The Two Day Lease

I am officially about to become a landlord. My first tenant is set to move into the spare room in my apartment tonight or tomorrow. The circumstances of my sudden venture into real estate are not typical, but I’m trying to be as professional and organized as possible given the situation.

True, you could say that a friend is just crashing at my crib for a few nights while his new apartment is being renovated, but that would take a lot of the fun out of it.

For instance, I couldn’t call him and leave messages as his landlord, pestering him to sign the two-day lease I’ve drafted up, calling our other mutual friends or should I say his “references” and asking them about his financial situation. And I wouldn’t be able to do a walk-though of the room with him, asking that he note all the wear and tear so that it doesn’t come out his damage deposit later. After all, a tenant has certain rights and I don’t want to be caught in a bind when it’s nearing midnight and he is listening to music a little too loud and I can’t sleep. I want to be able to tell the officers that knock on his door that I specifically stated in the lease that the apartment quiet hours are between 11pm and 8am.

Listen, this might sound harsh, but who is the one taking on the responsibility that we have running water for those two days, a working refrigerator, and a solid roof over our heads. That’s right– me, DA, Mr. Bring-Home-the-Bacon Landlord. And I don’t take kindly to young punk kids who think just because we have been friends since “7th grade” they can milk me for a free weekend’s accommodation. So just sign your John Hancock on this here two-day lease and I promise not to raise the rent on you until Sunday!

A Nice Day for a White Wedding

First and foremost, I regret that this post took so long to find it’s way on Zillionaire. Truthfully, I was actually forbidden from writing about our wedding, as Jeannette didn’t want my sad attempts at humor to detract from The Best Man’s thoughtful and glowing piece about our wedding. Apparently I had unwittingly forfeited my first amendment rights somewhere in our wedding vows. I just hope I didn’t lose my right to habeas corpus… that would really be devastating. Anyway, with the help of some human rights groups, my right to freedom of speech has been restored, and here are some post wedding thoughts…

The festivities kicked off on Thursday night with a big crab barbecue followed by a drunken bonfire on the beach. Earlier in the evening, Ryan had been casually introduced to my family as the minister performing our ceremony. During the bonfire it was pretty hilarious watching my aunts raise their eyebrows as he nonchalantly broke about 7 Commandments in the span of 15 minutes. At one point, he began alternating chugs of beer, puffs on his cigar, and guzzling tequila straight from the bottle. Finally, Kim approached me to voice her concern.

Kim: “Where did you find this guy?”
Me: “Oh, don’t worry, he promised he’d be sober during our ceremony.”

Of course, I eventually explained that Ryan wasn’t a real minister; he was a friend of mine that had been ordained online, specifically to perform our wedding ceremony. And thusly, as an e-minister, his behavior would be as unregulated as the Internet itself.

In all seriousness though, not enough has been made about Ryan’s amazing job as our minister. Honestly, I can’t imagine anyone delivering a better performance. Looking back, I’m glad I tuned out that little voice in my head (common sense) and opted for Ryan’s services. These are some actual excerpts from an email I sent Julie back in December when I was deliberating over whether to ask Ryan to do the job.

My Email to Julie:
“carba, i’m debating something possibly insane:
we are having a hard time finding a person to perform the marriage ceremony. since neither of us belongs to a church it is somewhat problematic… the idea being floated right now, brace yourself, is to have ryan become an online minister and perform the ceremony…”

Julie’s Response: “yes you are insane. however, if anyone could do it you are right, ryan could.”

And as they say, the rest is history. It was easily the best decision we made in regards to the wedding. In fact, after his stellar performance, Ryan was asked by an engaged couple attending our wedding to conduct their ceremony as well. Several of our guests approached me wondering which congregation he led. I generally responded as follows…

My Reaction (suppressing a laugh): “Sorry, he’s not the leader of a church… However, I do know of a few bars he’s a regular at…”

The biggest surprise during our ceremony was the fact that my wife managed to make it through without crying. Knowing her, it wasn’t a matter of whether she’d cry, but rather how many Brawny paper towels would be needed to absorb the waterworks. To fully comprehend this stunning turn of events, you need to understand the emotional geyser that I live with. For instance, my wife can unfailingly be found in tears whenever she watches The Lifetime Channel, The Gilmore Girls, and even Applebee’s commercials. (You know the one I’m talking about, where the Applebee’s waitress asks the retiring basketball coach to help her hang a picture in their restaurant. Unbeknownst to the coach, it is really a picture of him celebrating his coaching legacy… Go ahead, get some Kleenex…)

Of course, when something truly sentimental occurs, like our wedding day, my wife is somehow able to summon a poker face that would make Johnny Chan fold pocket aces. I remember standing opposite her, reading my vows, just waiting for an emotional meltdown. Half of her bridesmaids were crying, yet, she maintained her countenance. Honestly, I’ve seen cigar-store Indians convey more emotion.

At first I didn’t give it a second thought, but on our honeymoon “Old Faithful” was back to her old self. We had HBO in our hotel suite, and we happened to catch the last ten minutes of “Spiderman” and Disney’s “The Rookie” one night. Jeannette cried at each. I just shook my head in disbelief.

Even I was truly astonished by what happened at the end of our honeymoon. On the return flight from Cancun to Philadelphia, they showed the movie “Johnson Family Vacation,” starring Cedric the Entertainer and ‘Lil Bow Wow. Obviously, this movie is hardly a tearjerker. I opted to read a book during the flight, but my wife couldn’t resist slapping on the airline headphones. There happened to be a lot of people on this particular flight that absolutely loved this movie. In fact, our airplane closely resembled a night at the Apollo Theater, as passengers erupted with laughter and fell out of their seats with every pelvic-thrusting gyration dance that Cedric would perform.

