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Matt introduced me to Jill, a tall blonde. She's the one who threw this party to raise money for cancer. She's a triathlete and every three months throws a fundraising party. I asked how else she raises money, and she said, "We have bake sales. And we contact family and friends."

I said, "With all those bake sales and parties -- and I see you're drinking now -- does that ruin your diet?" She said, "Yeah, but it's not like we're partying every day." One guy walked by and said, "I am! And sometimes the day before a race. I've tried running after a heavy night of drinking. It doesn't work so well, but I'm not going to give up the drinking. It's one of the few joys I have in life."

I asked one of Jill's friends what the distances were in a triathlon. She said, "I'm not sure, but I think it's 25 miles on a bike, six miles to run, and one mile to swim." I was thinking how I got a little winded just walking to this party, since I had to park half a mile away.

Another girl named Heather told me about an event she is putting on to raise money for breast cancer. It's a three-day, 60-mile walk that costs $2,100 to participate. Heather is a student teacher in National City and I told her that I'd mention the event. The website is www.3day.org.

There were 10 Spider-Man masks sitting on a table in case anyone came without a costume. One guy had a Spider-Man costume with fake muscles inside. Another guy came as the Hulk with muscles and green paint.

I was about to ask Matt why he didn't have a costume when I noticed he had a Superman shirt underneath his dress shirt. I said, "With those glasses, you really do look like Christopher Reeve when he played Clark Kent." He said that he hears that a lot, so he went with that as a costume.

As we were talking, a woman said to him, "I thought you were moving." He said, "Not until next week. That's when I head to Kansas City." She said, "I thought you were moving to Missouri." He looked at me and smiled and said, "Buy a map." She then said, "So which is it? Where are you moving to?" We both started laughing. I don't think it's that bad if someone gets confused as to which cities are in which states, but I would think when the person mentions something about a map, that would be a cue to realize you may have messed up.

I talked to one young guy who looked like a typical skateboarder. I was surprised to hear that he taught kids with A.D.D. He seemed to enjoy his job, too. When I mentioned this to an older teacher at the party, he said, "Give the kid time. He'll hate his job within a few years. Teaching can be very rewarding and many aspects of it are good. But when you teach special ed kids and deal with a lot of problems and angry parents, you question why you ever chose this as a profession."

I talked with one lady who mentioned that her fiancé left her three months before their wedding. She seemed to be in good spirits while talking about it. He was her boyfriend for years, but now he's with a rich woman and he doesn't have to work. As we talked in the back yard for 15 minutes, at least five guys came over to hug and flirt with her.

A cute, short Latino girl came over and hugged me. She looked like a young Paula Abdul. She was talking a mile a minute telling me how much she loved my column. "Meeting you is like meeting Tom Cruise," she said. She spent five minutes stroking my ego and then said something about "going upstairs." I thought, "This is going to be the greatest night of my life." When she repeated herself, I realized that she was saying, "My boyfriend lives here, upstairs. Come inside, I want you to meet him." D'oh!

One guy sat in a chair that broke. His friends laughed. One of them said, "You are supposed to be a superhero and you go and break a chair."

Another person was wearing an angel costume. Everywhere this tall guy walked, his wings were hitting people in the face.

I saw another guy who looked to be a bit buzzed talking to the woman whose fiancé had left her. I heard him say, "I had this Ferrari that I got up to 170 miles per hour. That was in Morocco. When I put it back in the garage, the hood was so damn hot." As I walked away, I heard him say, "You should give me your number so we can keep in touch." I almost wanted to say, "Did I ever tell you about the Maserati I got up to 180 miles per hour?"

One group of guys was talking about what superpowers they would like to have if they were real superheroes. One woman said, "I'd like to read people's minds." I said, "No, you wouldn't. Just think of all the times you've asked your boyfriend if you look fat in your jeans. If you could read minds, you'd know the answer to questions like that. From him and from everyone walking around UTC."

Another guy said, "I'd like to be invisible. I'd pay a visit to the SDSU women's volleyball team when they were in the locker room." I said, "Yeah, but if you're hit by a car, nobody would know. You'd just lay there dying." He said, "Okay, what superpower would you want?" I responded, "Maybe to fly. You'd save a fortune on airline tickets. You could win some gold medals in the Olympics doing the long jump. Have a nice career in the NBA slam-dunking all over the place." Someone else said, "Would they let you in the NBA if you could fly?" I said, "I wouldn't tell everyone I could fly. I already get bugged by my friends who need rides to the airport. They'd want me to fly them everywhere. And I don't need some religious nut shooting me, thinking that I'm a witch."

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