Tag Archives: Deb

Another reason we are going back to Run For Your Lives next year…

Zombie Deb

A little over 3 months ago now, Deb and I were brimming with excitement to get our Zombie on and try to terrorize some runners at the inaugural Run For Your Lives event up near Baltimore. For those that don’t know, Deb and I were zombie volunteers and it was our job to try to “kill” runners during the 5k obstacle course. Unfortunately for us, Deb is the one that got “killed”. What started out as a day of fun turned into a pretty nasty ordeal.

My poor woman was trucked by one of the thousands of runners coming down that crazy hill we were on during the race. What we initially thought was a sprained ankle turned out to be a pretty bad break. The trooper that Deb is, she walked on that broken ankle back to the volunteer’s staging area, through the throngs of partying/drunk people who had finished the run, and to the long line to get on the bus to get back to the car without much complaint. Had our situations been reversed….had I been the one with the messed up leg, there would have been no walking anywhere. One of those bastards would have carted me to an ambulance and I would have been in the emergency room with tears in my eyes. I am a pussy. My chick is not.
It turned out that not only was the leg broken but it was broken so bad it needed to be surgically repaired. A titanium plate and 6 screws were required to hold my girl’s leg in place so it could heal. Luckily she has a great job where she can recuperate while working from home and that she had someone with nothing better to do so I was able to be her live-in care giver. Over the 85 days since her little mishap I have been only away from her for 2 nights: Thanksgiving and Christmas. And over the one night during Thanksgiving she slipped and fell in the kitchen and it was very close to a “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” moment.

But after her surgery and physical therapy, Deb is finally able to put some weight on her leg now. She is still in a boot and on crutches but getting a little better every day. She can now get around using one crutch and she is excited to do things like get a glass of water on her own now. Her leg still swells up like that is it’s job when she is up on it for long but in a week or two she should be out of the boot and back in shoes…and that is making her giddy with anticipation.

If there was one bright spot for Deb during this period of injury it has been when anyone asked her, “So…how did you hurt your leg?” Most people are asking and expecting a typical “slipped on ice” or “missed a stair” broken leg story. And when she gives her, “I was run over when I was a Zombie” response everyone…and I mean everyone…has to dig deeper and hear the entire story. Everyone from the surgeon to her cat’s veterinarian have been amazed by the story and even a few of them have said that they want to go next year. If someone could go through this much shit and still talk about the fun they had it must be awesome.

And pretty much everyone has been on the Zombie bandwagon this holiday season. Deb pretty much had a Zombie Christmas this year. There was the tree covered in Zombie ornaments:

And I think she received Zombie gifts of one kind or another from just about everyone. She got a Zombie plush doll (which is now in her office):

A Zombie cookie jar that, oddly enough, really matches her kitchen pretty well:

And Zombie books, bumper stickers, candy, and car freshener (but it wasn’t the dead body smell we were hoping for):

And just when we thought that the Zombie gifts had stopped rolling in there appeared a package at our front door yesterday. It was a care package from the folks at Reed Street Productions (those nice folks that brought us Run For Your Lives). You see, back in early November I had sent an email to their staff explaining what happened to Deb. In the email I explained that because of Deb’s injury we were unable to stick around after our Zombie shift and try and grab some souvenirs from our experience. I asked if they had anything left from race day that we could have or buy from them so that Deb could have something to frame or put in a scrapbook (the scrapbook that she keeps saying she is going to make but I doubt ever will get made). I had pretty much given up on hearing back from these guys because I sent the email back when they were getting crushed with emails from angry people the week or so after the race. But when we opened the box we found a nice little letter from the RFYL team:

And with the letter there were a couple of race medals that went out to the people that ran in the race, a bit of the RFYL police tape and a little Zombie rescue kit (which is freakin’ awesome) for Deb to add to her Zombie collection at work:

This little gift was unexpected and greatly appreciated.  It really brightened up Deb’s smile yesterday as we went through the box.  While we had both really wanted to come back next year (Deb is just gonna be a spectator and take pictures this time around though) it is the attention to detail and the care that these guys show for their customers/participants that is bringing us back again for sure now.

Thanks Guys!  See you next year.

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Newt, Some Reese’s Puffs and a Kung Fu Panda Toy

Yesterday one of my theories about Newt was confirmed:  she is exactly like a little kid.

Remember how excited you were to find the toy surprise in a box of cereal when you were a kid?  Well, yesterday as I poured myself a bowl a Reese’s Puffs (hell yea Reese’s Puffs…they are freakin’ delicious) the toy surprise fell out into my bowl and Newt was immediately curious and trying to get at it.

Oh and btw, do any of you ever remember the toy just falling out of the box into your bowl?  I sure don’t.  I remember having to dig around in the cereal…with my grubby hands…until I could find the toy.  This one had to be just sitting on the top of the cereal in the box because I had just opened the new box of cereal and was pouring the first bowl when it just plopped into my bowl.  That would have never happened when I was a kid.

Anyway, so I opened up the toy and it was a Kung Fu Panda shooting-spinny thingie (that is the technical name too).


Because I no longer have the brain of an 8 year old or an Engineer  it took me way longer than it should have to figure out how to get the toy to work.  But when I finally did, Newt and I spent the better part of the day playing with the thing.  I would shoot it and she would chase it down.  She is almost to the point of fetching it and bringing it back to me now.  I am gonna turn her into a dog yet.

She is scared of the sound it makes when I wind it up but she is slowly getting used to it and no longer running and hiding every time I start to wind the toy up anymore.  Ripley doesn’t really know what to make of the thing and is constantly looking down her nose at Newt.  Chasing shit across the house is way beneath her.

It always surprises me though that the simplest things are the cat’s best friends.  Not that expensive toy you bought…it is the box it came in that the cat will like.

So thank you Reese’s Puffs…both for being delicious and for giving me a few hours of entertainment with the cat.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Morning

This is one of my favorite pics ever.  I wish I had a better camera on hand when I took it but the shitty camera on my old phone was all I had.  This was how I woke up one morning.  It made me happy in a sappy “bring a tear to my eye” kind of way with both Ripley and Deb all snuggled up on me and dead to the world.

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Memorial Day Weekend in Reedville and Tangier Island

It was early Monday morning, a little over a week ago, when Deb sent me a text asking if I would like to go down to her Aunt and Uncle’s place for the holiday weekend.  Their place was supposedly on the water and with Deb’s love of water I really couldn’t say no.  Spending four days with people I have only met a couple of times really had me a bit nervous.  I was afraid that we would run out of topics of conversation in the first couple of hours and then we would just be stuck there…amidst awkward silence…for the better part of 4 days.

Oh, and Deb failed to mention to me (until we were on the road down there) that cellphone service was spotty and/or non-existent there.  Oh great.  I had almost forgotten what it was like before I always had a cellphone in my hand and immediate access to the intrawebs.  And as we started out our long trek down to Reedville, Virginia I thought I was going to go through withdrawals.

Our weekend didn’t start all that well either.  On our way down there we were stopped in our tracks by an accident that completely closed the road we were on.  I couldn’t help but wonder if it was just a sign of things to come.  So we had to backtrack and take about an hour detour out-of-the-way to get back on course.  But we did get back on track and made it down to Reedville early in the afternoon on Friday.

I realized, within about 30 minutes of being there, that I had nothing to be nervous about.  Her Aunt and Uncle were very laid back and easy people with which to hold both fun and interesting conversations.  And their place was really amazing too.  Right on the water with a pier leading out to their boat.

Bob, Deb’s Uncle, offered up a cold beer and we headed out to their porch to just enjoy the beautiful afternoon and hang out for a bit.

It was during our time hanging out on the porch that I met Belle.  Belle is their little chihuahua.  Now I am a dog person but I have never been a big fan of the little yippy dogs.  But until a couple of years ago I wasn’t a big fan of cats either…so I decided to make friends with her.  But of course I was informed that she doesn’t really warm up to guys that much and I shouldn’t be offended when she doesn’t want to be my friend.  I took that as a challenge and by the end of the weekend she was my best buddy.

I have been around a lot of dogs in my days and I have seen just about every kind of dog personality out there…but I have never seen a dog go so batshit crazy for food as this little girl.  She absolutely loses her mind when there is food (or even just the prospect of food) around.  She just loses her mind and I have never seen a dog that begs quite like her.  It is the cutest thing.

