Brandon in Wasteland

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“On the other hand, it’s the only way you’ll discover that I’m the good guy in this story

Suddenly, I can’t think of anything more important.”

Lack of updates over the weekend can only mean that…you guessed it, I’ve been hanging out with a new girl.

Friday night I met up with Bill at First Friday, where we walked around and had a mostly uneventful time of it. After that we went to Casey Moore’s briefly. Bill says he doesn’t like going to Casey Moore’s lately because there’s more girls there that he has to avoid than ones he wants to hook up with. After a short while I left to go meet up with girl in Cartel parking lot. She’s not quite 21 yet, so she can’t get into bars. No big deal though, We hit up 24 hour Walmart, bought a deck of Uno cards and sneaked into a certain vacant condominium to play. Uno with just two people is a pretty boring game…so after about two hands and 15 minutes, we gave up and just decided to spend the next 5 or 6 hours talking and getting to know each other, occasionally taking a break for a roll around on the floor make out session.

We left just as the sun was starting to come up. As she drove me back to the car she put in a mix cd which had the song “Make it with You” by Bread…which we(or maybe just I) decided would be our song.
It was especially striking because other girls I have hung out with have been completely disgusted by my tendency to enjoy 70’s light rock.

Saturday night we hung out again, and maybe got a bottle of Pinot Grigio and went to the pool area of some random complex I used to live in in Tempe. There was an ex-Marine hanging out in the hot tub whom we chatted with for a bit. He told us some war stories and some dirty jokes which weren’t that funny but that i pretended to laugh at. He was a nice enough guy, though.

Afterwards, we went back to my house and fell asleep while watching “Caprice” starring Doris Day.

Sunday morning we had breakfast at Wildflower. The manager lady came up to our table and asked us if were dating. She said we looked really cute together. We didn’t know what to say, but girl mentioned that we should have told her we were brother and sister… which would have been pretty awkward and great.

Then we went to Borders at the Biltmore, and upstairs they have this little room with a podium and chairs that people use for presentations or whatever. We took turns reading from books to each other at the podium, with the other person just sitting in the audience. I read a chapter from Donald Trump’s “Think Like a Champion” which turned out to be not a very entertaining choice. She read from something called “1001 Funniest Things Ever Said” which was a lame book, but suited are purposes very well…so for my second turn I read from that also.

Then we went back to my house, and listened to “The Zombies” cd in my room a few times before heading off to the Adult Swim pool party where we mostly just hung out with Jonathan and ate chicken strips.

It was almost time to say goodbye, but we first ended up back at my house where we quietly watched “Fathom.” It was one of the most romantic movie watching experiences with a girl I’ve ever had. She didn’t text or talk the whole time, and basically we just held hands. I started to miss her before she even left, which is generally a good sign.

the naming of cats is a difficult matter

Saturday afternoon I decided I needed a new uniform. When you’re not having any luck in the world, you can’t change the world and luck is imaginary…so all you can really do is buy some new clothes and/or shave. I went to American Apparel in Scottsdale, and bought this black longsleeve shirt/sweater which when combined with my black pants and white belt, made me look a bit like a sandman from the 1976 movie “Logan’s Run.” I bought an extra small for the hell of it, but when I got home and tried it on, it was too tight(not to mention hot as balls.) So I didn’t want to go right back to the store and exchange it for a small, because I was just in there, and it would be weird. Not sure why I would get anxiety about that, but I just felt like I would appear “wishy washy” to the cashier people. Like they would give me a look like “there’s something amiss with this dude. He just bought this and now he’s returning it 5 minutes later…what a nutjob.” I mean hey, that’s what I would be thinking. So I decided to go to the Tempe American Apparel and exchange it there…which turned out to be an amazing decision, because I was rung up by the friendliest cashier person I’ve ever encountered. Not since I was in a Casino did a person look so happy to take my money…(or in this case my merchandise for exchange.) When she asked me how my day was going I gave my stock answer of “It sucks” which was true enough and she seemed taken aback by that. These customer service questions can become so routine, that I think people are not prepared when you actually give a somewhat genuine response. “That’s not the answer people usually give” she said. Indeed, and just like that she almost seemed like a friend.

