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12:57 p.m. - April 22, 2006
The Aftermath
Ah, last night was to be the night of the CHAAAADING.

Let me just say, that the CHAAAAADING did happen. The karaoke did happen, and other events of note happened.

It was a rainy, cool day and night in Baltimore, which was a change from the rest of the time we were there. Was that weather an omen, a portend of things to come?

Yeah, prob’ly.

Vicki and I first met at the hotel and went over to this brew pub near the harbor, and we just gabbed and chatted until Zon arrived after taking the train.

We still had to wait for Vicki’s friend Crumpet to arrive (it was Crumpet, right? I have a hard enough times trying to remember my pseudonyms, much less anyone else’s!) but there was talk of all kinds of silly things and good times.

All around us, I noticed there were scads (technical term) of teenage girls in big packs roaming around. Closer inspection (no, not THAT close) found that they were volleyball teams in town for a tournament, or SOMETHING! Who knows, really?

Dinner was planned, and we were going to go to the Hard Rock for said dinner. And that’s when, well, the carefully crafted plans may have started to derail a skosh.

It was a wait to get into the Hard Rock, mainly because there were a lot more of these volleyball teams in there, and it was also prom night for some school, and to top it off there were at least three other conferences in my hotel, PLUS the Miss USA Pageant was happening nearby.

Friday night was not the night for a quick dinner in downtown Baltimore.

Zon was about ready to eat her own arm off by the time we got a table, and after we did get a table it took about 10 minutes or so to find a waitron for us. Again, Zon was contemplating cannibalism, and I don’t know if it was self-cannibalism this time or not, because she was eying Vicki and licking her lips a lot of the time. Heh.

But finally a waitron did locate us and we got our drinks and our food order in. It was a busy, loud place and not the best time for quiet conversation.

Seated at a table nearby was a young couple. He was a young urban doofus – a pasty white kid wearing his hat all gangsta and had some bling. She was a young lady wearing a blue blouse that tied up around the bust area and she was, well, she was, uh, displaying almost all of her wares for us to see.

I tried not to look (too much) – I really tried.

So the food was eaten, the bill was paid, and now the main event – the CHAAAADING.

Basically, we were going to get silly and go yell that out the window at random passerby in order to see if we could scare up on of Vicki’s ex-coworkers.

The rain, though, was pelting, when we got to the garage. Fortunately, I had a hood, and Zon had an umbrella, but poor Vicki and Crumpet were a bit wet.

So into the car we went. As we were CHAAAADING we were supposed to call people along the way, so I thought I’d call Liz before we really got going.

Bad idea.

Bad bad idea.

Bad stupid bad idea.

We were all having a good time, being loud, and I failed to realize that Liz was on day 5 of Smed-free, but kid-full existence.

The fact that I called her in the middle of the fun and games didn’t set well with her. She couldn’t hear very well, etc.

More on that later, just because I want to keep you riveted into your seats.

So the CHAAAADING commenced. We called Jacki, Jackie, Kelle, Lauren (all locked) and Dandy whilst chadding.

However, because of fate, chance, happenstance, circumstance, kismet, karma, chameleons, and what-not, the only one that we actually got through to was Kelle.

The rest were all left messages, but CHAAAAADING isn’t the same without actual live play by play.

After that nonsense, we were driving to the karaoke place. We decided to go to the one Vicki was familiar with, so we set forth out into the burbs.

Soon, Zon swore we were in Ohio, or Illinois, or someplace, as we followed these MapQuest directions. Vicki SWORE she knew where it was.

But let’s count the cul-de-sacs we drove to, shall we?

One, Two, Three (hah-hah-hah), Four, Five (hah-hah-hah) FIVE cul-de-sacs!

It was called the Hideaway for a reason, but still.

We did find the place, and yes it was karaoke. But it was loud karaoke, and after the rain and the trip I needed to get into the spirit o’ the night.

Then I noticed the message, and the missed calls.

My cell phone, for some darn reason, picked that time to not RING, but just accept voice mail or something.

So I went out to listen to the voice mail.

Gotta call home.

Let’s just paraphrase the calls and discussions that were made, “For Stay At Home Moms Who Have Considered Throttling Their Husband When He’s Out And She’s Not (and the Rainbow Isn’t Enuf).”

It was all worked out in the end, but it angsty for a while.

I think at that time I determined that I stayed a day too long in Baltimore.

So that didn’t put me in a big time mood. Vicki and Crumpet did sing a song while Zon and I were making fun of the song selections. Some people were OK; some were just awful, rotten, horrid.

I did put a song in, but we had to leave before I had a chance, so Baltimore never got to hear my version of “Stormy”. I was also thinking about “Amie” or “Seasons In The Sun”. Yeah, I was in one of those moods.

We had to leave to take Zon back to the train station. I was kind of beat as well, and I think we needed to just get back. Zon was thinking of the fid, no doubt, as we drove back into the city.

We told Zon goodbye at the station, then they dropped me back at my hotel, where I checked email, changed clothes, and slept a pretty good, deep sleep.

Vicki drove me to the airport, like the sweetie she is, and it was a good overall airport experience this time. The line was LONG but it moved – security was no hassle at all – and I was at the gate pretty quickly.

It’s good weather in BFE land right now, so today I have an important date.

Katie has a bike, and while it’s not the best bike in the world, it will do.

She needs to ride it.

And I’ll be happy to help her!

**LATE NOTE** - When I got home, Katie ran out the door and hugged and wouldn’t let go until I came inside. Oh, yeah, bikeride!


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