Name: Amber, aka "The WAT"
Bio: Scene Photographer, Rabble Rouser, Jameson Chugger, Dart Champion, Dancin' Machine, Music Lover, Social Butterfly, Drunken Singer, and Awesome.
Posts by The WAT:
- Remember, booze loves nothing more than an empty stomach. It wants to be absorbed into your blood stream as quickly as possible, where it can make friends with your already-over-popular liver and kidneys. So please, eat something substantial a couple of hours before you go out. Asian food and salads do NOT count. I’m talking bread and potatoes, starches (I could make a killer Irish/Japanese joke here, but I won’t for PC-reasons). Make the ethanol work for it a bit. It’s all going to get absorbed, but at least it will take a bit longer. It’s all about that booze-buffer. Besides, if you do arrive at Hangover Heights, throwing up something is better than throwing up nothing.
- Water. Hydrate before you dehydrate. Also, fruit juices and Gatorade work too. The water buffer principle works in that it dilutes the liquor you are imbibing in your stomach. However, as soon as you have that “break the seal” moment, you are going to have to switch to “maintenance hydration”, aka, the “Drink. Water. Drink. Water. Drink” principle.
- Some people claim that popping an aspirin or Tylenol helps prevent a hangover, but I have came across a lot of conflicting research about this. Some people swear by it, and then you run across studies in the The Journal of the American Medical Association stating that aspirin can actually increase your blood alcohol level (Barona et al., 1990), or worries that the tylenol can damage your liver and kidneys when alcohol is mixed. I’m not sure which theory is right—take your pick. I don’t do it, personally. If I am drinking to get wasted, then I’m going to have a headache regardless of what I took hours and hours before I sober up.
- Choose your weapon, and stick with it. It’s the first rule of drinking, really. Don’t mix dark booze with light booze, never mix spirits and beers and wines, etc, etc. If you start with beer, stick to it. Same goes for the hard stuff. Mixing different types of alcohol causes your body to slow at metabolizing what you are imbibing, which means it isn’t being processed quickly enough to not wreck havoc on your insides the next day. “Beer before liquor, never sicker”? Yeah. That should have been on the Ten Commandments.
- Avoid the girly-drinks. You know which ones I’m talking about. The ones that aren’t brown or clear. That rainbow of beguiling names, like “Liquid Cocaine”, “Sex on the Beach”, or (my favorite girly-drink) “Tie Me to the Bed Post” ,were created because somebody couldn’t handle the taste of booze but wanted to join the rest of us in seeing pink elephants. That’s great, but those drinks usually have a much higher “’Eff you up” content than just a regular old beer or a vodka and cranberry. They were designed to taste like candy and make you take your clothes off. And also vomit an amazing technicolor mess the next day. Fun. Make mine a double, and bring me all the tiny umbrellas!
- More water, and delicious bar food! At this point, you have pissed about 8 times, you can’t feel your teeth, and you have that tickle in the back of your throat that might be from cigarettes, but it probably means you are about to be sick. Time to introduce the liquor-sponge, to soak up all that delightfulness that is just sitting around, waiting to be absorbed. To create this sponge, you will need the following items: either a pizza from Lamasco, or pancakes from First Ave Diner, a pitcher of water to be drank slowly over the next hour, and some black coffee. Don’t worry about the caffeine. You’re drunk, you’ll go to sleep in a bit. Don’t sneak more booze at this point— creating the liquor-sponge is pointless if you are going to shotgun a beer on top of it. This is purely for the next morning, when it’s already too late for your poor, drunk ass.
- Just let it happen. You will know no peace until you clear out the excess. Besides, that bathroom floor is so awesome and cold on your face. You know it. I know it.
- More hydration and food. Do not down the water/juice/gatorade/coffee quickly, just sip it. Let your stomach decide that it wants to see visitors yet. If that goes well, go for some more carbs and starches, like McDonald’s French Fries and a fountain Coke. My friend has sworn by this as her hangover cure for years, and it almost always, always works to make you feel better within an hour.
