Happy birthday wishes go out to kruppenheimer this morning. Congratulations on finally being able to run for president. Welcome to the ranks!
kruppenheimer and I finished our marathon game of Scrabulous on facebook today. Lisa made a come-from-behind win. She has more to say about it here including a final image of our game board.
Rainbow Room Birthday Bash 2008
Saturday began early for I was anxious to see everyone and wanted to get an early start. Kelly and I had gone to bed around midnight and I was up at 6:40 AM. I showered and then headed downstairs to sit on the couch and read until everyone else woke up. Kelly was up early too, and so we waited for vickyandnorm (Norm and Vicky) and kruppenheimer (Lisa) to awaken and get ready. It didn’t take too long but it seemed as though it took forever. However, we were ready to go by 9 AM, which is what I was hoping for, and at that point, we hit the road.
Happy Birthday, Lisa!
Yes, kruppenheimer, the baby of the high school gang, has finally come of age this morning. She is now mumblty-mum years old, just a month younger than Norm. And to think that soon they will both be able to run for President!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LISA
Hope you have a great day!
I woke up this morning in the full throes of a cold, with all of the associated appurtenances. The NyQuil helped to mute some of them last night, but I didn’t take it during the day. I struggled along through two meetings that I had to be in the office for, but now that they are over, I’m wrapping things up and going to try and head home soon.
I haven’t done any writing today, but hope to get some done this evening. I’m jumping out of chronological order and writing scenes that I think will be fun to write first, giving my brain some time to work on the other scenes in the meantime.
Thanks go out to Linky Lisa (kruppenheimer) for texting me one of the funniest lines from last night’s The Office–at 12:44 AM my time. I shouldn’t complain. She was getting me back for the time I texted her very early in the morning, when I was at Stratford On Avon.
And I had an amusing iChat with the Vicky half of vickyandnorm this morning.
I got paid today, which means November is a 3-paycheck month. (It was that insight that made me decide to buy my new laptop this month because about 1-1/3 paychecks would have gone toward savings this month anyway.)
I’m not sure how I have failed to mention that Joe Torre is now that manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, a team I hated with a passion back when I lived in L.A. It will be interesting. If the Yankees don’t make it to the playoffs this year but the Dodgers do, what does that say about Joe Torre is a manager. I think he’s terrific and it’s very difficult to see him managing for another team after 12 years with the Yankees. But I wish him the best of luck. (And there is a further rumor that Don Mattingly will be his bench coach.)
That’s all. I ramble.
Copper River Salmon
[Written on May 27 and backdated to May 24]
I had dinner for the second night in a row at Ocean Avenue Seafood, and this time, they had copper river salmon on the menu. After work, I went out for drinks with Eric, Danny, and Enrique. Afterward, Danny drove me over to Ocean Avenue Seafood, where I met Lisa, Andy and a pregnant-looking Mandy for dinner. We had a very nice dinner and I even managed to convince Andy to try the copper river salmon, which he did and which he enjoyed. It was outstanding, certainly well worth the wait.
After dinner I said goodbye to everyone and then walked back to the hotel. It was a very nice evening.
I have the coolest friends
More birthday wishes today. I got a call from Tawnya this morning. At work they put up happy birthday signs all around my office (although I’m not exactly sure how they found out it was my birthday). One of my meetings started today with one of my co-workers in Dallas wishing me a happy birthday.
I got this electronic card from Princess Cruises!
There was a phone message from AJ wishing me a happy birthday and a instant message from his wife, Denisse also wishing me a happy birthday. Oh, by the way, Happy Birthday, Denisse!. (We are “birthday twins.)
jen_ashlock called me at work to wish me a happy birthday. She had gotten back to New York on the red-eye last night and was sounding about as groggy as I was feeling at the time. And kruppenheimer (see, Lisa, I did that linky thing) sent me a gift certificate from Powell’s Books, which happens to be my favorite used bookstore in the world!
Can I just say that I have the coolest friends!
Thank you to everyone who sent along birthday wishes today. It made for a great day!
Home! Sweet! Home!
