Got up fairly early friday morning because i had some chores to do and still hadn't packed yet :)
Went to PetCo to get some cat food and cat litter since i was low/out of both. I was smart enough to wait until 9 so that PetCo was open, but then i stopped by Borders to get some books for the flight and found they didn't open till 10 =P So i drove up to del taco and ate breakfast there and went back to Borders. They didn't have some of the books i wanted so i ended up with just four books, which was more than enough for the trip anyways. I was mildly interested to note that because of the particular books they didn't have i ended up with all female authors. I drove back to my apartment and did some laundry while packing up the non-clothes stuff. After starting the laundry in the dryer i called up the cab company and asked for a cab for 12:30. I went and got clothes out of the dryer at 12:15, packed the ones i needed and went outside just in time to catch the cab.
--Strange cab driver--
I had a straaange cab driver. He seemed almost like a confidence man except that he wasn't trying to sell me anything. He asked what i did for a living and i told him, and he asked if i was putting any money away and i said yes, i was putting about 10% into 401k. And he told me that i shouldn't depend on 401k, that i should put about $1200 away on my own every year and in about 20 years i'd have something like a half million dollars or some other insane number like that, which i don't think is really accurate. He was telling my something about how i might feel young at the moment and think i might not think i have to worry about those things now, but that time would just fly by and before i knew it i'd be as old as him. I kinda had to resist laughing at him at that point given that i already feel depressingly old and have been aware of everything he was trying to tell me for quite some time.
He then tried to convince me that in another ten or so years he saw me running my own company because he thought i seemed like that kind of person. I had to resist laughing at him again because i'm _not_ that kind of person. I'm not particularly competent at anything, especially not the kinds of things you'd need to know to run even a home buisness. I'd be too worried and stressed out about the responsibility and the possibility of failure to do a good job at it anyways. I really can't see myself in that kind of position.
Then he was trying to convince me about the benefits of a stable relationship, and i told him yes, i was quite aware of that, and was just lacking that mutually interested party. When he asked about it i told him i'd been dumped several times at which point he said one of the few things i agreed with, which was that i had to figure out what was wrong with me such that i was attracting that type of person. He also said that i would eventually find someone but by not looking, which is the exact opposite of what everyone else keeps telling me i should do :) As much as i'd like to think that having posted personals on Nerve and OkCupid was enough, i know that no cute geeky girl of my dreams is going to message me out of the blue that way. Hell, i've theoretically been trying to meet people for awhile now and despite trying i haven't actually interacted with anyone new in months.
We were just pulling into the airport about then so that was the end of the surreal cab ride. I'm still not sure what the point of it all was. Maybe he just likes to talk a _lot_, but that doesn't really explain the part where he was acting like a fortune teller trying to analyze my personality. Maybe he thought that if he fooled people they'd give him a bigger tip. Well, it didn't fool me and he got the exact same tip i always give, although he seemed to think it was a good tip, so maybe he thought he had me figured out, who knows.
--Plane flight, getting lost and friday evening--
So i checked in and went through security, and almost got caught up in some new thing where they want you to have your ticket with you when you go through the metal detector. Other than that it was uneventfull. I sat at the gate and played FF2 and read until the plane loaded. It was a very short flight, made shorter by the fact that gulf stream was apparently farther south than normal for that time of year and was giving us a tail wind. They said they were slowing down to make sure we didn't arrive _too_ early and have to wait on the tarmac waiting for a gate to open up :)
We got in about 20 minutes early and i wandered around for a bit than settled down and read for an hour or so. Then i went out to the baggage claim area to wait for my sister and thegreatgonz to show up. When they did we went out to the Thrifty lot where thegreatgonz had made a reservation for us. I got to actually claim the car though since i was the only one of us over 25 =P The Thrifty lot was very... thrifty. What should have been the main office was closed and they were set up in a portable. After signing the forms they gave us vague directions to where the car was saying it was in some specific space. We wandered around for quite a bit before we actually found it, not helped by the fact that the numbers had been almost completly worn away once we found the area with the numbered spots. We headed out and apparently missed the turn to the freeway and traveled on for several more minutes before deciding we were not going the right way and turned around. Since there were no side streets this involved doing a u-turn in the middle of the road which was luckily untraveled at that time and location by anyone other than us. We made it back to the turn and headed towards the freeway and were confused by the lack of concise signage and ended up getting on it the wrong way, headed back to the airport. We then made a series of bad turn choiced which ended up with us getting stuck in one of the short term parking lots. Luckily after a couple of minutes we managed to find out way out of it, weren't charged since we'd only been in there a few minutes, and were now headed out in the right direction.
We continued on to the hotel following the directions 2gouda4u had google-maped for us. Along the way while we were going past one of the stadiums thegreatgonz pointed out the window and said look, there's another Red Lion Inn. Ten or fifteen minutes later we got to where the directions said we were supposed to arrive and there was no hotel in site. After wandering around for a few minutes thegreatgonz called jmpava and asked him about it. His response was something along the lines of "you used mapquest, didn't you?" Apparently some streets had gotten renamed recently and everyone who mapquested, and apparently googled, the address of the hotel got sent out to the residential boonies where we were. We were actually supposed to have ended up at that Red Lion Inn we saw by the stadium. Ha ha. So he gave us the correct exit number to get off at and we turned around.
