Baltimore, Maryland. 8/8/8.
There's a strange and beautiful vibe that you get when you see something that has been pretty much a done deal for three years running finally have the ink dry on the contract, so to speak.
This is a long story. Make some coffee, but it'll be worthwhile.
Three years ago, my friends Sarah and Matt stood up on stage at Otakon in front of a couple thousand people and proposed to each other. The backing music was Piano Squall performing "Aerith's Theme". And the gasp that resonated through the room when Matt went down on one knee felt like the moment when David Bowman blew the door on the pod in 2001 and got sucked out into space. All the air in the room just vanished.
This past weekend I watched the two of them finally tie the knot for real in front of a small but loving congregation of family and friends.
Both of them spent the rest of the weekend being mobbed by well-wishers.
... with a T-shirt like that, it's not hard to see why.
But wait, I need to back up a bit...
Earlier in the week my friend Mike arrived from Seattle, by way of Iowa. He'd spent most of the previous week driving cross-country — he'd thrown his belongings into his beater of a car, hopped behind the wheel, and plowed through several states (without hitting anything, thankfully) to arrive in Washington at the house of a friend. There, he spent all of two days making himself at home before leaving ... on a jet plane ... (sorry, I had to) for New York City.
Mike is quickly shedding any last vestiges of his gawking small-town-Iowa self, and replacing them with a more ... well, cosmopolitan outlook. Not that he hadn't already been doing this for a while now, but a) moving to Seattle and then b) coming to New York all within the space of, oh, a week helped immensely.
We spent most of a day in New York City proper, during which I acquainted him with all my usual haunts: Book-Off, the Strand...
...and of course Wo Hop, although I was too busy gorging myself to take pictures there.
The very next day we hopped into a rental car and drove a few hundred miles south to Baltimore, where Sarah and Matt were to be hitched only a few blocks from the frenzy of fun that is (or, rather, was) Otakon 2008.
The wedding itself was Friday night, and after it was over I simply dropped face-first into bed and slept like a cave bear.
Mike quickly made good friends with Sarah. (The T-shirt she was wearing drew great amounts of attention — far more so than many of the costumes she'd worn in previous years!)
Mike is still here with me, which is why I haven't posted anything much in the last couple of days. There will be a good deal more to catch up on after I send him home tomorrow.