Monday, October 18, 2004

Saturday's dealings

I got up earlier than I thought I would on Saturday. I believe I woke up sometime between 11:00 and 12:00. Evan and Rahul were up by noon, but Eric was still asleep in his room. I turned on the television and watched the 1st Quarter of Oklahoma vs. Kansas State. The Sooners went on to win 31-21.

After a while of sitting on the couch, I decided to walk down to the Riverwind clubhouse. Fortunately, they let me in without nary a hassle. I shot a game of pool and went directly to the Internet computers. I needed to check my email, log onto AIM, and check out some of my favorite sites. That killed about an hour of time. I called Zach and asked if he wanted to have lunch. He was going out with Megan that afternoon, but we made tentative plans for dinner.

I went back to the apartment and found Rahul and his girlfriend, Brittany, watching a “Winnie the Pooh” movie on the WB. I kept my feelings of horror to myself. Finally, I felt too hungry and decided to go eat myself. I drove a few miles south and dined at the TGI Friday’s. Incidentally, Eric called just as I had entered the establishment. Since he had to wait for his visiting friend Daniel at the room, I decided to place my order and eat. The waiter was an incompetent black man. He tried to be friendly, but for the most part creeped me out.

People laugh at me when I say I like the TGI Friday’s restaurant. I used to like it more before they upped their prices and got rid of baked potatoes. I hadn’t eaten there in a number of months. They continue to serve one meal that compares to almost anything served at restaurants nationwide. TGI Friday’s uses a special sauce on their burgers, steaks, chicken, and shrimp. Jack Daniels, maker of my beloved Tennessee whiskey, dabbles in this non-alcoholic sauce. Sadly, that was the only Jack Daniels I tasted this whole weekend.

I went back to the apartment and met Eric’s friend, Daniel. Apparently, he used to be a roommate before failing out of the University of Central Florida. Now he goes to college at the University of South Florida, in Tampa. He seemed like a very nice guy. We played three games of cutthroat billiards at the clubhouse. I finished second twice and third once. I am destined always to finish in second place. Back at the room, we caught a little of the Houston Astros vs. St. Louis Cardinals NLCS baseball game.

Zach called me on the cell and proposed we go somewhere to eat some wings. We all concurred that the Orlando Ale House was an acceptable choice. Considering I had eaten a decent meal four hours ago, I wasn’t that hungry. But I decided to chip in and eat a few wings. I found that the Ale House was filled with supporters of George W. Bush. One man was wearing a shirt that simply read, “President Bush”. Our waiter had a “Viva Bush” pin on his hat. He was a nice enough guy, but it was very inappropriate to wear that on the job. I’d never wear any Kerry/Edwards paraphernalia at a place of employment. I wondered why so many Bush supporters were there. Bush had held a rally at 5:00 in Daytona Beach. Still, that was two hours away and it was only about 7:30. They couldn’t have returned home so quickly. The last straw came when the waiter made us wait 10 minutes for the check. We decided to leave him a tip. Unfortunately for him, I don’t think it amounted to more than ten cents. For a second, I got worried when I thought I had left something at the restaurant. Luckily for me, it wasn’t lost and I didn’t have to return to the scene.

We dropped Zach back off at the Gatherings for his nightly nap. In the meantime, we caught a little more of the Red Sox/Yankees game. After about five innings and an 11-6 lead, I knew the Red Sox were out of it. Around that time, Evan came home. In addition, Brittany brought her parents over and converged in someone’s room. I didn’t partake in that conversation. Seemed like nice enough people, though.

For some reason, Zach wanted to go to UCF’s monthly “Late nights” festivities. They hold it at the student union of the University. Everyone else reluctantly tagged along. Other people were telling me that it wouldn’t be very much fun. Zach and I met Eric and his cronies around 11:00. This fellow who was doing some strange shit with his mouth intrigued Zach. I guess he was talented, but it got old after a few minutes. Everybody but Zach and I decided to go home. I didn’t have much of a choice, being Zach’s chauffer/butler for the night. It did get a little better afterwards. We went to this very strange room where everybody was playing board games. Some of the parents were acting very weird. One lady took off her shoes while a man, presumably her husband, gave her a foot rub. I don’t mean to sound prudish, but it was a bit appropriate considering the circumstances. I watched as Zach won two games of chess with this foreign kid. I’m amazed at how well Zach does at almost everything in life. I didn’t know that Zach had played a few thousand games of chess, beginning at age 15. The other kid was on the chess club and computer sciences major.