- Good old-fashioned sleep. Yep. This is lame, but sometimes, it’s just better to stay in bed and refuse to get up until you feel like a member of the human race again. Grant it, depending on the bender, you might not get up until January 2nd, or 3rd. I’ve had weekends like that. What I wrote about above ain’t nothin’ compared to a couple of other hangovers I’ve had.
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, looming like a giant, pink Cupid-shaped shadow over the lives of single people all over Evansville. This coming weekend, the local watering holes, restaurants, and scenic spots will be jam-packed with happy, dressed-up couples, holding hands and murmuring sweet nothings, oblivious to the eye-rolls, disgusted noises, and broken sobs of the perpetually-dateless. The dating scene in Evansville is hard enough to deal with (trust me, the pond is small, and the fish aren’t so fresh), but Valentine’s Day really makes us singletons aware of the fact that we haven’t been made out with in at least six months, much less out on a decent date. Between thoughts of “I will always be alone” and “I hope a bus runs over that couple”, we are contemplating February 14th with a mixture of dread, jealousy, and having visions of waking up February 15th surrounded by cats and the unending stretch of lonely nights ahead of us.
Wait. It doesn’t have to be this way! Say it with me: “We’re single! On Valentine’s Day!” It’s a day full of love and affection, and hordes of equally attention-starved men and women searching for that special someone to fill the void of “loneliness” with, even for just one night. The coupled-up are the ones to be pitied, forced to spend even more time together, talking about the same crap they have been talking about for the last 10 years, and to make out with the same boring old pair of lips they are starting to cringe at seeing. Being single on Valentine’s Day is like hitting the hormone lottery, or being invited to an all-you-can-eat buffet when you are starving. The only thing you should question is what end to start on first (don’t think too hard about how long the food has been sitting out—or how suggestive that statement is).
The WAT has been single for awhile now, and the situation doesn’t look like it will change anytime soon, but she isn’t lonely. As a single woman in Evansville, I have my pick of excellent bars to hang out at where I won’t get roofied, fantastic bands who I can enjoy with cool people from different scenes, and a selection (however slim) of tolerable single men that I can go out with to enjoy the night. It isn’t the end-all-be-all of a romantic situation, but it’s better than sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring. But I’m not going to lie—it took some time to cultivate. Scoring your Valentine’s Day distraction takes a bit more finesse–you are trying to secure a situation that might otherwise take days, weeks, or even months to lock down otherwise. So, without further ado, here are some tips to score that special someone (for the night).
1) Beggars Can’t Be Choosers
Imagine you have an intense craving for something sweet, and your mind has it set that you MUST have some chocolate cake. But all you have is some left-over hard candies your grandmother made two Christmas’s ago. It’s late, and you don’t feel like putting on pants to go to the store (nor being the fatty buying a whole cake at 1:00 AM), so you eat the candies, ignoring the gritty feeling on your teeth from stale sugar and the disappointment that it wasn’t CHOCOLATE CAKE. However, a few minutes after eating the candy, you realize that you got what you needed—the candy satisfied the physical desire, which made the mental craving die down. Obtaining a Valentine’s Day conquest takes similar thinking. You might have your heart set on one particular person, but in reality, someone else will do in the short term. I’m not saying don’t have standards (there are always exceptions to those who you find appalling) but be sure to give someone a chance, even if they don’t immediately fall into your strict list of “relationship material” criteria. So remember, you might be totally “in love” with your crush, but they didn’t call you tonight, or they said you could go out, but “not on a date”—you’re free to do what (or who) you please. Especially if it means helping you get over the hump of unrequited whatever.
