I left there and stopped by Lowe's at Lynn Road and Glenwood to return the blinds color samples.
I read a little of HOW I LEARNED TO SNAP and fell asleep. I woke around 4:30 in time to shave and shower for church at 5:30.
I took Leesville Road to St. Francis and got lost along the way. It's unreal how much that area has changed since I was last "up in 'nere." I finally made it with five minutes to spare. Wow, has that parish changed! A new church and a school have been added since I was last there!
I loved the mass. "Sexual orientation" was said during the homily, as was the words "Gay & Lesbian." It was a very inclusive sermon. There was a somewhat disturbing baptism during the mass. A baby girl, totaly nude, was dipped into the baptismal font three times... "in the name of the Father, in the name of the Son, in the name of the Holy Ghost." I swear that baby looked like a raw chicken being dipped into water. She was screaming like she'd just as soon the Trinity leave her alone at the moment.
After mass, I couldn't find the G&L Ministry folks. I ended up asking the priest where they were meeting. He pointed me over to Chuck and Gary. Chuck introduced his partner, Tom, to me and I recognized Gary from bowling. I also met Kayla then. We left after about 20 minutes to Dos Toquitas to have dinner. I didn't realize this was going to be a dinner gathering, and I had plans to meet Gregor for dinner at Bloomsbury Bistro at 8:15.
At the restaurant, Jean and Kathy joined us. I explained my situation, and just ordered tea, and snacked on about 10 tortilla (and salsa) chips. They were all very nice people, very understanding of my 8:15 engagement, wished me a Happy Birthday, and said they were delighted I'd be joining them on the retreat. I was glad I went.
I arrived at Bloomsbury at about 8:10 and checked in. Gregor hadn't arrived yet, and I was shown to the bar. I stood there, a rob back from the bar seats (which were all taken) for about 10 minutes. I was kind of surprised that the bartender never made eye contact with me to try and sell me a drink. I read some of the plaques on the walls and looked at the pictures. At about 8:30, I stepped back to my car to call Gregor. I wanted to make sure he hadn't fallen asleep in his garage or bathtub. I left a message on his home phone and his cell phone.
At about 8:25 he arrived, very overheated. We were seated immediately, and I at once liked our waitress. I ordered a vodka martini like I drink them all the time, and she said to me, "Up?" I had no idea what she meant and said as much. She meant did I want it "straight up" or with ice? I got it straight up with olives. It came with three nice, large green olives, one of which I offered to Gregor. Martinis have always tasted like perfume to me. This one was no exception.
Gregor gave me the best/funniest card with a Gilda Radner quote about fashion on it. He also gave me the book The Hotel New Hampshire, which we had discussed recently. After ordering, we proceeded to have several discussions about which we inevitably ended up with opposite viewpoints, the main one being about fashion -- specifically about the effects of dressing up on workers and working. Silly thing to go on and on about, really. Fortunately no one got hot under the collar or took anything personally. That, actually, says something about a person to me.
My favorite part of the discussion was when we queried the waitress on a point, and Gregor said, "Yes, she agreed with you, but she made my point exactly."
We left Bloomsbury around 10:00, and went to the new bar, Retail. Overall I found it nice, but not alluring enough for me to purchase a $40 membership. People I saw there who I knew: Steve (Steve's friend, Steve); Wes, John G., who was with him; Shawn and Matt, who I had just met at the NCOD meeting the day before; Kirk, who always ignites something in me; Mark M, who was waiting for a friend who was late to arrive; Rolo, of course; and Mandy, who was there with her parents! There were several other folks there who I knew by face, but not by name.
We were not allowed upstairs until just after 11, when the private party that was going on up there was over. It was a party of the GLBT fraternity at NC State. That's what Shawn and Matt were doing there. Evidently Andrew was there, too, but we never saw him.
Gregor left the club at around 12:30. I hung out another half hour, talking to no one, just people-watching, which I always thoroughly enjoy.