Monday, April 19, 2010

Fear and Loathing In ... The Lounge Car

 Meeting and finding out all about new people is one of my favorite things. Seeing a really cute guy but not having the courage to talk to him is one of my least favorite things. The two of these happened to me on the train ride to Tampa on Thursday afternoon in the Lounge Car. If you're on a train ride and want to meet, share a beer with, or simply stare at, random strangers, you head to the Lounge Car. 
After having woken up from a seriously uncomfortable and short nap in my seat, I realized that the blonde lady that sat next to me was gone. She had been friendly and I knew I could strike up a conversation with her. A baby was crying a few rows ahead of me, and some inconsiderate douche was watching a movie on his laptop at full volume and without headphones. My options for decent behavior at this point were limited. I couldn't tell the crying baby to shut the hell up, but I was about to channel my frustrations with it and with the action-movie-loving-and-headphones-hating-douche entirely on the dude with the laptop. I was wondering how to handle the situation, if at all. The only things dancing around in my brains were really mean, laced with profanities, and completely passive-aggressive. Something along the lines of, "Excuse me, but do you have your headphones with you? Because no one else here wants to listen to your shitty movie, and clearly you and that baby are the two rudest motherfuckers in this car. So either put on some headphones or turn that shit off and read a book!!!" (I really can't stand the sound of a baby crying. I once told a co-worker I'd rather hear someone get shot than listen to a crying infant. The fucked up thing is I really meant it.)
I got up from my seat and headed to the bathroom. Using a bathroom on a train requires great balance and coordination, neither of which would ever be used to describe me. I'm more clumsy than a baby bull in a china shop. I was happy and relieved (literally and mentally) that I didn't come within an inch of that toilet. Yikes. Also, let's talk about the fact that I didn't have to use soap to wash my hands because the water was so damn scalding hot, I'm pretty sure it burned off whatever germs I had hanging out on the surface of my hands.
I made my way to the Lounge Car which was about three cars away. I stumbled my way through the cars trying not to fall on anyone's lap as the train was going so fast it was almost flying off the tracks. When I opened the sliding door to the Lounge, I scanned the room, first, to see if there were any available booths, then, to see who was in there that I would be drawn to in order to extract their whole life story. And that's when I laid eyes on him. He was sitting in the last booth on the right, in the corner, against the window. I thought to myself, "Hello.... that's a hot piece...." We made eye contact and of course I was instantly shy; it's like I crawl into a shell and the only way to lure me out is either with gay guys or tacos. I walked into the small cafe area to buy a Red Bull, and then walked back to the lounge. I picked an empty booth facing him, because even though I didn't have the sober courage to actually speak to him, I did want to just prop my head in my hands and gaze at him constantly, then look away nervously when he would catch me staring. It's really mature of me, I know, I know, you don't have to say it.
I pulled out my Chelsea Handler book, "Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang," and read a little bit here and there in between observing the other passengers, lookin' out the window, and getting caught starin' at him. He looked like a younger, more innocent Johnny Depp, not young like 21-Jump-Street-young, but maybe a few years older. More of a Secret-Window-Johnny. He was wearing an unbuttoned plaid shirt over a t-shirt; the sleeves were rolled up and so his tattoos were visible, and you all know how I feel about a cute guy with nice colorful tattoos..... Crap I'm getting carried away. Ok let's continue. He was wearing a fedora and had such a nice smile. Oh wait, let's clarify that he wasn't smiling at me (yet) but because he was smiling at the people he was sitting with and I was facing him I would catch glimpses. 
He was sitting with an older man and two women, and I was trying to figure out what their relationships to him were, in order to see how good my chances were of making my way onto his lap. I thought they might be his family, but then I heard the most magical thing: they asked him how old he was! Then, they asked him what his tattoos meant!!! I suddenly knew that they were perfect strangers and the door was wide open. I would not get shanked with a broken beer bottle for trying to talk to him. 

