a good friend of mine got engaged last week, and as we chatted about it she asked me to be a bridesman. i laughed, we joked about dresses. then today she was chatting online w/ my wife and mentioned the bridesman thing. turns out it wasn’t a joke! i’m of course completely honored to be given that role in a friend’s wedding, so i’m very excited about being a bridesman – i just didn’t realize first time around that it was real. the wedding’s going to be in NY in september, so it’s a great chance for us to get up to see my family before the baby’s born in november. i have another friend getting married in NY at the end of september, but i may have to attend that one solo since that’s w/in the 6 week timeframe for the baby’s due date. i’m pretty sure somebody else is getting married around that time as well – i can’t remember who, but can only hope that it’s here in austin.
on a side note, all of my ATL buds are finally booking their tix for our annual throwdown. one of our friends is pregnant w/ her second baby, so she and cindy will be our designated drivers all weekend. sweet! another of our friends just settled on a house up in DC area, so that’s super great, too. that means next year our shindig will be up in the DC area w/ 4 of this 10 person crew living up there. we get around the country w/ our visits – ATL, Miami, Alabama, Austin, DC… that sums up everyone’s living location, so unless somebody moves, we’re either going to start doing repeats in 2009 or we’re going to have to start w/ destination weekends!
[UPDATE:] ah yes, that other wedding i couldn’t remember – that would be one of my best friends. i just received a save the date email last night, and the wedding is in NY the day after the baby’s due date. i’m so upset that i won’t be able to attend this wedding. i knew that it was going to be around the time of the baby’s due date, and let me friend know – but i also noted that he shouldn’t arrange his wedding around me when he made comment to that effect. i’ll have to be sure to make it to the bachelor party, which better not occur in the 6 weeks prior to delivery…
just spent about 30 minutes trying to get my wife to fax our passport #s to our hotel in argentina so that they could arrange our travel accomodations to uruguay. why do they need our passport #s in the first place? perhaps b/c we’ll be traveling to another country. either way, i didn’t want to send that type of info in an email since anything commited to digital memory somehow stays there forever. i’m just being slightly paranoid. so instead i ask cindy to make a personal fax from her office w/ the info (i’m stuck at home w/o a fax). after 15 minutes of trying, she says that nobody in the office can get it to work. who knows why? the fax # was correct, but it just wasn’t going through. then she displayed her brilliance – ‘why don’t you just call them?’ ahhh, yes – call them! i forgot i had put credit on my skype account yesterday to make calls to argentina and uruguay! so i fired up my good buddy skype, called the hotel, and had the whole thing taken care of w/in a few minutes. and at $.02 a minute to argentina versus the likely many dollars an international fax would cost, how could you go wrong?! skype rocks.
so it’s been nearly 2 months since i’ve posted, and i’d say a bit has happened in my life in that time. this post won’t be an update on all of that b/c it will likely verge on novella status, but in excerpt fashion, here’s the rub:
- first thing’s first: finished the semester. rocked out some kick-ass details of the firehouse, and was pretty happy w/ final review. i feel the critique was legit, and i’m in the process of updating a few items on the firehouse before me and the schreibs submit it to ISSUE:, the UT graduate architecture publication. after that it will be engulfed in v.2 of my portfolio. i took incompletes in 2 classes, and am currently trying to finish up some of that work (my studio this past semester was the most intense of any in arch.school, and it’s recommended to only take on class in addition to the studio. i took 2 in addition to planning a wedding, so i’m finishing up 2 classes in extended fashion).
