Archive for November, 2006

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The people who lived in our apartment before us didn’t have a whole lot on their minds, as evidenced by their lingering subscriptions to People and Us magazines, and a bunch of catalogs full of crap that no one needs (think Fingerhut). A recent issue of People came with a thick “outer cover” containing a large ad for a subscription to Real Simple, a magazine devoted to making life easier. Of course, this ad depicted the cover of a recent issue. The largest teaser on the cover read, “No time to clean? Quick solutions for every room.”

Are you fucking kidding me? Anyone who makes time to read the drivel they write in People has more than enough time to clean. In fact, if you’re geared toward caring about the diets and love lives of people you don’t know personally and who certainly don’t give a damn whether they know you, you not only have enough time to clean your house, you should also come over here and clean mine.

Two things happened tonight.

Once it grew dark and I’d had a decent nap, I decided to emerge from my little tower of solitude to meet Gus half way from work. During my brisk walk up Third Avenue, I was lightly shoved by a clean-cut man in his late thirties. He was running and nervously looking behind him. As he apologized profusely, I noticed the medium-sized ladies’ purse in his left hand. It didn’t match his outfit. Nice of him to be so concerned about my well-being after heartlessly snatching some poor woman’s lifeline.

Gus and I met up and decided to eat dinner at a nearby restaurant. We were seated and given a basket of bread. Moments later, two girls in their mid to late teens approached our table and asked if they could have some bread. I was somewhat amused by their boldness but also annoyed by the fact that they were fucking hipsters, so my feelings automatically defaulted to the standard contempt and disgust I feel for those tasteless morons. Although I never said yes, one of the girls took a piece of bread from our basket and then went to the next table and did the same thing to an older, less forgiving couple. It’s pretty sad that this is the kind of shit that’s passing for fun these days. Sadder still, at least of those girls thinks she’s really creative and unique because did “something different” while wearing clothes that look like they’ve been run over by a truck.

If you think I sound surly now, just wait until the holidays are really underway.

It’s amazing, I’ve NEVER seen so much uncontained feces of such varied shapes, sizes, and colors sitting in open-air public walkways as I have in New York City. Good God, it’s nearly unidentifiable sometimes. And sometimes it catches your eye and you’re just like, “Oh, someone took a giant dump on the street! I get it now!” and switch your focus back to whatever you were doing before, feeling somehow like the world makes more sense now than it did a few seconds ago.

In a similar vein, if people are taking shits in the streets and letting their animals do the same, then there’s obviously not going to be any shortage of garbage strewn around everywhere. Every now and then, a full bag will be completely ripped open with it’s contents exposed for the world to see. Sometimes it’s tempting to stop and look at it for awhile (and I do mean look and that’s it), as if the box of Parliaments, used sleeping mask, empty potato chip bag, etc lend some clue as to the personality and lifestyle of whoever threw that stuff away. There could even be some uniting evidence about the nature of mankind or some secret to the universe hidden in there. Who knows? Or maybe I’m just looking for me treasure because I be a pirate. Y’ar.

Everywhere! In the last two weeks, I’ve slept in 6 different places, been to 4 major cities, supported 2 customers, said good-bye to 15 coworkers, attended 4 parties, ate at Chuy’s 3 times, got invited to join 1 threesome (huh? yeah, I know…), drove a zillion hours, freaked out 3 times, AND I visited my parents.

I’m a busy girl, I tell ya. I flew into Denver and drove into the southeast region of Colorado for a few days. Good thing CMJ happened because long drives like that require some cool new music. Incidentally, I keep meaning to make a swag list of all the stuff I got at CMJ, much like when I went to SXSW, but I probably won’t get to it. My top three songs would be more useful to anyone reading this anyway, so here they are:

1. “Drink to Movin’ On” by Grand National. You may remember them from this cool video I mentioned in a blog post a long time ago.

2. “Comeback Girl” by Republic of Loose. Gus says it’s too repetitive, but everyone knows I’m a sucker for house music so that should put things in perspective.

