Jul 23, 2007

"The Industry" and Me

Things have been interesting--imagine that! Interesting, and not entirely bad.

Not entirely bad, in part, because I asked my boss if I could work a day from home every week, and, shock of shocks, he said yes. It feels as though the tediousness of my workweek just halved. But maybe I'll get over it. Maybe, during my 4 days at the office, the dullness of this space will seem all the duller. Yet one day at home means better coffee, better food, and above all, more sleep. Not even I can put a negative spin on more sleep.

M. and I have been going to the party at that bar, almost every Sunday night. For better or for worse, we're becoming a part of the scene. Probably for the worse. Too much Chimay, etc. M. has scored himself a DJ gig next month, but, goddamn it, I think we've gotten me trapped in a hosting gig. Hosting. I am the most socially inept person on the planet; how am I supposed to host an "industry" party? How am I to show up on a Sunday night, all smiles and legs, and chat up producers, models, fashion designers, alleged attempted murderers(!!!!!!), bodyguards, singers, photographers, pinup girls, drug dealers, and whoever the fuck else passes as "industry," and, most difficult of all, pretend to be interested in--nay, enraptured by--what they are saying? I am a nerd. A misanthropic nerd. I don't even blowdry my hair. I do not belong here.

Speaking of "the industry," Rockstar Friend invited us to go with him to the Philippines later this year. A friend of his, so he says, owns two houses in the environs of Angeles City.

So we did a little research on Angeles City. I emphasize the "little": I typed "Angeles City" into Google, and clicked on the first hit. Don't follow any of the links on the page, unless you are interested in learning more about sex tourism. Yep, apparently Angeles City is "the best vacation destination for single men," and it's tough to find any information for the non-sex-tourist. Hey, Rockstar Friend--what does your friend do for a living, again?

Jul 9, 2007

Is Our Lushes Learning? (Answer: No)

Two Sundays ago, M. and I went out to a nearby bar. M. has been cultivating a business friendship with one of this city's better-known scenester DJs, whose girlfriend hosts a night at this particular place. M. wants to play a monthly deejaying gig at that bar, and she asked him to come along on Sunday so they could discuss it.

Our night went something like this:

11pm -- Leave apartment for bar. "Let's aim to leave by midnight," says M.

11:10pm -- First round of beer. "I only want one drink," says M.

11:45pm -- Second round of beer. It's Chimay, about 9% alcohol."If you're getting yourself another beer, I'll have one, too," says I.

12am -- Conversation with DJ and his girlfriend. DJ gives us complementary glasses of premium scotch whiskey.

12:30am -- Third round of beer. "Sure, why not," says M.

1am -- Fourth round of beer.

1:10am -- DJ's girlfriend cajoles our drunken selves into letting her take lewd pictures of us. (Said photos, regrettably, are now posted on Internet.)

1:15am -- "Uh, I think it's time to go," says M., and I agree.

1:16am -- As we walk out the door, our flatmate Sam walks in. "I'm staying for ten more minutes," announces M. "Ten more minutes, what's the difference?" says I.

1:17am -- Fifth round of beer. Dance, dance, dance.

1:45am -- Last call! Sixth round of beer.

1:50am -- Say goodbye to DJ and girlfriend; meander home singing "Whiskey You're the Devil"

2am -- ???

3am -- Sleep?

7am -- Wake up, simultaneously inebriated and hung over. Exhausted, too. Off to work with me! Narrowly avoid countless bicycle accidents on the way to the train, and so on.

"Never Again!" we vowed.

Well, apparently all the beer and whiskey has destroyed whatever learning capacity we once had, because last night unfolded in the exact same way. One welcome exception was the absence of lewd photos. One unwelcome exception was the result of the DJ's keeping us there after hours: our night didn't end until 4:15. After less than three hours of sleep, I woke up both hung over and unpleasantly drunk. Biking to work was a slow, swervy, terrifying ordeal; and when I sweated, I sweated Chimay.

All of which is a long way of complaining that I feel like crap. And I'm too stupid to do work right now, but not, apparently, too stupid to blog. Or am I? Eh, too late.

Now, July 4 photos.

