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August 24, 2006

The Band: R. Buzzy

R. Buzzy

We got a lot of compliments on the band at the wedding. Rightly so -- I've been a fan of those guys since I booked Honest Engine (Matt and Phil and wassisname) at the Guru Java Coffeehouse so many years ago. These days Matt and Phil and Paul are R. Buzzy and they're better than ever.

When the guys showed up at the space they warned me that I had booked R. Buzzy, but that they had added Paul's brother Jim on guitar and learned a lot of cover tunes, so I shouldn't expect the same RB I knew and loved. Fortunately, WeddingBandRuthBuzzy rocks just as hard (and as fun) as RegularRuthBuzzy.

Anyway, I wanted to let you know that you can get their last CD, Mission Statement, for the bargain price of $10. Also, the band will be playing a show tonight (Friday, August 24) at Cal's (400 S Wells) and Elbo Room (2871 N Lincoln in Chicago) on Friday, September 22, 2006.

I was sad that I was so busy during the wedding that I couldn't just sit and listen (or dance and listen) to all the stuff the band was playing. After the jump, the complete set list (including all of of Jim's just-for-the-band notes):

Softset - 16x3 = 48min?

People Get Ready – C – together
Book of Love – G – Phil
More – Ab – together
All Over Again – G – together
One Heart 2 Spill – A – Phil
Crazy 4 You – capo 7 – E – together
Aimee – capo 7 – me
Can’t Get it Outta My Head – capo 3 – A –Phil
Here Comes My Baby – D – Matt
Sweet Caroline – capo 2 – E – together
Old Car - __ - ________
Sentimental Lady – capo 4 – hi E str – Ph&J
Driver 8 – E – together
Hold Me Up – E – Matt
Stairway to Sweet Child (B) – Phil
Time After Time – F to C - Phil

Roxette – 20x3 = 60 min?

Come Together – D – all together
White Wedding – harmonics to Bm – me
Caught Up in You – hi E – all together
I Got You Babe – hi E – all together
U Got tha Look – B – all together
Every Kid Knows – D – together [mp3]
I Wn’t Do Anything 4 U – E (to C#) – together
Here Comes Your Man – G – Phil (Tunedown guitar change)
Say It Ain’t So – C#m – Phil
Jailbreak – E - single hit together
Cowboy Song – A (to C#m) – me (regular guitar change – Drop D)
I Think I’m In Love – Phil (tune up from D)
Girl U Want – E – Phil
Vultures and Doves – hi F – together
Sea of Balls – C7/G7 – together
Kiss – flanger hi A open – me
Southern Girls – E – Matt
Come On – E walkup – together
Fire – (A?) – Phil
Porchlight – G - together

August 18, 2006

Why Pirates?

Wedding Pirates

If you looked through the thousands of wedding photos we posted, you may have noticed a recurring image: pirates.

What, you may well ask, is up with that?

It goes like this: Erica has a lot of friends. A lot of close, personal friends. But she didn't want to be one of those Southern Belle brides with eleven hot-pink-clad bridesmaids lined up behind her. So after agonizing over who to ask, she asked Rebecca, Rebecca, and her brother to be her bridal party. She also knew she'd be relying a lot on her friends Leslie and Mel. "They'll be around all the time," she said, "they'll be my... entourage." She also wanted to involve her old Jackson friends Erica and Sara. But they both live in New York now, so they wouldn't be able to be there for a lot of the pre-wedding stuff. "I'm sure they'd be happy to help in any way they can," I said, "They can be wedding pirates and pillage the reception."

Sara and Erica were happy to help out, and their role shifted to something much more like a traditional usher. But we remembered my off-the-cuff remark and when I was making a crayon order from Oriental Trading, I did a search for "pirate" out of curiosity. Holy cow. In a way, we're lucky I showed such remarkable restraint in only getting plastic swords and eye patches and temporary tattoos and gold coins and fake mustaches.

So, we didn't have a pirate-themed wedding, but we did have a pirate accent. And it makes all the sense in the world.

August 16, 2006

Photos from the Post-Wedding Brunch


We knew that on the actual wedding day, we'd get to have 2 minute conversations, at best, with anyone. But we also knew that good friends would be making long journeys to come to the wedding, so we wanted to have a way to spend some time with them. A pretty traditional mechanism to accomplish that goal is a post-wedding brunch. So we started looking into having a brunch somewhere.

