Lots of fun the past few weekends…
I spent last weekend down in Bethesda with longtime friends who have just had a baby. I’m not in the business of posting pictures of other people’s kids online, so suffice to say that is one cute baby girl. Her name is Genevieve, a wonderfully classic name, and she has a perfect disposition: calm, thoughtful, inquisitive, friendly. Holding her was enough to make me want to have my own kids… someday. Without getting too personal here, after six years of blissful young marriage between Mrs P and I, the elders are starting to get restless, and ask questions…
But another day for that. For now, the main purpose of my visit was to see Phish at Merriweather:
The week before, a strange thing happened to me on the New York sidewalks. I saw a guy I knew at Georgetown who I had not seen in nearly 10 years, since we shared one class together: early 20th-century Russian literature. It was one of my favorite classes, one of the few I can even remember (I elected many poor classes); we read short stories by Chekhov and Babel, among others.
This guy, whose name escapes me, was in the class. There were only six or seven of us, though I don’t remember the others. The teacher was an older Ukrainian woman who had immigrated in the 1980s. So I remember we used to have good discussions there, and this guy was a great contributor, but we ran in different circles. Like I said, I don’t even remember his name.
I’m walking to work one morning and look up and this guy is about to jog right by me. He’s jogging along Fifth Avenue while the rest of the crowd is dressed for work and hustling by. I recognized him instantly, then looked away – then looked back. He saw me and knew me as well. We each said something like, “Hey man…”, “Hey buddy…” and hesitating only slightly, we both decided to keep on moving. We smiled and waved in the passing streams of traffic.
A few seconds later I looked back. He turned around. We both waved again, then turned, and it was over.
Good to see you, old friend.
I rode the Chinatown Bus down to Baltimore for Easter Weekend and had a great time at the Barbagallos! Katie and Bob really know how to throw a good party, and I had so much fun catching up with everybody. I saw a whole bunch of the Boyland clan, and it had been awhile.
I played golf with Nick and Will, and we realized with some amazement that it was the first time Nick and I have played together. I once played with Will back in ’07, when he had gotten stung on the hand by a few wasps who were living in one of the ball-washers. This time, he almost got stung again as he was sitting in the cart! I had several pars and a few nice drives, but I mostly rode the bogey train, and on the back nine I was struggling against physical exhaustion and just started hacking it up. First round of the year is a 94, and I was just glad to break 100 (and have the low round of the group :-))
On the way back, I was glad I could speak Chinese. The bus was late, or so I thought, because I was waiting in the wrong place. When I found the bus, they were ready to leave, but another person and I were running and flagging it down. The Chinese driver looked at our tickets, waived her on, and told me I couldn’t board. My tickets had something wrong with them. So I started speaking Mandarin to the guy, asking him what was wrong with my ticket, and we went back and forth for 5 minutes while everyone waited. He gave me the phone number I had already tried several times with no one answering. I cajoled him to call them himself, and he did, and they said let me on. Disaster averted! But when I boarded I could feel everybody looking at me, like, Who’s this asshole who just delayed us 10 minutes? So I said, “Sorry everybody! Thanks for picking me up!”