Brad’s first marriage

So my good friend Tim, whom I’ve been friends with since 1981, is marrying his fiancee, Virginia.  For this reason, I got ordained by the Universal Life Church to officiate their wedding.  Tim and I grew up together in Wisconsin.  We met in catholic grade school, played AD&D throughout high school, and hung out and partied through the early 90’s.  He took me to get my first tattoo when I was recovering from a terrible bout of food poisoning, and he accompanied myself and a friend on my move out to Portland back in 1995.

Tim is one of a core of 5 guys that I’ve known for over 20 years.  He’s lived all over the world in squats, ranches, and houses throughout Central America and Europe.  He’s a woodworker and carpenter, a fire-dancer and musician, a clever wit and a tender soul.  I have met very few people in life who are near to his level of genuine, caring sincerity. 

Virginia grew up in Argentina.  She is an artist, and her specialty is making puppetts of late.  She is a classic beautiful latina with a gracile frame, warm smile, and wonderful laugh that seems to somehow communicate her own generous spirit.  They met when Tim was living near Mexico City back in 2004.

To see them together doing anything is to see love.  It is something that hangs in the air between them.

So last week when they were proclaiming that they were trying to get married in the next couple of weeks (because they are both tired of having to play the immigration hokey-pokey for Virginia).  I caved and followed through with becoming ordained because I had wanted to for some time.  That, and I wanted to be the one to marry them.  Tim is like my brother, and Virginia is just such a wonderful, intelligent, kind woman.  I can think of no greater honor than marrying them today at noon.

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A Gaming Wedding

This weekend in Iron Mountain, Michigan one of my buddies from high school is getting married.  Dan is a part of phase four of my role playing/video gaming life before I channelled all of that energy into improv.  Phase four took place from 1992-1995.  Phase one began in 1980 to give you some scope.

When I visit Wisconsin, there is usually a LAN party thrown.  Dan’s wife has been a smash on the online game scene with him.  Dan is about 6′, spindly, and prone to making weird noises and tangents.  He’s a printer by trade who is a main pressman for the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel.  Dan and I used to be the class clowns in Fr. Hudson’s geometry class back in 1986.  We made that priest laugh so hard and long one class that he just grabbed his coat and hat and laughed all the way out the door.  He left and didn’t come back until the next day.  Fr. Hudson had MS, and he had a proclivity for picking up change off the floor and remarking about it.  I feel terrible about this now, but we used to entertain ourselves by seeding the floor with change while he wrote on the board by lobbing pennies and nickels up by the blackboard where he would write (and turn and spot change).  To this day, Fr. Hudson was one person who I felt was a holy man.  He always had a joyful glow about him like he knew something and was giggling waiting to tell you.

My longest friend, Mike, will be housing me and chauffering me throughout the weekend.  I’ve known Mike since 1977, and we’ve been friends since 1982.  He’s got the frame of a giant norseman.  6’4″, blond, green-eyed, stocky fella, but clean cut wearing L.L. Bean apparel.  Mike has been the constant companion through all four phases of my gaming life.  Ironically, he almost always plays dwarves in games.  We have watched Conan the Barbarian together about 9 times (of the 62 that I’ve seen it).  He and his now wife hooked up at a week long party I had at my parents’ house called “Fuckfest”.  We even had a banner that we made on the back of a Warsteiner promo.  FYI: the picture for this post is one of Mike’s MANY hand-painted miniature figures. 

I’ll send another report later, but I figured I’d introduce some main characters before the mayhem unfolds.

Next time: Joe, Chachi, the Jims, and Dan’s mother in The Well-Liquored, Totally-Stoned Midwesterners an anthropological study of weddings and de-evolution.

Notes on Heroes from Garry Smith

“This need to escape via the hero has been described variously…as: an identity voyage, psychic mobility, and dream relaization.”

“[There are] three main directions hero worship can take: reinforcement, seduction and transcendence. Reinforcement keeps the individual within the social structure and directs him[/her] toward socially approved goals. Seduction keeps the individual within social bounds but tempts him[/her] to break the rules. Transcendence takes the individual outside of societal structure and provides him[/her] with a new identity, new experiences, and new norms.”

“The hero as a social model should be consistent in his[or her] behavior, and should be considerably better in a positive sense than most of the other members of society”

Taken from the article “The Sport Hero: An Endangered Species”