Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Springfield and the NW Family

On Friday the 9th, my friend David - my best friend Amber's husband - and I drove down to Springfield, Oregon for Amber's kid brother Chris's wedding.

It's a four-and-a-half hour drive from my place in Seattle to Springfield, but it passed remarkably quickly. The tunes definitely helped - Jamiroquai, BT, EBTG, Michael Jackson, Oakenfold, and some Bach performed by Perlman for good measure. It was the first time I'd listened to Walking Wounded - what a fantastic album. We drove the entire way with the top down, including the last thirty miles in a light rain. We must have looked ridiculous going 80 mph with the top down and the wipers on high.

There's a running joke that I'm Amber's weekend husband, and sure enough, on arriving at her parents' place there was a note on the door: "Welcome husbands!" We all passed out, and headed off to the wedding site the next morning.

Chris and Kim got married at the Belknap hot springs resort, which feels like a miniature national park. It was a terrific location, and the drizzle let up just in time for the ceremony. Chris has a quiet dignity that reminds me of his father, and you should've seen him looking at Kim. To quote from Top Gun: "unless you are a fool, that boy is off the market."

Amber and David took off early Sunday to catch a flight to Hawaii. I slept in a bit longer and had brunch with Amber's folks at Finn's Drive-In. They're in some ways my NW family, and I really enjoyed spending time with them.

One thing that struck me while I was in Oregon was that I seem to be drawn to people who are extraordinarily sincere. I suspect I didn't appreciate that as much when I was younger, but with each passing year I become more aware of how rare that quality is in people.

Monday, September 05, 2005


Sing to me Muse,
And infuse my prose
With sweet words
That soar o'er land thru air
And bear fair news
To where I stand
From the heartland!

OK, so a poet I am NOT. But I DID spend Labor Day weekend in Indiana: Huntington, Indiana, to be specific.

What is in Huntington, IN? Well, I saw a sign for the "Dan Quayle Museum," but somehow I find it difficult to see ANYONE making a pilgrimage to that, um, mecca of political genius.

Rather, I was there for my favorite cousin's wedding reception. Tani married Vidya in India this July, but work kept me from attending. The bride's family was good enough to organize a US reception this weekend near their hometown of Fort Wayne, giving us delinquents a second chance.

Speaking of Fort Wayne, it has an airport. An INTERNATIONAL airport, no less. Vidya: "The airport is international because there's a cargo flight to Canada." FWA has one terminal, with two floors, and four gates per floor. Yeah.

In any case, Tani's a venture capitalist who did his PhD and MBA in the US, and Vidya's an attorney who for the most part grew up in the US. Quite the power couple. It was hilarious watching the video footage of the traditional wedding in India - you could tell they were counting on everyone around them to keep them from screwing up. And Tani _looked like a medieval warrior_ in his outfit.

Anyhow, it was great to finally meet Vidya and it was good to spend some time with my parents - I don't get to see them nearly often enough. And Indiana will be with me, in the deepest repressed recesses of my soul, for decades to come.

The groom's side of the family. My father and Tani are on either side of me. My mother is in front of Dad, my aunt (Tani's mother) is in front of me, and Vidya is in front of Tani.