Confessions a 20th century ne'er do well: Drinking, fighting, stealing and other things one generally ought not do

Sunday, April 23, 2006

I had a weekend. The first real weekend in a long time... the kind that comes after a full week of work!

So I had a split weekend. Saturday was the kind of night I live now – similar to what the rest of you poor saps blog about. Went out to dinner (Elaines – good food, kind of wish I went later to get a better sense of the scene, because I think that that place is known for it’s scene) and a movie (Thank you for smoking – a really mediocre movie that I suspect some people will think was extremely clever for talking about what everyone already knows. Also, I think that there is a coming slew of that kind of movie because of the recent left dressed academy award winners).
Friday more resembled my prior lifestyle, which I still have great love for. I went out drinking. First to Kenny’s Castaway in the village because some guy I know said he might be there.
I didn’t see him, but I noticed a bunch of parents in the audience. I used to be part of that scene – playing for your parents. It’s so sad, because your totally awesome rock and roll band is completely reduced when your parents are in the audience. First of all, it makes it more than obvious that the bar owner is only using you for your acquaintances cover charge. If it’s just friends there is at least a chance, or if not actually a chance, there is a believable scenario where he’s inviting you because you bring a cool crowd that helps business – hell, there is a chance he’s at least imagining that you’re increasing his drinking quota. But if it’s parents, He’s just looking for the $10 out of their wallet that evening. The fact is that parental types smolder any illusion of that bar being a sincerely fun place to be.
The addition of parents takes something that is the epitome of cool – being in a rock and roll band, and turns it into the epitome of lame – spending a Friday night hanging out with your parents. And this is even lamer – it’s like they’re watching you sing “I’m a little tea cup” at thanksgiving dinner. Singing for your parents is not cool.
So after throwing back a few Guinnesses we jumped on the 1-9 train and headed uptown. The plan was to grab a quick dinner at a bar and head over to AKA Chris’s party. However, when we got upstairs, there were no bars in sight! In fact, I had to use the bathroom at Barnes and Nobles. It was packed, and my friend offered me not one, but two dollars if I screamed “Nerds!!!!!” on the way down. I opted not to, since I didn’t want them to realize how much superiority I reigned over them, since after all, they were nerds.
So we actually made it to the outside of AKA Chris’s building and we asked the security guard where there was a bar. She was very helpful. Comically so. She left the booth and actually got on her walkie-talkie to ask building security hq where the closest bar was. She referred us to somewhere called Petes like six blockss away. My friend commented about what an asshole Chris must be for moving so far away from a bar. Clearly, he was more of an asshole for moving far from a bar than we were for going to a bar when he was having a party (nobody really thinks he’s an asshole for that, but it was a funny thing to say at the time) – in truth, we didn’t want to show up with ravenous appetites, not knowing if there was food, and being there was no bar, there was also no liquor store in sight, so if we had to show up empty handed, it was slightly more considerate to show up satiated, instead of ready to eat and drink everything in sight.
So we went to the alleged location of this “Pete’s” place and found no such bar in sight. We saw some upper scale looking place called O’Neals and asked some waiter looking guy walking past if there was a bar nearby. He told us for what we were looking for, we didn’t want to go to O’Neal’s. “Why don’t you go to Pete’s” he suggested, directing us somewhere that was about six blocks in a third direction. As we were walking, we wondered if this was a trick. If the security guard had radioed ahead to the waiter to be waiting for us outside to direct us to a third location where there would be yet another person suggesting we go to Petes in another direction. But lo and behold, we found Petes. I ordered some kind of Pompai Pizza, which had no right calling itself pizza, because of all the bullshit that was on top. There was even something that looked like tofu chunks, so I had to wipe off the crap and just eat the bread.
