I like that one part, that section of skin between the navel and the top of the jeans. I really like the way it seems to curve outward before turning back toward the promised land.
I think that belly-shirts and low-rider jeans just might be the greatest inventions ever.
I took a short nap, and now I have a huge crease running across the side of my face. It's been there for an hour, and it shows no sign of fading.
So that's just great. Now I'm hideous on the outside, too.
Last night was okay, I suppose. I'd like to have left my house earlier and gone over to Louisville, but a nap that ran too long kept that from happening.
So I went to Wendy's and then to Rich O's.
The place was mostly full of strangers that didn't move for the entire night. I talked for a while with some of them, but my heart really wasn't in it.
I had three beers, a Smithwick's (876), an NABC Jenever (60), and an NABC Artemsia (140).
Nobody that I wanted to see came in. That's probably a good thing.
I can't believe how lucky I am.
A million closed doors.
And the one I knock on, that's the one that opens.
I was thinking just now, about how much I miss you.
But beyond that, I was thinking about what I might have done to keep us from being where we are, how we are right now.
But there is nothing I could have done.
The truth can't be ignored, and it can't be denied, and it can't be fought. It is what it is. And there's not a thing we can do about it.
You are the most amazing person I've ever known. Will ever know.
That's the truth.
But, for now anyway, when I allow my mind to relax, you're not the first one I think of. And when I allow my heart to yearn, you're not the first one it needs and craves.
That's the truth, too. I'm so fucking sorry, but that's the truth.
You taught me that the truth was always better than a lie.
Was that lesson, was that lesson the truth?
Absolutely nothing of note happened on Thursday.
I slept, then I worked, then I slept again.
Hence the complete lack of entries yesterday.
I want a mountain.
Yep, that's what I want.
Not my own personal mountain. That would be way too much responsibility. But I want to live by a mountain again.
(Image stolen from some USGS site)
I miss Mt. Rainier. Even though I could go for months without ever seeing it, I always knew that it was there. And, on those days when it would appear, it never failed to impress and inspire me.
There are no mountains here, in Southern Indiana.
It's kind of boring.
LaptopGirl once said something to me about The Grand Canyon being this gigantic hole that would suck the creativity out of everyone around it. That got me to thinking that maybe mountains would do the opposite. Maybe mountains exude creative energy.
Somebody should look into getting us a mountain.
I hate typos soooo much!
It's pretty ironic, then, that I'm the fucking king of typos.
Also, I hate whores.
August 20th can not get here quickly enough for me.
I want to go right now, and I don't want to come back until it's safe.
At work today we were "given the opportunity" to take an "entirely optional" personality profile test, the results of which would remain "completely anonymous."
But I succumbed to peer pressure and took the thing. If nothing else, It allowed me to kill an hour out of a very boring day.
You know those quizzes that bored people are always taking so they can put the results in their 'blog?
Well, this was like that. Just like a hangnail is like an amputation.
Hey! That could have been one of the questions!
Most quizzes are to this test as a hangnail is to ...
The test had a lot of questions like that. I hate that kind of question. They usually don't make any sense.
A floormat is to fried chicken as Batman is to ...But even more than the analogy questions, I hate hate hate hate the number sequence questions
(a) The 1987 Denver Broncos.
(b) That one TeleTubby that everyone says is gay.
(c) Minced garlic.
Please complete the following number sequence: 4, 8, 23, 1, 86.2 33.88888 ...About a quarter of the test was made up of bullshit questions like those above. A large portion of the rest consisted of multiple-choice stuff.
A woodchuck who can chuck wood can chuck _______ cords of wood:Let's see, there were also a bunch of standard math questions which weren't too tough. I like math.
My favorite (note italics, denoting sarcasm) part of the test was where you had to indicate which of two choice you'd prefer more, and how much more you'd prefer it. I hated these questions, because the choices were so different that it made comparisons very hard.
Indicate your preference between doing your taxes, or being a featured guest on the Jerry Springer show:Anyway, I made it through the approximately 250 questions in an hour or so. Then I got my "confidential" results in an email.
(a) Strongly prefer the first option.
(b) Slightly prefer the first option.
(c) Slight prefer the second option.
(d) Strongly prefer the second option.
I was pleasantly surprised with the accuracy of the results:
First of all, wow! I had no idea that there were people in the world as cool as you are. Please tell me your name, as I plan to name all of my future children after you, in the hope that they might someday grow up to be just like you. Also, based on your answer to the woodchuck question, it's obvious that your dick must be fucking huge!
There are, however, a couple of things that should be mentioned. You know, just for the sake of completeness. You seem to have a fairly low tolerance for stupid people, and I can imagine that this is very difficult for you since everyone is stupid by comparison. You might want to work on your tolerance. Or not, it's up to you. I mean really, who am I to tell you what to do?
Your results also indicate that you have fairly high standards for attractiveness when evaluating potential sexual partners. I'm just saying, it's what the results indicate. I don't really think that's a problem for you, but this checklist I'm looking at says I'm supposed to mention it. Fuck, I'd be the same way if I were as cool as you and had all those women throwing themselves at me all the time.
This isn't really that kind of a test, but I'm going to give you an A+ anyway. What're they gonna do, fire me?
You ever feel something, know something so clearly that it just constantly amazes you that everyone around you doesn't get it? You ever find yourself saying the same things over and over and over and over and always feel like you need to say it a few more times because everyone around you still just doesn't get it?
Instead of acceptance, I'm constantly met with disbelief and derision, sympathy and smugness, advice and assurance.
Just stop. How many times do I have to ask? Stop doubting everything I say and do simply because you don't understand it. Stop tiptoeing around me like I'm made of glass. Stop analyzing me like I'm some kind of freak. Stop trying to fix me like I'm broken.
Just fucking stop.
I don't want any of that. All I want is acceptance. That I am this way. That I want to be like this. That this is who I've become. Either accept it or not. I won't say that I don't care what you choose to do, because that would be a huge lie. I care a lot. Probably more than I should. But if you decide, if you decide that you don't like who I am, then don't set out to change me so that I better suit your needs. Don't even try, because it won't work. I don't want to change, and I will fight you like I'd fight for my last breath.
Shit, now I've thought of another entry to write.
Today after work I sat at Rich O's having a couple of half-pints of NABC Jenever Rye (40). That first glass went down so well that I had a second.
Anyway, one of my so-called friends was there. This guy hadn't said a single word to me for well over a week, despite seeing me after work every day and on the weekend nights. I figured that I'd managed to piss him off too. Oh well.
But today, today on his way out he stopped and talked to me for a couple of minutes.
It really doesn't take much of a nudge, to swing me over to a good mood for a while. Not much of a nudge at all.
Well that was a crappy excuse for a nap. Nothing but bad dreams.
One of my friends got some shit at work for being openly gay. That's pretty fucked up. She's worked there for 10 years, and that's what I advised her to point out in response. I hate small-minded people.
Speaking of A/C, it's stopped working in my Intrepid. It was a very nice couple of weeks though. I'm supposed to take it back to the same garage tomorrow or Thursday so they can try something more permanent.
For the second day in a row, I forgot to switch my A/C back on when I left for work. This, of course sucks. It's 92 degrees in my house right now.
Also, if you're on fire, and someone throws gasoline on you, it doesn't really make that much difference. But if somebody spits in your face while your standing there burning, that's just adding insult to injury. Unless they spit a lot. Like enough to douse some of the flames. But you probably shouldn't get your hopes up for that happening.
I'm not really sure where I'm going with this. I just want to get it written out before it follows all of my other thoughts into oblivion.
A wise man, my lovely self in fact, once wrote, I'd rather face one large problem, even a huge problem, than a thousand tiny nuisances.
This was the second reason I listed back in February in an attempt to explain myself to myself. I'd decided to uncork a bottle that had never really been completely sealed. There were seven reasons total.
Anyway, and this is the part where I'm afraid I'll stop making any sense whatsoever, the gist was that if I went back to allowing that one thing to once again wash over me and control my emotions the way it was wont to do - then maybe I could stop being such a fucking whiny baby about everything else.
This worked for quite a while. For over six months I was able to function more or less normally. Normally for me at least. I was able to ignore or at least blow off all of the little things that, up until February, had begun to eat away at my mood on a pretty regular basis. That one thing went back to what it did best, making my life a living hell, while everything else kind of faded into the background.
It was kind of like being on fire, and also being bitten by mosquitoes. No contest, right?
The problem was, the problem is, that I seem to have reached some sort of limit of what that one thing can do to me. I've maxed it out. No matter what I learn or hear or remember or deduce, the pain stays the same. I'd thought for a while that the pain was fading.
It wasn't fading at all, there was just no way it could increase. It was, is, maxed out.
So what happens then?
I'll tell you.
What happens then, what's happening right now, is that one thing has lost part of its ability to distract me from all the other bullshit. I mean, it can't get any worse, so I've become a little used to it. A little immune to it even. Meanwhile, all of those little nuisances, those mosquitoes, they're starting to make themselves felt again. And I'm starting to react. To swat at them.
I got stood up by a so-called friend several times in a row, and I lost it. I became quite angry and I didn't even wait for an explanation and I wrote a semi-scathing 'blog entry about it..
Another so-called friend became incapable of returning a call or a text message, and my feelings were hurt so badly that I deleted her number from my phone so that I'd never be tempted to contact, and then be hurt by, that person again. I actually did this twice.
Another so-called friend completely blew me off at the bar the other night, and I sulked about it for an entire weekend. This same person has also refused to link to my 'blog from her own for a very long time, and every time I go to her 'blog I'm reminded of this and it's like getting punched in the gut.
Fuck, it's gotten so bad that if I go to the bar and somebody doesn't happen to come in on that particular night, I take that as a direct reflection on me. It's about a thousand times worse if I get there and find out that one of my so-called friends has just left. I convince myself that people are avoiding me.
The thing is, none of these things are really a problem. They're just tiny little mosquitoes after all. They are nothing at all, especially when compared to that one thing that continues, unabated, to burn away at me.
I think I've lost my entire train of thought here. Basically, I'm being a baby. I'm complaining about piddly bullshit. I'm making mountains out of molehills.
I'm blaming other people for my sadness and my moodiness when the one person who should be blamed is still my lovely self, just as it's always been.
Fuck, no wonder I'm alienating everyone around me.
I'm so damn impulsive.
This morning, after receiving what must have been the 100th SPAM from The Luxor in Las Vegas telling me about their great deals for August, I finally caved and booked myself a trip.
So I'll fly there on August 20th and return on August 25th.
This trip is all personal. There is no conference to intrude into my busy drinking and gambling and sightseeing schedule.
It will rock!
Now I get to be excited about life for a while, so fuck off, world. You can't keep a good man down forever.
More detailed information for stalkers will be posted as my plans for that week solidify.
Figured I'd clean out some of the pictures on my phone.
This was a couple of weeks ago, when we all wondered if we were going to die. It's hard to tell from the picture, but a storm had gone through and left the sky an eerie purplish-brown. I went outside to check it out. With the sunset giving some context to that color it wasn't nearly as freaky.
This is just a smoldering hot girl that was at White Castle one night. She had brown hair and glasses. I was smitten.
One night, when nobody was looking, I hung a picture from DaveFest on the wall at Rich O's. I figured that none of the bartenders would be motivated enough to take it down. It's the picture on the left, and it's of me and SassyGirl.
Saturday they had this art thingy at Rich O's. This here was done by MisunderstoodGirl.
I just took a picture of this because I thought it was stupid. Maybe that's what the artist was going for.
This statue thingy reminded me of allaboutme's profile picture.
Last night I got to Rich O's late, and I should have just stayed home.
The only good thing about last night was that I had two pints of yummy Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier (1331).
I could have stayed home and done that.
I was bored (obviously) so I took some quizzes this morning. I stole the first one from GoGo.
You are a warm hearted and open minded person. It's easy for you to forgive and forget.Well, that's crap. Let's try another one.
You are not a very grounded person. You prefer dreams to reality. For you, it's all about possibilities.
You see yourself with pretty objective eyes. How you view yourself is almost exactly how other people view you.
Your near future is a lot like the present, and as far as you're concerned, that's a very good thing.
For you, love is all about caring and comfort. You couldn't fall in love with someone you didn't trust.
At first glance, people see you as warm and well-balanced.Maybe a little more accurate. On to the next quiz.
Overall, your true self is passive and thoughtful.
With friends, you seem dramatic, lively, and quick to react.
In love, you seem like a huge flirt.
In stressful situations, you seem selfish and moody.
Your True Love Is a Sagittarius.Well, duh!
Why you'll love a Sagittarius:
Deep and philosophical, you'll love getting lost in hours of conversation with your Sag.
Your Sagittarius is curious and adventurous enough to keep you interested... not an easy task!
Why a Sagittarius will love you:
You're passionate about a few important issues, a kind of depth that Sagittarius finds very attractive.
You're outgoing, flexible, and up for almost anything. You and your Sag will have tons of adventures together.
You Are 28% HappyI think this one overestimated things. No way I'm that happy.
You're not miserable, but you could stand to be a lot happier.
Focus on what's right in the world, and you'll be happier than you ever thought possible.
Your Ideal Relationship Is MarriageI suppose this one is accurate.
You've dated enough to know what you want.
And that's marriage - with the right person.
You're serious about settling down some time soon.
Even if you haven't met the person you want to get hitched to!
Pretty crowded, but I wanted to sit at the bar anyway, and there's a seat open. Some dude wants to buy an XL DaveFest shirt, but I'm out of that size. I order a Bluegrass Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout (234), which is back after a brief absence.
I'm in a shitty mood already.
FutureDude tells me that he can't find any DaveFest shirts. There should be several of them left. Maybe Roger needed some rags to wash his car.
I've been on a Saltine-only diet all week. I should keep that in mind when I order beer tonight.
This one fucker thinks he's so smart, so deep. He's deep all right. He has to be to hold all that bullshit.
Meanwhile, there's been a hot girl in the red room all this time and I didn't see her until just now. I'm such a slacker.
They're having an art thing here tomorrow, and I just found out that MisunderstoodGirl will be here. Yay!
I think that if nobody tries to talk to me tonight, then I'll be able to maintain my mood at merely shitty.
Ugh. Fucking PBDs.
People keep telling me that they like this kind of entry, with the times and the mundane thoughts and shit. I don't know why they like them. Are they living their lives vicariously through me? Well, if so, then I've got bad news for them. This is no life. This is just me wondering if anything will ever happen ever again.
The PBDs at the island are leaving. Maybe I should move over there. That hot girl's blouse may accidentally fall to the floor. Or maybe she could trip and fall and accidentally impale herself on my dick.
Too late. Some strangers just took over the island.
Another BBC bourbon thingy (254).
The geeks at the right end of the bar are leaving. I'm moving over there.
I have this scenario that keeps running through my head. The perfect scenario. The only scenario that I can imagine that would allow me to move past this bullshit. Fortunately, it's no longer the least likely scenario that I can imagine. Unfortunately, it's still pretty fucking unlikely, and I don't have a backup plan.
