September 11, 2004

“You clean up good.”

Filed under: analog — mhoye @ 3:43 pm

As many of you know, I am an evolutionary holdover from an earlier age, a simian Coelecanth well-adapted for few things more complex than procuring fire and killing elks with femurs from other elks. Somehow, despite all that, I have accrued a collection of friends who seem to not only enjoy but actually request my company, even when they don’t need elk.

Melanie is one of those people, who somehow puts up with me even though she’s known me for twenty years. She and Mike Richters were married a week ago in Boston, and it was a thing to see. The whole trip was fun, so let me tell you how it went.

My first notice of this was when Melanie told me that she wanted me to be one of the wedding party’s groomsmen, an honor I could not pass up, and that I was going to be wearing a top hat and tails, an honor I probably would have passed up if it had been anyone else. I had to get myself fitted for a tux, quelle horreur, so that I could mail all my measurements to Boston and pick it up when I got there. That was no fun at all.

“Ok, stand up straight and relax.”


“No, straight. And relax, not collapse. Now stick your arm out.”


So if any of you foreign types who’ve never set eyes on me feel a pressing need to cut me a suit before I get wherever you’re sending me, I can now take all the guesswork out of the process.

The drive down there was for the most part uneventful, and New Hampshire is quite pretty; we overnighted there briefly on our way to Boston proper, which is not.

If you intend to visit Boston, for any reason, you need to find and make use of a native first chance you get. Use a gun if you have to; that city’s forefathers have apparently settle on the the “organic growth” model also favored by ignorant hippies and kudzu vines. And the buildings, good Christ, the buildings; a handful of beautiful old stone structures surrounded by some of the ugliest, stupidest architecture in the western world. What Chad called “Architecture On A Dare”, as though some architectural enclave looked around and decided that they had noble, venerable and enduring pretty much down, and it was time to try something else. There are supposed to be a bunch of smart people in Boston but you wouldn’t know it from, say, looking at the actual city of Boston. I mean, you can tell that once upon a time there were smart people to be found; the fossilized remains of sensible thinking can be found here and there, sometimes in plain view. But not anymore.

I crashed in Boston with a few of Michael & Mel’s friends, good folks every one, though I suspect they recognized the proximity of my caveman ancestry. We ate, we watched TV and hustled around to a number of things including a bachelor party, in which I had Perhaps A Bit Too Much Fun™ a wedding rehearsal, in which I had Exactly As Much Fun As The Situation Required™ and in which I observed that particular kind of smart people that require complication that will, in its absence, make trivial things complicated to fill the void. This combined with the fine-grained control-freakery of the soon-to-be-married couple gave the days leading up to the wedding a very elegant tension, as though everyone shared the unspoken knowledge that the backup wedding planner was the Keystone Kops, and that’s not gonna happen, so keep your shit together.

The wedding was elegant and beautiful. Not simple, because Jewish weddings involve a surprising amount of hardware that’s not present at your typical wedding, and this one had a few details (like tuxes and tails) that’s probably not present at your typical Jewish wedding, but elegant and beautiful nonetheless. That’s where the title of this entry comes from, incidentally; having suited up with the other groomsmen, one of Chad’s roommates looked me up and down and said “You clean up good.” Woot! It turns out everyone did, and it was a hell of a time.

Dinner afterwards was also great fun; Mel, Michael and a couple of their friends are swing dancers, serious swing dancers, and they put on a hell of a show. You know how, during movies, people periodically leap into a bunch of previously-choreographed routines that look spontaneous? That kind of thing actually happens. I’ve seen it. A bunch of them, at one point when the music picked up and the floor was mostly empty, busted out this four-minute routine on the spur of the moment that just destroyed the crowd. It was awesome.

A great night, and a great honour to be there.

Amusingly, I met a guy at dinner who recognized my name from a thing that I wrote about the Wheel Of Time a while ago, who said “You’re that Mike Hoye?”, shook my hand and thanked me on behalf of former Robert Jordan fans everywhere, which means I might have discovered the atomic weight of Internet Celebrity. You’re that Mike Hoye? Why yes, yes I am.


  1. I think I speak for many of your readers when I say JPEG! JPEG! JPEG!

    Comment by Lara — September 11, 2004 @ 5:04 pm

  2. Feh. You were in Boston, but didn’t look me up?


    Comment by Steeves — September 11, 2004 @ 9:42 pm

  3. For civil engineering at its most market-driven, you should visit Osaka. I think it will make “organic” Boston seem like it’s been made of lego by an obsessive compulsive geometrician. I’m starting to suspect there might not be a word in Japanese for “parallel.” Glad you had an awesome time at the wedding. Where did you stay in New Hampshire?

    Comment by Nick Hamilton — September 11, 2004 @ 10:26 pm

  4. Sorry, Steeves. I had some time for myself between about 1:30 and 8:00 most mornings, but I selfishly decided to use that for sleep. I’m a dick, I know. Next time.

    As for the JPEGs, I’m assured that they are on the way. And when they do, my dear, I’ll tell it to the world. If they’re true to what I saw in the mirror, I look like someone an Elizabethan loan shark would send out on collection detail.

    Comment by Mike Hoye — September 12, 2004 @ 6:39 pm

  5. The wedding pics are up, and while Michael (my husband) and I manage to bring out the cartoon character features in each of us quite nicely, Mike (the host of this particular blog) does indeed “clean up good”. At the risk of sharing my wedding pics with the entire universe (you don’t have that huge a readership, do you, Mike?), you can find them by putting in my wedding date, (August 29 2004), clicking on the appropriate wedding, and putting in the password (my first name). So you don’t have to slog through all the crap, good pics of Mike can be found on pages 2, 10, 14 and 15. I must say we can be congratulated for making Mike look even shorter than he is by placing him next to Chad, the Best Man, who is 6″5′. Go us!!!!

    Comment by Melanie — September 13, 2004 @ 11:38 am

  6. Dammit. The website is

    Comment by Melanie — September 13, 2004 @ 11:39 am

  7. The linuxically inclined among you can save a little bit of time by doing this:

    for i in `seq -w 1 1 622`; do wget$i.jpg; done

    Comment by Mike Hoye — September 13, 2004 @ 1:17 pm

  8. Excuses, excuses.

    And I’ve got this new bottle of Macallan’s (to go with the Balvenie) that’s just crying out to be shared, too.

    Comment by Steeves — September 15, 2004 @ 12:46 am

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