- second thing which is really more important than the first: got married. as my best man and father-in-law both remarked in their toasts – finally. i know, dating for nearly 10 years is lengthy. on the up side, we were both completely confident in our future together and had absolutely zero anxiety going into the wedding (aside from regular anxiety dreams, which for some reason always involved wearing the wrong clothing – me, cindy, and our parents all had anxiety dreams about wedding garb. weird). after the wedding, which was amazing and fairy tale-esque, we stayed at the W Union Square in Manhattan for two days, and were given a complimentary upgrade to a suite overlooking Union Square. it totally rocked. much better than the silly Waldorf that we nearly stayed at. i can’t even believe that was ever contemplated. we then jetblue-d our way back to austin, and have been completely surprised to find that being married after 10 yrs of dating and 2 yrs of living together does feel different! it’s wonderful, and i can’t explain it. bordering on sappy, i have no doubt that i made the best decision of my life.
- sheva brachos: following a jewish wedding are seven days of parties in the new couple’s honor, and at each party seven blessings are read to wish them a life of happiness and success. they were thrown by our rabbi in austin and were very nice. parties nearly every night following your wedding, though, is exhausting.
- dallas: about 5 days after getting back to austin, we drove up to dallas (through a torrential storm) to spend christmas w/ the in-laws and extended family (who obviously aren’t jewish). jews and christmas – whoever says they don’t mix doesn’t know whats up. jews secretly love christmas – not the celebration of the birth of christ, but the awesome spirit and happiness and food and partying that happens. i love spending christmas w/ my new family and look forward to it every year. especially the insane cousins who play reindeer games, and we’re not talking ben affleck and his shitty movies – we’re talking about reassembling the neighbor’s yard art in compromising positions. following christmas, there was cindy’s office holiday party held at the managing partner’s house in fort worth severaly days later, so she worked in the dallas office and i worked at her parents’ house. on friday before we left, i explored downtown dallas, which is going to be pretty kick-ass soon. lots of old building are being converted to condos and apartments, and there’s some world class art and museum fun to be had down there. i got to visit the nasher sculpture center for the first time, and though it’s not necessary to proclaim renzo piano a master, i have to proclaim the beauty and elegance of the building. review of the nasher must be held for another post. also went to the dallas museum of art to see a van gogh exhibit, but only looked at it for about 10 min before checking out other parts of the museum. NOTE: never go see a special exhibition, ever, unless you REALLY love the topic. they’re generally filled to bursting w/ people that are trying to fill their yearly culture quota, and are therefore impossible to navigate or enjoy.
- austin: drove back to austin in another torrential storm (no rain while we were in dallas – just driving to and from!). this storm was even better than the first as we got to race tornado warnings! we waited out the first warning in dallas and had some lunch, but then listened to Emergency Broadcasting Service announcements the whole way back as we drove through walls of water. lots of fun. we only made it back 45 minutes later than our estimate, though, which was surprising. we immediately fell asleep.
- new years eve: stayed home, and cindy prepared an amazing gourmet meal. seriously, super top-notch. started dinner late so that we could have desert at midnight. we had the nice playlist going, the champagne, the fireworks set off by the neighbors, the firepit in the backyard. couldn’t have been better.
- new years day: double-dipped the movie theater for the first time since college. saw ‘night at the museum’ and ‘007: casino royale’ (for the second time). ‘museum’ was cute, nothing great, but not horrible either. i laughed, but it was only worth the cost of admission b/c i knew i’d get to see 007 again, which cindy had not yet seen. honestly, this 007 movie at the very least tied the best of any sean connery bond flicks, if it didn’t outright take the crown as the best 007 movie ever. it was a ‘bourne identity’ type of bond – not a ridiculous amalgam of gadgets and perfect hair stunts. super ass-kicking. and the ending rocked.
- now: as i said before, now i’m trying to do work from my incomplete classes, write thank you notes from the wedding, and pull together last minute details for our honeymoon to buenos aires next week.
