Saturday, August 21, 2010

I will not let this blog die.

I haven't written for Tepid Epics in a long time. Hopefully this can change soon. I will not let this blog die.

This blog ain't got time to bleed.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Event # ?? Kansas City, Round Deux

Actually wrote for this trip. When local sales rep guys heard of us coming to the Red White & Booms fest in July, they scheduled a few events for us in parts of Kansas City (MO and KS) from Aug 20 - 25. A day off on the 26th, followed by this crazy 'finale' I've been talking about during the past few posts. But on to the event at hand - Kansas City. Round two. Let's dive in to what was written...

Thurs Aug 20
Oh man. Up at 6am. On the road by 6:30. Raining of course. We've done this trip before, and it's boring this time too. But - we don't have the trailer hitched with us, as it's currently chillin in Boone, Iowa of all places. I was at the Packer game last Saturday when the crew visited the Iowa state fair. Since we had to pass through Iowa on our way to KC, they decided to just leave the machine sitting in the parking lot for a few days. Nice. Also - insanely enough - Katie thinks its a good idea to stop for lunch - AT A PIZZA HUT. Seriously. Because of the 'salad bar'. As if eating the pizza hut lunch buffet qualifies it as healthy because of the salad bar. Come on. Funniest part was on the way out, when a worker gave me a punch card for future lunch buffet visits. Not really thinking, I reply, "Thanks, but we probably won't be coming back ." And I turned and left. I didn't mean anything by it. I wanted to convey that we wouldn't return because we aren't from the area, not because the food was bad (which it was). Katie, upon hearing me say this, busts out laughin, and turns around to the Pizza Hut guys & exclaims "Cuz we live in Wisconsin! That's why we won't be back. That's the only reason!" It was hilarious. Maybe you'd have to be there?
We arrived at our hotel at 5:30pm. We had a dinner reservation at a place called Hereford House. A local, popular steak joint. The 2 salesman joined us, and 1 brought his wife as well. Awkward at first, but eventually we got to telling drunk stories and everyone was laughing as if we knew each other for years. We even had our own tiny room with doors. After our dinner, we decided to go out in Liberty, where our hotel was. "Out" in Liberty means...wander aimlessly around the town square in search for bars that don't exist. We walked up to a swanky looking place around 10, where it was last call. WTF. We continued to stroll in various directions, until a car pulled up next to us. "You guys looking for a bar"? the moustached gentleman asked. We nodded, and he continued, "Well theres a bar 2 blocks up this street, but it's a real dive." We all agreed that divey was fine, to which he ends the conversation by saying, "Oh it's the dive bars of dive bars. You'll love it". Off he went. We approached a small white building that had a plastic lit up sign that literally said "Corner Bar/Missouri Lottery/Mexican Food". We walked into this converted shit-house to shit-bar to witness Missouri's toothless wonders karaoking. I calmly, carefully (as to not upset the animals in their habitat) walked to the bar, and ordered 3 whiskey sours and a Miller Lite. $11. Awesome. What happened for the next 30 minutes was pure, hilarious people watching. Pretty sure locals were doing cocaine deals by the back entrance. Pretty sure a 60 year old woman (i think) sang a dolly parton song. Pretty sure I was not the only one with a mullet in that place. I'm very sure I was the only one wearing a polo in that place.

