Sunday, April 22, 2007
For better or for worse
Ah ha ha HA! I'm totally fuckin MARRIED, bitchez!!!!
Okay, let us be more mature about this --
Several months ago, I gave SuperFiancee (for such she was, at the time) a written guarantee of beautiful weather on our chosen wedding day. God's been working our nerves hard the last couple of weeks with a lot of completely stupid and unnecessary rain and cold meteorological horseshit, but he seems to have gone on a bender last weekend that he's still hungover from, as he let up on all that nonsense over the past six or seven days and yesterday was just gorgeous.
With a beautiful day coming our way by default (God is malignant, there can be no doubt of that if you look around at how his universe is run, but occasionally even he has to sink into a drunken stupor for a while and everyone gets a temporary break), we reaped the benefits of SuperFiancee's painstaking wedding prep. My dumbstruck relatives poured in from out of town to gape in awe at the woman who can tolerate my nearby presence in her life for longer than a few minutes at a time, SuperFiancee's family ambled by amiably, mostly for the (excellent) food she'd prepared for the reception, and other than the things I myself nearly screwed up by either (a) being a fumble fingered, stammering lout or (b) entrusting delicate tasks like pushing the PLAY button on a nearby stereo to a man-child who was, apparently, not equal to that elaborately Byzantine and overly complex task, and we plighted our mutual troths.
This is not to say all went off like clockwork, unless, of course, one refers to the Luciferean clockword of hell's nethermost rings. Our rehearsal dinner on Friday afternoon was hindered by our discovery, upon arrival at the restaurant where we had reserved the party room, of a large crew of cleaners and redecorators who were, apparently, in the process of disassembling said party room and reassembling it into I don't know what -- a giant spaceship disguised as a party room, perhaps, which they would then use to lure rebellious Houses of the Zodiac into their nefarious clutches prior to launching them into the ravening depths of space.
The sight of that pushed SuperFiancee onto a slot where she had both HyperSonic Speed and Battle Fury, and within seconds there were bodies flying everywhere. The owner of said restaurant was summoned frantically from his chambers by his badly beleaguered minions, and things were set as close to rights as they could be, and the party went on. But it was an unwelcome glitch and seemed an ominous way to kick off the official wedding festivities.
A few other things came clear on Friday that would have to be dealt with, mostly having to do with my best man Nate and my groomsman and younger brother Pat having both completely ignored my instructions that they each bring with them a belt that could take a new belt buckle. It was decided we'd make an emergency mall run the next day to take care of it.
Saturday, things seemed to be going smoothly; in fact, with God still sleeping his last binge off, we continued to get lucky -- upon arriving at the reserved picnic shelter in the park to do clean up and preparation for the wedding later that afternoon, we discovered a few park personnel hard at work cleaning the place for us, something we hadn't expected at all. They advised that the nearby bathrooms were currently down, as sewage was bubbling up through the toilets, but that a plumber had been summoned, and in fact, by the time we got done making a couple of trips up there with wedding materiel, the plumber had arrived and gotten to work. The toilets were restored to function well before the ceremony began, and the park employees cleaned the bathrooms for us, too. God may not play dice with the universe, but it's been my experience that most of us mortals have no choice in the matter. Apparently, our opening throws were all 7s.
A few hours went by. My buddy Bane arrived on schedule with a truckload of tables borrowed by my future in-laws. Bre'r Pat had had his most excellent wife Nettie get him a belt that could take a buckle at some haberdashery somewhere, but there was nothing stocked in Nate's size, so Bane, Nate and I hied off to the mall. We got the belt, headed back home, and by sheer happenstance, I asked Nate if he had his clothes (white long sleeved dress shirt, black pants) ready for the ceremony. He advised he hadn't brought any black pants and while he'd brought a dress shirt, it wasn't white. So off he and Bane went to Wal-mart to remedy that lack, while I fanned cool breezes onto SuperFiancee's fevered brow and begged her not to have an aneurysm.
Finally, it was time to head up to the site for the final time that day. Everybody had a change of clothes for the reception loaded into the car, except for me, because my change of clothes was in a bag on my bed, and I'd been forbidden access to my bedroom, where SuperFiancee was changing, for the past 45 minutes. Once she came out all was high velocity madness, in all the hoopla and hubbub, I entirely forgot my change of clothes and off we went without it.
At the shelter, the wedding went off without a hitch, unless, of course, you count as a hitch little things like my brother getting lost on the way back to the park and nearly missing the entire thing, and the Justice of the Peace we'd chosen to officiate not showing up, with a last minute substitute neither bride nor groom had previously vetted rolling out in his place. And then there was the way the kid I'd chosen to act as deejay failed to perform the one task I'd entrusted to him (pushing the START button when SuperFiancee and the SuperKids started up the hill in their rented horse drawn carriage), and the way, once he actually did and Edwin McCain's "I Could Not Ask For More" was playing as the bridal processing exited the carriage and started up towards where I and my groomsmen awaited for them, our photographer insisted on holding up SuperFiancee at the carriage so she could take endless rolls of pictures of her in the goddam thing.
