I.  Intro

“What time is it?  Four thirty. It’s not late, naw, naw. Just early, early, early.”  – Spin Doctors

“It’s nine o’clock on a Saturday…”  – Billy Joel

“Does anybody really know what time it is?  Does anybody really care?” – Chicago

I was going to quote Hootie and the Blowfish’s “Time,” but I’ll save you all from the redundancy.

II.  Waking Up

Friday afternoon was vivid.  The sun was out, the temperature was warm, and people were in the streets, attending the annual arts and crafts festival.  This same weekend, the Blue Rain EcoFest and the Northeast Jazz and Wine Festival were taking place.  However, if you talk to the right people, there was nothing going on in Syracuse this weekend.  It was the same boring city, with the same old sights.  Plus, it rained on Saturday for a little bit, but that automatically ruins the day. 

I was asked, recently, if there was anything I could spontaneously do and remain annonymous about it.  I would do the infamous HIMYM (How I Met Your Mother) Face Slap for all the ‘Cuse haters.  It would be that spark in your head when reality or common sense kicks in.  That ultimate spark from the last synapse:  the face slap.  If you don’t like Syracuse, move.  To put it in more simpler, tangible terms:  if you don’t like someone on Facebook, simply defriend them.  Sure, moving is a bit more complicated of a process, but the excuses people come up with to not move outnumber the reasons to. 

We cannot help these people.  I still can’t come to terms with it.

III.  Friday

Paul text me on Friday about going downtown, and I was totally up for it.  I ordered my panini from Bittersweet, and I was late picking it up.  I was in a long-distance, in-depth conversation about life and the pursuit of happiness.  What about taking steps in the right direction?  Every little bit helps–baby steps.  So, needless to say, my panini–ready in only 10 minutes–took me 45 minutes to retrieve it.  When I stepped in to the restaurant/bar, I was warmly greeted.  When I asked for my food, I brought the rain of sarcastic humor down upon myself.  The Barbieri family and staff are good people.  Although, I did lose track of time, my panini was not soggy.

And then it got weird.  I’m not just talking about the opening ceremonies for the Olympics.  Paul met his grad student friends at Al’s, and I was up for meeting new people.  While we were at the bar, Jim and Jamie were hustling as they always do, properly taking care of the patrons’ orders, I decided to be polite and move out of the way for this one woman.  She greatly appreciated this, telling Paul and I there were gentlemen still in the world.  I then took the window of opportunity to actually converse with her.  Candace, was her name, and even though she wasn’t that attractive, I gave her the time of day due to my not wanting to be a jerk.  The first impression I got was:  she’s abrasive and has a stick up her ass.  I got her Jamie’s attention, which she was even more pleased about.  It got me an invite to join her and her friend outside. I shrugged my shoulders and said, what the hell.  Paul was busy with several strangers, and it would have been difficult to converse no matter.

So, Candace was headed to Brooklyn for a job in marketing/advertising.  I wanted to hear more about this, out of sheer curiosity, and simply to humor.  Upon going outside, her friend–name I cannot remember–was at the same table as familiar faces, Tom and Gabe.  Thinking they were all together, I was a bit elated.  I started talking to the individuals I knew, unintentionally ignoring the other two. Candace didn’t appreciate this, nor did she appreciate my job.  Apparently, one who is boasting to be a Lib/Dem has the potential to have a very long stick, probably wrapped up with barbed wire, up her butt.  I patted myself on the back for making a valid assumption, because assumptions are normally contradicted.  I was finally right.  Needless to say, after the duo’s criticizing me, their assumptions incorrect, it was suggested I go in and check on Paul. 

I knew what was coming, anticipating their ditch, but I said, “I don’t have to, because Paul (I emphasised his name) can hold his own.  Yeah… perhaps I should.  This has gotten weird.”  I leave and return, noticing Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb flew the coop.  Tom asked if I knew them.  I replied, no, and said they probably didn’t appreciate my giving you guys the time of day.  Lastly, I wasn’t looking to pick people up, especially at a bar, and especially a pretentious b-word.

In short:  If you sit at a table with people I know, I am going to think everyone is together as a group.  Secondly, I am going to say hello to people I know and give them the better time of day.  I do not ignore people.  This proves the difficulty of meeting people in Syracuse.  Lastly, even though I did not know Tom or Gabe as well as most people, I had a lovely time catching up with them.  I surround myself with good people, and criticizing my integrity and my friends will get you nowhere.

I left the bar with Paul and his SU cronies, and we headed to Benjamin’s.  The pretentious looking bar/club is not at all.  Benjamin’s has a relaxed setting:  one third is the bar, the second third is a club, and the remaining third is a great patio.  There is something for everyone.  The bar has a notable tap line, and a variety of wine and spirits.  It’s the only club atmosphere I enjoy going to.

