Wednesday, March 23, 2005

the five days of saint patrick

st. pat's
(names (well, most of them) changed to protect the guilty)

i took vacation time from wednesday through friday for my most sacred of holidays. a day, which if handled properly should be filled with stout inebriation and accordion music whistling in the blowing winds. patrick's day. wednesday was warm and bright, the sun poured through my heavy wood blinds and stirred me to action at the ungodly hour of 10AM. bastard Sol, a menace truly. i laid in bed smoking for half an hour and finally rose to shuffle around the house. everything had gone according to plan and i was in my auto screaming toward los angeles by 2PM. all was going according to plan. the 405 gave little resistance to my quest but the moment i transferred to the 710 i knew something was terribly terribly wrong. my first indication was a barrage of phone calls. i detest the phone. i committed to my first cell-phone account late last year and aside from the text-messaging capabilities, i am reminded daily why i resisted a cell phone for as long as i did. my first call was from a client, a gentleman-maker of avant-garde jewelry. in the back of my mind i knew i had 2-3 days worth of work to do on his website before friday, but here i was, on my way to los angeles and working on html javascript and actionscript was the furthest thing from my mind. friday was special to my client because it began the "market week". i still have no idea what that means, but he was adamant about the "press" section of his website being completed by then. the unfortunate part being his demands for the section's presentation and visual acrobatics was more than i'd be able to dedicate myself to while on my five-day drinking adventure. WHERE THE FUCK IS YOUR HOLIDAY SPIRIT? we had a pleasant discussion about the project and all was going well until, "Oh, I almost forgot," he panted, "market week starts tomorrow, not friday." SHIT! i was really screwed. i reiterated that i'd be able to complete it be friday, but any sooner would be nothing short of impossible. "I'm on my way to LA right now, Rob is taking me to see flogging molly for my birthday." He understood and in his special way he still conveyed that if there were anyway to get it completed sooner, that'd be preferable. it's one of the reasons i don't mind working with him, he doesn't compromise, but he isn't psychotically unreasonable(a rare-find in clients indeed). i assured him that everything in my power would be exhausted on his behalf. i hung up and called sil..."man, i need a HUGE favor, and pronto..."
"okay, i need a flash slideshow, similar to the one on your website, but i need it yesterday."
"sure, no problem, just send me a directory path the names of the images and the code for the page."
traffic came to a screeching halt...
"fuck, what the fuck?"
"what's up man?"
"well, i'm sitting neck deep in the primary reason you'll never move back to california..."
forty-five minutes and three phone calls later i made it to the 5. the 101 came rapidly and i slipped off at 1st to make my way through downtown and hollywood. by the time i reached melrose and gower my little adventure had already sucked two and a half hours from my already shortened life. i dropped my things at rob's house and traipsed to the liquor store and was soon the owner of six dark, lovely, and perfect Guinness'. i had a few hours to kill and did so by washing THC down with four of the six beers and reading my kind of day! rob returned from work, joined me in the annals of stoner-dom and we were soon off to the house of blues for the concert. the television station rob works for had been courting flogging molly to make an appearance on one of their programs and as a result rob was able to wrestle two tickets to the show from their manager. we arrived just before the riverboat gamblers(which, no offense...sucked) played and spent our time outside smoking. i continued to drink as much as i could while rob nursed one of three beers for the evening. hot water music was very impressive live, but they didn't play anything from the time period i am a fan of, so mostly it was just the novelty of seeing them live after all these years that i clung too. it wore thin after 4-5 songs and we were back on the smoking patio doing our part to destroy the air quality in los angeles. flogging molly finally came on and though the lads and lass looked a bit tired, they managed to play their entire set at what seemed like triple speed. their hands moving mostly in unison over the strings and skins was mesmerizing at that breakneck speed. when the show was over rob and i filed out into the night air and returned to his home. he set me up with his laptop, the pipe, and a think blanket. before going to bed he reiterated just how much he hated me(his charming sense of humor) and how much he desired me to be gone before he returned from work the next day. i continued lubing my gullet with onyx stout and illicit drugs until i could no longer justify consciousness and gave up the ghost.