And quickly realized that anywhere we actually liked to eat on Sunday morning would already be packed. And we didn't want to go somewhere we didn't actually like. We were getting kinda depressed about our inability to find an appropriate restaurant when the brainstorm hit us -- don't go to a restaurant. We could have a picnic on the lakeshore. It's one of Chicago's best features, we live right near the lake, and we could make everyone tasty sammichs.

And then it rained Sunday morning.

So we had everyone over to our house. I hope no wandered around Foster Beach in the rain, unable to find us. The people who did make it over to our house admirably fulfilled the goal of actual conversation with our far-flung friends. And I took some pictures.

August 15, 2006

Photos by Fuzzy Gerdes


I'd been craving a mid-sized camera for a while -- I have a fancy, but big, camera and a tiny one (most people call it a spy-camera when they see it) that I can carry everywhere, but it doesn't always take the best pictures. I wanted a pack-of-cards sized camera that I could slip in a pocket, but that would have some manual controls so I could take long exposures, etc. All this is to say that Erica gave me a very nice Sony W100 for a wedding present, so I had it in my tuxedo pocket all day and took some shots when I could. I am, in fact, incorrigible.

August 14, 2006

Photos by James Trevenen

Erica and Fuzzy

Here it is -- the big kahuna -- the set of photos by the official photographer, James Trevenen. James took over 800 photos and we were able to whittle it down to a barely manageable 321. (Remember to take water breaks if you try to browse through the whole set.) (But, I figure, if you can't be self-indulgent with your wedding photos, when can you?)

I'm guessing that these will be the ones that friends and family will want prints of, so here's how you get copies:

  • Sign up for a free Flickr account, if you don't already have one, and then when you view pictures in the set (or any of my pictures, for that matter) you'll see a button labeled "order prints" along the top of the photo. You can have the prints shipped to you or pick them up at a local Target.
  • Or, drop me a line and I'll burn you a DVD (or several CDs) of all the wedding pictures and you can do whatever you like with them -- get prints made at your local photoshop or Walgreens, use them as your desktop wallpaper, etc.
  • Or, if you really can't figure out how any of that works, there's a number in parentheses under each of the pictures in that set. Let me know the numbers and I'll send you prints.

Easy enough? Yay!

August 10, 2006

Photos by Kate O'Leary

Kate O'Leary, my Best Person, has posted a set of blurry (her word) photos from the wedding.

August 9, 2006

Photos by Don Gerdes


Here's a set of photos from my dad that starts at the rehearsal dinner on Friday night, goes through the wedding, and then continues with the post-wedding brunch we had on Sunday.

August 8, 2006

Photos by Rebecca Rine-Stone


Years ago, I coached Rebecca Rine-Stone (back when she was just Rebecca Rine) in an improv group at The Playground. Years ago, Erica and Rebecca got so tired of people asking if they were sisters that they wrote a two-woman sketch comedy show about it. Last week, Rebecca did all the flower arrangements for our wedding AND was in Erica's bridal party. And still had time to take some lovely behind-the-scenes pictures.

Photos by Karl Ahlrichs


That "everyone has their own digital camera" paradigm I mentioned? My cousin Karl, award-winning photographer and former stringer for the AP, subverted that notion by bringing his own disposable camera and handing it to me as he headed out the door. I present you with the entire set of 23 images, unedited, to give you the flavor of one person's experience of our wedding day.

The Coloring Book

When I went out to the Phoenix Improv Festival this last April, one of the nifty things in our welcome bags was a coloring book featuring work by members of Phoenix improv groups illustrating all the visiting groups. When Erica and I were thinking of what kind of wedding favor we'd like to give our guests, we thought of the coloring book. We deciding to ask our many artistically-talented friends (and nepotisically, ourselves) to draw pictures of, or inspired by, us.

Our friends blew us away. So many wonderful drawings. Such creativity. So many cakes.

If you didn't get a copy at the wedding, I'll be posting the pictures after the jump. Or you can download a copy: if you just want to look at the pictures, here's a 6.5 MB PDF. If you want to print out your own copy, here's a different 6.5 MB PDF with the pages in the right order for printing on both sides of letter paper and then folding into a half-size booklet.

And now, on to the pictures:

Wedding Coloring Book

The cover for the coloring book features two illustrations by my niece, Amelia Gollub. Amelia also did an illustration for my sister Jeanne's save-the-date cards.

