I have found my new favorite bar! (Wait, what am I saying? I don't even really go to bars). BUT, Mary and I decided to bar hop last night since I was off today (Friday) and we could take advantage of the less... erm, crowds. I call it bar hopping but I think that requires 3 or more bars... since we only visited two I would rather say we "got bored at the first bar and went to another bar"-hopping lol. The Six Olives, being a lounge and all that, looked nice, but was completely boring. They were playing jazz-like music, and us and a couple (probably on a date) were the only ones there. And the bartender still didn't pay us much attention. I mean, it was happy hour from 4pm-7pm, and we got there around 5:30 on a Thursday, so we knew the place wasn't gonna be hoppin', but damn lol. I had bought a Groupon for $20 for $10, so I wanted to check it out... I'd seen their menu and a couple of drinks looked promising. I had two different kinds, both chocolate related martini-type drinks, for $9.95 a piece. That was enough for me. Yikes. They were both tasty but too strong. Mary had a "Squeeze You", which took advantage of the different weights of liquid. At the bottom was the Midori, or melon liqueur, in the middle was the OJ, and on the top was the cranberry, and squeezed in there somewhere was the Absolut vodka. It tasted like a Sex on the Beach, a really good one. And her glass was big and it was on the happy hour tab so she only paid like $5.95. Lucky. She also ordered us some seasoned fries, but they were over-fried. Still good, but much too crunchy. So, after I paid MY tab of $1.75 + tip, I knew Chopstix was right next to this place so we headed on over.
At this point it was about 6:30, and through the windows we found a guy just putting down the chairs. Mary and I walked in, asking if they were open. He said yes, so we came inside. So yeah, we were the only ones there. The owner (manager?)/bartender was really sweet and nice. Looked like a mix of Chef Michael Symon and Chef Michael Psilakis (which is kinda funny because they look like twin brothers anyway) without the soul patch/chinbeard. Anyway, me being ever gullible, he told us that Keith (his work buddy) and he do a strip pre-show for extra cash, and to which my response was "really??" but my "really?'s" aren't born out of excitement and expectation, it's meant more as a "o rly?" or "u serious?" but I was sure that's not how it sounded anyway. He said "naw, not really", and I was actually relieved. Mary was all for it, but I'd been nervous since I never really liked that sort of thing :P (See, two strong drinks down the hatch; I was already feeling the buzz, and I *still* wasn't interested in a strip show lol) Honestly, I don't change much when I drink. I mean, sure I get happy and giggly and I may do small things that I normally wouldn't (for example, asking somebody for the time. My normal self would be like "no, I'd rather never know what time it is than walk up to a stranger and ask!") but I never get drunk enough to take straight shots, or drink beer, or do something really out of whack like watch a strip-show lol.
Anyway, I digress. My first drink was Hypnotiq-martini based, and hers was something very similar to the "Squeeze You" and the Sex on the Beach lol. He told us that the dueling pianos didn't start until about 8:30, but I wanted to hang out there until then, even though the place was decidedly empty. It was still better than The Six Olives, which had a very intimate setting and our voices carried through the entire place. Chopstix, however, was laid out nice and big with high ceilings. Mary was not interested in hanging out here until 8:30, but I didn't want to go any place else. I was looking out the window, and across the street was CrownBaR (with a backwards R, mind you), that looked much too hole-in-the-wall tavern-esque (with a flashing Budweiser sign on the window) to be my type of hangout. (however, as I am now looking at their website that is not the case lol). I knew Hells Kitchen was close by, but even having never been inside, I knew it was very goth/emo/punk. The people that stood outside of it could gouge you with their wrist-spikes. There was Jazzbones, but I really did not want to go to a jazz bar. Although, while listening to the rap that blew out the speakers there at Chopstix, I almost did want to leave lol (I decided to blast my own music out of my phone, which only slightly helped) But the bartender was very nice, and there was no point in driving anywhere else because we were sure to lose our parking space. He gave us a drink suggestion after we finished our first round of something he concocted called the White Gummy Bear or something like that (he and his waitress twin sister spoke to us occasionally but thanks to the music and the high ceilings I could barely hear what they said most of the time) which he said had vanilla vodka but wouldn't divulge anything else. I asked him if it had carbonation, as this was the bane of my alcoholic existence. He said very little, so he made Mary one and I tried hers. It was really good so I ordered one for myself. He told us that they had a birthday party and a bachlorette party that night and they should be arriving soon but as of 7:30 we were still the only ones there lol (I think there might have been 1 other lady that showed up at some point). I liked that we were getting all the attention, though. Mary had ordered the ultimate nachos, and I decided to try their Steak Skewer appetizers. OMG. They were AMAZEBALLS. (That is Wil Wheaton's word, not mine lol). Deliciously seasoned, just the tiniest bit spicy, and perfectly pink inside. Wow. He came back to our table a bit later with another drink suggestion, but this one I didn't partake in, as I don't really do shots or even double shots. It was called the Wedding Cake, and when I sipped Mary's it definitely tasted like a wedding cake (which is odd since wedding cakes can be radically different) but it was incredibly strong and I was glad I hadn't ordered it. Instead, I'd had the plan all along to order a Black Opal.
