Saturday, August 26, 2006

Wedding in Olympia

I taught my first day of school yesterday. It was fine. The construction is definately cramping our style, the new folks are terrified, my website is nowhere near where it should be. But my students got a great course packet. And I am still light years faster than them.

I have to write quizzes for Thursday and Friday. Friday, of course, is my kidney biopsy. It's funny, people are calling me with pseudo-urgent business now. I had all summer, and now that I'm teaching again, they're all over me. Well, they'll all wait their turn.

So after class I got in the car and drove 60 miles to Olympia. It took a couple hours because of traffic; in my car I listened to NPR, a Pimsleur Mandarin disk, and when I was tired of both of those I just turned off the radio and thought about confronting the priest and liturgist who ruined my grandmother's funeral. I also re-got mad about how my parents didn't understand how serious graduate school was, how they agreed to buy me a printer, but waited until Christmas to give it to me, instead of.... you know, when I was in GRADUATE SCHOOL.

I told you all before, I stay mad.

Anyway, I finally got to Olympia with about an hour to spare before the wedding, so I decided to get something to eat, knowing that for a 6:30 wedding, there would not be food in my mouth until around 10:00pm. I went to downtown Olympia, right around 4th and Water street. People were having dinner, so I was a little self-conscious about sitting in a restaurant by myself. What I really wanted were noodles; mool naeng myun, yakisoba, whatever.

At 4th and Water there are five or six ethnic restuarants right there. Despite my hunger and need to pee, I looked in the window at all of them; the Salvadoran restuarant that serves Mexican food, the Japanese restaurant that looks Korean, the Thai restaurant that looks like Vietnamese people, and the non-descript "Far East" restaurant, which is pure bs.

I ended up crossing the street to Da Nang, where Vietnamese people served Vietnamese food. I ordered a bowl of cold noodles with pork and spring roll. It was not bad. A little pricey.

Anyway, the funny part was that I sat in the window with a beautiful view of the marina and the peace protesters who line 4th Avenue. "Every Friday" says the waiter, nodding his head toward the protesters.

But then, on my side of the street, I noticed that the protesters there, who seemed to be waving more actively and yelling at the passing pedestrians who were abusing them.... they had signs that said "Thank you, Troops!" with pictures of some military symbols. Then, in smaller print, something like "We support you, you keep us free!"

Then, every once in a while, they'd flip the sign around, and show the other side, "Jail Weasel Watada." I probably should have taken a picture. These people's lives are too comfortable, if they spend their Fridays making sure that peace protesters have opposition.

I fantasized about abusing them verbally, but I realized they'd been at it for a while. But if they're so hot after protecting our freedom, what's with "Jail Weasel Watada?" Isn't jailing someone before their trial the opposite of freedom? Isn't that repression?

Whatever, I ate my nooldes and went to the wedding. It was a nice wedding, Filipino in most respects except that no one said a word in Tagalog. I sat through the whole ceremony, and although I was happy for the couple, I thought, eh, young wedding, lots of pagentry, whatever. One of the priests had a funny habit transitioning by stating the title of the next thing: "Nuptual blessing." or "Eucharistic Prayer #3."

Anyway, when I thought it was over, I thought I heard the priest say that the couple would sing a song. Oh no, I thought, always a bad idea.

Well, the song was AMAZING. They sang "The Prayer," which I know has a high cheese factor, but the couple NAILED IT. As in, a church full of Filipinos broke into spontaneous applause in the middle of the song. Totally worth the crazy drive.

The reception was in downtown Tacoma; the best thing on the buffet was the fruit plate and the meatballs. The chicken wings were super spicey! The reception was fun; the couple knocked all of the silly reception games off the list one by one, without a pause in between.

Today, I should clean house and do laundry. I'm sure I won't.

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