Thursday, August 30, 2007

Society: Making me sad since 1979

Going from living in rural Wyoming to the downtown of a major city has afforded me an interesting dichotomy of life experiences. Just this week alone I’ve been approached on the streets by disheveled, not quite homeless gentlemen and seen a random act of violence. Nice job, people. Real nice.

On Tuesday, while walking to the bank, this conversation occurred:

Guy: Hey man, got a question for you.
Me: Yeah?
Guy: How do you spell 12?
Me: (pause) What?
Guy: How do you spell 12? T…H….?
Me: No. No, man. It’s T-W-E-L-V-E.
Guy: Oh, alright thanks.
Me: (looking skyward) What the ****?

Then Wednesday while waiting for my morning ride outside my apartment, I get this from a guy holding a loosely rolled cigarette:

Guy: Hey, you got any matches?
Me: (patting my pockets) Um, no.
Guy: You got a light?
Me: No, sorry.

The thing is, the guy was so disgusted with me. He just rolled his eyes and walked away with nothing but disappointment in yours truly. Who are you, my dad? Yeah, sorry, I’m a non-smoker – guilty. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t regret it. Well, I guess, other than the days I have to walk anywhere and/or not smell like a wet campfire.

Then later on Wednesday, I’m downtown walking back from CVS on my lunch hour and these two guys collide with each other right in front of me – one guy on a bike and the other on foot. The pedestrian starts yelling at the biker. The biker then proceeds to walk up to the guy and punch him in the face. He just hits him right in the face, and the guy falls down. Not like a slap, I mean, he just jacks the guy right in the mug. I’m standing there next to them thinking, “What?” Everybody on the street was just staring at them. It’s not like in junior high when everybody cheers; it’s just sort of pathetic when it’s adults. Seriously, what is wrong with you people?

This is a very ugly world, I hate to say. (See, I’m so distraught by this I’m writing like Yoda.) Seriously though, stuff like this is why people like me drink.

Anyway, hope you all have a good weekend here in our fair capital city – enjoy yourselves, do some good, and try not to get jacked in the face by a random stranger on a bicycle.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Dating: Who needs it?

Let's speak frankly.

The dating situation just doesn't seem to be happening right now. I'm not really complaining or whining about it, since I don't really care that much, but still. A little feminine companionship might not be the worst thing. It just seems as though the gals (and guys, apparently) who dig me, I'm not real into, and the gals I dig tend to be taken (or lesbians - What can I say? I love flannel).

I was talking with my friends at the Rathskeller the other night and they were saying I should utilize the Internet. But I tell you, I'm a little hesitant. I just hate being in those situations where you go on a date and you've seen a headshot of somebody, but then you get there and you realize that was the absolute best photo that person has ever taken in her life and/or it was orchestrated with backlighting from what had to be the Baby Jesus himself. Then the girl who you thought looked like Mary-Louise Parker turns out looking like, well, like someone else. And you have to sit through the whole dinner and whatever else you're doing thinking, "Man, I'd rather be at home watching Russians jump off of furniture on YouTube."

We then discussed the merits of dating someone with a handicap. It started with the "would you rather have someone who's blind or deaf?" debate. We agreed I should have a blind person because "the funny angle is my thing and I bet I feel hotter than I look." However, Mitch argued that if I had a deaf girl, I'd really have to articulate what I say or sign, which means I'd have to think about it and I might filter out the comments and self-destructive banter that usually aid in my subconscious sabotaging of relationships. All good points.

My boys are saying that if I don't want to do online dating sites, I can go on Myspace and just start looking up random girls in Indy and contacting them. Well, where I'm from, we call that stalking and I'm not super enthused about doing it. At least not in a more discreet manner, as is the normal protocol.

Thing is, I'm not really desperate because I like being single and it's obvious it will take a special lady to hold my interest and tolerate all of my "isms." I just wish the process was easier and you didn't have to approach a woman with some toolish line in a bar like "You come here often?" or "Why do women lie?"

Anyway, back to YouTube - maybe there are some Russians giving dating tips.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

GUEST BLOG: In the Rockies

By TIM BREWER, Guest Blogger/Gen Con Enthusiast

Bachelor parties create countless memories. I spent four days last week in Colorado, as I hosted a bachelor party for my best friend from high school. Of course, the silicone was bouncing from sofa to pole, but this final freedom party was much, much more than your typical buddy’s one last bash.

