Sunday, May 16, 2010


A little something I made for a friend. Charles Bukowski quote, hand embroidery on canvas. 

Sometimes the back of certain embroidery pieces are so lovely to me.

The Night We Met Tyler: Part 2

I just unhinged my jaw and swallowed whole three quarters of the biggest burrito I've ever had in my life. I now lay immobilized on my bed with an engorged stomach, so naturally I felt it was the right time to continue my Tyler story. I need to type fast before my body begins to violently reject my late dinner and I'm sent running for the hills. The hills being my kitchen, where I can puke in the garbage can, surrounded by the comforting sight of all the PBR cans strewn about this afternoon by Billy, Bel, and me. We abandon empty beer cans on any flat surface, and later as I go about collecting them I reminisce about whatever random ridiculousness we were laughing at that distracted us enough that we would forget the can completely.
In "The Night We Met Tyler: Part 1," I left off at the part where the three of us became a unit. During our initial bonding experience, a tattooed guy walked into the bar. (You know how I feel about tattooed dudes...) He sat to Tyler's right and they talked to each other for quite a while. Then he came around and started asking me who tattooed my arms, and what my tattoos meant, etc. He asked what nationality I was, and when I told him my parents are Argentine, but I was born and raised in Miami, he instantly became the most fucking annoying person in South Beach. 
He started talking about Che Guevara, and giving me his theory as to why "this country fucking sucks," and how he "can't wait to get the fuck out," and it was all just a shit-storm of anti-American sentiments. My dad's a Vietnam Veteran and my brother's a veteran of both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom wars, so I was about ready to gouge out this fucker's eyeballs. Which brings us to how he got his nickname, Crazy Eyes. He had light eyes; on a well-adjusted individual they would have been really attractive. However, on a drunken, bellicose, idiot, they made him look like a psych ward escapee. Especially 'cause he was all wide-eyed and shifty. After what felt like an eternity, and after he nearly had me in a boredom-induced coma, I looked at Tyler and Belinda with pleading eyes that screamed, "HELP ME!" I think they were enjoying my uncomfortable body language and overall look of despair, because I was slowly sliding off my barstool and must have had the worst posture ever. At one point I just leaned over and said to them, (not even caring if Crazy Eyes could hear me,) "This guy is insane, he's insane!" Tyler just laughed, and I was like, "Do you not care? He's nuts. Really. Belinda help. Help me please. I'll buy you a beer. Get him away from me." The music in there was loud enough that I thought Crazy Eyes wouldn't hear me. When I turned back to Crazy Eyes, his eyes had gotten wider, and he puffed his mouth up like a blowfish. I thought for sure he heard me talking shit about him and was gettin' ready to knock me on my ass, when he continued talking about how America is such a huge piece of shit. Apparently, not only is Crazy Eyes partially deaf, but he has a unique way of catching his breath when he's in the middle of a rant. Acting like an underwater sea creature only added to his batshit crazy vibe. 
Eventually Crazy Eyes left me to go empty his angry bladder (at this point I just assumed he had lots of misdirected anger in his small tattooed frame and that he must have really violent bodily functions). Belinda, Tyler, and I regrouped, and I explained to them that they are not to allow Crazy Eyes to get that close to me again. I asked Tyler, "What the hell were you two talking about for so long? 'Cause all I got was crazy-talk." Tyler was too nice to say anything mean about Crazy Eyes. Which is really fine with me, 'cause I got enough bitch in me for a small village. (A small village populated by a dying breed of tiny people.)
So there we were, the three of us, sitting at the bar talking while simultaneously shunning any stranger that tried to infiltrate our Circle Of Trust, when Belinda and I were approached by a super cute, short-haired, tattooed girl. She asked us a question about where would be a good place to go dancing, when Belinda pointed to a tattoo on her inner arm. Immediately recognizing the Hedwig tattoo, I grabbed her arm and shrieked. I think I freaked her out because she politely yanked her arm out of my grip. Belinda laughed and I was like, "OMG OMG HEDWIG!!!!"
That's how we met lovely Dominique and her beautiful aunt, Annika. They were on vacation from San Francisco, weren't shifty-eyed, and seemed well-adjusted, so we allowed them entry into our Circle of Trust. After a little while, Tyler and Annika kind of drifted off into their own conversation, and Belinda and Dominique did the same. I was left an open and easy target for Crazy Eyes, and he didn't waste any time in gettin' back to me. This time around, however, he didn't talk about what he feels is wrong with this country, he talked about his failing marriage. I was thinking, "Dude, talking to girls in bars is not the way to repair your marriage..." but whatever, the guy already seemed a few sandwiches short of a picnic basket. Not the sharpest tool in the shed. The lights are on, but nobody's home. I'll stop.
After Dominique and Annika left, we quickly formed our trio again, and went back to shunning outsiders. Belinda and I decided that Tyler was nice enough and non-creepy enough that we would want to hang out with him again on his vacation. Belinda and I put my number in Tyler's phone as "Belinda & Kat, Tour Guides." He was going to be in South Beach for a little over a week, and the next day his friend/bandmate, Mike was flying in.

