Author: Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin is a writer. He writes code, fiction, nonfiction, and has been writing on his blog for more than 15 years. His stories and articles have appeared in Analog, Daily Science Fiction, Intergalactic Medicine Show, Apex Magazine, The Daily Beast as well as several anthologies. Jamie lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.

Rehearsal Dinner, Temecula, CA

(Written on Tuesday, November 1)

Doug, Rachel, Ruby and I headed down to Temecula from Oxnard at about noon. Dad suggested we take the 210 to the 15 and take that all the way down, and we did that and it was a long drive. It took us almost three hours to go the 170 miles or so. We stopped only once, just before we got down there, to grab some food, and we finally arrived at the winery just before 3 PM. The weather was outstanding and so were the villas that Mom and Dad arranged for us. I took pictures of the villa that I stayed in (#2902) and you can see them below.

Villa at South Coast Winery
Villa at South Coast Winery
A view of the villa that I stayed in while at the South Coast winery where Jen and Jason got married. this is looking from the dining area into the bedroom area.
Villa living room
Villa living room
This is another view, looking from the living area into the dining area.
Villa fireplace and porch
Villa fireplace and porch
A view from the bedroom area into the living area. You can see the fireplace and doors to the porch.
Whirlpool tub in villa
Whirlpool tub in villa
The first time I’ve ever stayed in a room with a whirlpool tub. Pretty cool.
Shower in villa
Shower in villa
The glass shower in the villa. Water shot out from two different directions.
Complimentary wine
Complimentary wine
I don’t drink wine so I gave the bottle to my parents, but I imagine it must be pretty good if it came from a winery.
Vaulted ceilings in villa
Vaulted ceilings in villa
There were vaulted ceilings and all sorts of interesting decorations.


Shortly after we got there, we had to head over to the winery proper for the rehearsal. Somone told me that we needed to be dressed for dinner beforehand, so I showered and dressed. It turned out I was the only one. There was time after the rehearsal for getting ready for dinner.

I think the rehearsal lasted less than an hour from beginning to end. Here are a few pictures from the rehearsal:

Jim, Jason and Joan
Jim, Jason and Joan
Dad, Jen and Mom
Dad, Jen and Mom

After the rehearsal, everyone else got dressed (I was already dressed) and we headed over to Baily’s Fine Dining in downtown Temecula, CA. We had a private room upstairs. I had the steak and it was outstanding. So was the crab bisque soup that they had. And there was a creme brule for dessert. Jim, Eric and Dad all made brief toasts. There were quite a few people there and it seemed like everyone had a really good time.

Jen and Jason handed out gifts to members of the wedding party and Doug and I, as bridesmen, were included in this. I got an 8 DVD set that includes every issue of the New Yorker ever–something like 5000 complete issues. It also came with a cool New Yorker hat.

By the time I got back to the villa, I was beat. I think I fell asleep within a few minutes of getting there. The beds were amazingly comfortable.

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Rehearsal Dinner, Temecula, CA

(Written on Tuesday, November 1)

Doug, Rachel, Ruby and I headed down to Temecula from Oxnard at about noon. Dad suggested we take the 210 to the 15 and take that all the way down, and we did that and it was a long drive. It took us almost three hours to go the 170 miles or so. We stopped only once, just before we got down there, to grab some food, and we finally arrived at the winery just before 3 PM. The weather was outstanding and so were the villas that Mom and Dad arranged for us. I took pictures of the villa that I stayed in (#2902) and you can see them below.

Villa at South Coast Winery
Villa at South Coast Winery
A view of the villa that I stayed in while at the South Coast winery where Jen and Jason got married. this is looking from the dining area into the bedroom area.
Villa living room
Villa living room
This is another view, looking from the living area into the dining area.
Villa fireplace and porch
Villa fireplace and porch
A view from the bedroom area into the living area. You can see the fireplace and doors to the porch.
Whirlpool tub in villa
Whirlpool tub in villa
The first time I’ve ever stayed in a room with a whirlpool tub. Pretty cool.
Shower in villa
Shower in villa
The glass shower in the villa. Water shot out from two different directions.
Complimentary wine
Complimentary wine
I don’t drink wine so I gave the bottle to my parents, but I imagine it must be pretty good if it came from a winery.
Vaulted ceilings in villa
Vaulted ceilings in villa
There were vaulted ceilings and all sorts of interesting decorations.


Shortly after we got there, we had to head over to the winery proper for the rehearsal. Somone told me that we needed to be dressed for dinner beforehand, so I showered and dressed. It turned out I was the only one. There was time after the rehearsal for getting ready for dinner.

