I’m trying to reconstruct last night based on the contents of my pockets, which include a bunch of Irish email addresses written on a coaster and a CD of a bar band that I vaguely remember getting after tipping the band $40. There was waaaay more beer involved than was probably smart (I should have known better than to drink with a couple from Ireland), but it was a classic evening. Chuck Chi was Irish step dancing with a sixty year old Asian woman in a straw hat, Aaron actually tried to use the line “I’m broke and I’m cheap, but I’m a good guy”, there was (earlier in the day) a chow-mein reuben combo at the Bellagio buffet, and vastly more silliness than I’ve experienced in years.
Drove through the night Wednesday, arriving home at 3:00 AM Thursday morning. Five and a half hours later Aaron woke me up for the Turkey Bowl, which is the annual football game held at “Aaron Field”. Herrod showed up wearing the helmet cam 2.0, an improvement over the prior helmet cam which had survived only long enough to record Aaron tackling Herrod followed by the helmet flying across the field before shutting down. This time around the video camera was triple taped to the helmet, a chin strap was added, and tons of bubble wrap was used. The video was fun to watch, but next year’s version is going to need some steady-cam action to reduce viewer naseau.
The joys of one touchdown and knocking Miner senseless during a kickoff return were lessened when I misunderstood what the option play was and tossed a perfect strike to Junior, who took the interception back for a touchdown. Our Thanksgiving eating contest followed several hours later, but when Aaron weighed out with a net seven pound weight gain I conceded. Scott stayed in, chugging water for all he was worth and holding on gamely for second.
Sleep, beautiful sleep. Also scanned in a few more pictures from my 1999 trip to the Galapagos.
Skip and I went into the city, hitting up Woo’s for the standard barbecue pork rice noodle rolls and won ton. After a bit more roaming we returned home, and once Aaron was off work we headed out. Ping pong and pool at Masse’s was thwarted by a five dollar cover charge, but a good time was still had by all.
Wanting to avoid traffic I started on the road at 11:30 Saturday night, and drove to Monterey where I planned to get a few hours of sleep in the K-Mart parking lot. Unfortunately the local police were out in force, and while watching them pull over a girl and run her through a sobriety test another cop snuck in behind me and demanded to know what I was up to. When I told him I was watching this girl being forced to touch her nose and stand on one leg he lost it a bit, but once he was done laughing I was on my way down highway one. Finally got a few hours of sleep on a turnout along the ocean, and then spent the day moseying south along the most beautiful road in America. Stopped for an hour or two to say hello to the elephant seals, and finally got back to Los Angeles late in the afternoon.
I’m not quite sure how best to describe the events of the past weekend. There was Aaron and Colonel Streule bumping and grinding on the dance floor while their girlfriends pretended not to know them. There was mud football and mud lacrosse, sleepwalking (“There’s a floor! And a carpet!”), grilled sausage with onions and peppers, near-debauchery with a girl whose name rhymed with Denali, and an ugly Browns game. And of course there was the 750 mile round-trip drive. I’m ready to move back to the Bay Area now.
Busy lately. Flew home for Christmas, and after covering the house in lights celebrated with the family — my brother got me a Bernie Kosar jersey, which is probably the greatest gift anyone who grew up in Cleveland could ever hope to get. If you can imagine Aaron and I in 1986 wearing dog masks and singing “Bernie, Bernie” (to the tune of “Louie, Louie”) then you can understand the beauty of this gift. Jenn came through with a three liter bottle of Heineken that was immediately dubbed “the Christmas miracle” so it was a joyous Noel.
Flew back to LA Christmas night, then drove back up to the Bay Area for the weekend to move some things and visit the family again. Drove to Las Vegas for New Year’s to meet some friends, and ended up spending New Year’s day with the worst hangover I’ve had in years — Banick and Kalyan always manage to make it a memorable occasion when we all get together. While New Year’s eve included fireworks on the Strip, being hit on by hookers, and watching friends lose $200 in less than fifteen minutes while playing blackjack, the highlight had to be when I eventually trusted my balance enough to attempt a trip to the casino restroom, only to hear someone say “Be careful, he’s been drinking” as I was passing by. I might be getting too old to be doing that sort of thing, but it was still fun.
After New Years I drove back to LA, worked two days, then did a mad dash up to San Francisco (375 miles), back down to Las Vegas (600 miles), and eventually home to LA (300 miles). The buffet at the Bellagio and the silhouettes of dancers in cowboy hats at Shadow Bar competed with the image of Banick too drunk to sit up straight (“Holliday, help me get my face off of the table”) as the highlight of this Vegas trip. Now I’m dead tired and back at work, but the plan for next weekend is to stay in my room and hopefully have nothing more taxing to do than lie in bed so with luck I’ll be ready to do it all again in a couple more weeks.
It struck me last night that Christmas is practically here, and suddenly all I can think about is getting home on Tuesday night and stringing lights all over the house with my brother, then spending Wednesday with the family laughing as we go through the annual gift exchange. I’m going to be an absolute cyclone of Christmas energy by the time the plane lands Tuesday night.
Aside from holiday joy the last few days have been relatively uneventful. The weekly running mileage was slightly over sixty, and that’s the first time in my life that I’ve done so much. I’m still not in the shape I was in during college, but I can feel myself getting there. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to run under six minute mile pace again, or to actually feel good after running ten miles. Life is treating me very well at the moment — hopefully everyone else is filled with a similar amount of joy during this holiday season.
The discovery of champagne and margaritas for $2.75 near Union Square was a dangerous one, but it did lead to some good times with the Goob and Jenn. Drinks were followed up by a tree lighting with Leah, Nish, and several thousand other people, but since they seemed to be doing everything but lighting the tree we escaped to Sam Woo’s for egg rolls and won ton before parting ways with a group hug at the BART station. Happy times.
The annual Thanksgiving eating contest went horribly wrong this year, resulting in Aaron winning through disqualification. The final weigh-in stood near five pounds gained before the infraction took place. Also of note is that when we discovered Aaron’s list of things that make him happy (written when he was in the sixth grade), “my brother” came in fourth from last, well behind “donuts” and “when my mom gets home from the grocery store”.
Went to the Rolling Stones concert at Pac Bell last night with the Goob (my brother), the Jenn (the Goob’s girlfriend), and Peaches (Peaches). Excellent concert — I was singing and dancing the whole way through, as was most of the crowd. Folks ranged in age from twenty-somethings to sixty-somethings, including an older lady in front of us who was absolutely jamming from the first song onwards.
Today has been spent hanging out with the family, which is awesome. My brother absolutely rules — he and I were running in the mud at Concord High track tonight and we spent the entire time trying to outdo one another before practically collapsing at the end of the workout. If only I could convince the rest of the Holliday clan to move to Alaska with me life would be absolutely perfect.