Archive for the ‘2012 – 02 – February’ Category

I am a fan of pop punk music; I can’t lie.  It is my fun, angsty pleasure.  And there is one line that I’ve always loved in the song, “Dear Maria, Count Me In,” by the band All Time Low.  The line is, “There’s a story at the bottom of this bottle, and I’m the pen.”  For those paying attention, you’ll notice that is also the name of this post.  So wow, I’ll be basing this adventure on that quote!  Good power of deduction!

Now, I’m not one to condone drinking excessively, or requiring it to have a good time.  I’ve seen how destructive it can be to people’s lives.  That said…getting drunk can be fun as hell!

So when I heard that line a few weeks ago, I happened to also be trying to think of new adventures to have, and boom!  What if I drank a bottle of wine as I started writing a story?  Just sort of see what happens?  Yeah!  Do it!

This adventure will be good for me for two reasons.  The first is that I’m not a fan of wine.  I have tried countless glasses with friends over the years, and I have never found a wine that I would enjoy drinking, like, at all.  So, by making myself taste an entire bottle, I hopefully will be one small step closer to acquiring a taste for wine.  And if not, maybe the more drunk I get, the less I will care about how disgusting it tastes.

The second thing is that oftentimes I can come up with great story ideas, great plots, but I never actually sit down and put the pen to paper and write.  But a good friend of mine from college taught me a way to get through writing difficult analytical papers…you take a shot of liquor, then drink beer as you write the paper.  Make sure you do this a day or two before the paper is due so that you have time to edit out possible drunk ramblings, and the many misspellings or dangling modifiers.    So maybe drinking while trying to at least start a story, or create a new one, would be beneficial?  We shall see.

Now, I am writing this Saturday night (February 18th, 2012).  But I will most likely edit it tomorrow afternoon, throw in the random pictures I may take, and then post it tomorrow night.

So, without further ado, here we go.

A sultry smoke fills the air, cascading down the walls as it surrounds the booth.  It’s patrons wave it aside, annoyed by the smell of cheap cigarettes from the teenagers sitting behind them.  The smoke can be tolerated, can be ignored.  What can’t be ignored is who these kids are.  All of them never worked a day in their life; just road the wave of daddy’s pocketbook.

Berton Campbell, age 18.  Son of the largest owner of Lexus dealerships in the metro area.

Thomas Kennedy, age 17.  His father ran the books for Campbell’s dealerships, making adjustments here or there across all aspects of their files.

And last, Patrick Burns, age 19.  His dad was the one who actually ran the whole business.  He’s the one who connected the underbelly of society to Campbells dealership.  And of course, his son assumed that meant he ran the two kids sitting across from him.

Burns was telling another story, laughing about some girl he met, fucked, and then walked away from at a party last night.  Kennedy and Campbell laughed at all the right parts, asked the right questions about how much she moaned during the sex or despaired when he left her.  They were good soldiers; they already had learned how to keep their boss happy.  They already learned that they had to protect him not only from toughs but also from a belief that he is like mortal men.  Kennedy and Campbell were the ones that the gentlemen sitting at table 42 had to worry about. Young as they were, if they knew their role, they wouldn’t go down without some form of bloodshed.

But for as good of soldiers as they were, it was all over in a flash, just as it should be.  They are followed outside.  Number 1 asks for a light.  When casually reaching in his pockets,  Burns is thrown to the ground by Number 4.  Number 3 punches Kennedy in the throat as Number 2 hits Campbell on the kidney, then temple.  He goes down quickly as Kennedy tries to scream out but can’t.  Number 1 walks up to him and gives him the envelope as the rest of them carry Burns away.

The only surprise is that Kennedy still reaches for his gun.  Even though he is gasping, can’t breathe, wheezing nothing into his lungs, he still reaches for his gun and tries to shoot at these people that are taking away the only thing that protects his existence.  Number 1 has to knife Kennedy’s trigger finger off, quickly and with precision, before walking along with the rest.

In the van, the Numbers don’t speak.  There’s no need to; it has been accomplished with success.  There may have been blood shed, which is to be avoided.  But that isn’t the worst outcome.  Zero will be happy; he has his ransom without harm.  He can stop this syndicate and worry about the next.  He can move onto Phase Nine of the Tenth Plan.  Number 1 didn’t know much about Zero, but he knew that Phase Ten was the ultimate goal, what Zero had been waiting years to achieve.

And that is where I stopped writing.  I may have drank it too quickly.  I think I finished the bottle in about an hour and a half, and I started drinking around 3:30am.  So I was tired and very quickly drunk.  But I’m fairly pleased with the short few paragraphs I created.  And I’m curious where it will lead.  I think I will have to continue this tradition to continue this story.

