Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Sunshine arrived in Greensboro tonight just in time for the annual State of the Union drinking game at Café Europa. Though many different forms of the rules are available online, most of the available games are very involved and hard to remember during actual game play. So we made up our own. There were certain terms (like "no child left behind") and phenomena (like the camera singling out uniformed soldiers in the audience) that called for the group as a whole to drink, but most of the action centered around sets of words we each suggested for ourselves so it would be easy to determine a clear-cut winner by the end of the hour. My set: science, exit, forward, coalition, and nuclear (with any pronunciation), tied for first place ranked by percentage used (four out of five), but came in last based on repetition. Sunshine's list, including many diplomatic and immigration terms (but, luckily, not the word "border") came in first. Notable specially called drinks included Sunshine's spotting of politicos she's met, John McCain's psychedelic wink to stage left, and our toast of the new Madam Speaker. Keep in mind that tonight's contest was so skewed toward the concept of continual game play that we were using "sips of beer" as the definition of "drinking." That said, and tallied with the total number of community drinks, specially called drinks (mention of Sunshine's home state, say, or that one time when it looked like President Bush was taking the community drink with us), the score ranking developed as follows: Cavin 61, Dan 64, Ellie 65, and Sunshine 72. It was my crazy inclusion of a drink every time the president used a five-syllable word that seemed to advance the score the most, with stutters and verbal flubs weighing-in second. [Cavin]

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Greetings from Greensboro's Battleground Inn. Several friends have indulged in luxurious, pre-planned "lost weekends" recently, holing-up in their houses for a few days of post-holiday, post-commitment, post-overtime decompression and relaxation. That sounded so nice that I thought I would try it myself. Now, I haven't been working hard or whatever; but at the same time, I have been going between engagements and houses while hanging-out with all of my wonderful people in a tag-team way that has made me feel like I'm awake all the time and talking constantly. I've showered in twelve different bathrooms since the morning we left México, slept on many beds, two air mattresses, and three couches in four hotels, four houses, and three apartments. The experience has taken me through twelve states in two countries, sleeping-over in seven different cities. From a living room floor to a full-attic futon to my bride's plush and creaky pre- and post-pubescent four-poster. Anyway, I decided I needed a weekend break, too. So now I'm here, in one more hotel room. Benefits include being free to sleep late without guilt, watch whatever TV I want to, as late as I please, and the free wireless internet that comes with every hotel room now. Last weekend I was staying somewhere without internet, so, ironically, that very active weekend is the one lost to this Update column. My true "lost weekend" will be over Wednesday. Sunshine will have joined me from Kentucky again (and before that, Chicago*), and we will get in the car and head to Charlotte. There will be more hotel rooms and hopefully more couches and attics and that girly four-poster, before we finally head up to Washington, DC to check into our next home: a furnished, corporate extended-stay domicile with yet another bed and shower. [Cavin]