2) Get Outside Your Box
Comfort can be a beautiful thing, especially in where we choose to spend our leisure time. Hanging out at the same bars on the regular means that you are happy with the service, the prices, and the atmosphere. It is also nice to look around at all the other regulars and see a friendly face or share a good conversation. And sometimes, when you are talking to these acquaintances and the liquor is flowing, something happens: the talk gets a bit flirty, you are sitting a bit closer than normal, and then you start thinking about what they would look like in your bathrobe. And you can tell they are thinking the same thing about you, because they are whipping out the lines you’ve heard them use on a hundred drunk prospects before…and that should be your cue to start thinking about who that friendly face took home the week before, and how you and your friends speculated on what form of the Herp she had. Adversely, they should start thinking about the time they saw you hurl on the pool table, or when you took home your own Sasquatch. That butterfly-feeling of anticipation you both had just got lost in the stomach-dropping lurch of too much shared knowledge. And if this doesn’t happen, and you go home together….get ready for that comfortable feeling you got from your bar to go down the toilet for at least two weeks.
So, this Valentine’s Day, if you are not wanting to be disappointed by the selection from the get-go and hope to score some points for being the mysterious new face yourself, then go somewhere that you either have never been or go very often. Make an effort to talk to a few strangers (both male and female—remember, everybody has friends, and you never know where these connections could take you) and revel in the fact that nobody here saw you take home that Creature from the Booze Lagoon last week. You’ll have more of a fighting chance to impress them with other, more attractive, aspects of your personality; not what they infer from seeing what you do at a bar week after week.
3) Be Willing to be Shot Down
So you made it to this new bar, you are all dressed up for the hunt, and you struck up a conversation with someone at the bar that is pleasantly-attractive, has a nice demeanor, and doesn’t seem like they will lock you in an attic at the end of the night (trust me, that doesn’t say “I love you.”). You guys are talking, and everything is clicking along nicely, until you make the switch from friendly to hinting that it would be lovely to have breakfast in bed together. And suddenly, the other person has a burning desire to get back to their friends, or they realize that they left the oven on and their house might be on fire RIGHT NOW. They disappear into the crowd, and you are left to awkwardly stand at the bar, wondering what just went wrong. But don’t give up hope yet—the night is still young, and the person you were just chatting up was just operating on a different set of criteria. Maybe they have a significant other/ date, took a vow of celibacy, just got out of a relationship, etc, etc, etc. There are a million reasons why you just got rejected, but it shouldn’t stop you from moving on to the next person. You don’t have time to fixate on the flaws you usually think about when this happens. Just remember: The wider you cast your net, the better the chance you’ll have to catch a fish. And if anything, the ones that get away are the ones your are honing your skills on in preparation for getting a bite (or a playful nibble) later. Again, don’t fixate, appreciate.
4) A Shot of Liquid Courage Never Hurt Anything (Except Your Chances)
Well, you are still standing at the bar, being awkward, and the bartender comes up and in a split decision you change your order from a beer to a shot of Jameson. You down that, and then another. Why not? Maybe you’ll start to loosen up and relax! So you have another, and another (between trying to talk to people, with less and less coherence)…and suddenly, you are no longer the charming, attractive, suave person you were when you entered the bar, all full of hope and good qualities. Now you are the drunk/sloppy/sad/angry/desperate person that everyone is trying to avoid. That’s right, even the person who you wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole is giving you sideways glances and edging away when you fix your bleary-eyed leer at them.
I love drinking. But there are definitely limits you have to set for yourself when you are wanting to achieve certain goals in a night out. It’s acceptable to be a little tipsy because that does offset nervousness and make you more apt to open up to a stranger. However, you should pace yourself because you want to avoid the above mentioned scenario (not to mention the dreaded hangover), or a worse one: waking up next to someone that you have NO IDEA how you ended up next to or even know their name, or would never, ever have went home with under any circumstances other than you were wasted. Take it from me—this ain’t my first time at the bar-hookup rodeo. I know how this works from hard experience, and I have seen it happen to others countless times. Don’t be that dude/chick, and watch the booze. It doesn’t usually lead to impressing someone you want to impress, unless they are also drunk, which can lead to it’s own set of problems ranging from dealing with an super-drunk stranger, to legal implications that you really don’t want to sort through the next day along with the dirty sheets and lingering questions.
