It’s My PartyApril 21, 2010 at 7:12 PM | Posted in Journal | Leave a comment
I took off from my job at the bank Thursday and Friday, and I took off from The Three Jakes Saturday. As an after-thought, I arranged to switch with someone for Thursday night, so I had four days off in a row from both jobs.
Four days off from two jobs is like having six days off from one job.
And the purpose for this quasi-vacation was to clean up the house and so forth for my surprise fortieth birthday party.
You see, even though I turned 45 (and fuck me, for crying out loud) earlier this year–in February–I wanted to have a new fortieth birthday party because my first one, well…let’s just say my first one really kind of sucked.
First of all, for my 40th the first time around, I was still married to The Storm (my special private nick-name for my ex), which should tell you everything you need to know.
She didn’t invite any of my friends, because she doesn’t like them. Instead it was just family. But not *my* family, because she doesn’t like them, either. So for MY 40th birthday party it was just HER family in attendance. Seriously. When I look back at it now…what the hell did *they* think?
I bet they thought I was a pathetic loser with no friends. Thanks for that, Linda.
Oh, and it was a surprise party, too.
Happy birthday! Surprise!
Where are my friends?
They "couldn’t be here." Surprise!
Where’s–where’s MY family?
Didn’t invite any of them. Surprise!
Oh. Well, at least I got presents, right? What I’ve been wishing and hinting about for a few years–a table saw?
A garage door opener! That you have to install! Surprise!
At this point, I wouldn’t have been "surprised" if my birthday cake had been carrot, or German Chocolate, or Banana nut. In case you’re wondering, those are flavors I DON’T like.
Fast-forward to now, and I’m having a new surprise party. This time, I knew about it, and helped plan it. This time, I invited my friends and my family. This time, I had fun.
So for my days off, I was going to get ready for the party. Thursday morning, I picked up the crap from the yard, did a tune up on the lawn mower, cut the grass, trimmed the yard, and took the leaf blower to clean it up. that was the morning. In the afternoon, I tackled the garage.
I only had about two months to get the garage cleaned up, which somehow managed to come down to the last two days before the party–Thursday and Friday. Thursday I did most of the clean up, and Alex helped a little. I had some more that I wanted to do, but never quite got to it.
We got trash out that morning, and Saturday morning I took another pickup load of trash to a friend’s dumpster at work, and also a pickup load of cardboard to the recycling center. The garage was looking pretty good.
Friday, I took Detroit’s mom for a ride so we could get her big pickup licensed. It was easier than I thought. She had the registration. She had the title with the lien paid. She had her proof of insurance. We went to the county government office and got her personal property tax waiver. good for two years if you answer this question correctly: "How long have you lived here?"
Truthfully? No. We just told them, "Oh, about two months. February, right? Yeah, two months." Because the reality is over a year, but that’s none of their beeswax. Then we went to the license office and went through the same thing, and she got two-year plates on the truck. And then I had to figure out how to get them on, because in the state of Missourah, you have to have plates on the front and back. This truck has never had them on the front, ever–it was from Floridia. There was not even a mounting bracket on the front. I fixed that, and got the plates on.
Fortune Favors the Foolish
The previous day I had found a place on Craigslist that had used appliances. Today, I did a drive by and looked at them.
Oh, but there really is more to it than that. The day before–Thursday–was the last day of my ADD meds. I needed to drop off my prescription, but I never got around to it. Wait–I tried Friday morning at the 24-hour place, but they were out. She said I would need to try another location…when they open. The other places weren’t 24-hours, and weren’t open yet–I was out and about early, in the seven-am hour. Okay, I’ll check out one of those–
But I never did.
Around noon, after taking care of the truck, I took a drive to the appliance store. I had checked Craigslist and there was a link to their website and I looked at that briefly, and then I called about their hours which were in fact listed on the website but I didn’t look closely enough or scroll down to actually see them. I’m driving, I’m on my way. I’m cruising down Lindbergh, planning on turning–
I didn’t actually know where the place was. I had looked at the map yesterday, I thought. Woodson and Lackland *sounded* familiar. I know where Woodson is, even though I haven’t been there in years. I’ve heard of Lackland.
This is the kind of ADD I have: I left the house to go someplace without even bothering to make sure I knew how to get there. Through luck or talent, I found the place. There were some good ol’ boys running the place–city rednecks. I found a fridge and made a deal, and I was going to come back later to pick it up. The brother said, "We’re open til seven tonight, but try to be here by five, because we start drinking beer at three."
I was, and they were.
They also agreed to take my old washer; if I was buying an appliance I could drop off an old one. This is the one that the other place sold me used that only worked for a couple of months that would have cost as much as buying another washing machine to fix.
Now we had a fridge in the garage, one of my dreams. I find it best to have small, attainable dreams. I don’t dream of being a millionaire. I dream of being financially solvent. I don’t dream of a big house, I dream of this house, with more functional space. I don’t dream of wild sex with all kinds of women (anymore); I just dream that someday Detroit will eventually give it up again.
