Like many of you I graduated State College with a many things. Luckily one was a diploma and the other was an ability to create a mildly entertaining form of performance art out of binge drinking. Last weekend was probably in the Top Ten and definitely in the Top 25 weekends of my life. There were so many things about it that were special to me and so just about perfect that I felt like I had to pull together a post to share with all of you.
The problem is that I was in my BSD “I was sanctioned and all I have left is this lousy t-shirt” shirt, and I was standing in the front row, and I was HAMMERED drunk. So I have had a little bit of difficulty trying to find all the details in any coherent manner. As the fates would have it, I pay with everything almost exclusively by debit/credit card, so after looking at my statement I was able to figure out where we went and approximately what we ordered. In addition to that, my Dad felt supremely inclined to call and e-mail me a few times since Saturday, because he would remember something asinine I did and just HAD to make sure I knew about it. Combine that with the modern miracles of social media posts keeping history forever, and I think I just about got it.
Details are below. Hope no one is offended.
Sorry it's so long (TWSS) and not an example of grammer that anyone should use.
In the State College drinking system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the idiots who drink all the alcohol and the poor schlubs (like I used to be) that serve all these a-holes. These are their stories.
6:45pm Wednesday – I arrive in State College and check into my first hotel of weekend.
7:17pm Wednesday – I drink two beers waiting in hotel lobby for my old friend who still lives there. I see “Takes his ten speed everywhere” guy in lobby bar and make fun of him on Twitter
8:45pm Wednesday – My friend finally shows up. I’ve had three more beers.
9pm Wed – We go to The Autoport. Don’t ask. He lives there and doesn’t want to go downtown. I figure he’s my DD, so I ain’t arguing.
9pm Wed -2? Thurs - Drink a lot of Otto’s Red. Hang out by firepits outside. Catch up on new stuff and old tymes. Meet some guys named Garth and Jim. They are recruiting tomorrow too. Cool. They talk about some time they were in Alaska. I tell them my Grandma, Uncle and Aunt live there. They don’t believe me. I call my Grandmother and she doesn’t answer. I leave her a pretty drunken message saying I need to prove to these two mother-f__ers that I know people in Alaska and I hang up. Take a leak near 1:30 and stupidly put pint glass on top of hand dryer before I go to urinal. It falls off and breaks. I try to clean up, but the bartender there was really cool and wouldn’t let me help. Probably saved me stitches and maybe a Hep 3 shot.
2? Thurs – My buddy drops me back off at hotel. I am sure of this because I woke up there around 8am with my head killing me. Realized I hadn’t eaten anything. Somehow chug down some coffee and it doesn’t come up. Risk it with a banana and some toast – still doesn’t come up. I realized this weekend has been ordained as special.
10:30 Thurs – Arrive at BJC for recruiting fair. Thank God I was smart enough to pick the last two days and our booth is already set up. Walk around for awhile to try and get the beer smell off me. I think its working. It isn’t.
11-5pm Thurs – Technical degree Recruiting fair. **Serious note : A great event. Very packed full of employers and I was happy to see that. I’ve been coming to this for years with my old company and this was my first one with my new company. There has been no drop off in employers, and in fact I would say there were more than in some past years. Many excellent and qualified candidates as expected. Also expected for the fall event are the Top Tier May grads and they were out in force. Great to see. **
Our booth looks great. Folks at my old company look more hung-over than me. I don’t puke on anybody. We have yo-yo’s. I leave the booth for an hour to take a nap in my car. I run into Garth and Jim from the night before. They still bust my balls about Alaska, but it’s in good fun. I trade goods with everyone in sight and get some cool knick-knacks. Set up a few interviews for Friday morning. Life is Good.
6pm Thursday – driving down College I see my buddy walking down the street, so I roll down my window and shout out his name – and holy crap there’s a parking spot. I hit that and then follow him to where he works at the Allen Street Grill. This is also where I used to work from ’94-’98 with this friend. They have Newcastle Werewolf. It is really good. I have a couple of those and honestly one of the best meals I’ve had in awhile. I go back in the kitchen and tell them all that and hand them a case of some of the trades I got at the BJC.
