I have been lucky enough to travel around the US and a small part of the world in my last 30 years. During this timeframe I have had many amazing interactions and a few creepy ones that lead to good stories. My creepiest encounter until Saturday night occurred in Tucson while in the military.
A group of my military friends and I went to a local bar in Tucson to have a few drinks. We picked an outside bar to take advantage of the beautiful night’s weather. While outside, we were greeted with the most graphic portrayal of man on man sex I have ever heard. This, as you can imagine, was quite disturbing. With a few choice words I politely asked the frail gay man to my left to quit with his in-depth discussion on consensual butt rape. He told me in a not so polite way to “F off” and continued this too-graphic account. I again asked for some tact in his storytelling only to get another finger. I finally leaned in, put my hand on his shoulder, and told him to shut his mouth or I was going to throw him off the porch.
My friend Jay thought it would be a funny idea to buy us a couple of shots. No not shots for Jay and I, but rather my little gay nemesis (LGN) and I. Jay bought little gay nemesis and I shots and told the bartender to say it was from me. LGN came over to apologize holding two shots that he thought I had purchased. I decided that a truce could be arranged and with everyone watching, he linked up arms like we were getting married and shoving cake in our faces (that’s sounds incredibly nasty in this context). I went with the flow and as I took the shot, I felt a hand grab my man parts. I promptly swallowed the shot, grabbed the hand in question, and grabbed the throat of the hand in question. LGN got slammed on the bar and if not for restraint, he may have ended up spending a couple of days in the hospital.
This was the creepiest interaction I had ever had in my life…until Saturday night. Read more…
Just got to Bmore-careful Penn Station to find out the train is already delayed. Dont have a clue how long or why, but all things happen for a reason I guess. To pass the time, Im thinking about heading to the bar for a crappy bloody mary and hopefully I can find an outlet in this place too. Ancient building and very bland. Its kind of depressing just like anything outside of the Inner Harbor here.
Dad and I took off from HagerVegas around 1230 and were looking forward to G&M crab cakes, but found that there wasnt enough time to eat in. Luckily when I gets crab cakes on the brain, I think outside the box. I called ahead, grabbed some carry out cakes (3 full B cup cakes), and kept on trucking to Penn Station. Usually when we roll through Bmore, its by way of the harbor or coming from the west. This time we found ourselves on the east side of the city and what a depressing site it was. No wonder “The Wire” was so highly acclaimed not only for its cast/story, but for its authenticity of location.
Streets havent been paved in years, row house after row house was boarded up, and the desolation of this side of town was easily felt. It was sad to look down the passing streets into downtown and know that money flows not a mile away, but through these streets there was none. Very sobering to think that as you spiral out of gentrification further from its center, the city seems to crumble and decay. Sad to see Charm City for what it really is.On into Penn Station to sit on wooden benches warn from years of rubbing butts. Dad and I pulled out some crustacean cakes, divvied out the prize and dug in. 1.5 cakes to the face with a little DC (Diet Coke) to wash it all down and I am in heaven. How else would I feel after eating the best cake in MD (this isnt up for debate bc I havent heard or tasted anything that compares in size and flavor. Im ready to take this to fisticuffs if necessary) and spending some time with the old man?
The only downside is that I am starting to fall into a CCC right now. That’s a crab cake coma for those that need to be educated. Im having a hard time keeping these peeps open so I guess it is time to hit the bar for a BM. Hopefully its worth writing home about.
Some people have already been sending birthday messages and though I thank them for the thought, I still have until 612p or 615p (mom cant remember which one and I obviously dont remember) tonight before its official. I get to spend it on the train (weather permitting, cross your fingles) by myself with a shot of Kentucky Gentlemen in hand and a tear in my eye.
I awoke to the sound of my alarm at 737a (I cant do round numbers or 5s when setting an alarm, weird?) and through one squinted eye, I was able to see the sun rise. A slight smirk and then into the shower because TOGA was coming over for breakfast! TOGES! She was supposed to be at my house by 8, but showed up 4 minutes late. Strike one lady. We went to old people breakfast haven the Parlor House and for the majority of the dining experience were 30 years junior to ever patron in the joint. It smelled of griddle breakfast, burnt coffee, and a smidgen of Polident. Good morning Pennsylvania!
We discussed all types of things, caught up on family, the Christmas passed, new jobs, new opportunities, being a mommy (not me), and many other items. I always love hanging with this lady because she is full of energy and in my old age, I need to hang with people that fuel my daily life. 2 cups of coffee there are helping to push me forward this morn and I am thankful that we decided to wake this early. Why waste the last hours of youth in a coma when you can be living em?
