EDITED (20081101): Lyssa and I are now married.

Oct 29, 2008

To preface what I'm about to write, I never thought that I would have missed so many details pertaining to what happened a few days ago. Shortly before the wedding, Lyssa gave me a piece of advice from her friend Michael: stop every few minutes to take a mental snapshot of what's going on around you, so that you'll have more to remember from your wedding. I didn't really do that until after the ceremony was over, and thus much of what happened was lost to the peculiar entropy that steals moments of our lives from us as we grow older. If there is one thing I regret about getting married, it's that.

This is possibly the most difficult post that I've ever written. I've been working on it for days, scouring every last processing element of my brain for details to add and revising every paragraph numerous times. I expect that I'll re-edit this post not a few times in the future as memories pop up and are added or revised slightly.

As you've no doubt already read here or elsewhere, Lyssa Heartsong and I got married on Saturday, 25 October 2008. After much deliberation throughout the year we finally settled on the Stone Mansion Restaurant in Wexford as the location for our wedding (well, not really - 'lex and Marlise got married there in December of 2007 and we liked it there so much that we decided to get married there too), and partially so that our biological families could more readily attend. The drive up to Pennsylvania early on Friday wasn't all that eventful - we left around 1000 EST5EDT from northern Virginia after a whirlwind of packing and multiple time-checking, thus beating most of the traffic on the beltway, and arrived at the house of Lyssa's family by 1430 EST5EDT that day. We stopped off for a short period of time to stretch our legs and scan our e-mail for the address of the hotel we'd be staying at and then hit the road once again. Unfortunately, our mobile connectivity is still pretty limited these days so we connect whenever we can.

I'm not entirely sure when we got to the Marriott in Wexford - I'd lost track about halfway there, to be honest. I do recall realizing that I was running on empty by the time we got there - I hadn't really had anything to eat all day so my blood sugar was just about exhausted. For this reason, my travelogue gets a little fuzzy... Laurelinde met us at the hotel and helped Lyssa and I offload all of our stuff from the TARDIS; she'd brought the remainder of it in her vehicle, which has just as much trunk space if not more than my car. We met up briefly with Hasufin and Mika, and shortly therafter with Jean, who'd flown down from New England. Because most everyone was staying two doors or less away in the hotel, all we had to do was walk outside and knock on the next door over if we needed something. We piled into Laurelinde's car and drove a couple of blocks down the highway to the Italian Oven for an early dinner or late lunch, depending on how you look at it. After an appetizer, some salad, and a fistful of breadsticks I was feeling more like my old self, and upon getting back to my hotel room laid around for a while catching up on my reading to relax. Things didn't really start happening until around 2000 EST5EDT that night when we convened for the rehearsal dinner.

Rehearsal for the wedding ceremony was held in the private room of the Uno's in Cranberry, a couple of miles down the highway in the opposite direction. We weren't the first to arrive - most of Lyssa's family was waiting for us in the bar when we got there. I spent some time messing around with the electronic jukebox on the wall (you have to love a device that has 300 BPS 8n1 by Information Society in its archive (which happens to be a recording of a modem transmission), though I wasn't feeling particuarly evil that night) but due to karaoke night my $5us was wasted. We only had to work out a couple of last minute logistics, such as where everyone would be entering, where everyone was supposed to stand, how we'd actually enact the handfasting, and practicing lighting the unity candle so that we wouldn't catch ourselves on fire. Neither Lyssa nor I practiced our vows at that time because we felt that we should only recite them during the wedding ceremony and not beforehand. Once we'd gone through the ceremony we settled down to have a late dinner with our respective families, our respective parties, and a couple of friends who attended also. There were so many people there that night that I wasn't able to keep track of them all, though I tried. I do recall that Forge was the last to arrive after driving in from the central US, and a few of us had gotten lost on the way up since Wexford has changed a great deal since we graduated from high school. We didn't see Zard until just before the wedding the next day.