My vacation ended shortly after 5 PM yesterday when I arrived home from the airport. I was up at about 8:30 AM and Lisa and I headed out for a walk around the Boardwalk, enjoying the bright, warm Florida sunshine once more before having to head home. We decided to stop in at Norm and Vicky’s hotel, the Beach Club resort, for breakfast, and as it turns out, it was a character breakfast, meaning that there were Disney characters floating around, visiting tables, and make young, 30-something children smile. The table at which we sat had crayons and you could draw and color on the paper surface. Lisa wrote that she wanted Goofy to visit her. Shortly thereafter:
She also wrote that I had a big crush on Minnie Mouse and it wasn’t long after she wrote that that this happened:
After breakfast we made our way back to the hotel where I finished packing and then waited around until 11:30 when the car to the airport picked me up.
The trip home was uneventful, except for the fact that Norm’s brother, Scott and his girlfriend Meredith were on my flight to Dulles (from which they were connecting to a flight home in Sacramento). When I got home, I had a message from Norm saying that they had arrived in L.A. and that Vicky was feeling much better and they were going to to continue on to Bora Bora as scheduled, which was great news.
I had a bunch of mail to go through, including two packages. Turns out I had several birthday cards and gifts from friends. I had a card from Bonnie and Tom, and a card from my financial advisor. strausmouse and rmstraus sent me a DVD set of Magnum P.I. which is one of my favorite shows of all-time. Dan and Megan sent me this awesome boxed-set, shaped like a baseball base called The All-American Baseball Box which contains a bunch of CDs of famous baseball songs, speeches, skits, you name it. It is totally cool!
I spent time doing laundry and unpacking and didn’t get to bed until nearly 10 PM. I decided to go the gym at lunch today instead of this morning in order to get some extra sleep. Poor Lisa’s flight was delayed out of Orlando and she didn’t get home until close to 1 AM.
This trip, and the cards and gifts I had waiting for me, really made me think about just how lucky I am to have so many great friends: A.J., Andy, Dan, Eric, Lisa, Mandy, Megan, Norm, Ryane, Vicky. I’m not sure what I did to deserve friends like these, but I’ll take ’em any day of the week.
(P.S.: Lisa gets credit for suggesting the new userpic.)
Norm and Vicky’s wedding reception
We arrived at the reception, which started out as a kind of cocktail hour. We stood in a short line to sign the guest book and were amused by the text that was printed on the back of our little tickets (I can’t find mine or I would reproduce it here for you. Suffice it to say it was very funny.) Once inside the small room, we found a table and Lisa quickly began consuming crab cakes. I can’t remember what she was drinking, but I had a Corona. Andy and Mandy joined us shortly thereafter, and AJ showed up as well. It turned out that we would all be sitting at the same table, along with Ken and his wife and children.
After a time, bells were rung and we all proceeded into the banquet room and to our tables. It was a large banquet room with a good sized dance floor and about 8 or 9 tables. The DJ was stationed at one end of the room and Norm and Vicky’s table was on a raised platform at the opposite end. There was an enormous wedding cake not far from our table. Disney music was being piped in and drinks were flowing from the bar.
Not long after everyone was seated, the big entries were made. Andy and Norm’s sister, Julie entered, followed by Scott and Vicky’s Maid of Honor, JJ. Finally, the DJ announced the new bride and groom, “Mr. and Mrs. Norm and Vicky Perreault!” and they entered to much fanfare, with Norm smiling and waving at the crowd like a seasoned politician. Immediately after entering, they made their first dance and I cannot for the life of me remember the song to which they danced (Lisa, can you help out!) Then they were seated and the toasts were made.
Scott, Norm’s brother and best man made a funny toast, with several amusing stories about young Norm and a rousing encomium to Norm and Vicky and their happiness together. I honestly don’t remember too much of what he said because I was finally getting nervous, which is unusual for me. When Scott was finished, the DJ announced that I would be making the next toast, and I pulled my notes out of my pocket, grabbed my glass of water, and made my way up to Norm and Vicky’s table. I was told to take the microphone and stand behind the bride and groom on the dias and that I did.
