Friday, August 26

Wood Paneling Conservatory.

First, the bad news.

The Missus is hurting. She's been suffering from one massive headache for over a week now, presumably stemming from the fact that she has me as a husband. On Monday, I spent my day off taking her to the doctor, and again on Thursday. This culminated with me taking her to the hospital for a CT scan, and being handed a large bottle of Vicodin. She's sleeping everything off as we speak.

Things are slowly (very slowly) getting better. We plan on spending the weekend in a silent house, drawing the blinds and turning the television down to sub-audio levels. I'm also keeping close tabs on the pills, as I'd rather not have an addict on my hands. If Vicodin can take down the NFL's only 3-time MVP (that's Brett Favre, fool), they can sure as hell bench the Missus. She's in a lot of pain, but I'll make sure that she gets better. My life depends on it.

So, what this means is that I'm pretty much back in control of the house. This is a dangerous thing. The litter boxes are filling up, there's not a scrap of food in the house and I'm watching ESPN 16 hours a day because she's constantly asleep. I feel like a really bad house sitter. What I do correctly, however, is take care of the Missus. I make sure that she's at the correct temperature level, that she's never more than an arms-length from a glass of water, and administer brief-but-effective massages when necessary.

With her out of commission, I'm forced to find things to occupy my time. Luckily for me, there's plenty of preseason football on TV, and the Simpsons Season 6 DVD is out. That being said, I've noticed that I spend a lot of my free time trying to avoid myself. Instead of daydreaming, I play Mario Golf on the GBA. Instead of working on several writing projects, I watch the same episodes of the same TV shows over and over again, because she's not around to tell me that I've already seen it. Somewhere along the way, I think the Missus harvested my brain, and now that she's not pulling the strings, I've realized that it's gone.

Crap. I've got to fix her, fast.

Here's the good news.

Come next week, yours truly will have not one, but TWO published articles on the streets. My interview with Of Montreal frontman Kevin Barnes, along with my review of Menos El Oso. I've been working my ass off this week, that's for sure. When I'm not spending dozens of hours working on drafts, I'm spending 40+ hours a week at my real job, and using the remaining time to drive the Missus the hospital. This weekend will give us both what we really need. Silence and an oil change.

More good news? Well, let's see. The Packers are playing tonight, so that's always nice. We'll be going to the zoo on Sunday if said wife is feeling better. I got that new jorb I was telling you about, so I'll have a little more money to blow on Olive Garden ravioli and $11 shirts from Target.

My new job is working in the Office of Examinations here at the Department of Regulation and Licensing. Do you want to be a Doctor? Chiropractor? Engineer? Nurse? You're going to have to go through me first, and pass the test that I've prepared just for you. It sounds exciting (hell, maybe it doesn't, I don't care), and it might be, but I'm too whacked out on Vicodin nowadays to know for sure. I just go where the kiz-ash is, yo'.

New Albums Purchased In The Last Week Or So:

The Shout Out Louds - Howl Howl Gaff Gaff
(Referred to as "the emo Strokes". Swedish 5 piece that brings the catchy indie-pop.)

Architecture In Helsinki - In Case We Die
(The Arcade Fire + Of Montreal - a bit of talent = Pretty good stuff.)

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - S/T
(Woah.)

The Good Life - Album Of The Year
(Tim Kasher needs to be frozen and cloned for future generations of alcoholic relationship killers. He's brilliant, and everything that Conor Oberst wished he could have been.)

I buy anything that Pitchfork tells me to.

That's it, kids. Can you believe that neither Ben nor Sherry had anything to say about the nice wedding post I gave them? I guess I'll have to go back the embarrassing photos again. And to think, I left out all of the really bad wedding photos, too.

Fo' shizzle, commu-nizzle.

Monday, August 22

Raise Your Glasses.

Ben and Sherry's wedding went off perfectly. The weather was beautiful, nobody passed out, and most importantly, they were as happy as Christmas clams. Way to go, you two. Again.

Here then, is the day in pictures.

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Finally succumbing to the insistence of his wife and mother, Ben is forced to shave off his mutton chops. John, his brother, makes sure that everything is even.

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The beautiful cake looks as if it were fashioned out of a cloud. I'd like to be a food critic.

