Monday, August 30th - Day 58 - Epic Weekend
Indianapolis Travel Blog› entry 29 of 40 › view all entries
After finishing the blog I linked up with Jumkie, a great californian from Powerslide.net who made me one of the family back in Laguna Seca. Turns out, him and his boys somehow in the past schmoozed up some lady and became friends and now she lets them watch the races from her VIP box suite every year. WOW... And they'd snagged what's called a 'paddock pass' basically a backstage pass to see behind the scenes. This is like a backstage pass at a music festival attended by U2, Gun n Roses, ACDC, and even lesser known greats like The Tragically Hip... You get a personal look at the racing stars you root for. Incredible. Better yet, he brings down his buddy's pass so that I can wear it and get back there for a tour! AWESOME!!
Somehow I creeped out Nickey Hayden... maybe he thinks it's wierd when 6'4 dudes scream "NICKEY" at him while trying to take pictures lol... Or maybe after my awkward remark to Casey Stoner in Laguna, I'm on a watch list? Lol, who knows. But he wasn't down with me being around and twiceit felt like he snubbed me. Even so, I root for the guy.
I went up to the box suite and helped myself to some roasted almonds and cookies, and then shared the customary shot of tequila, BOOYAKA!!!! Oh, it's getting late, gonna try and actually make this one a quickie... For real though, no seriously! Stop doubting my ability to summarize!!
Jumkie invites me out with him and california Kid and others I can presume, but I already had plans with a coffeehost, whom I met up with a tad late and then took a rush 30 minute tour of the Modern Art Museum in Indianapolis. What I saw was great, and I'm glad I had that chance.
Then it was on to Vogue theater to watch some horrendous Japanese influenced presentations; 20 slides, 20 seconds per slide, 10 presenters. Horrible... Most of them needed to reattend lectures on lectures. Thank god for PBR... that's Pabst something something... Indiana Beer, lol... In the meantime we had fun playing a game where we guessed the appearance of the presenter based only on their voice. Loser bought the next round. Fun considering where we sat, we couldn't see much. But listening to Pieces, an indy band was totally awesome. Really good.
Then some of my hosts friends showed up and we headed out on the town, Broad Ripple Village actually, the college area to dance it up. Really fun!
Later in the evening, I was a little danced out... actually, it was Madonna's "Holiday"... I can only dance like a goof for so long.. and only to songs I enjoy. Some woman who'd spoken to me earlier for a brief moment at the bar approached me and started pouring on the flattery. I wasn't attracted, and although my ego enjoys being flattered, I didn't want to give her the wrong impression, and hoped my being polite and pleasant but devoid of reciprocation would be enough to let her know that I wasn't interested. She asked why I wasn't dancing, and I replied because it was an awful song. She really wanted to dance... Trouble was a great song may soon come on that I may wish to dance to. And one did.
I looked at her and thought to myself "Well, what's the harm in a dance? Maybe it'll make her night? Maybe she'll enjoy herself?..." So I grabbed her hand "This one's a good one, let's go dance" and for one song we danced. No, there was no gratuitous grinding. The grinding was very PG, lol, just kidding... The song ended, I thanked her for the dance and wished her a great night. She looked devestated, like a child who is allowed to play with a puppy at the pet store, then is told it's time to go... She'd thought she could bring the puppy home.
I couldn't help but wonder if I'd made the right choice. I thought I was doing something nice. But then I couldn't help but think I'd made an insensative mistake.
My coffeehost took us to another place. I nearly had trouble getting in. It felt like one of my host's friends felt like I might be some sort of a threat.. and impedence to his goal for the night. That was my initial take on it anyway. We were getting let into a club by skipping the queue, and he told the bouncer adimantly that he didn't know me and I wasn't with the group. Well my host cleared it up and I was inside. However, not feeling welcome by this individual, I made my way off to the dance floor on my own. I made new friends pretty quick.
We hopped a cab and went back to their place. There I met two more guys, lifelong friends of the home owner. One was a tall lanky fellow, and the other a short, angry, mysoginistic, drunk. Great, my favorite kind of person. Immediately he's laying into one of the girls, the italian, belittling her, making snide remarks, pointing his finger in her face. Why? Because he's drunk, because he hates women, because he is a bad lay, because he has a small pecker, I dunno. He's just that abusive asshole type. I find out later he's had all his girlfriends leave him because he likes to argue with his hands. A real piece of work. I'm not a violent man, but right away I wish pain on him.
The home owner steps in, "Hey, relax man. You're drunk. You're either calming down and going to bed or you're leaving". Drunk turns to the home owner and now it's "Don't disrespect me, what have I ever done to you". The conversation loops in circles. I've heard this garbage before. 5 years in the army, I met a lot of good guys. But I also met some angry drunks. Same kinda thing when I was a doorman.