I was in a bad mood most of yesterday because the internet was down, and I had a lot of emails and other crap to tend to. I tried to go to the internet cafe and they were closed! Did they go out of business? I watched “Bullitt” with Steve Mcqueen, which I haven’t seen since about 2002. He’s great in it of course…but I’m not a big fan of realism in movies(unless it’s realism of emotion or humor.) I like movies that leave some things to the imagination. Mainly I think it’s just the “realistic” hospital ER scenes that are a bit too much for a hypochondriac like me to watch. I don’t like to see THAT far into my future.

I took a long nap and woke up rather frantically at midnight, just in time to throw on my new AA sweater and head out to Casey Moore’s. Most people I knew were MIA, but strangely everything fell into place. I took the initiative and met some people I had wanted to know for a long time. After the bar closed, during the outside part.. you know, that time when everyone(mostly dudes) stands around in search of nonexistent afterparties or with the fleeting hopes that something interesting will happen, but it rarely ever does…well in that short period of time I met a girl, who agreed to go with me to meet some friends at a cafe. Only when we started driving, we decided neither of us were hungry(not to mention we didn’t find the place) and so instead we went to 24 hour Walmart(an adventure in itself) and purchased an official NCAA basketball. We then drove to a park in Tempe and played basketball until the sun started to come up. We played three games of PIG, with her winning the first game and me the next two. In reality, we were evenly matched as we both sucked about equally…but we could potentially rule as friends with practice.

Today after a brief stint hanging out at Borders reading Darwin Porter’s unsubstantiated gossip filled, unauthorized biography of Steve McQueen “The King of Cool,” I decided to go back to the Tempe American Apparel and buy another of the exact same sweater I purchased the previous day. Miraculously, the same girl was there to ring me up again. I could tell she thought it was odd I was buying a duplicate of the item I had just bought…”hmm you’re getting another black top” she muttered curiously. But I told her that the other one had turned out to be good luck, and she seemed to understand.

but it was just my imagination ….running away with me

adult swim 2010

The weekend was action packed. Friday night I decided to check out “Crotch Rockitt,” the night hosted by Tiffe Fermaint, Austin Head and some other dudes. Someone from “The Faint was DJing. It’s at the place (that used to be?) known as Anderson’s 5th Estate, but it seems like it’s called something else now. There were a lot of people, but the problem is the place is so big that it just never looks that full. I ran into, of all people, the attractive girl named Anna who had accidentally burned me with her cigarette the night before at Casey Moore’s. She apologized profusely, but I never got a chance to tell her that I didn’t really care and that I just used the whole minor ordeal as a cheap excuse to talk to her and that really it was a lucky thing that it happened.

Sunday was the first Adult Swim pool party of the Summer. They have it at the Days Inn this year. Last year it was at the Wyndham, a much nicer hotel, but they moved it probably so they could get away with more debauchery, play louder music…have it end later and greater etc. The alcohol was certainly cheaper($2 beers) which means I was able to get good and drunk fairly quickly. I managed to drag filmmaker Steven Christopher Wallace with me to the jam. Hung out mostly with him and a shirtless Jonathan Sakas. We went in the hot tub at an inopportune time when a bunch of cute girls were just getting out of it, and a boatload of dudes were just getting in. I know not whether we were the cause of this. Jonathan thought I needed to show more skin, but I tend to melt away into dust and bones like Vincent Price at the end of “War Gods of the Deep” when my skin is exposed to daylight on the Earth’s surface. I did take my pants off though, which was a mistake, since when we went in the hot tub, we didn’t have towels or anything so I had to put my dry clothes on over my wet body, which was very uncomfortable and caused me to have unfulfilled fantasies of being able to blowdry the damply wet seat of my pants for the rest of the evening.

adult swim 2010 phoenix

It’s always weird when you go out and recognize random people that you know online from Facebook or Twitter or whatever. You just never know if they recognize you back, so you just exchange awkward looks and never quite acknowledge one another . The internet has certainly added the dynamic of a kind of “fourth wall” in real life social situations. Very rarely is it broken as successfully the way we became accustomed to seeing Zack Morris pull it off a zillion times in Saved By The Bell(“Timeout!.”)