I think the rehearsal lasted less than an hour from beginning to end. Here are a few pictures from the rehearsal:

Jim, Jason and Joan
Jim, Jason and Joan
Dad, Jen and Mom
Dad, Jen and Mom

After the rehearsal, everyone else got dressed (I was already dressed) and we headed over to Baily’s Fine Dining in downtown Temecula, CA. We had a private room upstairs. I had the steak and it was outstanding. So was the crab bisque soup that they had. And there was a creme brule for dessert. Jim, Eric and Dad all made brief toasts. There were quite a few people there and it seemed like everyone had a really good time.

Jen and Jason handed out gifts to members of the wedding party and Doug and I, as bridesmen, were included in this. I got an 8 DVD set that includes every issue of the New Yorker ever–something like 5000 complete issues. It also came with a cool New Yorker hat.

By the time I got back to the villa, I was beat. I think I fell asleep within a few minutes of getting there. The beds were amazingly comfortable.

Disneyland

The plan was for a bunch of people in the wedding party to meet at Disneyland. In all, there ended up being 14 of us, I think.

We headed down to Anahiem at about 9 AM yesterday. My idea was to go the most direct route, but Dad said to take the 118 to the 210 to the 57 to avoid traffic. So Doug, Rachel, Ruby and I ended up following Mom, Dad and Jen from Oxnard, through a fairly circuitous route which ultimately brought us to the 118, the 210, the 57 and finally, to Disneyland. It was something like 110 miles, but we didn’t hit any traffic and arrived at Disneyland just after 11 AM.

This was Ruby’s first time to Disneyland (she’s almost 2 years old). When we got to Disneyland, we met up with Mom, Dad and Jen. Jason and his family was also there. We Jason, Jason’s brother Jared, and his friend Eric met us at the entrance. We made our way to Star Tours to meet the rest of Jason’s family.

The weather was mild, but we all had a great time. We spent about 8 hours at the park. There were almost no lines at all and the only thing that wasn’t open was “It’s a Small World”.

I ate like a king. In fact, here is exactly what I had throughout the day: a churro, a beef skewer (in adventureland), cotton candy (after the Matterhorn), and a corn dog (with some chocolate fudge).

We managed to do all of the major rides. We did Pirates of the Carribean (with Ruby, who was very brave, her first ride ever!) We did the Jungle Cruise, Indiana Jones, the Haunted House (which had a holiday theme and different program than usual that I didn’t really like). We then did Splash Mountain, which was really run and on which I got soaked. We did Big Thunder mountain. We did Space Mountain, which was probably the best of all. It’s newly re-opened and for some reason, it seemed much faster than I remembered it being. Doug and I sat up front and were screaming the whole way through. They take pictures of you inside now, and the pictures of Doug and I were hysterical. Finally, we did Star Tours, before heading home.

I decided to come back home the more direct route, taking the 5 to the 101. We hit a little bit of traffic but it was much more direct. I think it was something like 87 miles. Ruby slept most of the way but woke up about 10 miles from home and was pretty upset. She screamed and hollared the last ten miles and I felt terrible. I kept searching for the quickest way to get home because Ruby was screaming, “Mama, up! Mama, up!”. We finally got home and Ruby was happy.

I had taped Smallville and the first thing I did upon getting home was to make sure that it taped correctly and it did. I watched it first thing this morning.

Have to go now. Doug, Rachel, Ruby and I have to head down to Temecula (where Jen’s wedding is taking place at the South Coast Winery) at 11 AM. Mom, Dad and Jen already left. The rehearsal is at 3:30 this afternoon. More later.

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Disneyland

The plan was for a bunch of people in the wedding party to meet at Disneyland. In all, there ended up being 14 of us, I think.

We headed down to Anahiem at about 9 AM yesterday. My idea was to go the most direct route, but Dad said to take the 118 to the 210 to the 57 to avoid traffic. So Doug, Rachel, Ruby and I ended up following Mom, Dad and Jen from Oxnard, through a fairly circuitous route which ultimately brought us to the 118, the 210, the 57 and finally, to Disneyland. It was something like 110 miles, but we didn’t hit any traffic and arrived at Disneyland just after 11 AM.

This was Ruby’s first time to Disneyland (she’s almost 2 years old). When we got to Disneyland, we met up with Mom, Dad and Jen. Jason and his family was also there. We Jason, Jason’s brother Jared, and his friend Eric met us at the entrance. We made our way to Star Tours to meet the rest of Jason’s family.

