Monday, May 23, 2011

Angels And Kings And Ms. Pacman

How do English professors wrap up a year's worth of work? They go to a bar. Okay, not really. The department had an end-of-the-year party at a faculty member's house on Friday night. Then on Saturday, sponsored by the Creative Writing crew within the English department, we had a reading at a bar on the Lower East Side / East Village / Somewhere in Manhattan on the East Side. I went to the latter only because I couldn't see asking Eddie to go to both, and I also didn't want to blow all my spending money on work-related activities.

Also on Saturday was Eddie's friend's SMM's graduation from grad school. We would be going into the city anyway--actually, into Brooklyn, where else?--so Saturday was a marathon of activity.

Also on Saturday was Grandma Honey's birthday! Happy Sweet 16 again! Unfortunately, she was feeling under the weather, so the dinner we'd planned didn't happen.

That kind of worked out for the two of us, though. Had we began with that, we wouldn't have made it through the rest. I would have dropped as soon as we got into the city. Eddie wouldn't have made it much further. I've never enjoyed doing more than one activity in a day. I don't mean like I can't go out after work. That's different. But to hop from one party to another to another is not my bag. Never has been. Eddie suggested that perhaps we've gotten old. After pointing out that he's older than I am, I indicated that I've simply never liked doing stuff like that because it diverts my attention from the fun and moves it to being on schedule. Partying should be scheduled.

The reading went very well. It's nice to walk into a bar in the city, see that it's spacious and mellow, hug a few people, and then hang out without shouting, grinding, or spilling. The vibe was bittersweet having found out the week before that several of our department members had their lines cut and would not (for now) be returning in the Fall. That's simply sad. Plus, I will never understand why administrations cut people at the very end of the semester, a time when they cannot get a job lined up for the next semester full time elsewhere. I understand why it works for the administration--they don't have to deal with people complaining or completing a lame duck period, but can't they be less business and more personal and think about how the people they are letting go will need to make a living? I guess that's why I'm not an administrator.

Anyway, the reading. I drank one beer and got very drunk from it. I don't know how that happened. I sipped a second one as the reading started. I took pictures. My camera doesn't have a strong flash so I had to put it on nightvision, which makes the pictures come out, usually, blurry and psychedelic. Groovy.

When it ended, we chatted with a few of my colleagues a bit more, but mostly, everyone cleared out pretty quickly. So we headed out to Brooklyn. I fell into the car, kicked off my shoes, and realized that I have no tolerance for alcohol and had peaked way too soon. Thank goodness we were driving and not on a train.

We found Barcade pretty easily. It was only twenty minutes away from the bar, right over the bridge. We drove around the block a few times to find the closest spot possible. When we walked in, we saw that it was much larger than it looked from the outside. It was warehouse-like. It was a bar. It was an arcade, complete with retro games like PacMan, DigDug, and Ms. Pacman. Hence: Barcade. It was both. We met up with SMM and his girlfriend AF. It had been a pretty long time since we'd last seen them--now that football is over, our weekly meet ups don't happen. So we caught up by talking about how to get SMM to take AF to Hawaii with a Groupon special. Eddie wanted to play a game, but the place was packed. More of Eddie's friends came to meet up with us, and they too wanted to play, so they all decided they needed to come back when it was less packed. Meaning, in the day. Meaning, they are old. Heh heh. I didn't mind the crowds so much, even though no one ever sees me and I always get pushed around. Maybe I didn't mind because I was still a little drunk.

We stayed until about midnight. I was dying inside by the minute. The two of us were very hungry, so we went to a diner across the street with three of his friends. I got waffles! He got pancakes. One of his friends got bacon. And beer. To each his own.

When we got home, I barely made it up the stairs. I don't quite remember how I got into the bed. I also don't quite remember anything else. Two major events in a row? That'll wear a gal out.

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