Monday, July 21, 2008

A Weekend Out

Personal Rehab Post #5
I'm starting to not like quiet times, for in those quiet moments I start to ask that question that will probably plague me for the rest of my life: "Why wasn't I good enough?" It's one of those things that will pick at the back of mind quite possibly until it drives me mad.

This post is about my first major rehab outing. It's a little lengthy.

Well I'd spent a few weeks in relative seclusion, eschewing outings and get togethers and generally trying to pull together a semblance of cool before venturing back out into the wilds of social Atlanta. It's been a long strange trip and since I've apparently got to get back on the trail I started with an annual event: my RP's birthday party.

RP is short for Running Partner, which in the parlance of area is people I run around with. In your area, it may phrased as your hang out buddies, your chums, them folks you know, or friends. I ran into him when I moved to Atlanta and we just got along, so it's like that.

The birthday party is an annual event consisting of fine mix of, it's a social gathering it's a huge party with about as close to a Circus atmosphere that you can get to before people get naked. One year we shut down his subdivision throwing it. I mean it's huge. Rough estimates put the usual crowd at 200-250 people, and this is for a house party. At a single house. My RP know a lotta folk.

Enough background, in food prep my RP said he would be doing everything the night before. Because sitting around all day Saturday waiting is less than a desirable activity, I volunteered to cook everything that morning. I happen to like grilling and so I offered to spen Saturday morning burning a little something. I bought the supplies, marinated the meat overnight, got my extras and showed at Event Site Zero at 9am. I've been having trouble sleeping lately so this was an accomplishment.

I cleaned the grill. Which apparently had never been cleaned.

I watched them clean the pool.

I keep saying we threw the party because only two days seperates my birthday and RPs, so usually it's a birthday party for us both even though I recognize I'm the undercard. Second billing at your own birthday party you say? How awful? It's a matter of opinion I guess. Wait, wasn't my birthday last month you ask. Well, yes it was, but this is the first free weekend we've been able to schedule, and since we've had it up to two weeks in advance, a little later isn't the worst thing we could have done. In the parlance of our situation, RP is strategic, I'm the tactical.

So I cooked. I cooked the chicken, I cooked the chicken...the hotdogs, the wings, the ribs. From roughly 10am to 4pm I worked a little outside cooking magic. Almost burned my hand a few times, didn't have all my usual grilling tools (used a kitchen fork and one spatula), wings didn't want to cook right taking for freaking ever, damn coals died down before I was all the way done. Man, it was great to get back out there again.

Handy tip: When grilling the bird - get the chicken fingers or tenders. They cook up so fast and easy it's scary.

So I got there early and cooked all day. Then I went home and showered and headed back out because I was also tending bar, which is another of my fine talents. Yes, I was gonna work at this joint to. There is a method to my madness, a trade secret or two that I won't go into but let's just say it works very well for me.

With your normal crowd of 200 I'm in good stead. I mix up Apple martini's and Cosmopolitans, keep the beer in a side tub so it's serve yourself, create fruity little mixtures that put a smile on the pretty girl's faces and get a chance to chat while I'm serving. If we start at around 7pm, I'll generally get a crowd, then a lull, then a second crowd, another lull and so on until I'll shut the drinks down around 1am. At which point it's down to the folks who actually came to party and not just spectate, which is a pretty fun crowd. And whereas the bar might be closed to speed people in the mindset of leaving eventually, folks we know can always "find" a drink. So we've got a plan.

So I start setting out the drinks. People who ain't seen me in a minute tell me I'm looking good, lost weight and all that. A few of my female friends give me a hug and we joke a bit. My mind isn't on other things.

And setting out the drinks. A few women I hadn't seen in a long while invite me to their party next week, another girl tells me about another party she wants me to go to, I'm steady pouring the drinks and talking, even doing some flirting on automatic. Getting the old mojo back to working, ya know?

And setting out the drinks. And setting out drinks. Wait a second, what the? Where is that lull I was counting on? Now we'd thrown the party at Event Site Zero because it's a large house on 12 acres (plenty of parking), it has a pool and a jacuzzi, game room downstairs, and the owner is cool. 12 acres sounds like a lot, hmmm? We ran out of parking. RP's current head count of the crowd is somewhere near 400. Or 600. He's lost track. People at the bar are telling me they parked at the Fire Station, which is a good half to three quarters of a mile away from the front gate (never mind the additional walk from the street) and I have two assistants helping me serve. Your selections have boiled down to: "Light or dark, which one do you want?" It's getting crazy.

Faces blurred cause I don't where they claimed to be.

When I was younger, we would throw a party and before too long we'd run out of liquor. We were broke and trying to have a good time. Now as adults we have a party and before too long we run out of chaser. Very few still have the cojones to bring just a bottle or two of juice. I try to anticipate this, but my expectation was considerably fewer people. So at one point have a single bottle of cranberry juice my co-bartenders and I are passing back and forth between the three of us. Madness.

As I said, normally one would shut the bar down around 1am. I had somebody go find RP and I told him we were shutting it down at 11:30. At least we never ran out of ice. The bartending gig went from fun aside to a South Geogia version of the Bataan Death March only with liquor and girls in bikinis in a mere matter of hours. Okay maybe not that bad because we did have some cuties. But I'm sweating like I'm in a sauna and praying that we run out of cups.

After that I guess the party started getting good: I hyped up the impromptu swim meet. Spent a hot moment in the hot tub (okay, I got in and the women didn't get out - and the water was hot. Technicality). Walked around in my footie socks and told people it wasn't my house for no reason at all (women kept offering to help me find my shoes). And at 2am I somehow got into an oblique discussion with a very defensive vegan republican with a me complex.

Okay, it wasn't all good.

Not sure if I'm up to an event where I don't have something else to focus on though. Truth be told that's pretty much what made this work. A whole night of concentration of other things. Without the distractions, well...I'm not sure.

All this for that hollow feeling at the end of the night. But then I'm working on the outside. Inside ain't gonna be right for a while.

Barkeep. Water. Yeah, I'm getting back but it's a step by step process.


Kai said...

Hey is this the classic 'round 4th of july party? bummed I missed it this year.

M. said...

Yes, it was that party. That big for no reason party.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

Nice spot u have here, hope u don’t mind the drive by, do chk me out one day

rawdawgbuffalo and if u like what u read, maybe u will come back, even Blog Roll Me