The snow started picking up a little Friday evening. I went straight home after work, as Mot and I had decided to maybe go out and see a movie that night.
I got home, took one look at Mot, and knew we weren't going anywhere. He was tired. And I didn't feel like dragging him to a movie. He knew I was disappointed, and kept saying "Let's go." There was just no way he was going to enjoy himself.
We did end up going out to grab dinner, because neither of us felt like cooking. After dinner, we came home and put in a movie (Leatherheads, my opinion, on a scale of 1 to 5 - it's a 2). But laying on the couch together, and watching it...that was a 5. :-)
As we're sitting on the couch, deciding where we wanted to go for dinner, I got a message on my laptop. Mel and Sheila, our close friends from Des Moines, wanted to know if I wanted to come out the next day. Mot was going to be working, and we'd been talking about not seeing each other for quite some time. Sheila wanted to go see a musician she's been following, and thought I'd enjoy it as well.
I told her I'd see her on Saturday, it sounded like fun. And everyone needs some last minute plans, once and a while, to show that you aren't a boring slob. Right?? :-)
The snow continued through the night, and when we woke up Saturday morning, it was very....well.....white outside. We'd gotten at least 4-5 inches, and it was still coming down about an inch an hour. Mot took my car to work, so I could drive the 2 hours to Des Moines in the Jeep.
The drive there started out fairly interesting. The first 30 or so is a section of interstate the State of Iowa doesn't plow. I didn't know those existed, until now. Once I680 met I80, the roads were plowed. Along the section of I680, I only saw one other vehicle besides mine. The full sized, extended long box diesel pick up and I kept together, until the roads cleared up. We drove down the middle of the two lanes, merely because if something should happen, we were the furthest from the ditches on each side.
Once we got to I80, we both took off like a shot. Des Moines is roughly 2 hours away...I made it in 2.5. Not too bad for driving 40-50 miles an hour during the first stretch.
There was little to no snow in Des Moines when I arrived. Figures. :-)
I arrived in Des Moines about 10:30. We hung out at their house, doing some catching up and such...then headed out.
First stop, the Des Moines Art Center....because American Gothic was on display.
I appreciate art. I'm not a museum rat, but I enjoy going every once and a while. You can see pictures of things all you want, but until you see it in person...it just doesn't have the same effect. Grant Woods' works stop me in my tracks, every time.
While wandering around the art center, we came across this....well.....display. The artist (I can't remember her name. Mel, Sheila - help me out here!!) has taken an interest in space. Empty space. The empty spaces that exist, the ones we ignore. The empty space under a chair, the empty space in a broom closet.
The display we saw, was the empty space that exists under a mortician's table. It was the coolest thing!! She casts the space with rubber.
I wanted to push on it...I couldn't help my self. We waited until the art center volunteer (you can tell the volunteers by the black polo shirts and headsets they wear) left the area. And......I touched it. I didn't poke at it, I didn't try to ruin it...but I just HAD to find out what it felt like.
It was a very quick contact...and then the three of us evacuated the area. On our way to the door, every single black polo wearing volunteer that walked by, was looking at me.
Although, it might have been a little guilty paranoia on my part? :-)
After we escaped the art center without being arrested for touching the display...we headed to lunch. La Hacienda....a Mexican restaurant Mel and Sheila wanted to try. We decided it was a 5 to 6...on a scale of 1 to 10. The margaritas were very.....sweet....and lacking of alcohol. So I ordered us a couple shots of 1800, and it perked them right up!!! :-)
From there, we went to Sheila's favorite store, Ancient Ways. It's an awesome store for wandering. Looking to see if anything jumps off the shelf at you. A pair of earrings spoke to me this time. I'm not a big earring wearer...but these are cool.
From there, we went to the mall. It was all my fault...well, maybe not all. But, I'd put on my jeans that morning, right from the dryer. Slightly damp. And, over the course of the day, they'd stretched, and were less than attractive. Plus, since I only currently own the one pair (I hate shopping for jeans!), it was all I had with me. So...we stopped at the mall so I could run in and grab a pair.
Sheila was looking for a shirt to wear under a favorite jacket of hers she wanted to wear that night...so off we went. :-)
By the time we'd left the mall, I had a pair of jeans, 3 polo shirts and two pairs of workout capris. Mel bought a couple of t shirts and Sheila bought a new jacket and three shirts (one for under the jacket she was going to wear that night, and two to wear under the new jacket she'd bought).
After the mall, we went back to their place to relax a little, and then get ready to head out. We went to the Macaroni Grill for dinner. I'd never been, and they said it was good.
If you've never been there....the waitress writes her name (upside down - so we can read it) on the paper table cloth (that is over the cloth ones). It seemed a bit odd...but provided entertainment while we were waiting for our meal.
We had to practice writing our names upside down. From there, the doodling just grew and grew.
Sheila and I each had a couple glasses of wine at dinner. Pinot Noir, something from California. It was mighty tasty.
From dinner, we drove downtown to a hotel. In this hotel, there is a martini bar. In this martini bar, Roxi Copland was going to perform.
Roxi delivered. As she says on her web page, she won't pick a genre. And I'm glad. She has original songs of her own, and an album that's just released. But she also was taking requests and singing cover songs.
She sings and plays the piano...very well on both counts. She was alone on Saturday, but normally performs with a full band. I can't wait to see her when she's singing with them. Should be amazing!!!
The Cosmopolitan Lounge had a martini menu. You've gotta love that! Sheila and I decided to try as many of them as we could. Between the two of us, our bar tab was only like $60-70. Not too bad.
When the show started, there were only 5 of us in the lounge. The three of us, there to hear her...and two other hotel patrons.
People wandered in here and there for a while. After her second break, she walked up the piano and said "wow, we quadrupled our numbers in here while I was gone".
Literally, while she was on that second break, half of Des Moines showed up. OK, maybe not half. But at least 40 or 50 people walked in. There wasn't an open table, the bar was full...and people were standing around.
Granted, I was so sloshed, I didn't see them walk in either. :-)
Here are a handful of highlights from the night.....
* The only person to spill a drink was the one not drinking at our table. The Dirty Boyfriends were blue....and she soaked the drinkers when it went over. :-)
* Mel called Mot a lesbian. (actually that happened earlier in the day, but I just now remembered)
* Best martini Saturday night: The Dirty Girlfriend
* Worst martini Saturday night: George Washington's Apple
* Sheila and I are two peas in a pod when drinking. I've found my official drinking partner in crime. Now I just need to finish that time machine thing, so I don't have to drive two hours each way.
* Actually, having to drive 2 hours to get there, might be a good thing. Keeps me from becoming a lush. :-)
* Munchies while drinking are a must. Having dinner at 7:00, and then nothing to eat the rest of the night results in Nej being hungover the next morning. That has only happened twice in her life, and she doesn't like it.
So, that kinda tells you what state I was in the next morning, eh? Mel and Sheila came downstairs to find me in the fetal position on a couch in their living room. I was praying to throw up, and once I did...I was good to go.
Mel made breakfast, showed off her newly acquired backpacking gear...and insisted I play some games on the Wii.
I headed for home at about 11:45 or so. Was home by 1:15.
Mot and I found lunch, went to a bookstore or two, then went back home. He played on the computer, I caught up on some DVR'd TV. I headed for bed at 9:00, and didn't hear him come in for bed. :-)