Sunday, June 24, 2012

A bemusement of Lindsay's

We were in rare form yesterday.  And when I say "rare form", I want you to take into account I'm on some sort of vacation reminiscent of Murray's grand adventure in Groundhog's Day.  I do not have proper superlatives to express our state.  We celebrated the birth of Jared the Great in a spectacular fashion.

I have no regrets.

But I may owe an apology.  To some number of Lindsay's.  I am not sure exactly how I managed this.  Or to what extent the damage may be.  But I have received a number of notifications from the beloved facebook informing me that various Lindsay's have accepted my friend requests.  I am sure you are all spectacular people, but I do not believe we've actually had the pleasure of meeting.  Unless you girls get together for incredibly confusing conventions and I happened to wander into one last night.  We were joined by two of my already-friended Lindsay's come to think of it...  There may be more to that theory than meets the eye.

To the gracious few who accepted my requests:  Enchanté!  Piacere! And otherwise welcome to the fold.  I suppose I've grown friendships from stranger beginnings.  Lacking grace, I present to you entertainment.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


So I finally actually went to a yoga class.  Women's work, I know, but I have been fairly interested since I started P90X over a year ago (and I've never been opposed to being the only guy in a room full of ladies).  For those of you unaware, P90X has a yoga day that you do at least once a week for the whole three month program.  And it will kick you mother-lovin' ass.  Fuck you Adam, with your perfect abs and unquivering poses…

I've been doing P90X again this summer.  I'll admit it will never be as intense as the first time I ran through the program with Howie, my roommie in DC--I miss that competition or me trying to keep up--but it costs no gym membership and I've got to do something if I'm going to lounge on the beach every day.  Or show my cheeks to the night sky.  I figured a yoga class would be easy and I could tack it on to my routine.

Nope.  Tony Horton of P90X fame did not prepare me for the variety of poses and shit that instructor can come up with.  Eagle pose?  Just google that for a second.  And they just stand there for like… a long time.  THAT LOOKS NOTHING LIKE AN EAGLE.  Taking these fuckers to the zoo…

I will say that it is quite refreshing.  They do the shavasana pose to cool down at the end.  Basically you just lay dead on the floor for like 5 minutes.  You are supposed to stay in the moment all meditation like, but it's mostly nap time.  Some people even put on sweaters and such (ostensibly so their body doesn't cool too quick and get muscle cramps).  I'ma bring a blanket next time!

Monday, June 18, 2012

My Arse in the Moonlight

What's that?  It is a Wednesday and you really want to go out?  You are feeling stir-crazy and just can't wait for the weekend?  Alas, all your friends have real people jobs and wake up at real people hours.  What ever should you do?

So I got a phone call the other night from a friend.  Technically she was more like an acquaintance at the time, but you can fast-track friendship with one solid evening.  She invited me to join her and some of her friends out at a place called Juanita's, a little Mexican joint with a nice big patio in the back and a live band.  A place where either a pint of Dos Equis is two bucks or they gave me some freebies.  My return business can be expected regardless.  Now it is a bit intimidating to meet a bunch of strangers out on your own, but how could I turn down the girl who invites the new kid in town to tag along?  Such generosity needs its just reward.  It probably didn't hurt that she was also a looker.  And it was a Wednesday; the hell else was I going to do on a Wednesday?

It took me a little while to find the place.  In my attempts to sound suave and cool on the phone (like the sort of stranger you would want to hang out with) I didn't pay close attention to the name of the bar.  All I really had was the block it was on and a vague notion that it might start with a "w".  Damn foreign words.

After I found Juanita's, we hung out on the back patio while the band warmed up.  I did the rounds making small talk and asking all the socially required introductory questions.  Answering my own too, "Why yes, I am actually an unemployed bum who spends most his time on the beach.  But have you noticed my sweet tan?"  All the while trying to take mental notes in case I meet these folks again.  Supposedly associating animals with names helps to remember.  Harry the hippopotamus.  No, he's too skinny for that.  Harry the hippogriff!  He sort of looks like Harry Potter minus the glasses too!  We will just put aside the not being British bit.  Wait, was his name even Harry?  Was it Henry?  Fuck, that's not going to work.

The band started up and it happily rocked my socks off.  They were particularly perfect for that sort of narrow, divy bar feel.  With good reason, they called themselves Jordan Igoe and the Shitshow.  The lead, Miss Igoe, was a cute chick with an amazing voice.  There were a couple of songs where I swear the whole bar quieted up to hear her sing.  She had a Beatles shirt on and I briefly contemplated the effectiveness of a pickup line like "Hey!  I like the Beatles too!  What are the odds?" though I never worked up the nerve.  The rest of the band was appropriately classified as a shitshow.  There were maybe ten of them with five on stage at any one time.  All constantly rotating out with different people singing, different instruments or styles--pretty sure I saw mandolin, but don't quote me on that--and all playing both covers and originals.  It was a blast to watch and we stayed there till the bar closed down.

But the night was young, as it always is for nomads and vagabonds like myself.  A few of us made off to the nearest gas station and picked up some more beers.  Then off to find the water.  This is Charleston; you never have to go far.  A small hidden beach, the crash of waves, and an almost full moon.  I've been to the beach many times since I've been here, but somehow I forgot what she looked like at night…  She called and I swam.  Surprisingly, I think that was only the second time I've skinny dipped.  The last was in the Adriatic and a girl stole my pants.  I had to chase her naked through the night.   If that sounds sexy, it is because you haven't run naked: free flapping turns painful quick. I think you might be able to pull up a facebook photo where my pants are barely held up and I'm flipping the ole double bird to the world.  This time, however, was much less antagonistic.  Just me, the moon, the sea, and some strangers catching a glimpse of a second pale moon against the black.  I wrote a poem to God.  I am under the impression that's all you can do under such circumstances at four in the morning on a Wednesday.

