Monday, August 14, 2006

Craters, Ranchero, and the Double Doors of Perception

Two Weekend Ago: A summary.

Work week at The Bank sucked: tons of little projects weighing me down with practically no help from Big J., nagging Marketing M., little support from bosses, and an overall negative vibe from coworkers (they all want to quit.)

"When the going gets tough, the tough go drinking."

At my part-time job, Voiceover J. got promoted to a floor supervisor (but at another store, booo), so people met at Chumps to celebrate/morn our loss. She's one of my favorite coworkers, the 22 ounce beer tasted bitter-sweet.

Earlier that day at The Bank, I found out The Mooney Suzuki were playing at The Double Door. Stopped home after The Bank and called Mike, but no one answered. I figured they had band practice so that ruled out calling Matt too. Drove to Chumps. When I walked into the seating area, the ensembled coworkers ladies shouted, "Mac!!!"

It's like I'm the Norm of the store (only skinny). They even do that at times when I walk into work. It strikes me as flattering and really odd.

I ate a slice of quesadilla and talked until the group broke up early. I raced home to check my messages: nothing from Mike, so left for The Double Door. I find this sitting by my car, and consider it a lucky sign (no, I don't know why).

No one really there. There had been some sort of Chicagoist party/ V2 Records party. A large banner hung from the balcony railing and "writerly looking" guys and women staggered around with mixed drinks and Buds.

Paul(?) from Gang of Four was spinning great music which ranged from country to punk to hardcore techno, running the songs smoothly together (except for the Road Runner song that kept skipping).

People started entering as Blood Meridian set started. I liked them pretty well, sort of alt-country pop, I suppose.

Two sorority chicks types walk by, "if they banned smoking from this place, my life would be perfect"

I thought, "Oh, shut. the. fuck. up."

I moved from the bar to the far wall as Gosling came on next. I'd definitely see these guys again. I won't even try to describe them because I wouldn't do justice to their sound.

The crowd is picking up now. I'm glad I moved to the little riser part, to get a better view for picture taking. I had a clear shot of the stage and any antics to come.

And then a guy with wide, triangular hair that brought these guys to mind stands directly in front of me. Total obstacle. I do not want to be bobbing and weaving back and forth trying to get a shot off, so I get up the nerve to ask him if we could switch, explaining my photo plan.

Turns out he's a really nice guy named Gordy. We talk for a bit about how many times and where we'd seen The Mooney Suzuki, and it turns out we attended the same Metro show; the one where the band got stuck in customs ("security said they couldn't let us off the plane with this much rock") They were tired and seemed to have gone through the motions, with a short set to boot, but still a lot of fun.

And then they came on: Boom!

Again, I'll not bother to describe the amazing tunes and stage patter and inspirational experience that is The Mooney Suzuki. Just to touch upon how good they are: I was only a hip-swing away from actually dancing. In public! Damn, they're so good.

[pics should be coming soon on My Flickr--- Update 8/30/06--the pics are in this set]

After the show, pumped up and floating on air, I still needed to go out, to go on. I realized I wouldn't make it to My Place (#265) before two, so racked my brain for a Four A.M. bar.

To the Mark II Lounge (#260)!
Ugh. It was like walking into a flashback to Greenery/Nickalodean back at school, only with all The Bad Parts. With old men (older than me!) standing around hawking at the coeds.

And then I noticed this Hot Puerto Rican at the next table. Her Guido fucko boyfriend was passed out on the table, while her and her friends danced around. Then he wakes up and picks his nose. Heavily-chained dude doesn't even care everyone sees him, including his hottie. His friends dance and the other dude looks like a fun guy, just goofing dance in the chair next to me with his plump girl who can actually move. The Guido Fucko stands up and his hottie grinds and rubs up against him, basically doing these dead-on strippers moves. Sweet Mami!

They soon leave, leaving me with no eye-candy. Kareoke starts up, blech! A woman (bald in paper boys cap jeans and tank top alien lesbian biker type) starts singing.

I decide to cut my loses and go home at a reasonable hour.

And then I remember Gallaghers (#264): latin music and the, occasional, hottie Latina.

I drive over, park about a block west. Cops pull out of alley across street next to bar and begin arresting and searching the car of two couples.

The door is locked when I get there, but there's a crowd inside and the music is going. WTF!? I pull on the door a couple of times and peek into the window and suddenly the door pops open. I'm not carded, but frisked as usual. I weave to the bar and order a Heinekan keg can. $6 (um, again, WTF?!) I could have sworn the beer was cheaper last time.

I ask the guy next to me, "$6, is this for real?"


I could have sworn last time I paid $3, but they were Miller or some domestic shit, so maybe that's the difference import/domestic.

I sip and watching crowd dance and the men play pool. I actually recognize the bartenders, the general manager in the cowboy hat, and some of the women in the bar, including the one who (I think) hit on me at last call two past times ago, but in Espanola Rapido, so I didn't understand a freaking thing she said; so, she had just walked away.

That's when the guy next to me moves over a barstool and starts talking to me. Filipo, married with daughter and son "very smart with the computers. good grades." He starts bumming smokes, why not? I have enough. Small talk and then I hear myself asking: "is it okay I'm here, as a whitey?"

"Fuck yeah, is good"

"Okay, cool."

"My English not good."

"It's fine."

"Why you come here to this place?"

"The music, the late hour, the latinas."

"Ah! Latinas!" [long pause as we look into the crowd] "You like boys or girls?"

I mentally punch him across the jaw.

After he leaves, I drink another beer. Compliment the 49th ward cop guarding the line/ controlling the bathroom "whenever I call you guys are right there!"

A pretty Colombian woman sits down a few barstools away with her date/boyfriend, and mouths "hello" at my drunken half-smile and stare. I sigh, and finish my drink just as the Ugly Lights snap on. One last look around the room for my Last Call Latina: nothing, and that guy to my left has two bonitas hanging on him!

"Not fair, dude," I mumble to myself and saunter out into the morning purple for home.


carrie said...

Maybe the fella whose English not good was hitting on you as well but, as with the women before, the language barrier got in the way. So instead of punching him in the face, slap him for getting fresh!

I want to go with you to Gallagher's, but, as with my multitude of best friends who were boys in college, I will totally kill any action you would hope to have because they would assume I am your date. Damn people, just can't win.
Thanks for the story Mac, keep it up.

Arsh said...

there is nothing hotter than a boy picking his nose. gets me everytime. you should try it next time at Gallaghers...maybe that's the key to gettin' some hotties. your stories are always so interesting. you're full of adventures.