Sunday, June 26, 2005 

Tennesee Wedding, Part I

This weekend, K and I spent the weekend in Tennessee, celebrating the marriage of one of her closest friends from college. My wife was a bridesmaid in the wedding. One of the other bridesmaids is a close friend of K's, and happens to be married to a guy who I get along with amazingly well. So while our wives were out doing "bridesmaidsy shit", we spent the three days eating Waffle House hashbrowns, watching movies at the local movie theatre, drinking beer, and watching baseball.

Being the husband of a bridesmaid is a perfect arrangement, because you have no real obligations. Your only responsibilities are to be at the right place at the right time wearing the right attire and, occasionally, bringing the right supplies (e.g. beer, cigarettes, handkerchiefs, Advil, etc). And while you have no responsibilities, you still get to go to all of the events that are quintessential to the wedding culinary experience (sans, of course, the bridesmaid's luncheon the day of the wedding).

A small aside: If you want to liven up the wedding ceremony itself, gather a group of people together the night before the wedding and gamble on how long the wedding ceremony is going to last. For instance, write one or five minute increments down, depending on the number of participants, on individual sheets and draw from a hat. Whoever has the closest time from when the bride comes THROUGH the doors to when the bride's FEET cross back through the doors again wins the money.

There are several critical factors you must take into account. For example, in a Christian wedding scenario, you must consider:

1) The type of ceremony-- Episcopal ceremonies are notoriously short, while Catholic ceremonies can sometimes span several days.
2) Whether the priest is fast or slow talker
3) Is there communion served?
4) Is there a homily?
5) How big is the church? Will the bride have to
6) Is the bride Jennifer Wilbanks?

The wedding was short and sweet (delivering the cash to yours truly with a time of 22:00). And the reception was awesome. There was the obligatory "which bridesmaid is going to hook up with which groomsmen" debate, "when are we going to eat" discussion, and "I hope that the cop who was at the front of the party when we drove in isn't there when we drive out" comment.

K and I woke up this morning feeling awful. The nauseating smell of scotch seemed to be everywhere. Coffee was nowhere to be found, and it was a good couple of hours before I was even able to eat a greasy breakfast. K seemed to be taking it a bit harder than me-- she did the "Technicolor yawn" three times before we started our journey back down to Atlanta. But a good hearty breakfast, a cup of coffee, a dose of Advil Cold and Sinus, and a nice long drive seemed to cure everything for me.

However, while my wife hid underneath a blanket (a la Jennifer Wilbanks) and slept, I came up with a great idea for a segment here on Specific Gravity... I was thinking about how that stuff, Chaser, might have prevented the hangover I fiercely battled earlier this morning. And then I wondered, 'does that shit really work'? So I thought I could have an occasional experiment entitled, "Does That Shit Really Work?", that would be fully documented and hopefully informative. I've got a couple of ideas, but if you have suggestions, please let me know.

And look for the first installment of "Does That Shit Really Work?" soon.

Monday, June 20, 2005 

This Weekend In Review.

(My sincerest apologies for the lack of posts recently. I have been without the internet. More frequent posting will resume immediately.)
Wednesday, 6.15.05
My wife and I closed on our new house. The closing process was drawn out and agonizing, and filled with legal jargon that I frankly didn't want to understand. At the end of the day, however, my wife and I became the owners of a house, a yard, and a metric fuckload of debt.

Thursday 6.16.05
Went refrigerator shopping. Somewhere knee-deep in the process, I had the realization that a lot of the things I was concerned about (especially the features) were things that, three months down the road, I wouldn't think twice about.

I ordered DirecTV. I ordered DSL. I refused to be stuck with analog cable and dial-up. That's right, mofos-- I was moving out of 1994.

That night, I packed up my stuff at Mom and Papa Bear's house. My dog, Rosie, knew something was up, and didn't like it. She usually sits in my lap while I'm watching the Braves with my Dad-- Thursday, she didn't come near me except for once. I thought maybe she's forgotten the suitcases that I had brought downstairs as she proceeded to jump on my chair. I was wrong-- she looked at me as she sat on my leg, farted on me, and then scurried into the kitchen.

Friday 6.17.05
Movers arrived with belongings from NYC. Every single box and piece of furniture was accounted for. They were in and out in less than 3 hours, and did this while I was at work.

I come home to find that Papa Bear has mowed my lawn. Most people would think this was a nice favor, but I see this as encroachment on my pissing grounds. Defeated, I started unpacking my stuff. I set up most of my office/studio and the bedroom, some of my stuff in the bedroom, and went to bed.

Saturday 6.18.05
Rented a Penske truck with my Mom to bring over furniture from my old house. Dad and I carried over a full truckload (fuckload?) of stuff that once belonged to either his or my Mom's parents. Kind of cool to be sitting in my Grandfather's desk chair.

Papa Bear and I decided that we'd move over the patio furniture he was giving to me on a seperate trip. He drove the truck this time, and didn't ask me how I wanted to unload it. He proceded to drive around to the back of the house, clipping the corner of the garage roof in the process, bending the gutter and causing a huge scrape down the side of the truck (which was rented in my name and was being paid for with my credit card). And while I was a bit miffed with Dad, I was more pissed with Mom-- these Penske's have a 10' 6" clearance... if Papa Bear had a pick up truck, this NEVER WOULD HAVE HAPPENED.

Dad was kind of beating himself up about doing damage to my house, but I told him it wasn't that big of a deal-- a busted gutter for all of the furniture (with installation) was a fair enough exchange.

Sunday 6.19.05
Woke up at 7:00 and did some early morning yard work. K and I drove to several stores, doing final pricing on refrigerators, before deciding on a stainless steel model at Lowes. Nice piece of equipment, if you ask me.

That night, we went over to the parents' house for Father's Day dinner. Papa Bear was a bit timid around me, I think, because of the damage caused on the previous day. But I reassured him that I would be able to fix the gutter and that it wasn't all that big of a deal (considering he was able to fix the truck to the point where you'd never know there was a scrape there unless you were really looking for it).

I bought Dad and I Braves tickets for their first game with the Nationals at Turner field. He mentioned a while back that he and his father had seen the last Washington team (the Senators), and I thought it would be nice if my Dad and I got to see the new team from Washington. I told my Dad the reason for the tickets, and while he'll never admit it, I think I saw him getting a bit misty-eyed. The old softy...

Speaking of baseball, I've realized something recently. One of the reasons I like baseball is that I see my life in terms of the game of baseball. I could draw out the metaphor, but I won't. Bottom line is this-- while most people think of progress as a linear path, I see it differently.

I've scored by coming back home.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005 

How to give yourself an ulcer...

(I just realized I missed ANOTHER Real World/Road Rules Inferno last night. Ah shucks!)

It's been a crazy past couple of days, and it looks like the hits keep coming:

The big news around the house is that on Friday, Papa Bear officially gave up his quest for his truck. Dad's master plan to procure a pick-up is theoretically over. He said that Mom was giving him too hard of a time about it... I felt this was bullshit, frankly, and if anyone on this planet deserves a truck, it's Dad. Saturday morning I went to talk to Mom to set things straight. Her view is that a pick-up isn't safe, and Papa Bear would drive it like a sports car. Plus, she contends that his hearing and sight aren't as good as they used to be. My response was short and to the point, which drove my Mom to tears.

Dad gets pissed off with me for sticking my nose where it doesn't belong. So, I go 0-for-2 with the parents on Saturday.

I spend most of the day outside the house. Saturday night, my wife has a meltdown (the stress finally catches up to her)... And in the 8 years we've been together, I've never seen her have a meltdown this big.

Living with the inlaws can be a bit stressful, I guess. Anyway, long story short, let's just say Pete goes 0-for-3.

I have discovered some amazing things during this moving process:

1) You're supposed to tip movers. Huh. Never knew that. But considering I've never had movers before, I guess it's not THAT big of a deal.
2) Getting the smell of smoke out of clothes is a pain in the ass.
3) Never let your parents negotiate buying your house (unless they're a real estate agent or something). Do it yourself. Trust me, you may end up paying a bit more for the place, but it'll make things easier in the end.
4) I have absolutely no idea where 99% of my possessions are. I know who has them (the moving company), and I assume they're SOMEWHERE along the eastern seaboard. Surprisingly enough, I'm about 1% as freaked out as I should be in this case...

