Just a Guy Thing

Marriage, music and more

Marriage

Yesterday, I had to attend a wedding... One of my cousins was getting married after dating the girl for years... This post hasn't a thing to do with that aspect, as I wouldn't think of developing an opinion on that... As usual, I sit in judgement of the "event"

The wedding itself, was in a church. The place looked nice enough outside, and I was shocked when I went inside and felt I had walked in to a funeral home... I wasn't the only one... Every member of the immediate family felt it... Very strange vibe... However, we proceeded in to the chapel (I guess that's the right word, being religiously ambivalent, I can't say) and it was quite nice... My only problem there with the facility was that when the couple was standing up on the stage(for lack of the proper word) it was impossible to see the priest unless you had a seat way over on the side of the room... Poor planning for weddings, but I'm sure this is a great space when just the priest is up there doing his thing... They had a decent sound system installed, and thankfully, they had someone on staff that could run it. The mics were run up and down smoothly, and there was not a single sound issue that they could control... Sound however was an issue to me... Let me explain...

There were perhaps 50 of us in the room... I suspect that 20 people minimum had cameras, beyond the two professional photographers. So there was a constant roar of shutters clicking, winders advancing, film rewinding after the last shot, that sound flashes make going off and beeping as people changed settings... I mean it was loud... Loud enough that the sound person had to turn up the priests mic... I swear I thought I was outside the academy awards, and I wouldn't have been surprised if the priest had sunglasses on due to flashes... Perhaps its just me, but if I ever get married, there will be no cameras allowed at the ceremony apart from the pros... I'd get a couple or three pros mind you so they'd get everything, but that would keep it down to a dull roar... Possibly I'd get 3 digital videographers, and eliminate all the Live Sex Chat flashes, film motors, and shutters completely... Something to think about...

So after that, we all went home for a couple hours before the reception... The reception was at a very expensive place in north Jersey... That side of the family has money, and I've been to one other wedding from that clan, so I knew it would be expensive.... The problems however started quickly...

As I got out of the car, the valet told me the room wasn't quite ready, and I could wait at the bar if I wanted... Well I was driving home later, and knew I'd have a couple at the reception proper, so I thought I'd wait the few minutes outside the room... Guess what?... Not only was the room not ready yet, but there was another reception still winding down in there... End result, was that all 190 of us in the reception had to wait almost 35-40 minutes while they got the other party out, and then turned the room around... That's not the wedding party's fault, but the facility is squarely in the wrong there... Fortunately, it was a beautiful day, so the wait which was outside was not big deal... Once we headed in, we were buried in food... They had enough food there to live on for a month or two, and this was just cocktail hour... Let me re-emphasize that Cocktail hour... Cocktail hour usually to me involves some appetizers, which we certainly had, and some drinks... Imagine if you will, 190 people trying to get drinks from 1, yes 1 bartender... Being one of the first in the room, I noticed that issue right away, and was third in line for a drink... I got 2 since I knew I'd never make it back again, and they were serving drinks in small rocks glasses... The liquor selection was lame considering I know what they were paying for the Jasminlive place, and I wouldn't use the beer they had even for a marinade... Poor planning again... Incidentally, there is no wheelchair access to this room... I have one relative that is confined to a wheelchair... They couldn't find the ramp... They had to carry her up and down the stairs... That infuriates me on two levels... First that my cousin picked that room, knowing the situation (though I imagine they told him they had a ramp). And more importantly, the facility guys didn't know where the ramp was... Its bad and lame enough that they don't have a permanent ramp, its unforgivable that it isn't sitting right there, all the time... Disgusting...

Off we all go to the main room... We do this by walking outside again since there is no indoor path to the atrium area... What the hell do they do in the rain?... I'll probably never know... Again, I sized up the room very quickly... The bar was on the far side of the room, but there were 3 guys waiting, so that looked better... There were also 5 tap handles, most of which I recognized, and was happier with the selection... (beer isn't that much of an obsession with me folks, it just goes to the planning of the event in my mind...) My table was in a corner, which I prefer, since you avoid getting bumped in to all night by people moving around, and it was as far from the DJ and speakers as possible... Personally I hate DJ's, but to each their own... Unfortunately apart from the annoying personality of DJ's, they now come equipped with their own little lighting packages... Typically they set these things up in front of their table, and they shine glaringly into the room... Yep, they did... I sat down with my back to them, and let my unknowing relatives get the bad seats... Note to DJ's... Point the damn wiggle lights up against the ceiling, or get them high enough to keep them down on the dance floor!!! And incidentally, there is no fucking way you should have a laser effect parking at eye level anyplace, keep that thing moving, and keep it up or down...