I went out a day early to mountain bike just outside of Boulder. If I ever get the guts to move from hick land, I’m going to live there. Microbreweries, fabulous healthy and make-up free woman and a great sense of happiness from the locals will keep Boulder one of the best college towns in the country.

After Boulder, I took a bus to Denver to meet up with nine guys ready to punish their livers. We did a couple rounds of bowling, hit a local pub and made our way to Coors Field to watch the Cubs/Rockies game. There was an older guy sitting in front of us by himself with his Rockies doll. He danced with his doll and talked to it like Matt talks to his sock puppet, Luther. There was a reason why this guy was sitting by himself. He danced and talked to a doll the entire night. I even think he disciplined the doll once. Maybe that’s standard behavior in the Denver altitude.

I arranged a drunk bus for us the next morning to take us to Fort Collins to tour New Belgium Brewing Company, Odell Brewing and Coopersmith’s Brewing. Our buddy Mike could barely function since he was so hungover. Naturally, we teased him the entire time with bologna and syrup jokes. New Belgium Brewing’s tour and sampling is the best thing since sliced George Bush.

Later that night we went to another Cubs/Rockies game. And, wait for it… we hit two strip joints - I mean, gentlemen’s clubs, because only classy, well-behaved gentlemen go to these neon-colored, glittery halls of $9 beers. I rarely go to these places, so I see it as a learning experience when I go once every four years. I love the names at the clubs – Bambi, Angel, Destiny, Star, Kitty, Candy, Crystal, Cherry and Gladys. Ok, maybe not Gladys, but I think it’s a requirement to go by one of the first eight. We ended the evening by paying for a shower for our bachelor. He put on board shirts and was "Barbasoled" by two "ladies" in front of the entire club for 10 minutes. Half of my brain’s memory is used up with mind photos from this head-shaking incident.

Colorado, you made quite an impression on me. The ladies of Colorado are quite fine, too. To my pleasure, they refrain from state fair food. But Angel, you can drink all of the fried Pepsi you want, in this cowboy's opinion.

Friday, August 24, 2007

On social norms

Do you ever get involved in a conversation with somebody who stares at you long after your interaction with them is over? Does it creep you out?

I recently had lunch with somebody who did this. He’s like: “Hey, how ‘bout this weather? Pretty hot, huh?” So I’m like “Yeah, it's August, captain.” But then I look down and start eating my pasta dish, and look up and, sure enough, this cat is still looking at me. He kept doing that throughout the meal to the point where I could feel his crazy eyes burning into the top of my skull as I ate. And I’m thinking, “What the hell, man?"

After I looked up, I just quickly looked back down in horror. But I’ve decided if it happens again, I’m just going to start crowing at him like a pterodactyl. (I realize I could have used any flying animal there, but I thought it’d be funnier to use pterodactyl because it’s extinct and is spelled silly… sillily… humorously). I suppose making a loud, shrill donkey noise would work, too: "Eeeeeeaaaaawwwww!"

But why do people do crazy stuff like this? It drives me nuts. I had a friend in college (I don't think he reads this) who gave people weird looks when he drank too much, but at least that was alcohol-induced. Actually, he'd say some pretty raunchy things to women, too. Thing is, we never knew it. We'd hear about it at some party months later:

Girl: "Hey, do you know what (your friend) said to my roomate?"
Me: "No, what?"
Girl: (whisper)
Me: "Oh my Lord! No. No! Oh, sweet Moses. Is that even possible? Can one person physically do that to another person? Oh my heavens! I mean, the sheer physics of that are so daunting! No! I feel so badly that you were exposed to the mental visions that must have invoked (or possibly evoked, I don't know the difference). Can I do your dishes or something? Here, let me give you money..."

Needless to say, we had to do a lot of PR patchwork around our apartment complex. Anywaaaay...

CLASS PARTICIPATION TIME: If you have crazy things you wished people didn’t do (like spit when they talk, use the word “ain’t,” or poison your pets), feel free to post a comment about their actions on this blog and explain why it burns you up.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Your life is now

I'm pretty much a downtown Indy guy now. On any given weekend, I can be found doing my thing at the following places: Old Point Tavern, The Rathskeller, The Chatterbox, English Ivy's (yeah, it's a gay bar, but hey, it's next to my place so that trumps all other factors. It also gives me a chance to get caught up on the latest fashions, hair styles, and Katie Couric gossip).