Nothing’s Going to Change My World
I had the Big L order some wings for me–a forty-pound case–and they were in the walk-in at the Imo’s I used to work at. After the fridge was plugged in, I went to pick up the wings.
I pulled around to the back like a driver; the front parking lot just seemed crowded and not for me. I didn’t recognize any of the cars in the back. Oh well. Audacity is the brother of invention, so I just walked in. I saw a couple of people I recognized, so that was good. I explained the situation, and got my wings.
I did have a brief conversation with one guy. The new manager (whatever his name is) got rid of many people. I guess I wasn’t the last victim of turnover. It made me wonder about Brian, the heroin addict. Was he still working here? I would bet five bucks and a rock that the answer to that one is "no."
Seasons Come and Seasons Go
It had rained Friday afternoon and evening, but now it was Saturday morning. The sun is out, the sky is blue, and it’s beautiful, Prudence. We still had to go to the grocery store for last minute items and pick up the alcohol. Detroit worked on various things, and I worked on others We were done, or as done as we were going to be, about 4ish, and sat down to watch TV and wait.
Brother Todd showed up first, soon to be followed by Joe and Sue, and then others. Dawn and Dave, and their kids. Scott and Tia, with her daughter. Mike and Steve with their wives, The Big L finally showed up, and later his wife, Bunny, made an appearance.
So who didn’t come?
Well, the Dude said he would not be able to get off work. Sounded a bit lame to me, but I get his point. He doesn’t want to be around that many people. I can totally get that. Unless they are there to worship me, I don’t want alot of people around either.
But Producer Lou didn’t make it, or my sister. Or Suzan, who is supposed to be my radio partner. This new chick that I’m friends with didn’t make it either. And neither did Cousin Joey.
I got purty damn drunk. By the time Bunny showed up, I was standing in one place but rocking my hips pretty far to maintain "balance." Everyone seemed to have a good time. I had a really good time. Mike passed around some shots that I did in between the other drinking that I did.
I remember bragging to some of the guys about the tools–because why the hell not?–and being able to find any tool they could name. Dawn asked if I had a hammer. No. I don’t have *a* hammer. I have several. Of course. "Why do you need more than one hammer?"
"Why do you need more than one pair of shoes?" I answered. "There’s a claw hammer–or three–there’s a tack hammer, a mallet, a ball peen, and of course, a BFH."
"Big fucking hammer." In this case, a two-pound sledge hammer.
I hung outside with Mike and Steve for quite a while, and then we all came in the garage. It was the funniest sight:
The one thing I have in the garage that Detroit hates–the spool–everyone had gathered around like a statue of a giant owl in the woods around which they performing secret rites. I need to call Mike and remind him, because he’s the one who got me the spool.
Eventually the place cleared out, until it was just me and Detroit, and the Big L and Bunny. And Alex, of course. We were trying to talk with them, but when Alex gets drunk he wants it to be all about him. Finally he went to bed. The Big L left, and Detroit started to clean up. Me and Bunny had some time to sit at my computer and go over my music list, and just talk about music, for about an hour. We went all the way through my collection of music on the media player. We’d play a snippet of songs here and there, talk about it and others, and move on. All the way down the list. Finally, we were done, and Detroit had already gone to bed.
Bunny gave me a hug as she left. "Happy Birthday."
Returning the hug, I said, "You know my birthday is in February, right?"
License to Ill
I went to bed about 2 am.
About 4 am, I woke up. Oh my God my body hurts. I was in pain. Ow. Ouch. Oh. God. Kill me now. Ow.
I wasn’t spinning. I wasn’t going to throw up. Maybe. But man. My knees, my ankles, my arms, elbows and shoulders all hurt. Maybe my back, too. I couldn’t form the thought into a sentence, but it was my impression that the moving around I did when I was drunk and my body was numb was coming back to haunt me now that enough alcohol had left my system that I could feel again. Speaking of leaving my system–
I took a helluva pee.
I got a big glass of ice water. I stood in the kitchen, bent over the table, and shook with that combination cold chills/hot sweats/impending doom sensation that drunks are familiar with.
With her eyes still unopened, Detroit told me to take a Percoset. I would, but I didn’t want to have to look for them, and thought that I still might have too much alcohol in my system for that to be a good idea. I drank some water and it helped, and I went back to sleep.
The Day the Party Stood Still
I got up fairly early–before nine, I think. I didn’t do much till about ten or so, which is actually normal. Sunday was a quiet day for me. I started the grill and cooked the rest of the chicken wings, and some other meat. I had a couple or three beers to take the edge off. That was about it. I didn’t have a hangover; I don’t think when I woke up earlier counts as a hangover, because it had only been two hours, so technically I had to still be drunk at the time.
Early in the afternoon Cousin Joey came over and visited for a bit, so this counts as party attendance. Later in the afternoon, I took a nap.