The rest of the evening was spent with Hasufin and Mika at the hotel bar unwinding enough to go to sleep on Friday evening, sampling brandies and discussing amino acid synthesis at low temperatures, of all things.
Somehow I got myself out of bed at 0800 on a Saturday to start getting ready for the wedding ceremony. I practically bounced out of bed, got a shower, and then got partially dressed to meet Eli in the hotel lobby for breakfast, which is to say, half tuxedo and half street clothes that I'd be taking off later. We haven't seen each other in a couple of months, and there was no way of knowing when next we'd be in the same place at the same time. I found out a couple of weeks ago that he'd been having serious problems controlling his blood sugar and had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes so I'd been worrying a great deal about him. He's now insulin dependent and learning to control his blood sugar; in a few weeks he's due to be fitted with an automatic insulin pump/blood glucose monitor. Due to one of the quirks of timing that popped up all over the weekend (and still are) his breakfast arrived just as I was heading back to my room to finish getting dressed, but we had a chance to sit and talk over coffee for a while, something that I greatly enjoyed.

After finishing breakfast I finished getting into my tux - shirt, puff tie (note to self: make a few ascots because the puff tie just doesn't do it), waistcoat, gloves, and morning coat, and then pinged Hasufin with the 'ready' signal. I'd packed my doctor's bag with things necessary for the wedding the night before, like a sewing kit, duct tape, cable ties, and spare audio cables, just in case something went wrong or otherwise had to be taken care of while on site. Hasufin took my backpack (packed with sundry other things I'd rather have on site than at the hotel, like Windbringer); I picked up my doctor's bag and we rode the elevator down to the lobby to meet up with the rest of the groom's party. Grant, Eli, and Forge were already down there waiting for us. The limo arrived a few minutes after 1100 local time. Still, we were short one person; I placed a few calls and got hold of Zard Biomatrix because he hadn't arrived yet and together we hatched a plan to meet up at my parents' place because he was geographically closer to there than to the hotel.

It was the work of a few minutes to load our gear into the trunk of the limo and pile in for the half-hour jaunt to my parents' place. My mother really outdid herself on the limo - it was one of the prom night specials, complete with fibre-optic mood lighting, strobe lights along the sides, and even a miniature laser show projected onto the divider between our compartment and the driver's cabin. Leave it up to us to head for home in true Tony Stark style; the only thing we were missing was a couple of stewardesses pole dancing for us because we had just about everything else. Even an iPod connector for the sound system, which we wound up connecting Eli's iPhone to because the stuff I keep on my own MP3 player.. just doesn't work for someone's wedding day, if you catch my meaning. London drum and bass on the way up, the Blade Runner soundtrack on the way to Stone Mansion. After arriving we spent a little time catching up with my family, Uncle Bob, and Aunt Bettie, and soon after we arrived we discovered that Zard was already in the master bedroom putting the finishing touches on his tux. After a few minutes, we headed back to the limo and set course once more for the Stone Mansion Restaurant. We cracked the bottle of champagne (a far easier task than you might imagine; some of the nicer wineries have begun selling their wares with screw-off pressure tops for such occasions) and sat back to reflect upon how much our neighborhoods of old have changed in the last decade or so and frighten the driver with frank discussion of the burgeoning fields of practical nanotechnological and genetic engineering. We also discovered why Verizon FiOS probably hasn't been rolled out everywhere yet. As it turns out, the people who actually own properties have to give their go-ahead for Verizon to install the ONT, and if they don't then you don't get fibre service. For those of us who rent, this strongly suggests that we should start asking our rental offices to get in touch with Verizon in the near future.

We had a bit of trouble actually getting to the restaurant due to the lack of turning radius of the limo and the sharp right turn required to get into the parking lot, though our driver pulled it off expertly. We piled out (so said because everyone in the groom's party, including myself, are reasonably tall in stature) without any mishaps, offloaded our gear, and headed into the restaurant. There was no turning back. Ultimately, there wasn't much that I had to do before the ceremony other than handle the odd crisis that popped up (usually a missing party member or request for albuterol inhaler), greet people and be social, or look suitably stressed out. Much to the chagrin of Lyssa and myself, we found that Fuscia, who was supposed to be part of her bridal party, would not be in attendance due to coming down with a case of pneumonia a day or two before. I ran into quite a few people whom I haven't seen in a while, such as Onivel, his wife Tracy, and the.Silicon.Dragon.

