Sunday, September 28, 2008

Angel Wing Jasmine Gets Packing
(Part Four of The Bollywood Bride Trilogy)

Sunday morning meant checking out of the Holiday Inn in Concord. But before leaving the small towns for the big city, we had to see Mr. and Mrs. Coxsmith one last time.

We met up for breakfast at a Denny's around the corner. It was a bittersweet reunion. Sweet because we got to recap the wedding events and get their feelings on how things went down. Apparently things had not gone as well as desired. I'm saddened that Angel Wing Jasmine had to fight for a lot of her wants and she was talked out of much of them. I'm glad she got her Mickey and Minnie Mouse cake toppers, but her honeymoon should have been a trip to Disneyland. Instead, they were gifted a cruise to Mexico, which she found less than enjoyable.

But it's too late for should'ves. What will hopefully happen is a nice trip to Disneyland and Walt Disney World to make up for missed opportunities.

But that's neither here nor there. After scarfing down "Build Your Own Grand Slam" meals, Angel Wing Jasmine footed the bill graciously and we left the restaurant.

And it was here where we said our goodbyes. Angel Wing Jasmine and Coxsmith were originally going to join us for an afternoon in the city, but we let them off the hook when we saw how exhausted they were from the past days' events. So after a huge for Angel Wing Jasmine and a shake of the hand followed by a pull in for a pat-on-the-back man hug for Coxsmith, we pulled away on 680 toward Hayward, CA.

I'm incredibly proud of myself for this trip. Because I was the only one covered under the insurance for the rental car and because it would have costed more if I added additional drivers on the car, I was the solo driver the entire trip. Without the luxury of GPS, we had to rely on Google Maps directions and iPod touch map navigation to get around. It can get a little tough since the directions are kind of wonky, but I'm very proud that I was able to get around perfectly fine. Of course I had the help of my faithful navigators.

We drove over the Oakland Bay Bridge and found our way to Fisherman's Wharf, our starting point for San Franciscan fun! As always in a big city, finding parking is shitty. We spun round and round in a structure, I felt my heart was going to rupture. But finally at the very top, we were able to stop. There were plenty of empty spaces, I want to rhyme with the word feces.

On foot now, we were on the look out for a clue for something to do. But we were also hungry. We found an In-N-Out and stopped in for a quick burger as we planned out the day. We decided to take a Downtown Loop double decker bus tour. If we had arrived earlier, we could have actually used the bus to jump on and off at specific touristy destinations. But since we got there around 3:30 PM, we could only do one complete loop around before they shut down for the day.

There wasn't much that I would have cared to see anyway. There was a mall and such. I did want to make a stop over at the Transamerica Pyramid, but the stop for it came and went too quickly. So we just did a quick loop and then left. It was kind of a waste of money and the tour guide was soooooooo bad. I can still hear his soft-toned cackle under my skin whenever he told a stoooopid joke. But after it was complete, I did get a sense that I saw most of the town. Had we not done the tour and gone somewhere else, I would have felt like we wasted a trip into San Fran.

After the bus tour, we saw the putrid seals roasting like hot dog wieners at the wharf and also snacked on some awesome amazing mini donuts. They came off a miniature line like Krispy Kreme, but these were good! Then we got back to the car and headed towards the Palace of Fine Arts.

Amazingly we found parking a block away and took a few pictures. Then we checked out the Golden Gate Bridge at a little beach. There were wind surfers and dogs galore. Many people jogging down a long winding path. It was a really nice day out.

So what was left in San Fran? Wait, does anyone ever call it "San Fran?" Or is that just a square term? Okay, anyway, so. What else is there to do in 'Cisco? I don't know about you, but when I think of 'Cisco, I think of The Tanners. And so we went on a search for Victorian-style houses ala Full House. Since no parking could be found for miles, Erico Suave and MacArthur jumped out of the car, took some pictures, then jumped back in when I spun around again. Eh, I don't think I missed much.

