Jessica's wedding


Wow, talk about a wonderful whirlwind of meeting up with everyone.

Jessie's wedding was lovely, with Jessie being the most lovely petite bride I think I've ever seen. I recall Mom's comment about the bride glowing, and have to say that, yes, indeed, Jessie positively glowed.

The ceremony was short. There was a reading earlier in the ceremony that was, to my surprise, the same reading for the Gospel. I thought the duplication odd, but figured someone was trying to make a point with the repetition.

Being in a christian church, a catholic one in particular, makes me puzzle over the christian religion. The puzzlement is a reasonable progression, I think, from the uneducated acceptance of childhood to the rebellious rejection of adolescence to the rational incomprehension of adulthood.

The first (memorable) puzzle of today's service started when the priest commented on how God™ made man in the likeness of himself, and stopped the creationi process after creating man and woman. Uh....


Why the hell would God™ create a creature in his likeness then stop? Why stop? Maybe he was so appalled, he gave up in disgust?

Look, there isn't some gray-haired, white-skinned, bearded old man sitting in the sky listening to your requests, people. There isn't. Why do you think there is? And there isn't some "holy ghost"™ or spirit or whatever you want to call it. To include it makes you a polytheist, which, by your own doctorine, makes your God™ hate you. No really, he does. You just haven't figured it out yet.

I continued with my puzzling until the priest stopped for a moment. And in that glorious silence, a cell phone rang.

After the ceremony, there was a break before the reception. I left to walk back to the hotel, taking a detour to find a small purse to carry my cell phone, camera and wallet. Although the three of them fit into my pockets, I didn't feel comfortable leaving them there. I was unsuccessful in my search for a purse (*shudder* carrying a purse), but was successful in finding a bookstore.


The reception was held in a lovely hall. I was way fortunate enough that when I arrived, Jessie was still hanging out in the back. Jenn grabbed me and shuffled me into the back room, where I was able to talk with Jessie for about 15 minutes. It was absolutely wonderful to chat with her. And to have 15 minutes in the middle of the chaos of any wedding to talk with the bride? That time is precious.

The reception officially started not long after I arrived. I was sat at the table with Mary and Lyle (Jessie and Jenny's mom and husband), as well as a long time family friend who knew me by name, and I knew her by name, but neither of us had ever met.

Also at the table were Jenny's children and Rob's daughter, which was a great table dynamic. I spent the first part of the dinner talking to Ken and Lea (Jessie and Jenn's dad and wife), who were sitting at another table, but later switched over to talking with Mary. I was a lttle nervous about talking with Mary, as the transition from friend's parent to friend is not always a graceful transition, but I was VERY glad I moved around the table and sat for hours with Mary. We talked about all sorts of things, to the point where Jess AND Jenn both came up at separate times and let me know if Mary was talking too much, I had their permission to just leave. We laughed, and continued talking. The experience was like meeting an old friend after a long time and just catching up. I very much enjoyed the evening.

The reception had the requisite speeches for the newlyweds, which a LOT of references to kids. There were so many references to having kids and raising kids, and kids are this and kids are that, that I couldn't help but wonder what the heck was it about all the references to kids?

At the end of the evening, when I was gathering all of my stuff to leave, I reached for the small box of two truffles that each guest was given. My box was gone. I hadn't eaten my truffles at the beginning of the meal as I was very much wanting to eat the chocolate at the end of the evening, especially after hearing everyone else at my table Mmmmmmming and Ohhhhhhhing over the bites they had.

I looked all around my table, and found an empty truffle box that might have been my truffles. I suspect one of the kids ate the box, which disappointed me, but I wasn't surprised. I know I would have snagged it as a kid, so I can't really fault them for doing the same.

As I was leaving, a little earlier than most people would leave, as the music was too loud for my ears, Jessie met up with me and we chatted for a bit. She mentioned they had much too much left over cake, would I like some.

Would I? Oh my, yes. The cake was heavenly. I spent the next four hours trying to finish it. I failed.

It was, however, way better than the missing truffle.

A side note I couldn't figure out how to put into the narrative: during the reception, I looked around the room and noticed there, along the wall, were eight or so guys, just standing along the wall, not dancing. I was humoured by the sight, as it's usually women standing in the "gee, I wish someone would ask me to dance" stance.



When I was a child, somewhere between four and six, I participated in a study at the local university. I was asked to bring along a friend of every age for as much as I could. That is to say, bring along a friend who was three, one who was four, one who was five, six, seven, etc.

The study asked questions about what was important to me. I assumed the other participants were asked the same questions I was, but that's an assumption made after the fact and later in life.

I remember sitting there with the paper in front of me explaining to the researcher (or rather, more likely the researcher's assistant) about how I wasn't able to find a friend who was 8 years old, but I had managed 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 10, but they would be in later.

Only much later did I begin to wonder if the researcher understood how much more important my chatter was than her questions. To this day, I wonder if she understood that gaining my mother's approval, by finding these friends and fulfilling the request she made to me, was important to me, not the abstract "did you take my toys?"

I was reminded of what is important to an eight year old this afternoon, when Jenn's daughter handed me a wedding program. She had to nearly butt the other girl handing out programs out of the way to get to me first, insisting that I take the program, take it, take it, taaaaaaaaake it.

I smiled, took the program when I realized what was happening and immediately began looking for a bathroom.

At eight, your mother's approval may be one of the most important things in your life, but after twenty-nine, it's the bathroom.

