Shenanigans with Val: A Fist Pumping Time on the Jersey Shore

Despite Philly’s best efforts to keep me away, I did finally make it up to Jersey to see Val.  As I mentioned in the previous post, my train arrived an hour later than expected, so it gave Val plenty of time to make a stop at the liquor store and pick up some “welcome to Jersey” beer.  When I arrived, I was greeted not only by Val’s beautiful and smiling face, but this gorgeous creature as well:

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That’s right . . . that says Chocolate Peanut Butter beer.  Sounds revolting, right?  It was either going to be completely disgusting, or unbelievably amazing.  But with a name like Sweet Baby Jesus, how could Val resist buying it?  So, we tried it.  And it was . . . thick and dark and pretty revolting.  But, not being punk bitches, we split it and each finished our half.  It sort of grew on you after a bit, and really, even bad beer is still beer.  But, I wouldn’t exactly recommend it, in case you were wondering.

After the beer was opened, Val gave me my Xmas present that she had been holding until we saw each other.  It was a myriad of radness all in one sparkly snowman bag:

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So. Much. Goodness.

But, what isn’t pictured is the best part of the entire gift!  Unfortunately, it was in one of those impenetrable plastic wrapped cases that I couldn’t break into.  Fortunately, Val came prepared and had no problem ripping right into that sucker.

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Plastic containers are no match for brass knuckles with a handy dandy hidden switch blade attachment!  And what was this wondrous item that Val was so helpfully and skillfully sawing open?  Well, just the most perfect and awesome thing ever!

Fuzzy Flask!!

Fuzzy Flask!!

Once I was properly presented and unpacked, I got ready to leave the room for the rest of the night.  However, since we didn’t expect to return to the room until our festivities were over at the end of the evening, I had to get dressed and ready to be out for the night. This meant clothing and make-up that I would not usually wear at 3:00 in the afternoon.  But then again, I was in Jersey.  So really, it was de rigueur, so I got ready for the night.  Once I was properly shellacked, we were off to our destination . . . Asbury Park.

Our plan was to meet one of Val’s friends, Stephanie, to get mani/pedis before we grabbed some food and then later went to a club.  But, we arrived early, and once we circled around the very trendy and popular downtown area in our attempt to find someplace to park, we finally lucked out and got a spot on a side street, and when we realized that we would have to wait for Stephanie for a bit (and that we both really had to pee), we decided to stop into the bar that we just happened to park right in front of.  We still have no idea what the name of the bar was, only seeing a symbol of an eye everywhere we looked, but there were so many beards and knit caps, that it was probably called something like The Hipster’s Den or We Liked It First, or something.  But still, we both had a beer, some pork fries (yum!), and Val got herself a new Mason jar glass.  So, it was all good.

Once we received word that Stephanie had arrived at the nail salon which was just around the corner, we finished our beer and fries and headed on over.  We all lined up in our chairs to get our toes done, and when I looked down, I realized they had some sort of fancy light system going on that changed the color of the lights every few seconds.  It was pretty cool.

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Once our toes were properly painted and beautified, we moved on to our next destination.  A bar called Johnny Mack’s.

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This particular bar, Val and Steph’s favorite, was distinctive because you got free pizza when you bought beer, plus there were mannequins and free candy!  Sounds good.

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What was also interesting was the décor.  There was writing all over the walls, and even on lamps and trashcans (mostly song lyrics on those) and on the tables and chairs.  In fact, at one point, I looked up and saw this really funky lamp over top of me and decided to take a picture.  To which Val had to add her own special brand of accompaniment, of course.

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The only bad thing about the joint was that when I went to the extremely dark bathroom, I took off my mustache mood ring to wash my hands (it’s cheap and turns when it gets wet), and left it on the shelf below the soap dispenser.  It was so dark in there you could not even see yourself in the mirror.  So, I missed it sitting there, completely forgot about it, and didn’t remember it existed until I went to wash my hands at our next destination and it wasn’t there.  And when I called, only about an hour later, they were just too damn busy for anyone to venture to the bathroom to check.  As you might imagine, nobody turned it in.  Much sadness ensued.

But, let us not dwell on unfortunate incidents, and instead move along to our next destination . . . a gay bar in a hotel near the Jersey shore.  The hotel itself is actually a gay destination (so says Wikipedia) called The Empress.  I am unaware of the actual name of the bar (seems to be a theme for the night), but was greeted by this upon our entrance, so it was sure to be a good time:

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We arrived early enough to experience the famous country line dancing that occurred before 10:00 at night, where they set up actual fences around the dance floor.  Apparently, these dancers are serious about their line dancing, so much so that the security personnel feel the need to frantically warn you off of venturing within the corral as you stand and watch, imagining the carnage which would for sure ensue for the uninitiated.

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While we awaited the end of the spectacle, we got a few beverages and perused some lovely and readily available reading material scattered around the club.

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We eventually meandered over into a side room with a bar, a dance floor and some sofas, along with 80’s dance videos playing, which was practically empty.  We settled in, watched some videos, and were there to watch some of the characters who eventually joined us over in this sad little side room.  Val met this lovely older queen, and they hit it off famously!

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There were also a few lovely ladies who graced us with some dance moves out on the floor and were just the cutest things:

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In case you are wondering, Val is the only one in those above pictures with original girl body parts.  But, they were rocking their dresses, let me tell you.