9pm Thursday – I go back to hotel with intent to take a nap and go back out. I wake up at 7am. Damn I am getting old. I clean up and go do my interviews. 1 of them is good enough to make an offer to, so I do.
10:30am Friday – I’m done with any work responsibilities for the whole weekend. Holy shit it feels great. I figure I’ll go down to the Waffle Shop to get some breakfast. There is a friggin parking spot right across the street and I take it. I load up on grease, carbs and protein with the 2 eggs, homefries, toast and corned beef hash special. You gotta plan to party.
11:30 Friday – I remember a comment from jesse. from about a month or so ago. I know where I am going. I park my car the garage on Pugh and place a mental block on where my keys are.
Noon Friday – I text and FB message my friends a rhetorical situation, “It’s noon on a Friday. Its 70 degrees outside and sunny. You have no work or life responsibilities at the moment. What do you do hotshot? What do you do?
5 minutes after Noon on Thurs – I text and FB message my friend a pitcher of the Leinenkugel Oktoberfest I am drinking at The Café. I get no less than 10 quotes of “A$$hole”, a few “Wish I was there’s” and a few “You completely suck A$$hole. No takers on free beer though, so I sit there and read the paper.
Noon-1pm – My Dad texts me that he’s about 45 minutes away. I was supposed to stay at my mother-in-law’s, but my wife never told her and she isn’t answering her phone. I get an alert on my phone (who knows when I set this up) that tells me that the Nittany Lion Inn and the Penn Stater just opened up single night availability for Friday. I order another pitcher. I decide and call. F this Shiite, I’m staying in style. I text my Dad to meet me there.
1:45 or so – I walk up through campus. It is absolutely beautiful outside. Check into the hotel and walk back out to wait for my Dad ---- and he’s walking up to the door since he’d already parked. I’m beginning to think someone has spiked my drinks with Felix Felicious. We put our crap in the room and head down to the bar.
2:15 or so Friday – hit up Whiskers at the NLI. Realize we’re a little less classy than most there. We catch up over a few pints and decide to head downtown.
3:30pm or so Fri – We walk downtown but head over to see the chapel where my daughter was baptized. Then we decide to head through THE JOE MOTHER-$%#% PATERNO library to get through to downtown. Some lady is breaking down a display that has about a dozen blue and white balloons on it. I kindly ask her if I could have them. She kindly gives them too me. I am walking through the library with a dozen balloons. We stop in front of Joe and Sue’s picture and my Dad takes my picture in front of it. I post that on Twitter and Facebook. I confess to my Dad and anyone in range that I don’t believe I actually ever spent more than 10 minutes in this library when I was here before, so I certainly wasn’t going to do it now. And I walk right through the door.
4pm or so Fri – We walk down to the Allen Street Grill. I hand out about 6 balloons to the hottest chicks I see just for the hell of it. We hit the Grill for a pint of Newcastle Werewolf.
4:30pm or so Fri – We head down to go to Zeno’s. Dude tells me he thinks I’ve had enough and won’t let me in. I tell him some things never change and move on. I realize later it was probably the balloons that gave it away. We walk into Pickle’s and don’t have a problem.
5-7pm or so – I tie my ballo0ns to my chair and my Dad and I start drinking in Pickle’s. He gets Coors light; I get the Leiny Oktober and bust on him a little. He starts catching up to me. He gets a little pissed that his mountains aren’t blue. The waitress brings out a pitcher of ice water and puts his beer in it. I find this hilarious and post in on FB and text it to my friends. I pay the bill and give the waitress my balloons.
7pm or so Fri – we decide we need to eat some food. I remember my brother-in-law works at Canyon so we start walking there. 85% sure we stopped at the Phyrst on the way and had a beer and my Dad paid in cash.
7:45 or so Fri – we get to Canyon. He isn’t there. I’m kind of a pain in the ass about it but eventually relent and we get a few slices. We sit out on the table and choke them down talking about how we’re probably the oldest people to sit there in a long time.