My jesus shoes are off. Everyone's wearing their shoes still but I wear mine so often I want a break. The conversation has shifted to the living area near the pool table and it's getting hotter. I'm in the kitchen with the girls. Tall and lanky is trying to mediate at the pool table. Now the angry drunk is shouting and hollaring. The home owner keeps his cool. Turns out they've been friends their whole lives, and angry drunk always gets like this, but that's what's keeping the home owner from just putting him outside. The girls are freaked out. They weren't the type with low self esteem that tolerate guys talking to them like dirt, but he's a friend, they know him, he's just drunk, that's the excuse, and the home owner will sort it out. But it gets worse.
"I HAVE A FUCKING CUE BALL IN MY HAND AND I WILL SMASH IT IN YOUR FUCKING FACE!! YOU HEAR ME?!?" They're moving back into the seating area near the kitchen from the living area. I move up to my feet softly, no shoes, no sound, real casual like. But the italian girl decides her presence will bring some sense to the situation and she runs in between them. "Calm down right now!" she calls out while pointing her fingers in his face. He shoves her with one hand, the other still holding the cue ball and he's screaming threats again. He circles the room around the home owner who's still keeping his calm and trying to talk him down. Angry drunk is in front of me with his back to me, his hand raises the cue ball. There's a time to negotiate and a time to act. A cue ball is a weapon, and this guys making threats. I shoot in, one arm going under his chin, tucking his adam's apple into the crook of my elbow and quickly applying pressure while the other restrains the cue ball arm. He struggles, but I use my height to put him off balance into the couch, then rotate so he's on top and exposed. "You're going to sleep, you're out of control" I say. lol... "No, don't do that man!" says the home owner, "He's my buddy let him go". "Take the cue ball out of his hand" he does. "You going to behave?" I say while loosening the pressure. "Yesss" wheezes angry drunk. So I let him up. The fights out of him, and tall and lanky and home owner escort him outside. The girls are shaken right up and I help them find matches for a cigarette. I think my actions were justified. I don't approve of guys hurting girls, especially not physically. And being honest, I'm glad I had the chance to put to use years of training, for good.
It takes a while and there's a lot more drama, including punching tall and lanky right in the belly. He comes in whimpering and crying, "How could he do that?... You don't punch a guy with Chrones disease..." He'd just gotten out of the hospital a week before. His best friend, the angry drunk knew that too. What a piece of work. After a while the home owner finally gets the guy in a cab and he leaves. What I find out is that threats are made by the angry drunk to get his gun out of his car and kill the home owner. The home owner has wrestled him into the ground three times at hearing this, but then lets him up thinking it's over. The angry drunk being gone now, everyone relaxes a bit. Home owner thanks me, and we divvy up couches and go to sleep. Wow... dramaaaaaaaaa! lol
The next day was qualifying at Indy Speedway. 9 time world champion Rossi Valentino goes into the dirt a few times... wierd... American 1st year rookie, Ben Spies qualifies with the hottest lap time and gets Pole Position. Pretty big deal, that's a record for the track. What I like is later on during the interviews on the Speed TV stage when Yamaha goes up there, he's really modest and humble about it, stating he knows it's going to be tough to hold onto that 1st place position with Dani Pedrosa behind him. I like this guy. Maybe I don't have to be heartbroken that Nickey Hayden, who I'm cheering for has snubbed me, maybe I can jump on the Ben Spies bandwagon? lol
Before the interviews I talked to two sisters who were from Holland. I'd heard the accent and asked where they were visiting from but they actually attend school in the US now. "So how often do you come to Moto GP?" "We come to all of them" "You mean you were at Laguna in California and now you're at Indy?" "No, all of them" "What do you mean?" I ask. "We fly to all the races" They're like 20 or something "Wow, that's pretty cool, how?" "Our parents are Moto GP sponsors" "Wow..." I say. "... My parents are NOT moto gp sponsors" and they laugh at the joke. And sure as shit the next day, I'm sitting in my seats across from the starting line and the podium, and they're walking around the team paddock area before the race. Holy shitballs... I shoulda actually made an attempt to schmooze.
