Anyway, enough complaining. This weekend for the most part was simply incredible! So, on to the good stuff. Warning - ridiculously long post ahead...
To start things off, I got off to a late start leaving Tuscaloosa. Didn't make it home till nearly eight o'clock. But as soon as I walked through the door, my baby was in the kitchen, baking me a homemade dump cake for my birthday. Yeah, you might not be able to stick candles in it and write "Happy 23rd" on it like on normal cakes (laura was kinda upset about that, since that's one of the funner parts), I'll be damned if dump cakes aren't the best cake in the world. Even better when it's cold outside and a really cute girl is pulling it out of the oven when you're walking through the door. Better yet when that girl loves you so much to do something like that, when it's easy enough to just pick something up from Winn Dixie and throw some candles in it.
My arrival was bittersweet, however, because as soon as I walked in, I found out that Mom's real sick, and is prolly gonna need surgery. It was too upsetting for her to tell me over the phone, so she waited till I got home to break the news to me. While I understand that she cares about me and doesn't want to worry me too much when I'm at school so that I don't mess up my classes, I really wish she'd tell me these things. At least it wasn't like last time, when I came home for the weekend to find out that my grandpa had been dying for a month and a half and was on his deathbed, ready to pass away at any second.
Anyway, didn't do too much that night with such a late start. Cake was delicious. Before I left, thespacecow gave me the first LoTR movie on DVD. Yeah, I was planning on waiting for the box set, but him giving me that for my birthday kinda snapped me out of it. Even though he fully intended for me to take it back (and it be more like a gift certificate), I couldn't take back something that I really did want. Also, I realized that I was being too much of a damn perfectionist. Sure, it might be a little cheaper buying all three at once. Also, there might be an extre few scenes of deleted stuff. But, is it worth waiting another *two years* for the slight possibility that there might be a small something else? Heh, with 4 disc's full of extras, there can't be much else they can put in there. Rod and Dorothy got me another knife. Someone sure knows me, don't they? Mom and Dad gave me two kama and a replica of a Roman gladius dagger (though they haven't came in the mail yet). Also, they got me a really kick ass DVD - the Count of Monte Cristo. Best. Book. EVER. Go read it right now if you haven't yet; I'll wait. ::smiles:: Movie wasn't OMFG incredible, knock-your-socks-off like LoTR or anything, but it was a very enjoyable movie. More so than pretty much everything else I've seen in the past few years. Yes, the book is better, but they didn't butcher the movie. It wouldn't take much for me, as big a fan as I am, to jump out of the seat and cuss the movie screen. Didn't have to though, cause all in all it was very nice. On my personal rating system, it'd easily get a five beers out of a possible six-pack. (Stars are so overdone....heh). Laura also got me something very kick-ass. Queen's "Greatest Hits" volumes 1, 2, and 3. I came so close to buying that for myself several times off of the late night TV infomercials, along with the ELV1S collection and the Rolling Stones - Fourty Licks compilation. All in all, I pretty much cleaned up this weekend. ^_^
Also, Timmie won even more free stuff. This time, he had too many free tickets to the game that he was looking for folks to give them too. Luckiest. Man. Alive. Once laura heard about that, she was super-excited. Poor child was deprived of football at the Catholic school she went to, so she likes coming to T-town to watch the Tide play, or in this case, going to Ladd Stadium to watch the North and the South fight it out. We dropped by the Market (though an hour or so later than we planned) to pick up the tix and thank Pam in person. Couldn't stay too long though, cause we were planning on taking shuttle busses from Hank Aaron Stadium and didn't know how bad the wait would be. If you're reading this, thanks again Pam!! ^_^
Well, we got to Gaslight Park with no difficulties, and early enough to get on board the second or third bus. Much to laura's delight, they were giving away free K.K.'s at the Stadium. We ate a few, hopped on the shuttle bus, and made it to the stadium in plenty of time. I bought a "hot" chocolate, though it tasted more the temperature of chocolate milk than it was of hot cocoa since it was approximately seven Kelvin on Saturday. ("Cold" cocoa isn't good at all, by the way). We made it to our seats, wrapped ourselved in the two blankets we brung with us, and read the Program while we awaited kickoff. Normal stuff for the most part, except that Ladd Stadium's already P.A. system was so bad you couldn't hear the announcements over it due to the echoes, and it even cut out completely during the "Star Spangled Banner". The mic cut out during the first line, and they tried to fix it. Meanwhile, thousands of fans stood there, still holding their hands over their hearts, listning to Miss America repeat "test...test...1..2..3..." from the press box. Finaly they got the problem fixed, and Ms. A tried it again. And again, it cut out during the first line. After a brief pause, there was .78 of a second's worth of the second line of our national anthem, so everyone realized that she was still singing, despite no one hearing her. So, the fans just started singing it themselves. Maybe it was just me, but I thought it was cooler seeing ten thousand plus Americans singing their country's song with one unified voice than it would have been if everyone had just been standing there listning to the model sing a song while waiting for her to get done so they can kick the damn ball already. But then again, maybe I'm just a patriotic sap. =P
Anyway, though it was fun to watch, the game wasn't all that impressive. None of the players seemed to hussle - they all just looked like they were merely running through the motions (with a few noteable exceptions). Even Kenny King, "Double J", and Moorhead seemed to be running through molasses. In the end, the bad guys won, so that also kinda sucked. But not as bad as the nachos we ate at halftime...the cheese was even colder than the afforementioned cocoa. Nasty shit. On the plus side though, me and laura hung out with a ten-year old kid that knew the players names and statistics nearly as well as I myself did, so it was kinda cool chatting with him between plays.
