Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hotlanta? O RLY?

After the wet weekend in Aiken, SC... duty called in Atlanta, GA for the week. The software I work on was under evaluation by the U.S. Army at Fort Gillem just outside of Atlanta.

I left Aiken early Sunday morning with quit a hangover and a vow to myself not to drink for a few days. Two hours later, I found myself sitting at a Ruby Tuesdays reading the newspaper with a frosty mug of IPA in my hand. "My name is Tom and I'm an alcoholic." "Hello Tom."

The weather was horrible. From what I understand, stricken by months of drought and less than a 90-day supply of water, I was able to single handily liberate the city of its' drought conditions with my presence alone. Swirling gusts of winds, incessant rain, fog, drizzle, painted an ominous picture of what my week ahead would look like.

Anyways, after a couple contentious days of software testing, I managed to fit in an opportunity to drive to the city limits and hit a couple of bars. A work colleague of mine and I went out one night in the Highland area. It seemed to me like an overtly cosmopolitan/posh neighborhood. Maybe a touch of Clarendon with the mentality of Woodbridge?

The bars were enthusiastically decorated with pictures of Jimmy Carter everywhere. Ian and I hit an Oyster bar/restaurant called Fontaines Oyster House. Tuesday speical: $5.00 - Dozen Raw Gulf Oysters. I felt like my ship had come in (full of oysters of course). After guzzling a few local brews, talking business, and hounding oysters all night, we found our way back to the hotel.

Bare with me. Mind you, this is one long blog post to compensate for an entire weeks time...

Our hotel was bustling, located a stones throw from the airport it was full of new hires for Delta. The Marriott was full of chain-smoking flight attendants practicing landing procedures, memorizing airport codes, and sipping on whatever was on special at the time.

Here's a tip I learned that scares the begeeeeezuz out of me. During times of high turbulence in an airplane, I always look at the flight attendants face to try to gauge their reaction. Well, after talking to a "flight attendant in training", I learned that they are taught under those circumstances to always keep a smile on their face. I guess it's back to popping Xanax for me.

I'm going to stop here and publish now, under the realization that I've got some more recent and crazy things to blog about. I'll touch back on this post when I get the time. Keep reading it's going to get good!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Aching to get back to Aiken

So, I recently took a road trip to Aiken, South Carolina. Population: 28,829. I hopped on the road Friday, and drove from Woodbridge, VA down around Richmond, through Greensboro, Charlotte, and finally stalled out just shy of the Georgia-South Carolina border in a small hamlet called Aiken.

After 11 hours in my truck I was more than eager to swig some shine and listen to Blue Grass all weekend. I met up with Casey and Tim from Charlotte (festy friends). Together we threw up my tent in about five minutes and hustled over to the stage.

I had arrived just in time to see the Hackensaw Boys. It was a great set, but I was saving my energy for the following evenings activities.

I remember going to bed that night with a smile on my face, a mild buzz, and the sound of crickets. I awoke to a thunderous, pounding rain and a wind that threatened to blow the rain fly off my tent and possibly me with it.

The lightning and the thunder were so bad at times it literally sounded like the lighting was striking the trees just outside of our camp site. At one point when there couldn't have been more than a half a second between the lighting and the thunder, I ran out to my truck and tried to fall back asleep. Damn that was scary!

The second night was great... Larry Keel with Natrual Bridge, The Hackensaw Boys, Town Mountain and the Drew Emmitt Band. I was so tired from not getting any sleep the previous night I went to bed semi-early.

That night the storms started all over again. There wasn't quit as much thunder but there was biblical amounts of rain. Thank god Casey had brought her Easy-Up. It was a life saver.

This was my first festival of the season and we had a great time! The festival was small, featured notable bands, and was totally non-commercialized. The experience reminded me a lot of Mayhem in The Mountain.

All in all, aside from the savagery of thunderstorms at night and the lack of sleep, I'd rate the experience a 9 out of 10 for festivals. I will definitely keep this one in mind for next year. All aboard for All Good! ;)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Beantown Shenanigans

I know, it's been a while since I've blogged (not like people actually read my blog anyways). But to be fair, I've been extremely busy at work, which to me is a godsend. As a result, I've actually got some interesting things to blog about.

And so it goes... fairly recently, my company flew myself and a work colleague of mine up to Boston to catch a Red Sox game. I flew out of DC at 7:30 a.m. Sunday morning. The sun was coming up and it was apparent that a beautiful day loomed ahead for an unusually cold Spring in DC.

Fast forward 1.5 hours... touch down at Logan airport. Weather conditions = overcast, pounding rain, and 48 degree's... FUCK! If you haven't noticed yet, I've lost my cold weather skin and have molded myself into a "lil bitch" for lack of a better term when life concerns temperature and weather conditions.

Anyways, the Sox were playing the Tampa Bay Rays (who cares, I don't). I lasted three innings before I felt the urge to get out of my overpriced seat and roam around Boston for a bit.

I started at a local brew pub called Beer Works right outside of Fenway Park. There is something to be said about the irony involved of the situation where you are holding a ticket to Fenway Park in your left hand and simultaneously grasping a frosty local brew 500 feet outside the stadium in your right hand while also watching the game on a 20 inch HD television.

I had two pints of some local brew who's name escapes me right now, but 25 minutes later I felt myself swirling and asking some random street urchin where I could find the "Metro". "You mean the T-Train?" came the obvious reply.

My impressions of Boston, (I've been there before mind you):

-Dark and dreary New England town. - I understand why the English felt so at home.
-Overwhelming sense of history.
-Seafaring community (they call me Captain Obvious).
-"I'm from Boston, I don't give a fuck (pronounced 'fack')."
-Only 1 hour from Cape Cod by ferry (Province Town), the second most liberal, artsy, rainbow city outside of San Fran.

Anyhow, all things considered, it seemed like a great town to grow up in and consequently get the fuck out of STAT! All things considered, I did get to see a great friend of mine from my community college days at MCC.

The bottom line, it was a great experience that I'll never forget. However, come July Boston, you'll notice a Nissan Frontier speeding by on route 3 with a destination of Province Town to hang with my family and enjoy a different pace of life. Beach Life!!!