Friday, August 25, 2006

Dean's Dream

(edited to add post title and link)

It's been a while.

It's been quite the while, actually.

Me Guinness For Strength was on its last ring of foam. You know, the one next to the last one in the pint. That's where she was. And if you've never enjoyed a Guinness, through. From ring through sweetening ring. Then you may not know how close it was to the end. Shame on ye fer that.

But, not-so-needless to say, it was close. Until a few things happened.

There are probably two major things and one minor, random thing that lead me to create this post tonight. Sorry, three major things. One being the idea that I want to do this. I enjoy the written word. And I told myself early on in this travesty of a blog that I'd stick to it. That aside, two major things. And one minor. Thing.

The first of the majors (outside of my obvious) has to do with me mate, The Emetic Sage. I read his stuff and I'm amazed. The short pieces are to the point and easily digestable... the longer pieces are gourmet meals, meant to be savored and enjoyed at pace. It's a fun blog to read and I enjoy checking in each day. Everything is well researched and written and there is a sense of refined-ness, as I make up a word.

How this pertains to my situation has become clear to me. I don't mean to sound like I'm blowing The E.S. here... but I must reiterate, he was the inspiration for me to start my own blog. So, there's some connection. What I realized, however, is that I'm not the Sage. I found myself trying to come up with the ultimate post - every time. And it was crippling. And I think the pressure got to me a bit. I just gotta write whatever...

The next major influence, I'll admit, is tough to recall right now. I think it has something to do with the fact that my last post was three bloody weeks ago! That could be it. Who knows?

Forget that. The fun part is the minor, random thing that kicked my proverbial arse into gear. The catylist, if you will.

It was a song I used to listen to in High School. Then randomly after that.

I came across it tonight in my collection and gave it a go round. It still holds its punch to this day and it brings me back to another time. As I sang along, I realized that you all need to hear this awesome tune. And that was the third (or fourth) reason why I hopped on the keyboard this eve.

Now, the bad news. I have a Napster account and they added a new feature where I could post a link to a song and you all could give it a listen. Albeit in a separate "Napster" window - but listen nonethesame. Up to three times, I guess.

That's not the bad news. The bad news is, that link isn't working on the Napster right now. Yes, The Napster. It's killing me... So, I'm going to keep an eye out and as soon as possible, get a link up. They better not shut that option down!

Oh. The song? If you're adventurous and want to find it on your own, here it is ::

> The Dead Milkmen
>> Dean's Dream

I didn't want to do this - but I've found the lyrics... nah, we'll see who reads this, first. Can't resist, here are a few...

(sneak preview :

We got in a tan van
Us two in the back
With Steve McGarrett
From Hawaii-Five-O
At the steering wheel
Speeding away we slide into a
Parking lot
And all in slow motion
These tough guys appear....


I like. Dziekuje. Viszlát.

Okay - I've managed to get the link working. 'Cuz that's just how V-Grease rocks it. Enjoy the soothing stylings of the Milkmen...

SHIT.. not working. Bloody hell...

Give this a shot. I think you need to register but you can listen to all sorts of tunes for free.. I guess that's the deal; I have an account so I can't tell how it works for non-subscribers. If someone could report back, that'd be pissah...

The Dead Milkmen - Dean's Dream

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Bass Ale Excellence

On most occasions, there would be some excuse given in a cleverly written e-mail response. A genuinely sincere regret but a decline of the invitation, nonetheless. It wasn't that he didn't like these people. He liked them fine enough.

What Jan Hernïk didn't like was the superficiality of most of the events to which he was invited. And the, sometimes, likewise atmosphere of these Don't Miss It!!! gatherings. It just wasn't worth it. He had his own, outside-of-work crew that he rode with.

Most of the people he knew at his office were of the same age. A few years out of college, maybe five. The I Know We're Out of College But Let's Live Like We're Not, Especially Now That We're All Getting Paid crowd. And a wonderful crowd, at that. There was simply no need for him to attempt immersion into this particular faction. One was enough.