Here…take a look at what I mean:

Deb and her Aunt, Kaylene, made us some great Jalapeno Margaritas and tasty Mojitos that first night.

They were so good that we kept having them make them all weekend long.  Mmmmm…I wish I had one right now.

Saturday was just a day for relaxing.  We went out to eat and got a tour of the area surrounding their place.  It is pretty country down there.  One of those places where everyone knows everyone else.  But we pretty much just relaxed on that big back porch and sucked down drinks until it got dark and we all got sleepy.

The next morning we got up bright and early and headed to the ferry to Tangier Island.  The island is about 15 miles out into the Chesapeake Bay and the only way to the place is by boat or plane.  The ride is an hour and a half just to get there.  The place is pretty tiny.  There are no cars (just lots of golf carts) and it seems that the only jobs on the island are in a couple of restaurants, a gift shop or two or you are a fisherman.  Not lots of career options in a place that small.

Once we got to the island it was really strange.  If there weren’t golf carts all over the place it would be like you stepped back in time.  All of the houses are small and close together like they were before you needed wide roads for cars.  And because the island is so small there aren’t any room for cemeteries.  So the kinsfolk are buried in their yards.

That was just creepy.  We started joking about how this tiny island was the kind of place that would be the ideal setting for a horror movie.  A movie where a small group of tourists come to the island and all the locals are all real friendly during the day.  But when those tourists miss their ferry back to the mainland and have to stay there over night everything changes.  Those once friendly Tangerines would don cloaks and head out to one of the marshy little areas of the island and start worshiping their pagan gods and sacrificing stranded tourists.  Those graves would then open up and their vampire/zombie relatives would spring forth to devour anyone caught outside after dark.

We were laughing it up as we walked around the island and throwing out all kinds of scenarios where these peaceful people were really evil.  I remember seeing this cute little girl sitting on her front stoop inside a yard that was surrounded by a chain link fence as I turned to Deb to throw out another possible movie twist.  When I turned back, and I swear it had to be just a second or two, this little blond and pigtailed girl was now standing right up next to the fence not more than a foot away from me.

“I caught a dragonfly,” she whispered to me in a way that just made my skin crawl.  And then she reached out her hands that had a hold of a dragonfly by it’s wings, “Do you want to see my dragonfly?”

I must have looked funny as hell as I started stumbling away from that fence, shaking my head and barely eeking out, “No, I am good.”

Everyone was laughing at me as we slowly walked away from that yard and the pouty face on that little girl.  I know, I am a big puss for being scared of that little girl.  But blame it on our conversation.  Or blame it on every scary movie I have ever seen with some psycho kid in it.  All I could think of was what would have happened had I reached for that dragonfly.  I pictured my arm reaching through that fence and suddenly that child’s mouth opening impossibly wide, her jaws unhinging to show 3 rows of razor sharp teeth.  And me only pulling back a stump.

The rest of the weekend, between snorts and chortles, all I kept hearing was, “You should have taken the dragonfly.”

The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful.  We stopped at Hilda Crockett’s for lunch.

They serve up an amazing family style lunch.  The crabcake balls and the clam fritters were delish.  I am not a fan of cream corn so I didn’t really dig the Corn Pudding but everyone else was oohing and aahing about how great it was.

We wandered around the island for an hour or so after lunch before we had to take the ferry back to the mainland.  Here are some of my favorite pics that Deb took while we were there:

And then this one last pic from Tangier Island that we all found kind of funny.  Is there really a need for seatbelts on a golf cart?  I wonder if anyone ever got pulled over for not wearing their seatbelt.

Once we got back to Kaylene and Bob’s house I realized that I was sunburned.  And I mean really sunburned.  My face, arms and legs were bright red and almost immediately painful.  Of course I was the only one that had even the littlest hint of a burn.

“You should’ve taken the Dragonfly.”

On the last day of our visit we got to go out on the boat.  I even pretended to lend a hand and it even looks like I know what I am doing with that rope.

It was incredibly hot and I was in a whole bunch of pain from the sunburn but the day was lots of fun even though I had to spend most of it hiding from the sun.

