I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I was going to a punk rock / garage rock / metal show with Captain Apollo.
Well, I did.
Captain Apollo is in a band that plays original punk rock slash garage rock slash rock slash I-don’t-know-what-the-techinical-term-is. Basically, they can be put into a show with a fairly large range of different bands.
The show was in a town about 40 minutes away from us, and the bar was ten minutes outside of that. Basically in a cornfield across from that creepy gas station where people in movies get murdered a lot. You know the one.
We actually passed by it assuming it was a strip club. I can’t even make that up.
Needless to say, the joint was not, upon first glance, somewhere I would frequent. Luckily, I was with a crew of manly men from my hometown, three of whom were wearing leather jackets, so I felt safe enough within a three or four foot radius of any of them. There were definitely some characters in that bar whom I would not have ordinarily wanted within a three or four mile radius of me, but that’s neither here nor there.
And yes, of course I pick this occasion to wear a floral mini skirt and spangly sandals. The girl who wore sweatpants to a fraternity formal once. WHY.
I’m just gonna go for the gusto and tell you that the first band that played was named for two different bodily functions.
Nope. Bloodsnot, actually. An instrumental death metal band named Bloodsnot. Which probably gives you a pretty decent idea of I thought how my night was going to go.
Needless to say, I wouldn’t consider myself a death metal type of person. The “hardest” person I think I listen to on a regular basis is probably Avril Lavigne.
At any rate, Bloodsnot (BloodSnot? Blood Snot? bLoOdSnOt?) starts playing, and almost immediately three or four guys start “dancing”.
I think you could technically consider it dancing, in that they were moving and music happened to be playing. To me, it mostly looked like a group of zombies having a collective seizure.
It basically looked like this:
But in a smaller space and everyone was wearing cutoff teeshirts. EVERYONE.
You can probably imagine by this point I was two Blues down the hatch and had backed myself into a corner with Captain Apollo and the second scariest-looking townie we brought (although, objectively speaking, what’s scarier – a bleached mohawk or a half-dreads, half-shaved head combo?)
However, I have to say, once beer number three kicked in, (oh yes, it was that kind of a night) I sort of enjoyed Bloodsnot’s music. I know this because I apparently (very drunkenly) later told their guitarist that I enjoyed their performance as much as possible without ever wanting to listen to it again.
This is probably why I shouldn’t talk to people. Or go out into public places.
When Apollo’s band went on stage, I switched to whiskey gingers, ended up on the dance floor, and got into trouble with the stage manager for starting a mosh pit. Yes, the tiny half-asian girl started a mosh (well, shoving match, really). Hilariously, the Mohawk Guy got the telling off, but I totally shoved him first. It was very metal. In fact, I was definitely starting to feel pretty metal at this point, you guys. Never mind the fact that Mohawk guy is actually very nice. I felt like shoving somebody. MUAHAHA.
During whiskey ginger number two, a band full of 30-something men wearing wallet chains screamed into microphones and rolled around on the floor while their bassist, who was inexplicably dressed like a pirate-slash-douchebag, roamed around the bar playing next to unassuming patrons. At one point the guitarist accidentally kicked over his mic stand onto the lead singer, who was still lying on the ground.
It was super metal.
I totally danced by myself in the middle of the room while my friends pretended not to know me.
The last band marked whisky ginger number three. I vaguely remember that the lead singer was dressed like a total nerd. Or was one. Either. He did not look very metal, at any rate, and a bunch of girls showed up and started dancing, and that was even less metal.
I think that’s about when I started talking to Bloodsnot about how I really enjoyed their set as much as possible without enjoying it at all, and Captain Apollo decided it was probably time for us to go home.
Except when we did get home, Varenka had accidentally locked me out.
Apparently you guys are jerks.
Anyways, I figured I’d regale you all with a tale of a young, naïve, sophomore year of high school Cassandra. Because if there is anything better than terrible stories about dating mishaps, it’s dating mishaps in high school.
This is also the first true story I’ve told where there is any chance that the person involved could possibly read it. So if you find this, and you know who you are, you’ll know why I have to refer to you in this post as Cupcake.
I’m so sorry, Cupcake.
