I knew I had to stop moping around on Friday nights. This was just becoming ridiculous and accomplishing absolutely nothing. So after a wonderful dinner that consisted solely of a gargantuan amount of homemade tabbouleh and a glass of wine, I began to peruse the newspaper for weekend activities. "No Shame Theater" was $5 downtown and I figured I'd give it a shot. OfficeMate and I got there about fifteen minutes early, I was informed they had no change for my $20, and was sent on a goose-chase for change. What change did I manage to get? Twenty dollars in singles. Awesome. Now I get to pay for things in one dollar bills, like the classy girl I am.
No Shame Roanoke was painful. Painful doesn't even begin to describe it. I feel absolutely awful for even suggesting it to OfficeMate. If anything, though, we got a good laugh out of it. Just... not because of the skits. There was one guy who I'm pretty sure just banged on his keyboard arbitrarily and then read it aloud as a poem. There was one failed attempt at mocking the guy in Florida who wanted to burn the Koran. There was one person who squeaked a rubber chicken, then made the squeaking noise himself, and every now and then blurted out a random word. ...and to top this all off, there was a guy two rows ahead of us who kept standing up to let people by whose pants were WAY to low and gave us a serious view of the crack.
A Friday night downtown in Roanoke is seemingly quiet. While we just went for No Shame (which was so shameful), the streets weren't particularly packed. Parking was not an issue. There was one place that might be considered a "club," and I only gathered that based on the guy that slightly resembled a bouncer outside. All in all, it was fairly quiet. We're not talking Clarendon here - or even Ballston. I couldn't help thinking, "It's FRIDAY. This is downtown. What is this, people??"
OfficeMate and I may or may not have (read as: ...have) signed up for Club Penguin accounts last week. He made an excellent observation. "Did you know that Club Penguin has a nightclub? How is it that Club Penguin is more happening and has a better nightlife than Roanoke??" It's sad, because it's true.
So I figured I'd hit up the somewhat-renowned Saturday market downtown. I was pleasantly surprised to find more people there on a Saturday morning (...afternoon. Let's be honest here, I slept in) than on a Friday night. Again, it all boils down to demographics. There are more families than young-ins, so there are more people out and about at a market than attempting to break it down in a "club." However, walking around downtown Saturday morning, there was nothing else downtown. Not even people. Roanoke has a large amount of unoccupied storefronts and an incredible amount of vacant apartments. I suppose I had some vague idea of this moving here, but it is only just beginning to fully sink in. The concept of Roanoke I had initially was this cute town with a plethora of local activities and gatherings, and I was going to acquaint myself with small-town(ish) America.
But I will not be brought down. The mall has a pet store. While I hate all things associated with pet stores (puppy mills, paying obscene amounts of money for a dog when the ones in the pound need homes, etc etc), seeing a store full of cute little puppies helped set off my incoming disappointment. I'm here for the long-haul, so I need to come to terms with this. I need to find ways to amuse myself and learn to become less dependent on others. Right now, that includes reading through the classics at the library. "For Whom the Bell Tolls" is making me feel all warm and fuzzy for Spain. Hemingway writing in Spanglish is comforting, and his comments on Spaniards are something I can relate to - much more than life in Roanoke.
In that vein, I would like to make a shameless plug for my US Open pick. Come on, Nadal! Spain showed the world in soccer, now they've got 'em in tennis!
I'm still looking for my church here in Roanoke. The past two weeks of churches have been good, but not quite the ambiance I'm searching for. In a few hours, I'm hitting up the Spanish mass. Bring it, latinos! I heard two of you at the market yesterday, so I know you're hiding somewhere in this town!
And for a random observation brought to you by research at work:
Poorly Researched Company Names
While doing research of corporations in the area that may be willing to donate, I came across one that apparently has the same name as a porn studio in Vegas (Yes, I'm talking about YOU Atomic Television). Thanks Google. I really wanted to see that first thing on my Friday morning. This is definitely a scenario where you don't want to hit the "I'm Feeling Lucky!" button on Google. People, before you choose a name for your company, research it. This is like naming your child. Just, make sure you've covered all possible scenarios before going with that name. This is coming from a girl who, when you google her name, first you get her linked in profile, then some stuff about Dean's List and conferences.... and then some porn star information comes up. For the record, they are not one in the same.
I'm just saying... research your name choices thoroughly. For anything.