So, the Hummingbird is open again and that means that Thursday’s Night Big Ass Beer night is back in session. That is, you get the king sized version of select beers for $3 – It is loved by all and sundry.
I don’t know how we got started, some kind of hold over from when it was Trio, but after a hard night at the job, when you get off at 11pm/midnight, you just need a place to unwind and get your mind off of killing the people you work with. The management at Hummingbird had the great idea of selling bigger beers and for that, I know at least 4 guys who are very grateful.
For me, I like people watching, although I hate sitting in a smoky bar doing so. I deal. I bring my little notepad and just write down thoughts or snippets of conversation (no attributions, but yes, I was eavesdropping). People who know me come up to say hello, then see that I’m writing and feel as if they are intruding, but it would be completely ridiculous for me to go out to a bar and then get mad if I got interrupted in my writing. If I wanted uninterrupted writing, I would hide out in my own home office, not at a bar.
So I get my Guinness (the closest beer to coffee that I’ve found) and set my phone down to wait for the text that signals that my friends will be showing up and I jot. I write about the music and how I only know some songs because of the game Rock Band. I write about a memory: A pen pal I had in the Marines had a gun explode in his hand, shrapnel hit his face and lodged near his eye. He was fine, but being the stereotypical Marine psycho, he was much too nonchalant about having a gun explode in his face. I wonder where he is now. I write about women writers: Flannery O’Conner would have been 82 in March if she’d lived and Atlanta Magazine said they thought she’d be living in Milledgeville still. That made me think about women writers who either had to pretend to be men to get published or who lived lives as recluses, their writing not discovered until 2 generations later when women writers were no longer hidden like some crazy old aunt in the basement. But it also made me think about how we must miss that, when writing was just us and the page and the anonymity of pretending to be someone else to get published empowered us more than we knew. Well, more than they knew.
Then I came up with a television show idea, but that’s for another time.
I was well into my second beer when my friends show up. They are Red Stripe drinkers for the first part of the night. After that, some switch to jack and cokes. One guy doesn’t drink at all. Now, how much drinking happens directly correlates to what is happening once the bar closes. Are we all just going home or are we heading back to my house for Unusually Late Lost Viewing Party? ULLVP is the name I give to those of us who are too addicted to the television show Lost to wait until Friday to catch up on it. There is a danger in waiting until Friday and that is that someone will spoil it and tell you about it before you get a chance to watch it. I’ve had Colin Cowherd from ESPN Sports Radio spoil Lost for me before. It’s that much a part of our pop culture climate that even sports radio is talking about it. So, those of us who can’t see it at it’s normal time (even if we didn’t go to the bar after work) have banded together to watch it later that night – so we’re caught up, more confused than ever, and won’t snatch our radios out of the dash because some dude (and it’s not just Cowherd) can’t keep his mouth shut for one more day.
But that’s the beauty of BAB Night. It’s friends getting together, having a few beers, telling stories (sometimes long ass stories – you know who you are, Mitchell), laughing a lot, making new friends, and just enjoying what Macon has to offer.
The Golden Bough. I only knew it as a bookstore where the ever friendly Eric Wakefield would open up cases so that I could see whether it was Perrault or The Brothers Grimm who wrote the Cinderella which included stepsisters cutting up their feet to fit into glass slippers. Needless to say, I enjoy the bookstore.Last night, I found out that the bookstore is magically transformed on certain nights of the week, most notably Tuesday nights (although I’ve heard of Thursday transformations and of course First Friday) into an entertainment powerhouse. The first thing is the free snacks and drinks (although donations are fully appreciated). The second thing is the incredible music.
Now, I have to say that music isn’t the only thing that’s going on there. As expected, people with books they’ve written sometimes show up to read their works… and if you happened to catch Chris Offutt there (I didn’t, but I did hear him at Mercer), then you caught a treat.
Back to Tuesday night. Rhett Thomas and Moira Glennon. I’m not even sure what to say about how good they are. It was obscure music with a little bit of Dylan thrown in, a cover from the new Krauss and Plant album, and a couple of songs from Rhett’s favourite songwriter, Grace Braun. Rhett and Moira warned us that the songs were really sad, but for some reason, everyone had a great deal of fun. There was bad joke telling, thinly veiled insults and lots of really good music.
