Once or twice or a hundred times, every day, I forget.
It's a self-defense activity. My mind knows that, alone and unarmed as it is, it cannot withstand the constant onslaught. So, it does what it can do. What it must do. It retreats. It runs and cowers beneath the rubble of destroyed dreams. It hides from reality.
During those times, I can almost pass for a normal person. Unless you look too closely into my eyes, or let your gaze linger on my face for too long, or ask me a question.
It always me pisses me off, when people ask me if I'm okay, or how I'm doing. Sometimes, people even ask me what's wrong, or if they can help. All those same questions over and over, and always the same answers.
The truth is not always in my words, but the truth is always there. The truth always forces my mind out of its hiding place, out into the open.
Once or twice or a hundred times, every single fucking day, I remember all over again.
RockGirl's boyfriend can be so sweet to her sometimes.
That comic has nothing to do with anything. It's just something I thought of that was funny to me.
This entry brought to you by Alaskan Smoked Porter (773).
Recently - it might have been Monday or it might have been some earlier night, as the last months of my life have quite blurred together - OddlyFamiliarGirl told me that I should write more often. She talked about the things that had first drawn her to my blog; the honesty and the passion that I felt, which would so easily flow from my heart down my arms through my fingers and onto my keyboard. She wanted to read that kind of entry again.
I replied that I couldn't do it, that some things were just too hard to write about.
Like how an important question can seem to go unanswered, but it's not really. Refusal to answer is an answer all in itself. Evasion is taking a stand.
And like how unwillingness to choose is really just choosing to leave things the way that they are. To maintain the status quo, no matter how unstable it is. No matter how untenable the universe is.
And how Patience is a virtue, as some dillhole once said. I suppose I agree with that, most of the time. But sometimes, sometimes patience is a hindrance. Like when it's running out, and you can feel it draining away from you like dirty water spiraling down a drain. It's going away, and you know that you don't have much left, and all you can think about is, What will be left of me when it's gone? Will there be anything left at all?
And how sometimes the only way to be happy is to lie to yourself. To fool yourself into believing, even if only for a few hours, that it's the universe around you that lies, and it's not you lying to yourself.
And how it breaks your heart every single time you're reminded that sometimes love is irrelevant.
And how love can spring from the most unlikely connections, but you can't even come close to writing about that, because it's
Well I ended up not taking a trip yesterday. The same lack of motivation I'd had about writing kept me from making up my mind about going anywhere until it was too late. So I just dicked around the house for the most part.
Then last night I got to do some stuff I can't write about, I guess except that I had a Marzen (6152) and three bottles of Barfly (128). And I think I did a pretty good job of keeping my thoughts where they belonged.
Today we might do something. Or we might not. It's kinda
hard stupid to plan anything more than about five minutes ahead of time. As proof of that statement, I offer yesterday, and next weekend, and probably Thanksgiving. But it's okay. Spontaneity has its charms sometimes, and being penciled in is better than nothing.
A pen would be nice, though, every now and then. It would be nice to be worthy of a pen. The dipshit gets a fucking pen.
So many people advised me to lie to her. To keep living my lie of omission. "Don't tell her everything," they said. "Just be happy with what you have," they said. "Don't rock the boat," they said.
But the damn boat was already sinking. So I sounded the alarm. I stopped lying.
And then, yesterday, she said that nobody ever says what's on their mind, except for me. I took that as a compliment.
She keeps using the f-word to describe what we're doing. But I don't think of it that way at all. It's not a friendship, at least not from my perspective.
Nope, from where I sit, it's a one-sided love affair.
A million times better than a friendship, and a million times worse.
Considering how I started missing her before I'd made it halfway out of her parking lot last night, of course I wanted to go back later and see her some more. But, considering how I actually started missing her before I'd gone three steps out of her door, I didn't think it would be a good idea.
Yesterday the only beer I had was about half a Schlenkerla Marzen (6016) at 1:00 or so. I have some pumpkin beers in my fridge, but I'm saving those for something.
This was funny in real life. Not mean at all.
Just something I made the other day, when I was having a day like the third panel.
Once there was this guy. He really liked this girl, and he invited this girl do to everything with him. I mean everything.
Also, there was this other guy and this other girl. They'd been married for twenty-five years.
The moral of this story is that somewhere, between taking a shit and going on a cruise, there is a sweet spot. One at which invitations are perfectly acceptable and perhaps even expected. Maybe even welcomed.
But I'll be damned if I have any idea what that sweet spot might me. It's there somewhere, though.
Anyway, I think I'm going to Covington now. By myself.
I estimate that about 1% of the world will find this funny.
This idea was totally stolen from some guy at fark.com.
Tonight, after my eyes had finally adjusted to the dark, and after my brain had finally learned to stop looking across the street at my neighbor's dick light, I saw some stars.
Actual stars. Not nearly as many as I saw when I was a kid. My aging eyes and all this stupid light pollution have taken care of that. And not even a zillionth as many as what I saw on that one night in Nevada, but still, a lot of stars.
They were pretty.
I also was lucky enough to see not one, not two, but five shooting stars.
I made five wishes.
More precisely, I made the same wish five times.
I am not a bad person. I am not a selfish person.
I wished for eternal happiness for someone else.
Also, as an added bonus, here's the only comic I can think of which featured shooting stars. I like this one, even though MixedSignalGirl was kinda mean.
Recently I've been asked what I mean when I say that I'm in a weird mood. I've found that, with questions like that, a description is much easier to come by than a definition:
Sometimes, I dare to envision a day. A perfect day. A day of laughter and love and joy and incredible happiness. I dare to envision such a day, but I see it as the fantasy that it is, and I do not get sucked into it.
