Death wins again

So I had this whole long post all thought out, about how we'd been to the state fair and it was so great, and we went to the pumpkin patch today and that too was so great, and I even had pictures:

And then Death came and moved in under my porch, and all the happy thoughts went whoop! right out my head.

Last night while I was standing at the kitchen sink, I noticed a very bad smell coming in the kitchen window. I forgot about it almost right away, though, because at the same moment I noticed 85 enormous barn owls swooping around and making their little hooty-hoo sounds in the woods across from the house. That was infinitely better than the bad smell, so we stood there, apparently not breathing because neither of us mentioned the stench for a few minutes, listening to owls and not smelling anything. Then like a ton of bricks, it hit us both.

"God," sez I, "what IS that? That is... that is..."

"I don't smell anything except dish soap."

"Put your head right by the window. I swear, that smell is death. There is death in our yard."

"That is not death. Death is much worrrrr----gagggg."

(Brief pause for Rob to finish making horrible hurking sound.)

"Okay, yeah, that's death."

So I grabbed a flashlight, because if I have learned anything from horror movies, it is to investigate the source of Death Smell at all costs, even in the middle of the creepy, sort of cold night when every owl in the dirty South is hooting outside the door. Because that is SO NOT SCARY.

"Where are you going?"

"Robert, that is death. Death is outside. I have to find it."

"You do not have to find it. Get in here and we'll find it in the daylight like normal people."

"Robert, normal people do not have death in their yards."

(It's funny how, when I'm trying to make a serious point, I call him Robert. It's just that the usual "babe" or "dammit, you" doesn't have the same oomph.)

I took the flashlight, I poked it all around, and I saw nothing, so we wrote it off to the breeze coming from the woods. Maybe something died over there, and that's what's making the owls nuts, and there you go, rationality in spades.

So Norah and I are getting home from the pumpkin farm today, and we are both exhausted and clutching our happy little fat pumpkins in our dirty little fists, and I realized that she fell asleep. I wandered around to her side, pried her out of her car seat, shut the door, and almost dropped her, because there it was: DEATH UNDER THE PORCH. Death, in this instance, took the form of a possum (or an opossum, if we're going to be formal, but who gives a damn? It was DEAD) that had apparently dropped dead while foraging under our porch. Keep in mind that our porch is about 3'x6', so going under it is about the same as going under a limbo bar - it's not really an optimal place for hide and seek.

I got Norah in bed and started making various phone calls trying to figure out what the do with the damned thing, because let's be honest: you don't have a clue what to do with a dead (o)possum either. The thing was huge, HUGE like a DOG huge, and the smell by now was unbelieveable.* What does one do with a dead animal that big and that smelly? And why did the dispatcher at 911 hang up on me?

*I watch a lot of crime shows, and let me just say that I have NO IDEA what would make someone want to become an M.E. and deal with Death Smell every day. That smell will haunt my dreams and forever make my food taste funny. It has burned itself into my nasal sensors.

I finally got someone at Animal Control, who was very nice and understanding about my dead-possum-disposal ignorance. "Look," said he, "All you have to do is call this number, and ask for the Office of the Disposal of the Dead." I wasn't sure if he was serious about that. The Office of the Disposal of the Dead? There is an actual OFFICE for this sort of thing? You don't just call some guy with a truck and a snow shovel?

The OFTDOTD will not, however, be receiving a Christmas card from me this year, because they were not only unwilling to dispose of my (o)possum problem, but they told me how I would have to deal with it. I would have to BAG THE CORPSE AND PUT IT BY THE CURB. Yes, BAG THE CORPSE. A CORPSE WAS UNDER MY PORCH. I am so absolutely indignant about this that everything I even THINK is in capital letters. I had to get a shovel (which I covered in a trash bag, because I couldn't handle the thought of (o)possum death on my garden tools, and it was either that or burn it on the driveway) and scoop the CORPSE into a trash bag, twist it up, and leave it by the curb for the stupid OFTDOTD truck, which still isn't here.

I talked to the possum while I bagged it, and I was not entirely pleasant. I'm fairly sure I addressed it as "motherfucker" at least once, and I'm not at all sure that I was sorry about that. Speak ill of the dead, indeed.

And now I'm going to take a nap.

Putting the "me" in "team"

So you survived the Jackass wedding recap, huh? Good for you! How are those ulcers on your retinas?