As long as we kept the boat moving it was a comfortable trip into the Bay and up one of the many rivers in the area (I just don’t remember which one we traveled up exactly).  But as soon as we stopped it was like we were being cooked.  So the trip, while fun, was cut a bit short from the heat.  But Deb really had fun taking pictures.

It was a great couple of days down there in the Northern Neck.  Deb and I had a great time.

Many thanks to our hosts Bob and Kaylene…and of course Belle for a great weekend.

Oh…and I almost forgot.  When we got back to DC on Tuesday afternoon the AC was on the fritz.  It was 98 degrees outside and in the 80s in the condo.

I should’ve taken the dragonfly.

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The Best of The Rally To Restore Sanity/Fear

What a beautiful day for a Rally down on the Mall.  You could not have asked for better weather to be out and about with a couple hundred thousand of your closest friends.  So how could Deb and I pass up the opportunity to be right down in the middle of the fun.  There were so many people down there that at times it really felt a bit claustrophobic.

While we didn’t actually see the stage…we did hear Ozzy singing Crazy Train.

This is as close as we could get to the stage (the part in color)

But we really didn’t care about getting to see the stage.  We were just there to be part of the awesome event with the better half of our nation…you know, the ones not in the same general area for the Hatemonger Rally a couple months back.  The whole vibe was just something special.

The signs that people were carrying were just awesome and here were some of the best that we saw down there…

Fear the Amish

 

The cake guy and his kid
The Big Sign
The Hell Beast
Touch Myself and The Witch
Where The Heart Is
Mario
Praise Cheezus
My favorite sign
She wants Jon to stick it in her
The end isn’t as near as we thought
Any chance to bash Beck is fine by me

I think my favorite groups of “protestors” were this Star Wars trio.  Is it wrong that I find Han Solo really kinda sexy?

And then my other favorite were the Zombies:

But my favorite pics of the day were of the Superhero taking a break from his hard life of fighting crime to just come to DC and take a minute or two to himself:

And then, of course, the one of my lady:

Yeah, yeah…I know, pure cheese.  But it is true.

It was a great day though.  Kudos to you Mr. Stewart and Colbert for a great day out on the Mall.

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What in the world is going on with this Statue?

Earlier this year Deb went to Brazil for a business trip.  She took thousands of pictures and she had been procrastinating going through all of them until this week.  She finally started uploading the pictures she took while in Sao Paulo and sending them out to her friends and family.  As I was going through the pictures I came across this statue and I did a literal double take.  At first, because I am such a freakin’ Beavis, i just chuckled at the name “Statue of a Missionary”… I know, very mature of me.    But then when I looked at the picture I started laughing.  I immediately called Deb up to ask her about the picture and she had no clue why I was laughing.  So I obviously was seeing something different than her.  So here is the picture….

Tell me that doesn’t look like Father Bad-Touch is showing his junk off to that startled little girl.  I realized, after a few minutes, that he was holding what is probably the crucifix but that wasn’t what my eyes were telling me at first glance.

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Ripley the Cat chases a dog….sort of.

Last night, while Deb was cooking us dinner, Ripley decided to investigate the TV for the first time.  There was a dog climbing a fence on America’s Funniest Home Videos and for some reason this really grabbed the cat’s attention.  She was sitting in front of the TV and yelling at the dog for a while and it was really cracking me up.  I called Deb in to check her out and then grabbed my camera.

She didn’t disappoint.  I love how she checks behind the TV for the dog at the end.

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Dewey Beach Trip and “The Challenge”

Last Saturday, Deb and I headed to Dewey Beach to meet up with the rest of her family.  I wasn’t sure quite what to expect but I wasn’t expecting that first night.  It was a night that is going to be talked about and laughed about for years to come.  But I am getting ahead of myself a bit…

Deb and I got up early and headed out to get some breakfast.  We knew that the ride was going to be a long one and we really wanted some coffee and greasy diner food in our bellies before jumping in the car and taking that long ride to Dewey.  We were really glad we did too because it took us almost an hour just to get beyond Pennsylvania Avenue and the ramp to 295.

