Thursday, February 09, 2006

2006 Birthday Bender Pt 2

By the time people started showing up, my trail to buzzdom was seeing some giddy-up. Yes, I hate cowboy references too, but the restaurant, Guero’s, is dressed entirely in caballero fashion. That’s “Mexican cowboy” to anyone without the knowin’.

After a few more cans of Tecate, it was time to head to The Alamo South to see The Matador. It’s a happy little tale of how a seemingly washed-up killer-for-hire ends up befriending a seemingly goody-goody salesman-for-who-cares at a hotel bar in Mexico. They have a couple days of semi-homoerotic fun together and then part ways in such a fashion as to leave the viewer wondering whether or not their friendly tryst got physical.

Or maybe that’s just my take on it.

Months pass, seasons change, the nerdy fellow is back in The States doing the “normal life” thing, while the killer botch-fucks a job in Budapest so badly that he himself becomes a mark. Doorstep: killer, middle of the night, “hello, killer! Meet the wife”, “oh, hey, let’s have a drink, it’s been a bad year, they want me dead” sort of thing.

I won’t give away the ending, because it really isn’t worth spoiling, but they go on a kill together. Now who would a heartless killer want to kill if there was a price on his head? Fuck if I know. Just let that deep plot unfold before your eyes.

That Remington Steel guy was fucking brilliant in the role though. Kinnear was a good straight man, but he definitely plays better in subtly gay roles. I have no idea why I’m so obsessed with his potential homosexuality. Must be something latent. Like a herpes secret.

No comment.

When we left the movie, I was, in a word, drunk. But not a funny, boisterous, ambitious, complimentary, or angry drunk. I was a tired drunk. After several beers and the tequila, sitting down for a movie in a dark theatre with comfort food is not the best of choices. Better to keep on your feet, better to keep off the beer, better to have eaten a goddamn meal BEFORE the nexus of what was supposed to be a three day drunk-a-thon.

Fucking Bush league. That’s what it was. BUSH LEAGUE.

But I wasn’t so tired that I wanted to go home. I was in a lazy frame of mind, and just needed some environmental stimulation to get my gears to fire back up. I needed some moving lights. Some loud music. Some refreshingly unknown faces. And definitely some more hard liquor.

Beer just sits on me like that one asshole golden retriever that acts like a lap dog, even though the fucker weighs a hundred goddamn pounds. But he’s just sooooo happy to be on top of you! Look at him there! With his tongue in your mouth! Awwwww! He chews his butt with that tongue.

Onward to The Peacock where ceeplus and Starsign were to be spinning. Their sets were good, really good. But I spent the vast majority of my time there out on the patio, where I could smoke. It wasn’t packed, but the quality of booze-finders was top notch. I ran into several people who run in the same circles, who only know me as a drunk, and not as “that guy who does whatever”, because I’d rather be known for what I enjoy doing than for what others might enjoy me doing.

I realize that sounds dickish, but whatever. All too often, people make judgments about other people without bothering to gather much intelligence. They simply categorize based upon their own sense of personality. It’s as natural as taking a shit, but much, much nastier when examined. Take the following “invented” erroneous assumptions:

Hair products = pretentious douche in a house of mirrors
Republican = asshole kitten-kicker
Chick with cleavage = wants sex but can’t use mouth to ask for it
Cool shoes = future best friend for life
Dude with earrings = understands deep irony
Writer = unpredictable liar who sleeps around
Salesman = loves to visit whorehouses
Drunk = probably going to sell newspapers at an intersection

I’d rather take the Drunk association. There are no expectations associated with it, and there’s nothing worse than having expectations leveled on you by a stranger. Fucking weird.

Regardless, I know that the people I ran into at The Peacock are highly driven, intelligent, and capable characters. They really are. I don’t know this because I’ve spent day after day with them, and have cataloged their every intent and action. I don’t even know what they DO for a living, specifically. I can just tell by their personality. In and amongst the moments that I have interacted with them.

And I’ve been borderline falling-down-drunk on almost all those occasions. So much so, that it has become standard for me to greet them with “man, every time I see you, I’m so fucked up I don’t even remember what we talked about. Let’s do that again!”

Bygones, bygones, bygones.

I am getting better with names though. Much better. I made a point of trying to remember names that night. In fact, I logged six new names which I have successfully remembered and used since. That’s a big feat for me. Especially when I’m as drunk as I was.

Shots got tossed, shit got talked, and by the end of the night, ceeplus had become fast friends with the owner, Jason. Well, I can’t actually say that they were friends, but Jason and cee are both extremely friendly people, so they seemed to enjoy each other’s company.

I wasn’t aware at the time, but I had actually dealt with Jason on another occasion. A few months back I had been in The Peacock for some magazine party launch, and several tumblers of McCall’s ended up landing on my tab. I would guess that my tabs get padded, lifted, appended, and hijacked with pretty sound regularity (as everyone’s do), but the abuser(s) are usually smart enough to keep the dollar amount below my radar. Whatever my radar may be, it’s a damn sight below the cost of three goddamn McCall’s, that’s for sure.

So I got into it with the bartender, trying to explain that I didn’t even know what McCall’s was (I don’t drink scotchy-scotch), so I certainly wasn’t interested in paying off someone else’s leaching tab of boozery. Well, the bartenders that night weren’t interested in justice, they just wanted my cash. Not having a sober leg to stand on, I paid it, but left in a cloud of resolute fury. I was determined to get my fucking cash back, the bastards.