On the way out of the stadium was one of the very few bad parts of the weekend. I don't know what happened, but it was *VERY* bad. After the final second ticked away off the game clock, laura and I headed back to the busses. Or at least we tried to. On the way down the exit ramps, I was just fine. Once we got into the parking lot, I really started to hurt. A minute later, I was walking with very slow, deliberate steps. Each step sent white hot plasma coursing down my legs and up my spine. A minute later than that, I was hunched over as if I was carrying a Buick on my back. If I was doubled over any further, I likely could have began crawling on all fours. A minute later still, I was in such pain that I literally could not stand on my own power. Laura quite literally ahd to carry me to the busses, and hold me upright until we were able to board.
As much fun as that was, it gets even better. Once we were back at Hank Aaron, laura was thoughtful enough to to get the car and drive it around instead of trying to drag me across yet another parking lot. I don't think I could have made it that second time, because even with laura taking most of the weight off of my feet, I was still about to pass out from the pain. She asked me if I could stand on my own power, and I lied and said I'd be fine. As soon as she let me go, however, I stumbled/fell backwards until a tree caught me, from which I was able to crawl on ofer and hang on a nearby sign until she was able to return. Once she got here, I summoned up what little strength I had left and tried to shrug off the pain long enough to make it to the car door. I almost busted my face on the pavement once but managed to somehow catch myself. The second time I collapsed but was directly in front of her car, so I could grab the hood and not go all the way down. It hurt like hell trying to climb into the cab, but I finally made it. I was still about to die from the pain, but as least I wasn't moving anymore...
Laura, kind soul that she is, leaned over from her drivers seat and put her hand near my waist. I was delerious from the pain, and had no idea what she was doing. Maybe reaching for the seat belt, so I wouldn't have to move? Her other hand was on the headrest of my seat, where she was placing her entire body weight to steady herself as she reached across me. I closed my eyes, and wondered what she was doing but was too exhausted to ask. Just then.........WAM! Turns out she was trying to reach the lever on the side of the seat that lets the back down, such that the seat lies flat like a bed. However, she completely forgot about her right hand that was on my seat just above my shoulder, and instead of vvveeerrrrrryyyy ssslllooowwwwwwllllyyyy reclining me backwards like you would do to someone with a spinal injury, she literally slammed me down as hard as she could. She didn't mean it, of course! But that's exactly what happens when your entire body weight is pushing on the headrest and the lever lets the top half of the seat go. I think the sudden movement made her fall on top of me to boot, but by that time my pain was so great that I could hear, smell, and taste it as well as just feel it, and not much was able to get through for the next minute at least. I tried to supress my scream, but don't know just how successful that ended up. Laura was so worried about me, and I ended up busting out laughing in an attempt not to break out in tears, despite still not having any feeling below my waist due to the mind-numbing pain.
Needless to say, the plans for the rest of the night ended up getting scrapped.
However, we made the most of it. I hopped myself up on Loritabs, and though I could still feel a good bit of the pain through the medication, it helped enough such that I could be social. We ended up layin on mom's bed - me, her, laura, and the three dogs - and half watching TV, half just talking bout whatever was on our minds. Ended up being more fun than doing whatever else we woulda had planned, anyway.
The next day we slept late. Finally, we got up around noon or so, ate the rest of the birthday cake, and flopped down on the couch to watch a bit of the playoff games. I woulda been perfectly happy watching both the Raiders and the Bucs roll on to victory, but unfortunately I had other plans that did not include the National Football League. I talked to Adam once or twice from T-town, and he was a bit miffed at me not spending any time with him over Christmas Break. I fully meant to, but after Christmas laura and I kinda got sick, and decided to lay low for the rest of the week. Until the New Year's party over at Pam and Timmie's, that is. (I'm still pissed I couldn't think of the name of that George Strait album. I remembered part of it, but not the whole title. You'd think that would be the *one* question I of all people couldn't miss, too...)
Anyway, the way we wasted Sunday is a perfect example of what my previous post was all about. Me and Adam were both a little bit upset we couldn't hang out over Christmas, but since neither one of us did anything about it we were both at fault and didn't ride the other's case too badly about it. From Tuscaloosa, I told him I'd be home this weekend and that we needed to go somewhere. He was very happy to hear I'd be back in town so soon, and he said he'd be looking forward to it. I call him up on Sunday, and he already had some company. He freaked out when he heard I actually was in town, as if I hadn't told him originally that this was the plan. Anyway, he said he'd definitely be looking forward to bowling a couple of frames later on. He was in the middle of something though, so he'd have to call me back. Okay, I waited. Then I took a shower. Then I took a nap. Then I did lots of other things, until it was around 6:00 or so. Laura and I got tired of waiting for him to return the call, so we went out for a scrumtious dinner that was originally supposed to be a part of the night before's plans. I had my cell with me, so he could have gotten in touch with me. Also, I told mom I was expecting a call, and if Adam calls the house instead to tell him to call the cell. Though he already has the number, I made sure to leave it with mom so she'd be able to give it to him if he forgot (without her having to get out of bed and look through her address book for it). Long story short, I never heard from the guy. I got a call from bandie528, who wanted to wish me a Happy Birthday from New Jersey. That was really cool, but in reality, I hardly know bandie. I have never met her, will likely never get to meet her, and only know her from reading her LJ's. Meanwhile, my best friend through most of my middle and high school years didn't bother to call me. Hmmm. I definitely know how difficult it is to keep friendships (amd even bf/gf relationships) going when you're 250 miles away, but that was a bit silly.
Anyway, I missed both the playoff games. However, once me and laura did decide to leave, we had fun. We went to Red Lobster and gorged ourselves on all-you-can-stuff-in-your-gut shrimp, and even had two dozen or so left to bring home for mom. It was kinda expensive for two folks, but pretty cheap when you consider that three people ate off of that, and ate well. After that, and us sitting in the parking lot for 30 mins or so to let our stomachs settle, we headed on over to Books-A-Million. Partly so that if Adam called we would still be "out" and not all the way back home, and also because me and laura always hang out there. I got a book I had been wanting for a few years now, even though I know I won't have time to read it anytime soon. Also found out that Sandra (the witch) is working there now. Besides that, we just had fun browsing through all the different things, and before you know it, they were trying to kick us out because the store had already closed a good half hour ago.
We decided to stop by the bowling alley anyway on the way home. We didn't end up getting to bowl a few frames with Adam, but at the very least we had to play some Air Hockey. As usual, I kicked laura's cute little ass. First game was like 7 to 3 I think, and I accidentally scored one of those on my own self like a dumbass. Second game was interrupted when I crushed some little kid's fingers. He was trying to climb up the table to get a better view, and for some reason wanted to catch the puck. I didn't see that, so of course I whop the thing as hard as I can, and it makes a beeline straight for his hand. He cries, screams, and runs back to mommy. I felt awful after that, and lost track of the score from then on out. Laura prolly beat me that second round by one or maybe two points, though I cain't say exactly for certain. At least the kid was okay and nothing was broken, cause he ended up toddling back to the gameroom as we were leaving.
I don't even want to talk about Monday, cause I was so fucking depressed knowing I'd have to leave laura again. We did have fun watching the Tom Hanks movie, "Big", but aside from that I was pretty miserable packing and getting ready to leave. Instead of leaving at 1:00 or 1:30 as planned, I didn't end up getting out the door till nearly five. Drive back was thankfully uneventful, considering that it was on Robert E. Lee day three years ago that I got smooshed, and that the most recent trip back before this one some idiot ran me off the road when he decided to drive in the opposite lane for a while. Bah. Tried to call laura from Thomasville, but no answer. Also no message on the Caller ID, so I was worried. Back in Tuscaloosa, I got the message that she made it home okay but just forgot to call. I tried to call her from the dorm, but Stephanie Scott beat me to it, and therefore I didn't get another chance to talk to her for three or so hours. In the meanwhile, I checked in on mom through AIM, took the edge off with a cold beer, and attempted to do Cal III homework. I know, I know, don't drink and derive. If it weren't true, it'd be the worst joke ever. I ended up getting most of the work done, and even got to say "goodnight" to laura before midnight rolled around, and moments later, I rolled out of bed because the 6:00 AM alarm clock was ringing.