I'm still mentally surfacing, and resurfacing, from this past May the Fourth Be with Cinco de Mayo weekend. In many ways, the activities weren't all that unusual, but the entire time I didn't feel as though I was actually experiencing any of it. There must be a fancy Greek word for that dreamlike state in which you feel as if you're experiencing something vicariously, but it's really you going through it. Previously, I had felt something similar when taking anti-depressants, but I haven't been on those for years.
In the various Inner-Loop places I visited, I saw quite a few people I knew, because when I'm out & about inside the Loop, that's what happens. Many of these acquaintances asked me variations of "How are you doing?" If I were to answer with 100% honesty, I would have said, "I don't know."
Part of the weirdness was doing my own laundry. Kayleen insists on doing the laundry each week, because she is the only one who can do the laundry to her standards of laundry-doing. So I hadn't really done any in almost three years, since moving out of uRth HAUS. I couldn't get the dryer to heat up, whatever combination of settings I used, so I guess only Kayleen (and our former flatmate Colin) can get it to behave.
Saturday night, I had no trouble answer the "how are you" question, because I felt great. My delightfully daffy Burner friend Christine and I saw the Houston Dynamo defeat the rival LA Galaxy squad 3-2, Memo Rodriguez grabbing the winner shortly after LA evened the score. We ran into a former TORSO Soccer teammate on the MetroRail platform, because when I go to BBVA Compass Stadium, that's what happens. This occurred after the Dash won their first match of the season by the same score over Sky Blue FC up in Piscataway NJ. Later I heard that Rachel Daly played up front and kinda-scored: The Sky Blue keeper mishandled Daly's top-corner shot, and it went in as an own goal. I felt justified.
Speaking of justified, earlier that day, I had watched the Kentucky Derby, which Justify won handily in his fourth competitive race ever. I haven't watched an actual horse race of any kind in literally decades. It was just as I remembered it on TV: seemingly endless pregame and advertising, followed by two minutes of actual competition.
I took in the Derby telecast at my sister and brother-in-law's Cinco de Derby party. JJ had scored some free leftover decorative items from her office's Cinco de Mayo luncheon. Yeah, I know it's not politically correct for gringos to celebrate this minor holiday that most Mexicans don't, but Jason in particular has a true appreciation for Mexican history and culture. As usual at a JJ & Jason affair, this was a truly international and multi-cultural crowd, so it wasn't just gringos guzzling margaritas. Since I see many of these people about once a year, of course I had trouble remembering all of their names. They brought plenty of pre-schoolers and grade-schoolers: To my relief, my niece and her friends have grown to where they're less easy to inadvertently step on. Tripping over them is another matter, however.
Sunday started with breakfast tacos and singing with the First UU Sanctuary Choir. Before the first service, director Mark Vogel, who also directs International Voices Houston, asked if I'd be interested in singing a lead tenor part in the Caribbean Mass: St. Francis in the Americas that IVH will perform 2-3 June. "Sure," I replied, "I've actually been working on that part." In 40-plus years of music-making, I have played and sung some tricky syncopated rhythms, but never sung such rhythms as these, let alone in medieval Italian. Buy tickets.
From church I cycled to Bohemeo's, where I waited for my planning committee to discuss logistics for H-Town's 2018 World Naked Bike Ride. A few couldn't get there at all, but Lord and Lady southmorehouse showed up. It turned into an unexpected session of day-drinking, but I stopped well short of not OK to ride. I also got to chat with friends who just happened to be there, because when I go to Bohemeo's, that's what happens. The planning committee got the big jobs like promotions and fundraising assigned, paid our respective tabs, and took off on our bikes. I took the long way home, via downtown and Hermann Park to scout out portions of the WNBR route.
At Kayleen's arrival at home Sunday evening, the surreal feeling remained. Her first order of business was unloading (when one goes to an SCA gathering, one does not travel light); her second was getting the vehicle washed, or at the very least getting all the bug-splat off the windshield. After a hot and sunny day, the twilight sky took on a strange, pre-tornadic shade of greenish gray, because when you wash you car, Mother Nature either sends or thunderstorm or threatens to.
Fortunately, by the time I got into the office Monday morning, reality felt somewhat restored, even if not exactly as I remembered it.