The weather was mild, but we all had a great time. We spent about 8 hours at the park. There were almost no lines at all and the only thing that wasn’t open was “It’s a Small World”.

I ate like a king. In fact, here is exactly what I had throughout the day: a churro, a beef skewer (in adventureland), cotton candy (after the Matterhorn), and a corn dog (with some chocolate fudge).

We managed to do all of the major rides. We did Pirates of the Carribean (with Ruby, who was very brave, her first ride ever!) We did the Jungle Cruise, Indiana Jones, the Haunted House (which had a holiday theme and different program than usual that I didn’t really like). We then did Splash Mountain, which was really run and on which I got soaked. We did Big Thunder mountain. We did Space Mountain, which was probably the best of all. It’s newly re-opened and for some reason, it seemed much faster than I remembered it being. Doug and I sat up front and were screaming the whole way through. They take pictures of you inside now, and the pictures of Doug and I were hysterical. Finally, we did Star Tours, before heading home.

I decided to come back home the more direct route, taking the 5 to the 101. We hit a little bit of traffic but it was much more direct. I think it was something like 87 miles. Ruby slept most of the way but woke up about 10 miles from home and was pretty upset. She screamed and hollared the last ten miles and I felt terrible. I kept searching for the quickest way to get home because Ruby was screaming, “Mama, up! Mama, up!”. We finally got home and Ruby was happy.

I had taped Smallville and the first thing I did upon getting home was to make sure that it taped correctly and it did. I watched it first thing this morning.

Have to go now. Doug, Rachel, Ruby and I have to head down to Temecula (where Jen’s wedding is taking place at the South Coast Winery) at 11 AM. Mom, Dad and Jen already left. The rehearsal is at 3:30 this afternoon. More later.

Dramatis Persona

It occurred to me that not everyone reading this blog will know the names that are referred to, so I thought I’d put together a dramatis persona for the characters that appear more frequently so there is some frame of reference for people.

Doug: My brother. Ruby’s dad. Yes, he’s taller than me.
Rachel: My sister-in-law. Doug’s wife. Ruby’s mom. I think she has some resemblance to Nichole Kidman.
Ruby: My neice. Doug and Rachel’s daughter.
Jen: My sister. She’s getting married in a little more than 24 hours.
Jason: My sister’s fiance. Soon to be my sister’s husband and my brother-in-law. My sister thinks he resembles Jude Law.

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Dramatis Persona

It occurred to me that not everyone reading this blog will know the names that are referred to, so I thought I’d put together a dramatis persona for the characters that appear more frequently so there is some frame of reference for people.

Doug: My brother. Ruby’s dad. Yes, he’s taller than me.
Rachel: My sister-in-law. Doug’s wife. Ruby’s mom. I think she has some resemblance to Nichole Kidman.
Ruby: My neice. Doug and Rachel’s daughter.
Jen: My sister. She’s getting married in a little more than 24 hours.
Jason: My sister’s fiance. Soon to be my sister’s husband and my brother-in-law. My sister thinks he resembles Jude Law.

Travel Day

Today was a travel day and travel days always bore the heck out of me. First of all, I woke up at 2:30 AM (ET) and could not get back to sleep. I tossed and turned until 3:30 AM and finally gave up. I got up and finished the last remaining tasks around the house.

The car to the airport picked me up at 6:15 AM and I was at the gate at BWI at 7:00 AM. The lines were non-existent. No line to check in, no line for security. They had changed the equipment for the flight, from an A320 to an A319, which meant my seat changed, but it was nothing dramatic. I got an exit row.

I fell asleep almost as soon as I took my seat, and didn’t wake up until well after takeoff. (Almost an hour after takeoff, I think.) That’s when the utter bordom began. If there is a hell, it is nothing more than a cross-country flight on an A319 that simply never ends. Time slowed down. I played Solitaire for an hour, which usually makes the time roll by but that didn’t work so well today. I listened to a couple of albums on the iPod (Pink Floyd’s “Animals” and the soundtrack from “Garden State”. Nothing. I popped in the Back to the Future II DVD and watched the movie. When it was over I checked the time–there was still more than two hours to go before we landed.

But land we finally (finally!) did and from that point on, things were very efficient. I was one of the first people off the plane and I was the first person to the baggage claim. That normally does not make a difference as my luggage is usually the last luggage off the plane, but fly often enough and things are bound to break your way once and a while. Today, my bags were the first to come out of the mouth of the baggage system. I caught a shuttle to Hertz where Doug, Rachel and Ruby were all waiting for me. We added Doug as an additional driver on the car and then made our way to Oxnard.

