A lot has happened since the last time I got on here to write. For starters, I never did make that Saturday rally I wrote about last. I fell into a Nyquil induced coma and awoke to see Manny highlights on ESPN... I may reevalute my thoughts on being able to last a round with him.
Sunday I woke up feeling pretty fresh. I had gotten plenty of sleep the night before and was ready to prematurely celebrate Cinco de Mayo (Tres de Mayo style) down in the South Bay with nothing less than some Poncho's karaoke. Well, 8 margaritas later I woke up Monday morning, having slipped into a state of major cold/flu withdrawal. Contrary to popular belief, tequila does not, I repeat, does not provide the final push to getting over sinus problems. Monday turned into one of the more miserable sick experiences I've had in recent memory (excluding of course the two bouts of giardhia I fought in Afghanistan...nasty story). Basically my Monday and Tuesday turned into a Blockbuster/chicken soup marathon. I can think of better ways to spend a week of leave.
Wednesday brought a significant change in fortune though, because at about 6:45 I received a call from Indra's brother in law asking me if we wanted to meet them at the Staples Center for the Laker's playoff game. That took approximately two seconds for me to answer for the both of us. Obviously getting the call at 6:45 gave Indra 3 minutes to get ready (who knew Laker games were a big deal?) and it gave me about 30 minutes to make the drive from Pasadena to downtown LA. Difficult, but possible with proper motivation. We arrived a little into the 1st quarter and found out that these seats were located 4 rows up from the floor right behind the announcers. Hard to complain when you're down the row from the Red Hot Chili Peppers and asking Dustin Hoffman to move his head (correction, I found out he's only about 4 ft tall, so it wasn't a problem...). The game actually turned out to be really good, with the Lakers eventually pulling away for the win. And, since they held the Rockets under 100 points, everybody got free Jack in the Box tacos. Indra wouldn't be denied her tacos, so that provided a nice little cap to the night.
Then there was Thursday. AKA Clay's Wedding Eve, aka rehearsal diner, aka open bar. With Clay and Robin set to tie the knot the following evening on Friday, the rehearsal dinner took place in Manhattan Beach on Thursday. A few pints short of a case later I found myself with a microphone in hand, in front of about 50 friends and out of town guests. I decided to entertain them with a story. I told them of the time in Afghanistan when Clay lost a 'manhood challenge' to me, which subsequently gave me sole possession of his manhood. I spent the majority of the deployment carrying his man card, at times trying to barter it to the Afghans for things like a block of ice or a case of Pepsi. Eventually, when I found out Clay's manhood had a street value akin to left-over pizza, I threw it in the Helmand River and watched it float away to Goreshk. Well, being a good friend, I gave Clay his man card back Thursday night. I figured he'd need it at some point Friday evening.
Friday found Jeff Muir and I passed out on two full beds in some Hermosa hotel room, late night fast food carnage strewn everywhere. We eventually cleared out heads and set out to take care of the most important item on our to-do list... booze cooler for the wedding party limo. We obviously bought bottles of champagne for the ladies, and 40 oz bottles of Miller High Life, the Champagne of Beers, for the guys. Hey, that's what you get when you send the two of us on a mission like that. We also purchased a 12 pack and drank that at Joe's, pre-getting dressed time, hey, it was a stressful time for us. Fast forward a few hours, the ceremony was beautiful, over looking the ocean and all that, the limo ride was getting nasty, and the reception was a whole lot of fun.
My speech for that night revolved around how the first time I met and hung out with Clay all he could talk about was how excited he was to be single, and how he couldn't wait to be the ultimate bachelor combo with me (at this point I was getting some "don't go there gestures from Joe, Mike and Dell...). But how on the second weekend we hung out, he met a girl at a bar, danced like an idiot, and confessed to me on our weekly Sunday drive back that he was "in love". Tires screeched, I screamed, "get out of my car," but the rest is history. Now Clay and Robin are lying around on some beach in Antigua, sipping on Mai-Tais.
A cloud still fogs most of my Saturday morning. I know I woke up on Joe's couch, and I know I didn't move from that position for a very long time. Later in the day though I received some bad news. Turns out my family dog, Husker, finally decided he'd had enough time chasing his own tail and passed away. He was pretty old, and we knew it was only a matter of time, but he'd been in the family for 13 years, so it was still pretty hard to stomach. Later Husk-man.
Now I find myself back in Pendleton, back in the grind. We have another course on deck right now, so that takes up most of my time. Today the Marine Corps finally allowed me to see a podiatrist for my foot. If you have never seen me in flip flops, I can't really describe to you the grotesque nature of the 'hump foot', but its an injury that I suffered my senior year in high school, and the arthritic bump on the top of my foot has become more than I want to bear. I've been complaining about it for a while, but since 29 Palms didn't have a podiatrist, the doctors there decided that Motrin pills would take care of the problem (fyi, Motrin is not a doctor, and does not perform surgery to remove arthitic bumps and fuse joints). Well, turns out now I have to have surgery in July, which sucks, but will probably make a lot of the pain more bearable. For some reason though, crutches don't sounds like they'll mix with sandy beaches too well.
Time to take a breather.