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Weekened Shenanigans: Memorial Weekend version

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One of the best Fridays of anybody's entire year is the Friday of Memorial Day weekend.  There's just something in the air, isn't there?  People are excited for summer because it means fountains of booze and mountains of coke.  In my case, Coke Zero.  The beaches are ready and the sun is bursting at the seams.  You know summer's arrived when the latinos arrive at the beach around 8am to put up one of those giant pop tents that blocks everyone's view of the ocean.  That thing doesn't come down until around 8pm.


Music sounds a little better with the window rolled down and the smell of overcooked 'meat product' is in the air.  Ahhh, Memorial Day. 


I spent my Friday hanging with my oldest brother.  He's been in the wine business for several years and knows his stuff.  He launched Meridian wine and did some fairly groundbreaking stuff on the marketing side.  But he got sick of the corporate take over of the wine business and became disgusted with how the bigger wineries are run by people with little love of wine and no respect of California's wine heritage.  So, he started his own label.  He buys the pressed grapes from brokers and growers and works with a vintner to make his own brew.  He just bottled his most recent vintage and will be selling about 1200 cases this summer.  With a retail price of about $35 a bottle, he's breaking even with a profit around the corner.  But he's not looking to get real rich.  The business model is to make some money and then donate a good chunk to charities that need to raise money.  He'll donate the wine for wine tasting fundraisers knowing that people will like the wine and will buy it after the fundraising is done.  What we call a 'win-win' in the modern era.


So I went to a couple restaurants with him where he's trying to get his wine in.  The buyers love wielding the power.  It's kind of fun to see them on their thrones (a chair near the bar) lording over the sales people (usually hot-ish chicks who play the game).  My brother don't care.  At both places we went, he knew most all of the sales people.  He was making introductions to the buyers and managers.  He likes the game of it.


One thing I don't like about my brother is that he eats real late.  So, we compromised and ate dinner at 8pm.  It was not worth the wait.  Shrimp salad with leftover greens.  Yuckie.


My brother picked up his wife at the airport around 10pm and they stopped by my place for a couple minutes.  A distant relative was staying in Long Beach for two nights for what sounds like the worst time ever:  He's English and has an old Rolls Royce.  There's some club that has a rally every year for old Rolls Royces.  The owners drive or ship their cars to distant lands to do this rally and it lasts about a month.  So, you're sitting there in an old Rolls with no mod cons, as the English say, and you're praying to make it to your next destination.  First day was Long Beach to Death Valley.  Long Beach, because it's a port where alot of the cars were shipped.  You can have it.  No thanks!


I did a little biking on Saturday and as a testament to the first supposed week of summer, the bike path was full of people who were without compass or brain.  Seemed to be a few bars-on-bikes brigades too.  It was bedlam.  It was awesome.


The same night, I went to my friends' restaurant which I'm not going to do again any time soon.  He tried to pick up on a couple gals who were preening at the bar.  Since we're all getting older and the clock is ticking, they joined my friend at our table in 15 minutes.  That didn't happen to either of us when we were 22.  Then again, we didn't sit at a table for longer then 15 minutes when we were 22. 

I excused myself and ran home like a baby whose party had been pee'd on.  I just didn't want to make conversation with strangers.  My fire had gone out by that time of night.


Sunday, I did the usual:  Went to Cappy's where I met my friend.  The angry Greek guy who runs the place finally has taken a liking to us and now puts us first in line for a booth.  That only took about 15 years of patronage.  Thanks Greek Man!


As usual, we split a three stack of pancakes.  I can't eat the whole thing and I bluff that I'm doing my gut a favor by not eating all dat.  Pancakes are basically a dessert dish.  Sugar, flour, eggs, butter.  Syrup with sugar.  Great way to start the day.  Especially when it's 80 degrees out.

My arm and back have been giving me problems and the previous day's bike ride didn't help.  I was in pain but didn't want to spend the day indoors watching Miami Vice.  Wait...sure I did.  But a bike ride sounded good after the pancakes.  After breakfast with my fat making friend, I met up with my brother for a bit before he headed out.  We used to play catch with the baseball and did a little pepper too, but with my back messed up, that was outta da question.


I arrived at my friend's house to do some biking and who's there, but one of the table gals from last night.  Judas H. Priest!  Who the hell is this needy?  Both of them, appearantly.


Luckily, one of my other friends were there so we could chat during the ride.  Turns out the chickie and I have mutual friends.  She was nice but nothing remarkable.  She was trying to make not so subtle moves on my friend like putting her hand on his arm, scratching his back and re-decorating his bedroom.  Just kidding about the last one, but that might be happening right now. 


I got an iPhone this weekend.  The one advantage it has is that it's smaller and slimmer than most phones.  I like that I can put it in my pocket.  I'm going to count how many anti/pro-Apple posts this will provoke.


I was beat on Sunday afternoon.  My body was crying for help so I popped some non-opiate pain killers which, since they're non-opiate, didn't do much.


Monday was spent indoors watching tv, recovering. 


Oh yeah, remember that hipster donut shop I posted about several weeks ago?  Well, it's open now and I went there with my brother.  Never again.  It wasn't bad, but why pay $15 for two donuts and two coffees there when I can get the same thing from a place called 'Donuts' located in many a mini-mall for about $5?  Yes...$15.  My brother paid.  I felt bad that my brother paid.  And that I hadn't thought to open a hipster donut place that charges $3.50 for a donut.


One other thing:  the hipster entitled donut seller broad behind the counter with the predicitable tattoo on her wrist was rude.  I'm really sorry, expert donut chick, that I'm not paying a full $4 for this very average donut.  If I paid the extra 50 cents, then would I gain street cred with you and your army of kooks?!


Avoid Sidecar donuts please.  You're better than that, and so is the place called 'Donuts.'  Thanks.



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