5) Relax. They Are Just As Desperate As You
Success! You have been talking to this person for the last hour, and the night is flying by in a whirl of flirting, making meaningful eye contact, and even a few dances to that band you both happen to like. But now, you are at the point of the evening where you either part ways with a casual “See you around”, or a heated “I want to see you with my mouth.” But you are caught in the strange limbo-zone between being seen as polite/decent/gentlemanly/ladylike, when you really just want to shove them against something and…yeah, you fill in the blank. I just did. About 10 different ways.
In a normal date situation, I would tell you to get a number, part ways with maybe a kiss, and be classy. Well, in case you haven’t noticed, this isn’t a normal situation. And I’m telling you, now is not the time to be classy. Unless you have decided that you really, really like this person in the space of a few hours, and that you think you might want to have an actual date with them…go for it. Whisper that thing you want to whisper. Give them a kiss that will make their toes curl. And if they reciprocate back (which they will—for all the reasons you are doing it, too) it’s up to you guys decide how far you want to take it.
And suddenly, February 15th looks a lot less like the first day of the rest of your life of celibacy. Because even if you do nothing more than talk to someone new—you still feel a lot better about the evening as opposed to just sitting around, feeling sorry for yourself for being single on Valentine’s Day.
So, there you have it—just some advice on how to meet some exciting new prospects this weekend, and to spread some love for the (seemingly) loveless. Just remember—love comes in a lot of forms, and not just in the shape of a penis or a vag. While I’m in danger of sounding like a “Sex in the City” episode, I will say this—love is what you make of it—how you feel it, how you spread it around, and how you accept it for yourself. People can see that in others…so be the best lover you can be, in all ways, and you might not need this article next year.
The WAT is single and is not bitter at all about it. She plans to be out all Valentine’s Day Weekend, capturing the love scene in Evansville and maybe ending up in a dark corner with an interesting stranger herself.
The Evansville Nights Krewe has done it’s time at some local watering holes in this town, and we want to give shout-outs to some of our favorite booze-makers. The WAT had the good fortune to interview Joe Asher, currently bartending at both Hammerheads and the Pub. He is in the top three of her favorite bartenders in this town, and it isn’t only because he is pretty–Joe makes a mean drink, isn’t stingy with the good conversation, and is a talented local musician in the band Mock Orange–good with the liquor *and* a guitar? Definately interview-worthy. So sit back and enjoy “Five (or 10) Drunken Questions with Joe Asher, Hammerheads and the Pub”!
The WAT: So, you work at both the Pub and Hammerheads—two very different atmospheres, two very different crowds…what is it like working at both? Do you have to put yourself into a certain “mode” to go from one job to another?
Joe: Hammerhead’s is more of a “put your head down and push out drinks quickly” mode while The Pub is more me making sure the well is taken care of and then chatting up the guys at the bar during the slower moments. Most of the people at The Pub are regulars and everyone knows everyone. For Hammerheads on a Saturday night, I definitely bring my coffee.
The WAT: What’s the perfect night on the job for you? Nice and steady business, or a huge crowd of people to keep you busy? Do you have a favorite night of the week that you like to work?
Joe: I’d rather be horribly slammed than slow. Time goes by quickly and you know money is going into the drawer and the tip jar.
The WAT: What’s your most memorable event as a bartender in Evansville? What’s the night you’d most rather forget?
Joe: I just like working with my friends, making money and trying to have fun with it. It doesn’t always work out that way, but more often than not it’s a good way to keep the lights on.
The WAT: What is your favorite drink to make? Do you like to keep it simple, or do you like making shots/complicated drinks to show off your booze prowess?
Joe: I like making martinis if I have time. Otherwise, let’s keep it simple people! If you order a drink with more than three components, you better be a 22 year old college girl. As far as “fun” drinks, I think the aborted fetus is a little amusing. But please don’t order one if the bar is packed. There is a drink called the “Purple Jesus”*. It haunts me…
The WAT: Since the website is very much music-oriented and you are a member of the band Mock Orange, a local favorite, what would you like to see in the music scene in Evansville? Are there any trends that you are currently enjoying, and any that you would like to see put to rest? What would you like to see the bars around town do to facilitate the music scene?
