Kurt Vonnegut take one

Today I got off work early and ended up in Pages, an independent bookstore in Calgary near where I work. Pages is a dangerous place to go and generally one leaves with one if not several books they may or may not have needed. After flipping through a few Penguin classics — there is something about that little Penguin logo that makes a book seem so much more appealing and readable — I decided to get a copy of Slaughterhouse Five.

I have been meaning to read Kurt Vonnegut for a while and almost bored Slaughterhouse Five from a friend but left it at her house. Problem solved I now have my own copy to read and abuse.

So far it has been different than I had expected — most books obviously are but still some authors surprise you, while others Hemingway for instance, are exactly what you thought you would find. The tone is intriguing and reminds me of Hunter S. Thompson. It is a break from the creative nonfiction and Steinbeck and Hemingway style fiction I typically read. Much like the iced americano I got today — they were out of the iced coffee I usually get, which was a bummer, and not in a spoiled way but in the going and get coffee during my lunch break is one of those simple things that makes life worthwhile — it tastes a little bitter and unusual but it has a lot in common with my usual diet and is something I might get used to.

Many people have told me that Vonnegut is incredible and that much adoration doesn’t come from nothing. And I do love Hunter S. Thompson. His informal tone, while at times a little doped out, is captivating and sincere. Few people manage to do what he does. In Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail in ‘72 he captured the spirit of his country and how the campaign affected every day people and volunteers. Thompson’s voice is ever present and has much to offer the reader. I hope Vonnegut, for all the ways his style reminds me of Thompson, can do the same.

Today my friends and I headed to the Palomino, a bar in Calgary that is in a sketchy area — one might say the wrong side of the tracks. It is a western style joint that was decorated without the assistance of a single level and has the usual clutter of band posters, celebrity pictures, sports related signs — for example Steelers parking only, this bar seems to be very pro-Steelers given the decor — and liquor logos.

On the wall above us was an orange banner for Jagermeister with the deer and cross sitting large and prominent in the middle. First I noticed that the image is really quite striking and the deer looks rather beautiful. Then I thought about the history of Jagermeister and the fact that this bar had not one but two Jagermeister cold shot dispensing machines and I knew that Jason Wilson would be proud. Boozehound had succeeded in educating and entertaining me.

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