(Noded as soon as I got back from a four-day trip from Tampa to New York to be the best man in a wedding.)
Lunch at the Malt River Brewing Company. The oatmeal stout tasted much lighter than a Samuel Smith's; I was disappointed, but then I'd had high hopes. A sampler followed:
- Apricot Wheat - a nice clear wheat beer; the apricot taste dissolves into a floral aftertaste.
- Maibok - Nutty and has a bit of a bite to it. Hoppy.
- Layla's Dark Lager - Probably named for Clapton's remake of Layla, this was earthy, with an organic taste I couldn't quite place.
- Pilsner - At first hard to distinguish from seltzer after a mouthful of a vegetable pizza with a bechamel sauce, this pilsner was actually surprisingly hoppy, but felt smooth.
- Malt River Red - More complex than I thought, with a plum-like taste giving way slowly to a spicy floral taste.
- Old Albany Pale Ale - Tasted at first like ... well, I'm not sure, but it starts subtly before the hops appear later on.
Unfortunately, the maple porter was out of season, but maybe it'll be on next time I'm in town.
The ceremony was a mishmosh of Jewish and Catholic traditions, including a priest, a rabbi, several blessings, readings from both testaments, a ketubah (marriage certificate), a shattered glass, and (afterwards) a hail of candy confetti that was to show up in interesting places for the next 24 hours.
We all caravaned to Birch Hill for the reception. The trip involved around a mile of unlit roads twisting through the woods. I said something about how many horror movies begin this way, but that didn't sit well with the driver, who was the maid of honor and a sister of the bride.
At the reception, the wedding party was lined up and formally announced as we promenaded into the room to form an archway. I remember saying that unless I befriend royalty, this is probably going to be the most formal wedding I ever see.
During the second dance, we careened about merrily, bumping into each other. The maid of honor took up dancing with a bridesmaid, so I danced with the groomsman escorting her. I suggested he dip me, which we accomplished to some applause, and we swapped back to finish the dance.
Later, they dragged me out to fast-dance, to encourage the others, and I was very glad when the maid of honor's fiancé relieved me of the task. I can waltz passably, but anything faster and I look like a dancin' fool.
Chrissy fed Adam a piece of cake to the tune of the "Jeopardy!" theme, and then the DJ switched to "Mission: Impossible" as he fed her. I don't get either choice.
While calling out styles of "the swim" for the dancers, the DJ made a memorable boo-boo: "Okay, now backstroke... Now the breaststroke... Now doggie-style, er, dogpaddle!"
The same DJ later announced that the groom wanted to dedicate a song to the best man (i.e., me). It was "Dancing Queen". This turned out not to be Adam's idea at all, but a caper the DJ had decided to cut. I'm not sure if he thought I was gay because I was dipped earlier or what. I don't even like disco songs, let alone ABBA.
At some point I ended up singing along to the Grease megamix with a nice young lady, and after that I was going out on the dance floor a bit more often. By the end of the evening, I had ended up sticking a peacock feather in my hair and joining a "New York, New York" kick line.
The peacock feather attracted lots of good-natured laughter, but also some painfully troglodytic reactions from a guest. He affected a lisp and pretended to fawn over me, so I just said "You've got a really strange sense of humor." Later, this same guy pointed at my attempts to dance and cackled so loudly that suddenly I was back in middle schoo, trying not to hate myself for being uncool. Damn it, this was the first time I cut loose and just enjoyed dancing, and he nearly slapped me down to the self-confidence level of ten years ago. This guy is about to be the father of triplets, and I hope he treats them better than he treated me.