This morning, around 07:3, the Behemoth brought me and two of four people in Pittsburgh who I'd consider to be my closest friends back home from Minnesota. Max's wedding was fantastic -- there were a number of impressions I was left with that changed me. The music was fantastic -- predominantly Russian, there was also some traditional Hebrew music, and a bit of more common stuff. I had a number of great conversations with people I met and people I know, starting out on Communist-Capitalist comparatives with J and R, discussing language reforms in China and Russia with a russian jewish guy I saw a few times, getting instructions on how to make Baklava from greek members of the Pgh crowd, etc. I took two morning walks to get the feel of St Paul and found a nice playground that we all visited later that day. I did find myself wishing my Yiddish (German, really) were better, and most things said in Russian or Hebrew were lost on me, but I did feel somewhat less lost at parts than my friends who had little exposure to the relevant languages or culture at the wedding. With regards to the dancing, this is the second wedding I've been to where someone afterwards mentioned that a number of the families there were asking specifically about me as to if I was single and available for marrage. Personally, I think my dancing looks ridiculous (although it's fun), but apparently some people like the vigour and energy I put into it. The dancing was certainly fun, and the whole wedding was put together fantastically. One of the biggest impressions it made is exactly how interesting of a life Max has led -- I'm envious of all the experiences he's had. I'm certain I'm going to remember his wedding for a very long time, and I also know I'm going to miss him -- the wedding was a union for him, but also a separation for the Pgh crowd. After the honeymoon, he's to move to DC, and we'll be seeing a lot less of him. I'm going to miss him. The whole trip gave me a lot to remember, and to think about. The most trivial -- I'm going to try growing a beard for a week, and at the end of the week, I'll decide either to keep it up, or chop it off. Other things -- it's easy to get into emotional strangeness when darkness makes one person look for a moment like someone else whom one views a certain way -- emotional transferrence can happen to a degree and make things strange. Some other conversations and self-observation leads to some very private things I need to chew over for awhile. I also find myself again put in the position of correcting someone who frequently says interesting but incorrect things -- I've confirmed that I was correct, but am reluctant to prove it to him -- it's easier to just let it drop, I guess. Said person also did some things on the trip that seem inappropriate and childish, and I'd rather keep my distance from that for awhile because I'm still angry/bothered about them. So, all in all, 14 hours each way, a celebration and goodbye for a good friend, two nights in a new city, a road trip with some good friends, conversation with a bunch of cool people, and a lot to think about.
Oh, another thing -- I saw the Mall of America. It was as disgusting as I imagined. Also, the Behemoth was completely well-behaved for the whole trip.
My favourite music player is discontinued in its current incarnation. Apparently, the Neuros II had production problems, and so it's shelved until the Neuros 3 comes out. I picked up two fascinating books on the history of the Islamic revolution in Persia, one of which I read a fair amount of on the trip during morning walks.
I've been listening to a lot of music from Waking Life recently. It's good background music.