Once the night moved into the wee hours (and I started falling asleep, despite the loud, bass thumping music), the real entertainment arrived.

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Much to the enjoyment of the regular clientele, I assure you.  We were told by what I can only assume was the only straight man there (the security guy), that the place didn’t really get jumping until after 12:30, but by that time, we were all pretty exhausted and ready to head out.  So, while I don’t think I experienced the club at its prime, I was assured that if I returned in the summer, when they opened up the pool deck and things really heat up, that I would get to really see it at its best and have a grand time.  So, I guess I’ll need to make a trip back to Jersey in the summer months then.

The next day I returned home to the safety of Maryland, but not before having lunch with my bloggy friend Jules at the infamous Harold’s deli.  But that’s an entirely separate and wonderful story that I will report on in a future post.  There was just too much good stuff in Jersey for merely 2 posts.  Stay tuned . . . again.

Shenanigans with Val: Top Hats, Ghost Stories and Bertha’s Mussels (Part 2)

And here we continue our tale of Val‘s visit to my fair city and the fun times that were had . . . . . . (if you missed Part 1, go back and start there).

When we left our heroines, they were heading off to a haunted pub crawl, planned by tour guide extraordinaire, Misty Laws (moi), who just so happens to have the sexiest sandaled feet in town.  (But enough about my brilliance and beauty.  No really, stop . . . you’re embarrassing me!).

We arrived at our destination, the sidewalk in front of a bar in the area, that interestingly enough, was not actually on the tour.  But, it’s a very well-known bar in the city, so it makes sense that it would be a good place to congregate for those about to depart for the tour.  Once we checked in and received our ghost stickers (to indicate that we were on the tour), we hung out for a few minutes with some others, waiting for it to start.  As we were waiting, we noticed an interesting gentleman.  He had a top hat, a long black coat, a long braided ponytail, a cane and some sort of golden binocular spectacle things perched atop his head.  As you can see, Val was a bit unsure about this character at first . . .

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But he turned out to be our tour guide!  So, we started to warm up to him.  Especially since, upon arrival at our first destination, he relayed to us the story of how on a previous tour, one of the patrons screamed out “BITCHES!!” in answer to one of his questions.  Ok, he’ll do.

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Did I mention it was pretty damn cold that night?  Yeah, so after a brief introduction, we moved into our first stop, Eat Bertha’s Mussels.  We all grabbed a beverage, a hot buttered rum for myself, and settled into the warmth of the bar to listen to some ghost stories.  Something about a light going on in the bathroom mysteriously, blah, blah, blah.  We might not have been paying that much attention.  Mainly, Val and I got silly and took pictures.

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Majestic braided ponytail beneath festive twinkle lights.

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Val & Bertha.

Once we finished our beverages, and after some socializing with our fellow ghost tour patrons, we moved out of the warmth of Bertha’s (spoiler alert, we’ll be back), and back out into the street to hear more tales of spooks and ghouls.

Our next stop was The Horse You Came In On Saloon, a very historic and famous destination pub in the area.  Val showed the appropriate level of respect and awe at this fact . . .

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Totally impressed.

And then shit got real when our tour guide extraordinaire pulled out a device that was supposed to track spirits and supernatural presence and passed it around for us to find anything interesting out on the street.  So, of course, we all started using it on each other.  I’m sure that none of you will be surprised that Val made the thing beep and blink like crazy.  Yeah.

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Val’s sexy leg and leather skirt. Mrow!!

Once we entered the bar, and naturally procured another beverage, I realized that we were in the presence of a celebrity.  That’s right, one of our fellow tour guid-ees was a famous comedian from the well-loved 90s sketch comedy show, The State.  None other than Joe Lo Truglio!!  (Hey, famous people like ghost stories, too!!).  At first approach, Joe wouldn’t fess up that it was actually him, unbelievably claiming that he had never heard of The State!  But, when I produced photographic evidence of his identity, he could hardly deny it!

You tell me.

You tell me.

And then Val licked him . . . just to be sure.

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Once Val was finished molesting our new friend Joe, sadly, it was time to move along from The Horse, on to our next destination . . . of which I have forgotten the name.  Let’s be honest, things were starting to get a little fuzzy at this point.  But what I do know is this . . . standing outside of this next bar, listening to tales of ghosts and spirits . . . it began to snow!  It was magical.

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Once we warmed ourselves inside this next bar, drinks firmly in hand, we started to get cozier with some of the other patrons . . . and the tour guide.  Despite Val’s initial trepidations as to the acceptability of our guide, she had become enamored with him throughout the tour, and he seemed quite taken with her as well.

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But, Val being Val, she was not content to just cuddle with her newfound friend.  Oh no, she had to take it to the next level.  She needed to . . . bite his beard.

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Not sure our finely attired friend was quite ready for Val’s level of insanity awesomeness at this point.  But he was a good sport and went with it.  Sometimes, that’s really all you can do when Val wants to lick/bite/fondle you in some way.  Just go with it . . . shhhhhhh.

Besides, once we left the establishment and moved on to our next location, it was evident that Mr. Bitten Beard could handle himself . . .

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It’s practically like they were soul mates. 

