Friday night I had the pleasure of driving Jessie, Ari, and Kyla to the Tim McGraw/Faith Hill concert at the United Center. At least, that was the plan. The show started at 7:30, and I had a softball game at 7:15. Foolishly believing that I would be able to make it there and back in 45 minutes, we left at 6:30. About halfway there, it was already 6:55, so I just dropped them off at Ashland and Division and turned around to go to my game, arriving with about 3 minutes to spare.
Whether it was the lack of a warm-up or not, Vandaley Industries suffered its first loss of the season, and I can honestly say that I offered nothing. My softball futility continues. I went 0-3, reaching on 2 fielder's choices, and scoring a run. While I didn't pop out to the pitcher, my other at bat was equally as pathetic: a foul out. You see, hitting a foul with 2 strikes equals an out in our league. I know what you're thinking: "GMYH, surely your foul out was a spectacular towering shot -- not unlike Albert Pujols's shot off of Brad Lidge in Game 6 of the 2005 NLCS that prompted Andy Pettitte to utter "Oh my God" -- landing just outside the left field line somewhere between 500 and 600 feet from the plate, perhaps even interrupting the kickball game being played at the far end of the field." Thanks for the vote of confidence, fair reader, but my foul out was anything but spectacular. In fact, "pathetic" really doesn't even do it justice. It was one of those where I got under the ball in such a way as to send it about 10 feet in front of the plate, only to come spinning backwards, treading a violent path across the third base line. I'm hoping to strike out next week.
After the game, I went home, drew a bath, and wept forcefully for several hours while waiting for Jessie to return from the concert so that I might lose myself in her tender, enveloping, bear-like arms. Instead of receiving a hug from Jessie, I received a text message from Jeremy "Floppy Burrito" DeMuth inquiring as to whether I wanted to go out for a pint of ale. Still sick from my performance and feeling dehydrated from the intermittent vomiting, I tentatively explained that I would do it, but only on my terms. Thus, a little bit before midnight -- after I had dried my eyes and wiped the dried, crusted stains of failure from my face and clothes -- I met Jer at Paddy Long's, the new bar at Diversey and Kenmore where Lawry's used to be.
Paddy Long's is pretty nice, although the rotting carcass of a goat would be nice compared to Lawry's. Alex happened to be there as well, so Jester and Kyla met us there, after which we all went to Los Tres Panchos for some well-deserved Mexican food. I tempted fate by eating a small portion of guacamole. As far as I know, the dreaded "bowling ball stomach" did not show its face, unless it happened when I was sleeping, but I fail to see how I could sleep through a bowling ball making its way through my digestive system. I'm still skeptical as to whether or not I have beaten my avocado allergy, and I am wary to push the issue.
I think Saturday is best expressed with bullet points featuring the day's highlights:
- Around 11, I went over to Gregerson's for a pre-Astros/Cubs-game BBQ.
- We had bleacher seats -- my first time in the bleachers -- and I wore an orange Astros shirt, complemented by an orange early '80s Astros batting helmet (thanks FanPhoto for allowing me to take a screen shot of your photo without paying for it).
- I hope to one day purchase the 1980 Nolan Ryan jersey, which represents the greatest achievement in Major League Baseball jerseys.
- Attempts to meet up with former co-worker Andy "ATPW" White were unsuccessful, as we were on opposite sides of the bleachers.
- After the game, I was informed that going out would jeopardize the existence of my junk, so I headed home, where Jessie was happy to know that I had been drinking. To calm her down, I put on some Thin Lizzy and put a t-shirt on Harley.
- I'm not exactly sure why, but I recall singing the praises of Mary Steenburgen. I believe I called her "adorable" several times. To make things clear, Mary Steenburgen was not in my apartment.
- I received word via text message and possibly mobile phone that Adam "Troy" McClure and Anton Szandor "Tony" Zumpano would be entering the city limits for the purpose of imbibing spirits.
- I met Adam and Tony at Paddy Long's (twice in two days!).
- From there, we went up to Uberstein to meet one of Adam's buddies, Brian. At Uberstein, I finally answered the question to the age-old question: Can Tony drink a liter of Hofbrau Dunkel? The answer was decidedly "no." I can, however.
- From there, it was the Merkle's, but that wasn't doing it for us, so we went to Bar Celona to meet up with Adam's buddy Scott, who had been there for a bachelor party. On their way out, the strippers passed us on our way down to the basement. That's about right. The basement was then opened to the general public. For some reason, a girl approached me, probably attracted to the overpowering scent of Jovan Sex Appeal. Here's how the conversation went:
Me: Hey baby.
Her: Where are you from?
Me: About a mile down the road. You?
Her: I used to live up here, but I didn't like it, so I moved home.
Me: Where's home?
Her: Dayton, Ohio.
Me: I used to live in Dayton.
Me: Kettering and then downtown.
Her: I went to Fairmont High School.
Me: I used to live across the street from Fairmont High School.
(uninteresting discussion of Kettering, Ohio geography ensues)
Me: So, you said you didn't like Chicago? How is that possible?
Her: I just graduated from college in May, but I just didn't like it, so I moved home after a month.
Me: That's funny. I've never met someone in their 20s who hated living in Chicago. Wait, did you say you just graduated from college?
Me: I think that means you were still in high school when I lived across the street from Fairmont.
Aaaaannnnnd scene. I immediately text messaged Tron and Ashcraft to explain that I just met some chick that went to Fairmont when we lived at Blue Gate. Tron's response was "Was she a cheerleader? Do u have a pic? I might recognize her" and Ashcraft's response was "Did she remember u?..." Upon further review, I moved into Blue Gate a few months after she graduated high school, but Tron, Ashcraft, and Jamie definitely lived at Blue Gate during some of this average-looking girl's high school years.
- After getting the hell out of Bar Celona, Adam, Tony, and I headed to Kirkwood for a couple beers, and we all agreed that, despite it's affiliation with IU, it's not really an IU bar.
For breakfast, Jester and I headed to La Creperie for some crepes. I immediately came up with a great new slogan for them: "La Creperie Gives Me the Crepes" (© 2007 GMYH). It sells itself. More generally, "French Pastry Chefs Give Me the Crepes" (© 2007 GMYH) works on a variety of levels, most notably Level 4 (Puns). All joking aside, it was pretty good. I had assumed there was a limited variety of foodstuffs you could put in a crepe. Indeed, their menu leads to the opposite conclusion. Fearing retribution from Tyr, however, I stuck with Nutella.
After creping ourselves out, Jester and I had a crabwalk race back home. As usual, she beat me by about 12 furlongs. When I got home, I finally broke in and watched some of this year's World Series of Pop Culture. I was boycotting the WSOPC, after Sink the Biz's unceremonious dismissal from the preliminary qualifying rounds. The team Three Men and a Little Lazy was one of the top 3 groups from our testing group. I didn't like them then, and I don't like them now. Watching the WSOPC made me even more bitter about not making it past the qualifying round. I found myself (as usual) knowing nearly every answer. For those wondering, the questions on the qualifying test were somewhat harder than the questions on the show, at least for the most part.
So last week Jon Lovitz beat up Andy Dick (thanks to Tradd for the link). The man took Andy Dick's head and repeatedly slammed it into a bar. I assume his Congressional Gold Medal and Presidential Medal of Freedom are forthcoming. I can think of no other act more deserving of the highest civilian award bestowed by Congress and the President, respectively. Maybe that chick a few years ago who set the world record for most guys banged in a 24-hour period.