Sometimes, I remember the truth, the reality of life. My life. And sometimes I can stand the pain that reality forces into my brain, and sometimes I do not want to cry out at the unfairness of it all.
It's those incongruities that makes them weird, these moods in which I sometimes find myself.
I've been having a problem with the whole risk vs. reward concept lately.
This causes me to do incredibly stupid things. Well, the same stupid thing over and over, actually.
There's the potential for a reward, or I wouldn't do the stupid thing. But that reward seems to have lost some of its specialness lately. Perhaps it's happened a little bit too often. I might have even become a little bit jaded.
But the risk?
The risk hasn't changed at all.
As a result, the reward is no longer worth the risk, and so I should stop being such a fucking dumbass.
Another thing I wanted to write about, but which probably isn't worth an entire entry all on its own, is that some people are really annoying me lately.
Specifically, their voices are annoying me. Even the shortest sentences are sometimes enough to give me an Excedrin headache number 15,000,000.
I don't know why I'm so irritated with these voices all of a sudden. These are people that I actually like. Some of these voices belong to people that I would actually fuck. And it's not like I'm annoyed every time they speak. Only at certain times. When I'm in certain moods.
The voices, they cut into my skull and they scramble my brain. That's not good. I prefer my brain over-easy.
So many times lately, I've sat at Rich O's and I've wanted to jump up and scream, "Please, for the love of all that is beautiful and good in this word, please shut up for two seconds!"
But, I don't jump up and scream any such thing. Because I'm trying to be a people person and shit.
There's this one chick who has, almost single-handedly (or double-breastedly?), turned me into a breast man. I am reminded of this transformation quite often. I did a comic about it/her/them once:
It's not the size that's attractive to me. Not at all. Definitely not artificial size. I want to make that clear. I am not a fan of store-bought breasts that have no purpose other than making a girl bigger up top.
I realize that things like age and gravity and having kids, these things can make a girl feel less than satisfied with her body. So by all means, get those puppies re-inflated and feel better about yourself.
But try to come out of the surgery looking like a human being.
Size just for the sake of size? I just don't get it.
Okay, I think I've rambled on long enough for one night.
An email conversation I had tonight, paraphrased very slightly:
I already drink, or stuff like this would drive me to do so.
Yesterday we had snow and sleet and freezing rain here, pretty much all day. This was strange, because Al Gore keeps saying that won't happen.
I spent my day at home. Messing with a web page design for LaptopGirl in between power outages. I'd planned to do my Christmas shopping, but I didn't feel like dealing with the idiots on the roads. They're bad enough even when the weather's good.
Anyway, a few times in the past, when it's snowed, people have been known to puss out and cower in their homes instead of going out. And, when Rich O's is really dead, they'll close up early. I was a little fearful that they'd be closing early last night, so I went there very early. Like at 6:00 or so. I figured that if it was dead in there I could at least buy a growler to take home.
But it was okay. The place was fairly full. A bunch of people I know were in the living room area, and for some reason they saved the throne for me. So that was nice of them.
I had myself a pint of NABC Cone Smoker, and enjoyed that immensely while I talked with TremensGirl and MusicalYuppieDude and NotHideousGirl. NotHideousGirl and I have agreed that we will each pretend that we share fault for our crumbling friendship. This is a good compromise, I think.
At about 8:00, I remembered that it was the Ides of December, so I got myself into a bad mood. I briefly toyed with the idea of just going home. Actually, I obsessed over that idea for quite a while. But eventually I decided to just have another Cone Smoker (2881) and stop being a baby.
At one point during the night, I observed this conversation:
I will never understand women.
I had the brilliant idea to text BikerGirl and invite her to Rich O's. I'd thought that maybe having NotHideousGirl and me both there might be enough to entice her. This thought helped to slow the descent of my mood, and I ordered another Cone Smoker.
But then I remembered that BikerGirl was working.
I drank about 2/3 (2895) of my beer, but I saw no point in staying any longer, so I came home at 10:00 or so.
Of course I didn't really say this. The whole thing just reminded me of an old Ren and Stimpy show where they had this conversation.
This was a shithead at Pizza Hut today. Harassing all the customers about buying something or signing up for something. I don't know what he wanted, and I didn't care. I just wanted to pick up my pizza and leave without being harassed.
There's some shit going on that I'm not going to write about, but unfortunately it's all I can think about, so I'm kinda stuck with writing random snippets of crap.
Rich O's has Rogue Chocolate Stout (1606) on tap again, so yay!
When I went in after work, FutureDude asked me what I wanted to drink. I said, "Let's see how well you know me. What do you think I want to drink?"
My question stumped him. But, to be fair, he didn't know there was going to be a quiz today.
There was also a hot girl and her boyfriend there. They didn't know what to drink, and I recommended Weihenstephaner. They liked it, because it's one of the world's greatest beers.
The hot girl looked really familiar to me. I think there's an actress that she reminded me of. Some Asian chick, and it's weird that I was attracted to her, because I have a pretty strong phobia about Asian women.
This entire week has sucked at work, but it should start getting better now that an arbitrary deadline has been met.
Today, I had to go make an addition to the police report I made the other day, as that bullshit is continuing.
My niece messed-up one of my Rubik's Cubes today, and I cried and cried for hours.
Not really, I just thought it would be funny to write that.
I solved it in about 20 seconds. It was only a 2x2x2 cube.