There were valentine cookies and box wine that was actually refreshing (for better or worse).Rhett and Moira make their duo work through fancy guitar work from Rhett and powerful, haunting vocals from Moira. But more than a review of the “band” is just how comfy the Golden Bough is for something like this intimate setting – chairs set up in a semi circle facing the world religion wall, bohemian, out of place, and wonderful. Every seemingly normal person and ever weirdo gathered around had no doubt as to whether we belong here. We all mingle in relative harmony, delighting in good music and good company.
A few pictures to make you jealous:
I love First Friday. It has brought life to downtown Macon, one that those of us who always loved it and wished for it never thought could happen. Once upon a time, we were all huddled in our little hidey-holes, being creative, wishing more people would come downtown and see what it is we do down here and with First Friday, it’s happening. What is interesting is that you’re not always running into the same people. Whether you’re at the park at Cherry and Third or watching the park from Market City you still have plenty of opportunity to meet new people. Live music (when the venues are open), drink specials, and good friends walking around beautiful and historic downtown macon – can you really think of something better to do?
This past Friday, Meadows Fine Jewelry had its grand opening which was not only beautiful, but also delicious. I was supposed to go back Monday, so I’ll have to make a stop sometime this week to rectify the situation. There is a citrine bracelet and a frog ring that is calling my name.
I usually end my First Friday at the Contemporary Arts Exchange on Mulberry, in Eric O’Dell’s studio. It is an open and inviting circle that accepts anyone who wants to parlay, all of the weirdos who have felt neglected in their life, all of the college students who fear no one takes them seriously, all of the older people who have held downtown on their shoulders hoping it’s renaissance is happening now, any race or creed or genre. We stand around talking about movies and television, about books and music, we talk about past and present, about high school and life, about Oprah and wrestling. If your conversation is not going on, you start it. If your song is not playing on the iPod, bring your CDs. If you are lacking a painting or a drink, get one from us. The world is our oyster on First Friday and if you’re up for it, stay for First Saturday as well.
It’s been delightful meeting others, learning from them, laughing with them and supporting them in words and with money. So remember, if you see it, your probably can buy it and if you like it, you probably should.
I am a fan of chicken salad. My mom used to make it out of a whole hen that was cooked in juices and seasoning until it fell off the bone. She would cut it by hand and mix it by hand, adding mayo, eggs, salt, pepper and sweet relish. It was simple and it was good.
I didn’t know that you could do things like add grapes or nuts to it, but as I sampled all the chicken salad around, I learned some things. A lot of people don’t like to season their chicken salad, which can come as an unpleasant surprise. I remember biting into a sandwich I’d piled with chicken salad and having to spit it out. A little salt and pepper helped bring out the natural taste of the almond ground in it and it was a very tasty chicken salad after a little bit of doctoring, the most unique chicken salad I’ve tasted.
The most decadent chicken salad I’ve ever tasted was at an “open house” for a gallery in Warner Robins. The chicken salad was prepared like a cheesecake with cream cheese surrounding the chicken salad all around. I found myself going to the buffet table, cutting out bigger and bigger slices, trying to stop myself and allow other people to find this tasty treat, but there I would be again, standing at the table, urging others to try a bite so that I could grab another piece for myself.
White Lightning’s sweet chicken salad is very good. It’s almost like pulled chicken that gets tossed into chicken salad fixings and comes out moist and delicious.
But the other night at the Foodies!, I had chicken salad in a phyllo shell and almost passed out, it was so good. Getting back into the circles moving around the food tables was like trying to jump into a double dutch rope while walking your dog. It wasn’t happening. I was so glad I’d been greedy and grabbed two. It was so good, I talked with my mouth full, extolling the deliciosity of the chicken salad. Gross, I know, but completely necessary.
I found out today that the fantastic chicken salad in phyllo shells that I ate at the Foodies! came from Good To Go. It has to be the best chicken salad in Macon. No offense to White Lightning. Your chicken salad is very good too. And Chef Audrey’s chicken salad made me drive to Warner Robins for more. Too bad she was closed for renovations/moving when I did that. I’ll have to try again soon.
Apparently, there is a Macon curse for anyone who claims to have the best chicken salad in Macon. If you try to advertise it, something goes wrong. So I will say Good To Go has REALLY good chicken salad, while White Lighting, apparently, has the best children salad in Macon.