Beer & Pwning Turkey

Touched down in Hartford last Monday afternoon prior to Thanksgiving after connecting in Philly from Chicago O’Hare. It’s been awesome to be in New England so far after being away for almost exactly a year.

My trip sure as hell could have gone smoother though.

After doing all my packing Sunday night I left the apt at 7am sharp in the morning. Got some breakfast and coffee, read a little bit and jotted some notes down before heading towards the purple El line at Fullerton a little before 9.

However, soon after I left it started fucking pouring rain, so much so I might as well have showered in my gear. At least my Swiss Legend watch is waterproof. Coincidentally it seemed to stop almost as soon as I got on. I run goot.

I changed over to the blue line at Clark & Lake, which runs all the way to O’Hare, the last stop. Got my boarding passes from U.S. Air kiosk with the quickness and got into line for security.

Damnit, I need, +like a G6+.

Obviously got ‘randomly’ selected to go thru the heavy scanner{SMB TSA}, where they have you throw up the Roc Dynasty sign with your hands for a solid minute or two while they violate your Constitutional rights. Thanks a lot, bin Laden.

At this point I haven’t even boarded my 1st flight and I’m ready for my day’s travel to be over. After a short delay we were wheelin down the runway and I was preparing for as good as an airborne nap as you can have when you feel like you just got out of the pool.

About halfway thru the flight the beverage cart was coming around. I got a Coke & a black coffee because I’m hardcore like that. Of course at this point I’m finally starting to feel moderately dry, when the guy to my right spills his soda all over my lap, barely getting anything on himself.

For a moment, the scene in ‘Air Force One’ flashes thru my head when Harrison Ford punches that terrorist in the face and says “GET OFF MY PLANE.”

However, I politely accepted his apology in cool, calm ninja-fashion and noted how I had already been drenched for the last 5 hours and that another little while wouldn’t kill me.

I suppose my “luck” changed at that point because as we pulled into gate B7 upon arrival in Phila, I realized my connection gate to Hartford was at B8. Finally, I win a showdown.

Spent the next flight recluse inside my hoody until we touched down at Bradley Int’l, which is actually in Windsor Locks, not Hartford, and just a stone’s throw from my mother’s house where I lived from the time I was about 5 til I moved back to IL when I was 15.

Fall is really quite beautiful in the Northeast, at least more so than the Midwest. Perhaps it has something to do with the landscapes and the supreme lack of any of the seemingly infinite flatness and fields you expect to see driving anywhere between the Appalachians and Rockies.

My first night here I didn’t do much at all except meet up and blz with a few buddies a grew up with. Always great coolin out with old friends.

Thanksgiving day was really quite wonderful.

In the morning my older bro arrived from NYC, and myself, siblings, and stepdad went to see the new Harry Potter, which has sorta become a tradition every year. As Jonah Hill notes in ‘Funny People’, Harry is looking a little old, they should start calling him Harold Potter.

By the time we returned my uncle, cousin, godfather and his daughter were waiting for us after making the trip down from Ontario {that’s in Canada, folks} during the morning.

Before long booze was flowing and we were sitting down in front of a truly excellent selection of dishes, including my all-time fav, Jell-O salad; a dessert so incredible describing it in writing will do it no justice.

My plate was filled with all of your standard holiday courses: turkey, mashed potatoes w/ gravy, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and several other things I’m probably just now burning off.

More than anything it was just nice to be with the fam and enjoy a nice home cooked meal for the first time in far too long.

Basically everyday since then has been spent consuming leftovers with reckless abandon and downing Crown Royal & Dr. Pepper. Sick lyfe.

Now that everyone, friends & fam alike, have returned to where they currently reside, my focus now shifts from epic daily intoxication to No Chop with a ninja’s dedication.

Being out of the city for a month and away from distractions allows me to work out with much more tenacity than I have been able to muster recently, something that is long overdue.

It also gives me a quieter environment to entrench myself in so that I can spend more time studying hand histories, VT vids, and other poker content that will help me make more diligent improvements to the game that I’ve spent a couple of months away from while putting together No Chop Poker’s first wave of hoody’s.

Anyway, my last weekend in Chicago for a month leading up to my travel was a blast.

Saturday afternoon I made the long trek on foot from Lakeview/Lincoln Park into the depths of the dreaded Wrigleyville to see one of my best friends from high school who was back in Illinois after returning from teaching English in Korea for over a year.

Our plan was to head downtown to watch the Festival of Lights parade & fireworks once another one of our friends from high school arrived after making the drive up from Springfield.

We stopped and got coffee at Starbucks – which I hate – to mix with a couple pints of Jim Beam we picked up, and I must say, whiskey with a Caramel Apple Spice latte is relatively amazing.

We hopped on the L but when we got downtown, realized we had spent too much time preparing our hot booze concoctions, and had missed the entire duration of well, everything.

Coincidentally we bumped into my childhood neighbors’ fiance – another hs classmate – and headed to a random restaurant where it just so happened, much to everyone’s surprise, one of my dearest friends I hadn’t seen or talked to in what seemed like ages was bar tending.

Ordered some food & drinks before heading off to a place called Absinthe Cafe that is well disguised as a bar called The Tavern. Weird.

Most of the time spent there is a blur of Budweiser, bombs, & the Blackhawks torching the Canucks for 7 goals.

At some point, presumably between 11pm & 2am, we went around the corner…or took a cab, I have no idea…to some other late night lounge in Wicker Park where the beer flowed like wine.

When we decided to leave, someone I was with bumped into a group of people they knew, and I ended up smoking a joint on the sidewalk with some 40-something hipster like it was going out of style. NBD.

As awesome as it has been living in the City of Wind the past few months, I like traveling because it keeps you from getting too comfortable. While I already miss walking the city blocks & deep dish pizza, it’s refreshing to switch things up a bit.

When you get into too much of a routine, I feel like it keeps your mind from stretching into new dimensions.

I never thought when I was younger I could or would be living in a major city. I never really liked being in one for more than a day; it seemed too chaotic and stressful. But after spending the last two summers in Las Vegas, I realize now that there’s nothing more exciting than venturing deep into a place that is unknown and unfamiliar. You’ll never grow if you don’t live a little dangerously, take risks, and travel down the path less traveled.

You only live once. You only get to write one story. Make it one worth retelling.

Zune Top 5
1} I’m Number 1 by Nelly ft. Baby & DJ Khaled
2} Ghost! by KiD CuDi on Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager
3} The Catalyst by Linkin Park on A Thousand Suns
4} Gorgeous by Kanye West on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
5} No Hands by Waka Flocka Flame ft. Roscoe Dash & Wale on Flockaveli


~ by therealJWilliam on December 1, 2010.

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