Fri. Aug 21
At a nearby HyVee grocery store for some early morning bullshit. Darryl, the manager was the shit. He reminded me of the UPS guy from MadTV, but obviously not as high strung. Saw a praying mantis with a broken leg. I've never seen a praying mantis before, so i took pics. Which...I later accidentally deleted cuz I'm dumb. Anyways, lame-ass early event. People don't want free pizza in the late morning hours, or even during morning at all. 8ish - noon, and nothing worthwhile happened (besides the praying mantis of course. those things are AWESOME). Went onward to yet another HyVee immediately after. Two important things happened at this event.
#1 - we had the health inspector from Hell. We'll call her "Deb". When we sample our pizzas - 99% of the time we will not have to go through any health inspection code. We're usually only there for a couple hours, and the hassle of having to search our rig isn't very necessary. "Deb" thought otherwise. Our freezer wasn't up to her standards. She made us by dry ice. Our sinks weren't full of sanitizer, rinse water, and bleach water. Probably because we already washed everything that needed to be YESTERDAY. She made us fill our sinks. Finally, and even I could not believe this - she told us our generator was 'too loud'. Our generator, for which we run all of our power through - was too loud. WE'RE FUCKING OUTDOORS, YA DYKE. We sat around and watched her waddle with her important clipboard & pencils, probably jotting down tricks to teach her 38 cats when she got home. Simply put - she was a thorn in our sides for a good half hour. Completely pointless.
#2 - We had a radio station promoting us on-air during this event. The DJ was "Dave". We never really saw Dave during the event. Which is somewhat weird, as most dj's will usually come out and talk to us, shoot the shit, make sure our product descriptions are up to date, stuff like that. At the end of the event, we finally realized why. As we started cleaning up - so did he. Minutes later, Dave comes out of his dj van with a mixer. Dude was drinking vodka mixers in his dj van. We laughed, as it made total sense now why this guy was such a character (his clothes were hilariously 80's/90's and very mismatched). Cool guy tho nonetheless.
We were done at 6:30, drove home and changed. It was time for our favorite - Blanc Burgers & Bottles. Westport is an awesome part of KC. And Friday night was no exception. The bars even LOOKED like they'd be fun. Amazingly enough, we had the same server as we did when we were here 2 months ago. "Brian" - had had a god damn business card that he gave to us. To backtrack - I looked absolutely ridiculous. I super styled my mullet in the hotel bathroom a la the hairdryer. It was sick. Either way - my Boulevard Two Jokers Wit and Inside-Out burger , truffle fries, and everything else was perfect, as usual. Seriously, if I'm ever within 150 miles of this place, I will stop. After Blanc, we headed to the Power & Light district. We (I) decided on the Flying Saucer Draught Emporium. It had frisbee discs on the ceiling, and with 100 taps on the wall! I had a Great Divide Oak Aged Double Chocolate Yeti Imperial Stout. It was very alcoholic tasting in nature and I liked it until I read the bottle description. They added cayenne pepper to it - therefore I started to dislike it. I am drunk at this point. We headed 1 block to the monstrosity that is the actual Power & Light district. Took a seat at the Maker's Mark lounge. People watching here is incredible. The women, my god the women. They wear as little as legally possible. Speaking of legal - we're almost positive we saw a prostitute. At one point in the night, the dj played Ice Ice Baby, and it echoed over the massive complex walls. In my drunkenness, I decided to get up and do a 30 second rendition of Mr. Van Winkle's awesome dance skills, much to the happy faces of other bar patrons around me. I even got a few claps out of it. As the crew is laughing their ass off at me, I finally sit down and gaze back into the sea of people. A hundred or so feet away, is a woman, whose chestal region is basically falling out of her green, shiny, shimmering tube-top looking dress. Big hair as well, like the kind you see on the Housewives of Orange County shit. And she's girating, or dancing, or something - but she's by herself. This...thing, would literally 'pose' by herself, in front of guys in high-traffic areas. She would go over to a dude, sit down, arch her back, and point her leg up in the air and wait to have someone talk to her. It was absolutely hilarious to watch. A couple more Boulevard beers and Jamo shots later, we headed home, as we had to be out the door by 7:30am the next day. I think we left the bar around 1:30am...

Sat. Aug 22
We woke up at 6:15 to leave. Shit I'm not a morning person. The route driver met us early, and was razzin me left and right for some reason. But he was funny so it was ok. We were busy, as this Price Chopper! held an annual party in their parking lot, chocked full of free shit. Since Katie and I were hungover, it was busy. People are fucking dumb here. They don't listen to directions. "Take one slice" means take 7, apparently. We sampled 17 cases, it was buuusssy. Lame. Evening rolled around, and it was apparent what needed to happen. Jack Stacks BBQ. Obviously we'd been telling Katie about it since we passed into Mizzou. Again, it was absolutely fantastic. Nate decideds to bring FOUR bottles of sauce home. After we left, we grabbed the bull (statue) by the horns. It was awesome. Came back to the hotel and watched "I love you, Man". It kinda sucked, minus the whole SLAPPIN DA BASS part, which was awesome. Let the food digest for a bit, then went out to Barley's Brewhaus in Overland Park. About a hundred taps here - I had a Free State Oatmeal Stout from Lawrence, KS. Gotta drink local. It was just ok though. Awesome reaggae band was playing too. Why do stateside raggae bands always consist of 1 black dude with a bunch of old white guys? Whatever, they were good. But we could only drink one, as our stomach weres on ethe verge of exploding. And exploding stomachs wait for no one.

Sun. Aug. 23
A rather boring, uneventful day in Blue Springs, KS. Sampled 6 cases at a Price Chopper! from 10-3. Had the brilliant idea to go to Joe's Crab Shack for dinner. It was so unbelievably terrible. My mussels, clams, and our server Emma sucked balls. Don't go to an establishment that spends more time singing, dancing, and douchebagging than actually serving. What a joke.