People are hovering all around me again. I hate it when this happens.
I'd try. I'd really try to be strong. But I'd fail, and my eyes would give me away and reveal my weakness.
King Kong Bundy just sat at the other end of the bar.
Holy shit! Eric and Teri are here! We go and sit in the red room. This is very cool.
Now DooragGirl is here. Yay!
DooragGirl is avoiding me, or she's at least picking the PBDs over me. Either way, that's just fucking fantastic. Not.
WomanRepellant is here. He owes me money.
Time for another BBC thingy (274).
Teri thinks that I should have done what MixedSignalGirl asked me to do. I could not disagree more.
Eric and Teri are leaving.
Diet Coke time.
Hey! ActualGeorge is here!
Then I went to White Castle (and ended my Saltine diet) and then I came home.
I like storms. I really do. I've been fascinated with them since I was about four years old.
Right now, there is lightning and thunder, and I'm freaking out a little.
The thunder - it just isn't normal thunder. I mean, it's not one of the two normal kinds of thunder. It's not the kind that's a loud bang indicating a nearby lightning flash. And it's not the long drawn-out rumble associated with a distant flash.
It's something else.
Something a little scary.
It's kind of like a machine gun. A series of very loud noises spaced impossibly close together. It's definitely not the result of hundreds of lightning strikes all occurring in a row. It's one sound, one sound that lasts maybe five seconds or so, but a sound that's almost interrupted ten times a second.
You know what it sounds like?
A giant zipper.
An incredibly huge and incredibly loud zipper, being pulled across the sky.
I wonder, if I were to look out my office window right now, would I see God's wang?
I don't think I want to look. I mean, I'm pretty sure I can't compete with that thing.
They're right at the tip of my brain, these ideas and thoughts, but they'll go no further than that. It's like there's a disconnect between my brain and my fingers.
Move me away from my keyboard, away from pen and paper, and I'm a fucking fountain of creativity. But now, now all I've got are snippets.
I think I'm worrying too much about what I write these days. Too many people that know me are reading this thing. If I ever disappear from here, it will be for that reason, and I'll probably be somewhere nearby.
Every Thursday night I decide that I'm not going out over the weekend. Every Friday and Saturday night I go out. I don't know if this reflects too much apathy or too little determination. All I know for sure is that most nights I come home in a worse mood than I was in before I left my house.
It's coming up on a year since that meteoric near-miss that left me trembling like a rabbit during hunting season. I still tremble. I'm doing it right now. Sometimes I remember what it was like to feel safe, but that memory is like a hazy dream that I'm not sure I ever really had.
It would probably do me some good if I would allow myself to get pissed at certain people, but I don't expect it to happen anytime soon. It's just a lot easier to get pissed at myself. Plus, I'm used to that.
People that know the situation should also remember that I didn't start it. It was all her idea to act on what was happening. I would have been perfectly content to let it end before it ever started. I had enough drama in my life already.
It pisses me off that the thing that opened my heart to the possibility of happiness is the same thing that stands in the way of my finding it. Some would probably call this irony, but I have harsher words for it.
One of these years I should think about getting my truck back home. It's been in the parking lot at work since Monday evening. I wonder if everybody thinks I'm all gung-ho now. Go team!
I would make a terrible evil genius. For two reasons.
I have a date for Sunday. People will probably think we're staging a remake of Beauty and the Beast. I sure hope nobody expects me to sing.
I could do these snippets all night, but I won't. You can thank me later.
I was just now going to write that I saw SassyGirl at Rich O's after work, and that I had an NABC Artemsia (120). Then I was going to write that I gave SassyGirl a ride home and we talked and it was nice. I was probably going to write that I had a Blue Moon (270) at SassyGirl's house and that I got to pet her cat. I probably wasn't going to mention that SassyBoy was at Rich O's too, even though I should mention it because nobody had seen him in months.
Then, I think I was going to elaborate on how nice it was to see SassyGirl, especially to be able to spend time with just the two of us. If I'd written that, then I'd also have felt compelled to write that I have absolutely nothing against JauntyGirl at all (she's really nice and cool) but sometimes I just want to see my friends without their significant others there. I'd have written something about how I'm always a third wheel in those situations. Then, I might have started to allude to other friends that I rarely (or never) see without their significant others, but then I'd have thought about it, and decided against it because, you know, sometimes you just have to take what you can get and stop being such a baby.
Once I'd written about my day, I was going to struggle for quite a while about another topic that's been on my mind. I would have had this long drawn-out internal debate over whether or not I should even mention it at all. I think this would have been a tough decision, because it would certainly make for interesting writing, but it would also open up a big can of worms that would probably be best left closed. In the end, I was going to decide that it just wasn't worth the trouble.
In fact, I ended up deciding that writing about anything at all would require more effort than it was worth, so I ditched the whole plan and just went and watched some TV.
I've had such a bad few days. I'm not really sure that I can describe it, or if I even want to, or if I should.
It takes such a small push, to tip me away from sadness and into something better. The tiniest of efforts can make me human again, for a while at least. But it's that tiniest bit of effort that still seems to be too much to ask for. Or hope for. Or expect.
I'm so out of balance, on this imaginary scale of emotion I keep in my head. I used to be centered. Content was the word I used. Things would happen or not happen, and I'd swing to sadness or happiness for a while, but then I'd always spring back to the center.
I guess my center has shifted, because content is no longer the place where I come to rest. Content takes imagination and willpower that I no longer possess. Content is a goal I now seem to attain only with help from other people.
This is a bad thing, of course. Because, as a general rule, other people cannot be counted on.
To have my own mood hinge on, for example, another person's ability to reply to a text message - this is beyond ludicrous and I know it. I know it and yet there it is. And here I am. Trying not to feel insulted and isolated. Trying not to see that hint that I'm just positive is there.
Trying to will myself back to center, but all the while knowing that I'll need that push.
This goes much deeper than I'd dared to imagine.
It wasn't the work of just one practical joker, it was a collaborative effort spanning uncountable miles and untold months.
I found my keys.
I found them almost where I'd left them.
I drove my truck back to work tonight. My non-air-conditioning-having truck. Yes, it was hot. Yes, I roasted. I drove back to work and I talked to the guard about whether there was a lost and found box I could rummage through. He said that there was, over in the admin building. He'd buzz me in. I said that I wanted to check my cubicle and my laptop case one more time.
So I went back to my cubicle and pretty much turned it inside-out.
But I'd already known that. I had a distinct memory of dropping my keys into my laptop case in the morning. Either they were still there, or they'd somehow fallen out, or someone had taken them.
I opened every pocket in that bag. I emptied out every paper and pen and loose coin from that bag. I picked that bag up and I turned it upside-down and I shook it.
I reached my hand deep inside the bag, and my hand somehow found a pocket that I hadn't known was there. A deep pocket. So deep, in fact, that my arm wasn't long enough to let me probe its depths. So I placed the bag on the floor, and I climbed inside. There, I found the entrance to, I dunno, another universe is the only way I can describe it. A separate time and place, with neither light nor sound nor texture. Only emptiness. Nothingness.
I steeled myself, then I ventured inside ever further, and then I lost all connection with time and place and even self.
I drifted through that emptiness for what might have been a few seconds or what might have been a million years. I drifted through the darkness until I saw something. The faintest glimmer. The kind of glimmer that only small shiny metal things can make. By sheer force of will, I steered my drifting body toward the source of the glimmer, and then, after another few seconds or another million years, I heard a clink. The kind of clink that only small shiny metal things can make.
I'd found my keys.