This is something that I'd never expected to have: the group of crazy friends my age who get together only once in a blue moon. It feels like we've known each other since time immemorial even though it's only been... fifteen years, tops. We've all known each other since the last years of the BBS scene in western Pennsylvania, up until 1996 or therabouts, in fact. We saw each other off to college, sometimes to grad school as well. We've laughed and cried together. We watched each other grow up. Some of us are married now, and some fraction of us have children now. We've spread out across the country and struck out on our own. A few of us are dealing with one health problem or another that crept up on us in the dead of night. Some of us have gained weight. Some of us have lost weight. The same's happened with some of our hairlines.. not to point fingers, I fall into two of those categories myself, and it doesn't take a psychic to guess which two.

I can't say that I was completely surprised to see Derek Pegritz, Laurelinde, and Hasufin setting up a makeshift NOC in one of the booths when I got back from the bathroom. As it turned out, Pegritz was short a few songs for the reception and needed to either jump online or register someone's iPod with his copy of iTunes to gain access, I'm not sure which. I do recall seeing a couple of laptops, a power strip plugged into the wall, and not a few cables of various kinds draped over the table. 'lex Pendragon arrived around 1400 EST5EDT to set up the altar and make sure that everything was running smoothly. He did a yeoman's job of not only organizing the ceremony but helping us get everything together at the last minute, and I'm proud to say that he was a part of our wedding. To his credit, he didn't crack up during the ceremony itself, as I'll get to in a few paragraphs... I think he was responsible for getting the staff to break down the drum kit that was set up near the fireplace (a band would be playing later that evening and they're already set it up) because the bridal party didn't have enough room while it was there. I think he was also responsible for getting some chairs set up for my grandfather, Chuck, Uncle Bob, and Aunt Bettie so that they didn't have to stand through the entire ceremony.

Tara, our wedding photographer, had set up a number of shots both before and after the wedding ceremony itself. She'd gotten pictures of Lyssa and the bridal party, myself and the groom's party but then planned to take some candid photographs of me seeing Lyssa for the first time before the ceremony. We'd broken with tradition at this point, and she wanted to get a honest reaction from the both of us. Quite frankly, I was astounded to see Lyssa in her scarlet wedding gown on the back stairs. She'd kept the dress a secret, only showing a small number of people smartphone photographs. All the pressure and strain vanished in that one instant.. Lyssa was quite frankly the most beautiful woman I've ever laid eyes upon when I came around the corner. There wasn't any doubt in my mind that I was going through with this wedding ceremony before, but now I wanted it to be over and done with, nevermind that there were some guests who hadn't arrived yet.

If it's possible to fall in love with someone all over again when you never fell out of love with them in the first place, I did so in a single snap of the shutter.

Presently, 1500 EST5EDT came around, and it was time. 'lex took up position behind the altar; the older members of my family took their seats not far away. Out of sight, the bridesmaids lined up in the hallway while the groomsmen and I queued up in front of the staircase. The groomsmen filed into the restaurant where nearly a hundred family members and close friends had gathered, followed by the bridal party. Then, I took my mother's arm and we strode in to stand at stage left. Lyssa's parents lead her into the room from stage right, all the while holding a bouquet of white roses bound in scarlet, part of the hem of her wedding gown. Alexius called everyone to order and bid us light the red unity candle sitting in the middle of the altar. Lyssa and I took up our tapers and did so, without setting anything on fire that wasn't supposed to be. 'lex picked up by reading the story of how Lyssa and I had met shortly before Yule in the year 2002 c.e., when I'd accidentally crashed Swift Fox and Silaria's Yule Party while delivering holiday gifts. We then exchanged vows and gifts, gifts which meant a great deal to us but cracked up everyone watching. We then exchanged rings -
I gave her the other half of her wedding band, while she placed a star sapphire upon my ring finger
, and then Alexius bound our hands together with a remnant of crinoline from Lyssa's wedding gown.

As Alexius recited a passage from A Midsummer Night's Dream, Lyssa and I kissed for the first time as husband and wife. His words were all but lost beneath the cheering of everyone who'd congregated to watch us.

The two of us, still bound together, were then mobbed by both parties and most of the guests. Most everyone came up to wish us well - Rialian and Helen, Onivel and Tracy, Vlad from Pittsburgh, Silicon Dragon, the bride's and groom's parties, our parents and relatives somewhat more distant, even some of the staff of the Stone Mansion Restaurant. I must confess, I had some relatives there whom I really didn't recognize, and upon reflection I'm not entirely certain that I'd met them before. It was some minutes before Lyssa and I had a chance to slip our hands from the loop that 'lex had tied around our wrists, at which time we'd gone in two diffferent directions, the better to work the crowd that had gathered around us.