Apparently, at the end of the movie, the Johnson family pulled together and resolved their differences in heartwarming fashion during their family picnic. I glanced over, and Jeannette had tears running down her cheeks. To reiterate, Jeannette managed to cry at a movie featuring Cedric the Entertainer and ‘Lil Bow Wow, but not at our wedding. Unbelievable.

Here’s the final twist in this saga… We recently got our wedding pictures developed. Jeannette can look at a mere snapshot of us reciting our wedding vows, and unfailingly cry on command. It’s uncanny.

With that off my chest, I’d like to discuss a moment that will never be spoken of again. I’m not sure exactly how these events transpired, but through hypnosis I’ve been able to piece this together from a bunch of repressed memories. I was dancing with Jeannette on our wedding night, when Jonas sauntered over and asked to “cut in.” As a gentleman, I happily obliged. To my chagrin, Jonas used this opportunity to slow dance with me. Thankfully, it didn’t last long, as his only intention was to violate me on the dance floor. Jonas pulled me in close, spun me around so my back was to the crowd and then began exaggerated groping for the amusement of our wedding guests. With both hands, Jonas kneaded my butt cheeks like he was working pizza dough. (I extend my sincerest apologies for providing that mental image.)

Finally, one bonus wedding memory…
Perhaps the highlight of the evening occurred on the dance floor sometime after midnight. About twenty people had formed a circle on the dance floor, clapping and cheering as individuals took turns in the middle showcasing their best dance moves. Soon, it became apparent that this was evolving into a competition. Like the conclusion of so many classic 80’s movies, I can’t tell you how pleased I was to see that our wedding would end in a dance-off.

Several people took turns in the middle, but it was clear this battle royale would come down to two heavyweights. Cage went first, delving into classic 80’s dance moves, executing a flawless Moonwalk and concluding the move with the Robot. Krusty wasted little time, marching onto the dance floor and performing his signature move. Dropping down into the splits, he went forward, backward, and down the middle, all to the rhythm of the music. Cage could sense Krusty was a worthy adversary, so he countered with his best move: The Worm. And with it, the gauntlet had been thrown down.

Everyone now turned to Krusty. “How could he top that?” the crowd wondered in unison. Krusty and I made eye contact. He nodded assuredly, as if to say, “Normally I wouldn’t do this, but since it’s your wedding…”

And then it happened. Krusty trotted into the middle, steadily gathering the requisite speed needed to perform a HEADSPIN on the dance floor. Jaws dropped. The floor creaked. His spine contorted, but did not give way to paralysis. It was an amazing spectacle to behold. I’ve known Krusty for a long time, and have witnessed some pretty spectacular feats, but I had no idea he could break dance. I haven’t talked to him about it, but I like to think that he spent months undergoing rigorous break dancing lessons so that he could bust out a headspin on my wedding night. These are the kind of wedding gifts you just can’t register for…

Finally, thank you to all who came to celebrate the best day this Zillionaire has ever had. Paraphrasing my wedding toast, “I’ve got the greatest family and the greatest friends anyone could ever hope for…”

Here are a few sites with some various wedding pics, enjoy. And thanks to those individuals that took the pics and maintain the sites…

Ryan Alexander
Matt Dyk
Internet Zillionaire (DA)

Don’t Make Me Puke

Dear Matt and Jeannette,

I’ve known you two for a long time and I’ve always felt like you two were a great match. True, there have been some ups and downs, but I think you both came to realize that it is your similarities and differences which makes your relationship thrive. You both love to laugh and almost more importantly, love to make each other laugh. You both challenge each other to grow, think, and explore all the boundless opportunities that life has to offer. On behalf of everyone that attended your spectacular wedding, I say congratulations on a near perfect night and a huge thank you for letting us taste the joy and happiness that you two radiated.

The night had the best of both worlds, a truly romantic marriage ceremony where your honest, heart-felt vows echoed not only in our hearts but carried out over the blue waves and the green hills of the San Juans. I think I saw two seagulls mating out of the corner of my eye as you two exchanged words. Love was really in the air. I am a cynical, cold-hearted bastard and even I almost cried when I stopped figiting and listened to the lyrics of the song that you had chosen to be played. “One, two, three, four, he counts the steps… but it doesn’t really help, he still steps on her toes.” It’s so weird how a song written by someone else for some other purpose was so perfect for the two of you, for right then. Ryan did a tremendous job showing you two off and conducting the ceremony as well, a nice blend of personal and formal, religious and non-sectarian. Seriously, coming from me, that is a huge compliment.

And the night was capped with one of the funnest dance parties I’ve ever been too. Young and younger graced the dancefloor with a carefree attitude, the mark of a true celebration. The reception was just that, a grand opportunity to celebrate as family and friends, to reconnect, to let go of the some of the worries, insecurities, and problems that isolate us all from time to time, to let loose and have fun. So many weddings get bogged down in making sure all the details are taken care of, but lose sight of the real reason for the gathering. I can honestly say you two did both marvelously. I think that speaks volumes for the life you two will share together.

Your friend,

ps. Although your vows and promises to each other were beautiful, I think you didn’t hit on a few things that might be pertinent. I would add:

Matt (pointing to xbox): Do you Jeannette, take this xbox to be your nemesis, in sickness and in health, for as long as you shall live?
Jeannette: I do.

Jeannette: Do you Matt, accept this vice on your gonads attached to this remote control that I have in my hand, for as long as you shall live?
Matt: (pauses… then doubles over in pain) I do! I do! I do!