So, it’s to the point where I can’t help but count down until employment begins. One week. One short week. One week made shorter by all of the things I want to get done to prepare for no more long and languid days filled with whatever I want to fill them with.
I am preparing by celebrating as well as working. Beginning last weekend. Actually, beginning during the entirety of my little break from employment. Hopefully continuing beyond employment. Hopefully I have trained myself well enough to cultivate languidness in my day-to-day life, job or no job.
I’ve met some pretty nice people during my little vacation. A is one of them. Always game for a new adventure, A enthusiastically endorsed my idea of spending an entire day in bars, drinking.
Getting my drank on!
I’m not much of a drinker normally, but it seemed like a fun, unemploymenty kind of thing to do. Though I invited other friends to join me along the way, I was glad to have a constant companion along for the ride. It was EXACTLY the kind of “wacky sidekick” adventure I’ve always enjoyed.
So, after a light breakfast (of orange juice, coffee…
and Wendell Berry)
“a kind of idiocy”
We started out at the Poodle Dog Lounge, which is a dive bar about a 10 minute walk from my house. I got there first, and sat at the bar with a few characters who seemed like regulars. A arrived about 15 minutes after me. One beer down. We played some pool, fed the overpriced jukebox some dollar bills – I played Def Leppard, Gnarls Barkley…and my theme song:
Pretty much got my ass kicked at pool, just like I figured I would.
The Wisdom of Bathroom Graffiti
But we had fun, A bought me several beers, and we were pleasantly buzzed when we headed north to The Pour House, where I enjoyed some pear cider (it was freaking delicious!)
and a veggie burger and tots.
Veggie Burger and Tots
A taught me how to play cornhole, and P & S showed up to play with us for a bit before they headed out to psych fest, leaving me to once again lose to A at more bar games before we traipsed off to our next stop.
Lala’s is a neighborhood bar that I rarely go to.
Lights at Lala’s
Mostly because, as mentioned above, I don’t drink all that much. However, the daytime crowd at Lala’s might make more of a drinker of me. It was a really nice mix of ages and everyone was really pleasant. I fed the jukebox $5 and that bought me about an hour of music (so much better than the jukebox at Poodle Dog) and I promptly loaded the mix with some R&B and jazz, at the request of my companion (and inspiring the friendly fellow bargoers to compliment my skillz, to which I responded “I always wanted to be a dj!”) The mix included this little ditty, which reminds me of karaoke with George.
At lala’s we moved to scotch & soda. I nursed mine VERRRRRRRY slowly, which is probably why I was able to kick A’s ass at foosball, in spite of the fact that I was laughing uncontrollably through much of the game, and mostly just doing the foosball equivalent of button-mashing (namely, spinning the spinners randomly hoping to score.)
And A and I had a great conversation about life and friendship and parenting. I couldn’t tell if I was being deep, or if I was being “drunk deep.” But either way, it was nice. It’s been nice getting to know new people. I’m really glad I have made an effort to reach out while I’ve had this extra time on my hands.
A seems to have an appreciation for my cheerful nature. He feels he is often negative…that he often finds things that are wrong with any given situation and feels the need to express dissatisfaction. I don’t really see him that way…he’s never seemed like much of a complainer to me, but I have had people tell me I seem “bubbly” “happy” “cheerful” and “optimistic” before. In some people, it’s even aroused suspicion. Good things seem to happen for me. This whole bout with unemployment, in fact, seems to have been one zany adventure. A coup, I like to call it. Even the weather has been more agreeable than usual while I’ve been out of work. But is it that good things happen to me, or is it that I steadfastly refuse to look at any given situation as the end of the road? It’s possibly a bit of both. I am inordinately lucky, and extraordinarily privileged in comparison to many people.
However, it’s not like bad shit never happens to me. It’s not even that I don’t ever get sad. I’ve been pretty sad about at least one major disappointment in my life the entire time I’ve been unemployed. I’ve probably even dwelt on it. But I’ve learned to disallow sadness and disappointment from clouding all of the wonderful things that are available to me if I just look beyond. It hasn’t been an easy lesson to learn, and sometimes I forget…but I find it easier and easier the more I practice. And anyway, there’s always someone who has much more difficulty in their life than I do, and I feel selfish if I complain too much about my petty difficulties.
At any rate, A finished his last scotch and soda, and we headed to Sarah’s house for cheap margaritas. Nolan told me I wasn’t allowed to watch them make the drinks, because there were “controversial ingredients.” I watched anyway. The first step: frozen lime juice concentrate. I gasped! And Nolan said “That’s not even the controversial part!” (The controversial ingredient was…BEER! Cheap beer!)
“That’s not even the controversial part.”
At Sarah’s, we drank aforementioned margaritas, ate chips and guac. Sarah regaled us with her tales of superherodom. She’s so frikking amazing. I just love all her and all of the ADAPT activists. I always learn tons from conversations with Sarah.
“Free Our People”
Then Susan and Brian joined us, and we got to talk about teaching and the boys and all manner of things.
After a bit we all got a little tired, so A and I parted ways with Sarah, Nolan, Susan & Brian & headed back to Lala’s for our last drink of the night. Well, my last drink.
Last Drinks at Lala’s
A treated me to Funyuns, which seemed an appropriate snack after a day of drinking.
Funyuns (Pork skins and beef jerky for A)
And a beer. And we sat at the bar and talked about what a different crowd it was at that hour than it had been in the afternoon. I left A there around midnight, feeling pleasantly full of good cheer and a well-wasted day as I walked the couple blocks home.
Cool car we admired before I left.
It really was a perfect day…and (another coup!) I didn’t even have a hangover the next morning. I woke up early and played with my chalk pastels,
while listening to Velvet Underground.