HowIMetYourRugger and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

28 04 2009

Allow me to introduce myself as someone you may have met, and if you follow this space have heard referenced of by the endearing if not ENTIRELY ACCURATE “Fashion Forward”.  (Also all apologies for the lowered bar exhibited by the Green Lantern getup, my wardrobe assistant failed me that day with the green on green pinstripe suit (now in my possession and being saved for the proper occasion) and apparently you cant find a good reasonably priced track suit in the south side, which is a shame) And now, for the main event :

This was going to be a post about how to make the most of your wardrobe. A beginners guide to flair without care, if you will but instead I think this will be far more humorous (for the reader at least) and right now is the reason that finds me at 10 AM on a Monday sitting in the drivers seat of my car in my driveway drinking a pint of Criminally Bad Elf  (my final one, and the perfect remedy for what ails you).

Lets start by saying that I have a jaundiced view of the anniversary of my birth.  Not what you think, no childhood issues bubbling to the surface, no familial issues. In fact the few of you that really know me know that my family is great.  I consider myself pretty lucky in that department and they go out of their way for me.  No, this jaundiced view comes from years now of ominous and unfortunate events, miraculously occurring in the time frame of said anniversary.  The ominous birthday curse.

(Ed. Note: At this point we will set aside any debate on the scientific basis for the occult, curses, paranormal activity et. al, and just go with it.  We will also set aside any occasion bias, or the want of the mind to attribute bad activities to a certain day based on having a specific “day” in mind, rather than having nothing special to attribute it to.  Also, any debate as to the random odds of any said bad event happening within the week before or after a specific day (2/52) and the seemingly high odds thereof will be tabled to allow the story to continue unharmed.)

It would seem that something enjoys toying with my right around this day.  Now, I’m not a big one for birthdays much myself, and as for that I’m not really much for a fuss being made for me.  I have more of a concerned host personality and my general want when I’m out is for everyone around to be having the best possible time.   Be it conversation, drinks or all around tomfoolery, I like to be one of the little cogs that helps the entertainment flow smoothly and extend to all, and of course usher everyone home safe.  Which is why on more than a few occasions I have remained the designated driver so that those around me can imbibe freely without worry.  Which is what I was doing a few years back.  Roomie and I have celebrated our birthdays with each other for years, even though we haven’t been roomies for many of them.  So this particular birthday found me with a brand new (to me) car, my first one I bought straight up in cash (which is much easier if you have very lax taste in transportation and love to haggle).  So Roomie and I decide to go see a show, moe. I believe, both being fans and deciding that this was the best way for us to cut loose.  I decided Roomie could drink and I would chauffeur in the new chariot.  After witnessing a decent show we depart and begin our travels home.  Nearing our destination we missed the exit so we turned around and got back to the bridge that will live in infamy.  Driving in a construction zone,  we come to a red light and stop, with workers blazing away on the concrete in the closed lane next to us.  I begin to make a right turn on red, when Roomie’s hawk eyes spot the “No Turn On Red” sign mine had missed, amongst the temporary international airstrip they had setup in Neon signs, flashers, reflectors, cones,  et al.  So we stop and wait…forever. Then we began to move.  No the light hadn’t turned red, and unfortunately the movement was as much vertical as horizontal, which I realized in that brief moment I was weightless at the apex of our brief flight.  Apparently the driver approaching behind us did not see the red light, or the car in front of them, or the million signs pointing right at us.  Upon arriving the officer asked my my license plate number, which being new I had not committed to memory.  I had to retrieve this information, along with my bumper, from the middle of the next lane.  (Lets not go into how this was the 2nd time this same construction zone already at a complete stop accident thing has happened to me)

No big deal, car gets fixed, no one’s hurt, things move on.

There was the year I had a nearly season ending knee injury from tripping and falling, which also involved me accidentally getting loopy on the pain medication I was given for it at work while on a conference call (with the president of the company beside me) (the very nice president, who understood, being a sportsman himself who has gone through a few knee reconstructions).

More than one long term relationship has decided to end its course, or terminate itself, on that day,  including one that will probably appear as a rumination at a later time for its sheer shock and awe humor value.

All being said I look forward to the birthday now with as much fervor as a colonoscopy.

So I mentioned to a certain  Angel  that we had such a good time last year at the Harris Grill  (which I will now proclaim as my flat out favorite eatery in the burgh) that we should do it again, on a more casual flair this year.  I suggested a brew and bacon birthday fiesta.   Anyone welcome, the more the merrier, a few drinks with some friends, old and new, and some lighthearted fun on a weeknight.  I thought this would fit the bill perfectly, and I don’t get down there nearly as much as I would like since the move.  The weather had warmed up and even with the threat of rain I advanced with a jovial gait heretofore unseen in recent years.

