December 8, 2007
Ha! I adjusted my life? Had a great time Friday night at the old El Rey on Central Avenue (formerly part of old Route 66, before I-40 took over). The place goes way back, but it has amazing acoustics and a balcony too. Cadillac Bob & the Rhinestones played some fantastic music. Rock ‘n’ Roll and Rhythm ‘n’ Blues, and they rocked the house. Told my union local about it, and a few people came. Left a message for Beva too, as she had asked, but didn’t hear back or see her there. Had a double shot of Jack and danced, and danced. There aren’t many better bands for dancing to. And for pure listening pleasure, the Rhinestones have gorgeous voices, often singing a capella. An older crowd, but us boomers seem to do all the same things together. All my life I’ve noticed that all the people around me were about the same age, at rallies, concerts, movies, you name it. Anyway, we may be old, but we can still get down. Later that evening, I tried a single-malt scotch. They usually don’t have much worth drinking there, but this was new for them so I got a double of this too, but the bartender measured out two shots using a shot and a half each. So I really got three shots worth. I was able to sip on that between dancing with Charlotte for the rest of the evening. Drank lots of water too. Not only was I sweating a lot, but I try to match each alcohol portion with a glass of water. A good thing too.
Going home, I got stopped for speeding a few blocks away from my house (50 in a 35). I haven’t been popped for speeding in maybe 15 years or more. I tried to say I was following traffic, but he pointed out that there wasn’t any. Well, there was one car way ahead that I had been slowly gaining on. He asked if I had been drinking, and I’m like: “O shit! this is it – DWI! I hadn’t been out in six months, and not only do I get stopped for speeding, but drinking while driving too.” Of course, all I said to him was that I had indeed been drinking, but much earlier, and of course he wants to know how much earlier, and I said I had a couple drinks between 8 and 9. It was after midnight. He decided to do a breathalyzer test.
I wouldn’t have believed me either. Such an interesting contraption. I guess he didn’t think I looked impaired so he was making sure. Breathe into it and keep breathing until he says stop. I was out of air by the time he did. I look at him, and after a pause he says it is borderline. He goes back to his patrol car. He came back real quick. Gave me my license back; told me to drive safe and that was it. I was shocked – thought for sure I was going down. No ticket, no written warning. I was so relieved I was happy. I am going to make damn sure I drink tons of water if I ever do that again. I’ve got to get the motorcycle fixed too – that Mercury Cougar is low-profile, but too big a target for radar. I never drive less than ten mph over the speed limit on the bike, never get stopped. Got careless in the car. Oh, well.
Saturday it was time to go get that Xmas tree I’ve been wanting. Just down the street is a lot full of trees from Mora, NM, which is where the White House got its Xmas tree a few years. Some of these were pretty big too, although not that big. I found one I thought I could afford, but it took me in the red anyway, since the damned University screwed me out of an additional $690 this month, so I’m already broke (only got paid Nov. 30). Of course, I had decided to bid on Xmas ornaments on eBay and won about a dozen auctions that I had to pay for after I found out I wasn’t going to have anything to spend all month. Well, hell. Who cares? I don’t know why I’m doing this. I don’t get much into Xmas anymore, and never bought any ornaments before, aside from a few colorful Mexican tin ones, and some Ojos de Dios, made with toothpicks and wire. For some reason, I’m enjoying this, buying vintage ornaments, getting the boxes in the mail, and now hanging them on the tree. There’s just something about a Xmas tree that makes a house seem more like a home, even without family to enjoy it with. I only got one string of red chile lights, so it’s not very impressive to look at, but piñon sure smells good, and I have some mixed in with my firewood, so I’m looking forward to a nice warm fire on Xmas, with the flames flickering across the bulbs, and lots of comforting smells.
So much I didn’t know about ornaments: indents, double indents, triple indents, glow-in-the-dark icicles, Shiny Brites, tear shaped, German, Polish, Japanese. I grew up with these old style glass ornaments on the tree, so I must be pining for those childhood days, when Xmas was anticipated and exciting and bright and full of music.
The tree was difficult this year. I trimmed the trunk first, but the spikes wouldn’t grab it, and it kept moving around while I was trying to tighten the screws down. Had to take it apart and found out that the spikes were so weak on this brand new K-Mart stand that they bent. Finally got the tree into an approximation of vertical, and put on what ornaments have arrived so far. Makes me happy; I don’t know why. Smells wonderful!
Heard from Karen last week. She sent an email early, on Thursday, saying she couldn’t make it Friday because of work responsibilities and needed her lunch break to decorate the office. She said she’d see me next week, so I guess she’s not totally alienated yet. I happened to intersect her walking through the parking lot next morning however, as she was hustling in her hyper-fast walking mode, with less than enough time to get to work on time. I fell into step and talked a bit. Asked her about Xmas preparations and family. Parted where our paths diverted. Boy, are our paths diverse! I wonder why we have this odd little relationship anyway? I like her. Does she like me? Well, it doesn’t matter anymore. She was her usual self, which is to say, few words in her responses, and seemingly uninterested in me being there when she was busy trying to get to her job. Ordinarily I’ve have felt a bit rebuffed by the lack of friendliness, or even a simple, “See you next week?” I think I do have this thing licked. It didn’t bother me. I had dancing to look forward to.