Monday, April 18, 2005

She's Back, Part Two

There's nothing like going on vacation to remind you how much your job sucks the life out of you, like so much tropical Kool-Aid through a curly straw.

Anyway, to continue.

On Monday, Brad introduced me to the thrift store to end all thrift stores. It was half-price day (half price! at a thrift store! pennies for an ugly shirt! a nickel for that puce lounge chair!) and I found some great necklaces, a picture frame to turn into an earring holder, and a dress. Another trip later in the week would net three good t-shirts and a second dress which I may turn into a skirt. Brad found some Whitesnake-alicious black jeans, a couple of good shirts, and a fantastic pair of burgundy wing-tips that an old man most definitely didn't die in.

Monday night we karaoked it up to the seven people sitting in Bounce. I think I did a rousing rendition of "I Hate Myself for Loving You," my Joan Jett standard. Vicky belted out "Stranger in My House" like nobody's business and came in third in the competition neither of us was aware we'd entered.

On Tuesday I went with Brad and his younger brother Rob to the science center. We were going specifically to see the BodyWorlds 2, a travelling exhibit comprised of "plastinated" human bodies in various stages of dissection. There's the skeleton at the entrance, the ligament body throwing a javelin, the muscle body hurling a discus, the coal miner's lungs in a case, the vials containing embryos preserved at different developmental milestones, the dead ballerina, the dead skateboarder, the dead fencer. I found all of it to be fascinating, not to mention really artistically put together. Judging by the guest book on the way out, other people found it "gross." To be fair, there were also exceptions who noted that the exhibit was "sick."

The science center also afforded me the all too rare chance to purchase and eat vast amounts of astronaut food, which is like regular food, only way, way better because it's dehydrated. Even if I learned nothing else on our field trip, I came away from the Great Lakes Science Center with the lesson that everything is cooler when it's unnaturally preserved: pizza, ice cream, strawberries, old men, etc.

On Tuesday night Brad and I saw the Bravery at the Agora. As expected, they were really fun--especially when compared to the opening band, Alaska, who had the audacity to make LSD-I-can-see-the-colors-ha-ha-ha jokes. I wish there was an editorial board for general humor. The "drugs make things look funny, so it would be funny for me to pretend I'm tripping and say things look funny" genre fiercely needs to be retired. They crapped their way through their crappy set, plugging their crappy album and shaking their crappy hair all over the place and thankfully exited the stage before I was forced to inventory my personal belongings and evaluate their financial worth against their potential to injure human flesh.

The Bravery took the stage after the roadies did their roadie thing. Sam Endicott immediately began to flop around like a mackerel enduring its final death throes. And it was fucking hot. He was a big, sweating, tall, flopping ball of fish sex and I ate it up. They sounded good and all that jazz, but more importantly, man, they were totally hot.

Since I can't chronologically remember what we did on Wednesday, I'm just going to hit the highlights of the rest of the week and save the rest to fill in tomorrow when I have pictures. Capisce? Capisce.

At some point during the week, Brad found a grill in his garage, a place that seems produce from the ether several interesting objects from the late sixties per week. While I sheltered myself under a clear, Twiggy-style bubble umbrella, Brad put the grill together, foraged some charcoal, and planned a kabobbity-good dinner. Much like everything is better freeze-dried, everything is better on a skewer: onions, peppers, sausage, old men, etc.

A couple of days later Brad and I went to get my flesh altered for the rest of my natural (and supernatural if I have anything to do with it) life. We've been talking about my getting the counterpart to his tattoo for a year now; he has a black star between his thumb and pointer on his right hand. I have been meaning to get (read: pussying out of getting, hardcore) a white star in the same spot on my left hand. Besides the aesthetics of the tattoo, which I really like, and all the friendship bullshit that makes it "mean something,"--that universally invoked phrase whenever tattooing comes into question--Brad and I can now, most importantly, join our hands in such a way that we look like Captain Planet-style cartoon heroes.

Anyone that's known me for a while knows how terrified I am of needles. For years a tattoo seemed out of the question; despite piercing my nose and my ears (three times apiece), I still was unbelieveably afraid to get a tattoo. Even after I'd watched no less than four people get their tattoos while exclaming "this doesn't hurt at all!" I still didn't quite believe that it was something I could handle.

I was nervous about it right up until the second my (seriously cute--that probably had a lot to do with why I sucked it up and took it like a man) tattoo artist started. Once he did, I believe the exact words that came out of my mouth were "Oh, for fuck's sake, that's it!?"

Having braved the needle (...that more than half the country has also, voluntarily, more bravely braved) and successfully inking myself out of any future service job, I'm sitting back at my desk all the more ready to up and quit (and maybe moon the boss on the way out).

Which, granted, would be even more effective if I tattooed something obscene on it first.

Just take a gander at them doors of personal discovery opened during my ten day midwestern odyssey. Just a fortnight ago I would've been terrified to tattoo an offensive, personalized insult on my posterior. It seems I've truly grown as a person after conquering my deepest fears. I believe I have, dare I say it, bloomed into a graceful, tactful adult.

Grade-school essay style, I supposed I should conclude by saying "And that's what I did on my vacation." Tomorrow I'll post pictures and hopefully tweak the end of this entry so it's not so, well, crummy, but you know what? It's 4:05 and that means it's time to vamoose. I'm out, dearies.


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