the further adventures of

Mike Pirnat

a leaf on the wind

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Comic Life

So I discovered the other day that my new Mac came bundled with Plasq's nifty Comic Life, a program that lets you easily drop your photos and other images into comic book layouts, add effects and word balloons, and generally cause you to lose track of time.

I started putting together a simple page last night to see what it could do, and show Liz how cool it was, and it kind of got out of hand after that--becoming a three-page mini story of going to our friends' wedding in October:

It has a few little quirks that annoy (trying to get the right thing selected can be tricky once it's been dropped into place, and the fancy lettering really doesn't like to export to PDF without a fight), but it's probably one of the most fun and imaginative apps I've played with in a long, long time.

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Back From SFO

Just a quick post for now... We are back safely from San Francisco. Thankfully, the house is still standing--no exploding water heaters, no massive wake of feline destruction, nothing. I suppose it's a good thing we got in when we did, as the news now tells us a plane got diverted to Cleveland as a result of some security scare. That would have fouled our return to kitties but good.

The remainder of our time in wine country was simply marvelous, and filled with a delightful lack of televisions, internet, and cell phone coverage. High points include our romantic lodgings atop the oceanside cliffs of Albion, tour at Handley, visit to the indulgent "Bubble Room" at J, and utterly perfect dinner at The Girl and the Fig in Sonoma. I suspect that I'll get around to writing about it a little bit sometime soon (which probably means I'll never get to it, based on my track record).

Don and Kai are married (for a whole day now). Hooray for them, and about time too! I ended up standing in for a replacement groomsman, which was a pretty good time overall. I got taken to my first football game (with 72,516 in attendance), enjoyed hanging out with Don and his friends, and generally did my best to keep Don from either jumping off of or passing out and falling down the cliffside behind the wedding site. Ah, good times. :-) Anyway, we wish the two of them heaps of all that good marriage stuff, blah blah blah. Not that they need my additional blessing, as they are about as perfect together as any two crazy kids could be, but I figure good mojo is always welcome.

Lots of photos were taken. Coming soon: maybe I'll find the time to sort and upload some. Stranger things have happened!

Too much new stuff on the Tivo this week: Galactica, Dr. Who, Lost, Eureka, Studio 60, The Office, Robot Chicken, etc. etc. I think I need a vacation day to catch up with everything... :-P

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New Jersey and Other States of Being

Friday was grey, damp, and cold in Cleveland, which made it an excellent occasion to get the heck out of town and go to [info]sam16 and [info]supercarrot's wedding in New Jersey. The drive out was mostly in the dark due to Liz's work schedule, but we still managed to arrive in the Collingswood area before midnight. Dinner was a surprisingly tasty bacon cheeseburger and chili cheese fries at a Bob's Big Boy along the Pennsylvania turnpike. Mmmm...

Slept in a bit on Saturday; watched Alien Versus Predator on HBO in the hotel room--what an astoundingly awful movie! Around noon, we met up with a friend who was temporarily assigned to a position in Atlantic City, just down the road a piece from where we were staying. We took in a wine tasting at Tomasello (surprise winners: the Villard Noir and the blackberry wine) and then had a late lunch at an Italian joint that claimed to have the "world's best spaghetti." (It was good, but not that good.)

We were quite delighted to see Scott and Carrie married in the park early that evening as the thick, golden sun began to dip below the trees. It's always heartening to see two people so happy to be together, to be so right as companions embarking on the grand journey of married life. We wish them heart-felt congratulations and all the joy in the world.

Had a bit of temporal disorientation this morning; we went to bed assuming that the bedside clock would be an hour off when we woke up as daylight savings had ended overnight. We went leisurely about our morning routine thinking that we had plenty of time, and that we were only fifteen minutes or so late to the post-wedding brunch. However, unbeknownst to our heroes, all of the bedside alarm clocks listen to the local atomic clock signal, so the "fall back" adjustment happened automatically while we slept, and we were in fact well over an hour behind schedule by the time we figured out what was what. In spite of this chronometric conspiracy against us, we hit the road efficiently and made good time on our drive back. The skies were clear and sunny, and the gorgeous weather made the drive into a real pleasure, a very nice cap to the weekend.

Now, I just have to catch up on my massive email backlog, and wrap my head around my impending workload of complete and total doom... But that can wait until tomorrow, right?

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Mazel Tov!

Big congratulations to [info]mokatz and his lovely bride Monica, and equally heartfelt best wishes for their new life together! We drove down to Pittsburgh yesterday to watch these two lucky folks commit themselves to the greater adventure of marriage, and to join in the festivities, and I don't think we could have asked for a better day. The skies were clear and a vivid blue, the air crisp and clean, the drive safe and uneventful, the ceremony beautiful in its simplicity and tradition. Having never experienced a Jewish wedding before, it was really enlightening and quite fascinating for me.