We got there and checked in and had just enough time to dump our stuff in our rooms before we had to head back to the airport to pick up madduckdes and mark. So we drove out to the airport and made the _right_ turn decisions this time and managed to pick them up at the curbside of the arrivals area and made our way safely back to the highway. We had an uneventful trip back to the hotel during which it was decided that some of us needed to be at the wedding place early the next day to help with setting up and the rest of us could sleep in a little. Luckily i was included in the second group :)
We managed to run into some of the others when we got back and found that there was a small party-like thing going on so we wandered up to that for awhile. We got to hear stories about the groom and several other members of the wedding party getting stuck in the hotel elevator the day before and just generally goofed off before everyone headed off to bed about midnight.
--getting to the wedding--
I got up about 7, showered, then ran down to the other room cause they had an iron and i didn't, ironed my shirt, then ran back upstairs to change, and then we headed out just after 9. We had directions for this trip, i forget if they were corrected from the badly addressed ones or what. However the first step of course was getting on the freeway, so i turned onto the road leading to the onramp right next to the hotel, then stoped because there was a construction worker standing in the middle of the road. He waved at us, then made some weird handsigns at us, then walked over and told us that we needed to turn around because the onramp was closed. We asked him where the next onramp was and he gave us some vague directions, so we turned around and after some confused wandering about managed to get on the freeway. After that everything went fine until we got off the freeway at which point the directions seemed to have an extra turn or so that we didn't see, but we were pretty sure we were heading in the right direction on the right road.
We were supposed to pass the place and then make a u-turn at the next intersection. Well we saw the place on our left, but the next intersection was left turn only. So we signaled to turn left and then noticed that the car in front of us also contained a group from the wedding. They seemed to know where they were going so we decided to follow them (the Dirk Gently method of navigation) so we ended up following them on a twisty course through the development right next to the place we were trying to get to before they gave up and went back out to the street and turned around :)
After we parked at the place we teased them about their navigating skills. Apparently they had a GPS system that was giving them directions. Bad directions apparently. This was obviosuly not the weekend for automated direction finding services.
So we went and signed up on the guest registry thing and got programs and bottles of bubble stuff. Then thegreatgonz and i went inside (the wedding was taking place outside) because 2gouda4u was busy setting up name cards for the reception-brunch thing and wanted some help. We spent ten or so minutes sorting through name cards trying to figure out why we were about 8 short before we figured out that one of the tables hadn't had its name sheet printed. This was one of the family tables so it was kinda important. Jmpava rushed off to get the list of who was supposed to be sitting there and 2gouda4u handwrote labels for them. By the time we'd finished that it was slightly after the wedding was supposed to have started but maggiedacatt was still getting into her dress or something so we had pleanty of time to go out and sit down.
--wedding and reception--
The short version, like i siad before, was that it was a nice wedding. The much longer version is...
They'd been playing lots of movie themes the whole time since we got there, and they did another one for the walking down the aisle bit, and i'm sad that i can't remember what it was. They had two people officiating. The first significant even was the reading of their answers to various questions. They'd each been asked seperately beforehand what they thought friendship, love, and marriage meant. Everyone was amused by sphaelar's answer to the marriage one, because he diverged into a socialogical treatise about marriage and the rights inherent in it vis a vis those with a different sexual orientation and how he felt conflicted because of it. Afterwards there were some comments from people who had taken Hum with him back at Mudd and he said that when he'd been answering the questions he'd expected them to take relevant excerpts, not to read out his entire response :)
But anyways, after that they did the rose ceremony. They were each given a rose, and then they each gave a the rose to the other person. And then the guy said that it might seem like nothing had changed because they both started out holding a single rose, and now they were both holding a single rose, just like on the surface it might seem like nothing had changed after the wedding since they would pretty much go on as they had been before, but that symbolically things would have changed and it would be important. (I'm sure the guy said it in a much more significant way than my attempt to repeat it) which i thought was both amusing and meaningful. They then put their two roses in a vase of water, and were told that wherever they live they're supposed to pick out a place where they can leave roses for each other if they ever feel they need to say "i love you" but can't say it out loud for some reason.
Then there was a wine ceremony, which i didn't really understand *shrug* Then the normal vows and ring exchange. Mixed in throughout the ceremony were several readings by various people, including one reading from Xenocide :)
After that we went inside for the reception/brunch thing. Instead of having numbers or some such each table had a movie character. I was at the Marla Singer table, there was also a Sarah Conner table, a Riddick table, um, and about five or six more i'm forgetting about =P
They had a coffee bar set up with lots of cool drinks so people started lining up. Shortly after i got in line though one of the waiter people came up and said that we should all sit down so they could start calling us up for the buffet. In fact she told our table that it would be just a few minutes. Ha. We were in the far corner away from the bride and groom's table which is of course where they're going to start, followed by the family, and slowly working its way down to our end. So after we'd been sitting there for ten minutes i decided to screw their system and went to the coffee bar to get a chai. Ha! Take that the man!
