Social Experiment

1 07 2009

Recently my fairly placid life somehow took a 9-day very significant turn toward bustling, busy, and quite full. It was nine straight days of going out every night to a variety of events, goings-on, and other get-togethers. I felt like a very well-rounded socialite by the end, but I’m not sure I’m quite Paris Hilton’s BFF material… at least not just yet!

Day 1 – Sunday.  It had been a normal Sunday full of laundry and preparations for the busy week-to-come when I got a text message from my friend Amy that she and Jason and Bethany were at the Glenwood in EAV and that I should definitely meet them. What better way to prepare for a busy week than to start it NOW?! A couple Rogue Dead Guy ales were the perfect kick-off to my Social Experiment!

Day 2 – Monday.  Work has been especially challenging in the past few weeks (ahem, MONTHS) so after a particularly difficult and stressful Monday, a few of my fellow coworkers headed down the street to El Azteca for some chips and salsa, tacos, and, of course, the house margaritas – on the rocks, no salt.

Day 3 – Tuesday.  The “Ortho Dream Team” (PT, OT, PA, and PCC) had been planning to get together, though not in any true work-related capacity! We decided on Flip, the burger boutique in a West Midtown neighborhood close to work. I had the delightful “Butcher’s Cut” burger that was topped with caramelized onion, bleu cheese, and a red-wine jam sauce. YUMMY! Pair it with vodka-battered onion rings and a few nibbles of the sweet-potato tots, and that’s one helluva great evening! What I did have was a Bridgeport Ale… what I did NOT have was a Krispy Kreme milkshake. Hindsight is 20/20.

Day 4 – Wednesday.  Tonight I attended a benefit for Music For Tomorrow, a group dedicated to preserving and promoting New Orleans jazz music and musicians. It was hosted by a friend-of-a-friend, and attended by incredible do-gooders, philanthropists, humanitarians, and super-fun people! The music and the company were inspiring, but it was the venue itself that may have been the highlight of the evening. Engine 11is a beautifully renovated and re-purposed firehouse in Midtown just around the corner from the Fabulous Fox Theater… it is also where I will be having my twenty-tenth birthday party in January! Beverage of choice for the evening was Kona Brewing Company’s FireRock Pale Ale.

Day 5 – Thursday.  GO YANKEES!!! It’s that time of year when the American League graces the dirt and grass at Turner Field. And this year the Braves played host to the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. I was absolutely not going to miss it. We had awesome seats about four rows back off the left field wall and four yards inside the foul pole… perfect home-run-catching seats! (side note: I did NOT catch a home run… nor am I happy about that.)

 Derek Jeter

Of course I had a delicious hot dog and a $7 (only at a ballpark) Bud Light. The game itself was remarkable! Tons of hits, lots of runs, and the Yankees scored more times than the Braves, so all-in-all it was a pretty successful night!

Day 6 – Friday.  Back to the ballpark. If last night’s dense humidity and stagnant air taught me anything, it was that we would have battery-operated mini-fans for tonight’s game. Life-savers! It was still just-this-side-of-miserable to sit packed into that stadium with no naturally-circulating air… but it remained tolerable with the use of the mini-fans and another hot dog-Bud Light combination! Plus, there were Friday Night Fireworks at the end of the game!

post-game fireworks

Day 7 – Saturday.  Had to get up early to hit the road. I was taking my Social Experiment on the road, heading up to North Carolina for a 3-day weekend. First stop: Shelby, NC, where there was a tasty steak lunch and birthday cake waiting for me (not my birthday, but cake is cake) before Laura, Allison and I got dolled up and took off for the Belk Theater in Charlotte where we were seeing “Phantom of the Opera” in honor of Laura’s birthday (which was in March.) The show was aMAZing, and we are considering that 2009-2010 season tickets might be our birthday and Christmas presents to and from our best friends! We had cocktails at half-time – red wine for me, white for the other girls – followed by rounds 2 (for all of us) and 3 (for them, as I was driving!) at dinner before heading home to Shelby.

Day 8 – Sunday.  In this wondrous age of technology, communication, and the ever-shrinking world, I shouldn’t be quite so shocked when serendipitous moments occur. I was about to turn my computer off in preparation for the early morning departure for NC when I saw that one of my friends from the U of O (Go Ducks!) had posted a Facebook status saying something about how much she was enjoying Charlotte… WHAT?! I’m leaving for Charlotte in 10 minutes! (That might have even been what I replied!) She was in Charlotte for a conference, and I was staying at Hans and Jocelyn’s (also in Charlotte) Sunday night. So I drove into the city and we spent several hours catching up and chatting, reminiscing and laughing at BlackFinn. I had the sliders sampler – one each of southern-style (aka deep-fried) chicken, beef, and pulled pork – to go with my Sam Adams Summer Ale. It was just wonderful to reconnect with an old friend – and we have the Internet, Facebook, and cell-phone text-messaging to thank for it!

Day 9 – Monday.  *I feel that it should be mentioned that my Social Experiment was initially intended to encompass only Monday through Saturday, but due to unforeseen (and, let’s face it, fabulous!) circumstances, it was extended on both ends of its time-frame.*  Monday I took my time waking up at Jocelyn’s. Hans was long-gone to work and Jocelyn was upstairs in the home office waiting for confirmation or cancellation for a few morning meetings before we could go out for lunch. We tried Zoe’s Kitchen after wondering about it during yesterday’s successful guest-room lamp-procurement endeavor. I had the Greek Pita sandwich consisting of grilled chicken with caramelized onions, feta, and tomatoes – except they were out of pita, so it came on regular bread. Regular bread didn’t end up working, so I turned it into somewhat of a Greek non-Pita salad instead. Thinking my Social Experiment was over, I opted for a very large glass of water! I spent some time laying out by the pool before hitting the highway, and to make sure I avoided Atlanta “evening” rush-hour traffic (which starts at 3:30 and might end around 7 p.m., depending on the Braves home schedule) I detoured at Hartwell Lake State Recreation Area, right at the border of South Carolina and Georgia.

Hartwell Lake 1

The reason Monday counts in my Social Experiment is that I met my friend Amy at El Matador Cantina in Glenwood Park for their crack-tacos (real names: Texas Taco and Taco de Carnitas) and house margaritas. You know, to prepare myself for back-to-work the next day!

Conclusion.  I can be a socialite and go out every night… or I can go to work every day… I cannot do both. But I sure had a great time trying!