This Webcomic...

This Webcomic...

Made me snort water out my nose!




I met up with Oani and her beau Dean at the Crocodile Cafe. We'd missed the opening act, but Oani said Johnny Sonic sucked anyway. The show wasn't sold out, but it was freakin' packed!
I got a couple of beers and tequila shot while Stu was parking the car. I handed him one as he came in and we left our coats with Oan (she's still recovering from a torn Achilles Tendon and was sitting with friends at a table near the door) and headed into the crowd.

The Cherry Poppin' Daddies came on soon after... the drummer and two of the horn players were new and everyone else looked looked just a little older. 'Cause we are!
Dana's rockin' a shaved head and Steve's got a bald patch in the back. There were a lot of kids in swing gear and during the show some dancing broke out.
They ripped through a set that was pretty evenly split between all of their records. The band wasn't as tight as they were back in the day. (I saw my first CPD show in 1990!) They didn't play a lot of my favorites play but with an encore there was about an hour and half of music. I hadn't seen the band in several years, probably since '97 or so and I thought they were finished, so I was quite happy!
I bought a replacement copy of Rapid City Muscle Car and said 'hello' to Steve and Dana. They were gracious enough to pretend they remembered me.
We were out of there by 12:30 or so...it was a great night.

But what happened after was even better.

I had $5 left and I was hungry, so I insisted we go to Dick's. I'm usually flexible on food, but it was almost like I was being compelled to go. We showed up and got some grub and as we were sitting in the car, some people crossed in front of us. Coworkers from my PDI days, Dave C. and his girlfriend Gretchen! I pointed at them and they waved and got in their car to eat. Then some more people crossed in front of the car. One of them was a buxom blond.

We finished our grub and Stu took our trash to the garbage can. But as Stu was getting back in the car, I looked up and the buxom blond was staring down through the window at me, mouth agape.

It was Heather.

I met Heather in 1988, when she was 19. We got to be pretty close friends, both in and out of work. She left the company before I did, but we kept in touch through the years, seeing each other every great once-in-awhile until about 1997, when she moved and changed her number.

I got out of the car and we hugged hard. I was so flabbergasted, all I could do was laugh for joy!
I'd been thinking about her for years! I'd done online searches for her, even procured an address at one time, but didn't do anything about it 'cause I didn't want to skeeve her out.
I'd even given serious thought to hiring a private eye to find her...and just like that, there she was! I couldn't believe my eyes!

She'd been out drinking and dancing with her friends and she had to go, but she gave me her number and made me promise to call her the next day. She also told me that she could be found on MySpace...I informed that I could be too! Heather looked pretty much the same. She told me that she'd been married and divorced and that she'd had a second child.

So I got home last night and started looking for her online. I did a search via MySpace and found out that there were 201 Heathers within 50 miles of my house. I remembered that my Heather is a few years younger than me...so I started skipping all those under 35, though I did have to check anyone who put '99 years old' in the age bracket.
I spent about a hour looking and about 180 profiles in, I found hers. Wow...that close.

I went to bed and hoped she was serious when she said she wanted to meet the next day.

Around noon, I called her. She was really excited to hear from me, though she was hungover! She wanted to meet at 2, so I blew off everyone else and she picked me up at the Pike Place Market. We were both hungry, so I suggested the Twilight Exit.
I'd been contemplating what I'd do when we got together...I was a bit nervous, but it was a little surreal too. Over the last couple of weeks, I've been questioning myself, my life and what I'm doing with it, while wondering where the next 20 years would find me...and if I'd be OK with that. And the Daddies show had touched off a wave of nostalgia as well. But I've felt compelled to do certain things lately and I'm trying hard not to let moments of self-doubt undermine me.

So we ordered bacon cheeseburgers and got caught up. She told me the harrowing details of her marriage and and divorce. She says she's a stronger and more confident person now and she LOVES her daughter...so in a way, it was worth it. I told her about some of the things I'd done over the last nine years. We kept an eye on the Seahawks vs. Giants game.
After awhile, she suggested we go somewhere else. So we drove down to the Arboretum and found a nice quiet spot to sit and talk and watch the ducks swim by. She told me about her kids and we discussed people and events I had not thought of in years. It was like we'd just picked up where we left off. She still has the ability to surprise me with the things she says.

We were both a little weirded out by our reunion...she'd posted a bit on nostalgia on her MS page recently. She said that she'd been surrounding herself with strong women in the wake of the divorce, but felt she needed male friends in her life again...because she didn't want to become bitter. No sooner than she'd voiced that to her aunt, a guy she used to work with had gotten in touch with her.
And then she ran into me!
Around 6PM, she brought me home, I gave her the tour of the 'stead and introduced her to Jason.
We hugged and promised to never lose track of each other again. She added me on MySpace and...I guess we'll see what happens next.

I've been grinning (even more than usual) all day.

What other great mystery will be solved?


Last Night....

Last Night

I went to a party put on by the Degenerate Art Ensemble.
They're a local band/art/performance group. The idea was that it was the first day or school at Degenerate Catholic High School. They had cheerleaders, priests and nuns, school counselors, a marching band (that played klezmer music!) and performances by Ensamble members and various affiliated groups and musicians.

Stu played with Seattle School (which grew out of the Young Composers Collective and produced the Iron Composer series) and members of Klaang! an improve percussion group he sometimes does performs with.

In between the music acts there were appearances by the Principal, "Mr. Hardman" and various faculty members and teachers. They also played musical chairs (Pure chaos!) and Speed Spelling Bee, in which you could buy a ticket to become a contestant. Participants were paired up and had to slug a shot of rotgut whiskey and spell as many words as given to them in a minute.

