This is a followup to yesterday’s post, which was written in quite the haphazardly, slapdash fashion. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you do that first, to avoid confusion.
…catering headquarters. I was, for obvious reasons, in a bit of a state at that point, and there wasn’t anyone left except for one poor kitchen boy, who took one look at me and got the hell out of my way. I realized I was going to be late for this meeting I had to go to, so I threw things back where they belonged, reparked the stupid, honking big van, and sprinted to my car.
I definitely sped down to the studio. I think if I passed any cops they could probably sense the crazy that was happening in my car, so they got out of my way.
Got to the studio, 5 minutes late. Varenka unlocked the door for me and let me in and I run into the room and sit against the wall.
Do you ever have those moments where you’ve been running around all day and you just stop and sit down and all the sudden all you want to do is go to sleep? That’s kind of what was happening to me, but I’d had three cups of coffee at work (it’s free! Yay!) and so I had exhaustion jitters. I was semi-falling asleep against the wall, but I couldn’t get my hands and feet to stop jerking. It wasn’t so much like I couldn’t sit still as that my extremities were twitching. During this semi-serious conversation about changing your life. We’ve all been there, right?
I’m pretty sure at this point I may actually be dying, but I pick up the packet of paper I’m given and flip through it in an attempt to look like I’m paying any sort of attention. I seriously couldn’t tell you what we talked about if my life depended on it. I think cucumbers were involved? I don’t know.
The meeting ends. Sprint home. Get changed. I actually had time to play through one song before I headed down to the gig. I also realized I hadn’t eaten in about 8 (9? 10?) hours, so I slammed a Lean Cuisine (Santa Fe rice and beans, nummers). Then I realized it was Scarlett O’Hara’s birthday and she told me to look cute and wear heels, so I rechanged into a dramatically less comfortable outfit, ran to my car, and sprinted (sped) downtown.
So I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I sort-of play in a band aka a duet aka my friend who is in an actual, real band lets me sing with him sometimes. I play the ukulele, because I am a giant cliché. My friend (let’s call him Captain Apollo) basically has to coddle and cosset me into doing this, because I apparently have no problem talking to giant groups of people, but I would rather pull out my toenails than sing in front of people in public places.
Captain Apollo talks me through soundcheck, and we get everything set-up and then I go drink what is rapidly becoming my regular pre-show order of a Labatt Blue and a shot of Jameo.
At this point my friends show up with Scarlett O’Hara, and I realize that I’ve neglected to properly prepare them for the atmosphere that is this bar (let’s call it the Battlestar). So they walk into the Battlestar and they’re all prettied up and Varenka is wearing actual, real live pants which is an extremely rare event for her, and we’ve all got heels on and whatnot, and this is one of those divey-er types of dive bars where the average clientele have knuckle tattoos and you’re almost encouraged to draw obscene things on the wall. It’s bit of a surreal moment, and they’re all looking a bit deer-in-headlightsy, even Rory, who rocks a poker face like no one else I’ve ever met.
However, I have no time to comfort them because just like that Captain Apollo is summoning me to the stage. I play my 7 song set-list, which went pretty okay, and get off the stage, and the girls are raring to get out of the Battlestar, like, yesterday. So we rush out of there.
We wander around for a bit and end up in my least favorite bar in town, which is apparently pretty heated on a Thursday because It Is Bumping.
And that’s when I just lose my head.
I think I’ve done a pretty decent job at explaining how Thursday was just a bit of a shit-show for me thus far. So imagine, if you will, coming fresh from the day I’ve had with barely any time to sit down, let alone take my foot off the gas pedal, and getting immediately thrown into a club packed full of sweaty strangers who are trying to rub up on you and chat you up and buy you drinks. It was not pretty. Varenka and Scarlett ended up getting tequila shots which I did not partake in as I was driving, and they seemed to be immediately okay with the situation. I backed myself up against the wall and clung to my Red Bull vodka for dear life.
I think I lasted about twenty minutes before I had to get out of there, internet. I was about to have a breakdown that would rival any toddler you know. Imagine a five-year old just had to pick up all her toys and eat brussel sprouts for dinner and then her brother gets a bigger slice of cake than she does. That was me. I was tired, uncomfortable, overwhelmed, emotional and I. Just. Couldn’t.
I lit outta there like a race horse on speed, people.
Moral of the story?
There is none.
Varenka wants me to write about her birthday, which happened on Tuesday. She turned 22.
On paper, V had the perfect birthday celebration planned out. We were going to go to yoga (as we fitness fanatics do), then to a food place for Taco Tuesday, then to a whiskey tasting night. She was going to provide the friends and the entertainment. I was going to provide the excessive sarcasm and inappropriate that’s what she said jokes.
Yoga was yogic. Nuff said.
Enter Taco Tuesday.
I should note that I’ve been living in this town for upwards of 10 years now and that I consider myself a townie. I could name for you offhand at least 5 local swimming hotspots of questionable legality. I have been on the roof of almost every major building downtown. I could give you a brief but detailed history of the 6 restaurants that have occupied a certain building since I’ve lived here (all of them were various Asian cuisines, oddly enough).
However, there is wide swath of ground here that townies dare not go while school is in session, for perched on the top of the hill like a vulture is a major university that has, like a dying wolf, latched its jaws onto my hometown and refuses to let go. A school that swells our modest population by almost a hundred thousand people and turns our usually deserted streets into cramped traffic jams held up by idiotic freshman running across the road to class, with a thriving Greek community that makes a habit out of knocking our mailbox out of the ground and has a curious fondness for adopting Saint Bernards.
To avoid confusion, let’s just say that I live in Westeros and that this university is the King’s Landing. It’s technically a powerful entity that controls a lot of what goes on here, but it’s a stuck up pain in the ass a lot of the time.
If you don’t watch Game of Thrones, you’re irrelevant and you can make up your own analogies.
Anyways, there’s a bunch of bars near the university I never go to because they’re crowded and annoying and hip and full of people far younger and smarter than I am. So I had a good amount of trouble even finding where we were supposed to be. The joint was a tacky, moody hole-in-the-wall named after a famous dead guy who murdered a bunch of people, because common sense can pipe the fuck down, apparently.
We get there and enquire about the tacos. Apparently they are 75 cents each, but only after 10:30. It’s 7. We’re not going to wait for it. We order off the regular menu. There’s 8 of us, so it takes a while to get our food. Meanwhile, a bunch of random middle-aged people dressed in slacks and button downs are causing a ruckus at the bar… getting shitty… at 7pm… on a Tuesday. This proves to be more sad then entertaining.
The food comes. Varenka ordered a burger with sprouts and guacamole on it. Her boyfriend Rory also got a burger of some sort. I got a depressing looking pulled pork sandwich that was definitely neither fresh nor homemade.
It was bad. Like, really bad. But I choked it down on the promise of drinking to be had. Varenka ate hers and claimed her stomach was upset about twenty minutes later. No one was surprised by this information.
We end up going to get Pepto-Bismol in a sad little Quickstop that absolutely hasn’t been mopped since the start of the semester. Most of our gang takes some. Then it’s off to whiskey night.
None of us had been to this thing before, so we didn’t quite know what to expect beyond, I don’t know, drinking whiskey. We go into this posh like restaurant and are handed a pretentious little menu and are told to wait until 9 to go downstairs, which means we have to wait for half an hour pretending not to watch people out on first dates that are not going well.
Eventually they let us go down into the posh cave that is their basement. It is way too hipster for my liking. There is a man that looks like the guy from Portlandia sitting near me. Someone was wearing a fedora. It was awful.
We are told it’s going to be 16 bucks for the evening and that we were going to be tasting four 1 ounce pours of “infusions”. The first was a jasmine tea gin (hello? whiskey night? no?) that smelled like someone poured nail polish remover on a bed of roses. It tasted about as good.
There’s an hour of this. The pour girl is blathering on about tannins and proportions. At some point Varenka goes and pukes up our rancidly awful dinner. Rory does as well. I drink approximately none of the crap they offer me and note with dismay that I don’t get service down in the hipster dungeon. The bacon infused whiskey in every way resembles bottom shelf booze with lard poured into it. There’s a hops whiskey that is essentially a terrible IPA in a shot of lukewarm Jameo. They close with a cinnamon sherry that is admittedly good BUT IS NOT ACTUALLY WHISKEY. FALSE ADVERTISING.
My soul died.
Never again, internet.