The next day we went to see Santana at Jones Beach. To give you an idea how great the tickets were, I'm pretty sure we were in F on this chart. Pretty damn sure.
So we were supposed to meet up at the mall, hiphopatcong's brother who didn't get married, hiphopatcong, and I. We'd drive up to the Bronx, pick up his brother's friend, and hit the concert. We then realized that kingfox had to get home somehow, so we ended up taking two cars. This gave me a time to take advantage of Monkey Days, which I did. They couldn't outfit a pirate monkey, so I made a tropical monkey to keep me company during Tropico 2 sessions. The Palermo brothers got caught in insane GWB traffic, and managed to warn me early enough for me to swing through the Lincoln instead. So we met at hiphopatcong's pad, I scored a cookie dough protein bar from his brother, and we left soon after the friend arrived. Worked our way out on LI, got lost a bit, but finally made it to the venue.
The weather was not on our side. We all were wearing coats, and the friend brought plastic trash bags to throw over our seats. That weekend was full of intense winds, storms, and nature's wet fury. For those not familiar with the venue, it's out on the water. You sit down, look up, and see sky. You're looking out over the water to the left and right, and have the stage in front of you. Seagulls spiral overhead, clouds pass over the stage, you're totally exposed. So we drove through the rainstorms and wind, heading towards the edge of a long island, exposing ourselves to it all.
The opening act was a cool world music act, with some great songs. The place was mostly empty at that point, with the ushers toweling off seats for new arrivals. I ate overpriced Aramark prison industrial complex food, and hiphopatcong supported Mexicans with AIDS by buying another layer. Between sets, the display showed all the tours coming through the area. We cheered for Peter Gabriel, knowing towelboy was seeing him up close and personal at that very moment. We joked about whether or not he was having a major life moment or getting arrested. We also cheered for the Maiden show. Yeah, I need to post more about that later.
Santana came out, and opened up with a traditional rain song (according to hiphopatcong. The winds slowed down, the rain trailed off, and the clouds flew by the water on either side. It was a majestic experience, as the weather broke, granting Santana and his fans peace. hiphopatcong states that it's the best of his concerts he's been to yet. He played a number of his classic hits, a number of his current hits, and had two local rappers that were on Shaman joining him. I, being an uninformed uneducated outsider, didn't catch the number of special and amazing things that hiphopatcong kept on telling me about. I just sat back and enjoyed the show, only able to get the music. And boy did I get the fucking music. He had a Mexican singer come up to do a song about sons going off to America and not calling their fathers, shades of the other song about fathers that left me in tears, luckily Maiden has no such song.
He thanked us for perservering the ``...wind and rain, that whole mother nature thing...'' Later on, he attacked the New York Times. ``I was reading the New York Times earlier, which is, you know, whatever.'' (At that point hiphopatcong cheered) He talked about a concert he attended, how great the show was, and how the reviewer attacked it. ``If you're from the New York Times, you suck, and you can print that. You get your seats for free...'' ``...you don't get to see the hard work and heart that goes into the music...'' ``...they don't get to see the people, like you all here today...'' But he didn't get too far bogged down in worldly affairs! ``But enough about that, let's not forget the unseen who are with us right now, the angels, Gabriel, Metatron, Michael...'' He went on to name a dozen different angels.
All three of his drummers were fucking amazing. The bongos versus drummer contest was awesome, the man on the bongos was mindblowingly good. The third drummer's extended solo performance was even more fantastic than the contest. The keyboardist was great, and was the guy who used to tour with Gabriel, so it all ties back together. It was awesome hearing him do more Santana-ified versions of songs like Smooth, instead of the Rob Thomas-ified version I'm used to. The set was awesome, and it felt like it kept on getting better every time I swore it was about to end.
Towards the end, he had a few kids on stage, letting them shake the maracas that the rappers shook during some songs. Before the last song, he gave a speech about the children and us being the architects of the future, and dove into a song that hiphopatcong was amazed to hear him perform. Like I said, I'm not a hardcore Santana fan, so I don't know the names of the songs... I just know it was an amazing concert, I was glad to be there with hiphopatcong, and it was a great set according to him.
So we left, dropped off his brother's friend in the Bronx, and determined it was too late for me to join the party. If we were taking mass transit like I thought, it would have been much more plausible. We went to hiphopatcong's place, his brother crashed, and we went out for White Castle. He bought two cigars from his local 7-11 on our walk there, and we sat down on some benches in the Bronx right under the subway rail, eating and smoking cigars. It was a perfect ending to an amazing day. Good food, cigars, random passerby trying to score weed or cigarettes, good company, and a great neighborhood to watch at night. Cars zipping by, amusing storefronts to laugh at, the subway passing over our heads every so often, and quiet conversation with hiphopatcong. Beautiful.