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Here we stand on the roof of Ben's family's boathouse, taking in the view and braving the heavy winds. There were about 130 people there, so throwing up was not an option. I looked at the ground and tried not to lock my knees up. I kept an eye on Ben's swaying, as it's my duty (as Best Man) to catch him. Should the groom be unable to fulfill his husbandly duties, he is removed, all the guys take one step to the left, and the wedding continues without him. This isn't a responsibility to scoff over.

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Here I am, escorting the Missus back down the aisle. I can only imagine what it's like to walk on lumpy grass with heels on. Well, maybe I already know, but that's not even close to what we're talking about right now.

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Here's a super-bright shot of the wedding party.

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Here's one of the happy couple.

Once we shook 130 hands, the reception was underway. The dinner went well, and ties became loosened. One of the coolest parts of the evening for me was meeting back up with an old friend. It was incredibly effortless to slip back into conversation with someone I hadn't seen in five years. I guess good friends are like that. Alcohol doesn't hurt, either. It was a good experience.

I tried to maintain conversations with as many people as possible, causing me to run all over the place, and more or less abandon the Missus. She had plenty of people to talk to, but I felt bad for deserting her as the hours got later. Unfortunately for me, things started to get fuzzy at around nine o'clock.

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Now, I remember a few things for sure. I remember dancing on the boathouse with some of Ben's relatives. I remember kissing a dog that had wandered onto the property. I remember telling each and every female friend of mine how good I thought they looked. (It was totally true, everyone was looking beautiful.) I clearly remember a conversation I had with a friend named Erin. One thing I certainly learned from her was that even though I hold little faith in myself and those around me, that doesn't make me right. In fact, if I did let a little of that in every once in a while, I wouldn't have to pretend to enjoy solitude. You can't get anything past that woman, and I'm truly grateful to be surrounded by such women that will kick me in the ass when I deserve it. You are the company you keep, and in that case, I'm on the road to perfection.

I also remember this.

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Then, well...

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And I think...

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And finally...

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I slept well.

The next morning, the Bride and Groom were fast approaching Sun Prairie, as the four of us were headed to our Third Annual Sweet Corn Festival!

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We ate corn until we could eat no more. I pet a cow. It was a good time.

Today, I had my phone interview with Kevin Barnes from Of Montreal. It was nerve-wracking, but I think I pulled it off. I've spent a long time transcribing the interview, and my deadline for the write-up is this Sunday. Also due on Sunday is my review of Menos El Oso, the new album by Minus the Bear. More on both of those later.

In conclusion, I wanted to make sure that I looked at all of the things that went right this weekend, instead of all the things that went wrong. Sadly, when it comes to most things, the bad things tend to stick out in my head more than the good things, so sometimes good experiences sound bad through my filter of sarcasm and jaded humor. Don't get me wrong, there have been things happening to me the last three days that should leave me with a bleeding ulcer and nightmares. That being said, they won't go away if I dwell on them. Good memories, however, will disappear unless they are shared.

Sometimes, that's not just necessary, it's flat-out responsible. I'm not responsible very often, but I'd like to think that I come through in the clutch.

During the wedding dinner, people kept telling me that it was customary for the Best Man to make a brief speech and toast the couple. I was mortified, but I was all prepared to pull something out of my ass until Ben told me that he didn't want one. Maybe he was bailing me out. Maybe he was just afraid I'd say something extremely unflattering about him. Whatever the case, I didn't have to stand up. Keeping that in mind, here's what I probably would have said.

I feel mostly responsible for setting up Ben and Sherry. It was my idea, after all. I knew they would be perfect for each other as soon as I saw them interact. True, they don't look perfect for each other. Sherry is a petite, articulate woman; whereas Ben is a huge, lumbering ape. Call it fate, but these two find a way to compromise every day.

I can tell that Ben loves Sherry, because of the way he looks at her. The way that he, at the very least, pretends to listen to what she has to say. The way that he never appears the least bit shaken or angry, even when she's being completely unreasonable and bitchy. He has the temper of a Koala bear, and will go to the ends of the earth to see to it that she's safe and happy.

I can tell that Sherry loves Ben by the way she always needs him around. She loves to drape him over her like a fur shawl, allowing herself to burrow in and quickly fall asleep. She puts up with his bumbling forgetfulness and backwards male logic, like all women do towards all men they love. She takes what he says to heart, and forgets nothing. She wouldn't be the same without him.

So, here's to you two. May the second year of marriage be just as exciting and fulfilling as the first. Never fight over money, give yourselves plenty of space when necessary, and don't fall asleep angry. The next time I let you stay at my house, bring wine.

Cheers.