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Luke Melia

La Musica y El Fuego y La Hermanita

It was my sister Jessica’s last weekend in town before heading back to school. I was determined to spend some time with her before that.

If she makes it through this year, she’ll be the first of the siblings to graduate college. I started a software company that led me to drop out. Willie had the, umm, botany incident. Dad dropped out to be a hippie and study macrobiotics, and mom dropped out to be with dad. So we’re really proud of Jessie. We hope that she’ll be as successful as the rest of us, even though she’s going to be so educated.

Friday night, Daniele and Jessica and I had dinner with the Long Island family segment. Kanten for dessert was delicious. My grandmother gave me some told-you-so over the fact that I had a new girlfriend and had found romantic bliss, just like she said I would. Then she moved on to weightier issues, such as why her computer was acting up and where to get a better solitaire game for it.

We took the train back into the city, two sisters and a brother, happily teasing each other, and then Jessica and I went to see Los Amigos Invisibles, a fun band from Venezuela. An ex-girlfriend of mine and her current boyfriend met us there, and we all talked and danced and gave some more healing to what could end up a nice friendship after a fairly awful breakup. Jessica danced her way into the gaze of a chicano named Mario, who chatted her up in spanish and tried to dance too close to her. I readied my fists and big-brother attitude, but my little sister proved herself capable of taking care of herself.

The next day, we went to Fire Island for a party at Jeanhee’s beach house. The catch was that Jeanhee was out of town for the weekend. I had an invitation from her friends to come out to the party, despite that missing link, which was very sweet. I figured Jessica would enjoy it a lot, having never been to Fire Island. (When you’re 1 of 5 kids, you don’t go too many places where you have to pay by the head…) Plus, she’s always talking about how much she enjoys hanging out with gay guys… so on the ferry we went, armed with guacamole makings, a volleyball and a six-pack.

The six-pack was one of many and likely as-yet-undrunk, but the guacamole was a big hit and the volleyball game was a blast. We played gays versus straights. Except there weren’t enough heteros, so our team was only 66% straight. The play was erratic, but the running commentary a riot and the competitive spirit divine.

I went to see Luna that night in Williamsburg. I haven’t been to Williamsburg in at least nine months, maybe more. I was astonished with how much it has changed in that time. I want to go back and explore some more. It was my first time seeing Luna play live and I enjoyed it a lot. James and I went for a bite afterwards. I paid homage to my travels in Thailand and Laos and ate green papaya salad with sticky rice, with my hands. It tasted damn good.

I said a second goodbye to Jessica Sunday night over Korean food at KumGangSan a delightful restaurant with a white piano sitting on a cliff inside the restaurant.

Relationships evolve as the people in them do, and spending time with my sister this summer was an evolutionary leap — a great relationship between adult siblings. Next summer I’ll have to figure out how to relate a college-grad adult sibling…

Laid, not off

Anthony‘s dad commented on his blog the other night, “getting laid is good, but laid-off, I’m not sure!”

I’m inclined to agree. This morning, while I slept in, trying to beat a cold, my employer the consummated the rumors circulating for the past few weeks and announced rolling layoffs of around two-thirds of the division I work for. Most dot.com content initiatives went bust last year, but we were a little slow on the uptake I guess.

I’m being transferred to a new group that will be working on a broader range of projects than just web stuff. Television I.T.-type stuff, systems integration and automation. On the bright side, it’s an opportunity to learn a bunch of new stuff, and my paycheck will continue to be direct-deposited. Less delightful is the shift to a Microsoft-based in environent. Even less delightful is going to be watching my friends move and on and maybe even move away from New York.

Ah well… extra-motivation for the Oxygen team to kick some butt in volleyball on Thursday night!


Had lunch this afternoon at my favorite neighborhood Thai restaurant with Melissa. It’s been a regular lunch date for months now, but today was the last one for a while. In a few days, she’ll move to Washington DC to start earning a fancy law degree. We’ve managed to stay close across greater distances, so I’m not worried about that, but I will miss her.

I’m at work now, and it’s quiet and dismal in the bright yellow and blue dot.commie office space. I’d rather be playing Beach Spikers.

Match Results

The arch-rivals were beaten in 2 out of 3 games tonight. That should be enough to put us in solid shape for the playoffs. We played well, a far cry from the early days of the team, when we struggled to score a point.

Team cheers included “win!”, “underdog!”, “sideout!”, “noonan!”, “praise dog!”, and “wonder twins activate!”. The other team definitely caught some vibe.

Afterwards, we had dinner and got drunk. When the owner of the restaurant is personally thanking you for coming by, you know your bar bill was on the large side…

One Team, Under Dog!


Saw Blue Crush last night. It was sufficiently bad, made enjoyable by nice surfing shots and near-full row of friends laughing out loud at the worst of the dialogue. My sister tried twice to convince me not to see it. She had my best interests at heart, but I’m glad I went anyway. It made me think of my little sisters, who growing up surfing on Long Island’s beaches.

Jeanhee and I did a partner yoga class the other night at the gym. The class was on an outdoor deck, and the instructor used a student to demonstrate who was is a dancer. The poses they did, similar to these, looked simply beautiful with the sun setting behind them over the Hudson River. I’m sure our poses looked not nearly as stellar, but it was fun anyway and a good workout.