- oh yeah: i got a macbook pro! i bought it refurbished from apple, so it was discounted nearly 40%. great deal. it’s a core duo, not core 2 duo, but i’m sure that i’ll survive for a few years w/ this hardware! the reason i upgraded from a powerbook was so that i could run windows (which is unforunately requied to run the standard CAD and 3d modeling programs). cindy bought my powerbook from me, so ultimately my total cost for the new computer was about $500-600. pretty good for a major upgrade. i think that i’ll try to sell and upgrade my machines every year or two from now on. you can get a good price selling apple machines in that time frame, and the amount of money i invest in new hardware every 1-2 years will ultimately be less than if i waited, say, 3 years and paid full price for a new machine. bonus: now i have a built-in web-cam so i can video chat (you can skype me if you want – the button on the right will say if i’m online [sidenote: i don’t know nearly enough people on skype. it seems that everyone i know who uses it keeps it generally as a work tool. oh well]).
- admission: ok, this did end up being a large post.
alright, we’ve changed our minds about where to stay for our honeymoon while in buenos aires. we’re down to these two boutique hotels – bobo hotel and home hotel. they’ve both been written up in the nytimes, conde nast traveler hot list, and numerous other locations. they’ve consistently gotten rave reviews. david byrne just stayed at bobo last month. we’ve secured reservations at both hotels – a suite at home hotel or the Pop room at bobo.
while bobo is quite a bit cheaper than home, they’re both significantly cheaper than our original reservation at the four seasons. i personally really like home hotel, but bobo has way more reviews on traveladvisor.com (38 to home’s 11), and the pictures for the hotel are overall more convincing for bobo. both hotels get rave reviews on tripadvisor, so it’s kind of a situation where you just pick the one you hope to be better (there just happen to be more reviews for bobo over home, it’s not a positive/negative thing). one thing i picked up on from tripadvisor’s reviews, though, was that you tend to hear a lot of noise from the street and restaurant while at bobo.
my feelings are this: it’s our honeymoon. even tho they’re both nice, let’s go for the suite at home hotel. we’re still saving a whole lot of $ over our original reservation. at home, we’ll be getting an in-room jacuzzi, a private terrace, a kick-ass modern suite w/o all the trappings of your typical corporate hotel. if we were to go w/ bobo and the pop room (instead of the argentina room [which was booked], their suite as we’d hoped [only $130/night!] ) we’d still be dealing w/ the noise and a lesser room. don’t misunderstand the noise issue, btw – everyone who mentions it still raves about the hotel. my feeling is that i’d deal w/ the noise if we had the suite – but w/o that, it’s just a kind of cool room at a cool hotel. this is our honeymoon – let’s get it all.
home hotel: http://www.homebuenosaires.com/home/
bobo hotel: http://www.bobohotel.com/
any comments on where to stay are welcome.
just returned yesterday from NY, where my parents threw cindy and i an amazing engagement party. the purpose of the party was for all of our friends and family in NY who wouldn’t have been able to make it down to austin for the wedding. as it turns out, now we’re having the wedding in NY, and at the same venue w/ the same caterer as the engagment party. so all those people get to come to 2 parties! but the party got to serve a double purpose – to give cindy’s parents a clear idea of what the wedding in NY will be like (wanted them to be comfortable w/ how things would be since they’ll have very little direct input), and they were duly impressed. so was i, and i think just about everyone there was as well. it was like a wedding, except we weren’t wearing black tie. the food was amazing, the drinks at the open bar were amazing, the flowers were amazing, the place was amazing. how can they make it any better for the wedding? the only teaser i was given was ‘a martini bar taking up an entire wall, w/ special holiday themed martinis’ (among many others). there were 5 at the engagement party, there must be at least 10 then at the wedding. holy crap.
i also asked my friend brian to be my best man, and sahil,august,adam,michael, and gary to be my groomsmen. i may have one or two more for groomsmen, too. selecting best man was a really tough call, b/c i had more than one i wanted to ask. i ended up asking brian, though, as we share a long history – he’s been one of my best friends since we were 5, and you can’t neglect that. now that the cat’s out of the bag, they can get started w/ bachelor party preparations! hehehe…
i’m now working on my portfolio in overtime. i need to send it out w/in the next few days to one specific firm in NY that i’m hoping to work at for residency. once the analog version is done i’ll get on the web version.