Checking my e-mail, I was surprised and delighted to receive a note from my uncle in Florida, who had received my Christmas card and letter. It had a lot of affirmations in it, which I so appreciated and which you know I'm going to capture here, along with an update on his health. The affirmations culled:
|I believe I found your e-mail address and I thought this would be an appropriate time to catch up on all those fine letters you send. I am very impressed how great you are doing, and I brag to all my friends about you... Your parents are surely proud of you and rightly so. I often think of the wonderful time we had at your parents 50th anniversary.|
I responded back to his e-mail telling him how delighted I was to be in touch electronically, and told him that his remark about my parents' 50th made me smile. I also pointed him to my blog entry of that big day for an opportunity to see it "through my eyes."
At about 9:30, I checked in with K-Mart "just for the hell of it" to confirm their 10:00 pharmacy opening and it turned out that it was already open, so I ordered my Nexium refill, and then after SSSing, I went to pick it up.
Entering K-Mart, I very quickly read a big sign on the door that I at first thought was advertising some sort of Bollywood Movie DVD on sale or something, but then it registered that it was not, HINI Shots, but H1N1 Shots. Bless my mess.
Once there, I asked the pharmacist to put this prescription on auto-fill, so I won't run out again, and I presented her with three Purple Plus™ Savings Cards I have for a discount on my co-pay and said, "Only one of these cards is active. Please tell me which one it is so I can throw away the other two."
Joe and I headed out of town at about 11:30 and we had an uneventful ride to Virginia Beach. Google maps had suggested the totally convoluted route with about, literally, 16-18 turns on it, and Joe said, "We need to take 64E to I-95N to 264E to 58S and we're there." We followed his route.
As we got close to Norfolk, I called mom and dad to find out what our address was when we lived in Norfolk to possibly ride by it while we were there. Through a very bad cell phone connection that kept fading in and out, I found out that we were not living in Norfolk when I was born, but had moved to base housing by then.
Now, this may seem inconsequential to you but this situation of thinking that when I was born we were living in Norfolk but that my mom went onto the base to the Portsmouth Naval Hospital to have me has been a constant thorn in my side throughout my life (which is a long time) in terms of answering the question, "Where were you were born?"
I've never been quite sure if I should put Norfolk or Portsmouth as my "place of birth." At some point in my life—I think it was when I got my first passport—I decided, "Well my address was Norfolk when I was born, so I'm putting down Norfolk." So, that's what it says on my passport.
But I think about it every time the question comes up, and with more and more online accounts asking those "security questions," I always wonder, "Did I put Norfolk as the answer or Portsmouth to the question about where I was born."
So, this simple sentence by my mother over a corrupted connection, "No, we had moved into base housing before you were born," means that unequivocally, "I was born in Portsmouth, Virginia. This debate I've been having with myself all my life has been all for naught.
This reminds me of last year at Christmas time when I found out that in It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, it was not "to touch their hearts of gold," but "to touch their harps of gold." Rocked my world.
After checking in, we opened Christmas presents for each other, of which mine from Joe contained a bottle of Maker's Mark. I politely put away the Canadian Club I'd brought with me and drank Maker's. We had snacks galore, too.
Later, we had dinner at a nearby Subway before heading out for the night. We started at the Rainbow Cactus Company, which was a pretty big two-section bar. The "big" side had a bar, two pool tables, and lots of tables and chairs, which were mostly situated around a dance floor and stage area. The other section was much smaller, and opening the doors leading into it to check it out, we about had a coughing spell. You've heard of the Jungle Room? This was like the Ashtray Room. I'm just saying...
We had read a couple of reviews of this bar online before going, and a couple of them referred to Saturday nights as "Lesbian Night," and by the number of women in there tonight—we estimated about 75% of the crowd—we'd have to support that assertion.
There were also a lot of quite androgynous people there. More than a couple of times during the night a couple of Lesbians came in, often with jeans, t-shirt and ballcaps on such that we at first thought they were two young boys, but who turned out to be women. Sitting at a table in front of where we stood to watch the drag show, there were two people whom I quite sure were transmen. They walked with their legs bow-legged, swaying just a little too much from side-to-side, and with their thumbs in their belt loops, affecting masculinity so much that I looked along the wall to see if they had hitched their horses to a post somewhere.