Once we arrived at our final pub destination, and once again got some beverages to warm our insides, we bought a drink for our new friend to thank him for a job well done and an entertaining evening.  He graciously accepted and we socialized with him, along with some other new-found friends, for a bit before he had to be off.  But not before this happened:

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Told you they were soulmates.  True love, right there.

Oh, and as for those new-found friends?  Yeah, they were incredibly rad.  A married couple that were out for a fun night, and were not afraid to have a good time and participate in some shenanigans with Val and me.  Need proof?  Here:

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Anyone who will allow me to photograph them flashing with ghost stickers on their nimples is ok in my book. 

So, even though the official tour was over, nobody was ready to be done with the night.  There was much fun still to be had!  So, we asked the bartender where a good place around there to get grub was (thinking we should probably get some food in us at this point), and headed on down the street to another pub/restaurant type place called Koopers.  (Yep, remembered the name of that one, somehow).

Once the food was ordered, and another round of drinks naturally, we started to get to know each other better through inappropriate hand gestures and interpretive dance atop of the tables.

No, not really, but it’s a testament to Val and my tales of craziness that you believed me there for a minute.  We just chatted about our families and asshole exes, etc.  Oh, and then this happened . . .

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Val’s cleavage . . . you’re welcome!

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She likes to bite things almost as much as she likes to lick them. Almost!

I would show you pics of our companions being silly (the ghost stickers ended up on the hubby’s nimples at one point, and there was also much breast grabbing and showing), but I’m trying to be respectful of our new friends’ anonymity, since they do not know about our blogs and hence had no idea that they might be the subject of public ridicule/infamy.  But I’ll just say, that they were wild, wacky and fun.  It was a perfect pairing.

Once we realized how late it was getting (for them), and that we were going to have to bid our new friends adieu so they could drive home to DC and be all responsible adults and such, we had to find our way back to the original meeting point, so that they could then find their car.  Being somewhat familiar with the general vicinity, and after walking the wrong way for a bit, I eventually led us back to where we began.  But not before discovering a dark alleyway that, of course, had to be investigated:

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Hey, it’s midnight in the city . . . let’s see what’s down this narrow, unlit passageway!!

And then we found a ship . . . in someone’s backyard:

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Which, obviously, was there for the sole purpose of climbing upon and documenting more shenanigans.  Of course.

So, now is the time when Val and I come to a crossroads.  Having said goodbye to the somewhat responsible adults of our foursome, and having a young night stretched out in front of us, we decided to grab another drink in one of the myriad bars surrounding us.  But first . . . being girls who had consumed quite the impressive amount of beverages thus far, it would only stand to reason that the time was upon us to do what only comes naturally . . .  we had to pee.  So, we entered the bar in front of which we initially began our journey, and stood in the very long queue for the bathroom, which we discovered was so massively long because only one working toilet was inside (of 3 available).  People are nasty.

While waiting, some toddler chica decided that we would be the appropriate people to line jump in front of.  Um, excuse me?  “Oh, this is my friend.  She was holding my space.  But you can go into this stall if you want.”  Oh, you mean the disgusting one that is overflowing with nastiness?  Gee, what a lovely offer.  How about we just beat your ass for you instead?  No?  Would you prefer to get in the back of the line then?  Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Barely avoiding yet another opportunity to harm someone who was desperately asking for it that night, once our bladders were empty, we decided to leave the overly crowded and mostly college aged bar to head to someplace a bit more our speed.  And this is where we come full circle and walk across the street to our first stop . . . Bertha’s.  The place was practically empty, so we slid right on up to the bar and perched ourselves there for the remainder of the evening.  No hipster bullshit college place, this was a real bar.   So, we chatted up the bartender, who was a real man and gave us shots without all the bottle flipping attempts at impressiveness, thus impressing us all the more.  Until he started pouring the whiskey.  Oh god, not the whiskey.  But, being the classy fucking ladies that we are, we did our damn shots of whiskey, then requested the next offered shot not be quite so . . . whiskey-y.  And thus, a beautiful friendship was formed.

The night got a little fuzzy, but apparently, at some point I posed for a portrait?

We closed that joint down after many, many, many more drinks.  Basically, by the end of the night, we were no longer patrons, but employees, and we sat there chatting with both bartenders as they did their final cleanup, and the bouncer, who had the most delightful hair (apparently after a certain amount of shots, I forget I own a camera, because there are no pictures taken after the boat.  I know, I’m ashamed of me as well!), a blue dyed checkerboard pattern shaved into each side of his head and a floppy mohawk happening in the middle.  They were rad dudes.  Eventually, 2 of the 3 went home, but we stayed for a much longer time, exchanging life wisdom with our new favorite bartender (of whiskey shot fame).

Eventually, we realized that the sun was probably about to come up, so I dragged Val’s drunk ass into a cab and we headed back to our hotel room.  I had a baby shower to go to the next day, and if I didn’t love her so much (Hi, Thoughtsy!!), I probably would have bailed, because me and 3 hours sleep (that bitch!)  have never and will never get along very well.  But, the bitch and I were forced to endure each other’s presence on that fateful Sunday morning.  Oy.  Although luckily, neither Val nor I were hungover the next day, and nobody puked!  That is such a huge win, based on the sheer volume of alcohol that we ingested over the course of that Saturday into Sunday morning.

And thus ends another tale of the adventures of Val and Misty.  Somehow, nobody got arrested or killed . . . again!  So, obviously, we are doing something right.  Huzzah!