Joe: I understand the prevalence of cover bands. I get why people want to hear bands play songs they already know. It’s much easier to party when you don’t have to think about what you are hearing. That being said, I would like to see more original music and venues giving original bands a chance. I would like to see more original bands stepping up and filling the void.
In fairness, bands need to understand that a venue isn’t going to book a band that isn’t going to draw a crowd, so bands need to be willing to promote like crazy. It really is a catch-22. It seems like Evansville has been caught in a tough spot for several years now. There are only a few venues and the alcohol laws make things more complicated for bands to decide where they should be playing and to what crowd. My band is lucky because people have embraced us for the most part and come to our shows. It really is a trick to get something going…
Joe can be found slinging booze on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at Hammerheads, and Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at The Pub. Have him make you an aborted fetus shot–he makes the best in town!
Hangovers Suck (But Not Drinking Sucks Worse, So Here Are Some Helpful Suggestions to Start Your New Year’s Off Right)December 30th, 2010
I am a lady that loves a good drink. An ice cold Fat Tire, a heavily poured Jameson-on-the-Rocks, or an extra-dirty (is there any other way?) martini with about 26 olives. At any time of the year, these are the staples that fuel my nightly partaking of the town’s entertainment and merriment. I know what I like, and, more importantly, I know what I can drink without becoming violently ill the next day. Well, 364 days out of the year, that is. Then there is that one magical night of the year, when all the booze is good, and all of it must be drank with the enthusiasm of Bacchus and the liver of Ernest Hemingway.
New Year’s Eve. Recently, a friend of mine referred to it as “Amateur Night”, meaning that the people that don’t usually drink stagger out of the woodwork, and the people that should know better seem to forget the hard lessons learned on numerous bathroom floors, at college parties, and in strange beds. This is the one night of the year that you are most likely to end up dancing with a lampshade on your head, arrested for driving partially on the sidewalk, or making out with numerous people that you would never find attractive under non-alcohol-shaded light. And that’s if you are lucky to make it past midnight, as I barely did last year.
I was at Hammerheads, per usual. Dressed in my finest, with the people I consider family. The night started innocently enough. Deciding to be classy before I even left the house, I drank two large glasses of Franzia (because nothing is classier than a well-dressed dame drinking boxed wine). And why not? The night was young, I was super-excited, and I was convinced that I could hold my own, and adhere to my personal rules of alcohol pacing (Drink. Water. Drink. Water. Drink. Water. Repeat as needed) once I got to the bar. Well, you know I totally ignored this rule that I usually stick to 360+ days of the year. After all, “It’s New Year’s Eve!”
Fast forward to 3 and a half hours later. Wine, Jameson, Purple Jesus shots, beer, and a blue drink later. 2010 had just arrived, but do I remember that moment? Hell no. My memory of New Year’s Eve 2010 consisted of this: Playing darts with my friends. Dancing. Waking up on the Hammerhead’s toilet with somebody beating on the door and screaming at me to get out of the bathroom. Yup. You read that right. I began 2010 doing my best Elvis-impersonation. I estimate I must have been in there for about 10-15 minutes, just leaning to the side. For the morbidly curious, I did make it to the bathroom. No muss, no fuss, just an angry mob of drunken women who really had to piss glaring at me as I tripped out of the stall. I remember fluffing my hair, smearing lipstick everywhere but my lips, and then being escorted home by my equally-drunk roommates after nearly falling down by the jukebox. In bed by 12:45 AM. Happy New Year.
As amusing as this story is, it brings me to when I cracked my eyelid open at 2:00 PM the next day. I say cracked, because I was so dehydrated that my eyelid was sticking to the sandpaper that had replaced my eyeball. My legs were frozen from charlie horses cramps that raced up and down my calves all night due to my electrolytes being thrown off (the real reason why Gatorade exists). My stomach…well, I won’t elaborate. Let’s just say it got really confusing as to what I should do first when I got to the bathroom, which I crawled to.
