Hey there, I’m tired. So right to it. Friday morning I did indeed show up early (7am) to the meeting point, and promptly fell asleep… and woke up about 40 minutes later, and we headed off to work. Work itself was fairly uneventful: a meeting where we all held hands and told everybody what they already knew, hours spent trying to do in an a day what other companies managed to bungle up for months, lunch spent in a “war of the song lyrics/titles” with Jay while at Fazoli’s (Which, by the way, was one of the funniest things I’ve taken part in in the longest time. Thanks Jay.), some heated games of Tetris, where I managed to prove my complete lack of foresite and space management (it’s a wonder my room doesn’t look more disorganized, as furniture placement is essentially 3d Tetris.). Throughout the day, I was also thrusting my will upon my fellow man, creating from nothing a lan party at Adam and Joel‘s place on Saturday. It was kinda slick, actually, just being able to say “We ought to do this”, then after about 5 IM conversations it was a go. Sweetness.
Friday Night. Tuuk had invited us all (the Pickwick crew) to a metal show at the Intersection. Tuuk, JHo, and I met up at Tuuk and Mark’s place. (In the meantime, Tuuker and I played Contra : Shattered Soldier. That game is hard! But man, did it bring back 8-bit memories.) So finally we jetted, and after grabbing some money from an ATM, and JHo’s shocking announcement, we headed off and met up with Alan near Kava. The 4 of us then proceeded to the Intersection. Alan did a good job of describing the event, but I’ll try to pick out some highlights of the evening. First off, the wank at the door really was a wank. He looked like one of those kids who was constantly looking back with sad nostalgia at his high school days, spent picking on the weakest in the herd while avoiding those for whom the roles would be reversed. Long story short, he was a wank. The bartendress was lovely, with a smile that superseded even the fact that she was giving me massive quantities of beer to carry back to my compatriots. So anyway, we were there, looked around a bit, then Tuuk got us a pitcher, and we managed to snag a table after some time. We talked for a while, and then a band started up whose name I can’t (and have no desire to) remember. The band looked like your typical college aged group of guys, dressed in jeans and hooded sweatshirts, etc.. Then there was the lead singer, solidly tattooed from the waist to his neck, and clad in short, short hotpants and a sheer woman’s nightie, with some veil over him for a minute or two. This singer’s specialty seemed to be singing off-key, off-tempo, and showing off his ass. Was I impressed? No. Was I entertained? Very. Was I amused by JHo’s fascination with this guy? Absolutely. :) Honestly, I wonder what we must have looked like. There was JHo, dressed quite nicely in a lavender(? Plum? Light Purple? Dark Pink) sweater and classy tan coat. There was Alan with dreads, Tuuk in standard hooded sweatshirt, and me, an obvious poser with Swac’s jacket and standard black hooded sweatshirt.(Poser –> One who does all he or she can to appear as though they fit in with a certain scene, without accepting or holding true to any of the ideals of said scene, or truly grasping what it is they are trying to be a part of. See Also: 75% of my High School life.) The group there was eclectic. You had your typical metal fans, your druggies, your artsy smoker types, then what I can only assume are the girls dating someone from one of the previous groups, or girls who got lost on their way to Old Navy. Either way, it made me feel less out of place watching them walk through the place.