3. “The Fatalist” by Robbers on High Street. *shrug* Just good.

And if you like hip-hop, “Something outta Nothing” by Messiah J & The Expert deserves an honorable mention. I must also note that Filter’s compilation was surprisingly bad. Get with it fuckers, I was counting on you guys.

Anyway, I drove back to Denver and spent a couple of nights at the beautiful Magnolia hotel. I got to eat at one of my favorite restaurants in the world, Nine 75. Everything about it is great. There’s a wide variety of food, the portions are small, it’s not too expensive, the ambiance is sophisticated, and my waiter was super nice. Some people there told me about The Shelter, which is now one of my new favorite clubs. The place was huge and I happened to land there on… INDUSTRIAL NIGHT!!! Maybe somebody up there really does love me. The music was great and the eclectic crowd was actually extremely nice.

After spending a day in the Colorado office at work, I flew down to Austin where McP threw a party for me and Gus. It was nice having most of my friends in one place again. Before that, I enjoyed one of my three trips to Chuy’s with The Supergroup, who are a party in and of themselves. (And I know at least a few of them just got a week’s worth of warm fuzzies from reading that.) After a short trip to Dreamers, I got to drive on the new-fangled Mopac Superhighway. It was fun until I had to get off and couldn’t. It sucks when you try and try, but just can’t get off.

We left McP’s house around 4:30am to check into our room at the Omni downtown. They were out of normal rooms, so we got a sweet-ass suite. At over 1,000 square feet, it was bigger than our apartment, but it was high up and had a cityscape view like our apartment does, so we felt right at home. Unfortunately, they had rules about partying so we didn’t try anything, but that didn’t stop the big ecstacy party that the people above us had. (And fortunately, we know about that because we were invited, not because they bothered us.)

Gus’s cousin got married, so we went to a nice dinner at Truluck’s on Saturday. Abdiel and Heather are the smartest couple alive. They got married in Jamaica with no involvement of friends and family. Then they came back to Austin and had a small, elegant reception. Brilliant.

The most surprising thing about my trip was that I had fun at Austin Park and Pizza. I don’t normally enjoy kiddie games and it seemed like throwing a bunch of adults into a place like that for mandatory fun was begging for an early ending. But it was actually kinda cool. I think having a bunch of coworkers give me drink tickets helped. I didn’t really do much “playing,” but it was good to see everyone.

However, the week went a bit downhill from there. Being back in the office with a ton of people everywhere was a little stressful. On Wednesday, I went to get my toes done in lieu of lunch and it was so windy that my car antenna broke off. I hate weather. Just like I hate time.*

Okay, so it’s the severe weather and the bad times that I hate. The rest of the week had both.

After losing most of our staff at work due to layoffs and ended contracts, there wasn’t much the rest of us could do but go somewhere and drink (as part of a company-sanctioned event). I’ve been trying to curtail my use of alcohol because when I drink, I turn into an ass. Friday night was no exception. I think I set the continuous bridge-burning record at almost 12 solid hours. Good thing I hopped on a plane the next morning and flew 1,000 miles north or my ass would have been kicked to the moon by now.

As always, it was wonderful to be in Austin and see my friends, but it’s good to be home, sleeping in my own big comfortable bed with someone who truly loves me. When you’re a huge listless nomad like me, the feelings of wanderlust are forever insatiable. But if you know you have someone at home waiting for you, simply staying in one place for a few seconds feels like the most worthwhile activity in the world. Having all my shit in one place is nice too.

*I often jokingly hate things that are mere functions of existence. Like, I don’t hate time because I’m busy and there’s not enough of it and all the trite reasons most people hate time. I hate it because we feel the need to have Daylight Savings Time when it does nothing for me. It just gets dark earlier now and I feel like working less. Time is a measurement of man and what we say it is doesn’t matter because it will always do what it does. It’s kind of like having a war on terror. There’s no beginning, no end, and no reason anyway. Things are the way they are.

Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny is really funny and if you can stand Jack Black at all, you should go see it on Wednesday. I am happy to report that it wasn’t exactly like School of Rock or Nacho Libre, which were pretty much the same movie (poverty, children, winning against all odds, blah blah blah). This movie featured two hungry musicians on a relentless journey of self-discovery and Satanic worship. It also made me wish my dad was a wookie.

Borat is funny too, but in a way that makes you not want to discuss the details with your mother. It’s a good mockumentary because a lot of people look genuinely surprised and confused by the whimsical Jew-hater and his offbeat hijinx. Apparently some people in the movie didn’t know they were going to be in a movie when they interviewed with him and now they want to sue him. I’m curious as to how the bear in the ice cream truck feels. He’s been silent all this time. I continue to pray that in the near future, the crazies at PETA will help him find his voice.

Just so you don’t think I’m a bunny-killing Nazi, I will note that I support many of PETA’s efforts, such as promoting the movie, Fast Food Nation. I haven’t seen the movie, but I read the book. Its author, Eric Schlosser, can fit more facts into one well-worded sentence than most writers can a whole chapter. I’ve heard that the movie is only so-so, but when you compare it to the book as well as everyone’s favorite shocker, Supersize Me, you’ve gotta be ready for a little disappointment. This isn’t about being entertained, it’s about realizing that you’re a fucking fatass because the food you eat is disgusting, you fucking pig.

Much like last Halloween, I had splendid delusions of grandeur when deciding on a costume this year. As the story goes, I get an idea that’s cool and seemingly easy to execute, then I pat myself on the back for being so efficient, and then I sit back and do absolutely nothing until it’s almost time for trick-or-treating.

This Halloween, I thought I’d work my braces into my costume instead of fighting them and hating them like I do the rest of the year. I considered donning the typical schoolgirl outfit, which would be my backup if I couldn’t find all the items necessary to make a good Ugly Betty. Of course, the only things all my “planning” yielded were a lot of wondering why it’s so hard to find a red poncho (and wouldn’t it be a bonus if it had “Guadalajara” written on it?) and wishing I had been tanning and, upon giving up on Ugly Betty, pondering how odd it feels to be 25 and trying to look half your age but also appear to have the sexual prowess of someone twice your age.

I was thinking this was definitely going to be the year I participated in Slut-o-ween, the holiday that runs concurrently with Halloween in which young women show the world their inner whore. Although I’ve never celebrated Slut-o-ween, I can appreciate why it’s popular among certain segments of the population. Some girls are shy. Some boys can’t afford porn and strip clubs. Some people need a little extra something to get their motors running. Whatever your reason, Slut-o-ween can be a great day if you’re open-minded and comfortable in your own skin.

That said, I had to exhaust every other option before I broke down and dug out the short, pleated skirt from the back of my closet. I woke up in the morning and began rummaging through my clothes, trying to find a costume to celebrate one of my favorite times of year. I could be a hippie… I have enough clothes that actually are from that era. I could buy some white makeup and be a goth. I could wear one of my mom’s old mumus and be a Hawaiian. I could just put on something weird and let everyone else figure it out.

No no no no no! These are all normal clothes that I would actually wear when it’s not Halloween (before I got lazy and started wearing the same thing every day). They’d probably be acceptable, but not the eye-grabbing Halloween getups that nature intended.

Damn! Why do I always wait till the last minute? Damn again! I can’t wear a skirt this short in public before dark.

I had to meet Gus to pick up our CMJ badges in less than an hour and I still had nothing. I was hoping the weather would freeze me out of doing Slut-o-ween, but it was surprisingly pleasant outside. Still, something just felt wrong. Luckily, in one of my big tubs o’ goodies, I found a cat “costume” that I bought for 50 cents at Claire’s several years ago. It wasn’t anything amazing, but it was acceptable for daytime.

