Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Yes, we were foolish enough to take my Spanish Exchange Student (SES) to "el ejercicio que se parece a una cosa estupida pero es muy divertido". There's nothing quite like watching a slightly spastic Spanish soccerista (sorry Kenji) wearing a Barcelona jersey and punching in the wrong direction.
And for those of you who were wondering (all both of you) what he looks like, he's on the right in the following phot.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Ivan is here, after a long journey from Barcelona to Frankfurt to Chicago to Mon Cal to here. (Just kidding about the Chicago stop...what priest would subject his students to flying through O'Hare?). He got in a few nights ago, and was very nice until he realized that I would be trying to practice Spanish with him, at which point he cringed and tried to run away from us, before he was mistaken for a Mexican by a border guard and shot*.
Just kidding about the shooting thing. But damn, those cattle prods leave some amazing welts. Anyways Ivan is now profoundly irritated by my Spanish, which is roughly on the level of a four-year-old's, except most four-year-old's can roll their rr's. I can understand him a little when he speaks Spanish in that deep bass voice of his, at least enough to understand that deeply funny and slightly profane Spanish declaration his friend Victor made concerning American History (ask me about it).
In other news, Harry Potter wins 3 Quidditch Matches.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Because I have no storage space.
1 cup sugar
2 Tbl. tapioca (?)
3 Tbls. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
4 cups FRESH blueberries (frozen ones tend to make bery watery pies)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
mix all of the dry ingredients together then add the blueberries the key thing here: SHAKE the ingredients together. DO NOT MIX. my mom says to just shake the bowl around , i guess then bake in the oven 425 degrees for 20 min and then at 375 degrees for 40 min
Sunday, August 07, 2005
Yes, believe it or not, I will be dying soon, seing as my doctor's bloodwork thingy says I have an abnormally high cholesterol and trigylceride level (163 is "off the charts" for trigylceride, and puts me at "high" risk for a heart attack)
I love not exercising and eating fried stuff all the time.
Saturday, July 30, 2005
Yeah yeah I got my dorky haircut today, which is arguably even dorkier-looking then my Conservative Lawyer haircut I got for Mock Trial.
See, I've been trying to grow out my hair- OK that's a lie, I'm too lazy and fashion-inconsiderate to make decisions like that, it's just that the last time I
got my haircut it was snowing outside (yep, I haven't gotten a trim since June*) and everyone says it's my "[Insert very famous 60s rock star here]" look and cracks oh-so-clever jokes about finding Yoko Ono to complete the look.
I just realized I spent five whole minutes writing the above paragraph when I should have been reading Gordon S. Wood's POS for AP US. Grr. Unhappiness
<--high-school angst, remember that?
Monday, July 25, 2005
Yes, Wet Burritos, from the Beltline Bar in Michigan, are the best burritos on the planet. They are to Chipotle as Chipotle is to crappy Taco Bell burritos.
Damn local chains...
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Yah so apparently now I'm in Michigan visiting w/da father's side of the family. Quick notes:
-Weeeelll, driving directly into sunlight for about 5 hours is much more draining than you might imagine. Even if you're sitting in the passenger seat sun-napping like me. Also, the plaintive cry, "Are we there yet?" can't kill you, but you WILL wish it could, especially when it's your mother whining about it.
-We went blueberry picking yesterday, which apparently here is a big thing. Right now they grow in clusters and clumps, always knotted around a nuclei of sour pale red protons *berries, and coming off with a roll of the fingers and a clip of the nails, plopping into the white plastic bucket which Mexicans fill at the end of the season for $2 a barrel. Having learned that fact, the ghosts of my liberal-activist friends point angry fingers at me whenever I eat blueberry pancakes, guilting me, but not enough for me to stop enjoying the berries, especially because there's a REASON I killed my liberal-activist friends.
-Also we saw "The Island" in the afternoon, which was irritatingly unoriginal (expect BLATANT ripoffs from Blade Runner, Minority Report, The Matrix, Star Wars, etc. etc.) Also some funny quips from Steve Buscemi (his definition of God is pretty good for a summer movie) and about 10 billion irritation product-placement messages made it in the final cut. BRRR.
