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Monday, 23 June
The Day Brings

Another strange weekend spent hanging out with other humans! Most unusual. You will be relieved to learn, however, that we did fit in time to watch Jumper, a film that dares to ask the question, "Wouldn't it be awesome if you could hang out with a deck chair and a cooler on the Sphinx's head?" The answer, of course, is "No." It's really the least awesome thing ever, and since the Sphinx-hanger-outer is also Hayden Christiansen, the answer is further modified to "Jesus fucking Christ, no, just . . . holy shit, what the fuck?"

In life, some answers just lead to more questions.

Which was brought to me even more forcefully on Saturday, when we traveled up to Shoreline to attend C.'s birthday party. C. is forever fond of making me travel places; he lives in Shoreline, for one thing, and we invariably get lost when we drive up to that baffling little area. C. is also the one responsible for dragging us all to Las Vegas in the fall so we can blearily watch him get married. The bastard.

On the other hand, C. knows how to make with the barbecue. He was preparing fajitas that day, and made sure to include as many dead animals as possible: pork, beef and chicken were all represented, and at one point I saw him getting interesting ideas in his head as he eyed Charlie, a friend's little Scotty dog in attendance. He also had prepared mojitos, iced up a giant bucket of Red Stripes, and had a full bar to boot. As if all this magnificence weren't enough, he had set up a badminton court in his pocked, uneven, ankle-breaking hellscape of a back yard. Badminton, people.

While C. slaved red-faced over the various barbecues, occasionally immolating the odd tortilla here and there, the rest of the guests traded stories, mostly about--my favorite, as my tens of readers know--horrible movies. I got into a spirited discussion about In the Name of the King, and was pleased when someone perked up when I mentioned Burt Reynolds. "What?" said D. "I am a devotee of the films of Burt Reynolds." He gave every appearance of being perfectly serious about this.

The conversation meandered along this way for a while--"I'm still angry that I watched Alone in the Dark," said someone. "I think about it all the time."--when K. thoughtfully recalled her time as a young aspiring actress when she lived in LA. "I had an audition for this movie, and I either had to be topless or I had to agree to get pissed on by an evil demon dog." I did not question the oddly specific duality of this rather stark set of choices. "I didn't want to be topless, really, but then I wondered: did it have to be real urine? Did it have to be dog urine? Could I use my own urine?" She stared pensively at the overcast sky, caught up in the memory. "Then I realized I didn't feel like driving into the Valley."

Life is full of these choices and the questions we ask in making these choices. Then we realize that there is always a third option: "Fuck all that."

Well, drinks were had and meat was fajitaed and badminton was played--horrendously, of course. There's nothing like a bunch of meat-crazed half-in-the-bag thirtysomethings staggering around playing a racket-based game that they've only played before when C. has these ridiculous gatherings. C. himself was particularly putrid, continually calling "Yours!" to me while I was being battered terribly with shuttlecocks aimed mercilessly at me by the 5' 6" girl across the net from me. Under one of these withering assaults, I tore off half my big toenail; I noticed this later in post-defeat body examination. I proceeded to trim the other untorn half, and C. commented, "So this is what you do at parties? You trim your toenails?" "This is what I do at your parties," I replied. "I think everyone will be doing it soon."

In other game related shenanigans, K. was upstairs in C.'s game room--he has a game room--laying waste to all comers with her preternatural ping-pong skills. K. is a tiny little woman and she just strafed everybody stupid enough to take her on, yours truly included (no real feat, since I know I stink). Guys are often really terrible at ping-pong, and I think I know why: guys, when given the chance, love to hit the everloving shit out of things. So you see dudes trying to lay these incredible roundhouse smashes on a ping-pong ball, but really, there's a low limit to a ping-pong ball's max velocity. Strength means absolutely nothing; it's a finesse game. It's the same deal with pool: guys love to slamball every shot, just for the manly CRASH of the cue hitting shit. But it's just as stupid and counterproductive. You can see these meatheads in any bar at all, stinking up a perfectly good table. You saw the same sort of dumb flailing at the ping-pong table, and meanwhile, K. was making all these ninja precision shots without breaking a sweat.

Guys are stupid.

It was, of course, a good time. I wish C. a happy birthday again, and I thank him for his generosity and willingness to put up with a pack of half-mad raving wise-asses swanning around his pad all damn day, ruining the august tradition of good badminton play and trimming their toenails and other various violations of common decorum.

And what do you know? In mere minutes from now--at midnight--it will be my birthday. Thirty-nine damn years old. Which raises its own set of questions. Such as: why am I going to work, anyway? Will I get in trouble if I bring whiskey into the office? Will anyone notice? Will I find myself topless, or being urinated on by evil demon dogs?

It's possible! I don't have the answers, you know. Well, I have one.

Fuck all that. Happy birthday to me.


Note: Comments are closed on old entries.

Comments

"Then I realized I didn't feel like driving into the Valley."

I can only assume that this was meant both literally and existentially, as getting tinkled on by a possessed schnauzer would totally make me question not only my own faith, but all the world's varying flavors of spiritual whatnot. 'Driving into the valley', indeed.

Happy birthday to you, Skot.

Comment number: 017416   Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' on June 24, 2008 07:41 AM from IP: 152.17.59.67

I have yet to catch any of Uwe's flicks. I prefer my mind-numbing staring to be of the sporting variety. I might have to make an exception for "Bloodrayne," though. It sounds like the apotheosis of excrement.

Also, enjoy your first annual 39th birthday.

Comment number: 017417   Posted by: AndrewPDX on June 24, 2008 12:08 PM from IP: 216.151.21.87

!But you made it sound like so much fun!

yeah..i also click ahead to 39 in september. *glumly* duttn't mean nuttin....'s just a number...*mumbles to self*

Comment number: 017418   Posted by: Alyxmyself on June 24, 2008 04:50 PM from IP: 68.201.0.251

Ah, to be 39 again. At least you can try to bullshit yourself that your life is only HALF over.
"This ain't so bad, why i have half my live to live yet!"

I turn 45 this week, I ain't foolin myself anymore. The long slide into dementia is in full swing.

Comment number: 017420   Posted by: Kev on June 28, 2008 10:54 AM from IP: 72.129.201.95

Happy birthday! I just turned 29 for the fourth time last week.

Comment number: 017421   Posted by: Frida on June 29, 2008 07:13 AM from IP: 74.44.102.245

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