It’s a really good thing I thought about this because NO ONE KNEW IT WAS HALLOWEEN!

I left the apartment a little before noon to enjoy a 30-block walk (not so bad) to Gus’s work. I was the only person with even a hint of a costume. I got a few stares, but most people went on minding their own business. After a little while, some people behind me exclaimed, “Ohhh! It’s Halloween!” I guess they’d been back there for awhile wondering what possessed a girl in her mid-twenties to leave the house wearing cat ears and a tail.

As the day progressed, I got more and more attention. This is great because I’m kind of an attention whore and I had been off duty for awhile. Your average catcalls just annoy me, but these were actual CATcalls in reference to my costume, so it was fun getting them. Besides, you shouldn’t wear something that will call attention to yourself if you’re not ready to receive it.

Highlights:

“Aw shit! She’s got a tail too!” (guy on bike)

“Hey Catwoman! I’ve been looking for you!” (guy in mysterious unmarked truck)

“Where did you get your costume?” (random girls throughout the day)

“Heeeere kitty kitty!” (some dude)

“That’s some good pussy! You need a ride, pussy?” (Irish dude with horses)

“That’s so cute.” (lady in the shoestore)

“Meow!” (fucking everybody)

And some guy jumped out and “pounced” in front of me, which was really funny only because he was shorter than me and not scary-looking.

When I hurriedly got dressed this morning, I thought I would change into my Slut-o-ween costume at night and wear it to some CMJ shows. But I was having so much fun walking around the city as a cat, I didn’t want to change.

Before coming to that conclusion, I fought a bit of an internal battle about it anyway. I’m 25 now, so I’m running out of years to celebrate Slut-o-ween without looking like some nasty old woman who actually is a whore. This was the one day of the year where I can dress like I belong in a brothel and still be respected in intelligent conversations about music, finance, and the global theater. And yet, I don’t think I have the body for a Slut-o-ween costume, even if I did already own all of the items that the one I had in mind comprised. I just couldn’t bring myself to walk down the street in something I’d reserve for the bedroom. I just didn’t feel like I could pull it off. Everyone has body issues (I’m not exactly petite), but I think this went further than that. Something about compromising my comfort just to cause a few boners seemed silly. I don’t know these people… why should they get to look at me?

So my laziness paid off. People around here don’t really celebrate Halloween with the gusto that Austinites do. That’s okay, but I still wanted to and I’m glad I did. And I think I struck a good balance when doing so.


A kat is loose in Central Park…

You gotta know your chicken.

Halloween night was also the first night of the CMJ Music Marathon, which drew out more hipsters than CBGB’s last weekend in business. Although rock ‘n roll style has been a cultural phenomenon for many years, it seems as though the “style” has surpassed rock ‘n roll itself in the recent past. This is evidenced by the conversations I hear in and around rock shows. It seems that most people aren’t as interested in the band they’re seeing as who will see them in their new beat-up looking jeans and stupid hairstyle.

At the Knitting Factory, I went outside for a smoke and overheard four dudes talking about their stupid jackets. At least half of them were “on,” attempting to say something witty with the possible bonus of sounding sharp.

I started talking to them about something, maybe the drinks, when a few of their friends approached, one of which appeared to be a younger version of Saturday Night Live’s “lovely” Rachel Dratch.

“What are you guys dressed up as?” asked the girl, attempting to draw some kind of humor from the group, as they were clearly not in costume.

Dead silence. The young men stared at each other, each hoping one would say something funny before their river of self-proclaimed coolness went bone dry.

“A bunch of fucking hipsters,” I said, and took another drag from my cigarette.

They were markedly saddened by this perception, but had no real comment.

For a culture that glorifies sarcasm and irony through fashion, they’re quite tender on the inside. The nice thing about hipsters is that you can say whatever you want to them and they won’t beat you up. (It might mess up their hair.)

Once again, if I’m not busy out there burning bridges, it’s only because I stopped to buy more matches.