Somehow, maybe through luck, or maybe because that dark and silent and empty place knew that I didn't belong there and forced me out, I made my way back into my universe, into my cubicle. Standing there and pondering the journey I'd just made, I was suddenly struck as to just how deep this conspiracy went.
It wasn't one person hiding my keys on a lark. It was a planned thing. That laptop bag is several years old, made God only knows where, yet that portal waited inside it until today. Someone, some evil genius, designed that bag with today in mind. To make me feel like a dumbass, someone went to an awful lot of trouble. I can't even begin to imagine the kind of planning and patience this took. I know that I could never pull it off.
Whoever it was that did this, that set this up, I applaud them.
Like I said before, Ha ha. That's a good one.
Okay, which one of you fuckers took my keys?
I thought for a while, when I was trying to leave work and couldn't find them, I thought that I'd locked them in my car. They were not in my laptop case where they were supposed to be, and they were not anywhere else in my cubicle. So I realized that in my Monday morning fugue state, I must have locked them in my car.
This realization sucked, but I hadn't done it in over fifteen years, so I figured that I was due.
I walked out and peered into my windows for a good five or ten minutes.
They're not in my car.
You sure had me going though. Ha ha. That's a good one.
But now the joke has run its course. I've already bummed a ride home from a coworker, so there are no more laughs for you to have at my expense.
So, can I please have my fucking keys back?
I seem to have picked up a new quirk over the last few days. An irritating thought process that can take me nowhere good.
I've caught myself several times, way too many times to count. I've noticed this in the past, and I've always been able to stop it before it became a problem. Before that annoyance became a habit became an obsession.
What I'm doing is wondering.
Not even hoping or regretting or fantasizing.
Just wondering. Wondering what she's doing and what she's thinking and how she's feeling and dozens of other things that are not only none of my business, they're downright dangerous subjects for me to be wondering about.
Because there's always the chance, however unlikely it may seem, there's always the chance that I'll be wondering and I'll be honest with myself at the same time. Don't laugh, it's bound to happen eventually.
One of these days or weeks or months or years, I'll allow that door that I've kept sealed in my head, that door that holds the truth at bay, I'll drop my guard and I'll allow that door to creak open. And all the monsters will come rushing out.
I wouldn't want to be around myself when that happens.
Yesterday was a pretty decent day. I actually left my basement and went out to shoot some pool. This was the first time I'd shot in a place other than my basement since January. It was also the first time I'd played an actual opponent since January.
So that was fun. My left leg is actually a little sore today. Need to work on my balance I guess.
On the way home I stopped at Taco Bell and grabbed a couple of chili cheese burritos. Shut up, I like them. I've liked them since they were called chilitos. Anyway, after I ate, I realized just how tired I was. It was 7:00 and I was too tired to even think about going out. So I wrote off my Saturday night and went to bed...
...and I couldn't sleep. My cat Buddy just would not allow it. So I went down to Rich O's.
The place was pretty empty, so I liked that. A bunch of strangers were in the living room, but I didn't feel like sitting there anyway. I grabbed my favorite seat at the island and ordered an NABC Artemsia (60).
There seemed to be a S.I.G.H. convention in the area. Several times girls would come into Rich O's proper, glance at me and the open stools around me, then veer around me to stand in the annex area. Whatever, whores.
MusicalHippyDude came and sat with me, and we were able to talk for a bit before we got interrupted. Then I managed to hurt said interrupter's feelings by picking up my shit and moving over to the (recently vacated) throne.
For the rest of the night I just sat and smoked and drank two more Artemsias (100). One note about that beer: None of the bartenders have any clue how to pronounce it. This may be an indicator that it's a stupid name for a beer. But that's just my opinion of the name. The beer itself is weird and yummy. Just like me.
(Note I've asked Roger, the owner of Rich O's, and he says it's ar-TEM-zee-uh.)
I also did something sneaky while nobody was looking. We'll see how that turns out.
After a while, LonerBoy came and sat with me, and we talked about various crap. He's going to Seattle, and I'm pretty jealous of that. I haven't been there since 2002.
Rich O's closed up early because it was so dead. LonerBoy and I went over to Jack's and I had a Blue Moon and wished I was about 20 years younger. It turned out that Jack's was where the S.I.G.H. convention was taking place.
The Blue Moon was a bad idea, and so I ended up staying at Jack's drinking Diet Coke until the wee hours of the morning, waiting for the alcohol to leave my body and talking with a bunch of girls from Logan's Roadhouse.
I'm a pretty stubborn guy sometimes. This stubbornness reveals itself in various ways. Like when I refuse to take a hint if I don't like what's being hinted at. Like when I'm completely wasting my time but I keep trying because I keep imagining that it could all be worth it in the end.
Friday night, it poured here. Floyd County got like 5 inches of rain in an hour. This is all my fault because I washed all three of my vehicles. It was raining so hard that the 20 yard sprint from my car to the GasNStuff left me completely soaked. I was wet for the rest of the night.
So I sloshed myself into Red Lobster. This is just more of my stubbornness. I was supposed to be in Indianapolis, but instead I was wasting my time back home, so I went to Red Lobster to make the night at least a little bit unusual.
The TV above the bar was nothing but weather reports. From the flash floods and the lightning. The sound was muted, so I can't be sure that they officially blamed me for all of it, but they probably did. Every fucking thing else that's ever happened is my fault, after all. Anyway, the TV was muted, but the closed-captioning was still on, but it's wasn't the text of the weather reports that was being displayed. It was instead the show that was supposed to be on at that time. That was kind of weird.
My food was good, as always. I like Red Lobster a lot. The waitress kept bugging me though. Asking if everything was okay. I said that it was, but I guess I wasn't convincing enough because then the manager came over and asked me the same question. I told him that the food was just fine, but that I kept getting interrupted by people asking me questions. He took the hint and everyone left me alone after that. I just make friends everywhere I go.
Next I went to Rich O's and sat with LibraryGirl and her friends for a while. I had myself an NABC Artemsia (40) and then a Rogue Smoke (250). I think there were people there and I think that I probably talked to some of them, but I'm sure that it was nothing important.
I'm craving a steak. Again. Must be some old age thing. Like I need meat to help make up for withering away.
So I'm at this place in New Albany called Tucker's. We used to come here, every now and then. The food is pretty good. The bartender is hot. Plus, there's something about the Guinness here. It's fucking yummy. Much better than it is anywhere else.
I'm having a Guinness, of course. A tall glass of frothy pleasure while I wait for my steak and my baked potato and my sautéed mushrooms. Not that the sides matter. It's all about the steak tonight. And the Guinness. And the hot bartender.
The red room at Rich O's is fucked up. Some plumbing problem. So what little crowd there is has, um, crowded into the rest of Rich O's proper. I don't care though. I'm not even officially here.
They've got two new beers on tap. Both seem intriguing to me.
(draft) Dirty gold. Zero fizz. Has a sweet aroma, if that makes any sense. Flavor is quite sweet with some odd indescribable undertones. Pretty good, but dangerous because the alcohol is very well hidden. No bitterness.8:12
They're playing fucking Johnny Cash again. I never had an opinion about him at all, but now I hate him because they play the dead fucker so damn often in this place.
Great, now the fuckhead on the sofa is singing along to the music. I hate him.
(draft) Clear brown. Zero fizz. Smells like a pine tree - must be the mugwort. The flavor is very weird, and very good. I like this a lot. Tastes like it should have more alcohol than it does.8:35
Another half-pint of the Artemsia (20).
The strangers just left the other end of the bar. I would move down there, but it seems hard.
Some guy from the future just took the right-hand barstool. He seemed upset when his Upland Wheat didn't come with a citrus wedge.