However, the music got to be a bit much and there were no perks to being a wallflower.  Paul and I headed to Hoyne’s.  In celebration of the Yanks and BoSox series, half of the bar was decorated with Sox references, and the other half was dedicated to the Yankees.  Sam Adams varieties were on the Boston side, and Brooklyn varieties were stationed on the New York side.  With Guinness in hand, we spent the remainder of the night singing along with the rest of the bar to the musician donned with an acoustic guitar, playing a range of songs from classic to modern and folk to rock.  The patrons were friendly and kind.  The decor is always warm, even though there was a fake Green Monster on the Red Sux side.  You couldn’t have felt more at home. 

IV.  Saturday

There is nothing more I enjoy better than waking up clear-minded on a Saturday morning.  Although, it was raining, I had the ability to get what I needed to get done:  sausage roll.

Chuck and Allison were having a friend-designated barbecue and baby shower, I told them I would bring my sausage/spinach roll and extra drinks.  There were about fifteen at the party, and it went off without at hitch.  The food was great, the people were friendly, and good times were had by all.  The rain had stopped, so enjoying the outdoors was a must.  The dirty diaper game was played, the measuring the baby bump game (I have no other way to describe that) game was played, and a drinking beer out of a baby bottle competition was held. 

Chuck and Aaron then pitched the idea for participating in next year’s Warrior Dash and Tough Mudder.  I totally agreed to it.  I wrote the ideas down and posted it up, so I have to look at my inspiration on a daily basis.  This is going to happen.  Simple training has begun.

The afternoon, was a relaxing one, however.  I haven’t hung out that group of friends in a while, or so it seemed.  Time flies when you’re having fun, keeping busy, both, or having a baby.  Chris and Kristen, included, especially with their recent addition to the family.  “The times they are a changin’,” and everybody is growing up.
It’s about time.  However, I’m going to sit here and resort to my Doogie Howser, M.D. ways of dealing with life:  writing at the end of each episode.

As the minutes clicked by, I found myself at the Northeast Jazz and Wine Festival.  I was on the job, but I decided to get to the festival early, so I could enjoy some music.  Sometimes music is better off enjoyed with other people, especially at live shows.  At that moment, I reconsidered going to see Alabama Shakes play at Papermill Island.  Mike and Erin wanted to go, but they would be in California, enjoying the last moments of their vacation.  The music at the festival was great; jazz and wine make a great combination.

By the way, the Urban Jazz Coalition, the band I was listening to, did an awesome job.  They played loud and had a great time doing it.

Before I went to take pictures, I needed something to eat; my filling up on food in the the afternoon wasn’t as effective as I had thought.  So, I walked by a Greek vendor, but I didn’t want a gyro; it was too much of a risk when considering the potential for sauce dripping upon my shirt and tie.  Then I saw the kielbasa.  Sold!  I got this huge sandwich topped with onions.  It was so delicious; my boss even commented on my ability to eat the thing.  I told him this was merely an appetizer. 

However, amidst chatting, a piece of onion managed to slip off, and I found it resting on the button of my shirt. 


I lifted it off, and there was a stain (not to my surprise).  Great.  I quickly threw some water on it, while I scuffled to my designated area.  Grumbling to myself, I made a mountain out of a molehill, because my tie easily covered the tan blemish. 

I got to meet and greet Jessy J, a Californian and Latino jazz musician, whose talent complimented her beauty and vice versa.  When warming up, she displayed her talent with the saxophone, and belted out a few lyrics in Spanish.  She was out of my league, but a single guy can dream, can’t he?  Please reference the clip from High Fidelity when Cusack and his music snob colleagues talk about dating a musician.

Something then came to mind, kind of related to the situation at hand, and I’m not going to tell you what, where, who, or why.  It’s nothing vulgar, but it boosted my confidence.  The thought made me smile and put me at ease.

After my pictures were taken, I had to get going to Baldwinsville.  Confucius Says was playing at Pasta’s on the Green, so I went to enjoy myself with more live music.  The Sheridan family and friends were all there, expecting the same satisfaction as I was.  I haven’t seen everyone in a month or so, and it was about time I stopped wondering about people. 

Brian and I caught up on each other’s lives, music, and the current events.  I’m appreciative that I have that guy in my life.  He’s a great friend, dependable and easy to talk to.  I know I have talked about him and his family before, so I won’t be too redundant. We talked more about jumping in to play guitar with one another, so we have to act on it. 