Mon. Aug 24
We met "Mr. K", anasshole salesguy from the KC area at 6am. You know I'm not a morning person. He decides to make fun of my sleepy status - verbally. What a prick. Then, leads us through town construction to "avoid the freeway". Hey a-hole - we WANT the freeway. We eventually arrive at our destination. Balls Headquarters. The grocery store group is literally called BALLS. It's a guy's last name. So P-mo's isn't sold at all of the, and the days goal is to cook up pizza for lunch in hopes that they WILL carry us after they try it. We fire up - and immediately something is awry. On our biggest day of the Summer. Various switches that control various parts are all messed up. An electrical outlet box starts to sizzle and short out, also emitting a small stream of smoke. That's gonna be good for the operation. We realize that there is a serious electrical issue. Something in or on our main electrical chord isn't grounded. Kevin decides to shut down and TAKE IT APART. Awesome. Dude plays electrician for an hour. It was an amazing thing to witness for all mankind. Using wire cutters, screwdrivers, and whatever else he could find to get the job done - he did. It was incredible. Long story short - it worked, and we fried up the goods. Worked on and off for a good 6 hours. We made pizza in 2 short bursts - in the morning, and in the early afternoon. Since we went out the night before, we had about 2 hours of downtime, which we spent napping. To give you a visual of where exactly we were - think of a business/industrial park. Now think of a business/ industrial park in rural Kansas. Ugly buildings, poorly paved roads, dust, vacant factories...this is our location. While we were hanging out, on the side of the road, in between many factories - we were approached by 2 very interesting people. The first was a black gentleman in a minivan with his family. In thick, southern sounding (yea, this is gonna be blackxploitation!) accent, the man exuberantly yells "YALL SELLIN PIZZA!? HOW MUCH?" in my direction. I'm tired, and I don't want to deal with this, so i explain to him that its not for sale, that we're making it for some higher ups at this place we're in front of. "IM HUNGRY, CMON HOW MUCH YOU WANT FOR ONE?" Avoiding the question further, I circle around to the other side and ask bossman what he thinks, and he doesn't care. Just a very weird scene to be a part of. I finally give him an entire pizza for free, and with wide eyes he yells, "AW THANK YA SO MUCH. GOD BLESS YOU, I LOV YOU GUYS!", and sped away in his minivan. An hour later, a small white pickup truck pulls up to us, and a tiny man wearing dirty jeans steps out and asks us various questions about our operation, and if we would like to trade. Trade for what you may ask? Pies. Accross the street from us, is a pie making factory. The conversation went as such:
Pie Guy: You boys like pie? Well, what's your favorite kind?
(Jake and Kevin look at each other...)
Kevin: I like anything with berries in it...?
(Jake laughs)
Pie Guy: Allright. You?
Jake: I don't know, I don't know if I can pick just one...
Pie Guy: Well Fuckin' A.
I literally put my head in my hands, and prayed that I would not laugh directly at this individual. You know Russel in Office Space? He sounded exactly like him. Kevin and I shared a quick glance, both eager to bust out laughing and the weirdness that just occured.
Pie Guy: I'll be back with some in a couple hours. Thanks!
And off he sped in his little Toyota Tacoma pickup. Decided to put 'Fuckin' A' on the rest of our sentences for the day/ night.

After we finished at Balls (lol), we drove to Des Moines, IA to cut our drive home in half. We played it smart and rented a hotel there, as we were clearly tired and deserved another decent night out. We arrived at our hotel at 4:30pm.
Nate & Kevin were raving about this sweet English pub in the heart of downtown called the Royal Mile. Downtown Des Moines was actually tolerable. Had a Beamish Stout that I wasn't a fan of. After dinner at the Royal Mile, which was great, I consulted the Draft Magazine I have and went to El Bait Shop. Holy Amazing. The coolest looking, best veer selection bar we've been to on the tour. Knick knacks here, beer signs there. And it specializes in Mexican bbq? What the hell? Great atmosphere. The shirts were great too. Nate bough one that said 'The Jimmy Carter Happy Hour' with the president's face charicatured on it. I bought one that had the Blue Fish from Dr. Seuss holding a beer while riding a bike pictured on it. Indulged in a Goose Island Matilda, still one of my favs. Also had a Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza Blanca. That brewery is straight up money. Walked back to our hotel at...i have no idea what time. All I remember is that Nate had to pee so bad that he did it on a dumpster behind a bar that we did not go to. On Tuesday August 25th, we drove home to Milwaukee.

So yeah, thats what I wrote. We had Wednesday the 26th off, but on the following Thursday, we planned to embark on the last official tour trip of the Summer Tour. The finale. The last straw. The end of the end. Stay tuned to hear the ridiculousness of the Summer Tour Finale. It's as good as it sounds.

(No pics from this Trip, sorry)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

A Rundown of Late July & Early August Events

July had a few rapid-fire events thrown at me. Mid-July called for Festa Italiana - arguably Milwaukee's biggest ethnic summer festival. The Air & Water show flew into town on the 25th & 26th, leaving people dazed, confused, and deaf. Late July & early August had us at a few Timber Rattlers games in Appleton, an MS ride in Madison, followed by an afternoon in Bourbonnais, IL to watch the Chicago Bears training camp. Finally, my brief conclusion of late July & early August events ends with the Wisconsin State Fair from August 6th to the 16th. Thank god I only worked 3 days of that...