The next day, I myspaced their profile thing and explained how I was victimized and how I don’t appreciate being made out to be a thief in front of a shitload of pissed off drink-orderers (the bartender obviously thought I was trying to get away with having my high-class boozing comp’d by the tenders, which is, well, whatever man). Whoever was running the profile messaged me back and apologized for the mishap, and let me know that there would be a $25 comp at the bar under my name. I could go claim it at any time.

Well, I never found the time. I’d like to say I never made it back out there because I was morally opposed to how I was treated, or something equally shitty sounding. At least it wouldn’t be as lame an excuse as “I just… never bothered. ???” Laaaahhhaaaaaame.

Anyhow, immediately after cee introduced me to Jason as the owner, I coughed up that entire story, assuming that all had been forgotten, water under the bridge and whatnot. He actually remembered the whole thing. He ran the fucking profile. My comp was still at the bar. He was honestly sorry about the mix-up.

Fuck. I can’t even be wronged without managing to put myself in a situation that will end with ME feeling guilty about it. For the love of…

About an hour after they closed up the bar, cee is still drinking with Jason and the other bartenders. This is a common occurrence with cee, as he has a certain “just keep your bar open past last call so we can all drink together” Jedi mind-shit thing going. Many years of practice, I’m guessing.

Bill, Brother Nick and I had to pack up cee’s equipment while he hung on to the bar, trying to give records away to the owner and his “let’s fucking leave already” staff. Lucky for me, the combination of heavy lifting, not drinking for a good while, and the cool night air gave me the clarity to get home safely.

Where I slept like the dead because I had the following Friday off. Word to that.

2006 Birthday Bender Pt 1

Last Thursday marked the start of the three-day birthday bender. I am somewhat hesitant to write this up at the moment because I am receiving some heavy traffic in relation to last year’s SxSW five-day bender. The birthday bender pales in comparison to the SxSW one, and to anyone who found my writing by way of googling “SxSW booze alcohol free party shit-on-foot”, there may appear to be an inordinate number of benders represented, digitally, here.

But, fuck it. I said I’d write it out, and so it shall be done.

So, Thursday it all began. The first Thursday of each month here in Austin is odd cause for celebration on South Congress. Makes no difference who started the thing. It has become an institution here.

The thing about “First Thursday” for me, is that five years back it was more rag-tag. And I prefer it that way. The stores would have kegs of beer, or bottles of wine, and if you wandered in, they’d just hand you a glass. Bands would play in the street or in a back-patio of some fucked-up little curio shop. It was hokey. It was a bit confused.

It had free beer.

Nowadays, it has become another festival-type thing where the blatant focus is on selling people shit. All festivals are designed to make money. On the inside, everyone realizes that currency is the point of the thing. If they run the red, they disappear because no one is willing to pay for the good time of strangers. That’s how the evil wheels of capitalism roll. But no one likes it to be written all on the OUTSIDE of the event. At least make an effort to give the thing a haze of altruism.

If our current presidency can pull this trick off, so can a clutch of merchants. I mean, fuck.

First Thursday is no different. In the beginning the businesses on Congress were hungry, and willing to make sacrifices for the sake of community approval and the promise of better foot traffic in years to come. So they busted out the free booze, called up their friends in bands, set up some basic sound systems, passed out fliers, kissed stranger’s babies, and kapow. A few years later, they get a regular festival going on the first of every month to drum up some community business.

Too bad those pioneers did such a good job. So good that after they worked so hard to clean up South Congress’s reputation, they got shoo’d off by less community-interested businesses. Businesses that took advantage of all the groundwork lain down by those they replaced, but didn’t feel the need to bother continuing the spirit. Why try? All those asshole consumers are going to show up anyway, right? Right. Fuck it.

There’s no more free beer, and other than the music in the patio outside of Guero’s, there’s very little going on that’s free. Some side shows here and there, some makeshift “galleries”, and perhaps that same no-tooth dude from 7th and Congress has wandered down with his guitar to sing some shit I can never understand. But they’re all there for money, because culture, even if half-assed, ain’t free.

Regardless, Brother Nick and I made sure to start things off right with some beer and tequila shots.

I have no idea why tequila rang true as a good idea, because it never is, unless you’re requesting it from a firing squad. Nothing good ever comes of tequila. Just headaches, lost teeth, auto insurance claims, and unwanted pregnancies. That’s all tequila has to offer anyone. Life disruption and horrific discomfort.

So we had to have some…

Monday, February 06, 2006

Yes, You Are Reading Correctly

When you mouth through the words "Craig sucks, and hasn't written anything original in weeks here, and that's, well, that's just plain shitty of him."

I know. And my mind has suffered through the truth of it all. Ammends are in order. Something is in order, anyhow.

In my defense, it's been a busy couple of weeks. Just finished off the birthday. Three-day bender. And I plan to chronicle that one because I vaguely remember some things that I found particularly entertaining.

No one else has to care, right? Right.

I want to say that I've been dedicating more time to alternate projects, because that sounds better than "hung over, watching shit movies like The Crow and Blue Velvet". It makes me look like I've got irons in fires, lines in lakes, buns in ovens.

But not that last one. I just liked the way it sounded in the context, that's all.

So, soon, I will have a document of what I can piece together from my little birthday bender. The word that immediately comes to mind is "pain"...