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7:38 a.m. - 2001-09-08

IT'S NIGHTS LIKE THIS THAT MAKE ME FORGET WHAT A STINKING BARREL OF SHIT MTV HAS BECOME

Last night, our church had their first annual "Parents Night Out" where we took our kids to church and left them with the teenagers of the church who babysat the kids while we had three hours to do whatever we wanted without lugging a kid around.

...Heaven...

I REALLY could not have asked for a more perfect evening.

The pastor's wife (Carrie)called Susie yesterday, wanting to know what we were planning on doing. Susie told her we thought we'd go to Copeland's, a New Orleans-style restaurant that's been opened about two months now.

The pastor's wife squealed and said they wanted to go with us. Sure thing, not a problem.

We all met up at church about 6. Wendigo had suggested that if we were going to Copeland's to call ahead to get our name on the list before we got there because the wait was two hours when she and Eric had went to the restaurant on a Friday night. So I called and told the girl we'd be there in less than 30 minutes, fully expecting to wait about 90 minutes for a table.

The four of us got there, waded our way through the huge crowd outside and inside and got a beeper to alert us for our table when it came available.

We weren't there five minutes and the beeper went off. Now...how cool is that???

We get seated and our waiter is a giant.

He was perhaps the largest white guy on the planet. You looked up at him and he just kept going and going and going. I thought he had a white beard until Susie pointed out that it was a cloud.

He told us the specials of the night which none of us heard because of the two or three miles between his mouth and our ears. He walked away and Brian said "Did anybody hear those specials?" None of us had so we started looking through the menu.

We ordered and then had such an enjoyable conversation. Basically, we talked about how much we enjoyed getting drunk in our youth. Yes...my pastor sat there and told us how much he used to enjoy Jagermeister while he was at Seminary.

Some of you guys can say all you want about church and religion and how you'll never go to church because it's too stiff and self-righteous...you just haven't found a church where the pastor is a hell-raiser yet.

The pastor's wife said "shit" twice at the table which took me by surprise.

They're just normal folks. And cool normal folks at that.

Anyway...I had the blackened prime rib which was out of this world. Man...when I finally start this diet, I think that's the one thing I'm going to miss the most...Copeland's blackened prime rib.

For dessert, Susie and I shared a piece of their cheesecake that was the best cheesecake I ever ate.

We sat and relaxed at the table, oblivious to the line of people out the door waiting for our table...hey guys...shoulda called first. THAT'S the key, babe.

Everyone drank alcohol except me. Sometimes I feel like a recovering alcoholic when I don't drink with people and I have to explain by saying "I'm NOT an alcoholic...I just don't like drinking anymore."

So I went on that diatribe for about five minutes last night. I explained that in my early days I could drink them all under the table. These days, one beer would make me woozy.

After dinner, we decided to go to a nearby shopping center so the girls could go to Bed Bath and Beyond while us boys went to Circuit City, who I hate with a passion but Brian wanted to get a "treat" for finishing the remodeling of his bathroom.

We walked in and Brian told me to get something. We were there, so save myself the trip of ever having to go back, and pick up something I want.

The way he said it, I thought he was going to buy me something. I was like a little kid in a toy store, looking at the $3,000 TVs and thinking he might buy me one of those.

Uhhhh...no.

I was on my own to make my own purchase.

So I picked up the new "Die Hard" DVD and told him that if Susie gave me any crap about it, he was taking the blame for it.

He said it would be no problem.

He didn't get anything. I tried to talk him into getting "The Sims" but he thought it would be too addictive and he'd never get anything done because he'd always be playing it.

So we met the girls outside and I was the only one who had bought anything.

Susie said "What'd you buy?" and Brian quickly interjected "I told him to buy it."

And I said "So I had to buy it, hon. When your preacher tells you to do something, you don't defy him. I don't wanna go to Hell."

Luckily, Susie likes "Die Hard" too, so she was cool with it.

Got back to the church at 8:59...one minute before we HAD to be there.

Andrew had been a little shit for about 90 minutes. He was crying and wouldn't stop. We were both kinda shocked by it, but he was around a bunch of people he didn't really know and for an extended period of time. He didn't think Mommy and Daddy were ever going to come back and get him and he was one fussy little camper.

It was really kinda cute. When he saw us, he cried even harder and hugged us as hard as his little arms could. Once he calmed down and quit crying, he had that "huh huh huh huh" sound going where he's trying to catch his breath after crying so hard. We felt sorry for the kid, but it was also nice to be so wanted by another person.

.....................

Have I turned into some kinda wimp?

Is this the kinda crap you expect out of me? Talking about my dinner out with my pastor and his wife?

Huh??

Well there's one person to blame.

Dlove.

My hippy-dippy buddy just got back from Burning Man and is spreading so many peaceful vibes from his journal that he's really affected me. I just read his third installment of the adventure right before I started typing this and I just feel so cosmic and peaceful.

Which would explain the whole...niceness of today's entry.

As always, I promise to be more hateful and vile and cranky tomorrow.

...Maybe the inlaws will drop by today....

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