Monday, August 22, 2005

Finally

Thank you all for your kind words & remedies; I’m feeling much better today.

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Emily fell asleep at 3:45 this afternoon. For those of you who know her, and for those of you to whom I’ve complained before, you’ll know this means I’m in for a long, long night.

Thing is, she’s still asleep 2 ½ hours later! At this point, I’m hoping she just forges on through the night. Keep your fingers crossed for me, please.

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Did I mention that I went to Santa Barbara the weekend before last? Yeah, well, only for a day. But what a day it was!

On Saturday, at my niece’s 8th birthday party, my dad’s wife mentioned that she had been to a gem and bead show at the Earl Warren Fairgrounds in Santa Barbara and that her pass was good for the whole weekend. She also said she had no intention of going back the next day and offered me the pass. Wow, Really?!

So I left my sister’s house early Sunday morning (ok, not that early. I was almost at the end of my book, so I finished that first), and headed out to the Fairgrounds. I thought at first I must be in the wrong place 'cause the parking only cost $3.00 and the lot was nearly empty. Nope—I just happened to be one of the first people there!

I breezed in with Deborah’s pass and no one even said a thing. Having never been to a bead and gem show, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Let me just tell you, it was a bit overwhelming. I did my duty and picked up a new tool-kit for Deborah (she couldn’t find hers), and then I found a few things for myself, as well as a Christmas present for my girlfriend Kimberly (remember—the one who moved to Portland. She reads this blog sometimes, so no, I’m not going to tell you what I got for her!).

Yay! Mission(s) accomplished, I headed into downtown Santa Barbara. Found a good parking spot, moseyed over to a nearby coffee house, got myself a latte, and sat down with my knitting to wait for Michael, Inanna, and AJ to arrive.

Have you ever noticed how loud cities are? I mean, even small cities like SB. They’re just full of noises: cars honking, garbage cans clattering, dogs barking. Man, I heard one of the most anemic sounding dogs ever that day. And he just kept whoofing and whoofing.... It was making me a little bit crazy.

Then Mikey & Nanner arrived (about 10 minutes after me), so I stopped paying attention to all that other noise. Then AJ showed up. We sat and drank coffee and ate snacks and talked each other’s ears off for probably much longer than any of us realized while Inanna made me a beautiful pair of earrings (which, by the way, I’ve worn almost every day since—thanks, Nanner!) and while we took turns talking to Brighton on the phone. (Hi Brighton!) Then we decided to head down toward the ocean.

Rather than everyone reparking, we piled into AJ’s rental car and drove almost to the end of State Street. Got out, found a decent Mexican restaurant for lunch (not great, but not bad), and started talking about you. Yeah, you. And you, too. Oh yeah, don’t think you were off the hook for a second, buddy, we talked about you, too. All a’ y’alls was dished on.

Then we talked some more. And more. Then Jeanette called. Then we talked more.

Decided it was time to move, went across the street to a ColdStone, got ice creams, and walked down to the beach.

I don’t know who started with the bad jokes, but OH.MY.GOD, AJ told one of the funniest jokes I’ve ever heard. But honestly, the *joke* wasn’t that funny—it was the DELIVERY! Nanner and I nearly peed ourselves we were laughing so hard. It takes a LOT to make my stomach muscles hurt from laughter and even more to make my eyes water, but AJ managed both.

As we stepped onto the pier, the jokes came to an abrupt end when we all saw a memorial that had been erected in the sand. It was overwhelmingly sad—hundreds of white crosses (reminiscent of Arlington), each with a person’s name, city and state written on it. The first one I saw was a boy named Patrick from a town 6 miles north of where I’m sitting this moment. Somewhere that close to me, and even closer, no doubt, is a family who has lost their son, brother, nephew, cousin; is a family in pain every day because he did his "DUTY" by serving in the military and being forced to fight in a pointless war. He's not a hero--he's a dead little boy, and it's shameful. It’s no accident that "duty" is another word for "Shit".

Yeah—what just happened to this post: That’s about what happened to our afternoon.

We wandered up the pier quietly, the boys ahead, Nanner and I having our few minutes of girl-time. Thanks again, Honey. I needed that.

After a bit, we wandered back toward the car, stopped in a Starbucks for a quick pick-me-up, and got ourselves involved in a conversation about the nature of God, and the gods of Nature, and whether any or all of them exist. Michael told me about Jews for Jesus (which we both agreed sort of defeats the purpose, but whatever), and a whole bunch of other things that would sound completely out of place when taken out of context.

And then, eventually, we went back to AJ’s car, drove uptown to our respective vehicles, kissed & hugged goodbye, and went home. Well, I went home anyway. I don’t know what craziness they all did after I left.

I can tell you though quite honestly, nearly 9 hours with those three and I wasn’t done. I wasn’t ready for the day to end.

You’ve read my impressions of Nanner and Michael before, so there’s no need to go there (except maybe to confirm that my first impressions were right and I still adore them both). AJ, on the other hand, was new to me. He was—I am so, so, so pleased to say—everything I expected and more. Kind, generous, funny, sincere, honest, (may I say handsome and not get into hot water with Michelle?). You know how he comes across in his blog comments as someone who really listens to you (or, in this case, "reads" you)? Yeah, that’s him alright. Thanks for being so YOU, AJ. :)

It was a great day, and I love you guys.