When Ryun (and by extension, Paul) first brought up the trip to State College last weekend, my one demand was that I go out for Record Store Day. I missed it last year because I had to work, and I enjoy it so much that I didn’t want to miss it again. So I checked the list, found State College’s one participating store, and tried to scope it out while we were drinking Friday night. Turns out I missed it at least two or three times thanks to it not having any type of sign or awning–just a little paper in a door indicating it exists, which isn’t easy to see at night whilst drinking.
But early Saturday morning, I wasn’t feeling so well. I wasn’t sleeping so well, either, and I wonder if the lack of sleep contributing to not feeling well. It was at the point that I was questioning my plan for Record Store Day, which was to get in line around 10–two hours before the store opened. But whatever. Got to secure my spot and therefore my loot. And yeah, all of our friends did think I was nuts, but they just let me have at it, which I appreciated. I don’t mind people questioning lining up at a record store two hours early when they wish me luck, too.
I dragged Paul with me, of course, and we got lost at first, but we secured our spot in line and actually had a good time hanging out talking about music, movies, and books with our fellow RSD hipsters–two of whom coincidentally were from Pittsburgh.
Meanwhile, being Blue & White weekend and therefore more football-focused, we got lots of confused looks from what I assume were middle-aged alumni and beer-toting frat bros.
In Pittsburgh, I got to Dave’s Music Mine on the South Side for Record Store Day, and Dave lets you come in and get what you want but limits you to one copy per record. At The Music Underground in State College, you get one RSD purchase then have to get back in line, which I admit is more fair. I guess which system is preferable depends on which store I’m shopping in and how many people are ahead of me in line. But I did cheat the system just a tad–since Paul was strictly there to keep me company (and drive me there), I assigned him the task of picking up a second record for me. So I make out with the Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Rocky Horror records. There were others that I wanted, but those were my main desires, and I decided to just head out and not try my luck in line a second time. Besides, the line was long by the time those two hours had passed. I am bummed that the store didn’t have the Erasure or Dresden Dolls releases, though, and I ought to check and see if Dave’s Music Mine has posted anything about leftovers so I can stop in and claim them, should they be there. But I doubt it.
I also grabbed a non-RSD-exclusive copy of Mumford & Sons’ Sigh No More.
New records in hand, we stopped at Rita’s since we hadn’t really eaten and we were headed to a tailgate at the Meats Lab next, where I expected they’d just laugh me out ofState College for asking for vegetarian foods, so I planned ahead. We made it back to Katie’s apartment just in time to catch the bus across the street and actually beat the rest of our group down and took a very crowded bus to a very crowded stadium, then walked to a more laid-back tailgate. We hung out with their friend Nelson, who’s known Paul since they were kids. And with Nelson was our guide, he urged us to partake in any foods and alcohol–including a very smooth batch of apple-pie moonshine from North Carolina–but some other tailgaters were not so keen on us drinking alcohol when we didn’t supply any alcohol. Which I get, but I also believe in hospitality and not being a dick about friends of friends hanging out with you.
And they did have vegetarian-friendly foods. Bless spring and summer picnic foods like various potato and pasta salads.
Funnily enough, though, we ended up going to dinner after the game and tailgate. We hit Herwig’s, an Austrian bistro in town, that was pretty great–think Hofbrauhaus but family-owned. I was gonna stick to something like a salad because I wasn’t too hungry and wanted something light from the unseasonably warm day, but Katie decided she was getting apple strudel and I knew as soon as I saw it, I’d regret not doing the same, so I got it, too. And it was pretty great. Served with what had to be homemade whipped cream.
And then it was off for a second night of bar crawls. I was hoping for a shorter trek, since after the night before my little legs and feet were sore–not to mention all the walking to get to the game and then to Herwig’s–but we were looking for bars with cheap cover charges. So we settled on Zeno’s, which I think is my favorite bar in State College. We discovered such gems as their signature cocktails (I highly recommend Space Herpes) and some raspberry beer.
Now, at this point, Paul had had two beers at Herwig’s since it was BYOB and Nick grabbed a sick-pack, then he was four deep at Zeno’s, plus a few he’d had earlier at the tailgate–although I’ll grant that the tailgate was over the span of a few hours. So when we set off for Indigo again, Katie warned Paul and Nick, both already drunk, that they had to be careful or they wouldn’t get in.
I get annoyed with Paul when he’s drunk. It’s not that he’s belligerent or rude or anything, it’s just that his drunk behavior is so drastically different from his normally calm demeanor that I just don’t like who he is drunk. Plus I think he gets a little inattentive and difficult and immature, almost what you’d expect from a barely legal college kid and not a 24-year-old with his own place and a grown-up job. I’ve been saying for years that in some ways, because of his sheltered upbringing, he’s a stage behind–he did things in college most of us did in high school, and now he’s doing things as an adult, albeit in the early years of being one, that most of us got out of our systems in college.
But everyone else just thinks Paul’s loosening up and being funny, so they keep pumping him full of beers. Nick bought him one more in Indigo and I declared it would be his last–keep in mind drunk, immature Paul means I play the mature, straight-man babysitter. We all went out on the dance floor, he went to the bathroom, and I assumed he was sulking in a corner afterward because he knew I was getting mad. He texted me a few minutes later to inform me he’d been kicked out because the bouncers could tell he was drunk, although not lying to them about just how much he’d had probably didn’t help, either.
So I finished my drink and babysat Paul for the rest of the night, alternating between not wanting our friends to have to come with us because of him and being annoyed at how long they stayed dancing. And we had a nice fight out there, covering everything from alcohol and limits to maturity to his mother.
Even though the weather the whole weekend had been pretty nice, by this point, it was getting pretty cold, so I decided we head to the nearest establishment that wasn’t a bar or restaurant that we could reasonably sit in, which happened to be Dunkin Donuts. But Dunkin Donuts was just as cold inside as it was outside. So we got some water and donuts and by this time I was like, “I can’t keep sitting outside, let’s take the bus back and just sit in your car until they come home,” since we didn’t have a key to Katie’s place. But as luck would have it, while we were sitting at the bus stop, they got in touch with us to go home, too. Katie had since lost track of and found a friend of hers and gotten the most drunk she’s ever bene. Nick was also drunk, and poor Ryun was their babysitter. And I was like, “Ryun, you sick of these drunk white girls?” ’cause he’s Japanese, and he was like, “Yep.” Ryun’s more of the partier. In fact, Ryun had laid plans for us to breakfast at IHOP and get milkshakes he would then spike with little bottles of Bailey’s he had at the ready.
When we got back, everyone got hydrated and Paul went right to sleep n the air mattress we’d been sharing, and he started snoring incredibly loud. Normally, I can give him a little poke an he stops, but not this drunk snore! I was shaking him, talking, and even resorted to pinching him lightly, punching his nose, and covering his mouth in the hopes that it would at least at least wake him up and stop him, but no dice. He barely even broke his snoring stride, so I gave up in the hopes that I was tired enough that I’d fall asleep anyway. And as luck would have it, I did.