I should preface this tale by telling y’all that in high school, I had a very shady concept of how relationships worked. At the time of this tale, I had:
Gone on three dates with two different people, all terrible movies (Pirates of the Caribbean, Master of Disguise, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), and my mom came and sat in the row behind us.
Had a whirlwind month-long pseudo-relationship.
However, all around me, my friends were dating people. Like, for real dating. Like, my best friend Miks totally held hands with a guy in the hallway walking to class dating. My other best friend slash mortal enemy Boomer totally made out with someone on the robotics team who had a CAR and gave her flowers for Valentine’s day DATING.
Meanwhile, I looked like this.
So clearly my milkshake was bringing zero boys to my yard.
I met Cupcake through mutual friends. He was a year older than me, a foot taller, and he no longer had braces. I immediately developed a HUGE crush on him.
To this day, thinking back, I still can’t put my finger on what it was that attracted me to Cupcake, as he in no way, shape, or form resembled anyone else I’ve ever have a crush on.
I think it was just that he was so freakin’ nice. Here I was, just some dorky loser sophomore, and a junior was being nice to me.
to be continued…
I might officially have the two stupidest dogs on the planet.
Let me explain.
I’m still in Canada visiting my grandparents, whose house is right on the lake. Not lake close. Not lake side. Lake on.
My two golden retriever puppies, Patty Mayonnaise and Dr. Pepper, are H2o enthusiasts. They swim like otters who have spend the entire morning unattended in a candy shop. Patty, in particular, is aqua obsessive. She will figuratively swim until she dies. Pepper enjoys BEING in water, but less so the physical aspect.
Let’s omit the part where it took them 15 minutes to even figure out that the house was near a body of water. Namely, the 15 minutes it took for me to put a swimsuit on and take them down to the beach. Come on, dogs.
No, the part that had me in stitches was the part where my dear dogs could not see the massive schools of spawning carp that were literally underneath their noses.
Side note – did you see what I did up there with the correct usage of figuratively and literally? That’s how it’s done, internet.
Yet I digress.
Each spring, the lakefront right outside my grandparent’s house is home to multiple healthy populations of fish… uh… doin’ it. As only fish can do. Meaning by laying eggs and – you know what, you get the idea.
I distinctly remember one day when I was a kid, about 7 years old. I was swimming in the shallows and I caught, with my bare hands, a pike who was clearly sedated by his (her?) post-coital bliss. I grabbed hold of the struggling serpentine shape and high-tailed to the house, where mi familia was enjoying some late afternoon apéritifs.
I proudly walked into the middle of this pleasant gathering, and said (true story), “Look! I caught dinner!”
It took some time for then to convince me to put the fish back in the lake. Apparently people don’t eat pike (reasons why I’m single #4 – I’m wicked good at catching spawning pike).
Long story summarized – lots of fish up in this lake. Massive fish. I saw at least five 10-pounders.
What catches my dog’s attention, pray tell? What makes them raise their hackles and growl and clash their teeth?
This inanimate, non-threatening rock. Keep in mind there are huge fish swimming INTO my dog’s legs (fish are dumb).
But no, apparently the rock was a bigger security issue than the fish.
Because of reasons?
I should preface this by stating that I have, in face, been punched in the face more than once. I was a bit of a scrappy middle schooler.
However, this particular story distinguishes itself from the crowd because I not only got punched in the face, but I also lost a ski race and broke a tooth and got broken up with on the same day.
Needless to say, it was not a very good day.
It all started the first week of my freshman year of high school. I was outside after school one day enjoying the sunshine when a scruffy looking kid in those weird baggy chain pants and a choker necklace pointed at me and declared that I was his new best friend.
At the time I was shy and had weird hair and was chunky and had a penchant for suede sweatpants. I basically did what any introvert would do – I ran away.
Kudos to the boy, however, because he chased me down and to this day he is one of my closest friends, although he’s look outgrown the scruffy skater boy look. I refer to him as Barney Stinson.
Yet I digress. Barney and I became close friends, and on January 20th, 2005, we made out on a chairlift.
From that point on we were the high school equivalent of a couple until February 14th, 2005. Valentine’s day.
I can’t exactly remember why Barney and I broke up, although it probably had a lot to do with the fact that we were 15 and had no idea how relationships worked other than kissing sometimes and holding hands in the hall and writing each other stupid notes to put into each other’s lockers. This was before Facebook, so I didn’t even get to change my status, although I’m betting there was a Myspace equivalent.
