So you know what’s totally awesome after a nine day roadtrip through the Mid/Southwest with someone? A roadtrip to Western New York a week later!
I don’t quite remember how it all came about, but Kearns, Alceste, Mary and I were supposed to meet VinNay, Kat and Astin in Buffalo for poker, alcohol and/or football. (Putting in all those links, I realized that no one writes blog posts anymore…except Astin… sometimes. Is blogging dead? Should I start a blog to explore the issue?)
As the date got closer, participants started to bail and by the time Mary and I set out Friday afternoon, it was me and her meeting VinNay, Astin and Jordan! (Wait, what? Doesn’t Jordan live in Manhattan? Yup.)
I don’t know how or why, but my GPS directed us through two different states before we made it from New York City to up state our *same* state! Though, I confess, Western New York does seem like a whole different country. Mary and I amused ourselves trying to pronounce the word Canananidagua (er…there may be too many enns in that and too few kues…I dunno, I’m not its mom. Incidentally, this is what my mother always says when she can’t remember someone’s name. What does she say when she can’t remember *my* name? “Leave me alone, girl. You know who I’m talking to.” I know, right? How am I not in therapy?)
We met VinNay at the best barbecue place in Buffalo and followed him back to his place in my car. Well, mostly followed. See, he lives on this street guarded by a roundabout. I like to believe that my mom pissed off a gypsy, who decided to punish her with the following curse:
“None of your offspring shall ever be able to escape a traffic roundabout in less than four circumventions!”
Because that would then make me the extraordinary child able to break a gypsy curse by getting out of the roundabout in only THREE circumventions, rather than the idiot spinning around the roundabout two extra times while VinNay pulls over and watches from the side street waiting for me to get my act together.
Perspective, folks. THAT is the secret to a happy life.
I finally parked in front of his place, said my preemptive “shut the hell up. It’s a gypsy curse,” and we walked up to VinNay’s apartment. One of his neighbors started to bark at us from his window. Crazy ass Buffalonians!
VinNay opened up the front door, Mary went inside and then…
A huge flying gigantic snarling toothed beast with glowing eyes attacked us!
Okay, this picture doesn’t quite capture its size, but see the eyes? Do you see the murderous rage and blood lust??
“Its not an it, Stephane! Her name is River.”
As in “river of blood from her helpless victims” no doubt!
Later that night, we met up with VinNay’s drinking crew, including one woman, “Savannah”, who had picked up the whole group at a bar a few weeks prior.
“Yeah, I was on a bad date, saw them drinking at a bar and decided they looked like fun.”
Badass, right? I am so going out tomorrow and replacing all my friends. That’ll teach you all for not commenting.
Evidently, VinNay refers to me as “the Patriots fan.” Which, as we were in a bar in Buffalo, pretty much meant my getting punched and kicked.
“But I’m totally one of you guys! Grr…down with the Jets! We hate the Jets soo much!”
They considered this for a moment and then decided “nah, we hate the Patriots more!”
I had one more card to play:
“Okay, but how awesome is the Caninanadagua river, huh?”
“That’s not how it’s pronounced! And it’s a lake!” The beatings resumed.
While I was getting all beat up, Mary was having the time of her life. Every time I’d run into her, she was drunker and drunker.
“Oh my gawrsh, Dawn, this place is great! I haven’t paid for a drink all night! I mean, Stephane, hahaha I called you Dawn! Hahaha”
And then she disappeared again. Hilarious.
It was Savannah’s birthday, so we all started doing birthday shots of Jameson’s. (This was pretty much the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. Yes, yes. I’m lame. Shut it.)
Savannah also bought like twenty songs on the jukebox, all of them 1990s suburban hip hop…i.e. Lots and lots of Bell Biv Devoe.
Let’s see if I can find footage…
Never trust a big butt and a smile, indeed.
Astin finally made it to the bar and was quickly incorporated into the birthday shotting because someone kept telling everyone it was his birthday.
Sue me. I LOVE birthdays!
I foolishly left my phone charging at VinNay’s apartment, so all my brilliant tweets went untweeten. So tragic.
Astin then took this opportunity to “tweet, just because Stephane cannnot.” But he didn’t tweet about out Michael Jacksoning me, so that was good.
At around two, we decided to leave “our bar.” I call it “our bar” because the eight of us were the only people in the Cozumel on Friday night. Astin said that when his friend M lived in Buffalo, VinNAy would take them to the always empty Cozumel and swear “it’s usually packed in here.”
After “The Coz,” (Stephane says still trying to pass as a Buffalonian) we did a “tour.” This entailed drinking a shot at every bar on some hipster street. The first bar was super crowded and loud and annoying.
“You need to drink more, you’re complaining too much,” VinNay said.
