Ali's Basement

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My Life: Missoula – New Town, New Friends (Day 6)

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My friend and I ended up sharing a beat up air mattress that we filled up with a hair dryer. It was all we had access to at 11 pm, but it was hilarious. So, it was not the most comfortable sleep therefore I woke up early around 8am. I tossed and turned, played games on my iPhone, and finally when I had enough I took Merf for a quick walk around the neighborhood. I didn’t go too far because I wasn’t quite familiar with the area yet. When I got back, my air mattress buddy was awake and then my friend’s roommate woke up and offered to make us breakfast, sweet!

Mind you we met her the night before for maybe 5 minutes and she already offered to make us breakfast. This girl rocked! She even went to the store on her own to grab some more ingredients and she made us a fried eggs, pepper jack cheese, turkey bacon, and a spicy edamame spread sandwich. It was delicious!

After the three of us ate, the roommate needed to run an errand so we decided to join her and she took us on a quick tour through downtown Missoula, which is a college town, and it reminded me a lot of Blacksburg with it’s small buildings, restaurants spread out across main street, and a lot of unique mom & pop stores.  We walked into this cute little shop which sold little trinkets, art work, it had massive walls of different varieties of coffee, tea and spices. Christopher Columbus would have freaked out! As we walked through downtown I realized that Missoula was a anti-chain type of town and they really favored local businesses and took pride in that. I later learned that anytime a chain tries to move in, it gets shut down within a few months. I think that’s pretty cool that the town operates that way. After the errand run, we stopped by a weekly fair called “out to lunch” which has food vendors, live music, and is a great place to come and relax during lunch. It’s open every Wednesday and the roommate was telling us that local businesses allow their employees an extra 30-60 minutes for lunch to go and enjoy the event. That’s a solid deal! We then walked past the river that runs through the middle of town which is pretty bad-ass. This is the river where everyone goes tubing or floating as they say in Missoula, kayaking, fishing and swimming. The river looked so serene, clean, refreshing,  and inviting. If only I was brave enough to jump in from the bridge, haha. As we walked around some more, I noticed how active everyone in town was and I guess that makes sense because that’s how Blacksburg was. Everyone was outside either biking, running, playing a sport (basketball, tennis, etc) or floating down the river. It was a really active town and I now fully understood why my friends had moved here. It made me wish I had done the same. Plus the roadblock that I always throw up, “oh, but if I only had one friend who went with me, I’d go” would no longer be valid. Still, I’ve notice that all the liberal towns I visit and fall in love with, unfortunately have the same traits. The upsides are that they are a lot of fun, there are a ton of young people, lots of activities, great social scene, art infusion, very scenic, but the downsides are that the economy is not as good so there are less job opportunities, there are more bums, and the majority of the young population is poor.

After our mini tour we headed home and the GTB showed up to take us paint balling. We first hit up the Army / Navy store in downtown to rent supplies and pick up drinks. I had most of the supplies I needed, but I ended buying some camo pants and green socks to fully camouflaged myself in the woods, and if definitely paid off. We divided up teams and played two different styles of games, capture the flag and defend & conquer. I got caught in a 1-on-1 battle in the first round and thought I got hit, but it was just a graze. The next round I got revenge and was able to tag the same guy who grazed me in the previous round. He tried to sneak behind our defense post, but I caught him in time. In the third round, I got into a battle with one guy, so I thought, but then the GTB popped up behind me and got me in the right thigh, way too close to my crotch, thank god I stuffed some socks in there for padding to create a make shift cup. In the fourth round, I got myself in trouble by being more aggressive and I ended up in a setup with two guys, I took a shot to the back of the head, that was a hard lesson learned but perhaps one I needed to play smarter. We played two final games of capture the flag where I picked up another kill. So over the course of 3 hrs, I got 3-4 kills and was taken out 3 times. Overall, I had a lot of fun but now I was exhausted and hungry. The GTB had a pretty solid day on the field. Also, we got to meet some of the GTB’s local friends who turned out to be really cool guys.

After paintball, we headed back to our friend’s house to shower and rest up. I got my second wind after my shower and I was ready for a fun night. So we all walked to a really good pizza restaurant, Biga Pizza, which I enjoyed their Pompeii pizza. After dinner, we went to an art store and the sales guy said he was going to offer us a deal if we could guess the name of the band he was about to play on his iPod. The rules were no cheating by using Shazam (bummer!) and we could have unlimited guesses until we left. The prize was a free piece of art work that was $30 or less. He also gave us two hints: 1) it was a 90’s band and 2) it was a band you would never expect to play this style. The clerk played the song, it was an instrumental with cool guitars, drums, and some synths. There were six of us and we kept taking turns guessing from the likes of Alice in Chains, 311, Coldplay and more. After 5 minutes, I thought it was a lost cause but then a song popped in my head which had a similar guitar rift and the lead singers face popped up, but what was the bands name?!? It finally hit me and I yelled out “3rd Eye Blind!” while still stunned I remember the name. The clerk ran over and was like, ‘what did you say?’, I said 3rd Eye Blind and he was shocked because no one had ever guessed the song and I just won myself a high five and a free gift, sweet! I’m still trying to find that song on iTunes but I can’t seem to figure it out.

We then went back to the house to drop our things off, freshen up and wait for the GTB and fiancé to show up. Once we were all together we headed to a local pub, The Rhino, where we played pool and shuffleboard for a few hours. I had a lot of fun and it’s definitely a pretty cool place to hang out. On the way home I saw a really funny sign that a bum had out, “”gizmo got wet, need money to fight gremlins”, that was creative but I didn’t have any change at the moment but I would have given him some.

Earlier in the day I decided to reserve a hotel room at the local Days Inn, since there were already 3 roommates, 4 of us crashing on the floor, and 1 bathroom, it was way too cramped. After downtown, we all headed back to our friend’s house and 2 of us stayed there, while me and another friend grabbed our stuff and checked into the hotel. After the 8 hour car ride with 6 adult men, sleeping on a dead air mattress, and some uncomfortable situations, it was time for a little treat. It was around 2 am and I had just unpacked all my stuff, it felt nice to have my own space again but now I was also hungry. Once again, I was brand new to the area so I didn’t want to go too far and get lost. So, I walked out the door turned left, walked a block looked both ways, nothing, walked another block, looked both ways, and to my left I saw a store with it’s lights on so I headed in that direction. I came upon a Pita Pit and got a breakfast pita consisting of scrambled eggs, Swiss cheese, avocado, olives, tomatoes, green, peppers, mushrooms and salsa. I took it back to my room to eat and it really hit the spot. I would later get shit for this decision.


Written by Ali's Basement

July 21, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Posted in My Life

2 Responses

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  1. I would like to exchange links with your site
    Is this possible?


    August 2, 2010 at 11:33 am

    • that sounds like a good idea, I’ll add you to the blogroll. Thanks for the support!

      Ali's Basement

      August 3, 2010 at 2:24 am

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