-Finally, this morning we went to a Korean church for the first time in about a year. Ehh. 'Nuff said.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Saturday, July 16, 2005
Yah so my little brother bought the Harry Potter book last night (this morning, whatever) and now has become so engrossed in it that I finally have a chance to try Half-Life 2. I read the first hundred pages of HP6 while my brother was at drum lessons and then got all the spoilers off the Internet.
Big spoiler: I don't think "Capslock Harry" is going away anytime soon...
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Yesterday I met with Amy, an old friend of mine, and we hung out. She hasn't changed one bit. We almost ended up seeing a movie together but in the end decided not to and instead to go to Pizza Hutt, which here is an upscale sit-down restaurant (!!!), where they screwed up our orders. Funny story about that, actually (coming soon!)
Boy meets classmate from six years ago; both are still Potter nuts. Film at 11.
Sunday, July 03, 2005
I'm in China. CHINA! WTF!?!??!?!?!?!?!??
Tianjin, China, an old haunt (I even saw Amy on Saturday, completely unchanged) and it's just hit me that I'm stuck here for two freaking weeks. Gah.
This makes no sense at all...I'm obviously hallucinating.
And I'm not supposed to be posting on my blog right now or sending incoherent messages. Gotta go and pretend to work now.
Monday, April 18, 2005
So I have this old-school videogame called Jagged Alliance 2, where you hire a team of mercenaries to topple the despotic regime in a fictional South American country called "Arulco".
(on "Novice" mode, natch)
So, for those of you who attended the school of Political Thought called "Restoring Democracy In Other Countries by Attacking Them With High-Powered Automatic Weapons", how do you do it?
Monday, April 04, 2005
Sunday, April 03, 2005
So it's Easter Sunday and that means emptier flights, since people fly right before or right after holidays, but never ON holidays, according to my MBA-bearing father. He and I pack our bags, our travel plans, and our wallets (always the most essential part of any trip to Washington DC), and go to the airport to fly to the Grand Central Northworst Hub of Hubs, Detroit. And from there we will fly to Washington DC...
"Who do I know from KYW who lives in DC?" I ask myself. Much like the Emmy Chu Conundrum from Thanksgiving Break, this will haunt me all my days.
Then we get to CVG, and disaster strikes. A line of people the lenght of a somewhat-abridged copy of "War and Peace" has formed in front of the security checkpoint.
Security checkpoints will also haunt me on this trip.
Apparently a Bozo (my father's own words) went through security with a gun, and now everything is backed up.
The line stretches unnaturally like various parts of the human anatomy, through the A ticketing terminal, the then through the B terminal, then the C terminal, and finally through a series of extensive Vietcong-style tunnels, Coruscant-style skywalks, and other ugly-carpeted pieces of the airport I didn't even know existed. We settle in for a long, long wait. I look out side at the overcast skies and rain.
When we arrive in DC several presidential administrations later, it's still raining.
I sigh and put on my Ipod, depressing tunes roiling through my head like the stormfront overhead. Note to self: do not have "Angst" as a playlist title.
I spot another person who has an Ipod at Reagan airport. This is the first random passerby I've ever seen who's wearing the stormtrooper-white device while watching for his luggage. It depresses me to think my one piece of "cool gear" is no longer as unique as it seems, especially given all the fingerprints I've gotten all over it.
Very unhappily I listen to Rob Douan's voice crack, and think longingly of my dear friend Nina, who not only got a brand new Ipod for her birthday, but also is RIGHT THIS MOMENT lying on a sun-soaked beach in Phuket, Thailand, tanning herself into becoming fully Lebanese, and being offered virgin Sex on the Beach by legions of ignorant beach boys who have no diea why she's laughing so hard. (And unless she has a much better memory than I do, she has no clue either)
DC has a metro system.
Now, having lived in Japan for 3 years, when people say "metro" I think either "train", or "-polis", so here in America when people talk about those huge clanking buses stinking of ozone-layer-destroying-fumes and half-eaten fast food I get very confused.