But, finally, we were all together and the ceremony started and we got through this unapproved officiant endlessly droning about tomorrow being an opportunity and yesterday being a box of donuts but today was both a promise of donuts and an opportunity for a box and I don't know what the hell all else, although I should, because he apparently figured he'd found a good phrase and decided to work it like a Mexican day laborer, repeating it unctiously at least four more times during the ceremony, and you'd understand how impressive that was if you realized how short our ceremony actually was. Then we got to the part where SuperDrama Teen was supposed to sing "Don't Want To Miss A Thing", which is kind of SuperFiancee's and my song, as it were, and, uh oh, Super Drama Teen had left her sheet music in the car. So we sent the idiot kid I'd entrusted to be a deejay off to the car to find it, and he spent ten minutes hunting all over a very small car with no luck, so we sent over my soon to be new niece, and she couldn't find it either, so finally we released Super Dependable Teen from her spot at the non-altar, and she came trotting back with it, and Super Drama Teen sang beautifully, and then I bumbled and stumbled my way through the Medallion Ceremony wherein the Super Kids all got medallions from me as a symbol of my devotion to them as well, and then we finished the ceremony and got the grills going and started cooking the food.
And everything was fine from that point on, except that, well, a lot of people who had said they were coming wound up not coming, so we'll be eating left over hamburgers, hot dogs, and kielbasa for the next month or so, and for a few minutes it looked like we weren't going to have to have enough grillmasters to cook all the food in the first place, because somehow or other I managed to have a wedding reception with about a dozen guys at it and they were the only dozen guys in America would not only had never handled a grill but who were utterly terrified at the prospect. Still, I managed to finally get my Uncle Fred and the above mentioned future niece to supplement Tony Collett and my stepdad, Carl at the spatulas.
I wasn't as much help as I could have been after the wedding ceremony, because I was mostly wandering around in a euphoric daze, staring in stupefied disbelief at the ring on my finger and reflecting that now, this wonderful, sexy, beautiful woman was my wife, and these wonderful, amazing, beautiful girls were my daughters.
In the end, we reversed the same process we'd undergone in the morning setting everything up, and with the help of our photographer and another one of now-SuperWife's friends, as well as the invaluable Bane, we got everything back to the house. Then everybody else went off to see Thunder, the local fireworks show, and SuperFiancee and I retired to our room for a two hour honeymoon.
I was under orders from my grandmother to show up the following day at 7:30 a.m. for breakfast with my family before they all left to drive back down South, but after a day that had been completely exhausting on every level, emotional and physical, I decided my grandmother wasn't the boss of me and I slept in instead. I have no doubt my family down south who live closer to her will never hear the end of that, but fortunately, I'm out of earshot of her voice.
Today, with the kids over at their bio-dad's until 6 this evening, SuperWife, Nate and I decided to catch a showing of GRINDHOUSE before they all got back. Checking online for movietimes, I discovered that the only showing we could watch before the kids got home started twenty minutes in the future, so we shifted into gear and hurtled out to the movies. A minor catastrophe with Super Drama Teen came in over the cell phone on the way there, so we had to head back right after the movie to let her into the apartment so she could retrieve a coupon she'd left there and get her hair chopped off, something she'd been planning for weeks and that SuperWife had resolutely refused to allow until after our wedding.
Once SDT got in and got her coupon and headed out again, so did we, this time to check out a tiny little geek shop on the other side of the river in Indiana. I was hoping to pick up a Hellboy set, but they didn't have any, so I got a few ORIGINS and PLANAR CHAOS boosters instead. Then we went over to a nearby park, which was mostly underwater due to all the rain lately, and from there, to a local restaurant we like for a late lunch, where Nate and I enjoyed a prime rib sandwich apiece while SuperWife tore through a Frisco salad. Then, off home again to play a little Magic until the SuperKids got back.
And that's been the weekend so far. Except I think I'm forgetting something... what could it be...
Oh, yeah, Heroclix. Friday night I set aside my own personal sense of propriety long enough to pretty much utterly guilt trip my best man and hapless visitor Tony Collet into what will probably be the very last HeroClix game I will ever play. I'd been hoping maybe one or two other people hanging around would want to play, but, no, it was just me, Nate and Tony. I offered them a choice of possible frameworks for team building -- Go Big or Go Home, with 1500 points for building teams with a maximum of 7 figures, or Street Smarts, with 600 points one could use to build teams of 'street level' superheroes or supervillains. They chose the smaller option.