We then went to Haight & Ashbury for some Crepes, the same place we visited on our previous trip. Unfortunately the place closed down. We were also hoping to visit the Kid Robot store to buy some Simpsons figurines (Erico Suave and MacArthur gave me some of these for my birthday and they're rad), but we found it closed. Since the sun had set and the bums were getting restless (some of which looked like teenagers peddling for cash because it's some new trend), we got the hell outta the city and back to Hayward to our cushy room complete with fridge and continental breakfast!

And that was it. The next morning we caught our flight back to Southern California where I hope Angel Wing Jasmine and Coxsmith will visit soon!

Rewriting the rules on trilogies,


Friday, September 26, 2008

Angel Wing Jasmine Gets Toasted
(Part Three of The Bollywood Bride Trilogy)

There are many ways to open this third installment of The Bollywood Bride. We could delve into a fiercely boring mission to Singapore to find Chow Yun Fat.


We could turn this trilogy on its head and do a straight up western. Perhaps a visit to our dear paranoid Aunt Josephine at Lake Lachrymose is in order? Or how did that third shitty Matrix movie open?

I guess none of these ways works especially well or at all within the context of a non-traditional wedding. Let's just hammer out our own opening...

From the title screen, we FADE IN on a flower gently fluttering in a calm breeze. A bead of dew kisses the red petal and gives way to gravity as it rolls down the smooth delicate surface. SLOW PAN LEFT to an out-of-focus petal shaped figure. Its red even more brilliant than that of nature's fragrant creation, the figure also rocks gently in the wind with a gelatinous stiffness. OUR THREE HEROES emerge from beyond the CAMERA as the red rocking figure comes into focus. REVEAL to be a giant inflatable jelly bean man--more friendly in appearance, he smiles to welcome friends and candy lovers to his factory to enjoy samples of his friends. He is the antithesis of the Marshmallow Man and Sarah Palin. The THREE FRIENDS clutch their golden tickets and make their way into the factory, oblivious of the wonderment that would soon befall them.

Truth be told, Erico Suave, MacArthur, and I visited the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield, CA. We did not need golden tickets to enter and no one ballooned into a fat blueberry flavored Jelly Belly (Thank Ganesh!), but we did watch jelly beans get made and packaged. It was pretty damn cool and we got to wear dorky hats, taste new flavors (Strawberry Blonde = Yay -- Pencil Shavings = Nay), and buy stuff! They even had the coolest robotic arms that would carry jelly bean containers from point A to point B and then turn to us visitors and wave! Then as if saying, "Whew, welp, back to work folks," it jauntily spun its clamps around to pick up more containers. It was amazing. It's sad when robots have way more personality than a lot of so-called human beings you encounter. I won't name any names.

After buying enough Jelly Bellys to nekkidly swim in, we headed further northbound to the tiny arguably-podunk town of Rio Vista. Well, it couldn't have been all bad considering it has a Taco Bell, so the town isn't entirely devoid of ethnicity. But let's just say that I wouldn't want to break down in this town at the risk of having my innards served for dinner to the entire family. Chainsawlicious!

This reception dinner was a casual affair thrown mainly for Coxsmith's peeps. He had his friends present and a lot of his family who were very nice and cordial. I mean some of them would just start talkin' to you as if they've known you forever. That's pretty quaint, I reckon. Oh dear, my southern accent is surfacing.

There was barbeque galore and tons of different salads (3 bean, potato, pasta, regular); some real good comfort food. And the barbeque sauce they had out was great! I talked with Angel Wing Jasmine's brother for a long while about jobs and stuff in general. Oh boy, here's the part where I have to give him a Routes nickname. I think Rajah will do.

Anyway, Rajah works for a lawyering firm of some sort and he bullies small podunk towns into erecting big ugly cell phone towers! Ain't that cool? I wish someone like that would get some towers set up in my area. We are devoid of cell service. Lame Verizon. Lame.

