Tag Archives: one of THOSE nights

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

scooter

San Diego transportation, in style.

I don’t mean to brag, but I just got an 18-pack of Bud Light for $13.69 and BOGO parmesan cheese—I feel a sense of accomplishment. (Also, on Thursday I finished my book just in time for PTI—talk about vacation, right?)

Oh, yeah, and I got my cast off yesterday. (Woooooooo…ew, my body is vile.)

But the biggest accomplishments of this vacation—indeed, the whole point of it—centered on my trip to San Diego. Here are some of the things I did:

  • Sat next to a guy who was even more freaked out about the choppy-droppy flight than I was. (Seriously, he was shaking and twitching.)
  • Negotiated a two-minute layover in ATL. On crutches.
  • Learned  how to use a knee scooter like a skilled, responsible pedestrian.
  • …and then rode it bicycle-style down a hill before Thing 2 pushed me across the street.
Wore a basket.

Wore a basket.

  • Diagnosed the difference between a heat wave in Florida and one in SD. (AC is, apparently, optional in SoCal.)
  • Bought additional shorts and tank tops at Target.
  • Shopped for sugar skulls and socks and shot glasses in Seaport Village, Spanish Art Village, Hillcrest and Ocean Beach.
  • Saw sandcastles!
beaver

Took awesome pictures.

  • Slept with the door open.
  • Did my fantasy football draft in a dark, cool bar at 4 p.m. (Verdict so far? Fuck yeah Wes Welker.)
  • Witnessed a plethora of bananas.
  • Bonded with Thing 2’s friends over football, beer and Intervention.
  • Caught up on My Drunk Kitchen.
Hell yeah dancing bananas.

Hell yeah dancing bananas.

  • Got coffee at five different coffee shops and drinks at 10 different bars in six days.
  • Ate burgers, carbonara, pizza, pigs in blankets, homemade salsa and five different kinds of tacos.
  • Played “Boy Named Sue,” “Doin’ It” and “Brave” with a single jukebox dollar.
  • Danced in a stranger’s apartment.
Wore a pig.

Wore a pig.

    • Skyped with Thing 1 in Raleigh. (With special guest appearance by Captain Slack!)
    • Spent an afternoon/evening brewery-hopping for three different San Diego samplers and some home brew nightcaps.

And now? At long last, wrote a blog.

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Birthday Week Recap

dracula

 

Pretty good birthday week. Generous fam gifts of an end-of-the-month San Diego excursion to visit Thing 2, with a customized tour of SD microbreweries to boot. (Also: Edward Gorey Dracula puzzle. Badass.)

Hit some snags, though, too, in quiet moments. Visits from the Ghost of Birthdays Recent Past.

Also, crutches still suck. A lot.

But Friday afternoon was all about a five-hour fried chicken tour of Sarasota, which ended with a couple pints of Cigar City IPA among super-smart people. Gotta feel pretty accomplished when your job involves stuff like that.

What I’ll write about, though, is Wednesday.

Wednesday involved a pretty fantastic trip to McCurdy’s—free tix for me and six friends (with the usual two-drink minimum). An exceptionally well-run business, they regularly give free tickets to people who’ve signed up for their list, which I did, like…eight years ago? Usually it’s eight free tickets, almost always for birthdays and generally another two or three times a year. I rarely take advantage, but it winds up being great motivation to bring a ton of people in there to spend a shit-ton on booze and snacks. I imagine the comics appreciate the full houses, too.

Work friends and hockey friends and friends with whom I’ve generated countless shenanigans: Dinner at Broadway, laughs at McCurdy’s, after-show drinks at Bahi Hut. Dinner was great—introductions and reunions and food; the comic was great—I don’t want to jinx it, but I’ve never, ever had a bad time with a headliner there; Bahi Hut was…exactly what it’s supposed to be: potent and awesome.

It just felt…good.

Among my most joyous experiences, from childhood on, has been seeing people come together from different parts of my life, and having them enjoy each other. The latter doesn’t always happen, but I feel like, the moments when your friends like your friends…those are the times when your own qualities are multiplied—when you’re liked (or even just tolerated) as a person across a few different planes, and suddenly those planes intersect. And in those moments, all of your different identities—the different persons you become in different places around different people—assemble into a single, liked being.

And you are a social Power Ranger.

That’s actually a pretty self-centered assessment, but whatever: It’s my birthday.