The next bar wanted us to pay a three dollar cover charge. Astin refused on the principle that three dolllars was just too obnoxious a number. “Five dollars, ten dollars! Those are cover charges…three is just a fuck you!”
So we moved on to the next bar. I really liked this one! It reminded me of Kaz’s punk rock DJ bar. Vinnay got me a Manhattan. It was very fancy. And now I drink Manhattans which makes me classy. But then I started challenging people to thumb wrestling contests which I think makes me not classy. So we’ll call that a wash.
At this point Mary was singing and dancing in the bar, and by dancing I mean twirling. Man, I can’t believe stupid Vinnay wouldn’t let me go back to get my phone. The inane wisdom of drunk Mary almost rivals that of drunk Vinnay, who says things like “take that bitches!” Then apologetically adds “Oh, not that I mean you’re a bitch.”
We took a cab back to Vinnay’s place where instead of going to bed, so we could be up in five hours to meet Jordan for breakfast, we stayed up feeding River pepperoni and playing Jungle Speed.
Though, when it came to feeding the doggie, it was mostly VinNay making her do tricks then giving her pepperoni while I said “No! You can’t give her a taste for meat!” And then I would run and the dog would chase me and laugh.
Oh, dogs laugh.
I do wish I would have gotten video of him feeding the dog, it was pretty cute the way she would fly up to grab the slice from his hand, then run off to eat it then race back for more. I was sure to note the top velocity speed for future escape plans.
Astin somehow Jedi mind tricked me into suggesting we play Jungle Speed, even though he has apparently been in intense Jungle Speed training in a bid to make the Canadian Olympic jungle speed team. I don’t know how much you know about this game, but Mary once again sustained physical injury at VinNay’s hands when she wouldn’t let go of the pole. #Noporno
After getting crushed by Astin three games in a row, I called it a night. I think they stayed up watching Tosh.0 and playing with River.
However, when the alarms went off in the morning and Jordan was calling to see if we’d left yet, who was the one getting yelled at and blamed for destroying lives? Not the dog! #RUDE
Vinnay was the last to emerge and he was all “I hate you, Stephanie. And my dog IS going to kill you.”
What? I could hear him putting the “i” in just to spite me!
Then I was all “Astin! Vinnay is going to make River kill me!”
And he was all “good, now I don’t have to.”
I turned to Mary, but she just hissed at me like that velociraptor in Jurassic Park.
“Look people, we can try to figure out who agreed to a ten am breakfast and play the blame/hate game or we can embrace this fine sunny Buffalo morning with pluck and gusto!”
The vote was 4-1.
Oh, dogs vote.
We met up with Jordan in some snooty town outside of Buffalo where Vinny said black people were not welcome. In order to avoid getting pulled over, he insisted that he drive Prince Eli and that I ride in the trunk. Seriously, tomorrow, I’m getting all new friends.
Jordan said he was going to be in Buffalo that weekend with his wife celebrating their anniversary, since they met at the University of Buffalo. Most of us have known Jordan for about six years now, and none of us have ever met his wife. I said that I thought I met her once, but I couldn’t really be sure. So on the drive over we were taking bets on whether she would be there or whether Jordan would be alone because his “wife wasn’t feeling well that morning.”
But then Jordan admitted he just hired this poor girl from the college for the weekend to impress us. And we were like, Jordan, you didn’t have to do that, we like you just for being you. Except Astin, he was totally like NO, I only hang out with dudes with hot wives. And then he stormed off. It was weird. I thought Canadians were supposed to be the nice ones.
Breakfast, for six adults, featured a lot more chocolate products than one would expect. FOR ADULTS.
See kids, stay in school and when you grow up you can eat candy for breakfast. I ordered pancakes, but they were kinda gross and I basically ended up eating all of Jordan’s omelet. #RUDE
He laughed and said “It’s the opposite of Denver!” And that’s why Jordan is my favorite. He reads the posts, comments on the posts and then quotes the posts to me in live conversation later. You don’t have to hire pretty girls to impress me!
He. Ate. The. WHOLE. THING! In my eyes this qualifies him for higher office. Or a Nobel.
After breakfast, we said goodbye to the Jordans and milled around the parking lot deciding what we were going to do next. We started spitballing ideas “art museum” “warship” “driving tour.” Then we got real quiet and someone said:
“Oh, thank god, which idiot said “art museum”?
Vinnay, you’re now my fifth favorite!
This is where I would normally say “I won’t bore you with the poker.” But since the casino consisted of standing around for three hours watching other people play poker before we gave up because the lines were too long and drove back to Buffalo…I will bore you with that instead.
