Monday, November 27, 2006

What I learned from Black Friday

Like many folks out there, I was mesmerized by the great deals in the ads that promised great savings at many stores on Black Friday. Being that I’m cheap but still enjoyed giving presents, this seems like a perfect day of shopping for me.

I planned my routes, had a list of exactly what to get from each store I was going to hit, and I was out of my house by 5am.

This is what I learned from my experience –
- 5am is too damn early for any kind of savings on crap you don’t really need.

- Most things that are on sale are crap. True, it’s insanely cheap, but its still crap.

- Things that are on sale that are not crap and are truly good deals will all be gone by about 5:30am.

- I really wanted to get one of these cheap huge LCD flat screen TVs. However, rabbit ears with a nice flat screen is kinda ghetto.

- As much as a lot of people shop, most of them don’t know how to shop. I saw people buy lots of things that weren’t on sale at 5am. It wasn’t even on sale, and a lot of the stuff I saw was on sale somewhere else. Listen, if you’re going to wake up that early, you better just be hitting the good stuff.

- I went to Wally world to get one thing. I hate Wally world and haven’t step inside one in over year, but I braved it to get a cheap DVD that I wanted. Of course, they ran out by the time I got there. Who the hell is buying up ‘Over the Top’? It’s about a trucker (Stallone) who’s trying to win an arm wrestling contest to help support him and his son. Shut up, it’s good.

- If you have a cart full of stuff, and it’s all for one child, you have a problem. This is not a show of how much you love your child. You’re not doing the kid any favors by getting them everything on their list. The kids don’t know any better when they’re making the list. You should, as a parent, know better than to give a kid everything they want.

- Buy your children age appropriate toys. A laptop or iPod for a 10 year old is not appropriate. Here’s a secret for ya. They want it just so they can say they have one to their friends.

- If you want to see some very unhappy and miserable looking people, look around on Black Friday around 7am. They all look like the zombies from Dawn of the Dead. This of course is why I go. To image that I was trapped at the mall with lots of zombies. Good times.

- The only Christmas list I managed to get a lot of stuff for is my own.

- After my shopping trip I had to come home and take a shower. I know I went voluntarily, but all the consumerism made me feel dirty.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Vegas.. 2006

It’s been a while and I guess I better write down this story before I completely forget. As part of my coming of oldness birthday, I got a few guys to go to Vegas to celebrate. There were 2 groups of guys coming at differnt parts of the week which made the trip insanely long. 6 days in Vegas. My liver was not happy with me, and it showed half way during the trip.

Two of the guys arrived earlier in the day while me and Howard showed up later in the evening. We had a flight delay that got us in pretty late, but it being vegas, time was not a factor. When we arrived at the hotel, we found the other guys were doing ok without us. By ok, I mean drunk.
Much drinking ensued, but that's not very interesting. I'll skip right to the good parts.

The highlight of the first part of the trip happened quickly and powered through with some good stamina. During our first night, me and one of the guys was playing craps. We’re used to us being the loud drunk ones at the table, but that night there were 2 cute girls by us that were just as loud which was very impressive. We joined in the fun and it was an amazingly fun table.

After gambling for quite a while, we ended up hooking up with these 2 girls and hung out with them all night. It was a really good time chatting and drinking with them. It's hard to describe, but the 4 of us just seem to mix so well. The time flew by and the next thing we knew it was almost 7am and we decided to call it quits. That was almost 12 hours together. Nice feat for someone we just randomly met.

The next night, with amazing coincidence, after watching the cardinals win the World Series, we ran into the girls again. In such a large and busy place like Vegas, it’s amazing to run into 2 people in 2 areas randomly. We were excited like we were old friends and haven't seen each other in years. We didn’t miss a bit when we got back together. We were back to joking and drinking right away. Good times.

The girls were going to stay up since their flight was at 6am and it was already about 2am. Of course, we stayed up and hung out with them. There was such a strange attraction to these girls. I think it's the conversation more than anything else. They were so engaging and shared about themselves. I know this is Vegas and they could've just made the whole thing up, but I'll take it.

We talked about everything and nothing at all. Thinking back, it was strange for as long as we talked, I can’t really remember what was discussed. Even after spending so much time talking, the conversation never once lost its interest.

Granted, I don’t remember conversations very well, but I remember things like this. I remembered how nice it was for us to sit at a little table at a corner of the casino. Talking and drinking away like we were old friends. I remember the music from a piano bar nearby and us randomly breaking out into some Journey tunes. I remember some strange contest about which restroom was closer and some obstacle course. I remember it all being a bit surreal and almost seem scripted being so good.

Around 4:30 am, we started our long goodbyes. Once again, it was quite strange as we’ve just met 2 days ago (although we spent probably 80% of the time together), but it seemed like such a big goodbye. It felt good and sincere. After a few minutes, we went our separate way.

The goodbye wasn't long enough in my book. Mainly because we knew we’ll never meet up again.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A Mystery to Me

Why are some people so attracted to bad boys and girls? Why is there such a strong attraction that it defies logic and the very nature of self preservation? In nature, it is unheard of that one would knowingly be attracted to something that he/she know is bad for them. It would be like a deer befriending a lion.

This kind of thing does not happen in nature because we all know the inevitable conclusion of this relationship.

Yet, we see this all around us in outrageous relationships that just should not be happening. Are the lives of some so deprived that they must seek others to fill them with excitement even if it’s in a self-destructive form? Are they so pathetic in their inability to live life that they must cling to the first thing they see as exciting in order to live vicariously through these bad boys and girls?

What is this attraction that’s so strong and emits such strong emotions that it takes control and overrides our genetically encoded warning system to not be with someone knowingly bad for us?

Although as I write this, I'm reminded of moth to flames or the mantis' breeding ritual which has the female killing the male after they're done with the mating. Hmm.. I'm poking holes into my own questions.

