As I alluded to in my last entry, three weeks ago (!), my workload has gotten much, much heavier recently. Such is the injudicious nature of my workplace; some of us will be working at a leisurely pace for months on end, strolling into our cubes 20 minutes late on a daily basis, taking long lunches and forwarding along tired email jokes from 2003; while others weather a veritable shit-storm of work piling up endlessly on their desks. I suppose I can't really complain - I spent the first part of 06 in the former catagory. And of course, it would be unreasonable for me to expect that I should have time to write a great-American novel's worth of blog entries while I'm on the clock. But you'll excuse me if it grates on my last nerve when one of my go get'em, twenty-something coworkers sits complaining about "not having something to do".
Ah... the folly of youth. For me, "to chill" is a skill - one that I've honed over a lifetime of hanging out on coffee house patios and perusing used book stores and record shops. Alas, my talents are being sorely wasted.
Yeah, I know, I know... I could be, probably should be, writing at home. But blogging, in my opinion, is a subversive discipline. The difference between blogging at work and blogging at home is the difference between waiting for your parents to go to bed so you can have sex with your girlfiend in their house, and putting your children to bed so you can have sex with your spouse in your own house. Like graffiti displayed within the confines of an art gallery, something is lost in translation.
I haven't been visiting too many coffee shops lately, anyway. In order to save money, we purchased a 20 dollar Braun, the Saturday-Night Special of coffee makers. I've been picking up my beans from Paris on the Platte, fresh out of their small-batch roaster. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy drinking coffee at home; a fresh pot waiting for me right when I step from the shower. Or a cup on lazy Saturday afternoon, while my daughter sleeps and my son watches a movie. And sometimes, every once in a great while, if I'm just tired enough, a couple of sips over whatever book I happen to be reading before turning off the light to go to sleep.
When I do make it out for a coffee, it's an event. The other night, Scooterdad and I began our "Boys Nite Out" at Paris. Our seats were tucked neatly around the far side of the bar, where we had a clear view of the kitchen and could avoid the smokey teenagers smack-dab in the middle of their rebellious stage. One of the advantages of hanging out with SD is that he understands the importance of the pre-bar cup of coffee. The other advantage is that I get to hang out with all the cool scooter kids without having to actually own a scooter.
Outside Paris, we got a call from SD's compatriot, Elie. The first thing you need to know about Elie is that he's a dude - a straight one at that. The next thing you need to know about Elie is that he's The Man; a legend, a modern day myth. Like the character "Door" in Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, Elie is a living, breathing portal to events so utterly hip, happenings so utterly fabulous, that their very existence is to be denied to anyone who is not cool enough to know Elie in the first place.
The last thing you need to know about Elie is that if he and SD ever have a falling out, I'm totally getting his number. I don't know what he does for a living, but look at him. It has to be something with graphic design.
Elie told us to meet him at the Oriental Theater; he'd put our names on "the list". (Okay, SD's name... I'm assigned the humiliating role of "Plus One", proving once again that I'll never live down my reputation as his lackey / first wife) The last time I was at the Oriental was back when it was a dollar theater. My brother and I caught a double bill of Wrath of Kahn and Flash Gordon. As I've never been much of a live music guy, I was excited for the chance to check out the extensive re-model of this beautiful old art-deco movie theater. When we showed up, two DJ's were spinning on stage, a complicated remix of Bon Jovi's "Dead or Alive" and Wham's "Careless Whispers" that somehow managed to make both songs palpable. But the real payoff was the main event... a multi-media extravaganza - a "mash-up" of one of the greatest B-Movies of all time - THE WARRIORS!!! The premise of the film is simple; the visionary gang leader Cyrus brings every gang member in New York City area to Central Park in order to unite them under a common cause - a massive take-over of the city with his own gang, The Riffs, leading the charge. Right as his rousing speech reaches it's crescendo, he is assassinated. The Warriors are blamed, and must fight their way back to Coney Island - their "turf".
Now, maybe it's because I'm a parent, or perhaps at heart I've always been a square, but I don't usually care for hyper-stylized action-movie violence in the context of real-world social ills. And when the film was released in 1979, there were plenty of "Concerned Parent" (TM) kinda groups of the same opinion. Luckily for me, this movie doesn't take place anywhere near the real world. When you see a multi-racial group of teenagers, basically the Sweathogs with cigarettes (complete with afros for the white and black members alike) going up against mimes in top hats, the plight of marginalized inner city youth is the last thing on your mind. And when The Warriors manage to not get their asses handed to them by the bat-wielding Baseball Furies, you know dealing with an out-and-out fantasy. Now, as this was a "mash-up", the film was enhanced by the two DJ's spinning in front of the screen with film and video clips intercut over the movie. Maybe some people though it was overkill when Scandal's video for "The Warrior" came on. Perhaps others thought they were reaching too far when Mascot Mannie, the squirrel from The Yummies, rushed the stage to perform a rap; I personally thought it fit the scene just right.
I got in a conversation with some people about how gangs from other movies would have fared if they were in The Warriors - how would the Mods or Teds from Quadraphenia fare against "The Boppers"? Would Fonzie's gang from Happy Days survive against an attack by the all-lesbian "Lizzies"? Then we talked about how The Warriors would look if it took place in Denver; Scooterists against wirey-limbed bike couriers vs. RollerDolls against Crotch-Rocket riding Larimer Square assholes. Somehow, I don't think cruiser riding coffee drinkers would fare very well. It made me think of SLC Punk, "Rednecks kick the shit outta punks, Punks kick the shit outta mods, Mods kick the shit outta skin heads, Skin heads kick the shit outta those heavy metal guys, The heavy metal guys kick the shit outta the new wavers, and well, the new wavers did nothing cuz they were the new hippies."
The night was moving forward at a great pace; sure, this stuff isn't so "cutting edge" as everyone likes to act, but I eat it up with a spoon. Unfortunately, as it happens so often with these "multi-media events", the Fashion Show began. I'm going to make a tee-shirt that says "FASHION SHOWS: Killing Your Buzz in Denver since 1994" Seriously, who are these snot-nosed, junior high bodied girls strutting around, and why should I care? Do I need one more slim hipped tattoo-palate in my life giving me a negative body image?
And the show was going so well... models and clothes are something you drag out when you're trying to distract from the fact that there's nothing interesting happening on stage - like dancers, rollerbladers, fire-eaters, and whatever else Puff Daddy has on stage with him during a performance.
I'd definitely come out to another show put on by these guys, but The Fashionista's pretty much signaled the end of our night - our buzz-killed, execution style. I guess what that means is, if The Warriors took place in Denver, everybody else would get beaten down by a bunch of cooler than thou, hipster-fashion models. It's just sad, really.
Unlike the many other Ted Campbells on the interwebs, I'm neither a minister, nor a professional motorcyclist, nor a gay realtor from Florida.
What I AM is an ass-kickin' father, a corporate schlep, and an occasional freelance writer.
If you've found your way here, why not give my awesome "Blog of Note" blog-novel a look-see?