Friday, July 28, 2006

A Pirate Looks at 40

Ok, I admit it, as much as I said I didn't care, turning 40 was starting to get to me. My attitude most of the summer has been piss poor. It was mostly because for the first time in a while, I thought I had little to look forward to this summer. As usual, I was wrong. July ended up being a rather memorable month.

I'm sure most of you have heard of the infamous junkfood trip me and Marc made on July 1st. In a nutshell, after weeks of talk, we drove to CT for the sole purpose of sampling some of the famous and little known roadside hot dog/burger/drive-ins that dot the CT landscape. It was a ridiculous, preposterous, and gut bustingly funny day. After about the 3rd of 6 stops, we simply couldn't stop laughing about the whole concept of what we were doing. The picture of the trip was of course me and the now famous 2 foot plus hot dog.

My actual birthday came and went without much hoopla. A cake with the family. That weekend my man Higgs was in town from OH. He, myself and his wife were supposed to go out drinking BUT Lisa didn't make the call as she went out the night before and was somehow still hungover at 7:00 PM. Amateurs. Sheesh. Anyways, it was boys night out. We had an OK dinner at Franks and proceeded to the Bar (from here in on Spirit will be referred to as the Bar) where Brian informed me he didn't wanna close the bar tonight. Haha. Fat chance of that. It was pretty dead as it was the Saturday after the Holiday but gave us a chance to play random goofy 80's songs on the jukebox and catch up. After a while of trading stories Brian informed me he was married with kids and didn't have any more good stories. My friends Daga, Dani, and Sippy showed up (fairly cocked already may I add) and we proceeded to laugh until, yes, last call. Was a fun time all and all. The thing that sucks is whenever me and Brian get together its a great time, but, it makes me realize how much it sucks he lives so far away.

July 15th was the date of my 40th birthday get together. It's funny how it grew to the size it was. My sister katy asked me about 6 months ago what I wanted to do for my 40th. I basically said whatever, just no surprises and no hall party. I told her if I had my druthers I'd like to just tell a few people and all hang out at the Bar on July 8th. She agreed that would be fun. Now if you know Katy there was no way it was going to be that simple. First, she informed me we were changing the date to July 15th and not July 8th as too many people would be away. Sound logic although it flew in the face of my original concept. She then asked me for friend's e-mail addresses and I started to realize this could be getting big.

The week of the party is one of the busiest weeks of the year at work so the week flew by. All week people were asking me how the party planning was coming. I said ask Katy. It's my party, I'm doing no planning!! I was actually starting to get nervous. Hell, I didn't even go out the night before (well, me, Marc and Paul D did go to Revere Beach and hit both Kelly's and Bianchi's Pizza). I got home from work and relaxed for a bit until I got the call (more of an order) from Katy to get my ass down there. Well, I started sweating buckets literally to the point nearly everyone mentioned it. It was reminiscent of Albert Brooks in Broadcast News (obscure reference). It finally stopped around the time most people showed up. I was really taken back by how many people showed up. Sometimes you start thinking all your friends and drifting away and then something like this restores your faith. I'm not going to do a blow by blow account of the night as most of you were there but here were some highlights for me:
  • The day before the party mom telling me she hopes no one gets out of hand and then asking me if people still get drunk in bars. She's so cute
  • The sign outside the Bar reading "Happy 40th Rich"
  • Brian the manager greeting me with a bucket of Miller Lite
  • Brian handing me an envelope addressed to Rich Miller (an inside joke) and thanking me for the crowd. I said, don't thank me, thank THEM
  • The whole bar singing Happy Birthday and making a short speech (I was coerced into it...ok, not coerced to forcefully)
  • Jerry trying to avoid being near the cake for the singing but mom telling him she wasn't leaving until he came up there
  • Mom sayin to Brian "so this is Rich's home away from home" and Brian defending me saying I'm not there that much and her responding "typical bartender covering for his customers" haha
  • Kevin M speaking some foreign language after drinking 30 Summer Ales
  • The small pool we had going as to what time Pete K would make his grand entrance
  • The lack of Pete K's grand entrance as he walked in quietly like it was just another bar