On top of all that, I not only ran the CD player for the ceremony itself (a nerve-wracking experience if ever there was one--no pressure or anything, it's only crunch time on my friends' Magic Day), I had the pleasure and privilege to share the spinning of tunes and the announcing of announcements at the reception with [info]gieves, who is most certainly the best DJ partner that I have had the opportunity to work with. It really brought back the great memories of spinning together at WRUW, way back in the proverbial day. In spite of the very raw/live nature of how the reception flowed, I think we managed it okay, and everyone seemed to have a good time... So I guess that means we're available for birthdays and bar mitzvahs as well. :-)

Congratulations once again to the lucky couple--may their lives together be long, happy, and filled with wonders. Mazel tov!!

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Good, Bad, Ugly

Good:

  • [info]oogby and [info]reasie are married! It was a lovely, utterly clear blue day in the park, and a joy to attend and assist with the special day.
  • We finally got around to seeing Hero on Saturday night. Beautiful! It's as if Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Rashomon had an impeccably elegant baby. Bravo!
  • To my surprise, I had not been aware of a new Wes Anderson movie coming out this Christmas, so hooray for movie posters! This loooks like it will be utterly fabulous.
  • We've passed the halfway point of Babylon 5, and [info]aquamindy's addiction to it grows ever stronger (muahahahahahaha!!!!).

Bad:

  • Pixel is still dead, and there's not a damn thing I can do about it.
  • I had a suck-tacular week at work.
  • It turns out I didn't have to go buy tools on Saturday to help cut artificial flowers after all, as people succeeded in finding something that would work while I was out on my errand.
  • The computer I'm borrowing from [info]aquamindy as a temporary stand-in for my Gentoo box is acting flaky. It likes to do things like spontaneously reboot, not let userland apps talk to a DNS server, and have runaway, unkillable processes during compiles. So I shut the damned thing off, because it's entirely too frustrating to deal with right now.

Ugly:

  • Vet bills on top of everything else we've been doing to the house.
  • 1600 emails in my inbox from the reason work sucked last week, none of them my fault or anything that I can do anything about, but still highly irritating. I suppose it would have been more than that, but my inbox got locked at that point.
  • I gave myself a wicked plastic cut on Saturday as I tried to open up the tools that it turned out I didn't need to buy. It's like a paper cut, but vastly more painful, vicious, and bleedy. My right pinky has a swath about an inch long by a quarter-inch wide that got left behind at the Metroparks. I think I'm up to bandage number six, as it keeps wanting to bleed and be a touch pussy from time to time. It's really quite gross. And it hurts. A lot.
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Moments of Transition

Varietals, our favorite wine bar, is being sold, closing, and will be transformed into something new and unfortunately different. We can't attend the big farewell celebrations tonight or tomorrow night, so we had our own little going away party last night, just [info]aquamindy, Maureen (the soon-to-be-ex-owner), Josh (soon-to-be-ex-manager), and plenty of good wine and good food. It's a bit sad to be losing such a great place, but we've gained new friends and experiences as a result, and for that we can be thankful.

While this era is ending, new ones are beginning...

Tonight we fly to Colorado to help our family celebrate my aunt Tami's wedding. She's been married twice before, but never had an actual wedding ceremony, so it's very exciting. Her groom-to-be seems somehow right to us; finally, Tami's found the person she's been looking for. I hear he's great with her son, JT, which fills me with lots of hope for them all. The last times that we've all been together like this have been for funerals, or gatherings in anticipation of loss, so I think we are all looking forward to sharing a day that is simply about joy.

[info]darlox, I'm sorry I can't attend your bachelor party--but I will be there in spirit. Ogle and imbibe one or two for me.

So, to everyone mentioned herein, and to all those not, here's to you; may you stand ever tall and with grace in your transitions from one moment to the next...

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Perfect Timing

On the way home from yesterday's festivities, my throat started to feel all gunky and upset. I wrote it off to just being run down after having a crazy weekend and a couple hours of dancing madness.

I've since spent pretty much the entire day holed up in our hotel room, buried in blankets, pushing fluids, napping intermittently, and desperately seeking television worth watching for more than thirty-seven seconds at a time. I have a low fever and am pretty dizzy, but at least this morning's salsa-slathered scrambled eggs managed to clear the junk out of my throat.

Today's top television finds have been:

  • Hamtaro (appropriately, it was the episode "Get Well Laura")
  • Ghostbusters was on again
  • Watched about ten minutes of Joe Versus the Volcano, until it took a break for ads
  • The edited-for-TV version of Lethal Weapon 2 -- they FREAK YOU at the DRIVE THROUGH!
  • Lots and lots of Cartoon Network -- sadly, I've slept through or missed the ad for the upcoming Star Wars: the Clone Wars show three or four times now and never seen it completely.
  • The crowning achievement? Cat People, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, with music by David Bowie and Georgio Moroder -- dubbed into Spanish! Very amazingly bad, in a way that is utterly entertaining.