Then yesterday happened : Going into it the weekend was going well.  Saturday was a beautiful day, capped with 2 wins.  I played well in both games,  fulfilling my role and then some (even getting to add my own flair with a penalty and a near dustup).  The ride back was long and as I drifted off to sleep, the next day offered no warning to its dastardly plans.

(Ed. note: All respect to the friend I mention later.  I realized that I live life along the lines Jason Stratham in crank.  I always have a to-do list a mile long and am trying to please at least a dozen masters.  I have been told I’m a little busier than the average bear, and I would agree so, probably a holdover from the childhood of yore when having an extracurricular activity every night was a plus, and exacerbated by the fact that my main extracurricular activity (the sport that stole my heart) could really be considered a part time job, if only we were to get paid.  (It definitely takes up more time than some relationships… [yes, I see the problem with this statement too])

I woke up and promised a good friend of mine that we’d do dinner.  This is one of those birthday fanatics.  The cake, the card, the whole deal, must be on the exact day, etc. Great friend to have, but as neurotic as they come, for reasons we won’t go into here.  Now, we go back a ways and they have nothing but good intentions, but they know my loathing and don’t grant it any credence.  I had a security install to do so I woke up, chatted with them and setup an rough time, and off to work it was.  As is the habit with my life, work takes MUCH longer than expected.  Pops (one of my closest and longest friends) and I installed the new camera system for his new business venture.  Which means he played with the web portal side and carried on about why my method wouldn’t work, showing absolutely no knowledge of the engineering degree he slaved so long and hard for.  I on the other hand was up ladders, crawling around ceilings, and generally contorting my ailing body into unnatural positions guiding cable in and around rafters, vents and piping.  All in all a fun time and welcome respite to the daily kloc’s I submit myself to.  And in the end (a little more than 3X as long as expected) we had live and working feeds and a time was set for the dinner and I was off.  I return home (for the first time in days, as is the usual) (Ed note : since owning my own house I have spent, on average 2.3 nights home a week, and on average, no more than 15 min a day. Old habits die hard, and I am an old school sofa surfing, living out of the car and doing it well, nomad.   Besides, its not as bad writing code when you are on a free wireless feed and sipping beverages, caffeinated and otherwise and there are actual real human beings wandering around, let alone talking to you.)  and prepare for the evening, loading up the car with some goodies.   I notice the grass has shot up like Dikembe Mutombo in the past 3 days, and seeing as how it takes a total of 10 min to mow the yard I decide to tackle it now, knowing that the next time I’ll see home in the daylight is likely the following Sunday.

It’s at this point I see my sweet neighbor who is exceedingly pleasant, and due to my migratory nature I haven’t seen since, oh, mid October.  Sweet as she is, she was worried I might be sick (due to the growing plantation) so we chatted for a few minutes, and then a few more, then she showed me her garden for this year and we discussed some joint topiary strategies we are going to employ.  A good while later, I return to the yard with a few more to-do’s and crank up the sedentary steel beast, which at this point has what appears to the onlooker as a few joints reconstructed with duct tape.  This is to say, not unlike me these days.  This beast has served well but is truly over the hill and needs some TLC.   In fact, I was surprised I was able to will it to life without McGuyvering anything out of a straw, some chewing gum and a VW spark plug.  I take the beast and together we saunter down the side yard, taking the first swipes of victory against our foiliage foe.  At which point the harbinger starts to rear its head.  I had been gone for a few days and in that time apparently a dervish hit my mailbox, spreading some postal love across my porch, or so I thought.  My airborne assailant had decided to leave me a present in the bushes as well.  What could it be? A nice letter? A refund check? I park my trusty steed and procure my entitlement.  And what am I entitled to? I am entitled to pay the city of Pittsburgh $97.50 for apparently at some point in the recent past infringing on a intersection of theirs.  Very nice.  Putting this out of mind my steed and I continue to mow down the opposition, quite literally and after laying waste to our prey I go to return my steed to the stable.  For this I need the stable key, which is on my keyring, which is in my pocket.  Check that, WAS in my pocket.  But wait, it was there when I started, which means it has to be somewhere in the path of my travels.

