Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Losing Cool

This past weekend was interesting all around. Eugene's original plan was to fly into Chicago around 9AM Saturday and stay until Monday morning where he'd continue his midwest trek and visit another friend of his. However his plans changed when new Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick scheduled an appearance at his campus that morning. He really wanted to be there to show his support. So he cancelled his original flight and rescheduled one for later in the day, his new arrival time being 9:49 PM.

While doing some last minute Christmas shopping, I got a phone call from Eugene. His flight from Philly to Chicago (he arrived at Philly from Boston) on US-Air was cancelled. He told me no explanation was given. He spent his evening bitching out different US-Air staffers in a quest for answers and an alternate flight. The best they were able to do was give him a 9AM flight that would arrive at 11:30 AM. The true explanation for his flight's cancellation remained a mystery.

Eugene was hoping to spend his late Saturday, early Sunday morning cruising a choice gay Chicago nightspot. Instead he spent that time stuck in the airport with hard seats barely giving any comfort. US-Air didn't even offer to cover a hotel room. They instead gave him a voucher but he still had to pay $69 out of pocket, which he chose not to do.

I relayed to FordRock, henceforth he shall be known as Rock, the situation and he immediately offered to go with me to pick Eugene up at the airport. I thought that was really nice.

Rock wanted to bring a friend of his along not only for reinforcement but also to introduce Eugene and I to someone important in his life, just as Eugene's important to mine. As a bonus, his friend is studying for a Phd in pyschology so Eugene and his friend would have that in common.

After firming that up, Eugene relayed that he was able to secure an earlier flight on United that would arrive at 7:20 AM. That killed those plans.

Sunday came and I went to pick him up. His flight arrived ten minutes early. Unfortunately his bags did not make it with him. He was told by the US Air rep that his bags would be transferred to United.

When I found Eugene after parking in O'hare's garage, he was looking disheveled and like a lost puppy. He didn't even see me as I called out to him. We met up and quickly exchanged hugs.

Long story short, Eugene would not be seeing his bags anytime soon. He filed a missing bag claim and in the event his bags are found, they'll be forwarded to him. As we made our way to my car, I told him that all this might not have happened had he not cancelled his other flight for Deval. As it turned out, Deval barely spoke at the rally.

So after some stops to get Eugene some new toiletries, we headed home to get ready for our breakfast/bowling day with Rock and company. That turned out to be real interesting once they arrived. After showing Rock's friend Ned around the place, we all hopped in Rock's SUV and made our way to a nice breakfast spot I took Eugene once before.

Rock and I had our conversation while Ned and Eugene had theirs. Of course since we were going bowling afterwards, Eugene had to tell Ned about our ongoing competition.

Breakfast was really nice. We even cracked up when a pair of thuggish loud brothas were seated opposite our table. Ned told us they reminded him of some of the youth he deals with in his job at a detention center. We commented on how sometimes black folks like to bring attention to themselves whereever they go.

After breakfast we all headed to the local alley. We decided to pair off into teams with Rock and myself vs. Eugene and Ned. Eugene was being his usual crazy self, doing all he could to provoke me. Unfortunately he knew how to push my buttons and despite my best efforts to ignore him, I let him get to me. Again. I won my first game against him but unfortunately lost the last two. Ned also proved to be a slightly better bowler than Rock so we only wound up winning one series out of three.

Eugene was insufferably gloating which drove me up the wall. My reactions unfortunately were making things uncomfortable for Rock and Ned, who both feared for their safety. The more I sulked, the more Eugene gloated. If looks could only kill I thought to myself.

So after bowling Rock drove us back to my place. He actually was able to get back without much help from me, which was cool. The highlight of the trip was Eugene and Rock going back and forth about corporate greed and how the public allows its CEOs to get away with outlandish salaries while allowing layoffs of hundreds of lower paid employees, all in an effort to raise stock price. I've heard the argument before so I stayed quiet as did Ned.

