11:40 AM, Mar 7, 2008
The Red Balloon, again
I handed off the destroyed oncall phone yesterday, and spent the rest of the day scrambling to meet the impossible incomplete requests of the mainframe people. I got home and jumped online real quick-like, and leveled my player to 46 before getting dressed and heading down to Shawnee for karaoke.
Shawnee is, as far as I know, one of the last remaining suburbs of Kansas City that still allows smoking in bars. At the Red Balloon, situated in an ugly stripmall near 75th and Switzer, they take full advantage of their right to smoke. My jacket is disgusting today. But even esides the smoke, the place is extremely dirty, bedecked with various out-of-date grime-covered dusty holiday decorations, alongside random objects that have been set in various places, presumably because there's nowhere else to put them.
I will give you an idea of the overall hygiene of the place with the following example. If my shoelace touched the floor, I'd get a new shoelace. It is a beer-lover's nightmare. They only take cash, and they only have the greyest of the grey on tap: Bud, Bud Light, Busch Light, Miller Lite, and Miller High Life, and charge for all of it as if it's Boulevard, which, incidentally, they don't have in any form.
All of that said, I love
the Red Balloon. Its unassuming trashiness attracts people from all walks of life, but it's still very much a redneck dive bar. The principal draw is karaoke, which is held every night, starting at 8:30pm. The song selections are almost entirely country music, with a mixing of eclectic selections from the 80s and 90s, and a smattering of top 40 from the last four or five years.
It was sensational. Over the course of an hour or two, our group swelled to fill three front-and-center tables, and I managed to belt out renditions of Jackson Browne's Doctor My Eyes
and John Denver's Leaving on a Jet Plane
, in addition to spirited duets with Richard of Wham's Careless Whisper
and Night Ranger's Sister Christian
. Many pictures and videos were taken, but not on any of my equipment, which I left safely at home.
I went to bed at about midnight dreading the oncoming work day, not because I would be particularly hung over(I'm not), but because Thursday night was so much fun, it just doesn't seem fitting to go back to work after something like that.