Shortly afterward, Tara took everyone aside to pose for photographs on the back staircase of the Stone Mansion Restaurant. First the bridal party, then the groom's party was lined up for pictures, followed by Lyssa alone, and then myself. We were then marched back to the front staircase of the hotel and posed a number of times in front of the stained glass window with various and sundry combinations of party and family members. It was at this time that Bladeless Axe, who'd flown all the way in from Silicon Valley (by way of DC and New England, true to form) appeared with her camera and joined in the fun. She proved to be a fixture at the reception that night, appearing and disappearing with the rapid-fire snaps of her shutter, everywhere at once and nowhere. All told, she'd taken something like 40 gigabytes of images that night. Later in the evening while we still had light, Tara ushered us outside to take a few more group photos on the back lawn. There are a couple of photos of me laying in Lyssa's skirts that I hope to put up as soon as we get them.

After the photo shoots were over, Lyssa and I drafted members of our wedding parties to get people moved downstairs so that everyone could have dinner and begin the reception properly. Also, the ground floor of the Stone Mansion Restaurant would be opening shortly, and we had to have everyone moved downstairs so that the band could set up again and other dinner guests could take their places. We let everyone mingle as they would on the lower floor (we'd rented the two downstairs dining rooms for the reception) and take seats as the mood struck them, and then turned them loose on the dinner buffet. The plan was to give everyone a chance to have dinner before the festivities began in earnest, and seeing as how most of us hadn't eaten yet that day we didn't need people falling over. The traditional speeches were given by Hasufin, my new father-in-law Bill, the maid of honor Jill (who is also my sister-in-law), but we were all surprised when Pegritz stood up to give his account of things. Lyssa and I should have met at least once before the evening we had, by his estimation. If there is proof that love exists, and that there is Something guiding the lives of people for better or worse, he told us, then we're it.

The evening's festivities commenced with the performance of Leyla, our friend from Maryland who happens to be a professional belly dancer. I have to admit, I had no idea that her seet would be such an icebreaker because the evening picked up from there and didn't stop until everyone couldn't dance anymore. She started her set with some veil work to the song All the Myths Are True by Abney Park, and then moved on to some sword work with a few songs that I'm not familiar with, not being a belly dancer myself. I was doubly surprised when Lyssa and Gini, both dancers themselves, got up to join Leyla near the end of her set; I'm pretty sure that Leyla was shocked that people from the audience responded to her "Come on up" bit, which most people usually sit out.

Then came the cutting of the cake, a triple layer construction consisting of vanilla bean with raspberry chambord filling and spice cake. There was supposed to be a layer of strawberry champagne cake but we're pretty sure that the caterers screwed up, instead substituting a second layer of vanilla bean cake. At any rate, it took Lyssa and I a minute or two to figure out how both of us could hold the knife and make the first cut. Extracting the first slice of cake proved to be a challenge because the server kept sliding underneath the cardboard base of the top layer - lifting the slice would have flipped the whole top layer onto the floor. Thankfully, someone who worked on staff there offered to extract it for us. Presently, we were presented with a small plate of cake.. but no silverware. Not to worry, though, both of us are blessed with workable fingers.

Before anyone else asks, neither Lyssa nor I smashed cake in each other's faces. I personally detest the practice, while Lyssa sees it as a perfectly valid reason to set the perpetrator on fire. Seeing as how we had no fewer than three lawyers present on Saturday, I don't think that there would have been a jury in the world that would have convicted either of us.

A few minutes later, Alexius took me aside and told me that unless the staff was told to cut the rest of the cake and serve it, no one else would get any. He and Marlise discovered this the hard way when they got married. I was being tugged in another direction at that moment but 'lex wasn't, and after buttonholing someone on staff the serving table was shortly thereafter covered with little plates of cake. Someone thoughtfully brought slices of cake to Lyssa and I - they even brought me a slice of spice cake.

So, for future reference, if anyone reading this will be getting married at the Stone Mansion Restaurant, make sure that you ask someone to cut and serve the rest of your wedding cake.

Then came the traditional first dances. Lyssa and I were up first, and our first dance was to I Can't Help Falling In Love With You by Elvis Presley. It was the song that Lyssa and I danced to at the wedding of Elwing and Irregular Expression earlier this year. Next was my mother and I dancing to You've Got A Friend In Me by Randy Numan, and lastly Lyssa and her father dancing to What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong.