We finally got called up, with comment about how if we wanted any bacon we should hurry because they were just about out =P Luckily i wasn't that interested in bacon. I got some fruit and a bagel and some french toast and some potatoes. Then i decided to pour some maple syrup on the french toast. They had it in these big giant things, like coffee or some other kind of drink containers. It had a spout and a spiny dial on it, and it lied to me! I tried pouring out some maple syrup, and a drop or two dripped out, that was it. So i looked at the dial thing, and it said turn left to open and turn right to close, so i turned it left a little and tried pouring again, and again a drop or two came out then nothing. So i turned it some more to the left and tried again, drip drip. Turn some more, drip drip. Turn some more, drip drip. Turn some more, top falls off and syrup floods over the entire plate. Crap!
So i went back to the table with a plate of various food stuffs sitting in a small lake of syrup. The bagel was the worst casualty. I wiped it off on my napkin, but it was sticky which made it annoying to cut and it tasted kinda weird. The potatoes were somewhat walled off from the flood so they weren't too bad. The fruit was syrupy but they were sweet anyways. The french toast of course had more than enough syrup.
So we ate and blew bubbles at each other and then after awhile they poured champagne and/or sparkling cider for us and quite a bit after that they finally did speaches and toasts. Shortly after that people started heading off. We went back to the hotel and everyone else in our group wanted to take a nap, so i went up to my room and played FF2 and read and watched random shows on tv for awhile.
Oh, and weird coincidence for the weekend thing:
I don't remember if i mentioned it or not, but a month or three ago when i was at dungeon i ran into a mudder from my year, one of the people who's up at ABL now. He was down in LA for the weekend and for whatever reason decided to go to dungeon. Well it turns out the person i was sitting next to at brunch is dating him now, and was actually at dungeon then as well, although i either didn't see her or didn't recognize her at the time.
The party was themed as a 20's "speak easy." Some people put quite a lot of effort to dress up, i didn't have anything that really fit the era so i just went in the same suit i wore to the wedding. We went to dinner at the hotel first since a lot of the rest of the group was eating there. We were the last ones to leave the resturant but one of the first groups to show up at the party. I guess everyone else was taking (quite a bit of) time to change afterwards whereas we'd changed before.
There was ice cream and music and stuff to drink, though i was only interested in two out of the three. And people to talk to, which i'm interested in but not much good at. Had some ice cream and after a long while to work the nerve up did some dancing as well. Three cute human female types actually danced with me briefly, but two of those people just wanted to make sure i was having fun, one of them being the bride, and the third was a friend who i hadn't seen in a couple years who just wanted to chat a bit and catch up. Still, better than my usual dancing experience :)
Things wrapped up about... damn, i've forgotten by this point. Probably midnightish or a little later? We went back to the hotel and all crashed.
I got up at about 5:30 in the morning i think because madduckdes and mark needed a trip back to the airport for an early flight. I dropped them off and headed back but didn't feel like going to sleep again, so i showered and killed time for a few hours and then gave 2gouda4u and thegreatgonz a call at 9 or 10 to find out what they wanted to do for food. Apparently i woke them up, but i didn't feel too guilty about it since they would have been the ones up before 6 to chauffeur people around :)
We decided to wait until just before checkout time at noon before heading out for food. I killed some more time and while doing so heard Jmpava in the hallway outside my room telling people that thegreatgonz was wondering if anyone else felt like joining us for lunch. Thegreatgonz gave me a call a little before noon and apparently only one other person had decided to join us. We decided to go to Denny's and all met in the lobby and checked out.
On the way to Denny's we stopped to get gas since i'd noticed on the trip to the airport in the morning that the local gas station there had significantly higher prices, as to be expected. Of course when we took a look at the rental form it said we needed to give them a receipt for a gas station within 10 miles if we didn't want to be charged for gas, but it was still worth it to fill the tank up with cheaper gas first. I even did the topping off thing and was supprised to find i could fit in an extra half gallon that way.
So we went to Denny's and ate and then headed off to the airport. Stopped at the local gas station and topped it off, which turned out to be about a quarter of a tank and the fuel gauge didn't twitch at all. When we turned the car in they didn't even ask for the receipt so we probably didn't have to bother, but i suppose if we'd skipped it they would have asked for it =P
We took the shuttle to the airport and checked in and then split up since we were flying out of different concourses and they were leaving relatively soon and i was sitting around for about four hours. Read a lot, played some FF2. Caught flight, flew home, took a much less eventfull taxi ride home (for which i gave the exact same tip as for the advice full taxi ride on the way out =) Spent the rest of the day relaxing and catching up on net stuff.