They let me in. I found my spot and Philadelphia is now my home.
The day started as an innocuous Saturday. Lisa was at a seminar. I slept in til 11, dicked around on the Internet and watched the Harry Potter marathon.
By dinner time, the definition of my Philadelphia existence started to emerge.
We went to Pumpkin. A restaurant. Not the gourd.
Five of Lisa’s classmates were having a Saturday night out, and invited us along. They were a six pack of Stella Artois, plus one lone can of PBR.
Pumpkin was a fancy place, fo shore, but not terribly extravagant. I have been to similar establishments in Iowa. But it was a tiny joint, about the size of the living room in my grandma’s trailer.
Reservations were required well in advance. The amazing thing about these Wharton students, is they always get in. I haven’t figured out how they do it, but if the maitre ‘d says “there is no room,” this does not pertain to Wharton students. We were ushered to the finest table in the joint, tucked away in the back corner.
Lisa’s friends had a bottle of champagne waiting for us. It took 10 minutes, and an ever increasing bubbly brain, to learn we were drinking Dom Perignon.
By this point I was giggling at every story about VC investments. The folks at the table were in hedge funds. I’m not sure what that means, but I am pretty sure none of them had ever worked the clippers.
At one point, one of the ladies asked the question, “so, does anybody in investing feel bad about what happened to the economy?”
(Considering it was their fault)
And they laughed as if somebody asked Barry Bonds to give up the home run title.
Of course nobody cares what happens to you and me. To them, it’s just a numbers game, and they get an outrageous paycheck no matter what.
At this point I was so upset I poured another glass of free champagne.
After dinner we moved on to the P.E. party. They kept asking me if I wanted to go to the “pee” party, and I just giggled. “Sure!”
A PE party is a get together for business students to network with each other. They drink fine liquors and wines and mingle, chatting about futures and stocks and licorice.
At the (free) bar, there were 15 bottles of wine, two handle of Jack Daniels, a bottle of Johnny Walker black label, and a handle of Grey Goose. I was in heaven.
While I was mulling over my first drink, a gentleman by the name of Davion introduced himself. My response, “Dude, I’m just here to drink.” Translation: on the networking value scale, I rank just above Mutt McGruff.
I get a kick out of these business school networking parties. These business students try their damndest to look interested in what I am saying, and after 2 Johnny Walkers on the rocks, I will say a lot, and the whole time I am thinking “You would be a whole lot better off talking to somebody else.”
But they are polite, and put up with me. God I love business school.
We didn’t stay there too long til Lisa drug me to the Asian party. Some sort of Asian club party. She was worried I wouldn’t fit in at the P.E. party. But for some reason thought I would feel right at home at the Asian party.
They were all Asians. I was the only caucasian.
But I was drunk enough by this point that any time was a good time. Especially when there is free booze.
The highlight of the party was when the garbage disposal broke.
The thing about Asian girls, is none of them wants to be shown up when it comes time to clean. One Asian girl started to clean up, and before you knew it, there were five Asian girls, all highly capable, brilliant business students, wiping down counters and packing up leftovers.
But the thing about Asians, is they don’t know how to use a garbage disposal (or dishwasher).
So the next thing you know, the sink is 6 inches deep with dish water. The disposal broke, and they freaked out.
They were filling pots with the water and hauling it to the bathroom sink. They were using tongs to try to pull food scraps from the drain.
I was drunk and American enough to think that I could fix it. Luckily, I was sober enough not to try.
I was ready to roll up my sleeve, stick my hand in the drain and pull out all the gunk they dumped in the sink. Then hit the red re-set button on the motor.
But I figured these guys were rich enough to pay somebody else to do it, plus it would be really embarrassing if it didn’t work.
So we left the Asians to their own devices.
Lisa and I split up at this point.
She had another engagement, and I wanted to go see my first live music performance in Philadelphia. I had spent an hour of my afternoon researching local live music venues, and narrowed it down to 2.
Kung Fu Necktie was a hipster music bar, and the band playing that night, Linfinity, had been on tour with one of Lisa’s favorite band’s, Murder By Death. But the bar was a little far away.
The second choice was North Star Bar, and the headliner was a band called Warm Whiskey. They were a blues-alt-rock band, which was right up my alley.
Lisa’s meeting (an 11 o’clock meeting on a Saturday night?) ran into some technology issues and was running late. So I went to see Warm Whiskey. I wasn’t let down.
The opening band was terrible. God were they pretentious. They were a two piece guitar-drum ensemble. The lead singer played this nice, nice, nice, Rickenbacker guitar, that would be any musician’s dream, but all he played were tuned down bar chords. I’m no guitarist, but all I could think of was, “what a waste of a great guitar.”
But Warm Whiskey headlined. I knew they knew what they were doing when the guitar player opened a metal case full of pedals and brought out his Marshall half-stack. He went to the bar to grab a beer and I introduced myself, telling him I am a musician who just moved here from Iowa, and I was excited to hear my first Philly band.
“Well, I hope we don’t disappoint ya,” he said.
When the lead guitarist is humble, you know it’s gonna be a killer show. And Warm Whiskey was hot.
They played all originals, but they were blistering blues rock jams with sharp lyrics and a steady up-tempo beat.
Unfortunately, their set was only 45 minutes. When Lisa finally texted me that she was able to get away, and was gonna meet me, Warm Whiskey was on their last song.
So we agreed to meet up at home.
The evening started with Dom Perignon, and ended with Warm Whiskey.
I couldn’t think of any other way to do it.