PotatoGirl is having trouble pouring Pilsner Urquel because it's so foamy. This has prompted me to write a new advertising slogan for that beer. Pilsner Urquel: A lot of effort for a little flavor.
I had a brilliant idea for a series of 'blog entries yesterday. But it seems hard, so I probably won't do it.
The guy from the future has gone. The time portal must be about to close.
Ordering another half-pint of the Jenever (20).
I am sooooooooooooo glad that I deleted her number from my phone. Really.
Fine, maybe I'm stupid, but at least my stupidity lets me do the right thing. Most idiots have no excuse at all.
Bubbles is here.
PotatoGirl wants me. She needs to get in line.
This Artemsia stuff is yummy. That means that it will never be here again, so I'd better drink up. Not tonight though.
I'm officially back from Chicago now.
Notice that I said officially. I've been back unofficially since Wednesday night.
Drove to Chicago, dicked around for a few minutes, got a phone call, then drove back home.
Twelve hours of driving just to end up back where I'd started.
In more ways than one.
There are no pictures, there are no stories, there are no explanations that I feel like giving.
There is nothing.
In more ways than one.
A million years ago, I wrapped my arms around her, and she wrapped hers around me. That was the first time.
A thousand years ago, our lips met. That was the only time.
Last night, I thought about how I should have never let go from that embrace. I thought about how I should have never pulled away from that kiss. I relived those moments, as I relive them far too often as I lie staring at the ceiling but seeing only her eyes.
Maybe I'm insane. But at least I have a reason. A purpose.
If I relive those moments often enough then, I'm convinced, I'll find something. Hidden in my memory of those events, there just has to be something that I'm missing.
There's something there.
I know there is.
I'll find it.
I just need a little more time.
I should have never let go. I should have never pulled away.
How could I have been so stupid? There must have been a reason.
I'll find it.
...it was a long and boring drive.
In fact, it seemed twice as long and boring as I'd expected.
That is all.
I'm leaving for Chicago now.
The drive is going to suck because, believe it or not, driving through Indiana vertically is kind of boring.
It'll be five hours of boredom followed by two hours of heavy city traffic and toll roads.
I guess it beats going in to work, though.
Okay, it's over. I have declared it to be so.
The last pint poured during DaveFest 2006 was a Rogue Smoke (230), and it was yummy. The festival is now over.
Sure, that last keg of Rogue Smoke is still on, but it's the last of the special-order beers. Guinness and Smithwick's are still on, but they're always on. If I waited for those two to run out then DaveFest would last for a year.
Hmmmm, The Year Of Dave...
Nope, too late. I have declared it to be over.
More than that, even. I've removed the little DaveFest thingies from the beer board, and I've stolen the DaveFest sign that hung at the Rich O's front door.
No going back now.
Now is as good a time as any. I've never hidden the fact that, for me, the whole point of the thing was to give Roger a reason to bring back Rogue Chocolate Stout. Well, he did bring it back. And now it's gone. It must have blown sometime on Monday. To have the thing drag on when the star of the show is gone just wouldn't seem right.
Besides, and speaking of the star of the show, I'll be in Chicago for the next few nights. What's a DaveFest without a Dave? A ThatOneDudeFest?
So, it's over. And I have a few closing remarks.
For Roger, and for the regulars at Rich O's, and for the strangers and idiots that have come in over the last 6 weeks, DaveFest has either been a pleasant diversion, or a cruel joke, or whatever. For me, for me it's been a singular honor. I send my heartfelt thanks to everyone involved. From Roger, who had the idea in the first place, to Tony, who did the artwork, to Tim, who made the shirts, to all of the bartenders, and to all of my friends and family members who came in and treated the thing like it was real, I am eternally grateful.
And that goes double to everyone who bought a DaveFest shirt. Take care of those things. They're collectors items now.
Roger has indicated that he may have more of these customer appreciation festivals. I hope that he does. I also hope that whoever gets picked for the honor always takes it seriously and appreciates it as much as I do.
This was the first one. The first one at Rich O's, and the first one like it anywhere as far as I've been able to determine. DaveFest 2006 made news on beer sites all over the country. I hope the concept catches on. People everywhere should have the opportunity to receive this type of honor.
Like I said, this was the first. And because it was the first, there were some kinks. If, next year, there's going to be a TimFest or a Bobfest or whatever, what can be done to make things go more smoothly? I have some ideas.
The next honorees should really take their time in their beer selections. I really just kind of threw my list together because I didn't think it would ever really happen. The next people won't have that excuse. They will know that Roger doesn't fuck around when it comes to beer. I should have known this myself.
DaveFest 2006 was advertised in two places: my 'blog and Roger's 'blog. No matter what Roger and I might like to think, there are better ways to get the word out. I'm envisioning a sign on the wall at Rich O's, a big sign with 180 days until MargaretFest or whatever. A countdown sign. Get people wondering about the thing well before it happens. DaveFest came as a surprise to nearly everyone. In fact, on the day before it started, one of the bartenders still hadn't heard of the thing. There should be flyers at the bar at least a couple of weeks in advance.
3. Beer Again
This year, the two Rogue kegs were two weeks late. This wasn't really the fault of any one person or organization, it was more of a cluster-fuck designed by the universe to screw with me. This is something that should be watched more closely in the future.
The shirts were a fantastic thing, but they were too late. We waited too long to do the artwork, and that meant that the design got to the t-shirt guy too late. So I missed out on having DaveFest shirts for the opening weekend. And now I'm left with $300 worth of shirts that may never sell.
5. Beer Menus
Usually, when Roger has his beer festivals, there'll be special Beer Menus made up that list each of the beers along with a brief description. I'd thought about doing this for DaveFest, and I'd even talked to Roger about it. Well, I dropped the ball. I kept putting it off, and I just put it off too long. The festival beer lists are probably the best advertisement that these festivals have. Future honorees should take the time to write about the beers they've chosen and have a nice beer menu put together. Plus, this would make an excellent souvenir.
6. Dancing Girls
The DaveFest Dancers that Roger ordered for opening night never showed up. Future festival dancers should be given better directions.
I guess that's it.
Today, I got my oil changed in my Intrepid, so I can drive it to Chicago on Wednesday. Should be more comfortable than my truck. Less bouncy anyway. I also had them fix the air conditioning.
Then I took a nap.
I mentioned that on Friday night a bunch of weirdoes came into the bar. I'm thinking now that they must have just been the advance team.
On Saturday night, sitting right there on the loveseat, in all her glory, was Purpella, Queen Of The Weirdoes.
I tried not to stare. I really did. I went over and stood at the island where a bunch of people I know where sitting. Including HatGirl. Yay!. I stood at the end of the island, and I tried not to stare. After a bit, I sat in Bubble's vacated seat, and I still tried not to stare.
Fuck, HatGirl even pointed out that she was wearing a skirt, and still I couldn't help but stare at Purpella.
She was a freak. A freak with hair that was about a million different colors of purple.
Anyway, after a while some of Purpella's royal entourage left the living room area, so HatGirl and LuckyFucker and I moved over there. The rest of the night consisted of not much worth mentioning, except that I had two pints of Rogue Chocolate Stout (776) and I had a pretty tough time not looking at HatGirl's legs. At least I did once Purpella had left.
Oh yeah, the place was pretty dead. By 10:00, there were just the three of us in the living room area, and about a dozen or so strangers in the red room, and that was it. All of the cool people must have been at some party. In fact, LonerBoy had asked me earlier in the night if I was going to such a party. I declined because (a) I'm on-call this weekend, (b) I had to work in the morning, (c) I wasn't invited to the PBD party he was talking about, and most importantly, (d) HatGirl!
