Drove Nikki to Tampa + Went to Vinyl Fever one last time + Went to Alcove to finish celebrating

I was really happy that Jason had a class since it mean that I got to drive our dear friend Nikki down to Tampa airport. Nikki and I have known each other since the mid-90s, dating back to the early days of the Center for Campus Organizing. We’d both go on to work for CCO at different times but it wasn’t until the early 2000s when I was back in Gainesville and Nikki had moved to Philly (where she met and introduced me to Jason) that we got to be good friends. Living so far apart most of our friendship has been based on letters throughout the years, with the occasional visit thrown in.

Having been so busy over the last year, I’ve fallen criminally behind in keeping in touch so the 2-hour drive was a great opportunity to catch up on each others lives. As always our conversation settled on the changing nature of our work, love relationships, the Red Sox and our ongoing search for meaning and happiness. I was sad to hear about the pains Nik had been through but excited to hear about her new plans and her settling into a great life behind enemy lines in Brooklyn.

After saying our goodbyes at the airport, I headed over to Vinyl Fever. The day before when Howard and I went by Hyde & Zekes, Chaz had tipped me off that that this terrific music store was closing after 30 years. I got to a already picked over store with only about 20 minutes until they were closing — but left with something like 10 CDs for $20.

As he rang up my ridiculous total, I told the owner that while I was sure it was too little too late, that I was really sad to see them close since they were one of the better record stores in Florida.

Loaded up with a fresh playlist, I made the trip back to Gainesville where I met Howard and Chad for a last round of celebratory beers at The Alcove before Howard went home the next day. What a terrific way to end a great stretch of time with old friends.

Continued celebrating with friends

Lots of friends were still in town for the wedding and I took advantage, getting together with a bunch of them.

First, after running around to get keys to CMC so we could help Chad and Alex unload the chairs we borrowed for the brunch, Howard and I grabbed lunch at Buddha Belly. Howard is one of my oldest friends but we don’t get to see each other much since he lives in Olympia. We’ve been through a lot together, shared two different houses (including the HAM House), gotten in some good fights (right Jerky?!) but have always had a good, honest relationship. Much like talking with Chad & Amy after the brunch, talking with Howard about parenthood, adulthood and the future was a great addition to the weekend.

After lunch, Howie split to catch up with James — such is life for Gainesville ex-pats on whirlwind return trips — and Janeen and I went over to Candi’s for to meet Erika & Arne’s son, Espen and celebrate his 2nd birthday. Any birthday where you can drink beer and hang out with little kids is an awesome time.

After resting up a dozen or so friends got together at the Top for dinner. More beer and kids and good food!

We ended the evening back at Candi & Andrew’s with a 9-person game of Bang. Of course stupid Jason didn’t trust me that I was his deputy and shot me early on in Game 1. He will never let that down (since I won’t let him).

After our wedding our friends Amy and Chad were gracious enough to invite everyone to their house to eat, drink & talk some more! I really wanted to do something like this to have a chance to catch up with friends or family that we didn’t get to see the night before. A lot of folks came by, a lot of food was eaten, and it was a great coda to the wedding.

Afterwards, after the food had been packed up, the tables & chairs folded, and everyone had left, Amy, Chad, Alex and I got to just sit around, enjoy the beautiful evening, drink a lot of Pabst Blue Ribbon and talked about marriage, kids and the future.

Got Married to Janeen!

It’s gonna be hard to beat the awesome thing I did on December 31, 2010 (which is why this seemed like a good Listcore project for 2011): I got married to Janeen today! And we had a great wedding with a bunch of our close friends, family, great beer and terrific music.

Top that shit, 2011!

Amusingly ambitious ideas from a long abandoned 1st attempt at this (during what was likely my first foray into WordPress):

Seeking inspiration this was started to: grease the wheels, grist the mill, prep the grindstone. Two ideas which require some initial follow through, then large amounts of neglect:

  1. a daily photo site with my friend A in California — this would make the amount of daily/weekly work a bit more manageable, plus he and I have long talked of doing something collaborative.
  2. a quarterly(?) web-based publication — the goals would be to create and to practice design, a la Blue Fire Hereafter. The biggest obstacle I think would be producing/procuring content. But maybe once it took off I could get friends to submit. Though that went over like a lead balloon with the CD I made last fall.