Over all, the event was fine to most people... I'm sure the bride and groom had a good time, and most of the people in attendance aren't bothered by things like I am... I can guarantee you though that if I ever get around to getting married, I will have a damn production staff involved, and it will be perfect if I go the "event" route... More likely, I'll do it all outdoors, with a barbecue, and if it rains, we'll all go bowling instead...

Moving Day

Since nothing else in my life was working out today, I thought I could at the very least move some of the stuff from my garage in to my house. Until now, the furniture in my house has been limited to my bedroom, a dining table, and my desk in the office. The garage contained all my living room furniture, the balance of my office, the bar, and the huge card table with associated chairs... Along with that, all the books, livejasmin decor and anything else that I didn't actually need was out there in boxes...

I started by deciding to get the recliners in, as well as the bar in the interest of freeing up some space in the garage so I might be able to change the oil in my truck inside the garage... It seemed to be going so nicely that I kept at it, and currently, all the furniture is in the house with only a rocking chair, and two hard plastic "emergency" chairs left out there... I also managed to get almost everything else off to the side in fairly neat stacks... I am only a lawn mower, and a shop vac away from being able to park in the garage...

Since I will have some time between pumping the pipes full of air again after finding the next leak, I thought perhaps I will finally be able to install my garage door opener... Naturally since the previous guy was a hack, I have to re-build the support for the tracks, but that's basic carpentry... AKA no worry about leaking pipes... The electrical is also pretty easy, and I'm not worried about that...

Now if only the plumbing was so damn straight forward.

Getting Shelled

I live on an old street... Turn of the previous century at least... That means there are some old houses, and some really old trees in the area... My neighbors have a giant oak along the curb... I mean a GIANT, HUGE OAK!!! If just one of the main branches snapped and fell, I wouldn't have a house left to repair, I'd be starting from scratch... (as such I keep a very close eye on the health of said tree)

This year, the weather produced the ideal conditions apparently for the production of acorns from said oak... This leads to a number of issues, some of which I knew were coming, others, I hadn't considered before...

So these things start dropping... Either its the wind, or a group of twisted squirrels shaking them down... It doesn't matter which really, they're dropping... So a couple things happen.

a) Those bloody squirrels come, pick them up, and bury them all over the place, meaning I will have to start pulling up miniature oak trees from my gardens again next year.

b) They fall on my driveway and the squirrels ignore them.

c) They fall on the house

A needs no explanation... That's just nature planting new trees, and while those little saplings are a pain in the ass to pull unless you get them early, they do come up...

B leads to a couple things... Some of the acorns get driven over, and turned in to acorn butter... Now I have a tight driveway, that slops down toward my garage... Imagine if you will trying to navigate on a smooth surface, with a heavy vehicle, covered in something similar to peanut butter... This is disgusting, and I will have to power wash the driveway after most of the acorns are down... The other thing that happens is, the acorns land off to the side, and build up in numbers, waiting to attack my drainage system... Then when we get a rain, they all float down the driveway to the drain I had to install, and clog it, producing something of a miniature New Orleans effect... The water builds up, until it overtops the little stone walls around my garden, then it washes my top soil further down in the yard... Lovely...

C however is the worst of all... As I said, the tree is big, and therefor, tall... The acorns must be going at a pretty good clip just before they hit... I mention this because I have an aluminum awning/walk cover in the front of my place... Personally, I'm not fond of it, but its there, and I like the covered walk... (I'll replace it with a wood version some day... just not right now...) The thing is, when those acorns hit that sheet aluminum roof, it sounds like a shot... Not a big booming shotgun or anything, but something more than the pop of a handgun... We're in the .30 calibre range I think... So what I get (usually in the middle of the night, or early in the morning for some reason) sounds like a slow speed rifle battle... Now, I got used to hearing the occasional gunshot at night when I lived across the river in a ghetto, but that was never ATTACHED TO MY HOUSE... This has been going of for a few weeks on and off as they fall... Not frequently enough that I simply get used to it though... I jump out of bed every time... I can't wait until those things are finally down... Ugh!