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August 27, 2007

You only turn 30 once, and for me that experience was a fun one. This past weekend was an absolute blast and certainly exceeded my hopes and expectations -- even if I didn't have the juice to crank it as long as some people would have liked, particularly on Friday night.

After receiving some nice balloons and a birthday cookie display at work on Friday, some of the usual crew around here (in particular Jenna, Amy, and Cook) made me two birthday cakes, which was a very nice surprise. My bro Matt took a candid video with his camera (which has short-run video capabilities), which he put up on YouTube. It's here for you to enjoy:

Unfortunately for me, exhaustion and alcohol lead to me hitting the wall on Friday night. My friend Leslie had invited me to go out to a piano bar on Broadway called Big Bang, but the timing was such where staying at the house proved to be a wiser idea.

A crew was en route from Mississippi, but by 11:30 or so there was no sign of them. Moreover, my friend Rich Karg was considering meeting up with us, but a rare rainstorm lead to him telling me that he was bowing out for the evening.

My Connect Four skills are strong.
We played some games to pass the time, with me showing my Connect Four skills. My speed and dexterity at it was nice. Maybe I'm not in my Harlaxton prime anymore, but it was fun if nothing else.

Embarrassingly, exhaustion from a lack of sleep during the week (a common problem for me) combined with a lack of an afternoon nap lead to me hitting the wall hard. I locked the door to my room and laid down, wanting to get a few minutes of rest.

That was it: I was out cold. Banging on my door and yelling from the outside failed to rouse me. I woke up at about 5 a.m. when I heard partying going on downstairs. The realization that I was probably going to catch all kinds of grief hit me, but I quickly fell back into a deep slumber.

On Saturday morning I said my hellos to the Mississippi crew: Jeremy, Holly, Carla, and Klista. Some of them had stayed up all night -- craziness! I've long since retired from that. Plus Rich ended up making it out here on a whim, only to find me passed out. I caught seven kinds of hell over all of that. Shameful, I know, but it is what it is. What's more, the Mississippi crew had the energy to keep going, so by noon we were on our way to Murfreesboro for a sunny day at the pool.

We played water volleyball out at a pool adjacent to an MTSU apartment complex, which was a blast. The ball was slick, which created some challenges, but we all had a good time. Unfortunately the water we were in was rather shallow, and on one diving save I ended up skinning my right knee up pretty bad, to the point where even today I'm feeling it.

Maybe I'll get a scar to match the one I got on my left knee when I was six and I fell on the gravel driveway at my parents' house (this was shortly before they had it paved.) In that case, I remember my Mom wanting to take me to get stitches, but I was terrified of doctors so I managed to whine and plead to not go. Now I have a two-inch long scar and a story to tell.

Saturday night lead to dinner at Hickory Falls, as it was Klista's 23rd birthday that day. The meal was most memorable because of our waitress sharing my disdain for pickles. As a rib, on Friday night the crew gave me a "present" of a huge bottle of pickles. Yuck. Dustin is lucky I didn't chase him around with a big bottle of French's mustard as payback. But I ended up giving the waitress a huge tip, in part because of the pickles, and in part because I felt sympathy for her having to deal with all of us hooligans.

Matt (with Bubba the dog), me, and Amy enjoyed a shot of Jägermeister on my birthday.
Dinner at the Falls was followed by a trip downtown. We hit up Lot 7, which was my second visit to that club. It's great to be able to go somewhere and not smell like an ashtray when you leave, as the club forces smokers to go outside to the non-air conditioned patio area, which I have dubbed Tobacco Road. The drink selection at Lot 7 was much better than the last time I was there, with them actually having Coors Light available. Strangely it was like an Orlando bar with nothing on tap, and they had almost all light beer. That's fine by me, but the last time I was there I wanted a Heineken and all they had was Heineken Light.

Let me be clear: I despise Heineken Light. Most light beers I enjoy, and Heineken I love, but for some reason I can't stand Heineken Light. Whatever the case, they had Coors Light, so I was happy.

It was Klista's birthday and she wanted to dance, so we ended up going over to Decades, a fun 80s/90s dance club down on Broadway. That was a blast. We danced and time flew by. I had to make up for the early tap out on Friday night, so I hung in there for the duration; we made it until they closed the club down on us.

This upcoming week will be a short one, as I'm taking this coming Friday off for a tentatively scheduled trip to Huntington. Velvet has strep throat, so the trip is in jeopardy, but we'll see how things go. One way or another, things will work out. They always do.

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