God, I have found you.
In the moonlight.
By the sea.
I have found you.

Not the work of a poet laureate I will admit, but hey, I was drunk at the time.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


You should keep a journal.  That’s right, you, the esteemed reader.  Here, let me tell you why.

You’ve a shitty memory.  Granted, it isn’t as shitty as mine, but it isn’t perfect.  Did you know that every time you remember something you actually recreate the memory, relive it in a sense, and change it ever so slightly.  It’s called coping and it’s science and I read it in an article.  We'll assume some esteemed science journal.  Yes, I do that on occasion, so there.  

Now, I started keeping a journal when I went to Italy specifically because I know I have an atrocious memory.  And I’m slightly annoyed by the entries that say “went to place X, it was cool, check out the pictures.”  Thanks, Past Dale, for such an enlightening entry!  Now if you happen to have a perfect memory… well, good for you.  Move on to reason number two.

I would say conflict resolution because that’s where it really helps, but the point is that writing things down helps you really analyze them.  That’s why I kept doing the journal even after I came back from Italy.  I can’t tell you how many times I’d write about some fight I had with someone (read: girlfriend) and when I would start writing about what they were all up in arms about I would have an epiphany.   Usually along the lines of, “OH!  They were mad at me because I’m an asshole.  Huh, completely missed that at the time.”

This has the double benefit of making you not really second guess yourself later.  You already analyzed it; yea they are right, but you discovered you had plenty reasons not to care.

This is what prompted this post.  I’ve been re-reading my journals from Italy (honestly the first time I’ve bothered) and damned if they aren't hilarious.  I’m amazed at how much I have forgotten.  I’m also amazed that I was such an idiot (surprise, surprise!).  Sometimes I just want to go back in time and slap the hell out of Past Dale.  “No, don’t go home with her.  That’s a terrible idea!”  It’s like watching a horror movie and knowing exactly what will happen when they open the door.  Dramatic irony always makes me cringe.

You also might find out how much you have changed over time.  Your opinions of people and places and even your ideas change.  I’ve found my feelings toward people are only the final way I felt. I’ve entirely forgotten how those relationships grew over time.

I do recommend skipping the sappy bits about long lost loves.

Actually, on that note, you should burn all my journals after my death.

Nah, I’m just kidding.  I’ll be dead, what do I care?  Read some of them at the funeral and have yourselves a good laugh.  I do apologize for all the horrible things I said about you.  But to be fair, you had pissed me off.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

My Charlestonian Family

I spent Sunday at the beach (surprise!).  Perfect weather.  You don't know perfect weather until you've spent May and June in Charleston, SC.  Jared, my handsome, healthy, and fit roommate, swears that come July the heat and humidity will attempt to kill me.  Or at the very least make my days and evenings on the porch much sweater.  But that is then, this is now.

Sunday evening capped off a perfect day with a meal on said porch in said weather with my Charlestonian family.  Here, why don't I introduce you?

We have the above mentioned Jared.  A world traveler, surfer, gardener, etc. who reminds me how much one person can accomplish.  And that I should be eating healthier.  The lovely Cindy, a smart, hard working med student  who Kevin has selfishly stolen from the world.  She's also an incredible social animal and can work a room like I've never seen.  She was the esteemed chef of the evening.  And finally Kevin, who most of you likely know, one of my oldest and certainly longest serving friends.  High School and College, trips to Italy and Ireland, lived with in Chapel Hill and now Charleston, complete with plenty of adventures in between.  Fairly confident I've been more places with him than without.

The delicious meal:  Salmon baked in olive oil, ginger, soy sauce, and lemon.  Mashed potatoes.  Broccoli with cheese.  And a fresh salad to start.  Seems wherever I go, one thing is for certain: I am eating well and with good people.  I am not sure why Cindy felt we were deserving of such a meal, but I certainly owe her a boon.

La vita è bella.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Visitors make a home

Ha, I've had visitors.  It's official.  Entertaining guests, I believe, is a prerequisite to calling someplace home.  No one visits you on vacation, right?  But when you can say "Yes, this is where I sleep." or "May I offer you a drink?" it is a defining moment.

Now, you could argue that Richard, a friend from high school turned DC resident, and Megan, one of my district lawyer friends, did not travel all this way specifically to see me.  Make the argument that they had some sort of "wedding" to plan.  And that they were staying with "family" (who could reject the comfort of my couch?).  But I know--and you do too, my dear readers--that their deep longing to see me was what really drew them to Charleston from far off DC.

That's actually twice I've seen them since I've put the District into the rearview mirror.  I think they might be following me.

We had a fantastic evening downtown.  Curious of my last… adventure as reported to you, we went to dinner at Basil, a delicious Thai joint that doubles as the start of my "Dale versus Hulk" escapade.  The food perfect, the wine better:  I had the Pad See-Eu, stir-fry with a sweet soy sauce to which the waitress recommended adding a bit of spice for kick.  Go with mild, that shit gets hot.  Asians take spicy very seriously.  Richard insisted he owed me for something or other and they graciously paid for my dinner.  Quite the lovely gesture.

You guys should feel free to come again ANY TIME.

We spent the rest of the evening out on one of Charleston's many patios.  The skies having cleared up from whatever the weatherman drug with him from DC.  I swear it hasn't rained once since I got here, but as soon as my meteorologist friend comes to town it gets interesting.  How curious.

No one tried to shot put me AND I can now call this place home.  A fine eve.