Monday, March 7, 2011

Dr Love's Irritated Voice

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Friday night, Tracy interviewed a potential roommate… and she’s French… but she was also two days off the plane & we were her first stop so we’ll see how that goes. I wasn’t there but she was apparently very nice. That night, Jackie D & I had pulled pork sandwiches for the third time in a week & watched some TV shows on Netflix & drank a few beers. That’s really about it.

Saturday, I woke up pretty early to A) Get a fine haircut, possibly something drastic to break in my San Franciscan existence; B) Get an oil change for Gretchen for our road trip next weekend; C) Get some portraits done for my mom because she’s been hassling me for months to get it done. Normally I would say that I could get ALL THREE done at Walmart and done with it, right? Not this time. First, I was determined to have a real “stylist” look at my hair, my face, my whole package… and then give me some great suggestions on what to go with… because I’ve really never done ANYTHING with my hair other than wash, rinse & occasionally comb (and those highlights last March that few people noticed). So I asked around work… and I was recommended Diva International down by my bus stop. Perfect! Well, Friday night, they didn’t have any openings, so I went Saturday morning. I parked at a meter, with a maximum of one hour allowed. Keep this in mind… as I think you know where this is going later on.

I get to Diva (named after the owner who is a big wig in the industry apparently, as she was just in Singapore on her way to Italy for a show, but this is her home base) and am greeted by a man, who is very nice and offered me an espresso while I waited… as he would do about a dozen times during my tenure there. He asked me if it was my first time… and this might’ve been a bad sign from the get-go, or maybe I take better care of my hair than I lead on. After chit-chat, I’m paired up with a man and I explain my situation, ask his advice on what I should do… and it’s basically “Well, I like what you have going on here already, it’s a very good look for you. Basically I would shorten it up a bit, feather out some of the extra hair, and then maybe some highlights to blend out the grey hairs.” I instantly thought “I should’ve just gone to Wal-Mart if this is your suggestion” but I said let’s go with it. Loooong story short, it was literally one of those things where he would cut 3-4 hairs at a time, then taking a few steps back to look at it from afar, then swoop back in, very time consuming… and comical to me. So two hours later, I’m paying $120 for a haircut & highlights (and made sure to get some free products to try out) and then praying that the meter maids had better things to do on a Saturday. They didn’t… so I got a $65 parking ticket too because I didn’t want to run a few blocks out of the way with a formula burning highlights into my hair. Lesson learned – Don’t believe the hype. Already found another place that does just as good as haircuts for $10 that another coworker’s husband uses… and it makes me wonder what kind of paycheck the coworker who recommended this place is taking home.

After that, I felt light as a feather (thanks to my wallet’s contents being lifted from me) so I drove to Oakland to get an oil change & hopefully take some portraits… but alas, there is no portrait studio at that Wal-Mart, so I basically went all the way out to Oakland for an oil change & Quizno’s. Awesome. When I got back home, Bubbles said that she wasn’t feeling well (sick, not hung over this time) and she wanted to get some pho… with me… because apparently I’m her pho buddy as well as drinking buddy and any other kind of buddy out there. So we went to Pho Garden, a new place, and it was delicious. After pho, she started having a migraine, so I offered her to stay at my place (the roommates were gone) and watch a movie in a dark place and pop some E (Excedrin Migraine, but it has an E on the tablet). We watched “No Country for Old Men” which was Bubbles’ first time seeing it. As usual, luckily she had me there to explain what was going on & the intricacies of each scene. Musicals, relationship dramas, comedies in general, she’s usually all over that stuff because you don’t really have to be paying attention… and you can kind of draw your own conclusions. However, thrillers and movies where you have to pay attention, that’s why she has me around. “Who’s that guy?” “He’s the guy trying to find the money that the hunter took.” “Why is he killing everybody? And what’s the deal with the oxygen tank?” “Patience, all answers will be revealed in time.” “You know I don’t like patience or surprises.” “Okay fine, spoiler alert, he’s been dead the whole time & nobody puts Baby in the corner.” “Don’t be a smart ass.” “But it’s how I make such amazing popcorn.” “That doesn’t even make sense.” “Why not?” “You’re so stupid.” “Oh, so when I ask questions… I see how it is. You know what they say… when in Rome…” “Ah! What just happened? Did somebody else die?” “Yup. Oh… and turn away because it’s going to show a dog & you won’t want to see why.” “What?” “Just trust me.” See? When you’ve known somebody for a few years like we have… and you know what’s going to trigger certain reactions, you can kind of anticipate what will immediately cause somebody to dislike a movie (or really any other situation) regardless of how amazing it is. Sure, it’s a little like telling a kid to put on earmuffs before somebody says the S-word on “Back to the Future” or something, but hey, if the only thing she remembers about this movie at the end is that they shot a dog, I don’t believe I’ve done my part to enhance her experience. It’s just what I do. No need to thank me, just pay it forward.