Glad I could live a couple minutes with her today and wished that Derek would have come along too. But as he said, “some people have to work for a living.” Love that. Now Im sitting at the kitchen table and looking out over the sun shining down on the mountains behind our house. I wish I could have the best of both worlds in Hoboken, the slow life and space of HagerVegas while having the bustle and opportunity of the NYC area. Cant have your cake and eat it too I guess, though I have had a cake and ice cream already on this day of my birth.
In a couple hours Ill be scarfing cakes of the crustacean style at a little place called G&M in Bmore and then on to Penn Station to start my journey back to Snoboken.
Because of the 0.00014% of me that is asian, I wanted to surprise the family with some Vietnamese pho for Friday’s dinner. I figured turkey pho was appropriate to the season so why not attempt it when we had all real components. I had thought about doing this since last week when the roomies and I had made our best chicken pho to date. The only thing that I didnt think about was that my hometown would not be the most ethnically diverse place like back in the NYC area.
The whole reason for this stretch from normal eating, you know turkey sandwiches and leftovers, was just to surprise Larry since he likes pho so much. He and I went out on Black Friday looking for all the accoutrement for the dish, but we were out of luck. We found most of the spices at a local country market, but when we went looking for rice noodles, we struck out in every location. It was funny to stroll the “ethnic food” aisle and have it only be one side of the aisle and as wide as I could spread my arms. Funnier still is that all ethnic food around here revolves around ramen noodles and assorted asian pre-made sauces or taco shells and cans of refried beans.
My hometown has its charm, but doesnt like to extend itself too far outside its comfort zone in many areas. One of those would be food. I think pho would be classified as “big city food” and might not make it around here where steak and potatoes and chain restaurants rule the culinary landscape. Dont get me wrong, I love me some steak and pototes, but I could skip out on an Olive Garbage or crApplebee’s for the rest of my life. Give me hometown, one-off cooking. Give me hole-in-the-wall, you-gotta-know-somebody-to-get-you-in type restaurants. And give me some damn rice noodles so I can make the first batch of pho Hagerstown has even seen. Please…
The real disconnect ended up bring me all the way to the end of my trip. Thankfully there was nothing left to report. I simply left the bus, found out my bag made the trip as well, and proceeded to tell my father what went on during this trip. He had a good laugh about it all and I did too. Hopefully you found the ramblings amusing. I found the situation, this adventure, amusing myself.
In closing, I will never take Sheng Feng buses again. YOU should never take Sheng Feng buses period. Even if you want to visit my awesome little hometown, grab a drink at the Broad Axe so that you can meet Becky (she makes excellent humus), and hit the best Denny’s in America, DONT take this bus here. Find another way, find any other way. I promise that any other means for you getting to HagerVegas will be exponentially better than my bus trip last night.
If you decide to chance it yourself and take the Sheng Feng, make sure to look for link or drop down menu for the extra leg room. That may have made all the difference in the world…nah, it wouldnt have changed anything ha.
Now for a whisky and beers with Ms Becky. Off to the Axe I go!
It was weird how quiet the house was after being filled for almost a week. There was so much activity and buzz around the house that when it all ended, it almost seemed out of place. Like the house was supposed to be alive at all times with kids playing and us talking and laughing. I think that house is supposed to be filled with people and good times. Its got a great vibe to it. Such an open canvas of space that comes from amazing architecture. It feels so much different than their old house, so much more different than many of the houses I have ever been in. After being there for a couple of days, you just got the sense that the Bennett family was happier there than any other previous place and that this new home supported the way they live their lives. I think that was part of my sadness in leaving; the fact that when I go back to my tiny 3rd story walkup in Hoboken, I am not going to have the same feeling. It doesn’t feel like home here in NJ, but nothing really has over the years since I left Hagerstown for good. Nothing feels like home until I go back to Tucson. Maybe that’s a sign.
Local bar called the Corner Pub with only a handful of patrons including our crew of Kevin, Bex and Dave…oh and Dave’s zombie-drunk friend who was wearing an olive green polo shirt, collar flipped up, and shimmery, navy blue basketball shorts. If that’s not style, I dont know what is. Own it bro.
We’re just having some drinks, nothing out of control, just conversation. A couple of girls walk in and hover around the pool table across the bar. One is forgettable at best and the other is way too exotic to be a local. A definite transplant and upon further inspection, is dressed like she just came off the pole at Rick’s Cabaret. Too much eyeliner, her barbie doll’s top, and tights that had to be painted on. Stripper or Pro, I cant be sure, but Im willing to bet that she was in the “service” business. Read more…