Thursday, October 22, 2009

Peerless Pirouetting

If life is a storeroom of mixed nuts, then I am a cache you want to crack. If life is theory, impartially attributable to a Bang of virgin particles, then I am in charge of the Concept Ion. Any way you slice it, I come out on top.

Enough with the custom puns and homespun cussing - let’s talk about sects. Last Friday night, I found myself part of a collection of “high society” individuals about to partake in the age-old tradition of getting the hell up out of your seat and making a scene at an upscale Japanese hibachi grill. The event was Chris Lethal’s birthday. 6-pack and I arrived late, having struggled to find the place; it being hidden in the basement of a sprawling mall in Raleigh. Within minutes of being seated, I had puddled my seat. The gentle giant seated next to me had already bear-hugged me, told me he was a fireman who owned two construction companies, and told the waiter to order saki-bombs for the whole restaurant. The waiter pulled the clueless card, Big Bear pulled a fat wad of cash from his wallet, and I pulled my hamstring.

Here’s how: after the manager of the restaurant finally convinced Big Bear not to finance a small liquor war, the entire staff came out of the kitchen with balloons and did a little clappy-dance around Chris Lethal. The “high society” crew started getting high off helium, and before long a bouncy little orange balloon flirted around my shoulders and floated into the kitchen, which was right behind me. I dashed heavy, like a bad chef, and slipped on the floor with my no-sole arch-crushing clown shoes. The floor was soaked, probably with the failed remnants of broken saki promises, and my feet shot in separate directions. I had pulled my hamstring playing flag football the Sunday before, and my shaky-maky-matrix moves on the kitchen floor weren’t helping the situation. I snagged the balloon an instant before it hit the floor, and limped by a waiter holding a knife to his chest, him scared of the crazy American in clown shoes.

We spent the rest of the night behind the velvet ropes of a VIP section of a club in downtown Raleigh. Once, Chris Lethal’s brother got kicked out for trying to help a drunken beast escape the cave, but he impressively snuck back in through a window in the kitchen. My only interaction with the group all night was when someone asked Big Bear what time his girlfriend got off. I immediately said “She gets off when he gets home.” Everyone who heard snapped their head in my direction, but only one person understood. He did a slow, lethargic drunken blink, and said “You’re funny. You’re really funny.” This was the same man who had to be escorted out by Chris’ brother.

6-pack and I shared a bed that night at the Lethal household. Sometime during the night, we lost our comforter to Chris’ girlfriend, Gabby, who stole it during a sleep stroll.

A director visited my team at work this week from San Jose, and since I don’t really have a role on the team yet, I watched as everyone else impressed him with presentations. That morning, I had decided to wear a nice but stuffy workshirt, and the temperature was twenty degrees warmer than I predicted by 11 AM. When I got up from taking calls, I realized that the back of my shirt was soaked. I whistled out to my Dodge Caravan, the baby-making caravan, and changed my shirt. Unbeknownst to me, as I was standing in the parking lot shirtless and picking from the fine selection of shirts I keep in my trunk, the director rolled up and walked toward our building. When we finally met with him, after lunch, I was greeted by him as “the guy I saw changing in the parking lot.” If that isn’t hot, or sweaty, I don’t know what is. Sometimes I bite my right wrist when I’m nervous. During the presentations, I’m pretty sure he saw me biting my wrist. As soon as the last slide was finished, I sprinted down the hall and left work. Oh, how I continue to impress the higher-ups.

A lady called in to work and told me her computer had a virus; possibly, a terrorist virus. This was exciting news to me and I thought I might get some exposure to homeland security, possibly land a side job in terrorist virus research. I asked the lady what kind of terrorist sent her the file. She said “I got the file from a co-worker from India. They told me it was a video clip of some Disney movie. It says ‘Wall-E’ on it, but I’m sure it is a terrorist file.” I started to get very animated. It was genius – a massive computer virus crouched inside the shadow of pre-teen storytelling. She finally divulged that the main reason she was afraid of the video was that it was a .wmd file. Curious, I had her send it to me. Turned out to be a video clip of Wall-E, in .wmv (windows media video) format. I thoroughly enjoyed the clip. Or, rather, I emptied the clip, and nothing was killed but a few minutes of my time.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Boom. You're Done.

