It was a brisk night. Jessica and I had set out to see John Spriggins' Paper Dolls exhibition at the South Dallas Cultural Center. We made several illegal u-turns before successfully achieving our goal (the SDCC is precariously located at a wonky intersection) and perusing the collages of women's magazine propaganda filling the life-size silhouettes of real ladies. We discussed their shapes, heights, outlines of their hair dos. And then, because it was the middle of the week, we let the security guard close the gallery and we decided to go have a drink. And some food...but that was mostly my idea. All those sexy, waist-crunching headlines had made me hungry. You know, like they do.
So we headed away from Fair Park and over to the Henderson Avenue area. We deliberated on the Old Monk and Park and Barcadia, but decided on Capitol Pub. We scored a street spot -- Jessica adamantly avoids valet like most native OED-ites -- and walked down the block. It was a bit chilly and the roaring fire on the patio had looked so nice when we drove by, so we had our fingers crossed we might sit outside but near the hearth. Lo and behold we slid right into the table next to the fireplace -- like a World Series player might slide into home, but with far less enthusiasm and energy...and totally different clothes. The table also happened to be right below the TV so I had the opportunity to see the last of said World Series (but not really, because I promised my grandmother I wouldn't actively watch the Yankees, and also that would be just plain rude since Jessica had her back to it and would totally notice if I just stared at it the whole time -- clearly, there are many reasons). More important, I could see -- without incident or broken promises -- the animated reactions of the guys at the table behind us and a commercial for the next episode of House, which has been unfortunately been postponed the whole time this freakin' series has been underway. Damn, I love Hugh Laurie.
We ordered our drinks -- Jess opted for the Left Hand Milk Stout and I went with a Taxi Cab, Stella and Ace Pear, the chill of autumn and the roar of the fire steering me toward cider floats. I initially wanted a Snakebite (half Ace Pear and half Harp) or a Black Velvet (Ace Pear and Guinness) but had never had a Taxi Cab, and well, I love a good Stella Artois, so I was curious to see how it blended with the Ace Pear.
Interestingly, I always order a Snakebite and get ready for the headache that comes approximately one hour later (if I don't simultaneously fend it off and make it stronger with another) after the sweetness of the cider decides to put me in a headlock, the Harp a willing accomplice. But I was surprised to find that no such headache came. And in fact, the weird sleepy coma that tries to waylay me if I drink a Stella with my meal was also ambushed. A Taxi Cab might just be the perfect combo pint. The Stella tempered the super sweet cider and the tartness came through with a sort of beery kick.
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Jessica was happy with her Left Hand, which I thought tasted like a coffee and beer milkshake and while that is probably the intended result, I couldn't wrap my mind around a beershake that isn't in the form of a locked and loaded, pound-it-down Car Bom...forgive me, um, Peacemaker.
We talked about growing up and manning up and good ol' responsibility -- she's got a tree service and bug guy's number right there in her phone. I've shared car tips and pictures of our newest child -- a four-footed kitten named Kenneth.
Then, since we'd talked more than we ate, and my caloric allowance was thereby greater than anticipated, I ordered a heavier choice -- a Black Velvet. (It's natural for the song to be in your head now. Just get it out of there. I'll wait.) It was, of course, heartier what with it being half comprised of the beer that drinks like a meal, but ah, it just as easy to drink. I do have to say, though, that after knocking back my share of Black Velvets over the years, this one was delightful, what with the roaring fire to my left and a nice crisp night behind me. ...And all those celebrities in the stands of some game on TV. Yeah, because whenever I looked up there may have been a score in the upper left corner, but there was rarely a ballplayer to be seen. I did, however, see Spike Lee, Jimmy Fallon, Donald Trump, Regis Philbin, Kate Hudson... Not that I was looking up a lot (as I addressed above, I respect my friends and my Memommy), but damn that's pretty much one celeb per look. I seriously saw no pitch or anyone swinging a bat. Made it easy to pretend it was just some baseball-themed movie...[It's coming to me now!] in which the Rangers take the World Series...[This is gonna be great!] while Jessica and I sit on a patio, leisurely drink beer and discuss home decor, embarrassing childhood haircuts and various types of cat litter. OK, yeah, remind me to never pen a sports movie.
It's clearly meant for the stage.