Traffic was a crazy.  We should have realized it was going to be that way…beach traffic…on a Saturday…yuck.  When we got to the Bay Bridge we thought we had it made because we just cruised right on through on the EZ-Pass lane.  Little did we know that we were going to be put onto the bridge with all the traffic leaving the beach.

Two way traffic on that bridge is just not fun at all.  The 126 miles from door to door took us almost 5 freakin’ hours.

But when we arrived the fun started right away.  We had just enough time to say Hello to everyone and drop off our stuff in our room before we were grabbed by Lauren, Mike, P and Red to go out for “a” drink.  So we headed down to one of the beach-side bars and  started with Orange Crushes and Peel-n-Eat Shrimp.  After we each had 3 or 4 drinks we moved to a different bar and started in with a few beers each.  We were all getting a bit tipsy when we decided it would be best to go back to the houses and see if dinner was ready.  It turns out that we go there just in time too.  So we all packed some more food into our bellies (that were already full of booze). showered and changed and headed back out to the bars.  This time we had a few more party people in tow.

We headed back to The Starboard and proceeded to down round after round of Orange Crushes and a few shots of tequila thrown in for good measure.  As the hours passed the crowd was noticeably younger than most of us at our table.  Soon, there weren’t even any tables left in the bar as they hauled them all out to make room for more people to crowd in and we were left with the only table in the bar.  And that is about when the fun kicked it up a notch.

The Challenge

Suddenly, next to our table, appeared a young woman and her counterpart.  They seemed to have just blinked into existence right next to our table.  They appeared to be trying to suck each other into their respective mouths as they dry humped against the wall at the end of our table.  We immediately started hooting and hollering at the couple…who just continued on oblivious to us.  It wasn’t until I stood up and started filming that they noticed our entire table was focused on them but that didn’t stop them.

P and Red decided to embarrass the couple and get right up on the wall next to them and do an exaggerated version of what the lovebirds were doing.  We were dying laughing as they were bumping and grinding and doing everything they could to make this young twosome realize how ridiculous they looked.

But it didn’t work.

Instead of getting embarrassed all this did was egg them on.  The young lady grabbed a chair and started giving a (pretty well done, mind you) lapdance to her man.  We were all kind of sitting there enjoying the show when Mike hit me in the arm and yelled out, “WHY AREN’T YOU RECORDING THIS?!?!”.  I fumbled with my camera and only caught the last 5 seconds of her lapdance…but trust me it was fun to watch.  We all applauded and wolf whistled as loud as we could for the youngsters until we were silenced by what she did.

She turned the chair right around to Red and smiled and patted the seat in challenge.

OH. NO. SHE. DIDN’T!!!

Everyone’s eyes turned to Red to see what she would do.  It was too loud to hear her exact words but it sure looked like she said “Oh…it. is. ON” before she grabbed P and threw him into the chair.  By this time a crowd had gathered around our table and everyone was watching the show.  You can watch the video to see why all of us, all of the people around us and even the young lady who threw down the challenge had to admit that Red was the clear winner.

The entirely spontaneous way this just erupted was so freakin’ funny.  The way that P and Red started out just trying to poke a little fun at the teenyboppers and ended up defending their “honor” had everyone rolling.  I don’t think I had laughed that hard in ages.

Couple of things to notice at the end of the video:

  1. The amount of flashes going off around the bar when Red was giving P the lapdance.  I am thinking that you two are all over the Facebook pages of people you don’t even know.
  2. Watch as the lapdance ends and P slams the fifty on the table.  He obviously liked it.
  3. P was kind of bummed the next day, “Man, that was my favorite hangin’ out shirt too”.  Someone is gonna be sewing those buttons back on.

And this was all at just the first bar of the night.  And this was just the first night of the trip.  I knew right then that this was going to be a fun trip.

The next day was spent mostly hungover for the majority of us so it was pretty much a wasted day.  Everyone was feeling pretty shitty.  Some of the group decided to go back out again during the afternoon but were paying for it later in the evening when the rest of us were just starting to feel normal again.

The following day was spent just hanging on the beach and trying to stay cool.  It was a miserably hot couple of days and it was a full time job just trying not to sweat to death.  But once night rolled around it started to cool off enough that a few of us decided to go try and grab some grub.  We ended up at this restaurant that was facing the bay called Venus on the Halfshell.  Even though we looked up the place online and found a bunch of reviews that weren’t all that flattering we decided to go there anyway.  We were more than pleased.  We arrived right at sunset and had a great little table outside.  The outdoor area is a tiered whitesand porch with palm trees and tiki torches…it felt like you were sitting in Hawaii having dinner.  And nobody ordered anything that they didn’t really like.  A phenomenal view, great food and really good people.  It just goes to show you that you really cannot put too much faith in the online reviews.

All in all, it was a really nice couple of days at the beach.  I didn’t feel as out of place as I thought I would as everyone went out of their way to make me feel right at home.  With the exception of the self inflicted hangover pain….every other minute was enjoyable.  Even the Hawaiian Night forced dancing and merriment was fun.  I hope the video of me doing the twist is lost in a wipe of a certain couple’s harddrive.  Thank you all for a fun couple of days.

The Last Image of Our Last Day on the Beach

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The Scariest Phone Call

Today’s Plinky Prompt was a good one.  It was “Describe the scariest moment in your life — from a third-person perspective.”  As Deb was off getting her hair done and I had the morning to myself I thought it would be a good day to sit down and tackle this one.  I chose a pretty personal subject too so if you choose to go ahead and read it please handle with care.  Feedback would be appreciated if you have any.

The story ended up being longer than I had initially intended and I know that most of you have relatively short attention spans so my apologies if this is too long to read.  Most of the story is accurate but like with any story I made a change or two here and there…poetic license.  Hope you enjoy:

The Scariest Phone Call

The phone rang…

He sat in silence staring at his phone on the nightstand. He knew who was on the other end of that call. Over the last month he had done almost everything in his power to avoid her. Ever since the night of the show he had kept his distance even though he didn’t want to. But she was calling again and he wasn’t sure he would be able to stay away much longer….

It all started a month before when they had attended the show. His best friend had invited him to the show. The friend and his wife would be having a party at their place prior to heading out. They always threw great parties and the show really seemed like it would be fun so of course he wanted to go. His friend told him that he needed to “dress up” for the show.

“Everyone dresses up…it is part of the fun,” the friend explained. “So just find some polo shirts and pop the collar or a pair of jeans and peg ’em. It really isn’t all that hard for us to dress the part…but you should see the girls. They will look hilarious all dolled up in their gear. Picture all the neon, side ponytails, heavy makeup and Flashdance sweat shirts. It is pretty fuckin’ funny.”

So he found a couple of polo shirts and wore one inside the other and popped the collars. He looked ridiculous and couldn’t believe that he used to wear this shit when it wasn’t just a gag. Throwing on a pair of plaid shorts to finish his ensemble he headed out to his friend’s place for the pre-party.

The usual cast of characters were all there and in the process of liquoring up before heading out to the show. Everyone was in their costumes and it was hard to believe we all looked like this 20 years ago. We were all in the backyard having drinks and laughing it up when someone yelled that the taxis were out front and it was time to go….

The phone rang again…

The show was better than he expected. All of the songs that they performed were ones that everyone knew and the entire theater was singing and dancing along. He didn’t realize that he was spending so much time at the bar talking to her either. She just kind of appeared next to him and they were sharing drinks and everything was becoming a blur. She started dancing in front of him and then they were dancing together. Without a thought his arms pulled her into him and the dancing became slower and more intimate. He could feel the eyes of all of his friends on him as he kissed her. He knew it was wrong but it really felt right.

At one point, when he looked up, he saw his friend staring at him with a look of confusion on his face. When he looked back at her he felt that same confusion. The unwritten rule that was shared between all guys was telling him that this should not be happening but he was not sure that he would be able to stop himself. Was his friend going to be mad at him? He wasn’t sure he even cared at this point.

The music was so loud that you couldn’t really hear each other unless you were shouting so he pulled his friend close to him. He leaned right up to his friend’s ear and said, “Sorry dude, but this is happening.” His friend looked up at him and just shook his head, laughed and shrugged as if to say that everything was alright. Was he interpreting that right? Was his friend saying that he wasn’t pissed? Did he even really care?