Shenanigans with Val: Elf, Old Lady Beatdowns & Hipster Bars (Part 1)

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Here it is.  The moment you all have been waiting for . . . the recap of Val‘s most recent visit.  Well, at least the first half of it.  It was, as always, the most epic of days, which means we packed a ton of epicness into a small amount of hours.  So, I’m gonna have to split this thing up so as to do the entire story justice.

We begin our story with both of us arriving in Baltimore, where we would spend the next 24 hours, traveling in and around the city.  Somehow, she beat me there, even with her mandatory stop at Waffle House, and the fact that I only live a little less than an hour away.  Normally, I’m waiting for her ass, so this was different.  However, I found her comfortably ensconced in a nice lounge chair in the lobby, and didn’t make her wait too long.  Once we checked into our room and changed into our good, theater-going clothes, we set off to our first planned destination . . . Elf: the Musical.

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When Val and I first decided that this would be the day she would once again grace my fair state with her awesomeness, as always, I did my due diligence to see what was going on.  When I found out that Elf would be in Baltimore that weekend, it was decided.  I asked Val how she felt about it, she responded “smiling is my favorite,” and we were off!

When we arrived at the theater, we obtained some beverages, lest we get parched during the long performance, and then found our seats.  They were excellent seats, about 12 rows back and right in the middle.  Perfect view.  When the show started, we were so excited.  The first thing we saw was Santa, and we were like two little girls on Christmas morning again.  “It’s Santa!  I know him.”  We were giddy with excitement.  When Buddy came out, who looked like a six foot tall Martin Short but sounded exactly like Kenneth from 30 Rock, we were already completely enchanted and in love with the show.  It was like the movie, but just different enough to make it fun.  And musical, of course.

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Being super excited and stoked to be there, and loving everything about the show, we occasionally made a comment to each other about some of the funny or interesting parts of the show.  But quiet-like, because we have class, dammit.  And we were laughing at all the funny parts, of which there were many.  Well, apparently, our joviality and friendship highly offended the woman to my left, because about 40 minutes into the show, I suddenly found myself face to very ugly mug with the meanest and nastiest person ever.  She thrust her puss right into my personal space and proclaimed:  “If you two don’t cut it out, I’m going to call the manager and report you!”  Commence my shocked look towards Val to see if this was for real happening.  “I’m getting really sick of your shit!”  Holy crap, I think that really DID just happen.  What the hell do we do now?

Yeah.  We were actually and totally struck speechless.  Us.  That NEVER happens!  We just could not even believe that someone would actually be offended that we were enjoying ourselves and laughing at a musical comedy, and would so nastily and rudely tell us to stop having fun.  We weren’t bothering her in any way, but apparently she was a very angry elf.

After we recovered from our initial shock (and wondered to each other if we were allowed to laugh any more), we were pissed.  At intermission, Val was pretty much set on beating her ass at the end of the show.  However, that mean old Grinch was just lucky that she was as fast as she was mean, because she raced away from those seats the second the show was over, and Val was unable to catch her.  Probably best, or we would have spent the rest of the day at the police station.

Once we escaped (barely) having not murdered anyone, we took a quick trip back to the hotel room to change into a bit less fancy duds.  It would be the last we would see of our lovely hotel room for the next 12 hours or so.  However, we were unaware of that at the time, so we did not dally.  We turned right around to head out to dinner.  We had made plans to meet another blogger, who lives locally, for drinks and some food before we went off to our next destination.  (Yes, we were very busy girls that day).

When I set up our meeting place with Bluz, he checked out the locale online and immediately balked at the idea of going to a “hipster bar,” averring that he was decidedly “unhip.”  Reassuring him that I had no idea of the restaurant’s hipster status when I chose it, but that I only chose it because I had reviewed the menu and was intrigued by the offerings, and also that it was within walking distance of our hotel, I convinced him that his non-skinny jeans wearing ass would be just fine.  Plus, I had Val.  He would have met us in Satan’s bathroom if that’s where we were headed.

And actually, he almost got his wish for a different joint, since we arrived there before him and were gonna text him to meet us across the street at a beer garden that looked rad, but that was right before the bartender got his hooks into us and realized we were easy.  No, not like that!  We’re ladies, yo.  But he offered us a free shot, so we had no choice but to stay.  Free booze?  Um, yes please.  I mean, obviously.  We have class.

Oh, and did I mention that we spent most of the time making fun of him?  The bartender, that is, not Bluz.  I mean, what else could we do when he tried to get all fancy by flipping bottles, and then ended up dropping one.  And then there was the attempted selfie (he was supposed to be taking a pic of us), where he just looks like he’s eating his thumb.

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Plus, he patently refused to light our shots on fire!  What kind of crappy bartender was he, anyway?  Damn.  I mean, it didn’t stop me from pimping out my good friend Val to him, so that he may actually own her now and have her living in a pit in his basement.  As long as she just keeps putting on the lotion, she should be fine.  Besides, I’m not worried about her.  She’s a tough bitch.  She’ll be wearing his skin by the end of the week.

Once we finished our food and drinks and lovely conversation, we had to say adieu to our friend Bluz, so that we could head on over to our next destination . . . a haunted pub crawl in a historic seaside area known for its lively nightlife.  Oh yeah, it was on.