Wedding Coloring Book

Scotto Starkey was in the first improv group I ever performed with and had a comic strip in the Purdue Exponent for a couple of years. These days he does some nifty game design and illustrations for other people's games.

Wedding Coloring Book

Kate O'Leary is my best friend-who-is-a-girl-and-not-my-wife (and in fact, was my Best Person in the wedding). Kate's work is all over this wedding -- she also illustrated the invitations and the thank-you cards.

Wedding Coloring Book

Noah Ginex did three coloring book pictures and they were so good we had to include them all. This page is slightly inaccurate: Erica does like to dance, but she really likes to sleep. The illustration was inspired, Noah says, by his song Dance Myself to Sleep, which can be heard in episode 4 of his podcast.

Wedding Coloring Book

This one is by Dan Henrick, Kate's boyfriend, and features us as Don't Spit the Water comedians: me as Morty Applebaum, Ukeleleist, and Erica as Cutie Bumblesnatch.

Wedding Coloring Book

Erica's childhood friend Melissa Dixon, a designer with Blufish Design, turned in what was chronologically the first of three cake illustrations.

Wedding Coloring Book

Another Noah Ginex picture. Erica's head does look remarkably like a tomato.

Wedding Coloring Book

Tommy Cannon is an improvisor, cartoonist, puppeteer, and animator from Phoenix.

Wedding Coloring Book

Erica's brother, Christopher Reid, drew this action-packed activity page. Christopher works exclusively in Quark Xpress' built-in illustration tools, which is pretty impressive if you know how terrible those tools are. You can check out more of Christopher's work in his full-length comic-book.

Wedding Coloring Book

Another, and awesome, Noah Ginex. We're both Indiana Jones, Parker is Willie Scott, Mustapha is Short Round, and Latte is Sean Connery (that is, Professor Henry Jones). And Erica, like Indiana Jones, really does hate snakes.

Wedding Coloring Book

This one is by Erica, and comes from a time when she had drawn a Delicious Mexican Pastry in her notebook to try and illustrate to someone the kind of DMPs we had gotten from a Panaderia up near our friend the McSchnits. I added the smile to make it a picture of a FLS.

Wedding Coloring Book

My brother Disco did this very stylish one. A number of people have asked what kind of fashion design training he has. The answer is "a math degree".

Wedding Coloring Book

El Rey is an internet friend of mine and I've been a collector of his work for some time (I was in his El Año del Rey picture-a-month club, which helped kick start my collection) and he was gracious enough to take out from packing up for a cross-country move to do this Kirby-energy-field inspired number.

Wedding Coloring Book

This is exactly what goes on in my heart when I look at Erica. Exactly.

Wedding Coloring Book

I also had the idea of doing a page of paper dolls, but Dan Henrick's design turned out about 5000% better than mine would have been. Maybe 6000% better. Look at the little expressions on the cats' faces!

Wedding Coloring Book

The back cover of the coloring book was provided by my nephew, Jake Gollub. Jake already realizes that the number one job of an artist is self-promotion. My dad says this piece reminds him of a Peter Max.

Photos by Alex Farlow


In the olden times of the 90s, clever people would set out disposable cameras so that their wedding guests could capture the experience of the wedding from a dozen different prespectives. Here in the aughts, I assumed (correctly, I think) that a significant proportion of our guests would be bringing their own digital cameras. So I asked in the wedding program for people to send us (via email or on CD) copies of the pictures they took. Some people made it even more immediate and just handed me their memory cards at the brunch on Sunday to copy.

So here's photos from the first of those on-the-ball-friends, Alex Farlow. Thanks, Alex.

Photos by Christopher and Katie Reid

Christopher and Erica

If you followed the link to Erica's brother Christopher's extensive post about the wedding below, you'll have already seen some of these pictures, but I wanted to highlight that he has a nice set of pictures that he and his wife, Katie, took during the wedding weekend.

August 7, 2006

Mrs. Erica Gerdes

Erica decided to change her name. I was going to write a big thing about all the things we discussed when she told me she wanted to change her name, but our friends Deb Downing and Pete Grosz have already written something that encompasses our exact feelings.

PETE: I guess it's because no one has ever changed her name for me before. And because, very simply, I always assumed that you wouldn't change your name. Besides, I fell in love with Deb Downing. Who the hell is Debra Grosz? I don't want some strange chick in my bed. Wait a second... scratch that.

