Sunday, August 31, 2008

Chicago, IL

Here's the Sears Tower before I start the Chicago story.
Ladies and gentleman, I have a drinking problem.

Rigoli took us to his ex-girlfriend Christi's place. I brought a 24 ounce bottle of Beck's and a larger flask bottle of Jack Daniel's, thinking it would be a short night. We get there, and the three of us are dressed like we would normally dress. The rest of the crowd is dressed up: sleeveless shirts or tube tops or slacks for the girls, polo shirts and nice cargos for the guys. Rigoli leans over to me and says, "Three of these things are not like the others."

I proceed to get drunk. A nice drunk. Drunk where, once we're moved inside off the top deck (yes, these kids make enough money to have a condo with a top deck, and an awesome view of the Chi-town skyline), I am still loud inside. But, thankfully, it doesn't matter, as we're inside, and the bitchy next-door-neighbor can't hear us as well.

Once the house party is done, we move on to a bar. We tried to go to the Matchbox. It is literally like a matchbox, and too small to accomadate the, oh, ten or so people we've got with us. So we head down the street to Mahoney's. This, this is where my downfall occurs.

I'm drunk at this point. I proceed to goad one of the girls into making fun of a baldheaded short guy outside: why, I don't know. She goes out and does so. Then when he comes inside and lambasts her for being a bitch, she rats me out. He tries to walk up to me and ask why I told her to make fun of him.

Uh, because I'm drunk, and you're a stupid-looking midwesterner?

I don't know if this came out, but it might've. Eventually, I feel bad for being a jerk, and I buy the guy a shot of Jameison. And I do a shot. And I keep drinking. And drinking. And drinking. Shots. Not mixed drinks.

Really, the rest of this story was related to me by Rigoli and EGo. Because I don't remember a minute of it.

I'm hammered. I get up on the stage where a DJ is playing. Soon, I jump down behind the back bar and start pouring vodka into glasses. The DJ has to come down and make me stop. I get more beligerent. I get more shots. I do one with the guy I made fun with. Eventually Rigoli comes up behind me. He hears me tell the kid I'm drinking with, "My friend is behind you, and he's really big." I buy three more shots; this time, I forget to pay and walk away, holding two of the shots. Rigoli pays for me. The bar is closing. We leave the bar. I run back into the bar. I'm dragged out. I run back in. I'm dragged out.

Then, we walk back. Well, I don't walk. I'm carried, sleeping kid-arms-around-neck style, by Rigoli. I tell him once to stop, but I don't puke. We go on. We get into the car. EGo is amazed by my ability to not vomit in his Jeep. (P.S. - EGo was sober, and is mostly why I'm able to have details about this night, though Rigoli remembers a lot of what went on, too.)

Once we get back to Rigoli's basement apartment, however, I boot outside of his door. Then we go inside, where I worship the porcelin goddess for awhile. Thank you, Rigoli, for babysitting me. After I'm done puking copius amounts, I pass out. In the bathroom. Sitting up against the shower stall. Mike has pictures, which I will soon post once he sends them to me.

At some point I wake up and stumble to the couch, where I pass out again. I wake up sometime at, oh, six in the morning, and I remember thinking to myself, "WOW! It's amazing that I didn't puke! I really had a lot to drink." Yeah, well, EGo set me straight once I woke up.

I time-traveled hardcore. I mean... wow. I've set a new record, even by my own standards.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

North Liberty, IN

Indiana isn't a whole lot to look at. It's very flat. I mean, really, really flat. There's nothing but cornrows and farms, unless you're passing through a business district; then you've got tractor sellers.

EGo and I were supposed to go to Notre Dame to hang out with his friend who lives on campus. As such, we were going to go camp in a state park nearby. We got the state park thing down no problem, but EGo's friend bailed on us without explanation.

So, now we're sitting in an incredibly crowded state park. We set the ten up without a hitch, which is exciting. I was surprised at the crowding. Immense amount of people with yelling kids. I was surprised because I completely forgot that this is Labor Day weekend. We're waiting for Park Safety to show up because I'm trying to get a refund (I thought we were going to need to stay two nights, but since EGo's buddy bailed, we only need to stay for one). For some reason the lady at the front gate said that she couldn't authorize a refund, but that she'd send Park Safety to talk to us about it.

Right. What???

Speaking of jackasses, I got pulled over and ticketed for doing 30mph in a 15mph zone within the park. The trooper, I'm convinced, pulled me over beacuse of the NJ license plates on EGo's Jeep. Also, he kindly pointed out that I was doing thirty DOWN A HILL. Who doesn't go faster down a fucking hill? In all honesty, too, I didn't realize that I was going that fast. Next thing I know, I see the cherries flashing in the rearview. So, now I have to call the number on the ticket, which is the JUDGE'S number, and talk to the judge about how much I owe.

That's correct: Indiana is retarded.

I'm ready to leave this state. Excited enough that I'm typing this entry up on my laptop while people who are walking their dogs seem confused by this alien technology I have on my lap.

Chicago and Mike Rigoli are the next stop. Civilization!

P.S. - Even with a thick layer of bug spray poisoning my skin, the bugs are still trying to eat me.

P.S.S. - I have a picture of me with the fire I built, but that will be posted later.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Versailles, KY

So Carrie lives next to an older lesbian couple, which is cool. But take a look at this photo and what they call their shed. Slightly amusing.Alright. Failsafe for any state that you're in/any state that you've never been in before, and want to experience some local culture, go to a local distillery, or a microbrewery, or what have you. Today, EGo and I took a tour of Woodford Distillery.

My god. This place was like, heaven on earth. It smelled soooooo good. Nothing like the smell of sour mash that's being made into bourbon whiskey. This vat was ten feet across, and about twelve feet deep:
People actually drop shit into this thing by accident, because YES, this is exactly how close I was when I took the picture. AND MY GOD DID IT SMELL DELICIOUS.
They took us into the storage warehouse. These barrels all contain bourbon that's being aged. Oh man, it smelled even better in there.

I have a few more pictures but I'm not going to be crazy tourist girl and post them all here. All I can tell you is that this was a very, very small distillery, and the tour was awesome. There was a small tasting afterwards. EGo and I agree that the bourbon there tastes better without ice. Adding ice brings out all sorts of flavors that I'd never tasted before in a whiskey/bourbon ever, and I don't really think I liked it.

Later on, Carrie took us to dinner at this hippie pizza joint, where we drank so much Kentucky Ale (again, local brewed, most excellent) that I thought I was going to explode. Well, that, combined with the ten inch Hawaiian pizza that I only managed to eat half of. Not a part of the Clean Plate Club today. Oh, well.

Now we're chilling at her place, watching Wet Hot American Summer, which I love, and drinking more beer. One of these days when I'm in Kentucky, I'll get a real mint julep.

Lexington, KY

The drive to Kentucky took about eight hours and ten minutes. We passed through West Virginia to get here. Highway 64 was very mountainy and foggy in places, but sometimes made for some nice views.

Carrie lives in an awesome apartment in Lexington. Two bedrooms, huge kitchen, living room... And all for southern-pricing, of course. Her place is larger than what Mark and I had and she pays half of what we had to pay. Sometimes I question my sanity because I choose to remain up north.

After she cooked us a spaghetti dinner (oh my god thank you thank you real food) we went for a five minute drive down in the road and into Lexington city proper. After a drink at one Irish bar where the main crowd was mostly people in their forties, we transferred to another bar down the block. We got to sit outside at this one, which had a nice view of the fountain streams at the courthouse. Kids with their parents were playing in this fountain, which comes out at sidewalk level, with no barriers surrounding it. It goes off at different intervals and rises to different levels.

So, yeah, awesome. Right in front of the courthouse, cops all around (we watched a college kid get pulled over, and two other cops cars cruise by the scene), and no one cares. You can play right in this fountain. So, of course, that's what I did, as did EGo (though I had to goad him a bit). This is me suppressing one of the streams, after I tried to put my face into it:EGo pretty much ran in fully clothed, and with his boots still on. I took some stuff off.
Here's the aftermath.
That may be my "come hither" face. Why I'm making it, I'm unsure.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Manassas, VA, part III.

Okay, really, this is the last of the Manassas updates.

Today was another lazy day. EGo and I went out and bought food for what will be the real part of our roadtrip. What do two intrepid travelers of the land buy and bring with them to eat? Lots of non-perishables. Here's the list:

Loaf of bread, white
One bottle, ketchup
One bottle, mustard
Extra large bag of Cool Ranch Dorritos
Large bag of Cheddar Sun Chips
One box of mini Ritz crackers with cheese
Jiff peanut butter, Extra Crunchy, one jar
Brown sugar Pop-Tarts
Variety box of granola bars
Two cases of Yuengling Lager (to be paid for in-full upon delivery to Bryan Bishe in San Diego, CA)

So after we got food, we went out for dinner, then returned to Jon's apartment. We walk in the door. The lights were on, the ceiling fan was spinning, and the washing machine was running. EGo and I shut the door behind us and stand in the laundry room in confusion, knowing for sure that we had shut EVERYTHING off before we left, and also that our clothes were in the dryer. Then, Jon appears out of the second bedroom. EGo and I yell.

He's back from his trip. We didn't realize it had already been two days.

Our turn to leave is tomorrow. Kentucky, here we come.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Washington, D.C., part II.

Jon left today for some work shit. He left EGo and I with a key to his apartment and a bunch of Metro cards. We pretty much have free reign over whatever we'd like.

Went to the Cracker Barrel for lunch (breakfast, really, when one wakes up at noon, and has only been conscious for a few minutes, it's still the morning meal). Goddamn, that place is delicious. Well, not the building itself, obviously, but the food inside it.

After 4pm I convinced EGo that sitting on our asses in Jon's apartment wasn't that great of an idea, so we went into D.C. First we got off on the Metro Central stop, but that was all businesses, so there weren't that many bars. We went into one bar where we were only ones underneath 33 in age. Also the only ones who were unemployed, more than likely. So we left, then went to the Dupont Circle stop, and went to Buffalo Billiards, conveniently located right off the Metro stop. We played a non-buy-in poker game for two rounds. I lasted until third place in the second game. Too much Smithwicks. Impairs the judgement. I give the thumbs up anyway.
On the way back, EGo decided to do some chin-ups on the Metro train. Gratuitious crotch-shot:He banged his head on the ceiling. Finally, this is me trying to look like an intimidating man on one of those huge escalators leading down to the Metro.EGo reminds me that I have football player-neck. You know, when you jack your head back and it makes your neck look massive. Or he says, "Actually, Lacy, YOU said that you had football player neck." It's true. I did. And I do.

Tomorrow, we're doing an eight hour drive to Carrie's place in Kentucky. Churchhill Downs is closed until October. I'm disappointed. I wanted to go to a race. I suppose there's always time for another track in another state.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Manassas, VA, part II.

Today EGo and I were lazy bums. We could have gone into D.C., but instead we slept in and looked around on our respective laptops until Jon came home. Then we grilled steak outside his apartment building. My love for A1 steak sauce is boundless.
The next stop is Kentucky. Carrie, one of my friends from college, is putting us up, I believe. If not, then we'll camp out in a state park, or somewhere.

Jon is leaving to do some work stuff tomorrow morning. EGo and I will be holding down the apartment front for a few days and then leaving.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Washington, D.C.

Washington D.C.'s Metro is, as far as I've seen, the best public transportation system in the country. I want to know if another system in a city as large can rival it--on any grounds. It's so easy to use that even someone such as myself, who is directionally challenged, can find their way around.

Anyway, last night we went to a bar called The Brickskeller. There were about ten pages of beer to choose from--and yes, most of them were available. The image is an example of some of the menu (pardon the bluriness, it was dark in the bar). As you can see, it's tiny type, and huge selection. They also had a jukebox with downloadable content, and the music played throughout the downstairs part of the bar where we were, so that's always an added bonus.

They have one drink called "Blow Your Skull Off". I, uh, highly recommend it. If you'd like to puke.

After the bar, my college friends Mike and Sarah took me to a place called Alberto's Pizza near Dupont Circle. Excellent drunk food. The slices of pizza are about three bucks, and each slice is 1/4th of the pizza. Yes, seriously. And it is freakin' delicious pizza. And did I mention it's ONE FOURTH of a pie? Damn. One FOURTH. Amazing. So we sat on the edge of the fountain at Dupont Circle and ate these massive slices of pizza.

Thanks to Mike who let me pass out on his couch in his apartment. I'm sure by the end of this trip I'll be able to tell my friends which of them has the best couch to sleep on.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Manassas, VA.

I'm not even sure where to begin, so I'm just going to jump right in to writing this.

I'm twenty-six-years-old. I've had to live at home because my English degree and subsequent "real" office job paid me so little that I had to go reside with my mother. I used my English degree to write airline menus--which, to someone who wants to write creatively for a living, was like some kind of prision sentence.

So, I quit my job. My buddy EGo quit his job a long time ago. We're driving cross-country, stopping at friend's houses/apartments. We'll be camping when we don't have someone to stay with.
This is something I've wanted to do since I read Kerouac's On The Road in high school. I wanted to do a trip like this right after graduation, but it never happened. Various degrees of responsibility sank their daggers in--responsibility that I'm ignoring now.

Everyone seems to say the same thing to me: "Do this while you can, while you're young."

So, now I'm sitting in Manassas, VA, in my friend Jon's living room, typing this up. EGo and I hit so much traffic leaving New Jersey that a 4.5 hour trip turned into something like 6.5 or 7 hours. We need better timing. And practice. I tend to want to fall asleep if no one is talking to me, and EGo was so tired that we had to change driving positions about 2.5 hours in so he could nap.

We will perservere! We will conquer the miles and miles of rolling black pavement. The hours of getting trapped between SUVs and tractor trailers that belch exhaust. The high gas prices that will empty our wallets and have us howling at OPEC. We will get rained on. We will have the sun shine down upon us and burn us. And our knowledge will be the knowlege of gods when we return home, triumphant, dirty, smelling of tar and grass and cheap fast food.