spirit journey formation anniversary

So I had a birthday.

It was a good time, enjoyed by all. Kelsey and I went to go see Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit on the Ultrascreen, which was hilarious, and then we went out to Maggiano’s for dinner. We were “surprised” there by Brian and Collette, although since there were four menus at our table, I figured something was going on. I don’t think they understood the significance of that particular restaurant, unless Kelsey had surreptitiously asked my mom when we were in Joliet. I was able to have my chicken parmesan on my birthday, though, which was spectacular. I wondered why I haven’t gone there more often, considering it’s right up 100, and then I remembered that it’s a bit more expensive than Applebee’s or Friday’s. Worth it, though.

Afterwards, we went back to my apartment and had punch and pie. More like booze and cupcakes, but you get the idea. Holly came, which was a nice surprise, and she brought Instant Insects, those capsules thingies you drop in water and they become sponge creatures. So we all had to find out what our “Spirit Insect” was. I was a lacewing, but I was hoping for the praying mantis. Oh well.

We just kinda hung out, and Tim, Jet and Will came later. I did get some pretty sweet presents. Kelsey got me the coolest blanket ever, with the evil monkey from Family Guy on it, and a Gandalf ornament. Brian and Collette paid for our dinner, and I now have a museum-quality representation of the Pentagon of Terror. (scan coming soon) The treacherous trio of HV peeps got a giant Sin City Marv figure, in scale with my giant Ash figure. Plus, Pat had sent me G-SHAFT (which is only the greatest candy EVER!), and Jim got me a giftcard for Applebee’s.

The folks outdid themselves, however, by getting me tickets to the Bears/Packers game at Soldier Field on December 4th. That is going to be awesome. I still have to figure out who to take, since not many of my friends are really interested in football enough to sit in the cold for 4 hours or so. We’ll see.

Not much else has been going on. Work is sloooooow, but I’ve had POS 2.0 conversions to do, so that at least makes things interesting. I did the unthinkable, and purchased the Batman Anthology DVD set, which includes Batman and Robin. I read in EW that Schumacher apologizes for the movie in his commentary track, so I had to get it. It’ll be worth it. Our buy for Star Wars is ridiculously low, and I once again question the combined intelligence of our buyers in Wilsonville. Episode III is the number one movie of the year, and number eight all-time. Why am I getting 26 copies, yet I got 115 copies of Monster-in-Law? Get with the program, people, or let me order my own product.

Xbox 360 comes out November 22nd. I don’t think I’ll be an early adopter here. I haven’t been blown away by the stuff I’ve seen. I feel the 360 could be the next Dreamcast, by jumping the gun on next-gen. Whenever there’s a generation change, I want to be awed by what I see from the new systems, and the 360 just hasn’t done that. I’ll wait and see what the PS3 and Revolution bring to the table, then make my choice.

I’ll leave you with words of wisdom, from my dear friend Christopher Walken:

“I’ll cut your face!”

Or as Jessie put it:

“If one plus one is two, then two plus two is Christopher Walken.”


As if you couldn't have guessed...

You are a

Social Liberal
(70% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(21% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Strong Democrat

Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test


Picture Pages

Here's a couple pics from the wedding weekend.

At Gameworks, enjoying the view.
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Collette takes her revenge, at long last.
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Aww, dancing is sweet. And for squares.
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dj digitalninja

So onto the wedding.

Well, not yet. See, you have to rehearse first, especially when you’ve got 20 people in the wedding party. Kelsey drove down to Joliet on Friday, and we then went out to Mokena for said rehearsal. The church was only about 20 minutes down I-80 from my parents’ house, so it was quite convenient (and free!) to stay with the folks.

Their ceremony was to be outdoors, in a wooded area behind the church, where there was a permanent altar. It was a beautiful setting, but I must admit I had my doubts about an outdoor wedding in October. Apparently, though, the world has gone crazy, because it’s now October 4th, and I had my AC on full blast last night. So the weather was not an issue. Anyway, we rehearsed, and I read my scripture, Jeremiah 17:7-8 for those of you keeping score at home. Then we went to the dinner, at Casto’s in Tinley, ate some very good food, and got our assignments for reception duty. Kelsey and I were asked to go early and decorate the tables, set up the cake topper, etc., so we felt very important.

