I Skyped my first wedding on Saturday.
My beautiful niece Elizabeth Selzam got married in the backyard of her parents’ home in Jackson, New Jersey. And I got to watch it live from 7,000 miles away on my MacBook Air.
Because of a choppy connection with Pat’s iPad, I couldn’t hear or see the entire ceremony. However, I could tell from all the beaming faces that it was a wonderful day. I was a little groggy, since the wedding took place at 1:40 in the morning my time, but it was worth staying up for.
Liz and Eamon got their wish for a “bohemian wedding.’’ Eamon wore a charcoal vest, a bow tie and burgundy pants with no jacket. Liz wore what Pat described as a “Grace Kellyish’’ off-white dress with raspberry colored pumps. A sculpture of origami cranes hung behind a loveseat under the tent, and the bride and maid of honor (her sister Emily) wore flowers made from book pages. The wedding aisle was lined with bamboo poles decorated with golden bows.
The couple wrote their own vows and the ceremony was officiated by Liz’s uncle Lou, who got one of those online pastor certificates that allow you to perform legal marriages. (I myself am an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church, a title I obtained by filling out a brief form on the Web. I did this so I could perform the wedding ceremony for my nephew David, though I also enjoy signing my name Rev. Rick Warner.)
Liz, who recently got a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Rutgers, is working at the Princeton Public Library and loving it. Eamon is working in food services at The College of New Jersey and pursuing his dream of becoming a restaurateur. They’re a well-matched couple with similar interests and values, and I’m sure they’re going to have a wonderful life together.
I received what turned out to be a hoax message the other day, telling me that my VPN (Virtual Private Network), which allows me to access websites that are blocked in China, was being shut down by the government.
The message was alarming since I need my VPN to run my blog. Furthermore, the message said that private information about my account was handed over to authorities.
The “Dear customer’’ email, supposedly signed by my VPN’s founder, looked legit and seemed logical since China is always trying to shutter companies that allow users to break through the Great Firewall that blocks sites such as the New York Times, Facebook and YouTube.
In this case, however, it wasn’t true. Even after I got the email, I found I could still use my VPN. Then I read a couple of Internet posts saying the message was fake. Finally, I did a Web chat with a customer service representative who explained that the company’s email database had been hacked.
So for now, at least, I can read the New York Times online, watch YouTube videos and check out friends and family on Facebook. And I can continue to blog about my China experience, which includes an ongoing battle to avoid government censorship.