Saturday, February 28, 2009

Wearing my Spy Pants in Nooch

The second I saw his black and white striped wrist-warmers, I knew I would spend the entire dinner hoping he wouldn't notice me spying. He was waiting for his dinner date to come back from the men's room when our waiter, sporting a white belt and striking black dangly earrings, seated us right next to him. For a second I considered telling him his wrist-warmers looked cozy, but then I didn't because it would have blown my cover.

Apparently, he and his dinner date slash boyfriend had just moved in together. His boyfriend reminded me of Sean Penn playing Harvey Milk, although with less height and charm. They debated the bedroom furniture arrangement (desk, TV, bed, or bed, desk, TV) right before the two of them started lovingly arm wrestling. Milk won.

I considered asking him where he'd found his maroon tone-on-tone eyeglasses. I'm in the market for spectacles. The pair I got from See on Greenwich Aveneue fling themselves off my face at the slightest Looking at Something Short situation. But I kept my queries to myself because their waiter had rolled up with their check. They both studied it intently.

Milk asked him if he had a dollar, but he did not have a dollar. He had seventy five cents. Milk did not take the seventy five cents. Milk shoved two twenties in the bill tray and waited for change.

As they got up to leave, a brooch dropped out of his amber-plaid messenger-style man purse. The brooch was a black rectangle shape overlaid by a red star and accentuated by frilly gold swirls that may have been a "W." Or maybe not, it was hard to tell. I didn't notice the brooch on the banquette seat until they were gone, so I handed the brooch to a waiter. Not the one with the dangly earings.

Walking down the sidewalk on 17th staring back into the restaurant through the glass, I noticed all the heteros were segregated together on the other side of the restaurant.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Saturday Night Flashback

As soon as we stepped off the PATH I told Tom to make sure he didn't go balls up after too much draft beer in plastic cups because I would seriously consider leaving him in Hoboken. It'd been fifteen years since my last Hoboken-a-go-go topped off with a Belgian waffle at the diner alongside the church crowd, but I vaguely distinctly remember the pitfalls inherent in one square mile of bars. Where even the menfolk hold each other's hair while they vomit curbside.

Four bands that hadn't played together for a decade mostly remembered their old songs for a reunion show at Maxwells. The MellowTraumatics did it up right. Poppily songs, tight play, sultry singer. The crowd went wild.

An unbenownst-to-me star of Ugly Betty fronted the next band and several music critics in the press box had a field day. Me and Glenn agreed there are two forms of inaccessible: the math rockers and sludge-core maniacs who are actually decent musicians but hellbent on some sort of inexplicable musical tirade, as opposed to the simple, guitarded honkledoonkeys. Ugly Betty Crew fell squarely in this latter category. Ugly Betty boy isn't famous enough to be that self-indulgent.

We stayed through Band Three, which rocked. In a frisky early 00 kind of way.

On the train ride home I sat next to an Asian kid in black sneakers. He read rows and rows of Chinese characters on an iPhone with a brutally smashed screen. I spied on him.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

60's Party Prep and a Lesson in Cardigan Appreciation

Asking my father for fashion advice is always a risky proposition. Especially since he started wearing around a woodland-print cardigan he found in the basement and telling anyone who asks that it is a quality woolen.

"We're going to a party, what'd you wear in the 60's, Pop?"

"Fornication pants."

"What? What??"

"Fornication pants. High-waters. With shit kickers, a wide tie, and Woody Allen spectacles."

Praise Jesus the only thing he brought up from the basement was a woodland-print cardigan.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Local Instigator Makes Trouble at CMoM Children's Museum

These two youngsters at left are playing a nice game of Plinko at the Children's Museum of Manhattan just prior to the area lapsing into a snake pit of anarchy and warmongering at 1:30pm on February 2. After hustling from the brouhaha under the watchful glare of nearby parents, Uncle Tom, 40, said, "After the whole room broke out in a free-for-all street fight, I just left."

