August 27th, 2007

Don't Hassle the Hoff

Texas, in the Present Tense

Right now, I'm in some random bar in Austin, TX. It's a little after 1am - Saturday night/Sunday morning - and all time has stopped because my hand is on the underside of a sweaty female thigh as we dance near the window of this overheated establishment. At the moment, I'm using every mind control technique I know to keep My Little Weewee from awakening after such a long, dormant slumber. Of course, I'm only in this situation because I was physically dragged by the pretty girl whose sweaty thigh I'm cupping as - in some bizarre dance move - she's kicked her leg up alongside the outside of mine as we came in close. And, by "physically dragged," what I really mean is that I quickly succumbed to her wordless enticement to join the group (which also consists of Kon, Paul, Paul's brother Mark, and some girl who Mark would later say, "Got way too much attention") because I figured there'd be a better-than-decent chance that it would lead to possible clothed genital-to-buttocks contact with said pretty girl, whose name for all intents and purposes is Susie. Her actual name, however, is "I Have A Boyfriend & He's The Guy Who Tended Bar & Gave Us All The Free Drinks."

From this moment and going forward, I'll be counting down the hours until I'm home alone in my apartment in New York, for with this sweaty female thigh I'm currently fondling, I'll have enough in the Spank Bank to last me through three consecutive life sentences in federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison. In fact, the first four things I'll do upon arriving home will be:

1. Marvel at how New York feels like Green Bay in January compared to Texas while contemplating bundling up in this frosty 82 degree subarctic weather
2. Pick up my mail to find a fresh issue of Rolling Stone NOT stolen by the U.S. pound-me-in-the-ass Postal Service
3. Make a fresh jug of iced tea
4. Imagine what it'd be like to be cupping more than just sweaty female thigh while in the throes with ol' I Have A Boyfriend

Until then, until this moment has passed - and it surely will pass because she'll realize that this unshaven beast of a man she's currently being leered at like a wounded zebra on the Serengeti is perspiring entirely too much, even for someone of her unattainable hotness - I'm going to relish in my fantasies and forget all that's transpired since Kon and I left Houston on Friday afternoon.


Final Food:

Friday Dinner - Chicken and steak fajitas with rice and beans and a strawberry margarita at this Tex-Mex place on the RiverWalk in San Antonio
Saturday Lunch - Best. Hamburger. EVER. At Chris Madrid's in San Antonio. Just don't tell the locals I told you where to find the best burger in the country. Jalapeno burger and flies
Saturday Dinner - Joe's Crab Shack in Austin, TX. Salmon, crab legs, clam chowder, veggies, rice
Sunday Brunch - All you can eat breakfast at ... Moonshine! M&M Pancakes and the blueberry muffins were highlights for this Superior Breakfast Eater
Sunday Lunch - Two Taco Del Mar "Pork" burritos, out of the way, in Austin ... not eaten until Sunday late night and Monday morning in Chicago respectively
Sunday Dinner - 59 Diner, Club Sandwich with "avacado", mint chocolate chip shake


Right now, I'm in the Alamo. More specifically, I'm in the Alamo gift shop in San Antonio, TX, on Saturday afternoon and I'm holding a deck of Alamo Playing Cards for which I'll end up paying $3.95, contemplating walking right out of this gift shop since it's such a madhouse and nobody would notice. It's one these kinds of Good vs. Evil situations I'm bombarded with on a daily basis - seemingly benign without much of a victim, and yet I just can't bring myself to commit the deed. Part of me thinks, "It's only $3.95, it's not like I'm stealing the Mona Lisa." The other part of me - the more dominant part - thinks, "It's only $3.95. Just fucking pay it."

I'm with Kon and Bianca and Stephanie, her friend from UW who's now working with her down here at San Antonio's First Presbyterian Church. San Antonio, in case you were wondering, is the Christian Capital of America. OK, so it may not be so dubbed en masse, but it's being dubbed by me right here, right now, as we've managed to pass more churches per square mile than I've ever seen ever. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, I'm just saying. San Antonionians loves them some God. Don't think this whole dilemma with me potentially stealing the playing cards in the Land That Satan Forgot is lost on my conscience. That being said, I'm not ready to entertain discussions about the End of Days (Schwarzenegger movie OR the real thing).

This is our day to do what the tourists who visit San Antonio do. Last night, we saw a bit of the RiverWalk - which is this string of restaurants and gift shops that border both sides of this smallish river. It truly is the Venice of Texas. Other than that - if you're not into the history of building churches - there's the Alamo. I'm walking through the outside courtyard of the Alamo now, reflecting on the smallness of the actual building itself. I see trees have been planted in honor of those 100-something soldiers who died trying to defend her walls. Various other tributary monuments have been donated by people and governments inspired by the suicidal tale of bravery. In a little bit, we'll stumble into a throng enrapt in the tale of the final days of the Alamo as told by an old man who very well could be reporting on knowledge gained firsthand. A 13-day siege that ended up a bitter loss for those involved, but inevitably spurred the independence of Texas from Mexico and Santa Anna's forces.

