Monday, August 16, 2004


Contrary to popular concern, I haven't been butchered by Red Sox fans due to my last post (as if they could, especially now that they don't even have Garciapara...yeah, yeah, yeah, Ramirez and Damon, blah, blah, blah...catch up to the Yankees this season and we'll take their call; win a World Series, we'll actually talk; and if, somehow in some deranged parallel universe, they win half as many World Series as the Yankees have, we'll have some drinks...on their tab.

Anyhow, to important matters, as it's already been a month since my last update on the time flies -- I guess I'll do a quick highlight, the bulk of which will be around Jake Sherman and Shawna Wakefield’s wedding.

Jake Sherman & Shawna Wakefield’s wedding

The weekend after Independence Day was the wedding, in Mendon, Vermont, as I mentioned in a previous post. It's always nice to get away from the city, and as much as Vermont is often referred to somewhat beratingly as a "Hippie State," you can hardly blame the hippies for moving there -- the Green Mountains are a fantastic sight, and the skiing there is some of the best in the Northeast -- my first ski lesson was at Mount Snow when I was three, and between Mount Snow, Killington, Stratton, Stowe, Mad River, and Pico, I would have to say 60% of my lifetime skiing has been in Vermont -- otherwise I've ski'd in Colorado, California, New York (mostly at Lake Placid, a.k.a. "Iceface" Mountain. where one of our high school teacher had a lodge), New Hampshire, Maine, and Japan...none in New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming, Switzerland or France as of yet...

Speaking of skiing, by a total coincidence, the Wakefield estate in Mendon was right down the street from where I'd spent a lot of winter weekends for quick skiing getaways in high school -- Pico Mountain. Now a part of the Killington mountains, but a fun hill to ski, especially for the season opener to get rid of the rust, both literally and figuratively -- it was also one of the most convenient ski getaways, since the house we would stay in was right on the mountain -- we'd ski and get a feel for the snow before actually purchasing the lift tickets...irregardless, needless to say, we didn't really need a map to get there since all the roads came back to me.

We were some of the earliest Tufts arrivals, just behind the Guster guys, Brian Rosenworcel and Ryan Miller, but we were still a little too late for the dinner at the Vermont Inn. Although the dinner itself was outdoors, we went indoors to the bar -- it was a tad chilly outdoors. It was nice to catch up with everyone, but being in a ski lodge made me feel as though we were in a bad beer commercial (does anyone remember those CB sweaters, with the white dots on navy or red?). Chris Harmon, Allison Oshinsky, Eva Hatch, Christy Spitzer, Sean Love, and Omar and Liz Siddiqi arrived soon after to complete the Tufts contingent.

We were having a great time, catching up and betrothed in our usual tomfoolery, until the barkeep had to close the bar to go to sleep, at which point we moved the party to our condo we’d rented for the weekend (which reminded all of us who reside in New York how ridiculously expensive living in New York really is...we’d gotten a huge three-bedroom condo for the eight of us for the weekend for $450!!! That’s barely $30 a night per person in a large amount of space, and even taking into account that it was the summer rate, it was just a painful reminder...).

As usual, we were having a great time with the typical shenanigans to be expected of us, until we found a board game called Battle of the Sexes. Almost offensively type-cast in the modern-day (still overly) “P.C.” America, the game was hilariously entertaining...but again, it could have been the company -- after all, it was the same crowd that used to watch Melrose Place and made the show actually bearable and actually kind of entertaining by gambling on what was going to happen in the episodes; and to those who remember, whenever they would go to commercial, they would show a freeze-frame from the segment just shown, so we would hedge bets on which screenshot it would be. Losers, I know.

Anyhow, the game -- I won’t get into minute details of how the game works, but the synopsis is: you split the teams into men vs. women, and you take cards from the stack to ask the opposite sex a question that is very stereotypically male or female oriented knowledge (e.g., sports, power tools, cars for men; cooking, fashion, and cosmetics for women) -- if the opposite sex knows the answer, they get to move their piece and whoever makes it to the opposite sex’ end wins the game.

Battle of the Sexes

It was a fun(ny) night, one of the highlights being Sean Love’s answer to a question that befuddled most of us: “what three spices are in the commonly used spice, ‘All Spice’?” I should preface this by saying that Sean has always been one of the sharpest guys I know -- he’d worked for CNN for years before moving on to Sesame Street, and is only second to Jake Sherman as far as exotic places traveled to: he’s the only person I know that’s been to Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan. The women had Susan Hanemann, who works for Martha Stewart, so they obviously knew the answer, while we guys were about to say “salt, pepper, and...” when Sean Love interjected with: “wait, wait, wait, guys -- I imagine it would be a little more complex than that. My guess is cinnamon, clove, and...cinnamon, clove, and...I’m going to say nutmeg.”

