Carry on, Wayward Son

It’s been an interesting week. Since my last post has run its course, it’s time to move on. Let me catch you up.

Last Tuesday, Guitar Hero 2 finally came out. I handily beat the medium difficulty, but the hard difficulty is already giving me some issues (not to mention Expert level). They definitely ramped up the difficulty levels on this one. But it is fun with lots of killer tracks. Co-op playing is sweet too – having 2 separate tracks (such as lead guitar and bass, or lead guitar and rhythm guitar) to play in 2-player mode is much more fun than having 1 track that gets divided among 2 players.

On Wednesday, Mark went out and got GH2 as well. His son liked the game when he tried it out at the local Best Buy, and Mark seems to enjoy the game as well. Oh yeah, he didn’t have a PS2 so he bought one of those as well. Since we had the console and the game, we played it for a bit in the office (after hours – not that it matters) before heading home.

On Thursday, I was believed to be gay. (Some back story: There is significant construction going on in our office to split up a large open space into a couple of individual offices.) So when the construction crew came in on Thursday afternoon to get some work done, it was a convenient time to head out of the office for a bit and go to Mark‘s son’s first basketball practice. Besides, the practice was literally only 2 miles away from the office so it was a no-brainer to head there and get away from the noise and what not. Shortly after our arrival to the practice, the coach asked us (Mark and I) which one was our son (I’m summarizing because I don’t remember exactly how he worded the question). Yikers. After work, we went back to the practice to pick up Mark’s son and at one point the coach asked how many kids we had… If it wasn’t for the fact that I was going over to Mark’s for dinner and to show off my l33t Guitar Hero sk1llz0rz for the kids, I wouldn’t have been there and the “mistake” would not have been made. I think Mark eventually set the coach straight (by saying that I was his business partner, not his life partner), but it was definitely an eye-opener. I think the coach may have seen my earrings and jumped to conclusions. Just because I have not had a girlfriend in 3+ years does not a gay man make.

I went over to Mark’s place and had some Kobe beef burgers (yum) and jammed out some Guitar Hero (although I probably didn’t impress them as much as I could have if I had a bit more practice with the new game). John MacLeod thought everything I was playing was easy. I can assure you that it is not. Regardless of difficulty, it is a fantastic game. If you have a PS2, or want a good excuse to get one, get GH1 and GH2 now.

On Friday, it was Veteran’s day. We didn’t take the entire day off, but one thing led to another and I took off from work at about 2:45. I headed over to Albertson’s for a wedding card (see Saturday below), and ended up getting there right when Rickey was getting off of his shift. We ended up heading over to his place for a bit while he changed clothes, then headed to my place so I could change clothes, then finally to Randall’s place for pizza, wings, Ghost Recon, Ghost Recon: Advanced War Fighter, and Guitar Hero 2. We played games for a while, and then Nayt, Scott, and Sean came over from the wedding rehearsal dinner. We had a few beers and a few laughs and finally headed home around 1am. Saturday was to be a fun, and at some points brutal, day.

On Saturday, my friend Matt was to be wed. It turned out to be a Looney Bin family reunion. There was Rickey, Randy, Nayt, Scott, Sean, Mike, Ian, Jarrod, and myself – all original members of the LB. Plus there were Matt (the groom) and Jason, the honorary members (or West Side LB). The only people missing from this group were Ben Parten, Ryan Anspach, and Jason Surguine. Let me tell you, we had one hell of a time!

Mike Iles was hysterical. He was wearing his Class A’s (Army Dress Greens), as was Jarrod. As a back story, Jarrod was always the bitch. Always being picked on. He was also the youngest of the group. Fast forward to Saturday: So, considering that Mike was always the cut-up funny guy with a razor-blade-like wit, he took it upon himself to verbally destroy Jarrod – like old times. And the guy did not let up the entire time he was there. Man, is he missed. But being stationed in Texas (I think) and having a mean hag of a wife and 2 kids does not help him get out here so often. But any time I hear that he is around, I will make sure not to miss out on him.

As for the party atmosphere of Saturday… it didn’t stop but for 3 hours total all day. After the wedding, the LB went across the street to a bar and had a drink or 2 (or 3), since we knew that there was not an open bar at the reception and that booze prices would be rediculous at the Marriot. Once we arrived at the reception, we got more drinks. And drank with lunch. And afterward. Once the reception ended around 4pm, we decided to… get some drinks across the street at Friday’s. After leaving Friday’s, we went to relax for about an hour and change clothes (I didn’t go home so I didn’t change). Then we headed out to the west valley for a party, where we drank. The drinking finally stopped at around midnight (nearly 12 hours of drinking total). I was happy when the day ended and I could get those dress shoes off of my feet, because damn. But it was a great day for all of us.

On Sunday, I chilled. I needed a break from drinking and my feet still hurt. I watched some football, turned off the Cardinals game in the 3rd quarter, watched Jedi, watched some more football, cooked some Mac & Cheese, and had some more champagne. Mike K., one of John‘s friends, came by to celebrate his purchase of a new residence. We had champagne. Then I watched some more football, The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Cars (which was a good movie). Finally, I went to my room and caught Empire (which I saw several times this weekend due to Skinamax airing all 6 movies back-to-back-to-back… -to-back…), falling asleep when the Millenium Falcon attempted its departure from the asteroid and the mouth of some monstrous asteroidal creature.

