Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Was that a weekend?

I didn't do much on Saturday. In fact, aside from finishing a decade-old drawing and nuancing a few words in a story I wrote last week, I really didn't do anything. I hate that. Some people thrive on lost weekends (chemically-doused or not), but I feel like, well, there's another one gone and I have nothing to remember or show for it. So Saturday evening I got on the phone and invited P-Doug out to the Distillery District downtown, where there's outdoor beer and light jazz. P-Doug introduced me to the place on a whim the first weekend in July. That was the weekend after I got home from Jody's memorial in Dallas, and the beer, the warm air, the soft jazz, and the conversation were a salve for the soul... something I'll remember, or hope I'll remember, all my life.

Anyway, a couple weekends ago we headed downtown to do it again. I've told that story here. We went to the NFB, drank at one of the Firkin pubs downtown, and never even got to the Distillery District.

Well, this time we made it to the DD. P-Doug was busy Sunday morning, so I picked him up at two in the afternoon. We got there about twenty minutes later. I was hungry; hadn't eaten in seven hours by then, so on the recommendation of one of the waiters at the expensive joint we were sitting at, we skipped off to a nice sandwich shop around the corner. We split a lunch of a large roast beef sandwich and two huge tea buscuits with butter and jam; how very British. The roast beef was a little rare for my tastes, but there was a lot of it, and the bread was really wonderful. There was some kind of seeds baked into it, but not those ghastly caraway seeds that make bread taste like it spent the night in a French cat house. While we were eating, this tiny little terrier, apparently named Hanna, came up to us, and watched us hopefully, but a woman warned us the little dog was "on a diet". Hanna must have weighed five pounds, if that. A slice of roast beef probably would have turned her into a wee balloon.

Just as we finished eating, I could feel the rain in the air coming... you know that feeling you get. Something about a change in temperature or something; anyway, my Spidey sense was tingling. I remarked on this to P-Doug and said if we were going to get a beer, we'd better get a table with an umbrella. So we headed back over, and sure enough, just as we got back to the patio, it started. We opted to wait it out inside in the same place we waited out the rain the first time we were there. One of the buildings houses a gallery of for-sale artwork, a hoidy-toidy ice cream joint ("One scoop of lo-phat tofu rhubarb mocha, sir? That'll be twelve-fifty..."), and this pretentious little antique shop. One of their featured items was a teakwood chair that had been 'recovered'... "Recovered from what?" P-Doug asked. The seat of the thing looked alright, but the back was irregular, with jagged holes you could literally put your fist through. I told P-Doug it looked like something past generations of cops had used to wring confessions out of suspects. $350. There were desks and tables there that cost more than most people make in a month. It was ridiculous. I agree, furniture should be nice, but come on. If it's nice beyond the point of utility, you've forgotten the idea behind furniture in the first place.

It rained for about half an hour while we wandered around criticizing everything. I liked the shirt we saw this one guy wearing... had a photograph of a squirrel on it, in a mask, with that ransom-note printing style saying something like "Hand over the sunflower seeds and no one gets hurt". When the rain finally quit, we headed back over to the patio, only to find the brewery we were hoping to patronize had taken the handles off the taps and retreated indoors. We'd finally had enough. We left.

We headed back uptown. One of the pubs we meant to go to had closed. So we headed east to the one we usually go to, and had a nice couple of pints while we talked about that story I'd worked on. I took one of P-Doug's suggestions to heart and have subsequently changed a scene in the story.

Afterwards, we met up with P-Doug's missus just down the street at a restaurant, where the chicken soup and the chicken wrap (and the chicken sundae and the chicken coffee and... oh, sorry) were pretty good. Apparently Bell is putting "free local calls" phones in certain restaurants now. It was only the second one I'd seen. One of the waitresses told us that the gimmick there is that the little screen shows you commercials and ads. So, it's just like TV. The commercials are the price of admission. Sounds good to me!

Well, and that was the weekend.

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