Jul 5, 2007

Now, For Some Perspective

M. and I were biking to work on Tuesday morning. I was in a hurry, not wanting to miss the train, so I raced down the street on my highest gear, blowing through stop signs like a lunatic. Because I am one, apparently. M. trailed about a block behind me, trying to keep up with my insane maneuverings. (Well, I'm not that crazy: I do look both ways before passing through them, even if I pass through even when I see a car or two.)

So there I was, biking at top speed to catch the second yellow light, when I heard the absolute worst noise I could ever imagine, like the death-yelp of someone being eaten alive by a land-dwelling shark. It took me about a second, in my underslept, bleary state, to register that the sound was coming from roughly a block behind me. In other words, from where my boyfriend was. "Fuck!" I screamed, and, for a few horrible moments, I wondered if I'd killed M. with my reckless resolve to get to the train on time At All Costs.

Wheeling my bike around, I saw M. bent over, screaming and staggering to the opposite curb. His bicycle and the stuff in his backpack were strewn out in the middle of the road, and a man was running to his side. I rode over in a hurry. He was still moaning and screaming, bent over, clasping his arm and gasping for breath.

I guess my first thought should have been to call 911; and if I'd seen blood, I probably would have; but instead I asked, "What happened?"

"He biked into my car door," said the man, who then sat down beside M. and began rubbing his back.

"Don't touch me!" M. spat, amid his wheezing. And, to me: "This wouldn't have happened if you didn't insist on hurrying to the train." Ah, anger--that's when I figured that he'd probably be all right, though, I admit, the possibility crossed my mind that he'd die cursing me.

Luckily, we live in a city, and a city filled with goddamn hippies to boot, so soon we were surrounded with good Samaritans wielding cell phones, eager to help out by moving M.'s things to the sidewalk and calling the ambulance. The police were there in minutes, and the paramedics arrived shortly thereafter.

Upon which there ensued an exciting drama centering around the question of whether or not M. would need an ambulance. M. was too much in pain and too incoherent to decide one way or the other. "I don't need an ambulance," he would protest, and then the paramedics would protest that he was not fit to decide. I would try to talk to him: "Do you want an ambulance? I can drive you to the ER if you give me a few minutes to rent a car," and he would say, "yes, rent a car." Then a gaggle of unhelpful cops would insert themselves between us and ask me, "what's his phone number?", "what's his address?", "what happened?"; and they were redundant to boot; why did four of them need to ask me the same questions? From the top of my eye, over a mass of people, I noticed the paramedics strapping M. onto a board.

"I don't think he wants to go in the ambulance!" I yelled, at the top of my lungs--which is, in my case, not terribly loud.

"Why not? He's obviously hurt," said one cop.

"I can drive him to the ER in a few minutes. His head and spine seem fine, and he doesn't have health insurance," I explained.

"This is SF," the cop countered. "They have provisions for that."

Maybe, but I remember the time when my ex-flatmate Chris 1 got in a terrible bike accident when he was uninsured. He paid several thousand dollars for the ambulance trip alone, and M. does not have several thousand dollars.

"M.!" I screamed over the cops' heads. "Do you want to go in the ambulance, or do you want me to drive you?"

He reached up, with his functional hand, and started removing the straps the paramedics had secured him with. "You changed your mind?" They seemed baffled. "Yeah, she's driving me in a zipcar."

So, to shorten a long and not-particularly-exciting story, I biked like hell back to the apartment, rented a car in half a minute (thanks, zipcar!), sprinted to the zipcar lot a block and a half away, and was back at M.'s side within five minutes of leaving it. I drove him to the ER, thereby saving us thousands of dollars, and waited in the "family room" at the General Hospital while the doctors determined that all of M.'s bones were fine. He was lucky; he got away with nothing but tissue damage, and he was out of the ER in an amazing two hours, x-rays included.

And for me, anyway, the rest of the day was almost pleasant. It was 75 degrees and sunny in the city; I used a sick day to make sure M. was all right; I bought him brunch and we napped all day. Yesterday, for July 4, we went to a barbeque on someone's back porch, drank mojitos, and followed it up with a few hours of watching illegal fireworks in the park.

If M. had not been wearing a helmet, or if he'd struck the door at the same moment as another car was driving by, I'd be dealing with a dead or maimed boyfriend right now--so all things considered, we're doing pretty well.