Adult Swim was super fun, but kind of a bust romantically(no pun intended) as most of the bikini clad women either had boyfriends or (like moths to a flashlight) were only interested in having their picture taken. I did get a girl’s number at the very end of the night though. I recognized her from the pool party last year. I have such a great memory, I remember someone’s face(if I’m interested in it) when I’ve seen it for a few moments. The reason I remembered her is because when I noticed her last year she looked super pissed to be there, and her friends were having fun, but she was just standing there. My friend and I had debated for several minutes whether we should go hit on her, but then she left unexpectedly early and I got distracted by some other drama. Anyhow this year I decided to chat her up and when I talked to her she was kind of a sarcastic bitch at first, but warmed up to me after a few minutes. At first she thought I was lying when I said I remembered her, but when I was able to describe the exact circumstances in detail I could tell she really did believe me. And thus a certain mutual bond of respect and flattery was formed. Anyway she didn’t really seem too interested in hanging out though, but hey who could blame her for that? certainly not anyone who reads this site on a regular basis!

adult swim phoenix 2010

Afterward, Steve and Jonathan and I went to Casey Moore’s where we hung out with Bree and Kelly S. and discussed a lot of disgusting and totally taboo subjects(vibrator repair, electric toothbrushes etc) but at that point all I wanted to do was go home and get out of my wet clothes and dream of lions at the zoo. On the way out of Casey Moore’s I saw some girl who was just at Adult Swim, and our eyes met like we were about to say hi, BUT then I wasn’t watching where i was going so I almost ate shit and crashed into my friend…and as we were leaving I could have sworn i heard the faint sound of playful laughter echoing off in the distance.

Never a lightning rod salesman around when you need one

Saturday afternoon, after grabbing a turkey burger from Johnny Rockets at Fashion Square in Scottsdale, I cruised over to Tempe to distribute promotional materials and stumbled into the gigantic arts and crafts festival on Mill ave…which reminded me of South By Southwest except with less hipsters and more old folks. Still, I love going to these and wish the arts and crafts festival went on every weekend even though that would just cheapen the coin of the realm and less people would go. It always seems like the artifacts one could pick up at these types of events could lead to some cliche
horror movie haunting along the lines of the clock in “Amityville 1992: It’s About Time” Speaking of which, Megan Ward was so hot in that! Whatever happened to her? Many of my most romantic sexual fantasies from the 90’s involved her and that scene where she is seduced by her own reflection. As a further digression, I had a talking PeeWee Herman doll when I was a kid..the one where you pull the string and PeeWee says one of his catch phrases like “I know you are but what am I” etc. And I swear that occasionally that thing would just somehow talk on its own, which scared the shit out of me. It creeped me out so much that I made my mom hide it in the
closet.

The night at Casey Moore’s brought to town a metaphoric carnival of sorts, with various sideshows of drama, suspense, bearded ladies, merry go rounds and mirror mazes(sorry I have been reading Something Wicked this Way Comes and have these things on the brain.) I drank more than usual, so I wasn’t myself. Yes, I’m a lightweight, and two full classes of wine gets me more inebriated than I need to be and sets me off into full on mischief mode. I was trying to protect a super drunk girl who epitomizes female perfection from some really ugly, wack and disgusting guys…although it sort of turned out the girl didn’t want to be protected and was semi-enthusiastic about said dudes….which triggered a sort of “Invasion of The Body Snatchers” moment where I’m Dr. Miles J. Bennell and just discover by way of passionless kiss that someone near and dear has been replaced by a pod. Anyhow, as I’ve mentioned I’m reading “Something Wicked This Way Comes” which, aside from being a great book title, sounds a lot like the type of prediction I’m likely mutter to myself at the start of each day. The last time I saw the film version starring Jason Robards was when it initially played a plethora of times on HBO back in 1984. It terrified me as a small boy, but for some reason I could never resist watching it whenever it came on, usually in the mornings. It affected me deeply..and “the most beautiful woman in the world” as an evil temptress sequences may have contributed to my misogyny later in life(as well as induced some premature stirrings of sexuality down there.) I remembered how frighteningly traumatizing the movie was for me, and so I never saw it again even when I got older…but I think I’m ready now.

