Monday, June 26, 2006

Atlanta Pride Night 1

Friday morning, D and I packed the car and went to pick up our best buds, M & B. We were heading to Atlanta for Pride!

We were making good time and it looked like we were going to be able to make our reservations at Watershed with no problems. That was before we had to slam on the brakes and sit in traffic for more than an hour.

We arrived at the hotel around 6:30 and when I asked the front desk if we could get to Decatur in 30 minutes, she just laughed. So, we went up to the room and freshened up and tried to decide what to do. We needed a good base for the drinking that was happening later.

We decided to wait until around 7:15 or so to head to Decatur and go to a restaurant we had been to before. We hadn't eaten there, just drank.

The traffic wasn't bad and we found our way to Zocalo located in the Decatur Courthouse Square. It had cooled off from the rain and we decided to sit outside at one of the two tables so we could smoke. Atlanta restaurants and bars are mostly smoke free.

We all ordered Tecate and the salsa and chips arrived. They were tasty. No one wanted to eat a big meal so we ordered appetizers. D got some quesadillas and the rest of us got some taquitos. The food was tolerable. We ordered more beers and then asked for the check. D was acting mysterious and then the waiter showed up with this large dessert and apologized to D. We had no idea what was going on and she wouldn't tell us until we left.

D had opened one of her quesadillas to inspect it and found the finger off of a surgical glove among the mushrooms. Yum! Needless to say, we were all disgusted and her meal was free.

It was around 8:30 and the show we were going to see started at 9:00. We thought we were in plenty of time to get a seat but as we rounded the corner, we saw there was no chance. There were cars everywhere at My Sister's Room.

We approached the door and there was a sea of women everywhere. The giant patio was full and we could see that the band was doing sound check. It was very hot so we went inside to the bar but they had the doors open and no air conditioning on.

We ordered beers and went outside to see if there was anywhere to sit until Kristy Lee started. She was the reason we were there. I found a tiny bench and the 4 of us gathered around it. At least there was somewhere to sit.

There must've been at least 400 women there. It was insane. To get a beer, it was 30 minutes in line. Ridiculous. Oh, and to pee, forget it. One time I counted 17 women in front of me. I heard someone say there were some port-o-potties outside so that's where I went the remainder of the night.

Kristy Lee finally took the stage at 11:00. She started out with a cover of The Joker by Steve Miller. We were a little bewildered. Then she played another cover. I think next came a song from her CD from 6 years ago. Then another cover and a song about a train. Who knows. She left the stage at midnight. 6 songs in an hour!? We schlepped all the way to Atlanta for this? What has Kristy Lee been doing for the last 6 years? It sure hasn't been writing songs.

We were tired of sweating so we headed back to the hotel. We'd had enough beers.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

New Orleans

D and I decided we should take a trip to New Orleans in March of this year. That would be our contribution to the struggling economy. I looked up a hotel and booked it. It was for Easter weekend and the hotel said it wouldn't be super crowded.

D and I woke up early on Friday morning, loaded the car and headed to the Big Easy. It's a short trip. Only about 4.5 hours. We arrived at the French Quarter Suites already salivating for the shrimp po-boy that was minutes from our mouths.

We checked in and headed down St. Ann to Bourbon. I was in search of the Acme Oyster Bar. There was a small line outside but we were quickly seated. After perusing the menu, I decided on 1/2 of a shrimp po-boy with gumbo and D ordered 1/2 of a shrimp po-boy and 1/2 of an oyster po-boy. Oh, and 2 bloody marys please! We were in New Orleans after all.

The food came out and so did our 2nd round of bloody marys. It was very, very good. There were mirrors above the oyster bar. You could watch them shucking the oysters with incredible speed. It's too bad neither one of us likes raw oysters!

Suprisingly we left there a little buzzy. I called my Dad from Bourbon to share the moment. He was jealous.

We headed back down Bourbon to St. Ann. That's where the "gay section" starts. The Bourbon Street Pub is one of my favorite places to hang out. The staff is very nice and they have a bathroom that locks and has an actual toilet. No troughs in the downstairs bathroom. We got there around 4:00ish and somehow scored seats at the bar.

Allen, the bartender noticed my shirt. It said "When in doubt, whip it out". He wanted me to whip mine out. I told him I'd have to see his first.

I looked up at the screen when I heard Cher come over the speakers. They were showing a montage of Cher moments on the big screens around the bar. She was on a horse singing Half Breed. Then she started with Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves. I could only smile. It was sort of surreal to be sitting in New Orleans singing with Cher after that terrible disaster had happened only months before.

Day turned to night, and I looked at my watch and it was already 9:00! We'd had umpteen BLs and shooters galore. To say we were buzzy would be an understatement. Here we are at the bar. (Notice my glasses.)

Since we'd been in the same place and seen the shifts change at the Pub, we decided it was time for a change of scenery. I'd asked around to see if there was another bar with an actual toilet and I was told that a bar right down the street called Good Friends has appropriate facilities. I'm too old and I've peed in too many undesirable places to ever do it again.

