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Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2002 - 11:34 a.m.

I got back from California on Sunday. I'm still trying to catch up on rest. It's nut what a couple days of activity can do to you.

Heather and I met up at the Oakland Airport at noon on Thursday. Oakland Airport blows. I sat on the runway for half an hour after I landed because American Airlines only has one gate for all of their flights. When I proceded to baggage claim, there was no indication of which carousel had my baggage. At the car rental trailer, the Thrifty (more like Shifty) Car Rental representative tried to give me a smaller car at a higher price than I had been quoted. I had to haggle with him in from of a line of pissed off businessmen for ten minutes before he gave me what I wanted, which was only a freakin' Dodge Neon. It was still a little more than I had planned, but I recouped some of the expenses when I found fifteen dollars in the armrest.

Free of the airport, we had a pleasant drive up to Calistoga, located in the Napa valley. Calistoga is a quaint tourist spa town, which appears to have had its heyday in the mid-twentieth century. The main drag features a number of little old hotel/spas. I doubt that I will ever see the word "colonic" on a neon sign again.

We checked in to the Comfort Inn with a few hours to kill before the rehearsal dinner. Heather and I decided that we needed bathing suits, so we went downtown and bought some, which we used for a grand total of about ten minutes.

At the rehearsal dinner, there was much wine and beer consumed on my part, as well as some great mexican food. I caught up with Mike and Jenn (the bride and groom). This was the second time since college graduation in 1997 that I had seen Mike. It had been even longer since I had seen Jenn, who told me that I was looking very academic(?). The gang from Pennsyltucky was there as well: Groomsmen Rich, Andrew, and Jeremiah, and Brian. Mike's mother didn't recognize or remember me, even though I had spent my entire last year of high school listening to records in her basement. Following the dinner, we had drinks at a couple of local establishments in town before walking back to the hotel. I was in no shape to be driving the Neon back.

In the morning, I walked back downtown and picked up the car. We did very little before the 3pm wedding. The temperature was over 100 degrees by wedding time. it was a beautiful spot for a wedding, at a winery/function hall in the hills, but it was fucking hot as balls, with little to no shade. Thankfully, it was a short ceremony, and we all fled for the shaded bar area. I complemented Jeremiah on the suit that he was wearing. He explained that Jenn and Mike had bought it for him so that he wouldn't show up dressed like a pirate and ruin the wedding. I think I told him that he could come to my wedding as a pirate. I'm sure that he will. After several glasses of wine, we headed to the dinner, which was in a cave attached to the function hall. We had a wonderful vegetarien dinner, which included a spread of a dozen or so varieties of tomatoes and a very tasty vegetable lasagna. After dinner, the was a swing band. Jeremiah danced with old ladies, and just about everybody else.

At nine or so, the drunk bus took us to the hotel. We got changed and headed to this bar that had a crappy cover band playing. Despite our pleas, they didn't play any songs by Slayer, or the Beau Brummels. The last thing I remeber of the evening was walking back to the hotel and lifting Jeremiah above my head, threatening to toss him through a plate glass window in order to steal a shirt with billiard balls and the phrase "ball breaker" emblazoned on it.

We made a quick escape from Calistoga the next morning, stopping halfway to the bay area for breakfast at Denny's. Once we got to our hotel, the beautiful Holiday Inn Oakland Airport, we proceeded to crash for a few hours. Met up with Jeremiah and Brian for dinner. Spent the rest of the evening lost in the Bay area because Jeremiah doesn't know how to traverse any of it in an automobile. We did briefly stop in a crappy bar in the Haight that was apparently frequented by hippies and pedophiles. basically, our last night in California was a bust. I'm sure I'll be back, sooner rather than later.

A lot more happened that I didn't get into this entry. I'll save it for some other time.

 

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