Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Phantom Cable People & Suit Mix-Ups

Ugh, have you ever had one of those days where you just want to scream? Today was like that.

First, remember the ugly suit that didn't fit well? The one that I couldn't figure out why I'd even bought in the first place? It turns out there was a very good reason for that. It was because they gave me the wrong suit! I was so rushed on Thursday morning that I didn't have a chance to check it as thoroughly as I should have, and by Friday evening my memory was pretty foggy, so I just chalked it up to a bad decision made in the heat of the moment. S&K called me late last evening about the mix-up, so I took the suit back this morning, picked up my real suit, and also the second one that I'd bought last week. Both of them check out and look great, which means that my fashion sense isn't faltering like I'd feared. Yay! One thing that's bugging me though is that they might try to blame me for the slit in the suit pocket, even though it was like that when I picked it up. Hmph, let them try to blame me, if they dare.

The second thing that happened today ... well, that was supposed to happen anyway ... was that Comcast was scheduled to come by and fix the cable. They never showed, which means that I spent all morning at my apartment for nothing. I got a lot of bills paid and did some laundry, so it wasn't a complete loss, but still. I've been out of the office long enough that I didn't want to be out again any more than necessary, and this just added to my already crazy week.

The plan for the rest of the night: go to gym, make bank deposit, get dinner, finish laundry, go to bed early.

Justin's Birthday

Celebrated Justin's 23rd birthday Monday night. Had a great dinner with Justin, Daniele and a couple of their friends over at Daniele's house. She made an incredible chicken stew with mushrooms, carrots, potatoes and all kinds of yummy stuff. They also had a cake that was decorated like a racetrack. Great times, but still pretty exhausted from the weekend.

What a Week V

There was a free breakfast on Sunday morning (a good free breakfast, with eggs and sausage and french toast). I got to see everybody one last time, said my goodbyes, gave my tux to Chris's mom who had volunteered to take them back for everyone (what a gal), and then Mike and I started the drive back.

There was a storm along the way, which was the first time in a long time that I'd been in a heavy rain lasting more than 5 minutes. I listened to and enjoyed the rain, talked with Mike, and just had a really relaxing couple of hours.

We got back to his place in DC around 4ish and chilled there for a while, and I got to see what the apartment looked like after I'd helped move all the furniture in a few weeks before. Off to my first ever ride on the DC metro, which was pleasant enough, but no one told me that you have to swipe to get out. So I stood in the middle of the gates for a couple minutes, holding two bags and a suit, frantically rifling through my pockets trying to find the card I'd bought, and just generally looking like an idiot until some kind security guy took pity on me and opened the gate. Lesson learned.

Got some food in Union Station, looked like an idiot again when the hanger that was carrying my suit broke, then got onto the 7PM train to Richmond. On the train there was a couple, the kind that think every word the other says is pure hilarity. Extremely annoying, but luckily they got off at Quantico. We were about an hour late and got into Richmond around 10:30PM; but we were the lucky ones, because the train behind us got stuck behind a broken down freight train, and was 3 to 4 hours late (for a train ride that's only supposed to take 2 hours).

Justin and Daniele had graciously offered to pick me up from the station and drive me home, and after a lot of apologizing for making them wait, they drove me home. On the way, Daniele asked me if I was still coming to Justin's birthday party the next day, because they were really looking forward to it, and of course I hadn't forgotten about it, right? Oops!

I promimsed them I'd be there, they drove me home, Daniele waited until I had gotten into my apartment before driving off, which was kind of weird because no one's ever done that before and I had no idea what she was doing, and then finally collapsed into bed.

What a Week IV

The actual day of the wedding was even more hectic. First it was lunch at the Palisades mall, then another trip to Target for safety pins, hair product and shoe polish (I was the official make-sure-everyone-looks-good guy).

Then we drove around Orangeburg trying to find a liquor store that sold Rosa Regale sparkling wine, which was Chris's favorite and what he wanted for his wedding night. We finally ended up finding it in a grocery store.

After that, it was off to the View on the Hudson to do a spur-of-the-moment-last-minute plan for and rehersal of the wedding. I think the two hosts were playing good-cop-bad-cop with us. Also, Derek's GPS failed miserably to get us there by the most efficient route.

Back to the hotel! Into the tux! Wonder what to do with the matching garter that came with the tux! Fix everyone else's tux! Off to the View! Stand a long time! Wedding! Pictures! More pictures! Even more pictures! Host yelling at the photographer to stop taking pictures because it's now 9PM and he needs to start serving dinner!

Finally, we got to the reception, and I could sit. I got to see even more of my favorite people (Andrew! Michelle! Jessica! Joanna! Katherine with a C!). We danced, had some drinks, danced some more, and had an absolutely incredible time. We had to leave around 12:30, but the hotel bar was open until 4AM, so we all went in there and hung out with a group of incredibly good-looking guys. Did that for a few hours, and then blessed blessed sleep.

What a Week III

The next morning I got a call from Chris around 9:30AM telling me that we had a busy day, and who then apparently fell right back to sleep after 1:00PM. No matter, I explored the strip mall next to the hotel and found an incredible little pizza place, and caught up on some emails from work.

After everyone was up, it was time to do all of the errands that we didn't get done the day before, but that meant splitting up. Chris went to get his haircut, while I went along with Alex, Mike T, Tomasz and Sam in Alex's cramped little car back to Westchester mall pick up the tuxes that weren't there yesterday. Why, you ask? Because I was the only one Chris trusted to make sure they fit well. :)

I also discovered that several people hadn't realized the tuxes didn't come with socks, so I went off to buy some. Neiman Marcus was next door, so I went in there, found some dress socks, and discovered when I went to the checkout counter that it was "cash, check, or American Express only". What kind of stupid store takes AmEx but not VISA or MasterCard? I had cash on me, but not enough to buy 8 pair of good dress socks, so I trudged up to the ATM, mutting to myself the entire time.