Here comes the steep decline into chaos.  As I retrace my steps I see no signs of the object of my desire.  Not in the yard, nor the door, nor the car, nor the porch.  Its only when I dig deeper I see a glimmer of hope.  Hark, what light from yonder crabgrass breaks.  And a break it was.  About 73 in all (which is quite amazing seeing the minute number of keys and key fob thingies).  My car key was now in a smaller more convenient size.  Unfortunately my car wasn’t as receptive to the convenience.  Nor my house, nor my garage, nor the keyless entry fob for the car, nor the RFID tag for work.  (I didn’t know this but it turns out that tiny tag makes a really nice 78 piece jigsaw puzzle) Nothing survived, nothing… not even the built for the nuclear holocaust Harpoon bottle opener from our quest this past year.   It now looked like a 6th grader that had been on the receiving end of a Terry Tate Office Linebacker beat down. Now, mind you, when I finished the yard I was running about 10 min late, not bad, but now I have no transportation, no place to store my steed and most importantly no way to access my exquisite selection of magic elixirs to drown out the evening.   I instantaneously alert my companion (or more accurately their voice mail) to the dilemma and to the fact that they (thanks to their pups brief stay at the De La Casa Tapas and Kennel Club) have the extra key.  So keys, no house, no brew, big problem.

When out of nowhere the heavens part and an answer to the dilemma arises! Doesn’t OnStar offer a door unlock service which they tout to the masses?!  Why yes they do!! And don’t I still have the trial subscription, why golly…this might not be so bad after all (ed. note :who am I kidding, this sucks, need krampus) Now all I do is call the number….   well, maybe its here… nope, maybe back here… Of all the stickers touting the safety, the features, the restraints, just about everything to do with this automobile, the ONE STICKER they don’t stick on the @#$ car is the one that has the PHONE NUMBER FOR WHEN YOU NEED HELP UNLOCKING YOUR CAR!!! Yes the number IS in the glove box…which is great if a) you can reach it or b) are telepathic [see orig. ed. note].   After taking way too long to come up with the number and to obtain help, I was able to get into the car, not that I can do anything but the mental victory seemed important.  They can also send someone right out to me with a new key all the need is the VIN…oh, wait, not that VIN, we don’t have the info for that one! Go to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200, but that’s probably what you’ll need when you’ll see the dealer tomorrow.  KThanksBye.

A full hour and 15 min later my friend calls me, not to aid in my dilemma, but to begin a scathing dissertation on the state of our friendship and how busy I am and how I can forget about dinner because they already ate.  (Haha: jokes on you, I’m on the email list, that means Sunday becomes free Kristy’s big sister velvet burrito night with my coupon…or it would IF I COULD DRIVE THE 6 MILES THERE) (Yes, I realize its worth the jog but its already late) I am able to laugh at the situation when they inform me that, no, they didn’t get my messages due to the fact that they were too busy to check them.  The irony is lost on them.   So after a brow beating that went on WAY too long for my taste, I get my key and access to my kingdom again.  Needless to say this friend declined to join us for bacon.  That’s good ’cause at this point I’m kind of hungry!!   Now I did not take the time to mention to this friend that the kind of brow beating I got is the kind usually reserved for your own spawn, and since I did not come from them, and since we’re not married – assuming the state we are in would allow us to be – they might want to reconsider their stance on what was becoming a rapidly creepy take on our friendship.

I drift off to sleep thinking that at least the curse is fulfilled… I can now go on and celebrate without hesitation.  I awake, procure a key and fob, and return to program my key.  I then take care of a few other details from the incident and grab some charcuterie for good measure.  And return home to sit and catalog the incident for my angelic friend for her amusement… when out of the corner of my eye I catch a shadow.  Craning my neck I peer at the ceiling at the corner of my living room and I realize that its never truly over… You know the little bubbles, the ones that form in latex paint, specifically when the latex paint is forced away from the wall, or ceiling as the case may be, by, well, pick a liquid, any liquid, lets say water.  That’s right…at some point in recent history ceiling decided it was parched and needed a drink, luckily there was a pipe running right above it.  How convenient…

This my friends is how it goes.  I can’t guarantee I’ll be in one piece. I can’t guarantee I’ll be coherent. I can’t even guarantee I’ll be able to drive myself to the darn place, but a few of us are venturing forth after practice tomorrow night to the mecca of all things swine (except the flu of course).  Thats right, the Harris Grill.  We may not look pretty, we may be limping, but we’re usually good conversation and a downright entertaining time.  So, if you are so inclined, join some ruggers and some tweeters and swing by Harris Grill around 9:30ish tomorrow night. (It would be earlier, but that damn rugby,  allegedly it’s ruining my life again…)

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2 responses

28 04 2009
Katy

Fashion Forward, I have 2 questions:
1. Will you be wearing your purple velour shirt to rugby practice tonight?
2. Did you stop to breathe while composing that ridiculous, silly, entertaining blog post?
2a. Are your fingers sore from typing xb

28 04 2009
Uncle Crappy

FF: Um, can I buy you a beer? Because it appears you deserve one.

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