A happy Halloween to all from this Winter Wonderland known as the east coast which is contradicting the time of the season more and more with every flake at rest on the autumn ground. To be perfectly honest, my particular slice of the Long Island suburbs had no snowfall and therefore has a climate much more befitting the night of fright, but from what I hear of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and other areas of New York, the same cannot be said of their situation. I had the pleasure of spending Halloween weekend in one of those less fortunate areas of New York, as I went with friends Astoria, Queens. The following is the account of a night and following day that will live in infamy from this day forward.
This past weekend, not only were we celebrating the one night of the year you can dress like a buffoon and be hailed for it, but it was also the one and only Deanna's birthday. We spent a fair amount of time and Ben and Jake's place where we had miscellaneous good times. I do have to say that my puns were on point that night. Not one to toot my own horn unless we're talking about NBA knowledge and opinions, I would hope that fact alone would vouch for the validity of my ego stroking claim. I mean, anytime Grebe is dressed up as a cow and Sean Taylor is dressed up as a dog, you're going to have some material to work with, but I was really outdoing myself, even by my standards. It would be overkill if I told you a few of them, but I do want to share my favorite of the night:
Jay's costume consisted of a fetus (complete with a nipple, disturbingly enough) attached to the side of his head. The wig which, relative to nothing, made him look a lot like Mickey Dolenz of The Monkees. Anyway, Jay, at one point, said something negative in jest. I replied, "I don't like your defeatist attitude." (Of course, pronounced de-fetus-t) I laughed to no end, and fortunately I wasn't alone.
For her birthday, Jay and I, with genuinely awesome back up voices from the group, performed a rather off the cuff, but pristine, rendition of "The Monster Mash" which we doctored a bit to better suit the birthday occasion. A tremendous time. Various other jams took place as Jay and Ben Kraus, appropriately dressed as Bob Dylan to match his sharp counterpart, Edie Sedgwick, portrayed by Deanna with a very convincing wig, jumped on the harmonica which he happened to have handy. Jake and I traded some rhymes, where I took the time to reference both Wilson Chandler and James Harden, much to Jay's udder delight. (That was a Grebe cow pun. Not the best, but better than a cow pie.)
After that we decided to brave the elements and head out to a bar where costumes were abound. I quickly made friends with a girl named Tamika. It was great to talk to her, for sure, because we wound up with a whole lot in common (appreciation of sports, jazz, fear of the letter "c", etc.) but our initial introduction had its hurdle. I asked who she was for Halloween, she gave various hints, I eventually guessed Columbiana (a recent movie about a girl who kicks butt that I don't think very many people saw), she corrected me, saying she was Rosario Dawson's character from Sin City. I promptly replied "wow that's an old movie at this point." I said it in such a way that was not at all sensitive, supportive, or appreciating. She justifiably just stared at me for a second and I apologized after realizing how impulsive I'd been. I must have seemed like quite the judgmental ass who was wearing nothing but a giant foam cowboy hat; not exactly the kind of costume in which you should take yourself too seriously. We shared a hearty laugh about it and spoke for another 10 minutes or so before I slid out to be with my friends. In one of the more moving moments of my life, my friends later raised a toast to me. Not too much to say about that other than it was a really awesome thing to do that I really wanted to take the time to thank them for.
We stopped at a second bar for about ten minutes. Nothing of note was happening except for a girl named Monica celebrating her birthday. Happy birthday, Monica, you're birthday is now immortalized in semi-permanent form on the Yesternow blog for all its small, but passionate, readership to acknowledge. HUZZAH!
(Did he just say huzzah in all capital letters? Is he drinking? Does he really think we care? Is Conan new tonight? Did I remember to lock my car?) All compelling questions, dear reader.
Anyway, the third bar we went to was really quite poppin'. (I don't think I can pull that word off) We had a great time meeting new people. For the record, I don't think there is any better wingman than a guy with a fetus on his head (strength in numbers). In all seriousness, Jay and I had a great time getting to know new friends.
Now, by no stretch of my rather active imagination do I consider myself a ladies man, but apparently there was another sheriff in the bar who was rather envious of the attentions I was receiving and he pulled a VERY FAKE ORANGE gun and starts kind of playfully instigating his dislike of me. It was mostly hat envy, I'm sure. I just took Joan, Jen and the others away from the scene and nothing really went further. I do believe that the guy, while far from being cool, was trying to joke around about the situation and was just either too drunk or socially inept to do so properly. Jay was pretty bothered by the exchange and hopped in to call him out and make him seem foolish. I hung by to make sure it got no further than that and it didn't and we carried on our night without further incident. In hindsight, I probably should have been more upset about it, but I was having too much fun otherwise and it's probably for the best of the whole situation that I let it roll off my back the way I did.
Eventually, the bar wanted to close so we were politely kicked out of the place. In the hustle to gather everyone together, we lost track of a few people, including our own friends much less the new ones we'd just made. (Between you me and the wall, kind of bummed I didn't grab Joan's number.)