Faced with the chilly temperament of the big city after a heated workweek, I spent my Friday night playing volleyball with a group of 80’s ladies and embattled weakened warriors. I joined the Recreational Sand Volleyball league on, and they invited me out for a Friday sandstorm. After impressing 100% of the people there with my skills in the first few minutes, I spent the next two hours demonstrating to them that their faith in me was misplaced. My court flailing and failing dusted their eyes with sandy irritants, and my clumsiness left one lady with a bruised everything after I pinned her and her boyfriend under me in a midcourt display of stinky instincts.

I was able to repurchase some rapport, if not some credibility, when I opined that “the net just pinched my nipples.” Someone asked if I meant that my chest had hit the tape; if my nipples had brushed against the net. I replied with “Whatever you want to call it. Brushed, pinched, tweaked… The net just action-verbed my nipples.” By personifying the net and making it out to be a spindly beast with careless hands and a deviant sex drive, I was able to take the focus of my inadequacies. I like to think that my court name is IED (Improvised Explosive Device), but I know a few people would be delighted to swap “device” with “douche bag.”

Like a sandy little frog, or camel toad, I hopped to Wisconsin’s apartment to shower before heading to downtown Raleigh to meet Zhang it! and Joe (the Taxidermist). Zhang it!, who had sworn off Carbamas the weekend before, was doing a Carbama when I walked in. Joe had taken a cab to Raleigh (30 miles and $85) and was put in handcuffs twice in two different taxis. Joe’s pitbull was drinking vodka, water, and lemon slices.

We got dropped off and made a pretty straight line toward a bar called the Ugly Monkey. At the door, they tried to charge us $1 to become members, but I said I didn’t have any money, and Zhang it! told the bouncer that I was a member and that he was my guest for the evening. So we ended up inside, and I ended up with a membership and a sharpie I stole from the bouncer. I would call him incompetent, but it was the same guy that wouldn’t let me in with my work badge back when I forgot my license. Once inside, I began to mark Zhang it! up and down with marker, telling him that the cap was on. I marked every poison ivy spot that I could find, which added up to a lot, which resulted in a Zhang it! with a zillion tiny black X’s. We began to spread the rumor that he had Sherpes, a sharper, more permanent, STD.

Sitting on the sidewalk at the end of the night, listening to Zhang it! talk to someone irrelevant on the phone, I suddenly found myself in the middle of a near shoot out. Joe had managed to press roughly on a passing taxi driver’s buttons, apparently by jostling his crotch in the taxi’s direction. The driver started screaming at Joe, Joe was saying something New Yorkish (actually, it was “Boom, you’re done” over and over), and Zhang it! was giggling like a Hello Kitten stuck in a blending machine.

On the walk back, we came across a group of empty husks rustling with their tops off. About eight guys were gathered, gesticulating and threatening to hand out beatings to each other. I snatched a nice shirt off the ground, and we kept walking.

When we got back to Joe’s simple complex, Joe grabbed a mini-gargoyle from in front of a neighbor’s place and put it down next to a door a bit further down the hallway. Zhang it! was trailing a bit behind, probably still kicking it like a cicada into his cell, when he noticed Joe setting down the ‘goyle. I can only assume Zhang it! thought it was Styrofoam, because at that instant he sprinted unabashedly toward the squatting gremlin, and booted it as hard as he could. It moved about two inches, and Zhang it! went sprawling and howling first into a wall, then to the dusty expanse of unkempt flooring. Then, like a outcropped cherry hiding in a forgotten drawer, he rolled into a ball and waited for a night light or a dark spark. I typed out the following text and forwarded it to ten people: “Zhang just kicked a gargoyle.” I woke up trapped under a flood of concerned responses. Zhang woke up to Joe’s pitbull peeing on his bloody sock.