On the way back, there was an accident on the Tappan Zee bridge, and traffic slowed to a crawl. Picture five not-small guys wedged into a tiny car that doesn't have air conditioning on a 95 degree day sitting in traffic that's not moving for about 90 minutes. Naturally we were sweating, and when I wiped my forehead with my hand I discovered that the top of Alex's car, which I'd been holding on to with my arm out the window, was quite dirty. So now I was cramped, hot, sweaty, and also looked like a linebacker. Plus, Alex is a Jersey driver. I love the guy, but he's still a Jersey driver. NOT a fun time.

We finally got back to the hotel, where I discovered that some of the other guys didn't know the rehersal dinner that night was formal and were out buying pants. :)

I went back to my room, showered, and tried to change into my new suit that I'd bought ealier in the week. And I hated it. It really didn't fit all that well (the pants especially), one of the buttons was almost coming off, I didn't like the style at all, and there was even a slit in the pocket! I just kept looking at myself in the mirror in disbelief, wondering: "did I actually buy this piece of crap!?!?" I really couldn't believe that I'd been that careless when I was in the store. I sighed, resigned myself to the fact that I'd wasted a chunk of money, and went down to the dinner.

The dinner went well. Got to see more people (AJ!), and had some good food. I did my little speech that Chris had asked all the groomsmen to prepare, and it went over great. Around 11PM Mike O (who was sharing my hotel room for two nights) got to the hotel, and I went up to let him in and give him his key. I changed out of my bad-idea suit, and then we both went to the after party in Mike T's room, where much fun was had, and beer bottle labels may or may not have been worn on foreheads. :P

What a Week II

After I checked into the hotel, it was off to the Palisades Mall for lunch with Chris and company, and THEN it was time for errands.

Chris needed a haircut and a wedding gift, I needed to make a trip to Target to buy the essentials (my hasty Richmond departure necessitated having only carry-on luggage, which meant no toiletries), and all of us needed to go to the Westchester mall across the river to pick up the tuxes.

There was a Target in the Palisades mall, so that was easy, and then we all piled into Derek's car (with one of those cool GPS thingies) and head to Westchester mall to pick up the tuxes from AfterHours Formalwear.

AfterHours was a madhouse. First, the store itself was only a 15x15 hole in the side of the mall. When your groomal party is 11 total, that means things will be crowded. Second, we got there just as two other wedding parties came to pick up their tuxes too. OOF. I was lucky enough to get one of the two private changing rooms. Chris, on the other hand, actually had use the measuring room off to the side and change into his tux along with 4 other guys who were also using the room at the same time. Heh :P

Some of the tuxes were sent to the wrong store which meant we would need to come back the next day, but we got most of them. Back to the hotel, awesome dinner at StirCrazy, and then to Dave and Busters for the bachelor party.

Nothing too crazy happened, but we had an awesome time. I got to see a lot of my favorite people that I haven't seen in over a year (Alex! Tomasz!). Derek and I got into an hour-long debate about when it's acceptable to use force and kill for something you believe in, we almost got kicked out because we were trying to keep all the glasses at the table as a tally, and I discovered that I'm horrible at simulated jump-rope.

I ended up going back to the hotel at 1AM, but apparently the others kept right on going until at least 4AM, when one of the parents heard them coming back into the hotel with cases of beer. Yay beer!

What a Week ...

Ok, it's been a year since I've posted anything, but I'm going to do my best to start updating this on a regular basis. We'll see what comes of it. I suppose it would be interesting to go through what's happened over the year, but I think just this past weekend is exciting enough.

Chris, my best friend from college, and his fiance Daniela got married this weekend, and I was part of the groomal party. Anyone who knows Chris knows that he's not exactly the world's most detailed oriented planner, but we'll get to that in a second. :)

First, I didn't exactly plan too terribly well for this weekend myself. I had my flight to NYC scheduled for Thursday morning, and realized on Wednesday evening that I didn't have a suit that fit me. So I run down to S&K Men's store to get measured and fitted, etc. Found two nice suits, and one was 50% off, so I got both. Problem was, the earliest I could have them was 10:00AM Thursday morning, because they needed to hem the pants. My flight departed at 11:10AM, and the airport is on the opposite side of town. At Richmond Intl that's really cutting it close, but still doable; and really what choice did I have? So I decided to scrap driving to the airport myself and instead got a cab to pick me up at the apartment, take me to the store where I hurridly picked up the suit without trying it on (important point to remember later), and then off to the airport.

Well, the cabbie ended up getting me there in plenty of time, and we had some pretty good conversation along the way. Turns out his daughter lives in Lancaster at Willow Street - small world! Anyway, got to the airport, flew to Laguardia, and set about finding the sedan service that I'd scheduled. The actual wedding was in Orangeburg, which is just west enough of Westchester that regular cabs won't go there, so that meant ordering a car. When I called the number on the confirmation email to let them know I'd arrived, I was told to "go to the middle"; instructions which I hoped would be clearer once I got to the pick-up area. Waited "in the middle" for about 20 minutes, guy pulls up, I get in, explained where I was going, and off we went. I'd looked up reviews for this particular service earlier in the week (which weren't stellar, the phrase "feared for my life" and "NEVER AGAIN!" were often used) and was kind of nervous, but everything went fine, and $90 later I was safely at the hotel.