Mom and Dad were at Burbank Airport picking up Jen when we got to their house. But we made ourselves at home anyway. I wolfed down my Carl’s Jr. (a luxury that I don’t have in Maryland) and then ran over to the local cleaners to get me and Doug’s suits pressed. We pick up the suits Friday morning.

It is now 3:10 PM (PT). I have been up since 11:30 PM (last night) PT. I can tell this is going to be one of those long days. And tomorrow, we head down to Disneyland. Doug, Rachel and Ruby went out in search of a Starbucks. The house is momentarily quiet. Probably the last time it will be quiet for some time to come.

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Travel Day

Today was a travel day and travel days always bore the heck out of me. First of all, I woke up at 2:30 AM (ET) and could not get back to sleep. I tossed and turned until 3:30 AM and finally gave up. I got up and finished the last remaining tasks around the house.

The car to the airport picked me up at 6:15 AM and I was at the gate at BWI at 7:00 AM. The lines were non-existent. No line to check in, no line for security. They had changed the equipment for the flight, from an A320 to an A319, which meant my seat changed, but it was nothing dramatic. I got an exit row.

I fell asleep almost as soon as I took my seat, and didn’t wake up until well after takeoff. (Almost an hour after takeoff, I think.) That’s when the utter bordom began. If there is a hell, it is nothing more than a cross-country flight on an A319 that simply never ends. Time slowed down. I played Solitaire for an hour, which usually makes the time roll by but that didn’t work so well today. I listened to a couple of albums on the iPod (Pink Floyd’s “Animals” and the soundtrack from “Garden State”. Nothing. I popped in the Back to the Future II DVD and watched the movie. When it was over I checked the time–there was still more than two hours to go before we landed.

But land we finally (finally!) did and from that point on, things were very efficient. I was one of the first people off the plane and I was the first person to the baggage claim. That normally does not make a difference as my luggage is usually the last luggage off the plane, but fly often enough and things are bound to break your way once and a while. Today, my bags were the first to come out of the mouth of the baggage system. I caught a shuttle to Hertz where Doug, Rachel and Ruby were all waiting for me. We added Doug as an additional driver on the car and then made our way to Oxnard.

Mom and Dad were at Burbank Airport picking up Jen when we got to their house. But we made ourselves at home anyway. I wolfed down my Carl’s Jr. (a luxury that I don’t have in Maryland) and then ran over to the local cleaners to get me and Doug’s suits pressed. We pick up the suits Friday morning.

It is now 3:10 PM (PT). I have been up since 11:30 PM (last night) PT. I can tell this is going to be one of those long days. And tomorrow, we head down to Disneyland. Doug, Rachel and Ruby went out in search of a Starbucks. The house is momentarily quiet. Probably the last time it will be quiet for some time to come.

A Playlist for Driving in L.A.

The house is cleaned, everything is packed and I’m ready to head out on my trip. I let my neighbors know I’d be gone for two weeks and they are going to keep an eye on the house for me. Talked to Doug and Jen tonight. I’m meeting Doug at Hertz tomorrow. Jen asked if I would wrangle the wedding gifts into my suite after the reception and I agreed to do that.

I made a “Driving in L.A.” to play in the car from LAX to Mom and Dad’s house. It’s about a 70 minute drive, and I put together a 70 minute CD of good L.A. driving songs. For those interested, the songs are:

1. I Love L.A. (Randy Newman)
2. American Girl (Tom Petty)
3. Blinded By the Light (Manfred Mann)
4. Born to Run (Bruce Springsteen)
5. Rock N Roll Band (Boston)
6. Fill Her Up (Sting)
7. Mrs. Potters Lullaby (Counting Crows)
8. New Slang (The Shins)
9. Against the Wind (Bob Seger)
10. Rock & Roll (Led Zeppelin)
11. Come Sail Away (Styx)
12. Lithium Sunset (Sting)
13. Don’t Stop (Fleetwood Mac)
14. I’m On My Way (The Shimshaws)
15. (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding (Elvis Costello)
16. Peaceful Easy Feeling (Eagles)
17. Speed of Sound (Coldplay)

Incidentally, the song I’m On My Way is by a buddy of mine, Todd McCombs, who has a band called The Shimshaws and an album called “Subcutaneous”. You can find the album at the Apple Music store, or check out their website at:

http://www.theshimshaws.com

I put the finishing touches on the toast that I am giving at the wedding while test-driving the newly created playlist.