Astin took us out for dinner at a Japanese place before driving back to Toronto and VinNay, Mary and I went out for cupcakes after at this weird Buffalo cupcake bar. They’ve got bald cupcakes, then bags with various icing in them and trays with toppings and you tell the lady what you want and she assembles them.
So, and call me crazy here, I say “okay, give me one vanilla, one chocolate chip cookie dough, put cream cheese frosting on both.”
THEN THIS…THIS CHICK SAYS “Oh, sorry, we’re out of cream cheese frosting.”
WHAT. THE. $%#%@???
Le sigh. We headed back to VinNay’s, with our inferiorly frosted cupcakes and then Vinnay made us watch this terrible terrible movie called the Boondock Saints. Terrible. AND his dog tried to eat me. By 9 pm, I had literally shrouded myself in a blanket and curled into a ball on the couch while I waited for death.
To make up for the sucky Buffalo casino, Vinnay hosted a poker game, so that was fun. I lost, so then it became less fun. But first thing the next morning we were going to be tailgating at the Buffalo Bills game! So then it became fun again.
We were all excited for the game. VinNay took us to a Greek diner for a quick breakfast before tailgating, three hours later, we were on our way to the game! (What’s that about how the best laid plans end up with a 105 year old angry woman as their waitress?)
It was raining and freezing when we got to the tailgating trailer, but hey, that’s what the beer is for! His sister’s boyfriend’s trailer was right next to the trailer of the Bills’ wide receiver! So we were practically tailgating WITH THE BILLS! I was so sure they were gonna win! I could feel it in my bones. Sadly, that just turned out to be the cold and the imported Canadian beer.
And no our fancy covered heated seats weren’t all that fancy or heated, but it was football and I got to kinda sing the Bills “Shout” touchdown song.
Sigh. I wish the Patriots had a song. At one point I went inside to go to the bathroom and when I came back, Mary and VinNay were gone! I assumed they were never coming back.
By the fourth quarter, it was clear the game was lost, VinNay decided to leave early so we could go see the Sabres hockey game. Now, to get through the sad sight that is “Bills football,” Vinnay decided to drink beer. Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of beer.
So there we were in stand still traffic trying to leave the stadium and Vinnay suddenly has to go to the bathroom.
“Didn’t you just go?” Mary asked, “You have the bladder of a woman.”
HEY! A pregnant woman maybe.
“Shut up shut up. Stop talking about bladders.”
And then he bolted from the car and ran into a patch of shrubbery. Here, let me see if I have footage:
(Withheld for blackmail.)
“I hope he doesn’t get arrested,” Mary says.
“For public urination. That’s illegal!”
“Oh, I know. I meant why do you hope he doesn’t get arrested? I think it would be funny.” Then, on cue, a naked man went streaking past the car, his wee willy wonka flapping in the breeze. Oh, dear GAWD.
When Vinny got back, I contemplated calling him pee boy for the duration, but he was so wasted he passed out almost immediately.
To his credit, he completely rallied for the hockey game.
I’ve never been to a hockey game before, but here are some things you should know. Apparently, they sing the Canadian anthem to open the game. The whole thing really takes place on ice…just like figure skating! Fights really do break out! But the penalty box isn’t quite as awesome as TV makes it look.
The Sabres were en fuego! At first, Philly was winning and I was all “uh oh, poor Vinny isn’t gonna see Buffalo win at anything tonight,” but then they rallied and scored like 400 goals!” And then after the sixth one, the stadium started chanting “2, 3, 4, 5, 6… WE WANT SEVEN!” AND THEN THEY’D GET IT!! It was all kinds of awesome!
OHH AND I finally met ALL Things Jennifer whose blog I have been reading FOREVER! I was supposed to meet her the last time I was in Buffalo, but it didn’t work out, and Vinny made fun of me and called my friend imaginary.
So when I told him she was actually at the game, he was like “yeah, right. Ooh, is she sitting here right now? Am I talking to both of you?”
Shut it, pee boy! But of course, he had NO recollection of the drive back from the stadium.
Anyway, Jennifer was totally real and super awesome and friendly and she brought Vinny a swirly vanilla/chocolate cone with sprinkles just like he wanted (aww, who’s the cutest little girl ever? In this instance, I mean Vinny, though Jennifer, also pretty darn cute.)
The Sabres crushed their game, we went out to dinner, had the best wings I have ever had in my life and then went home. In retaliation for Vinny making us watch Boondock Saints, I made him watch Prince of Persia. Though, insofar as retaliations go, forcing myself to watch another bad movie, while Vinny slept on the couch not my best effort.
We had breakfast with Jen in the morning, said goodbye to pee boy and headed back to New York City.
And I officially vowed to never leave my apartment again.
Though I could so go for a dip in the Cananadiquagua right about now.