Thursday, November 6, 2008

Election Night Pub Crawl

Since I've now had a few days to decompress, I figured I would let anyone passing this site know what I did on that big ol' election shindig we all had the other day.

First, a bit of background. I'm a devote political junkie and have been following this election as if it were a two-year long interactive Super Bowl (assume for a moment that I actually care about the Super Bowl). I read a handful of political sites and check for updates at least five times a day, along with a variety of other material. I don't watch television or read newspapers (not physical copies, in any case), just online stuff (oddly, I find that I'm better informed than quite a large group of people I come in contact with. Huh.)

Given that all of my election experiences have been done alone and indoors (given Oregon's mail-in voting system, I didn't even have to leave the building to cast a ballot), I decided I would spend election night out and about.

I started my evening around 4:30 at the Bier Stein, a bar on E. 11th that specializes in having every goddamned beer in the world (I like to think of it as a "beerateria"). I chose this as my starting point because of all the bars in town, this one has the best food (not much competition for that title. Sam Bond's Garage is close, but it's on the other end of town and has no television). I picked up a couple of ales and a sandwich, along with some German sausages and a cup of beer cheese soup, and settled in at a table with a view of CNN Headline News. I probably would have stayed there all night, but the owner got frustrated when Nancy Grace came on the air and changed it to a football game (Nancy Grace deserves to choke to death on her own vomit, so I can't say was disappointed). I took this as my cue to head off to stop #2.

This ended up being Max's Tavern, which as a good place to settle for an hour or so. I got another beer and watched Wolf Blitzer read off the returns. I also pulled out my Go board and played a game by myself while some younger guys playing pool gave me weird looks. I left around the time Ohio was called for Obama (I exchanged some terrorist fist-jabs with a couple on my way out, since that pretty much wrapped things up, election-wise). Once again, I might of stayed longer, but the bar was still holding its weekly trivia night that night. Though I like me some trivia, I was more interested in filling my election fix.

I tried a few of the downtown bars after that, in particular Horse's Head and Jameson's. I decided against spending time at either place for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that Horse's Head is about the most depressing bar in downtown, which puts it up there as the most depressing in the county. It reminds me too much of youth clubs you occasionally find in larger cities, where under-age kids can hang out and sneak booze into. The interior of the place screams "infectious pulmonary disease." I chose not to spend time at Jameson's because it smells like wet dog and bum dung.

I headed back to my place, cracked open another beer and read some of the returns on my favorite sites and was about to settle in front of my computer for the night when a friend of mine called and invited me to a house party across town. Since I was still good to drive, I headed over just in time to see McCain's concession speech and Obama's acceptance speech. It boiled down to the kind of experience a lot of people had that night: A bunch of slightly intoxicated 20-something males cracking jokes, with their female counterparts telling them to shush while wiping away the tears. I'll admit to feeling a little teary-eyed myself when Obama accepted, though, being manly, I sucked it up and didn't let it show, finishing another beer in as macho of a manner as possible while drinking Belgium white.

I headed home around 9:30, but almost immediately got a call from another friend inviting me to hang out at Jameson's. At first I thought of declining for the above stated reasons (wet dog, bum dung) but I realized my friend would be out on the patio, indulging in his smoking habit (or "cancer hobby").

This little get-together lasted for about an hour and a half, during which time I struck-out with a drunk girl and argued about vampires with the drunk girl's less-attractive friend. I also knocked down a Guinness and watched roving bands of youths wandering by screaming with joy (Eugene was in a festive mood that night, despite the intermittent rain).

My friend and I left around 11:30 for a house party he knew about, but he found out before we got there that none of his friends had shown and we both decided to call it a night. I headed home, read some more election updates (including the results of the local elections, which were just coming in). I finished off the beer I had left before and drifted into a slightly buzzed sleep.

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