After that, Pegritz took control of both the sound system and the party... I've known Pegritz for nearly ten years now, and in all that time I've never heard a mix at Laga that even came close to his playlist on our wedding night. He played InSoc. He played the Cruxshadows's cover of Ballrooms On Mars, which was highly appropriate for our wedding. He played Abney Park and got everyone jumping around to Airship Pirates. He played the Sisters of Mercy. He even played Timekiller by Project Pitchfork and had Lyssa's mom dancing. Jill made a serious mistake the moment she shouted, "Hey, Bryce - show us how it's done!" - I may have frightened people from the dancefloor when I cut loose. Later in the evening when the magickians in the crowd took the dancefloor, there were a few demonstrations of t'ai chi'i with an attitude that left all of us dripping with sweat.

About halfway through the evening, Alexius took Lyssa, Laurelinde, and I aside to complete some very important paperwork - the self-uniting wedding license. An ink pen was produced and we filled out the right blanks and signed on the solid lines. Alexius Pendragon and Laurelinde served as our witnesses, and Lyssa Heartsong and I were officially married in the eyes of Pennsylvania law. As of Monday, the license itself was overnighted back to Pennsylvania for filing.

Sadly, the reception party started running out of steam around 2100 EST5EDT. Many of the attendees had gone home, and the rest had pulled up chairs in the dining room and were sitting around talking about this and that. I made my rounds and took care of a few complications that had cropped up - nothing major, you understand. Every wedding has the odd situation that has to be taken care of. I also discovered that through the course of the day, Bladeless Axe took somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 gigabytes of images, amounting to several thousand raw files. She was nice enough to spend the night copying the contents of her datacards to one of my external hard drives to carry home. Bladeless' camera is capable of taking several photographs each second, so it's pretty common to see several versions of the same shot. After making a few inquiries, Jason suggested that she use Faststone Image Viewer to convert the raw files into JPEGs, the better to look at them without a lot of file format jiggery pokery. From what I've seen, it does an excellent job of converting images between formats, and Alphonse has been busily grinding his way through the image collections.

We really don't know how many pictures Tara took of us, she hasn't gotten back to us yet. I do know that she'll have a considerable amount of winnowing and image editing to perform before we'll have a portfolio disc.

As always, all photographs that I'm allowed to post online, I will. I'll also put links to other people's photo albums of our wedding, just leave comments on the appropriate posts and I'll put them up.

Over the years, disposable cameras have become something of a staple at weddings for people who didn't bring their own. A few days prior to our heading to Pennsylvania, I raided all the department stores I could find for them. Of the fifteen that we set out at the reception, only eight came back with us and only one was used up. We don't know where the rest are. If you happen to be one of the people who took yours home with you, please get them developed and tell me where I can either download or link to the images so that I can add them to the album.

After some last minute cleanup and packing of Laurelinde's car, she was nice enough to drive Lyssa and I back to our hotel and help us check into the bridal suite around 2300 EST5EDT. Much to my surprise, not only was it on the bottom floor but it was already decorated for us, and I don't mean the books on the shelves that aren't meant to be read (Minutes of the Metallurgist's Society of America, 1892??)... you see, Laurelinde and Hasufin disappeared earlier in the evening but neither Lyssa nor I knew where they'd gone off to. I sort of figured that they were taking care of things in the other dining room or handling crises so that we didn't have to. As it turned out, they were decorating the bridal suite for us. When Lyssa and I arrived there were yellow and peach colored rose petals all over the place. White rose blossoms were set at the foot of the bed and on the side of the hot tub. The bed was already turned down, and a pair of red roses bound with scarlet ribbons rested upon the pillows. Upon closer inspection, however, we discovered that
a pair of white gold signet rings
were threaded onto the stems.

The next morning, Lyssa and I were dead tired. For some insane reason we got up at 0800 to shower and soak in the hot tub, but were so exhausted that we almost drowned as we soaked. The idea was to have breakfast with Hausfin, Mika, Laurelinde, and Jean that morning but we wound up sleeping on our bed of rose petals for another few hours before hauling ourselves to the hotel restaurant to tear into breakfast with the voraciousness of starved badgers. Even after a half-dozen cups of coffee and breakfast, I was still almost ready to fall over from exhaustion, and so retreated to the bridal suite to nap for a few more hours. Everyone I'd left at the restaurant stayed behind to see Swift Fox and Silaria, whom none of us had seen in several years and had been unable to attend the wedding ceremony the day before. In hindsight, it was that nap alone that made it possible for me to drive us back to DC that afternoon.