I'm in silent awe of yet another national landmark absorbed in my brief run of travel over the last few years. Days later, that awe will be replaced by the remorse of paying $3.95 for a deck of cards.


Right now, I'm in Taco Del Mar in Austin, TX, on Sunday afternoon, minutes before our return to Houston via Highway 71 East. By wearing my tank-top T-shirt for the second day in as many, I'm noticing a trend I'm finding equally fascinating, uplifting, and disturbing. This tattoo that currently resides on my right arm puts me into elite company. I never realized it until this moment in this Taco Del Mar, with this tattooed burrito maker in front of me, but a tattoo is a natural Conversation Starter. Yesterday, a tasty young lass exclaimed - as she passed me in a San Antonio gift shop a few blocks away from the Alamo - "Nice tattoo! Hey, check out this guy's tattoo!" she continued, motioning for her friends to look my way. And now, as he mangles not one but BOTH of my burritos, this guy says he likes my peace sign and proceeds to tell me about his tattoos, his affinity for the city of Seattle (even though he's never been there and seems to be living in a perpetual state of the year 1991), and how his co-workers are hungover, incompetent boobs. Again, as he neglects to put the pork in my now just rice-and-bean burritos. I would say something, but I'm so caught off guard by the fact that my tattoo grants me entry into this select club of tattooed individuals - a solidarity seemingly on par with riding a slick motorcycle or lifting 350 pounds on the bench press - that I don't even notice my meatless abominations until I see he's actually managing to inject some shredded dead animal into Konstantin's burritos.

Of course, I find this discovery disturbing because now I know what sets me apart from other guys - and it's on a spot on my body where I'm forced to cover up in social night-time situations. When one goes out to bars or dance clubs on the world-famous 6th Street in Austin, TX, on a Saturday night (imagine Bourbon Street in New Orleans, that kind of frenzy, only you can't drink on the streets and there aren't as many boob-flashers), one can't be seen sporting a tank top and shorts, even if the tank top is necessary for ladies to see and comment upon what sets me apart from other guys. Dress codes are strictly enforced.

I'll go on to bemoan my Taco Del Mar burritos well into tomorrow after the final bite is discarded due to sheer lukewarm nausea, but I suppose it'll set up my anticipation for properly constructed masterpieces upon my return to the Northwest this December.


Right now, I'm outside a multiplex in San Antonio, TX, on Friday night, waiting in a line for the ATM-esque booth where tickets can be purchased for the movie Superbad. Bianca is waiting in the more rapidly moving line inside and she motions me to join her as the line I'm in has moved exactly one space in the span of six minutes. We're 15 minutes late for the Estimated Starting Time of Superbad as we reach the front of the line only to hear it's been sold out.

Now, we're in the car driving to the other theater across town that will be markedly less crowded. We get right in and sure enough, Bianca and I are cracking up within seconds of the film starting. Superbad truly is the funniest movie of 2007 and something like 8% of kids agree. Kon will later remark that Bianca and I particularly enjoy going places and watching things - bands, movies, televisions - and I'll concur wholeheartedly. He doesn't see the point of going to a movie when we've only got the one day here in San Antonio, but then again, he doesn't know how funny this movie really is.

She fucking perioded all over my leg!


Right now, it's 5:23am Monday morning. My Kramer-like internal alarm clock has seen fit for me to bypass my cell-phone alarm clock as I wake up to the sound of the air conditioning in Kon's apartment kicking on. In a matter of minutes, Kon will wake up, I'll pack up all my shit, and we'll head on down the road to Hobby International Airport; my Texas Vacation will soon come to an end.

I'm thinking about my reduced finances awaiting my return in New York. I'm also thinking about Susie's sweaty thigh and all the other people I met on this trip. I'm thinking that Houston really ISN'T as bad a place as people like to make it out to be (even though, for the most part, they've never been). I'm thinking about buying some books on poker and possibly going into business for myself - making my living playing poker online as opposed to working like all these other lames over here (like Paul's brother Mark does ... that guy has the life I was MADE for). I'm thinking that Waterloo Records in Austin is pretty cool, but it's no Amoeba (then again, what is?). I'm thinking - what with seeing Bianca and Konstantin at the same time - how cool it'd be if all my friends somehow managed to make it back to the same city by the time I'm feeling up to moving home again.

Most of all, I'm thinking, "Here we go again. Back to the work-a-day grind. So ends my Midwest Vacation." And, I'm thinking it's gonna be pretty fucking cool when my brother gets here September 7th.
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