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Smorgasbord, naked ladies, Rock Band and heat exhaustion—good times.
By Hannah Wallace
The giant sausage at the Bucs game.
Wow, what a weekend. I usually feel like I’m not taking enough advantage of weekends—especially the long ones—but I sure did my best with this one.
Thursday: Last day of the work week, and I left the office early out of a professional obligation to gorge myself at Outback. I know, this job really sucks, right? CCB and I arrived five minutes early, even, for a media preview of the newly redesigned (in fact, razed and rebuilt) Outback on the South Trail. Awesomely, we were joined by Copy Editor Megan and Judi Gallagher, who cleverly finagled full-size cocktails and our very own Bloomin’ Onion by suggesting we do “dueling blogs” and calling for a photo. Not that we needed the extra food (and the cocktails were free, anyway): The perky wait staff warned us that we’d need hefty appetites. Then they were all “I told you so” after Bloomin’ Onion, quesadillas, stuffed shrimp, wedge salad, sirloin, lamb, chicken breast, salmon, filet, loaded potato, carrot cake and brownie a la mode left us moaning and rubbing our bellies.
Judi and I fight CCB for that fried deliciousness of Bloomin' Onion.
Friday: While CCB was at work, I multi-tasked laundry, lawn-mowing, biscuit-making, dishwasher-unloading, cat-box-cleaning, straightening and a few other things. Of course, I burned the biscuits. Like we needed more hockey pucks lying around.
Little J heads towards our Bucs seats--which wound
up being at the bottom of these stairs.
Then Big J, Little J, CCB and I headed north for the Bucs game. Dude: club seats are awesome. As an escalator carried us toward the club-level concourse, Bucs staffers stood on the landing and cheered, high-fiving us when we got to the top. That is a greeting. (Well-earned, too, since the face value of the tickets is $375 apiece—for preseason.) We got hot dogs and beer and took our awesome seats to watch the future of the franchise implode. (And aw, the next day they traded our good friend Luke to Jacksonville.)
CCB looks down the concourse while behind him more Bucs fans are greeted with cheers as they come off the elevator.
Oddly enough, our boxing trainer Aaron Jaco had seats a few rows behind us. Aaron is, shall we say, a bad influence. We left the game and walked together to Odyssey—that’s right, a strip club. But, alas, one that does not let couples in free, and does not serve alcohol, though still has a one-drink minimum, dammit. It…wasn’t much fun. Usually these experiences are “Yay hanging out with my friends!” but this one was distinctly “Boo sitting around while guys ogle.” I was bored and tired and a little cranky, compounded by the fact that I always feel super guilty yawning while someone’s on stage—whatever kind of stage that may be.
Aaron "Bad Influence" Jaco smart eyes passersby in the club concourse.
Saturday: College football kickoff. Yeah, not really my thing, but Auburn-fan CCB was psyched to root on his Tigers. Er, “War Eagles.” Something. Friends came over, and we followed the football with a marathon Rock Band session, then a late-night McDonald’s run. (Seriously, after midnight those cheeseburgers turn into crack, and I am a junkie.)
Sunday: Speaking of junkies, remember that scene in Trainspotting when the health nut drags all the heroin addicts out to go hiking and enjoy nature? (“It’s shite being Scottish!”) Well, that was playing in my mind Sunday as Krazy Kevin decided to join us on a mountain biking excursion, and lived to regret it—but only just barely. Let’s just say, being in shape for ice hockey does not mean you’re in shape for humidity. (For my part, I went spectacularly ass-over-teakettle, over the handlebars, over everything. Note: Don’t let your boyfriend tighten your front breaks and then try to tackle a whoop-dee-doo.)
After drawing stares at the Beef o’ Brady’s in Sun City Center (where the preferred transportation method is “golf cart”), we went home. When we pulled up, our next-door-neighbor, being friendly, came over to offer to let us borrow his yard tools, should we ever need them. (...hint hint.. OK, dude, we promise to mow our lawn more regularly.) Of course, what the neighbor saw when we opened the door was the four of us all straggly and dirt-covered, and Krazy Kevin half-dead from heat stroke. At one point, the neighbor said, I swear to you, “Y’know, I promise, I really don’t care about whatever goes on over here…” Wait, what? No no no, mountain biking! Seriously!
Monday: Aw, the last day of a long weekend is always hard to take. Let’s go punch things. We got our frustrations out at a 10 a.m. boxing session. Oh, and check this out: It turns out one of the guys we frequently see at Uppercut is actually John Cannon. He’ll build your house and he’ll kick your ass. That dude’s like Chuck Norris. And he says his eyesight’s actually gotten like 60 percent better since he started training there. See, punching stuff works miracles.
After that, it was Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch, nap, playing catch in the back yard and pool at the Bradenton Livingston’s, and BAM: weekend over. Oh well, if there’s anything we didn’t do, there’s always next weekend.
(Tune in tomorrow for pictures from the Bucs game. Some genius forgot to bring her camera into the office this morning…)