Monday, May 09, 2005

Dawgs, drinks, and darn good music...

Wow, that was quite a weekend. I’m a little depressed that it’s over actually. So much fun and so many exciting adventures to detail…

Thursday evening I picked up my buddy from Cleveland (who we’ll call “Mr. T” for my amusement) we didn’t do much that night except watch Harold and Kumar go to White Castle, because it is a surreally accurate representation of me and Mr. T’s friendship…except without the riding of cheetahs or the pervasive marijuana use…oh, and I’m not Asian. Other than that, it’s a very accurate representation.

On Friday we hung out in the morning before heading out for the Cubs game at 2:20. On the way there, we stopped in at Demon Dogs for some real Chicago-style hot dogs. For those of you not from the Chicago area, Demon Dogs is an institution. Nestled under the Fullerton El stop it’s chock full of 1970’s rock memorabilia (e.g. gold records from Chicago and Van Halen, autographed guitars from Aerosmith, etc) and serves a pretty decent cheap dawg. It’s supposedly going to be razed by the Chicago Transit Authority if and when they ever refurbish the Fullerton stop, but since CTA is broke at the moment DD got a stay of execution. Which was good for me since I’d never been there. It was fine. The dogs were good and the fries found the perfect balance between crispy outside and soft potatoey inside.

We arrived at Wrigley at about 1:00 and starting drinking immediately upon arrival. Estimates of the total amount of beer consumed between Murphy’s and the other place down the street who’s name I can’t remember is a little fuzzy, but it was more than 3. By the time the game started I had a good buzz on, and called the GF to say hello (note: this was not - I repeat NOT – a “drunk dial”. Those came later.). We found our seats and were treated to an excellent first 8 innings of baseball as the Cubbies clawed back from 1-0 to take a 2-1 lead into the 9th inning. Where Latroy Hawkins proceeded to blow the save by beaning one of the Phillies in the head trying to throw him out at first. It was shocking how they so elegantly “snatched defeat from the jaws of victory” as Mr. T put it.

Needless to say after such a depressing ending, more drinking was needed. So we made our way over to the Cubbie Bear and I drank more while Mr. T flirted with the clamoring hordes of Lincoln Park Trixies who were giving him the once-over. By this time I was pretty lit up but now completely stupid-drunk (drunk dial #1 here, but placed ingeniously to the GF’s work number, thus ensuring she couldn’t tease me about it until this afternoon). After a few hours at the CB we went to some other bar for more beer and commiserating with fellow fans (drunk dial #2 here – no shame – called the GF’s regular number but she didn’t pick up, mercifully. I asked her about it later and she claims that there were no understandable words she could make out. I think she’s just being nice.). All told I was drinking from about 1 until 9, when we left, came home and passed out.

Saturday was spent sleeping in late and re-hydrating. Then around 4:00 the GF came over to pick me up for the Nine Inch Nails concert at the Congress. Since it is pretty close to my place, we walked there. I was all set up in a polo shirt and cargo pants, but the GF nixed that and clad me entirely in black so I’d look as though I was carrying enough ennui to blend in with the rest of the crowd. We got there just as the doors had opened, so even thought he line ran down Milwaukee Avenue about 3 blocks, it only took about 20-30 minutes to get inside.
The Congress is an old movie theater that has been “refurbished” into a venue for concerts and whatnot. As I walked in through the lobby I was struck by how pretty it must have been when it was in its prime. I pictured crowds of people coming in to watch John Wayne movies where everyone was speaking Polish. In any event, despite what the pictures on their website look like the venue has been beat up all to heck. I don’t know how old those pictures are, but they must be at least 10-15 years because many of the seats have been horrifically abused, the paint is spotty in places and faded throughout, and in general it looks a lot like a venue that has been abused by multiple crowds over the years. Sad, but…what does one do?

The show itself was interesting because of the variety of different people at the concert. Yes, there was the requisite assemblage of goth-kids (and goth grownups, for that matter), disaffected high schoolers, and punk rock kids. But there was also a collection of BaCWeMs (BAseball-Cap WEaring Meatheads), LPT’s (Lincoln Park Trixies – including several who were wearing flip-flops in the mosh pit, as well as one who was wearing a skirt so short that – to quote the GF – “…she’s basically saying to everyone in the pit ‘stick your hand under my skirt and grope my ass!’”), and the general alt-rock crowd wearing t-shirts proclaiming their allegiance to a particular band.

The opening act was the Dresden Dolls, who was a suitably Goth-esque duo of a piano player/singer and a drummer. Fine enough music if they were playing in a lounge somewhere, and they won over the Goth kids quickly. But they failed miserably to appeal to the rest of the crowd, and suffered massive heckling from the BACWEMs. Rather than ignore them, the lead singer tried to talk back. Big mistake. It was kinda depressing actually, in a "Tonto! Don't go to town!" sort of way. But at least they only played for 40 minutes or so, and their song “Coin-Operated Boy” was enough of an earworm to stay in my head for a majority of the weekend (crap, now it's in my head again...).

The NIN show itself totally rocked out though - I was amazed. Trent Reznor is a fantastic showman. And the GF seemed very close to having seizures at several points throughout the evening because she’s a massive Trent fan. I am glad I met her first because if Trent got to her before I did she wouldn’t be the GF, she’d be the GISOAABPBNTT (Girl I Saw Once At A Birthday Party But Never Talked To). I prefer the former.

Off to prep for a meeting this morning…

2 comments:

glacierman said...

Sounds like you had an awesome weekend man! I would have especially loved to go to a Cubs game. My only complaint would be with the Cubs. Come on, Latroy is great "set-up" man, but he is not a closer.

Question, who were the starting pitchers? My wife and I tend to follow AL teams more than NL teams, so we both would be curious as to who you saw pitching.

grrrbear said...

It was Cory Lidle for Philly vs. Mark Prior for the Cubbies. Until the 9th inning, it was very much a pitchers duel. In one inning (I can't remember which) Prior had loaded the bases with no outs but then struck out the side to get out of the inning. Which was pretty cool...

After all, Elmo seems equally disinterested in both...

I have a hard time believing that Elmo was traumatized by Katy Perry's decollatage after discovering that he had already "been arou...