I've been on a search for a new hosting company for barenada.com. I thought I'd found one, but I cancelled that account this morning because they wouldn't give me access to the web server's error logs.
At lunch today, NotHideousGirl was dressed up as a Catholic schoolgirl, and lamenting about how guys keep telling her that she's cute. Well, duh. My grandmother would look cute in that outfit.
There's a dude at The Pub that always wears a kilt. The last part of this conversation didn't really happen because NotHideousGirl didn't think of it fast enough.
I can't think of anything else to write.
I don't know why I ended up going to Rich O's last night. I mean, I've skipped the last two Fridays at least, and it hasn't killed me. It's been nice actually. Because I didn't have to worry about being too disappointed if certain people didn't show up.
I don't know why I ended up going last night, but I did. I remember dreading it, both during the drive, and when I was looking for a parking spot. I had to park on Mars, so that was a bad sign.
The place was crowded as fuck. It took me at least five minutes to walk the ten feet between the front door and the entrance to Rich O's proper. Then, when I finally got there, I was blocked by a solid wall of people. It was standing room only in there. Strangers all over the fucking place.
My sister's husband Kenny was part of the solid wall of people! My sister Dina was there too! Yay!
They were, as it turned out, celebrating this one blonde chick's birthday.
Anyway, I'm rambling.
After a year or so, I made it through the throng to the bar and I ordered a Brownings Bourbon Imperial Stout (82). I also talked to GlassesGirl. I hadn't seen her in months, so that was nice. Dina and I stood around for a while until some dude left the kiddie table, then we sat there and talked. I decoded a couple of my recent blog entries for her, because I guess I confuse her sometimes.
After a while the strangers left the living room area, so Kenny and the rest of Dina's group took over that area. I eventually moved to the throne.
I ordered another Brownings (98) but I didn't quite finish it.
Oh yeah, there was a smoldering hot girl ordering a growler of Arrogant Bastard, and I went up and talked to her for a while.
She ended up taking a raincheck. Oh well.
After Dina and crew left I had a Diet Coke, then I went to White Castle and then came home.
I woke up at 4:00 this morning, very dehydrated.
Some of you may recall a conversation I wrote about a while ago. A conversation between my lovely self and Roger, the owner of Rich O's.
That conversation went something like this:
So for a while there my life was pretty good. It had meaning. I had something to look forward to.
Yesterday, I found this on Roger's blog.
Harpoon Winter Warmer has been scratched from the Saturnalia line-up.
Because of bean counters.
I fucking hate bean counters.
It's pretty dead here. There are about 10 strangers, including a bunch of beatniks in the living room. Some dipshit is in my favorite seat at the bar, so I'm sitting at the island. My beer: A bottle of Avery The Reverend. That's right, a rematch from last night.
There are strangers working tonight. The regulars are all at some wedding.
All three of those beatnik girls are hot.
CuteBartender just stopped and talked to me some. She's cute as a bug. Oh yeah, CuteBartender is working tonight, so it's not all strangers.
I think the two blonde beatnik girls are twins. Mmmmmm, hot twins.
These idiots behind me are talking about how the Rich O's in Nashville is better because you can get burgers there. News Flash: There's only one Rich O's, and you're sitting in it. You dumbasses.
Burgers would be cool though.
That brunette beatnik girl is smoldering hot. She looks like HatGirl, except slutty.
Reverend, your name tries to mask your true nature, but I am not fooled. Tonight, I am ready. Tonight, you will be defeated.
I wonder what SassyGirl is doing right now. (checking watch, calculating time difference) Probably sleeping. She wouldn't think any of these beatnik girls are hot. She never liked any of the girls I liked.
I miss SassyGirl.
These temporary bartenders have an annoying habit of looking at me all the time. I am not, as I've already stated, a piece of meat.
This dingbat behind me just asked me why the red room is called the red room. I told her that it might have something to do with the wall that's painted red, but that my money was on the 11,000 pieces of Communist memorabilia on the walls.
The ghost is here.
The ghost is leaving.
There a surprise party in the red room now. I'm picking up my shit and moving to the bar.
The beatniks are leaving.
Who the fuck was that?
There's a chick with a laptop, not LaptopGirl, pretty much the opposite of LaptopGirl in fact, and her laptop's screen is way too bright. It's filling the room with an eerie glow. It looks like aliens are invading.
ArtistGuy just came in. He's fucking plastered. Or exhausted. I'm betting on plastered.
CuteBartender won't take that bet.
And The Reverend (180) is down! Dave wins! Dave wins!
I order a Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier (1547).
I've been talking to the dipshit. He's pretty cool. He was going to buy a DaveFest shirt but I'm out of his size.
They're perfect, I bet. Firm and perky and just the right size.
I order a Schlenkerla Rauchbier Weizen (52).
The wedding party has arrived.
I keep starting this entry and then abandoning it.
I guess I just don't feel like writing anything.
Saturday was a good night. I got to see a lot of people. I didn't get spit on. I got to drink three pints of NABC Artemsia (250). I got to go to White Castle.
Oh yeah, SpikeBoy came in. Nobody had seen him in like nine months. I guilted him into buying a DaveFest shirt.
Tonight was a good night.
And I'll tell you why.
Because it made sense.
It's as simple as that.
Tonight was the first night in a very very very very very long time during which everything actually added up to the sum of my demeanor.
Tonight, it wasn't the past's broken promises that determined my mood. It wasn't the future's faded dreams that guided my emotions. Tonight, both the past and the future were irrelevant to the stark reality of the here and the now.
