Post vaguely inspired by this book and because yesterday was BSquared’s 29th birthday. Woo!
Fall 2006 is officially here. I normally wouldn’t mark such an occasion (my seasons are divided by what types of shoes I can wear: open toe, slides, ballet flats, boots and BOOTS of the LLBean-I-actually-wear-these-in-the-snow variety), but that means that Summer 2006 is over, and this summer was the 10-year anniversary of probably one of the most fun times I’ve ever had in my life.
In summer 1996, I was living in Syracuse, working at Bruegger’s Bagels and taking a poetry class. I was sort of aimless and fidgety, and while I told everyone that I was up there to take more classes, it was really about having a crush on a guy, another in a long line of musicians, actors, poets, writers, “artistes” if you will. He was tall and skinny and drove this ridiculous, beat up old car.
Also ridiculous – instead of living on campus, I lived way out in East Syracuse on Kirkland Ave. in this big condo complex with a pool, near the Carrier Circle Denny’s and close to nothing else. My two roommates were working at a strip club, until one moved to San Francisco with a “boyfriend” she made while stripping. The other had a boyfriend she kept secret from her disapproving parents, and he made frequent sweaty appearances on our futon (read: MY bed) in his tighty whiteys, drinking beers and eating chips.
I wanted to this to be the story of that summer, but as I started thinking about it more, I end up with all these bullet points that in my head make a cohesive story that can’t be told on paper. My other life is also getting in the way, and even though it's long past work time ending, I've got 3 press releases to draft and a number of other items to run down, and oh, it's Tuesday night with the MG so I'd rather spend the time playing thumb wrestling and Jenga with her than sit in front of the computer, before it's time to pack up the lunches and the homework. So...the abbreviated, things I can remember at this point in time, list.
It was the last summer I spent in Syracuse before I did my semester in London with NN and the summer I met BSquared and Phil ( I know I initial everyone else’s name, but Phil has always been and will always be Phil) and JT and the Mulligans, and of course, the worst future roommate ever, the Evil Harpie from Hell (EHH).
It was also the summer of:
* 850 Euclid. Sitting on the porch on the hill drinking beers and “Natural Ice” – a beer of sorts.
* Bruegger’s. EVERYONE I know worked there that summer, and we all showed up hungover and we all kvetched about the regulars like the butter lady and the chicken salad sandwich guys and the beat cops and the doctors and the vegan straight edge kids who would come in and order a plain bagel with vegetables. I am having flashbacks to having to slice the pickles and clean the grease trap, and gross, refill the condiments. On the surface, refilling the condiments is no big deal, but to refill the mayonnaise, you needed to dump it from this big tub of mayo into a plastic bag, and then cut a hole in the plastic bag, squeezing it into the plastic condiment jar. It made the WORST squishy, farty sound. Ew.
* My Totally 80s Compilation CD. I rocked that thing that summer. I have a picture of BSquared, the EHH, and me jumping around in the EHH’s mother’s kitchen, singing Laura Brannigan’s “Gloria” at the top of our lungs. Disco balls and leotards not included.
* Box of Wine nights.
* Tuesday night Cup Night at Chuck’s. Yeah, they reopened “Hungry Charley’s,” but it’s not the same. It was so dingy and gross and fucking awesome in there with the bad beer and Boone’s farm and “sangria.” It was $2 to refill a Chuck’s cup all night. I still have those cups. There was some sort of Brueggers vs. Chuck’s girls thing going on that summer too. The EHH slept with a guy at Bruegger’s who had a girlfriend with really awful cankles that worked the bar at Chuck’s. Many stink eyes were exchanged.
* Alto Cinco. Dorian’s Pizza. All Night Eggplant. Mother’s Cupboard.
* The house on Westcott Street.
* The night the EHH and I were introduced to the Mulligans...AFTER sharing an entire bottle of Absolut Citron.
* My awful haircut. A grown out buzz cut that I attempted to dye platinum blonde that was more like penny bronze. I also sported cut-off camo shorts and chunky heels. Ew.
The MG calls. All I know is that I had a ton of fun, and that I still talk to some of those folks. BSquared and Phil are married. JT and NN both had babies, a daughter and a son, this summer. Some of the Mulligans are still playing music. And I still make bad haircut choices.
Happy Ten Year Anni, and Happy Birthday BB!