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2005-04-20 - 5:19 p.m.

Of all traditions I could possibly decide to cement in these last few months, turning Wednesday morning into a regular slog through liquor, little sleep and languish is probably the least healthy I could have chosen.

Whether it’s poker with the guys:

“One more hand. Just one more. Twenty on this hand! Allright?! I am not going out like that. NOT going out like that.” - For those wondering, I went out like that.

Or a seemingly mild evening of Gilmore Girls over at her place, a mix of coffee, in honor of our title characters, wine, in honor of whatever, and whiskey, in honor of what-the-fuck-were-we-watching again…

It always ends with me sitting at my desk at work sucking on the teat of the water cooler, trying to offer some succor to the coked up cast of Stomp putting on an impromptu performance in the theater of the round that is my head.

If the end results this morning were despairingly typical, at least the manner I came to such a state bears at least a few touches of creativity. I may continue to wreak havoc on my frail frame, but at least I’m finding brand new ways of doing it.

Given a Tuesday at a champagne bar where one of my favorite New York bands was going to be tickling ivories and strumming chords for no cover, especially the band that was to be my friend’s first date until she fell sick, this was a call that needed answering, and, much to the chagrin of the ladies involved in the evening, a call that required dressing up.

Luckily for me, dressing up required little more than throwing a suit jacket over my usual business casual. I did toss on the nicey-nice dressey-dress pants, only to re-discover that oddest of phenomenons: “Why do all suit pants wrap around your waist like a python that’s just been audited?” All of my pants have a thirty two waist, to match my bony, wracked hip bones. Despite the fact that all of them, every last one, bears the same waist size, listed in inches, for some reason all the dress pants squeeze on my sternum with such force, I’m destined to lose at least ten pounds in the bathroom over the course of any day I wear them. Has thirty two inches, a fairly distinct and definite measurement, somehow become relative? Or have a few companies gone metric and kept it on the down low? In either case, an inch to inch comparison chart from manufacturer to manufacturer would be greatly appreciated.

After getting a fine dollop of disgruntled grumblings from He-Who-Made-The-Reservations, I booked my thirty two inches of booty down to the lounge trying to maintain my status as late, as opposed to “fucking late, you dick!” Arriving about fifteen minutes before show time, we entered a room full of empty chairs and the band going over a sound check. He was late. Fucking late. My night was already made.

And then, given the choice of any table in the place, he allowed us to be plunked dead center, ten feet away from the band, in admittedly cushy chairs. Were we seeing Springsteen at a Coliseum, being that close to the stage would have been a pleasure, but in a small lounge where a single peep echoes through the oak lined halls, turing into a bellow like Samuel Jackson realizing he didn’t get any Ketchup with his Royal with Cheese, it made for slight discomfort.

So, while language was rather limited during the show, a cast of characters as hammy as we would find other means of discourse, namely the highly subtle art of eye brow raising.

During the first set, the server brought over our selection of champagne, and by our I mean, He-Who-Made-The-Reservation. The act of receiving a bottle of champagne seems terribly nuanced, at least in comparison to the presentation of Budweiser’s most recent vintage. The bottle was toweled off, carefully popped and poured in what seemed like the most awkward manner possible, tenuously gripped by the ass end of the bottle. Mr. Reservation took it all in stride, barely looking at the waiter, barely flinching until he had enough before him to taste. A sniff, a swirl and a sip, and he began to nod, in classy acceptance. Upon swallow, however, he broke into a zealous thumbs up that begged for mockery.

We each took turns savoring the bubbling with broad exaggeration, circling our hands with proclamation, scooping the fumes into our noses and snorting them like coke, then turning to chuckle the haughty laugh so many an heiress has emanated in Three Stooges movies.

Captain Rez responded sniffing the glass, and then pretending to sneeze. The singer on stage, finishing a verse, turned saying “God Bless You.” I now know what it feels like to have champagne tingle through your brain as it makes its way out your nose.

All in all a fine evening, but throw on top a late night quest for food through the village, and add a subway train that traveled with the speed and motivation of your average Florida retiree, and you have a five o’clock bed time.

This all but revokes my rock star status, but I hope next Wednesday my primary focus at work is slightly more industrious than trying to hoist my head atop my hand, and structure myself in the visage of someone who has mental capacities even slightly above those of a sea slug.

If nothing else, maybe I’d have the energy to find better pants.

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