Friday, May 24, 2013
I'm really tired and sore. Did I mention sore? Yes sore. So I will keep this brief. Today was everything I thought it would be and more. Started off the day by waking up at noon and getting dressed. We walked to the Business Side of Baltimore. Which I have learned from these past days is the nice side of Baltimore. All the restaraunts don't open until 5pm for some odd reason in that section, but there was one open that caught my interest because it looked like a building found in England. Sure enough it was a burger pub. It is called the Abbey pub and it's like Kumas but only you can create your own kind of burger. They had every meat imaginable, venison, ostrich, buffalo, angus, etc. My burger was really big that I cut it into small pieces and best part was that I had some left over.
We ran some errands and then drove to the south west side of Baltimore in search of a Chase Bank but instead we found the area that looked exactly like Humbolt or Garfield Park. Honestly, I don't see how that section is scary or threatening. Basically don't act stupid and don't draw attention to yourself and you will be fine. Freak out about how "ghetto" an area is and of course you will get jumped because you are acting like a spoiled kid who has never seen the city or poverty. Both are rather sad. In sum, don't become a target.
Ryan, Chris and I got ready for the trek to MDF and then we left. And what exactly happened. It is was like coming home. It was like being surrounded by a bunch of strangers who looked less like strangers and more like people I have been hanging out with all my life. Finally, I was at the Mecca of metal in the U.S. This was truly happening. MDF is located under a bridge in downtown Baltimore. We went inside the Sonar and bought some merch. I obviously got a Bolt Thrower shirt and a MDF tour shirt with all the bands on the back. I'm really excited to see the rest of the vendors. Here's hoping they have two Dismember shirts. One for me and one for Ryan. The Sonar is a decent size venue. Last year the show was inside the Sonar but this year the merch was inside and the bands were playing outside in a tiny tent.
Then all our friends found us. It's really funny how I left Chicago and Chicago came back to me. About 90% of the Chicago metalheads who are also my friends are also here, with me enjoying this festival.
The new Sonar is just a huge white tent and with a stage in it and that's it. The space was so reduced and small that everyone was packed like sardines. It was worse than when I saw Wintersun. People were on top of more people and it was just as hot as a sauna. Here's hoping I lost 5 pounds. I kid.
What can be said about Bolt Thrower that hasn't already been said unless you experience it. Bolt Thrower is non-stop brutally. The bass drum was soo loud it hurt my gut just by feeling the vibrations. The sound was fantastic. Bolt Thrower sounds exactly as they do on the albums. If you haven't seen them live do it. It's a must have.
The beginning of the show was not what I expected. I expected huge circle pits and instead I got a bunch of pussies rushing the stage instead of moshing. Then those same people decided that pushing people to the side was a good idea. Not. And all these people ended up falling and pulling down the sides of the tent. So I took some photos and said fuck this. Trying to get to the middle was like trying to swim against a current. I went to the middle where the pit was and I just stayed there. I was in the pit for all of Bolt Thrower and let's just say I feel like a bad ass because I survived with all my piercings intact still in my body. I had no bruises and best part of all I got a work out. Although I wonder if the people at MDF need to eat their veggies more because I was destroying people in the pit. I'm only 5'1" and yet I was sending giants flying across the room. And when I mean giants I mean people who were taller than Ryan and he's a foot and one inch taller than me. These people were towering over Ryan. I'm a halfling or a hobbit compared to these people. As each song progressed the pits got crazier and crazier. They played all my favorite songs so I'm happy as a clam. I mean crab since that is what Maryland is known for. Although those jerks blue -balled us by playing the intro of "When Cannons Fade" and then they didn't play the rest of it. Ugh.
To picture how hot it was after Bolt Thrower in the my shirt was completely wet with sweat. My whole body was littered with sweat. The first thing I did was take a shower because that is how nasty I felt and when I threw my Skinless shirt on the floor it made a loud wet smack on the carpet of our hotel room.
The one thing I will say that I will never get used too and breaks my heart is all the fucking scumbags who bring their dogs to MDF. Yes, I'm talking to you, crusties. Real crusties are dead it seems. The real ones were actually homeless, these do it because it's cool. It's like being a hipster.
Here's what I don't get if they hate capitalism where the fuck did they get the money to get a ticket for MDF. Secondily, I saw a bunch of "crusties" living in their 2013 Prisues or Hondas. If you hate capitalism and paper trails then why do you have a nicer car than most hard working people. Thirdly, where the hell did you get the money for all those tattoos and and piercings. Tattoos and piercings cost money. I should know I have tattoos and piercings. If you're supposedly poor and panhandling then where did you get the money for those tattoos and piercings. You're not fooling anybody. You're just as bad as the people in Chicago who claim to be poor, but have an iphone, laptop or are wearing a suit. Fourthly, you know you are a worthless piece of shit when metalheads are telling you to get a job. No offense, but we're not really known for being pro-active. We're actually pretty freaking lazy and if we can seem to get a job, why can't you? Lastly, stop thinking you are entitled to everything. Stop being selfish pricks. Your dog does not want to be in a space that is hot, humid, full of drunk strange people. It wants to be in a place that has food, isn't humid as shit, and in the comfort of it's own space. When I saw one of them holding a skinny husky I nearly lost it. Hell it's such a problem that in Baltimore there is a sign that says,"Don't be a punk. Don't abandon your animal." I wanted to cry when I saw that billboard. Animals are not fashion statements; they are a human's companion. They are family. I guess I will have to get used to it, but it really bothers me. Don't get me wrong I love crust punk. I could just do without the illogical attitude. Well now I really need to sleep. Man I need to soak in a tub too.
