June 24th, 2006

Wilmington, Costello's, and Ibizia...

Joe called at about 10:00, and we agreed to leave at 11:30 from my house.

I had a piece of toast, and the small remainder of my Chicken Cordon Bleu from last night. Not exactly breakfast material, but I managed.

I SSSed, and was not quite ready by 11:30, but Joe called at about 11:38, saying he was just on his way then. When someone uses the phrase, "...at about 11:38...," you know they're a "details person."

We brought our bikes with us, with plans to ride after arriving in Wilmington.

Irene called while we were on I-40. She was heading west to Raleigh, and we were heading east to the beach.

The first time she called, we'd been talking for about five minutes before we hit a "dead zone" on I-40.

I called her back once we got past it, but it appeared that, this time, the connection on her end sucked. We had to end the conversation of every other word.

It's quite possible that we passed each other along the way on I-40.

We checked in to the Sleep Inn on Market, where we tried to change our room from a Queen to Two Doubles, but none were available.

Our room was on the third floor, and we waited for the slowest elevator in history to lift us -- and our steamer trunks -- upstairs.

It finally came, crept up the two floors, and we when exited, we heard this little boy say to his parents as they were walking away from the elevator, "Mama, that elevator is slower than a week."

I cracked up. Neither Joe nor I had ever heard of this expression.

We spent about an hour by the pool, where I listened to 14 NPR Stories of the Day podcasts, which have been piling up on my iPod while I've been listening to The Da Vinci Code instead of podcasts.

A Solstice Observance in the Utah Desert
Biometrics in Action at the Airport
'Still Hungry in America': A Return to Mississippi
The Funny Side of Fatherhood
'Funny, but No': Shoebox Cards' Hits & Misses
A Reality-Based Graduation Address
Wave of the Future: Magnetic Fingers
Junior Rodriquez, Hanging On in St. Bernard Parish
Drinking to Soccer, from Coast to Coast
Cul-de-Sacs: Suburban Dream or Dead End?
HIV Vaccine Remains Elusive
Diagnosing AIDS: A Pioneer Reflects
'Snakes on a Plane!': Life Imitates, Well...
Students Blossom in the Dessert

Later in the room, Joe and I listened to some Onion Radio News podcasts:

'Shark Whisperer' Missing at Sea
Area Man Overcomes Relaxing Battle With Sedatives
Bigamist Continues Searching for Another Ms. Right
Area Woman Thought Motherhood Would Be A Breeze After Raising Four Cats
Cheese Pretzel Highlight of 7-Year-Old's Art Museum Trip
Sullen Time-Traveling Teen Reports 23rd Century Sucks
Politician Shifts Focus from Sex Scandal by Shooting Man Right Next to Him
Overly Ambitious Eye Compensates for Lazy Eye
Machines on Pace to Win Spell-Check War of 2013
Graduation Speech Suggests Valedictorian is Pregnant
Unidentified Source Never Knows When to Leave
Man Being Dragged by Bus Leaves Hilarious Phone Message
Government Report on Illiteracy Copied Straight from Encyclopedia

Later in the day, we went to Elizabeth's for dinner, which was uneventful.

Well, that is, if you don't consider a waiter dropping a small bowl of Ranch dressing on the floor right behind Joe, it splattering not only across the floor, but onto the chairs and patrons at the table next to us, and on Joe's back.

We each ordered a salad, and a Stromboli -- Joe, the pepperoni and hamburger one, and I, the pepperoni only one.

We stopped at Target for some Q-Tips, travel-size Scope, and some snacks and soda for the room.

When we got back to our room it was warm in the room, and the air-conditioning wouldn't come back on. Joe went into maintenance-man mode, to no avail.

I called the front desk, and the conversation went like this:

Me: Hello. Our air-conditioning has stopped working.

Front Desk: Okay, Let me ask you a couple of questions.

Me: Okay.

Front Desk: Do you have anything on the top shelf of your closet?

I do one of those take the phone away from your ear and look at the handset with a "huh?" moves.

Me: Well, we really don't have a closet [it wasn't a "separate" place with a door or anything], but we do have our bags up on the shelf above the place to hang clothes.

Front Desk: Okay, move your stuff to the other side of the shelf.

Still suspecting, at this point, that I might be on Candid Camera, I do what he says.

Voila! The sensor that detects either movement or heat or something about warm bodies being in the room was in that corner behind our bags, and once cleared, the AC started back up.

Hey, I got an idea. How about moving the sensor to another corner, where people won't use a shelf for, well, a shelf, and put shit in front of it. Just a thought.

We got to Costello's at about 11:00, and had an okay evening. We didn't speak to anyone else, the entire time, though, and no one spoke to us. Funny how that works.

Joe and I had the "Raleigh Pool" going, where we guess the closest without going over of how many Raleigh people we'll see in Wilmington. He had 5, and I had 6.

We actually didn't see that many. One guy, who I think was named Pete, and Wendy -- the transgender lady, who actually was their with two FTMs, which you rarely see.

There was a totally shit-faced, presumably straight, girl there, who sat up by the piano and basically masturbated her hair all night long. Pull it up on a bun. Scream when the next song started -- this is just a piano bar, mind you, not a rock concert. Start writhing to the music. Wave her hands in the air. Shake her head. Hair falls out of the bun. Whip it back and forth and all around like a Maytag washer gone bad. Wrap it up around her hands in a bun. Stick a pin through it. Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

After maybe an hour or so, we ventured over to Ibiza. Joe ran into someone he had met there in the past, and spoke briefly with him.

That place really wasn't working for us tonight, and we left, probably, after being there for only about 45 minutes.

On the way back, on the street corner near Costello's we passed George, the owner of Costello's, who said, "How is it over there? [meaning at Ibiza's]"

"It sucks," we said, then, "Well, it's not really working for us."

He proceeded to talk to us for about 15 minutes about the bar scene in Wilmington, and how he is interested in opening a Costello's in Raleigh, in the "revitalized downtown" area somewhere.

He's a nice, great looking guy, but it's odd that he introduced himself to us then, and then proceeded to talk to us for so long when he's never talked to us inside his bar all these times-- and he's always there when we're there.