Thankfully I'm closing on the house tomorrow. Unthankfully (???), I'm not moving in until Friday (when the movers get to town), but I'm still FREAKIN' psyched.

To cap it all of, this weekend we're going car shopping. I have been looking at car ads, and as much as I hate it, I might just have to cave and get a PT cruiser. I dunno, I've always said I hated those cars, but I saw one yesterday in this cobalt blue color that looked amazing. And my wife likes them too, so Saturday, we're off to test drive the mofo.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005 

I want a pear...

I got a call from my brother on Sunday, who is spending the summer in New York interning at a Hedge Fund in midtown. It's kind of funny to hear him ask questions like "Do you think I should walk the 45 blocks to work?" and "Is it safe to walk down Madison Avenue after dark?"

He's actually working a couple of blocks from the office where I worked in Manhattan. This has certainly played out to his advantage, considering my brother and I share our penchant for fine Pan-American delicacies (such as the spicy chicken sandwich at Wendys or the two-cheeseburger meal at Mickey D's). My three years of tested culinary research will prove invaluable to him.

For instance, my advice to him yesterday was, "Rob, first things first-- don't hit those deli sandwich shops like Pret a Manger, Hale and Hearty or PAX or whatever... those places will only kill your wallet. And you'll leave still feeling hungry anyway. Now, if you're hungry for McDonalds, you should really go to the one on 57th rather than the one at 52nd and 3rd... the one on 57th has better fries, and more seating. Plus, you can also change your mind and hit the Wendy's across the street. If you hit up Wendys, and if you can help it, try to avoid the register on the far right... the girl who has that register is pisssssssssssssed. Now, I'm sure you already know is no shortage of Subway's in your area, but if you're looking to switch it up a bit, there's a Taco Bell that no one really knows about, and you'd miss it if you didn't know where it was."

That's the beauty of my relationship with my brother... while most people would think this kind of knowledge is a complete waste of time, energy, and braincells, Rob was completely grateful. He was a bit discouraged, however, to hear that the Chick-fil-a was 6 subway stops from work (and three from his apartment), but said it wasn't that big of a deal when I told him about the unlimited use Metrocards.

I regret the fact that I'm not in New York at the same time as him. I would have enjoyed going to Yankees games with my brother (and wouldn't have to watch what I said about the Yankees, considering I would have "my own personal bodyguard" sitting next to me). I definitely believe there would have been some all-night Madden-Marathons, where either he or I would claim that the other was cheating or playing cheap in some shape or form. It would have been nice to know that I had someone from my family in the city, just a few subway stops away. And I think about all of the planned New York projects that I had always wanted to do (like doing the 2nd Avenue Bar Crawl or finding "New York's Best Wings"), and know that my brother would have been the best wingman on the planet (pardon the pun).

I guess we'll just have to eat a bunch of wings when I come visit this summer...

Saturday, June 04, 2005 

"And I feel so much depends on the weather... so is it raining in your bedroom?"

I've been offline for a week due to my parents' phone line being down. We had a bout of rain this past week and for some reason the phone went out.

I never thought I'd be thankful for having a dial-up connection, but yeah, it sure feels good to be back in 1994... living with my folks again... getting lectured for staying out too late, not eating enough vegetables, and spending too much money.

And it looks like Atlanta radio has decided to join me on my 20th century vacation. I was listening to the radio one morning this week and was hit with the following line-up:

"Evenflow", Pearl Jam
"Creep", Radiohead
"Plush", Stone Temple Pilots
"All Apologies", Nirvana
(A brief respite courtesy of the rarely-appreciated Linkin Park-- some song about nothing matters or trying so hard or something)
"Would?" Alice in Chains
"Machinehead", Bush

Ah, it's good to be back in 1994. I'm surrounded by my Pearl Jam, STP and Crash Test Dummies posters I've proudly hung in my room. I'm really looking forward to the fact that I can pull out my old pair of jeans (with the big freakin holes in the knees) and wear my flannels from Britches, endure a horrible onslaught of acne, and discover a myriad of mind-expanding drugs.

But I may have to rejoin the 21st century soon... I'm starting to realize the unfortunate downsides of living. Being stuck in 1994 has caused me to miss the biggest day of 2005. Oh fuckity-fuck.