Alas, my dear readers, this is where I must leave off on this marvelous tale.  I will continue with the second half, and thrilling conclusion, later this week.  And just to give you a taste, there will be . . . beard biting, top hats and canes, and much late night (early morning) drunken shenanigans.  Pretty sure you are not surprised by that last part.  Until then . . . . .

Shenanigans with Val: Racist Parking Lots, Closed Sidewalks & Ren Fest

This past weekend, I had a visitor.  My good blogging buddy Valerie drove all the way from New Jersey down to MD to hang with me on Saturday.  Her last visit, this past spring, was full of crazy shenanigans, good times and beer.  This visit would be no different in that regard, just a different venue.

I decided to take her to our local Renaissance Festival, as she is a huge fan of such events.  The last time I went to the Ren Fest was 2 years ago with Thoughtsy, and that turned out quite well for blogging purposes, so I figured it would be a good time for all and give us some fodder for our blogs.  Win/win.

In order to spend the entire day with her around the area where the Ren Fest was held, I needed to get a hotel room near there, as it is not especially close to my home.  So, I arrived first at our hotel with Val quickly following.  After some intense hugging (there may have been some humping), we decided to scoot over to the Ren Fest as the skies were starting to get a bit threatening and they were calling for rain later that day.  As the entirety of the Ren Fest is outdoors in the woods, we figured we should get moving before we got rained upon.

So, we hopped in the car and started driving.  Not being entirely familiar with the area, I allowed GPS to lead us to our destination.  And along the road to the Ren Fest, we encountered many locales that would need to be fucked with later on.  But stay tuned for that. 

Arriving at the Ren Fest, we noticed that many people were starting to leave.  Might have been because it had started spitting water from the sky.  But just a bit.  We could definitely work with this.  And it only lasted for a very short time, as by the time we got in, it had stopped. 

The first thing we wanted to do was to rent a costume for Val.  When I told Val we were going to the Ren Fest, she informed me that she looked online and saw they rented costumes.  I informed her that I had no problem with her renting a costume, but that I wasn’t the costume wearing sort.  However, I assured her that I would take pictures and laugh.  Having struck an accord, we headed to the first costume shop we saw . . . and found out that they were completely sold out.  Val was bummed, but not deterred from her goal.  We then stopped into another shop that sold costumes.  However, the going price was around $400, so that was out.  What to do, what to do.  And that is when we happened upon the stand selling jingley gypsy hip scarves.  Those were only $15 to buy, so that seemed like a deal.  In fact, it was such a deal, that I even decided to join in on the fun.  Here we are, modelling our hip scarves:

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Now that we were properly attired for the Ren Fest, we moved on to our second mandatory goal . . . beer.  Once we both had a beverage in our hands, we explored the sites of the Ren Fest.  And let me tell you, there were some sights to behold!  There was so much crazy, wacky stuff to see, that at one point we were basically just turning in circles and pointing.  It was dizzying, and not just because we were spinning around.  However, there is a time and place for such things, and that time and place is Friday for the Whacked.  Stay tuned . . .

Once we consumed our first beer, obviously we had to get a second.  I mean, it wouldn’t be right to only have one.  They get all spoiled and don’t learn to share.  The problem with this second beverage was that it was joining its sibling in otherwise empty stomachs.  That’s right, we are brilliant and had not eaten that day, and it was approaching 4:00 in the afternoon.  So, two people who can otherwise normally hold their liquor, were quite buzzed off of a beer and a half each.  Luckily, the Ren Fest thinks of everything!  Because that is when we came upon a vendor selling “beer sponges.”  How can any sane and almost drunk person pass up that kind of advertising!  Not us, I say.

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No, we did not sample his pickle.

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Mmmmm, spongey!

Even though the beer sponges did their job, it was sadly too late for Val.  The constabulary intervened and she was found guilty of being a drunkard.  I’m sure nobody ever saw that coming!

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And then we came upon the most rarest of species to be found at the Ren Fest, and Val just had to get her picture taken with them.  The Preppius Boatshoesicus.  It was a thrilling find.

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After that, we passed another booth and Val got an idea.  A marvelous idea.  A marvelously diabolical idea!  Ok, not really, but once she saw this, all bets were off.  She was getting Fraggled.

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And then this happened . . .

Mid-Fraggle

Mid-Fraggle

Almost Fraggled

Almost Fraggled

Side fraggle view

Side fraggle view

The Finished Fraggle

The Finished Fraggle

As we exited the covered hair braiding booth, we realized that it had started raining again.  For real.  However, we were not to be deterred.  And why is that?  Well, because along with her Fraggle, Val had decided that she needed some horns.  So we were off to the closest horn seller we could find.  However, after trying a few horned samples, it became apparent that the horns just did not look right with the Fraggle.  She even tried some ears (that also perched atop her head), but had the same problem.  Starting to get discouraged, we were about to leave when I happened to glance up and saw . . . unicorn horns!  Pointing them out to her, we both decided that this would be perfect.

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Is she not the happiest & most adorable thing EVER?

And then this happened . . .

A uni-fraggle gypsy in her natural habitat.

A uni-fraggle gypsy in her natural habitat.

