Akon, Lesbians, Bump-Its and Tamales: NYE 2009

In Italy, they say that the thing you do on New Year’s Eve is indicative of what you’ll be doing for the rest of the year. If that’s true, I will be eating tamales, hanging out with lesbians, trying not to get set on fire and getting Pearl to be my street cred at a hip-hop club. None of that sounds particularly out of the question.

My sister came to town to meet up with some of her Indiana friends and barhop around lower Broad. Before I would drop the car load of them off at said location (I considered it, but does ANYONE really want me on lower Broad on NYE? I didn’t think so), we traded stories in a room at the Holiday Inn Express. Nashville Dave came out before heading off to a “kid-friendly” NYE event (“it pretty much just means that we don’t swing until AFTER the kids go to bed…”) and I pondered the lack of MTV on the hotel tv.

Heading out to dinner, I thought I spied a chick in the lobby stealing my idea for randomly attaching bump-Its to my head, but her stumble showed that she was trashed rather than making an ironic statement about the stupidity of Bump-Its. Also in the lobby were a group of women who looked like the bastard children of Jersey Shore and Wal-Mart: short, tight dresses bedazzles with sequins, more makeup than a Mary Kay convention, and a friend wearing a magenta velour track suit carrying a giant plastic bag as if it were a baby. Hell, maybe it WAS a baby. “It’s the only way it’ll stop cryin’, y’all!”

“Where were they FROM?”
“Alabama. Kentucky. Rivergate, if they have guns.”

Coming back from dinner, we would see one of the women drunkenly stumble and fall into a gutter. “Hey, welcome home!” said sis in the car as I dug around in my purse to fish out my video camera before the light turned green. (To no avail. Somebody please buy me a Flip, for God’s sake.)

After dinner at the US Border Cantina, I dropped them off at lower Broad and crossed back over the river to Wendy’s house.

“What do you want to do?”
“Anything but a bar.”
“There’s a lesbian party at The Purple House.”
“DUDE! I think someone I know from Twitter might be there, and I love a lesbian party. Let’s do it.”

I felt like a total liar for being at said party but not being gay, but Wendy knew a lot of people there (“if you play softball long enough, you meet everybody”) so I don’t think anybody thought I was going to steal stuff. Honestly, who has a house that nice and lets total strangers roam around in it? Trusting people?

Before the party was over, Wendy would be wearing 4 name tags (including “Hello, I’ve had a lot of whiskey”) and we both would have been nearly set on fire by a roman candle. I didn’t get to meet the Twitter person, as he/she had either already left or was at some other house known as The Purple House.

Eventually, Wendy and I found ourselves back at her house dancing around the kitchen to The Black Keys, Aretha Franklin, and Akon. Wendy has a thing for Akon. Don’t ask. By the time Nat and Pearl came by, Wendy and I greeted them with “Pearl, we want to go to Club Infinity some time.”

“What’s Club Infinity?”
“That sketchy hip-hop bar on Main Street.”
“So you need me to be your street cred?”
“Yeah…but you have to audition. We’re not sure you can be scary enough to be our street cred.”

This prompted Pearl to practice yelling, “I will CUT YOU!” After three or four tries, we figured she’d have to do. “Just make sure you do the ‘crazy eyes’ thing. That really sells it.”

“Come on, you Jungle Fever bitches.”
“Nah, dude…I just want to dance to some Lil Wayne.”
“Whatever. Jungle Fever.”

This would be the point where I had to explain to Nat what Jungle Fever is. Nat lived in Mexico a good part of his life, so his pop culture knowledge can be a bit spotty. This would also be why Nat didn’t understand when I answered Wendy’s door upon Nat and Pearl’s arrival with “Are you shootin out the walls of heartache? Are you The Warrior?”

Despite it being 2:30 by that time, we figured we’d go put Pearl to the test and drove down to Club Infinity. She did an excellent job of getting us past the questionably-toothed doormen for free, despite the doormen not approving of my large purse and giant-spiked bracelet. We didn’t fare so well with the large, angry woman just inside the door.

“The bar’s CLOSED!” She yelled over the strains of “Too Much Booty In The Pants.”
“But they said…”
“The bar’s CLOSED!”

Fine. We’re not going to make a scene with you, Toll Troll. When venturing into a scene that’s not your own, there are three rules:

1. Don’t piss off the regulars.
2. If you have boobs, most dudes will welcome you.
3. The women may not be so welcoming.

Wendy, Nat and Pearl went to seek booze elsewhere, and I went home to watch a Tivoed episode of Jersey Shore. As for Club Infinity, we will meet again.

Walking (in mud) In Memphis

Pete Wentz has been joking on Twitter that Fall Out Boy’s current tour is cursed. Sickness, people getting hurt, bad weather conditions, dead bodies falling from the rigging…you know the drill. OK, maybe I made up that thing about the dead bodies.

I bought my ticket to the Beale St Music Festival back in March, excited to finally see FOB play, willing to make the drive to Memphis, and secretly glad that the openers I would witness would be Three 6 Mafia and Snoop Dogg instead of All Time Low, Cobra Starship and Hey Monday. I was so busy thanking the concert gods that the show wasn’t in the “please kill me” heat of July that I didn’t realize that the concert was in the monsoon season of May. “So, I’ll get rained on. Big deal. I’ll just wear clothes that will dry quickly.”

Wrong.

FOB were set to play on Sunday. It had been raining for three days. Whatever notion of grass there had once been was gone, long gone, under the feet of thousands of people. What had been “wow, it’s kind of muddy” on Friday became “ankle deep, lose your shoes” by Sunday.

All of the port-a-potties that had been set up on the right side of the park had been long abandoned by anyone wearing shoes, so the lines at the port-a-potties on the left side were twice as long, turning the walkways into pedestrian parking lots. Ditto the food stands. A trip to buy a 5 dollar slice of pizza was more of a fool’s mission that required 20 minutes of negotiating through hordes of wet, poncho-clad seething humanity.

Never mind that the port-a-potties were alternating with said food stands. 20 feet of toilets, 20 feed of food, and so on. The olfactory result was a generalized potpourri of urine, fried pork products, and elephants (the mud). The port-a-potty company provided a small bay of port-a-sinks, but they were completely unused, save for the people using the sinks to WASH THEIR FEET.

Yes, some people had given up entirely on the whole “wearing shoes in public” thing. I don’t know whether to applaud their practicality or be horrified and their apparent lack of concern for glass, nails, and whatever bacteria were living in the mud. I don’t know about you, but if there’s a port-a-potty even visible, I feel like I need a hazmat suit made of Purell-lubricated condoms.

It’s over-dramatic to compare this to some kind of Mad Maxian apocalypse, but stay with me. As the day wore on, these seething, stinking, portly, dripping, leg-of-something-eating masses of 311, Hinder, and Snoop Dogg fans…GOT DRUNK.

I don’t know how many Hinder fans you know, I don’t know WHO is still listening to 311 (people with time machines who have come from 1997?), but I know this: these are not people you want to have invading your personal space. Emo kids, I can handle. We’re musical cousins, I can beat the crap out of them, and they’re just so damned pitiful when they’re sopping wet. Not Hinder fans. I can’t fathom that life choice. On the “Amy is bewildered by this behavior” scale, they fall between people who are homophobic and people who think the Holocaust didn’t happen. (Note: there’s probably a lot of overlap between the three groups.)

After leaving the relative safety of the baby-boomer-filled Blues Tent, I ventured down the long, muddy path, determined to suck it up and get something to drink and use the bathroom. Yes, I would pay 4 dollars for a 12-ounce lemonade. I would drink it and try not to think about how it was prepared next to a port-a-potty. Maybe I’d get crazy and EAT something too. Yes, I would stand in a line in the middle of a crowded walkway with the hope of eventually getting to urinate into an over-sized Rubbermaid container. Because these things, they tell me, are how it goes when you want to rock.

Somewhere in the middle of the 30-minute trek to cover 100 feet, I began to ask myself “what would have to happen when FOB take the stage 3 hours from now to make this whole thing worth it? What would make this fun?” My answer:

“Prince would show up, give me a post-show bubble bath, and promise me that I’d never have to do this again.”

This seemed a little unlikely.

