My old friend Julian came up with this a few weeks ago when he kicked my ass in bowling. I hadn't seen him in a while, and was disappointed to see he didn't need the side rails anymore since I've been relying on them secretly for so many years. I was telling him about the Forty By Forty project and he said; "this would make a GREAT movie...and I think you should add to bet on a horse...it could be fun." When I explained to him how it works; that if you add something to the list, you might be called upon to do it with me, he said "cool."
Younger Julian and Marika
When I say Julian is an old friend, I don't mean age wise, although he is very mature for his age and I talk to him like I talk to any of my other friends. I've known him since he was a couple of months shy of his second birthday. We've had a lot of good times together; summers "at France" as he used to say, the Chupacabra obsession, our two month stint at the Regency Hotel in NY, tons of bowling, the sad day they took the Kraken game out of the arcade, and many sweet kisses.
I worked for his Mom Lisa for five years...had some of the best and most fun times of my life and still love and cherish not just Lisa, Michel and Julian, but the whole clan complete with Nana and Papa, aunts, uncles, the beautiful French in-laws, and the tallest and coolest cousins anyone could ask for.
I emailed him and officially invited him to go to Hollywood Park with me for Number 60: Bet on a Horse after having coordinated with Lisa. It was the last Sunday they were doing races so we just made it. I wore a dress and Julian a polo shirt and khaki shorts. The most handsome date I've had all summer. When we got into the car and Justin Timberlake came on the radio, we both laughed and knew we were about to have a great day.
In 'n Out was up next. First great idea of the day and it was Julian's. Having run a 5K a few hours earlier, I was famished and itching for some meat and cheese. A couple of double doubles later, we took off for the races.
The Hollywood Park equivalent of First Class
As we pulled up to Hollywood Park, Julian said "I hope we're in First Class." I laughed and told him of course we were. We went into the Turf Club and got seated at a nice table overlooking the race track. We ordered drinks and a fudge brownie Sunday and started going through the program.
Betting, racing, and winning!
We didn't have any sort of system for how we selected, we just read the names and if we thought they sounded like winners, we picked them. And we did pretty good. Our picks included Jacob's Tiger, Diplo, Alley Handro, Big Burly Boy and Wolfgang, but the pick of the day turned out to be Luv Dragon. We bet $10 and got $39 back!
In between the races, we talked about Julian's assigned summer reading, our favorite scenes from Indespicable Me, sampling in rap songs (!) and we also filled each other in on our various summer activities; Forty by Forty list stuff for me, video game and film camp for Julian. Julian is smart, interesting, attentive, kind and really funny to be with so there wasn't a dull moment. And I'm not just saying that because he tells me I look 25 every time I see him.
All in all, a day of fun with a sweet old friend. Thanks Julian, for a great day at the races, and especially for the crazy rap song on the way home!