Here are some pictures from today.
There are some on my facebook as well.
Hyvva Yota. (Good-night)
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Chris once again found a great restaurant called Ronnie's where we had a delicious breakfeast. I had a egg and sausage on toast and it was divine. Followed by some Mango and Passionfruit juice.
Ryan was very tired from the trip still and wanted to sleep while I wanted to explore more of the city needless to say I came back to my hotel room due to the fact that it was too bloody hot for me to stay outside and because I was scared for Ryan's car. At the suggestion of Ryan, he thought it was a good idea to have Chris drive his car and for me to carry on with my original plans.
Too bad Chris's gps was leading us astray and to quite honest his driving scared the shit out of me. Chris claims to be a defensive driver. Sometimes I think Chris thinks he's in the Fast and the Furious. He would speed in downtown Baltimore and then jerkily stops. I'm convinced I have whiplash now. We almost got into 3 car accidents and then he decided to turn at the same time that a bus was turning in nevermind that the bus had the right of way and was beeping at him. Overall, I'm glad I said a spell to protect Ryan's car. But in retrospect it was sad that the first thing I thought of was the car's well being and not mine in an accident.
The one cool thing I saw was that the Lutheran Church in Baltimore had a May Pole. It had a crown of flowers at the top and it was all wrapped up. It's interesting to see that some Pagan traditions are apparently still good enough to practice. LOLOLOL. Fertility symbol right in the front of a huge Church yard. You know good for this church for keeping this tradition alive. This is pretty niffty if you ask me.
When I came back Ryan was back to being the cool-headed chill person he is and not the crankers he was this morning. We had a silly argument , but as soon as I walked in and ranted about what happened to me with Chris we laughed about it and were glad his car was okay. We apologized and I decided that he should rest until 3 or 4 pm. I just watched Being Human, Charmed until he woke up. Ryan didn't wake up until 5pm.
Chris was outside laying in the parking lot trying to get a tan. The reason for this was because they wouldn't let him lay in the pool area because they didn't have a key to it. No wonder their pool looks nasty if they can't find their key to clean it out.
It was actually really nice to just have some time with just Ryan as a couple since we are sharing our room with Chris and we don't really have time together. I very much enjoyed the cuddling and the other things we did together ( if you know what I mean. ;P). We have been so busy preparing for MDF and moving my things from my apartment to Ryan's apartment and to Lauren's apartment that we haven't really had time for ourselves or to relax in each other's company.
Afterwards we decided to walk down to the south side of Baltimore I believe I saw a sign that called it the Business Quarter or something like that. This is the southside of Baltimore which is the nice side. We found a great Japanese restaraunt with fantastic miso soup and scrumptious sushi. The plan afterwards was to look for the Sonar and Sound Stage but then realized that it would be better to look at the address first before we went to look for it. The second plan was to go to the photo gallery but by the time we walked back to the hotel it was almost 8:30 pm which was when the gallery would no longer be free. I then also learned that SLR's are permitted into MDF but photo passes were not issued. Had I known that SLR's were permitted I still would have only brought my tiny Nikon because there is no way in hell that I'm getting my Nikon D 3200 broken. I do not have a spare $700 lying around.
We came back to the hotel room and had decided that we were quite bored so we texted a couple of our friends to see when they would get here but like anybody who has made the trek here our friends were extremely tired and preferred to stay in their hotel rooms. Ryan did keep his promise in going down to the tiny workout area in the gym and we worked out there or an hour. It felt amazing to be exercising once again. I sweated gallons but I know that in the end my body would thank me for this. Ryan and I took a shower and decided to relax on the bed once again but after 4 hours I got hungry again and looked for 24 hour places so I could eat. We found a place but I forgot my ID and thinking it was a bar we went back to hotel. As we walked back in we were stopped by two metalheads who started talking to us. They told us they were from Canada and they were very nice. We talked for an hour until my stomach decided that if it didn't get fed it was going to put up a fight. So these nice guys by the names of Matt and James from Ottawa invited us to their room and gave us some yummy drinks that consisted of tasty rum and ginger ale. We then went to this 24- hour diner near Pratt St and ate until I was full. I even had some cheesecake. We talked and talked for hours that we didn't know that it was so late. We waited for two taxi's but they left so we walked back to hotel at 4 am. Let me tell you we had no problem walking back. No one screwed with us or assaulted us. We talked and got to know each other. That's the best of part of MDF. Meeting cool new people.