Festa Italiana - held down at Henry Maier Fairgrounds, was an astounding success for Pal ermo's. Somehow they got to be the ONLY pizza vendor on the site. How on earth? Friday the 17th was my first taste of Festa, as I got to bartend a private party for the CEO's friends. I opened wine bottles and poured Italian Peroni from the tap for about 6 hours and watched business-like people, grocery managers, and other people I'd never met go from sober to sauced in no time. Getting drunk at places you shouldn't get drunk at is always a good idea. I highly recommend it next time you're at a black tie event, or something of the like. Around dusk, a 'Pinnochio Parade' takes place, complete with creepy male flag-throwers dressed in their Magic the Gathering outfits and a wooden bicycle-riding beloved Pinnochio character. It was somewhat odd. Every night ends with a dazzling array of only the best Chinese fireworks, shot off a barge anchored in Lake Michigan. Saturday afternoon I put frozen pizzas in a triple layer conveyor oven. It left a lot to be desired. I was bored. Friday night was much more fun.

Oh, the Air & Water Show. A busier than expected weekend. The city was full of squinting skyward Wisconsinites, dying to get a glimpse of aviation goodness. Which, I must admit, was completely inspiring. People balancing on bi-planes, jets cruising what looked like INCHES next to each other, and the 'holy shit, i cant hear a thing' FA-18 Navy fighter planes which set off car alarms for hours. Note - when you arrive at your destination an hour before an event of this magnitude begins - you're an idiot. We showed up at Milwaukees Lakefront at 9am - to find that there was NO way in hell we were going to get our 22 foot by 9 foot machine in our designated spot. Lawn chairs, cars, trucks, dogs, people, veterans, airplanes - were just a few of the things standing in our way of setting up. We hopped the curb (seriously) in bumper to bumper traffic and parked our rig between some pine trees in an ill advised spot and immediately began to set up. It did work out though, as we were busy the entire day. A seriously hectic morning turned into a worthwhile day of pie making goodness. Sunday was the same story. We did get to our 'spot' earlier on this day. The Navy's F15 Strike Eagle and FA 18 Hornet scared the shit out of people left and right. Felt like Milwaukee was under attack. My eardrums weren't the same for 3 days. The spectacle was awesome though. I completely understand why EAA in Oshkosh is such a cool deal. Aviation is cooler than most things.

The next part of the trip definitely had it's ups and downs. Very hard to describe because we never really stayed in one spot. Almost 4 different hotels in 4 days. A small amount of downtime, but not too much. Very different events all 4 days. Some very busy, some ... lame as hell. On July 31st we drove from Milwaukee to Appleton for a Timber Rattlers game. This involves the team sampling pizza from our rig in a parking lot. This trip was Katie's first. She's a huge part of my Summer, as she's my high school friend who initially got me this job. I owe her a ton of thanks, as - if you can't tell - my Summer has been an absolute blast. Her husband is my boss, and we've had a ton of fun up to this point. She's heard about the fun goings-on, and wanted to experience it first hand. This was not to be had this evening. We pull up to the stadium parking lot, which is empty, and turn off the truck to go find someone in charge to tell us where to set up. A few minutes later, my boss Kevin comes back to right our vehicle. Click. The key turns, and the vehicle is unresponsive. Click. Click. Click. Nothing. We try to turn our vehicle ON for ten minutes, to no avail. Backstory - remember those transmission problems we had in Minnesota before block party? Well, in the morning, on THIS exact Friday, we installed a NEW transmission in the truck. A cool $3,500. 2 hours of accident-free driving into Appleton, and THIS is how the truck repays us? Fuck. FORD really does stand for 'found on road dead'. So we have a piece of shit truck that has an expensive machine hitched on the back...facing the complete wrong direction, a few feet away from port-o-pottys. Our lives suck at this point. Eventually after phone calls to Timber Rattlers office, tow truck companies, and body shops (5:30pm on a Friday - they were thrilled to work on our truck, I'm sure), we averted disaster and found a Rattler's staffer who had a truck, which got us in the right spot. I spent the event driving back and forth with an intern who's job it was to make sure we were taken care of. Nick the intern - be happy your internship is paid. After a stressful afternoon and a boring, lame event (EEA was happening this weekend in Oshkosh, so game turnout was low), we decided to treat ourselves. Lombardi's steakhouse in downtown Appleton was beckoning. Unfortunately, our nice evening was ruined by an individual named Robin. Robin had absolutely no desire to work at Lombardi's steakhouse this Friday evening. Not only was she unpleasant - she was incredibly rude and snotty. While our table talked about how nice the environment was, as the restaurant was basically empty, she turned around as she walked away and said, "WELL, it IS 9 oclock on a Friday night..." and huffed and puffed her way to the kitchen. This was within 4 minutes of being seated. What a cunt. It only got worse. Between her rolling eyes, impatient breaths, and inability to properly serve any of us - we actually laughed at how bad she was. A fitting end to a shitty day. Robin from Lombardi's - honestly - take a step back, and literally fuck your own face. An infamous person on the 'People we've met list' for the summer.