today was the day. my phone went off at 7AM. i barely opened my eyes and saw rob standing with my phone in his hand returning a text message. my sister had contacted me wishing me a happy st. P's and rob, in turn responded, "fuck off." i love that guy. my sister's call was one of five i received all in honor of catholic guilt and inebriation. i went back to sleep and awoke again around 10 when rob's girlfriend was getting ready for work. after she left i got far too stoned again and drank a little too much but i had quite a lovely 2-3 hours sitting about watching tv. i was struggling with my destiny...should i stay in LA or go back home? LA held a romantic edge over home, but rob was sick, and not much of a drinker, and his girlfriend had voiced no special interest in going out for the holiday. so, in essence i'd be drinking alone if i stayed in LA. this would have been an easy decision to make under normal circumstances, but i was broke, so other people were officially veryvery important to my continued inebriation. a sad sad state of affairs indeed. being a bum is my least favorite thing to do. i received a call from Sil, the website project was complete and i put in a happy phone call to the client telling him as much, he was ecstatic. i decided home is where the heart is and decided on a different and hopefully traffic-free route back to costa mesa via the 110 and 405. it worked out superbly, not even a slow down en route, i was quite pleased. my sister was surprised to see me home, but overjoyed that i'd be hitting the pub with her and jan for the holiday. i neglected to take a nap, jan arrived and the ladies got ready. i slowly plodded through a shower and a shave and slipped into a suit. our master plan was to go to dinner first, then make our way to the pub, but a stealthily placed phone call informed us that the pub was filling up rapidly and NOW was the time to strike. we drove through a fast-food joint and made out way to Patrick's. the place was already packed, but in a comfortable way. old and new faces passed, hugs and introductions were given out, drinks and lies were purchased. i finally met T, Maurice and Ms. D in the flesh, which was a very pleasant experience indeed. eventually last call rang out over the gathered partiers and we all made our way toward the door.

i planned on doing NOTHING with my day, in fact INSISTED upon it. i was able to convince elaine to have a drink with me that evening and i spent the rest of the day languishing in half-rest half-anxiety. evening came and i made my way to fullerton to pick elaine up. we went to a sports-bar that still allows smoking, a rarity in california indeed, but soon left and slipped over to the Continental. the continental is straight out of a sinatra/dino duet. the young black woman playing with the small, disaffected funk band in the corner wailed like aretha but was spry and mesmerizing. elaine and i drank gin and vodka until late in the evening and encouraged a young man we'll call todd in his pursuit of decadence. he seemed to be on a good path in life and enjoyed the two of us pushing him along. it was incredible, every second of the evening.

i had to prepare for my second flogging molly concert in three days. rob and his girlfriend made it to my house and we all smoked a bit of the green and relaxed until it was time to hit the house of blues. once there i realized(because i'm a fucking genius!) that i had left my wallet at home...D'OH! after a short bit of conspiring, it was decided that i'd enter the concert with a "minor" wristband and simply palm drinks until i got drunk, or kicked out, whichever came first. it worked superbly and i was soon drunk again and none the worse for the wear. elaine arrived shortly before the final band played. she arrived with a deadly handsome companion. at first her body language seemed awkward and i feared something had changed since we'd seen each other last. i was far more adversely affected by this than i'd like to admit, but eventually we both talked and realized that she had read my body language the same way. everything was sussed out and i was soon basking in the glow of her affection again, ah sweet bliss! we left the concert and met friends who were not able to attend at a bar just outside of the house of blues. one of the friends was returning from a three-year stint in massachusetts, and it was very good to see her again. we drank for two more hours before finally returning home.

my only agenda for the day was attending birthday party that evening for little ones. the party was a blast, all in attendance were very nice and very charming. discussion ranged from the pros and cons of letting L'Amour slip into a western literature class and the definition of shaudenfraude. the kids were well behaved, the parents were all my age, and i continued to drink. all was well. as the sun began to set i drove elaine back home and made the long trek home. sunday evening closed out with a severe THC buzz and another fine bombay sapphire and tonic.

i totally went to work on monday.

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