Midwest feel


I have to say that I'm surprised - surprised at how much I like the time just beore winter starts in the Midwest. Instead of taking a bus from the hotel to the church this morning for Jessie's wedding, I decided to walk. Initially I wasn't sure if I left enough time to arrive before the wedding actually started (a serious embarrassment that I am, unfortunately, experienced in), especially when I met other wedding guests on the elevator in a rush and slight panic.*

I wanted to walk, however, since the church was only 1.2 miles away, 20 minutes should be plenty of time to walk over. That assumes, of course, that I know where I'm going.

I didn't, actually, but managed to find my way despite myself. Even this suburb of Chicago had that painfully Midwest feel to it, complete with a grumpy old man waving a fist, yelling at the youngsters. Ah, how much I missed this place.

I can honestly say, it's been a long time since I've been in a Catholic Church. If think about it hard, maybe I'll come up with a time that wasn't circa-high school. Maybe. Probably not. Even my church time has been limited to weddings and baptisms and the fly-through visit. I can't say I'm upset about this, though. More an observation.

* The other wedding guests ended up taking the shuttle that went from the hotel to the church, when I walked. I arrived at the church a good five minutes before those guests, and ended up opening and holding open the church upon their arrival.

Automobile is not always faster, especially when there's overhead.

Oh! Hello!


While straightening up and readying myself for braving the cold on my way to the chapel this morning (walking distance, though only just barely in this weather!), I found a visitor in my room.

I had to wonder how it managed to be in my room. I moved it close to the heater, and hoped it would live. I'm not sure it will.

Chicago oatmeal? Not so much.


For the record, Chicagoland Starbucks do not know how to make oatmeal properly.

Not at all.

The oatmeal at Starbucks has recently replaced my previous breakfast favorites of chocolate croissants and pumpkin loaf. The croissants make my stomach hurt, and the pumpkin loaf, though very tasty, isn't available enough. Few things are worse in the morning than being disappointed at the lack of pumpkin loaf availability.

Okay, that's not true, there are hundreds of thousands of things worse, if not millions of things worse than a pumpkin loaf disappointment, but that's really beside the point of the oatmeal, isn't it?

Every time I'm outside of a Starbucks with a Starbucks oatmeal, I'm asked, "I've always wondered about the Starbucks oatmeal. Is it any good?" EVERY. TIME.

To which I will say this: IF you also receive the brown sugar, the nuts and the dried fruit (which is to say, ALL of the oatmeal add-ons), then the Starbucks oatmeal is FABULOUS. I love it. It's great. I recommend it whole-heartedly with gusto.

Except maybe in Chicago. Then I recommend it, just not whole-heartedly, nor with gusto, as I'm not convinced they understand the concept of oatmeal at these Starsbuck.

Instead of filling the oatmeal with enough hot water to thicken the oatmeal and soften it, they added just barely enough water to cover the oatmeal. Which meant that both the oatmeal cooled very quickly since it didn't have enough thermal mass to battle the cold weather back to the hotel effectively, and that the oatmeal lacked any moisture to soften the dried fruit.

My only consolation was the glass of milk I nearly always get with my oatmeal. Now THAT at least was done right.

Lost instructions


Well, okay, so Kris and I aren't travelling for Thanksgiving specifically. I am, however, travelling. In particular, back to Indiana (shock there, eh?) for a lifelong friend's wedding. I've known Jessi Klein since she was born, having been friends with Jenny, her older sister, for a year or so by the time she was born. Not that I remember that far back, since that friendship started when I was three and Jenny was one.

You know, if Jenny and Jessi are able to switch to calling me Kitt, the least I can do is call them by their preferred names of Jenn and Jessica. Gah. It's like calling Mark's brother Matt 'Matty' because he's been Matty so long that it's hard not to. Time to learn to switch!

So, off I flew today, the day after Thanksgiving, back to the Midwest, where it's cold, and blustery, and unpleasant. But a wedding is happening, so it can't be all that bad, right? Right?

What I didn't realize when I boarded my flight, however, was that I was flying down to Los Angeles first, then on to Midway. I really wish I could keep my flights straight.

When I booked this too long flight, I decided that I was going to skip renting a car. I'm not sure why I decided that public transportation in a city I'm mostly unfamiliar with was a good idea. However, checking Google maps which now has the "public transporation directions" gave me confidence that renting a car only to drive for 30 minutes then park it for three days, paying for both renting it and parking it, was a dumb idea. Public transportation and $2.50 was the way to go. I printed up my Google directions, tucked them into my bag with a billion magazines and a couple books to read, and didn't think much more of them until I arrived in Chicago.

I actually had packed light this time, and rolled straight out of the plane, down the jet way, out the gate, along the terminal, through the security check point, down the escalator and out the hall to the trains. I pulled out my instructions, verified I wanted on the orange line, tucked page two back into my bag, went through the airport out door which doubles as the station in door, and realized I forgot to pull out my wallet.

So, out came the wallet, and $10 later, I had a ticket. I took enough time trying to figure out how to get through the turnstiles to show that I was, indeed, a visitor to the area, but eventually managed to feed my ticket through the slot and wander down to the trains. I recalled I wanted the orange line, and knew there was only one direction for the trains to go from the airport station, so wandered through the open train doors.

Only to realize I had lost my directions.

I was in Chicago with the directions out for no more than 15 minutes, and had already lost my directions.


I quickly tried to figure out my options. The passenger a few rows away said the trains came every 10-15 minutes or so, so I wouldn't have long to wait for the next one. My cell phones had web access, but it wasn't very google map friendly. Crap! Think! Think!

Kris to rescue.

In a panic, I called him up and had him relook up the train directions. I had my destination still, because page 2 was still tucked into my bag. The rest, Kris had to look up and recite to me, which he did without hestitation.

Well, without MUCH hesitation. There was that WoW battle that needed to be completed before he brought his web browser up.

Or something like that. Here's hoping I don't lose my current directions, too!