There was no rummaging through the cluttered attic of my mind to find the right excuse to be happy. There were no dates reminding me of arbitrary anniversaries to make me sad. There were no ghosts haunting my every thought and tainting my every emotion.
Tonight, I got to feel the way I was supposed to feel. The way anyone would feel in these same circumstances.
It doesn't matter at all how I actually felt when I came home tonight. Sad, happy, pissed, irritated, melancholy, anxious, blissful - it doesn't matter in the least.
What matters is that tonight, for the first time in a very long time, I got to be an ordinary person. An ordinary person experiencing extraordinary circumstances, and reacting to them in an ordinary way.
Tonight, for the first time in a very long time, I got to be sane.
I guess the stress is part of the fun, too.
I'm not really sure how to break this to you.
I guess I'll just come out and say it.
The DaveFest shirts aren't going to be ready for at least a week.
Now, calm down please. The Sun will still rise and set tomorrow. It will probably continue to do so this weekend when DaveFest begins on schedule.
So, after several emails, I think I've got the quantities correct. For the initial order anyway. Any subsequent orders will, quite frankly, be a pain in the ass and I can't guarantee that they'll even happen.
I'm disappointed, of course. I was really looking forward to seeing my likeness adorn the chests of friends and strangers alike this weekend. It would have been surreal and sublime.
But alas, it's not meant to be. Not just yet.
I'm told that the shirts will be ready by next Friday, in time for the final wave of DaveFest when the Rogue beers go on tap.
For those of you holding non-refundable tickets to Louisville for this weekend, let me apologize. Let me also assure you that the trip will still be worthwhile. In the end, it's really about the beer.
In silent protest of this atrocity, my beautiful female readers should feel free to attend the festival shirtless.
If you have GIF animations disabled, then this won't make much sense.
I guess I should start the Friday report with the weather.
Around 3:00 is when the tornado warnings and severe thunderstorm warnings started hitting the area. I was working, but some people glued themselves to the local radar pages on the Internet. I overheard some people talking about tennis ball-sized hail in Georgetown. Even though these things are usually an exaggeration I used it as an excuse to leave and go see if my house had any busted windows or skylights.
It must have been a different Georgetown, because there was no hail at my house. The few leaves that have made an appearance this Spring are still on the trees, and any hail at all would have torn them down.
So I took a nap on my couch, and woke up at 7:30 to the sounds of my phone ringing and thunder rumbling. The call was from my sister, but when I tried to call her back I got no answer. I figured she was calling to make sure I knew about the weather, because when I turned on the TV there were huge red blobs all over the radar.
Nothing much happened at my house though. Just a lot of rain - and even the rain wasn't that impressive.
Once the red blobs had all moved East of me I took a shower and went to Rich O's.
The place was fairly full, and it seemed more full than it was because a lot of the PBDs were just standing around getting in everyone's way. I sat at the loveseat and had myself a BBC Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout (100) and talked with HotEuchreGirl for a bit.
WomanRepellant came in and we bullshitted some too. He told me at first that HatGirl had been in last Friday, so I spent a few agonizing minutes torturing myself with thoughts of her being at Rich O's but not talking to me, but then we figured out that she had really been in on Saturday when I was at SassyGirl's party, so the suicide has been postponed.
That was a joke.
My second beer was a new one they're brewing at Rich O's:
(cask) I guess I was expecting something bitter. You know, because of the name of the beer. This wasn't bitter at all. The aroma was malty and a little flowery. My first impression of the flavor was that it was watery. That watery impression did fade by the time I finished the glass. This beer is very easy to drink. Not my favorite though.After a while a couple of strangers left so I moved over to the throne and ordered a half-pint of Stone Smoked Porter (200). This was the first time I'd had this on tap, and it was quite good.
My last beer was going to be another half-pint of the BBC bourbon stuff (104), but MixedSignalGirl called me so I only had a few sips.
Last night, I did not go to Rich O's. I did not, in fact, go to any bar at all.
That's what I thought.
What I did was I went to a surprise birthday party for my friend Eric. Though I'm not sure how much of a surprise it was, what with all of the cars in the driveway. Maybe seeing all of those cars was the surprise.
First things first, though. I went to the liquor store. I was planning to pick up a six-pack of Weihehstephaner, but they were out. So instead I bought a six-pack of Upland Chocolate Stout, then came back home and constructed my own little party pack consisting of two bottles of the Upland (286), two bottles of Winterkoninkske Winter King (136), and two bottles of Weihenstephaner (701) that I'd forgotten were in my fridge.
Thusly armed, I went to the house of this dude that graduated with Eric for the party.
It was a nice quiet affair. We talked. We played some euchre. My brother-in-law Chris and I won about 800 games in a row I think.
I actually managed to drink all of the beer I'd brought with me. And I didn't die.
That's simply amazing to me, mostly because that Winterkoninkske is some pretty strong stuff.
One other thing that was nice was that my phone kept ringing. People wanted to know where I was, why I wasn't at Rich O's, when I was coming to Rich O's, how they were supposed to keep on living if I wasn't at Rich O's. I assured them all that I'd be there on Saturday night.
What I didn't tell them was that I have to work Sunday morning so I may not stay for very long.
Roger didn't really say this, but it would have been funny if he had.
Those characters take up a lot of valuable real estate.
On Wednesday, SassyGirl and TacoBell are flying to Peru.
This seems like a strange thing to do, but then again I might just be jealous.
I asked them what their plans are for while they're down there, and I was told something like, "Ride a llama, sleep on a llama, have sex on a llama, and eat a llama."