Liz brought me chili for lunch (yay) and has napped a bit with me. She just got back a little bit ago from taking her mom to the airport. Now we're trying to decide if I am well enough to consider going anywhere or doing anything... I don't really have high hopes (still icky and headachy and dizzy), but we'll see how it goes.

At least I waited until after the wedding to get sick.

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The Big Day: Part Two

At long last, Andy and Lauren are wed! They are now Mr. and Mrs. Doctor and Doctor Andrew Boyd (insert Spies Like Us joke here). They were married in the fields outside of The Salt Lick's party pavilion, under a high, graceful canopy of trees. A light, refreshing rain spattered in joyful fits and spurts throughout the ceremony; if there is a God, then I presume that He cries at weddings too.

After the ceremony, we had an awesome barbeque buffet, then set in for some serious partying -- drinking, dancing, and attacking sacrificial pinatas. Upon our return to San Antonio tonight, we stopped over at Bennigan's to visit briefly with the Chicago contingent.

Liz and I are now in for the night; I'm uploading photos from today and snacking on some microwave popcorn, while Liz has found Ghostbusters on TV, much to our mutual delight.

Congratulations to the happy bride and groom! Now, it's sleepy time.

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The Big Day

The big day is finally upon us; Andy and Lauren are finally getting married!

Yesterday was the rehearsal dinner on the River Walk. It was a bit crazy, but everyone had a good time. I took a bunch of photos, some of them good, some of them less good; they're online now, but I haven't had time to rotate or post-process them yet. (You will just have to live.) I lost track of how many margaritas I had -- people just kept handing them to me -- so I ended up good and marinated by the end of the evening, which made for some seriously wacked-out dreams.

When Andy graduated from college, Liz gave him "Dating for Dummies" and "Sex for Dummies" as somewhat of a gag gift. Since at least the first volume has proven to be successful (I don't want to even know about the second one's influence!), Liz and I gave Andy a copy of the inevitable third volume in the series, Making Marriage Work for Dummies. (On a side note, I have to say that I'm rather disturbed by the wide array of subject matter addressed by the "For Dummies" books. Maybe they could print up some "Foreign Policy for Dummies" or "How Not to Tank the Economy for Dummies" and send them up W's way? But I digress...)

Today, we'll get all spiffed up and head out to The Salt Lick for the game-day rehearsal, ceremony and the reception. Congratulations again to the bride and groom on their big day! Dare I say it... w00t!!!:-)

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Beers, Steers, and...

Had a rough day at work, partly because of having to solve other people's bugs in production, and partly because of the compressed schedule of the day. Liz picked me up around 2:45 this afternoon and we rushed off to the airport. After running the TSA gauntlet, we boarded our tiny little regional jet and set off to San Antonio for Andy and Lauren's wedding.

Well, the plane had a weight imbalance (surprise surprise), and they needed people to go sit at the very back of the plane. Three rows of people said no before the flight attendant got to asking us. Unlike the rest of our fellow passengers, we realized that the plane wouldn't be going anywhere unless someone moved, so we volunteered to move. I made sure to say, "you're welcome," to the people who refused to move.

So we sat in the back of the little regional jet for three hours, and had a surprisingly good time. Liz had packed all kinds of healthy goodies that totally kicked the ass of the lousy airplane food. The flight attendant thought that was pretty cool; she ended up spending most of the trip sitting in the otherwise unoccupied seat across the aisle from us, as it was apparently too cold up at the front of the plane. We had a great time chatting with her, swapping stories, and mocking the passengers who couldn't figure out how to operate the lavatory door. She should totally do stand-up; she certainly has enough material.

Once on the ground, we met up with Anne and Andy, picked up our rental car, and checked into the hotel. From there, we met up with some of Liz's side of the family and headed out to dinner at a barbeque place called The County Line.

Apparently they don't kid -- everything is bigger in Texas, including the portion sizes, which are downright ludicrous. A gent at a booth near us was having beef ribs, and they sprawled across two plates in a show of grisly Flinstonian excess. I had two margaritas, nothing to write home about, but they sufficed. I had only planned on having one, but just like the ribs, the ice cubes were also pretty huge, so you don't get a whole lot of margarita for your dollar. Hooray for America!

We have free internet at the hotel, so that pretty much rocks. I plan on uploading some pictures from the wedding weekend as we go; stay tuned for updates.

Now if I could only get the RevCo song "Beers, Steers, and Queers" out of my head, I'd feel comfortable enough to get some sleep...

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