Got home, went to bed, and worked at EB the next day. Found out third-hand that some ``LiveJournal fans'' visited the store looking for me. Please let me know who you are, mmmkay? I'm more than happy meeting random crazy online psychos, being one myself, but I'm just curious as to who it was.
The next week was hectic. Monday, I attempted to get home at a reasonable hour, but hiphopatcong's forces prevented me. I stopped at the gas station near where we used to live together, my usual gas station being renovated. I noticed a Subway recently opened in the complex next to The Ming. So, of course, I had to stop. The employees were amazed to have a customer, explaining that they had just opened less than a week before, and didn't have any advertisements yet. They were playing WDHA, which was a nice touch, and the Skynyrd white trash patriotism song I love was on. Even better. I was wearing a green hiphopatcongish Santana shirt that he bought me, another piece. One of Ming's faithful court employees was dropping off a number of employees by car, and stopped to watch the fireworks display that was going on in Wharton. We chatted for a while, and I got to actually chat with one of the court members about something other than the endless river of Dew. It was quite a hiphopatcong moment.
Wednesday was Movie Night. runstaverun and kikibird cancelled, leaving me with johnstevensaul, his wife, and her new boyfriend. I started the evening with Rejected, a piece of sheer brilliance that I was introduced to at carrisse's party. He hated it. He is a punk. We then watched Waking Life, a movie koan recommended to me over and over again, as hiphopatcong tried to make me watch it over and over. I now own a copy, and love it. johnstevensaul was disappointed after the buildup we gave it, and found that it had nothing new for him. He is a punk2. Meanwhile, his wife and her boyfriend showed up. Initial reactions are bad. Boyfriend shows up, talks about his frat brothers, and has a twang in his accent. Biased kingfox knocks him down in his mind unconsciously. Guy then rattles off a list of philosophers referenced in the movie, including some that kingfox missed, and proceeds to ramble about the movie's finer points for a bit. kingfox stares, impressed, feeling foolish. The guy turned out to be much smarter and cooler than kingfox gave him credit for. So we finished up the evening with Empire Records. A great movie, one that I hadn't watched in some time. Aaah, the wisdom of Joe and Lucas, the cliches, the excessive amount of LJ polls. After the last movie I darted home.
Thursday was a whirlwind at work. My review, where blackbytes apologized for not being as detailed as our prior boss. Hah! My reviews with him consisted of him handing me a paper, asking if it was ok, and it going up to his boss. A few paragraphs written, but not a long conversation. She provided consistent and detailed feedback for every section, required or not, and had clear outlined goals that weren't just vague hintings towards plans. If this is a review she has to apologize for, I'd hate to see the real thing. After that we had to meet with a vendor, leaving us drewcnsers quite excited. Of course, much like the weekend in Atlantic City, I kept on wanting to remind people that there had to be a catch. ``She's an angel!'' ``They're so great!'' There has to be a catch. They didn't throw out this bait last year, or the year before, hmmm? There has to be some sort of a catch. This is too good to be true. After that another meeting, lunch, and running the desk.
That night, at Game Night, it was hot hot hot. kikibird and runstaverun attempted to go get an air conditioner, but the local store was sold out. So they got a fan, and we all stripped down. willthestud and drunkinmunchkin showed up, after weeks of promising to, which was cool. We got food, and played Therapy again. I posted it would be better with more than the three of us, and it was. kikibird is the player most in need of a massage, and I'm the player that is the most pleasure seeking. I am Doctor Russell, so I know everything. But despite knowing everything, kikibird won. Of course, she'll say that she didn't but she really did. willthestud had four of his six pegs, runstaverun had three. That leaves drunkinmunchkin and kingfox each with only two, due to bouts of psychosis.
After the guests left, we sat around sweating and played Go Fish. The final scores were kikibird 12, newbie kingfox 7, and uncertain of the rules runstaverun 5. They went to bed, and I passed out on the futon, drenched in sweat.
Tuesday night kikibird and runstaverun went to see a friend play. They met some guy Matt, DJ Chameleon, who invited them to a party on Friday. kikibird wasn't up to going, aaronkliger wasn't up to it, so runstaverun brought me there.