It's refreshing to ride a train, even if it is full of city folks who glare towards the hapless tourist and his dad in a most hostile way.
The Japanese metro is a bastion of efficiency, speed, cleanliness, and people who look off into space out of politeness. The DC metro is a bastion of inefficiency, delays, chewing gum, and people who look off into space to avoid making eye contact with a potentially gun-carrying insomniac taxicab driver named Robert de Niro who will ask them "You talkin' to me?"
I need to get back to my bubble in the suburbs.
As I step out of the metro (Rosslyn Station) I get onto the Endless Escalator, a moving staircase roughly the size of Mt. Everest, which carries its riders through a long concrete funnel upwards from the train level (underground) to the street level (aboveground)
As we exit the train station, I am struck by how familiar the city's financial district looks: towering, tasteless buildings, rainslicked streets, and other alliterative/consonative/assonancitive (is that a word) nouns of bleakness. It's the overcast sky that hits me: I'm back in F-ING HIROSHIMA! All that's missing is the neon Japanese lettering, and a girl with an umbrella.
My internal Geiger counter clicking, I make my way with my father across intersections with countdown timers next to their WALK/DON'T WALK signs (a brilliant idea, judging by the scores of DC pedestrians, who knowing how long their windows of opportunity to cross the street are, leap into the pat hof oncoming cars in order to create the massive traffic jams that America is known for)
It's a relief when we reach the hotel and begin to immerse ourselves in the richly cultural and painstakingly historical experience that DC offers by flipping on ESPN and watching the travesty of Michigan St. crushing UK.
Tomorrow: Where are the Deer?
# of People I spotted sporting Ipods: 6
Ipod Slogan of the Day: "Because Life Should Have a Soundtrack"
Saturday, March 26, 2005
Me: Wanna come over and play Halo?
J: I'd love to, but I'm in Florida right now.
Two Minutes and a Wrong Number Later
Me: Wanna come over and play Halo?
A: I'd love to, but I'm in Chicago right now.
Two Minutes and a Wrong Number Later
Me: Wanna come over and play Halo?
J: I'd love to, but I'm in Kentucky right now.
Me: I probably should have expected that.
Friday, March 25, 2005
Oh Duke, my beloved Duke...what happened?
It's Michigan State,
A team that's been crappin' [since the loss of Magic Johnson back in the ; after all, they only took the 5th Seed ;)]
We have Reddick, and Sheldon and Ewing too,
They have depth, and defense,
But they're not the ones going home blue.
We have Coach Kryzewski,
The sweetest coach in the N-C-A-A,
But his TV ads haven't gotten...[something that rhymes with that undoubtedly Polish name]
I give up...it's too hard to rhyme.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Understanding Engineers - Take One
Two engineering students crossing the campus when one said, "Where did you get such a great bike?" The second engineer replied, "Well, I was walking along yesterday minding my own business when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike. She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, "Take what you want." The first engineer nodded approvingly, "Good choice; the clothes probably wouldn't have fit."
Understanding Engineers - Take Two
To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
Understanding Engineers - Take Three
A pastor, a doctor and an engineer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers. The engineer fumed, "What's with these guys? We must have been waiting for 15 minutes!" The doctor chimed in, "I don't know, but I've never seen such ineptitude!" The pastor said, "Hey, here comes the greens keeper. Let's have a word with him." "Hi George! Say, what's with that group ahead of us? They're rather slow, aren't they?" The greens keeper replied, "Oh, yes, that's a group of blind fire-fighters. They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free anytime." The group was silent for a moment. The pastor said, "That's so sad. I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight." The doctor said, "Good idea. And I'm going to contact my ophthalmologist buddy and see if there's anything he can do for them." The engineer said, "Why can't these guys play at night?"
Understanding Engineers - Take Four
What is the difference between Mechanical Engineers and Civil Engineers? Mechanical Engineers build weapons and Civil Engineers build targets.
Understanding Engineers - Take Five
The graduate with a Science degree asks, "Why does it work?"
The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, "How does it work?"
