I had a great weekend. It began with what was supposed to be a group visit to Worlds of Fun. Chris managed to get a hold of a couple extra DST employee tickets, for a modest group of Chris, Brad, Ben, and myself. Unfortunately, one of the heaviest rains I've ever seen descended on KC at the exact time that we had plotted out for our visit. So we just sat around a table at Harry's until Angela joined us. When she arrived, we piled into Brad's car and went to Paci's in North KC. It didn't take long for us to discover that the music at Paci's was tragic that night. Instrumental 1989-style solo guitar songs. It was enough to make us leave.
So we got in touch with Kendra, Derek, and Frank. They were playing video games over at Frank and Kendra's place in the Crossroads, so we hurried over there, with a brief stop at Grand Slam for some party favors. We played games on their Wii and PS3 until the small hours, drinking beer, and offering each other constructive criticism all the while. My cousin Ellen and her boyfriend Matt rolled into town toward the end of our time there, and met us. After teasing the cats a bit, we took our leave, and finished the night off with a nightcap at the Peanut by my house.
An abbreviated sleep ended with my alarm screeching out its horrible sound. When I turned it off, I heard the sound of running water. I waited for what seemed like an eternity for my roommate to finish his shower, but in the end it turned out only to be about six minutes. I guess time passes more slowly when your eyes droop. Ellen, Matt, and I went over to the City Diner and grabbed some cash-only breakfast, and I wished them well on the rest of their weekend's trip. They were headed to Lawrence for some camping and business, and I exited the vehicle with about 45 minutes to spare for them to get there.
I walked home from there and grabbed my car keys to drive down to Angela's place, where I'd foolishly agreed to help with some yard work. Nick, Derek, Jonathan, Frank, Kendra, Ben, Angela and I moved a very large pile of sticks, branches, logs, and whatnot from the farthest corner of Angela's back yard to the street, where she had rented a wood chipper. I helped for about 2 hours before I had to get going. I got home, showered again, got dressed, and drove to Nick's house near 27th and Gillham.
We walked over to You Say Tomato and met up with Chris and Amanda. I had a root beer while the others had some kind of coffee and breakfast food. We walked from there over to 31st and Troost for the fifth annual Troost Festival. Justin, of course, was already there, even though nobody had any idea that he'd be there. We exchanged our hellos. I had previously arranged with a nice woman named Chrissy that we'd meet down by Linwood and Troost at 3pm, so I excused myself from the conversation circle to hasten down to the corner. Chrissy arrived and I introduced her around.
After perhaps an hour, all the people with whom I had come left, leaving Chrissy and me to our own devices and goofy conversations. We talked as we people-watched and enjoyed a bluesy band playing their instruments. We walked through the neighborhood, soaking in the mid-May sunshine, and I got sunburn all over my face before we met up with Nick and Anna at Thomas on 39th. They'd just toured the home of their dreams, only to find out it was under contract. They were feeling down, but I think we managed to cheer them up. Derek and Mary joined us after a measure, and the six of us had a really nice time. Ben arrived soon after, with Angela showing up a few minutes later. The assembled group talked, joked, laughed, and just generally enjoyed the company of all present.
Nick, Anna, Chrissy, and I went to Amore on 39th and Pennsylvania for some kind of Tango exhibit. Lots of people were tango-dancing to the sound of scratchy old Italian and French music. Complimentary wine, fruit, and vegetables added savor to what was already one of the nicest, most romantic occasions I've had the luck to enjoy. Nick and Anna are like the mafia. They seem to know everyone in this town, and they know about all the great things there are to do.
The four of us went to Gilhouly's from there, and met up with Jonathan, Angela, Justin, Ben, Kyle, and Christina. We sat around a table talking about nothing in particular, but enjoying the moments copiously. Chrissy and I exchanged a look, and decided it was time to call it a night. I slowly drove her home, walked her to her door, and said good-night. I drove home, awash with emotion about how wonderful things are for me right now. I can't believe I once dreaded the idea of living here. What was I thinking?
11:23 AM, May 18, 2009