Carmen is a city slicker

Hanging with Fluevog, Mr. Bill and hundreds at The Swiss

By Carmen Jones on January 31, 2008

Without a doubt, meeting John Fluevog last Thursday was a tremendous experience and an honor.

In case you don’t know (you haven’t lived if you don’t know), John Fluevog is one of the most incredible shoe designers in the world.

I had the unique opportunity to shake Fluevog’s hand at Seattle’s Alibi Room, which was filled with people who are all such fans. So much so that I couldn’t stop looking down because everyone was wearing their Fluevogs, and no two pairs were the same.

Fluevog was a very sweet, charismatic and funny person. I told him about instances when my Fluevogs were licked, and he laughed.

Lucky for us, Fluevog was handing out sketch books that contained his next season of shoes. I’m salivating like a Pavlovian dog in anticipation. Then, along with his autograph on the cover, he wrote the following words that are continuing to make me laugh, even now:

“Carmen….You’re sooo hot….I don’t want to lick your boots….I am your boots.”

Now, after chatting, dancing and partying with Fluevog and his gorgeous wife, Ruth, I can check this item off on my life-long to-do list.

Park your car. Drive Fluevogs.

After such a great kickoff, my weekend got even better (if you can believe that).

Friday I got a surprise text message from Mr. Bill who picked me up and took me out to the 9 p.m. happy hour at the Pacific Grill. Lovely Larry was bartending, Cozy Corey was serving, Executive Chef Aaron Valimont was noshing, and Mr. Bill and I were diggin’ on the meat candy and cheeseburger sliders, and Pastry Chef Monica’s chocolate cake magically appeared and rocked our world.

After such a delightful experience, Mr. Bill and I adjourned for the remainder of the night to the Top of Tacoma Bar and Café to peep all of the great people who were hanging out there, pumping with the juke box and experiencing the elevation change that is McKinley Hill.

Saturday included what I like to call the Carmen Jones show. I met up with roommate Ian, McGraw and Gunnarson at Doyle’s Public House. The boys kicked it for a bit, but then decided to go catch a movie. I stayed and ushered through a turnstile of friends for the Carmen Jones show where I ask them all kinds of questions as my special guests. The next friend was The Pusher, who is no longer dead to me, and I’m happy he’s back. Then, of course, there’s Trish Delish, the lovely daytime bartender.

The Carmen Jones show switched locations for dinner where the next special guest was Shelby, my grrrl, and a bartender at the Harmon. After taking in my first pepperoni pizza ever at the Harmon (it was gooooood), a very, very special surprise guest waltzed in: Pat Coyne. He was in town to help his Paddy Coyne’s celebrate its one-year anniversary. Congratulations Pat and crew. Tacoma loves you!

After a little home time, I went to Magoo’s for Bianca’s going-away party. Not only is she beautiful and wonderful, but she’s also heading to Mexico to teach English as a second language. Best of luck to you, Bianca. I know your experience will be amazing!

All sorts of Tacoma royalty were in the house at Magoo’s that night like Maranatha, Niels, Scott, Jenny, Owen, Kelly, Jesse, Randy and Paul. Greg, Alexo and Rory were at the helm, and they always make me giggle.

I was extra stoked because I got to sink $5 in what really is Tacoma’s best juke box. Coincidentally, you officially know that you’re in a small town when you play back-to-back F***ing Eagles songs and three of the band members show up. Yah!

After such a strong libation night, on Sunday I really needed the assistance of the Puget Sound Pizza hangover helper breakfast and the delicious egg sandwich. Even more cha-ching, Queen Bee Kendra was just getting done with her shift, and she got to sit down and eat with me. We caught up on all of our girly secrets, and then decided to meet up back at the benefit at the Swiss to help Metro Coffee’s Charlie Kempe defray unfortunate medical expenses. Amazing bands played from 3 to 11 p.m., like The Drug Purse, The Disclaimers and DJ Broam. Performances on the top of my list came from Foray and the Dirty Knockers.

Foray offered us aptly-named tracks like “You’re Fired From Being Willy Nelson” and “James Caan is a 78-Year-Old Tiger.” So hilarious, but seriously, their songs are so good that I’m really hoping they’ll allow me to be their groupie. Then, the Dirty Knockers commandeered the stage with the INCREDIBLE Brian Redman on bass. I’ve never had the opportunity to see Redman play the death metal, and all I can say is that he is amazing and he absolutely f***s the frets.

That was an excellent conclusion to a weekend that wound up being completely money. Thank you, Tacoma!