It's saturday and I head out to meet up with the california boys from Powerslide.net at the fair grounds and I see my first ever dirt track race. These guys are FLYING on 2 wheels on a dirt circle, taking the turns with one foot down for stability... Now, it's not that cool cause it's just a circle BUT... to be going that fast on dirt? Frig, I nearly went down on that park road doing 40 mph, and these guys are going like 120 mph. My hat was off to them, hahah
Ended up just going downtown to meet up with the guys because the race was almost over when I got there to meet them. No point meeting up just to say "Now we're going downtown" so we met at their hotel. I gotta hand it to Indianapolis. They turned their main street downtown, Meridian into "Motorcycles on Meridian Street"... the place was wall to wall bikes. Mine being parked right in the middle of the street amidst hundreds of others in line. So awesome. Have to see it to believe it. Met up with the guys and Cali Kid was good enough to let me eat his leftovers from his entree he couldn't finish. Not that I can't buy my own food, but I wasn't that hungry, hahah! Met Steeeeeve from Powerslide as well as Frosty58. Took a quick look at Steve's old classic Suzuki i think it was, then headed out for a couple of pints, just Jumkie, Steeeeve and I while the others headed off to bed in hopes of getting up early.
After a couple drinks during the UFC match, the dudes went back to the hotel and I was on my own to meander the downtown and see what was what. Came across a place called Howl At The Moon. "What music do they play here?" I ask the doorman. "All requests". I pay my cover. Moments later I realize to my dismay I am in a HORRIBLE dueling piano bar.. *Vomit*.
Don't get me wrong, you do this right and these places are badass! Just go to a Red Piano from Elton John's franchise. I've been to the one in Edmonton. Loads of fun! They played every single song people requested, including 'Single Ladies" by Beyonce right when it came out. Amazing!
But these guys sucked. So I left. Eventually found myself in the Subterranean Lounge where some good house music was being spun. THANK YOU!
In the end, great night, even got introduced to Steak n Shake. This 50's style diner can kill you if you inhale too much cholesterol from the air.. but the Fresco Melt is so good. Basically a grilled cheese sandwich with a paddy inside, lol...
Went back to get my bike, Uh oh.. where are all the other bikes?! None are left?! They're all gone?! And mine was in the middle of the road!!!! Turns out someone must have held my clutch in and rolled my bike to the side of the street for me so it wouldn't impede morning traffic in case I left it there. So sweet of them!! Thanks, city of Indianapolis!!
Headed back to the hostel and caught some much needed Z's.
haha, K, it was gonna be a summarized blog again, but I came BACK to it when I had more time so it got long again. But I want to get back into summary mode.
The race wasn't too crazy, but it was pretty decent. Went out after for dinner with two people from my hostel, both fellow Moto GP fans, one of which travelled from Brazil, the other from Australia. Very cool!
My coffeehost wanted to make it up to me for not really sending me off properly on the Friday night, although it seemed fine by me. So we linked up at Vogue again where her DJ friend was doing the obvious. Apparently after his set we would depart and hit some sort of afterparty for Moto GP downtown. Didn't sound hopeful to me considering everyone has already left cause tomorrow is Monday, and in my mind, downtown would be deserted. I also had the opportunity to be informed that the tension on friday night that felt like a light-sabre duel I wanted nothing to do with was a total misunderstanding! Well that's good because we were all going out again so any further drama could be avoided. What ends up happening though is the DJ, the guy I mistakenly believed didn't want me being around my host, and my host lead our convoy in the DJ's SUV. Oddly enough they drove so fast we lost them and they got to the venue before us, went in, and were now unable to get us in. Fortunately though my host was able to get in her two girlfriends. I however was left outside.
But does everything happen for a reason? After asking the doorman if he could please let me in and being denied, I decided I'd wait and see if my host was able to respond to my text and get me in. "I have no pull, sorry".... Well I had to piss now, so I meander around this pimped out Escalade parked right in front of the door ala security style. I non chalantly pull myself out off my pants and begin relieving myself on the other side of the SUV from the doorman, out of sight but in the plane open while looking skywards at the architecture as if I'm doing anything BUT pissing in public. I should mention that waiting outside as well is the Hooters manager and his 3 buddies who were also invited. None of us can get in.
I finish just in time as a police officer rounds the corner and is in my view. The Hooters dudes are gone. 2 guys and 2 girls walk out of the club, a place called Hyde and start talking outside."Dude, c'mon, please I'm from Canada, I'm touring the continent on my motorcycle, can i please come in? I was with those girls, I was sposed to get in" "Sorry, I can't.."
I look back to the 2 dudes and the 2 girls. The 2 girls are now paying a lot more attention the more slender guy. And the other has a bit more muscle. The more slender one is wearing really nice black hightops with red laces. I've seen these before... during an interview... at Speed stage.. with Yamaha... I look up.. this dude, with two hot ho's on him.. is none other than... Jorge Lorenzo.
