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24Nov/101

Bar #14 – Jillian’s – Post-Mortem

Albany, NY

Despite the ebullience from the previous night's event, Tuesday started out quite poorly.  Short on time, research, and daily traveling stipend late Monday post-event, we had no choice but to check into a dingy Motel 6.  Sleeping in the room was like sleeping in a smoky billiards parlor.  The bed's comforter (pictured above) resembled the kind of art one might see there.  And, when I pulled back the made bed's cover to turn in for the night, two loose Newports fell to the floor.  All this despite the fact that I chose a non-smoking room, as clearly denoted here on the room's...ashtray?

Suffice to say, I awoke with a minor case of emphysema.  Needing to leave the room post-haste in order to clear my lungs and head, and hopefully burn off some tour beer weight, I decided to go for a little jog, something I've been amazingly vigilant in doing most mornings.  Suffice to say #2, our Motel 6 wasn't exactly located near bucolic jogging terrain.  As I ran on the sidewalk alongside a major thoroughfare through the slums, passing warehouses, plants, factories, and other fleabag inns and roach motels, I found myself ingesting even more carcinogens than I had from my night's sleep at the "6."

Sniffling, sneezing, and snorting throughout the day, I hoped that at least my spirits would be buoyed and our second Albany event at Jillian's would deliver as much as the first.  We arrived to an absolutely massive bar/dance club/arcade/billiards parlor (ironic!) to find them all empty.  Which they all pretty much remained for the next three hours.  Luckily, the "How to Fail" team had been such a hit at Graney's that several Monday attendees decided to return for another night of action, but other than that, and a few stray sales to friends of those people, Jillian's was an abject dud.  Worst event on tour so far.

Not satisfied with calling the evening a total loss, we decided to simply return to our beloved hot spot, Graney's, and just get loaded.  Back there, we were treated like kings and, though we didn't even bring any books inside to sell, people were so excited to see us again, or had heard so much about our barnstorming the previous night, that we were begged to run back to the car to grab some books to sell.

I ended up selling more books at this unofficial event at Graney's in under an hour than I did at the official one at Jillian's.

FAIL OF THE DAY:

Spending the night at a Motel 6.

SUCCESS OF THE DAY:

Returning to Graney's.

DRINK OF THE DAY:

The Vermont maple coffee at Daily Grind, a local coffee chain that blew my mind.  We also visited Mahar's, a top notch English pub style beer bar with six cask lines where I enjoyed a few terrific things from Syracuse's Middle Ages.

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