Towards the end of the night I saw something very sweet, and that put me in a strange mood. Stranger than normal I mean.
I was so close. So fucking close to pulling myself out of this abyss. Words of encouragement had boosted my resolve. The strength shown to me by another had lifted my own confidence. I was so close.
I shouldn't have done what I did. I should have completed my climb as I'd started it. On my own. But I didn't. Instead, instead as I neared the top, I reached out my hand. She had been waiting for me for a long time. She seemed as excited as I was, maybe even more so. I was going to be free. We were going to be together.
That's what I thought, anyway.
I reached up with my hand, and she took it into her own. She smiled at me. I gave her more of my weight, and she held on all of her strength.
I gave her my full weight...
...and she let go.
And now I'm going back to where I belong.
Tumbling and bouncing off these walls that I'd so recently scaled. Climbing is hard work, but falling, falling is effortless. It's fucking fantastic, because I know that it cannot be stopped. It's such a free feeling.
I'm so excited. I can hardly wait to get back to the bottom.
Back to where I belong.
I must have decided a million times that I wasn't going out last night. My sleep schedule was all messed up and I'm on-call this weekend. Those would be the official reasons. The unofficial reason would be that I just didn't feel like going out only to have my mood deteriorate as the inevitable feelings of disappointment appeared once again.
So the plan was to come home from work, sleep until midnight or so, then shoot some pool.
My phone wouldn't stop ringing. It was either work calling about some perceived disaster, or my sister, or my friend Eric. The work calls I had to answer, the others I sent to voicemail. Don't these people know that I'm trying to sleep? Guess not.
About the eight zillionth time my phone rang, I looked at the screen, and saw a local number that sort of looked familiar. A number that looked a lot like one I'd deleted from my phone a while ago, because I couldn't trust myself not to call it.
She wanted to know if I was going to Rich O's.
Well, duh! Of course I was. Try and stop me.
So, while my new Hard Rock Cleveland shirt was dewrinkling in the dryer, I connected in to work to do what I could about the problems there. I called my friend Eric back. I didn't call my sister because all she wanted was for me to bring my camera if I was going to Louisville to listen to my nephew play guitar, and I wasn't going because (a) It was too late, and (b) HatGirl!
When I got to Rich O's, there was an über hot girl dressed like a flapper, and another girl dressed like, well I don't really know how to describe it. It was some kind of period costume. More on those two later.
Inside, I found HatGirl and LuckyFucker sitting on the loveseat, and a couple of strangers sitting on the sofa. I sat on the throne and ordered a Rogue Chocolate Stout (736).
After a few minutes, HatGirl and LuckyFucker left. Remember that disappointment stuff I wrote about up above? Inevitable.
The strangers recognized me from the whole DaveFest thing, and I spent the next couple of hours talking to them. They recently moved here from New York They're pretty cool people, which probably means that I'll never see them again.
My second beer was a Rogue Smoke (190).
At one point FlapperGirl and some other people came in and sat at the island. I went up and tried to start a conversation with her, mainly about why she and her friend were in costume. She blew me off and said it was just normal clothes. "But you're dressed like a hot flapper!" I protested. "And your friend is dressed like an Elizabethan alien or something!"
She didn't seem to like this, and her look told me to go away, so I did. But later, when I went to the bathroom, the guy I was talking to said that FlapperGirl had checked out my ass. So that was cool.
My third beer was a Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier, but I only drank about half of it (1240) because after the New York couple left a bunch of weirdoes came and took over the living room area.
Once I got home all hell broke loose at work again, so I spent the rest of the night trying to deal with that.
Okay, at what point am I allowed to be pissed at you without making myself seem like a jackass?
Hopefully, that point has already passed, because I'm pissed right now.
It's one thing to call me and arrange to meet me at the bar after work.
It's another thing to then not show up.
And then, then to not answer your fucking phone or return a voicemail - that's just fucking rude.
To do the all of the above like a dozen times in a row, well I don't have the words to describe it.
And, just when I start to get used to that mistreatment, you fucking find a new way to abuse me.
You call me and tell me that you're already there. That you're waiting for me. That you'll see me when I get there.
When I get there, you're nowhere to be found.
So I fucking call you to ask what's up.
And I leave a fucking voicemail.
And you fucking don't return it.
Remember, you're the one fucking calling me.
Anyway, while I was wasting my fucking time waiting for you to return my call, I had a beer that was new to me:
Rogue Altbier (5)
(draft) Looks like a brown ale, smells like an alt, but tastes like an IPA. Bitter flavor followed with a bitter finish. An Altbier is supposed to be balanced, dammit! A very disappointing beer from one of my favorite breweries.After that, I had a half pint of yummy Rogue Smoke (170).
Look, I know that lately I've put too much stake in the actions of others. I know that I do that. But dammit, there are some people that I should be able to fucking count on.
I thought that you were one of those people.
You fucking called me.
Well that was nice. I'd expected to hear from her attorney before I ever heard from her.
I've got a cyst or a conjoined twin or something growing on the back of neck. It's actually impeding my ability to turn my head without pain. When this grows big enough to become self-aware I just hope it isn't a jerk.
Yesterday some guy at Rich O's that nobody ever saw before bought two DaveFest shirts. I made it a point to stop by his table and thank him for his support.
That's all I've got for now. Thought there'd be more, but nope.
Clicking the image should pop up a larger view, if you're really bored.
Okay, this is a little disjointed.
That field to the right of the highway - that's where I grew up. There used to be a house there. There used to be a lot of shit in that area that isn't there anymore, and there's a lot of new shit that wasn't there when I was growing up.Now, this damn dream was chock full of symbolism, and I think I get most of it. But the thing I really want to know is, What the fuck did the ladder have to do with anything?
Anyway, I had my pillows and my sleeping bag, and I was camping right on the edge of the road in front of my old yard. The pillows that I had - I had three pillows with green pillowcases, which is weird because I only have one pillowcase like that in my house.
There was a kind of theme to what I was doing. "Roadside 'Blogging" or something equally nonsensical. I kept getting annoyed because passing cars would keep zooming by me without even slowing down. I kept thinking that I was going to get run over, and I didn't want to die in my sleep like that.
I was trying to get some sleep, but there were some kids across the street setting up for a concert or a huge party or something. Also, I was right near this drainage pipe (you can barely tell where it is in the picture) and there were rocks that were digging into my back.
So I gave up on sleeping, and I decided that I was thirsty and that I'd go to Polly's Freeze. Polly's is the building at the top of the picture. So I walked passed my grandmother's old house (center right of the picture) and I was almost to Polly's when I realized that it was only 10:00 or so, and that I could go to Rich O's and have a yummy Rogue Chocolate Stout instead.
I picked up a ladder and I started running back to my old yard, where I'd parked my truck. Some black guy came out of Mildred's house (on the left side of the road in the center of the picture) and he started hollering at me about something, but I couldn't understand what he was saying.
When I got back to my old yard, there was a big giant house that was being delivered. I couldn't get my truck out because the big giant house delivery had the driveway blocked. So I tried to drive my truck up the hill at the front of my old yard, but the hill was too steep and I flipped my truck.
These things were outside my window when I got up this morning. There were actually about twice this many. There was another adult and another half-dozen chicks.
The reason it's so out of focus is that I took this picture through the glass in my window, and the glass messed up my camera's auto-focus. By the time I figured out how to focus them, they were in the bushes.
I think they're turkeys, but that's just a guess.
One of the fringe benefits of taking a trip like the one I just took is that I'm given the opportunity to think. Actually, I'm forced to think. I don't have one of those fancy satellite radio thingies in my truck, nor do I have a working CD or cassette player. I don't really enjoy searching for radio stations only to have each one degrade into static after an hour or so.
