Originally Posted to Blogger – Tuesday, February 07, 2006
A groomsman again. The new writing gig.
Over the weekend, my friends Gene and Mary got engaged. They’ve been together for over a year and a half, and live together in New York. Gene was the bass player in my old band, Kessel Run. I met Mary in the theatre department at SIUE, but didn’t really get to know her until Carrie inducted her into the Armada. When my wife’s father died unexpectedly, Mary proved herself an invaluable support, having experienced a similar loss. Gene and Mary had both moved into the Chicago area around the same time, but didn’t actually meet eachother until they were both visiting the E-ville crowd on Oscar Night. We had gathered together to witness LOTR: Return of the King destroy the Oscar competition, and they shared some coy flirting. A couple of months later, Wendy & I and Travis & Carrie (then still together) visited Mary in Chi-town, and Gene joined us. We left the two of them in a room together long enough and sparks flew. They were ridiculously cute together before even being official and swiftly proved to be the coupling that should have painfully obvious to any of us who had bothered to consider it. They are both independent, creatively-driven folks, unconcerned with material possessions. Their quality of life is based on the realization of their career objectives, and the amount of time they can spend together. Theirs is a lovely union, and example of what a relationships should be like.
Sooner after their announcement, I was asked to be part of Gene’s “League of Extraordinary Groomsmen”. I was surprised and flattered. Geno and I have been good friends for about six years, and creative partners in the band and in some comic and web projects. Yet, we weren’t terribly close back in the band days. It’s been in the past couple of years, with him living first out of the area and then out of state, that we’ve gotten tighter. As we’ve gotten older, our ambitions have aligned more and more often, our creative fires focused in similar ways. Our conversations now are decidedly adult (even when discussing silly things), the talk of peers fighting their ways down similar paths. (Quite similar, in fact, to my chats with my pal Josh, now a professional artist in San Francisco, making quite the name for himself.) The maturation of our friendship has been a very rewarding experience, and I’m pleased as can be to have a spot in his line-up.
The Gene/Mary wedding will be my second appearance as a groomsman this year. I’m also in Big T (a Travis, not the recently divorced) and Amanda’s nuptials, to be held in April. I met Big T and Gene on the same evening years back, and they have been constants in my life ever since. T is, surprise surprise, another arty type, a graphic designer of ample skill and creative flair. His fiance, Amanda, was at first my coworker at Emmis, and eventually my good pal, co-conspirator, and Chai buddy. They hooked up on the second visit to see Mary and Gene in Chicago and, again, were an obvious match. (I saw this one coming. In the early days at Emmis, I would often lament “it’s too bad Amanda has a boyfriend – she would be perfect for Big T.” I purty smart sumtimes.) Along with Cory and Amy, they are Wendy and I’s closest “couple friends”, that great combination of folks that we can spend couple time with, or break apart into various combinations for socializing. They’re just as silly and obsessive as we are, too.
A note: Wendy is a bridesmaid in both of these weddings, too.
In other going’s ons, I’ll be doing a lifestyle/humor/social commentary column in On The Edge, a weekend insert paper in the Edwardsville Intelligencer. The first one is supposed to go out this week. The first article is titled “Carts Gone Wild”. It’s a trial basis thing, unpaid and testing the waters, but it’s a chance for me to get something some kind of published. And it’s fun. The column is basically a way for me to bitch about things that irritate me in a funny, good-natured fashion. It also gives me a regular writing assignment with a deadline. That’s good experience for me, being as I want to pursue writing as at least an additional career to the nine-million other things I do…