I was good and hungover. And as bad as it sounds, I probably actually slept through the worst of it, seeing as I was able to rally only a couple of hours later after engaging in some tried and true evasive maneuvers to still the 85-piece marching band in my head and the coked-out elephant that was rampaging through my GI system. I am now going to pass this knowledge on to you, dear readers, as well as some preventative measures so you don’t end up like your favorite WAT last year. I want you to start 2011 off with a bang, not a full-body implosion.
Before You Start Drinking Like It’s Your Job:
If Drinking is Your Job, and Business is Good:
Your Body Went Out of the Drinking Business, and Is Having An “Everything Must Go” Sale
So that’s my advice to have a happier, healthier New Year’s Eve….I hope everyone is going to have an amazing time, and that 2011 starts off the way we all hope it will. This girl is hoping for a stellar kiss, a champagne toast, and a night to remember (for once).
Happy New Years from the WAT, and the Evansville Nights Krewe!
On the eve of my 21st birthday, I ventured into the night to complete the obligatory rite of passage of going to a bar. An old high school friend braved the journey with me. However, I was such an oblivious goody-goody that I didn’t know the first thing about what was a “good bar “versus a “bad bar” in this town. So we drove around downtown Evansville, in search of the perfect place – perfect meaning crowded with lots of single, inebriated dudes, cheap booze, and loud music.
The first stop was the Peephole, which was not the staple of downtown entertainment that it is today (and one of my favorite bars to stumble to). Dark, quiet, with only a few souls gracing the stools. Over the years, my tastes would expand to embrace this kind of environment, but that night, when the bleary eyes scanned the two novices dressed in their slutty best who just wanted to DANCE, it was decided that a quick exit was in order. Don’t worry. In a few years, I would be back, spending entire Sundays there.
Teetering down the street in heels (fashion often trumps reason when going out), we decided that we would check out the gay bar—it was the one place I had actually heard something about, and even though the chances of making out were slim, it had cheap drinks and drag shows – something that two girls from a tiny town in Indiana found to be delightfully taboo. However, we had no idea where it was, so we continued down Main Street to ask directions at the hoppin’ speak easy that was Hammerheads on a Saturday night.
If I knew then what I know now, I would have known that Hammerheads would become my second (maybe even my first) home. I would have known that I would start going there almost every night to hang out three years later. I would have known that I would experience some of the best (and worst) nights of my life there. I would have known that I would become closer to my best friends, and meet new ones. I would have known that I would fall in love there, and have my heart broken. I would have known that I would experience some of my best stories there. And, at the very least, I would have known that PBR is .50 cents on Fridays, the dart boards are awesome, and the lighting is flattering at 2:30 AM when you are deciding whether the person you are contemplating going home is a river troll or not (experience has taught me that they are almost ALWAYS a river troll).
But I didn’t know this. So when we asked the drunken man hanging over the railing that is miraculously still standing to this day for directions, he half-vomited the way at us and we continued on our mission. We went back to the car (we weren’t drinking yet, EPD), and ended up circling upper Main for about 15 minutes, trying to find the joint. Finally spotting a fabulous queen walking into a non-descript door, we figured we found the right place. Finally, I was about celebrate my entrance into “real” adulthood!
If you have ever been to Someplace Else at 11:00 PM on a Saturday night, you know that you can feel the music before you even cross the street. Approaching the door, the music becomes a living force, and you can feel your teeth pulse with the music. Opening the door was like stepping into what equates to Wonderland for a girl that didn’t experience anything in terms of nightlife before.
Stepping through the door, I was quickly assessed by the hulking door lady bouncer who took my money with a knowing smile. “First time, dear?” she smirked as she scanned my license. Realizing that I probably looked every bit like an over-excited 15 year-old, I schooled my features into a more “I have been going to bars since the day I was born” expression. Looking dreadfully bored, I made my way to the packed bar, and fought through spiky hair, pheromones, and lingering once-overs until I staked out a place where I could order the coolest drink I could think of, and try not to look obvious that I was staring at everything from how the bar looked, to what everyone was wearing.
