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I’m feeling a little Sophia Petrillo this morning, forgive me.
Picture it. The last weekend of July, 2011. Washington DC. The neighborhood ball field.
Oh yeah. This is how I spent my weekend. Let’s ignore the fact that the article is fail, in that the Niners didn’t manage to take the tournament, even though they did win the first game of the match up. Damn you, double elimination.
So. Saturday was pretty much just a normal softball Sunday for us. I stayed sober to do the driving, we won one, we lost one, there was food and good times. The most notable part of Saturday was our current team knocking out our previous team from the tournament. We live for this every year. Sweet, sweet vindication. But Sunday was where the party was really at.
We arrived at the field at 8 AM to get ready for our 9 AM game. This by itself was bad. We’re NOT a morning team. Saturday we lost our 9 AM game (thankfully, because had we won WE would have been the 8 AM game), but won our 3 PM game (although it took 3 extra innings). So the morning starts and people start trickling in. We’re expecting a few people to not be there, and some folks that weren’t there on Saturday to be able to be there on Sunday. Well, 10 minutes to game time and two of them haven’t shown and a third has texted the coach with the simple message “can’t make it”. The two MIA folks weren’t really a surprise, they were seriously flaky. But the third? The third person just so happened to be our clean up hitter, one of the biggest lefties in the league AND our stalwart third baseman. We’ll call him Big T (it’s true). So needless to say, there was a lot of dissension in the ranks at that point.
So finally someone gives him a call to find out what the hell his problem is. When she gets off the phone and tells us, we immediately realize he has a valid excuse. He’s in jail. Oh shit. Now, the irony of this is that the team I play for is called Chico’s Bail Bonds. He was on his way to the game in his uniform shirt when he was picked up. We didn’t know this at the time, we were worried he got slammed in the drunk tank on the way home last night, but we couldn’t figure out why they were letting him use the phone. He said he was going to try to get someone to come get him, and he’d be there when he could.
So we go on to play, and lose, putting us out of the tournament completely. Whatever, continuing to play means we’d get hotter, sweatier, and it would interfere with our drinking. We’re totally fine with it because now we can hang out and take advantage of what tournament weekend is all about, partying. We call the police station after the game and Big T is still there. So we send the envoy to bust him out, Coach and K, both in their Chico’s Bail Bonds shirts. Hey, its about time this team lived up to its name. Before she leaves, K takes coffee orders because she’s going to stop at Starbucks on the way back. R places an order for something huge and caffeinated, he doesn’t actually care what, and then K and Coach go to pick up our jailbird.
They’re gone for a while. Keep in mind, at this point it is 10:30 AM and the drinking has already begun. Including me. (Now, if you know me at all, you know I don’t drink. I’ll very rarely have a drink when we’re out and about, but I don’t do very much drinking at home. What can I say, I’m a lightweight and I’m cool with that.) At this point, they’ve been gone about an hour and R is thinking he’s never getting his lovely caffeinated beverage so he gives up and breaks open a beer. Coach has returned by now, although not with Big T and K (she had to drive his car back) and has let us know that no, he was not locked up in the drunk tank, he was arrested because he was driving with a suspended license. He didn’t know this, but they suspended his license for not returning his plates when he moved out of state. I shit you not. They arrested him for that. Bullshit and shenanigans.
So we’re running low on beer and ice, so Coach and Figment go off to get some. They come back, and in jest Figment has brought R a can of Four Loko (henceforth referred to as 4L). I shit you not. And this is where the crazy begins. Now, I’m a little tipsy at this point, but not enough to be drinking 4L. (I doubt I’ll ever be that trashed.) But the guys take it as a personal challenge. They crack that bad boy open and share it among them, all making this face of OMGWTF as they drink it. There are many hilarious comments with terms such as “anti-freeze” and “smurf piss” tossed around and it’s still not even 11:30 yet.
So finally K comes back with Big T and R’s coffee. Now, this isn’t just a neighborhood softball tournament. We have a guy who puts on an announcer’s persona and calls all the games as they happen just like baseball on the radio. He’s brilliant. He’s heard about our Big T ending up in jail on the way in that morning, and as he walks up, the Clash’s “I Fought the Law” comes on over the speakers. It is epic. But the dumbest part? They took the man’s shoe laces. As if he were on suicide watch for a suspended license. Yes, it’s a pain but hardly worth killing yourself over. Anywho, it’s over and done with (except for the requisite court appearance) so we move on with the party.