Cheers to Choire, the East Coast of the enjoyable East/West blog, for making this site his Link of the Day. Reminds me what a small world it is when you’re connected to someone via the guy that sits next to you at work, your ex-co-worker’s husband-to-be, and your girlfriend, all in separate connections.

Tonight, our indoor volleyball team, One Team Under Dog, takes on our arch-rivals, Passive Aggressive with nothing less than a playoff berth at stake. Only one thing to say to our opponents… “Prepare to catch some vibe.”

Mambo, cha-cha-cha

After triumphing in Staten Island, we went off to prepare for the city-wide competition the next day. I put hydrogen peroxide on my knees, which I had torn up on the stuff that passes for sand at South Beach Park, Staten Island. I washed off the day’s sweat and dirt and went off to celebrate Judy’s birthday, as well as Jeanhee’s mom’s.

The next day, I rode the F train out to Coney Island, munching on a cinnamon raisin bagel and contemplating the early morning scene I’d just witnessed in a 7th Avenue bagel shop. A woman crossed the threshold into the shop, and stuck up her middle finger at a seated man. Then she proceeded to join him at his table. A bit, later a man at a nearby table asked the pair if they were also going to camp. All were middle-aged.

Once at the beach, registered, smeared with sunblock, reunited with the team, hellos said to friends, stripped to shorts, and warming up, we looked across the net at our opponents for the match that would begin pool play. The first thing I noticed was the crop top tank top worn by one of the players. The second was the quite tight short shorts on the same player. The third was that they were all men.

The first two observations stopped me briefly, but the third gave me greater pause. This was, after all, a co-ed quads division. The guy that was refereeing the first game went off to consult the tournament organizers while both teams warmed up. I noticed that the back of each of the other team’s player’s shirts said “MAMBO” with the A made by a pink ribbon. Soon the ref came back and reported that the rules had been changed to at the last minute to make our division any-gender with no co-ed requirement. The rule change had come too late to announce, apparently.

What the hell, I figured. It was a free tournament, after all. Play began. Team Mambo spoke to each other in fast, lispy Spanish. I called it “Lispanol.” Mambo scored the first point. After the point, they moved to the middle of the court, put their hands together and raised them to the sky, yelling, “Maaaammm-bo! Cha-cha-cha!”

Team Mambo took psychological and competitive control of the game and kicked our heterosexual asses by a score of something like 15-2. Thankfully, they reserved their meaner cheers for some obnoxious opponents… “Dumb bitch, dumb bitch.” Their captain saved his costume change for later, too. The quite tight short shorts were ditched in favor of a pair of clear plastic trunks worn over his bright orange thong.

I don’t remember beach volleyball being quite like this. We were outclassed all day and didn’t win a game, though we played hard. We were the only team in our pool with two women — in fact, many of the other teams relegated their female player to a middle back position and still stole balls from her.

A day on the beach can’t be beat, though. Especially when the tournament is free, you can ride the Wonder Wheel after, and you’re among friends and flaming Latino volleyball players.

Mambo! Cha cha cha.

Staten Island Champs

I’ve been a delinquent blogger, and I’m not sure I’ll improve right away, but it is worth noting that today a team consisting of Anthony, Jeanhee, Celinda and myself became Staten Island Co-Ed Beach Volleyball Novice Quads Champions. We will go on to compete in the New York City-wide championships tomorrow at Coney Island, Brooklyn.

“Brooklyn. How Sweet It Is.” (Seen entering Brooklyn via the magnificent Brooklyn Bridge.)

8/2/02, 1:28 am

Dad’s here. Actually, he just went to park the car. It’s a mildly oppressive muggy night here in Manhattan, and we’ve been sitting talking and surfing the web in front of a fan. He asked if I’d gotten twenty bucks of value out of it, which is the amount he paid. If I had to put a figure on it, I’d say I’ve gotten at least $250 worth of comfort from it. A good buy.

Volleyball matches twice this week. Tuesday we won two and dropped one, and tonight we did the opposite, dominating in our first game and falling apart at the wrong moments in the last two. I missed hits on perfectly decent sets in clutch situations on both nights. Our record stands at a game above .500. Anthony was sick both nights, so I did the captaining. It made me realize what a great captain Anthony’s become. After tonight’s frustrating match, we went out for food, drinks and a bitch session about work topics. It made us all feel a bit better.

Dani arrived back in NYC today from Spain. I can’t wait to see her and hear stories!

Last night, I saw the Fab Faux at Bowery Ballroom. The show was fabulous as always. Highlights included “Penny Lane,” “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” and “Oh Darling.”

I don’t really talk about dating here, but I’ll make an exception to say this… when you’re excited about a new relationship, the support of your friends is nearly obligatory. It’s still great and important, of course, but any friend worth their salt had better have a slap on the back for you. However, the support of ex-girlfriends in that situation is beyond the call of duty. It’s really sweet and touching and impactful to have that from my ex’s.

In related news, Jeanhee and I are playing Co-ed division A this weekend. I suspect we may get our butts kicked a bit, having moved up from B to A. Nevertheless, I’m still excited to see how we can do.

If all goes to plan, that’ll make 5 times playing volleyball this week, and 83% on the iPod quest. Whoa, “Africa” by Toto just came on. Time to flash back and have some watercress with my dad.

LukeMelia.com created 1999. ··· Luke Melia created 1976. ··· Live With Passion!
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