Last week Chris Lethal, my housemate, asked if he could use my red lunchbox. I said “sure” in the kind of way that most people say “no.” After an awkward moment, he told me that the lunchbox was his. It was suddenly clear to me why he had taken it from my room several times and set it on the kitchen counter. I had thought, “Hmm, curious,” and chalked it up to excessively polite behavior. As it turns out, he was taking it back for himself, but I was packing it and stealing it before he could get to it in the mornings. When my Grandma was alive she used to tell me that the early bird gets the worm, which was an excuse for us to go to BINGO before dinner and stay until after my bedtime. Back then, I had ink all over my hands from marking her B-19’s, and now I have ink stains from a night out spreading Sherpes. Early birds may get the multi-hearted dirt snakes, but the lovable, clueless sasshole gets the zippered red lunchbox.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Painting the Town Red

I was getting ready to be a threat; I was getting ready to consider my next plan of attack. While visiting Clemson, SC for my sister’s volleyball tournament, I took a break from life, allowing my dad to decision make like a cattle prod. The man creates his own reality, pushing into the fabric of space/time and slipping through the rips into a dimension where he is King and all that matters is family matters. He got us into a private club where he embarrassed me at pool and darts in front of the members. We slept in a van in a field full of cars in a town full of unencumbered disillusionists. I felt… feelings. You know.

Speaking of feelings, I speak of them to no one. But you may have noticed a few weeks of slippage in my blogging life, and this was due in no small part to my inability to write when I have something on my mind that I cannot/will not talk about. It just so happens that the date of my birthday closely coincides with the date of my first truly exceptional and acceptable relationship. That is all I will type on the subject.

My dad drove the two of us back to Chapel Hill from Clemson, and the partay started. As we were watching college football and sipping starter drinks, my dad looked around and noticed a severe shortage of birthday treats. Before he left for the store, he asked if anybody needed anything; Zhang it! ordered Everything bagels. An hour later, my dad walked through the door with a gallon of ice cream, a four-part cake, and about 10 bags of bagels. Either Zhang it! was speaking Engrish or my dad had never heard of everything bagels. I’m going to bet on the latter; he couldn’t decide what an Everything bagel was, so he bought everything.

Needless to say, in less than half an hour, we were required to inhale three shots of tequila, one FULL bowl of ice cream, and a hefty slice of cake. We stumbled down the street trying not to paint the bushes with vanilla ice cream and medium rare cake.

I spent the walk downtown convincing Man U. that it was OK for him to drink in front of an elder. As soon as he had stepped in the door, he pulled me into a corner and said that I should have told him my dad was going to be there. I asked if that would have changed his coming, he said no, but that he would have gone through a mental preparation session. He ended up sleeping on our kitchen table.

At Top of the Hill, I spent the first half hour yelling my computer password into the phone at my dad. “THAT’S D like DHARMA INITIATIVE!” I disappeared with Chris Lethal to a different bar, where he was going to try to find some Chapel Hill people to introduce me to. When Laura called (Candlewick’s Laura) and asked me where I was, she says I said “iiiii am not the person to be asking… if you want accurate informationnnnnnn.” I snuck out of the bar in an attempt to be the first one to get back to my house, but after hopping three fences, I was actually the last to return. I helped guide a couple of people through a shortcut to my neighborhood, and as I was verbally narrating my voyage, rolled down a hill, and painted the bushes red with embarrassment and pain.

The next morning we played football and Zhang it! painted the bushes yellow with bananas and water (note a severe lack of bagel remains.)

My dad had to leave and I started making my own decisions again. Not as exciting as it sounds…

I am writing a book (or, the book is writing me). I am going to a concert in Chapel Hill tomorrow for my favorite musician:

Andrew Bird

I am interested in life and it is mildy attracted to me. We’ll see what happens.

A little love for my current city

Next time: Zhang it! breaks his foot kicking a gargoyle. And a new friend, Joe, earns the nickname The Taxidermist.