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Saturday Salvation

Last week was unnecessarily crappy, through no one’s fault but my own and my hormones (“thanks,” period). It culminated Friday—short story: I was guilted into going to a luncheon, and then, upon my return, guilted into working late for not getting my work done (because I was at the luncheon). On the one hand: That’s a lose-lose there. On the other hand: I should’ve just agreed to the luncheon weeks ago and not procrastinated on my other stuff.

So 7:30 Saturday morning, I was back at the computer. Finished up around 10 and sent it off to my boss, completely unsure if my rush job was sufficient and half-expecting (as I always do, really) to get back a list of additional work to do on it.

I rode my bike to Publix, bought slightly more than should have, and rode back with a box of rigatoni wind resistance sticking up out of the top of my backpack.

When I checked my email again, I had a note from boss that read, verbatim, “This is awesome! Better than I could have hoped! Thank you so much!” Bless her for her enthusiasm—she knows I’m a special mental case who needs that kind of stuff, and even if she’s overcompensating for my deficiencies, that kind of praise still works wonders on my mood.

I still had to finish up some sidebars, so I spent most of the afternoon on the computer—all the while, friend after Florida friend posted on Facebook about the lovely, lovely weather outside. ‘Nuff said. Around 4, I finished up my work, I put on my bikini top and headed toward the beach with a chair, my Kindle and a G2 bottle filled with mango-vodka smoothie.

saturday salvation

I cannot begin to explain how lovely it was. “Magical”? “Transcendent”? The breeze was just cool enough and the sun just warm enough—like a hypnotic, undulating balance between the two temperatures. After 15 minutes, I was felt like this was not an ordinary kind of unwinding. It was way more than your usual, “The weather is really nice, I’m glad I’m outside, deep breath, ah” kind of relaxation. It was trance-like. I sat there for an hour with nary an impulse to fidget. The usual ways my mind wanders into worry had all been disabled.  It was basically a religious experience. It stuck with me for hours.

And then later that night, Little J and the Deelios came over and we all walked to the beach again and I went to go pee and fell down and got sand in my bum. The end. (Heh.)

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So This is the New Year

I meant for years to put together a New Year’s-themed mix CD, but never got around to it. These are the four songs I can remember from my master list, anyway. Not the cheeriest lot—the holidays do tend to bring out somber reflection, don’t they?—but all songs I like. They all include a certain accuracy about being an introspective, self-deprecating, neurotic adult during the holidays.

“A Long December,” Counting Crows

Always one of my favorites

“Pretty Good Year,” Tori Amos

For when “Long December” doesn’t satisfy your self-pity impulses
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“The Ice of Boston,” The Dismemberment Plan

Even bad New Year’s Eves can be funny, too

(I always recommend not watching the user-made video when listening to a youtube song, but it’s funny how this video includes a pic of the Bolts’ Evgeny Artyukhin getting popped by Chara.)

Also, heh: “…and it’s my mother.”

“The New Year,” Death Cab for Cutie

Acknowledge the day’s not really momentous and then celebrate anyway

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Last Week’s Craziness: Day Three

Saturday: Oh, there’s the soreness.

Awake for sunrise, but surprisingly well rested, as Mr. Deelio marched back and forth preparing a bountiful breakfast: eggs, bacon, sausage, home fries, ciabatta and butter. And coffee—sweet, wonderful coffee.

Thus began a day of idyllic nothingness: bocce on the bayfront. Smoked kielbasa for lunch.

But at 4, the next great adventure had to begin—and the first part of that adventure was finding Clearwater, though I amazed myself by not needing the directions that I had written down and then lost anyway. Found the downtown Residence Inn with nary a wrong turn, and Ma was there to greet me. She’s staying up there for a few weeks as she stage manages a show, and therein lies the magic: Via her association with the theater, she scored two passes to a nonprofit theater support group’s private concert: Counting Crows. A band I’ve been listening to, pretty much nonstop, since high school freshman year. I used to make Ma mixed tapes (shut up and…shut up) featuring Counting Crows songs, and I delighted when she picked out certain favorites. (I remember she loved “I Wish I Was a Girl.”) Not even lying, my eyes got teary just driving in.

So I arrived at the hotel smoky but quickly showered, got dolled up, pregamed and headed out with Ma to meet her current coworkers at the pre-show cocktail party (passing the Church of Scientology Sea Org worldwide headquarters en route, which tickles me in ways that have surely deemed me a heretical Suppressive Person).