Seriously, y'all, that was madness. You know that odd, full-body pain you get when you drink heavily (a.k.a. heavier than usual, even if usual is "all the alcohol in a quick sniff of Windex while you're cleaning the crayon off the bathroom mirror." And on a side/related note, HOW do kids DO that? She's too short to reach the towel bar, let alone the mirror!)? You're tired, and your innards are all beknotted from the booze and the resulting intestinal distress (don't pretend to be all ladylike, you know you've had it), and your back hurts a little from passing out flat like a starfish and staying there like a lump all night, and you just hurt. Yeah, I JUST got over that.

It helps, of course, that I've been engaging in some physical activity lately. Some of you know that I got a trainer last month (most of you don't, because I think I forgot to mention it, because hey! I had all that work and didn't update like, ever!), and he's been enormously helpful in explaining what all those scary machines at the gym actually do. That thing with the big long bar with handles is not, as it turns out, a support device for after you fall backwards off the treadmill. He has also frightened me into attending every session, because he's unendingly smiley and chipper, and I'm afraid that if I skipped a day he'd come to my house and chipper me to death. "Annie! What are you doing, sprawled on the couch like that? Get up and go, girl! Let's go! One more load of laundry, you lazy heifer! And one more! AND AGAIN UNTIL YOU DIE!" All while smiling, natch. He's just that kind of guy.

The biggest big thing, though, is my bulldog of a sister and her big idea: we are going to run in the Kentucky Derby mini-marathon.

Kate gets these ideas every so often; recently, her big ideas have included going on safari in South Africa for Christmas, and offering herself up for clinical drug trials. Sometimes the big ideas are kind of awesome - I mean, come on, maybe it's not numero uno on your list of places to see before you die, but how badass would it be to sing "Silent Night" with a pride of lions sitting on your car? And sometimes, the big ideas make you slap your head and say, "Um. Well. Can we discuss this first?" Kate, however, has no time for discussion, as she is busy taking her fourth dose of Adderall in four hours, and is on her way for an MRI, and after that she's going to rewrite a textbook, train a herd of airedales, and reorganize every apartment in her building, including those that belong to complete strangers because GOD ANNIE IT'S INCREDIBLE, WHY DIDN'T I CLAIM TO HAVE ADHD BEFORE NOW?

I think her madness stems from a childhood in which she was the smallest, the one most likely to be stuffed through the milk door, the one we sent down the laundry chute, the one who took the fall when we spilled orange juice on the pool table. We - usually Mills and me, but occasionally me on my own, in fits and spurts of true evil oldersisteritis - came up with the plan, and Kate either fell into place or found herself abandoned with Mills' baby brother Zach, who would then inevitably strip naked and ask Kate if she wanted to see his penis. (He was three or four at the time, so it's not like it was a pervy thing.) Kate, being somewhat older but not quite old enough to imagine how incredibly funny this would be in 20 years, was not amused at the time, and so usually stepped back into line and found herself dangling from a grapevine over a 30-foot chasm. We lived in the woods next to a semi-canyon - Kate spent a lot of time dangling from something rather thin and flimsy over something much larger and more potentially painful, just to see what would happen.

And now it all comes full circle, and Little Miss Madness has presented Mills and me with our PLAN. The PLAN always appears in my head in capital letters because it is big and intimidating; it is very long, and she wrote it in Excel, about which I understand only enough to make pretty borders and shade things yellow. And add with that Formula thing. However, there is no adding on the PLAN, there is only running, and then some more running, and after that (in a yellow-shaded box) there is some running. We have formed a team - the Stick Horse Derby, so named after an annual event on our street that took place during Mills' parents' Kentucky Derby party. The adults had drinks in shiny silver cups, and the kids made stick horses out of socks, yarn, and hot-glued flowers and then raced them around the cul-de-sac. I mean, this was an event. We must have done this until I was at least 12, which either shows you how serious the Derby is in that part of the world, or how incredibly goofy we were.

So the SHD is up and moving, and we're on day five of the PLAN. So far, I haven't skipped, and I haven't quit running halfway through a day's workout. Granted, it's fairly light during the first two weeks, but I feel pretty good about it, even though I'm discovering a whole new kind of body ache that's entirely unrelated to drinking. And Kate is doing her little dance on my grave right now, because for once she gets to have the big idea between the three of us, and we're following her head-first, right on down the laundry chute.