The graduate with an Accounting degree asks, "How much will it cost?"
The graduate with an Arts degree asks, "Do you want fries with that?"
Understanding Engineers - Take Six
Three engineering students were gathered together discussing the possible designers of the human body. One said, "It was a mechanical engineer." Just look at all the joints." Another said, "No, it was an electrical engineer. The nervous system has many thousands of electrical connections." The last one said, "Actually it was a civil engineer. Who else would run a toxic waste pipeline through a recreational area?"
Understanding Engineers - Take Seven
"Normal people believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet"
Understanding Engineers - Take Eight
An architect, an artist and an engineer were discussing whether it was better to spend time with the wife or a mistress. The architect said he enjoyed time with his wife, building a solid foundation for an enduring relationship. The artist said he enjoyed time with his mistress, because the passion and mystery he found there. The engineer said, "I like both." "Both?" "Yeah. If you have a wife and a mistress, they will each assume you are spending time with the other woman, and you can go to the lab and get some work done."
Understanding Engineers - Take Nine
An engineer was crossing a road one-day when a frog called out to him and said, "If you kiss me, I'll turn into a beautiful princess." He bent over, picked up the frog and put it in his pocket. The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will stay with you for one week." The engineer took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to the pocket. The frog then cried out, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I'll stay with you and do ANYTHING you want." Again the engineer took the frog out, smiled at it and put it back into his pocket. Finally, the frog asked, "What is the matter? I've told you I'm a beautiful princess, and that I'll stay with you for a week and do anything you want. Why won't you kiss me?" The engineer said, "Look, I'm an engineer. I don't have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog, now that's cool."
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Or, How to Get Ripped Off for $55 ($75 If You Count the Corsage-Thingy), Make a Complete Jackass Out of Yourself in Front of All Your Peers, Drink 5 Cups of Sugarless Carbonated Water, And Still Come Away with the Delusion That You Had a Good Time
By The Author
Prologue: A Funny Story That Unfortunately Did Not Happen
So there's this girl (let's call her "Mary-Kate", for the sake of confidentiality), whose friend, (let's call her "Heather", for the sake of confidentiality) is going to the Winter Semi-Formal with her almost-boyfriend (let's call him "Alex", for the sake of confidentiality). And Mary-Kate does not like being left out of the equation (most variables don't), so she implores Alex to find her a date. So Alex calls lots of guys, most of whom turn her down sight unseen, until he hits upon a certain Asian-conservative-rich-preppy-white kid who is a writer (let's call him "the Mark" for the sake of confidentiality). The dance is on Saturday night, and Alex contacts him via AIM on Thursday night. I have it from a very good source that their conversation went like this:
Alex: So, you want to go to the dance with one of my friends?
The Mark: Umm...
Alex: I mean, it's not like you're going with anyone else if you don't take me up on my offer.
Greek Chorus: OOOOOOOOOOHHHHH!!! You got SERVED!!!!
Alex: Call an ambulance, you just got burned!
The Mark: Damnit.
Alex: What, did I say that?
It happens that the Mark was rather shortsighted at the time and didn't understand the full implications of what he was getting into, so he agreed.
Alex, joyous at his success, attempted to IM Mary-Kate to tell her she has a date for the dance. Then he realizes that Mary-Kate is not on. He decides to call her.
This wouldn't be a problem, except he doesn't have Mary-Kate's number. So instead he IM's Mary-Kate's friend Heather, and asks her for Mary-Kate's number.
This wouldn't be a problem, except she doesn't have Mary-Kate's number either. So instead Heather goes through the laborious process of looking up Mary-Kate's number in the Ursuline Academy directory.
Finally, Alex calls Mary-Kate and tells her that she does in fact have a date to the dance, if not an attractive one. She is mildly ecstatic.
The next day, the Mark tells Alex that the dance tickets are all sold out.
Alex is placed with the Damoclean burden of breaking the news.
What Actually Happened (Sort of)
Unfortunately, that's not a true story. The Mark went to the office too early, and the ticket sellers arrived about five minutes.
