Monday, April 24, 2006

Running on empty II [Revisited part II]

-The Introduction of One Logan's Dave to his newest nephew, LJ-

So, after trying like hell to recover from the night before and lunch at Davanni's, which seemed to do the trick, we (L, Gabriel and I) trekked over to my father's house to meet my nephew LJ. LJ, of course, is not his real name, LJ is my name for him. He is a quiet, docile 6-month old bundle of baby. LJ loves music and sound, so, as I was playing with him on my dad's living room floor, I made it a point to sing Johnny Cash and certain Pogues songs to him, for which he smiled, drooled, and gurgled at me in thanks and delight. Needless to say, he's fun.

As I continued to play with LJ, L wanted to know if my dad had any photo albums of me as a child. She and I have known each other for 12 years or so, and she was understandably inquisitive. Sure enough, my dad has been working on scanning in all these old pictures, so both he and my mother can each have their own set of our family's pictures. She really wanted to make fun of me for being so skinny when I was in high school.

Anyways. Dad and I talked and LJ climbed all over me, trying to get the strings of my hoodie to chew on. This was a fun game, as he's quite the climber, and I'm quite the jungle gym. I'd say he was a big hit with me, and I was a big hit with him. I get the feeling that when LJ is older, I might be in the running for favorite uncle. Then again, he's only got two right now, so there's not a lot of competition.

Later that evening, we went to the Tavern on Grand, home of, in my opinion, the greatest french fries in the universe, for dinner with a couple of my high school friends, one of them found a rather subtle and ingenious way of telling me she was pregnant. As we were all exhausted from the previous night and the rather packed day, we elected to not have a crazy night out. We bought some beer and chilled out at home.

-The Amazing New House and Bike-
My brother and his wife just bought a house in scenic Northfield, MN. This was, of course, the primary reason for my trip, but the move was all but taken care of before my plane even touched down, so my responsibilities were now reduced to helping my brother buy a new bike. Last year on our MS Ride, he ride the heaviest bike on the team (he's on the right in this picture), which caused him numerous problems and great exhaustion. He needed a new bike, so the family and I got together and put in some cash for a new bike. I, being the big brother that I am, took him out and found him something relatively cheap and good enough that he'll be more successful and comfortable on this year's ride.

His new house is wonderful, too. It has some history to it as well. The first freed slave to live in Northfield rented out my brother's basement, which has been used as a student apartment almost since the house was built. He's right across the street from St. Olaf's campus, too. Very nice indeed.

And I should apologize to my friends who live in Northfield, for not visiting while I was there. My bad. I was pressed for time, but I promise to make a better effort next time I'm there.

After buying the new bike, L, J, Gabriel and I had lunch at the Contented Cow a lovely downtown basement pub right on the river. I was almost jumping for joy when I saw that they had Sleeman's on tap, the first time I had ever seen that in the US. Sadly, he was only able to pull about a quarter pint before the keg blew, and there was no backup. But there were plenty of other options, and I still got to drink the quarter pint, and I savored every last drop.

-The Reunion-
My friend S and I worked together at the company that robbed me of my youth for years. She's a smart, fun woman, with a great husband and a wonderful daughter. She had a retirement party at place called Sweeney's, so after dropping Gabe off at his Aunt's house for the night, L, J and I headed over there. My friend A and their friend J were going to meet us there. We settled down and ordered drinks, and waited to S to come down from upstairs where her party was. A showed up, as did J, and we all drank and ate and had a good time.

Then, we got crazy.

First we decided we needed to sing some karaoke. I was all for it, so long as I wasn't singing along to just a piano again. First, A had to swing home to administer eyedrops to her daughter, who is now 14 years old (eep!). We chose a place, and because I knew how to get there I rode with A back to her house. When A and I were dating, way, way, way back in high school, her parents weren't that fond of me. I bring out something in catholic parents- especially when they think I'm jewish. Especially when they're as hard-nosed catholic as A's parent's are. So, when we got there, I chose to stay in the car, basically avoiding the 'rents altogether. I was sitting, waiting when I saw her daughter D waving to me from her window. It was undeniably cute. Eventually, she opened the window and we had a conversation. She cracks me up.

Now that she's a teenager, she's, well, become a teenager, and has started doing all those things that teenagers do. A, of course, and I were teenagers together who did all those things that teenagers do. And we did those things a lot, so naturally, she's worried sick about what her daughter does. It is almost funny to watch, really, the transformation from teenage hellian to mother of a teenage hellian.

I just hope that if I do every have kids, that they're not like I was when I was a teen. Not that I was a particularly horrible teen, I just know everything I did and I'd hate to have to worry about someone else doing that, too. Then again, even if I got someone pregnant today, I wouldn't be the father of a teenager until my late 40's- hopefully after my hijinks have faded into memory.

Not likely, though, right?

After my conversation with D, her mom came back downstairs and we headed to Minneapolis to find my friends, who had decided to change bars and go back to Nye's. The problem I've always had with Nye's, even when I lived in Minneapolis/St. Paul is that I can never find the damn place. Tucked away on a one-way street that doesn't cross the river (at least that I could find) in a neighborhood with twists and turns and one-way streets, well, I get turned around too easily and long to be back in my nice, comfortable Chicago grid system where I can find anything just by knowing the address.

When we finally got there, my friends had secured a table by the piano, of course, and were singing. We slid into the gold-speckled booth and ordered drinks and tried to talk. Time went by, and it was time to close. That's when I heard those dreaded words again: afterbar.

A had to go home and be a responsible mother, so L, J, J and I headed to their house. All we had to drink was a couple Guinness and some rum, which we tried to mix with cool-ade as well as gatorade. I must warn you, my dear readers, to not try that at home.


I won't go into the gory details, but suffice it to say that when I woke up in the morning, I was naked. That is not how I like to sleep, friends and neighbors. I threw on my boxers and went to brush my teeth only to discover that I had a hickey. I do not like hickies. I didn't like them when they were cool to have (read: age 15) and I really don't like them now that I'm much, much older than that. Not to mention that this hickey was in an obvious place, on the right side of my neck. In less than two hours from the discovery of said hickey, I was having brunch with my dad and step-mother, as well as some friends of mine.

I had become even less happy.

I threw on my hoodie, figuring that it would hide said hickey from not only my father (not that he would have cared, but I was rather self-conscious about it anyways), but from airport security, as I would be leaving that afternoon. Brunch was a good time, LJ was a big hit with my friends and again with me. After brunch, as at least four of us had horrific hangovers, we headed back to L & J's for some rest. L went to sleep upstairs, and didn't wake up until I woke her up, as I was leaving. J drove me to the airport and I came home.

That hickey lasted for a whole week, by the way.


Blogger Jess said...

If memory serves, it was pretty much the first thing I noticed when you got home. Classy.

2:12 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

That's what I thought.

Oh, and word verification that should be turned into an insult is being displayed right now for me:


6:08 AM  

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