Jackass wedding recap, installment the third (and final, and longest)

Missed the first two days? Go here first, and then here. And if your eyes aren't bleeding, continue below.

Comment back to Diana: yes, I too thought that Boxville and his wife had split. But the story we got from various party-related sources is that she was in fact the cute little person present, and they were on the up and up. So perhaps love really is possible in Hollywood, or perhaps everyone is more loving when they're hammered. Either.

So! We're up to Saturday, after a day and a half of people maneuvering, not hooking up with the famous, and imbibement (imbibary? imbibeation?) of much alcoholic beverage. (Brief aside about the alcoholic beverage: at no time was Norah alone with drunk people, and honestly, 85% of her awake time was with me. When I talk about how heavily we were drinking, I'm speaking relative to the last, I dunno, five years of my life, in which I have been sodding drunk exactly once. So don't worry: "drunk" means "somewhat more than stone sober.")

7:30 AM - Norah is awake. ARE. YOU. KIDDING ME.

8:30 AM - Kate, Ben, Mills, Rob, Norah, and I have breakfast at The Breakfast Club, which is renowned about Tybee for (you will so never guess this) their breakfasts. And oh yes, was it lovely. After gorging on empty sugar and carb calories, we return to the beach house, where serious dayplanning is in full effect.

9:45 AM - Ben gets big-ass kite (BAK, if you will) out and we go en masse to the beach, where we will attempt to fly it. Wind warnings are posted; hurricane is spotted somewhere offshore. Or it could have been a cargo ship. Or trick of eyes - eyes are not quit focusing at this time.

9:47 AM - Thanks to aforementioned ludicrous winds, Ben does this:

10:00 AM - Mills does this:

10:16 AM - Aunt Denyse does this:

And this:

And, regretfully, does not get up from sitting position, and in fact then does this:

This is not good; Denyse is removed to house by my mother, who is no longer interested in attempting kite flight for herself.

[Time out for a brief update on Denyse - she has just scheduled an MRI and has a hairline fracture in her shoulder from the kite accident. Ben is now wallowing in his own guilt, and may be spending his own time up on the ledge, from which he will certainly have to be talked down with promises of beer and sleeveless t-shirts. Back to narrative.]

12:something, or possibly later, I don't know anymore - We return to house and spend next several hours in the pool. Many ridiculous photos follow, all of which are on Flickr. I'm not putting any more on here, it's too damned long already.

5:00 PM - Everybody in the car; it's Hollywood Wedding Time! Mills and Nonos are left behind with a family-sized box of velveeta mac 'n cheese, digital cable TV, and the sweet promise of No Mommy Means No Firm Bedtime Time.

5:30 PM - Arrival at Savannah's Telfair Museum, which is lovely, and attempt to park car on the street after three years of being out of Baltimore and so out of practice on street parking.

5:35 PM - Get car parked in incredibly convenient spot right next to museum. Watch parents and Canadian cousins go zipping by in their car, and disappear over the horizon.

5:36 PM - Hope they make it. Decide not to care, because the wedding is clearly taking place outside on the most Savannahian square imaginable. It's Southern Living, it's Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, it's utterly divine.

5:45 PM - Seriously, has anyone seen my parents? We are escorted to our seats by a variety of ushers - mine was a high school friend of my cousin the groom, and Kate draws Kris Fontius, who looks DAMN NEAR PERFECT in a tux. Notice that all groomsmen and the officiant are wearing hot pink Chuck Taylor sneakers. Mentally applaud.

5:50 PM - Parents arrive. Not entirely sure where they parked, but not entirely concerned with this, as it is now celebrity spotting time. And the game is hot, too: behind us and two seats over is Tee Man, near the back is Foomis Fall, Trick Kosick is toting around a camera with a fuzzy mic attached, and Stanny Fuig is enthralling my dad with his camo wedding wear. Also in the crowd were Mom and Pop Bargera, who unfortunately do not have a Myspace page, so you get no linkies on them. Noticeably absent: Sleeve-O, who was apparently in Boston promoting his new show on USA. None of the other J*ck*ss team will discuss this; we begin wondering if there is some secret scandal, and if we uncover it, will TMZ give us credit for the exclusive story?

