Tuesday, July 06, 2004

I Return Older and Wiser

(Well, maybe no wiser.)

I find myself reluctantly at work this morning, after a long weekend which did not satisfy my rest requirements. Don't get me wrong, it was an awesome weekend. It was far more active than most, though, and I could have used a little bit more time for sleeping.

I got an early start to the weekend, as I took the afternoon off on Friday. I went immediately to get an oil change and car wash, then drove through Wendy's to get some lunch before I hit the road for Stow.

After an uneventful drive, I got to Brandi's place in Stow around 2:30. She was just waking up from a nap, so we just hung out for a little bit. Shortly thereafter we got up and showered and started getting ready to go up to Cleveland. We had tickets to see Edwin McCain in concert, and we wanted to have time to eat first.

We managed to make it to Cleveland and into The Flats with a minimum of effort and confustion, which is something of an accomplishment for us. There's a BW3 right next to the concert venue (The Odeon Concert Club), so that's where we went. Our timing was really good, too, as we finished up and headed over to get in line just a few minutes before the doors opened for the show.

The concert was awesome. Getting there when we did allowed us to stake out a spot right in front of the stage. The opening act was a singer named Maia Sharp, who sings a duet with Edwin on his newest CD. She was really good. She started off playing acoustic guitar and singing, and eventually played a mean keyboard and also some soprano saxophone. She played for about forty-five minutes, and then there was a short intermission before Edwin and his band came on. They put on a great show, as usual. We were standing right in front of Larry Chaney, the lead guitarist, and it was really cool to watch him play close up. He's so good, and he makes it look so easy. They played for about two hours, and it was a whole lot of fun. Brandi bought the tickets for my birthday, so that was a heck of a birthday present.

On Saturday we slept in, and then loaded up our cars with a bunch of Brandi's stuff so she could move into my apartment in Bowling Green. That actually wasn't so bad. It took us less than an hour to load up both cars and get on the road. The drive to BG was something of an adventure due to a pretty serious accident on the turnpike that held up traffic for a while, but we made it without any real incidents. We unloaded once we got there, then cleaned up and got back on the road to head down to my parents' house in Troy for the rest of the weekend.

That evening was fairly uneventful. Mom had dinner waiting for us when we got there, so we chatted with her and watched the Reds game on TV while we ate. Brandi and I went out afterwards to check out Troy's new Super Wal-Mart and to get a birthday card for our friend Doug. We also stopped at Steak N Shake for a milkshake, and went for a drive around town before heading home.

Sunday was the 4th, which also happens to be my birthday. My parents have always hosted a big family cookout and get-together for the occasion, and this year was no exception. If we counted correctly later, we had thirty-three people there over the course of the day. Most of them I don't get to see very often, so I had a lot of fun. That evening Brandi and I went to the fireworks in Troy with my cousin Mike and his girlfriend Lisa, and we met up with a bunch of family who had been at the house earlier that day. We were also met by our friends Amy and Doug. The fireworks show was really good. It was nice being out there since it stormed last year and we didn't get to see a show on the 4th.

As for birthday gifts, I got a few. I got some cash, which always comes in handy. I got a little collectible baseball bear figurine, a Troy Trojans bobblehead, a binoculars/digital camera combo, a picture frame, and some candy. I also got a sweet autographed 8X10 photo of Ryan Brewer standing in Williams-Brice Stadium. I'll be framing that and finding a place of honor for it shortly.

We didn't have to work on Monday, so Brandi and I slept in again, then went for a walk when we got up. Then we went shopping for balloons--it was Doug's birthday, and Amy threw a surprise party for him; we were asked to bring the balloons. We got those, then headed up to their house to help Amy decorate and then stick around for the party. That was a pretty good time, and there was plenty of food. We hung out for a while even after the party was over, and then went with them to the fireworks in Piqua. Piqua is something of a hick town (a certain number of friends and relations who live there notwithstanding), but they put on a good fireworks show--I guess if there's one thing 'necks know about, it's explosions.

After that, it was time to head back to Bowling Green. It was close to 12:30 by the time we got back, and I was pretty tired. I stayed up with Brandi while she did some laundry, then fell asleep pretty quickly. For once, she didn't have to go back to Stow this morning--I woke her up as I was leaving so she could get ready for her first day at her new job in Toledo. It'll be nice having her around from now on.

As a bonus, I was the winner of the weekly NASCAR pool here at work (just for the record, I am not a NASCAR fan), so I got $20 bucks this morning. I decided to use part of it to treat myself to Phil Steele's college football preview magazine, since I forgot to bring a book with me for my lunch hour today.

Now, if I could just find time for a nap.

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