Here we are (Mik, Betty, Alberta & yours truly...we missed BBJ, who we think is nursing his tender calf) Don't we look like we've just taken a leisurely 11+ mile stroll around OB & Point Loma?
Yes, it was quite a weekend, quite a weekend...we started tapering, which means race day isn't far off. Have you noticed the counter in the right column. The shirts are ordered...neon lime green for everyone.
This week's route took us through Ocean Beach and Point Loma again, to Shelter Island and back...,
...but this trip revealed no condoms or bongs while running through OB...Maybe I was looking up this time, or perhaps I was looking forward, but for some reason, this weekend I was repeatedly confronted by the past...more specifically with the undeniable truth that time has passed and I've gotten older. (although here is a lovely photo of our back-sides...see we do have tighter asses!)
The first sign of this "passage of time" came during the run through OB...ya see, in my mid 20's and early 30's I used to frequent a fine dive bar called The Catalina Lounge, which is on the corner of Catalina and Voltaire in OB. It is the kind of dive bar that I know many of you would enjoy, and probably some of you have been there...pool tables, cheap beer. There is a sign in the bar that says "No Dancing" and the bartender would actually YELL at us if we looked like we were dancing, but it was sort of a good natured yell. Seems the bar didn't have the kind of liquor license that allowed that sort of thing.
Oh yeah, and they have Goldfish on the bar for a snack...what a great dive bar.
Walter and I have been there a few times, mostly before we had kids. Oh and we would also frequent another dive bar down the street on Voltaire called The Pacific Shores, which (and I kid you not about this) makes you feel like you're under the sea when you're there because the walls are all blue and wavy and the booths are all blue and shaped like clam shells...and I swear you think you are a fish when you're there, even if you haven't been drinking...
Anyway, I used to go to The Catalina Lounge with friends from my misbegotten youth, Dee, Maurice, and mostly Bruce... who introduced me to the place... I'd known Bruce since high school and when I moved to San Diego, Bruce became one of my best friends. I think I just latched onto him whether he wanted me there or not.
Bruce had gotten into UCSD after high school, (I remember being just completely stunned that he got into UCSD, or that he was going to college at all, because I know I spent a TON of time during our senior year in high school, poking him to keep him awake during our government class because he and some of his buddies had gotten high before school and he was ready for a nap by 2nd period government class).
I, on the other hand, was a pretty straight arrow in high school (don't laugh, it's true), and I think Bruce, and his buddies Dominic and Dave sorta adopted me as their sober, non-partying, virgin "pet." They would make jokes about "corrupting" me and all...but they never really made much of an effort toward it. (BTW, that's Dee, Bruce and "Maurice" in the photo. Maurice was my first friend who partied with a pseudonym...that my friends are people who use pseudonyms is a strange theme in my life...Also, this picture was taken the night of my "bachelorette party." Yes, Bruce was at my bachelorette party).
Bruce was the one person who could get me to laugh at myself, and this started to allow me to stop obsessing about what I was or wasn't doing, what I was or wasn't getting, who I was or wasn't being. He'd make fun of me for being what he called "surly" when I wasn't getting my way. He'd listen to my endless rants about how men were so rotten and he'd endure my frequent tirades about why I just couldn't find a man, or a career for that matter, who would appreciate me.
When he met Walter, he just said that it was proof that there was some one in the world for everyone, and then I think he thanked him for marrying me and wished him luck. Anyway, let's just say that Bruce helped me deal with many of the obsessions and neurosis of my young life, and even though we were the same age, in may respects, I thought of him as my big brother.
As I was running on Saturday, and passed the Catalina Lounge, I had to wonder what Bruce would have said about me running a marathon.
First, even though he was pretty unflappable (we used to joke about how nothing ever fazed him), I think he'd be pretty surprised. I was never much into physical fitness in my 20's or 30's (or even teens for that matter). I was definitely more into partying and playing by the time I got to San Diego. In trying to be humorous about my lack of interest in running, I'm pretty sure that I once said something like:
"Do you ever see anyone smile when they're running? No? Well, if I ever see anyone smile and run at the same time, then I might think about doing it."
Yeah, surly... But it does sort of explain my shameless mugging for the camera doesn't it?
See how happy I am here...just to be running past the 90 year old man...
And I do appreciate how you all smile for the cameras as well... It gives me continued motivation to run when I see people smiling while running...
I think Bruce would also have been pretty entertained by this current running obsession I have. I can almost hear him saying something like, "Don't take it all too seriously. You should probably have a beer before you start the race, you'll be more relaxed that way."
Bruce was a genius...
Bruce died about 5 years ago from a brain tumor. One day he was here, then he was gone. He was living on the East Coast when he got diagnosed...and it all happened really quickly. I remember going to the beach in OB one day to gather some sand and ocean water in a jar. I was going to mail it to him so that he'd have a piece of San Diego with him. I remember calling the hospice where he was staying to get the address and the nurse telling me that he'd just passed away earlier that morning...
In any event, running past the Catalina Lounge brought up some memories for me...or at least made me think about the passage of time.
(OK... that was a little depressing...which I didn't mean it to be. I have really excellent memories of Bruce...really, the Catalina Lounge made me think of those memories...really...anyway, I need to change topics now...so watch this clever transition...you'll be impressed, trust me...)
So some of these pictures are from my bachelorette party. Dominic and Bruce were there (as were Dee and Maurice). You know me, Bruce is the one with the silly grin and Dom, he's the one with his eyes closed. I'm sure he's saying something important.....oh yeah, that transition...
THEN on Saturday night, I went to Mona's Bachelorette Party. (Ta Daaaaaa)
It was a lovely affair as you might imagine...a lingerie shower. The BEST gift of the night was from a clever friend (not me) who gave her a before and after gift...for before... sexy lingerie and for after she's been married awhile... an ACDC t-shirt and sweats...
Guess which gift the married women in the room completely coveted...
Anyway, after the gift showering, a bunch of us went to a NIGHTCLUB in PB (SERIOUSLY! I don't own nightclubbing clothes...) called Johnny Vs. Go ahead, check it out...I'll wait....
See what I mean? Turns out it's pretty much your standard PB beach bar...at least that hasn't changed. I think Mona puts it best when she says that jeans and a ho-shirt are appropriate.
Anyway, for those of us who have been around awhile, it's in the place that USED TO BE a club called Manikin (and if you know that place, then you probably also recognized one of the bars that appeared in the Tom Cruise movie Top Gun was the one next to the Red Fox Room in University Heights in the 1980s...), but I digress...
Anyway, Manikin, I mean Johnny V's is across from the restaurant and nightclub that USED TO BE Diegos...and up the street from a place we used to go to for last call called The Old Ox... which was down the street from the PB Cafe all of which was called the PB Bermuda Triangle (you could get lost the whole weekend there) and NONE OF THESE PLACES EXIST ANYMORE.
Not only that...but none of the people in the bar last night (average age 22 I might add) were out of diapers when I was going to those places. Truth be told, I think my mere presence in the bar increased the average age by at least 10 years...and I was making a joke on the way to the club about lying about my age, and a colleague (who hails from So. Dakota, and who did manage to get a group of 20-somethings to do the robot on the dance floor, which was worth the price of my watered down cosmo just to see) ANYWAY, she assured me that in a dark room I could pass for 28!
Thank you very much...
So, lets see, can I pass for 28 (in the dark or otherwise)? ...you be the judge...
I think I'm about 30 in this picture, but SERIOUSLY, just check out the HAIR and the RED LIPS! I'm about 29 in the other picture (because I got married when I was 29...that's how I know...)
So, what's my point here?(and please do make one about running Alice. It's getting late)
Honestly...it took me awhile to ponder this, which is why I'm missing Desperate Housewives to write this at 10:00 on a Sunday night, and this is the conclusion I've come to:
I'm a heck of a lot healthier now than I was at 28.
Lord knows I'm a hell of a lot happier.
Walter still puts up with me.
I have been blessed along the way with lots of good friends who have helped me grow up, who have endured my rants and tirades, and who are willing to not only run with me now, but who will continue to run with me in the future.
In short, I've got a heckuva life!
So even if I can pass for 28 (in the dark or otherwise), I'm pretty darn certain that I wouldn't want to actually BE 28 again...because I know that in less than 2 weeks, I'll be doing something that the 28 year old me wouldn't even have considered.