Saturday, the first day of August. 2 months and change of being on the road. Disc golfed at Kaukauna's Grignon Park in the afternoon. Immaculate front 9 - really impressive. Huge open hills paired with narrow dog-legged pins hidden in the woods. Katie read a book in the truck as bossman and I shot a round. The truck had no problems today, and the weather was beautiful, so it was looking up for us. Our event lasted 4 hours. It was mostly boring again today, and we had a hard time getting rid of pizza. Tailgaters usually bring food to tailgate with. That seems like the correct way to do it, right? Naturally people aren't chomping at the bit to stuff more food into their gullets. No time for fun though. 7pm our event conlcluded - and we had to drive 2 hours to get to Madison, as we had a bright & early date with the Alliant Energy Center. If you know Madison - there is a Sheraton hotel directly across said Energy Center. This is obviously where we were scheduled to stay. We book our reservations through Orbitz - usually months, or weeks in advance. Long story short - after we arrived at 9pm - we were told that this Sheraton was 'overbooked', and we had to find a different hotel. Why does life hate us? We were tired, ornery, and none too happy. So instead of being DIRECTLY across from our event for the next morning, the Sheraton decided to 'let us' stay at a Country Inn & Suites in Monona. I lived in Madison for a year and a half, so I do the driving to get us there, as the beast is not always easy to drive, with the wide turns and all. Again we're frustrated, so we quick shower and head to my favorite bar, and favorite ex-place to work for - Madison's best brewpub - the Great Dane. We unhitch our trailer and head to beer heaven. We fill our stomachs with glorious beer and deep fried food, and all is better again. Until we get back to the hotel. Upon arriving in our parking lot, we see that SOMEONE HAS PARKED US IN. Seriously. The lot is nowhere near full. Not a bit. And some moron in a white dodge literally parks next to our unhitched trailer, making it impossible for us to connect to it, and take it to another place. Our event happens to be around 8am Sunday morning. Kevin, Katie and I are furious, yet all we can do is laugh. Kev leaves a bitter note that reads "Car with license ###### must move by 8am. It is parking us in. Thank you." by the desk clerk, who's currently on the phone. We go to sleep.

Sunday. The sabbath day. An MS benefit bike ride ends at the Alliant Energy Center today. We put our matching Summer Tour Shirts on and head outside to drive the uneccessary 3 miles to our event. But we can't, cuz MORON ASSHOLE'S CAR IS STILL THERE. Who parks next to a giant trailer, obviously stopping said trailer from being moved since they are a few feet from the hitch? I wouldn't, would you? Boss goes back to the hotel clerk who calls the room of the moron. Minutes later, a skinny bitch in ripped jeans and a white tanktop comes out, clearly hungover. "Oh...I'm sorry", she says. As she pulls away to find a new spot, we notice bags of Qdoba garbage all over the ground underneath her car. This pisses us off even more. Kevin takes matters into his own hands, and brings the to-go Qdoba mess over to her car and gently hangs it on the mirrors. No one likes a litterer. We work on and off from 10 am to 6pm ish. We see a dirty baby fox playing in the mud in the morning, and dirty sweaty bicyclists in the afternoon. Once again though, we don't have time for anything - and we immediately pack up and head to Illinois. Bears training camp looms tomorrow. It takes us 4 hours to get to the middle of nowhere town called Bourbonnais. We meet a bald character named Bill outside of our hotel before checking in. He informs us that 9000 people went to watch the camp today. We're screwed tomorrow...

Monday morning comes and the putrid navy & orange colors fill our eyes with sorrow. Olivet Nazerene University is a beautiful location for the team though - great looking Christian college. Pal ermo's is an official sponsor of the Bears, and is being sold within Soldier Field this year. Cool. Fans had to walk by our location to get to the practice fields, so many fans took in a sausage piece straight to the face. That makes a bakers dozen there, Bob. We leave as soon as we are allowed to. The millions of orange construction barrels taunted us as we drove north home. A hectic 4 days to say the least.

Last but not least - the Wisconsin State Fair. OH the Wisconsin State Fair. No pizza trailer oven machine this time, as we had an actual booth in the Wisconsin Products Pavilion. By the powers that be - I was only scheduled to work THREE times during this fiasco. Three out of ten, or twelve or however many days the state fair went on was FINE by me. I passed the time by counting mullets (not my own), and playing a version of 'state fair bingo', made (somewhat) by yours truly. Pic to come later. Let's just say I found only one 'skullet' - shaved top of head with mullet features everywhere else. A new fav to say the least. As you can imagine, the people watching was epic. The owners son ran the event every day, so it was nice to get hooked up with a variety of Wisconsin products, as we bartered pizza for...well, whatever we wanted. Props to Cedar Crest Ice Cream next to us. Thank you sir may I have another. State Fair was boring, for the most part, even tho we were busy every minute of every day.

I think I've covered it all. Check out the pics. I love you.

