Dean’s Birthday Weekend

Bob – Friday, March 17

I started the day at work, but took a half-day of vacation thinking I might try to get an early start on the weekend. This turned out to be a good decision. My co-worker and friend Dave told me that he and his wife Ashley were having a baby. This was a really great surprise and I couldn’t be happier for both of them.

So what do I suggest to Dave? Let’s go out for lunch and celebrate! Two Hendricks martinis later (that’s just me, Dave had a beer) and I very much had a head start on my weekend.

Dean drove down this weekend since he is taking some vacation and heading to visit family in Cincinnati. So I met him at the rent-a-car at Union Station where he came out with a white Chevy Malibu, ’cause she’s fancy that way, and our weekend was off to to a start.

Dean loves his bangles and beads.

Not typical for me to be in the passenger side with Dean driving, but given my state (see above regarding my celebratory lunch). It was a good thing.

We stopped off at the Lighthouse in Cedar Lake before getting to the house. Dean hadn’t had lunch yet. And what did I have?

The classic martini: gin of choice, shaken (dry), with olives or a twist. Don’t fuck with perfection.

At you sensing a theme here?

After we got to house, we waited for Tom to arrive with the dog and to head out to dinner at McVey’s in town. We basically have about five or six places that we go to for food around Brokeback and we tend to stick to those same places. Really, they are the five or six places within a 12 minute radius. That’s about as far as we’re willing to drive to get food.

McVey’s is a family spot in downtown Lowell. We love the staff there, who tend to key us in on a whole lot of their personal lives. There’s the waitress who told us that her son had just come out to her the day before and she thought it was a sign that she had us at her table that night. Then there’s another waitress who told us about her daughter’s upcoming nuptials to another woman (we have another theme!) and the other waitress who told us all about her pregnancy for her third child (and third baby daddy) and how she just loves “the gays”.  Honestly, though, we enjoy chatting with all of them. Sometimes a bit too much, like when they sit down at our table to pull up a chair. This is not an unusual occurrence.

This night’s personal story came from Patty, the woman who’s daughter married another woman, and how her daughter was getting married again. The first marriage didn’t take, apparently.  She explained that it was going to be a “Black and White” wedding, as she put it. With some further detail, it turns out she wasn’t talking about the color scheme, but rather the colors of the two brides. Oh Indiana, what would you be without your casual racism.

The evening ended with us all sitting at the house, listening to Kygo  on the Pandora  and getting really, really sleepy. Including this one…

She’s a damn cute pooch.

Saturday, March 18

Morning is basically my favorite time at Brokeback. The lake gives off some sparkle if the clouds behave and I start my coffee ritual.

Makin’ coffee.

Dean, the consummate baker, brought a pound cake. Today’s flavor was snicker doodle and it did not disappoint.

I also love morning because I get to set out my various coffee paraphernalia.

My simple coffee set up.

Saturday mornings usually also mean NPR with our coffee. I pretty much live for “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” each week. Given our current political climate, I gotta laugh otherwise I’ll be crying all of the time.

“Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me”

After morning coffee, pound cake, topical news commentary/comedy, and a shower, we were off to keep Dean’s birthday weekend going. But not before his present.

I do an okay job with the wrapping.

It was a Jack Spade wallet. I think he liked it.

Not every Saturday means a day of day-drinking, but certainly a birthday celebration Saturday does. We started off in downtown Crown Point at The Tavern on Main. The menu is a little bit ambitious and pricey, but it’s generally good. We’ve only been there three times, but already we have a favorite bar tender: Melissa. She looks a lot like Angelina Jolie. Seriously. She gets that comment all the time. I promise to post a pic of her in a future post.

When Tom and I get together with Dean in Indiana we have a system for remembering bar tender’s names. We incorporate them into a song lyric. For Annie, it was “Annie are you okay? Are you okay, Annie?” (Micheal Jackson, of course.) Emily is “Amelie” by Mika. For Alise it’s a stretch, but we use “Kyrie Eleison” by Mr Mister. Hey, it works for us okay.

But we got nothing for Melissa. Apparently there’s a song called “Melissa” by The Allman Brothers Band. Has anyone heard this one? I’ve never heard it. Subsequently we’re still working on this one.

Dean refuses to let me take a picture of him all weekend, so I took this pic of his fab new sunglasses.

Ferragamo Sunnies

Post lunch we did a some shopping on the Square in DT Crown Point. It’s a cute little town with several nice independent boutique shops. We’ve gotten to know a few of the owners. Today we stopped into The Blue Pear which is owned by Robert. Robert is a former art student and merchandiser extraordinaire. The shop is unbelievably curated and he has a lot of fun gifts, cards, and home goods. For instance has an entire wall of these cards, all with hilarious text.

Just one of the clever cards.

I bought a few. So did Dean.

After our shopping we went back to the Lighthouse to sit at the bar. Both Alise and Emily were tending, so basically we just sat and bugged them as much as they would let us. Oh, and we also bugged this kid who just completed his bar tender licensing test.

Blake or “Blake Me Up Before You Go Go”

Poor Blake then had to deal with Tom’s quizzing him on what was in various drinks. “Ever heard of a Brandy Alexander?” Poor, poor Blake. Then again, dealing with a drunken blow hard is basically bar tender 101, right?

And Emily, who’s due in May, looks about ready to pop.

I think she may have the baby here.

I gotta give it up for her. She’s super friendly and full of energy behind that bar. From what I hear about pregnancy, it’s not the most comfortable condition.

We stayed at the Lighthouse for a bit. There was a baby shower (this was apparently the weekend of babies at every turn) and the mother-to-be was accompanied by a cute bearded boy. Nothing special at face value. However, Tom, Dean, and I were all quite certain that he was cruising use pretty hard the whole afternoon. I’m still not sure what was going on there. Maybe he wasn’t the baby daddy (neither of them were wearing rings).  We were all confused, as well as fairly close to inviting him over for drinks in the hot tub later.  I mean, it was Dean’s birthday weekend. 🙂

The rest of the evening consisted of the following:

More drinks at home.

Aurelios’s pizza delivery.

More drinks.

A little relaxation in the hot tub.

Me going to bed at 9:30.

What can I say, I was tired and spent. Tom and Dean stayed up until about 11:00, at which point Tom woke me up to ask me, drunkenly, what channel SNL was on. This was so he could watch 10 minutes of it and then pass out in his bathrobe, leaving me to get up and turn off the lights and the TV. I think this is what you call marriage.

Sunday, March 19

Morning was sunny AF and all around gorgeous outside. Lots of lake sparkle. I’m just so ready for spring. We had all had our morning coffee while listening to Blossom Dearie on the Pandora. Oh how I love her.

Dean took off to Cincinnati and further birthday fun. So happy that he spent his weekend with us.

Tom continues working on his latch hook. He started it almost 9 years ago. I’m guessing he’ll be done with it right around the time we’re ready to sell the house in 25 or 30 years.

Oh yea, and I also bought this yesterday.

R is for Rice and Rutherford.

Still figuring out what I’m going to do with it. I think I’m going to repair it and repaint it to hang outside next to the front door. More to come on that.

So the my lazy Sunday and weekend of excess had to come to a close. Back to reality on Monday. But then, it is still Sunday Funday and perhaps there’s time for a quick cocktail before heading back to the city.

Drinking and Blogging

What? You thought I was doing this without a drink? You obviously haven’t been paying attention.