Maintaining the bored expression was impossible as I ordered my first legal drink. “Vodka and diet,” in a monotone earned me a “Girl, what is up your ass tonight?” and I couldn’t help but laugh. And as I took that first drink, I suddenly didn’t care about what I looked like. I was 21, and I finally could go to any place in town that I wanted after 9:00 PM. A whole new section of time was unlocked for me, and I didn’t have to sit at home or at a friend’s house, or Denny’s, to find something to satisfy my nighttime wanderings (though Denny’s, when you could smoke, was quickly adopted as an after-hours spot when the bars closed. I could write a novel about drunken nights at Denny’s).
That first drink turned into a birthday shot, which turned into a lot more birthday shots (people just love a 21 year old girl on her birthday, right?). My friend and I buzzed around like tipsy bees, talking to anybody that was within hearing distance, and before you can say “wasted”, we were surrounded by about 10 new friends, and I was being dragged on stage for a birthday spanking by a drag queen that was prettier than me.
“We’ve got a birthday virgin!” she crowed, as she pulled me to her with a manicured, muscular hand. I remember giggling my name into a microphone, and the whole bar sang “Happy Birthday” as I tried not to be obvious that I was piss-drunk and about to either A) throw up or B) steal her wig as a souvenir. Luckily, I did neither, and accepted my 21 lashes while the crowd cheered. I remember walking off the stage feeling what I called “grace” and my friend called “retarded staggering”. Then it was downstairs to the dance floor, where me and my 30 new friends writhed and flailed around. When the ugly lights came on, I left feeling euphoric and like a whole new world had opened for me…
…And then I didn’t go to a bar for another two years.
Yeah. Bet you weren’t expecting that, right?
Long story short, I was the oldest in my group of Evansville friends, I didn’t nearly have the confidence that I do now to go out alone, and those new acquaintances I made the night of my birthday were not answering their cell phones (although, the probability that they had no memory of me was high due to alcohol). While this bothered me at first, I found that this is actually a common occurrence when you go out. Sometimes, when you have a great time with people at a bar one evening, it doesn’t transfer over to the next day, or the next weekend. It’s like a fantastic one-night stand—you share a night of intense passion and excitement, but then you go back to your life the morning after, and you don’t capture the moment again. Some nights out cannot be re-created. But that’s a subject for another entry.
Anyway, two years passed, and I was thrust back into the bar scene by a guy I was seeing who loved Show-Me’s ($1 big beers! Pregnant hostesses crammed into short-shorts!) and the Gerst Haus (where I learned that there were more beers than just Bud Light and Coors Light). However, while these can be entertaining venues to pass the nights, they still left me with an empty feeling, like I was missing something…I would think back to my 21st birthday, and wonder if that was just a fluke or if that frenetic energy was real.
Fast forward another year, and I had found a home in 80′s night at Hammerheads (after that relationship ended, I just needed to DANCE again). Gaining bar friends that remembered me the next day, I came back more and more, and soon warmed the stools there on an almost-nightly basis, shooting the shit with my favorite bartenders and living and watching the dramas that often unfold between bar regulars. Gaining confidence that I could talk to any stranger, I widened my bar radius and fell in love with Lamasco, Lanhucks, the Deerhead, and the entire Franklin crawl. In these places, I have seen friendships form, relationships rise and fall, fights ensue, laughter, tears, and many, many drinks consumed in the quest to find something to hold our interest in the night after we leave the daily grind and are too wired to go home. In these places, we have found our own, coming together to fight the good fight against boredom (and sobriety).
It’s true. Evansville is not big. It’s not that cool. We don’t have a lot to offer after 9:00 PM. But we do have some great places in this town to have a drink, dance the night away, hustle some pool, and listen to both fantastic live music and drunken karaoke. There are places where $5.00 could get you wasted, and where you can find exactly what you are looking for, be it a crazy wild scene or a low-key affair. I am starting this blog to write about my local adventures (and misadventures) in the Evansville bar scene.
Stay tuned, kids. It’s about to get interesting.
PS. So, dear readers…what was your first time like in an Evansville bar? Don’t be shy. Share your adventures!