When I finally peed and got a drink, I did so at a gas station outside of Memphis. By the time FOB were done with their set, I was almost home. The 3-hour drive took 4.5 hours because of heavy rain and standing water, so I ended up being very glad I wasn’t making said drive three hours later. Was this a lot of time and money for nothing? On the surface, yes, but I think a valuable lesson was learned. Actually more than one:

1. Festival shows result in the mingling of social groups that were never meant to mingle (i.e. me and anyone who enjoys “Lips of an Angel”)

2. No more outdoor shows, unless said show involves Prince.

3. Wet naps and Purell are as important as sunblock. Well, almost.

4. Sturgis boots ARE waterproof to the ankle and worth every penny.

5. In certain circumstances, I am capable of murder. (Note: I’m pretty sure the judge would let me off on the “311 defense.”)

Sloshy

My first taste of alcohol came when I was a kid: sis and I explored mom and dad’s liquor cabinet and decided to take a drink of Midori Melon. With such an introduction, it was no wonder I never actually drank an entire alcoholic drink until I was 29. I have graduated to 100 proof vodka, but that’s not because I’ve become a better drinker. It’s because I’m cheap and I drink so slowly that 70 proof would never put me to bed, which is pretty much the only reason I own vodka in the first place. My sleep ritual, let me show you it.

Friday night, I hit a new high/low in my drinking career. Don’t get excited: there was no puking in hair, no drunk dialing, and no dancing on a coffee table (also because I don’t own a coffee table). I mostly just drunk-Twittered a bunch of stupidity and then fell asleep with my legs hanging off the bed. No warning. Just BAM. Next thing I knew, Jay was moving my legs over and putting a blanket on me. My necklace and hair clip were apparently removed by gnomes.

Upon waking up shakey and pukey-feeling (and thus on the cusp of a panic attack), I couldn’t fathom why people volunteer for this. Vodka to fall asleep makes sense: it’s probably less-damaging than drinking NyQuil every night, which is what I used to do. I had a decorative cut glass bottle by the bed. Vodka to pass out in one’s clothes and contacts doesn’t make sense. Was it fun? Yeah, at the time, I guess it was. Was it worth feeling like stir-fried ass the next day? No. Thus, I shan’t be repeating this behavior any time soon. I got drunk. It was anti-climactic, and almost kept me from getting anything done Saturday. I tried it, it ended up kind of stupidly.

Sorry if you missed it. OK, not really.

Hottest Guitar Tech Ever: Adam Stockdale

**I’ve been sitting on this post for a while, just cause it’s stupid and fluffy and doesn’t have much redeeming “social commentary” value. Buuuut…I’m feeling very stupid and fluffy today. Bring it!

A while ago, I saw The Kooks play at 3rd & Lindsley. The place was packed, so by the time I got there, I had the choice of squeezing myself into the back behind a bunch of tall people, being in the walkway of the wait staff, or hiding in the little empty spot stage right. I chose the empty spot, and stood next to Security Guy.

“Is it cool if I stand here? I promise not to run on stage or anything.”

I don’t know why they feel like they have to put a security guy over there. Who the hell is gonna to rush the stage at 3rd and Lindsley? Would anyone really run up on stage to grab on some dude from The Kooks? Has anyone ever tried to stage dive? This strikes me as hideously uncool, but you know it’s happened at least once or they wouldn’t always station a big burly guy over there.

Anyway, standing next to security guy put me directly behind The Kooks’ guitar tech. As in, “I could reach out and touch your hair and not have to move my feet forward” behind. I enjoyed the show, but spent an embarrassing amount of time watching the guitar tech: curly white man fro, pixie nose, sideburns, British accent…if he’d have been shorter and had thicker wrists, I might have had to try to hit on him after the show. OK, probably not. We do not talk to boys. We do not talk to boys. We do not talk to boys.

Anyway, after some totally creepy googling to try to find a picture for you guys, I found VIDEO. Behold!

What Would Jimmy Urine Do?

Once upon a time, I decided that I was going to run monitors for touring rock bands. My roommate (herself, a future road manager) countered with “dude, no way…you’d die.” Even if I’d had the proper disposition to be a sound engineer (I totally don’t), I think she’d have been right. Like dairy products and wedding cakes, I don’t travel well. I’m a nester. I need a Batcave, a base of operations. Preferably, one with a cat. So, what happens when Batman, er BatWOman, has to go on a cruise?

The subject line of this post is my new mantra. I have written it on the inside of my watch band.