6:00 PM - Incredibly beautiful Southern wedding commences, which surprises all of us, given that neither bride nor groom are terribly southern. Oh well. They fake it better than Meg Ryan fakes the you-know-what in that diner. I almost cry, until Senor Boxville cruises up the aisle in sunglasses and a five o'clock shadow, and proceeds to mutter asides through the entire wedding (which takes about 10 minutes) with a stage villain leer on his face. Had it been anyone else, this would have been incredibly irritating; it's true, celebrities are SO MUCH COOLER than us. There isn't a dentist, or an accountant or something else normal, alive who could have pulled this off.

6:30 PM - Mingling and drinking commence. Liquor is not only top-shelf, it is Shelf That is Hidden From the Common People shelf. Los Angeles people prove themselves to be so incredibly nice, and not just because I am holding an incredible martini. The mingling is interrupted by photographers, who want to do the formal portraits; at this time, I sidetrack an intern and wheedle the info out of her about the passworded website where the photos will be later. [Note to self: check this again in 10 minutes, as I have been doing for the last two weeks.]

7:30ish PM - We move inside for dinner and general merriment. I feel like I've stepped into Gotham City, and this is an elaborately-staged gala where absolutely no detail has been ignored. If I ever go to anything as amazing again, I will almost certainly be there as a waiter, or perhaps a bathroom attendant. The cake is massive, and amazing. The food is served on plates as thin and delicate as bees' wings. The bar is on wheels!

7:45 PM - Rob becomes the star of the wedding when a bartender passes out and hits her head on the marble floor. After mad dash upstairs to locate him (and in process, complete loss of all cool points) he arrives downstairs in time to pick her up, walk her around, and send her off with a friend, as he and another med resident/attendee stand there and sigh collective sighs of relief that they didn't actually have to do any doctoring. Word later comes back that she has been taken to a hospital, where she is declared fine. However, she does not return; I am dismayed, as she has been making my drinks and she is REALLY good at it.

8:30 PM - Dancing begins in earnest; Ronnie B takes up with three-year-old Parker, another wee cousin. At one point, they are breakdancing, twirling on their backs. Everyone is collectively delighted.

9:30 PM - Home. Must go home. Feet hurt, and am exhausted from three days of not sleeping. People are beginning to leave, anyway, so I am not such a lame-o. We head for stairs to the door.

9:31 PM - Kate pauses to adjust shoes at bottom of steps, where she is suddenly used as a landing pad for a wavering, half-blind drunk guy who couldn't handle the complicated maneuvering required to put one foot in front of the other. Georgia State cops are immediately swarming our group, extricating Kate and "escorting" drunk guy to a bench in a nearby gallery. Kate goes to talk to drunk guy, having this exchange:

K: Everything okay over there?
DG: Um, yeah? I think?
K: Seriously, if you don't straighten up a little and quit fucking around, you know those cops are going to declare you a medical emergency and haul your ass out, you know that?
DG: What?
K: Yeah. They're afraid you're gonna puke on one of these paintings of gazelles or some shit.
DG: Um...
K: You gonna puke?
DG: Yeah. Yeah, probably.
K: (in a motherly tone) Okay then, you better go outside, all right? All right?

"All right," said Slam Bargera. And out he went.

10:00 PM - In car, on way home. Nothing interesting happens now.

10:30 PM - Home. Norah is sleeping, Mills and her brother are watching TV and celebrating the cheesecake that Zach brought with him (note to Zach: which eventually came home with me, and I ate it, and HOLY COW). Guess where we end up?

11:00 PM - In pool. Surprise!

12:00 AM - Still in pool, where it is freakin' cold. We move to hot tub, as three friends of Zach's arrive. All old people go to bed; all people roughly my age stay in hot tub; Norah is still sleeping, and will continue to do so until 7:00 AM, instead of 10 or 11 as I fervently pray to all gods Western and otherwise.

1:45 AM - Can't take anymore. I am a wrecked, ruined shell of my former self, largely because I've had about 13 hours of sleep in the last 72, and have had alcohol in every application appropriate for liquid substances except as a cereal topping. My feet are blistered and sore on the patio concrete, my head is fuzzy, and I punk out and go to bed.

We came home the next day, and I'm just now, a week later, feeling recovered. And I haven't had such a good time in YEARS. End of story! Off to rest my achin' fingers. If I get any of those photos, I'll post them, if you promise not to sell them to US Weekly. That is not Boxville's new girlfriend, THAT'S MY KID.

