In Boozo Veritas #20 by Teege Braune

Teege’s List of Reasons Orlando Doesn’t Suck

If you didn’t know it already, The Orlandoan has made it very clear to all of us that our city doesn’t suck. Not only did they put this slogan on a T-shirt, the website further proves the sentiment by keeping a running record of many amazing events that make Orlando so much more than sucky.

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My week in review is a list of things that lift Orlando from the miasma of suckitude. Keep in mind this is not a comprehensive list of my favorite things to do or see in Orlando. This blog only encompasses last week, but what a week it was!

Last Sunday was Redlight Redlight’s staff holiday party. I was going to call this blog post, “Redlight Redlight Holiday Parties are Decadent and Depraved” before I decided most of it should remain undocumented. Last year Jenn got a sliver of glass caught in her eye when two bottles collided midair and had to be rushed home whilst screaming and swearing.

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This year the party began tamely enough. My colleagues and I sipped our drinks slowly and tried to figure out what to say to each other when there wasn’t a horde of thirsty customers waving dollar bills in our faces. Then Dave handed me a flask. Then Madison handed me a muffin. Like plummeting head first down Alice’s rabbit hole or a great Charybdian maw or the hell mouth itself, doomed for Tartarus, I went spiraling into another dimension, a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, but in no way a dimension of mind. We’ll call this dimension Lil Indies.

Tuesday was There Will Be Xmas, the first ever holiday edition of There Will Be Words, which has relocated to Avalon Gallery in the heart of downtown since its former home, that lost gem Urban ReThink, has closed its doors.

Gallery At Avalon Island

Though last week’s reading didn’t have the best turnout in the series’ history, our readers J. Bradley, Catherine Carson, Whitney Hamrick, and Dan Lauer got the small group fortunate enough to hear them dementedly oriented for the season of giving. Furthermore, There Will Be Words have brought back their charming, little chapbooks. Hopefully, 2014 will see Orlando’s prose reading series return with a bang. After the readings we usually walk to Gringos Locos for tacos and stovepipe cans of Tecate. On Tuesday I had to carry on the tradition by myself, which I did proudly like Aeneas marching away from his fallen Troy to found the city of Rome. Against my better judgment I made my way once again to Lil Indies where I only planned on having one beer, but ran into at least six friends I hadn’t seen in years. As none of these friends had actually arrived together, decorum mandated I have a drink with each in turn, which I did, cursing myself silently.

John King demands nothing less than my complete servility for the enormous amount of money that he pays me to write this blog. Thursday he forced me, along with local writers Dianne, Nathan, and Ryan to attend a round table discussion that would provide the meat of next week’s The Drunken Odyssey podcast. We began the evening on the balcony of the Grand Floridian, that old southern resort languidly resting just outside of Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, John lubricating the conversation with rum and whiskey while Nathan and Ryan took turns buying us rounds from the bar.

GF monorail line

Next week’s podcast will speak for itself as podcasts tend to do, but let’s just say that this was only the beginning of what will prove to be the single greatest episode of any podcast since the dawn of time, that is to say the internet. Orson Welles’ broadcast of War of the Worlds is probably better, but who am I to say?

Just to prove how unsucky Orlando can be, on Sunday the artists and writers of this city crammed three amazing events into a single day, each conveniently located no more than a block from the other right in the middle of Audubon Park, the neighborhood that just won’t quit being awesome. First was Grandma Party Bazaar, Stardust’s annual art and craft market where every year Jenn sells the incredible ceramic jewelry she designs and hand creates as Clay Curiosities. Along with Jenn’s own work, Daughters & Co’s collection of homemade bitters was another highlight that caught the eye of this drinking enthusiast. Meanwhile, down the street at East End Market the Locally Grown Words Book Fair found tables of local publishers and writers peddling their own craft in the form of ink and paper.

Locally Grown Words Book Fair

The event was a springboard for the book store scheduled to open in the market by the end of January. Only time will tell exactly what the shop will entail, but I understand that it will be a place that local writers can present their published work to the public, and this alone is something for which Orlando is in desperate need. While we may not suck, it never hurts to suck that much less.

Later Redlight Redlight (our staff finally recovered from last week) hosted a writers auction as a fundraiser for the Urban Think Foundation. While Urban ReThink in Thornton Park may no longer exist, the Urban Think Foundation thrives and remains a relevant and necessary cultural entity in this city bringing us Page 15, Burrow Press, and a host of other events and programs. The auction was able to raise $1500 for the Foundation’s 30K in 30 Days fund drive, $300 of which came from a lovely woman named Suzannah who bid on yours truly. While I’m committed to writing five limericks for Suzannah for bidding so generously, I just might throw in a couple bonus limericks because she is so damn wonderful.

Finally, after the auction I found myself at Lil Indies again because it seemed like an appropriate capstone to the week. In the short time it’s been open, Indies has become the unofficial late night hub for artists, local rockstars, and weirdos of every ilk. Older and wiser than I was last Sunday, I managed to stick to my goal and had only a single beer before heading home where as I settled into bed promising myself I would sleep in the next morning. It seemed a well deserved rest after an enjoyable but exhausting week. Nevertheless, as my eyelids grew heavy, a nagging doubt began to trouble me. Too late to turn back now, I drifted off into dreamland and slept soundly until I woke with a start at five A.M. Though Monday morning had arrived, I had yet to write In Boozo Veritas, your favorite literature and drinking blog and one more reason Orlando doesn’t suck!

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Teege at Grand FloridianTeege Braune (episode 72episode 75) is a writer of literary fiction, horror, essays, and poetry. Recently he has discovered the joys of drinking responsibly. He may or may not be a werewolf.

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