Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

El Capitan's Wubbulous Weekend

I Want My High-Speed Rail Line!

The only downside of driving to Dallas is... the driving to Dallas. Been that route so often, I'm tempted to do it blindfolded. I used to get off I-45 outside Madisonville and drive up the old 2 lane Hwy 75, but the shine wore off that diversion 10 years back.

Nope, nothing but 4 hours of staring at the white stripes in the road. I managed to leave my stack of travel music CDs at the house, too, so the one CD in the player had to suffice. I got those songs committed to memory for life.

After dodging some effed-up traffic on Central Distressway in Dallas, I joined the crowd I was meeting at Cafe Amore in Richardson. Nice little place, run by Armenians with a tenuous grasp of customer service skills, but quite the good cooks.

The occasion was a baby shower for some college friends that decided to finally procreate. As showers go, this one was pretty good. All the wine you could quaff, and no silly party games. Just talk, eat, give gifts, leave!

We retreated back to the dad-to-be's family homestead for more beverage intake and bonhomie. I've known the prospective parents for years and like 'em quite a bit. This buddy of the dad-to-be that seems to always be around? Not so much. I had to head outside for a cooldown midway through to keep myself from jamming a Grolsch beer bottle down his gullet. The dislike was pretty widespread, too. Another person let me know they had no use for the guy after he made their roommate cry back in 1989. Damn, and I thought *I* held a grudge...

I like smart people. They're fun to be around, especially if you're a smart person as well. You can converse on a wide range of subjects with a smart person, and not have to backtrack and bring people up to speed. This guy IS a smart person. Brilliant, in fact. However, he uses his intellect like a bludgeon. Any opportunity to expound upon an obscure topic or reroute the conversation in an oblique manner is eagerly seized upon. The result is usually a conversation that peters out in an embarrassed silence 'cause half the crowd has no clue what's being referenced.

After a simple discussion about politics got roiled up by Mr. Wizard with his extended reference to Juvenal's Satires cannonballing in the deep end, I'd had about enough. Dude, look. This is NOT the Algonquin Round Table, nor the Hotel du Cap, or even a grad student skull session. It's a dozen thirtysomethings drinking beer and chatting in a ranch house in suburban Dallas. Lighten. The Fuck. Up.

Afterwards, I retreated to Castle BarkingDog in Garland with The Kilted Liberal, his wife & child for an overnight stay. They were most gracious to allow me to occupy a guest room, though I fear their dog Buzz may never accept me as a member of the pack. He growled, but did not bite, which was nice of him.

Andy was kind enough to let me raid his music stash and burn a few CDs for the trip home. It was great to be able and sit & chat and only occasionally spat over the whole Red State/Blue state mess! I got to play with baby Anwen quite a bit, and she's a very sweet baby indeed!

The next morning, we met with Jenni and Zippo and the Army of Mom/Dad bloggers over at Cafe Brazil. I continued my role as the jinx upon Zippo's dining out experience. Last time, my evil mindwaves crisped his steak from medium-rare to shoe leather multiple times between the kitchen and table. This time, I mentally urged the waitress to shortchange him, then claim to not know the manager's name. I fear he will never eat out with me again... He bought my meal too, so I feel kinda bad right now!

I'd never met AoM/AoD in person before, but they're a lot of fun. Army of Dad's got a pretty wicked sense of humor, and Army of Mom is every bit as open and opinionated in person as she is on her blog. Her eyebrows did hit the ceiling when Jenni mentioned one of her previous work gigs, but I think she took it in stride. They'll fit in real well with the rest of the Texas BlogFest crew! Oh, in spite of AoM's nonchalance about Anwen in her write-up, she looked to be groovin' on that cute li'l baby pretty hard! Hehehe! Moms are like that!

After brunch, everyone went their separate ways, and I chased Jenni back to her place to wake up her hubby and chat for a bit. We were stuck on opposite ends of the table at Cafe Brazil, and didn't get to chat there a whole lot.

We had some beers and I got crawled on by her skinny kitties Rory & Cinder while we watched VH1 and made fun of all the 80's music videos. I haven't had a better time in ages. It's hard to say why Jenni & I get along as well as we do. You truly couldn't find two people more different in all of creation. Well, I'll just chalk it up to being sympatico and let it go at that.

I shuffled out of there about three-ish to seek some Taco Bueno and a Slurpee, neither of which is available within 120 miles of Houston. Properly fortified, I sought out my old 'hood in Carrollton, the same mean streets that spawned that Lord of Gangsta Thugz, Vanilla Ice. It's changed a bit, but remains quiet and extremely Caucasian. Some rat bastards shut down Herrera's, my favorite place for cheap Tex-Mex. They had a bean soup so good, you wanted to puree it and inject it into your veins.

All in all, a good weekend. I'd like to do events like that more often!

Write-ups by the other participants here, here and here!