Jimmy Urine is the singer for Mindless Self Indulgence. They used to be “out they damn mind,” and now they’re decidedly more pop, but I still love them. Even in the age of having one’s album sold exclusively at Hot Topic, Jimmy Urine’s kept his teeth about him. He’s still just as smart-ass as he ever was, even if he can now afford the good drugs.**

I still have more than a month to get ready for the cruise I’m being taken on (see what I did there? the subtext being “against my will?”), and I’ve already lost the ability to properly digest things. Imagine how it’s going be when I’m sitting IN AN AIRPORT. I’ll be doing so with my left wrist, sans spiked bracelet, being the wrong weight. Feeling naked. Will security give me lip about my platforms? “But I’m 5’1″! I have the god-given right to wear stacks!” I don’t own luggage, I don’t take vacations, I don’t have a passport (yet), and I damn sure don’t get on planes. I enjoy my cage of fear. It has a nice throw rug.

Every so often, little goth chicks have to look the universe in the face and say, “bring it, bitch.” In the last year, the universe has taken some really sizable bites out of my ass, but I’ve fallen back, regrouped, and I’m ready for some payback. My name is (evil)amy, you killed my friend. Prepare to die. Please remind me of this paragraph in a month, when I’m curled up in a ball, muttering about snakes and hiding in my closet.

I can’t take full credit for the mantra, as “WWJUD” is a variation on Katy’s mantra “What Would Debbie Harry Do?” which she employs to fantastic effect, particularly when picking out shoes. In other words, here’s my inner dialogue:

“Jimmy Urine would suck it up and get on that plane and not care. Jimmy Urine would go on this cruise, turn it into performance art, and use the trip to Mexico to buy authentic Day of the Dead merch. Jimmy Urine would find the humor of this situation, and write a funny song about it. Jimmy Urine wouldn’t be in a cold sweat all the way to Florida.”

Yes, Florida. I am THIS nervous about a 45-minute plane trip. Shut up. Watching planes take off in movies makes me nervous. I haven’t been on a plane in 15 years, but I’ve always said that I would do it if I really needed to. OK, so I defined “needed to” as “Tim Burton offered me a job in L.A.” or “DHGs are sending me to London.” Ft. Lauderdale and Carnival cruise lines isn’t quite what I pictured. Can you get a functioning crystal ball on eBay?

**At least, he claims that he does all the drugs. If history is any indicator, though, his on-stage craziness probably means that he’s really quiet in real life. See also: Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson.

Happy Booze Year…

I have been feeling rather social of late…no am sure why. Maybe Stella has recovered her proverbial groove. At any rate, I found myself inexplicably drawn to other people on New Years, which to me usually translates as “more obligatory happiness brought on by calendar and not mood.” I just refuse to let the calendar dictate to me when I should party. But….when in Rome.

I started the night at Emily’s, sucking back Sprite Zero and getting caught up on the sketchiness and drug dealing habits of the wait staff at El Mariachi. What? You mean working in the kitchen doesn’t pay for the rims on the car that’s always parked out front? To save Emily and friends on cab fare (and because I not-so-secretly enjoy trapping people in my car and playing them music), I offered to drop them off at the Guilty Pleasures show. In the spirit of the night, we played a game of 80s Name That Tune. Almost everybody aced “Electric Youth,” but Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me” proved to difficult for “name the artist” bonus points.

Before going to Nat’s, I decided to swing by Red Door East to say hey to Katy and Lindsey (both of whom I hadn’t seen in forever), only to then remember that I was supposed to have met them at 3 Crow. Not a wasted trip, though, as I ran into the kick-ass former-echo Jane.

Walked down to 3 Crow to find Lindsey, Zack, Katy and Wendy sandwiched between some Vandy people and some hipsters. Honestly, East Nashville, can I go anywhere in you without feeling as though I should have hired a stylist? Or bought a scooter? Or adopted a tiny dog? (East Nashville replies with “bitch, this ain’t Rivergate! pass my PBR!”) Anyway, we had the lovely and talented Amy Lite for a waitress, so she took it pretty well when bourbon (compliments of the Vandy kids, who are good for something after all) got spilled all over the credit card slips. Also ran into Diah’s tiny punk friend who totally didn’t recognize me. Hello? You have Hello Kitty gloves. Shouldn’t there be a secret handshake for that? You is family!