Jackass wedding recap, installment the second

(If you haven't already, catch up on the first part of this here.)

Right, so getting back to things. While Mills and I slept off the franticness of the Supermarket Search, Kate was having her own adventure in the Boston airport, which ran thusly:

11:00 PM, Thursday - Kate is informed that her plane will not be leaving for DC, which is going to make her miss her connecting flight from there to Savannah. However, this is not a problem, since the connecting flight has also been cancelled. After some shuffling, the ticket agent reroutes her to Charlotte, which will get her to Savannah at 10:30 AM Friday, instead of 10:30 PM Friday as previously scheduled.

11:35 PM - Kate does happy dance, because she knows she won't miss the rehearsal dinner, and so her chances of hooking up with hot celebrity types are much improved.

11:36 PM - Kate does somewhat less happy dance, realizing that she is going to be spending the next five hours in the airport, after already spending the previous seven hours at the airport.

11:37 PM - Kate stops dancing entirely and begins to pass out from exhaustion.

12:00 AM, Friday - Kate locates what she thinks is a quiet corner, in which she can sleep on her carryon bag like a vagrant. She begins to think that perhaps vagrancy isn't so bad, and is in fact rather comfortable.

12:15 AM - Kate is relocated by a foreign man with a heavy accent pushing a carpet cleaner; she is fairly sure she's being threatened with deportation, or at the very least, removal to a homeless shelter. Vagrancy returns to original suck status. Kate attempts to sleep under the armrests of those godawful uncomfortable bolted-together chairs. This does not work; Kate goes to buy some food and ends up eating several Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and does not have the energy to feel ashamed.

6:something AM - Plane leaves! PLANE LEAVES!

Sometime after that - Plane lands in Charlotte! IN CHARLOTTE!

8:45 AM - Back at the ranch, Rob calls and informs various family members that he will be leaving soon on his five-hour drive to Tybee, and should be there by 2:00 or so. I do a happy dance, because I missed him, and because now someone else can catch Norah when she vaults into the pool. Damn, my arms hurt.

10:30 AM - Kate lands in Savannah, is picked up by Ben, and is delivered to beach house, where she puts on a swimsuit and immediately passes out on lounge chair.

1:00 PM - Uncle, his wife, her daughter, and daughter's boyfriend arrive. Rob calls and informs various family members that he is not in fact within an hour of Tybee, and will in fact not arrive until later. What? Why? This is never clearly explained, and I do not do a happy dance at this time. My suspicion concerns the internet, and assing around thereupon.

3:00 PM - Mom and I go to area mall in search of shoes for Norah, a dress for me, and some "pants, not dressy pants, but you know, not sloppy ones either, and not khakis, but you know, just pants" for Mom. I give Mom the stink-eye when every pair of Just Pants does not meet with her approval, but quit stink-eyeing when she buys these shoes for Norah.

5:30 PM - Panic sets in when we realize that the rehearsal dinner starts in an hour and a half, and the beach house is way, way far from the mall. Several laws are broken during wild ride home, during which Norah calls out, "Mama? We going like big jet?"

6:15 PM - We are smashingly successful, and ready to go in 20 minutes. I look hot, in a motherly way; Rob has arrived and is dressed in his LA Casual Look, and Norah is cute like a bunny. Everyone else looks hot as well, and we pile into various cars and take off.

7:00 PM - Arrival at Fort Jackson, which has been rented out for the 200-person dinner. First sight is of Ronnie Boxville (there's that code! do you get it?) wearing a Confederate army cap and chasing a gang of small children with a cap rifle. The children, of course, love it; Nonos joins the posse and the battle of Gettysburg is in full effect within minutes.

7:15 PM - Realize that the weather is pretty gosh-darned warm. I now look hot in a sweaty-junior-high-kid-in-gym-class way. This is not ideal for celebrity hookups.

7:16 PM - Lose left leg to mosquitoes. Begin to question sanity of family responsible for planning event.

8:00 PM - BAD. ASS. Confederate Army reenactors, part of the Fort Jackson Experience, I guess, shoot off the big-ass cannon on the parapet. Sanity of event planners is somewhat restored, thanks to pyrotechnic display; sanity of cousin/groom is clearly not present, which is made clear when it's revealed that cousin/groom asked the staff how much it would cost to buy a cargo ship and shoot at it with a non-blank cannon round.