Afterwards, we hooked up with Eric and Tina and went out for drinks. The scary thing about Mokena is that the best choice of bars within walking distance was the off-track betting bar. But they had Guinness on tap, though, so no complaints.

Saturday we got up early, since we needed to be at the church at 10 am. It was a beautiful day, and a beautiful ceremony. I did my part without any real trouble, although I did get served by the pastor when he repeated my entire reading during his sermon, for “emphasis”. I was like WTF, Father? Are you my vocal coach now? But I kid. Everything went really well, except the sound system, which kept cutting in and out. The details like that will be forgotten, though, since the actual wedding is the only important thing.

Afterwards, Kelsey and I peeled out of the wooded area, We’re goin’ marriage four wheelin!! We got to the reception way early, and were all ready to set up, but it was already done! One of DiNolfo’s employees had gotten bored, and went ahead with the prep work. Cool. So all we had to do was deliver the champagne flutes and cake knife, and fix the cake topper re: Collette’s instructions.

It was around this time that Becky called my cell, to inform me that her wedding had been moved up a year, to Memorial Day 2006! It’s the blockbuster event of the summer! Everyone’s getting married, ‘cept me and my monkey.

It was also around this time that I noticed the DJ setting up his equipment. Brian had asked me to snag some specific music for him, notably Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” and the “Price is Right” theme song, so I introduced myself, and gave the DJ the CD I had burned. Mistake number one. DJ Man, whose name I never got, and will henceforth be referred to simply as “DJ”, chose me as his new best friend, and also assumed that I was the administrator of all music and reception related announcements. He ran down the e-mail he had gotten from Brian, which clearly listed what songs were to be played when, and asked me about every single song. I just basically repeated everything in the e-mail, and he seemed convinced.

Not so fast, though. Despite the clear simple instructions Brian gave regarding the introduction of the wedding party, DJ managed to go in the complete wrong direction. See, Brian had requested that the last track on the Star Wars: A New Hope soundtrack, which is The Throne Room/End Title, to be played when the wedding party was introduced at the reception. He had told me about this a while back, since apparently, he had to do a bit of “convincing” to get Collette to go along with the idea. It really is a majestic piece, as I’m sure you all remember, even if my memory of it is sullied by Chewie’s lack of medal recognition. DJ, however, has picked up the Revenge of the Sith soundtrack, which has nothing resembling the music they wanted. After listening to some of the tracks, I realized this would not work. DJ then suggested he play some Kenny G for their entrance instead.

I then punched him in the face.

OK, not really. I should have, but I was too blown away. I just walked away from his table, and paced about nervously. At some point, my mind exploded, and I decided I needed to go buy the CD, so Brian and Collette wouldn’t suffer the horrible indignity of Kenny G. So I asked Kelsey to explain the situation to bride/groom when they arrived, and I began driving 70 mph down Route 45 from Mokena to the Orland Park Best Buy. This was at 12:45 pm, and the reception was scheduled to begin at 1 pm. So I booked. Turns out they weren’t supposed to be introduced until 1:45 or so, but I didn’t know that at the time. So I got the CD and got back by 1:15, and I ran in and handed the CD to DJ. He then said, “So what should I say when they come out?”

I then punched him in the face, again.

I was sorely tempted, let me tell you. He had no list of the party, no instructions, nothing. DJ also complained to me that the bar wouldn’t give him any beer, and asked me to help him out. Luckily I avoided that duty the rest of the day. So I run off to find Brian, and get a quickie-jot-down version of the party list. He’s keeping his cool, like the suave playboy Brian is, so he writes it all down, and I rush it off to DJ. And then I sit down.

Not two minutes goes by before DJ is over at my table, asking if the Sinatra/Martin/Bennett mix he’s been playing is any good. I reminded him that there was a list of dinner songs to play, and those artists were on it, so he must be ok. He went away, then came back, to inform me that he was going to USF for his MBA. Wow. He went away, then came back to ask for my help in the entrance. Since he had to be on the mic over by the entrance for the introductions, I had to start the CD and control the volume for the music.

