In case any of you were wondering, I am still alive. My paying gig has been taking a lot of my free time as has the new relationship I have started with a wonderful girl. I have not forgotten about BHP and still have a few interviews and whatnot up my sleeves I will be posting shortly. I can’t let down all 4 of my readers…
Before any of that happens though I thought I might take a little vacation, rather, an adventure. Skipping Bonnaroo this year (tears still form at my eyes about that decision), I made a pact with one of my best friends to go on an extended camping trip with him and our dogs in the mountains of West Virginia.
I am leaving here as soon as I am done typing up this blog. Why am I telling you this? Well because in the middle of the mountains there is no internet or cellular phone service so I am going to be off the grid for a while. I am excited yet nervous about this as I pretty much depend on the internet and my cellphone these days. I know, sad.
I will be trying to make daily journal entries that I will compile into a blog when I get back. Should be interesting as I have not done anything like this in at least 10 years. I am sure I am going to have a blast but wish me luck anyways. I need an escape and this should do me just fine.
So as many of you know last weekend I took Friday off of work and headed down to Cincinnati/Covington, KY with my pals to take in a NOFX show. My previous post obviously is the review of the show itself but sometimes I feel the need to review my weekend for everyone’s entertainment. After having an interesting yet busy week I was stoked to just get away even if it was for just one night.
After dropping of my dogs at my folks I headed to Columbus with my pal Kolb to pick up Pete and Mary Alice aka The Electric Grandmother and from there the trip would be in full effect. Weeks earlier we agreed that it would be awesome to take a road trip to see NOFX, Tony Sly, and Teenage Bottlerocket. Hang out with old friends and see one of my favorite punk bands? Yes please. To make matters even better I had just found out a couple days prior to the show that a band I recently became an instant fan of, The Menzingers, were opening! I was just thrilled and could not wait for Friday night at the Madison Theater.
Before continuing our drive we of course had to stop at one of my favorite bars in Columbus to grab a late breakfast. Granted I had only been to The Blue Danube once before I deemed it my favorite place for breakfast in Columbus after trying their vegetarian breakfast burrito. I wish I would have taken a picture of it but my stomach was too quick and I devoured the huge burrito full of eggs, potatoes, and all sorts of veggies and cheese. I took a chance eating that monster of a meal and getting trapped into a food coma but I lucked out and was fine. Once we were all nice and full we hopped in the car and proceeded to Covington, KY to our hotel.
It was about 4pm when we got to our hotel and with time to kill we all decided to chill out for a bit. I took the opportunity to check my email and discovered I was supposed to interview the Menzingers. Although I did not have my gear for an interview I decided to give the band a call anyways and see what we could work out. Man am I glad I called them.
Greg, the guitarist, answered the phone and after a couple of confusing seconds he realized I was not just some random person and we started chatting. He sounded stressed out and I soon found out why when he said he and the band were running late on account of their drumming having what they thought was food poisoning. From what I learned the drummer might have eaten some bad shellfish and was not in good shape causing multiple stops along the highway. Greg did not know if he should take him to the hospital or just let him rest but he did know that he was having a tough time getting in touch with the tour managers and that the band was going to have to sit Friday night out.
Not wanting to take up too much more of their time I wished them luck and told him we could do an interview another time. With all the hell going on Greg was super cool through the phone conversation and even texted me later in the evening letting me know that they were in fact not going to make it and were able to get a hold of Teenage Bottlerocket to let them know. As bummed out as I was to not be able to see the Menzingers that night I was not about to be selfish about it and knew that health is way more important that rocking out.
I am just glad I checked my email when I did.
At around 5:30 we regrouped and headed over to my favorite Irish pub in Covington, Molly Malone’s. Grabbing some dinner and a couple pints we just relaxed for a bit and talked about what we thought we would expect during the night. I can tell you this, if you are ever in Covington, KY go to Molly Malone’s and get a pint of Guinness. They pour it perfectly and even embed a shamrock on the head of the beer. The food is pretty damn delicious too.
Deciding to hoof it to the Madison Theater we made it there in no time. The place was like the Agora but with less isles to access the standing areas. I already wrote about the show so if you missed it click HERE and read away. Sadly I did not take a lot of photos at this venue but the couple I did are enough to remind me of the awesome evening.