I’m half in the bag now after three drinks (told you, lightweight) and it’s getting on towards lunch time so we decide to order pizza while K and I go on a girly drink run. Really, the only alcohol I can safely tolerate is Mike’s Hard Lemonade. Om nom nom. I pick up a six pack, and this is where it gets ridiculous. We pick up two more 4Ls as a running gag AND because we know they’ll drink it. On the way out, I get a phone call asking to pick up more Four Loko because they apparently ALL want to be ridiculous. So we head back, the pizza has already come, and all the pepperoni is gone. There is much yelling of ASSHOLE and RAT BASTARD until R orders more pizza. (K had ordered pepperoni but they ate it all before we got back. I didn’t give a crap because I wanted the cheese anyway.)
We pull out the 4L (wtf are we frat boys? possibly) and it’s passed around with more funny things being said about how absolutely disgusting it is. The ladies stay far far away from the 4L because we have more sense but they guys are all about it. Now it’s about 12:30 and we’re all tore up from the floor up. All of us. The entire team. It’s fantastic. We’re sitting right by the scorer’s table under our tent just getting absolutely trashed. I’ve never been that drunk in my entire life and it is definitely the best time I have ever had.
At one point, Figment completely disappears. I thought he had gotten up to go talk to our friend L, but when I asked L hadn’t seen him in like 2 hours. So L goes up to the scorer’s table and has them make the announcement “if anyone’s seen Figment, please let his wife know”. At which point I was informed that he was seen about 15 minutes previously in front of the Wachovia up the street. Not too long after he comes back, bag of 4L in tow.
By the time we get to championship game time, we’re all so drunk that we are incapable of paying any sort of intense attention to what’s going on. We get vaguely told off (absolutely in a joking sort of way) for not paying attention to the score. (Hey, when I ask you what the score is, don’t tell me it’s 9-4, that doesn’t help. Tell me who’s winning.) There’s more food and great conversations and laughs and a MASSIVE amount of heckling (nothing personal Kenny!). It was the perfect way to end our softball season.
Around 3 or so I finally quit drinking because ONE of us has to sober up enough to get us both home. My metabolism for booze is much better than Figment’s, so that’s always going to be me. I get drunk really easily, but I sober up just as easily. It’s a gift, and a curse. We sit around until about 8 just hanging out with everybody until it’s time to go home. There were a great many hugs and goodbyes and tears (mostly on my part). It’s been a great 4 years, and I’m really going to miss it, but this is definitely going down as the most epic weekend of my entire life. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Okay guys. I understand that some people are mentally ill. Really, I get that. And I understand that mostly they can’t help their quirks, and some need medication REALLY BADLY. But, sometimes you just can’t help but wonder what the hell is going on with people these days. It’s kind of disturbing. Like there’s this one woman who appears occasionally on a corner near my office. She looks perfectly normal. Until the screaming starts. The first time I heard it, I looked around for the crime. No crime. Just this crazy woman screaming bloody murder at nothing at all. And it’s not just a regular scream, oh no, it’s a blood curdling banshee scream. It’s terrifying. But it’s really nothing compared to the man I encountered on our public transit system yesterday.
I have recently sprained my ankle rather badly while playing softball. It is an especially crap time to do it as our yearly tournament weekend starts tomorrow, but it is feeling a lot better than it was this past Sunday when I ran my foot into second base at a seriously awkward angle. There is still swelling and bruising, but my ice pack is helping a lot. Anyway, I got on the train and I really need to sit. I’m not particularly steady at the best of times what with all the brake slamming that happens on metro, so standing like a stork while hugging a pole for dear life just isn’t going to cut it. Someone will end up with me in their lap. Surprise!
When I get on the train there is one seat left next to a relatively normal looking guy. He’s dressed in a polo and khakis and has on decent shoes, so there’s no indication in his appearance for me to expect what happens next. There is a newspaper in the seat. This, in itself, is not at all a surprise as people are douchebags and leave their crap lying all over the train. I generally scoop up the paper and either read it and toss it or set it under the seat for the next bored metro rider. As I lean over to move the paper, the man snatches it up like it’s his precious and looks at me like he may maim me for even trying to touch it. Mentally, I go “ohhhh kayyy….” and go to sit down. This is when I notice the cup.
