Sometimes, if you're in the right place at the right time, and you're open to the opportunities that the universe offers up, great things happen.
Flying Toasters. The place was puh-acked. We wriggled through the bodies to get up to the stage. We managed to find the girl's friends, a minor miracle, and there was dancing.
The band was wailin' and having a ball. The dance floor was crammed. It was way too much fun.
Shortly before the band's quittin' time, I saw somebody I know. My neighbor. She's with a big group of girls, dancing and laughing, and she recognized me.
Old school Doug would have waved politely and gone back to embarrassing myself dancing.
New school Doug grabbed her hand, made my way to her, and chatted away.
Turns out she's friends with the band. And before I knew it, we were invited to a party she was throwing the next day for Orvis, the lead guitar player.
When 6p Saturday rolled around, I was apprehensive. I don't really know my neighbor very well. Did she really mean to invite us? Would she even remember inviting us? Would we walk in to "Oh, you came. How... nice?"
Old Doug - sneak out quietly to a movie.
New Doug - "What's the worst that could happen? If it blows, we'll go to a movie."
We walked next door, and we weren't shooed out the door. There was no "bum's rush". Instead, we were ordered to eat and have fun.
We did both.
We even got a chance to get to know Orvis. He's a very nice, kind guy. Makes his living playing music. Doesn't make a lot, and is totally cool with that.
What I really liked about Orvis was how honestly thankful and appreciative he was to have all of these people celebrating his 50th birthday.
He was about to get even more.
The party moved to Mickey's to see the soul/funk cover band Toy Factory. They were tight, jammin', and super fun.
And apparently they are big with the Carmel lesbian community. There were girls making out with girls all over the place. In Carmel. I know!
It wasn't long before the Toy Factory guys recognized Orvis and the other dudes there from the Toasters. They kept calling to him, sang Happy Birthday to him, and before long the whole gig turned into an Orvis' birthday party reprise. Toy Factory even invited Orvis to sing a couple songs with his gang. A pretty gracious thing to do, turn over your show to a bunch of other dudes. A maybe not the best idea, because...
They tore the house - wait for it ------- down.
And what was extra cool was that it wasn't just the Toasters singing. Now, it was my new bud Orvis singing. It was the cool guy who was worried about staying out too late because he had to get up at 6:30a to play in his church band.
Being open to the idea of walking into a room of strangers led to some new friends, knowing my neighbor a lot better, and a great night of music and fun.
And a kick-ass version of Word Up.
The morales of the story are: If you see someone you know, go say hi. If you are invited to a party, go. Talk to as many people as you can at the party, you never know how'll you meet. And if the party moves to a live music venue, follow the party.
Numbers: 7.5 miles. That is not a typo. Took to one of my favorite home courses that I haven't had the strength/fitness/attachments to try for months. Felt great. Dog was slowing me down the last mile.