After dinner, we were told to save our forks for the wedding cake due to a shortage. Being the Green American that I am, I reluctantly wiped down my fork (even though barbeque sauce is impossible to fully cleanse) and carried it to the living room where the cakes were prominently displayed on Bush's Baked Bean cans. Apparently I was the ONLY ONE who heard instructions to save forks because no one else had a used fork in hand. I was being teased from all sides.

Before the cakes could be cut, toasts had to be made. Of course, Coxsmith's best man opened with a rousing little speech about... well I actually don't recall what his speech was about because my head was spinning from the panic that I might soon have to make a toast. What should I say, I said to myself. Does Angel Wing Jasmine expect me to say anything? I mean, yes, I'm her best friend and default Made of Honor, but she knows that I hate talking in front of people. She knows that I stutter and sputter words in front of huge groups. She knows I get stabby when uncomfortable!!!

At the next moment Coxsmith's mother was talking. Something about motivating everyone to get physical or some shit. Maybe Angel Wing Jasmine wouldn't mind that I kept quiet. I mean, she wanted a smallish wedding in very much the non-traditional sense. Toasts are so trite. They're almost like prayers and we know how Angel Wing Jasmine feels about organized religion.

Coxsmith's mother was still talking, welcoming Angel Wing Jasmine into the family. AWJ's mother leaned over to me from the same sofa. She whispered, "If I say something, you have to say something too."

My head did a SLOW PAN LEFT with facial expression so incredulous, as if to say "youwannametosayahwhatthehellami-whoareyoutovolunteermeijustwantsomedamncake."

AWJ's mother stood to speak. She shut her eyes, most likely to shield her retinas from the brightness that was all the white people in the room. And she spoke fondly and gracefully, happy for her daughter and thankful for this and that. It was a beautiful sentiment and I missed pretty much all of it because I was literally SHAKING at that point.

Memories of my 3rd year at UCR flooded my mind, choking on my words during a group presentation on the subject of smoothies. I had two lines to read and I FUCKED them up! It may have seemed to me like eternity trying to spit out these two lines, and trust me, it DID take that long.

AWJ's mother finished and everyone awww'ed. Or at least I think that's what happened. Everyone was suddenly abuzz now awaiting cake when AWJ's mother nudged me. "Your turn."

And as much as I seriously hate to stand before an audience and have attention drawn to me- And as much as my body shuts down from the embarrassment of 39,999 eyes on me (I think at least one man there had a glass eyeball)- I knew that I could never forgive myself if I hadn't said something at Angel Wing Jasmine's cakecutting.

So I stood up. Being of short stature, no one saw me. Chants of "cake" filled the room. Angel Wing Jasmine quieted the frat boys proclaiming "My best friend wants to say something!" And so I spoke from the heart. And honestly, I said exactly what I felt. I says to Mabel I says:

"I've known [Angel Wing Jasmine] for almost 10 years now. We're best friends. And I am just so happy that she's found someone who loves her for her."

It may have sounded generic and vague and pedestrian, but I spoke with a lot of meaning and feeling behind these broad statements. If you knew the hell that Angel Wing Jasmine went through with guys absolutely mistreating her or taking her for granted, you would know how really special these two are. And yes, I could have said more; things that could have embarrassed Angel Wing Jasmine; to entertain her newfound family. And yet, even though I had sold out my culture back in middle school for some cheap laughs, I could never sell out my friendship. Though it would have been fun to bash the hell out of that Motocross asshole that used her and broke her heart. But I'm sure he's paralyzed now or better yet dead.

So that's all I really wanted to say. And technically I did plagiarize myself by stealing what I had written in my card to the newlyweds (by the way, I bought them a Wii and two games). Speeches tend to ramble on and on, but I had the perfect way to cut things off. Immediately, I told the crowd, "Now... I've got my fork in hand. So let us eat cake!"

