Saturday, November 26, 2011

My Mom At My Wedding - a true story

(Note: For some context, you should know that I've written about my mother before, in a post entitled "My Mother Is A Witch." Honestly, it's not as bad as it sounds.) 

So, just before my wedding ceremony commenced, my mother leaned into me and whispered urgently, "Remember, when you kiss your bride, step on her foot. That way, she can't dominate your marriage!"

I nodded my head like a dutiful son, but I couldn't help chuckling. My mother, however, was completely serious.

"And when you walk out of the chapel," she continued. "Don't let her get out the door in front of you, or she'll be in charge your whole life!"

I thought about replying that it would be news to nobody that the Princess was already in charge of my life, but I let it go.

The moment in question.
Later, during the ceremony, at the appointed moment when I leaned in to kiss my bride, I heard my mother whispering from the front row of the chapel.

"J.J.! J.J.!" she hissed, tapping her toes loudly, but there was no way I was going to poke my foot through my bride's skirts to do what my mother wanted.

Now, I've asked several people if they have ever heard of the folklore that my mother was propagating, because I've always had the sneaking suspicion that she makes this stuff up as she goes.

No one I've asked has heard of stepping on your bride's foot as you kiss her. Nor have they heard of walking out of the chapel first to determine who rules the marriage.

What do you think? Is it folklore or just more of my mother's idiosyncratic improvisations?

(For more about my wedding, go here.)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My Wedding To The Princess

So, at noon on Saturday, November 12, 2011, I finally married my Princess.

In front of an assembled throng of family and friends, we finally went from "shacking up" to "husband-and-wife" after a courtship of over 13 years.

I cannot sufficiently express my gratitude to all who helped pull this off. Every time I think about how much everyone did to make our wedding a success, I actually get choked up.

Below are pictures from the wedding and from the events surrounding it. I'll post more as I get them. If you have any pictures, videos, or comments, please send them to me at

These are the hooligans who attended my bachelor dinner
at the Flame Steakhouse at the El Cortez.
Because of our boisterous (& completely wholesome)
storytelling, we got kicked out of the place.

A pre-wedding portrait of part of the clan,
including me, my stepbrother Cliff, his wife Joanne,
my sister Tiara, my stepfather Ivan, my mother Maria,
my father John Sr., my brother Joe, my stepmother Barbara,
my brother-in-law Tom, and my nieces Enola & Molly.
Here's a portion of the MacDonald/Julson branch of our expanding
family tree, including cousin Samantha (who provided this pic),
Uncle Jay, cousin Nick, Amy's mother Paula, Uncle Mike,
Aunt Beth, the beautiful Princess, the goofy groom,
Aunt Marie, cousin Jordan, brother Jack, cousin Justin,
and, down in front, the dapper nephews Ethan & Connor.

This is where we got married.
Elvis & my Mother also got married there
(but not to each other!).

This is the chapel where the ceremony took place.
I managed NOT to pass out during the ceremony.

Here is the lovely Princess just outside the chapel.
The Princess's brother graciously consented
to walk her down the aisle and give her away.
I read my marriage vows to the Princess.
Judging from her reaction, she thinks they're
pathetic or hilarious (or both).
These are the words I used to pledge myself to my Princess.

I still can't believe she said, "I do."
I mean, look at me! Would you marry that?

The entire wedding party: Jack, Bibi, Merci, The Princess, me,
John, Dad, and Chris.
The official wedding portrait.

At the Reception, Best Man "Grouchy John" Ynigues
gives his speech while Harris the Steel-Drummer looks on.

The Princess's brother Jack gives a heartfelt & poignant
speech that made us both misty-eyed.

The Princess chose Santa Monica, California,
as the destination for our honeymoon.
Is it because she's such a fan of antique artillery?

Seriously, someone married this guy?!

Believe it or not, riding bikes on the beach is the Princess's
favorite thing to do in the whole world.

UPDATE: Well, it appears that the Little Church of the West did NOT record any video of our marriage ceremony. We are still working out why this happened, but, in any case, we can only hope that one of our wedding guests has some video and will send it to us soon. It wouldn't be the end of the world if such video doesn't exist. There are more important issues in the world.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Someone has just informed us that we may in fact have some video of the ceremony, which makes the Princess very happy. As soon as we get it, we will post it. I know you're all waiting with bated breath.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Yet more stuff I wrote for Desert Companion

Here's a link to more stuff I wrote for the latest issue of Desert Companion magazine, a lifestyle magazine published by KNPR, the local National Public Radio station.

They seem to like when I write about food (which is great, because I like eating). This month, I wrote about the Oxtail Chili Cheese Fries from Bachi Burger and the ComBAO special from Great Bao Asian Cafe.

Another bad pic of great food:
the Oxtail Chili Cheese Fries from Bachi Burger