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GadgetMan!

Today’s episode finds our protagonist sitting in the passenger’s seat of a rental car, typing this note into a new Palm device on a portable keyboard.  While I haven’t broken the last technology hurdle—i.e. this note isn’t being sent out wirelessly directly from a small computer implanted directly in my cerebellum—I’m nevertheless trying my hardest to sort out the wacky technology from the truly useful device.

If you stay tuned I’ll tell you why I’m in a rental car, but let me start by telling you about a truly useless device: The Sony Magic Radio Memory Thing.  I may not have the name exactly right.  Basically, you carry around this small, bright orange with one or two buttons—OK, to be honest I don’t know enough about to even kvetch.  I’ll continue this thread later.

So, Susie and I went to Western New York state for the wedding of a good friend from my high school. To be honest, he was a lapsed friend—someone I’d hung out with in high school incessantly, but that I hadn’t kept in close touch with after that.  I knew Dave had moved to New York to pursue theater. (I didn’t know it was also to pursue Jenn.) I later heard that he had gotten married at City Hall or the Bureau of Records or whichever gov’t building it was that you went to when you really loved someone and you really didn’t want the INS to send you back to Canada.

But Jenn and Dave weren’t satisfied with a quick civil ceremony, they wanted to direct and act in the big show: a Wedding, capital W.  So a little less than a year after they were married, a lovely invite with red and gold leaves showed up in my mailbox. When I heard about his wedding, I was strangely motivated, to attend.

And how glad am I that I did! We had a superb time.  The wedding was in a large farm house that Dave and Jenn had rented out for the week.  There was homemade fresh food flowing for days.  We stayed in a bed and breakfast nearby, and arrived the night before the wedding.  We drove in from Albany International Airport (sort of like Inuvik International Airport), and arrived at the farm for an evening gathering quite late.  They were just putting away the food when we got there, but as we stood on weary legs, bewildered by the array of relatives and friends, covered dishes of food kept materializing on the counter.  Corn bread pudding, slivers of turkey and beef, vegetarian minestrone soup, several heavy breads, cheeses, and an earthy red wine were dished out as we talked and warmed ourselves in the heat of a wood stove.  Dave and Jenn have two lovely dogs, Ferf and Nina, who provided just the right amount of doggie attention without being pushy.

The weather was, to put it politely, “brisk,” and spots of rain pelted our windshield as we drove back to the B&B in the dark the night before the wedding.  But the afternoon of the wedding itself was clear and slightly breezy.  Jenn had warned all the guests to dress in “sensible, perhaps wool” clothes, but two California residents like Susie and I couldn’t realistically imagine anything chillier than a movie theater with the AC up too high.

Wrong we were.

Though the weather stayed clear, and the farm lived up to its name (Sunset View), the temperature dropped, then dropped again. Shortly after that, it plummeted.  We moved, after a lovely and personal ceremony that showcased Jenn and Dave’s love for each other and for the theater, into the dinner tent, and tried gamely to dance and stuff ourselves to stave off hypothermia. I’m happy to say it worked. Hooray for red wine.

The speeches were wonderful.  Dave’s brother would have made any Vegas MC proud. Dave’s father told a wonderful story about a Thanksgiving dinner where Dave and Jenn sprung photos of their secret elopement with both parents over dessert—smart move, I thought, get everyone plump, happy and unable to move quickly and only then spill the beans.

Jenn’s father told a great story about Jenn describing a mental picture of her Dave to her father: “He dreams with me.”

Finally, the band, a group of gypsy-like bohemians who performed a variety of traditional Jewish songs on flute, bass, steel-stringed guitar and oboe, anyway, the band sung a great ballad written especially for the happy couple.  It went partially like this: “the happy couple here today, the happy couple here today, why do we repeat ourselves, why do we repeat ourselves? Because they did, because they did…. Did they think we’d forget they were already married? Do they think they’re fooling us?”

Anyway, three cheers for Jenn and Dave.  A good wedding, I think, is one whose aura and emotions spread to the whole crowd.  It made Susie and I happy to be together, to see two other people whose happiness was also so evident.

Overheard

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?

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