Following Baldwinsville, I headed back home, but was coaxed out by Dan to come to Rosie’s.  He was out with Katherine, the newest woman in his life, and I wanted to meet her.  She’s exactly what Dan needs:  confident, pretty, and level-headed.  Katherine has an honest personality, which is a great quality for Dan:  no bull.  I hung out with them for a bit before heading back home.  We utilized the photo booth app on the jukebox, which is something I have never seen before.  To add to my inner conflict in regard to technology, I have to say:  as meaningless and pointless as that ability is, the picture option on the friggin’ jukebox, I give technology a thumbs up for creativity. 

We ordered food, and I am probably Black Listed from calling Zonies now.  I broke the cardinal rule when dealing with restaurants:  don’t piss off the people who make your food.  I wasn’t overly rude, but I had to get my point across.  We were hungry.  The last time Dan and I ordered from there, it was a very late night to which I ended up staying over.  However, the food took well over two hours to deliver and it was for two cal zones.  I simply let the guy on the other end, who seemed scared of me, that if it took over an hour and a half, we weren’t paying. 

Our food arrived in a half hour.  Needless to say, I probably should schedule an appointment to see my doctor.

V.  Sunday (Funday)

The following morning, or hours later, I wake delightfully in great shape.  I got up and did some cleaning around the apartment.  I then went to the Arts and Crafts Festival with my mom.  Yes, I did some bonding with my mom.  I introduced her to the proprietor of Parisa, who complimented me and my parents up and down. 

I have probably spoken about him before, but I’m unsure if mentioning names is proper etiquette.  I mention friend’s names, because they’re my friends.  I am sure you, friends, don’t mind the “publicity.”

My mom, looked up at her son due to the significant height difference, and asked me how I felt about being recognized as I am on a normal basis.  I said that I love the recognition, even if I am an insignificant person in this whole spectrum of life.  My mom, being mom, continued with stating that I should be happy to have that acknowledgement when most people do not, that even though my job is simply my job, I have the ability to put myself out there and be myself.  She, also, said that I should definitely be happy to have the personality that I have. 

Of course, I thanked her for that.

We left each other, and I ended up going to Kubal for my IDC16 (Iced Dirty Chai 16oz.).  I then went to Sound Garden to treat myself to a couple used Blue Rays:  Bullitt and Wall E.  I talked myself out of several other pieces of entertainment.

I followed that up with a trip to Barnes and Noble.  There were many reasons for my going to B&N:  for one, I wanted to try and recreate experiences had there.  Secondly, I wanted to see if George Saunders had written anything new.  Thirdly, well, inspiration.  I ended up getting a couple bargain books, one about Buddhism Meditation and the second philosophical book pertaining to Epictetus.  While having a telephone conversation, I recalled my favorite paraphrase from Serendipity, a quote by Jeremy Piven’s character, referencing this philosopher:  “If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.” 

I have always wanted that to be my mantra.  Always.  However, I never really followed it.  I know:  foolish and stupid.  I was living it up, unknowingly. 

This brings me to a follow up, referencing another favorite quote from another Cusack movie.  Yes, from High Fidelity.  “Well, I have been listening to my gut since I was 14 years old, and frankly speaking, I have come to the conclusion that my guts have shit for brains.”

Foolish.  Stupid.  Shit for brains. 

That’s me.
Oh, I almost forgot. I cried a little in B&N.  It wasn’t fetal position crying, but it was more of a single tear, just like the Grinch upon enlightenment.  I picked up the oral biography of Jack Kerouac, properly entitled Jack’s Book, and I was reading excerpts.  Ginsberg and others were the focus, telling their experiences with Kerouac.  Everyone complimented how Kerouac was a writer, that he lived to write.  It was how he filled up voids in his life.  He’d carry a notebook, and he would right down ideas.

I am not trying to parallel myself to Kerouac, because I know I can never amount to his ability.  However, I felt an overwhelming mystic feeling which actually made me shed that single damn tear.  I want to be like that, and I wish I had more time to do so.  In turn, I do have enough time.  I have ample time.  I just don’t utilize it constructively.

VI.  Full Circle

There is no time for everything, or anything it seems.  We seem to care, but we really don’t.  No one gives a shit about time, because it would only consume them if it was constantly considerered.

I’m going to go back to reading, writing, analyzing literature, and train in between. 

We’re doing Mudder and Dash. 

I may as well break a few guitar strings when the moment(s) arrive(s).

Go to bed.  Wake up.  Work.  Go to bed.

There’s no time.

Let’s drive ourselves crazy.

But there’s no time for that.

VII.  Fin.

The rest of the day, Sunday, I spent at my parents’ for family dinner (without the traveling Mike and Erin), wrote the majority of this entry and went for a run. I’m finishing it up now. 

I wish I saw Alabama Shakes.

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