He leaned back into her and pulled her closer to him. She felt right. She felt good. She was his best friend’s sister…

The phone rang again…

When the show ended everyone jumped into cabs and headed back to his friend’s house. The show had everyone on a high and they were all ready to continue the party. Once they all arrived at the house she was never far from his side. They were all pretty drunk but they just kept on partying. At one point, while everyone was sitting on the porch rehashing the show, he looked down at her. She was sitting on the floor and leaning up against his legs. Smiling and leaning down, he whispered in her ear, “Want to get out of here?” She looked up into his eyes, smiled and nodded that she was ready to leave.

They went back to her place. The rest of the night was lost in a haze of drunken lust. They fell into each others arms and just seemed to fit. It was as if they had done this hundreds of times. There was no awkward pauses or clumsy fumbling. For that one night, everything seemed perfect.

Even the next morning, when they woke up, there was no strangeness between them. He held her close and she felt like she couldn’t get close enough. They laughed and talked about how everyone was going to be talking about them. They knew that they were going to be the objects of ridicule for a while after the previous night and neither of them seemed to care.

Sometime in the early afternoon they got out of bed and she drove him back to his car. He looked her in the eyes and tried to tell her how much fun it had been but the words just didn’t seem to come. As they sat there, in her car, it started to feel awkward for the first time. He turned to her and thanked her for a great night and then jumped out of the car and headed towards his own without looking back.

The phone rang again…

Over the next month, the two of them didn’t see each other at all. He would text her and she would text him. That was the extent of their conversations during that time. He wanted nothing more than to see her again but he didn’t know what to do. He was confused and wasn’t sure quite how to feel. They made plans to get together over that month several times but their lives kept getting in the way. Mostly it was his fault. He kept finding ways to not see her. He would be working late one night and have to cancel. He would have plans with the people from the office another night…and have to cancel. He would be spending time with his family the next time and have to cancel. He could have gotten out of any of these obligations but he kept using them as a way to not have to deal with the feelings he had for her.

During that incredibly long month he sat down with his friend. There was no way he would ever think about pursuing her if his friend didn’t give him his blessing. He didn’t want to ruin one of the longest friendships of his life over something of which he was completely unsure. His friend had an endless stream of jokes at his expense. There didn’t seem to be any aspect of the entire situation that his friend didn’t find funny and he was not shy about letting every joke fly. But after all the jokes and after all the ridicule his friend said that he was actually happy that his sister was with him and not some other joker.

He was relieved but still scared.

He had known her for almost 20 years. How would you take a friendship of that long and take it to the next level? What would happen if he tried and it didn’t work out? He was pretty sure that everything in his life was about to change and he wasn’t sure he was prepared for that. He knew that he wasn’t the best “relationship guy” and that every one he had been in up to this point had ended dismally. This wasn’t one where, if things went wrong, he could just walk away from and never have to see her again. She would be around at every get together of their friends and he wouldn’t be able to just pretend she never existed if things went south.

So he avoided her for that month. If they didn’t see each other he wouldn’t be forced to make the decision. The decision that he was dreading because either way he went was going to be entering uncharted waters. He was terrified and didn’t know what course of action would be best.

Should he just let it go and chalk that night up to a lot of booze and a mistake or should he attempt to make something with her? If he answered her calls he wasn’t sure what would happen and not knowing was churning his stomach into a knotted mess. He was not a fan of the unknown.

The phone rang one last time….

His decision was made as he reached down and picked up the phone.

“Hello?” he croaked out into the phone.

“So, are we ever getting together again or what?” she responded.

They both immediately broke into laughter. They have been together ever since.

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July 4th Party on the Potomac

Happy Birthday USA

P and Red

Another year and another great party thrown by P and Red down on the shores of the Potomac.  Our two little party planners really do a great job of getting everyone together and making sure everyone has a great time.  I am sure that none of us thanks them quite enough for all that they do….like getting up and to the spot before 9am to make sure the rest of us have a place to hang out..by the water and in the shade…for the festivities.  Thanks for letting the rest of us sleep in and  wander in on our own schedules….I know Deb and I really appreciate it.

