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First and Middle Parts
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Wiped out. I called in sick today, because I'm feeling very under-the-weather. Probably in part due to the weekend's joyful overindulgence. But I've got a stye in my eye, too, which I can't lay at the feet of booze and no sleep, and having one eye nearabout swollen shut makes working difficult. (Particularly since I can't wear my contacts, and have to wear my glasses, with their no-longer-quite-perfect prescription, which is headache-inducing.) So this journal entry is being assembled piecemeal, between periods of putting a hot compress on my eye. The stye is already a lot less itchy than it was when I woke up today, so I'm hopeful that it'll go away. At least wearing glasses keeps me from absentmindedly rubbing at it.

***

But on a happier note: the bachelor party was scrumptrulescent. I don't remember when I've felt more loved or had more fun. Lynne and Jenn arrived just as I was parking the car at home on Friday afternoon, and after a brief goodbye to Heather they hustled me into the car and took me into San Francisco. (Scott had stayed behind to start cooking.) The next two days were a wonderful whirl of fine booze, amazing food, fellowship, pool and foosball, endless laughter, good talks, fun walks, and general bliss. (Also: lapdances.)

I'm not sure I can do a con-report style round-up (StripperCon? BachelorCon?), but breaking the experience into its component parts might rob it of its cumulative power in my memory, anyway. But a few highlights: Scott's homemade citrus-vodka-dessert-drink, the veryfine gin they brought from a local-to-them distillery, and all the glorious food Scott cooked during the weekend: lasagna, marinated mushrooms, egg-and-bacon-and-English-muffin sandwiches, jalapeño poppers, crusty bread, tequila-lime chicken, homemade chocolate stout ice cream. We only ate in a restaurant on Sunday morning, after we checked out, and that was just because we didn't have access to the kitchen. Scott's a fantastic cook.

That first night we ate dinner and hung out and talked. Jenn and Scott and Lynne had never met before, and they really hit it off. I'm glad. I like it when my friends like my other friends!

We went out Friday night for the requisite strippers-and-drinking, and it was great fun, of course. My friends didn't let me pay for a single thing all weekend. We stayed out until about 3:30, then caught a cab back to the rental house. Scott and Lynne crashed not long after, but I stayed up talking to Jenn until about 5:00 a.m., probably, and it was fantastic. We've been friends for years, first meeting in 1999, but almost all the time we've spent together has been in groups, and this was the first time we've ever had a long stretch of time to talk, just the two of us. I feel closer to her than ever now.

Saturday morning (well, let's be honest -- afternoon, for me) I rolled out of bed, into the shower, and then went downstairs, where I was immediately handed a mimosa, and soon after given a breakfast plate courtesy of chef Scott. We hung out, talking, until Heather arrived (it's odd to have one's bride-to-be at a bachelor party, true, but I would've been sad to be without her all weekend!). We got a couple of drinks into her, then went for a walk. The house was near Golden Gate Park, so we ambled through the botanical gardens, over to the de Young museum to see its new architecture (I think it's mostly ugly but kind of interesting), and finally to the Japanese tea garden, one of my favorite places in the city. Jenn had her camera along, and took loads of wonderful pictures, including this one of me and my true love:

Scott brought a Nintendo and a bunch of games, as a shout-out to our old-school past, and so I played Rampage and Mega Man 2 and a few weird games I'd never seen before.

Saturday evening was spent eating, drinking, and playing pool and foosball (their generosity and kindness did not extend to letting me win, but I managed to eke out one win at foosball and a couple of wins at cutthroat pool to go along with my many many losses). I don't remember when I've had a more raucous, wild night -- certainly not in many years. I'm truly blessed. I wish other people could have come to the bachelor party -- there were some out-of-towners and locals I'd invited who couldn't make it for various reasons -- but having a small group was actually very nice, since we didn't atomize into smaller sub-groups, and I was able to spend time with everybody all at once.

It was a nearly perfect weekend, and just what I needed. After breakfast at a nice café with outdoor seating on Sunday morning, we said our farewells, and Heather and I came back across the bay to Oakland. We napped much of the afternoon, and were both pretty worn-out from all the staying up late and drinking. My body is still unhappy with me about that, but I'll gladly pay the price. As Mitch Hedburg said: "I like to drink red wine; this girl said, 'Doesn’t it give you a headache?' Yeah, eventually -- but the first and the middle parts are amazing!"



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