Love, latte, licorice pizza

Weddings all around; and kickin’ it in S.F. at Starbucks and Amoeba Records

Man on man on cake.

Man on man on cake.

Harmonious and ceremonious and delirious
Her name is Linda Beck. She was in charge of getting a groom, five groomsmen, a bride, her five bridesmaids and the couple’s parents orchestrated in the event that has been dubbed the happiest day of one’s life.

It was almost 100 degrees on the day of the rehearsal. We were relaxing at the Saddle Creek Resort, a green oasis with a massive golf course in what is otherwise a desolate sea of brown grass in an old mining town called Copperopolis. We were there. And we were listening to Linda Beck, dressed in a pair of fuschia polyester pants and a matching shortsleeved sweater. She was a cross between a drill sergeant and a person who had eaten a plateful of pot brownies—annoyed with someone for a misstep one second, laughing heartily at her own jokes the next (oh, to be in her head for just one day).

I actually didn’t envy her at all. Being a wedding planner has got to be one of the most stressful jobs: dealing with the family who wants things just perfect, which usually includes some family tradition that must be adhered to. The happiest day of one’s life must be perfect … and stressful.

Still, my brother’s wedding went like many other weddings I’d been to before—a whole lot of stress until the big day, when everyone sort of just gives up and realizes that whatever happens will happen and that the important thing is that the two people involved love each other. Besides, aren’t the vows and ceremony just a technicality leading up to the reception?

That said, the ceremony was beautiful, and despite a restless nephew wandering around the altar, things went extremely smoothly. Congrats, you crazy kids!

Gay means happy
As I write this, I’m sitting in a Starbucks in San Francisco, sipping an iced vanilla latte, sucking the free Wi-Fi, occasionally people watching and/or eavesdropping, and chatting with a nice couple from Spain (must … keep … on … track).

Here I am, fresh from a very hetero wedding, in the city that has been abuzz about gay marriage since it became legal in California. In the spirit of weddings and happiness, I refrained from bringing up the topic this weekend … although wearing a “Homophobia is Hella Gay” T-shirt might’ve been fun.

Happiest place on Earth?
While conservatives are reeling from the fact that two people of the same sex can now enter holy matrimony, we in Chico (OK, a select few dweebs like myself) are dealing with our own problem: There is not a single record store in this town (besides the oh-so-specialized Melody). It stinks, I tell you.

So when I leave town, I must gorge on music shops. Of course, I spent an afternoon at Amoeba Records, and a friend turned me on to a brilliant little shop in El Cerrito (near Berkeley) called 33 Revolutions. The coffee shop/record store opened two months ago, and has a decent selection of vinyl and coffee drinks.

It’s slowly growing as vinyl addicts are bringing in their records for sale and for trade (right now it’s heavy on the jazz, although I was pleased to see a copy of Nothing People’s new Anonymous record). The owners are also looking to get a liquor license and add live music to the venue. It’s great concept.

Could something like that work in Chico? Dunno. I can’t fathom the fact that a town like Chico can’t sustain one record store, but has some 10 tattoo parlors. It’s a head-scratcher.

Coffee shop rock
The Old 97’s are playing in a little while at the Fillmore. I’m getting antsy. The least Starbucks can do is crank some of their tunes (the band is on the corporate coffee conglomerate’s current playlist). So far I’ve heard only jazz.

How’s a guy supposed to get amped up for a rock show while typing a column with cool jazz in the mix? Wait, I know! I will walk out the door. See you next week.

Nothing People watching