Free drinks! Free food! Fun people! (In the end I probably could have used a little less of one of those things, and a little more of another, but this was just the beginning.)

The concert venue was a 466-seat theater, but only 250 or so people had been invited. Seat yourself.  I ought not try to describe the feeling you get when you see in-person a celebrity you actually like—more than just, “Ooh! Famous person!” It’s kind of like…it reminds me of when I was a kid and first saw video of weeping hysterical Beatles fans. I couldn’t fathom what that emotion was. Now, as with when I spotted Joe Montana a couple years ago, I at least know what those Beatles fans felt like before their hormones cranked everything up to 11.

Plus, a venue like that is both loud and intimate—two more things that’ll give you goosebumps. Boom, right into it with “Recovering the Satellites,” and I was captured. Ensorcelled. Transfixed. Knowing all the words to the songs, and Adam Duritz’s…er…unique voice has always made for some of the only songs in existence that I can sing with abandon in my own stunted, nasal tenor.

They even played “Anna Begins,” which has always been among my favorites—and since it’s a non-single from their very first big studio album, there was no guarantee this would have been on the set list. For all the girls names he writes into his songs, this is the closest Duritz ever came to singing a song about Hannah.

This time when kindness falls like rain
It washes her away. And Anna begins to change her mind.
“These seconds when I’m shaking leave me shuddering for days,” she says.
And I’m not ready for this sort of thing.

When even my best experiences are held in check by frightened self-awareness, this one wrapped me in warm fuzzies from the get-go. Aside from the occasional impulse to snap a pic for obligatory posterity (and the regular one-armed bear hugs for Ma), there was not a neurosis to be seen. We even ran down the aisle and danced in the crowd.

It’s like, instead of ending, the night seemed to dissolve right there. This is what we like to call “The Jim Beam Effect.” Whatever came after was part of a different story, separate from the time with the music. I don’t really remember it. I think there were s’mores.

 

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The Olympic Drinking Game

This is based off of something Mrs. Deelio found–I rearranged a little and added a few. More will surely be added as the games (and, let’s face it, the evening) wear on…

New additions in blue (as of 5 p.m., July 28).

One drink:

Didn’t stick the landing

Hideous uniforms

Bitter runners up

“Just a kid from…”

Tears

Celebrity spectator

Athlete beefs it while competing (including falling off gymnastics equipment)

Really funny name

USSR mention

Blood

Sportscaster says something A) ridiculously nationalistic, or B) ridiculously smug about his/her sport

Reference to a non-Olympic sport

Epic collapse from a big lead

Sportscaster makes a funny (ie “[So-and-so] called for the double-touch because she tried to play it off her face.”)

Parent or coach body-English.

Shot:

New world record

High five left hanging

Gymnasts of dubious ages

Fit kid, fat parents

Nordic country wins gold

Learning a new rule about an obscure sport

Any athlete named “Pepe”

Athlete beefs it while not in the act of competing

Horse poops

False start DQ

Bela Karolyi says something nonsensical

Sportscaster gets indignant on behalf of opposing country (ie, “How DARE they call that penalty shot! The referees just GAVE the US the medal!”)

Epic collapse and/or upset in a medal round

Chug:

Compound fracture

Wrong national anthem at medal ceremony

Streaker

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May 5

Happy Cinco de Derby!

The horse/jockey cards (one for each horse in the derby) probably represent about four total hours of work since yesterday evening. (I’m done with the Exacto knife for a while.) Oh yes, the saddle cloth colors are accurate to the gate, and each card includes the horse’s morning line. Put in a dollar and pick a horse; winner gets the pot. (All credit to old Asolo alum Dancing Jim–War Emblem once won me $20 at his place.) All this to be accompanied by mint juleps and the world’s worst collection of crazy hats.

Cheap bourbon and homemade mint simple syrup.

The Deelios and CCB and I are warming up with hockey and corn dogs right now. Looking forward to the arrival of Krazy K and Suzi Q, the ‘Rents and Little J. There’s also free UFC tonight, Mayweather/Cotto (not that we’re paying $60 for that shit, but we’ll keep an eye out for the results), Galaxy/Redbulls and…I dunno, some other stuff.

So, y’know, wish us luck! (I’ve got $5 each on Creative Cause, Daddy Nose Best and Went the Day Well. C’mon, boys, mama needs a new sombrero.)

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