So that settles it. I'm definitely jealous.
Hasta la vista, chicas!
She's right, of course.
I sometimes wonder what I'm doing here.
I mean, I know why I started doing this. I started doing this just because I wanted to keep an online diary. Nothing fancy. Nothing special. Nothing interesting.
But sometime over the past couple of years my reason evolved into something else. Something much more difficult. Something much more rewarding.
At some point I went from wanting to write, to wanting to be a writer. Every now and then I feel like I manage that feat, but not as often as I'd like. And certainly never without some emotion behind it, fueling the words.
So I let my feelings start to flow again, and I wait for inspiration. Beyond that, I wait for new inspiration. And I get nothing but the same old crap that I've already rehashed so often that even I'm bored with it.
And this makes me wonder. It makes me wonder what I'm doing here.
This is a BaggyDraggs.
I don't know why the picture turned out so small. I guess the guy that took the picture messed something up.
That's right, suckers! I got a new rock for my birthday! And this one I get to keep!
So, ha ha!
Not much of an entry tonight. It's mainly notable because I hadn't seen SassyGirl in about a million years.
Since I've turned my sleep schedule upside down, getting to Rich O's right after work meant getting there right at my bedtime. So I was pretty tired.
I had myself a t Smisje Mustard Ale (34) and then a half-pint of Flying Dog K-9 Cruiser (44). I'm really liking both beers, so they'll be gone soon.
I got a little Valentine's donut coupon from SassyBoy. This was the only thing I got this year except for an e-card from one of my readers that was quite sweet.
Anyway, we sat around and talked to this chick from Cincy that had made the drive to Rich O's just to buy some Dogfish Head beer that I've never heard of.
Then I came home and went to sleep.
Sleep. What a concept.
Because (a) I was bored, and (b) I really appreciate the response these things get, I've gone and put all of my comics on a single page.
I still have some tweaking to do though.
No, my dad hasn't come back to life, reincarnated by some cruel twist of fate as a Bud Light drinker.
Though I suppose I wouldn't complain if that did happen. There are worse things to be reincarnated as. Pubic lice. Opossums. One of Michael Jackson's kids.
Anyway, that little scene depicted above happened back in 1995 or so. Dad's favorite beer, Falls City, had been sold and had its recipe changed. Out of protest Dad switched to Bud Light for a while. He liked to say that he only switched back once the recipe had been changed back to what it was, though I doubt that he really believed that.
I think he simply realized that, in his own way, he was a bit of a beer snob, and to drink mass-produced industrial swill, even in protest, was just too much for him to do.
I know the feeling. I'm a beer snob myself. The only difference is that I choose to drink good beers, while Dad was content to stick with what he'd grown up drinking.
Since I'm the son of an alcoholic, and since I'm also someone that's been known to imbibe occasionally myself, you might be surprised that in my life I only spent maybe six hours total in bars with my dad.
I spent the first fifteen years of my adult life living all over creation, and when I did come home to visit, I'd usually hang out with my sister Dina. Or, when Dad had some time off work, we'd go hang out at one of his places in the country.
When I did finally move back home, Dad died shortly afterwards. That sucked.
I've been thinking a lot today about Dad. I'm not really sure why. Maybe because a few days ago would have been his and Mom's 43rd wedding anniversary. Maybe because I'm tired of thinking about women. Maybe there's no reason except that I had a dream with him in it a couple of days ago.
I've often been accused, mainly by my youngest sister Neisha, of turning into my maternal grandfather. I guess this is because I'm a grouch sometimes, so I'll concede that there is some slight resemblance. Sometimes.
But the biggest resemblance, I like to think anyway, is with my dad.
I already know that many of my interests I got from him. I already know that we shared the same tastes in humor, and books, and movies. I already know that he was a romantic at heart, and that's something I've discovered about myself over the past couple of years. He valued his privacy, maybe even more than I do.
I know what kind of person he was. He was the best. But what I don't really know is what he was like. I mean, we'd hang out at his cabin or in his apartment, and we'd talk about whatever, but there was almost always that father/son vibe going on. I never really had many chances to see what he was like when he stepped outside of his role as my father.
I wish he was still alive. That goes without saying. I wish I'd had the chance to know him as others knew him. To know him as Dave instead of as Dad.
And that brings me back to the bar.
Did he, like me, have a few people who he'd hang out with, or was he more of an everybody's friend type of person? I'm certainly the former, but I don't know how Dad was.
Would he sit at the bar by himself, contemplating life, and be perfectly content doing it? Did he hate crowds of idiots as much as I do? Could he spend an entire night talking with a single person, and feel uncomfortable in a group of more than just a few people? Would he get quiet during those times and just listen to everyone else and make sarcastic comment in his head? When he got bored or disgusted or depressed, would he just get up and leave, like I do?
It really bothers me that I'll never know these things.
If Dad was alive, and we hung out at the same bar, would people guess that he was my father? There was certainly no physical resemblance, but what about the other things? Am I enough like him that people, upon hearing about our relationship, might nod their heads and say, "I knew there was something similar about you two!"
Could I go down to Ramsey's bar in Derby, and talk to one of the regulars there for a while, and have him say, "You know, you remind me a lot of a friend of mine. His name was Dave, too. He died seven or eight years ago. He was a great guy."
Do I carry enough of him around inside me that, in a way, he lives on even today?
I'd like to think so, but I just don't know. And now, now I doubt that I ever will.
Last night saw a bit of an historic happening for SassyGirl and I. When I'd first arrived at Rich O's, there was a hot girl there.
