18 October 2004

The Greatness of 18 October (and 16 and 17 and maybe 15)

Hey, hey, what does everyone say? It's me. I've returned to the internet. The past 5 days or so have been a blast. I've consumed more beer in the past week than the rest of the semester and probably half the summer combined. That small stat alone makes these past days noteworthy. Yet partaking in a drop or two... score was a mere backdrop to all the fun I'd been missing out on by regularly attending classes, working, blah, blah, that whole drill.

I finally made it camping again. It'd been something like a month since I last spent a wet, cold night in some wind-filled woods. It was great! The colors were spectacular in the highlands of Shanandoah NP. Plus it was some good quality time with Chris and Scott; we hiked, we slept, we played with fire, uh... oh, we had a few beers. I climbed up and around a couple of decently sized waterfalls. Ya know that sort of slippery rock, craggy bottom kind of waterfall where had mom been there she would have killed me. Of course Chris fell attempting some stupid long jump from rock to rock. All to keep his shoes dry. They got wet. And his feet, and socks, and so on.

Better than the camping in the highlands of Shanandoah, though, are all the beautiful lowland valleys just outside the park and all the wine produced therein. The real point of camping so far away was to visit this one meadery. Smokehouse Winery, an establishment devoted to the fermenting of honeywine, turned out to be real adventure on its own. It was the closest one I could find to K-town via my online research. And it was run by some sort of wired ex-stoner, ex-crack-addict, ex-grunge-hippy, etc. depending on the decade. He was a fucking awesome mead-making, dulcimer-collecting, Rappahannock-residing character that does a real half-assed job of running his business. And as we found out a bit later, he even had a reputation of sorts amongst other vintners in the area. Really, he's almost a hero of mine. But all that aside, he makes good mead. At least having never had mead before, I liked it quite a bit, though it might really suck when compared to other meads. Though I doubt it given all the negative remarks people have made regarding their own mead experiences.

Other wine in the area was very top-notch, though the operations are so small that they generally only sell out of the house or online. Of course, this being Tennessee, I can't order alcoholic beverages from outside the state. Er, rather, I can order wine but it cannot be sent from out of state. So, I'll just have to go back sometime:)

Saturday was a perfect precursor to a birthday (that's really what Fall Break is about, celebrating my birth unto existence). Fresh from three nights of camping, I arrived just in time to take a shower and head towards Brewer's Jam. It was as I expected! Friends, people I know yet rarely see, people I haven't seen in years, more brews than I could possibly drink, even just trying each one, and of course, me actually trying to taste each one and failing by the time 9 rolled around. And then there was a quick whirlwind of parties. Thankfully, Matt and I stuck together or else I might have really lost myself in the Fort. I vaguely recall Cavanaugh's art'n'arch thing with the lips, Sam's party store, a short encounter with Chris, and I even thought I witnessed Tank, the mythical figure of some tales John and the Desciples shared with me at the Fest. After a couple hours of that, some fun I didn't expect came along.

I found Holly's place and then there was dancing! Somewhere, um, Blue Cat's, no Tonic, no Fiction, yes that's....arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggggh! Yes, and people were there! Those words are pretty true to how I remember that part of the night. Well, no, I'm a liar. I guess I can remember a lot more detail than that. Plus there was no bridge gaurded by the one known as Tim. Though there were some Smithvillites present. Though I don't think Cara and Anna were gaurding any bridges. Maybe. But it was probably a metaphor anyway, and I'm no good with those. They're good dancers and cool people anyway. I'm happy to have been there for a club cherry-popping and a fellow mid-October birthday celebration! Happy birthday, Anna Rockanova!! <--sp? Last year I turned 22 the day Brewer's Jam happened. I know from experience how much fun it can be!

Anyway, the dancing. I love dancing. I don't think I'm very good on my feet like that though, and often enough it keeps me calmly to the side of the dance floor for a few minutes while I rage with inner conflict. This night I was totally uninhibited for some reason. No fretting on the sidelines this time. The booze had done it's trick. I danced like I hadn't in many moons. And I hadn't, so I was honestly moving and sweating and grooving away amongst my fellow revelers. I'm very glad to have been there that night amongst those friends. In fact that's true of the whole weekend and the Fall Break before. Now I'm looking foward to the rest of the day. Tonight, I eat well. Then I'm going out to actually celebrate me, or at least that I'm now 23. Twenty-three, that's a good number. I'll be glad to be with anyone and everyone who wants to go out and celebrate.
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