can have upon a large and disparate group. I was even thinking about singing (gasp!) myself.
Dramatics aside, once Rob kicked it up a notch with a very convincing rendition of Brown Eyed Girl, I screwed my courage to the sticking point and invoked Hannah’s performance of “Hopelessly Devoted To You” when I got up to sing that very same song, my hands all aquiver. Being Katie’s wedding, naturally I had to incorporate her name into the song when at all possible, and I’d like to think I did a decent job of conveying my hopeless devotion to her and Ian on the day of their wedding. I channeled Monty a little in that I did a little spoken word too. Monty does it just to be cool, but I did it to disguise the fact that I couldn’t hit some of those real high notes. Worked like a charm, if the stunned faces of the bride and groom’s families were anything to go by.
There was also dancing at this wedding, and flirting and oohing and aahing over rings (Ian’s may be the coolest boy wedding ring I’ve seen) and hugging and, later at the afterparty at John and Treasa’s, maybe a little cross-dressing. It was a wonderful end to a dandy weekend, full of all the things I like best: laughing and acting the fool and being outside and looking at ducks and wearing my cute new dress and yummy food and sumo wrestling and vows of eternal love and fantastic views and esoteric numbers and sleepovers and cake. See also: I Sure Do Love My Friends.
Happy wedding, Ian and Katie. Thanks for providing the impetus for a great weekend. May the pi of your love get sweeter every year.