I made it back from Canada. It was freezing. The trip was actually way better than expected. Everyone was exactly as I had remembered them. I picked up some new Yiddish words like Kvetch (to complain) and Billabous (must mean housekeeper because my grandmother kept calling me that as I cleaned the kitchen after dinner - this is a high complement over there). Anyhow, this trip was a festival of Judaism like I have never known (not that I've ever known much). Angelo met about 100 cousins for the first time, ranging in ages from 3 to 90 yrs. old (very unlike some of his other relatives which include an ex-con uncle and Auntie Chola who rolls up in a low-rider on hydraulics with her 3 kids in the back). My grandparents both had about a dozen siblings each (old world style), most of them are not around anymore but the number of resulting offspring is daunting. The wedding was like a celebration out of a modern day Fiddler on the Roof and the feverish dancing of men and women in separate circles totally blew Angelo's mind. My cousin looked super happy and her husband seems really nice, they're a cute couple. I was super into seeing everyone dance dance dance and I joined the ladies circle for a bit and improvised my folk-style moves, I don't think anyone noticed. The whole thing may have blown anyone's mind that hadn't ever been to real Jewish wedding before, not that I have but I've seen Fiddler on The Roof enough times.
Celebrations on my mother's side (the Nicaraguan side) of the family are an entirely different sort of party. My brother's wedding had a mariachi band, salsa dancing (no celebration is complete without this), rounds of tequila being passed around, he and his wife danced to Suavecito, and certain guests and in-laws never even took off their locs.
Btw, the Albert Camus audiobook was rad. His style appears to be super simple but it's totally intentional and I'm sure most of you have probably read it in school or something but I didn't because I was too busy being a rebellious and delinquent teenager at the time and figured I'd read it later so I won't bore you with the storyline. So I guess I can cross that book off my list now. It would be interesting to see the Cliff Notes on this one. If you still have them, send them to me and I mail them back to you. The address is on the Busy-Being homepage.