“Evil! Come to the white rap show with me! Please!”

Oh, fine. I was in the mood for an interesting cultural experience, and I’d always held a certain morbid curiosity for Alex’s rap culture. Turns out, it sounds suspiciously like techno.  There was also a weird representation by hipster dudes with gauged ears and sideburns. Those dudes with the scary-skinny girlfriends who wear leggings and flats and have 200-dollar haircuts even though they’re, like, 20. Eventually, Wendy couldn’t take any more and we broke out for the Lipstick Lounge…

where we never actually arrived. Something about trying to make a seriously drunk person walk four blocks didn’t quite work out. Thus, I retired my role as Designated Apologizer (“sorry she bumped into you…she’s just really drunk…”) and took Katy home. Wendy came along for the ride, but her bladder only made it 3/4 of the way. Let’s just say the back of a certain closed Shell station now holds a special, hilarious significance.”Oh my God dude…there are cops everywhere. What if you got arrested? You would totally be Kid Rock.”

Home again home again, doing what is slowly becoming a bizarre compulsion more than a hobby, but it’s like I told Dude Hitting On Me At Rap Show:

“I like to type more than I like to talk. In real life, you only get about 10 seconds before people interrupt you. In the interest of staying within that 10 seconds, I tend to edit, skip words, and become incoherent. The phone is even worse, cause I can’t see the other person inhaling before they talk. Hate the phone.”

This was, perhaps, more than expected to hear when he asked for my number.

**And whatever happened to going to Nat’s? In all the craziness, I missed it. I’m an asshole. I hope you didn’t stay awake to wait on me. I’m an asshole, and I owe you one.

Like Demigod, Like Sim.

In an effort to stop spending money on stupid crap, I canceled my RealArcade subscription a couple months ago. That’s all well and good, but it left me with no new games to play on Saturday mornings when I’m waiting for the laundry to dry and my coffee to kick in. So…I downloaded a copy of the original Sims 8 in 1 pack. This consists of Sims, Makin’ Magic, Pets, Livin’ Large, Hot Date, Vacation, Superstar and…uh…something else. The experience has been fun, and I’ve learned some things.

Having multiple expansions makes life more difficult, as sims can choose to talk about a variety of topics. As is often case with many topics, some sims are not going to be amused by some topics. This trashes the usual talktalktalktalkhugtalktalktalkhughughugkiss progression of making friends. As a result, Raven and Vlad Gothington were having a little trouble getting promotions at work. How were they supposed to practice magic, learn to cook, make gargoyles AND keep up all of those friendships? Feh!

Thus, Raven and Vlad became free agents once they realized that going into full-time butter churning (Raven) and golden thread spinning (Vlad) paid about as well as working for The Man, they just quit their jobs. Besides, they also make money breeding their cats, Mr. Puss and Miss Kitty. They don’t see their friends much anymore, but they don’t care because they get their social needs met by the cats. Oh sure, the neighborhood dogs like to stop by and pee on the kitchen floor, but so does Vlad, so I guess it’s OK.

Sidebar:
I got to start the day off right this morning by having to go over to the bank to beg. See, I paid some bills yesterday and, in the process of paying my student loans online, I accidentally forgot a decimal point and made the payment for $23,000. PS: I don’t have $23,000. I tried to straighten this out yesterday, but the bank was already closed and the loan people just kept telling me to call the bank. Of course, the bank kept telling me to call the loan people. Neither company had an operator who could understand me. And why, WHY, do they make you key in your social security number and then ASK for that shit anyway?

So, I finally got Customer “Service” Lady on the phone to stop the payment because, if there’s one thing I don’t need while trying to buy a house, it’s a bounced check. Stop payment fee: 35 bucks. Dicks. Thus, I went to my bank branch this morning to try to get them to waive the fee. Like, yeah, technically this IS my fault. But, technically, your system should be set up to ask me for confirmation when I write an echeck for 23 THOUSAND dollars. Anywho, I wore my hair in pigtails and begged. Bank Manager Lady was like, “ok, this is your one fee waive….enjoy it,” (but she said it in a motherly way and not a bitchy way). So, that’s worked out. Yeesh.