June 5th, 2004

Keep Walking

The Big Catch-Up Post! (Part 1)

*YAWN!* I just woke up from my afternoon nap. I always have the most interesting dreams when I sleep with the SciFi channel on, and they do horror movies all day. :-) Next time, maybe I should put some porno on the TV and see what happens when I sleep -- oh, wait, I probably won't be able to sleep with that on the boob tube!

Anyways, two weeks ago (May 21st thru May 24th) I was in Rochester with the Rams for CanAm weekend (Victoria Day Weekend) -- I had a blast; including baking nine quiches for Sunday mornings breakfast with Dan! I managed to visit a lot of friends and family; however, I felt like my time with each one of them was strictly rationed...

On Friday, I was to go into the city to meet up with the Canadians for the meet & greet -- but, since Jack (Albert's friend from Toronto) was in town, and it was the first time I got to spend some time with him since the last time I saw him (a year prior), I hung out with Dan, Albert, Jack, Tom and Bob at Albert's place (where I was staying the week.)

On Saturday I got a special wake up call (thanks Tom!!) I then found out (apparently coordinated) that my ex, Johnny, and his lover Dale were going to come and visit at Dan & Al's while I went into the city to visit my parents. I guess folks are still concerned about us being around each other. Honestly I could care less. I drove the bike to my parent's home. Mom, Dad & Robert made a great clam bake for dinner on Saturday evening. My father and brother checked out my new motorcycle while I worked on fixing my dad's computer (a normal thing that I do when visiting -- hey, it's nice to me good at something that's appreciated by my father finally!)

It looked like rain, so I headed back to Dan & Al's (in Hemlock); just like the changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace, when I arrived, John and Dale left. John's only words to me were "Nice to see you, Chuck." Oh, yeah, it was soooo weird hearing people call me "Chuck" -- kinda did some double-takes and thought (in a Brooklyn accent) "You tawlking about me?" ;-)

At about 8:00, tornado and lightening warnings were declared for Livingston and Monroe Counties. The group got dressed up and prepared to pile in the van and head into the big city for CanAm barnight while we were watching lightning strike again and again. The wind and the rain were so strong that riding in the van was quite scary! Dan was our driver, so I had faith.

Barnight was a huge success! Especially considering that Victoria Day weekend did not fall on the 3rd Saturday of the month this year (which is the normal night for Rams' Barnights.) The Ottawa Knights were the host club (apparently some Torontonians are still pissed off that CanAm was cancelled last year by request of the Monroe County Public Health & Safety Department [due to the threat of SARS.]) Since smoking in bars is illegal in New York State (as it is in Boston), the Bachelor Forum set up an outdoor canopy so smokers could go outside when it's raining and light up. The rain and lightning got heavy for a while, that Bob yelled for everyone to come inside before they were struck dead. It was quite exciting. My friend Donna (and her new boyfriend) showed up at barnight. It was cool to see her again -- she's such a sweetie!

At 1:00 AM, we headed back to Dan & Al's. Things were quiet that evening; Jack, Al and I hung out at the bar talking and we all (eventually) headed to bed one by one. Now note that this is highly abnormal... Normally on a barnight when we would go to Dan and Al's the bar would be hopping -- I guess the storm and excitement at the bar wore everyone out. So be it, tomorrow, everyone would be down here for the BBQ.

Sunday morning I had a late wake-up and got started on baking nine quiches with Dan as my assistant. Good thing we did most of the work yesterday afternoon! Folks started showing up at 11 AM, and the quiches were well received! One, after another, vanished into those hungry men! The BBQ wouldn't be ready 'till about 2 PM. The event went off without a hitch, except that one Ram was bitching that another Ram forgot to bring the potato salad (some people are so petty!!) No one even noticed it was missing, everyone was just having too good of a time!

Sunday evening I went to dinner with Kelly and her new love of her live, Lonnie. They seem like such a nice couple!! I wish I could have spent more time with them than I did; but then again, that's how I felt with most everyone on this trip.

Sunday night was declared "underwear night" by the Ottawa Knights and the Forum -- so we piled in the van and headed back out! Only about 1/4 of the folks in the bar participated (bummer.) Jackie, Johnny and Dale showed up at the bar -- damn, I think I remember this scene from a year ago, or was it two, three, four? Some things never change, eh? They took their usual seats at the southwest corner of the bar and talked quietly among themselves and their clique of friends. It's just like when I left Rochester. One can't wonder if when I move back to Rochester if it will still be like this???

More rain Monday morning -- I was going into work in Greece today, but the rain caused me to do my morning meetings from Dan & Al's. I took the bike to work in time to meet up with the boys for lunch at Bill Grey's (we don't have those in Boston!) It was then time to head back home. On the way out of town, I stopped at the Tile Room to visit Bruce, who had been preoccupied with his daughter's birthday. We chatted briefly, then I had to rush off to "beat the rain" back home.

I kept catching up to the rain storms, and pulled off at every thruway rest area to allow the roads to dry. At Clifton Springs rest area, I actually took an hour nap on the new bike. By the time I was 30 miles west of Albany, the sky opened up and poured -- I was under a bridge and was sitting it out. I was really lucky, I only got wet from the knees down. When the rain lightened up, I sneaked to the next exit and parked myself at a nice truck stop while the roads dried. I watched Predator on TBS in the TV room with some truckers while waiting. Then I hit the road again. By the time I passed Albany, the roads were wet again, and I was getting cold and fatigued from the trip. I crossed into Massachusetts I decided that I needed to find a hotel and sleep for the night. I stayed at the Black Swan Best Western hotel in Lee, Mass.

Tuesday morning, it looked much better outside -- about 60 F, and the roads were dry. I hit the road and headed home. I was only 70 miles from home when the temperature dropped substantially -- it was about 45 F; but the wind chill on the motorcycle made it feel like 35. I got home about 2:30 PM and I immediately took a hot bath to warm up.

Wednesday was a work day; and work I did! A lot to catch up on while I was gone for the past five days. I only had today to do it too, as my flight to Chicago for IML was tomorrow...
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