But Barney Stinson isn’t the point of the story anyways.
Barney Stinson is the reason I was upset on Valentine’s day, which, although it was a Monday, I had a ski race on. Because I was upset, I performed worse than I usually did in GS, which was my favorite event.
I scuffed it badly enough that I was just on the end of the flip 30.
(Basically, in racing, you always get two runs. The first run is timed and ranked, and the lowest 30 times get “flipped” in order for the second run, so that the quickest time runs 30th and the 30 best time runs first. You get it. It’s not that important anyways. Shutting up.)
Just before my second run, a boy (who for the life of me I can’t remember) whom I knew came over to wish me good luck and punched me in the face.
Yes. You read that correctly.
He punched me in the face with his ski pole still in his hand.
And then he skied away.
Now, I honestly can’t explain why this happened or what was going on in his head or whether or not it was an accident, because I was too busy spitting out sections of my canine to be super concerned about it, and I didn’t really have time to think about it anyways, because it was my turn to race.
The second time around I actually placed 3rd, but it still wasn’t enough to podium, which quite frankly was okay with me because at that point the adrenaline was wearing off and I was in a significant amount of pain anyways.
Had I thought about it at the time, I would probably have hunted the kid down and asked him what happened that day. I’m about 75% positive it was an accident.
I also find it weird that I don’t remember who it was. You’d think that that would be something you wouldn’t forget.
High school, right?
I did not meet Marc Summers today, internet. Which, in retrospect, makes this day somewhat indistinguishable from all of the other days that I did not meet Marc Summers, which is all of them. All of the days. I’ve never met Marc Summers, is what I’m saying.
Let me back up a bit.
The thing is is that today I was actually fairly certain I would meet Marc Summers, because I’m in Puerto Rico and we went to this crazy food festival thing today where Marc Summers was supposed to be and where Marc Summers was, conspicuously, not.
We first learned about this food festival on the beach yesterday where we where just sort of lazing around getting sunburnt and Madre happened upon some article in some magazine about this crazy food extravaganza and she was all like, we should go to this and I was just like, mhmmmm, because let’s be honest I was already a cocktail or four deep at this point and I probably would have said yes to dying my hair pink and dancing la bomba with a kangaroo (full disclosure – I am currently a cocktail or four deep and that absolutely sounds like both a plausible and fun situation).
Anyways, we went to this food festival. It was called the Saborea, and it was wild and exotic and very, very different from all of the other food festivals I’ve ever been to.
The trouble, however, was that we looked it up before hand and discovered Marc Summers was going to be there and this deep, aching longing I never knew I had welled up inside me, and that longing was screaming I HAVE to meet Marc Summers. I Had to.
It was a set-up for failure.
There were many things that made the Saborea different from other food festivals I’ve been to, the first and most notable of which was the alcohol. The copious, copious amounts of alcohol. I’d been to other fairs and whatnot where you could buy a beer or two for a separate fee. Not at Saborea. No. Not only did they have an entire tent devoted to alcohol of various types, every other food vendor was hawking their own type of shot or cocktail or wine or beer or whatever. They were pouring beer into their freaking food, for frak’s sake.
In our little swag bags, they even gave us our own wine glasses to pour liquid ambrosia into.
Oh, on that note, yeah, we got swag bags, and it seemed like every four feet people were giving us freebies. Little sunscreens and fans and bottle openers and coupons and individual servings of salad dressings. I spent at least three minutes trying to track down someone handing out the most pimpingest orange sunglasses, but then there was someone handing out sangria and I got distracted.
Oh, also this was happening.
So I left you with an unfair cliffhanger yesterday, readers.
Where was I?
Ah yes, a bunch of unchaperoned 17 year old girls out at a bar called the Gilded Butterfly (which, by the way, is now closed down) in downtown Beijing. With kamikaze shots.
How many kamikaze shots, you may ask?
30. I know this because I wrote it down in my diary. Yes, I had a diary. Shut up.
And we drank them all. 6 girls, 30 shots. My first time ever drinking. I was ambitious.
Of course, as all this is happening the girls are referring to me as the grand Poobah of drinking because they think I’m some sort of rebel badass and I’m totally rolling with it, as you do. It was like Mean Girls does China.