What came next was even more disturbing. We found a room where karaoke was being performed. Walking in, we listened to this guy trying to sing country music. Next came a young girl, probably about five years old, singing Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated”. Don’t get me wrong, “Complicated” isn’t a bad song. But her rendition was very unnerving. That lasted all of ten minutes. We got up when a parent began to sing the lyrics to Evanescence’s “My Immortal”.

Zach couldn’t resist the free food that was being offered at the student union. The meal of choice was spaghetti and meatballs, courtesy of Sbarro’s pizza. I settled on eating a few meatballs and some lemonade. I could have done without eating again that evening. The line was about 15 minutes long, but we waited nonetheless.

Finally, we went home. Zach had me walk about a half mile in search of the “haunted arboretum”. Everybody knew that it had been damaged from Hurricane Charley. We walked to find a deserted parking lot. The arboretum was clearly not in service. It was around 1:00 when we finally made it back to the car.

I thought Zach was going to bring the movie “Bulworth” back to the Riverwind clubhouse. But as is the case most weekends, there was not a space for visitor parking. The golf cart driver told us that we couldn’t even park at the pizza place next door. I hear that they tow a good half dozen cars a night at the complex. So we ended up going back to the Gatherings and watching the film.

I was disturbed by the poor conditions at Zach’s apartment. His room was smaller than I had expected. His parents took his bed, leaving only a blow-up bed for Zach to sleep on. I kind of feel bad for the guy. He has no computer and no bed. No wonder he tries to spend most of his time away from there. The movie was entertaining. I don’t want to go much into it at the moment. Maybe a movie review is in the works for later in the week. I left there sometime around 3:30.

I figured that there would be parking spaces past 3:00 a.m. I was wrong and found no available spaces. So I rode around for about ten minutes. When I returned, there were a handful of open spots. I quickly parked and walked back to the apartment. Daniel, Evan, Janel, and Eric were still up. I’m told that they played X-Box for most of the night. Frankly, I’m not much into non-sports video games. And I don’t even play sports games much anymore. It was busy enough as is, so I’m glad I spent a few hours at Zach’s. I got the sense that Daniel was a little drunk. He may have mistaken the sprite bottle for actual sprite. We replaced it a week ago with some cheap Smirnoff vodka. I regret not being present for that spectacle. Everybody went to bed by 4:25. It took me about a half hour to fall asleep. It didn’t help that Daniel started snoring about 4:30.

Saturday was a good day for me. I got to meet some new people and travel along with adventure that is Zach’s life. The only downside was that the Red Sox got totally blown out. That left them down 3-0. As I write, they are up 2-1 in Game 5 at Fenway.

Hopefully I get Friday’s recount up soon. Also, look for some election commentary fairly soon.



Blogger Eric Cioffoletti said...

Zach is an interesting guy to spend time with. You have to admit, he finds ways to entertain himself. But is there anything the guy doesn't win? Frankly, it's a miracle I can still beat him at Racquetball. It gets annoying though to listen to him as he describes his latest victories after awhile.

Daniel does snore. You think it's bad in the apartment, just imagine how bad it was in a tent out in the middle of the woods.

Glad you had more fun this weekend.

October 19, 2004 at 12:44 AM  
Blogger tsias said...

I don't know how the man does it. With chess, I learned that he played daily for almost two years. Considering his level of experience, he should be decent.

One day he will hand him a defeat at poker. All it takes is one good hand and I'd call his "all in".

He's certainly a winner, at least in the games I've played with him.

October 19, 2004 at 11:15 AM  

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