She ended up sitting out front and waiting for this Bill asshole.
When SassyGirl arrived, I asked her if the hot girl was still sitting out front. She said, "Yes, and she really is hot."
That, dear readers, was the first time in the two years that I've known SassyGirl when she's actually agreed with me about a girl's hotness. She usually doesn't like anyone that I find attractive.
I've always found this odd. Knowing me, and my own impossibly high standards, it always seemed to me that it should be the other way around. I mean, I should be the one dismissing her picks. But I don't. Usually if she thinks a girl is pretty then so do I.
Not very interesting, perhaps, but weird.
And so began my Saturday night.
The rest of the night comes to you courtesy of my little notebook.
Rich O's is fucking crowded again. There's nobody here worth talking to. I'm outta here.
Buckhead's is out of Upland Chocolate Stout. It feels weird here without MixedSignalGirl. I'm outta here.
The Pub has Young's Double Chocolate Stout. Yay! I get one (275)! Yummy!
In here I'm the stranger. I wonder if the regulars hate me. I wonder if there are any regulars here.
This place is strange. Maybe I'll just have two.
This one chick is smoking a clove cigarette. It smells good.
The waitresses here are fucking hot.
I order another Young's.
I get my beer (295). Finally.
Fuckity fucking fuck fuck.
I will not claim that the grapes were sour. The grapes were sweet and delicious.
Oh boy! The marines have landed.
I should have worn my Red Sox cap. Then I could have pretended that I was a tourist.
In a few minutes, I'll have a decision to make.
Decision made. I'm outta here.
I arrive at Rich O's and take a piss.
I say hi to BamaCouple.
It's still fucking crowded in here!
I order a Piraat (135) and I sit in the red room.
There's a dipshit at the bar that I don't like, but I can't remember the reason. He's got a hot girl with him - maybe that's why.
Hey! That Russian chick with the cool hair is sitting at the other table. She talking to some dipshit.
RussianChick is drunk.
This one chick - the wife of one of the PBDs - is about a gazillionth as pretty as she thinks she is.
Fuck! I need to snap out of this mood I'm in.
Nice tits and a decent ass do not make up for having the face of a horse. Not with the lights on, anyway.
Girls with foreign accents are hot.
I'm moving to the bar. I don't know why.
My beer is gone. I'm outta here.
Whatever it was, it had a huge bladder. It never did go to the bathroom.
November 12th. Again. The first, and the worst, of many days on November which suck ass. The Day Dad Died.
It's a pretty strange thing to realize, that I'm catching up with my father. Every November 12th I'm 365 days older, yet he stays the same. Eventually I might catch up with him completely, or maybe even surpass him.
My sister always reads this every year on the 12th of November. I think she likes that it makes her cry.
Yes, I really said this. And yes, I really thought it was a compliment at the time. What with horses being her favorite animal and all.
(UPDATE: I've added a new example, thanks to Sensorium for reminding me, and I've added comics! Everybody loves comics!)
Now I'll be the first to admit that I'm not perfect. I've screwed up many times in the past, and I'll screw up in the future. I fully expect that there will be times when a significant other will be upset with me, and that I'll either fully deserve or at least understand what's bothering her. And I'll probably apologize, and then we'll have make-up sex or something.
But sometimes, sometimes there can be no apology. How do you express regret for something that you never did? Consider the following:
The other day VigilanteGirl and I had a misunderstanding over a potential date. I thought she was blowing me off by not answering my invitation, and she thought I was being an asshole by not following up on her acceptance.
Like I said, it was a misunderstanding. A communication failure. I simply didn't get her message. Once I realized this, I stopped being irritated with her. Once she realized this, she for some reason decided to stay angry at me.
The Preemptive Pout
MixedSignalGirl was the queen of this. She'd imagine some time in the future when I'd anger her or make her sad, so to save time she'd just go ahead and get mad or sad right away. Asking a woman in this condition what's wrong will get you the standard "nothing" for an answer, but in this case it's actually true. There is nothing wrong, but there almost certainly will be at some point, so she's just beating the Christmas rush.
Probably my favorite. This is where a woman is allowed to punish a man for something he did wrong in a dream that she had. In my life, I've been punished for everything from calling a woman fat to murdering and eating her parents, and for everything in between. Apparently my dream-self is a real asshole. But does he have to pay for his misdeeds? No way. I have to pay for them. Over and over and over.
The Old Wound
This is when something you do reminds her of her last boyfriend, husband, or whatever. The only way to be sure to avoid this situation is to only get women by rescuing them from convents.
So, what's a guy to do when faced with these situations?
Easy. You've basically got a free pass. You're already being punished, so you may as well earn it. Go out drinking with the guys all night. Eat a shitload of White Castles right before bedtime. Flirt with her sister. Call her precious poodle a yapping rat-dog. Give her something real to be upset about. You'll feel better, and she'll feel justified.
And then you'll have something to apologize for, and then you can move on to the make-up sex.
I ended up, as directed, going to Bloomington yesterday. I actually took a half day of vacation so I could get there early. This ended up being a good thing, but I'll get to that later.
During the drive up I ping-ponged between two thoughts.
First, I was a little excited to be doing this spur of the moment thing and following the sign I'd imagined getting on Thursday. I had no idea what to expect in Bloomington, but I figured it must be something interesting or I wouldn't have been led up there.
Second, I felt a little silly. I was basically driving up there because a coaster had told me to. I was also a little afraid that maybe I was missing something exciting and/or interesting at Rich O's. Of course maybe that's what the coaster was really trying to do - just keep me away from Rich O's for the night.
