I envy people who drink - at least they know what to blame everything on

I'm starting to return to regularly-scheduled programming. Yesterday was a total wash; I was completely hungover, on a scale that I haven't reached since two birthdays ago. I'm getting ahead of myself.

Thursday night I ran into a friend (not literally, though it was close enough) after work near some shopping that we each needed to do. Naturally, we went together, which made it not only more fun but a faster, easier trip. Afterward, she had some time to kill before an appointment, so I suggested that we have a drink at the chain bar & grill nearby. It was one of those especially lovely spur of the moment decisions, where the drinks are good and the conversation and company are even better. The hour went too fast and then we made our separate ways, each having enjoyed the night out a great deal.

The following evening that same friend and I had made plans to work late together on a project. Midway through the day, we changed the plans (it was way too easy) and decided instead to track down a local tattoo parlor for some consultation and possible permanent modification. Unfortunately, the place did not meet our needs - at all - but we took it in stride and adapted accordingly. Both hungry after a long day (and a long week) of work, we decided on breakfast for dinner. We went to a restaurant that neither of us had tried before. It was a hit. The fact that they serve breakfast all day, combined with the presence of a full bar, meant that they really couldn't lose, but they exceeded expectations in both regards. I had an absolutely ridiculous amount of pancakes, bacon, and rum-and-lemonade, and my companion enjoyed spectacular American fries and...I seriously don't recall what else - maybe crepes? with blueberries on the side? - and bacon, with a vodka/seltzer/cranberry to start and a phenomenal bloody Mary (with 3 olives!) to follow. The America fries and the bloody Mary were truly outstanding, and I would go back just for them. In fact, my stomach is a little rumbly right now....

Fast-forward to Saturday evening. We (yes, the same friend - it was one of those weekends, I guess!) and I had tracked down a much better venue for tattoo options, made an appointment, and spent a couple of hours under the needle. Part I is done; Part II awaits next weekend, after the initial healing has taken place. Once we were through there, a drink seemed to be in order. Mind you, I'd had a handful of Peanut M&Ms and a couple of crackers "for dinner" before we met up, so any drinks would be had on an empty stomach. We agreed to only stay out for a couple of hours.

We went to the biker bar across the street from my apt., where a good (male) friend of my friend's was waiting. He & I have met a couple of times before, but I had apparently failed to make an impression. This time around, I succeeded. (That seems to happen more often than not with friends-of-friends, and sometimes with complete strangers, too, read: Brian-from-Madison and The Attorney. Anyone expecting me to dazzle straight out of the box will be disappointed, but if you're willing to wait for it, it'll knock you on your asss.) I settled into my usual Bacardi/lemonades, my girl was drinking her vodka/seltzer/cranberry girl drink (a sort of solid Cosmopolitan, if you look at it that way), and the guy was knocking back shots of Jack with beer chasers like they were going out of style. Strangely, we managed to keep up, buying solid rounds from the beginning. At some point, there were a couple of rounds of Hot Apple Pie shots, which are delicious but could also spell my doom. I honestly don't remember many of the finer details of the evening; it is a blur of Very Funny. We talked about gardening, children, karaoke (that was pretty bad), tattoos (of course), scars, food.... And around that time, we all realized that we were Really Hungry, so we settled the bar tab (how did I drink for that long on $25?!?! It's completely impossible.) and set out for the new late-night place. We ordered complete crap; I had mozzarella sticks and a Pepsi, she had a peanut butter (?) shake of some sort, whose whipped cream I licked off the top like a 5-year-old, and a Little Suzie (grilled cheese with tomato & bacon, I think?) and a deep-fried pickle, which was apparently orgasmic; he ordered at least a pizza puff for there and a pizza puff to go. Honestly, I can't remember much from that bit of the evening because I was so drunk and so hungry - and because there was a "drum circle" (actually a guy with a guitar and a guy with bongos) playing at the restaurant. Beyond surreal. I do recall "playing" along with them by whapping the table and occasionally slapping my companions. It was a little wild.

Once we'd eaten (which in real-time probably took about 10 minutes, max, since we were voracious and completely lacking in social skills), we headed home. Lucky for me, all I had to do was walk, which was feat enough. My last thoughts were to make sure I had brought my keys home (which was pretty stupid since I was already inside 2 doors that required key entry), to turn my phone to zero volume, and to look at the clock. It was 1:34. We'd been at it for ~5 hours.

I woke up yesterday at the usual time. Got up, poured about half a bowl of Rice Krispies, started eating, and realized that the crunching was vibrating my brain in a bad way, and that putting things in my stomach was a bad plan. I finished the portion I'd poured (waste not, want not) but went no further with food until roughly 8:30 last night, when I was finally well enough to (a) watch television, (b) remain upright for more than a half-hour at a time, and (c) contemplate swallowing anything solid. I made tacos, extra spicy, and ate four of them. They tasted like heaven.

In all, a very fun weekend...as far as I remember. I haven't drank like that in a while. It was fun to be a part of something beyond the thoughts rambling around inside my brain. I'm glad I don't do it all the time, but it would probably be OK to do it more often than I have lately - even considering the price to be paid.

[title quotation by Oscar Levant]

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