It was another year of temperatures that will melt the soles off your shoes as you make your way down to the party spot.  We took a cab down as close as we could get and then legged it the rest of the way.  It wouldn’t have been a bad walk except for the 80 lbs of ice and drinks in the cooler that I was dragging along behind me.  At 2:30 in the afternoon with the temperature around 95° it wasn’t a bit of fun.  I was really glad that I brought extra shirts with me.

Deb and I had mixed up 2 gallons of White Sangria the night before and we wasted no time in breaking that stuff out once we arrived.  They really turned out AWESOME.  If you are interested in the recipe you can find it here.  The stuff was light and sweet and ice cold and you couldn’t have possibly asked for a better drink on such a hot day.  By the end of the night, except for I think one other person we drank both gallons of the Sangria between the two of us.  We were pretty well done by the end of the night.

Chad

The usual cast of characters for any of the parties thrown by P and Red were all there.  Luckily, for all of us, Red’s friend Chad made it to the party from Chicago.  This guy is definitely the life of the party.  When you don’t have Hicks at your party you need someone to take up the slack…and Chad really didn’t disappoint.  I don’t think I have ever met anyone quite as much of a character as this guy.

My hated rival Megan

Cliff and Cat brought Megan with them again this year and I really want to thank them for that (and btw…when you read that last sentence I hope it was dripping with sarcasm…because that is how it was intended).  For the last 2+ years I had a winning streak going at both horseshoes and ladderball.  I was unstoppable.  A force to be reckoned with.  There wasn’t anyone that could even come close to beating me at either game…until Sunday.  Megan, Cliff’s 13 year old daughter, destroyed me not just once…but in three straight games.  Talk about a blow to your ego.  I was even talking shit the whole time to try and make her miss her shots but nothing would phase her.  I am ashamed to have been so totally thrashed by someone who probably is way into Justin Bieber.  Damn you Cliff.

Being sneaky

Even though the area we are partying in is a National Park and both open flames and open containers are strictly forbidden…we don’t let that stop us.  Red brings her “prison grills” and gets them all fired up and the hamburgers start getting pumped out right around the start of the sunset.  But this isn’t without a lot of sneakiness.  P and Red both had the timing of the passing Park Rangers down like they were Steve McQueen trying to escape a Nazi POW camp.  They even had a team of people trying to fan the smoke away from our area….but seriously…it wasn’t

Uh-oh.

really working.  It was starting to look like our area was participating in the “Legalize it” party that was on the other side of the bridge.  Red was able to cook up most of the burgers before the Rangers descended on our camp.  I honestly think that at least one of those rangers was just looking for a bribe.  Really, click the picture.   Do you think she would pass up a burger…or two?  They did make Red put out the flames but didn’t issue a citation…so at least they were cooler than they had to be.  Thanks ladies.

Such a great place to watch from

We were all pretty well loaded and well fed by the time the fireworks rolled around.  It is amazing how quiet everyone gets when the fireworks kick in.  It is almost like “church quiet” all around you.  At one point I wanted to say something to Deb, who was sitting right beside me, so I leaned over and whispered it to her.  Afterwards I was thinking to myself about how wierd it was that I just did that.  It is pretty strange how reverent everyone gets when the fireworks are blazing up the night sky though.

Who dat?

As soon as the last rocket’s red glare dwindles off into smoke the exodus starts.  People start scrambling back to their cars or to the Metro to get home.  Last year we tried for the metro and just missed them closing the gates.  So we had to call a cab and wait…and wait…and wait.  We didn’t make it home (home being probably about a mile or two away) until 3am.  This year we decided to hang around and get a ride home from some of the other party goers.  Luckily we did stick around too because in doing so I didn’t feel nearly as drunk as I should have.  It is funny how you feel strangely sober when someone else is the one trying to go swimming in the nasty Potomac.  Sure, she said she just wanted to put her foot in the water…but that never leads to anywhere good.

It was yet another great party with some really good people.

Thanks again P and Red for a great time.

Deb

Thanks to everyone that came out for making the hot day really enjoyable.

Thanks to Megan for humbling me.

Thanks to Deb’s Aunt J and Uncle B for that cramped and adventurous ride home.

And thanks to Deb for another great year, making that marvelous Sangria and all the bacon.

Happy 234th Uncle Sam…may you enjoy many, many more.

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