Anyway, Tim has a friend who's going through a situation so we thought we'd take him out on the town Saturday. I should preface this with this ridiculous anecdote, however: A while back Tim came up with fake names for he and I when we go out. Mind you, I'm not sure what this accomplishes but aliases can be practical and one should always have one. And obviously, they have to be ridiculous, so I'm known as "Steven Tuesday" and his moniker is "Randy Butterscotch." Are we tools? Yes, but in our defense, we were tools long before this. Plus, these names make me laugh every time we discuss them. So I happened to be taking a shower one day and a third name came to me that we can use for anyone else who wants to join our bachelor downtown posse. That name? "Marley Coriander." It's so ridiculous I can't stop thinking about it. Isn't it funny how great ideas seem to hit you in the shower of all places? I think the best one I've ever gotten in there was probably "Hey Matt, you should probably think about cleaning yourself."

Well, our goal of the evening was to cheer up Tim's friend. We had an OK time, but the band at the biergarten was pretty brutal so we just kind of made fun of them the whole time. Oh, and we also looked at attractive women but ultimately decided not to talk to them. So finally, after a few beers and some heartfelt discussion on life, relationships, and my contention that optimism only lets you down, his newly single friend asks, "My God, is this what I have to look forward to?"

After much debate, we decided the answer - sadly - is "yes."

So pull up a stool Marley; it doesn't get much better than this.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Moving day

(Sorry about the lack of postage Thursday, but I didn't have cable access until the nice gentleman hooked it up this morning.)

The move went as well as could be expected Monday; I just need to pick up a few items to make it more livable. Nothing like cooking an entire chicken sausage in the oven and then realizing you don’t have any oven mitts. I won’t lie – there’s been blistering.

Thanks to Mitch for helping me. What a true, special friend he is. And handsome, too.

Here are some key lines from the move:

“I’m going to park in the street. If they honk at me, somebody’s getting cut.” - Matt

“(while lifting a desk up stairs) Watch out, it will go in your face… that’s what she said. (That’s not even funny but we laughed for 1.5 minutes. Oh, thank you comic relief.) - Matt

“Your neighbors are (freaking) weird.” – Mitch

“I’m going to have to boil this couch.” - Matt

“Just leave the van door open. If somebody steals it we won’t have to carry it in.” – Matt

“Goodbye security deposit. (There was some damage to the hallway leading up to my place. But I’m hoping that will be deemed a neutral area and I can blame it on my neighbor.)” – Mitch

“(while trying to maneuver my couch up a narrow stair case) This could not be going worse.” – Matt

Mitch: You’re living in the Aurora?
Matt: No, it’s called the Apollo.
Mitch: It says “Aurora” right above the building.
Matt: No, it’s the Apollo.
Mitch: Are you sure?
Matt: I know where I live, dude.
Mitch: OK
Matt: Why does it say “Aurora” over the door, though?
Mitch: That’s what I’m saying.
Matt: They told me it was the Apollo… lies.

Actually, I’m sure Mitch had more quality comments but I just wasn’t paying that close of attention, since this was mostly about me.

And then Tuesday night I became aware of the world of Costco. First of all, I think if you just bought gas there it would more than make up for the cost of membership. It’s quite a deal. Only problem is I have a very small kitchen and no storage space. Fortunately I’m a fast eater. Still, you have to love a place that allows you to buy meat, beer, a couch and a trampoline all in one visit. It’s beautiful.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Celebrate laughter, Part I: (Zach Galifianakis)

We're going to start a new monthly series here on K & S where we celebrate laughter by featuring some of my favorite stand-up comedians. Since the main point of my blog is to act as some kind of humorist, I'd like to use this segment to celebrate the artform of comedy and mainly to guarantee both of my readers get at least one laugh each month. Let's face it, life blows at least half of the time so some days laughter is all we have. This is also the part of the month where I try not to make this blog about me in an effort to surrender my ego (although telling you that is probably drawing more attention to me, which is counter-productive. It would probably be better just to not mention me at all. So yeah, just disregard this whole diatribe about myself). It's all very Buddhist in nature and I'm told this should cleanse me in some way. Yet I still feel dirty. So very, very dirty.

