This past weekend was a fairly busy one. For starters, I was staffing at Anime Expo and giving three 2 hour long workshop sessions on model building. And on Sunday, my oldest and best friend got married. I was also one of two best men (groomsmen). My obligations with AX and my friends staying with me from out of town had me miss most of the events leading up to the wedding, and for that I am rather annoyed. On one hand, my best friend’s wedding only happens once (or it should), and AX will come around every year. However, there is a bigger picture with AX, and all the little events leading up towards the wedding day were cursory. I would have had a really good time at their BBQ the day before. My best friend is my second family, I grew up with them as I lived across the street, so I am basically treated like a family member whenever I go over. I ended up missing all of AX on Sunday, however, I wouldn’t have traded that day for anything.
The day began early. I had gotten to sleep around 2 in the morning, but I got up promptly at 9:15, got ready, and headed out to Jason’s house. Once there, I quickly changed into the suit I would wear for the remainder of the day. Jason Ackerman got there around 10 AM and so we were now ready to head over to the bride’s home to complete the traditional tea ceremony, which is just one of many hoops gone through for a “traditional” Chinese marriage. Read the link for more information. Some of the additional hoops have been added for fun rather than for anything else such as making the groom and/or best man do push ups as a symbol of strength. Here is Jason yelling at Jason and I with regards to being the best men and not doing push ups for him/with him.
The tea ceremony goes off rather quickly and after about an hour of picture taking, we are back off to Jason’s house with the bride an bridesmaids in tow.
The atmosphere back at the Ho’s household is completely different. They are fairly non traditional and relaxed. They are a tight knit family, with a majority of the family members living within a 5 mile radius, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. They all congregate. I see Dr. Michael Ho whom I haven’t seen in at least 5 years or so. Most of the older children including myself are over thirty, but the gathering of cousins and friends brings us back to when we were teenagers. More pictures are taken, and I am running around snapping pictures, trying to capture various Ho’s hiding cigarettes while I take pictures on numerous smoke breaks.
A lunch of pizza, wings, and el pollo loco was had; we are truly back in our late teens/early twentys, all the cousins and friends hanging out, making sexual innuendos, laughing at each other, and sharing memories. Nothing has changed in close to 20 years. We relax for a bit, the calm before the stom so to speak. Around 2:30, we head out towards the wedding grounds. The professional photographer is there and is taking pictures of Claire, and then of us…
We cannot help ourselves, we must goof around; and with the numerous cameras surrounding us, nothing slips by…
Also at the wedding is Tom’s friend Edwin anyone with a wikipedia page is fairly important. And for those who don’t know, he was the resident conductor of the San Francisco Symphony from 2001-2006. He’s a really neat guy to talk to, and seems to fit right in with the antics of the family Ho.
The ceremony was short and sweet. I didn’t fumble the ring box, so all went fairly smooth. We took some more pictures than headed over to the reception hall. After resting and having a drink, I wander around the room and greet some folks that I haven’t seen in a long time. I say hi to Eric and Jimmy, and to Tim who didn’t even recognize me. Shortly, Jason Ackerman and I are called back, we need to make a grand entrance with the rest of the wedding party and family. The douche bag of a DJ talked to Jason and I about who would follow whom for the toast. After talking to the guy shortly, it was decided that Jason would go first, and I would follow, then Mary, Claire’s long time school friend would follow me. Completely unrelated to anything, and based solely on social skills and mannerism, Jason and I wanted to kick the crap out of Mr Douche bag DJ.
We make our grand entrance and walk to our respective tables. Jason and Claire enter and do a little dance. Jason Ackerman goes up and does his toast, talking about the first time they had met, and talking about the first time Jason talked about Claire. He toasts, we sip; my turn. I open up with a story about how I first met Jason. And it was well over 20 years ago when I was just 11 or so and I started talking to Jason’s dad who invited me into his house to meet the rest of his family. Jason really is my older brother. I talk about when I first met Claire. Jason is sitting there with his fingers crossed, afraid that I would say something rather inappropriate. I skirt along the edge, and the benefit of my rather inside and dual meaning jokes were understood by the cousins and other family members, for whom they were meant. I believe my little speech went well, at least a couple of people felt touched, and told me that I did a decent job.
I spent most of the evening talking to old friends, and trying to lend support to Jason; whom was just playing host and visiting every table as well as following the rigorous entertainment schedule set by the DJ or organizers of the event. I don’t think he even got to eat dinner that night. It is utterly exhausting on my end, I cannot possibly imagine the amount of energy sapped about from him that evening. Here are some pictures taken after all the guests had left.
For more pictures, click the following link: http://www.gamerabaenre.com/jay_claire_wedding.htm