In 3 Days: A Wedding, a Birthday, and a Funeral

Funeral

Very early Monday morning, a few hours after Fathers Day, my uncle (my favorite aunt’s husband) passed away at the age of 85. It was unexpected and shocking because I thought he looked fine when I saw him a couple days earlier. What’s sad is that someone who has been a fixed presence my entire life is now gone. And while I grieve that he’s no longer around, I am greatly comforted knowing that my little miracle baby now has a companion who I was very close to in this earthly world. His funeral was on Friday at All Saints Church in Hayward. Here is a snapshot of a whole bunch of Gacad cousins. I am front and center in the long black maxi dress.

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Wedding

The following day I got to go to my first Indian wedding at the San Francisco Design Center! Holla! I have a lot of Indian friends so it is strange that this is my first, but we did our best to fit right in. My friend, the bride, was absolutely stunning!!! It was so much fun. We danced all night long.

blog2 blog3Birthday

I celebrated my June 18th birthday on Sunday June 23rd at Dogpatch Wineworks with friends from all walks of life, including my dear friend Marty who is 81 years old. Try to pick him out below; he is truly young at heart. I hired a photographer Chi Fang who I thought did an amazing job: high quality, creative photos and great value in a short amount of time.

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Happy 8th Birthday, Bloggie!

Back in the saddle. After a marathon work day and an exhausting work week (try working 12 days back-to-back in the office with no break), I slumped to sleep at 10:30pm last night after propping myself up by watching Zero Dark Thirty. While I can’t stand movies that go past the 2 hour mark, I didn’t seem to mind the 2:40 depiction of the Osama Bin Laden hunt. I was engrossed.

I still think Vanity Fair’s factual narrative on the Hunt for Geronimo was way more thrilling. If you haven’t read the article, I urge you to. Even better than watching a movie. In fact, I’m going to read it again, it’s THAT good.

Yesterday, my blog turned 8. Eight is certainly great. From a handful of readers to over 10,000 page views / 5,000 unique visitors a month. The blog has gone through a redesign with all the bells and whistles, and a couple expert guest posts. I’m hoping to feature more from my extensive network. Oh, can’t forget the revenue. Can’t say I’m turning a profit yet, but I’m certain that, along with more great things, are just on the horizon. I hope you’ll continue with me on this journey. Lots of ice-cream today to celebrate!

Belated Birthday Pictures

For my birthday, we rented a cabin in sunny Marin County. Simultaneously, we rented out our place to a very nice international gay couple who were probably hanging out for Pride Weekend. Zero cost weekend get-away. I constantly want to pat myself on the back for being so smart with our money.

Fairfax, what a cute little town. Friday night, we walked around, ate ice-cream, and listened to live music. But the place we rented was beautiful: clean, bright, perfect for entertaining. Because everyone who walked in asked how we found the place, I said I was going to put a sign out front to answer everyone’s question: I found it on AirBnB.

Friends from all walks of life came by to celebrate. Loved all the good food and presents, but mainly happy that people came out to the woods!

Best Birthday Gift Ever

June 18 was my birthday. Turns out four friends from work, Burning Man, and school all have the same birthday.

Dean got me the most thoughtful present.

Two months ago, I decided to give up my Club One gym membership. I’d been a member for several years. Loved it because I can go to any of their locations and they’re all over the Financial District, Union Square, and Nob Hill. Uber-convenient. But I got tired of them raising the monthly fee every year and I couldn’t justify spending the money especially when all I did was marinate in the steam room. I didn’t work out. I didn’t take classes. I laid down in the steam room and took naps.

On my birthday, Dean gifted me with a spa. Not a spa gift certificate. He got all the accoutrements to turn our bathroom into a spa! A bench so I could sit underneath the rain shower for hours. Candles, fuzzy slippers, the whole bit. So thoughtful. And the best part was when he said, “Don’t worry. It wasn’t expensive. I used the 20% Bed Bath and Beyond coupons for every item.”

Happy 80th Birthday Marty

Friend: Any plans for the weekend?

Me: I’m going to an 80-year-old birthday party.

Friend: You have an 80-year-old friend?!

Me: Yeah, he’s my friend from Burning Man.

I had the privilege of attending a glorious 80th birthday party today that not only celebrated the birthday boy Marty, but also emphasized family. Marty has 4 families: his immediate family, his Chinese family, his tennis family, and his Burning Man family.

Marty’s 4 successful kids organized the event at Cafe Arrivederci in San Rafael. The weather couldn’t have been better. We were there until the end, soaking up the Marin sunshine. I don’t know a lot about Marty’s history, so it was particularly endearing seeing pictures of him through the years, including black and white shots of a young, grinning Marty during his Bar Mitzvah. Marty was an only child which, to me, totally explains why he wanted to have a big family.

Guests had a chance to say a few words at the mic and one friend described the first time he met Marty. Marty, who was supporting his daughter at an LGBT parade, was stuck in the back, hauling water and ice for the rest of the crew. It was obvious how proud Marty is of all his children and grandchildren.

A Chinese woman spoke about how special Marty is that 25 years later, she’s going to her boss’s birthday party. Her family has become his family which he says is his Chinese family.

The tennis family was the most touching. A bunch of guys have been playing tennis together regularly for 40 years! They talked about how Marty is the one who organizes the matches and even when he was in the hospital undergoing triple-bypass, he was on his computer making sure the guys were still playing. Dick Cheney, I swear to God, is part of the tennis family. Once the pictures come out, I’ll have to post them. Dead ringer for Dick Cheney.

Lastly, there’s his Burning Man family. That’s me! I’ve gotten a lot of slack for going to Burning Man for 10 years in a row. The questions being, ‘Aren’t you over it?’ ‘Aren’t those days of partying over?’ ‘You’re going to Burning Man again?’ It’s not about the partying. It’s not about the music. It’s not even about the art. It’s always been, for me, the annual reconnection to my family. It’s those ties that have sustained me for this long. I am taking a break from going to the event this year, but the thoughts are churning around a simultaneous week long vacation with my Burner friends in Mexico instead of the playa.

It was such a beautiful celebration that people were saying they wanted to have an 80-year-old party just like that. Well, I want to have a 40-year-old party just like that! Why wait? Marty joked that the party was like being at his wake, except that he’s around to enjoy it.

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