To which Allison Oshinsky exclaimed: “how the HELL did you know that?!?! What are you GAY????” It was hilarious in our context -- I should mention that Allison has been known to be fiercely competitive. For instance, over New Year’s Eve in New Hampshire, some of us were playing a game of Risk, and it came down to Chris Harmon and Allison Oshinsky, the two engaged to wed this fall. The game drew out for some time, and at one point Allison nearly called off their engagement during the game, just because she was that intensely engrossed in the game…!

After we won (of course!), we all went to bed, but not before Chris Harmon and I decided to pull a childish yet incredibly satisfying prank, rubber-banding the shower-faucet in the kitchen sink so that whenever a poor soul decided to have a glass of water or turn on the faucet for whatever reason, s/he would promptly get drenched by the spray (carefully targeted and positioned to do just that, of course). In the morning, this little prank claimed no less than five casualties (i.e., all of the condo dwellers save for Chris Harmon, Allison Oshinsky, and myself).

We grabbed breakfast at a restaurant that served great pancakes with the awesome Vermont maple syrup and cheddar. Susan, being the epicurean always on the hunt, found a small shop that sold Vermont cheddar in various “flavors,” like maple-smoked and horseradish (they’re made by a company called Sugarbush Farm), and man, they were excellent.

Anyhow, to the main event -- the wedding. It was a unique and intimate wedding, at the Wakefield estate (and I'm not saying that just to sound was an estate...big enough for a horse ranch) -- it was an outdoor wedding and the weather couldn’t have been more pleasant: sunny, dry, and warm, but with a nice cool breeze. Jake’s mother is Jewish and Shawna’s family is Catholic (I think?), so, naturally, they had a Quaker wedding. The ceremony itself was pleasant and touching -- whoever that wanted to share words did so, and most of it was heartfelt, save for Shawna’s father, who provided a lot of comic relief. I guess it would be an understatement to say that everyone there had tremendous respect for both Shawna and Jake, who are dedicating their lives to such noble causes (they both work for the U.N., Jake in conflict management/resolution and Shawna in women’s rights).

The reception was relatively standard wedding fare, although I do remember Chris Harmon, Shawna’s brother, and I throwing rocks at the plastic duck Shawna’s brother had bought to place in the lake on the Wakefield estate -- whenever we struck the duck, it gave the most satisfying “CLUNK” that seemed to echo through the surrounding hills.

Overall, I had a fantastic time, catching up with old friends and seeing Jake and Shawna for the first time in almost a year since they’d left for Afghanistan. Although I did miss a John Kerry fundraiser at the newly built Gansevoort Hotel that Meredith Melling-Burke (whom I’ve been trying to catch up with for what seems like at least a year, and who will be making appearances in this blog in the near future) had invited me to, I would have to say that the wedding was worth the trip.

Accenture stock vesting / catching up with Melissa Ramsay, FINALLY!

In other news, the remainder of my Accenture stock vested in mid-July, which was nice news, and a reminder that three years had already passed since I had worked there and their initial public offering. I will say that I was fortunate in that I was there just in time for their IPO and for having been senior enough to receive the shares, but, as I’d mentioned previously, am sad that I am no longer working there.

Otherwise, I FINALLY caught up with Melissa Ramsay, and spent an evening out in Forest Hills, where she and Oliver have just bought an apartment. By coincidence, they’re not too far away from the area I spent my first five years (from six months to five years old), so I was originally going to go see that area, but we decided to grab dinner in a slightly different area, so I didn’t quite make it.

However, it was nice to be outside of the city again, and it was a refreshing reminder of how nice Forest Hills actually is. It is literally like parts of Westchester County, contrary to what most people may think of Queens in general -- nice Victorians houses, tree-lined (and quiet) streets, and greenery in general. As I mentioned when I called to thank the couple when I returned to my apartment, it was almost like a mini-vacation.

I also should mention that both Melissa and Oliver have a great design taste (Oliver is in the furniture business), and half of the time we were in their new abode, we were admiring this piece or the other -- now that they have a tremendous amount of space, they had a lot of things to be envious of.

Yet again, this post is getting ridiculously lengthy, so I'll stop here for now...



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