Well I can barely keep my eyes open and Bolt Thrower is playing tomorrow so good night and I can't wait to party with these people again since we decided to meet up every day.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Once again I thought of all my favorite bands and how they do this every day when they tour? How they still have any energy to play is beyond me. What gets me even more is how quickly everyone became cranky with just one day without eating. It makes me feel very fortunate that I do not know any hunger or thirst. How many people only dream of having at one meal a day and here I am gorging myself on delicious seafood and beer? Both Ryan and myself are foodies and beer snobs and we pride ourselves on only eating the best. How many people can achieve this? I cannot take this for granted.
Later we came back to our room and I had left over energy so I decided to go workout in the exercise room since the pool was out of the question because it looked like a pond only to read that a person could not work out by themselves. What exactly is the point of having a 24 hr gym or work area if you forbid people to exercise by themselves? So Ryan said we can go tomorrow if he has more energy either way I'm going and they can't do anything about it. Screw it. These people are getting my money so I will work out when I want to. After that we just relaxed and watched Regular Show on my laptop until Ryan and I have decided that we could not stand being in this room any longer.
We were also hungry so we decided to explore the area before actual downtown Baltimore. It is actually a very beautiful area. It is a combination between Chicago and San Francisco. Or a combination of both the North Side of Chicago with all the factories in the South Side of Chicago.
We found a place that served kabobs. These kabobs were alright. In all honestly Salam's in Albany Park shits all over this place. The only good part of the food I'm afraid was the hummus and the salad because honestly how do you screw up salad. Although I am counting my blessing that I am not eating fast food or any of that garbage. In just a couple of months I have turned into such a health nut and honestly it feel great to actually feel healthy. I not making anymore excuses instead I will buckle down and spend less in order to afford more healthy organic food. Funny, how when you're really healthy you realize how badly out of shape you used to be. But I digress.
And then while walking to the Kabob place people were saying phrases like excuse me, pardon me. Everyone was saying this and then it hit me, holy shit I am that asshole that comes into their town and terrorizes them. I'm finally surrounded by people with manners and the first thing I think is man these people are fucking weird and far too nice. Perhaps this is why people think Chicagoans are rude or scary. Even the way that we walked, so rigid and tall compared to everyone else confounded me. Are we in Illinois really that stressed? Perhaps this is why a friend of mine does not like living in Chicago. Man people over here probably think Midwesterns are crazy. Here I am screaming at strangers because that is what I am used to in Chicago. Aren't I always complaining about how it would be great if just for once I could look in the direction I wanted without being hassled on the cta or how I can't be observant and stare people in the face lest they get offended and threaten you.
As we continued to explore more of this part of Baltimore we realized how people left their cars and windows ajar. So many apartments could easily be broken into and yet everyone had enough trust not do so. If this was Chicago there would be bars on all those windows and gates up the wazoo. No stairs would be left open for some stranger to steal your shit. Even more interesting was the fact that people would leave their bikes or motorcycles just chilling in front of their building. No chains, no locks. Once again if this was Chicago consider those bikes stolen. In a way I envied the fact that these people felt that safe.
Even the people walking on the street looked like they had not a care in the world. Teenagers were yelling at each other and screaming, "No dumbass, it's this way." That shit would not fly in Chicago. First of all, that would give away that you were lost and secondly everyone would get insulted for being called a dumbass.
All the bars were al fresco which was hilarious to watch all the drunken idiots and then we passed by a pet store that had two kitties guarding the door. This is all culture shock for me. I'm used to constantly having to watch over my back. I always have to hide all my stuff and be able to blend into a crowd as to not be seen as an easy target. Perhaps all these skills that I have developed will come in handy for MDF since I have been told the location of it is just as bad as the South Side of Chicago or the West side, but for now I will continue to ponder on what this all means.
Especially considering that on our walk there was a man behind us and I actually looked behind and began walking faster and the man said to Ryan and myself, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you. I'm just passing through. Pardon. I'll just move right out of your way." I'm just floored by how selfless this man was.If anything I was in his way because I had no idea where I was going.
I also came across what looked as an apothecary. Also know as I'm a Pagan store pretending to be a regular store. This gave me the idea to look up Pagan stores in Baltimore and see what they are like.
It is almost 4am in Pennsylvania. The trip so far has been a success. Even though I have barely slept and it is beyond humid in this room I am very content. I think I brought the right amount of stuff. I didn't under or over pack. I'm laying in bed in amazement that we have made it this far. We took a lot of pit stops but we are right on schedule. I am very hungry but, I cannot eat another snack. My body craves real food. My body is sore from sitting in the car for so long. As usual, I am the only person up in the hotel room. It is is dark and I feel like Harry Potter trying to practice his spells with a blanket over him and pretend he is a sleep. I drank a whole gallon of water something I have never done before since I don't like the taste of water. I have been reading 4 books I brought with me and listening to music. I am tired even though I didn't drive. I cannot imagine how Ryan and Chris feel. This trip is making me feel eternally grateful for the people who do this everyday and play a show and live in their own cars for a whole tour. How they have energy at all surprises me. Even taking vitamins I still feel sore and unhealthy. And I'm surrounded in luxury most touring metal bands get the shit end of the stick all the time. Well Chris and Ryan just woke up and are asking for me to go to bed so I will try. Being an insomniac sucks.