My best man proceeded to put together an extremely annoying set of Batman Allies -- the Darknight Detective himself (the tidy, economically compact ICONS version) along with Nightwing, Azrael, the Question, Spoiler, Batgirl, Catgirl, and Catwoman.
Tony had brought a selection of his own figures along and perhaps constrained by limited choices, he cunningly assembled a team whose roster included an AIM Medic, Moondragon, a Skrull Warrior, and Spiral, among others that, I suppose, could more fairly be thought of as 'street level' ops, like Taskmaster, Titania, Avalanche, Pyro, and Bullseye.
Tony was obviously only playing at all under duress and pretty clearly would have rather been nearly anywhere else doing nearly anything else, and this reluctance to hang in the cellar playing stupid miniature games with the petulant, babbling idiot who was getting married the next day was only exacerbated by my ruthless application of House Rules that, in the words of Tony himself, only ever seemed to work in anybody else's favor, as when he tried to have his wild card pieces Taskmaster and Spiral copy the Skrull TA so I'd have a somewhat harder time hitting them, and I was forced to point out that in my latest revisionist frenzy, I'd made the Skrull TA one that could not be copied by wild cards, since, you know, if you're not an alien shapeshifter, you shouldn't be able to use alien shapeshifty powers.
Tony took these rulings with the same level of pleasant, good natured geniality that is always typical of him, but we've been friends long enough that I'm pretty sure he was rather frustrated, something I regretted at the time and regret even more deeply now. There was no agenda against him, or anyone else; it's just that nobody ever plays very often under my House Rules (not even me) so mistakes get made (even by me), and when those mistakes are pointed out, it usually ends up in some kind of disadvantage for someone. Unfortunately, in this most recent game, it seemed like Tony was always the one coming up on the short end, and, again, Tony displayed his usual patience and good sportsmanship, something I appreciated Friday night even more than I normally do, given the weekend's momentous nature.
Anyway, I strongly suspect Tony's reluctance to play as well as his level of frustration with how things were going in the game for him led to his making some rash moves, like dividing his forces to take on both Nate and me simultaneously. Me, if I'd been in his position, I'd have either holed up in a corner and hoped Nate and I went after each other, or I'd have forced the issue by putting Moondragon out far enough to Mind Control one of my characters into attacking one of Nate's characters, or vice versa, only emerging once the shooting stopped, to pick off the weakened survivors.
My team consisted of Daredevil, Spider-Man, Captain America, the Falcon, Paladin, and Nova. The Vet Spider-Man I was using had an Avengers TA, as did Captain America and, after I house ruled it on there, the Snap Wilson Falcon LE I was using. I Thunderbolted that TA to the Ultimates TA, and between that and the fact that both Spider-Man and Daredevil each had Super Senses, I was well set against all of Nate's built in Stealth. (I was disappointed that point considerations did not allow me to put one of my new Mercenary Feat Cards on Paladin, where it would have seemed very appropriate, but you can't have everything. As it was, I did get to try out Pummel for the first time, and found it worked very well, along with Knockdown and Dissent.)
My initial strategy was to sneak Cap and Falc down the outside of the warehouse (we were playing on the warehouse map) to a point where Cap could punch a hole in the wall and the two of them could go in and kill Tony's medic. Tony sent Spiral, Taskmaster, and Pyro in my direction to screw me up, and dispatched most of the rest of his team to deal with the Bat-infestation entering the warehouse from the other direction. An early strike on Nova saw him pushed onto a HyperSonic Speed click, which let him pick up a dumpster and pummel Spiral into oblivion. (Thinking about it now, Nova should not have been able to use the dumpster for that, as my House Rules forbid pieces from using any other superpowers in combination with HyperSonic Speed, so Nova should not have been able to use his Super Strength. Still, even his normal damage would have done for Spiral, if he'd hit her enough, which he would have with what I rolled.) Cap and the Falcon did manage to get all the way down the warehouse, but by the time they'd gotten there, Nate had sent Spoiler and Katana in to kill Tony's medic, something Katana managed with a berserk charge ending in a rolled 12, letting her skewer the poor AIM Medic like a turkey on a spit.
Anyway, I can't remember the play by play in detail, but I do recall that between Nate and I, we made pretty short work of Tony's forces. Then DD and Spidey, with their Super Senses, and Captain America, with his Ultimates TA, went to work on the surviving members of Nate's Bat-force. In the end, I emerged triumphant, which is just as well, as I sincerely doubt I'll ever have an opportunity to play HeroClix again.
And that's the weekend so far. I imagine I'll do a GRINDHOUSE review reasonably soon, but right now, I'm tired of typing.
Very happy to be married to the most wonderful woman in the world, though. And official, legal stepfather to the most wonderful children, as well.
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