Happy New Year, everyone.
I’m back from my Boston2012/2013 adventure. Just over 750 miles in three days and five states. I saw more friends than I expected and less than I would have wanted, but overall it was a hell of a trip.
Bailey and I headed north on Monday the 31st. Traffic was kind to us despite it being a holiday weekend and before we knew it- we had crossed over into Massachusetts and were on our way to V’s house. Bails was a perfect road buddy on the drive up. He slept for the most part, but would occasionally wake up, stand up for a little bit and look out the window and then lay back down and put his paw on my arm and drift back off for a few more miles. We only stopped twice on the drive up, once for me and once for him- the snow seemed to take him by surprise, but he managed to have a little fun with another dog in it, jumping around in snow half as tall as him and coming back to me with flakes on his beak and his tail wagging. I’m going to have to leave him for a week when I go to Florida, so despite the Megabus being considerably less expensive and immensely more convenient, driving to Boston and bringing him with me was the right choice.
Once we got to V’s and said our hellos (and introductions- I hadn’t met her boyfriend before this visit) I decided to take a little nap. Driving up there on three hours of sleep had me a little punchdrunk, and if there was any hope of staying awake for New Years, a nap was mandatory. I got rested enough to go grab dinner at Legal Sea Food with Kathleen and Atom, who happened to be in Boston visiting Atom’s family. We made an effort in 2012 to see each other a lot more often, and this was a great way to end the year. Drinking root beer with Atom, talking 3k with Kathleen (did I mention I ran a 3k at the gym the other day? It knocked me the hell out) and just enjoying the evening with two people I love very much before heading back to Somerville to ring in 2013. (and they finally got to meet Bailey!)
The NYE party at V’s was really laid back. I was a little ‘relaxed’ thanks to a special salt water taffy I had packed, and I sat there with a bunch of folks that I didn’t know watching videos, listening to stories and just taking it all in. Thanks to V’s fella, I’ll never not know what a ‘Major Lazer’ video is like. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. At some point a young man named ‘Greg’ passed out in my guest bed, but being the kind sort that I am, I told V to just let him sleep it off. That proved to be a mistake. Thankfully my gloves and hat came clean after a few washings and Bailey, despite being a little freaked out, was ultimately ok… but what he did to that comforter was… horrific. I guess there always has to be one at every party, and it thankfully wasn’t me. Natalie and I got sentimental and phoned a ‘New Years Kiss’ at midnight. It sucked not having her with me; now that we’re finally officially ‘dating’ it would have been nice to kiss her and start the New Year that way. But at least we had the phone call…. It’s all about accepting what you have and making the most of it.
I slept in like a bum. V was kind enough to get me gym passes for the days I visited, but… sleep. It was nice. My routine here at home is so regimented that it was fun to just not give a damn for a few days. Sleep in. Not rush anywhere. I’m going to punish myself at the gym these next few days to make up for it, but for my Boston time it was nice to not have a schedule and just wing it. My plan for Tuesday was to see friends; I started with hot chocolate with Larisa and David. I don’t get to see them nearly enough and Larisa (I hate typing that, since she’s Reese or Flower to me) is one of my favorite people, so this was a treat to be able to steal a little time with her. She’s always so radiant; as beautiful as David is funny- his sense of humor aligns with mine with frightening precision- and I was as happy as a clam sitting in a little coffee shop with them before heading out to meet my toy buddies.
- The Standup guys:
I had met Patrick and Ed (in person) at NYCC back in October, and was thrilled that both lived in Boston. I headed over to Pat’s house to meet his (startlingly British) wife Alex and their super adorable daughter Addie, who fed me raisonettes and worked on a puzzle with me before I stole Pat away for dinner. We picked a place called RED BONES- stellar BBQ- and sat there for a few hours letting our inner nerds out. It was amazing. Ed and Patrick are both Pushead collectors, so we talked toys, tattoos, leather bars, drag bars, you name it. So many stories just feeding back into other stories. It was very ADD, but the company was perfect, the food was perfect and I was geeked to be with some of my favorite geeks.
More visiting with friends. I swung by Good Faith Tattoo to see my buddy Johannes and shoot the breeze about tattoos for a few hours. He tattooed my wrist a couple of years ago and I’ve watched him grow into a really awesome tattooer; really heavily influenced by traditional European/American tattoos with bold lines, heavy black and iconic designs. Luckily his appointment had to run and get their ID, giving us time to talk for a bit while he waited for them to return. Once I finish this monster update I’m going to update OV with some of his new work; he’s one of those guys you might not have heard of but should none the less get tattooed by. Really fun afternoon. I decided to continue the tattoo day by having dinner with my old friend Chad- I’m fairly sure we haven’t seen each other since 1996 at the absolute latest, back in the Tampa days.
It was great catching up. He just got married on Monday but thankfully took some time out of his week to grab dinner and talk about tattoos, the old days, life… I seriously couldn’t have asked for a better day and I’m lucky to have friends who as as big of geeks as I am when it comes to the things I love. Talking Pushead with Pat and Ed, tattoos with Johannes and Chad… just getting lost in conversations that jump from point to point, story to story… defending Bio-mech, cursing toy flippers- the whole day was just perfect.
After getting back from dinner with Chad, I decided to pack my stuff up and head back to Philly in the wee hours since I’m usually much more awake when everyone else is sleeping. I said good-bye to the lovely V (on her birthday! I ever remembered to get a card!) and packed up the blueberry and headed south. Bailey slept the entire way this time, but I headed home with a head full of really amazing new stories and an amazing start to 2013.
Thank you so much to everyone who made time to visit, and apologies to those of you who I planned to see but couldn’t. I promise to make another trip north (when the weather is better) and to see everyone next time!
My only 2013 resolution is to see my friends more often. So you can hold me to it.
Happy Belated New Year.
Main Photo: I’m at peace with empty spaces. Rest Stop, Connecticut.