Alex comes rushing over to tell the Mark to buy his ****ing ticket, and the Mark then proceeds to plunk down a simple majority of his life savings in order to do so.
Then the Mark went off to district Mock Trial competition, where, being the @$$hat that he is, he screwed the entire team by losing 10 points on his cross-examination, thus dooming his team to 3rd place (only the top 2 teams make it to state competition). An old black lady serving as the judge was the one who took away his points.
"Bloody seniors," the Mark mutters under his breath as the septuagenarian marks him down.
"Objection!" the attorney from CJ says. "Opposing counsel is attempting to introduce a very bad non-stipulated double pun from the KYW Reunion story in a completely irrelevant turn of phrase!"
"Your honor," the Mark says, "This makes no sense. Why would I be quoting a story about Leah's crutches and Chipotle I wrote for the KYW board and Nina in the middle of my cross-examination? This makes no sense at all. In fact, my entire plaintiff's argument makes no sense at all. In fact, this whole case makes no sense at all. And if this whole case makes no sense at all, you must acquit."
The Mark's legal advisor taps him on the shoulder, and politely informs him that the purpose of the case is to make the judge not acquit.
"Excuse me," the Mark says. He pulls out a small plush toy of a certain furry Star Wars character and presents it to the judge and jury. "This is Chewbacca. Chewbacca is an eight-foot-tall Wookie from the planet Kashyyk-"
Friday Night Lights
the Mark arrives home to realize that 1) he's supposed to go to a formal dance tomorrow, and 2) the heater in his house has apparently broken down, given the fact that there's more snow inside it then out.
The Mark then plops under three blankets and a heater, and falls asleep.
Saturday Morning Sun
So then the Mark wakes up at 5:00 in the morning, shivers, and falls back asleep, dreaming of deserts and hot sun.
Then he wakes up at 10:00, stretches, rubs the frost off his eyebrows, and takes a long shower in cold water.
At this point in time, he realizes that he has to go to a dance with a girl he's never before met. It might be prudent to contact her before he goes.
So then he pulls out the crinkled piece of paper, takes a deep breath, and calls.
Here is a transcript of the conversation:
the Mark: Hi, this is The Mark, may I speak to Mary-Kate?
Person at the Other End of the Line: **** you, there ain't no ****ing Mary-Kate here!
the Mark: Oh, erm, I guess I had the, um, wrong number.
Person at the Other End of the Line: Damn straight, mother****er!
The Mark hangs up, redials, and tries again.
The Mark: Hi, this is Harrison, may I speak to Mary-Kate?
Person at the Other End of the Line: Why not.
The Mark: [Waits]
Mary-Kate: Who the hell is this, and why are you calling me at 10:00 in the morning!??!
The Mark: Umm, this is Harrison, and I-erm- am, uh, apparently the guy that, y'know, you're going to the dance with.
[Sound of screaming in the background]
The Mark: What's that noise?
Mary-Kate: Oh, that's just my brother.
The Mark: Ohhhhhhhkaaaaaayyyy.
Five hours (and Dantooine and Nar Shaddaa, for those of you who've played KOTOR 2) later, The Mark goes to go pick up the corsage. He drives his father's convertible with his mother gripping the dash tightly in the passenger's seat.
Imagine an endless Eisenhower-esque sprawl of warehouses and one-story offices, a military-industrial-complex's dream. Smack dab in the middle of it is a Flower Shop, housed in what seems to be a warehouse.
Inside are the trappings of any normal flower shop, including that incredibly annoying little bell that goes off when you open the door, but beyond the black curtain is an endless, Communist-like workshop full of enslaved florists who work day and night. He imagine barbed wire, furnaces, and numbers tattooed on arms, but don't stay long enough to see since it's all ready ("it" being the corsage-thingy, which he always thought was a pin, but apparently is a wrist ornament) him to place the corsage in the fridge."It will WILT if you don't chill it!"
[At this point in time the Mark decides to switch to first-person narrative, and I don't know why]
Given the fact that I have about ten minutes before I have to go meet Mary-Kate, I assume she's joking, but then she opens up the refrigerator (I've never noticed how weirdly that word is spelled) and beckons frantically.
