Sunday, April 17, 2011

My Near-Miss

I've mentioned this before in a few posts in the past, but let's go through it again:
The summer in-between my freshman and sophomore years in high school, my parents uprooted me from my birth state, Texas, and moved me to the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona.

Shortly after moving all of our possessions and selves to the Grand Canyon State, we were told that we would have to endure the plight of having to live in an apartment for a month while our house was being completed.

Since we'd moved during summer vacation, this left me with no convenient outlet for trying to find friends, leaving me to desperately prowl around the complex looking for people my age.

To make a long story short, the only person I ended up meeting during this adventure was a twentysomething pot dealer named Garth, who had an affinity for The Doors and a bong made out of a real human skull. Essentially, Garth was not exactly the type of friend I was looking to make at this point in time.

Aside #1: Though he does sound a lot like a few people I know. My, how times change.

Not long after this failed friend-finding mission, I began hanging out across the street from a high school a block away from the apartment we were staying in (not my future high school, by the way) in hopes to maybe hang out with a small group of teenagers that I'd noticed leaving the school one day in the early afternoon; looking like they were part of some sort of school club.

And part of some club they were. As I would later find out, this half-dozen strong collection of my peers turned out to be the school's Yu-Gi-Oh trading card game club, meeting up before the school year had began to plan out meetings and the like while sharing an enjoyable game of Yu-Gi-Oh between friends.

Aside #2: This blog post is brought to you by Yu-Gi-Oh: "The Funnest Trading Card Game Out There!"

But like I said, I was completely unaware of this fact as they walked up to me and started questioning me relentlessly. During this questioning, I couldn't help but stare at the sole female member of this microposse, named Jessi, who returned my advances by staring and smiling at me flirtatiously. So in order to get closer to her through her friends, I walked around the area with them over the next hour, pretending to get to know all of them, but only truly being interested in her the entire time.

Luckily, my "hard work" paid off, and everyone else with a penis left Jessi and I alone, talking to one another like it wasn't a huge deal (which it totally was, for me). Eventually our conversation winded down, and we exchanged numbers and made plans to do something the following day.

Thrilled, I returned home to tell my mother, who didn't share my excitement. Crushing my hopes of having Jessi over to our apartment the next day, she told me that she and my stepdad would be visiting our new house all day the next day, and that I was not to have any visitors while they were gone.

Naturally, I completely ignored this, and invited her over anyways, reasoning to myself that they'd be gone all day, and that if I had her over right after they left and had her leave a short time later, all would be well.

Surprisingly, all was well. They awoke the next morning, got dressed, and left without suspecting a thing. As planned, Jessi came over shortly after they'd left, and we walked around the complex for a few minutes, talking, before heading to the apartment to "hang out."

Aside #3: I used quotes to point out the euphemism I'm trying to convey here. I hope I've now drawn enough attention to it.

Before I continue, I'd like to take a second to break down Jessi's appearance during this meeting, from head-to-toe. I've intentionally not said anything about it until now. You'll see why.

-Short brown hair with multicolored streaks in it.
-Big eyes, with tons of eyeliner. Wore a small jewel on her upper cheek.
-Small, diamond lip stud.

-Huge breasts barely contained by a band shirt she'd taken scissors to.
-Tons and tons of bracelets. So. Many. Bracelets.

-Short jean miniskirt.
-Leopard-print tights.

-Semi-tall socks. Yes, over her tights. Yes, in the summer.
-Converse she'd drawn all over, rebelliously.

What I'm getting at, is that besides for her ridiculously proportioned boobs (which totally wasn't why I liked her), she was just like 80% of the girls that were at that age when I was. Except sluttier (which was totally why I liked her).

Basically, she was not the type of girl you want your mom catching you with. But lo and behold, fifteen minutes after I'd taken her back to "my place," laid her out on my parents' bed (after closing and locking the door, of course), and taken her shirt off, my mother opened the front door and stepped into our living room.

Hearing this and panicking, I handed Jessi her shirt and ushered her into the adjoining bathroom, telling her to step into the shower/bath and close the curtain, just in case. Closing the door to the bathroom and opening the one that lead from the bedroom to the living room, I stepped across the threshold and faced my mother.

"Hey, what are you doing?" she asked suspiciously.

"Nothing. I was just going to the bathroom in there," I said, completely innocently.

"Oh really?" she asked, stepping past me and into the bedroom.

Aside #4: Growing up, my parents always assumed I was up to no good, or lying to them. This lead to me usually being up to no good and lying to them about it.

Scoping out the room, she lingered at the threshold for ten seconds before deciding not to go further; her mannerisms not unlike a velociraptor from Jurassic Park.

Aside #5: I'd almost have rather her been one, come to think of it. In fact, I can safely say that I'd rather be put in a cage match with one of these prehistoric killing machines than my own mother. Freud would love me.

"Well, we just went out to eat down the street before going to the house. I forgot my sunglasses, so we had to come back," she explained, after turning around and walking towards the front door.

"...oh, alright," I offered, following her to the door while consciously trying to make my rapid heartbeat stop showing through the front of my shirt.

With that, she left. After watching my parent's car pull out from the parking lot and waiting a few seconds to make sure she didn't come back for some illegitimate reason, I walked through the living room and bedroom, opening the door to the bathroom, finally pulling back the shower curtain to find Jessi standing there, still shirtless and shaking slightly.

"Why didn't you put your shirt back on?" I asked.

"I didn't want to make noise!" she exclaimed. "I didn't know if she would walk in or not!"

Completely ignoring her ridiculous reasoning and grinning, I said, "I thought for sure she was going to find you."

"Me too," she said, stepping out from the tub. "What happened?"

As she put her shirt back on, I explained the events of the past few minutes.

"Wow, I can't believe we came that close to getting caught. I should probably leave in case she comes back," she said, once I'd finished speaking.

"! She won't be back for a few hours," I pleaded. "Please don't leave."

Aside #6: The first, but not the last time I'd say those last two sentences together.

"I don't feel comfortable here anymore. I'm gonna go," she said, sadly.

Less than five minutes after my mother had, Jessi departed from the apartment, promising to call me sometime in the next few days so we could meet up again. She never did.

But looking back, I'm very glad she didn't. Any girl that thinks, even for a split-second while under loads of stress, that putting on a t-shirt is loud enough to be heard by someone in a different room, through a closed door, is no girl for me. I don't care how slutty she is, or how big her boobs are.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Arts & Crafts Story

For the better part of three months now, I've been telling the dedicated three or four-dozen of you that read this blog stories from my childhood, teenage years, and adulthood. Thanks to feedback I receive on a weekly basis (keep it coming, by the way), I know what sort of stories will be successes before I even post them. I don't want to say this has made me want to go out and seek things that are post-worthy, but I've definitely had an ear to the ground as far as my more-recent shenanigans go. That being said, I'd like to mention before I weave this tale that this is something that has happened very recently (I'm going to be intentionally vague and say in the last two months), and is probably the closest post to near-live-blogging that I'll ever do.

I am, by nature, an observer. I can't help it. I don't want to say I'm quick to judge, because that would be misleading, but unfortunately, that is a sort of residual side-effect of my personality type. Since I've obsessively been doing this for most of my life, I've become quite good at reading people, something that has (overall) likely hindered me more than helped.

But sometimes, my judgments are wrong. Such was the case a few weeks ago when my friend Lydia and I attended a sort of mini-arts & crafts party thrown by her artist fauxncle, Wayne.

Aside #1: "Fauxncle" is a word I just made up to describe Lydia and Wayne's relationship. Though not related, Lydia referred to Wayne as her uncle. So he is her "faux uncle," or "fauxncle" (pronounced "funkle"). I know that isn't linguistically sound (HA!), but it sure is fun to say.

Held in a seedy-looking building in an even seedier-looking area of downtown Dallas, it was hard to know exactly what I was getting myself into. Despite being derelict, and feeling the type of place you would go if you wanted to purchase some of the more serious drugs, there were at least five freshly-printed and posted signs in the vicinity of the front door warning visitors to not feed the wild cats that roamed the area, because the owners of the buildings did so already. This amount of effort and care put forth more than mixed my expectations of what we may find inside.