I can’t tell you exactly what I said. While I made notes, I spoke mostly off the cuff. I was unusually nervous because I really wanted to do a good job for Norm and Vicky and to be honest, I don’t remember much of what I said. I do remember one thing said at the beginning however. Vicky had joking told Lisa and I at dinner on Wednesday that she wanted us to let people know that she and not the Disney people did most of the table decorations, the placecards, and favors. So when I got up to talk, I said, shortly after I started, “By the way, I just have to say, in case you don’t know this, that just about everything you see on the table in front of you was done by Vicky.” That got a round of applause and Vicky’s jaw dropped. But I didn’t stop there. I said, “She put a lot of hard work into this. Norm helped. I understand he built this entire place by hand just for this wedding.” I do recall people laughed several times, hopefully at something funny I said and not at me. Never fear, however, for Lisa got my entire toast (which seemed to extend beyond the 3 or 4 minutes I had planned) on video and as soon as she gets it posted online somewhere, I will provide a link to it. I finished up with an old Irish toast that went something like, “May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night, and a smooth road all the way to your door…happily ever after.” When I finished, Vicky turned to me to hug me and said, “You almost made me cry!” Almost! Darn it! I was aiming for tears!
The festivities proceeded. There was a five course meal. I can’t remember what all five courses were (by this time, I’d had myself a rum punch, but that’s not why I can’t remember), but I do recall there being an excellent salad, and the intermezzo consisted of raspberry sherbet in a glass slipper made of ice. (Apparently they are famous for this.) For the main course I had a bacon-wrapped fillet. And, of course, there was cake for dessert.
There was dancing! And I was lucky enough to have the privilege of dancing with not one, not two, but three good-looking girls.
There may be some people, who, upon reading my last statement, take offense at my referring to three women as “girls” but it is not meant in anyway to be offensive. I’ve always thought of “women” as meaning females who are older than me. I’ve always thought of “girls” as females who are younger than me, or equal in age. It’s just how I think of things inside my head and since I have been thinking this way for 35 years now, I’m not likely to change. But I mean no offense by it.
I got to dance with Lisa, who is a much better dancer than I am and who put up with my ambulatory awkwardness on the dance floor with grace. I got to dance next to Vicky who probably wasn’t even paying attention, and that’s a good thing, since dancing for me is an utterly humiliating process that I agree to do more for the enjoyment of others than myself. Finally, toward the end of the evening, I got to dance with Vicky’s maid of honor, JJ. We were standing awkwardly on the dance floor and the music started playing “Last Dance” and she said to me, “Maybe we should dance or something instead of just standing there.” I felt like a complete idiot for not asking her first, but I agreed at once and we danced to the last song of the evening. Once again, she was a far better dancer than I and I was simply outclassed the entire time I was on the dance floor. There are many things that I am good at and dancing is not among them. But I try.
And if you don’t believe me, Lisa can probably vouch for the fact that I am a pretty awful dancer. She also has video of me dancing in a corner in an insanely silly and embarrassing manner, which she has threatened to blackmail me with unless I meet certain demands…
By this time, hours had passed and the festivities were coming to a close. I made sure that I signed the big picture of Norm and Vicky–and as usual, I signed without evening looking at the picture so I have no idea what I was actually signing. We were told to head for the buses which would take us into Epcot for ring-side seats to the Illuminations fireworks display. Lisa felt the need to get some last-minute photos of these enormous paintings and then we headed off for the buses.
We came into Epcot through the back way and were escorted into the park by Disney personnel. They brought us to a roped off area at the water’s edge. There were tables and chair and desserts of all kind. Coffee and punch were also being served. Lisa spent most of the time acting as a surrogate mother to Ken’s children, and seemingly enjoying it. The fireworks display was spectacular, as one might imagine. It was towards the end of the evening that Vicky began to feel sick. We figured it was nerves and stress and everything finally catching up to her, but it turned out to be something else. She and Norm ended up spending most of the night in the emergency room, although she was better in the morning and they were able to head off on their honeymoon.
