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~Sunday~  We were up at 10:00 and checked out at about 11:30. We stopped by the Drunkin' Donuts, where we encountered the most incredibly slow service ever. I finished my donut while Joe waited for them to make two cups of coffee for him. On the way out, I said to him, "If I lived here, I would never come to this place. As good as it is, the service just sucks."

He said, "Funny you should say that. That lady behind me in line asked, 'What'd you get?' And when I responded, 'Would you believe I'm waiting for two cups of coffee?' she said, 'This place is so convenient to my house. Otherwise, I would never come here. They always have the slowest service ever here.'"

Determined to at least see the beach on our weekend trip to the beach, we arrived on Wrightsville Beach at around 11:45 and waited about 10 minutes for a parking spot. I won't even go into how much I despise the parking "situation" or "process" or more like "chaos" on that beach. It's just ridiculous.

On the walkway down to the beach, a daddy carrying a surfboard was walking in front of his wife, who lagged behind carrying their child. In spite of it being Father's Day, daddy didn't look all that happy, and I imagined hearing the wife say to the baby as they passed me, "It's okay, baby, daddy's right up ahead, still desperately trying to recapture his youth."

We got about 45 minutes of sun, which was just long enough to preclude my having to move my beach chair into the (approximate 5-foot by 5-foot patch of) shade behind, and made by, the lifeguard's chair.

In spite of the heat, it was actually a bit windy out there, and the umbrellas were blowing like crazy. The one belonging to the family just in front of us turned inside out and it was fun watching them trying to get it turned right-side in. A lady stood in front of the lifeguard stand clearly distracting him for at least ten minutes straight. Not a good time to be drowning.

We got to our car before our parking time expired, and being the efficient, childless, homosexuals we are, we had our beach chairs packed, were in the car and backing out faster than you can say, "Watch the hets with all the kids arrive at the car, plop down their hoards of junk, open the mini-van, brush the sand off the kids, corral them into the car, brush the sand off the toys and pack them, repack to fit in the cooler, wipe the sand off the grown-ups' feet, get in the car, reprimand the children, and finally look in the rear view mirror to back out."

We had an uneventful ride back, during which a feeding frenzy broke out part way through. We had pretzels and clam dip, chips, crackers, and cheese. It was all good.

I was a bad son and didn't call my father for Father's Day. Didn't get his card in the mail either. I'll grovel in a phone call tomorrow.

I met Van down at Flex at 4:00 and we had a couple of drinks there before heading to Durham for the Chaka Khan concert. We had dinner at Tyler's Restaurant and Taproom beforehand, where Van had a salad and I tried their Bourbon Grilled Chicken Sandwich, with a side order of a bourbon and Diet Coke. Hmmm. I see a trend here.

We arrived at the DPAC at about 6:40 for the 7:00 start of the concert, which was being opened by a band named Brick. They actually didn't end up opening the auditorium doors until about 7:10, and Brick didn't come on until a little after 7:30. Who was counting?

I enjoyed Brick even though I didn't recognize any of their songs. The lead singer played at least four instruments—horn, trombone, saxophone, and flute—over the course of their performance time. There may even have been another one that I'm forgetting. Let's just say the guy was talented, and leave it at that.

After a 15-minute break for a set change, Chaka Khan came out and the house started rocking. This is the best I could do with a camera phone in a place banning cameras. Van actually walked down toward the stage to take it.

In a funny bit of irony, before the show started, before Brick even came out I mean, some people a few rows down from us asked one of the ushers to take a picture of them, and he did. So much for no cameras.

I really only knew about two songs that Chaka Khan did—her most famous ones, of course—but Van (sitting to the left of me) and the lady sitting to the right of me (who had come from Burlington and was somewhat of a Chaka Khan groupie, not only having seen three concerts of hers, but also having met her and having her autograph) knew just about every word to just about every song she did.

One favorite part of the concert of mine was when she introduced the band and her back-up singers. She had each of her (three) back-up singers sing a short song, and all three of them had phenomenal voices. She said, "Each of the these ladies has their own band, and they spend time away from them to sing with me. I'm blessed to have them." And we were blessed to have them tonight.

Overall though, what I liked the most about this concert was enjoying my friend Van and the lady to the right of me sing, feel, laugh, and emote, in addition to my just being caught up in the soul of the crowd in general. There's just something about black people and soul music.

Once again, I was very impressed with the DPAC as a venue, as I've now experienced both a play and a concert in it, and they were both great experiences. The show ended at about 10:50, and I was back to Flex to get my car by about 11:15.

I actually walked down the stairs of Flex, heard some Scareyoke, but didn't see Joe in "plain sight," so I just haul-assed it up the stairs and went home to get a decent night's sleep.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 23rd, 2010 03:11 am (UTC)
I would have liked to have seen that show, but it was too late notice for me. I've seen her once before, at RFK Stadium in DC at the Millenium March concert. Her voice filled up the ENTIRE stadium (full of queers). Pretty amazing.
Jun. 23rd, 2010 03:29 am (UTC)

I was very lucky to have my friend Van ask me to join him. He'd bought two tickets, I guess when they first went on sale, and he didn't have anyone else to go with him.

If I'd've had to buy the ticket myself, I probably wouldn't have gone, so I'm glad it worked out the way it did!

Thanks for reading and commenting, Brian.
Jun. 25th, 2010 09:32 pm (UTC)
Ooooh, curse you for seeing Chaka Khan. She was wonderful 30 years ago and she's wonderful now. AND she's from Chicago, so there.

For some odd reason, I've been listening to her greatest hits a lot in the past couple of weeks. Kinda helps dissolve the stress of IBM project managers who like to leave everything to the last second.

I'm sure you know "I Feel For You" and "I'm Every Woman" (if you don't know that one I am revoking your gay card) -- she has many more songs that could fit in your repetoire, if you have one. I'm partial to "I Know You, I Live You," but then I was going to clubs when I was 16 and dancing to Miss Chaka. I'm naughty.
Jun. 25th, 2010 11:07 pm (UTC)

Ha, Dan! Thanks for commenting on this. Funny you should mention those two songs, because where I say in this entry, "I really only knew about two songs that Chaka Khan did—her most famous ones, of course," those were the exact two I was referring to! :-)

My partner also saw Chaka Khan 30 years ago, and in Chicago! Perhaps you were at the same concert! Small gay world! ;-)

The guy I was with, Van, he said one of his all-time favorites of hers is Everlasting Love, which she sang second, and which I don't even see on this discography.
Jun. 26th, 2010 12:25 am (UTC)
Wikipedia to the rescue! I believe this should clear up any confusion.

What, no comment on IBM PM's leaving everything to the last second?

It's been so crazy, coming back as a contractor to big blue. My last position before being laid off was a team lead, so I'm used to telling everyone what to do, and now that I'm a lowly contractor, I have to rein it in. It's kinda fun, in a way.

And, weirder than weird, I am working with some of the same people I worked with in my last position. I got loaned to an account they are assigned to, so it's like old home week. And those folks (for whatever reason) expect me to keep telling them what to do, so... I do it. Because it's fun.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )



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