Once at my place, we all decided to play spades and paired up with the same teams. Eugene and I got into it again over some of the rules as I was used to Yahoo Spades rules. It didn't help matters that I was still reeling from earlier. It was a wonder I even agreed to play.

Rock and I actually were doing real well, at one point we were up by over 100 points. Eugene and Ned decided to do some blind 8 crap and unbeknownest to Rock and myself (though I had a suspicion), Eugene was cheating. Among his cheating ways, he held out on a spades card even though spades was led. He also managed to play the Ace of Clubs three times in a single hand.

Eugene's a piece of work sometimes. I went ballistic after Eugene/Ned supposedly "won" that hand and set Rock and myself back seventy points.

I took off and Rock did his best to try and comfort me, though comforting was the last thing I wanted. I just needed some time to blow off some steam. If nothing else, my storming off did buy Rock and I some private time and he managed to take advantage of the situation. You do the math...*LOL*.

So Hemingway Rock and Ned eventually took off and left me alone with Eugene. Eugene of course kept telling me how much I was overreacting and taking things personally. He rationalized that guys trash talk all the time when playing sports and that it wasn't personal. He asked me how I'd like it if everyone was all polite and just going..."your turn, your turn, your turn". I thought about and realized that he was right in that regards. I suppose some kind of b.s. has to go on to keep things somewhat interesting. Another thing I know is that I'm extremely competitive as well but it's more of a quiet competitive over Eugene's bells and whistles. So my tendency is to beat myself up already. The additional needling from Eugene coupled with my own abuse was quite the potent punch. It's a wonder as Eugene said, that I didn't jump off the roof.

Long story made shorter, I eventually got over it. We later went to dinner at Chili's where we were served by a sexy waiter. I even had a brief period of comeuppance when Eugene managed to spill his water all over his shirt and on his booth seat when attempting to remove a piece of ice for his warm Merlot. That had me laughing for a good ten minutes. I could tell Eugene was a bit pissy when I laughed. I couldn't imagine what our sexy waiter and the handsome maitre'd thought as they bought napkins and towels for Eugene to wipe his seat and clothes off.

Later I paid for dinner and Eugene copped a cheap feel of the waiter's "rock solid" (according to Eugene) shoulders. We drove to Dick's Sporting Goods and Walmart for Eugene to get some extra clothes.

Sunday was soon over afterwards and on Monday morning I dropped Eugene off at a nearby train station so he could make his way towards Midway airport for a flight to visit another friend of his living in Minneapolis.

Eugene and I will meet again Thursday morning at Union Station as we both make our way to Detroit for the holiday.

Incidentally Rock wants to see me later on Wednesday (that's today if you're reading this on the 20th). He reassured me that Sunday didn't scare him off and Ned even went so far as to tell Rock to not let me go. Hmm. Things are progressing nicely between us. He even wants us to spend New Year's Eve together so we can ring in the New Year.

So Hemingway, this will probably be my last post before Christmas. Hopefully I'll be able to put an entry or two before 2006 comes to an end.

Merry Christmas...Happy Hanukkah....Happy Kwanzaa...Happy Holidays to everyone.

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Blogger Ladynay said...

Awwwwwww E got him a New Years Eve date! :-)

We all have a bit of competiveness in us and Eugene is right, spades isn't spades w/out someone talking trash! LOL

Merry Christmas!!!

7:20 AM, December 20, 2006  
Blogger Rose said...

Have a great Christmas and A Happy New Year E.

11:09 PM, December 21, 2006  
Blogger That Dude Right There said...

Now see, Eugene needs his arse tapped for cheating in spades. Trash talking is obligatory, but cheating ain't cool.

But I am glad that Rock is doing ok by you.

8:42 AM, December 22, 2006  
Blogger Cash S. said...

Happy Holidays!!

7:56 AM, December 26, 2006  
Blogger No_the_game said...



I Am gonna call you on my way gym which is now so i do not to bother ur New YEAR celeb with ur Rockford guy!


1:02 PM, December 31, 2006  

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