"25 Fabulous Years of Jesse!" was the subject line of the only new e-mail message in Jan's unread messages when he returned from lunch. A hefty lunch hour clocking in close to ninety minutes. One e-mail.

"I might actually be able to get some work done this afternoon," was the almost subconscious thought trickling over his mind.

"Let's see what this is all about, then," was the very conscious idea he had next. The e-mail read:


Our OLD friend Jesse is hitting the big 2-5 this week!
Let's send her into old age in style!

Join us Thursday night, downtown at Excellence right
after work!

Happy Birthday Jesse!

A fairly predictable message, given the subject line and whom it was from. But there was something different about this one. While glancing over the message, Jan cought a flash of a name out of the list of many recipients. Kristi Korver. He immediately wondered whether she'd be attending. Shortly afterwards, he decided he was free on Thursday.

Tuesday and Wednesday passed, if not unnoticed then definitely uneventfully. In contrast, the office held a bit of a festive air on Thursday. Not so much that there's nothing getting done. An anticipatory, festive air, it might be called. Jan could sense it but was unaffected, mostly thanks to his preoccupation with his own anticipation. Any other refusal to get swept up in it all was courtesy of what the locals call past experience.

It wasn't until Jan walked through the doors at Excellence that he realized he had probably made a big mistake. The place had only been open for three months. It showed. Somehow, the slew of young people, chatting and texting and drinking and texting, either didn't notice or chose to ignore it. This was Excellence, after all.

After a few cursory, "Hey, how's it goin'"s, to a few people he left only forty-five minutes ago, Jan found a spot at the end of the bar, closest to the front door. It wasn't an official roll call but he happened to notice Ms. Korver was late for class. No connection, whatsoever, with his parking spot.

"She could very well be out sick, today."

That was the odd phrase bouncing around his head as he tried to gain the attention of a bartender. Any of them would do. In the meantime, he took the opportunity to have a good look around the place. And wonder what that phrase might mean, while knowing full well of the instant conversation he had just finished with himself.

Excellence, he noticed, was an attempt at the newest twist in contemporary, fancy-pants, see-and-be-seen bars. Bars that have been infesting the nightlife scene with vigor, as of late. The bartender, who managed to find his way to Jan's end of the bar only after all the ladies present were freshened, did nothing to enhance the atmosphere.

"What can I get ya," he mumbled.

"I'll have a Bass Ale, please,"Jan replied, then adding in his head, "Sorry to have bothered you, ass-hole."

"Glass or pint?"

Hernïk is a Danish name. While the Danes enjoy well their fair share of beer, it was Jan's mother's heritage where he staked his claim. His mother was from England and he had visited her family back home on many occasions. As he grew older, and able to join his uncles at the pub, he eventually grew to appreciate a good pint of ale. As well as a good pint of lager, bitter, stout, or any other finely crafted brew.

Jan thought about the consequences but still decided to ask, "Is that an Imperial Pint?"

"A what pint!? It's a pint. You want one?"

On most occassions, the thought of, "Why bother?" is followed with a dismissive, "Yeah, sure," just to get the encounter over with. Something on this occassion was different. Screw this guy.

"I'd just like to know the size. An Imperial pint is measured and is a full 16 ounces. What people around here call a pint glass only hold 12 to 13 ounces. That's not a pint."

"What's the difference? It's a beer."

"The difference is that you don't even know the difference. If you're going to call yourself a bartender, you should probably know how to pour a proper beer! You make all these neon, fuck me drinks all night but you can't pull a decent pint for shit. Have some fucking pride in your work, man. Jesus. Sorry... I'll just take a Coors Light 16 ounce... please."

"Yeah, whatever..."

After some hesitation, the bartender begrudgingly fetched Jan's beer. Jan left a tip of conciliatory value, took his beer, and turned from the bar. Standing a few feet behind him was Kristi. By the pleasantly bemused look on her face, she had undoubtedly been standing there long enough to have witnessed the dialogue at the bar.

"Hi," she said, "I'm Kristi."