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The wedding toast
11:17pm Sunday 27 July 2008 by rudy

The wedding toast that I gave at Mike and Rebecca’s wedding on 26 July:

I’m Rudy, one of the groomsmen along with Dave and John. We’ve been friends for absolutely ages. I’ve known Dave for coming up on twenty years; and we’ve known John for… it must be, oh, at least twenty hours now. You’ll notice that we’re getting married in roughly inverse hairline order.

Fifteen years ago, we took pity on Mike… and let him hang out with us and be our friend. We were so young then, barely out of college, and scrabbling to establish our lives and our careers. We didn’t have a lot of material possessions, but we were rich in friendships. I drove a second-hand Toyota Corolla with a defective door handle; Dave drove a Mustang, which I’m still not convinced had any suspension; Mike drove what looked like a hand-me-down Honda Civic, a very sensible car.

When we first met Mike, Dave and I thought, “oh, the poor guy. He’ll never be able to meet anyone to date, let alone get married.” It wasn’t because of where his hairline might be going, nor because he drove a ratty car. It was because when he showed up at his date’s place to pick her up, she could see the decal on his car’s rear window proudly proclaiming that he attended Starfleet Academy. He was quite the geek then.

We’re glad that Mike met Rebecca, who probably has smacked some sense into him. I notice that our tuxedos are very tasteful in black and white. Left to his own devices, I’m sure Mike would have picked Captain Kirk yellow for his tux, and red-shirts for the rest of us groomsmen.

With that being said, I would like to propose a toast that will be right up Mike’s alley, and offer a word of advice. To Mike and Rebecca: live long and prosper, and for goodness sake, don’t let your kid grow up as a space cadet.

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Last day
4:23pm Friday 18 July 2008 by rudy

Last day. Capricorn 29’s. Year of the city 2274. Carousel begins.

In Logan’s Run, upon their thirtieth birthday, everyone was on their last day, where they would enter into a ceremony called carousel in which they would undergo renewal and be reborn. In reality, nobody was ever renewed.

Today is my last day at work. I won’t be coming in to this office anymore; my renewal will be with another firm. For the first time in my seventeen year working career, I am out of a job. I’ve been retrenched and next week will be unemployed.

Technically, this is still my first post-college job, although I’m on my fifth company. I’ve survived numerous layoffs, mergers and acquisitions, and sell-offs, and have always been part and parcel of every transaction that saw the company name or ownership change. This latest development is the company principal wanting to do a drastic head count reduction. I saw this company go from a start-up in my boss’ home’s basement to being acquired by a near billion dollar company, and then being sold off again as small, lean, entrepreneurial firm, and now a company in shambles as it tries to operate with an understaffed IT group trying to pick up the pieces of the esoteric and complex processes that I dealt with everyday for the last few years in my cube.

Packing my belongings from my cube, I find the old reminders of the early days at the company. There is the superball that we used to randomly throw over the cubicle walls hoping that it would land or bounce onto a developer’s keyboard. There is also the small, hollow tube that I used as a blowpipe shooting wads of paper at the other programmers in the office. So, the denouement of my history at this job are the knick-knacks and toys that pack into a simple cardboard box, which I carry with me on my last exit from the building.

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The first group
11:46pm Wednesday 16 July 2008 by rudy

It isn’t true that Sirius doesn’t have any commercials on its programming. They just run their music channels without commercials. And just as well; I was listening to CNN on Sirius when I caught their commercial saying that in conjunction of the impending opening of Mamma Mia the movie, they are for a limited engagement dedicating their channel three to all ABBA all the time. They’re calling it ABBA Radio. I’m in heaven.

ABBA was truly the first musical group I ever listened to and followed. I was sooo young. I’m not even sure how I discovered them, but it likely might have been seeing them on TV after they won the Eurovision Song Contest. I remember walking what must have been miles (alone in those days) to get to a movie theater that doesn’t even exist anymore to watch ABBA: The Movie.

The first full album I ever listened to was ABBA’s Super Trouper; prior to that album it never occured to me to listen to a whole album; I just listened to whatever made the top of the charts on the radio. I discovered The Go-Go’s that way on the radio with their We Got the Beat. Later, I would go back to find Voulez-Vous and other previous albums all the way back to Ring Ring. Unknown to me, the seeds of ABBA’s eventual dissolution were already planted by the time Voulez-Vous was released. I thought they would make music forever. It never occured to me that it would end with The Visitors. After their final album, I kept waiting and waiting for another album, and wondering when another album would be released.

ABBA and The Go-Go’s remain two of my favorite musical groups; there’s a lot of nostalgia in it for me; they remind me of a very carefree and innocent childhood filled with discovery.

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