Okay, quick history. Back when I worked in Auburn, I'd hung out with work friends once at a sports bar. I ordered a Black Opal, and I was told it had blue curaco in it and not chambord (which technically made it a Blue Opal) It was so freaking good. It's like a Long Island in terms of many different liquors in one glass, and yet they're so well blended you can't even taste that it's alcoholic. It was now my go-to drink. Every bar I'd gone to since, I would ask for a Black Opal and compare it to the place in Auburn. I'd never found a suitable replacement.
Two sips and I was already not able to walk a straight line. I was pretty much okay up to the Blue Opal. I had been in communication with Justin about taking advantage of the program Pierce County has going until Jan 1st, where tow-truck companies will drive you home and tow your car for free (but I had to warn him that he might have to pick up Mary). I was also trying to get Monica to join us, since we were kind of bored and alone in Chopstix, but she politely declined. We were on our own, and since I was unwilling to leave, we played a game of Scrabble on my Kindle Fire. As boring as that sounds, I was really enjoying myself. Being buzzed, hanging out with Mary in an empty bar playing Scrabble was kind of fun.
Anyway, people finally began to show up at about 8pm, and the bar was getting busy and crowded. The real fun started at about 9, when the dueling pianos began. Hell yes. If you'd never seen dueling pianos, you are missing out on some epic awesomeness. I'd seen my first set back when I was working in Auburn during our Christmas Party. You have to be able to not only play the piano flawlessly, but you have to be able to sing well and have fun with the audience. And you have to know, by heart, the lyrics and score to just about every popular song on the planet because yes, they do requests. They had a rule there that the more money you put with your request, the higher the priority. (and if they start singing a song you hate, you can overrule it with money of your own) Having only $1 to my name, I wrote "Any Way You Want It" by Journey as my #1, and "Piano Man" by Billy Joel as my number two (which I'm sure they play just about every night).
Okay, a bit more history. During said Christmas Party in Auburn, they were doing (free) requests, and I wrote down "Any Way You Want It". At the time, it was one of my favorite songs ever. I played in almost continuously. And what did they play? "Don't Stop Believin'". Close, but no cigar. I was bitter.
Okay, back to present day. I really wanted them to play my song. Mary and I waited quite a while as they shuffled through all the higher priority music. They ended up playing Piano Man, which Mary said that HAD to have been my request ticket. More bitterness.
I had $5. It was meant for my friend, but I could always get $5 more later. Right now, I wanted my damn song lol So, I wrote it down again, and after waiting a little while longer (it was about 10:30 at this point) Mary finally took it up there. Was it worth $5? You freaking bet it was lol Because when I get jipped earlier in life, I don't give up. I hold onto that bitterness until I can finally extract "revenge". Revenge is sweet.
After they played my song, we left. It had been over 2 hours since my last drink, so I was doing pretty good. I might have been over a .08, but without a point of reference I wasn't sure. I drove fine, if not a little under the speed limit (and not on purpose). I had one of my caramel mudslides when I got home (it's just caramel vodka, Kahula mudslide and milk) which got rid of my pounding headache for the time being. Mary decided to stay the night and we watched Christopher Titus's Neverlution stand up until I fell asleep half way through. I went to bed right before Karl got home at 1am.
I hadn't drank enough to throw up (I never have) but I had a freaking WEIRD hangover; when I went to bed I was FREEZING. My feet are usually freezing cold when I go to bed anyway, but I was literally shivering; my teeth were chattering. I was holding myself and my upper body wasn't even cold yet I couldn't stop shaking. It took me quite a while to fall asleep in that condition. Which, by the way, I probably have some of the worst pre-vomit hangovers of anyone. Since my body is pretty much always in a dehydrated state (I've gone back to my old habit of hardly drinking anything, ever) drinking alcohol greatly intensifies the hangover potential, probably almost to dangerous levels. But, when I woke up this morning about 8am I was almost perfectly fine.
That was a fun night. I WILL go back for my birthday.
Not my picutre. Good times to be had, though!