While at the bar, there were at least three instances of women checking me out, and right after the obvious glance, they gathered their coats and left. It was an interesting move, a glance and a smile, and then leaving. If that’s typical of what women do, no wonder they have trouble meeting guys!
So while there, another guy caught up with us, so we kind of had to have another drink, and then one of them finished first and ordered another, making the hour questionable for arriving at a party, so we went to another par, called Pub.
While we were there I remembered that I need to blog about “The most episodic night ever” from back in 2001 which includes a performance at the Bitter End, a big fat guy, homeless people, a few fights, cops, another fat guy, and the North Dakota cheerleading squad. But that’s an entry for another day.
Then the two guys decided to go talk to the table of three girls that was over against the wall. I stayed at the bar. They sat down, and it didn’t look like they were doing too well. I believe that it takes an effort to so obviously cross the floor and then so obviously be striking out, but on the other hand, their inability to carry the conversation puts a damper on the night, no matter whose fault it is. So I went over there, mainly because I was bored of sitting by myself. I had no intent of rescuing these guys (why? Who cares if they strike out?) but that’s what I did.
Some guy sits down at the table and makes some comment like we’re intruding. (Now the girls hadn’t gone that far and had continued their conversation, just ignoring my friends, so it was at least a slight bit of consideration not making them leave like assholes) So I tell the guy, “”You look like Bon Jovi”
He gets a slightly defensive look and says “Bon Jovi?”
“That’s right” I say.
Now, telling someone they look like Bon Jovi isn’t really an insult, and it’s not really a compliment, especially since he didn’t actually resemble Bon Jovi as much as he resembles an effeminate heavy metal poser type, as is best exemplified by Bon Jovi.
“I could see Tom Petty, but not Bon Jovi” he said. “Is that supposed to be an insult?”
“Hey,” I said. “Bon Jovi is one of the world’s leading rock stars. I wouldn’t take it as an insult.”
The end result of this interaction is that now the girls were interested in us – they had asked my friends about my comment while it was going on, and the ice was broken. So we talked about something or other for a while, and the guy comes back (I guess he left at some point – I wasn’t really paying attention to him, and I was quite drunk, having been on the wagon for weeks. Not intentionally, I just don’t get a chance to go out drinking as much as I used to, which was multiple times a week, back when I was a roving nightlife columnist.)
“Hey man, that’s my sister, and I haven’t seen her for a while,” he says. “Can you guys split so we can do a shot.”
“No problem,” I said getting up.
Then we sat back down, and I was engaged in conversation with two of them, and of course, my friends benefited from the trickle down of my unfathomable charm – cause I’ve got that. Now I don’t remember, (or never knew) if they actually did the shot before I sat back down, or whether he came over for a second time, trying to use the old “Hey man, split so I can do a shot” routine again. But this time, the girls told Bon Jovi to leave them alone because they were having a conversation with me. Take that, overprotective Brother! Take that, girls who were giving a cold shoulder to my friends!! Victory was mine!!!
Then it was late so we left.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

I won.

This inlaw type who went to Cornell was trying to tell me that his fraternity in the 50s was much crazier than I could possibly imagine.
Him: One time, we had beer left in a keg, so we put it in this barn to keep it cold.
Me (thinking, not speaking): So, your big crazy frat story begins with you not finishing a keg?
Him: In the morning, the keg had leaked, and it was empty.
Me (thinking, not speaking): So, your big crazy frat story ends with you having wasted beer?
Me (speaking, not thinking): We used to lock ourselves in a room, and nobody was allowed to leave until three kegs were empty. Then, we'd play Donkey Kong on the stairs.
Him: Donkey Kong?
Me: Yeah. One of us would run up the stairs and try to jump over the keg that someone else threw down the stairs.
Some other cousin type or something: Were you actually able to jump over the kegs?
Me: Not really.... (thinking for a sec).... basically, we got drunk and threw kegs at each other.

To put things in perspective. This wasn't a generational pissing contest, it was more or a SU vs. Cornell. Why? Because when we used to swap stories with the guys who went to our school in the 50s, they used to beat us story for story.