Unfortunately, that is also when something else happened. . . the sky, which had been threatening and drizzling and raining all afternoon, finally decided to just let us have it.  It started pouring.  POURING.  And there we were, mid-Ren Fest, and a far distance from the parking lot and my car.  Realizing that our frolicking was at an end, we headed for the exit . . . and got wetter and wetter and wetter.  By the time we made it all the way to the car, we were both completely drenched.  As in, wet all the way through to our undergarments.  Which let me tell you, felt really lovely.  It looked like we had both stepped out of the shower, fully clothed.  Good times.

As we headed back to the hotel to dry off and change, the rain and soaking would not stop us from further shenanigans!  As I stated previously, we had noticed a few things as we were heading out to the Ren Fest.  And the first was a very odd statue right by the road.  So, on the way back, I pulled right over so Val could get out . . . and go lick it.

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Molesting statues since 2000.

And the next thing we came upon on this very same road was a very disturbing parking lot.  When we first drove by, we were appalled that this kind of thing can still exist in this day and age.  It’s not like we were in the deep south or anything!  It was a racist parking lot.  Every single car on that lot was white!  And being decent people, we just could not stand to allow that to continue unchecked.  So I pulled into the lot and parked myself right amongst all those prejudiced vehicles.  That’ll show them!

Fuck you, car bigotry!

Fuck you, car bigotry!

Travelling farther along this very same road, we encountered another instance of oppression.  Again, we would not let this stand.  So, we went right ahead and stood right there.  On the sidewalk.  Closed, my ass!

Now who's closed, bitches?

Now who’s closed, bitches?

After all of that, we returned to the hotel to rest up a bit after a very long and active (and wet) day.  We intended to go out for crabs a bit later, but first we wanted to dry off.  Unfortunately, Val’s Fraggle did not last the onslaught of water pouring down upon her head.  Poor sad Fraggle.

De-Fraggled.

De-Fragglefied.

And I didn’t fair much better.  This is me, looking like a drowned rat and completely soaked through to the skin.

You didn't REALLY think I was going to show you my face, did you?

You didn’t REALLY think I was going to show you my face, did you?

Once we changed and attempted (though fruitlessly) to do something with our mess of hair, we went out to get some steamed crabs, which is pretty much a necessity in this area.  We had planned to go out to a bar after dinner and were trying to return to the hotel so we could grab a cab (since we planned to continue our boozing ways, but are responsible bitches), but my car apparently had other plans for us.  See, apparently my car is evil (or a hex was placed on it in that racist parking lot), and kept trying to kill us.  The rain was coming down pretty hard at that point, it was dark, and I had no idea where we were.  We depended on my car’s GPS, but that only got us trying to turn down a one way road, entering a road that said Wrong Way, and the best one, having us turn into a shopping center that ended in a dark alley behind a DSW, filled with dumpsters.  That’s right, apparently my car was setting us up to be murdered by a serial killer.  So, after all of this heart pounding drama, once we returned to the hotel, we really didn’t feel like going back out in the rain.  We just needed a drink!  So, a drink (or 5) is what we had.

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Val’s birthday present . . . which she kindly shared.

The best part of the entire day was pretty much in that room.  I love just talking to Val, as she is hysterical and interesting, and catching up with her is always a good time.  Well, that and the snuggling.  She is the best big spoon ever!!

And thus ends this edition of Val & Misty’s Excellent Adventures.  Until we meet agian.  Huzzah!!

Good Beer, No Sh*t

When we last left our intrepid heroes . . . my good friend Valerie had descended upon the great state of Maryland, to share her awesomeness with this part of the mid-Atlantic.  I spoke of our initial trip to the mannequin store, and of our evening out with her friends at the brew pub.  Much shenanigans were detailed.  (If you haven’t read the first part of this tale, go back now and start your journey at the beginning).

What I have yet to explain, and the purpose of this post, is the intervening time bookended by those two activities above.  Directly following our mannequin store visit, we drove straight out to Frederick, MD, home of the Flying Dog Brewery.  In planning the weekend for Val, I looked around at different events and activities around the area, and saw that the brewery held tours of their facility.  Seeing that the tours also included beer tastings, and being a good friend and a good host (because that’s what friends do . . . get their friends nice and inebriated on their vacations!), I figured this would be a fun event.  I was lucky enough to get a reservation for the two of us (this was before I knew that she was bringing friends), so off to Frederick we went for an afternoon of education and beer drinking.  Huzzah!!

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Before we even entered the building, we were excited about the experience.  I mean, how much do you want a sign at your job that reserves your Alpha Bitch parking space?  Yeah, me too.

We arrived early enough that we were able to take a look around.  The first thing we saw was a huge chalkboard that listed all of the beers they had to offer.  Val was suitably impressed . . .

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Although, they did tell us that no beer drinking was allowed before the tour, so we were just going to have to wait.  But that’s ok, because our tour was about to start, and that is when we got to meet our tour guide extraordinaire . . . Emily!

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Emily was so incredibly rad.  Seriously, she was informative, had a great sense of humor, and really knew her beer.  Plus . . . she gave us beer.  So, you know, that might have something to do with how hard Val and I fell in love with this lovely lady.  We miss you, Emily!!

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A beer Goddess!!

Emily told us the story of the founder of the brewery, George Stranahan, who named it Flying Dog after viewing a painting in a tiny bar in Pakistan.  Having just finished a long trek up the second highest mountain in the world, he gazed upon a picture of a dog with wings and felt that it was a kindred spirit, representing how he felt about the monumental journey he and his companions had just taken.  I’m sure it also had nothing to do with the fact that he was imbibing some local spirits in that bar at the time.