Then I smell the stench from the kimchi my mother is chilling, and make a smart@$$ remark to the effect that offering my date rotted-cabbage-scented flowers may not be the smartest way to win endearment.
Then I go inside, toss the corsage in its clear plastic container onto the kitchen counter, and go to get dressed for the dance.
Of course, since I wore a full charcoal-gray-conservative-dorky-lawyer-suit for Mock Trial yesterday, my parents insist that I can't just wear the same thing, and force me to try on Mr. Armani's entire wardrobe before they decide on just throwing a sport coat on me and saying hell with it.
I then get into the car, and using the power vested in me by the State of Ohio, via a temporary learner's permit driver's liscense, drive out to Alex's house.
Then my dad stops me and tells me I can't go with white socks.
Dinner and World Domination
Having been socked by my father, I drive up to Alex's house.
The arrangements for tonight's dinner are such: originally, Alex, his girlfriend Heather, Stephen (who I keep calling Dave), and his girlfriend Lisa were all going to go to dinner together, but things fell apart, so Alex's mom very graciously agreed to host Alex's friends at his house, and make dinner for all of us. Then there was the whole near-fiasco with Mary-Kate, and so now there is a third couple that will dine with the group.
The thing is, Mary-Kate is at Heather's house, so Alex's dad drives us to Loveland to go pick them up.
I am so ****ing glad I get to go ring the doorbell in a group, and not alone as tradition dictates.
Putting on our best strip-poker faces, Alex and I gingerly ring the buzzer.
The girl from "Tooltime" on "Home Improvement" opens the door, complete with the little logo of the show on her shirt. This is Rosie, Heather's older sister, who apparently is going to the dance in full costume.
[Quick note: our student body council, in an attempt to "spice things up", made this particular winter dance a Halloween-costume-themed dance called "Febtoberfest", although nobody except the *ahem* bloody seniors *ahem* eldest of our school are going in costume]
Then Alex goes over and greets his date, Heather. She's wearing a purple one-strapped dress thingy with her hair up, and the two make a very cute couple. Alex hands her her corsage, and she straps it around the wrist.
My date, Mary-Kate, is probably about as Irish-Catholic as you get, although Erin will probably contest that, given that she doesn't have an "O" in her name. She and Heather are apparently very good friends, given the way that they chatter.
Chattering, it seems, is much of what tonight's activity will consist of.
When we get back to Alex's house, dinner is almost-but-not-quite prepared, so Alex ushers Dave- I mean Stephen- and Lisa and Heather and Mary-Kate into the basement in order to force them to watch the trailer for "Chupacabra", the movie that Alex, TJ, and I made for Alex's Spanish III class. This partly to get them out of the way of Alex's parents, who alternately attempt to photodocument their son and his date, and also to establish the fact that I am a total geek (I wrote and edited the film).
Afterwards, we go upstairs to eat our formal dinner.
Halfway through, Alex notes that while we're all sitting around in ties and dresses and corsage-thingies, his brother and his brother's girlfriends are dining on burritos at Chipotle.
He punctuates the point by biting through the cocktail shrimp his mother just served us.
Awkward silence greets his comment.
Then Heather says something perverse about how her dog thinks that the pillow is another dog, and we all laugh and move on.
Stephen is monologuing rapidly about "Fairly Oddparents", this great cartoon on Nickelodeon; then we both explain to a very confused Lisa the merits of "Samurai Jack" (which is a great cartoon, although 50% of it is ripped off from Frank Miller's "Ronin", not that anyone understands the reference).
Halfway through, I turn to look at Mary-Kate and Heather and Alex giggling about some inside joke (the three of them were very close at a retreat he went to a few weeks ago).
"Are they having an actual inside joke WITHOUT us?" I demand of Stephen. He nods.
I shake my head. "Coagulated frosh."
After dinner, in accordance with the traditional schedule of events at a semi-formal dance, we go into the basement again to watch an episode of "Family Guy", and cackle over Stewie's plans for world domination.