I'm not sure what the response was to that. I think some people laughed. But the thing about speeches and me is that everything is a blur all throughout the experience. I could feel my entire body shaking with nervousness. Immediately my mind races with self-conscious thoughts: Do they think I'm an idiot? Did I fumble too many words? Was my speech too short? Are they making fun of my asian accent of which I have none? Are they wondering how often I go to the gym to get guns like these? Ching chong ching ling ho!

Well whatever the people thought, we ate that cake. And it were damn good. I'm also happy to report that only two people were stabbed that evening.

Next up: Angel Wing Jasmine says a tearful goodbye over pancakes... and hates it!



Thursday, September 25, 2008

Angel Wing Jasmine Gets Traditional
(Part Two of The Bollywood Bride Trilogy)

Given that I spent the night at Erico Suave and MacArthur's place on the night before the wedding in order to catch a ride to the airport, natch Erico Suave and I caught up on fun times, reminisced of Walt Disney World trips past, and remembered old jokes from DVR'ed Simpsons episodes (SHUT UP BECKY!). That's fine and fun and all, but it left us with three measly hours of sleep.

So given our rush to the airport and then extreme rush to get to Martinez City Hall in under 50 minutes, we were just a little exhausted that day.

When we got to the hotel in Concord, given our day thus far, saying we were tired as fuck would be an understatement. We were tired as all holy pap smear fuck! Basically, we needed to reenergize. And since we didn't know where the nearest Starbucks was, we had to kick it in all old school style and do this thing called sleep. It's very strange nowadays, but if it was good enough for our Founding Fathers, then we supposed it was okay for us (and they was racists!).

Now I forgot to tell you that we had told Angel Wing Jasmine's mother that we would arrive at the dinner reception early for tea. Yeah, that didn't work out so well. Given that the party started at 5:00 PM and that we sort of awoke at 5:00 PM, it would have been damn near impossible to keep our word. And then there had to be traffic and then getting lost on Deer Valley Road. We were almost the last ones to arrive. But given that we were forgiven, uh, yeah, we were forgiven. I think it was because we had gifts to bear.

But we were only fashionably late because the food had barely begun surfacing. But when it did, yippee ay ki yay mother folger! I ates me some samosas with chutney, tandoori chicken, fried eyeball looking things, cheese and curry, nan, and some spinach that frankly tasted like ashtray to me. But everything else was very very good!

Oh where are my manners. I haven't talked about the best part. Angel Wing Jasmine's getup! She was adorable! She was inspiring! She was Indian! Even Coxsmith and his family were all dressed up. It was as if Diwali ejaculated on my eyeballs - it was THAT cultured! CAN I SAY THAT??? Who cares! I'll say it again: CULTURED!!!

Yes, even that little bastard Pyong crashed the party. I'm sure he'll chime in soon with his stupid take on the events that transpired.

After a fun tour of the house and through Angel Wing Jasmine's childhood (did you know she used to play a giant guitar thing), some CostCo cake (they've really come a long way), and some Indian freakstyle-dancing (screw the lightbulb/pet the cat), we sped off through the night and back to the hotel.

It was a great night and great to see Angel Wing Jasmine feel so uncomfortably neck deep in culture. I almost wished that I had my own tunic thing to wear. We all have to suffer through the humiliations of our heritage sometimes. Like there was this time when I was in a variety show in middle school and I had to do this incredibly racist song in a thick Chinese accent. It was incredibly offensive and disgraceful, but the audience ROAR'ED! Seriously I sold out my culture for some cheap applause.

And loved every minute of it.

Next up: Angel Wing Jasmine throws a shrimp on the barbie... and hates it!

Hoping to Ganesh that Angel Wing Jasmine's parents aren't reading this right now. If so, I'M SO SARI! PUNS!


Monday, September 22, 2008

Angel Wing Jasmine Gets Awkward
(Part One of The Bollywood Bride Trilogy)

It happened! Angel Wing Jasmine popped the question. "Does being married get less awkward after a while?"