I bought a snazzy black denim jacket from American Apparel, which fits right in with my new phase of only wearing combinations of the colors “black and white”

in like flynn

So I got to see Neon Indian last night, which was great. It was crowded though and smokey so I left after a few songs. Man. people in Austin LOVE to smoke cigs. They are all so oblivious about it too. They are just like “hey I’m Texas! Fuck y’all. Eat my smoke!” It’s annoying because inhaling all their carbon monoxide wreaks havoc on my sinuses and makes me all mucousy.

So, as I was walking down 7th street toward the Beauty Bar, who did I run into but my old friend and roommate Abe from Treasure Mammal…who I lived with at Del Rio in Fall 2003. He was in town playing some shows. He asked me if I was playing, but I told him I was just here promoting stuff.

Also something amazing happened on Friday night I was strolling around 6th street in tourist hell…and I saw a dude that looked just like someone I knew back in the day…guitarist Dan Flynn. So texted Mark Schoenecker and told him there was a Flynn doppelganger at South By Southwest…and he was like “That’s Him!”

So I went up to him, and we bro’d out for a bit. Turns out he was here with his band “Kings Go Forth” to play a bunch of shows. They are playing at The Galaxy Room tonight so I have to remember to go. One time when we were kids he went to school with a girl that I liked…so I told Flynn to make up this story about how he and I were at a party together and that “some fresh girl was on my tip” in order to make her jealous or create the illusion that I was likable to the opposite sex. BUT what ended up happening is when he told her that in the cafeteria she was like “Brandon! I fucking hate that kid.” And she tried to get people to kick my ass…but they didn’t because one of the guys’ girlfriends went to MY school and she lived by me so I gave her a ride home everyday. True story.

Finally, last night the most outlandish thing happened: It was late at night, around 2 or , and I was watching drunk broads come out of the bar and eyeballing them…when a sober girl came up to me and said “what’s up”. So I said hi, and then she was like “Are you from Phoenix?” and I was like “yeah.”
She said she’s seen me around a lot, especially at Casey Moore’s! She thanked me for making the trip all the way out here and we high fived…which is as close as I got to a make out session last night as I wasn’t in the mood to bottom feed or settle because that just gives you buyer’s remorse later and makes you want to cry in the shower.

Today is cold as balls! and windy too

not quite the opposite of north by northwest

I don’t know how I managed to wake up at 6 a.m. and catch my plane this morning, as I went to Casey Moore’s last night, got drunk off red wine and stayed until close. Hung out with Jonathan Sakas, Bree, Kelly(not the lifeguard kelly different one) and company…where we discussed the most popular tacky phoenix radio jingles (“lerner and roe is the way to go,” I love my metropolitan mattress,” and the Shane Company diamond one. They were all too young to remember classic late night infomercials like Don Lapre’s “I did it all from my ONE BEDROOM apartment placing TINY CLASSIFIED ADS” or any of that Howie World crap” We shoot down the competition!” I swear you just can’t get that stuff out of your skull once it’s been engrained somewhere in that slab of meat which feeds the beast of civilization. Exchanged texts with a girl which may lead to a possible epic reconciliation and potential boardgames…or possibly just some consolation bored games

I’m currently in Austin for the next 8 days for South By Southwest. For some reason the kiosk I’m using at the hotel blocks you from accessing Facebook…which makes very little sense and kind of sucks ass.

I ate some serious BBQ my first day here at some amazing out of the way place. I have an all-access badge and plan to see a crapload of bands while I’m here. I know Austin is supposed to be different from the rest of Texas…but from what I’ve seen so far it’s not that different.
I become more and more appreciative of Phoenix as a city the more I travel. Texas has to be one of the least pedestrian friendly places. You just can’t walk or bus anywhere here unless you are downtown.

I have a feeling I will have a lot of fun when the show kicks into high gear. Hopefull I will get to see my friend Dawn Batson from Los Angeles who lives here now, but I can’t get onto facebook to send her a message to tell her that I’m here….!