A Few Pics from MN

7/7/09---7/12/09 (Click for Hi-Res. Yes they are in reverse chronological order. I hate blogger)

Event #5 - MN Madness / Basilica Block Party

Event #5 - MN Madness / Basilica Block Party

Tues July 7 to Sun July 12

**First off let me say that I hardly wrote anything down for this trip, as well as the ones after this. The tour has progressively drained my colleagues and I. As I'm finally getting to this now, it is September 8th - a good 2 months later. People's names have been forgotten, good times have gone from fuzzy to downright 'when was that'? I'll do my best to recollect the stories and images. The last trip I was on, the 11 day finale, will be the ultimate ending to this Summer saga. I hope you continue to read these and laugh at the ridiculousness of it all, and stay tuned to the shitshow ending...**

Tuesday July 7th marked the start to yet another trip to the great north. We've come to love the Twin Cities. Illinois can have Chicago, cuz I'm really really starting to know and adore Minneapolis. 5 hour drive, and we arrived at 2ish. Immediately had to set up outside of the shitrodome, as we had to sample outside. Yankees were in town, which was awesome. Word on the street said Twins corporate office had BOX seats for us. Sure enough, they came through. Free food and drink for the whole game was spectacular. CC was on the mound for the Yanks, mowing down batters left & right. Brought a tear to our eyes.

Wednesday the 8th was a very very easy day. We set up outside of a Cub Foods in Apple Valley. A radio station with interns younger than us parked beside us. I wrote down 'creepy guy in suit'. This refers to ... well, a creepy guy in a suit with a Zach Morris cell just hanging out by us for an hour, off to the side. We eventually asked the 2 interns he was their boss. Their reply - "No, we thought he was with you." Fucking creepy. Like that scene in Donnie Darko where Donnie and that chick almost kiss in the woods, but theres that guy in the bright jogging suit, and she doesn't feel like it anymore. Juuust like that. I went to an Erbert & Gerberts for the first time. I don't really remember thinking it was that great.

Thursday had us sampling another Twins game. Yanks still in town. Awkward start time of 12:10pm though. We worked until 1pm and then drove around to play 3 different frisbee golf courses. We went to a new place - Joe's Garage. Turned out to be amazing. More on this night later. Also look for one of the greatest exchanges to ever take place on the summer tour, in a future post called 'Interesting People' - a recap of hilarious people from the Summer.

Friday July 10th was the first day of the Basilica Block Party. A beautiful church housed smack dab in the heart of Minneapolis. Apparently its a big deal, with 3 music stages and food vendors strewn about a 3 block span by this religious artifact. Our Trucks transmission failed, for the most part on this day. No reverse. Always fun. It was not a good morning, as we also found out that the city of Minneapolis never received our money for our permit to be at the Block Party. Mistake was made at our HQ - they never sent it in time. People yelled at us. It was just not a good morning / afternoon. The night went much better though, as the Black Crowes played just south of us. We got to go to a bar called Drink. Seriously? The bar was called Drink - of course we're going to go there. We got hammered. Met some cool people. Turned out to be an ok friday. When I got home from the bars, I thought it was necessary to document the past 2 days of the adventure. Here is what I wrote, verbatim, at 4am - about thursday and friday:

Thurs 9th - 12:10 Yanks sample. On Thurs 3 disc ggofl courses. Graded them. Waited an hour ten minutes for table at Joes Garage. Amazing tho. (salesmans name ommitted) got shots. paid for bill. Now in Golden Valley. Golden showers. haha. Fri 10th - Truck sucks. Basilica never got paid for permit. that was cool. lame block party kinda. black crowes played. it rained. went to 'Drink' @ uptown minneapolis. I am drunk. It was good. Santana foods at 3am. Also good.

And that's your ballgame. I had to look at that notebook for a good 3 minutes to figure out what it said. That's all I wrote for this trip. Sad. That Santana foods was a gold mine though. A middle-eastern food hub/general store that was open WELL past bartime. Nothing like deep fried falafel at 3am. Was a great way to end a night. And I have no idea why I wrote the block party was lame. It was not lame. In fact, it was about to get a hell of a lot better on Saturday.

Day 2 of the Basilica Block Party on Saturday the 11th. Worked from 2pm - 10:30pm, where we went through 17 cases of delicious 'za. That's a lot, we were super busy. Speaking of falafel - the 'Holy Land' Middle Eastern cuisine stand started on fire. It was awesome. We were even graced by a man displaying the raw power of a wolf shirt. He immediately indulged in a slice, yet had the common courtesy to not howl at the moon right after. I took a break around 8:30 pm to head over to see The Hold Steady. I had always heard they were good, but never heard any of their stuff. I was not disappointed. I listened to 3 songs, took a bunch of pics, and headed back to work, which was too bad cuz they were killin it. Counting Crowes were on the main I didn't hear, nor want to hear any of that. After our shift, we gave Joe's Garage another try, as there was no way an hour and ten minutes is normal for a Thursday night. Any place that specializes in 'gourmet mashed potatoes' is awesome. And it was . Much better experience this time. This was also the night that we met up with some girls who worked at Fallon Worldwide - a top ad agency in Minneapolis. Dear Kaye - GET ME A JOB THERE. Anyways, a confrontation was had w/ one of her psycho friends, that will be discussed at a later point.