8pm or so Fri – decide to start walking back and see if my friend is at the Grill yet. I am finding phone use difficult. We walk past The Brewery and see that it’s open. Holy crap I thought it was closed. We go in and sit at the bar and are 2 of about 8 total people there. Drink a few pitchers. I’m told a chugged a glass of water. I helped some college kid do a crossword puzzle – or at least thought I helped. We leave a little stumbly.
9:30pm or so Fri – keep walking back towards the Grill. See the Adam’s Apple and I’ll be gotdam if I’m not going in there for an Original Sin. We get in, and my Dad says I keep drunk whispering “shhh, chill out man all the rich people are here and we don’t want to screw this up”. We get one sin apiece. He drinks half of his and says he hates it. I finish the rest and we go back to walking.
Time gets Hazy from here on out – Sins were probably not a good idea.
Go up to Allen Street Grill with intent to get a beer. See Richard the old hotelkeeper behind the desk and I scream his name as loud as I can. This used to be a tradition for ASG employees. I find out it isn’t now and people are frightened. Richard laughs it off as usual and things are cool again, but we aren’t getting any beer there, so we take off.
My Dad recommends the six-pack shop and going back to the hotel. I follow his lead. We hit Take-Six and pick up two 6’s of Lager. I am told I really pissed off the cashier making fun of his big tube earrings. I’m pretty sure he’s right.
We walk back up through campus past Willard and head to the Nittany Lion sculpture. I drop a bottle at some point that busts all over the sidewalk. Somehow there are no bike cops.
We get to The Lion. I cannot figure out how to use my phone and neither can my Dad. This ends up providing three different 5-20 seconds video clips of us trying to take pictures of each other climbing on the lion. They are hilarious. I will most likely have to share them with my therapist at some point.
Some poor souls take mercy on us and help us get our picture taken together by the Lion. It really is a good one. Thanks whoever you were!
We make it back to hotel room and crack a beer and decide we want to hit the hot tub, so we put on bathing suits and head down there with some beer. It’s closed. Suppossedly, I try to break in with my credit card for about 15 minutes. It doesn’t work and somehow we don’t get seen or arrested.
6am Saturday morning – Wake up alarm goes off. Somehow my head doesn’t hurt and I haven’t pissed the bed. Life is Good.
6-8am Sat morning – We get some pictures and head out to tailgate. Get a great spot in a rare yellow lot and set up shop. I remember one of the folks I traded with at the career fair was from P&G and I had a big pack of Charmin toilet paper. I stock the porta-johns near us and people are thankful.
8-Noon Sat – We eat burgers and choke down one Coors Light each. By Dad busts on me back, and I tell him he’s right as usual. We play tailgate golf, we take a nap, we listen to another awesome tailgate play American Pie about 6 times and it never got old. The weather was perfect. My phone dies because my dumb ass forgot to charge it. So does his.
Noon or so Sat – We get a little bored and decide to walk up and look around. We sign up for credit cards and such under fake names/addresses to get some free stuff. I try to look for Derry in his usual spot, but was without luck there. However, that led us to look at the big white tent and see what was there. Oh, it’s the corporate hospitality tent. I tell them we belong there, and after a mild song and dance we are let in.
1pm or so Sat – We are sitting in Shangri-la drinking free beer and eating a full BBQ buffet. I mound my plate up with at least a lb of brisket and other goodies. Holy crap there is warm peach cobbler on Creamery ice cream. The schnozzberries taste like schnozzberries. There is a side bathroom for guests only with real working porcelain toilets. Someone definitely spiked my drinks with Liquid Luck.
2:30pm or so Sat – we make our over and into the stadium. My Dad the Marine and Vietnam veteran enjoys every single aspect of the day. Our fans are more encouraging of an opposing team than I have ever witnessed in any major sporting event. The halftime show was unbelievably great. Neither one of us admits we shed any tears. Penn State steamrolls and erases 11 months of shame, anger and despair.
We both head home later that night sober and weary, but none the worse for wear.
My Dad texts me Monday and says it was great and wants to do Military Appreciation Day every year.
My Grandmother from Alaska calls me back Wednesday afternoon to tell me how great she thinks I am and how sorry she was that she missed the message and couldn’t help me talk those boys down.
Life is Good.