So freakshow cross-dresser tattoo guy is playing, and lo and behold, Dave shows up! I had written him off as a no show about 5 minutes prior, so it was kewl to see him there. Alan brought forth another pitcher, and we did a little magical disappearing act with it fairly quickly, and then it was time for Cephalic Carnage. At Tuuk’s prompting, we headed up to the front to see these guys. I am not exaggerating when I saw that every song was prefaced by explaining why “the next song is about weed” and either its legalization, its ability to make you not do things your supposed to, or how some weed was better than other weed, and you really ought to go for the good stuff. It’s fortunate that he explained this, because it wasn’t quite clear at the outset what chemicals it was that made the guitarist look like such a dork. I assumed it was just the fact that he was born looking kinda dorkish, and overcompensated by trying to look tough/mad/constipated on stage. Not laughing at him would have taken almost all of my strength. (I say “would have” because I ended up laughing at him anyway, he looked ridiculous). I also picked up fairly early on that this guy didn’t care at all what chords he was playing, unless he was the only one playing. Then he’d stop his manic jumping and thrashing, play a fairly simplistic chord progression or single string riff, then flash the devil horns in celebration as though he had single handedly just performed all twelve of Hercules’ labors. That having been said, they were a lot better than the previous band, and I was entertained yet again. Worthy of special mention was one of their last songs, when they all put on masks (some looked like KISS masks, while the lead singer had some sort of hooded monster type thing going on). This seemed to anger the drugged out stoner girl who had spent much of their set walking around in a drunken ambling circle, occasionally stopping in front of the stage to flick them off, explain why they were both great and completely sucked, and then mumbling incoherently as she headed back off in her circle, seemingly more determined than ever to kick the ass of the invisible person she was chasing after. Her time would soon come, when she threw her beer at some guy, and a bouncer instantly nabbed her and tossed her to the curb. I hadn’t seen anything that kewl since I saw a shoplifter get leveled at Meijer: (Short story time:)
I was at Meijer with Sven and Adam Young, my Junior year of college. We had already gone through the checkout and bought our stuff, and I was at the services desk buying some stamps. The two ladies behind the desk were talking about some lady, and were pointing her out as she walked back and forth in the middle of the store. Then one of the ladies explained that this girl had come in to the store earlier that day and stolen an expensive jacket. Then just recently she had returned, and returned that jacket for cash. Once she had done so, the returns desk notified the manager, who notified security, who had discretely moved to the exits, and were waiting for her to try to leave. So I got my stamps, and as I headed towards Steve and Adam, who were sitting at a bench I think, the girl tried to leave the store, and security stopped her… or tried to anyway. The girl made a break for it, and they jumped her, tackled her, and she started struggling. After a few seconds they had her pretty well taken care of, but there was blood all over the floor, and she did not appear to be enjoying herself at all. About a year later, Josh and I were at this same Meijer, and we saw a guy get tackled in the parking lot. We assumed it was security again, but it could have just been a roving band of hooligans. Either way, we were more amused by the 3 people ahead of us who managed to walk into the wrong door: They were on their way in, and the first walked toward the Exit door, and slowed slightly when it didn’t open for him, but the two people behind continued walking, eventually resulting in all three of them walking right into the door with a fairly audible “Thud”. Only in America.
So this girl got taken out… but I’m pretty sure she reappeared later on. The final band was Sadomasochism, and they were quite good. The guitarist was attractive, and her ability to play the guitar as well as she did made her even more so… though I’m quite certain Tuuk would have had no problem sacrificing me on an alter if it meant getting to her, and I can accept that. Alan was quite right in pointing out this band’s exceptional ability to swing their long hair in synchronized circles to the music. I wonder if they practice that… and I’m forced to believe they do. JHo and Dave took off midway through, so it was Alan, Tuuk, and I. They played a Slayer cover that was seriously kewl. These people obviously had talent, and though it’s not music I’d ever buy, I did appreciate the fact that they were talented, and played real chords, real progressions, and the songs didn’t sound like uninspired chaotic dissonance coupled with incoherent screaming. (yes, for those of you reading behind the lines, I’m saying I think a lot of “Metal” musicians lack talent, and the unintelligible screaming, lack of rhythm or tempo, and absence of any real chord progression or established guitar presence behind garbled, loud distortion are just thinly veiled covers for the fact that they suck. Can people listen to and enjoy that kind of music? Sure. Same way people can listen to a crappy boy band and believe them to be talented musicians. Turns out a lot of people are stupid, so none of this should surprise you… unless you’re one of them… in which case, just crank up your Backstreet Boys album and forget all about all this… odds are you already have.) By the time they were done, the inside of my skull was bleeding. So Alan and I took off, and Tuuk remained, planning on heading off to Mulligans. Alan and I were feeling a little dazed still, so we headed on off to Joel and Adam’s place for a while, where we managed to sleep with our eyes open for a while, while still taking part in conversations. I’d say that I’ve mastered this skill at work, but it would seem I’m still occasionally actually falling completely asleep in meetings, which doesn’t go over so well. So thanks Joel and Adam. After a little while, Alan and I took off, and walked in the bitter cold (Cold sucks) to our cars.
I made it home, and it was late. 2 or 3, I really don’t remember. I was exhausted, so I did what most normal people do when they’re exhausted and it’s well past when they should go to sleep: I started cooking dinner. My roommate, Swac, was in the living room “watching” This is Spinal Tap. He was fast asleep, managing to drown out the DVD with his explosive snoring. Thankfully I was only about 5 minutes into my conversation with him when I realized he was asleep. Swac is usually capable of carrying on a decent conversation while asleep, or at least his light sleep… and this has led to problems in the past when I’ve woken him up and convinced him that he’s supposed to be at work.. only to find him still in bed hours later, completely unaware that any conversation about work ever took place. So anyway, I made some macaroni and cheese, and was able to eat it. This marks the first time since graduating from college that I’ve been able to eat Mac and Cheese. (I overdid it big time on mac and cheese my Junior and Senior years, and haven’t been able to stomach the stuff since.) I then watched some Malcolm in the Middle episodes, because sleeping is for suckers.