Those coasters, you never really know what they're trying to accomplish. They're sneaky and mysterious.
The first thing I did after I got to Bloomington was get a hold of my niece so I could check out her new dorm room. Here's a pic:
Next I went over to the Upland Taproom. Here's another pic:
It's a smaller place than I'd imagined. It was also quite crowded especially when you consider I got there at 6:00. I noted the complete lack of a smoking section and grabbed a seat at the bar.
I told the bartender that I was looking to taste some beers and that the first thing I wanted to taste was their Chocolate stout. So she poured me a little sampler glass (4) before I could stop her. I drained that and asked for a 12 oz. glass.
(draft) Incredible head and lacing. Had a strong coffee aroma but the flavor was an incredible blend of both coffee and chocolate. Very creamy and very yummy.
(draft) Had a very strong roasted malt aroma. The flavor was quite nice with roasted malt and a mild chocolate. A dry finish that made me want to take another drink right away.
(draft) Very fizzy but sweet. A mild banana aroma and flavor. Mouthfeel was fizzy wheat. There was a slight tartness to the finish. I liked this, but I've had better dunkels.
I'd actually drank, and rated, the Porter before, but I went ahead and updated my old rating because I like to think that my palate is a little more sophisticated now than it was back then.
During the time I was drinking my beers I found myself looking around, trying to figure out just what I was doing up there. The place was completely packed, but everyone was with their own little group. The only person I really talked to was the bartender.
By the time I'd had my three beers it was only about 6:45. This is something I've noticed each time I've gone into a non-smoking bar. I drink a lot faster. Now some people might consider this to be a good thing but I'm such a lightweight that all it means to me is that my nights end early.
I ended up having a final Chocolate Stout (28) and starting back towards home a little after 7:00.
By the time I got back to New Albany it was only 10:30 so I (of course) went to Rich O's. I ordered a Smithwick's (460) and was just settling down on the sofa when something cool happened.
My friend Eric and his wife Terri came in!
So what had been slight disappointment from not having anything exciting happen in Bloomington turned into a pretty good mood by the end of the night.
Man, I've written this long rambling entry and I'm going to stop now. Nobody reads this far anyway.
I dumped 43 5-gallon buckets of dirt into my hole yesterday.
So, for the moment anyway, it looks a lot less like a hole and more like a patch of dirt.
But let's hold off on the celebrations for a bit, okay?
Even though I piled dirt up to ground level, I didn't even come close to actually filling the hole. Here is a highly accurate (and to scale, and beautiful) view of what I'm talking about:
See, there's an awful lot of empty space that the dirt didn't get to. I'll have to wait for a good hard rain to cause the dirt to settle some more, then I can dump more dirt into the hole.
Gives me something to look forward to.
I very nearly stayed home all night last night.
I wanted to go have a beer, but going to the dentist messed up my jaw. I was just in terrible pain, and could hardly move my mouth at all. That'll teach me to get a cavity in a back tooth. It's just too hard for the dentist to reach back there without nearly breaking my jaw to do it.
So by the time the Novocain wore off my tooth wasn't hurting at all, but my jaw was just killing me. I still wanted to go out, but first I had to eat something. I nuked some cheese bread and somehow managed to get it down by taking small bites and only using the right side of my mouth. It was still excruciating though.
I got to Rich O's a little bit before 10:00 and grabbed a seat in the living room area next to some people I don't know.
To drink, I had myself a Baltika "6" Porter. I cannot stress enough how much I like this beer. I may just marry it.
The people in the living room area kept trying to suck me into their conversation. I was in no mood for it, so I moved to the bar and began trying to decide what my next beer would be. I was leaning toward another Baltika but something even stronger might have helped ease the pain in my jaw, so I was considering some Belgians.
What was left of me didn't even think. I got the hell out of there as quickly as I could.
Some people are just good. Some people will always be there for you when you need them. No matter how much pain you've caused them in the past. No matter how much pain you promise for the future. When you need them, they come through for you , no questions asked, and no expectations.
I'm not one of those people. I wish I was, and I'm closer to it than most people I know, but I'm not one of them.
Last night, when I left Rich O's, I went to see one of these good people.
I didn't have to say a word. MixedSignalGirl could see it in my face. She knew that I wouldn't just show up like that unannounced. She knew what had happened, and she pulled me to her.
Driving home this morning, I found myself wondering just what we'd done to deserve each other.
I must have done something really wonderful.
She must have done something terrible.
I will never understand what she sees in me. I will never be able to give her what she deserves. But I will also never forget last night, and I will be her friend for as long as she'll let me.
The mind is a funny thing.
And when I say mind I mean heart and when I say funny I mean stupid.
How quickly it forgets.
I can sit here and write about pain. I can talk about pain with my friends, my family. I know pain. I remember everything. But because I don't feel it anymore, it's become something else. Just a concept. Just a memory. It's not real anymore.
I read through my old entries and I try to imagine that pain. I try, in a way, to relive it. I try to feel that way again so I don't forget completely how fucking real it all was. So I don't unlearn the lessons I paid so much for.
This conversation last night surprised me. Scared me a little.
Is feeling pain really better than feeling nothing? Was I better off before than I am now? Is anything, even if it's bad, is anything better than nothing?
I don't think so. There are worse things than nothing. At least a part of me knows that. A part of me remembers, and that part of me screams out in shock and outrage when I make statements like the one I made last night.
I hear it cry out, but I don't feel its pain. I really wish I did. I really wish I felt something. Anything at all.