Now, WMATA prohibits all food and beverages on the metro. They’re really crap about enforcing this rule, but generally people who bring food or beverages on the train do so in closed containers. This is not a closed container. This is a giant 7-11 double gulp cup. It is full of coke (or other brown soda). It has no lid. And to top it all off, he has it sitting in the middle of the bench between where I would be sitting and where he is sitting with just his hand resting over the top of it. I can tolerate a lot of things, but coming to work drenched in coke isn’t one of them. I clear my throat and say “man, you have to move that beverage. I’m sitting here, and it’s not allowed on the train anyway. Move it.” He gives me this look like I’m speaking an alien language and scoots it a little closer to his leg.
Fine. It’s the last seat, and if I don’t sit down soon I’m going to fall over. So I sit. At this point, I take out my book and get to reading, because it’s the only way I’m staying awake on the train. Suddenly, movement catches my eye and I look over and this man is having a conversation. With no one. His lips are moving but no sound is coming out. He’s even gesturing with his hands, which honestly made me nervous because he wasn’t holding on to the damn cup anymore. Clearly, even though I cannot see this invisible conversational partner, they are having an argument. This goes on for about 5 minutes until we get to the first stop after I got on.
We head into the station and stop, and I miraculously stay dry. He starts gathering his stuff about him and I think oh good he’s exiting, I’m saved. Nope. He’s just standing up to look at the metro map on the opposite wall of the train. Oh well. He’s doing a pretty good job of wrangling his beverage so I’m not too bothered. Then he sits down. Now, I didn’t smell him when I was sitting there, but the act of his moving about has wafted this odor in my direction. I do believe that at some point while wearing his clothes this man has wet himself, let it dry, and kept on going. It was horrendously gag inducing, but again there were no more damn seats on the train so I let it go. Once he stopped moving the reek stayed contained to his personal space.
As we are pulling into the second stop he turns his head and looks at me and says very politely, “excuse me, do you have the time?” I tell him and his eyes widen to the size of dinner plates, then he says to me in a slightly panicked voice “IN THE MORNING!?” then goes back to studying the metro map on the wall. At this point, we are almost to my stop and I say to hell with it and just give up. I stand up, clinging to the pole for dear life as we stop and rush off as the doors open. There are things that alone you can handle, but when you put them all together just creep you out. This was one of those times. It has got to be the WEIRDEST start to the day I have ever had in Washington. So, add another thing to the list of things I won’t miss about this place.
Okay, so I haven’t actually forgotten about the blog, I’ve just been ridiculously busy and completely incapable of concentrating on any one thing for any length of time. So, without further ado, let’s get on with the show.
Today was the roller coaster ride of the trip. Not only was it the very last day, but we hit ALL FOUR PARKS. Yes, you heard me, all four.
We started off the morning taking the bus from our hotel to Animal Kingdom. We were having breakfast at Boma at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, but we got to Animal Kingdom with about an hour before we needed to be at breakfast. (It was just me and Figment. The rest of the fam had left really early to hit up Toy Story at So in we went. We stayed pretty close to the entrance, but we saw things that we had missed the first time through, like most of the “zoo” section.
These McCaw parrots were gorgeous, and we were just in time for noms. There were red, blue and even green ones. We also saw some lemurs and warthogs and a MASSIVE amount of ducks. Seriously, if I were a duck I would totally live at Disney. These guys have amazing lives full of people feeding them all the time. Then we hopped on the bus to the lodge for breakfast.
Boma was the perfect place to have our last breakfast. It was quiet and the buffet was fantastic. AND they had my very favorite Disney breakfast item: sticky buns. I love Disney stickies. I still remember staying at the Contemporary all those years ago with my parents and always having Mickey’s Stickies for breakfast. Win.
After we ate, and I stuffed myself with pineapple (omnomnom), we headed out to wander the grounds of the lodge. There’s a fabulous animal preserve at the back, complete with a guide from South Africa ready to answer all your questions about the animals and their habitat. There were giraffes and antelope and even flamingos. It was really pretty.