Sunday the 12th. The last day for us. Yet another work day outside of the Metrodome ( I know, my life sucks ) Chisox were in town and it was busy as hell. Noon game, and we get slammed. Immediately after our event, we drove home.

Check out the pics...

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Few Pics From Kansas City


Event #4 - Kansas City Missouri

Wed June 17th - Mon June 22

Red, White, & Booms Festival

Wednesday the 17th started with an 8am wakeup call via my cell's alarm. I got to Pal ermo's at 9am to leave. Unfortunately some maintenance douchebags left the dome light on in the truck all night. After a long jumper cable process, we were on the road at 10am. We drove for 9 hours total. On the way, we stopped at the Iowa 80 - the world's largest truck stop. 800 truck spaces. True story, it was massive. We had Wendy's. It sucked, of course. After a 7pm arrival, it was time to consult the Draft beer magazine that I covet so. We drove through the ridiculous construction that plagues the summer to Southwest Kansas City's Blanc Burgers & Bottles. It was a hipster bar with fancy burgers and a huge beer list. My kind of place, clearly. I had an Arcadia Coco Loco Stout (8.0) & a Cafe Centraal Fav La Chouffe Houblon Doublon Triple IPA (9.3). The In & Out burger - and I can't stress this enough - was the best burger I've ever had. Hands down. An onion ring, house-made ketchup, bacon, and bleu-cheese stuffed burger on a gourmet bun. Absolutely incredible. Text on a computer screen can't do it justice. Voted KC's best burger as well. Also noted in Draft mag was the a bar called the Foundry @ McCoys. A decent craft beer brewery, slightly hipsterish as well. I hit on the slightly good looking, skinny, tattoed multi-colored hair girl, aaaaand she did not like me. My line "Do you have any other tattoos?" She said yes. My next line, "Any I can see?" She said no. The boys thought that was hilarious.

Thurs June 18
Woke up to a fucking fire alarm at 9am. Thanks Fairfield Inn & Suites. It was not sweet waking up to the sound of my eardrums bursting. After getting lost a bit in the early afternoon, we finally found the disc golf course nearest to our hotel. Waterworks Park boasts the highest elevation point in Kansas City. A very difficult course sprinkled with huge hills and deadly ravines. Lost a disc - something I haven't done in 2 years. Of course, I found another, better driver disc. Kevin finds beer, I find discs. I got cut up & scraped scavenging through the woods, but thats nothing compared to Kev finding a TICK on him . . . hours later. Not cool. Our radio remote was scheduled at 3pm at the Parkville PRICE CHOPPER (say it with oomph!) with KCMO 93.3. Keith and Lindsay were awesome. Keith - way to go on the Power & Light District reference. We went. But before that - we needed BBQ. We asked locals what the best was - Jack Stacks was a big choice. We are seriously lucking out on food here. Amazing burgers last night - INSANE bbq tonight. Melted in ya mouth. I had lamb ribs & beef brisket and even bought some sauce to bring home. We could barely function it was so good. After that we drove the short distance to the Power & Light District. A huge, open-air free for all with about 15 bars converging in one space. All overlooking a courtyard nestled underneath a canopy with a live music stage. We of course drank Boulevard Wheat and made fun of dudes in Affliction shirts. Some girls wore next to nothing. It was perfect. Earlier in the day Kev received a downer phone call complaint from pizza HQ, but after the BBQ, beers, and scenery, we couldnt be touched. KC - I'm in love with you. Hopefully tomorrow we can get into Boulevard Brewery tour, but according to their website, it's booked for a solid 3 months. I don't believe it. (Believe it - they have a 3-4 month waiting list. Laaame)

Friday June 19th
I woke up at 10am feeling like I got hit by a train. And the freighter housed food. Yesterday's intake, from memory - 4 gatorades, about 6 beers, 7 slices of shitty/good frozen pizza, and the world's best bbq. 200 pounds here I come! The boys thought it would be good to eat DQ at 11:30am. Fuck me. I am against all 'hot treats' at a place called Dairy Queen. Side note - am I getting to be obsessed with food? What the hell is this blog turning into? Onward...I had a blizzard. We then ventured back to Waterworks park to finish the course and to conquer the hilly beast. Lost ANOTHER disc. Forests were nestled on...70 degree angled cliffs and ravines. Hole 17, like I said, is the highest point in Kansas City. 30mph+ winds did not help the discing. The light drizzle was nice though. After our session, we hitched up the 'za wagon and headed over to another PRICE CHOPPER (go ahead, say it with vigor!) in Liberty, MO. It was boring. I'm pretty sure I saw a pregnant 13 year old, so that was neat. And terrible. Otherwise, just gabbin with radio station dj's and staring at milfs. The 30mph winds were a lot better than the 95 degrees and sweltering heat like we had yesterday. We had packed everything up from our old hotel and drove to a new one in Bonner Springs, KS. Taking locals advice again, we went to Arthur Bryants BBA, near the Kansas Speedway. It was no jack stacks, but it was better than any Wisco stuff I've had. We took it easy that night cuz we had a big event followed by a seriously long drive the next day.

