Saturday, August 2, 2008

When Lifestyles Collide

Ah, mornings. The calm before the storm.

It's a little after 7. Brother Jason is still asleep, the Other Brother Ken is probably jogging (and enjoying the alone time) and my parents are at the hotel either sleeping or giving the continental breakfast a run for its money. Not sure how long it'll be before I hear from them saying it's time to meet up so, while I wait for my video of last year's Blue Angel show to upload to YouTube, I'll write what I can.

Anyway, the whole gang arrived safely from Florida yesterday afternoon. The "gang" being both of my parents, Jason and my parents' friends Don and Julie. Fortunately for Ken and me, we didn't have to meet them at the airport since they rented a bus 13-passenger van at the airport.

A quick back story: As much as Ken and I wanted to see our family, there was some trepidation on our part. Seattle suits us. We love hiking. Why drive when we can walk, right? So we walk, a lot.  My parents, not so much.

Also, most of the stuff we do in and around Seattle is for 2 or 3 people, tops. We can't even fathom the logistics of planning things for a group of 7.  Oh, and one last thing, while Ken and I have nothing against drinking and we do sometimes quite enjoy it, we rarely drink.  It's expensive and it doesn't really fit with our active lifestyles.

So, with that in mind, imagine my surprise when, in the 20 minutes it took me to walk from my place to their hotel, the rest of my family had already made a beer run, broken out the snacks and were working on round number 2. (It's going to be a loooong week.)

Don't get me wrong, it's great to see everybody. Mom's lost a lot of weight and everybody looks nice and recently sunburnt. It was the first time in a while that the rest of my family has seen me with actual hair so they were shocked at just how dark it's grown in. Mom seemed disappointed that all 3 of her formerly-blond children have become brunettes and proposed a "frosting party" when we come home for Thanksgiving. Enthusiasm was less than stellar so Dad just said he would stop dying his gray.

At this point, I hadn't eaten anything yet, so I wanted to hold off on drinking. This was a mistake. This meant I was sober as my family increasingly was not. As the mean-blood-alcohol-content of the room grew around me, the level of humor decreased to the point that they were reading humorous porn titles off the internet.

"Good Will Humping!" (laughter)
"Saving Ryan's Privates!" (more laughter)
"Saturday Night Beaver!" (raucous laughter and a few hiccups)

Norman Rockwell, eat your heart out.

Every time I thought I could corral them up and get them to a restaurant, somebody else popped open another drink.  Eventually, we all walked to the nearby RAM Brewery for a late lunch and more drinks. The place is probably 3 blocks away.  It took us, like, an hour to get there.

As we passed the crowed patio of a Starbucks, my dad said loudly "Hey, they have Starbucks here in Seattle?" and got few dirty looks.

We finally made it to the restaurant.  Now, I only seem to get really bad service when I eat with my parents or when I'm starving. Since this was both, the meals took forever. The iced tea I ordered somehow became a "Butt Face Lager" and, thanks to an early toast, I gave up on waiting to eat before drinking (and resolved to eat before leaving the house today).  Once I got some food in me, I was fine. Enjoyed a BBQ meatloaf sandwich and some conversation.  We followed our lunch and drinks with more drinks at Teddy's, a bar near Green Lake.  By the time I got back to my place, I'd drank more that afternoon than I had the past year or so.

Ended the night staying up late chatting with Jason about some ideas I have for a musical show he performs in back in Orlando called "The Outer Toons". I was worried my suggestions would offend him (considering how poorly my attempted improvements were handled back in Japan) but he was thrilled with my ideas and said he couldn't wait to share them with the rest of the group once he gets back. It was a pretty good feeling.

Anyway, seems the gang's up. Not sure what Ken's got planned for us today. We'll see.

Wish us luck.

No comments: