In case you were unaware, I’m in New York and have been since last Friday. They’ve got a pretty big Comic Con out here, so here I am. This has been my first trip to NYC during which I did not become violently ill. Previous visits occurred at times when I was violently ill in general; deeply depressed and vulnerable to psychic attacks. None of that this time.
I spent minimal time at the Comic Con and most of it hanging out with my oldest friend Kendall, who I’ve known since we were 6th grade Boy Scouts at the Singapore American School (or SAS, as it is known). Kendall’s lived out here for a few years, working for a highly dubious “import/export” company, one that doesn’t actually have internet access at the office. Also, it is run by Germans, and overtly racist ones at that. Today is Kendall’s last at the company, and when he’s done drinking all the beer in the city tonight he is becoming a partner in a film/post-production company and continuing his sketch-writing work at Upright Citizens Brigade, something I am hugely envious of. Kendall’s always been one of if not the funniest and most talented people I’ve ever known, so that he was spending any amount of time at all in an internetless office facilitating god knows what for racist Germans is basically a crime against nature.
In addition to seeing Kendall , I finally got to hang out with Brendan on his home turf and meet some of the NYC Delphi crowd. Brendan, J-Love, Sam, McCardle and I bounced from joint to joint in truly heroic fashion, stunning everybody with our enormous hyphocity levels. We landed for a moment at a club called Stereo, one of those shiny, snobby places you see in films and TV shows about New York. Brendan’s Uncle Joe is an investor in the place, affording him the right to get in anyone the hell he wants. Still, we were met with tremendous static from the doorman, the most odious little fuckbitch I’ve encountered in years.
This guy looked like an Edward Gorey drawing. Short, fluffy black coat, scruffy beard, bowler hat with a fucking playing cardstuck in it. Are you fucking kidding me? He’d ignore us for several minutes at a time, but even when he would talk to Brendan, he wouldn’t look him in the eye. After about twenty minutes of this guy’s flak, denying there was a list, refusing to check with anyone about Brendan’s uncle, Brendan rightly decided that we were getting into this club no matter how bad it sucked or who we’d have to bother.
Unfortunately, the person we had to bother was Brendan’s 91 year old grandmother. Uncle Joe was visiting her, you see, and his cellphone was off. We stood out there in the cold, called Grandma McFeely, got Joe on the phone, and within a couple of minutes someone came out and cut us in front of the few dozen people in line — which I have no problem admitting always make me feel something like .05% of an orgasm. Gorey Lookin’ Fucktard tried to stop us, saying, “You can’t come in.”
The other much taller club guy put his hand on Gorey Bitch’s feathery chest and said, “Yes they can.”
Gorey Bitch had to give each of us a little blue ticket before we could go in, but as he still wasn’t making any eye contact whatsoever, I refused to take the ticket when he handed it to me. I stood right in front of him and stared down into his shitty little eyes for — I swear to god — fifteen seconds before he finally stopped moving his head around and LOOKED AT ME. Then I took the ticket.
Naturally, the club sucked and we bolted for parts unknown to me, losing Sam and McCardle somewhere along the way, and ending up finally in the Meatpacking District, in a sub-level stairwell illuminated by a blood-red light. Walking passed us on that stairwell were some of the most beautiful people I’ve ever seen, too bad their attitudes were so nauseating. It was around 4:30am by that point and my bones were starting to liquify, so I said goodnight to Brendan and J-Love and ascended to street level. There I ran into Alana, with whom I’d been playing phone-tag most of the night.
Alana and I met up on another night, in the Hudson Hotel’s beautiful bar, which is decorated in a bizarre collection of styles. The spacious bar is lit from beneath, the chairs are either plastic or cushioned, there is even a very large log to sit on, and the ceiling features some kind of hand-painted masterpiece. I don’t know that it’s actually a masterpiece, but I liked it. The drinks were inexpensive, the staff hot and the music good. Brendan, Kendall and Alana’s friend Meghan joined us, and from there we went to Decibel, a tiny, dark basement sake bar in what I think is the East Village. There we stayed for hours, killing numerous and freakishly large bottles of sake while telling stories about my ridiculous father.
Those in school or employed with proper jobs retired for the night, while Sam, his friends Corey and Marlo, and I hiked to a nearby sports bar to drink more booze and talk more shit. I can’t remember exactly why, but the focus of much of the conversation was on pubic hair maintenance, particularly the LA variety. There’s a phenomenon in Los Angeles, you see, of being able to go years in the city without ever seeing any pubic hair at all on a woman.
I’m not hatin’, I’m just sayin’.
Last night was a marvelous get-together with a lot of the SAS survivors. Kendall, his girlfriend Camille, John, Ryan andPriya met me at dive bar Blue & Gold for a long night of remenicing, laughing, and — you guessed it — drinking! Talking points included superhero movies, arranged marriages, the kama sutra, the hormones in meat, psychopaths and zombies. I put four dollars into the jukebox — 12 songs — only one of which actually played (“River Deep, Mountain High” by Tina Turner [or by Ike & Tina Turner if you want to be an pedantic prick about it]). I didn’t notice the jukebox controls were sticky, and I was entering the wrong numbers without realizing it. I recognized little of what did play, so I put another dollar in and predictably selected New Order’s “Temptation,” Underworld’s “Born Slippy NUXX” and Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice.”
It’s always good to hang out with SAS kids. That we all live in the US now after spending formative years in a foreign country nobody else really understands creates in us a kind of bond, I think. Even though I hadn’t seen some of those people in four or five years, we still got along as well as we did then. It’s a shared experience thing. You know, like the holocaust survivors.
New York wasn’t all pizza and booze, though. I had to write a few CBR articles during Comic Con, and during the weekdays I was hard at work just like everyone else. The sweet hotel suite Sam hooked us up with has a separate room with a desk and sofa, which became my de facto office for the week. With a great view of Times Square in front of me, I got a lot of work done for my various clients, which now include Helio. No, I did not write the “Don’t call it a phone” slogan. If any of you do use a Helio, though, I’d appreciate you letting me know so I can scan your brain about it.
This whole transcontinental, mobile office, clients callin’, wifi stealin’ world is making me feel like a real grown-up, and I’m not sure I like it. I have to talk on the phone a lot, I have to get up early, I have to go to meetings, and the parking is enormously expensive. Not to mention airfare. I missed my plane again in LA last week, thanks to a fatal accident on the 405 that closed all lanes. Los Angeles was so sad to see me leave for any amount of time, it was literally killing itself.
I managed to get a later flight, but it meant sitting in LAX for four hours. During that time I decided to apply for a job withAnticlown Media, the company behind sites like The Superficial. They required that I make up something on the spot, as if I were blogging for them and not just submitting something I’d written somewhere else. This is what I came up with:
Understanding the History of the Bush Administration Through the Prism of Britney Spears’ Baby Rat, part XLII in a Series.
Britney Spears exists; mostly harmless = Texas governorship.
Britney marries K-Fed, nauseates planet = 2000 election scandal.
“Fuck a wife”; planet <3 Britney = 9/11.
Britney <3 Paris; planet ablaze = Iraq.
Rehab-o-rama = World War III?
We Talk Shit — You Decide.
Well, I thought it was funny after four hours alone in the airport.
I was fortunate enough to upgrade to First Class at no additional cost, but that baseless feeling of superiority didn’t last long. “Passenger Amin,” I heard some woman squaking over the PA. I went up to see what the hell she wanted and it was to ask me if I’d mind giving up my First Class seat to an elderly peasant woman with diabetes, so that she and her similarly ancient husband could sit together.
While I knew it’d make such a great story if I told that woman to take a long walk off a short pier (you have to speak to them in “lingo” they can understand), I agreed to let her take the seat. Luckily there was another seat for me, although a really shitty one way in the back. I felt I’d done the right thing, but decided to consult the various oracles in my life; my collective moral compas, just to make sure.