Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Sunday Project – for Seafood – “The Christmas Story”
Christmas Day in the Multnomah Hotel, the lower level reception room where there is breakfast for the guests. I'm a guest, I guess... at least it's not Sunday, but then it is Christmas Day, which only comes one a week. Once upon a time it was the most special day of them all, Sunday. Everything was closed, yet everyone had to work anyway, the busses weren't running, and our cars wouldn't start. We had to walk, in the cold, unplowed streets, miles and miles and miles to the factory, and glue together those soccer balls.
You're either a guest, or you're a host. Typically, there's a reciprocal thing going on. But in this unique situation, I've managed to become both the guest and the host, thanks to Mr. Ray Wheat, who left his credit card in the room that I rented, so easy to find. In fact, he must have wanted me to find it, or he would have at least put it under a loose floorboard or something. So there you are. Wheat, on Christmas Day, for being my host, and also allowing me to be the host—no, wait—I'm not a host. I'm only a guest. A host is—fuck that—you don't want to be a host. You might get a couple dollars, but no, don't be a host!
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Special drinks: Peaches and Cream—undrinkable—Absolute or Stoli Martini—stupid. There were classic drinks, like the Martini, and Manhattan, and Jack Rose, and Side Car. Those are good, enduring names. Turning point in drink names: Bloody Mary, which has achieved a genuineness that makes it okay. Harvey Wallbanger—a real turning point, that in itself is dated enough to be interesting and amusing. But newer ones like Kamikaze—bad, but not as bad as these new (to me) ones on the “Specials” wall—the “Dirty Mother,” which, I don't know, considering it's short for “Dirty Motherfucker” kind of warms my heart. But then, the “Panty Dropper”—no way you look at that as a good drink name.
I order the “Special Steak” again—which at $4.95 is the same price as sausage, cheaper than pork chops, and half as much as T-bone, filet, or NY steak. $2 cheaper than chicken fried streak. It's not that this is the cheapest place in town—it's average—but this special steak is a real bargain. How can it be so cheap? Why is it so special? One wonders if the meat involved is of dubious origin. But we won't consider that, OK? In fact, it's very good. And if it does happen to turn out to be a human cut or something, it's a very good cut, and I couldn't exactly say I'm resorting to cannibalism—I would have to consider it a choice. Once again, I hold on to my membership of the CPC (Clean Plate Club).
The Chocolate Martini is the stupidest idea for a drink I've ever heard—hopefully they don't serve them here. No matter how idiotic any prepared formulation of liquor and sugar and flavor—I mean, factory made and bottled, just so it's 42 proof and up, I could enjoy it. Most of the choices in front of me, here at the bar, look delightful. Were I to be drinking, and owned any of these bottles at home, I would finish it off in no time—and it wouldn't be an ordeal. It would be better if I sat somewhere else, not at the bar, so I might think about people more than liquor. The guys next to me have drinks—one of them looks like cranberry juice and vodka—a healthy choice for 10 AM. The other guy has a little snifter of what is likely some brandy-like thing, plus his coffee. Also, reasonable. Down the bar a guy is drinking Wild Turkey and ice, along with Coke and ice—decidedly unhealthy. I didn't go home and read my Bible last time I was here. I probably won't today. But now I'm thinking about becoming a Buddhist, anyway, because I know, seriously, I'll never be able to resolve the elements of Jehovah's Witnesses or all Christianity that I don't agree with. I'd like to study all religions, but not just the elements that have oppressed people forever, which is interesting, but too depressing and obvious. I want to find out about things I've never heard about before.
Sunday, May 28, 2017
Then it was the Emeryville train station for several hours, waiting for the late Coast Starlight. The last game of the World Series was on—Indians and Marlins—and I had to listen to it there in that very nice train station—on my little transistor radio that thankfully Mom had given me before I left Sandusky. It went into extra innings—a great game, but then the Indians lost, and all the redneck Marlins fans were all happy, but not really happy because they didn't give a fuck about baseball, and just were happy because the Marlins are from the South and so are they, and no stock car racing was occurring at the moment.
Then the train was the most annoying train ride ever—it started out OK, but—the romance of train travel is starting to wear off—and Heather and I were unfortunate enough to get the dreaded “snoring coach.”
