Thursday, January 27, 2011

Say Yes Safely, Please

Who had the best Wednesday night in Austin? Yes, this girl. After work, a couple of us headed out to take the night by storm. I love hanging out with new people, or people I've worked with but never gotten a chance to really talk to. And I love that they all said yes! So, our first stop of the night was Shiner Saloon for their Whiskey Wednesday. Yes, that means dollar whiskey and country music. We all liked Shiner and loved the guy on the guitar, but the music is always way too loud. As it's not really the place to have a conversation with anyone, we had a drink or two and headed out to find a place where we could tone it down a notch. We stopped by Cedar Street Courtyard because we wanted to get our 80's on and listen to The Spazmatics, but we decided we didn't want to pay the $8 cover. I will definitely be back to partake in that action though. We tried to head into Peche to try a Death in the Afternoon (champagne and absinthe!) but by this time they were closed. We had heard about a place with Arabic music and dancing so we found our way to Red Fez. I wasn't sure if this was going to be my scene, but that's why I say yes. This place was packed with people dancing and smoking hookahs (which made the entire place smell sweet and delicious) and enjoying life. The band was amazing and so was the belly dancer! We all had a blast dancing it up with each other and a couple of strangers. We started to get in the mood for some hip-hop dancing, so I took the crew to Barcelona, but instead of hip-hop we heard dub-step and had fun taking in the smoke machine, laser show, and cheap beers. The gang got hungry and one girl insisted on going to Frank's to devour some gourmet hot dogs. They loaded their dogs with up jalapeƱos and mac and cheese. They do have veggie dogs available, also, so I'll have to give them a try next time. We were on a never-ending quest to find our other work friends, who had also been bar hopping, but just not at the same time and place as us. I got a final text saying they were at Six Lounge and since we were so close, we ran over. Unfortunately, they had already left. And unfortunately, I'll never see one of them again because he got into a crash shortly after that and passed away, as I found out earlier today.

I've always hated the idea of drinking and driving and thought it to be one of the stupidest ideas any one of us could make. But I know that alcohol can take over and make you feel more confident than you are, or make you feel like you'll be okay to drive. I also know that it can start to seem like no big deal because nothing has ever happened. I've seen people around me get DUIs or have close calls, but nothing has hit this hard before. Rick was a wonderful man, young, funny, and had a laid-back and low-key energy that I envied. I wish I could have seen him that night and perhaps convinced him to take a cab with me. But this is a huge lesson to watch out for myself and those closest to me, to make sure we can all keep saying yes for one more day. So, I want you guys to go out, have fun, and say yes, but please, please, think twice before you get behind the wheel or let your "most sober" friend drive you home.


Rick Gil (September 16th, 1985 - January 27th, 2011)

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