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Posts Tagged ‘Atlanta’

Dear Fellow Thrashers**:

Y’all are the best. I joined the volleyball league to meet new people and have fun, and it’s working!

Last night was a little heartbreaking — good volleys but we couldn’t pull through in the clutch.

And right now I hear my other friends gasping in shock. Yes, believe it: I joined a volleyball league. (Waves hands in front of the faces of the passed out; shouts, “Give them some room!”)

Yeah, I know I’m not the sporty one in the family. I’m not particularly coordinated. I’m usually on the sidelines (unless flag football is involved, and then I’m a she devil [Right Chris and Linda?]).

But last night, two out of my three immediate family members came to watch me play. And I had the night of my life.

We still lost all three matches, but it was close, and I don’t care.

I turned as red as Will Ferrell as Lucifer.

I happily iced my arm.

Yes, that is an ice pack shaped like a cherry Life Saver. It fits perfectly on the painful spot on my wrist.

I wore the last bruise like a badge of honor.

Sexy, I know.

And I’m happy. So thanks. Love you all!

See you next week,
Beth

* Thank God for Thursdays

** AKA “Trashers” (We did not pick the name.)

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Echo and the Bunnymen perform for the elderly at Chastain Park.

Dear Fellow Concert-goers (aka Grizzled Old Beasts Just Like Me),

It was great to hang out with you at the Echo and the Bunnymen and Violent Femmes performance last night. Between the sets, I was taking a good look at all of you — people watching, as I do. You know, finding inspiration for this blog and other writing projects.

I noticed plenty of partial and full hair loss, beer bellies, socks pulled up too far, white shoes, varicose veins, gray hair, etc.

“Jesus, these people are old,” thought I.

That uncharitable thought was followed quickly by this one:

“Oh shit. These are my people. I’m old too.”

Dang. That was a rude awakening. I’m still 27. In my head. Forever. As I bet you are too.

 

Notice the beer (which was delicious). Then notice who is beyond the beer. Notice the cane and the socks.

How we feel ≠ how we look.

It’s depressing.

đŸ˜•

But not as depressing as the thought of the geriatric dating game. Some of you were definitely hooking up (or trying to, at least). I mean, good for you.

Eddie and I ended up joking about that this morning (I’m in blue, in case you are cursed with an Android phone):

(Don’t give me flak for hating on the stout hairless men of the world. We all have a type, and that’s not mine. And they don’t like me either. So there.)

If forced, I guess I’d have to get some Botox and lipo and start cougaring. But then I’d have to forget knowing every ’80s song, including the Femmes’ repertoire.

I cannot live a lie.

Just like us (in our minds), the Femmes’ sound hasn’t aged at all.

So I think we should all agree to keep on keeping on, just as Hunter S. Thompson recommended:

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, ‘Wow! What a Ride!'”

Ride on, fellow geezers.
Beth

 

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Yep, that’s a moonshine still (and a guy named Bullet Bob). Welcome to the South!

Dear Liquor Lovers:

Though I am mostly a beer and wine drinker, I went on a mission that you would love: a trip to the Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery.

For someone like me who likes to go on adventures and write about them, this had all the elements of a good story:

1. An interesting setting
The distillery is next door to Dawsonville City Hall, which is also home to the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame. The distillery is connected.

It’s a short walk to the Food Lion if you need vittles before or after.

2. Colorful characters
Inside, I met “Rocket Man” and “Bullet Bob.” That’s how they introduced themselves. Here’s Rocket Man with his wares:

And here’s Bullet Bob with the grain mash on the tour of the (about 20′ x 20′) distilling room:

And here’s Richard, the stuffed Raccoon, otherwise known as “Dickless,” according to Rocket Man:

Hando will be disappointed that he missed meeting his brethren.

4. Snappy dialogue
Me (introducing myself because I felt I had to as I was the only person on the tour): “I’m Beth.”
Bullet Bob: “Where are you from?”
Me: “I grew up in Stone Mountain.”
Bob: “I once drove up the mountain in my jeep on a double date.”
Me: “Was that the last date?”
Bob: “No, I married her. That didn’t last long.”

Rocket Man (at the tasting, pouring me a pink potion): “Ever had Sex on the Beach?”
Me: “Yes.”
Rocket Man: “I mean the drink.”
Me: “Har har.”

4. Believable conflict or peril
After a tiny taste of the White Lightning, I had to keep from screaming “Motherf—–” at Rocket Man and sprinting to the Food Lion for a jug of milk. (Moonshine that is 109 proof will do that.)

3. Compelling plot
I drove an hour to a city I had never visited to take this distillery “tour.” I put myself in great danger (Atlanta roads, moonshine tasting, jar of raccoon penis bones next to the tasting cups), all to get presents for friends (and a good story).

Peter Piper picked a peck of trash-panda peckers.

The tale also had a great resolution: I came away with an understanding of how moonshine is made, more information about “Awesome Bill from Dawsonville,” the aforementioned gifts, and this blog post.

And perhaps new items for the must-drink list for you boozehounds.

Salud!
Beth

The devil in a jug

*Apologies to Will Smith for changing his lyrics.

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Dear Atlanta Grilled Cheese Festival Organizers:

I wanted to like your festival. Heck, I wanted to LOVE it. Grilled cheese and beer — what’s not to love?

Well …

Here’s a short list:

1. The ticket price
Tickets were $30 plus service fees, making them $35.16. Festival entry, three samples, admittance to the “beer garden,” and live music were included in the price. Still seems a bit steep.

2. The samples
This is more my fault than yours, but I thought that with a ticket price that high, samples would be generous. At least a sandwich or half a sandwich. Nope, a quarter, if that. So 3/4 of a sandwich was included in the price. Yes, they were yummy, but …

3. The “beer garden”
That lofty-sounding moniker turned out to be one tent with about seven kinds of beer in cans: two craft and five crap. Some were not even cold. And they cost $7.

4. Live music
It was Christian music.

5. The heat
Brookhaven Park might as well have been the surface of the sun. Very little shade, 90+ degrees. Within five minutes, I’m sure that every single person in attendance had a steaming undercarriage. This event was supposed to be in April, which would have been much better. Can I suggest moving it to November or December? Or even an Oktoberfest event would be good. No one likes being hot while eating hot cheese.

This is about the extent of the festival. Disappointing.

6. The selection
When you said there was an “amateur division” for voting purposes, I naturally assumed there would be a medley of vendors. There was one amateur entry. One.

The professional vendors almost made up for the lack of amateurs. Just look at this menu board:

The “Hot Mess” was delicious. However, my favorite was the “Sour D” at a different place:

Garlic buttered sourdough toast with American cheese, avocado and bacon. Yes, please.

Anyway, if this is the way it is going to be next year, you are going to have to lower your ticket price. This was, at most, a $10 experience.

Now, if you want to add full-size sandwiches, beer samples and an indoor location in the summer, that’s different.

Yours in love of cheese,
Beth

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Dear City of Brookhaven Solicitor:

Despite the fact that I frequently flout the rules at the apartment complex pool, I am (generally) a law-abiding citizen. When I visited the Brookhaven Municipal Court yesterday to contest a parking ticket, I was reminded that many people are not.

I used to cover the cop and court system when I was a TV news reporter. Yesterday’s visit made me miss those days. Ah, the sordid lives of others are a nosy person’s catnip.

DUI? Check.
No proof of insurance? Check and check.
Driving without a valid license? Check, check and check.
Revocation of probation? Check, check, check and check.

One dude had been cited for running from the cops on two different occasions. He conveniently forgot about that second time. And that his girlfriend had been the one to call the cops on him.

Another had so many moving violations he had to be on house arrest for 90 days.

I counted more than $5,000 in fines from just five people.

How do people get themselves in these situations?

Maybe they were on Ambien.

I was almost embarrassed that I was just there to whine about a parking ticket — a ticket you dismissed. So thanks for that.

Anyway, it’s good to have a reminder that things can always be worse.

Lovely to meet you, but I hope I won’t see you again.
Beth

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Dear Union EAV:

Thank you for being the bright spot in an otherwise dim evening. Mistakes were made.

Mistake No. 1.
Going out on a school night. My friend Kalen and I thought the Star Bar would be hopping with people grooving to DJ MP3PO and Quasi Mandisco. Yeah, not so much.

Mistake No. 2
Thinking 529 or The Earl might be more lively. They were as dead as some of my favorite GoT characters.

Seen in the Star Bar ladies room

Mistake No. 3
Investigating Mary’s. It was voted Best Karaoke in Creative Loafing but I’m not sure why. We walked in the door then right back out.

But you, Union EAV, lured us in and salvaged the night. I never would have chosen a rap open-mic night, but there we were, packed in a 20-by-20-foot room with about 30 30-something black men. I’ve never felt so white. But also I felt welcomed, as we all were there to see young artists perform.

The first rapper we saw was this guy:

It was like “Showtime at the Apollo.” He introduced himself in a thick Eastern European accent. The crowd was prepared to boo this dude. But then he began rapping and earned respect.

Me: Where did he say he was from? Belarus?
Kalen: Bosnia!

This woman was one of the best of the night: a true master of the form:

Everyone was clearly having a good time. It could have been the performers. Or it could have been the result of something that formed a cloud with a distinctive odor. Or it could have been the effect of what we suspect was in the container guarded by the Punisher.

Didn’t matter. Still chill. Great fun. Like “8 Mile” without the conflict.

Then the Lyft driver for my ride home turns out to be a Peruvian opera singer.

I always have the best time when I say, “Yes, and …

So thanks, and maybe I’ll see you again.

Sincerely,
Beth

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Ladies and gentlemen, I present “How I spent my first St. Patrick’s Day back in Atlanta.”

7:46 a.m. Wake up to the doorbell. Apparently, it is playtime in the neighborhood. The hooligans I live with head outside to terrorize each other and assorted friends.

11:30 a.m. Finish watching the last episode of the last season of “Game of Thrones.” I’m excited, aroused, worried, repulsed, mad, sad — all in equal measure. I need to talk to someone about it. I’m so far behind in finally seeing it, though, no one wants to talk to me.

2:10 p.m. Nap while watching recorded episodes of “The Voice.”

5:30 p.m. Make the soup that we like for dinner. Compliments all around. Pregame. Realize it is too early to pregame.

7:10 p.m. Take Nap Two. (I’m elderly. Leave me alone.)

8:50 p.m. Dominic notices that I’ve put myself together. The following conversation ensues.

Dominic: “Are you going out tonight?”
Me: “Yes. Rene and I are going to some thing called ‘Psycho Disco.'”
Dominic: “Well, don’t get murdered by a psycho. If someone comes up to you, turn your usual reporter mode off and run.”

8:51 p.m. Document the conversation on Facebook (because if it is not documented, did it even happen?).

8:55 p.m. Tell RenĂ© I’m on my way. He tells me I’m early; he is not ready. I tell him I’ll cool my jets. Men.

9:02 p.m. Amuse myself by reading responses to the FB post.

9:15 p.m. Call for Lyft. Help Tarrant find me as I am on the side of the road (getting into apartment complex is a pain). Fetch René.

9:44 p.m. Arrive at The Music Room. It’s not open yet, but the barbecue place next door is. 9:49 p.m. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day like I always do: by drinking an Irish Car Bomb. It’s tradition. Usually, this tradition involves The Royce, but he is in Savannah with Mike Pence and Mother (barf), so I had to carry on without him.

10:22 p.m. Go next door (now open) and meet RenĂ©’s friend, DJ Tracy Levine. She is tiny, impeccably dressed and energetic. She also plays amazing house music for the seven people in the bar. It’s still early.

10:30-11:45 p.m. Listen to DJ Tracy upstairs. Go downstairs where there are more people to watch, but then have to endure a DJ that is not as gifted. Go back upstairs to dance. Go back downstairs to watch. Lather, rinse, repeat.

11:54 p.m. I’ve lost RenĂ©.

12:30 a.m. Take Uber to Atlanta Eagle. I am the only one of my kind there. Also, it’s leather night. So.

1:11 a.m. Wait for Uber outside because now we are going to Blake’s. A woman rushes up to me: “Hi! So good to see you!” I don’t know her, but I see a guy right behind her. I quietly ask her if she is OK, or if she is trying to get away from this guy. Girl code. Then I see another woman with them. I ask her if everything is OK. She says, “Oh yeah, they’re together. She’s just drunk and friendly.” Aha. Then our Uber chariot appears.

She’s adorable, right? And extra.

1:24 a.m. “Do not pinch me. I’m wearing green,” I say to the fellow who has just tried to pinch me. I show him my shamrock. (My necklace. Come on!)

1:35 a.m. Blake’s is THE place to be, apparently. Let the mingling, chatting, dancing and whatnot commence! No, I do not want another beer. I’m good. Thank you very much.

2:21 a.m. Surprise stop at Waffle House on the way home. Scattered, covered, diced and capped, please.


3:11 a.m. Shower and go to bed. I’m too tired to take the towel off my hair.

8:53 a.m. Not taking the towel off last night was a mistake. My hair looks like a fright wig.

9:13 a.m. Text my friend Brian to tell him I went to the two gay bars he’s been telling me about. Without him.

9:30 a.m. Brian decides I’m going with him to see “Love, Simon” this afternoon. But that’s hours away.

Next weekend, RenĂ© and I are supposed to go to the Northwest Georgia Bantam Club Winter Classic —  a poultry show. No, I’m not kidding. I can’t wait!

Stay tuned,
Beth

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