Monday, January 9, 2012

A night of firsts

In my second half century, it has occurred to me, more than once, that I have become a little jaded - nothing excites me the way it used to when I was young. Things just aren't 'new' anymore. I am very rarely surprised. Fortunately, life taught me a lesson this weekend.

Saturday night I stayed out late - very unusual for me. It started off innocently enough - dinner and the hockey game. Our friend, Pete (not his real name - no really, it's NOT his real name. His real name is Allen but everyone calls him Pete) took us out for a night on the town.

We started off at a relatively new eatery on Amherst Street called the Black Rock Kitchen and Bar. We feasted on tongue tacos and bone marrow among other things. Our server was very happy to find patrons who appreciated a good tongue. Fortunately, Pete had the foresight to begin the meal with a large and lovely Belvedere martini. Believe me - it helped all that raw protein go down. Pete is always introducing us to new things. In fact, it was Pete who ordered me my first gin martini many, many, MANY years ago.

We rolled out of the restaurant and drove down to the HSBC center. Oops I mean the First Niagara Center, for the Sabres game. Pete had fantastic seats; we were so close that Bill eyeballed Center Nathan Gerbe and proclaimed him to be a real short ass. In comparison, Nathan did appear to be quite a bit shorter than the rest of the players - especially when he skated a shift against a huge Jets player named Antropov. Antropov looked like a lumbering ox next to nimble Nathan. Our row seatmates (apparently Jets fans) frequently called out "get that big, dumb Russian off the ice".

Bill quickly googled the Sabres website and found that Gerbe was listed as being 5'5" tall. Wikipedia proclaims that he is, in fact 5'4" and THE SHORTEST player in the NHL.
Nathan number 42 at 5'5" or so (maybe with his skates on)
Nathan is now Bill's hockey hero.

After the game we headed uptown to the Elmwood Lounge. I haven't been there in years. It was nice to see the decor has not changed. Saturday night the legendary "Lance Diamond show" is on the menu. Lance explained to us that we might notice a photographer taking pictures. Apparently, the Buffalo News was doing a story on him - I can't wait to read it. The photographer giggled all night long, clearly enjoying his assignment. Artvoice, another local newspaper, has declared Lance the Best Genre Defying Act. That about sums it up. You have to see Lance to believe him. On Saturday, he wore a lovely green 3 piece sparkle suit.  At one point in the evening he gave away his cuff links to a cute service-woman in the audience. He is smooth!

We stayed through his first set. Amazingly, Bill turned to me as the set was winding down and told me he couldn't stay up any longer... I had to take him home. That was the FIRST time in 26 years that he pooped out before me. I got up from the bar stool, said thank you to Lance and drove everyone home.

At 51, it's nice to know that I can still be surprised and do new things. Especially when friends like Pete remind me. Thanks, Pete. 

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