But my opinion on the building and its inhabitants changed as soon as the door opened, and we were greeted by a welcoming, hairy-legged girl that looked like the physical manifestation of the term "modern hippie." Stepping inside, she directed Lydia and I to a large room filled with a dozen other people, surrounded by various crafts projects in different stages of completion.

After walking around the building for a few minutes, admiring the decades-old architecture, Lydia and I each took a beer from a cooler at the end of a wall lined with communal snack food, and sat down at one of the tables in the crafts room.

Since the entire following exchange felt like it belonged in a movie, I am going to present it to you, the reader, entirely in screenplay format (slightly abridged).


TY: Our protagonist. Neurotic. Doesn't do well in social situations, usually seeming reserved and quiet in interactions with strangers. Is not working on an art project during exchange, because he is uncomfortable with doing so in front of other people.

LYDIA: Friend of protagonist and guest to party. Faux-related to WAYNE. Smiles a lot. Can be seen pushing art supplies in TY's general direction when not speaking to group. Is working on a colored pencil drawing during exchange. Fun fact: Shares exact birth date with protagonist.

Host of party. Fauxncle of LYDIA. Has known LYDIA's mother for many years. Is a professional artist, but obviously humble. Can be seen bustling about in the background of scene, worrying about whether or not the inoffensive Indian music playing in the background is offending anyone.

LINDA: Guest to party. Old friend of LYDIA's mother and WAYNE. Larger woman with glasses and a ponytail. Talks in odd voices a lot. Very, very good-natured. Is working on a cut-and-paste construction paper scene during exchange.

OLIVIA: Guest to party. Friend of WAYNE. Young woman with hippie qualities and a beaded bracelet that makes a lot of noise when she shakes her wrist "like this." Is also working on a colored pencil drawing during exchange.

Guest to party. Friend of WAYNE. Despite being in her mid to late-forties, has the lined face of a woman that has been through a lot in her life. Is also working on a cut-and-paste construction paper scene during exchange.

CLAIRE: Guest to party. Young daughter of SAMANTHA (aged around 9). Seems intelligent for her age. Is working on coloring a page torn from a coloring book during exchange.


A table at an arts & crafts party. Everyone is sitting around, listening to music and working on various art projects (save for TY). We join a conversation already in progress.

(to LYDIA)
Yeah, I've known your mom for years, but I don't think I've ever met you besides when you were a little kid! How old are you now?

(to LINDA, while taking a sip of beer)
I'm twenty. I'll be twenty-one in a few months.

(to TY)
What about you?

(to LINDA, motioning to LYDIA)
It's funny, she and I actually have the same birthday. Same year, everything.

(to LYDIA and TY, then to entire table)
Well isn't that neat! They have the same birthday!

(in unison)

(to TY)
Can I say something sort of weird? (TY nods) You look just like a guy that was in my art class in high school.

(to SAMANTHA, awkwardly) Thanks, I guess?

(to TY/table)
Damn, I can't find my phone.

(to LYDIA)
I never lose mine. I have my little squirrel pocket.

LINDA reaches into her shirt through the neck and fishes out a small cell phone.

(to LINDA)
I wish I had something like that. You should invent a bra that has a squirrel pocket built in, if there isn't such a thing already.

(to TY, then to entire table)
That would be so neat! Guys, I should invent a bra that has a squirrel pocket built in!

(to LINDA)
That would be so neat!

Shot cuts over to SAMANTHA, who is telling CLAIRE that yes, she may go over to a different part of the room. CLAIRE runs off, enjoying herself.

How old is she?

(to LYDIA, gazing at CLAIRE lovingly)
She's nine. She's the light of my life. (voice becomes watery) I love her so much.

Aside #2: Based on her sentiments towards her daughter and the way she acted and looked, I formulated an entire fictional storyline in my head for this woman minutes after I met her. Either I am the least imaginative and most observant person in the world, or am the most imaginative and least observant person in the world.

What was her name again? I'm terrible with names.

(to TY, smiling)
Her name is Claire.

(to TY)
I never have trouble remembering names. I learned a trick a while back, where I would make up a song to remember names. Like mine when I met you was (in singsong voice) "Nice to meet you, Ty! Nice to meet you, Ty! Nice to meet you, Ty!"

(to LINDA, laughing)
I'll have to try that sometime.