Our Ceremony

The text of the ceremony was a collaboration between ourselves and Sara McGuire, our officiant. We all got together and looked at structures of traditional weddings and decided what was important to us (e.g. making promises to each other) and what wasn't (say, having a separate declaration of our intention to get married). Sara came up with a draft ceremony and then Erica and I traded emails further refining it. And this is what we came up with:

Welcome family, friends, and fans of these two most wonderful people, Erica Reid and Fuzzy Gerdes. We’re all gathered here for their wedding. Erica and Fuzzy’s marriage will ultimately depend on them, but a marriage is strongest when it has the support and encouragement of the couple’s family and community.

David and Tricia, do you offer your support and blessing to Erica and Fuzzy?

David and Tricia:
We do

Don and Rachael, do you offer your support and blessing to Erica and Fuzzy?

Don and Rachael:
We do

Those gathered here today, if you would offer your support and blessing to Erica and Fuzzy, chime in with a “we do” now.


Those of you who have chairs can now be seated.
(At this time chair is placed for Sara, and Erica and Fuzzy and Sara switch places)

Mawridge. Mawridge is what bwings us togewver. (Pause for laughter.) Marriage is a solemn vow between two people, a religious ceremony and a civic event. But it is not just those things, it is also a celebration of love and friendship. It is the rolling laughter for no apparent reason, the prick of tears from the swelling of heart, and the joining of two souls to create something new, a kind of love that has never existed before these two people met. WE are here today to say Yes, it is there. Yes, it is yours, and yes the sky is full of dreaming for you. Marriage is a bond between two, a joining of families, and a celebration of all that is joy.

And what two better people to show us the expression of love and friendship. People who can talk very seriously about monkeys, pirates, and ancient celebrations all in the same breath and none are surprised that the conversation makes absolute sense. People who feel so deep that they are overwhelmed by tears, and in the next moment can make you laugh so hard that you are crying! People like Erica and Fuzzy. Let me speak for everyone here when I say we are honored to know you, love you deeply, appreciate you for who you and are proud to be here today.

So. Y’all are ready for this now right? Lets make some promises, and exchange vows and rings. Erica, are there any promises you’d like to make to Fuzzy?

My dearest Fuzzy, from this day forward I choose you to be my beloved husband. To live with you, laugh with you, stand by your side, and sleep in your arms. I promise to support you in every way, to encourage you, and to do my best to make all of your dreams come true. I will be faithful to you always, and love you with all of the love in my heart and soul. You are my best friend and my greatest love, and I am excited to see what the future holds for us. Together, we can do anything and everything! I love you so much.

Fuzzy, are there any promises you’d like to make to Erica?

My sweet Erica, from this day forward I choose you to be my beloved wife. To live with you, laugh with you, stand by your side, and sleep in your arms. I promise to support you in every way, to encourage you, and to do my best to make all of your dreams come true. I will be faithful to you always, and love you with all of the love in my heart and soul. You are my best friend and my greatest love, and I am excited to see what the future holds for us. Together, we can do anything and everything! I love you the most.

Can we have the rings? (The best lady and dude of honor bring forward the rings.) Rings are a perfect symbol for perfect love and devotion, having neither beginning nor end.

Do you accept this ring as my promise?

I do

Do you accept this ring as my promise?

I do

Your feet shall dance because of the other, your eyes will open and see a new world because of the other, your minds think, your hearts leap, your laughter boom, and your souls know love, because of the other.

At this time, in front of God, your family and friends, by the power of YOUR love, and by the authority vested in me by Dorothy Brown, the Clerk of Cook County, I now pronounce you husband and wife.

Y’all can kiss now.

Accounts of our wedding have been greatly exaggerated

While we get our wedding memories and photos in order, other people have written about the day and so you can read what they've had to say...

Christopher Reid (and a picture)
Devin Savage
Faelyn McGuire
Justin Kaufmann
Katie Waldie Reid
Margaret Hicks
Trent Wilson
Tricia Reid (and more and more)

August 6, 2006

We're back

We're back from our honeymoon. Hundreds of pictures and all sorts of weddingalia to come. For tonight, I've got a terrible cold and so I'll leave you with the news that we weren't the only ones who got married July 29, 2006.