Saturday night was much more bearable than Friday had been. The place was only about half full, for one thing. For another thing, there were a lot of women. I actually think they outnumbered the guys for once.
RealTrainGirl was there so went spent the first part of the night bullshitting about various fluff. I had an NABC Cone Smoker (220) to start out. MusicalHippyDude joined us and the two of us waited very patiently for this girl in the red room to turn around or stand up so we could check out her front. RealTrainGirl kept telling us that it was a guy. RealTrainGirl needs glasses.
Let's see, DooRagGirl came in and after a short while her friend HatGirl joined us as well. I had myself a couple pints of Dave's Cherry Porter (60) while I did my best to keep my eyeballs in their sockets and my tongue off the floor.
RedRoomGirl did eventually stand up, and she was indeed cute, though way too tatted up for my tastes.
After RealTrainGirl left I stuck around and had a Guinness (660) then a couple of Diet Cokes to finish the night. I like sitting with women and joining, as much as I can anyway, in their conversations. Their perspective on life in much different than what I hear from most of my guy friends. Much more balanced.
Anyway, once all of the hot girls had left it was closing time so I left before the bartenders had to turn a hose on me.
I tan fast, and I fade even faster. Kind of like some other things that I can't think of right now.
Just some alternative, and better, endings to the 2005 comic from Monday.
The above illustrates some of the earliest advice my father ever gave me about women. The thinking was that I should be as nice as possible to all of the women I met. That way, even if they themselves weren't interested in me romantically, they'd be sure to know someone who might be. By being nice to all women I stood the best chance of getting a good recommendation.
Make sense, right? Wrong!
That scene may have been perfectly valid in the year 1955, when my father was learning about women as he fought off dinosaurs and stockpiled food for the coming ice age. But now, in 2005, here's what's much more likely to happen:
I'm convinced that this is happening all over the world. Women today (and men too) are no longer looking for the one. They're looking for anyone. If they happen to find their true love and live happily ever after, then they got very lucky. And I hate them.
But most, like about 99.9999999999999% of us, don't get so lucky. We're just getting by, and we're usually pretty sure, deep down, that whoever is currently filling that romantic void in our lives will not be there forever.
So we start looking for the next victim, er, companion even while we're still with the current one. We'll set up a sort of batting order in our heads so we're always ready, so we're never alone.
Women have a much easier time of this than men do. Some women may disagree with that statement, but no man anywhere on Earth would disagree with it.
Men, in general, do get attached to one particular woman. Women, in general, get attached to the idea of being attached. So women generally have a much easier time moving on. Please note that I didn't say easy, I said easier.
I know I'm going to get flamed for this, but I think I'm right. And what's more, I had a long conversation with one of my ex-girlfriends about this the other night. Most of this stuff came from her.
And I know that there are many exceptions for every generalization. That's why it's called that instead of a certainty.
So where am I going with this? Oh, yeah.
The point I wanted to make here was the this could explain that curious phenomenon that men have been puzzling over.
When you see a nice sweet girl with a fucking asshole, it may not actually be because, deep down, women like assholes. It just might be that these jerks are the only ones left that haven't had a "reserved" sign hung around their neck by some other woman.
Read this carefully, guys - it may be important.
If I'm right, then the trick to finding a good woman is not to be too nice. If you're too nice, you're going to end up as somebody's fallback guy and you'll be lucky if you ever even get your finger wet.
Also, you can't be too much of a jerk, for more obvious reasons.
The trick, if I'm right, would be to just be of average niceness, but to be sure and be a prick every now and then too. You're not nice enough to really flash on anybody's radar, and you're not mean enough to get the wrong kind of reputation. Be quiet and mysterious. Be aloof but friendly. Walk that line.
You can be an asshole, but not so much of one that you seem incurable. You can be a nice guy, but not so nice that women start putting you into their batting order.
Hey, this could actually work!
Man I've posted a lot today.
So I went to this thing yesterday.
There was a lot of running. That's all I really want to say. I left at 6:00 and went to Polly's to eat something for the first time in 24 hours, then went home and slept.
After my nap I went down to Rich O's, successfully avoided the scene depicted above, and ended up sitting with PipeGuy and GrammarLady for a while. I hadn't seen these two in a while, and PipeGuy in particular seemed quite insistent on talking about you know what. I changed the subject as quickly as I could, but not before making sure that they knew that all of the things that they had imagined happening between her and me were just that - their imagination. Actually, theirs and about a million other people's.
After they left, DooRagGirl and FutureDude showed up.
I got the name FutureDude from an old Seinfeld episode, by the way.
I didn't drink anything worth noting last night. I think I was still reeling a little from the night before. Smithwick's and Spezial. Nice and tame.
FutureDude told me that my Monte Carlo doesn't really seem like a Dave kind of car. I'm not really sure how to take that.
I'm starting to feel another implosion coming on.
Other than that recurring theme, it was fine.
We went to Buckhead's in Jeffersonville.
I had a blackened sirloin that, once I removed the eight pounds of onions it was buried in, was excellent. The fries there still suck though, and I should have remembered that and had a baked potato instead.
I also had a BBC beer that may be new. It was new to me at least:
(draft) Almost identical to Fat Tire ale. In other words, very drinkable. More of a session beer than anything else. I recommend this highly.
After lunch I went to give VigilanteGirl her Hard Rock shirt. Whatever had crawled up her butt last night seems to have gone away for she was not sniping at me today. We have half-ass plans to meet up at this bar in New Albany later, but history has shown that these little planlings never materialize into anything.
Guess which one is me.