Monday, April 30, 2012

Sloop John B: Part Two, Or, Jesus On A Cactus

If you had told me a week ago just how insane the last seven days have been, I'd have crawled under the covers, and waited for it all to blow over. As it is, I'm alive at the other end of it; battered, bruised, and beaten, but alive.
Would you like to hear about my week?
Oh, come on now. It's going to be full of videos!
Reginald Kitty is not amused.

It all started out innocently enough. We were going to see Dr. Robert Ballard give a lecture (read the link for a very small list of the things he has found in the ocean, if you like). I went to hear what he had to say about the Titanic, and didn't expect to enjoy the rest of the lecture as much as I did. The only thing that disappointed me was that I didn't hear a single one of these...

We were two of the last four people allowed in, at standing room only. Personally, I'm glad we got in, even if some bald guy's face was at eye level with my arse.
Sounds fun, and it was.
So, where's the battle-hardened soldier thing come in?
We aren't there yet.

The next night, we went to hear a lecture from Bill Clinton. Yes, Sarah-PAC-donating, Reagan-fangirling, George-Bush-autograph-owning me went to listen to Bill Clinton. "What did I do with my life before I blogged?" fun fact: when she was running for president back in '08, I went to see Hillary campaign.
It's a history thing for me.

That was also a fun night. Even if we did stand in line for ninety minutes behind a couple of Jeff Wingers...

They compared sushi restaurants for twenty minutes. I wish that was an exaggeration, but it isn't.

And then, Thursday night hit. Even though I knew it was coming, and had ten days to prepare for it, it still hit me like a ton of bricks. We had all agreed to drive down to Dallas to help my dad's mother finish up a house she's been flipping. Three days with her.
Now, maybe that doesn't seem like such a bad thing; and, I suppose, it isn't. The thing is, I still have wretched memories from the last time we went out of town together. Ten years ago, she thought it would be a fun idea to go to Disney World as a "family". At the time, I told myself that it would all be OK, and I just had to survive that fortnight as best I could.
Some of those trip highlights included:

*Not getting to ride any rides with my sidekick-since-ever, my mother.

*Breaking my knee, and walking the Disney complex for the four days immediately following.

*His mother getting completely drunk, and forgetting where she said she would meet us when it was time for her to pick us up from the park one night. We had to break into Disney World to use their telephone (before cell phones, children!) at two o'clock in the morning. We waited about three hours before we were "rescued".

*Some guy I didn't know died. Somebody's cousin's uncle's brother, or some such affair. Either way my dad's mother got wrapped up in the ensuing drama, thereby making us take part (to a much smaller extent) by proxy.

*And, in general, not being allowed to have fun, which completely defeated the purpose of going to frickin' Disney World in the first ruddy place.

Every time I hear Sloop John B, I am reminded of that trip; I kept humming it under my breath, knowing that she was too square to understand that reference.

Fun fact: I really have always been this way.

Except this weekend was a whole 'nuther notch on the Sliding Scale of Suck, because my dad's brother would also be going. And that is a bad thing. In anybody's book. Really.
Some of this weekend's highlights included:

*His brother blatantly going out of his way to be the biggest dick in the history of ever. (This encompasses the majority of the weekend in one blanket statement.)

*All I kept thinking this weekend was that this happened the last time we were in Dallas...
...and this happened that time before that...
...and just how low I have sunk in such a short amount of time. Oh, woe is me.

*Having to ride in the passenger's seat with his mother at the wheel. It was scary, and I thought I was going to die.

*His brother telling me he remembered watching The Beatles perform "Yellow Submarine" on The Ed Sullivan Show.

*When his brother started making obscene jokes regarding gay men to a waiter at a restaurant, my dad said -- in a joking manner -- that the waiter was allowed to hit his brother. I begged the waiter to do it, and he could tell that I wasn't joking; I think that's why my dinner was served before the other four people I was with even got their orders. Also, he reminded me of Brendon Urie, so I was grateful to have something else to think about besides the fact that I was purposefully separated from my sidekick (it was like Florida all over again).

If you fast forward to the 46 second time stamp, you'll get a pretty clear picture of the waiter I'm talking about.

*After we broke free from the shackles of hell, we went to see RAIN. Yes, the very same tribute band I unabashedly trashed on this very blog two years ago. All I can say is that we must have gotten the D, E, or F string touring band. This was the A string, fresh from their stint on Broadway, and they were pretty damn good. You know, except for fake George (I explain my fake George complex in the link). Fake John has spent quite a bit of time trying to sound like John; so much, in fact, he has his speech patterns down. The only trouble is, he sounds a bit more like Sean Lennon than John Lennon.

Still, he was very good.
The highlight of the show, though, was fake Paul. He didn't look or act anything like Paul, but he could hit that Paul sound very, very well. It was the first time I ever felt safe going into "Hey Jude" with a fake Paul (which caused me to make some rather lurid and uncalled for comments; my personality had been bottled up for three days, so I needed to let my inner fangirl out. I could see that episode of The Golden Girls where Dorothy dates the Beatles impersonator flashing in my head). That, and his version of "Rocky Raccoon" was impeccable. I loved it.

And, here we are; out of the tunnel, into the light, covered in mud, and a little worse for wear.
So, what have we learned?

*Not everybody thinks of purposefully butchering "My Heart Will Go On" when they hear the word 'Titanic'.

*I can be open-minded about any politician if he isn't in any form of office.

*Some people really are that stupid.

*I have the patience of a saint.

*I also have some unresolvable Paul McCartney issues.

If I'm ever in a vegetative state or something, play this clip. I'll come around.

*A good variation on the French comb forward will distract me so well, I won't even notice if you've gone from England to France; this is also in reference to the unresolved Paul issues, I'm sure.

*And, in general, we're all glad that this month is over.

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