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July 9th, 2005

Out of town for the weekend...

I didn't mention in yesterday's entry that my day started off at the eye doctor's. My experience was not unlike this one last year. This year, there was only a mustache, not a beard.

I expressed my concern to Dr. Clark about spending a minimum of 16 hours a day in front of my computer. I'm on for 8 hours at work, often 9. And then, almost always, 7 or 8 more hours at home.

We talked about the option of getting a pair of "computer glasses," which will be "set" at my correction level for the 20-21" range. That way, I won't have to worry that I'm not tilting my head correctly all day and night to the right spot on my graduated lens bifocals.

I was not thrilled with my bill for today's visit. My new prescription on my regular glasses came to eight hundred dollars, with about 500 being paid by insurance, leaving me a $300-ish bill. My computer glasses were another $162. Ridiculous.



I was showered and ready to leave for the beach at 10:00 today. I checked in with Joe at about 11:00, and he said he'd be ready to leave at about 1:30. I got to his house at about that time, and we left shortly after that.

The ride down flew by, with us talking almost the whole way. The weather was overcast, which we expected, when we arrived, so we went directly to the hotel to check in.

We stayed at the Sleep Inn on Market, and within the last 4 to 5 miles approaching Wilmington, we saw at least two billboards advertising this hotel, and mentioning "Free High Speed Internet." The word wireless was conspicuously missing, and as it turned out, with good reason.

After being assigned to room 117, I asked if the Internet service was wireless, to which the person at the service desk responded, "No, it's wired. But let me check the room you're in to see if it has a port."

It didn't, and he started to move us, but then said, "I'll tell you what, you can just use the port in the meeting room, which is just around the corner here, and close to your room." I signed away my first born to borrow a cable while I was there.

We unpacked, Joe showered, and I took a quick nap, after which we left for:

Elizabeth's Pizza
4304 Market St., Wilmington
(910) 251-1005


Elizabeth's Pizza is locally owned and operated. Their friendly staff and great pizza make them one of Wilmington's most popular pizza places. Their pizza with its hand-tossed crust and all your favorite toppings is huge and always fresh. Sicilian style is also available. Elizabeth's has an extensive menu of sandwiches, pastas, strombolis and calzones. Elizabeth's is open every day for lunch and late dinner, until midnight.


We both had a house salad, I had a pepperoni, sausage, and cheese calzone, and Joe had a pepperoni and cheese stromboli. They were both out of this world. I only ate half of my calzone, got a to-go box, and looked forward to having the rest of it in the middle of the morning when we returned from the bar.

We got to Costello's between 9:00 and 9:30, where it promptly got festive with patrons and "Tim" playing the piano. He had a tenor-to-alto range voice, and had a keyboard that sat on top of the (grand) piano, on which he played some songs, and for other songs used it as "accompaniment."

Several times, he said he was taking requests. Eventually, I went up to him and said, "Do you know any Luther Vandross? Here and Now or Dance With My Father, by chance?"

While processing my request, he was shaking his head indicating that he probably didn't know those, and I said, "Any Luther Vandross song will do."

"I'll have to think about that, and get back to you. I'm not thinking of one I know off the top of my head."

After a song or two, he said over the microphone, "I'm going to have to give a rain check to the gentleman who requested a Luther Vandross song." At his next break, he came up and said the same thing to me in person. I think he just liked using the phrase "rain check."

Joe and I had bet again, like we did the last time in Wilmington, on how many Raleigh guys we'd see out. Shortly after our arrival, a guy came in that Joe recognized, but I didn't. Joe said, "You met him at Jay's party. His name is Chris." I couldn't remember him. Tall. Thin. Geeky.

He eventually joined our table, and brought his friend "Brendon" over, who proceeded to immediately let the smoke trail of his "120s" (long, pencil thin cigarettes) stream directly to my left nostril. Totally oblivious.

This guy went on and on about wanting to go to Antarctica, with his main reason for wanting to go being that it's a place where not many people go.

Just to see his reaction, I asked, "Do they have wireless Internet service there?"

Somewhere toward midnight, we went to Ibiza's, where as usual, we weren't impressed.

We eventually worked our way back to Costello's, where we eventually met a youngster, whose name was Tim, I think (or am now wondering if I'm confusing his name with the piano player's), and a guy named Carl.

I spoke with Tim for a while. He was 20, and I eventually bought him a drink. He wanted me to buy him a "Long Island Ice Tea with a Cherry Twist in it" or some such nonsense as that, and I said, "I'm not buying that. That's too specific, and unusual a drink; they'll know it's not for me." I bought him a bourbon and coke.

As it turned out, I ended up having met Carl before, and the longer we all talked, the more the memories of him came back to me.

He talked Joe and me into going back to Ibiza's, where he motioned all three of us to go into the bathroom. He peed, and while Joe peed, he said, "Do you guys party?" We both said, "no," and he proceeded -- without us -- to snort some coke up a nostril. Klassy.

We ended up losing him in the bar, and made a getaway.

We ate the hell out of that leftover calzone when we got back to the room. Yum.

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