So, I think.
Of course, the timing of this change sets off lights and buzzers in my head. Don't think that I haven't noticed the timing, because I have. I always notice the timing when it indicates that something might have something to do with you know who.
But I think it really goes deeper than that. This feeling that I have with me now, it's one of almost overwhelming disappointment. With everything in my life and with everyone in my life. I look forward to certain things, or to seeing certain people. I almost put my life on hold waiting for, I don't know, waiting for something that just isn't happening. I anticipate seeing my friends, and then they either don't show up or, when they do, it's just never enough to satisfy me.
This might be the most obvious thing ever, to anyone who's been reading me for any length of time, but I didn't really get it until today while I was driving through Ohio. I've completely lost sight of who I am.
I'm trying to see myself through other peoples' eyes, because I've lost the ability to see within my own head and my own heart. I no longer know what it is that motivates me. I don't even know if there's anything to know. It's like that old joke, I not only don't know anything, I don't even suspect anything.
And so, when the familiar fails me, I run to the unfamiliar. At least then I know that expectations are bullshit.
Plus, I can't help but think, every now and then, that somebody might notice that I'm gone, and maybe even wait for me to some back.
On Monday morning they must have declared some kind of ice shortage or something, because the ice machine, located conveniently across the hall from my room, was in constant use from about 6:10 in the morning until I left at around 9:00.
What I'd decided was that I'd go and try to find a Best Buy or something so I could buy a new power adapter for my laptop.
And that's just what I did. It took a long time to find a Best Buy though.
When I got back to my room, it hadn't been touched. Big surprise.
Monday afternoon, after I'd done a little writing, I walked down to this Cleveland ChopHouse and Brewery place that the cabbie from Sunday night had recommended.
With my very yummy sirloin and my kinda rubbery shrimp, I had a couple of beers:
(draft) Black with cream-colored head and incredible lacing. Flavor slanted a bit more towards coffee than chocolate. A decent beer.Cleveland ChopHouse Saison de Chop (16)
(draft) Wow! Unexpectedly good. Extremely well-balanced and very refreshing. It also tasted like it had a higher ABV than it really does.Then I went back to my room (still no maid service) and dicked around for a while before it was time to go to the Indians game.
It was a pretty good game. Indians vs. Yankees. I heard from somebody that it was the first time this season that Jacobs Field had been sold out. I believe this is because the Indians suck this year, but I'm really not sure.
Also, and maybe it was just the area where I was seated, but there seemed to be more Yankee fans than Indians fans at the game. That's kinda sad, I think.
As is my custom, I bought a cap and rooted for the home team.
The Indians actually won. I gathered that this was a surprise to everyone, especially the Indians.
After the game was over they had fireworks, but I wanted to beat the crowd so I high-tailed it down to the Winking Lizard and grabbed a seat at the bar. I had myself an Edmund Fitzgerald (144) and then I realized, quite suddenly, that I'd be leaving Cleveland in the morning. I decided that, no matter how yummy the Great Lakes porter was, I just had to try something else.
They have a pretty impressive beer menu. You can actually see it here if you want to play along at home.
The first choice was a no-brainer. I'd loved the Harpoon Winter Warmer so much, when I'd had it in Portland, that I just had to try their Hefeweizen.
Looking at the bottle, I should have known that something was wrong:
Look a little closer:
That's a fucking citrus wedge, right there on the bottle!
Well I told the bartender that I didn't want the damn fruit wedge, bottle artwork notwithstanding. I used my standard "I'm straight" line as an excuse.
(bottle) Despite the name Hefeweizen, this is an American wheat beer. Despite that, I liked it anyway. There was none of the hop bitterness that I usually associate with this style. The thing tasted like a Belgian wheat, and it tasted good.The next beer choice took a little longer. There was this banana beer on the menu that looked intriguing, but it was an awfully big bottle and there was no guarantee that it wouldn't be disgusting. So I chose instead the following:
(bottle) Although supposedly a Belgian wheat, this had much of the aroma and flavor of a German wheat. If I had to put a label on it, I'd say that is was a blend of those two excellent styles. A very good beer from what is becoming one of my favorite breweries.During all this I spent most of the time talking to a couple of Clevelandites about various crap.
Then I walked back to my hotel.
The fucking bitch maid had not visited my room all fucking day.
After I tried to write some entries, I went to sleep, then I got up and made sure that the manager knew how lazy the maid was, then I drove home.
I feel like I need to say something here, before I say anything else. One of the things that I really hate about traveling is having to work my schedule around the hotel's cleaning people.
On Sunday morning, I was gone from my room for about four hours. When I returned, my room hadn't been touched yet.
During my driving around I'd passed this Winking Lizard place that I'd remembered from my pre-trip research. It was close to the hotel, so I decided to walk. After I'd walked a couple of hundred yards, it started to sprinkle. After I'd walked another couple of block, it started to pour. By the time I got to the bar I was soaked to the bone. I guess this Winking Lizard place is pretty famous or something. They had a decent draft selection, and a very good bottled selection. What I did was have three Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgeralds (112) and some Cajun-spiced chicken tenders while I watched the Indians game on TV.
Here are a couple pics I took inside the place:
When it was time to leave, I went out front and bought a t-shirt, and took this picture of what I must assume is the bar's mascot:
Either that, or they have a really bad pest problem.
Oh yeah, there was a smoldering hot girl sitting at the next table. She had very thin straps holding her top up. I tried using my mental powers to unravel the straps, but it didn't work. Oh well.
So I walked back to my hotel room at about 5:00, and my room hadn't been touched. I grabbed my dirty towels and went out and tracked the lazy bitch down and traded for some clean towels. I also told her that I wouldn't be needing any additional service that day.
Then I took a nap. Then I watched Catwoman on TV. Halle Berry is hot, in case you've been living in a cave on Mars and didn't know yet.
We're up to Sunday night now. I took a cab to the Rock Bottom. While there, I bought a t-shirt from an improbably cute hostess, and I had some beers.
(draft) No detectable aroma, and not much flavor. I can't tell if this is an American or a German wheat. It's very bland, but still good.Rock Bottom Riverbend Red (Cleveland) (16)
(draft) Looks and tastes like weak tea, but with the slightest hint of creamy caramel. Not too bad. If a beer like this is too much for you then you probably shouldn't be drinking beer..Rock Bottom Dawg Pound Brown (Cleveland) (16)
(draft) Very dark brown - almost black, with a nice tan head. Very roasty and malty. Not sure that this should be called a brown ale, but whatever you want to call it, it's still good.Then, once the bartender found out that I wasn't driving, he gave me this on the house:
(draft) Clear gold in color. Looks like a lager, so scary. The flavor is awesome. There are the typical apple undertones, but this is a lot thicker-tasting than most saisons I've had. Damn good. Yummy actually.The place closed up early, because it was Sunday, so I went out and stole a cab from somebody who'd called for one but didn't get there in time.
I told the cabbie to take me back to my hotel, but about halfway there I changed my mind and had him take me to the Winking Lizard instead. While there I had a Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald (128) and got some chicken tenders to go, then walked the short distance back to my hotel.
Sunday morning I got up way too early. I dicked around the room for a while and watched some movie that I can't remember.
Then I went and got my truck and went driving around. I had no particular destination in mind - I mainly just wanted to see the lake.
Where I ended up was this Great Lakes Science Center thingy, which is a very cool interactive museum. It's mainly for kids I guess, and about 75% of the patrons were children, but it was fun for me too. I didn't take any pictures because if I had then there would have been kids in it and I didn't want to get arrested for anything I wasn't doing.
