Pogues again for the first time since 1989 and they still rocked to the nth degree. They were awesome. The place they played - the Tabernacle - was awesome (except or even the way the 2nd floor shook and the bouncers started thinning the crowd way out before it collapsed or something so, um, note that if you're going there, stay off the 2nd floor if it's crowded) Atlanta was awesome and in general, awesome, though an overused word, fits the whole trip pretty well. Super fantabulous. Extra specially nifty. You know. All good, my brothers and sisters, all good.
I left Asheville around 1 on Monday. Well. That is, I got to Brevard Road and thought I would stop at the Kwikee mart gas station there and check the oil which I did only to discover that hey, surprise, basically I had no oil. I bought some oil and would have put it in except I couldn't get the damn oil cap off. Therefore I drove it over to the Saturn dealership which is right around the corner in a flaming temper and now I would just like to give them a shoutout because they were REALLY NICE to me. The lovely mechanic not only got my oil cap off but he filled it up with oil and then he checked all the other fluids and put windshield washer fluid in and checked my tires and put air in the tire with the slow leak that I didn't get fixed yet and gave me fatherly advice and told me to be careful in the large scary metropolis of Atlanta and he did all of this immediately as I drove in for no charge whatsoever and, I fear, the loss of his lunch hour. So, Saturn of Asheville is a wonderful place and everybody should go there and get their cars fixed or buy cars or, I don't know, just to hang out.
Then I got to Spartanburg and picked up Hack and petted his nice dog Zak and then we drove on to Atlanta and found our way quite quickly and easily to Manuels Tavern, where I had of course never been before. My friend Lee met us there and also Merrick, an old friend of my brother's who I also vaguely vaguely remember from Charleston way way back in the day and then about six other people, some also from the distant storied Charleston of legend, showed up and a good time was had by all, also dinner and beer.
Then, eventually, we made our way to the concert just in time for the Pogues first song. It was a great show. Here is a video. (I didn't make it.) Shane McGowan looked great. Everyone looked great. It was hot as hell. And, last but not least, I managed to pour beer all over myself - including up my nose - in one of the most amazingly uncoordinated feats of skill I have ever managed. If that was on video I'd be famous at last.
From the concert - and I took a bunch of crowd scene pictures in front that I kind of like and you might as well if you like that kind of thing - we went over to a bar called the Yacht Club in LIttle Five Points to make sure that our beer levels were kept at a constant high and then we went back to Merrick & Jinny's really lovely wonderful house and slept. Huge thank yous to them for being fantastic hosts and not even killing us for coming in late and drunk and making noise. Also, their house is totally beautiful and full of cool stuff and I now have a small case of house envy. The next morning we went out to a nice Cajun brunch - yum bloody mary and fried shrimp po boy, mostly fixed the hangover - and then Haskell and I went to the zoo. The zoo was great. Who knew they had a great zoo in Atlanta? Not, obviously, me. They even had pandas! Pandas eating bamboo! I was forced to go to the gift shop and buy another coffee mug. We wandered around the zoo for a long time - pictures will go up tonight - and then it was time alas to drive back to the Carolinas both South and North and so we did.
I got home and went right over to Susans and hung out a bit with her and Kyle and Jen and then Susan and I ended up at the Admiral for an exquisitely delicious tiny dinner. When I finally got home my dogs were beside themselves and insisted on sniffing every single item of clothing that I'd brought with me, because, okay, I confess: I had been seeing other dogs. And petting them. My god I am a shameless dog harlot and Django and Theo - and Pebble, I swear she's really a very strange looking dog, not a cat at all - know all. It was really funny to watch them all sniffing first the backpack and then my purse and then every single object that came out of the backpack with this intently serious look on their faces, glancing back and forth from each new sniff to my face like the Pet Betrayed.
Anyway, my take from these 40 hours or thereabout is this: it is GOOD to break the hell out of your routine and go and do different fun stuff once in a while. It is GOOD to go and party like a maniac on a Monday night for a change. It is GOOD to see the Pogues. And early 80s Charleston is still very much with me, which is, yeah, GOOD.