There was also the aerialists (the DHS gymnastic team) and you could pay to have people thrown into 'detention' for various fake offenses...where they'd get spanked with a ruler...and a concession stand that sold candy, fish crackers and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Outside they had a fake living room with a working TV and VCR. And a dunk tank where you could dunk marching band members or faculty...$5 for three tries.

Once people got drunk, things got more and more surreal...there was this really tall, pretty girl, wasted or high on something that kept crashing into people, dancing and falling down and climbing on things...it was like she was indestructible! She came out of the porta potty with her skirt hiked up above her waist (most of the women there were dressed like Catholic schoolgirls) and stood there for several minutes before someone reminded her to pull it back down.

We left at two, but Weez was drunk so Tyrone drove her home while Stu and I followed...what a day! Tomorrow I go to see the Cherry Poppin' Daddies!


The Way It's Been Lately

The Way It's Been Lately

So I rolled out of bed this morning at the behest of Keisha, who's meowing incessantly at me. I was up late the night before websurfing and reading (finished "The Moor's Last Sigh" and started Palahniuk's "Diary"). Since Jason's out of town, I figured Keisha was out of food, so I groggily made my way upstairs check her bowl. On my way past the bathroom (where everybody in this household goes poo) I notice that Ryan has moved the catbox outside.
Keisha's dish is almost empty so I filedl it and changed her water. But she's not interested in food, she wanted outside. So I let her out.

I returned to my room, where I briefly consider going back to bed, but I'm awake now. I sometimes use the game "Bejeweled" as an alertness test, so I play a couple of games and get my highest score ever (165500)! I'm awake enough to drive, I reckoned.
The weather was looking kinda iffy, but it seemed to be clearing up. Lately, I've had a Craving for baked goods. Today, I wanted nothing more than a mocha and a bigass chocolate chip cookie. So I get showered an dressed, throw my book in a messanger bag and head off to find "Flour," a bakery that supposed to be somewhere around 60th and Phinney. As I was leaving, Keisha ran into the house.
I rode out to the intersection and don't see anything resembling a bakery...so I turned around, gassed up a nearby filling station and figured I'd head to Candles, a nice little coffee joint not far from where I used to live with Laura.

It wasn't crowded at all, being that it wase around 2PM. I ordered a Black Forest Ham sandwich on sourdough, their special Orange Brandy Latte and a huge chocolate chip cookie. As I ate, I leafed through an issue of Time magazine and evesdroped on the conversations around me. It had turned into a warm, pleasant day.
After finishing off my food, I pack up and head out. As I sat on my bike, I notice the seat is a bit lower than I remembered...weird. Ah, shit! The tire's flat!
As I was texting Melanie, calling Tracy and Tess and swearing under my breath, this young fella comes over and asks me if I need help. Something about the guy seems off and I didn't see him pull up in a flatbed truck, so I tell him no.
I called Lake City Powersports and asked 'em if they can fix it, but they tell me that it's too late in the day for anyone to work on it now. So since it's easier to get home from where I was, I decided to come out early tomorrow and have the bike towed then. This is going to cost me some dough! I'll be lucky if it's only $250...I'm pissed, but it could've happened at any time...and at least I wasn't bombing down the road at 50+ mph like the last time I got a flat!

I go to catch a bus home. But since school just let out, the first bus is crowded with rowdy school kids. I let that one pass and caught the next one. I transfered downtown and get home. I head straight to the computer room to check my messages...and I kick off my boots and socks to relax. I've already rescheduled my happy hour date with Tess and Ms. B, and I'm wondering what I should do with the rest of my evening.

I got up to get a glass of water and as I entered the hallway, my foot grazed something...wet.
Aw, no. Keisha crapped...IN MY ROOM!!
After pushing her outside, I cleaned like a madman. Then burnt some incense to kill the bleach smell. My plans for the evening are shot.

I hope this is bad as it gets.


The Aftermath...

The Aftermath...

Melanie is back in CO and we had an amazing time. We went to Bumbershoot, Pike Place Market, The People's Republic of Fremont, visited friends in Bremerton, did the first Thursday Art Walk, wandered Broadway, visited coffee shops and pretty much spent every day together while she was here.

It was wonderful!

Mel is warm, funny, sexy, sassy and cool. It was nice to hang out with someone who loves motorcycles, music and food as much (more than?) as I do. She came up with the idea to paint my GPZ with black truck bed liner rather than flat black paint and she and I spent two days sanding and painting. Once I get the front wheel back, I'll have a really cool 'stealth bike'.
We kicked around the idea of getting married and raising Kawasaki's...but since I live in Seattle and she's in Denver AND Johnny 2X and I got laid off from work last week (not enough scanning work coming in) either something is telling me to go for it, or keeping me in place for now.
Melanie was thinking about moving here, but she just got a promotion and she's helping her family out, so she can't go either.

Thing is, she's only been gone a day and I miss her...

I'm going to visit her for her birthday in November. Maybe things will be clearer then.

Last night, my "swim buddy" Jay and I met up with Tess, Stu and Rachel, Elmer, Eugene, Scott and Cindy for my "Laid Off" party at ZigZag. I decided I was only going to have "girly" drinks: I had a Cosmo, Lemondrop, Pink Squirrel, Chinese Cocktail, Midori Sour, Grape Nehi, a shot of Herradura Silver, and a glass of Pernod.
Aside from swaying a bit when I stood up, I felt fine.
Then Jay, Eugene, Elmer and I went to Chinatown to eat.
Jay was so hammered that I wound up driving us home. Then he puked in my yard and had to crash on my couch...

Tonight I'm going to catch Jeremy Ellis at The Baltic Room. He's playing here as part of the Decibel Festival. Here's the flyer:

Then I hit the pavement looking for a job (or two). Wish me luck!