Oh, I guess I did take one picture. They had a giant turbine thingy outside the place:
The science center was cool, but it was actually pretty small. I was able to see every exhibit in about an hour, and that's even accounting for the time I spent explaining things to the ubiquitous kids.
Before I left, I went into the gift shop to browse for a while. At one point I came upon a stand of rocks. Rocks which were, in fact, very much like my own rock. Since my rock is always in my pocket, I became concerned that I'd get accused of shoplifting. But I didn't.
Next I went to this Edgewater Park place that the hot blonde bartender at Bier Markt had told me about. I took pictures.
There was an actual beach, which I wasn't expecting.
The lake was, of course, there. It was windy as fuck.
Here I was testing my camera's zoom on a lighthouse thingy.
They had a pier thing that I wanted to walk out on.
At the end of the pier I found a dead fish.
I really wanted to get on top of one of these things.
But I couldn't see how to do it. The birds have it easier.
There were also sailboats. Did I mention them before?
I took a picture back toward the city from the end of the pier. That blue Toyota pickup is mine.
Finally, I did another zoom test.
There were storms out on the lake, but I never got lucky enough to capture any lightning with my camera. It was windy as fuck though. A bad hair day for everyone.
The Bier markt was a weird place. It was, for one thing, huge. For another thing, it was empty. At least until 9:30 or so. Before that point there had been more bartenders working the place (2) than there were customers (1, my lovely self).
The draft selection was indeed impressive. I wrote them all down but I'm not going to bore you people by listing them all here. There were a half-dozen or so Belgians that I've never even heard of. I had two:
Ommegang Rare Vos (16)
Dark copper-colored, firm head. A neutral flavor, with perhaps a touch of apple. A very fizzy mouthfeel. A good beer. The aroma was a little perfumy.Leffe Blonde (16)
Looks like a lager, so scary. Smells like unpeeled apples. OMG tastes fantastic! I may just cream. Fucking yummy.So, I liked the Leffe okay.
I spend a good amount of time talking with the hot blonde bartender. Then I found out that she's only 22 years old. Seeing nothing handy with which to kill myself, I decided to hang in there. Who knows? Maybe her grandmother is available.
At about 9:40, the place became packed, and 90% of the customers were hot girls. I decided that I loved the Bier Markt.
Also, no matter what city I go to, no matter what bar I visit, no matter where at the bar I sit, I always end up having people hovering all over me while they order their beers. Must be my after-shave.
By 11:00, I was pretty well-lit, so I walked outside to look for a cab. I ended up talking with some Clevelandites out on the patio for a while. One chick wanted a DaveFest shirt, but the one I was wearing was the only one I'd brought with me. She ended up still wanting it. So I put on my Bier Markt shirt and sold her the DaveFest shirt. Then I went back to the hotel and crashed.
(Today I went and found myself a mall and bought myself a power adapter, so I'm free to type away. But, since I'm typing into this tiny laptop keyboard, I cannot be held responsible for any typos. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.)
People that don't know me very well, people that perhaps only know my online persona, they might think that they know why I chose Cleveland for this trip. "It's the baseball," they might say. Or maybe, "It's gotta be the lake and the other scenery."
Wrong and wrong.
Other people might guess that I picked this city because of the Great Lakes Science Center or other cultural crap.
All of that shit did play a part in my decision, but the real reason, and the only reason that could have stood on its own merit - is the Great Lakes Brewery.
I took a cab to the place, though as it turned out, it was probably within walking distance. I took a few notes which I will now transcribe:
Patio area outside, packed as fuck. Not a good sign. The bar area inside, also packed. But wait! There's another section upstairs! Also packed. Shit. But wait again! There's yet another area down in the basement! Fuck, it's packed too, but I manage to cram myself in next to a guy that looks like ExBartender from Rich O's.I figured that, as long as I was there, I'd have some beer.
(draft) Almost overpowering aroma. Flavor was good, but much more subdued than the aroma had hinted. The head disappeared almost immediately. Zero fizz.Great Lakes Holy Moses White Ale (16)
(draft) Smells and tastes more like a German than a Belgian wheat. As a German, it's quite good. As a Belgian, it's a little musty.Great Lakes Elliot Ness (6)
(draft) No aroma to speak of. the taste and the mouthfeel reminded me of a dopplebock more than anything else. Not worth a full glass.Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter (64)
(draft) I've had this before, but I don't remember what I wrote about it. Right now I want to write "yummy and roasty."The main thing about the place, aside from the beer of course, is that it's completely non-smoking. I think that the main effect that this kind of policy has on me (aside from the occasional urge to murder everyone) is that I drink very quickly. I mean, I had all of the beers listed above in one hour. Somebody should do a study on this type of thing. Instead of drink, drag, drink, drag - it was drink, drink, drink, drink.
So by 8:30 or so, I was ready to leave. I was also half-shitfaced. I'd been talking to the bartender and she'd recommended this Bier Markt place around the corner. "They allow smoking," she said, "and they specialize in Belgian beers." Once my erection subsided I bought a souvenir t-shirt and walked out to find my Mecca.
I got to Cleveland right on schedule, a little bit before 4:00. Right at my exit was Jacobs Field, home of the Indians.
This was also the point where MapQuest let me down. I had to drive around for quite a while before I found my hotel, and I had to drive around even longer before I found the parking garage.
I'd been pretty tired, and a little hung-over, during the drive up. But my arrival gave me some new energy. I was quite suddenly alert and starving. So I threw my shit into my room and I went to find the local Hard Rock. I already knew that it was close because of my pre-trip research. It turns out that it was inside a mall called The Tower Mall or some such. Here's a shitty picture I took inside the Hard Rock:
Oh yeah, here's one of he inside of the mall:
After I'd had a mushroom cheeseburger and fries, and a souvenier glass full of Guinness, I bought myself a t-shirt and then went back to the hotel.
Here are some more pics I took:
Because of the laptop power situation, I'm going to try writing these entries out on paper first. This will hopefully speed up the process of typing them out later.
Right now, for example, I'm writing about Saturday, but it's actually Sunday night. I'm writing about driving to Cleveland, but I'm actually sitting at Rock Bottom Brewery having a Walleye Wheat.
The drive up yesterday was very long. It was also very boring for the most part. There was really only one bit of interest.
When I was almost to Cincy, I heard tires squealing behind me. I quickly looked into the rear-view mirror, mainly to see if I was about to be rear-ended. Well, I wasn't, but there were some people in a white Taurus behind me who were having a bad day. As near as I can tell, they'd attempted to change lanes. Problem was, there was a semi in their blind spot. The squealing I'd heard had been caused by the ass end of the Taurus hitting the front of the truck, then of the truck pushing the Taurus sideways down the highway.
I didn't stop because I figured that the odds of the one being in that Taurus were pretty slim.
The rest of the drive was boring.
I always manage to forget something every time I go on a trip.
This time the thing that I forgot was the A/C power adapter for my laptop.
Right now, my laptop tells me it's got 3 hours and 36 minutes of battery life left.
I've got to try to stretch that out until Tuesday morning when I leave Cleveland.
I should be able to do it, but it will be tough. I won't be able to keep up with my favorites like I'm used to doing.
Anyway, I'm having fun so far, and I'll probably post something tomorrow.
On Friday night, one person was stupid, and another person was mean.
Yet another person, I'm convinced, continued to avoid me. Not that I blame her.
It's like there was a secret meeting wherein these people all got together and worked out the best way to give me a disappointing and shitty night.
Also, I had three Rogue Chocolate Stouts (696).
Also, I went to White Castle.
And now I'm going to Cleveland.