Labor Day and Memorial Day are quickly gaining on Thanksgiving for favorite-holiday status here at Rocket Fever. If I have a few more blissed-out weekends like my summer bookends, it'll be no contest. This past three-day stretch was pitch perfect, every endeavor an unqualified success, high temperatures and lack of car (more on that later) notwithstanding.
We kicked things off nicely on Saturday with a Beach Blanket Bingo party co-hosted by the Muzios in Long Beach. The king's feast (including star-worthy croissants baked by Karis Eklund, the Official Archaeologist of Rocket Fever) was accompanied by flaming drinks, fun games (bean-bag toss featuring bean bags crafted by Evie Muzio!), a costume competition, a screening of Beach Blanket Bingo, and Micah Muzio in shorts that will doom his mother's hopes for grandchildren. (Gosh, I almost forgot to mention that, earlier that day, State won big in its opener, Notre Dame got pasted, and ... uh, MICHIGAN LOST TO APPALACHIAN STATE.)
Sunday morning got off to a musical, cheerful start as I was a visitor for the bilingual service at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, where Karis' dad is pastor. You show me another minister who can transition between English and Spanish in the same sentence and play a mean harmonica, and I'll bake you a sheet of brownies. After hot dogs and hamburgs in the church courtyard, Karis and I braved the SoCal sun at an African arts festival in Baldwin Hills. After looking in every stall, pawing through every heap of beads, and interrogating every vendor, we finally found a present Karis has been searching for for quite a while. Labor Day success! ... After all that, we escaped to the air-conditioned, thoughtless bliss of Rush Hour 3, which is better than I anticipated but not really worth your time. I must point out that we intended to see The Simpsons Movie, but it wasn't playing at the theater. It was nice, though, that Chris Tucker mentioned the Magic Johnson Theater and Crenshaw Boulevard during a movie we were watching at a former Magic Johnson Theater on Crenshaw Boulevard.
But all this was a prelude for Monday, a day that I'll remember forever as the day I faced down one of my nastiest phobias and beat it worse than Appalachian State beat Michigan. I boarded the Kara Dü in Marina del Rey a trembling boy, but returned to shore a victorious, sea-worthy man. Thanks to the Eklund family, I will never again break out in sweats and shakes when I discuss boating! Seriously, what a great way to spend a hot day: Eating snacks, reading the paper, rocking gently, taking in cool sea breezes. I understand the whole thing now. I get it. After a life-changing day at the marina (which included a trip on the sail boat and a zip around in their inflatable dinghy), we ended the weekend at a chic, sausage-oriented barbecue hosted by some of Karis' neighbors.
So, with all those good vibes stored up, I'll race through this week, and then fly off to Miami on Saturday. September should be a memorable month.
My car: Some dude bashed into it while it was parked. It's been out of commission for two weeks as the shop has fixed more than $4,000 in damage. I'm getting it back today. The subway was fun, but I'm ready for vehicular independence.
Michigan lost to Appalachian State. Just so you know.