It’s late now, 11 PM, and the car to the airport will be here at 6:15 AM so I’m going to get some sleep. Tomorrow is a travel day, but hopefully because it’s Wednesday, it won’t be too hectic.

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A Playlist for Driving in L.A.

The house is cleaned, everything is packed and I’m ready to head out on my trip. I let my neighbors know I’d be gone for two weeks and they are going to keep an eye on the house for me. Talked to Doug and Jen tonight. I’m meeting Doug at Hertz tomorrow. Jen asked if I would wrangle the wedding gifts into my suite after the reception and I agreed to do that.

I made a “Driving in L.A.” to play in the car from LAX to Mom and Dad’s house. It’s about a 70 minute drive, and I put together a 70 minute CD of good L.A. driving songs. For those interested, the songs are:

1. I Love L.A. (Randy Newman)
2. American Girl (Tom Petty)
3. Blinded By the Light (Manfred Mann)
4. Born to Run (Bruce Springsteen)
5. Rock N Roll Band (Boston)
6. Fill Her Up (Sting)
7. Mrs. Potters Lullaby (Counting Crows)
8. New Slang (The Shins)
9. Against the Wind (Bob Seger)
10. Rock & Roll (Led Zeppelin)
11. Come Sail Away (Styx)
12. Lithium Sunset (Sting)
13. Don’t Stop (Fleetwood Mac)
14. I’m On My Way (The Shimshaws)
15. (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding (Elvis Costello)
16. Peaceful Easy Feeling (Eagles)
17. Speed of Sound (Coldplay)

Incidentally, the song I’m On My Way is by a buddy of mine, Todd McCombs, who has a band called The Shimshaws and an album called “Subcutaneous”. You can find the album at the Apple Music store, or check out their website at:

http://www.theshimshaws.com

I put the finishing touches on the toast that I am giving at the wedding while test-driving the newly created playlist.

It’s late now, 11 PM, and the car to the airport will be here at 6:15 AM so I’m going to get some sleep. Tomorrow is a travel day, but hopefully because it’s Wednesday, it won’t be too hectic.

First Full Day of Vacation

Okay, here I am having finally gotten this blog set up. I can check yet another item off of my to-do list.

I have a five page list of things to get done before I leave for L.A. tomorrow, and so most of today has been spent doing those five pages worth of things. I’ve never been away from the house for two consecutive weeks and so this provides a good opportunity for me to get the house throroughly cleaned up, which has taken longer than I expected.

I took Zeke to the vet to be boarded around noon today. He wasn’t too happy about it. He hissed at me for the first time in years when I tried to get him into his carrier. He put up a pretty good fight, but he’s at the vet’s now, and will be there for 15 days until I return on November 9.

It’s gloomy here in Riverdale, MD today. It’s been drizzling most of the day, with some heavier rain here and there. And the temperature hasn’t broken 50 degrees. That’s okay, however, because it will make the climates that I’m visiting seem all that much nicer. It’s currently 65 degrees in Santa Monica, for instance, 64 in Temecula, where Jen’s wedding is taking place, and 77 degrees in Princevill, HI (north shore of Kauai). Keep in mind that it’s 10 AM in Princeville. And I’ll be there in 8 days.

Okay, back to the chores. Tomorrow I head to L.A.

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First Full Day of Vacation

Okay, here I am having finally gotten this blog set up. I can check yet another item off of my to-do list.

I have a five page list of things to get done before I leave for L.A. tomorrow, and so most of today has been spent doing those five pages worth of things. I’ve never been away from the house for two consecutive weeks and so this provides a good opportunity for me to get the house throroughly cleaned up, which has taken longer than I expected.

I took Zeke to the vet to be boarded around noon today. He wasn’t too happy about it. He hissed at me for the first time in years when I tried to get him into his carrier. He put up a pretty good fight, but he’s at the vet’s now, and will be there for 15 days until I return on November 9.

It’s gloomy here in Riverdale, MD today. It’s been drizzling most of the day, with some heavier rain here and there. And the temperature hasn’t broken 50 degrees. That’s okay, however, because it will make the climates that I’m visiting seem all that much nicer. It’s currently 65 degrees in Santa Monica, for instance, 64 in Temecula, where Jen’s wedding is taking place, and 77 degrees in Princevill, HI (north shore of Kauai). Keep in mind that it’s 10 AM in Princeville. And I’ll be there in 8 days.

Okay, back to the chores. Tomorrow I head to L.A.