At this point, Figment and the parents and I decided we wanted to go to Hollywood Studios. The fam had picked us up Fast Passes for Toy Story (since we refused to stand in line for 90 minutes when we were there the last time) and we wanted to ride Rock & Roll Roller Coaster again. When we got there, Figment and the parents headed towards Toy Story while I ran off to get passes. They were for several hours later so I wasn’t sure we would use them, but I got them anyway just in case. When we got to Toy Story, since mom was in her wheelchair (after she got used to the idea, there was no way we were not getting one again) we got put to the front of the line without needing our passes. So when we exited (it was great!) we gave away our 4 passes to another family waiting in line. Win!
Then we wandered over to Star Tours. We weren’t expecting to get on as it was Star Wars weekend, but we wanted to see all the folks dressed in costume. Again, the chair was our ticket. They put us in the Fast Pass lane. We were excited because I freaking LOVED Star Tours, and the parents didn’t really get to enjoy it because the previous time they were on it with the creeped out 5 year old. They really enjoyed it this time. After that, we decided we’d had enough of Hollywood Studios, so we gave our Rock & Roll Coaster passes to some folks who randomly walked by complaining that the line was too long, and headed to Magic Kingdom!
Yes, we had been to Magic Kingdom just about every day at this point. What can I say, it’s part of my childhood and I <3 it. Mom & Dad wanted to see the Hall of Presidents, and Figment and I wanted to ride Pirates again. So we got there and split up and headed our separate ways. We actually rode Pirates twice in a row, after getting a frozen strawberry lemonade. Nom. And since it was the release date of the new Pirates movie, they had changed the Davey Jones hologram at the beginning into Blackbeard! Besides that, everything else was the same. After Pirates and Presidents, we decided to head on over to Epcot to get in all the things we missed the day before when we had to dash out. Besides, we needed to pick up our pearls.
We hit the monorail (and griped at the guy for making mom walk all the way down the ramp and back up instead of letting us through the gate) and went to Epcot. I had a nostalgic moment as we passed through the Contemporary. We headed straight to Japan to pick up our stuff, then wandered through the rest of Epcot checking out the remaining bits of World Showcase. We did have lunch at the Japanese quick service. I had udon noodles with tempura shrimp. It was really tasty. I didn’t want to eat too much because that night we were headed to my very favorite Disney restaurant.
After we showcased it up, (we even saw replicas of Kate Middleton/Diana’s engagement ring in the England section!) we headed off to my favorite part of Epcot; FIGMENT! I totally had a Figment plush when I was little. I LOVED Figment. I remember there was even a guy (who isn’t part of that section anymore) who wandered around that part of Epcot with a Figment puppet. We stopped by the jumping water fountain, where this one little girl kept trying to jump up to get the water to hit her. She was just too short. So Figment goes up to her and asks if she wants picked up and she nods. And he says “are you ready!?” and she goes “YEAH!!!” and he lifts her up and she got DRILLED with the jumping water. The look on her face was priceless.
Wow. It was so different. If you’re interested, this is what I remember it being like. I have to say, Imagination was way better when I was a kid. There were loads more fun activities then than there are now. To be honest, it’s a little boring although the ride itself was cute.
After we left Figment behind (although not completely, I bought a Figment Vynilmation magnet) we headed out to sit on a bench for a little while before it was time to meet up for dinner at the Coral Reef! (That linked blog has some amazing pictures of the restaurant.) It’s the one place that we ate while there that I remembered eating at when I was a kid. I don’t remember the food, or the decor of the restaurant, what I remember is that while you’re eating you’re looking at this massive aquarium. This also turned out to be my very favorite meal of the entire trip.
I had the Mahi Mahi with rock shrimp and a coconut sauce and the chocolate wave cake. It was absolutely delicious. Even better? Disney Fan magazine has posted the recipe for it. I may never have access to mahi, but I’m sure as hell going to try it with some other kind of fish. It was a delicious evening. And we had an amazing table. We were in the second row from the aquarium so we had basically an unobstructed view of fish all through dinner. And as Figment and I were in charge of the midget, he actually behaved himself AND ate his dinner. Will wonders never cease. After that dinner, we were really ready to head on back to the hotel. We’d missed the lights/fireworks show because it happened while we were at dinner, and we knew we needed to go ahead and start packing and getting ready to leave the next morning, so we just hopped the bus and went back.
Figment and I went directly to the hot tub. We did not pass go or collect $200. We were so damn tired and sore from all the walking that we couldn’t even think of doing anything else but plunking our butts into steaming water with a glorious adult beverage in hand. In all, it was the best most tiring vacation ever and I cannot wait to do it all over again.