My weekend started properly at about 11:00 AM on Friday. I looked up from some proofing to find the Chief Operations Officer grinning at my desk. “I owe you a game,” I said.
“Yes, you do. Are you free?”
“I’m free right now,” I said, so we went to the break room to play our long overdue Round 2 of the annual Internet Inc. Pool Tournament.
I will shock no one by saying that I lost to my manager’s director’s boss and last year’s champion. I shocked myself, however, by making a run of it. I took my time and thought about the shots I had to make, rather than winging my way through it, and completed several shots I wouldn’t have thought in my range. Of course, the difference between a good player and a skilled amateur comes from grace under pressure. The COO made several shots when it counted; I missed several shots that I needed to make. Still, a slightly firmer touch on my last pocket shot and I’d have pulled off the upset of the century.
Afterwards, my team and several neighbors went out drinking at Green Briar in Brighton. The daily specials advertised nachos, chicken parm pizza, and “cool 80s with Taint.” After trying our hardest to parse this last one, we caved and asked the waitress. “It’s an 80s cover band,” she explained. “Called Taint.”
“And it’s in reference to …”
“Exactly what you think it is.”
Mike G. from work had some folks over to his place in Brighton Center. I played a round of Beirut, then hung out on the porch with the smokers, learning that some otherwise cool folks have a remarkably deep love of Wings. As in, Paul McCartney’s leavings.
I ended the night at Common Ground, where a small crowd surfaced for Kim’s birthday – Greg W. and Beth, Melissa, Katie H., RJ, Drew, Dan S. and Serpico – but somehow Marie and I were the only ones who danced. Why pay a $4 cover to to drink in a place that’s too loud to have a conversation? I don’t get it. I introduced Marie and Matthew and we all rocked the dance floor until 1:30 or so.
Saturday belonged to Gorefest set-building. The girls proved remarkably handy with power tools – Monica running the jigsaw to cut out several sheets of Masonite, Liz C. scampering under the risers to drill and bolt them together. I supplied brute force and dumb weight as needed. The stage itself looks phenomenal if you haven’t seen it already. Get your Gorefest tickets soon – we’ve already sold 300 seats over our 10-night run. We will sell out every show before the first one opens. I will tell you until you believe me.
Fighting off a cold and debating my choice the whole way, I took the train to Boston College to watch the anticipated BC/VTech game. BC’s football team, in the finest tradition of BC superfans, showed up 10 minutes late to the game, allowing VTech a commanding lead in the first quarter. Then they turned on the heat, relying on sloppy play by Tyrod Taylor to carry the Eagles to victory.
I go to these games to socialize as much as to cheer, of course. I enjoyed catching up with Joe C., fighting the good fight against juvenile offenders in New Jersey (he flashed his DA badge for us on request). J Lee made the trip out from Worcester and showed up already stammering drunk, asking me three times where in Somerville I lived (“Davis Square? That’s the most happening square in Somerville”). And I met Lauren, a/k/a Toast, a CCE alumna and BC grad, class of 2008. It’s weird, meeting people who graduated in May of this year and realizing I occupy, in their chronology, the place that people like Ryan Howe occupy in mine. I’m an old, old man.