According to Tom, he had been innocently playing with Nephew Jackson, 1, who had crawled behind the Plinko machine to the backside where a high ledge and exposed electrical outlets didn't appear to be entirely child-friendly. Tom would call out a color and Jackson allegedly found a Plinko ball in that hue and handed it over the top of the machine to his attentive uncle.

"It was good fun until this show-off kid started it all. Every time I named a color, he would find a ball and chuck it at me. Sometimes multiple balls. That kid really had a keen eye as well as a powerful arm. The other children found him very inspirational."

Despite conflicting recollections of the sequence of events, Tom maintains his version. "The next thing I knew, a whole rebel faction had piled on top of Jackson behind the Plinko machine blindly flinging balls with wild abandon. They were bouncing off the ceiling. I was helplessly caught in the cross fire. What else could I do but grab my nephew and evacuate?"

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Summer of '76: Projectile Beetles vs. Pantyhose

My biker gang rode up to the church on Sunday around ten a.m, right before services ended. We parked our banana seat rides behind the maintenance shed. Our ammo, hairy legged Japanese beetles, clicked around in glass jars with air holes punched in the lids. We were after the pantyhose.

With a lot of loud yet completely stealthy whispering, we crouched under the shrubbery, waiting for the congregation to stream out onto the sidewalk.

T minus two minutes, we broke out the drinking straws. Except we called them blowdarts.
We rammed a japanese beetle inside the muzzle of the straw, waited for a set of pantyhose to stride within firing range, and blew like a trumpet player into the straw. Thunk. Total panty-monium... some dowdy lady, high kicks and shrieking. An eight year-old's ultimate dream. Although.

Fraught with a dangerous underbelly that to this day makes me cringe and gag convulsively. One Sunday, it all went terribly wrong.

I was premature. I went for the straw before the deep inhale needed for sure and straight fire. The japanese beetle sucked in tonsilbound. I had to pick its sharp furry feet and sticky antennae off my tongue. It was gaggifyingly horrifying but I learned my lesson. I left the thug life behind.

Until we learned how to bottle up leeches from the creek down by the Route 934 bridge.

Monday, February 02, 2009

For All You Grocery Shoppers...
Breaking Laces at the Rockwood Music Hall

No time for fornication
but once I quit my paper route
she'll want my body

Did he really say that? Yeah, I think he did.

Going in, I had no expectations other than some chick named Jill told me she was friends with the drummer. But Breaking Laces totally put a little salsa on my tortilla chip. It was top-shelf spicy sauce magnified by the Rockwood, a tiny tiny brick-walled hole in the L.E.S. How tiny is it? If someone in the band did a high kick they'd probably take down the bartender.

The bass player looked like Dave Faulkner should he become a surfer. The singer had a Death Cab for Cutie moonfaced vibe going on. Although unlike the lead singer of Death Cab during the autumn of 2005, he did not feel the need to demonstrate he can play the drums by firing up a seven minute solo on a miniature drum kit, which I did not feel accentuated my overall concert experience at the time nor subsequently.

In addition to his mad pipes and feisty lyrics, the frontman of Breaking Laces also laid down some entertaining banter. Like the comment about a song named Megan which his girlfriend Sarah figured out wasn't about her because she's quick like that.

As far as their musical influences go, they have a different one on a song-by-song, sometimes stanza-by-stanza basis. It's like an audio patchwork quilt of musical inspirations. Besides Death Cab, I detected Guster, Chevelle, Nirvana, BRMC, Breaking Benjamin (So Cold), Audible, Lifehouse (?!), snippets of the Disturbed, OK Go's first album, Hawthorne Heights, maybe the Lemonheads, BNL or along those lines... The clumps of Other Bands makes for one hell of a killer awesome fiesta platter live show. Although it occured to me Breaking Laces might need a little more time in the oven for all the juices to mingle and come into their own.

Whatever. I loved the show. Their albums rock.