Anyhow, today we're featuring one of my favorite guys going right now, Zach Galifianakis. You might have seen him in the movie "Out Cold," and... um... quite possibly some other stuff. So without further ado:

On Conan

Give it time, this gets funny in the second half

Versus a reality show heckler (BEWARE: vulgar language)

Stay tuned for the September segment, where we'll feature the stylish, stoned out one-liners of the late, great Mitch Hedberg.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Downtown bound

Just got back from Friday's poker night. I got stopped at a sobriety checkpoint. According to Hamilton County Deputy (I wanna say) Spulchik, I was OK to drive. Anyway, I saw some cats driving around in Noblesville without their shirts on. I wrote a song about them on the way back. Here are the lyrics:

"I've got crazy facial hair
I'm in Noblesville
My name's Jeremy
And I'm not wearing a shiiiiiiiiiiiiirt"

Lots going on, beautiful readers, lots going on. On Monday I’m moving to an apartment in downtown Indianapolis. The building was built around 1919 so I’m hoping to have a constant buzz going from the mold and asbestos. “Ahhhh, breathe it in. It’s sort of like Brill Cream mixed with the souls of dead mice.” That’s what I’ll say; that’s what I’ll say to my guests.

So here’s the issue: My cable isn’t getting set up until next Saturday morning. They wanted to tell me they’d come on Wednesday between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. or something, but I’m like, “Yeah, um, I have a job, soooooo…” I have a feeling I’ll just be sitting around this week watching DVDs, working out on my Gazelle Edge thereby effectively toning my glutes and thighs, and learning to play new songs on my guitar. I’ve been really into the alt country scene lately, so I might try to learn some Ryan Adams (not Bryan Adams, people) or something. His new album, Easy Tiger, is a great listen and reminds me a bit of Neil Young. Adams seems to use many different voices and registers throughout his catalog. They tend to change depending on the mood or even genre of the song itself. It’s almost schizophrenic in a way, which I suppose I can relate to. And so can I. I might also try to get some bluegrass or Emmylou Harris going, as I think she’s the bee’s knees.

I’ll have help moving from Mitch and Tim. I was going to get them a meal or something for helping that night but I don’t think we’ll have time. I will, however, be living a block away from a liquor store so we may have to settle on Guinness for dinner - a fun and healthy snack I've been enjoying since I was a tot.

My interior’s going to be rather hodge podgie. It’s sort of hard to create a constant theme around a Bruce Springsteen TIME magazine cover, tie-dyed Bob Marley tapestry, Colts Super Bowl Championship poster and old Jell-O ads from the 1950s. But that’s what I’m working with here. Frank Lloyd Wright I'm not. (I realize he's an architect and not an interior designer, but I didn't know the names of any famous interior designers, so back off.)

CELEBRATE LAUGHTER: Brace yourselves for a new monthly feature I’ll be debuting on Tuesday, where we see clips from my favorite comedians. I won’t say who I’ll be featuring in the first post, but get ready for hilarity. HINT: He has a Jesus beard. OK, no more, I’ve said too much…

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Let it Rhain

This kid is sick (that's street slang for "outstanding"): New Manchester United recruit Rhain Davis, 9 years old

My issue is, where the hell was YouTube when I was balling in the Whitestown, Indiana Little League? WhenMitch and I were tearing up North Salem and Lizton as the 1 & 2 hitters while donning the American Legion Post 410 jersey, nobody could broadcast our achievements on the Infernets. Now, this little British kid gets signed by Manchester United before he's even off of breast milk. Oh well, I'm pretty happy with my life now so I guess I won't complain. I'm definitely not going to hate on the kid - good for him, he'll be dating Spice Girls' daughters in no time. Just don't knock her up, dude: Woopsy Doodle

I also think it's cool that his name is Rhain and he's not destined to become a stripper in Shelbyville. Rhain is a cool name and shouldn't be relegated to only being sported by people who wear unholy amounts of Aqua Net.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Music at the Vic II (On Drunks et al)

So Saturday I went to see the Counting Crows/Live/Collective Soul show. Here are a few certainties I gleaned from the experience:

1. Live is a great band.
2. Counting Crows is a pretty good band.
3. Collective Soul is still making music.
4. I don't care for people - not at all.

We were down on the field for Live, which I enjoyed. However, they didn't play "Pillar of Davidson," even though I specifically requested it on my blog. Questionable. The set was short but rocked.

We went up in the cheap seats for Counting Crows because we were tired of the idiots down on the field and didn't care that much. Guess what, there were idiots in the stands, too. Some 45-year-old lady stood up behind us during one song to shake her excessive booty. She then tapped me on the back to get me to dance. Here's the conversation verbatim.

