Thursday, March 02, 2006

cue the same old revelation, again...

i keep learning the same things about myself. i'm not certain if this is because i'm a renewable fountain of self-intuition or because i've fallen prey to some sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. you be the judge.

monday evening we celebrated mari's birthday at the kiwi and kangaroo. the pub is remarkable not because of its $6 meat pie, chips, and pint specials (check the website for this and other deals) but because of its cosmic connection with the 17 point scale. the spirits of barrel-bodied aussies populate this bar, and i think they're getting in my head. this may sound a little like inebriation (i swear, officer, i only had one cider, just one), but some force from the southern-most inhabited continent has confused my blog with an epic poem. and, as all good aussies know, every epic poem needs a muse. thus, each time i visit the k and k, i find myself in a strangely thoughtful mood. for instance, my previous visit to aurora's only true blue bar resulted in several dreamy-eyed revelations including a
genius advertising campaign.

during my most recent visit to the kiwi and kangaroo, i had yet another introspective moment. i (re) learned that i tend to get grumpy in large social situations. it could be over-stimulation or a mild case of claustrophobia
(too many people!), but i'm more inclined to think that it's just a matter of preference. i have a hearty dislike for small talk, group getting-to-know-you chats, and silly drinking games. a nice dinner conversation is fine, but conversational free-for-alls just aren't my thing.

(does this make me odd? or do others share this same experience? i'd wager a few copper coins that some people actually drink for this very reason. that seems a little counterintuitive to me: here, drink this elixir, it will make you enjoy that which you don't normally enjoy. it will turn your whole world upside down. hmmm...maybe it's like God: here, say this prayer. God will make you go places and serve people that you would normally avoid. He will turn your whole world upside down. crazy. this analogy may have some wacky implications.)

on this particular evening, i found myself drifting away from the group. it wasn't long before i was alone at the bar. and here's where i made yet another (re) discovery: i like experiments. monday's study was a subjective sociology experiment; what's it like to be a lone guy at the bar? the conditions for my study were less than optimal. i assume that many bar dwellers are talkative; they chat up the bartender, their neighbors, and especially that cute girl in the short black skirt, but (as i said previously) i was seeking solitude (and i could probably ask beth to wear a short black skirt). nonetheless, i caught a glimpse at the awkwardness of drinking alone. the bloke to my right was ordering a drink, and i couldn't tell if he was alone. i wasn't sure of proper protocol--should i avoid eye contact? nod a silent greeting and feign interest in the romania's easy victory over armenia? gosh, it was strange. unfortunately, before i could gather more data about the experience, social norms irresistably tugged me back to the group. nonetheless, now i know that the next time social gatherings make me feel a bit stir crazy, i can simply pull out my pencil and paper and continue my research...

andrew david. 'fishies' mismaloya, day 2.
a picture from snorkeling in mismaloya. it's a bit premature to skip to day 2 like this, but this has been my wallpaper for the past week, and for some reason i had an intense desire to get it up on the web.


Anonymous said...

And perhaps pulling out your pencil is as much a defense mechanism or magic elixir as is alcohol?


ps--you are certainly not alone in your feelings. that's the joy of spilling your guts on a blog, maybe you'll find that out.

Sean said...

I wouldn't really consider drinking alone in a bar an awkward situation. Sometimes its nice to have a brew by yourself and just kick back. Andrew, believe it or not, sometimes, people do drink beer for the taste and not just for the effects.

If you want socially awkward - go watch the new "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" during a matinee showing, by yourself, at the IMAX. That was WEIRD....

PS - would you consider a lone coffee-shop patron on equal terms as a loner bar patron?

Beth said...

In fact, my favorite way to enjoy a coffee is probably by myself at a coffeeshop. I like the environment for thinking, people watching, writing, making lists. Not sure, but it would probably work at a bar.
p.s. I get that way, too, in social situations, which is why I like to be a loner at times.

andrew said...


yes, slipping into research mode might be a defense mechanism of sorts, but in that case, i'm just a walking-talking defense mechanism. that's kind of how my mind works; actually, i think that i get bored really, really easy, so my mind has to compensate by playing strange head games.

you speak as though you're a long-time spiller-of-guts!

andrew said...

Sean --

1a. not at all awkward? i guess my impression of lone men at the bar is fueled more by the movies than reality. i imagine solo drinkers as either sharks cruising for girls or lonely, sad old men with no one left but the drink to keep 'em company. however, you bring up an interesting point. i suppose that in england, on cheers, or at your dear dante's, pubs function more as community hangouts than places to get liquored up. that makes some sense.

1b. you're right. the idea of yummy or refreshing alcohol is mostly a foreign concept to me.

2. ha ha...

3. no. i would see them as very different. especially in seattle.

andrew said...

beth --

yeah, i think you would look silly doing this in a bar. a few years ago i was journaling in an olive garden and couldn't stop smirking, just because, heck, i was in a restaurant! a bar would be even odder. also, bars tend to be dark. hardly an optimal environment for people watching and writing.

andrew said...

everyone --

hey, did anyone notice my clever use of the word 'spirits'?

and, for those of you at mari's party, wasn't the use of 'cue' clever?

and, for those of you from australia, how 'bout the 'true blue' reference?

yeah, i pretty much rock.

Anonymous said...

I hope you're still coming to the party on Saturday, Andrew, even though it will be a bigger group!

andrew said...

i'll be there. despite my occasional aversion to social settings, i am easily lured by free food and the promise of (bingo) competition.