Some life lessons, smuggled in the form of weekend anecdotes:
Learn Enough Dance to Dance to Funk / Soul; Everything Else is Wasted. Well, okay, and the bare minimum of dance required to get married in the States. But so few places bust out any sort of swing worth swingin’ to, and salsa can only be found in seedy gin joints with knife artists in sharkskin suits. But if you’re ever in Central Square on a Friday night – like I was for Rachel R’s birthday – stop by the Cantab and listen to Diane Blue and the Fatback Band lay down the oldest and greatest. “Dancing in September,” “Knock on Wood,” and maybe even a little James Brown for you. Really – all you need.
Pick a Party and Stick With It. I left Rachel’s celebration midway through to see if anyone had camped out at 90′s Night in Allston. Had I called ahead I could have saved myself the trip – the cool kids had been crowded out by the BU kids. After waiting in line for a minute and confirming the situation with Matthew, I returned to Cambridge and closed out the night at the Cantab. I probably missed a lot of prime dancing thanks to my indecision and I will regret it until the day I die.
You Build a Surprise Party with 90% Discipline and 10% Innovation. I went to a surprise party with Kym from work on Saturday evening. Kym’s friend Allie had been planning this for about a month and had gone above and beyond to keep everything quiet. But it takes more than just secrecy to get a surprise party going. So, that afternoon, she recruited Kym’s landlord, who called Kym and told her that a burst pipe had flooded her closet. She hurried home and found us waiting.
Never Drink On An Empty Stomach. Seriously! Never! What did you think would happen? And no, two plates of tortilla chips and a bowl of creamy dip do not count! And no, a single slice of a pulled pork quesadilla does not count! How old are you? Have you learned nothing? Seriously! It’s like I can’t even look at you!
(But I had an excellent time at Bukowski regardless, helping Kate G. tick off the last few items on her beer card. If you go into the Inman Square dive and find the Charlotte Perkins Gilman mug off its hook, you’ll know she’s in town)
If You Have Time Alone, Enjoy It. I caught up with Jodi at the Grafton St Pub in Harvard on a cool Sunday afternoon, giving her the chance to vent about dealing with undergrads (apparently, the dumb kids at Harvard are just as dumb as the dumb kids anywhere). After seeing her off, I took the T to Kendall and walked to Kendall Cinema to get tickets for Redbelt. With two and a half hours to kill, I had an early dinner at the Cambridge Brewing Company right around the corner.
The afternoon had hit that “magic hour” that photographers love, when the sun lights everything soft. The red brick of the CBC kept the inside warmer than the outside (low 60s), but the ceiling fans provided a gentle downdraft. Not quite dinner time yet, so I had a quiet corner of the bar to sit and read some Fritz Leiber while a perky bartender brought me a pulled pork sandwich and the house pale. Afterwards I walked two blocks and bought ice cream at a 7-11.
Don’t look too hard for those moments; that never helps. Just stay ready when they arrive.