So we were enjoying our stay in San Francisco—the next AM we had our continental breakfast by the pool, and Heather and I also swam before we checked out. We tried to get a room for the next night, to no avail. Full. But that turned out well, since we were able to then stay in the Triton Hotel the next night which I liked a little better—fancier, bu I liked the old building it was in, and that it was on the edge of Chinatown, nice lobby and stairways. Real nice bathtub.
I don't remember the logistics of all this activity. Some talk at the Film Arts Foundation that night, plus American Job screening—at another personality-less cineplex—Chris was at the talk, with Hannah and Suzanne, so I did a Q&A after the screening. Tom was there, and also Denise. Diana came, with Jerry Miller.
Later we're hanging out in front of the theater—and I take migraine pills and start to feel better. Then we see Greg Lynziki, and he goes with us back to the hotel, and we all walked to a bar in Chinatown. This is a constantly shifting group, actually. Then we sleep and next day Chris and Sarah leave for the airport, but we get to stay in the hotel in the morning and store our stuff there. Stephanie, Heather, and I walk around all day, go to to North Beach, etc. Meet up with Rachel and friend for Chinese restaurant. Later, back to the hotel. Stephanie takes a cab to the airport, and Heather and I take a cab to the train station.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
The coffee is helping with my current headache; it's about 10:30 on Sunday morning, the second Sunday in November, and it's been about 16 hours since I drank any caffeine, which is too long. I took a couple migraine pills before I went to bed, and I slept very well; woke up in the middle of the night, high. Very happy.
Smooth jazz, non-music. I want to play music that when you ask someone about it later, they don't remember that any music was playing. There is an excellent bar here at Holman's. I'm sitting at the bar. If this was a diner, it would be the counter. It's technically a counter, but since we're in a bar, and there is a bar behind the counter, this counter is also a bar. (Look this up in the dictionary.) Being here makes me mourn the loss of drinking liquor. I never could afford it, and still can't, but that's little consolation. Right now my choice would be a small glass of Maker's Mark Whisky. I like how they call it whisky—it's bourbon, but in their mind, bourbon is the only whisky, and it's spelled Whisky, not whiskey. I will sit and meditate for hours, repeating the work “Whisky” over and over until I can taste the taste of bourbon, and smell the smell. The smell of the remains inside my Dad's Beam's Choice bottles, the fancy ones I saved.
Neat. All I need is a small glass—the only way to drink liquor is in a glass, neat. One would think that a person could drink a small glass of liquor on occasion and have only beneficial, medicinal effects. Or like dessert, on occasion. But I know it's not true, and that's so sad. It has nothing to do with quantity, unfortunately. There are those, perhaps, in chaste way, who limit themselves to one glass, maybe one glass a day, or week, or whatever. This seems just as sad, in a way—enforced self-discipline, and why? It is because of fear, maybe not of one's own alcoholism, but of what they have seen in others, in the alcoholics. They don't believe it's the alcohol; they believe it's Satan; though they know, instinctively, or in their own heart, that it's alcohol. They say it's a tool of Satan, but I know there is no Satan, and there is only alcohol, and man. Back to the small neat glass—I want the small heavy shot glass. It's all I need. I can rule the world from a small heavy shot glass, one at a time. It's the color of the liquid in the glass, and its clarity; the glycerin climbing the sides. The smell is the most important, the most important thing of all. The sight of the glass, the color of the liquid, and the smell in the air. The complex relationship of the smell, then, mixing with taste, and then the burning sensation, especially on the tongue. It's all down-hill from there. I can do without the rest.
“What's the dishwasher's name?”—from the waitress, one of many—a bad sound coming from a waitress's mouth. I can guarantee she's not asking him for a date. Scotch is next in line of things I miss. After bourbon. Especially Pinch, in the crazy, three-sided bottle. And then Drambuie, the king of all liqueurs. There's gin, not my favorite, but think of the complex flavors in that Bombay Gin, and the cool persona of Tanqueray. The weird effects of ouzo, and the mythology of tequila, and whatever it is about cognac. I've got to get out of here—home, and read my Bible.
I was really happy to see Heather at the Phoenix Hotel—it turned out to be a nice place with an outdoor pool in the courtyard and a bar that was quite popular. The rooms were painted very well, and the walls were wood slats painted yellow. Nice art on the walls—good ceilings. Kind of old and thriftstore-ish. We ate at a Vietnamese place a block away. Then waited for Stephanie.