Which brings me to the next installment in my blog, "The Night We Met Mike, Tony, Eric, Howard, Danny, and Crazy Eyes 2.0."  

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Night We Met Tyler: Part 1

As you know by now, Belinda and I frequent a small bar two blocks away from my apartment: Lush!!! It has one pool table, two big bathrooms, and three cool bartenders. The best part is that it's not your typical "South Beach" bar by any means. It's a great place for low-maintenance-personality types; a haven for genuine people with real hang-ups and occasional social-anxiety disorder. We went to our home-away-from home a few Tuesdays ago, and as we walked in, were greeted with an awesome thank you from the HBIC (Head Bartender In Charge) Justin, for finding him a ska band to play the following night. He was so happy, he gave us each a beer on the house as we took our seats at the bar. I said to him, "God, I really hope they don't suck... I've never heard them before but they came highly recommended from a reliable source, so they should be... sorta good...?" He said, "I don't care, I don't care, I'm just happy to have a live ska band here tomorrow night!!" Earlier when I said, "God, I hope they don't suck," the bearded guy sitting at the bar to our right laughed at my comment. I thought, "Well, there's a friendly fellow..." Little did I know that we were going to be spending the next crazy week with him and his friend. (That's not a euphemism; his "friend" is actually his buddy that flew into Miami the next day.)
So Belinda and I sat there making small talk with Justin, while Bearded Dude drank his beers and politely eavesdropped. Justin asked us where we were from, and Belinda said, "I'm from Jacksonville, and she's from Miami." He looked at me and said, "Miami? Really?! You don't look like you're from Miami." Belinda said, "Well, she does have those chola eyebrows..." I laughed and said, "These eyebrows are from South Central, honey!" Justin, Belinda, and Bearded Dude all laughed out loud; they understood that my eyebrows are a status symbol one should not fuck with. 
Since we don't own TVs, Belinda and I always get sucked in to the hypnotic flat-screen TV that hangs right over our seats at the bar. They usually have an EXTREME sports reality show playing. We sat there silently watching skiing on TV and then for some strange reason, we started talking about dying, specifically, ways we would prefer to die. Because naturally, skiing makes me think of death. 
When it comes to death and dying, my feelings and thoughts on the matter have changed over the years, except for one thought that's remained the same: I hope nothing happens to my eyebrows. (One day I was thrift shopping with my cousin and brother. Diego grabbed a funny hat and plopped it right on my head. The look of horror on my face was his cue to take it off immediately. He said, "Sorry! I forgot how you are with germs and other people's hats." I replied, "No, it's not that. My eyebrows! Did you mess up my eyebrows?!" I was more concerned that my eyebrows had been temporarily messed up than if some tiny critter laid eggs in my hair. True Story.)
I was telling Belinda that I would rather be set on fire than die by drowning, and we were discussing the logistics of the two, when Bearded Dude started laughing and said something like, "Are you two really talking about ways to die?" Belinda said to him, "Yeah, she says she would rather die from a fire than from drowning, which I think would be less painless and more peaceful." So the two of them started trying to convince me that I was fucked up for choosing fire over drowning, at least, that's the way it felt. Those goddamned bullies. They had me imagine myself dying from drowning, floating towards the bottom of the ocean, at which point my lungs began to close up inside my drunk birdcage chest. After I could breathe normally again, the three of us were emotionally attached for the rest of the night.

to be continued.... (in other words, I forgot details of that night [don't judge] so I gotta call my partner-in-crime Bel.)