We made our way back to the hotel, spent some time up in the room with Andy, Mandy, and AJ. Lisa provided the entertainment for Andy, Mandy, and AJ while I was doing something in the closet. As soon as I heard the laughing, I looked to see what was going on, but I’d already missed it. I’ll tell you this, though: I’ve never seen Mandy laugh as hard as she was laughing. Andy said it was the best part of the evening.
We headed down to the hotel bar for a drink, and then Andy, Mandy and AJ headed back to their respective hotels and Lisa and I headed back upstairs. I was already beginning to feel sad that it was all over. We watched TV for a while, some Monty Python, and then turned out the lights and went to sleep.
It was an incredibly happy time, and one thing stuck with me through the entire evening. It was written on the inside of Norm and Vicky’s wedding program:
Once in a while, in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.
For Norm and Vicky, I can’t think of a better way to describe it.
Norm and Vicky’s wedding ceremony
The bus dropped us off at the Disney Wedding Pavilion and we went in and took our seats in the third row on the right side of the pavilion sitting with Mandy Andy was in the wedding part, as was Scott. Walking in, there is a huge window at the far end of the building which perfectly frames the giant castle at the center of the Magic Kingdom. That was pretty cool. There was some light music playing as the guests arrived and the ceremony started right on time, at 2:30 on the dot.
What we found out afterward was that AJ’s fears of catching the bus to the ceremony were not unfounded. For reasons we never discovered, the bus skipped AJ’s resort and 16 or 17 people didn’t get to the ceremony until we were about 15 minutes into it. But they did make it in time to see the bride and groom say their vows, place their rings and, of course, kiss.
Vicky looked radiant in her wedding dress, and Norm even managed to look pretty good in his getup. Norm was really hamming it up as he walked into the building, looking around in all directions, nodding and smiling at various people. Up on the stage, both Norm and Vicky occasionally nodded or winked at someone in the audience.
Several people got up to do readings during the ceremony, and Lisa was one of those people. She gave a very nice reading.
Throughout the ceremony, I wondered if Norm and Vicky would really attempt to pull off the little stunt that they had planned. I hoped that they would do it because it was so them. The reverend pronounced them husband and wife and said that Norm could kiss his bride. Norm and Vicky kissed.
Then they took a step back from one another, smiled, gave each other an excited high five, then turned to face the audience and did a posed thumbs-up. It was absolutely brilliant and I’m glad they did it!
They went off to get pictures taken. Meanwhile, the rest of us filed out and lined up along the sidewalk that led toward Norm and Vicky’s escape limo. When they finally emerged from their photo shoot, they walked through the line as we all tossed flower petals at them. Then they were whisked away and the rest of us made for the buses which took us to where the celebration festivities would occur.
Let’s play dress-up
Norm, Andy, and Scott were going to use our hotel room to get ready for the wedding. A photographer and videographer would be on-hand to capture the fiasco. Norm was the first to arrive, and seemed in high spirits. He was followed closely by the videographer. Norm was on and off the phone working out logistics and since Andy and Scott hadn’t arrived yet, the videographer headed downstairs to take exterior shots of the hotel.
Andy arrived shortly thereafter with Scott quick on his heels. I was hungry and so was everyone else, so we ordered up room service to the tune of 2 burgers, and 2 chicken sandwiches, plus sodas. The 30-minute order took only 45 minutes to be delivered. We didn’t want to start getting dressed until we had eaten. Andy, who had planted himself on Lisa’s bed, had the TV volume blasting and was watching Heat.
I should mention here that I practical joke that Lisa and I tried to pull seemed to go unnoticed by everyone. Lisa spent the entire morning at the pool and was absent from our dressing-room antics. However, prior to going down to the pool, we agreed on a plot, whereby Lisa made up her bed to look as though it hadn’t been slept in. I left my bed a mess. No one noticed. At one point, Andy even made a joke that went something like, “Yeah, only if we came in here and found that Jamie’s bed was made up and Lisa’s wasn’t” or something like that, and he still didn’t notice what we had done. I thought at one point, Norm might have noticed, but he didn’t say anything so our fun was spoiled!
