Sunday, February 12, 2012

MY GOOD-ASS WEEK
Good food, good beer, good Gerardo, good Thurston Moore,
good Hot Chocolate, good friends

You'll need to read this entire blog post for this to really make any sense (or at least skip to no. 4).
But yes, I just might dress as a runner/Kenny/Unabomber for Halloween this year.
I don't watch a whole helluva lot of television anymore. But when I do watch, I'd love to say I pursue quality programming. But nope, I typically watch something pointless, such as MTV2's "Guy Code." It's guilty-pleasure, brain-off garbage, and I'm not ashamed to like it. One segment of the show — Good-Ass Night — features a moderately famous person (T.I., Wiz Khalifa, Method Man, Machine Gun Kelly, etc.) who details all the elements of his perfect evening.

My idea of a Good-Ass Night (Afternoon or Morning) is vastly different. Here are a handful of Good-Ass moments from what I consider a Good-Ass Week.

1. Tuesday night at The Libertine: This pub has the best cheese board in town ... even if it isn't half-off on Half Price Night. And its beer selection is quality. This is my go-to spot for hanging out and meeting folks — pretty good people watching, too. I may or may not have been more entertaining to watch than usual last Tuesday.

Rico? Suave? Loitering in front
of Best Thai for 30 minutes?
2. Thai food and "Rico Suave": The down-side of working in Irving? Commuting on 635. The best part? The lunch options are better than you'd guess, especially for a vegetarian. Sure, the city is littered with every crappy, veggie unfriendly fast-food option imaginable; but it also has several really good ethnic options. Best Thai is at the top of the list. Cheap, authentic and, if you so desire, B.Y.O.B. And, on top of that, you never know who you're gonna see. I spotted a dead ringer for 1990s one-hit-wonder Gerardo. You be the judge.



3. Thurston Moore at the Texas Theatre: I never had the chance to see Sonic Youth (one of the bands that influenced me the most as a teen), so seeing its leader perform at this historic venue was a real treat. Y'know what wasn't a real treat? The opening act — Christina Carter. She was painful to watch. Her first song lasted 10-plus minutes, had one chord and her legs shook nervously (get a taste right here). My friend Christen and I couldn't watch the rest of her set and left the auditorium. Thurston, on the other hand, was great. His acoustic set exploded into SY-style distorted chaos (Ono Soul) and he even deconstructed the term "douche canoe."

4. Volunteering at Hot Chocolate 15K/5K: I opted not to run because I like my pattern of running a race, volunteering at a race, running a race, volunteering at a race. ... It was a Cold-Ass Morning (30 degrees and windchill in the teens) and I barely arrived for my 5:30 a.m. shift (the late concert and snooze button made waking up challenging). Free food, ample coffee and an orange "Will Run For Chocolate" hoodie (a-ha, now the South Park photo makes some sense) brightened things considerably.

My volunteer shift started outside. I directed runners to the Automobile Building at Fair Park and answered any questions they had. "What are the start times?" "Where are the restrooms?" "Where can I drop off my gear?" "Can I exchange my jacket?" "Have you seen my keys?" "Did you lose a bet and have to stand out here?" So, yeah, I handled these questions while I paced back and forth, clutching the handwarmers in my pouch and watching the sun rise. It was beautiful. Cold, but beautiful.

Once the 15K started at 7:55 a.m., I returned to the Automobile Building and worked at Hot Chocolate's retail "store" in the expo area. I spent most of the next two hours straightening gear, hanging shirts/replenishing stock and telling the majority-female runners/customers that we didn't have anything in their size (unless they want small). Granted, I didn't necessarily love this role, but it was kinda cool reliving my retail days — three years selling/repairing skates/hockey gear/skateboards and selling shoes at Oshman's SuperSports in Mesquite, Dallas and Austin.

The real highlight was providing an essential race item to friends who ran. While RAM Racing put on a great event (well-run, good chocolate, decent cover band and good swag), they didn't give medals to finishers. A quick trip and purchase at Party City earlier in the week rectified that!

All in all, it was a Good-Ass Week; and this week is going to be excellent, too (running, riding and Over the Rhine). I hope y'all had and are having Good-Ass Days/Weeks/Months/Years, too!

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