Once we knew some of the history of the brewery, it was time for the tour.  We were ushered around to the different areas within the building, viewing all of the various steps that a beer must travel through before it becomes frothy goodness ready to get in my belly.  As you might imagine, Val and I got up to some jackassery whilst the tour was going on.

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We were like the bad kids in the back of the class that just fool around and pass notes, so that the teacher has to eventually separate them.  Sorry Ms. Emily!!  We’ll be good.

We did pay attention for the most part, since despite all of the fun distractions, it was a very interesting and informative tour.  Not to mention seeming like one of the coolest places to work ever.  And I am not just saying that in an “I want to work there so I can drink BEER all day” frat boy Neanderthal way, either.  It just has a great vibe about it and would appear to not take itself too seriously.  For example . . .

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This was the door to Quality Control . . . yeah.

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The sign next to the huge-ass bottling machine.

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A zombie mannequin torso in the warehouse, where they display all the metals they have won for their beer.

I could fall in love with a place like that!  A far cry from my own personal hell, aka my current job.  We don’t have any zombie mannequin torsos around here to hold all of our medals.  Hell, we don’t have any medals, for that matter!

Once the official tour was finished, that is when the real fun started . . . the tasting.  We were each given a wristband with 5 little tabs on it (indicating 5 tastings, duh), and that was in addition to the beer poured by Emily on the tour.  (I mentioned we love her, right?  Just wanna make sure we covered that . . .).

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Decisions, decisions . . .

Ok, so I guess you are wondering how the beer tasted, hmmm?  Well, it was FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC, of course!!  I mean, yeah it was pretty good, I guess.  Actually, we really did enjoy our beer tasting, but what we enjoyed more at this point, was a little bit more Emily . . . (you didn’t think we were done with her yet, did you?).  We even got a picture of the three of us together . . .

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Not only that, but there was this amazingly gorgeous metal throne in the lobby area that was all red velvet roped and off-limits.  We asked her about it, telling her that we thought is was super cool, and she not only whipped out her laptop to show us the video they just made featuring that there chair (seriously, watch that video . . . it is awesomesauce!), but she even allowed us to sit in it!!  Did I tell you she was the raddest, or what?

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Queen Bitch Val!!

After we watched the video for Raging Bitch (kindred spirits, that), Emily went on to show us the other most recent video for Snake Dog Ale, which was similarly awesome.  So, you see, she wasn’t just a tour guide, beer server and employee of Flying Dog . . . she was like our own personal Julie McCoy!  So, we decided to profess our love in the only way we could . . . creepy love notes.  This was mine, of the more subtle approach:

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This was the Flying Dog provided survey form that I filled out after the tour.  I handed it to Emily, and told her that I would like this to be considered as my application for employment.  Val was a bit less subtle in her profession of love for our dear Emily.  First, she whipped out her handy dandy notebook that some kind blogger sent to her, along with some other shit, in a past giveaway (said blogger also likes to gift people with tiny bottles of booze . . . said blogger is awesome).

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And then this happened . . .

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We put this on top of Emily’s laptop as we left.  We had wanted to give her a great big hug and to say thanks for the great time before we left.  However, when it was time for us to depart, we were told that she had gone “upstairs” to the “offices.”  We’re pretty sure this was code for going to the local constabulary to file a restraining order against us.  So now, we are probably limited to viewing our Emily from afar . . . like from about 50 feet away.  Either that, or she was so creeped out by us that she was filing for a name change and running away to Utah, to start a new and secret life, hidden from the crazy girl bloggers who she assumed wanted to wear her head as a hat.  (We love your hair, Emily, but we would never do something quite so creepy.  Stalkerish notes are where we draw the line!).

So class, what have we learned from this (incredibly long) tale?  Well, three simple lessons:

1.  Emily is awesome.
2.  Flying Dog beer is delicious.
3.  Val and I should not be allowed out in civilized society.

Class dismissed!  Let’s go get some beer . . . the first round is on me.

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The Val Invasion

This past weekend, I had a visit from a blogger friend, Valerie.  We have been trying to get together for many many months, both of us holding on to presents for the other from holidays long past (me=xmas, her=my birthday), and all previous attempts at meeting had been rescheduled or cancelled.  But this time . . . it was going to happen!  So, she made plans to drive all the way down here to the B-more area to see me this weekend.  And . . . she actually came!!!  With a last minute addition of a couple of friends to keep her company on the journey, Val showed up in my neck of the woods early Saturday afternoon, and we were able to spend the entire day together.  Shenanigans ensued.  And what follows is the tale of the wacky and wild exploits of a day with Val and Misty . . . (This will be a two-parter folks.  Yeah, there was just that much good stuff!).

In preparation for Val’s arrival, I had made plans.  Oh boy, had I made plans.  I took what I knew of her preferences and predilections, combined that with what was fun and interesting to do around my hood, and figured out a few places to go.  The first would be . . . a mannequin shop.  If anyone has ever read Val’s blog, they would know that she is obsessed with mannequins.  So much so that she owns a child sized mannequin, a dog mannequin, and various appendages, which may or may not be signed by Anthony Michael Hall.  So, in possession of  this knowledge, and in an attempt to make this a super fun weekend for her, I scoured the area to find a place where we could go see some mannequins.  And after much internet research and calling of shops that were either closed on Saturdays or where I couldn’t understand anything the person said, I finally tracked down the perfect place!

