Thursday, May 9 2013
location: rural Hurley Township, Ulster County, New York
Despite my restrained drinking last night, I awoke today with a surprisingly-bad hangover, which I have to assume was either a result of having drunk while on an introductory dose of Celexa or from having also drunk vaguely-poisonous Lobelia tea. Under normal circumstances there would have been no hangover.
That hangover interfered only slightly with my ability to get shit done.
At some point I found myself watching an extended Slayer video on Youtube (Jeff Hanneman, one of their guitarists, recently died of liver failure, perhaps related to a spider bite). And at the time I was in a part of my hangover that had me staring, mouth-agape, as Slayer did what they do. Those guys are (or, perhaps, were) fucking virtuosos. You can say what you want to about Tom Araya's voice, but the benefit of his Cookie Monster snarl is that it floats atop the arrangements without any interference or distraction. Another point worth mentioning: while most rock and rollers look increasingly pathetic as they age, trying to hold tenaciously to the virility and charisma of their youth (think Mick Jagger), aging only seems to make Slayer more awesome. Tom Araya's greying mane and crowsfeet just add to his morbid gravitas. The more he looks like the Yahweh of Genesis, the better his appearance will match the songs he sings.
Today marked the 10th anniversary of the day Gretchen and I got married, and to celebrate, we went to Skytop Steakhouse for dinner at the bar. As usual, we brought our own vegan cheese so they could make us vegan pizza. Before dinner, though, we checked in to one of the motel rooms at the adjacent Rodeway Inn. The motel there has crappy rooms with paper-thin walls, but they allow dogs (we'd brought ours), and on a Thursday it was possible to get a room down on the end (#254) without any neighbors.
The bartender tonight was Sean, a guy who had tended the bar at Rolling Rock, the bar at the Hudson Valley Mall that we used to go to for their surprisingly delicious veggie burgers (unfortunately, it closed about six weeks ago). He's a nice guy, but he's not so great with the mixed drinks and Gretchen didn't end up liking either of the cocktails he made for her. Unfortunately, the microbrew-heavy beer list also lacked beers that strongly-resonated with me, but it was just as well; I think I still had enough Celexa in my system to cause trouble if I were to have really tied one on.
The great thing about the adjacent motel area is that it is largely separated from the rest of the world by cliffs, and the one road to the complex is somewhat long and lightly-traveled. This meant that when our dogs wanted to go out, we could just open the door and let them explore on their own.
Gretchen and I have an on-again-off-again tradition of giving each other heart-shaped objects. For this anniversary, I'd used a belt sander to shape a two-inch-wide disc of Red Maple into a heart upon which I inscribed a single "X" — the Roman numeral for ten, though it also has other appropriate meanings.
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