Thursday, April 17, 2003

Sociology 101

I hadn't accomplished much this morning, but between the hours of 2 and 3 pm I managed to experience a fair chunk of life.

I pulled out of my neighborhood onto University where my progress was abruptly stopped by one of those "stop lights." Stop lights, such a negative name. Hereafter I shall refer to them as "go lights." So I'm waiting for the go light to assure me safe passage through the intersection when in my rearview mirror I see a car rapidly approaching. I remember thinking, "I don't think he's going to stop." And the driver didn't dissapoint me. He shot through the intersection, swerved to avoid another car, lost control, and then plowed into a minivan waiting to make a left-hand turn.

Then the light turned green.

I was behind another car, and we both crept slowly forward, very unsure of what to do. There wasn't much time to decide, however, as the light-runner threw the car in reverse and tried to make a quick escape. The car continued down University, and was quickly pursued by a couple of other cars who had witnessed what had happened. The car then turned down another side street to try to get away from its pursuers. Another car and I raced ahead to the next street to cut off any possible escape routes. The car had turned into an alley which was then blocked off on both sides by our impromptu posse. The police were being called, and the driver appeared to be giving up. I couldn't really see, but it looked like the car had crashed into something else in the alley. At that point I decided that things looked under control and that I had best be on my way. If I had a hat I certainly would have tipped it to all the people who wouldn't just let it be someone else's problem.

The whole experience was surprising. I suppose our old hunter instincts are still alive and strong. The coordination of everyone's actions was impressive. From the initial chase to the splitting up to box the villain in was beautifully executed, and without a bit of actual communication. It was simply a group being aware of a goal and deciding the best course of action they could possibly take all the while considering what the other members were doing and responding. It was sweet.

So I was pondering this as I made my way to Mountain Pointe, my old high school, to get my transcripts sent to ASU. Classes were just getting out, and as I was walking by the old Theatre hallway I hear "Guillermo!" Tim had seen me walking by and had decided to do something about it. I just called it the old theater hallway, but it is as young and vibrant as it ever was. Walking in there that moment brought incredible nostalgia and and immense pride as I beheld an immensely talented group of people, some friends that I had worked with on shows before, but most strangers that I knew only through seeing the musical "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" that they had just performed. I still have trouble being on this side of the curtain. At the same time, to see such growth and evolution in both the people and their performances is very encouraging. It is a seething, wriggling mass of skilled people having a great time. Envy, yes, that's also what I felt. It's almost surreal walking in there. It is like the feeling I get watching Beth Froehlich perform Shakespeare for our Advanced Acting and Directing class, or from helping Eric Piatkowski run his lines in my apartment. It is the feeling that you know someday you are going to be telling a rapt listener, "Oh yes, I was there." It is a good feeling. And walking into that hallway today was like being hit with a big, gooey sledgehammer of that feeling. Like I said, it is a good feeling.

Then D.C. asked if bunnies masturbate and that pretty much killed the magic of the moment. Which I've been thinking about...

Q. Do bunnies masturbate?
A. Yes, That would explain the high demand for eyesight-improving carrots.

Q. Do bunnies masturbate?
A. No, as a revered pagan symbol for reproduction, doing so would be akin to someone from Wisconsin buying a can of Cheez Whiz. It just ain't representin'.

Q. Do bunnies masturbate?
A. Of course, there are three other seasons they have to sit through to get to the mating one.

Q. Do bunnies masturbate?
A. Not technically. They actually get off by twitching their noses.

Q. Do bunnies masturbate?
A. Their eyes are all red and they startle at the sound of a door opening. Sound like anyone you know?

Q. Do bunnies masturbate?
A. Take away their bunny porn and watch how cuddly they get.

I can't believe I just spent my time on this. Well, I don't hear answers out of you! Someone has to tackle the tough questions in life.

And then Brian had to show me why bunnies don't need to masturbate...

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

An Experiment

Matt, Mai Linh, and I have been watching cartoons for the past couple of hours. At some point Mai mentioned alcohol, so Matt and I went down to the liquor store on the corner which is also owned by our next-door neighbor. Yes, when he sees cars pulling up to our house for parties he must get big dollar signs in his eyes. "Wait till I'm 21," I want to tell him, "Then I'll see what I can do about putting a dent in that tequila surplus."

The party Mai and I threw this weekend wasn't as big as we were expecting, but it was still good times. I fulfilled my duty as a host and quickly got drunker than everyone else there.

One odd thing: I was walking with Alan and Jenny out and we see this guy across the street throwing up. Everything was pretty blurry at that point, so I asked Alan if he was one of ours. Alan said he didn't recognize him. Then I was a little irritated. I mean, since I know we're going to get blamed for any vomit found in the vicinity, I would prefer it was one of our friends so I could at least give them a hard time about it later. But this guy did look familiar. Then the driver of the BMW that puking guy had gotten out of steps out to see how his friend his and lo and behold, it is my old manager from Gold's Gym. "Will?", he says. "Steve?", I cleverly reply. He seemed drunk too, and I never really talked to him anyway so that was about it for the conversation. We had never been on great terms because I didn't like how he ran the gym and he probably didn't like that the two friends of mine that I had gotten hired for graveyard shifts didn't quite work out. For instance, Brian Young: I had to train him his first night. By training I mean I showed him how to check people in for an hour and then he went off to sleep in the daycare while I watched "Trigun" on his laptop he had brought. Ah, the graveyard shift. My friend Jake also got hired there, but then he got fired so that the friend of the other graveyard guy could get hired. For such a boring job as the 10 pm to 6 am front desk worker, it was pretty interesting. Once I was working on a Friday night and some pretty cool guys brought me a six-pack of Corona. Yeah, I drank them. I think the regulars might have noticed I was a little tipsy, but they didn't say anything. Then there was Phone-Sex Girl, who would call and try to get me to describe in detail my sexual fantasies while I tried to get her to describe in detail what the furniture she was moving into her new place looked like. Then one guy brought his duck into the gym one night and I fed it lettuce while he worked out. And on the night I broke through the internet access restrictions and bought so much stuff online that I was actually losing money going in to work. There was the delinquint member that I mocked over the intercom because he wouldn't pay and wanted to fight me, there was the donut guy who ran in all out of breath and told me that the Circle K down the street was being robbed, the guy who asked me out and I didn't even realize it (we just went out to breakfast after I got off work), the really cute girl who I would discuss literature with (I was all about sci-fi and fantasy, and she was all about realistic fiction), and my favorite, friends randomly dropping by at all hours of the night. Oh, and I could read all night, that was great. I was able to read "Atlas Shrugged" for practically my entire shift for three nights straight. It rocked. Plus, people would see me reading and we would discuss the book and other books the author had written. I had a huge list of books that people told me that I should read.

Certainly not the worst job I've ever had.