I've been more social in the last month than I have in the last couple years. Last night we attended a going-away party for a Book Store co-worker, and that was fun. Tonight we met the guys at "The Bone," and it was a lot of fun, too.
When Michele and I walked in, Sly and his new woman, who I'll call "Indy" on this blog, were just finishing dinner. This was our first time meeting Indy, and it was predictably easy to get into a comfortable conversation with her. I've known Sly for 28 years, and we've been friends for 25 of those, so if he gets along with someone, I can be pretty sure I will, too. She's nice. We didn't get the chance to talk too much (just because there were a lot of us there, and a bunch of conversations happening), but I'm sure we'll get more chances.
The next person to show was a woman I'll call "Cameo." There are a few reasons to call her that, but one is that, though I've known her since fourth grade, I've only seen her two or three times since we graduated high school. The last time I saw her was at a bonfire at Sly's house about four or five years ago, and we caught up. It was fun. She caused me to remember things that I haven't thought of in years.
Then Sly's brother showed up with a co-worker. In the past I've suggested there's some reason to call him "Cat Puke," but I've also mentioned that this would be mean, and I won't do that. So instead, I'll call him "Hot Fuzz." Because I think it's funny, and he's a police officer. Ha. I didn't get to talk too much to Mr. Fuzz, but he did harrass me about not blogging enough. Then he left without saying "goodbye" or anything. So now I call him "Hot Fuzz."
Then Jam and his wife arrived. Jam is my brother, and, by extension, his wife is my sister-in-law. I haven't figured out what to call her yet. Actually, I have. I'll call her "Brigadoon." She knows why. I didn't get to talk to them much, either. What the hell was happening here?
There were a couple of no-shows. Hammer didn't make it, and didn't answer his phone. Of course, knowing his life he may have been in New Mexico or Walla Walla. Or he could have been ankle-deep in infant-feces. You never can tell with him. The Big Polack didn't make it either. I call him that because he recently mentioned to Sly that his pregnant wife is carrying around the Little Polack, and so Sly then called him the Big Polack. I think it's funny, so now I have a nickname for him. And one for his wife, who is now Mrs. Big Polack (unless someone can suggest something funnier, and I don't see how that's possible).
Michele spent the night loopy from her finals yesterday--my guess is that after a few days' rest she'll be alright. The smoke contributed to our need to leave when we did. You could practically chew on the air. Hooray for the Minnesota legislature passing a statewide smoking ban. I hope it sticks. It would be nice to go out for the evening and not come home smelling like ass.
It's nice to have the time to hang out with friends again. Now I need the schedule to settle down a bit so I can write more. I have two short stories doing really well. One of them is an old piece and another is brand new, and composed under the influence of George Saunders's CivilWarLand in Bad Decline. So it's weird.