Friday, June 01, 2012

A Weekend In Pittsburgh - Day 1

I went to Pittsburgh this past weekend because my phone is an asshole.

For the record, I still hate my iPhone. I even went so far as to name it "Asshole Phone" so every time I connect it with iTunes it asks me if I want to update things on my asshole phone. On this particular day I was hating my phone because it allows me to be recklessly impulsive. Earlier in the day, I had been insisting to StereoNinja that Ben Folds is the greatest lyricist ever because he is. I was thinking about it on the way home and started wondering if he had any shows coming up in Chicago. But wait! I have an iPhone now, I don't have to wonder! A quick search showed me that he did NOT have any Chicago events coming up. What he DID have was a concert in Pittsburgh with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on Memorial Day weekend. I have always wanted to see Ben Folds play with an orchestra. I found myself wondering if there were cheap flights to Pittsburgh that weekend. Asshole phone told me that there was. Before I knew what was happening to me I'd bought tickets to the show and booked a flight. I was still on the fucking train, and I had impulsively planned an entire trip on my way home from work, in a situation where if I didn't have a fucking iPhone I would have had to wait until I got home and probably talked myself out of it. It was only when I did finally get home that it occurred to me I had not bothered to check with TupperDoug to see if he was even going to be in town. Stupid phone. Luckily he was available.

I have been to Pittsburgh many times, but this was my first time actually flying there. It turns out they have a very nice if somewhat confusing airport. Not confusing as in difficult to navigate, confusing as in what the fuck is happening here? On the way to baggage claim, I was greeted by two similarly sized statues appearing to be of equal importance. The one on the right is of George Washington, leader of the revolution and the first President of the United States of America. The statue on the left is of Franco Harris, who was a tailback with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 70's and early 80's. Apparently in Pittsburgh those two occupations are roughly the same.
football players = the founding fathers

I was still struggling to process that when I got to the bottom of the escalator and discovered the skeleton of a T-Rex for apparently no reason at all.

Welcome to Pittsburgh, bitch.


I hadn't seen TupperDoug since Simmy's wedding nearly 7 years ago and I hadn't been to Pittsburgh for several years longer than that. This turned out to be irrelevant: from the moment he picked me up from the airport it was as though we'd just seen each other yesterday, right down to our traditional game of What Do You Want To Do I Don't Know What Do You Want To Do. Before we did anything though, we went home to his new house so we could drop off my stuff and I could finally meet his partner, Ron Jeremy (not the actual Ron Jeremy. What happened was we were talking about how all of this was going to end up on the blog and I mentioned that he'd get to pick his own blog name since we were discussing it before hand and how that was good because then he wouldn't get saddled with something stupid like MrBalls or StereoNinja. He said he'd think about it. Later we were watching a Showtime show called Dave's Old Porn (which we will get back to in a minute) and it was jokingly suggested that his blog name be Ron Jeremy. We laughed about it, but he never did get back to me about what he'd like to be called, so...he's Ron Jeremy. Thankfully, he in no way resembles the actual Ron Jeremy.) and have a drink while we decided what to do. Ron Jeremy was concerned that 11 a.m. might be too early to start drinking, which TupperDoug and I found completely hilarious and so rum was poured. This is also when TupperDoug brought out his photos (the only ones known to exist) from the Legendary Night of Christmas Eve Eve, which are even more ridiculous that I remember (this may be because I don't remember half of them because I was passed out on the bathroom floor with no shirt on).

After playing catch up on what's been going on for the last 7 years (i.e. I am still slutty but now with more public nudity and trapeze classes; TupperDoug has literally become the "damn kids get off my lawn" guy and yells at kids for being on his lawn), we noticed we were hungry so off we went to drink beer in a church.

The Church Brew Works is exactly what you think it is: a building that was once a church but is now a microbrewery. What makes it special is how little they have changed the building. Arches, a narthex, pew seating, the nave, stained glass windows have all been maintained. The brew kettles sit on the completely intact altar, perfect since I more or less worship craft beer (ok, more). I went the Saaz Monster because it said "monster" in the name and was described as hoppy, an IPA, and a taste of the Coconut Stout because coconuts. Also there was food, but my point is, beer in a church.

That evening, TupperDoug and I went to the Ben Folds show as per the pointplaying it with the Western Australia Symphony Orchestra which will give you some idea of how it works even though it sounds nothing at all like the version we heard.

After the show we found ourselves in that weird state people our age tend to get in, where you're too jacked up to go to sleep but far too tired to go out. I used this to my advantage and began phase one of what has been my super secret sinister plan all along - to turn America into Britain. I started with getting them hooked on some of the finer television shows BBC America has to offer, first Top Gear and then a sci fi classic. I e-mailed one of my friends in England: "I am introducing [TupperDoug] and [Ron Jeremy] to Dr. Who. I am on a mission to make everybody English. Send scones." David Tennant and his crazy eyes kept us up past two in the morning, proving once again that Dr. Who has magical powers.

Next up: Pittsburgh Day 2 - The Weirdness Continues

3 comments:

TupperDoug said...

I love you. And I am still waiting for scones!

jaljen said...

I do hope Matt Smith has reached you. He is the best Dr Who ever. I speak as a Brit who has watched it since its inception in 1960-something. Therefore my view cannot be contested.

Pittsburgh airport is vast! And pleasant. This cannot be said for JFK or Heathrow. Well done, Pittsburghers.

steve harman said...

Hi amberance,
I do appreciate your writing in this topic.


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