Spare me the research on attraction and how ‘opposites attract’ is a relationship myth. Yes, even though Paula Abdul sang a song about it, it's a myth. I’m not talking about the long term here. I’m talking about that initial impression.

Seeing someone across the room, that feeling that you get is what I’m asking. Almost like a drug, you feel you need to speak with or be close to that person. More times than not, it’s the ‘bad’ one in the crowd that captures the imagination of most people.

In nature, when a creature detects something bad, it runs away. Yet, humans today couldn’t be more attracted.

Perhaps my inability to understand is just masking my jealousy. Maybe I just need to stop watching so much Jerry Springer.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

In a Dark Hour, Tiesto Comes to the Rescue

Yes, I realize I’m now a million years old and shouldn't be going to these kind of shows anymore. However, when my favorite DJ (Tiesto) was coming into town, I wasn’t about to miss his performance at my favorite Venue.

Many of you have heard me continuously bitch and moan about the lack of a good dance scene or death of the ‘rave culture’ all around the country and especially here where I live. Being old and pessimistic about the present scene, I was hesitant about the show. Also, my usual crew was no longer around, so I was stuck to going by myself.

I was quite hesistant about going even though it is my favorite DJ. It didn’t help that tickets were being sold for 3x face value and I was tempted to sell them a few times. Oh, but I trusted in my DJ and the beats, and I was so happy that I didn’t take the cash.

When I first walked into the venue, to my surprise, I immediately saw some Candykids (for explanations please go here). It was like seeing an extinct animal. I thought it maybe just a small group of kids, but as I followed them a little, they led me to more and more groups of Candykids all over the place.

This was a good sign of things to come.

As I walked around the venue, I saw more and more types of people that I haven’t seen in a while. People that I’ve missed in this culture. The place was not packed with the usual drunk frat guys and their slutty jump-up-and-down-bouncing-their-boobs-thinking-this-is-dancing crowd. What I saw was a place packed with UFO pants, glow sticks, pacifiers, Vicks, bottles of water, and people who were there to dance.

I got myself ‘prepped’, you know, stretching so I don’t throw out a hip, and other things and got down to the dance floor. I quickly found a couple groups of people to dance with around the stage. This is far different than the usual drunk groups that do not understand the meaning of dancing and thinks it’s odd that people are actually dancing instead of getting hammered and just jumping up and down like a dumbass.

I was quickly accepted into these groups as we danced in similar fashion. At one point when I was taking a rest (shut up, I’m old), a couple of people came up to compliment me on the dancing. This was a big ego boost as it hasn’t happened in a while (since the good ol' days). These people understood how its suppose to be broughten.

This one girl (AM) and I struck up a conversation as she mentioned that I danced very old school (her exact words). I was amazed and delighted that she knew. Having watched her dance as well, I knew she dances the same way. We started talking about the old days. We had been to many of the same venues, parties, and shows from ‘back in the days’.

Yay old ravers! This needs to be a new category in Wikipedia.

If you’ve ever gone to a show with me, you’d know that one of my big peeves is being crowed, especially by people who are not dancing. I’m there to dance and you don’t need to be all up in my space. When the crowd was encroaching on the group’s dance space, amazingly enough, AM had the same thought as I to move to another area so we can have space to dance while giving the remaining group more room to dance.

This is a usual practice in the days. It’s cool to hook up with people, but we like the dancing and always get back together later. As AM and I walked, we talked a bit more about the scene. Its difficult to explain as its a mentality, but to hear someone else talking about raving was worth the price of admission.

Speaking of old school, at one point during the night, I got a head job from one of the CandyKids. This involves a face to face light show with glow sticks while Vicks vapor is blown in your face. You have to be there, but it’s very cool. I was also asked for drugs several times. This is a great feeling as the kids don't think I'm old enough to be a Narc.

Besides meeting AM and many CandyKids, I met up with people who worked at a cool dance club who would get me into VIP whenever I’m there. I also met up with some groups that wanted to have regular meeting up of the make shift groups. I’m sure it was all just club talk, but it’s nice to be involved.

These are the kind of things I’m talking about. While most people’s objectives when going to a club is all about getting hammered and picking up, ravers are never about that. It’s always about dancing, meeting people, and unity to beats. Sure picking up happens, but its not why you're there. There're a lot of touching with this crowd, but its very comforting and not the creepy kind you generally get at the clubs. Also, certain chemicals may make touching an unbelievable feeling.

The only bad part of the night was when I had to leave during Tiesto’s set. I have never left a set early, but the venue was getting so crowed and insanely hot. Not to mention that I was dead tired by about 2am (this is quite sad as we used to go at 1am and stay till about 6am). I was too tired to dance anymore and even if I wanted to, there wouldn’t be space anyway so I decided to leave.

It was a good time. Old school good time.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


That’s what I am officially now. Old.

Back in the day, and yes, now that I’m old I’m allow to use this phrase. Back in the day (sophomore year high school), I planned out what I wanted to be when I grew up. For the most part, I followed those plans and have done ok. I've hit most of the bigger things that I was aiming for. Got sidetracked here and there, but not too bad.

Interestingly enough, my plans from back in the days only went as far as this birthday. I couldn’t back then, nor could I really today, see past this old age that I’ve hit. I mean seriously, by this age, I was expecting to sit in a home and eat cream corn and yell at kids for walking on my lawn.

During my birthday dinner, there were some people there that I’m very glad I’ve met over the years. There were some really old friends. There were some that I really expected to always be there, but for some reason, just didn’t want to anymore. I am very glad for the ones that are still here.

I think I was pretty good at figuring out how to grow up, but now that I have, I’m not quite sure what to do with myself as a grown up.

I’m open to suggestions.