While Brian gets super-bonus Geek Points (GP) for not only requesting Star Wars music at his wedding reception, but also bringing the Episode III novel on his honeymoon, I award myself 10 points for driving like a madman to purchase said music. I also get 10 points because the only time I got misty-eyed during the whole wedding/reception is when John William’s score was introducing two of my best friends as husband and wife, to the thunderous applause of their friends and family. Yeah, GP all around.

The rest of the reception went pretty well, with only minimal interruptions from DJ. He kept asking for my approval on things, and I just kept giving it. Brian and Collette got a little video package, with “The Luckiest” thrown in, and then had their first dance to “Emaline.” Ben would be proud. There was dancing, and karaoke, and a good time was had by all. The reception could have easily gone a couple more hours, since we were all just starting to get liquored up when they had to shut us down at 5 pm.

We then went across the street to Denny’s, and enjoyed milkshakes and cheese fries with all the theatre folk. Good times. I hadn’t seen Libby in forever, so that was cool. Afterwards, some people were going out again, but Kelsey and I just decided to go home and relax. We spent a couple hours talking to my folks and sipping martinis before heading to bed.

Sunday we packed up our gear while my folks were at church, and left around 11 am to meet Eric, Tina, Sean and Tish for breakfast at Blackberry’s Pancake House. OMG. I got blackberry pancakes, aptly enough, and they rocked my socks. After that, Kelsey and I gassed up and headed back to the great white north.

Overall, it was a great weekend, and no matter how much I complain about being DJ’s best friend, I wouldn’t trade being there for the world. Everyone visit Brian over at his blog, and wish him the best.

Oh, and umm…



So, yeah...

Brian and Collette got married.

I took off for Illinois on Monday night, since I had vacation to take from work, so I stayed with the folks for a couple days extra. Tuesday went shopping with Mom, got some new dressy clothes for the wedding, since pants were unfortunately required at the ceremony. Also got a slipcover for the couch, so now it'll match the rest of the living room furniture, at least a little bit. It's fig. Also picked up the Family Guy movie on DVD, even though I downloaded it quite a while back. See that, RIAA and MPAA?

Anyway, Wednesday I mostly bummed around, hit the almighty Chicken N Spice for a niner, and finally got a Jackhammers hat that fits. Thursday was spent in preparation for Brian's "bachelor party" that I was kinda coordinating for that night. I was to pick him up at Collette's parent's house in Orland Park, and then drive to Schaumburg to meet Sean, Nick and Patrick at Gameworks, since they were driving down from Milwaukee. After some difficulty in finding the house, I got there, and just went in and surprised Brian, who while suspecting something was amiss, didn't really know what we were doing. I also got to meet Collette's parents and her sister Mandy (who knows Bev Holt!), who were very gracious, especially since I was whisking away their future son-in-law to god-knows-where. For all they knew, "Gameworks" was code for "strip club." Sean and I knew Brian (and Collette) would appreciate the videogame option more.

So Brian and I got to Schaumburg, with little traffic congestion, around 7 pm. The Milwaukee delegation did not arrive until 8:20 or so, so Brian and I killed time by wandering aimlessly around the Streets of Woodfield, and hitting the Cold Stone, then complaining loudly about the lack of Cake Batter ice cream. Some schmuck in Minnesota gets e. coli and they have to eliminate the whole flavor? Boo. Gameworks was running their thursday night special: starting at 9 pm, you could get an all-you-can-play card for 10 bucks. (Are you reading this, Maxx?) So once the D.U.M.B. posse got there, they ate and we commenced the jigglin! By which I mean game playing.

This place is great, espcially with an all-access pass. They've got DDR, something like 20 light gun games, 20 driving games, Guitar Freaks, Metal Slug (!), and Star Wars Trilogy Arcade, the sweetest game of all time. Well, maybe I exaggerate, but it is pretty cool. I will definitely be going back, but most likely on a Thursday, since I don't relish the idea of having to actually pay regular price. It wasn't too crowded either; I had expected it would be, since 10 bucks seems like a really good deal to me.

I think we gave Brian a night to remember, or at least I hope we did. At least we were out late, so it seemed like we were up to something.

I'll post some more tomorrow, about the rest of the weekend. I've got tons of pictures too, but I have to prep them for web, so stay tuned.