Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Bachelor Party - I

Andy's getting married in three weeks. It's an exciting time for him and Chrissy. This weekend they had their bachelor/bachelorette parties. It was good times. The following events take place between 6pm and 4am. Events occurred in real time. Parental guidance is suggested.

I arrived in Charlotte just before 6 in the evening on Saturday. By then, everyone was there but Mark. Around 6:30, Mark calls asking for directions from the exit. Well, he went to far and I was the one to try and talk him back to Andy's apartment. I really had no right to do this, because I know very little about that area. But I knew enough to tell him he drove too far and he needed to turn around. I asked him to describe his surroundings, and then, dumbfounded, he described a very "well-endowed" woman walking three dogs. Actually, the words I believe he used were, "Good gosh, that woman has some big boobs!" At this point, I yell across the room at Andy that Mark just spotted the Big Boob Dog Walker.

Let me back up... A month ago I visited Andy and Chrissy. They told tales of a woman who walked her dogs in the evening. The description was intriguing. A woman with rather large breasts, wearing an inappropriate amount of clothing to cover them. As much as they talked her up, we never caught a glimpse at the time.

Back to live action... Andy gathers everyone together and we pile into a Suburban so we can go on a little excursion. See, he wants us to believe that this mythic creature, "BBDW," really exists. She sure did exist. Andy's brother told her that he loved her. He got a smile out of her. This was the start of an evening that was pretty much legendary.

The actual evening began at the Hickory Tavern, a place which I feel puts Buffalo Wild Wings to shame. Dinner was great. The waitress flirted quite a bit. It's all about the tips, man.

After that we headed uptown. Charlotte on a Saturday night was pretty nuts. Our next stop was a place called The Breakfast Club, an 80's themed club. We weren't staying. The only reason we stopped was because we saw Chrissy and the Bridal Party stopping there. We shared a quick hello and good-bye.

Next we searched for a bar known as The Graduate. What's up with the bars named after movies? Anywho... The Graduate was pretty dead, so we asked about another bar known as Cans. Now, let me take a minute for an editorial remark. I don't go to bars. Applebee's is generally the closest I've been to hanging out in a bar. So I go into this thing with a preconceived notion of what a bar would be like, based, of course, on what I've seen on TV. You know, Cheers, How I Met Your Mother, that sort of thing. Misconception.

We got to Cans and it was really loud. Neat place, but loud, crowded, and kinda stuffy. We made our way through a crowd and went to the roof. Most of the other guys began drinking, I abstained. But the view was nice. And I don't mean the city. As a single man, I did take notice of the large number of attractive women all around us. However, being an introvert, I approached none of them. Seriously, could you picture me trying to pick up a woman in a bar? Yeah, me either.

Eventually we got tired of Cans and made our way to The Attic. Not the same Attic that Zack and Slater snuck into with fake IDs (that's obviously in California, duh). This place was also loud and crowded, but the music was better I thought. And how's this for coincidence... we ran into Chrissy and the Bridal Party again. Really, this time we didn't mean to.

Here's where it gets exciting. At one point in the evening, Mark and I (both completely sober) sat on opposite sides of a couch near where all the guys were hanging out. Suddenly, here comes a very cute girl that sits right between us. I'm thinking that this is pretty awesome. Just as I'm about to say hi, here comes the bonus. Another young lady comes along and proceeds to give the first girl a lap dance. And if you were to see this first-hand, you'd think that this girl was no amateur. She was working it like she was getting paid to do it. I'm fairly certain she was doing it on a dare. I'm gonna just say, I was in the right place at the right time. No, I didn't get a lap dance out of this, but I got enough splash to make that the best seat in the house.

Soon enough, we hit last call. The lights came on. And I quickly learned why bars keep the lights dimmed. People are just not as attractive when all the lights come on. Most of them are drunk and look aged from the smoke, it's not pretty. To cap off the evening (morning) in The Attic, "I've Had the Time of My Life" played over the speakers. Somehow, this became the biggest dance number of the night. Andy and his brother did the lift from the end of Dirty Dancing. I was impressed. And you're probably thinking this is where the good times end. But you'd be wrong. Come back tomorrow for the rest of the story.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Wait For It

How I Met Your Mother returns tonight. Last season ended with Barney's trademark line "Wait for it..." and cut to credits. So was three months worth the wait? Let's see...

Marshall and Lily are happily married. Ted grew a break-up beard. Barney needs a wingman, but Ted's not ready after his break-up with Robin. Robin went to Argentina and came back to the States with Enrique Iglesias in tow. So he's good looking and has an accent. Suddenly Ted's ready. He shaves and hits the bar with Barney, where he meets his own singer: Mandy Moore.

I like Mandy Moore. In a more than friends kind of way. But this isn't the Mandy Moore we've all grown to love. This isn't little Jamie Sullivan taking Ted on a walk to remember. No, no... this is anti-type-casting Mandy Moore, complete with fake tattoos and fishnet stockings. Didn't see that coming did ya? Well, you probably did if you saw any promos for the season premiere at all.

So, was "Wait For It" worth the wait? Sure. Was it the best episode of How I Met Your Mother? Not so much. Funny, yes, but I still give best episode status to the Slap Bet episode from last season. Good times. If you haven't seen that one you should check it out (Season 2 DVD on sale October 2nd).

Honestly, I wish they hadn't wrangled two big name guest stars for this episode. The best part about this show is the chemistry between our main characters. Mandy and Enrique just got in the way. Sure they advanced the plot a little, but did little for the overall comedy of the show. Also, shameless plug for Mandy Moore's new album.

The big reveal for the episode: the yellow umbrella. At the beginning, Old Ted is talking to his kids and, in what could be written off as a throw away line, mentions that they already know the short story of how he met their mother, involving a yellow umbrella. At the end, the camera pans outside the bar to the rainy sidewalk where dozens of black umbrellas pass by. And one yellow umbrella. So will season 3 see the introduction of the show's title character? One episode down, twentyish to go.

I'm really not that busy

I'm sorry I don't update regularly these days. I'd use the excuse that I'm busy, but let's be honest, I'm no more busy than normal. Sure, I'm a full-time student, but I'm only taking 9 hours. I'm working a part-time job, but it's very part time. As in, I'm getting maybe 15 hours a week. On that front, I am looking for more work. But I digress.

Let's look at my life right now: I do homework; I read a lot of textbooks; yet I still make time to watch TV. So why haven't I been writing down my thoughts on this blog? 'Cause my thoughts are boring these days. Usually I only write something down if I'm interested in what I'm writing. These days, there are some interesting things happening in my life, but I don't think of these events as noteworthy. Maybe they are and I'm just not recognizing them. But here is my promise to both of my regular readers: more to come.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Tales from the Qwik Pack & Ship - Chapter 1

I screwed up. Big time.

This week, I'm at the store alone. My boss is in New Orleans until Tuesday. Not sure for what. The point is, he left me, the new kid, in charge.

Yesterday a man came in here with two packages to send out. One was just a regular shipment, no special instructions at all. The second was to be sent next-day air. Yesterday was Friday.

Normally, when someone says next-day air, they mean the next business day. This man did not specifically ask for Saturday delivery. I'm not putting the blame on him. I didn't think to even mention it either.

Today (Saturday), I received a phone call from that man requesting the tracking number. When he had looked up the package he called back, concerned that it had not arrived at its destination. I reiterate, I'm the new kid, so when something goes wrong like this, I'm really at a loss. At first I was thinking this was a simple issue of someone not getting what they thought they had paid for. Also at this time, I wasn't even considering the fact that it was supposed to be a Saturday delivery. I got his number and said I'd call back when I figured out what I could do.

So I figured out what he would get if he wanted a refund. Well, a refund on the difference. I called back and asked him to come in and I'd be happy to refund his money.

Fifteen minutes later, his wife walks through the door. Irate, she tells me the importance of the package and why it was supposed to arrive today. See, the recipient of this package, an iPod, is a little girl with a terminal illness. She's entering the hospital today for her next round of treatments. They wanted to get this iPod to her because it's the thing she wants more than anything else. But now it won't get to her until Monday.

Through tears, I apologized profusely, wishing there was something more I could do. I felt about 3 inches tall after that. And then I dropped to my knees. And I'm asking anyone reading this to take a moment to do the same. I don't know this little girl's name. I don't know exactly what's wrong with her. But God does. I'm not praying that an iPod would miraculously appear on this family's doorstep (though that would be a nice twist). I'm praying that God would place His hand on this girl. That He would provide comfort, peace, and strength to the family. That He would reveal Himself to them in a powerful way.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Surfing The Web

You know what's great about being one of the first people to walk on campus for those early morning classes? I get to be the one to clear away brand new spider webs with my face.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Can't Take The Heat

I've been in my apartment for just over three weeks. It's nice. I gotta say, I enjoy living on my own again. I've missed it. You know, the freedom of having your own bathroom. Not having to share the remote control with anyone. Everything on the DVR is something that I wanted to watch, not some obscure Trading Spaces clone. Plus, I don't have my mother barging in and making sure I'm home by curfew.

I'm kidding, by the way, I didn't have a curfew. In fact, I never had a curfew, even growing up. But I digress.

One of the benefits to renting a place from the school is that maintenance is taken care of by them. This is helpful because I have been having problems for the last two weeks.

My oven is sub-par. The first time I tried to use it, it worked fine. A few days later I turned it on to preheat... nothing happened. So I called maintenance. They came and replaced the heating element and it worked just fine. So that night I cooked some chicken nuggets. While they were cooking, I heard some popping sounds. I was slightly alarmed, but nothing was on fire, so my concern lessened. Days passed. I used the oven again. When I turned it on, the fuse blew. So I flipped the switch in the box and it came back on. Fine, I can handle that. This leads me to tonight.

I wanted to heat up a pizza. So, of course, I turned on the oven. Blew a fuse. Flipped the switch... nothing. I tested the stove top, that's fine. But the oven light won't come on. Not even the indicating light to let you know that it's heating up. Nothing inside works. So now I have to call maintenance again to have them fix my oven.

I just don't want them to think I'm an oven-killer. Maybe it's a sign. I should only eat things that can be cooked in a microwave.