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2002-04-02 - 3:12 p.m.

Jeremy & Stephanie Get Married (or How I Almost Convinced Two Thirds of Yo La Tengo to Come Play Kickball)

Jeremy and Stephanie got married on the first day of spring, on top of Enchanted Rock.

I like to call it a mountain, as itís the biggest thing around for miles, but John corrects me: itís actually a granitic outcropping. A small group of us (all flattered to be invited, as family wasnít even invited) carpooled out there, a couple of hours outside of Austin. We climbed to the top, and John married them. It was simple and sweet and I think everyone welled up a little, or maybe it was the strong wind. Then we had some champagne, and someone passed around a joint (note to self: donít smoke pot. Especially donít smoke pot when the person handing it to you says he has the same dealer as Willie Nelson). I was stoned walking down the mountain, and I was stoned during dinner at Cooperís BBQ in Llano (I had white bread and potato salad), and I was stoned all the way home Ė all in all, I was pretty fucked up for about four hours. I donít smoke pot that often, but that was easily the strongest stuff Iíve ever had. And I was positive I was the only one who felt that way (a reassuring email conversation with John the next day convinced me otherwise).

The actual wedding celebration (that everyone was invited to) took place that Saturday. A much bigger affair Ė more bbq, two kegs of beer, a DJ, a port-a-pottyÖand two-thirds of Yo La Tengo. Jeremyís brother is Ira and his sister-in-law is Georgia, founding members of the band (Iím a fan, in case you couldnít tell). I spotted Georgia immediately; Ira was a little harder. It turns out I thought Ira was the other guy in Yo La Tengo (the bass player). I soon figured it out, and spent the rest of the party determined to talk to one of them. Or at least stand next to them. I tried to segue into one group conversation, but was sidetracked into an analysis of the Oscars. Finally, I saw the perfect opportunity. Ira was talking to John and Jessica, right next to the keg! I sauntered over, refilled my plastic cup, and lingered next to them. Luckily, Georgia joined us, and before I know it, weíre having a conversation. Not about music (believe me, I know when Iím in over my head), but about kickball.

Lately, Iíve felt like a Mormon proselytizer regarding my weekly kickball game, extolling the various merits of the sport, constantly recruiting new members. Iím surprised I donít ask them if theyíve been saved by kickball. I say that weíre a team of people who were all chosen last in elementary school. I tell them how empowering it is to no longer be scared of the ball. I remind them that we are so much bigger now, but that the red ball is the same size.

I also tell them how much it sucks to get up early on a Sunday morning and not have enough people to play a decent game.

Fortunately, Georgia brought up the subject. Jeremy and Stephanie were regulars at our weekly game before they moved to San Diego, and the topic kept on resurfacing during the party. I had already spent a good part of the evening recruiting some out-of-towners for the next dayís game. Georgia was intrigued (everyoneís intrigued, at first Ė getting them to show up is a different story altogether), but didnít think they could get up that early on a Sunday morning, especially as they were going to a midnight kung fu movie.

Later, I was worried that Iíd gone a little overboard in my enthusiasm for the game (because, really, how cool would that have been? to have two thirds of Yo La Tengo at my weekly kickball game?). John reassured me that I struck the right chord between persuasive and pushy.

They didnít show up to the game, but I tried not to take it personally. I knew I had done my best. Perhaps theyíll spread the message of kickball to Hoboken. Or maybe it will work its way into a song.

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