I'm back in Houston for an old colleague and friend's wedding. Here's the lowdown, so far, à la The New York Times.
After a red-eye flight from LAX to IAH, I am met by my parents with a bottle of water and a banana. This is the second Saturday in a row that I am up so early. Last Saturday I was in San Diego watching the French Open men's singles final. I plan on sleeping in next Saturday. When my dad pulls into our driveway, I notice the lawn looks greener and healthier than it had when I left, which makes me happy. My mom says to me that only now do they feel like true empty nesters. In the kitchen, they point to some oatmeal on the stove. Sometimes, like today, my dad adds a beaten egg to the oatmeal, which I love. It could be called "egg drop oatmeal." I eat the egg drop oatmeal with soy milk and sugar and then catch up on some sleep in my old room, which is on the second floor of the house, which my parents keep at 80 degrees. Which I can barely stand until I fall asleep.
My parents drop me off at a big Catholic church in Sugar Land. According to Wikipedia, Sugar Land is one of the fastest-growing cities in Texas and, in 2008, was selected by Forbes.com as one of the three Houston-area "Top Suburbs To Live Well." I am greeted by a Puerto Rican girl with whom I once accidentally bought four kilos of ground pork. The wedding is not too long and not too short. My friend looks beautiful in her dress that we've seen before but only on the computer screen. She looks like she is made of wax, in a good way.
After the ceremony I am starving and convince my parents to have a snack. We end up at Cafe 101, which, offers over a hundred kinds of beverages and Chinese, Japanese and Korean food. They call their decor "contemporary." I call it "confused." Our waiter looks like an anime character and has the personality of a university DJ. One of the waitresses might have adult braces. But the food is passable. And I'm ready for another nap before the reception.
After getting lost in downtown, my parents drop me off at Kim Son for the wedding reception. My parents go see Prince of Persia, which none of us know is based on a videogame until later when I look it up online. "Mom, the lead is Jake Gyllenhaal!" "Who's Jake?" "He was in Brokeback Mountain!" "Oh, him?? How come he's so fat?" The reception is replete with a dragon dance and a nine course meal. Highlights include shark fin and crab meat soup, Peking duck and rice buns and Kim Son steak with fresh asparagus. My friend changes outfits twice and, making the rounds in her red qi pao, looks like she stepped out of In the Mood for Love.
Back at home, my mom begins preparing one of my favorite dishes for tomorrow: pork with dried cabbage. I think you know what I'll be doing tomorrow.