There was a lot more but that's what jumps to mind. It was nice to see so many people from so many different parts of my life all in one room. Family, old friends, new friends, and everyone in between. Thanks to Katy for all the planning and Katy, Jenny and all the rest who got there early and arranged all the food etc. Brian and the staff at the Bar were awesome (and from what he told me last week, very well taken care of by all you big tippers ;-)I had the time of my life 'tho I regret the lack of time I could spend with each person there. I kind of felt like what it must be like when you get married and everyone is there because of you and you just don't have the chance to spend as much quality time with each and everyone of them as you can. I do regret the shots at the end and getting a little fuzzy and the ill planned trip to Cambridge Common but what the hell. You're only 40 once. See you all in 10 years!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Recent Musings

Some recent observations traveling to Fenway Park via the "T" on a hot summer night:

  • Rule #1 you're taught when riding the subway is LET THE PEOPLE OFF FIRST!! It's such a simple little thing yet ignorant assholes love to shove there way on the second the doors slide open paying no mind to children, the elderly, handicapped, or worst of all, me
  • Hot weather=spaghetti straps, spaghetti straps=smiles
  • What's with the ginormous back packs? I mean, unless you're in school, how much shit can you actually carry with you? I saw a guy with a back pack so big I thought for sure he stole it from an expedition to climb Mount Everest.
  • Personal hygiene is something everyone should consider before riding the subway...More so if its 92 degrees at 8:30 pm...Much more so if the air conditioning could be busted...phew
  • I have no problems with panhandlers in theory, but let's get some creativity involved. I mean, shaking a cup with change in it to the tune of a nearby boombox hardly counts towards working for your money.
  • The sheer number of people leaving the ball game in the 2nd and 3rd innings is astounding. I know some people are bringing their kids to a night game but, sheesh, at the cost of a Sox game, bring them to a day game.
  • You know it's hot when you're sitting in an air conditioned bar at 9:30 at night and you're dripping with sweat as badly as people sitting in the park
  • Only in Boston can news on the Yankees losing get nearly as many cheers as the Sox winning

Now I don't wanna go off on a rant...

  • At what point in a mans life does he stop wearing his pants on, above, or below his hips and start wearing them around his armpits?
  • People will flock to anything free or perceived as free. If you hang a sign that says "free ass kickings" people will queue up at 6:00 a.m. to be first in line
  • By and large if someone calls you from a bar drunk and tells you to meet them there its typically going to be a long ass night
  • I actually had my shirt off in public this weekend (public meaning surrounded by family and friend) and realize I truly am the whitest white man on Gods green Earth
  • Why is the price of self serve and full sever gas basically the same now and why do we still go self serve rather then let someone else pump it
  • Am I the only person who has a car in decent shape, low mileage that cannot even go in for an oil change without the bill climbing into the multi-hundred-dollar range?
  • The only thing worse then the actual heat is people complaining about the heat and all the stupid clich├ęs. "Its not the heat, its the humidity", "you'll appreciate this weather in February", etc. And worse, the people who think they are the only one that is hot "god, I am so hot". Like, Im not!!! I have a personal air conditioner that I vent up my ass that keeps me cool while youre sweating you ass off!!!!
  • Bagging is a lost art form. I leave Target with 16 bags for 12 items. I literally thought my condo was gonna be over-run with errant Target bags. When I go to the supermarket its not "paper or plastic" its please, just use the fewest friggin bags. I was thinking of knitting myself a sweater from all my Target bags but decided white isnt my color
  • Dog people scare me. I actually saw a guy in a department store with his dog leashed to a shopping cart and being pushed around the store. I mean, theres clearly a sign that says no pets in the store but apparently those rules just dont count. A girl I work with brings a dog with her to work. Um, ok, why? Can we all bring our pets? Worse, her dog was abused as a puppy and tends to snap at kids. Yup, dogs biting customers is a good way to run a business
  • On the same note, for those of us in non-smoking States doesn't it seem so weird now thinking back to people smoking in public places? Shopping with butts hanging out of their mouths? Smoking at ballgames? Smoking on PLANES?!?! I remember my boss's wife smoking in the store and when she quit putting a no smoking sign up. Now, I cant even fathom someone smoking indoors anywhere anymore.