And then this happened . . .

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Naughty Val!!

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Creepy blue and green headless child mannequins.

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HALLELUJAH!!

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Who’s got 2 thumbs and loves mannequins . . . this girl!!

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Val had to buy something . . . a perfect match!!

Probably the most fun was when we were purchasing the hand, and the guy ringing up Val was like, “so, um why do you want the hand?”  And she basically just made up an entire back story about how she has a company called Val’s Mannequins in New Jersey, and while she doesn’t sell the mannequins, she has a ton that people just come to view, and that she puts scary masks on, etc.  Actually, now that I think about it, most of that was not fabricated.  Just the business name, I believe.  Also, when asked by what was most likely the owner of the shop (upon meeting a fellow mannequin aficionado), what they could have more of in the shop, Val thought for a millisecond and then replied, “heads.”  Yeah, it was that kind of afternoon.

And that was only our first stop!  After getting some fortification by way of food in our bellies, we headed off to our second planned event . . . a brewery tour!!!  Guys . . . that entire experience was so epic and insane that it needs its very own blog post.  Stay tuned for that later in the week . . . (yeah, I know . . . I’m an asshole.  Sue me!).

Just a taste . . .

Just a taste . . .

Moving on to the evening’s entertainment . . .  while Val and I were traipsing about with mannequins and beer, her friends were at a museum downtown.  But in the evening, we all met up at a local brew pub to have dinner and a few drinks.  I am going to tell you right now, those two friends of hers were almost as rad as Val, and that is saying something, because Val is the raddest of all rads, so . . . yeah.  They were fantastic.  An engaged couple, they were super fun and we all laughed and carried on for hours through dinner, drinks and an exchange of presents.  That’s right, Val and I would finally be exchanging our presents!  Even though I brought hers along with me earlier in the afternoon, hoping to give it to her then, she had left mine at the hotel, and refused to open hers until later.  Refused!  To open a present!  Seriously, I don’t know what is wrong with that girl.  But at the bar, she had brought mine along, so we were able to finally give each other our gifts (Merry Christmas, Val!!).  She seemed to appreciate the Perry the Platypus clock and bag full of little bottles of booze (sensing a theme to the day, yet?), but that all paled in comparison to what she gave me.  Paled I say!!  Her present to me was the most insane, appropriate, confusing and hysterical present I have ever received.  It.  Was.  Beautiful.

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Say hi to Lulu!!

That’s right . . . it’s a Mother Barking mannequin Yorkie dog!!  Did I tell you she was the raddest?  Exhibit A, people.  Ex-hib-it Freaking A!

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Of course she had to lick it. It’s like being Christened . . . but with more tongue.

Oh, and remember how I mentioned that her friends were rad?  Yeah, so the male part of this two person betrothed couple probably weighed about a buck fifty soaking wet.  This did not stop him from ordering the largest and most insane burger on the menu (seriously, the waitress looked at him when he ordered, and started laughing . . . we had no idea why until they brought it out). 

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It was a monster!!  You can pretty much name a meat or burger topping and that shit was in there.  And I kid you not, this wee little man (sorry Rainer, love you!!) consumed almost the entire thing.  It was a feat to behold, truly.  I feel like I was present for a sort of Kobayashi championship eating event or some shit. 

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Rainer, taking that mother DOWN.

For dessert, we all helped ourselves to some cupcakes I had bought earlier in the week.  Alcohol infused cupcakes, no less.  (Guys, I swear, I am not an alcoholic . . . all evidence to the contrary aside).  The only problem with these cupcakes is that I had also brought them along for Val and I to share earlier in the day (as there were only 2), but that never happened.  Consequently, they were left in my car during the brew tour.  That took two hours.  While it was 95* outside (and about 120* inside the car).  As you can imagine, they got a bit . . . melty.

Heat stroke cupcakes.

Heat stroke cupcakes.

But if you think that stopped us from basically licking the inside of that box to get all the cupcake deliciousness out . . . yeah, you apparently haven’t been paying attention to this story.  We were all over that like a momma wolf cleaning her cub.  And we were not ashamed about it at all!

Since I figure everyone is probably waiting to see a picture of Val and me together, I guess this is the appropriate time to share the portrait of the two of us:

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I know.  We are super hot broads.  We get that a lot!

Unfortunately, after much laughter and enjoyment of each other’s company, the night finally had to come to an end and I had to say goodbye to my new bestest friends.  It was very sad.  There was much hugging.  MUCH hugging.  And if any of you have been following me for a while, you know about my aversion to hugging, so you know how serious it was!  Also, I was driving home, so if you think it was because I was drunk, nope.  I was completely sober.  After enjoying a couple of drinks, I then drank water the rest of the night.  (Told you I’m not an alkie!!).

And while I probably will not see my friends again for some time (although seriously guys, get your asses back down here!!), I will always be left with this final vision of the night . . . Valerie licking a British phone booth.  I mean, it really can’t get much classier than that, can it?

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Thus ends part one of our tale.  Stay tuned for Friday’s post, which will involve more drinking, inane jackassery, and possibly a restraining order.  Good times!!