(walking up to table, to TY and LYDIA, then to OLIVIA)
Do you guys want to come upstairs to my studio with me for a bit? You can come too.

(to WAYNE, nodding)

TY, LYDIA and OLIVIA stand up from their seats, bidding the rest of the table goodbye (for the time being).


After this session of banter, the four of us walked over to an old freight elevator located behind the room we'd been in, where Wayne asked the three of us if we'd like to take it, rather than the stairs, to the second floor. Never wanting to pass up a chance to ride a rickety elevator that is older than the oldest living member of my family, I gladly accepted, as did Lydia and Olivia, and we stepped onto it as Wayne ran upstairs to turn it on.

After thirty seconds that were filled with me pontificating to the two women about how old I thought a dolley we'd found on the elevator was, we stepped off of the elevator and followed Wayne down a hallway to his studio.

Aside #3: Yes, I talked about the markings and "tells" of old dolleys for a full thirty seconds, and I could have gone on for much longer. I watch a lot of antiques shows.

There are cliches about artists being messy for a reason, as it turns out. Scraps of wood, finished and half-finished artwork and a rogue glow-in-the-dark dinosaur toy were just some of the things that littered the shelves, floor and every other available surface around the room. It was very endearing.

Then Wayne did something that will make the little stoner in anybody squeal with joy: he pulled out an old aluminum lunchbox.

Aside #4: Totally just implied that all pot smokers store their stash in aluminum lunchboxes. Funny thing is, I'm okay with it, because the world would probably be a slightly better place if that were the truth. Also, if there is ever a drinking/smoking game meant to be played while reading my work someday, all I ask is that right now be a time you take a shot/hit.

While talking to we three guests about various things (cats, sandwiches, beer, etc.) Wayne began putting his pungently-odored weed into a small pipe, packing it down perfectly like a seasoned pro. Soon it was being passed around from person-to-person, as the four of us joked about how one in four people has herpes.

Twenty minutes later, we returned (via freight elevator) downstairs, all occupying our previous seats and positions within the room, as if nothing had happened. As I sat there, stoned and observing the interactions between the motley crew of complete strangers that surrounded me, I had an epiphany and thought to myself:

"Arts & Crafts are pretty cool."

Sunday, April 3, 2011

My Other Life

Since I'm lazy and have only written half of this week's post, I'm going to republish something I wrote almost two years ago. I promise it's just as funny as the day I released it. Enjoy. New material will be posted this sometime later this week.

I lived a completely false online life for three days using Omegle.
Omegle is a chatroom that connects you with a random person around the world. These strangers can range from horny Turkish men to Chinese people using a IP address-masking site to chat with people. It's interesting, fun, and scary.

So I decided to do something interesting. I decided to create a person, and live that life via Omegle. Here is a little bit about "me":

Name: Nicole Myers
Date of birth: January 19, 1983 (age 26)
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Green
Height: 5'5
Weight: 115-125 (depending on "the time of the month").
Location: San Fransisco, California, USA by way of Tyler, Texas, USA.
Occupation: Receptionist at a law firm.

Other parts of my persona:
-I own a male cat named Pablo.
-I went to law school for six years, and graduated seven months ago.
-My father has connections in the business, and got me a job in SF. He is rich, and paid for my college education. He is expecting me to work my way up the ladder.
-I live in a two-bedroom house on a hill on a street with trolleys that pass by.
-I am a workout fiend. I own a treadmill and enjoy swimming.
-I like my men built, but not bulky.
-I can't seem to find a good man in SF that isn't either gay or an asshole. Or both.

Under this persona, I managed to get a few bites. One was a single, 40 year old man living in Texas. One was a 28 year old Norweigian milk factory worker. But the most interesting by far was a 20 year old SoCal-based video editor named Troy.
He and I had a two-hour conversation that was mostly about "me," and how cute he thought I sounded. Green eyes drive him crazy, he likes to surf, and is absolutely a cocky, shameless douchebag with an IQ in the double-digits.
Anyways, Troy and I chatted it up outside of Omegle. I created an email address ( and talked back and forth with him for about two days.

This is a social experiment conducted on a complete stranger; unbiased and absolutely aloof. Ladies and gentlemen, I present:

The Troy and Nicole Emails