We hit major traffic on the way there, and saw a car with girls and a fake severed head. Nothing like two attractive young girls showing motorists they pass a severed head. I kept on trying to get runstaverun to stay near them, but eventually they left us in Jersey City. Damn. We finally got into the city, getting stuck in the plastic and rubber districts. In Chinatown, I enjoyed how the Charlie's Angels poster only showed Lucy Liu. Finally, we made it over the East River and to the party. Of course, we didn't know anyone there except the one DJ, who wasn't even really having a birthday I think. And it wasn't his girlfriend's birthday, she was in Europe already. But hey, it was his place, and an awesome place it was. Smack in the middle of the artsy Brooklyn area, with a huge interior, and a large garden out back. There was a band playing out back when we got there, followed by a couple of DJs. Matt admitted that he had the home turf advantage in his favor, and he put on an amazing set. I'm not normally the kind of guy who notices a great DJ over a good DJ, I'm usually paying more attention to the people I'm dancing or talking with... but he was fucking incredible. Some really awesome mixes. runstaverun met people, and I proved unable to meet anyone, but I had a great time soaking up the crowd and chatting with runstaverun and Matt. When talking with us, I mentioned to Matt that I was moving to Hoboken soon. He said that a friend at the party was a DJ in Hoboken, playing at some sushi place regularly. Sure enough, Sushi Lounge attempts again to worm its way into my life. Damn it. So I resisted, getting us to hit the White Castle right next to the place, before we headed towards Jersey. We got lost in Brooklyn for a while, which wasn't too bad, we got to see some areas I had only heard about, and I got dropped off at around five in the morning. I felt horrible that I couldn't stay awake to talk with him, and felt like a bad passenger.
Nothing nothing nothing! Nothing got done on Saturday! I woke up, I got every soul I could steal, and went back to sleep. Woke up again at eight, starting my day. Went back to get 100% in Brute Force, replaying all the missions I went through with Stave or with Frank. The former missions were replayed to get a higher score, the latter missions were replayed to get the plot I missed while passed out with my finger on the movement stick. Got a bit further, finished up Trigun, and listened to Solid State while slaughtering things.
The next morning I woke up and ventured off to johnstevensaul's house to support his kind with kikibird and runstaverun. We all had our own fashion statements.
- johnstevensaul was dressed in black, except for his glaring white sneakers and pride rings.
- kingfox was dressed in black, including black boots, and a LJ shirt.
- kikibird was dressed in a bright top, shorts, and developed a blue breast over the course of the day.
- runstaverun was wearing a tie-die shirt, shorts, and a less than jake bag.
So johnstevensaul and I were the militant black-wearing folks, while the breeders wore color.
We took the train into the city, seeing more and more people obviously there for the parade along the way. We got a great spot along the route, and watched the parade for a couple of hours. johnstevensaul predicted that I would get hit on most of all, and he was right, though I refute whether or not they were really hitting on me. I mean, the Altoids man in the Altoids g-string was being paid to be nice. We all got tons of free crap, as runstaverun mentioned. Condoms, presidential paper glory hole maker, altoids strips, crap from hiphopatcong's favorite station, fliers galore (looks like those stoners couldn't even keep their domain), stuff in general galore. I was the only one to get a WNBA schedule, which was hilarious, as I'm the only one of the group who has been to a few games. Cory bought a pride flag. Various political figures marched by, some merely waving, others speaking broadly, others actually dancing and getting into it. We all agreed that the latin groups had the best music, costumes, and floats. I never knew there were so many gay organizations.
Some time after the minute of silence (which was hella disorganized) we grabbed a bite at a local deli with a second floor overlooking the parade, and took the subway down to the street fair. More condoms, more things to sign, magnets from my bank, candy-coated strawberries, more people vying for attention. kikibird turned down massages, kingfox imitated johnstevensaul in being a really crappy leader, and he bought a new set of pride rings, giving kikibird his old set. I got ``I'm Coming Out!'' stuck in my head. Those gay people need more variety in their music, at least play some Village People or something. We ate at Dragonfly, which was a decent little Asian place in the village. We got a rack of five shots, I got firewater and rattlesnake bite or something like that.
After dinner I ran into some LJ user who started chatting with me. A few times during the day people cheered for the shirt, but this guy was close enough for me to notice and chat with. So hi, random LJ person, if you remembered by username. We went back to johnstevensaul's place, I dorked out, they played card games, caniswolfie showed me awesome movies and provided us with great popcorn, and we all went home.
And now you're up to date. Good times.