Tuesday, May 20, 2008

weddings, beer, good times

i am sitting in a park in seattle, quietly reading a book and waiting for my brother to pick me up
i have just arrived via greyhound from spokane where i had taken part in my friend chris’ wedding and the many festivities surrounding it
it had been hot in spokane, but when i got off the bus in seattle, the air was chilled with the shadowy dampness that comes just before a shower
heavy clouds trundled slowly overhead
the breeze picked up into a shivering wind
drops started to fall here and there, making little dark spots burst out of the pages open before me
a homeless man walked by
noticing me, he stopped momentarily and half turned toward me
‘between the drops,’ he said
‘you have to look between the drops; that’s where they are’
becoming fascinated with a fern, he squatted down to peer closely at a frond
‘they’re like aphids; minuscule; devouring’
i agreed they sounded pretty insidious, though I didn’t quite understand the beef he had with these mysterious creatures
it was difficult for him to decide whether he should move on or not; he seemed to find lingering distasteful
but he turned to me again to assure me that he was not crazy and to remind me that everyone is crazy anyway, so what does he care?
his logic seemed to have a few loose threads, but I reassured him with a smile and nod
as he walked off, he repeatedly turned back to give me several thumbs up
then some pigeons in the street caught his attention
‘filthy bastards!!’ he shouted and ran away barking at them
I wished he would have stayed longer

in terms of fun and fullness my week in spokane was far greater than anything I imagined
I stayed the first 3 nights at the house of a friend of chris’ named rod
in that backyard we held many a nightly-fire-pit-gathering
especially for the first few days I spent a good deal of time with chris’ college buddy patrick who showed me around spokane and was a great companion for all the wedding shenanigans (we were both groomsmen) and surrounding free time

(pat and me)

in addition to the many cool people I met, I was also really happy at the number of friends I knew already who were able to make it for the wedding (including my bro whose attendance was uncertain until the last minute and whose whereabouts were even more uncertain even when he was supposedly in spokane)

the wedding was incredibly hot but spectacular!
it was unencumbered with over-organization and the reception was a blast!
especially with the oodles of delicious homebrew chris made in prep for the event(robbie - chris' friend and musician for the wedding)

(chris and sarah) (someone's clothes) (at the reception)(rod and matea)(me an' lucas)(vandalism)(groomsmen & beer)
after the wedding, lucas, patrick, and I drove to cor d’leane – a beautiful lake park in Idaho – for a picnic, relaxation, and dice games
for the next few days afterwards I stayed at chris and sarah’s house where I was able to relax a little and take a break from all the running around
there was a LOT of bar-patronage - far more than im used to
(at the beer supply shop)(materials for making BEER - notice the garlic)
(yes, garlic)(checkin' da recipes)(toastin' da oats)(da oats be toasted)(boiling da toasted oats)(strain out dem boiled, toasted oats)(addin' da malt)(hops)(maplebrau II oats are finished and straining)(pokin' da bag ta get at all da GOOD JUICE)(malt extract added)(pourin' in da garlic for garlicbrau)(yum yum beer smells)(delicious elixir is strained into the fermenting vats)(measuring concentration)(reapin' da rewards! ....of a different beer that had actually finished fermenting already)
go team!

as soon as i have the opportunity, i really want to try doing this myself
chris made is look pretty easy, and i know it's more complicated than all that
but i definitely feel like it's do-able
i hope the necessary equipment is accessible in seoul....
look out, south korea!

my time in seattle was for the most part quieter than in spokane
but by no means less enjoyable
the approaching date of my departure to fairbanks was looming a little over me, but tim and jocelyn made things quite comfortable
one of the more notable experiences was going to the "who's the wisest wizard?" party in which, over the course of the night, you construct a staff by taping on top of each other the beer cans you consume
it gets pretty tricky trying to drink out of the top of a staff whose bottom hits the ceiling every time you lift it for a sip
but most of the evenings were spent in leisurely board games of which tim is a connoisseur
one morning jocelyn and i walked down to Gas Works - a park in seattle built around an old, rusty gas plant
the view there of seattle is really incredible

im really glad i'll have a chance to visit again when my summer is over(thanks, you guys, for a marvelous farewell!)

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