So, how was your week?

“I’m an Idiot”, or “The One That Got Away”

Hi. I’m an idiot. And I get reminded of it often. But every once in a while, the reminder is so explosive that I just cannot help but to reexamine exactly what went wrong.

I guess it was 1999 (which seems like an eternity ago – heck, it was nearly a quarter of my lifetime ago), when I decided to break up with my girlfriend. I was in my second year of college, and she still in high school (chicks dig older men). She also happened to be one of my sisters 2 best friends, which can certainly be awkward. But it worked for the most part. Until I decided, however the hell I convinced myself of it, that she just wasnt quite mature enough for me. Perhaps it was the fact that I was working and in college and she was still in high school. It really doesnt matter because it was set in my mind that the relationship wasnt going anywhere.

She ended up going to U of A that fall to study medicine. I kept in touch every once in a while, mostly through AIM and email. And then communication just stopped. Its like that with everybody – there’s no real attachment (certainly not a relationship based in love) to maintain – and therefore you just stop talking (like with Vici, or friends like Sarah D. or Kevin G.). But, unfortunately for me, she is still friends with my sister, and therefore I am privy to information that I may not hear elsewhere. Like the bombshell that blew apart my world.

I don’t remember the exact year, but I do remember the exact day: Valentine’s Day. This wasn’t the day that I found out, but when they got together. I thought to myself, “How cheesy is that? Hooking up on Valentine’s Day?” And I didn’t necessarily agree with it either. Somewhat because he was the roommate of her best friend’s boyfriend and it was just circumstance – two single people hanging out with each other on Valentine’s Day with nothing better to do because each of their best friends were already dating (mayhaps even engaged at that point) – that brought them together, but ultimately I was jealous. For by this time, I already knew that I had made the mistake.

Over the years, I heard that they had broken up. And I heard that they got back together. And I heard that they got engaged. And I got an invitation to the wedding. Somewhere in there, after the engagement, I had lunch with her. It was quaint, just kind of catching up. Me congratulating her. Me being an AFC, bringing her a rose (this was before I knew what an AFC even was). And the wedding came and went. I showed up for the reception, but not the ceremony. Truth is that I slept in. I really didn’t intend to do that, but am not sure if I can convince anybody that it was not intentional. Perhaps it was subconsciously intentional, but I didn’t mean to do so. If there is one thing that I do know about me, it is that I wish nothing but the best for her. And if her choice is him, so be it. I am genuinely happy for her. And genuinely miserable for me.

The one that got away. I get reminded of it every so often. It’s a running joke, that doesn’t rear its ugly head too often (fortunately), within my family. She will come up in conversation, and my dad will remind me. Or my brother (who you would expect nothing less from) will remind me. My sister, my mom, my brother-in-law. They all remind me. She’s the one that I let get away.

Rumor has it that if I had made some sort of move to get her back, I could have done so (I have no evidence that this rumor is true). Maybe I should have told her that day at Mimi’s Cafe that I was crazy about her. But being a ‘nice guy’ has its major downsides – like bottling up feeling and emotion. But sometimes you have to keep your mouth shut if what you really want to say has possible major life-altering implications.

Do I believe that I am better than he is? Not really. I don’t have the confidence to justly say such a thing. Could I provide for her better than he can? Probably not. Is there anything that would suggest that I have a positive going for me? Well, there’s 1 thing for sure: I play a mean game of Guitar Hero.

Which brings us back to that reminder that got this entire post started. Today, I helped my sister and brother-in-law move into their new house (btw – congrats Jabbi). And this afternoon, Abbi’s 2 best friends stopped by to have a look. I hadn’t seen her in years, so when they arrived, I kept myself busy by unloading the truck and having some lunch. Mostly because her husband came along too, and I was a sweaty pig from moving stuff, but also because it was hard for me to make eye contact with her. After all these years, I just couldn’t look at her and not think about all of the stuff written above. I warmed up a bit after a while, and became all smiles, life is wonderful, I am awesome, all that stuff (like playing some Guitar Hero with my brother, then the husband (who had never played before)). But I don’t think I can hide my pain very well anymore. Hence, I lay it all out here, names withdrawn, for you to read for yourself.

Getting this out in the open will make me feel better. It has been bottled up for too long. If, by chance, any of the parties involved read this story, I apologize if you are offended or have any other non-positive emotion. I am not trying to hurt anybody, just get it off of my chest for perhaps the last time.

Certainly, life for me has been good overall. I have a good job and great friends. And the best family in the world. Who knows where I would be today if things had been different. Maybe in Tucson (which sucks, but is totally worth it for the company that moving there would provide). Or maybe on the east coast somewhere. But I wouldn’t be as close to Jott as I am today; nor to my family; nor to Rickey, Randy, or Mark; nor would I have ever spent 6 wonderful months with Courtney; nor hung out with Denny, Bob & Kel, or Stinkle; nor ever have met Doom, Shorty, Mikey, Ben Araiza, Richard, Lary & Laurel, or Sandii (to name a few – sorry if I missed any of my dear readers); nor enjoyed 3 of the best years of my life in Phoenix Down.

But regardless of all that, she’s the one who got away. She will always be the one who got away.

[tags]Love, Heartbreak, Life[/tags]