This will be my 18th Gasparilla in a row.Let me try to take a walk down a drunken memory lane here and see if I can remember at least one thing about each of the.Ah, to remembering the things I'm supposed to forget … the things I don't remember.(Names are removed to protect the guilty).
1994 – It's easiest to remember once I can remember where my home base was so …
Home Base – UT's Delo Hall.My first one was a sober one.I was underage and had no clue what Gasparilla was.My roommate said it was a big parade and not being a parade fan, I almost didn't go.
Highlight - Either my roommate or "Little Bubba" fell off of a cooler while trying to attain beads, and in the process, knocked an old man down off of his feet.This was funny at the time once we realized the old dude wasn't dead.
Home Base – UT's Delo Hall.
Highlight – I don't remember much of the parade or anything, but I remember walking downtown at night to watch fireworks and almost getting attacked by some frat guy because he thought me and the dude I was with were gay.
Home Base – UT's Rescom (most likely)
Highlight – I don't remember this one at all, but this was the first one where the idea was to take whatever substances one could get their hands on, so naturally …
Home Base – I don't remember this one at all either because well, same theory as 1997.These were the Gasparillas where I'd wander off on my own for a good couple hours of the parade and see who I could find.
All I remember from this one is ending up being real cold and hungry after a nice day with Lucy in the Sky.I got home, made some instant mash potatoes and they made me feel so much better.I also remember watching the Winter Olympics.
Home Base – Apartment in Hyde Park
Highlight – This one is very vivid because I was hosting the party.I was in a little tiny apartment and so many people were coming in and out.Sugar cubes were left behind which would lead to months of, "Is she coming to get the sugar cubes back?" questions and me making the worst mistake ever and seeing "The Mummy" while onst said sugar cube.(Worst because it made a crappy movie thee worst movie ever).I also remember laying in my bed trying to play "The Blue Danube" on guitar while a few other people were laying in my room.Lastly, I remember the night ended when some random stranger carrying a full bottle of liquor was hitting on one of my lady friends.Fortunately nothing awful came of that.Wish I could remember more.
A dark Gasparilla after returning from Phoenix.All I can say is that I ended up at an Indigo Girls concert.
Home Base – Apartment on North A St.
This was my first Gasparilla with my new Tampa friends and also the same weekend as the Super Bowl.This preceding week was the hardest I ever partied in my life.The Giants were staying at the hotel I was working at an office in.OJ Simpson was in town.I was running on about an hour a sleep a night for the entire week and was in no mood to go to the parade.A friend fed me some rum and I made it out there.
Highlight – I believe this was the one where two of my friends nearly got arrested for peeing in someone's yard, which was hysterical at the time.After this parade, I slept for something like 13 hours that night and was ready for a fun Super Bowl party the next day.
Home Base – The Porch
Highlight – The Toast Concert.Yes, this was the infamous "performing" on Gasparilla one.This had bad idea jeans written all over it.I actually remember this Gasparilla very vividly as I had to stay pretty sober to perform.I won't share many memories on this one because many are pretty rough.This was probably the beginning of "the dark Gasparillas".This streak would last a few years.
This one most likely started at Yeomans, and was my first one that was about the "Invasion" though I do remember making it to the parade.This was also the one where the Space Shuttle disintergrated upon re-entry while we were watching on the Yeoman's television.
I remember this ended on Fremont AVENUE, and I wasn't too happy, not that there was anything wrong with Fremont AVENUE though.
2005 & 2006 & 2007
Ugh.I believe these are the D.I. Morning Party Invasion years (and the next three aren't too different.In these years, I know one of my friends was drawn on with a permanent marker which led to a trail of terror. Another one my friends who was trying to quit smoking jumped in the middle of the street in front of a car, and another one told a lady cop to go fuck her mother.I'm not saying these three people were my former bandmates or anything, but I am saying the break-up of Toast did have some consequences.These were all hysterical at the time.
Home Base – My apartment
This one was pretty good.I remember our friend's house was under construction, so everyone just met at the Invasion.It was a block away from my apartment.That was awesome.I remember someone blasting "Girls, Girls, Girls" at about 8 in the morning which woke me up.I had no problem with that.They were the good guys that morning.After all, it was Gasparilla.A few people from out of town came in and a group of five of us walked up to the parade.One woman fell and busted her ass which was hysterical at the time.There was no darkness on this Gasparilla, that is, until we tried taking a taxi home and it took us nearly to Brandon, and said out-of-towners ended up passing out at my place, keeping me up all night.
Home Base – DI House again.
This may have been a nice calm one.I don't remember too much of it, which means it was nice.It may have been the first time I did not go to the parade.
Home Base – DI House again
This was another relatively calm one.That's what's been great with these last few Gasparillas, is they've been more calm and not all RAAAAAAAAAAR.Maybe the stories aren't as good, but sometimes you don't need stories.
2011 and Beyond ...
Happy Gasparilla Everyone. Let's see if I can do this for 3 more years. It certainly gets harder every year (that's what she said!).