That’s when this story starts to get a little crazy.
See, I mentioned before that the girl who was at the helm of this clinical insanity was crazy rich. Like, has her own chauffeured car rich (I think it was a Range Rover? Shiny black SUV looking thing). So we get back into the car and we go to another club which has this crazy Chinese name and we cut the line and she pays us all in and we go up to the VIP area and we are almost immediately served two more shots each, one of which was ON FIRE and the other one was mainly whipped cream. Maybe the whipped cream was a chaser? I don’t know.
So at this point I’m feeling pretty snookered, but as it was my first time being drunk ever I had no idea what was going on and there was of course no way in hell I was going to admit anything, because I’d taken like 6 shots at this point and apparently that made me The Queen of Drinking. So when the girls asked me if I wanted to dance I said no because I secretly was no longer in control of my feet.
So they scuddle off to dance and I’m there sitting on a couch in the VIP section looking either like the Queen of the Hop or a hot mess (or both) and this big burly looking guy comes over says that he’s the captain of (I can’t remember what country it was. Thailand’s? Indonesia’s? Somewhere in Asia’s) Olympic Judo team, and that he’s there doing training stuff because the Olympics are next summer, and would I like a drink (note to self – why would I write down that we have 30 shots but neglect to put down what country the Judo guy was from?? Irresponsible).
I think my response to this question was something along the lines of “buuuhh?”
He bought me a Smirnoff Ice which I originally thought was non-alcoholic but turned out not to be, and we danced for a bit on a stage of some sorts, and then it gets little hazy. At some point the girls came and dragged my away from good old whats-his-face Judo guy and took me home, where we had to break back in and lock ourselves into the school and creep upstairs.
And then the next day I found out what a hangover was.
Moral of the story- Go to China.
When I was 17 I went to live in China over the summer for a month. It was pretty much exactly as awesome as it sounds it would be.
However, internet, let me let you in on a bit of a shocker. I was not a very “with it” high schooler. I was, in fact, very much “without it”. I know. How could such a suave, talented, beautiful swan have ever been an ugly ducking?
Alas, it’s true.
Unlike many of my peers, I did not go to parties in high school. In fact, I was shockingly naive to the very presence of parties in high school. Sure, I’d drink champagne at Christmas and wine with dinner and occasionally take a swig from one of Dad’s beers, but I’d never drunk in the sense of getting actually drunk (oh how times have changed). I was a very scheduled, cautious person. I woke up at absurd hours in the morning to go to crew, go to school, come home, and do homework. That was generally it. My grandest act of rebellion was sneaking out of school on a free period (never skipping class, how dare you ask!) and going to get lunch with some friends of mine. On Senior Class Skip day I got my parents to write me a note excusing me from school. I was a total Loserrrr with a capital L.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), my peers in the program I went to Beijing with were not nearly so naive.
I went on the trip with a program out of Stanford to study economics, world relations, and belly dance (?!!???) . We were paired with a group of Chinese students with whom we roomed and dined and took class. Our instructors were all Ph.D. students from various places, and my classmates ran the gamut from California to Thailand. We lived in the dorms at a school in the heart of Beijing. It was awesome.
However, I somehow got pegged as Little Miss Badass, despite my shy, panicky demeanor, because amid the schoolwork the class trips, and the 3-4 hour long dance practices, some tomfoolery went down, and I was smack in the middle of it.
One of the girls there happened to be obscenely rich, and one night she told me and four other girls to get dolled up and meet her outside the gates at 10 pm. The gates lock at 8 pm, but I guess this was a non-issue because one of the other girls super casually managed to pick the lock, and that’s when I know Things were about to Go Down.
We get into a chauffeured (insert fancy car brand) and head off. When I was in China at the time, about half the roads in Beijing were dirt and rocks, and half were paved, so you knew when you hit pavement you were in a rich area of the city. We entered the paved area and got dropped off outside of this club called the Gilded Butterfly (I am NOT making this up) and cut the line to get inside.
Now, I don’t know what the alcohol laws were in China at the time, but it apparently wasn’t a problem that a bunch of 17 year olds were waltzing around inside of this ritzy club, because we promptly managed to order ourselves a tray full of Kamikazes. Let me stress that at this point I’d never gone drinking.