I shit you not. I step in, mind you I am not drunk, I've had a few but I take her pretty easy to save money as well as kidney cells, especially on a long trip like this with so much potential partying (ie: 80% of my nights) "Excuse me, you bare a strikng resemblance to a fellow named Hor-hay Lorentho" and I say it just like this and he nods and says 'thank you' or something, and the other guy begins to speak english, and it strikes me that this might be his friend and PA. Now I don't totally recall whether they say "It is him" but I doubt that, but I know it's him so I say "Dude, good race today... And by the way, I bought your underwear, they're fucking awesome. And he's sorta confused. Sure he takes english questions during interview but he's probably had a couple drinks and this is probably a little different from the usual conversation he has. And he reaches down, pulls his shirt up and shows his ginch to me, and I say "No no no.. *laugh* not your D and G's, YOUR underwear, number 99, with the x on the thigh" as I point it out on mysyelf, and he's perplexed but his pal who is laughing his balls off translates, then Jorge laughs and shakes my hand. I guess he's glad his underwear has that impact on his fans.
So I say "Can you guys help me get in?" and the PA says "In 5 minutes" So i wait. Then Jorge leaves with the two ho's and buddy goes inside and I miss him. I go back to the doorman "Please can I come in?" "okay fine". He lets me by. Nothing else to it. I waited maybe 15 minutes. However, I'm grateful, I give him a 20. I wanted to give him a 10 but I only had 20's on me, lol. He didn't expect it but he took it.
I walk in, the place is pounding, it's dark, good music plays, people are everywhere, mostly guys, mostly european. a few girls are around. I keep walking. Valentino Rossi is sitting at the bar with a couple girls and some dudes. "Vale, good race today" and I shake his hand just like a dude passing by and saying 'hi'. "thanks" he says but I can tell he's a little uneasy. This is not the paddock, this is their club, this is their chance to just be people and not get pestered by the fans. I can't push my boundary.
The fortunate thing is, being so new to the sport... and maybe having less of an appreciation to how incredible it is compared to other people, I didn't get starstruck.. and it was really easy to just be natural and not get out of hand, to just be some guy saying "hey nice race", and I walked on.
I did notice later though that Vale moved to the roped off VIP area. Is it possible that I'd startled him? Maybe, maybe not, whatever.
I run into my coffee host, she's near the dj booth with her people. I say to her "Do you have any idea where you are right now? Two of the best racers in the world right now, one of which may be one of the best of all time are here just hanging out and I shook their hands..... this is incredible" "Coooool!" she says, lol... Well, either way, I look around a bit to see who else i recognize.
To put it in perspective, meeting Jorge outside was like meeting Sydney Crosbey, the #1 draft pick in the NHL that some have said is the next Wayne Gretzky.
Meeting Rossi is like meeting Michael Jordan back when he still played for the Chicago Bulls.
Actually, it's probably bigger, because Moto GP is international. These guys are like, the two biggest names in FIFA world cup soccer. And I just gave them a 'how ya do'. Cool.
Some dude I saw in the paddock while on the walk with Jumkie was there.
At one point some one I'm talking to asks who I'm with and how I got invited. Time to shovel some golden bullshit!
"I'm touring the continent on a 2009 BMW K1300R... I let the BMW reps at Laguna Seca know about my blog and although they're not making it official, the guy I talked to is behind me and supports what I'm doing, and something might happen with it later. Anyway, he got me invited in here" lol
I try to take some half-legible pics with my phone, sans flash. They're shit. I take some video. it's shit. Some guys notice me, they look suspicious. I lean in to them "I'm video conferencing my girlfriend right now, telling her to fuck off because she always bitches about me partying so I'm showing her what's going on" They laugh, the tension is broken, they probably have doen it themselves in the past. I'm NOT a crazy fan who shouldn't be here.
Just turns out to be an incredible night. What are the chances? Again, couch surfing in conjunction to going with the flow on everything has proven to be totally awesome. It's like "Yes Man" with Jim Carrey. Had I not come out and just went to the hostel to blog... I woulda missed this.
The next day I gingerly get myself ready and move on to Cincinatti. It's a nice place. The Contemporary Arts Center isn't really my cup of tea, but oh well.
My couchhost is really nice and with the teaming up of my coffeehost, they take me out for a big dinner with other CS'ers in the area. Really fun intersting bunch of people. The italian venue we're in has some really weird photography in the men's washroom though. Baby boys peeing, statues of naked men, etcetera, etcetera. I find it funny that there are no pictures of guys with big schlongs. Wouldn't want anyone developing a complex in the washroom and sueing them, right? lol
That we ate dinner in a round room at a round table with pictures of former popes all over the walls and a plastic bust of the present pope in the center of the table beneath a plastiac case on a lazy susan was a definite bonus.
Ice cream in High Park while one of the CS'ers played piano on a public piano as another did interpretive dance was also fun. That some old, stuffy, married couple walked by and didn't see any humor in it was even funnier though, hehe
Tomorrow, on to Columbus.
Take care, Ride safe.