I just returned from the marriage of Coxsmith and Angel Wing Jasmine which took place in three California towns: Martinez, Brentwood, and Rio Vista. Was it cool? Hell, I had fun. Was it the most unique wedding I've ever been to? Saying "yes" would be an understatement.

Angel Wing Jasmine is very much apathetic on the whole wedding ceremony crapfest. She's not one to care for a traditional churchy event or even a backyard spectacle in front of a huge crowd. I very much believe that she wanted just the required witness to oversee a signing of the marriage license at City Hall.

But, as we all learned together, City Hall marriages are very much regular marriage ceremonies -- albeit without the prayers, kneeling and unkneeling, organ music, wedding party, nor anything else that resembles a regular wedding.

When MacArthur, Erico Suave, and I arrived at the Martinez City Hall, we found Angel Wing Jasmine holding a small bouquet, dressed in a new pair of blue jeans and a black sweater with hood. Coxsmith had on a blue button down shirt with boutonnière tucked into the front left pocket. Everyone else (the groom's and bride's families, the best man, me) were dressed formal-like.

Angel Wing Jasmine did not enjoy the bouquet that was given to her. As her best friend, and by default her Made of Honor, I was tasked to hold onto the bouquet, which I believe I held longer than she.

Anyway, we went into the building, passed voter registration forms and testing centers, to a waiting room corner serving two wedding chambers. A wedding was currently in session, so we waited diligently. When the wedding ahead of us finished, the Judge popped out of Wedding Chamber A and led us into Wedding Chamber B. Inside were a few chairs and a podium. The Judge took his place behind the podium, CS and AWJ stood before him, and the guests occupied the chairs. But we were encouraged by the Judge to stand anywhere we wanted in order to take pictures, even offering to stand aside if we wanted to snap shots at the podium.

It was quite the ceremony; felt 100% improv'ed and unrehearsed. The happy couple could not keep a straight face during the entire occasion. I watched as they both flubbed their wedding vows. It was cute when AWJ crammed the wedding band on CS's left ring finger. A fly buzzing around their heads maintained the romantic mood. And when it was time to kiss the bride, AWJ faked CS out and allowed him a cheekside peck. We learned later that AWJ feels awkward kissing in front of her parents.

But really, it's refreshing to see such a barebones wedding. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy weddings that are spectacles. It just seems like the right thing to do, you know? It's a wedding, so socially speaking, it should be a huge grand event. But let's face it, weddings are frequently overly long and yawn-inducing. Here, even though the show wasn't flashy and big, you could see that what it came down to was that these two love each other and don't need a huge thing to prove it. Without making a huge deal, they just wanted to be husband and wife. It was quick, painless, and honestly, a hoot.

Next up: Angel Wing Jasmine dons a traditional garb... and hates it!

Relieved that AWJ is currently on her honeymoon because when she finds out I labeled her "The Bollywood Bride," she will murder me,


Sunday, September 07, 2008

Angel Wing Jasmine's Last Week as a Hot and Sexy Single

Here we go, into the final week of Angel Wing Jasmine's singularity. She will be married to Coxsmith this Friday, and not some fake Indian religious wedding or anything, but an honest to Glob signed marriage certificate affair!

Erico Suave, MacArthur, and I will be flying out on the morning of and hopefully make it in time for the certificate signing. But we will definitely make it for the Indian dinner featuring my favorite Indian cuisine: samosas and chutney!

We'll be there the entire weekend, so Martinez, California better watch the F out! We be gonna tear up the joint yo.

In other news, Alaska now blows because Sarah Palin sucks.

Being political and stuff,


Monday, September 01, 2008

The Hollywood Directive

greetings friends
it is i pyong once more
my programming tells me that i am feeling neglected
my adopter rickyroutes has abandoned me on a shelf
last week he visited a magical castle and left me alone
i stowed away in his transport vehicle
i witnessed a tyrannosaurus rex eating a clock
a grand chinese mansion
the magical castle itself
i was not allowed admittance into the castle
. . .
perhaps the next time

end transmission