I went to parties at two different bars. I was told there would be food at the first one — Hamilton's Tavern in South Park. When I got there with my friends, however, the food was gone. One of my friends found out it was all sausage and meats, so she didn't mind; she's a vegetarian. Someone pointed out the owner of the bar shooting pool. I asked if his name was Hamilton and this other guy, Mike, pointed out an African American sitting at one of the tables and said, "That's Hamilton. The owner didn't name it after himself. When he bought this place, Hamilton had told him this pub had six different names over the years. The owner said it was people like him that were the heart of the neighborhood, and so he told him he was going to name the bar after him. He has his own table, too."
I said, "Damn. I was just talking with some friends at a pizza place where they named a dish after a local radio DJ. I thought it would be cool to have a sandwich named after me. This guy gets a whole bar, though. That's cooler than a sandwich."
I met a guy named Jon who told me about his online radio station. He told me that he's also a mobile DJ and that he does private parties. Someone else told me that Jon was nominated for a Grammy. It wasn't until a few days later when I looked at his website that I saw he was one of the founders of Reelin' in the Years, which has the biggest collection of music performances in the world. Had I known that, I probably would've spent all my time talking with him.
My friends each grabbed a beer and were talking to one of the brewers about the process. I heard him say that one of the brews is in a cask for two weeks and that it's naturally carbonated. When he said something about it being "silky and smooth," one of my friends said, "Like my legs."
I went to the bar for a Coke and was told that they had 25 beers on tap but no soft drinks. They said I'd have to go to the liquor store next door.
I overheard someone say that Hamilton's has the best jukebox in the city. I went over to look at it as it played a punk version of "Time Won't Let Me." I saw the jukebox had the Black Crowes and the Black Keys. So far, so good. I also saw it was unplugged. Jon said, "They aren't playing the jukebox. They're playing one of my old radio shows."
As I walked back, I overheard a woman say, "Have you noticed every person in here has a beard? It's freaking me out." Having just shaved my beard off and not being in my early 20s like the rest of the crowd, I felt a bit out of place.
I talked to Mike and some of his coworkers for a bit and then headed out to my next shindig.
My friends and I noticed all the houses in such close proximity to the tavern. I said, "They must love it when drunk people leave at 2 a.m." A person working on their car nearby overheard me and said, "Once a week, someone comes over and pees in our front yard or passes out in the bushes."
One of my friends left to go to a movie and the other went to see ultimate fighting at 4th&B. I told her that I'd meet her there later, after I'd hit a party at Lei Lounge on Park Boulevard.
When April invited me, she said it was a "Sagittarius party," but when I called her for directions, she said it was a party for a professional female football team, the San Diego Scorpions.
I walked into the Lei Lounge and overheard two attractive blond women talking about how nobody picked the Jets in their last football pool. I assumed this was them and sat down. They said, "Who the hell are you?"
"Are you on the Scorpions?" I asked.
"That heavy metal group from Germany? No. But if that's a pick-up line, it's original." I scanned the room and saw a few larger parties and headed in that direction.
Some members of the team were crammed into this area that had a cabana. They told me that the restaurant gave their reservation to someone else. They were supposed to be on the part of the patio with the fire pit and more space. Since a few people were smoking, I pulled out a cigar. As I took a puff, a waiter came over and said, "You can't smoke that. You can smoke anything you want, just not cigars." He came over a few minutes later and said, "Well, not 'anything you want.' You can't smoke pot."
I saw a large African-American woman whom I'd met at a party a year ago. She looked like a football player. When I saw a petite white girl, I had to ask her what position she played. She told me that she'd been a running back for four years. I asked what her longest run was, and she said that she had an 84-yard run last year.
She told me that she became a football player when she was 20. The recruiters saw her playing basketball in a gym and invited her to try out.
I talked to Lyndsay, a short African-American girl. She told me that she'd been a right tackle for the past four years. I asked what her worst injury was. "I hurt my finger the other day. Other than that, I haven't been hurt."
I said, "Women football players... The biggest worry you have is breaking a fingernail, huh?"
April started smoking a clove cigarette, and I wondered why cigars weren't acceptable, but those were. They smell just as strong.