I pulled in to the Happi House parking lot on Monday night and noticed my mortal enemy (The Rock; who incidentally happens to be of the opinion that it had the claim on that name way before Alcatraz stole it) was blocked out by a white car in the adjacent parking space near the Taylor street entrance to the restaurant.
I backed into a space way over on the other side of the lot just as the 68 bus stopped to disgorge some of its occupants.
I saw a man in a very nice leather coat, smart looking hat, glasses and matching shoes walk through the parking lot with a plastic grocery bag in one hand and a black acoustic guitar in the other while a slow drizzle of rain fell from the sky.
I've ridden on a lot of busses in my time, but I've never seen a well dressed man with a guitar and no case on a bus before. It sorta hurt to see that guitar get wet.
I watched him make his way around the back of the restaurant, then disappear somewhere down 5th Street.
As I stepped out of my truck, I saw not one but two big trucks parked at and near Jack's. I like it when I recognize people's vehicles: major foreshadowing for who's inside the bar.
The rain picked up a bit as I j-walked accross the street. I though this guy in a(nother) big truck was slowing down to let me cross, but as it turns out he was ignoring the road so he could text while driving.
Lolz you know they're close when you can see phone glow on their downturned face as they pass by.
Inside Jack's Bar & Lounge, the bar was not all that packed. Aimee was tending and I think there were like eight people (three women, five men) in attendance.
I noticed there were small business card sized....er, cards underneath each of Aimee's art pieces with her name in large print and the name of each piece underneath. Serendipity is the name for my favorite of the bunch and I think it fits just right. I still can't remember if that's the name Grant picked out for it or not (see, ACME? I don't remember everything that happens at the bar).
I said hello to Wes and Doug and sat down at the corner of the bar. Wes came over and took a seat next to me. We chatted for a bit about what it's like to have a house-full of rock band dudes for roommates. Then talk shifted to Texas and where we were all from.
The man to my right had a voice that to my admitedly less than perfect ears sounded a whole bunch like Captain Robau of the USS Kelvin (see the first part of the latest Star Trek movie). We're not talking accent so much as the robust, deep sort of pitch (tone?) of his voice.
Anyway, this man's name was Anurag and he's from India. I told him about my blog and my mission to hit Jack's every day this year. He gave me the OK to mention him.
It's worth noting that I almost didn't get to meet Anurag, which is to say I count him lucky to be alive since his first ever mosh pit experience was at a Metallica concert some four years ago. According to Anurag he was more or less forced into joining the crowd without being warned that a mosh pit was going to form around him.
Anurag and I talked about learning new languages. I'm learning bits of Nepali from my coworker, Anurag knows some German (Ramstein rules!) and is learning Spanish.
He made a good point about how English has many words so you sort of have to describe everything, whereas with Spanish you can say a lot with fewer words. I also liked his point about how learning a language is kind of pointless without also learning something of the culture that language inhabits.
After catching some fresh air outside, I went back in to find Doug at the jukebox. Doug already had a good set going and returned to the jukebox to load up some more songs when Wes jumped in to add Corpus Cristi Bay by Robert Earl King to a mix that already included music by Tom Waits, Willie Nelson, Joe Cocker and Stevie Ray Vaughn.
Now see here's why I like Jack's, because I learn stuff. I did not know, for example, that Joe Cocker was an Englishman, which totally surprised me. Were it not for Doug, I'd have lived a life bereft of this fact.
I liked how Doug related that the first time he ever heard Cocker (some 40 years ago) he thought he was listening to a black man from the south.
About the time Shannon and Lisa showed up I was ready to depart Jack's.
I did notice signage up on the walls for the F*ck V-Day Party at Jack's on February 13th at 8 pm, hosted by none other than the Silicon Valley Roller Girls (a veritable legion of Goddesses, if you ask me).
Should be fun!