Sat. June 20th.
Up at 10am again to take on the day. Red, White & Booms. From what the other radio stations have told us, is pure teenager shenanigan heaven. Boy were they right. Beautiful venue though, set on a hill. Think Marcus Amphitheater without the covered overhang. So what was a beautiful setting was clouded out by rain and gray skies. After we got situated around noon, we of course headed to the nearest disc golf course. Conveniently located on the same grounds! Crazy. So whereas wateworks in KC was heavily wooded and extremely hilly, Wyandote Park was very open and had very long holes. One was 789 feet of pure, open disc golf gloriousness. It was remarkably fun. Until it started to rain, then pour. We probably walked a half mile in the downpour to get back to our parked truck. We were so wet. It was terrible. Of course we consumed beverages on the course, so it wasn't as bad as it could have been. The gates for R, W & B opened at 2, so we expected a few to be there. Wrong. Thousands were already there. With or without ponchos, brassieres, or parents. Braving the elements, the youth of America dove upon free pizza like hyenas on a carcas. Event personell said they expected between 9 and 10 thousand. I believe they got it. Theres nothing like getting hit on by 12 and 13 year old girls with neon colored shirts that show their appreciation for the Veronicas. Other artists they got driven by their parents to see: The White Tie Affair (Who?), Safety Suit (Why are they there?), Matt Nathanson (didn't have anywhere else to be that day?), Kevin Rudolf (Strangely catchy, actually...fuck) and the headliner...KC's own David Cook! Yeah Woo Hah! Who cares. Highlight of the day was Matt Nathanson calling a kid "An 11 year old prick who bases his life on masturbation" and dropping F bombs like it was nobodies business. "Your life is nothing". Hahah it was fucking hilarious. I was a Matt Nathanson fan from then on. I can see the radio station and/or event promoters gasping in horror. Hilarious.
So we sampled pizza for a few hours and then jetted outta there. Thankfully our truck was parked near an exit gate stage right, so it was no big deal. Had we been somewhere else, it would have been terrible. We all wanted to go out another night and really experience Power & Light district, but we had a noon radio remote in Dubuque, Iowa the next day. Thanks Pal ermos. We immediately packed up & left. I drove from 8pm to 3am. It sucked. Iowa at dark is equally shitty as Iowa during day. We stayed at the Days Inn 1 mile from our remote. I must say that I mistook this hotel as a horror movie set at first. Had to see it to believe it. Norman Bates woulda loved this place. Creepy as hell. Took a shower & headed to bed, where I had it in my head that there were a million microscopic insect larvae rummaging through my leg hair. I'm contemplating getting tested for STDs when I get home.

Sun. June 22
I woke up Sunday morning itchy and red, with yellow boils covering my body. Kidding. I took another shower in the 'shower designed for Asian businessmen' (Nate Radue, 2009) and we trucked off to the Dubuque Hyvee. Apparently this Hyvee is the #1 seller of Pal ermos in the country. Who knew? Damn, these people went ape shit for it. Some lady who owned an orphanage bought 10 during her visit. Just drizzled a bit - nothing too substantial to ruin our afternoon though. I must say that the weather has been very nice to us so far on our Summer Tour. Here's to more of that. On a down note, I am not looking forward to weighing myself at the gym tomorrow. I am huge, I will cry. My thighs touch - they're becoming good friends. Working out will be torture. But oh well - Pal ermos is paying for the grub and the room, and me and my digicam are enjoying it so far. I have the next 2 weeks off - I'll be back working the second July in Minneapolis. Till then, we got the pizza - so go eat it!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Well that sucks

This happened yesterday, but I just got home from work right now, and I feel like I need to make this post.

Jacko is gone.

All jokes aside (and there are a million), the man was a true king of the entertainment world. A revolutionary, if you will. The sheer stardom this man captured cannot, and will not ever be topped again. It's fucking impossible. The man traveled around the globe and dominated every country he set foot in. Forget that the man was clinically insane and probably didn't exhibit the best moral values. You can't deny that the music was perhaps the pinnacle of perfection in the 20th century. I haven't taken a look at the other news outlets or other blog site tributes, but I know what mine is.

Michael Jackson. Live in Bucharest. 1992. One of the greatest music dvd's ever produced. I give you the 8:00 dance-off of "Billie Jean".

Just fucking epic.

Michael Jackson.