And side note, but does the wine cork remover look like Johnny 5 to anyone else?

Week 6 – Fasika

Posted: February 19, 2012 in 2012, 2012 - 02 - February

One of my goals for this year has been to try new food and hit up restaurants that are off of the beaten path.  Well, thanks to an awesome tip from a friend (thanks again, Whitters!) Jamison and I were able to accomplish both last Saturday!  We went to an Ethiopian restaurant named Fasika near Hamline University’s campus.

I have never had Ethiopian food.  Hell, I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen seen ANY kind of African cuisine.  Do they base their meals on rice, similar to Asian cultures?  Do they have bread?  Something like the Indian dish naan?  Do they use lots of meats, veggies, spices?  I really had no idea what I was getting myself into.  And to be honest, the outside of the store didn’t make it look terribly impressive…

Now, the above picture is the street view of Fasika (it is the establishment on the corner if you can’t see the sign well).  What you don’t see is that around the corner (where we parked) is an empty lot full of dead grass and broken bottles.  Not exactly the kind of place you want next door to a raved about food joint.  But once we got inside, my opinion changed IMMEDIATELY

It smelt so good!  Like…wow.  The air was just full of spices and freshness.  I don’t know any other way to describe it.  It just smelled like an amazing kitchen.

It wasn’t an overly large restaurant, but there was ample space.  So after we were led to our table, we looked at the menu.  And sure enough, I had no idea what any of the things were based on their names.  They had a few small descriptions, but even in them, they used foods with names I didn’t recognize.  So first we ordered some Ethiopian tea to mull over our decision.

If anything, the tea fit right in with the atmosphere.  It tasted very similar to a chai but with even more of a spice flavor to it.  It made me ready to dive into the menu.

The only common word used throughout the menu options was “injera” which I took to be the sort of base for all of their meals.  I looked around at what people at other tables were eating to figure out if injera was a kind of rice, bread, or what.  It looked similar to naan, but very large and somewhat spongey.  Interesting.

Since I had no idea what I would be ordering, I thought I would just go all out crazy and order whatever would be the most difficult to pronounce.  Sounds reasonable, right?  Well, when I tried to order the Qunta Firfir, the waitress just gave me a shocked stare.  She asked, “Have you had that before?”

“No, I’ve never actually had any Ethiopian food before,” I admitted, somewhat bashfully.

“Well, do you like spicey foods?  Like hot things?”

“No, actually, I don’t handle hot spices that well.”

She gave me a stern look, which kind of surprised me.  “Well, then you aren’t going to order that.  You want the Tibs.  If you haven’t had Tibs, order the Tibs.  You’ll love it.”

“Um…ok.  Can I please have the Tibs?”

“Yes, you’ll love it.”

Apparently I wouldn’t be ordering the most challenging thing to pronounce.  Oh well.

After Jamison ordered some kind of chicken entree, we sipped our tea and conversed about times past and hopeful future adventures (we both realized we were interested in acupuncture but had no idea where to go.  Anyone know a place in the TC?).

After only like five minutes, our food arrived.  Speedy service at a sit down place is always nice!  And man…the plates were HUGE!

It was just…so big!  (that’s what she said).

What we were treated to was an amazing lunch.  The food was as delicious as it was large. Tibs is apparently cooked beef with peppers and onions in a delicious broth.  It also came with a small salad with a dressing similar to Italian, and of course injera.  Jamison’s was something like a chicken mix, paste, curry type thing with a hard boiled egg, some kind of a thick cottage cheese, injera, and a salad.

Jamison and I both barely ate half of our meals, which meant some amazing left overs for later in the week!  I for sure would recommend Fasika as a place for trying new food, or for great food in general!  I can’t wait for my next new food adventure!

The reason why I didn’t post this past week was due to a personal issue.  I lost my job.  Very unforeseen.  It was one of those situations where I wasn’t fired; I was just let go because of financial reasons of the family I worked for.  And they didn’t really forewarn me that it could possibly be coming.  So totally caught me off guard.

But life is an adventure, right?  That is what I’ve been telling myself so that I don’t overly stress out about it, at any rate.

So my adventure for this week was been to begin the job hunt.  Not an exciting adventure, or one that I enjoy being on, but it is surely one that I am dedicating all of my time and energy towards.  In the past week, I’ve applied to around twenty-three jobs at colleges alone.  This week I plan to hit the school districts hardcore.  Then will be state / county / city jobs, and if nothing happens after that, go back to the service industry.