Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Charlottesville, VA

So there are two well known people that made their home in Charlottesville, VA. One who everyone should know about.....and one that most people probably do know about.


I tried not to think too hard about the results if I surveyed 100 people asking them "What famous person do you know who is associated with Charlottesville?" being terrified of what the results may be.

That said, Charlottesville was a pretty cool town.

As previously mentioned, we were not allowed to arrive on the lot until 7am Tuesday since Neil Diamond had played the night before.

This particular lot provided me with the most interesting parking experience to date (well....parking experiences of a non-near disastrous nature anyway).

Robbie's bus was parked against a downward slope in front of and perpendicular to one row of trailers. To back into my spot, I had to pull almost alongside him and attempt to back my trailer (to the left) in between two others with little to no maneuvering room. It's amazing how what appears to be physically impossible can actually be accomplished with minimal maneuvering. I tucked it right in the spot and felt rather pleased with myself. I'm sure it looked like this.

We didn't really venture out until Wednesday when we went to check out the downtown pedestrian mall which housed a respectable number of coffeeshops, cool shops, and good restaurants.

We met two girls outside a Gelato shop who seemed cool. Turned out one of the gals was a photographer and we made plans to hang out. Unfortunately scheduling conflicts arose and it didn't happen. Her portfolio site is still worth checking out though.

The weather was shitty and cold most nights so from Tuesday-Thursday night I watched the super-duper extended extra long LOTR trilogy since I hadn't seen them since the theater. Uber rockstar, I know......

A highlight of the trip was an excursion to Monticello. Really really fascinating and highly recommended to any TJ fans. There was no photography allowed inside the house but I think there's a virtual tour on the website.


Friday, B and I ventured out to scope out the bar scene. We went into one place and I ordered the usual Manhattan. The bartender kind of looked at me in disbelief, then excitedly grabbed the only (as he explained while serving it) cocktail glass they had in the place...not a good sign. The upstairs was filled with people and the only thing we could conclude from the crowd was that Dave Matthew's demon seed had somehow seeped into the water and created a legion of stereotypical versions of "that Dave Matthews cover band dumb-ass college dude". Only these creatures were bred to perfection....kind of like Douchebag Uruk-kai.....

Quickly realizing we would have nil success at meeting anyone interesting, we retreated to a bar down the street which looked much more promising.

The unfortunate twist was the fact that while the place was very was only wide enough to accommodate booths on either side, and a extremely narrow walkway leading to the back.....and the place was packed. We managed to squeeze back to the bar but from there we were stuck. After what seemed like an eternity of stuckness, we joined a table of seemingly cool people.

I sat next to a very short....rather plump Asian girl who was sitting next to some dude. B was on the opposite side of the table. General conversation ensued and eventually the "so how old are you guys?" question crept up.

"Well I just turned 29" sooner had the "ine" of "nine" left my lips when the oompa loompa next to me who had asked blurted out:


Uh.....what? She was 23. And not that I was even remotely interested in her but C'MON!. Seriously?

She then broke into.

"Uh, this is like a college town....most of the people here are like should be settled down by now...not like out at bars and stuff".

Uhhh.....what? While there were soooooo many retorts I could have laid on this....unfortunate looking young lady, I just laughed it off. I think it pissed B off more than it did me.

Unaffected, we ducked out and manage to spy a booth that was opening. Two other gals saw the same opening, and since they had three and it was the two of us, it made perfect sense to share the booth. Finally...potential real conversation.

The two that hung around we're super cool....and pretty hot too. One Asian girl, and one from Turkey. They had just come from spending alllll day in the library and alternated between hanging out and talking...and getting up to dance fervently around the bar. The pulled off what they referred to as "the worst dance move ever" and I was able to catch it on video:

Apparently earlier, there was an impromptu Flashmob rave in the library that we had missed out on.

Seriously: Not bad at all.

Unfortunately again, their Saturday night was to be spent studying so no dice on hanging again. Even worse, a party was planned for Sunday with all sorts of cool people, but I'd be well on my way from Charlottesville to Sarasota. Such wonderous luck :).

All in all though, Charlottesville was a good time.

One of the other highlights came after one of the shows. Robbie came in to the dressing and said "Jeremy, there's some old guy wearing a Zildjian jacket back by the sound booth that wants to talk to you. He said 'Neil Peart ain't got NUTTHIN' on that boy!'".

So I went out to the sound board and sure enough this dude wearing said jacket and a big grey mustache was hanging around with his wife and little daughter. I've never been good at taking compliments but was determined to be grateful and not say anything to the effect of: "Yeah but did you here when this part fell apart and when I screwed up THAT part" like I always do.

He was super nice. He said their seats didn't allow them to see me at all and his wife asked:

"So do they just have a drum machine then?"
"I think so, but it's too varied and there's too much 'feel' to be preprogrammed. I'm not sure though"

Wow. That made me feel pretty good. He then said "Man, I've been playing drums here for 30 years and I ain't ever heard nothing like you. People say Neil Peart's good but he ain't never heard you play." Obviously the guy hasn't heard that many drummers but it was still really nice of him to say.

He capped the conversation by kind of starting at me for a second then saying:

"Awwwwww.....giiimmmmeeee a huuggggg!"

::super bear hug::

Wow....again. T'was a new experience for sure.

Regardless, I still wasn't looking forward to the 14 hour drive to Sarasota.

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