Around 1300 EST5EDT, Lyssa, Laurelinde, and I loaded up what we could into the TARDIS and went our separate ways. Laurelinde was headed for home while Lyssa and I were off to visit Alexius and Marlise at home to see little Inara for the first time. Inara was about ten days old when we saw her; she was scarcely longer than my forearm and weighed somewhere around ten pounds. I sat on the couch cradling her in my arms for a few hours while we talked and caught up on more recent events. 'lex and Marlise have two children now, the aforementioned Inara and Raven, who is quite a bit older. We dropped off most of the tuxedos from the groom's party because 'lex had volunteered to take them back to Men's Warehouse, and set course for home. We completely forgot to return the folding table 'lex had loaned us to use as the altar during the wedding ceremony... someone please remind me to return it!

Lyssa and I returned to DC shortly after 2000 EST5EDT on Sunday night, whereupon we met up with Jason, Orthaevelve, and Hausfin, who had kindly delayed going to dinner so that we could get home first. I think the five of us unloaded the TARDIS in record time - luggage, wedding gifts, and all. After the work of a few minutes was over, we piled into Jason's van and drove to our local Italian Oven to grab a late dinner. I was so tired that I barely ate anything, though tiramisu for dessert was a nice way to end the evening.

Lyssa spent much of the morning on Monday fighting with the Marriott to remove some charges that should never have been put on her charge account. I was paying for a number of hotel rooms for the wedding (mine, Lyssa and Laurelinde's, Tara's, and the bridal suite) but she was accidentally charged for some subset of them, I know not which. If all goes according to plan she should have the money back by tomorrow, the end of this week at the very latest. The rest of the day was used to line up Lyssa changing her name. After much deliberation it was decided that she'd take my surname, and so we hit the Social Security office to request a new card and the Virginia DMV to have another driver's license issued.

Much to my surprise, it took slightly over an hour at the DMV before Lyssa had her new ID. My experiences with the DMV were multiple day battles, so I think she broke a world record or two that afternoon. The rest of the paperwork has been filed and the change is underway.

I discovered something extremely annoying about the Kodak Plus Digital cameras: they're not really digital. They're your run of the mill Kodak disposable film cameras loaded with 800 film. The extra charge you pay when buying one goes toward defraying the cost of scanning the negatives into high resolution JPEGs and burning them to an archival CD-ROM. I spent an hour or two researching them to see if there was a way of busting them open to get at a flash chip or something, only to discover that it wasn't that easy. If you're after something quick and easy that seems to take pretty good pictures feel free to buy one, but if you're looking for something that you won't have to take back to the drugstore to get developed you'll have to look elsewhere.

There are so many people to thank for helping us have such a wonderful wedding, I scarcely know were to begin. Thanks to my mother and Lyssa's parents for helping us pay for it all, and for all the logistical help they provided. Thanks to Hasufin for being my best man as well as the groomsmen for knowing me for so long and being such good friends: Grant (also now my brother-in-law), Forge, Lowmagnet/Eli, and Zard Biomatrix. Extra-special thanks and apologies to the.Silicon.Dragon for the massive screwup early last week (the former for attending, the latter for, well, the screwup). Thanks to the bridal party: Jill, Laurelinde, Ri, and Jean. Apologies to Fuscia - get well soon! Thanks to Alexius Pendragon for officiating. Thanks to Mika for running to Radio Shack at 0900 on a Saturday morning to pick up extra audio cables which we wound up not needing, anyway. Thanks to the staff and management of the Stone Mansion Restaurant for letting us hold our wedding ceremony and reception there, and for stocking Goldschlager at the bar. Thanks to Derek C. F. Pegritz for DJing for us. Thanks to the hotel bartender for not calling the police on us when we started discussing low temperature protein base synthesis late on Friday night over bourbon and brandy. Thanks to Tara and Bladeless Axe Without A Handle for taking all the awesome photographs.

And thanks to everyone who came to the wedding to celebrate with us. We couldn't have done it without you, and Lyssa and I are proud to have shared this special time with everyone.