Tuesday, May 29, 2007

My families are different

My mom's and my dad's families, that is. My dad's family mostly lives in Oregon, so I see them on a fairly regular basis and keep in pretty good contact with them. My mom's family is from Florida, so I see them somewhat less frequently -- in fact, many of them I hadn't seen in a good decade ago until last weekend.

Last weekend, of course, being my cousin's wedding, I had ample time to do the traditional matrimonial catching up thing. My cousin is pretty cool, so it was a bit of an oddball wedding. Nothing too dramatic -- the groom and the groomsmen all wore Converse shoes, for example, and the wedding cake was adorned by the fellows on the right, there. Also, the reception tables were laden with cards entreating us to give them marriage advice, fill out madlibs, and draw them pictures. I drew a picture of a cowboy riding a dinosaur.

The weirdest thing for me, though, was getting a comparison of the Kelly (mom) vs the Barker (dad) side of my lineage. My dad's family are very reserved, quiet types. Our family reunions tend to be sit around the dinner table kinds -- we sing Jubilate Deo before meals, followed by nature walks and family performances (generally piano recitals). Alcohol is never present. My relatives are doctors and middle-school music teachers and renaissance studies students -- we go out to plays and classical concerts for recreation and spend time fretting about politics and social issues. My paternal cousin's wedding was a much more traditional affair, in a church with a much more conventional reception (no sparklers!).

I didn't realize 'till last weekend that my mom's family is somewhat different. This was perhaps most dramatically driven home during the reception, during which my 67-year-old uncle could be seen on the dance floor, enthusiastically dancing away to "Hey Ya!", by OutKast. I also chanced to learn that my aunt is planning on attending a Nascar race for her upcoming birthday and recently attended a Larry the Cable Guy show. And apparently my great aunt worked as a Target greeter right before she retired.

I don't know that there's anything really significant to read into that. I just thought it was funny that I was completely oblivious to it until just last week. And that's all I have to say. I probably have other interesting anecdotes from the wedding that I am not currently remembering, but you'll just have to imagine them for yourself.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Hello from Florida!

My cousin Jessica is getting married on Sunday, so I'm in Florida for the weekend. This is my first time in Florida for several years and my first chance to see many of my relatives for at least as long (for those of you who don't know, my mom's family is from Florida). I just met my step-cousin for the first time in my life, not two hours ago. I think that means that I've now met all of my relatives first cousin and closer (perhaps I should make trading cards?). I've not seen much of the state so far -- just the Tampa and Tallahassee airports and my hotel room -- but it'll be fun exploring and seeing more of the Eastern half of my heritage. I'm going to see the Gulf of Mexico tomorrow for the first time in my life. So exciting!

The other, less happy news is that Jen and I have broken up. It's something that's obviously been pretty hard on the both of us, but I'm not going to say much about it here, since it's not really the kind of thing I want to talk about on my blog. Some of you probably didn't know, though, so I thought it best to at least acknowledge it here. I'll return to my regular schedule of lightly amusing posts in due course.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Fire dancing

Not much into blog posting now, for various reasons that I shan't delve into at this point. However, you should look at this cool picture I took of a fire dancer at my aunt's house last weekend.