2004-09-20 - 10:58 a.m.

Finally finished that story I was writing about my dad. I think the ending is a little to "tricky" - perhaps even trite. I'll wait a few days and look at it again and if I still don't like it, then it is probably because it sucks. I could just be in a hyper-critical mood. Sometimes I know that what I am working on is great, but this isn't one of those times.

I'm listening to The Dresden Dolls album A is for Accident which is mostly live tracks. Oddly enough amazon doesn't carry it. I had to go to a local retailer to get it. Fortunately this local retailer had a website so I didn't have to leave the house and interact with other human beings. Amanda Palmer is going to be big. She has a really unique sound and she doesn't take herself too seriously although she sounds like she is. It's called irony, kids, and it has nothing to do with rain on one's birthday, etc...

Speaking of human interaction, I had to go to an engagement party yesterday. An engagement party? WTF? Well, the female half of the engagement is one of my absolute very bestest friends in the whole wide world, etc. so I went despite the fact that I was chilled to the bone for two reasons first: my fear of social interaction with groups of people larger than 3 and second, the fact that I have no idea what the procedures or expectations are for an engagement party. Does one dress up? Bring gifts? Get hammered? Not get hammered? Tell off color stories about the couple? Pretend they are saints? Talk with only people you know? Talk only with people you don't know? Try to hook up with underage girls?

Well, it wasn't too bad. I sat next to some old woman I didn't know and on the other side of me was Jen's friend Mel who I know only vaguely. Oddly enough I knew her before I knew Jen but only in the most tangential way. She applied for a job at the newsstand I was working at but decided to take a job at The Coop across the street (good choice, Mel!) and then I would see her once in a while. When Jen introduced us a few years later I recognized her face but had no idea from where. I know, not much of an anecdote. I could spice it up much like George Lucas is spicing up Star Wars but that would be an absurd attempt to capitalize on past success, right?

So the party went ok. I only had a couple of drinks. You know, it seems remarkably hard for me to get drunk. I seem to be drinking a lot and yet I stay sober. Man, it's really annoying. I think I pulled down a buzz sometime last week, but hardly the kind of drunk for which I was hoping.

What else happened this weekend... Let's see... My parents were in town. My brother is moving to Portland, Oregon next week and my parents thought it would be nice to see him before he left. The flight from Philly to Boston isn't so bad and they do it a couple of times a year. They know the city better than I do and they can occupy their time very easily if Joel and I are busy so they like coming. Portland from Philly takes a lot longer and my dad is convinced that there is nothing to do in that city and given my brother's history at playing host my guess is that it will be very rare that they go to visit him.

My brother is such a bad host. How bad is he?. Thanks. Anyway, he is a really, really bad host. Well, like I said my parents made the trip just to see him. So Friday night we meet for dinner and Joel brings his alcoholic-in-recovery ex-girlfriend. She and my mom get along really well so it seemed fitting for her to come since it may be years before she sees my mom again, if ever. But she is such a downer. Now, I had no idea she was going to be there.

Every once in a while I have a moment of self-knowledge and I am fully aware that the things that make Siobhan annoying to me are aspects of her personality that I see all too clearly in myself. For example, she can never, ever be wrong or let a statement she disagrees with go by without comment. I'm the same way. So, I see this in her and it makes me see how much of a jerk I must look like to other people so I get annoyed with her rather than changing my own behavior. It's much simpler than trying to change, right?

So, I hike over from work Friday night to meet the whole gang at Vinny T's down near the Pru, excited about the chance to have a beer, and on my way someone starts waving and I'm thinking this is some freak trying to hail a cab or something but as I get closer I see that the freak is trying to hail me! I reach in my pocket for some change thinking it's a homeless person but as I get closer I see it's Siobhan and I'm think "isn't she suppose to be in rehab?" and then I remembered that she was visiting with my brother for a couple of days and I go "poo" because I'm tactful enough not to drink in front of an alcoholic right out of rehab. Errgh! She's already annoyed me and she hasn't even said a word. Nice life.

Anyway, dinner goes smoothly except for the fact the Siobhan refuses to believe that I knew what was in the dish I ordered better than she did and she didn't even have any of it. I should have let it slide and just pretend she was right, but as I said before, this is almost impossible for me so it goes back and forth a few times and I don't think she realized how steamed I was getting so I decided to let it drop since this may be the very last time I see her and that was kind of a sad thought since I actually like her a lot except for the fact that she irritates me worse than a cheese blintz wrapped in sand paper.

She has to cut out at 7:30 to make it to her AA meeting she tells us and I'm like, cool, at least I'll have an hour or so with my brother without having to worry about accidentally starting an argument with Siobhan but my brother (who was the reason my parents came here) decides he's going to jet at 7:30 as well. No surprise. Mom and Dad and I hang out for a while after Joel and Siobhan leave because I really like my parents and because I know that they came here to see a son and even if I'm not the one they came here for, they might as well see at least one of us.

I spend most of Saturday with them as well and Joel is nowhere to be found. No surprise really as Joel pretty much blows off my parents every chance he gets. Which is weird because my parents are (oddly enough) a lot of fun to hang out with. I mean, I've known people who have damn good reasons to avoid their parents and I've known people who had no good reason beyond familial duty to see their parents, but , dern it!, why waste having perfectly good parents who are fun to hang out with by blowing them off? Especially when they came to see you?

Well, whatever. He is what he is.

I meant to finally return Heather's call last night but the evening flew by between homework and ripping CDs for my iPod. Plus I hate the phone. Hate it. I'd rather write her a letter. Perhaps I will but I don't know her address.

And in closing, yesterday was Talk like a Pirate Day and not a pirate like word passed my lips. C'est la vie...


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