The drag show started at 10:45 and it was 45-minutes long at the most. One of the drag queens did Beyoncé's Irreplaceable partly in English and partly in Spanish. She also addressed the crowd at the end of the show, the part where you'd expect any normal entertainer to say, "Thank you for coming; we're glad you're here," but in what is all too common for drag queens was instead a bitchy sentiment like, "We hope you enjoyed the show, but if you didn't, too bad you motherfuckers, and you can always take yourselves outta here if you're not happy here." I hate that kind of talk. I guess they think it's funny. What it says to me is, "You obviously don't understand the correlation between the club having enough money to pay you and the customers who come in here to see a show."
Shortly after the show was over, we drove over to another bar called Ambush, where the quality of the air would also have to be classified as ashtray, but not as bad as the smoking area in Rainbow Cactus. I guess we're just extra sensitive to it now that Flex has been smoke-free since August.
This turned out to be a much friendlier place though, and not long after we were there and standing at one corner of the bar, the bartender came over and asked us if we were a couple, because if not someone wanted to buy Joe a drink. We assured him that we were not, then spent the next ten minutes scanning the circular (well rectangular, actually) bar to see who might be giving Joe the eye.
Shortly after that, a guy named Nathan introduced himself to Joe and the night was a whirlwind from then on. We ended up in the "back bar," where it was actually smoke-free, but to which a bartender had to follow us, because there was no one else in it, and they don't keep a bartender back there if there are no customers back there.
The bartender's name was "Jen," and I talked with her while Nathan challenged Joe to a game of air hockey, at which Joe skunked him. Not long after that Nathan's friend Maleek (not sure how he spelled that) came in the back and shortly after that all of us went back out to the ashtray section.
Nathan knew the bartender (whose name we found out was Toby) who had asked us if we were a couple, and Joe asked Nathan if Toby would tell us who sent the drink to him if we asked him. Nathan said, "Unless the person who bought it told him he didn't want you to know, he'll tell you."
We ended up finding out who sent it, but the guy never spoke to us the entire night in spite of ending up standing at the bar just a couple of people over from us. Another person we met, who was also a friend of Nathan's was Asia. In spite of how it's spelled, "it's pronounced ay-sha," she said. "My sister's name is spelled China, but it's pronounced, 'Shee-na.' Obviously, my mother didn't know how to spell," she added rolling her eyes.
She was an African-American girl, cute, with big silver serpentine hoop earrings, and professed to be bi. She and I had a very interesting conversation over the course of 10 or 15 minutes, during which I found out the following things:
- She was bisexual.
- She intended on getting laid tonight.
- She had just gone to get her license renewed and didn't realize that instead of renewing it, they just gave her a replacement (and thus, expired still) license, which she didn't find out until she showed her ID tonight to get in this bar. (The more Joe and I thought about this story later, the more it seemed questionable. What driver's license agency would give someone a duplicate ID of an expired license. That doesn't make any sense.)
- She wasn't more "in the mood for a guy versus a girl," so would do it with whomever she was attracted to with the choices that would be available at the time she'd be picking up someone. This reminded me of Woody Allen's comment about bisexuality doubling your chances of a date on Friday night.
- She's been in female-female-female, female-male-female, and female-male-male threesomes at various times in her life.
- In a little while she was going to leave the bar we were in to go to a straight bar in Norfolk, but she was going to call there first to make sure she could get in for two reasons:
- Since her driver's license was expired and that's the form of ID you need to get that place and they're stricter about it there than they are here, and
- The last time she was there, she left without paying her bar tab.
Nathan said, "Everyone follow us to my place," as he and Asia got into his car. We let them pull out in front of us, they turned left, and we waited until they were far enough around a nearby bend in the road, and we turned right.
All-in-all, a fun night in Virginia Beach. Let's just hope we don't run into any of those people again when we're out tomorrow night.