9:00 PM - Speeches and toasts begin with cousin/groom's parents, who are appropriately deprecating and praiseful of groom, and loving toward bride. I have brief conversation with Ronnie Boxville at the bar, which ends with him staggering unevenly toward his very cute wife with three beers in each hand. He is no longer on hot celebrity hookup list.

9:45 PM - Someone finally pries the microphone out of the blabbery bridesmaids' hands; audience is spared further TOTALLY FUNNY stories of sorority events we didn't attend and lost cell phones we will likely never call. I spot Kris Fontius (very easy code!) laughing with other guests; he is most hot, and would make an excellent celebrity hookup, except that he is rather short, and also will not even look at me. Another one bites the dust.

10:00 PM - My slightly hammered new aunt drags a befuddled-looking person over and introduces him to me. He turns out to be Spike Bonze (oh my goodness I handed you this one), who is utterly charming and quite possibly the only celebrity at this event with whom I would like to be siblings. Hooking up with brother type is unacceptable; ergo, Spike is removed from the list. Celebrity hookup is now starting to look unlikely, but I am bolstered by three Coronas and do not lose hope.

10:15 PM - People start loading up. Shit! What about my hookup? I am now losing hope!

10:17 PM - Hookup is not happening, as celebrities are packed onto a trolley/bus thing and headed back to their hotel, at which I am not staying. Bah.

10:45 PM - Back at beach house, Norah is snoring like an angel in her wee daybed, and I am somewhat disgruntled at lack of sex with famous person, but not entirely surprised. And also not at all displeased with evening, as my baby was completely precious, and drunken night swimming has commenced. This continues until 2:00 AM, at which point we drag ourselves inside and realize that none of us can feel our toes. This is a clear sign that we need to go to bed... so we do.

Next: kiteboarding on the sand and the demise of Aunt Denyse, and the unexpected drunk who fell on my sister at the reception!

Jackass wedding recap, installment the first

Status: Still unable to focus eyes for more than two days, mainly from sheer exhaustion, but also from my mom's wicked "wake-up cocktails." Hair of the dog that bit me, and whatnot.

Guys! For serious! This was the best wedding in the history of weddings, and I'm not just sayin' that because it was That Cousin and his Coworkers* The rehearsal dinner was incredibly fun, the ceremony was beautiful and even made the hardened, jaded Hollywooders tear up a little, and the reception was exactly what my reception would have been, had I been the proud owner of a few hundred thousand dollars with no other reserved purpose, like paying off our debt or posting bail for my sister. (Who's amazed that hasn't happened yet, by the way? READ THIS ENTRY AND YOU WILL BE.)

* About the coworkers. Because I don't want to be a Google magnet for people looking for info about these folks, I'm going to assign them certain codenames. If you need help figuring out what the codenames stand for, you just let me know... although to keep it all straight for myself, it's going to be pretty idiotproof. You'll get it.

This is a long, long, long story, so if you'd rather hold out for one of my semi-regular posts about how much I love Nonos/Rob/photography/life in general, you have my express written permission. I just want this all down, so I can look back and laugh, and wonder how any of us survived without extensive liver damage or jail time.

So! Let it begin!

Wednesday: Pre-Pre-Wedding-Eve

4:00 PM - Parents arrive, having driven 610 miles from their house in Indiana. Their dog Grace also arrives, giving Norah reason to SQUEEEEEE! almost continuously until bedtime.

6:00 PM - I leave for a wedding consultation at Starbucks, during which I break out in tiny hives, wanting so badly to tell these complete strangers where I am going, and yet feeling like maybe that wouldn't be cool. And god knows, I am going to be cool this weekend. Cool like ice. Cooooool.

6:03 PM - Childhood best friend Mills arrives at airport, and is delivered unto my house by my parents. Mills agreed to come along to babysit for Norah during the wedding (no kids, don't you know) and to completely relive our childhoods together, one hour at a time.

6:45 PM - I nail photography consult, but leave emptyhanded since the mothers need to discuss exactly how many hours they'll need from me. I weep at lack of check in hand and drive the four minutes home.

7:01 PM - Rob vomits from overdose of "you remember that time when we were seven, and your mom caught us making blueberry muffins in the microwave, and we melted the carpet with the tupperware because we dropped it trying to get it out? GOD THAT WAS FUNNY!"

10:00 PM - All in bed. For real. Sleeping. This moment marks the last reasonable bedtime for the next four days.