Saturday Night Fever
The Winter Dance itself is held at Music Hall, this huge, Gothic building that looks like it was taken straight from Frank Miller's and Tim Burton's nightmares. I've been there only once, to see a production of "Carmen", which was easily the most operatically draining thing I've had to do since I had to see a production of "Pulp Fiction", except it was boring because in the latter case I speak the Invective dialect of Ebonics, whereas for Carmen I don't speak French. Or Spanish. Whatever.
So anyways, Music Hall has a huge 30s Art Deco-style ballroom in which the dance is held. A central dancing area with appropriately grinding bodies is set up, as well as a stage where the DJ sits with his voluminous music.
I walk in, in awe, before Mary-Kate impatiently tugs at my hand to go sit down. We drift over to where the two couples have placed down their stuff. Heather abruptly tugs Alex away and they disappear into the Blue crush.
Mary-Kate sits down and takes off her shoes. That, the Mark knows, is just begging for trouble.
He sighs, turns, and watches the crowd.
Back to our normally scheduled programming...
It is a specific rule of any event requiring "dance" (with certain exceptions) that the music much be sucky and undanceable for at least 80% of the time. Thus, Mary-Kate having very specific sensibilities about music, I ended up sitting on the sidelines for much of the time.
Now let me explain to those of you who know anything about Final Fantasy about dancing.
Some of you may recall this guy named the Mark who had some sembalance of dancing talent (defined as "wasn't humiliated by his constant flailing around") at the KYW dance, but that was only for two very specific reasons: one, there was a catalyst, and two, he was so utterly pumped up with adrenaline and sugar that his "Humility Point" counter was so low that he could engage in what is commonly known as a Limit Break by experienced FFVIII players. Amazing things can happen...you'd never know that some skinny Asian kid can flex himself with that much Tai Chi, or Mojo, depending on what side of the world you're from.
Unfortunately, the Mark's sense of self-preservation and the desire NOT to be completely humiliated in front of the jackals who go to his school were not overridden by the desire to dance, and there was really no catalyst there, so he ended up sitting on the sidelines trying to make awkward small talk and drink ever-decreasingly sweet soda.
The first time the Mark got a soda from the open bar he thought that it was perhaps a bit tasteless...by his fifth Sprite he realized something was seriously wrong with the damn nozzle. He hands the drink to Mary-Kate.
"Taste this, will you?"
She looks at him, considers what her mother told her about date rape, then realizes who's asking, and gulps it down.
"It doesn't have any taste," she comments.
So it's not just the Mark who thinks it's tasteless.
He goes back up, and takes a Coke.
Finally, the "Let's Go Back In Time" string of music begins. It starts with "Toxic", by Britney Spears (circa 1999), and continues back through the 90s with pop crap, and then hits a higher note with Michael Jackson (back when Michael Jackson was a black man), and continuing with "Come Eileen".
"My dad listens to that song!" the Mark notes idly. Next to him, Alex has given Heather his tie, among other things.
Mary-Kate is keeping up a running commentary on the music, and eventually finds another halfway "danceable" song: "I'm A Believer". The two go up into the crowd.The Mark begins to move from one foot to the other, every slowly, and speeds up to catch up with the beat. He takes Mary-Kate's hands.
For a single moment, he's back in 8th Grade. "Look at me, Nina! I can SWING!"
Then he tries to spin her, and it vanishes. But he's having a little bit of fun, even if he can't get in tune or step with his partner, so no harm done. It's turning out to be a nice night here with Mary-Kate.
That is, until he steps on her characteristically bare feet.
Thursday, January 06, 2005
"Clinging to a Dream"
i can see her,
coming in and
out of focus,
i grab on and
cling to her skirt,
she's smiling but
my gal friday,
i lament her,
buried in the
sands of daylight:
if this is my
then why do i
still want to dream
and i see her
an object of
once and long past.
it's bitter now,
and i am the
one that is mocked.
the words upon
"I am Ozymandias, King of Kings! Look upon my works ye mighty, and despair!"
day beckons to