Towards the end of the show a girl who sat by us in the balcony invited us to the Mad Hatter for a Loudmouth after party. They were the band that started off the concert that night in case you missed my review of the show. She kept saying NOFX was going there too but honestly I was not sure if that was really going to happen. She was cool as hell to talk to and very nice but after talking with my gang we decided to skip it after we saw people handing fliers out for it. I doubted my self a couple of times throughout the rest of the night but honestly I was happy with our decision to head back to Molly Malone’s for $1 Killians.
As we walked back to Molly Malone’s we kept talking smack to one another and bragged how much Killians we were each going to drink. As we rounded the corner we ran into a sketchy looking fellow who started talking to us about the Mad Hatter. He kept eying up my camera I had in my hand and looked to size up Kolb. For a brief moment I thought that there might have been an incident brewing up but soon realized the kid was just hammered and so was his friend who was pissing in the alley.
Molly Malone’s was packed when we got there. I bought the first round and as we drank our tiny little plastic cupped Killians we realized we would rather just go back to the hotel. Good thing we did because they closed the patio as we were finishing up and I really did not want to listen to the cover band that was playing in the pub.
Did you know that in Kentucky they stop selling alcohol at 1am at most gas stations and stores? We didn’t. We found that our rather quickly and chose to try and find a bar within walking distance to have a couple more drinks. While doing so we met up with these two guys who said they saw NOFX too. We all thought we found a sports bar but it was closed. The two guys pointed down the street to another bar they said they just came from and told us they would meet us there. After a failed attempt at buying beer at a BP we decided to head over there. The place was called Joy’s and it was DEAD.
For about an hour we sat and had drinks and started talking about 9/11 of all things. Funny what alcohol does to bring back those memories you try and not think of often. Still, it was good conversation with some of my favorite people in the world. Joy finally asked us to leave around 2:30 in the morning so we thanked her for letting us hang out at her bar and were going to call it a night – or so we thought.
Late night hunger crept up on us all. Kolb decided to go back to BP for snacks and the rest of us were going to try and fight the urge until we saw there was a White Castle right in front of our freaking hotel. We must have waited 10 minutes before we came to our senses and got out of there. During that 10 minutes we made fun of drunks who were passed out at various tables including one guy who was old enough to be my grandfather. We were not that drunk and we sure did not need stomach aches so back to the hotel we went and we grabbed some overpriced snacks at the front desk. Yum…Combos.
Saturday morning came way too soon but as much as I wanted to sleep in I knew I had to get up and start the day. What better way to start the day than an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet??? Let’s just say there is nothing like a giant Belgian waffle, a made-to-order omelette, and a pot of coffee to get your day started. I did not eat nearly as someone else who’s name I will not mention did but lets just say a dozen eggs may have been used up rather quickly…
Pete and Mary Alice wanted to check out some place called the Creation Museum that was about 20 minutes away. I will be sure to put a link RIGHT HERE once they post something on their blog about this place. From what they told me later on this place believed dinosaurs and humans coexisted and Earth was only 4000 years old. Now I am not that religious but I studied my ass off in science and history classes and spite what my folks think paid attention in Sunday school… I was not having it and did not want to go. Plus I heard they take their beliefs very seriously and if you make a mockery out of them the place will ask you to leave. I am not about to pay money only to be thrown out after three minutes from laughing my ass off.
So I dropped Pete and Mary Alice off at the Creation Museum and headed to Newport, KY with Kolb to catch a movie while they learned about dinosaurs and bibles. Kolb and I caught The Losers (I thought it was great in case you were wondering) on the big screen and then returned to the Creation Museum to pick up the happy couple. I kept my fingers crossed that they would not be in white robes waiting for me outside the establishment. Luckily they were not brainwashed when I picked them up and even bought me a bumper sticker!
Time was speeding by so we canceled our trip to Ikea and Shake-It Records in favor of having dinner with a very close friend of mine and his soon to be new family. We opted to have Thai at some mom and pop place down the street from his house. The place was frigging amazing. That might have been the best pad thai with tofu I had ever had in my life. Their sushi was less than desirable but the main encore was perfect.
I really wish we had more time to kill as we were all enjoying ourselves at dinner but we all had to head home after dinner. We said our goodbyes and headed back to Columbus. We said goodbye to Pete and Mary Alice and continued home.
It was the quickest day in history if you ask me and before I knew it the sun was setting and I was just getting on to I-76 about to get back to reality. It was a great hangout with friends that included a great punk show. I needed that…
I am already thinking about my next road trip. Gaslight Anthem in Detroit or Columbus this July anyone?