Thursday: Tybee Invasion, two days until wedding

8:00 AM - Out the door and on the road to this beach house:

My mom rented the place for a whole gang of family members, and really, it divided out to be less than the cost of three nights in a hotel per couple, so it was a great idea. Still, we pulled up and I thought it was a joke. That is not a beach house we can afford. That is something off of Cribs: Vacation Edition. Hoorah for the off-season.

2:00 PM - Beach house arrival. Nonos immediately scopes out this:

And her Mama immediately scopes out this:

2:03 PM - The first of several OH. MY. GOD.'s is uttered simultaneously by all present.

2:04-5:59 PM - In pool. With beer. Gramma takes first Norah shift, which delights Norah far more than if it had been Mama, as Gramma has cookies and sparkly stickers, which Norah is permitted to apply to all furniture, people, and pets present.


And Gracie:

6:00 PM - Dinner at The Crab Shack (no celebrities, relatively unimportant event, except that it was really good food and we had an amazing time, and 16,000 cats meowed at us from under the table to get us to drop some crab to them. Norah of course thought this was hilarious, and gave about $35 worth of Dungeness to a particularly loving and attentive tabby.)

7:00 PM - First update from my sister, whose plan was supposed to arrive at 11:30 PM. Layover in DC has been cancelled, as bad weather in DC has closed Dulles. Kate is hysterical and has to be talked off of ledge at Logan. Flight rescheduled for 11:45 PM arrival; Kate no longer suicidal; everyone full of crab and moderately drunk.

9:30 PM - Homeward bound. Mills and I sober up and go to Savannah to see her brother Zach's apartment near SCAD, where he is a student. This is the same kid who, at three, stood up in the country club dining room and yelled, "Anybody wanna see my penis? ANYONE?" That was my last memory of Zach before their family moved to Kentucky; to imagine him as a serious art student is hilarious and yet somehow fitting.

10:00 PM - Phone call from my mother. Kate is not coming until Friday night at 10:30 PM - dead smack in the middle of the rehearsal dinner, which we are all supposed to attend, and which will be my first chance to hook up with a hot celebrity. (Rob agreed to this plan, seeing as how it was both unlikely/ridiculous, and if it did happen, would certainly be worth money to the right tabloid.) Leaving rehearsal dinner to rescue Kate will throw serious dent in plan... Kate returns to the US Airways desk to explain to the clerk that it's now her sister that needs to be talked off the ledge.

10:15 PM - Reminder call from my mother that we would still be picking up Ben, who came on a different flight. This is sweet irony, since Ben was flying standby (he's a pilot, so that's standard for him when he's not working) and had tried to get Kate to do it with him, but she had demanded a ticket because she "could not miss a minute of this, and standby is so unpredictable sometimes."

11:31 PM - Ben arrives, not just on time, but 15 minutes early. Kate's flight is rescheduled for 10:30 AM Friday morning. No one is currently on ledge.

12:30 AM, Friday - Back at beach house, Mills and I remember we are supposed to be providing breakfast for the eight residents of the house. Frantic Yellow Pages search for 24-hour grocery commences.

1:15 AM - 24-Hour Kroger located... in Savannah. Mills and I drive 12 miles to get there, stock up, and get back into car, only to discover that the gas light is on, and had been on for quite a while. Apparently, singing old school Kylie Minogue and rehashing elementary school boyfriends are enough to distract one from one's dashboard lights.

1:16 AM - Where is the gas station?

1:17 AM - Seriously.

1:17:55 AM - What's that noise?

1:18 AM - Car chokes and coasts into gas station bay, where we put 16.98 gallons of gas into my 17-gallon tank. Oops.

1:45 AM - Return to beach house, chuck food in fridge and coffee onto counter, and collapse.

Tomorrow: the true story of what happened to Kate at Logan, and how Rob managed to make a five hour drive in eight and a half hours. And the rehearsal!

Savannah daydreamin'

Oh so exhausted. So, so, so exhausted. The wedding was incredible, as was meeting/mingling/holding up the very drunk celebrities who attended. Big long update later... for now, the photos from the beach house are posted, and the official wedding ones should be soon (we weren't allowed to take cameras, so I have to get them from one of the photographer's interns, who said she'd slip me her good ones).

Chris Pontius is hot, and Spike Jonze is one of the nicest people in the world. That is all.