Saturday was the lan party at Joel and Adam’s place. Basically, Adam 0wnZ0rd us the entire day, though when Tuuk and I teamed up, we faired pretty well. It was good fun, and I thank Joel and Adam for hosting the thing. Around 9 or so I took off, and made plans to meet up with Robb at Max and Erma’s. I made it safely there, after an adventurous ride through the snow.. I pulled more than my share of “Dukes of Hazard”-esque turns. (Dukes of Hazard-esque turn –> The turn where the back end of your car swings out wide one direction, then overcompensates wide to the other, then manages to straighten out when you floor it. This is seen as something mildly impressive when done on dry ground, and nothing short of terrifying when done on sheer ice.) So I showed up, and got myself a table for 2 in Tressa’s section. A few minutes later, Swac shows up and sits next to me. I was confused, as I didn’t think Swac was even home. Turns out Swac went home, and saw a note from Robb mentioning that he and I were at Max and Erma’s, and wouldn’t be back til 10ish, so Swac had headed out to join us. This brought up the question: Where in the world was Robb? So I started looking around the restaurant for him, but no dice. Eventually, Robb did show, and he hadn’t gone anywhere else, just went straight from the house to the restaurant… so we were kinda confused as to what sort of temporal rift he had gotten himself lodged in, but oh well. (Maybe he had gotten directions from Andy. Zing!) Anyway, we got the Sundae bar, and Tressa hooked us up with a head start, as there was a table of at least 10-12 people who had all gotten the sundae bar as well. Once again, Tressa rules, and once again, the sundaes were on the house. Membership has its privileges.
If you’ve never listened to Great Big Sea, you ought to check them out. I’ve been listening to them for the past few hours, and really like them. I appreciate music that would make good poetry, and many of the songs I’ve heard thus far have that quality to them.
We headed back to our place, right as Cathy showed up, so we all hung out with her for a few hours. After she took off, I did a little prep work for my Sunday school class, then biked for a while, watched some more Malcolm, then eventually drifted off to sleep… which leads us to today. I headed off to church while still very tired, which is nothing new. After the service, there was a short fellowship time, because a family from our church was moving back to Japan, so that was nice, but sad. I talked to my friends Brad and Heather, who had recently gotten engaged. Brad is a year younger than me, and he and I used to double date when we were both seeing girls from GR (Beth and Kelly). He always seemed to have good luck with women, which was frustrating, because on more than one occasion we held an interest in the same girl. Add to that the fact that I suck, and you pretty much know the result of every #_)*##%)(*$)*(@$)@ one of those situations. But I digress… for the last few years he’s been with Heather, and she’s great, and they’re great together, so it’s good to see them excited about this next step. But then you start thinking “wait a minute.. he’s younger than I am, and he and I used to double date, and now he’s getting married, and I’ve got nothing. [expletives deleted]”
Afterwards, it was Sunday School, which went alright. Our new books basically suck. It’s a study on Acts, which is good, but the lessons are all way too short, and I think they’re from the 70’s, and yeah.. they aren’t great. Top that with the fact that my 8th graders had this book last year, and I’m totally screwed. It was hard enough getting them to pay attention when it was something new, now I’ve got pretty much no shot. Nevertheless, it went alright. I don’t understand why the teacher’s manual will write out page after page of exactly what the lesson is supposed to be about, then the kid’s books have next to nothing in them, besides some stupid cartoon and an activity that involves kids doing a bunch of things we all know full well these kids aren’t going to do, like discussing a 2 paragraph story for more than 30 seconds. Finally, I had the kids read parts of the teacher’s manual to the rest of the class, and that seemed to help quite a bit.
I got a hold of Kristin on the way back home, and she joined me at my place, where we had some lunch and watched movies. First up was The Good Girl, which was not at all what I expected. It was quite good though. It has Jennifer Aniston (from Office Space and some TV show) and Jake Gyllenhaal from Donnie Darko. Our favorite line: “You’re just a hooker… you hooker!” Next up was About a Boy, which was also very good. Significantly less heavy than the previous film, this one had Hugh Grant, whom I know some of you don’t care for, but I like him. After this, Kris and I cooked up some dinner, and watched some more Malcolm. Then Kristin took off, and I cleaned up a bit, headed to my room, and promptly fell asleep. When I woke up, I started up this thing… so there you have it. I have more to say, but I’m exhausted, and have been told to go to sleep, so I think I will.