The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
Harry Potter books.
It came to my attention some time last year that many of the things I hold dear to me in life are overwhelmingly grand, complex, not wussy, balls-to-the-wall things.
I don't even have to particularly relate to the event or feel emotionally drawn to its intrinsic characteristics: it just has to be epic.
I love taking the mundane and making it a big deal (a night of games with friends you say? Make it a Trivial Pursuit Marathon Tourament, replete with multiple editions and prizes for the winners. You want to watch a movie, huh? I believe it's part of a trilogy- let's watch them ALL. In a ROW.)
I know I am not the only person who is drawn to such things with a tendency to aggrandize plans, but I embrace it about myself.
Sometimes, things become epic on their own, and then go down in (personal) history as The Best Night Ever, The Coolest Game Ever, The Funniest Thing He Ever Said, etc.
Saturday night was a day of two such incidences, namely, The Time I Ate More Chili Than Anyone Ever and Wanted to Die, followed hours later by The Most Dancing I Have Ever Done in Portland.
I accompanied my mom and dad to a late afternoon Chili Cook-off on Saturday. The sky was October blue, the air was cold, the leaves a bursting bouquet of amber and fire. The chili? Fourteen varieties of white bean, read bean, barbeque, corn, smokey, spicy, meaty, hot, luke warm, beer-y, chunky, soupy, chickeny, accompanied by a table of cornbread entries all honeyed, jalapenoed, cheesed, buttered, and muffined.
I would like to announce that I tried all fourteen types of chili.
Not only did I try them, but ranked them, one through fourteen, and then voted for the best: "Oh My Guinness," a version slightly soupier with some bite, small chunks of sirloin, all cooked in Guinness beer.
The second runner up, in the contest and in my heart, was a smokey barbeque and tomate sauce based, thicker chili. In my opinion, three and four were the white bean and chicken varieties, followed closely by last year's champ, a traditional ground beef and bean, thicker chili. The family hosting had recently built this beautiful wooden structure over their patio, with a stone fireplace and a swing, and so we all stood around in jackets and scarves, jockeying for position in the patches of autumn sun that splayed the patio from under the eaves of the roof.
After the voting and the crowning of the winners, we left immediately. I beelined for the car and forced myself to burp out air pockets all the way home, pants unbuttoned, plastic bag on standby. My stomach was expanding with every passing minute and I felt like I was going to Violet Beauregard myself into the atmosphere.
By the time we got home, the chili was seducing us all into coma-like states, so the four of us curled up, each under his separate blanket, all in the family room, and watched Texas womp on Missouri.
I think it was my dedication to dressing like an 80s vixen that really revved up my expectations for the night: my pants screamed FUN so I was bound to have some. I picked up the Dance Fighter and we drove downtown to the Ghostland Observatory concert at my favorite venue, The Crystal Ballroom. The line was tragically long, so we opted for jello shots at Scooter's instead. We ran into Karen Cody and Friend, downed drinks and gossiped, and then when there was no line in our way, went to the show.
Talk about epic:
I probably say this about a lot of shows, but one of THE MOST fun concerts I have ever been to. And by now, I've been to a lot! We danced our brains out after another cocktail, and I couldn't believe how good it was.
After an electrifying encore, the lights came on, we left, and took our dance party to the streets. We couldn't figure out where to go, so we killed some time just dancing outside of Ringler's and made a friend in Zane Sparkleface, a flamboyant guy who screamed, "OmiGOD I LOVE YOU BITCHES!" People inside the club saw us, cheered for us, and loved us. When we wanted more booze, we took a cab to Berbati's and The Dance Fighter DID NOT STOP DANCING until the lights came on.
The best part was yet to come: 4th meal at Taco Bell.