Archive for the ‘Columbia High School’Category

Mischa and Leah

Mischa and Leah

20

01 2013

Lauren’s House

Through the snow and wind of January, I journey to Boston, for the wedding of grad school flatmate Nick, and his lady Karen. Lauren, my old high school chum, has graciously offered to put me up for the night, thus saving me the hassle and costs of staying a hotel, which I forgot to reserve anyway.

Lauren’s place is comfy, and distinctively female.

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

And yes, that is a foam penis and pig in a jar of water. That’s how she rolls.

02

01 2010

Class of 1999, Ten Years Later

An event ten years in the making, here reunited is Columbia High School’s class of 1999.

The event is strange for two reasons: First, I have had the privilege to remain very close with my high school friends. In general, I don’t refer to them as my high school friends, by merely as “my friends”, since I have only a handful of new friends gained in the ten years since. There’s only a few people from college I’m close to, and my grad school chums are scattered across the map. I’ve made a few new pals since working in New York, but generally, these old boys are the ones who stand beside me. And thus I’ve obviously been keeping up with them these many years.

Second, we live in the future. Between Facebook, MySpace, Email, IMs, and Twitter, it’s harder than ever to “lose touch” as it was in years of lore. I know who’s married and who’s single, who has children, who finished college, who visited Japan, who ran a marathon, who got fat, who looks exactly the same. And so seeing them isn’t a great shock. That and we’ve been seeing one another for ten years during those annual mini-reunions during the Thanksgiving holidays.

Still, this was anticipated, and in the end, a fun time was had.

First, to Eddie’s house. Then to Cryan’s. I’ve said that more times than I care to recount.

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

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27

11 2009

Jay and Steph’s Wedding, 3/3

We’re still at the reception, but stepped out into the sun for a moment of garden hijinks. Charlie, Pete, and I sat posed for a minute, taking advantage of the setting to capture a cheeky moment.

Back inside for a few more photos. Missed eating the actual cake, I’m afraid.

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

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15

08 2009

Jay and Steph’s Wedding, 2/3

After sweating it out in the summer sun, we shuffled our way into The Manor for cocktail hour, during which all manner of goodies were available to us. Never before have I seen a full carving station during a supposed cocktail hour.

And in we go. Dancing, laughing, snapping photos, giving speeches, catching up, gossiping, pretending to be Michael Jackson (just for a second), and stuffing our faces with some truly excellent food.

The photos tell the story, I suppose. Except they can’t illuminate the sporadic nature of the DJ, who changed songs every 35 seconds and spun such wedding classics as “Baby Got Back” and messed up the names of the wedding party at least 3 times, by my count. So aside from that the day was rather smooth.

[flashvideo file=http://www.divingtank.com/video/2009081504.flv width=300 height=235 /]
Easy, Charlie, don’t take her arm off …

[flashvideo file=http://www.divingtank.com/video/2009081502.flv width=300 height=235 /]
Can’t see my feet, ’cause they move so fast …

[flashvideo file=http://www.divingtank.com/video/2009081503.flv width=300 height=235 /]
Let them eat cake …

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

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Jay and Steph’s Wedding, 1/3

Following a five-year romance, my best friend Jay and his love Stephanie have performed the necessary rituals, and paperwork, to become husband and wife. The ceremony was held at The Manor, is West Orange, providing a scenic old-world backdrop for the occasion. Because the whole affair started at 11:00 am, it seemed more of a breakfast party than anything else, with a welcome reception of coffee and danishes before we took our seats.

Luckily, the wedding ceremony itself was short and tidy, removing most of the flowery religious language and all the sitting and standing that sometimes accompanies ancient rites. Considering it was all held in the August midday sun, perhaps that was a good idea. We all nearly melted, but held it together long enough to se them say “I do.”

[flashvideo file=http://www.divingtank.com/video/2009081501.flv width=300 height=235 /]
“James, you may now kiss your bride.”

Jay being the first of my really close friends to be married, this was the first time I attended a wedding as a peer, free of family, and also the first time I can recall attending a non-Puerto Rican wedding. Turns out I’m a rubbish Catholic, missing all the cues during the ceremony. Once again, the PRs prove themselves the masters of casual, even among other Catholics.

I suffered through a sort of oddness in anticipation. It sounded strange to me to say the words “Jay is getting married” and to hear him use the word FiancĂ©e, but those feelings quickly wore off and the day felt like any other. And I don’t mind getting all dressed up once in a while, it keeps us slobs honest, because otherwise we’d be wearing OR scrubs or knackered old cargo pants from 1997.

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

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15

08 2009

Black Wednesday

That’s what I call the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving when a serious share of Columbia High School alumni crowd into that basement-bar called Cryan’s. I go, clearly, because my friends go. It’s that whole mutually-assured awkwardness that we’ve come to cherish.

Priorly, we were at Ed’s house, catching up, chewing the fat, shooting the shit, playing beer pong, and snacking. Why didn’t we just continue doing that?

Over the years, I’ve missed a few Black Wednesdays, but I do have evidence from last year, and 2002, at least.

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

strange days indeed

21

11 2007

Grease

Ah, the time-honoured tradition that is the high school musical. And with a full-house, the students of Columbia put on a quite a show. Although they lose points for the terrible Photoshop jobs on pasting their faces onto yearbook shots from the 50s.

12

03 2006

Back to High School

So before I even got my degree, I was back at Columbia. It was bizarre going back this time, even more than in past years, because for the first time it actually felt like I was back in High School. Aside from the packed hallways, the long white t-shirts, the randomness bells going off and annoying fire drills, there was just the sort of mid-June air that I remember so well and teacher scrambling to bring order to a teenage student body that wants nothing but summer. I can relate.

I gave my talk in Mrs. Petrallia’s and she was grateful as usual. I do enjoy going back and talking to the kids; after all, they carry the Columbia name the same as I do, and I won’t let them bring shame to my school’s name. Plus it gives me a chance to practice public speaking and being strangely poetic and avoiding saying “um” while making it up completely. I like to play a little game where I weave in Shakespearean quotes without seeming blatantly geek-ish.

Went to Seldin’s class as well, helped out some graphics folk and chatted with the big guy for a while. I may go back next week and give a mini-workshop on web design, we’ll see.

I also had a chicken patty with cheese on cocoa bread. Mmm, Mmm, bitch.

And I got my first ever pedicure. I gotta say, I was kinda disappointed in the experience. My feet are still leather, just slightly more polished leather. In truth, they weren’t so bad to begin with.

10

06 2004

A Crowded Cryan’s

The night everyone in the world showed up. I mean everyone. People who were underage, people I haven’t seen since the Reagan administration, and Coach Brothers. In fact, there were too many people there. Far too many.It is always pleasant to see some of the folks from High School, friends you’ve lost track of, people you never hung out with, but should have. But while it is pleasant to see them, it is equally awkward to see the rest.

28

11 2002