Saturday I even drank enough to cross-dress.
The last several days have been almost entirely dedicated to fun, family, friends, and shenanigans. Thursday my wife Chris celebrated her 411th birthday* and we have celebrated in style. We talked about spending her birthday or some part of the weekend in Asheville or Charleston but decided we could spend less money and have just as much fun right here at home.

Wednesday night we kicked off Birthday Eve with a quiet talk and a few cold beverages from Community Tap. We have been working so much lately that we were beginning to feel as if we were passing like two ships in the night. Even though I worked late Wednesday evening we still made time to cozy up on the couch with a Sierra Nevada Harvest, a Lagunitas Lucky 13 and the new Phosphorescent CD that I picked up at Horizon Records that afternoon. We talked more than we had in weeks, the beers were delicious and the CD was good enough to listen to twice in a row. Let the festivities begin…

Thursday night I threw Chris a “reverse surprise” party. My idea was this:  convince her that we were to have a quiet dinner at home but instead have family and friends come over at various times throughout the evening. The premise was that every time the doorbell would ring, the guest would be a surprise. I have to admit that this worked much better in theory than in practice.  Chris got stuck at work so late that some guests arrived before she got home and her aunt had to pick her up at work since I was home waiting for others to arrive. Also, once she realized how the party was planned she began to expect certain people to show up. I think next time I will just have everybody get there early and hide behind the couch like normal people do for surprise parties.   

Also, to further complicate things, I decided to bite off more than I could chew and smoke 11 pounds of Boston Butt for the party. Unfortunately, I started the smoker too late in the day and did not pay enough attention to the cooking temperature so the food was about three hours from ready by the time everyone was ready to eat. 

Yeah, I am kind of an idiot.

Despite my missteps, the party was still a success and we had a blast with our family and closest friends.  The company was better than any food and Chris loved every minute of being the center of attention on her favorite day of the year.  Plus, there was a growler of Coast HopArt IPA from Community Tap that had been waiting for her in the refrigerator since Monday. And of course, there were presents…

One of these presents came in the form of a check from Chris’s super awesome parents (and my favorite mom & dad in-law).  Since Chris is one of the rare women in the world that does not like to shop, she decided to spend the money on a nice dinner with her two favorite guys. Friday night after work we were off to Summa Joe’s and the three of us had a blast trying out their new menu (ok, well, two of us – Ivan went with his old standby with the grilled cheese from the kids’ menu). Joe is now offering baked pasta dishes as one of the nightly specials so I had the beef stroganoff and a couple of Sierra Nevada Tumblers. Let me say this: If I had to choose only one meal from now until the day I die, this might be it.  I might turn into a fat alcoholic within the week but I do believe it would be worth it.

Saturday we did the same thing as apparently everyone else in The Upstate. Fall For Greenville seemed like a really good idea when I had it but when I got there I remembered why I had not been in a while. I do not like drinking overpriced beer on the street shoulder to shoulder with the hygienically challenged masses. Port-o-johns are gross, wristbands are itchy, and changing real money into tickets and pretending they are currency just seems silly to me. 

On the upside, we spent the day with some really good friends and as a gang of six we are a pretty versatile bunch. After fighting the crowds during our obligatory lap of Main Street, Greenville we took the party up the road to Horizon Records and Bohemian Café. There we found better music, food and beers than anything I found within the confines of Fall for Greenville. Most importantly, we found chairs and room to actually breathe.  We just missed the performance I had really hoped to see but my pain was relieved by The Doppelgangers.  The band is a side project of Aaron Berg's and sounded like a mix between Soul Coughing, The Fun Loving Criminals and Velvet Underground.  For Chris and I, discovering quality local music is like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow so this was definitely one of the highlights of our day. The day ended at our friends’ house drinking beers by a fire and watching football… nobody has ever gotten tired of that.

It is early Sunday afternoon as I type this and I just opened a cheap canned beer as I try to get my game face on. Chris and I are about to head over to Tavern Under The Bridge to help celebrate the memory of ScottJenkins and hopefully raise a few bucks for The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation.  My liver and party legs are starting to cry uncle but the cause is a great one and we are not people that miss out on a party.  Three bands, good friends, and cold beers are calling our name as I type.

I am almost looking forward to work Monday so I can get some rest.


*Is this a typo that should actually read “41st” or is this how old she sounds when she walks down the stairs in the morning? I am not entirely sure.
Reactions: