Regular Life

Regular Life

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. – Robert Frost

I Am Not Thirteen

NOTE: Part 6 of “Off Planet” is available to all those reading it (and to those who are not).

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The people in the above photos are not virgins.
(click any pic to enlarge)

My wife went to a museum’s Star Wars exhibit with me, and all I got her were some stinkin’ flowers. If you’re looking for full geekery from the exhibit, then you’ll have to wait. The rest of this is about everything but that.

As far as the flowers go, they were beautiful and expensive, but you get my drift.

Over our 15th Anniversary Weekend (as it is now and forever named), we enjoyed a variety of entertainment and leisure activities. We ate, laughed (and laughed), read, and strolled.

After we spent an unholy amount of money on dinner.

Friday night happened to feature the most expensive meal either of us has had. Except maybe that one time that her stepfather went all out at a Japanese steak house, ordering pretty much one of everything. We agreed that although we’re glad we went to Texas de Brazil (now serving seven states in the US, and Aruba), it isn’t something we’ll return to until we have money to burn and weigh 700 pounds.


There’s just something wrong about taking one bite of meat and then pushing it aside because you know a better piece of meat is coming soon. Kind of like marriage.

Can I get a rimshot?

Seriously, though, it was fun and there was some incredible food, but $42.99/person — before drinks, desserts, tip and tax — is just too much for folks who don’t even make a second trip to most buffets.

If I may wax poetic… Fire and Ice is twice as nice at half the price. Too bad the nearest one is more than 600 miles away (and hasn’t quite opened yet).

All that said, we had a great time on the first night of our trip, despite our hotel room’s wet carpet extending about three feet out from the air conditioning unit. We got past the musty smell and did fine the rest of the weekend. Plus, Shannon already had unpacked everything by the time she discovered the problem, and said we were not moving.

The insanity from the mildew spores should be setting in about this time next week.

We somehow got past Dwight-the-front-desk-guy’s horrible hairpiece. It looked like something out of a Saturday Night Live sketch, when the piece is about to fall off and the entire cast loses it in front of the viewing world.

Saturday we enjoyed sub-100 degree weather and much shade from downtown Fort Worth’s skyscrapers. I made so many trips to Barnes and Noble’s second-floor restroom, I might as well have had Ben with me. I don’t know what was wrong with me, but it gave me several good looks at the Bass Performance Hall angels. We wandered in and out of the few shops on Sundance Square (several city blocks in all directions) and enjoyed time to just hang out.

The Barnes and Noble Horseman

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The angels on Bass Performance Hall’s facade are 48 feet tall.

Tarrant County Courthouse

Because don’t we all want R2-D2 mailboxes?

That night, we laughed longer and harder than any other time in our history together.

While planning for this trip, Shannon bought tickets for a comedy troupe called Four Day Weekend. They specialize in live improvisational comedy. Instead of trying to be the guy who repeats comic strips thinking it will be funny, I’ll just say go see these guys if you get a chance. Or, some other live improv show. The way they play off what the audience gives them is gold. Until that night, I had my doubts that the funniest parts of “Who’s Line is it, Anyway?” truly were unplanned. Now, I see that it can be done, and anyone who visits us will get sick of my efforts to drag them to the show. They became popular so fast that they took over the theater. Individually, they have appeared in commercials, short films, and movies, and now they have their own pilot ready for TV (see clips on their site).

I admit, many performances seem better when viewed live (ever bought the CD for that killer band you heard, and then got disillusioned?), but you can’t fake a quick wit. In a nutshell, I liked it.

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Night shots around the city.

Sunday morning we went to the Star Wars exhibit I mentioned above. Many photos and some video will follow.

7 Responses to I Am Not Thirteen

  1. On the restaurant, we have one here in Hartford called Braza’s, and it’s not exactly that expensive, but close.. and it’s ok once, but I don’t think I’d go again.

    Wow, that middle bottom photo is breathtaking!

    Also, Shan needs a medal for going with you to the Star Wars thing, not just flowers.. *chuckling*

    ps, have you heard of Windows Live Writer, for writing blogs yet? It’s in beta (I downloaded it) and it’s pretty cool.
    Check your email.

  2. Dave – I figure it’s a novelty place for most people I consider my peers.

    I liked the bottom middle photo, too. It’s a brick sidewalk with the projected light of a large clock outside a jewelery store.

    I hadn’t heard of Windows Live Writer, but a quick look at the link makes it seem pretty good.

    (Shannon like the Star Wars exhibit, too. Don’t let either of us fool you!)

  3. Bad news Mark: the mildew spore insanity somehow crept up on you BEFORE you even made it into the hotel room. Now that’s crazy! (And good job on MG’s “13” challenge. I’m sure the insanity helped.)

    Or maybe I meant to say ‘inanity’?? Hmmm….

    I want one o’ them USPS R2-D2 mailboxes soooooo bad. You crammed that one in your pocket with the intent to mail it to me, right? I can hear the cop pulling you over already: “Excuse me Mister, uh… Williams, is it? Is that an astromech droid in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?”

    Now I need a rimshot.

    I remember my most expensive dinner ever was at the end of a weekend in Vegas and some co-workers and I went to Morton’s Steakhouse of Chicago. (Remember, in Vegas; confusing, I know.) Dinner for four, including tax and tip (and liquor), came to over 800 beans. Thank god it was on the company dime.

    Can’t wait for more geeky photos.

  4. Simon, to which Mark says (with a wave of his hand):

    “This isn’t the astromech droid you’re looking for… they’re for sale if you want them…. we can move along”

    Move along.. Move along…

  5. Mark – Well played for the 13 Challenge.

    I love those top two photos. The differences are what makes them great. You: grimacing and really getting into character. Shannon: bashfully posing with droids as she prays you don’t put this one online ;)

    Live comedy is truly amazing to watch. For someone who has to sit and ponder his blog comments…the ability to consistantly create spontaneous comdey is only one step removed from magic.

    That Rolex photo is great. It makes me think of Jack the Ripper for some reason. Probably not what Rolex was going for, so it’s a good thing it’s probably just me who gets that vibe.

  6. Simon – Inanity? That cuts to the quick, man.

    But, seriously, your comment reminded me of an oddly named, expensive restaurant around these parts (and other places). It’s called Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Maybe we’ll open one called Shannon’s Benjamin.

    It is just an astromech droid in my pocket. Your underwater sexy tiger face wasn’t that special.

    Dave – Nice SW reference. Any excuse to use the force.

    MG – I wanted something more clever for the title, like 13 Times 6 (or some other number), but it turns out nothing in my post was divisible by 13. The 48-foot angels inspired that idea, but alas, that’s Sixteen Times 3.

    Believe it or not, Shannon offered to pose with the droids. I forgave her for getting their names mixed up (more than once). At least she never called one of them “Data,” her favorite Star Trek character.

    Yes, my wife has a favorite Star Trek character. Take that, guys!

    I admire a quick wit as much as any other form of intelligence.

    I guess the brick sidewalk and the old-fashion clock face are a bit reminiscent of London streets.

  7. It looks like you had a good time. I’m not too sure about Star Wars as a feature attraction, but you gotta do what you gotta do. I caught some special awhile back about Star Wars, and they were interviewing most of the original cast and giving interesting little tidbits. Pretty good stuff actually.

    You guys are having bad luck with hotel rooms. You’re a LOT nicer than me though, and I’m sure the hotel staff is quite thankful for that.


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