::sigh:: Even though I knew that he was traveling alone, I still did not have the courage to talk to him, and I was growing more and more frustrated as the time passed. He began smiling at me, which was lovely, but how was I supposed to break the ice when he was surrounded by three drunk people that seemed to really like him, and as a result, not leave his freaking side? As I was thinking of how to pounce, another guy walked into the Lounge Car and asked me if he could sit at my booth. Of course I said yes, while two words flashed in great big neon letters while fireworks fired off behind them, in my brains: COCK BLOCK. I really did appreciate that I finally had someone to talk to, I was just bummed that it was a young man around my age who could potentially turn away any hot, tattooed, fedora-wearing guys that might be interested in talking to me. I mean, shit, I had the entire booth to myself!! I put my book away and started talking to the New Guy. We never exchanged names, just where we were from, where we were headed to, our ages, and a little bit about who we were visiting and why. He had such a strange dialect; when I could understand what he was saying to me, I laughed because he was funny. We joked around about a few of the other passengers in the car, and he laughed at all my jokes. I decided to go buy a beer in the cafe because I had relaxed a little in talking to New Guy, so it was time for some liquid courage in order to talk to the hot, tattooed, fedora-wearing dude. 
Even though I had Blue Moon coursing through my veins, it was still impossible to take the hot dude away from his fan club. The only thing that would have been a guaranteed tactic would have been to stand up, point at him and say, "Let's go for a walk!!" then grab him arm in arm as I lead him away to a more secluded car. Totally romantic and non-creepy, right?? Totes mug-otes!!!
Finally the train slowed down and approached the Tampa station. One of his fans said the saddest thing, "Good luck in Atlanta!" I knew we were parting ways. The other blonde lady, who I recognized as the blonde that sat next to me for like five minutes before taking off for the lounge, said to him, "Call me if you need anything!!" I felt so frustrated with myself!!! I hate being shy, I'm really not that shy anymore, but when there's a hot piece in the mix I resort to a catatonia that can only be cured with beer. 
I knew I better head to my seat, get my PBR duffle bag, and get off the train with the rest of the Tampa crew. I said goodbye to New Guy, but couldn't bring myself to look at the tattooed wonder. 
Once back at my seat, I said to the blonde, "The guy at your table, with the tattoos.... tell me all about him." She went nuts! She said, "Ohhh, that's Matt, isn't he cute??" And I said, "Yes! He's very cute, what do you know about him??" I knew she was drunk because she kept saying how cute he was and if she wasn't engaged she would totally try to hook up with him because he was just too cute! She said, "His name is Matt, and he's a musician, and he's moving to Atlanta, and he's sooo sweet and cute!!" I said, "You have to text him for me, please! Tell him I said 'hi!'" She was quick to whip out her phone and text away, and we both waited for the reply like a couple of game show contestants waiting to see what we had won. He wrote back and we shrieked, and by this time every passenger within earshot knew what we were doing and how cute Matt was. Kim asked Matt if she could give me his number. He replied, "Ha ha, did she ask for it?" Then drunk Kimmie gave him my phone number, saying, "You don't mind, right?" I said, "Oh Hell no! You give him my number!!! Oh my god... how excitiiing!!!" Clearly, Kim and I are cut from the same cloth because every time Matt would text her back we would giggle. (Heaven help us.)
We made our way off the train and Kim stopped outside to smoke a cigarette. I told her I needed to get to the bathroom as soon as possible because my bladder was about to get up and walk out, all the while yelling at me about how irresponsible I was to let her get that full and did I not know how unhealthy that is?!?! My organs can be really passive-aggressive and controlling.
Matt texted me a little while later. We became facebook friends that night. He sent me the link to his music, and I listened to it and liked it so much. It's very reminiscent of Bright Eyes, which I love. I joked with him that it was a really good thing I didn't listen to his music before getting to Tampa because I surely would've missed my stop and stayed on the train with him... yeah... I totally would have. ::sigh::
liquid courage.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I shall call him... Bartender