One of the amusing things that took place at this time was when AJ called. AJ called me to see what we were up to and were he was supposed to catch his bus. He was concerned that the 2:05 pickup time was cutting it close to a wedding ceremony that started at 2:30. AJ can talk on the phone, so as a joke, I told him I wasn’t sure of the answers to his questions and I gave the phone to Norm. Norm had a difficult time getting AJ off the phone and handed the phone back to me. At this point, Andy, who was still laying on Lisa’s bed, looked at me shaking his head and waving his finger by his neck. I said to AJ, “I think Andy knows where you need to go,” and handed the phone to Andy. Andy eventually handed the phone to Scott and Scott actually spent a good deal of time on the phone with AJ before he hung up. And that is the story of how AJ was passed around between three guys the early afternoon before Norm’s wedding.
Finally we started to get dressed. This seemingly simple procedure gets more complicated when (a) no girls are around, (b) four guys are trying to dress in a tiny hotel room, (c) two additional camera people (for now the photographer had arrived) were moving about the room trying to capture the event for posterity. Also, we had to rush because we were behind schedule and Norm, Andy and Scott needed to be in the limo at 1 PM.
I helped Andy with his vest and Norm with his tie and I think several pictures were taken. Andy, for reasons known only to Satan, decided to change his clothes halfway in the closet. Good friend that I am, I called this to the attention of the photographer, who made sure to get pictures of a half-naked Andy standing in the closet trying to get dressed.
Norm handed out the various envelopes containing tips to Andy. He gave the rings to Scott. Andy, who had left the card that he and Mandy got for Norm and Vicky at home, decided to just hand Norm a check. When Norm would not accept just a bare check, I came to the rescue once more, suggesting that Andy put the check inside a hotel stationary envelop and drop it in the gift box that would be at the reception. Problem solved.
Eventually, we all finished dressing (even me). Andy did his hair, and then we were on our way. We got some good pictures standing by the elevators. I walked the boys to the limo, and then, in my full wedding costume, walked to the pool to collect Lisa, who had decided she’d rather stay at the pool than get dressed for the wedding.
But get dressed she did, and contrary to the popular belief that it takes a long time for women to get ready for anything, Lisa was ready to go on time and we were downstairs to meet the bus with time to spare. Once everyone was loaded on board, the bus made off for the Disney World wedding pavilion where Norm and Vicky were having their ceremony…
Spoodles and Jellyrolls
Some rest. We watched a couple of episodes of Friends, including, ironically, the Chandler/Monica wedding episode. It was nice to be able to relax for a while and stay off your feet. Eventually we had to get up and ready for the evening.
Lisa made dinner reservations at Spoodles, which servces a Mediterranean cuisine. It’s an open kitchen which is kind of cool. Lisa and I shared a lamb kabob for an appetizer. I had a beef kabob for dinner and Lisa had a pasta dish which looked much better than what I got. We also shared creme brule for dessert.
After dinner we headed back down the boardwalk to Jellyrolls where we were meeting up with everyone else. Jellyrolls is a dueling piano bar where the crowd send requests to the piano players and then sings along. It was a smokey, but a lot of fun. We got there at about 10 PM. I got a text from Norm saying they’d be there at 10:30. Then another saying they’d be late. Norm and Vicky showed up sometime well after 11 PM. But AJ, Andy and a bunch of other people got there right around 11 PM. It was the first time I saw AJ since arriving, because he arrived earlier in the afternoon.
I sang quite a bit, and was worried that my voice would be gone the next day. But it really was fun. Lisa made a request for Norm and Vicky and announced they were getting married. The piano guys brought them up on stage and had them do some dancing and other stuff. It was funny.
I think we finally got out of there sometime after 1 AM, but I’m not sure exactly the time. Lisa and I walked back to the hotel (which was not far). I went to bed with the good feeling of knowing that I could actually sleep in the following morning because we didn’t have to be up early to do anything.