Lady: (Backslap) You need to dance, dude.
Me: I'm fine. Don't touch me.

In brighter news, a drunk girl told me she liked my hat and pink shirt. My shirt wasn't pink, but I appreciated the sentiment nonetheless.

To give you a feel for the crowd, here are Timmy's observations:

"If I hear one more double negative, I'm gonna kill somebody" and "Our country's in trouble."

I don't know what it is about American society that dictates when you go out to a public venue, you have to treat it like a NASCAR race and act like a drunken ass. I guess it was probably worse since I was the designated driver so I couldn't partake, but dang. I'm sort of wondering how many of their kids some of these people had to sell to get the $50 for the tickets.

In closing, I'd just say that I enjoyed the music and that was a plus, but for the most part the collective indictment of society was rather alarming. I fear you're right, Timmy. Our country IS in trouble and may be on the verge of a meltdown or idiocy-induced 'splosion. On the upside, at least we can go out listening to "Lightning Crashes."

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Music at the Vic

Exciting times are ahead. Today I’m off to the Counting Crows/Live/Collective Soul concert at Victory Field in downtown Indy. If there’s a heaven on earth, I bet it features 1990s bands rocking out in a minor league baseball stadium. Outstanding.

My friend who’s a DJ at 99.5 FM told me a while back that he heard the Gin Blossoms would also be there, but I fear time has proven him to be a filthy liar. Even so, word on the street is these concerts have gone on for 4.5 hours so I’ll need to bring my fanny pack full of water and possibly good cheer. Yeah, I’m kidding, I’ve never worn a fanny pack. Maybe I should; maybe that could be my thing. I’ll carry really obscure items in it like tweezers and 1997 Topps baseball cards. So then when people ask me for something practical like gum or something, I’ll give them a really put-off look and be like, “Um, nooooo, I’m only carrying sporks and jelly bracelets today, thank you very much.”

The seating for this concert is first-come first-served, I believe. So it would behoove us to get there early so we can sit in the field near the stage. I want to be close enough to see the mice in Adam Duritz’s dreadlocks.

We’re hitting Weber Grill with some gals beforehand, but with my freakish hunger I’m betting I’ll be dying for a ballpark hotdog by “I Alone.” I really hope Live plays “Pillar of Davidson” (now with David Duchovny thanks to YouTube!) from Throwing Copper. That song has some odd lyrics but it’s quite remarkable, in this reporter’s opinion. Here’s the chorus as I know it:

"Old, bad eyes
Old, bad eyes
Old, bad eyes, almighty fear

The shepherd won't leave me alone
He's in my face and I
The shepherd of my days
And I want you here by my heart and my head,
I can starve till I'm dead"

Hey whatever man, it works. I think I read it’s about a Harley Davidson motorcycle factory in their hometown and how people had to be slaves for the Man. Either that or it’s an introspective piece written from the perspective of a blind sheep. I don’t know, maybe I’ll ask a roadie about that one. Anyway, should be some good times.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Running with the bowls in Barcelona

I visited downtown Indy’s new tapas bar, Barcelona, on Tuesday. I must admit, I’d never heard of the word “tapas” before I went – we ain’t got them fancy places in Boone County. So when I heard people say this, I thought they were saying “topless bar.” In that sense, I guess I was obviously disappointed.

Basically the way it works is your entire group orders about 2 dishes each and everybody shares. Being an only child, I’m normally not one to share food, so I was mildly tempted to slap people’s hands away and yell “Mine!” or "No!" or "You wanna get cut, gringo? 'Cause I'll cutcha!" I refrained, however.

The food tastes great, but it’s quite expensive. If I ever meet anybody worth dating, I’ll probably take them there for the atmosphere and the intimacy of (sigh) sharing food. However, I just didn’t get full. Being a Spain-themed venue, I think they understandably serve European-sized portions. That’s probably ideal for the abundance of obese Hoosiers, but what about cats like me who exercise frequently and deserve to be fed like a lumberjack when I go out?

All told, I’ll give Barcelona a 3.7 out of 5 stars for delightful dishes and attractive waitresses (sadly wearing shirts). Again, I’d recommend it for a date, but if you’re looking to get your grub on, I’d stick with Qdoba (or if you're dating someone really cool, just take her there in the first place).