Thursday night I went to a local dive bar with my girl Belinda. We walked in with our own beers, sat at a small table, and talked while drinking our beers, very casually. You see, we're very casual ladies. There were five other people in there: a couple playing pool, two guys sitting at the bar (one had a skateboard with him: major sighs), and the bartender. A little while later the skater took off and we both sighed heavily, as he was quite tasty. We decided to go sit at the bar and order a couple of beers. The bartender smiled at us and said, "So you finally decided to join us," to which I replied, "Yes, but we're very anti-social, so please don't talk to us. Look away!" He laughed and said, "Ok, I'll get you your drinks, then leave you alone." The guy sitting at the bar finished his drink and took off. A few minutes later the couple playing pool walked out, leaving just the three of us in this tiny bar. I said to Belinda, "Are we driving everyone away?" The bartender heard me and said, "You guys are bad for business!" We giggled and I believe we simultaneously had the same thought, "Um, helloooo bartender.... (wink wink ....)"
So I waved him over to us and he smiled and said, "Oh, now you're ready to talk?" And I smiled and said, "Yeah, I just have a few questions." If you know me, and know what my definition of the term, "just a few questions," is, then you know that I interrogated the shit out of that bartender. I asked him why he didn't have a dart board in the bar. He said they once had one, but people kept walking in front of it. I said, "Um... if you're walking in front of a dart board, you deserve to get hit with a dart." I asked where in the bar had they placed the dart board, and we talked about other areas where it could work. I asked if he was a surfer. I forgot his reply to that question since I was distracted by his nose; he very much resembled Michelangelo's David. I asked what was up with the stripper pole in the corner; he said, "That's not a stripper pole, that's a support beam!" I asked if it was his bar, I asked where the airline seats against the wall came from, I asked about the red lighting in the ladies room, I asked what his favorite beer in the case was, I asked about the deli case, and I asked about the jello shots. He brought Belinda and I a couple of jello shots. I looked at her and whispered, "I'm still recuperating..." I was still recovering from my cray-cray birthday Tuesday night. Belinda told him it was my birthday the other day and we had a crazy night. He said, "Well the jello shots are my birthday gift to you." So charming, that bartender... He said his favorite beer in the case was Sierra Nevada but lately he'd been drinking lots of Blue Moon. Belinda said she once had one with an orange wedge, and it was delicious. Bartender said he heard it was really good with the orange but they didn't have any orange wedges. I told Bartender that next time we were going to take our own dart board and orange wedges. 
For a little while Belinda and I were mesmerized by the flat screen TV. Neither of us have TVs and rely on Hulu and the Internets to watch our shows. So we weren't so interested in the content of the programing as we were by the crispness of the images and the vibrant colors playing out before us on the big flat screen TV hanging directly over us. We explained this to Bartender and he said it was a good thing to not have a TV. The three of us stared quietly at the TV for a little while, and a few people started to trickle in.
Early on in my questioning a group of blondes walked in. I thought they were totally gonna ruin the vibe the three of us had going. Luckily they only wanted to know where the good restaurants were and had no intention of staying. They asked if he had any drink specials, then yelled, "Okaaay, we'll be back!!" We were like, "Yeah, they're definitely not coming back in here." I was happy to see them leave; they didn't even seem interesting enough to talk to or interrogate. Plus I wanted Bartender's undivided attention. 
So, Belinda and I are making our way back to that bar tonight. I wanna talk to Bartender again and get more material for another post. And stare drunkenly at his lovely profile. 

The Undead

I crocheted a severed zombie finger. Pretty self-explanatory, so here are the pics.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Go Aries, it's ya berfday

Yippeee!!!!! It's my berfday!!!! And I'm so happy to share my berfday with two people I love Love LOVE!!!!! Happy Birthday to Paul Rudd and Black Francis!!!!!!

Paul Rudd, yummy actor

Black Francis, yummy Pixies frontman