It wound up being Sean Taylor (a dog mind you), Jay, and I finding our way back to Ben's place. We were going a way that neither Jay nor I were familiar with and wound up trusting Sean Taylor unleash his inner hound and follow his nose to lead us back to the pad. For a while it felt like the blind seeing eye dog leading the blind, but I have to say he did get us back in one piece, but not without some episodes along the way.
Now the entire walk home, Jay and I were had the uncontrollable urge to help our fellow man. The whole trip Sean Taylor kept lamenting how cold he was. Every time he did so, I insisted he take my coat. He never accepted, but as I sign of protest I walked home with no coat on myself. If my friend was going to freeze, by God so was I. Also on our trek, there was a guy around our age packing up these chairs at the end of the night. He was struggling to do so and a few of them were falling. Jay and I asked him if he needed some help. He distinctly said no thanks and we distinctly ignored him and helped him stack all the chairs. He was very grateful. No one was going to get in between us and a good deed that night.
At one point, Jay and I grew concerned about the direction we were going and wanted to grab a cab for ourselves just to be sure. Sean Taylor was adamant he knew what he was doing and for the record, he was right. Nonetheless, we stopped a cab and were greeted by two friends literally pulling a third out of the back. Now, this guy was OUT. We're not talking can't walk, we're not even talking can't stand, we're talking positively out in an unintentional drunk coma. As soon as the friends drag this guy out, he immediately slams flat on the sidewalk without even reacting to it. His boys are saying that he has to get up and are trying and failing to drag him on the sidewalk and get him up. Jay and I did not bother to help them, for they were beyond saving. As we went to hop in the car, we realize that the slumbering brother had hurled all over the back of the car. The cab driver tried to coax us to stick around while he cleaned the inside. Naturally, there was no way we were getting in that car. The driver said that all he needed was some alcohol to clean it up with. In my last pun of the night I said that it looked like alcohol caused this situation in the first place. We got out of Dodge and Sean Taylor got us home.
Ben Kraus let us in the apartment and immediately Sean Taylor bit the hand that housed him and laughed at Ben's attire, a double breasted jacket. Sean Taylor soon found himself in the doghouse, if you will. An d apparently quite the debate took place after I fell asleep as Sean knocked the double breasted look and Ben made fun of the "football pads" in Sean's sweater. The whole while, Jay laughed unabashedly while Sean Taylor threatened to punch him in the face. I wish I could be your primary source on this story, but by all secondhand accounts, it was incredible and Deanna has it on video which is wonderful news. Some moments deserve to live on forever.
The following morning we had planned to leave at a reasonable time, but it turns out Sean Taylor had forgotten his coat at one of the bars we went to and his car keys were in the coat pocket. A moment that was as inexplicable as it was unfortunate. We spent the day retracing our steps and hoping that at least the keys were turned in. No such luck... and no sign of Joan either.
Notice that the man making fun of the jacket last night had no jacket at all the next day. Also notice that the whole time Sean Taylor was saying he was cold that night, neither Jay nor I asked him where his coat was.
As if things couldn't get worse, Ben Kraus had blown a tire on the way to dropping off Deanna and needed Jake's jack to fix the flat. We all lent a hand and got the tire fixed with relative ease as soon as we figured out where, specifically, to put the jack. While we were struggling briefly, Deanna hung out in the car and was enjoying the show. After a while we realized that something was amiss and no one knew where Sean Taylor was. I wish I could say that wasn't a common occurrence, but I can't. After a couple minutes, we realized that a giggling Deanna had a guest in the car that was none other than Sean Taylor, grinning and in her Edie wig. To say Jay was mad is kind of an overstatement, but the combination of Jay's frustration with the jack, an empty stomach, and a loafing and grinning Sean Taylor whose missing keys were the only reason we were still in Queens in the first place, was a little too much for Jay to bear and he lost it a little bit, threatening to put his face in mud, powerbomb, and frogsplash him simultaneously. For a few minutes, Sean Taylor was in a worse situation than the jealous sheriff, but cooler heads prevailed and the tire was fixed.
I feel the need to mention that the entire morning Sean Taylor was white as a sheet, sweating profusely, and really not feeling so hot in the least. My heart went out to him. After the tire switch, we went to a diner and feasted in style. Over the course of the meal, a much improved Sean Taylor mimicked Ben and Deanna's expressions of affection on a very uncomfortable Jay, who did not want anyone leaning on his shoulder, much less Sean Taylor. (On the plus side, Sean had long since removed the Edie wig.)
Having no luck finding the keys, Jay and I left for home with Jake while Sean stuck around waiting for AAA. I feel like even though this is one of the longer posts I've written, I'm still only scratching the surface of this trip. All I can say is that it was wonderful and memorable and I'm glad to have shared it with those I care about.
Song of the Day: Lorelai-Fleet Foxes
Jazz Song of the Day: Blue In Green-Miles Davis