D and I relinquished our seats at the Pub and headed out. Good Friends wasn't too crowded. I made a beeline for the bathroom to check it out. No sense in staying if I have to pee in a trough.

The bathroom was actually quite good. No lock though so I had a pee very quickly. I hate the look of shock on both parties when the door is opened and I'm squatting over the toilet. It's not pretty.

Anyway, I went back to the bar and D had decided we hadn't had enough shooters yet. She had ordered two Stoil Raspberry penetrators. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's chilled Stoli. Nothing else. I looked at the concoction in horror. D just grinned. I picked up the drink, said "cheers" to D, made a face, and chugged. It was not good. I looked over at D and she had sipped about 1/3 of it. She looked at it and said "No way, you'll have to finish it. I've got quarters up on the pool table." She twirled around and was gone in a flash. The bartender was just standing there waiting on me to finish. I don't know why. I just stared at it while the other shooter took effect on me. It's sort of like taking a Valium. That first sensation after you swallow. Anyway, I stared and stared at it. Finally, I asked the bartender to rechill it. I was buying time. He poured it back in the shaker and then poured it back in the glass in no time at all. Like I said, it wasn't too busy. I picked up the shooter and slammed it down. What else could I do? It wasn't as bad as I thought. I got up to see how D was doing on the pool table.

She'd won about 4 games in a row and was running everyone off. I watched her play but got tired of standing so I went back to the bar where an older gentleman was playing NTN. That's the trivia game that is played all over the nation at bars. I LOVE it! I started helping him with the answers and we became fast friends.

He was in his 50's and a retired drag queen. He'd recently lost about 50 pounds and was considering performing live again. Once the game was over, he decided to show me some of his moves. There was a pole involved and a bunch of tiptoed dancing and hand gestures.

Once D had beaten everyone in the bar at pool, there were no more challengers. I had tired of this bar and decided we should go back to the Pub. It was around 2:00 am now. We were feeling no pain.

Mark was still bartending and when he saw us approaching, he poured out 3 blue shooters. I didn't think there was any way I was going to do another one, but I picked it up and toasted Mark and shot it. D did the same. It was still pretty crowded but we were able to sit down.

D likes to make friends when she gets DR (drunk). I have to get on to her from time to time because her new "friends" are not always desirable friends. Let's run down the "friends" she made this night. A U.S. Marshall, a marine, 2 queens and some biker dude that had his wife with him. She had a black eye. Nice.

It was 4:00 am when we stumbled out of the Pub. The hotel wasn't far but I spotted a cab and flagged him down. He was really nice and said it was a good idea to take a cab instead of walking at this hour. The cab fare was $5 but I gave him $10. It was the best cab ride I'd ever taken.

Before this trip, it had been about 10 years since my last visit. I hope to go again in September or maybe October for Halloween. Everyone should go spend some money down there. It's well worth it.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Northside Tavern, formerly known as Betty's Lounge, is where we ended up but not where we started.

D and I jetted out of work at 3:00 to get on the road by 3:30 to make a 5:30 tee time in Milan, Tennessee. We pulled in to the Milan Golf & Country Club (a club in the country) at 5:00. We went in and grabbed a seat at the bar. D and I love Bud Light but we had left in such a rush, we had forgotten our cooler. My Dad said he'd find us something. So, he found a box and lined it with a trash bag.

We loaded everything up in the golf cart and headed out. After about 2 hours and 5 beers, we were done with golf and once again perched on a bar seat.

The MG & CC bar closes at midnight as does all bars in Milan. D and I hadn't had enough beers apparently because we took off for Jackson, Tennessee. It's about 20 minutes from Milan and everything stays open until 3:00.

We normally go to Jessie Lee's because it's the only gay establishment in the area. As we approached the parking lot, it was obvious they were no longer serving the Bud Light to anyone.

I told D we could go to Mulligan's but it was on the other side of town and it was already 12:30. That's when we saw the Betty's Lounge blinking sign. I was very apprehensive. It was a total biker bar and D and I are not on the feminine side. D was already out of the car before I could put up much of a fight.

D pushed open the door and thankfully it wasn't very crowded. D made a beeline for the bathroom and left me to get the beers. I ordered 2 BL's and asked for change for the pool table (only 25 cents!).

I racked the balls and then a guy came up and put his quarters up. D and I finished our game with me as the victor. I told her I didn't want to play the dude and she should go ahead. We looked around for that guy but he must've left. D walked around and asked another guy if he wanted to play. He agreed.

He introduced himself as Doug and could not have been nicer. Here is a pic...

D and Doug played several games. He was a really good player. Then we all sat down to chat. Doug decided to bare his soul to his new friends. He told us about how when he was 21 he had sex with a 16 year old and was arrested for statutory rape. He spent 6 years on jail and had to register as a sex offender. Uh, ok? Then he went on to say that he was now living with the mother of the girl he slept with when he was 21. Are you kidding me?

Then he proceeded to make a few lewd comments to D when I was in the bathroom so we put on our jet packs and blasted out of there. We got home around 2:30.