Tuesday, March 21, 2006

November Rain was the soundtrack. Plus, is Neil Mr. Brightside?

Okay. Here we go. My three-day trip boiled down to 15 minutes of typing.

Red eye Friday morning, 1 a.m to 6 a.m.: The woman sitting across the aisle from me was traveling with her cats, and was wearing some kind of mink jacket despite the fact that she was only 47 or 48-years-old, tops. She is the first travelng cat lady I've ever encountered.

Friday: The weather was awesome, and by that I mean sunny and in the high 30s. Went for a long walk with my parents on the Lake Wobegone trail.

Saturday: Feeling refreshed from 12 hours of sleep (!), I drove to St. Cloud to meet Neil and the guys for the bachelor party. It ended up just being five of us for paintball/go-karting. Neil's brother-in-law Chris looks a lot Twins great Bert Blyleven, by the way.

So, this paintball place was run by indifferent 15-year-olds, and full of creepy, camouflage-clad dudes with $800 automatic paintball guns. We put on our masks, loaded our guns and went into the indoor course, which was probably 50-60 yards long and 25 yards wide. We faced off on opposite ends of the course, then ran behind sheds, old cars and started shooting. I ran inside a little lean-to and could hear Novemeber Rain wailing from the radio behind the counter where you buy paintballs. As Slash ripped through the song's epic third solo, I fired off paintball with reckless abandon. It was awesome.

The game's referee, who looked to be not a day over 12, let Neil and I square off one-on-one. We ran around shooting each other and trying to spend the last of our ammo.

The go-karts were wild because they went 30-40 mph. Indoors. The funniest part of the experience was a middle-aged guy who raced after us who repeatedly crashed into a certain wall. He seemed drunk after his race.

After eating dinner and drinking a few beers, we hit the bars in St. Cloud. We made a t-shirt for Neil that had a checklist of things he needed to do. Example: Smoke a Virginia Slim. He didn't seem too pleased about the whole thing until he checked off three or four at a single bar.

We finished the night at D.B. Searle's, an incredibly old bar where a band was playing. They seemed kind of bored and lazy, cranking out Sugar Ray and Weezer songs for everyone. I went up to the stage and asked the lead singer if he could give a shout-out to Neil. He said sure. Before the band took their break, the singer brought Neil up on stage, congratulated him, etc. And then they played the Killers "Mr. Brightside" -- a song I happen to like a lot. The singer changed all the "I"s in the song to "Neil"s, so "I'm Mr. Brightside" became "Neil's Mr. Brightside." It was just ridiculous, and awesome.

Sunday: Tried to shake off my first hang over in three months, and spent the day at my brother's house in Maple Grove. Played air hockey with my nephew Jack, and showed books to my nieces, Ella and Emily.

Monday morning: I finished the Pioneer Press, and then finished reading Douglas Coupland's "Girlfriend in a Coma" on the plane back to Sea-Tac. I noticed the woman sitting next to me was reading a book with a critic's comment that said, "A dazzling novel of love and ambition -- and the exquisitive world of flowers. Has great appeal." I thought for about 10 minutes about how odd of praise "has great appeal" is. Then I fell asleep.

Today: 60 minute walk
Tomorrow: 60 minute run


At 12:16 AM, Blogger Kristina said...

If I ever get married again, I am totally going to ask you to be my best man.


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