Thursday, August 28, 2008
The reception was beautiful and well attended by family and friends of Alex and his parents. Chinese & Indonesian cultural elements included Allison's beautiful red Chinese wedding dress, a traditional Chinese tea ceremony (in which the new couple honors their parents and elder relatives, presents them with tea, and receives from each pair a red envelope), and three ladies playing a few hymns on an Indonesian instrument called the "angklung."
Back at Alex's parents' house later that evening the celebrations and cultural traditions continued. The newlyweds cut the top off an inverted cone of yellow rice surrounded by various Indonesian appetizers. I asked his aunt why this is done, and didn't receive a definitive answer. But then I realized that if someone asked me why couples cut the cake and feed it to each other at the reception, I couldn't really come up with anything beyond, "Well, because it's tradition," so I left it at that. That evening was my introduction to Indonesian food, which I found to my liking in various degrees. Among the more notable things I tried were a hard boiled quail egg that had been marinated in something, and what I like to call "the green stuff," a mixture of avocado, jack fruit, young coconut, coconut milk, black (weed juice) gelatin, coconut gel, and ice, that's served as a dessert. While I don't think I'll be clamoring for some more any time soon, it was actually rather refreshing and didn't taste at all like cold, fruity guacamole (which is honestly what I was expecting).
Over the next several days Alex ended up taking us on what we came to call a "culinary tour of Asia," which included Japanese BBQ & shabu shabu, more Indonesian food (see photo), and Chinese dim sum (where I was adventurous, but drew the line at chicken feet).
Alex also proved an excellent tour guide of the major sights of L.A., and I was able to briefly explore Hollywood (including the Walk of Fame and the Kodak Theatre), Beverly Hills (complete with a stroll up and down Rodeo Drive and a jaw-dropping, finger-pointing drive through the mansion-riddled neighborhoods), Santa Monica (where I had to dip my feet in the Pacific, just because I could), the Farmer's Market in West L.A., and J-town in downtown Los Angeles, along with a visit to Universal Studios.
I left the reception feeling very tall (a 6footredhead stands out a bit in a room full of Indonesian people). I left L.A. feeling very cultured, very thankful, and very well-fed.
Monday, August 11, 2008
So, since it's already written, I thought posting it here might be a good way to offer my congratulations to the newlyweds and give a little report on the wedding. So, here's my toast, to Allison & Alex!
Allison and I had a class together the first semester of our freshman year of college--10 years ago this month--and have been best friends ever since. I think college is where Allison and I fell in love with coffee and coffee shops. We spent many, many hours talking and studying over frozen blender mochas at the Jumping Bean on campus, or escaping to the MT Cup or the Blue Bottle in
College is also where Allison fell in love with
Something I really appreciate about Allison and Alex is that while they were falling in love, Alex also became my friend. It’s been my joy and privilege to have a seat at the table of their relationship, as it were—a table that has seen quite a few games of Mexican train dominoes, and where, thanks to Alex, I’ve been introduced to all kinds of delicious cuisine.
And so, Allison and Alex, it’s with great honor and a glad heart that I stand next to you today. As your friend I pledge to keep my seat at the table—to love and support you both as you live out your continuing love story as husband and wife.
Monday, August 04, 2008
Yes, this is the guy.
And really, the fact that 11 women who met 10 years ago when they entered college together as freshmen are still such good friends today despite their wildly divergent personalities, backgrounds, and the increasing geographical distance between them is nothing short of extraordinary itself. We are always aware, and even more so when we're together, that what we have been given is a rare and unique gift from God, to be celebrated, cherished, and to call forth gratitude and praise for the joy and privilege of going through life with these incredible women.
Janelle captured it perfectly with the statement that appears on the back of our new shirts: