Monday, December 1, 2008

St. Louis Trip, Thanksgiving, Airport Troubles and a Crazy Strip Club Experience

I've noticed that my blogs started as a way to keep people informed of the Aladdin gig but have turned into more journaling each time. Oh well, I actually look forward to writing regardless of if anyone is reading or not. I know it is probably good to have some sort of record to help trigger certain memories that may not come easy with my old age ;)

So Erin, Barnaby, Katie and I were heading to St. Louis for Thanksgiving. I've been tons of times during my time at Stephen's and this would be Barnaby's first trip to St. Louis…let alone his first trip out of L.A. aside from Vegas. We talked about all sorts of things to do while we were there and Barnaby was most excited and interested in checking the city that is notorious for having some of the best strip clubs…more on that later!

So it's Monday night and we are staying over Katie's apartment so we can just roll straight to the airport in the morning. Everyone is already there, they were just waiting for Erin, Wolfy and I. Wolfy was going to be staying there while we were away. We get there, and he instantly runs to Stanley and they begin their frolicking and picked up right where their affair last left them. NON-STOP! Erin and I were beat so we set up our little sleeping area on the floor and started to watch the latest episode of Dexter before we passed out.

Tuesday morning hit and it's freezing and of course we had hardly slept before the alarm sounded. But the excitement of leaving town carried us as groggy as we were. We get to the airport, grab our tickets and head to the security checkpoint. Erin and Barnaby were stopped to see if there bags would fit in the overhead storage area of the plane. I'll never understand why they pay such close attention and make you stick your bag in this tiny spot, but when you get in the plane, the area is much larger. They started to give Erin a hard time so she had to remove some stuff, put it in her purse, and then put it right back in once she got through…ridiculous. After putting all my clothes back I notice I'm still waiting for Erin and Barnaby to get through. I look over and they have Barnaby stopped at the end and they are removing shit from his bag. I couldn't help but laugh because of how funny the image was. There were a bunch of canned items that Barnaby was going to bring for his meal on Thanksgiving. We each were going to prepare something for the feast and he apparently forgot that we were going to get the groceries once we were in STL, so he packed a bag full of plantains, a bunch of canned evaporated milk and god knows what else LOL. They let him keep the bananas, but not before they gave him a scare and almost took his burned DVD's with the pile of cans, lotion and whatever else they confiscated from him.

The flight was alright and at least they gave us free soft drinks and a packet of pretzels. We landed and were informed that we were going to be having dinner at Erin's Grandparent's house later that evening. When we got back to Erin's house, we were all starved so we pigged out on various items before we left for dinner at the Grandparents'. We pulled up and were greeted by Ray and Jane and a smell of a nice cooked meal. We each were poured a glass of wine as we gave Barnaby a tour of the place, mainly the cool basement they have. After chatting a bit downstairs, we made our way to the dining room for dinner. Barnaby made a touching toast, thanking Erin and Katie for inviting him to St. Louis and he also stated in his own words that he wanted us all to have a good time this trip regardless of what we may have all gone through in the past. It was simple, but effective and really put into perspective for me how it is sometimes easier to let little things get in the way of the bigger picture.

On a side note, there have been times of ups and downs, back and forth for me and B in our apartment, but I'll always cherish the year plus we spent as roomies in the hood and will no doubt miss seeing him all the time and his white friend Doug. I feel that for me, it was great to have him around and be a constant connection to something I could only describe as an East Coast Vibe. Of course, it was more than that and as we've only known each other for about 3 years now, I know there are still many more things to learn about Barnaby and it will come with time as this will be a lasting friendship. I'm sorry for being a fool and for any immature way I chose to handle things and I look forward to making moves with you in the future Barnaby. Thanks for putting up with my shit and for reminding me of Platano's and for just being yourself. You taught me a lot and I admire how you speak your mind, do what want and hold your friends dear.

Back to dinner, we ate, had some FUNNY chats and discovered that Barnaby was plastered from the wine. We were heading out because we were going to be meeting up with some of Erin's friends later and as we were leaving Barnaby missed a step coming out of the house and almost broke his foot! LOL it was too funny, that and Katie was driving on the neighbors lawn as we were exiting because she couldn't see the driveway at night.

We dropped Katie back home and realized that the Ice Skating rink we were going to go to was close that night so we had to make other plans which involved hitting up a pub. I forgot how cheap everything is when you are not in NY or LA. Barnaby, Erin and I had a round of Captain and Cokes and paid less than 12 total, not to mention, the bartender brought over two more for us on the house! Well Erin's friends came by and I met Courtney and Shannon and they told us that we were going to party classy that night and the next night was going to be trashy. We ended up cruising downtown near the St. Louis Arch and it was kind of dead. We also found out that the next day's hockey game we were supposed to be going to was actually in Colorado, NOT St. Louis. Apparently Dale, Erin's Dad, was misinformed by his broker but thankfully he had not yet paid for the tickets. Anyways, we ended up cruising to this new Casino called Lumier and I hit up the Blackjack Table for about 45 minutes before walking away $1 up. LOL at least I didn't lose the $40 I put down. We called it a night after that and decided to head home since we were no doubt going to have a long day on Wednesday starting with a Mani/Pedi ;) LOL I was excited to pass out in the guest room because the beds are perfect in there and I always sleep like a king. Apparently, so did Barnaby, because he kept talking about the beds the whole time LOL.

So we headed in to the nail salon and did the deed. Barnaby and I both had them paint our toes for kicks and I bought a bag of Gus' Famous Pretzels. I think Erin was a little disappointed to hear I wasn't blown away by this St. Louis gem. We then hit up the World Market to get some items for our dishes and I was quite impressed. In the middle of St. Louis they had items I can't find in L.A. Barnaby and I found bottles of Malta and were in heaven. It was then off to one of my favorite places on earth, St. Louis City Museum. Worth a trip to St. Louis ALONE! If you have been, let me know below what you think of this place and if you haven't been, it is a place you should visit. Let's just say it is an adult playground. They serve liquor and it is not uncommon to see business men dressed in their best crawling through tunnels or bouncing around in the oversized McDonald's like playpen. They say you need to allow 3-4 hours to see everything and it is true- SO MUCH FUN and Barnaby loved it as well! After that we headed back to shower and change for dinner at Bar Louie's which had $5 buckets of beer. This was where we got our buzz for the night, we kept ordering these things and we were set for the night. The next stop was going to be the "Ghetto" part of town and the club that we surely were going to get shot at in called MP O'Reilley's. When we pulled up, I'll admit it was a little considering the part of town and the two cop cars parked outside, but when we got inside Barnaby and I couldn't help but laugh at how "Ghetto" this place actually was. Leave it to a couple of former Catholic School Girls to talk up this place and complain about how dangerous it was. It was fine, nothing at all Ghetto compared to what we were used to. There were a few odd characters, but nothing worth wearing a vest for. I don't know maybe we were lucky that night. The real fun was going to be had after this spot, because we were on our way to the Roxy's strip club. I'm not a guy that really cares about strip club's, it's not my thing, but it is fun when you are with a group and one of your members has been looking forward to it for a while. This deserves a blog of it's own and indeed and will get one. If you wish to read it, follow the prompts in the other blog. Ask to be on the preferred list. Otherwise, after our adventure inside Roxy's, we were walking to the car and Shannon's boyfriend told us the place across the street was actually, "Worse" and Barnaby wanted to go in there after hearing that LOL

We headed home though and could not stop talking about what just happened. We got home, and Barnaby, Katie and Stacy passed out downstairs and I hit the bed at 3:00am. I set my alarm for 6 to wake up and begin soaking some rice for one of my dishes that I would be preparing for T-day.

I woke up and realized that I never picked up the ground beef for one of my dishes so I had to cruise to a Super Walmart in Fenton. God I miss Walmart! LOL I got back and begun cooking with Barnaby as my right hand man. Everything I made turned out OK…one was a little overcooked and the other needed more cooking. Not bad for a first attempt…still edible LOL There was soooo much foood and all of it was great, we were all at least 5 lbs heavier.

We then went to watch the new James Bond movie, which I really liked. I've heard some people complain about it because it is more a film and not a James Bond flick, but I really liked it. There were a few parts that were not clear to me, but all in all, I like what it did to establish his character more and I really dig Daniel Craig as Bond! After that we headed back home for round two of T-day dinner and a flick on pay per view. We ended up buying Dark Floors, which was ABSOLUTELY horrible. A really bad, terribly acted horror film…ugh…we turned it off about ¾ of the way through it was so bad. We then watched A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS which was really good. It reminded me a lot of growing up and the only problem I had in it was Robert Downey Jr. I think he is a great actor and feel he is on a tear the past few years, but I felt that the older version of the character he was playing was not consistent with the character Shai Labeouf played. He seemed too polished and didn't have the urban, NY feel that was felt throughout the rest of the film..

Friday came and it was time to head out, Erin and I spent some time looking around the house at things we wanted to bring back for our new place and then we had some Imo's Pizza, which was pretty good. It felt like the dough wasn't cooked all the way, but maybe that is how it was supposed to be, I don't know..We said our goodbyes at the airport and headed to the security checkpoint, where once again, they stopped Barnaby and removed several items from him LOL We finally got on the plane and were pissed that because of "cut backs in money" they were now charging us two bucks for a friggin soft drink, not even the whole can of soda or bottle of water, just a glass. Not only that, they stopped in flight movies, because IM sure that costs a lot too. To make things better, about an hour into our 3+ hr flight, there was a malfunction with the smoke detector in the bathroom and it meant that the rest of the flight there would be an annoying alarm that sounded at random times. It really pissed me off, because they are "cutting back costs", but we still paid the same overpriced amount for our tickets, not to mention, gas is much cheaper now. I hate airlines…so shady.

Anyway, we made it to Arizona, grabbed dinner and a beer and then headed back on our next flight into LA.

Saturday, was pretty mellow, I took Wolfy to the dog park that is close to our new place and then Erin and I went on a date to watch Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Great Movie…the theatre was silent when it ended, in fact Erin and I took about 7 minutes before anyone said anything.

Sunday, I headed to a bar on Main St. Santa Monica to watch the Giants game with a bunch of other Giants fans. 11-0 baby! Plaxico Burress is an ASS. I then took the Wolf to the dog park so he could get his weekend hump in and then I came home and packed everything in the kitchen and got it ready to be cleaned. 1 room down, 2 to go!

I had a great time in St. Louis, could have stayed another day, but I'm happy to get back and get everything squared away with my new apartment. I also missed not being in rehearsal and can't wait to get back tomorrow. We are nearing the stretch and will be opening the show within two weeks! I can't wait to move!

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