So afterwards, Bubbles went home to get some sleep & I had the entire apartment to myself. Tracy went to hang with family in the South Bay, Jackie D was on the East Bay doing her thing, & Carmen was in New York City, but she moved out anyway. What does that mean? I danced around to some R. Kelly bucky naked on Chat Roulette. No, of course not. What it meant was… I was feeling kind of lonely for about three seconds… and then I decided that I was going to watch a horrible movie that just came on Netflix… and that movie was… “Resident Evil: Afterlife” starring my baby’s mamma Milla Jovovich & Ali Larter (“Heroes”). This is the 4th installment of the movie franchise based on a video game… so you know it has to be good. Let’s see, a little back-story, when we left from the 3rd installment, Alice (Jovovich) was apparently some kind of human-zombie superhybrid who inexplicably obtained the Force and could pretty much do anything she wanted in a post-apocalyptic world… and they were dozens if not hundreds of copies of her. Well, this movie starts off with her trying to bring down the evil corporation that brought on this zombie apocalypse (again) but apparently she got a vaccine that took all of her superpowers away… yet survived a head-on helicopter crash complete with massive explosion seconds later. Throw in a story about a refuge for the few humans left, a few call-backs from the 3rd movie, saving humans from a building surrounded by zombies, same story different edition. I didn’t really care for it… and you know how I like Milla. Oh… and Resident Evil 5 is already in production I guess. Does this movie franchise REALLY make money? It must. So yeah… I would say pass.

Sunday was another kind of a lazy day. Cleaned up around the apartment, then went with Bubbles to the pharmacy & Safeway to get some things. Had an interesting situation there. Bubbles was picking out a dessert for a dinner party she was going to, and as usual she asked me for my opinion. “"I don't know, what kind of dinner is it?" "Asian." "Hmm... well, what were you thinking about getting?" "I don't know, that's why I asked you. What's an Asian dessert?" "Well, funny thing is... dessert isn't really a big thing in poverty stricken countries, and I doubt this Safeway has some sweet Tai Pai or anything, so I say go with an American dessert that you like... like a pie or something." "How about cookies?" "Fortune cookies? I mean… this is San Francisco (being a smartass)" "No, chocolate chip." "But you don't like chocolate." "They might." "I'm sure that they might... but do you think chocolate chip cookies go well with Asian dinner?" "Sigh... how about a pie?" "Fantastic idea. What kind of pie looks good?" "How about a cheesecake?" This was about the time my mom called so I stepped away for a second, then come back. "Why were you using your irritated voice? Was that your brother?" "No, it was my mom." "So I'm the one irritating you." "Not really. Did you decide on a dessert?" "No, you stepped away." "Lemon meringue pie. Go with that." "Why?" "Why not?" "Sigh... I do like lemon meringue pie." "I know you do... and that way, no matter what happens, at least ONE person will get the dessert they want... even if they have room after a large Asian potluck meal like it sounds like you're having, right? You're welcome." I really wasn’t that irritated which is the weird thing… but I just don’t like when people will ask me for my opinion, and then don’t make a decision for themselves. It’s like they want to start a little mini-argument, except I don’t care who wins. If I would’ve just said lemon meringue pie right at the beginning, it still would’ve turned into “Well, what about this?” “That’s good too.” “You’re not helping.” “Are you asking me to pick a dessert or contrast and compare the options? Because no matter which way this conversation goes, it’s going to end up the same way, you getting what you want to get with or without my approval, so why bother? I won’t be at the dinner.” I don’t know why I feel that way about it… because it’s really not irritating. I don’t care one way or another, I just like to be heard if you ask me what essentially is a rhetorical question… and not disregarded as bullsh*t or whatever.

It made me think of when I was a kid, 5th grade maybe, and my dad was called in one day by my teacher to have a little conference with me & her. I didn’t know what it was about. My dad had worked a 12-hour shift as a police officer the night before, so he was a little bent out of shape about it. The teacher started out, “Mr. Love, we have reason to believe that your son has been cheating on his math tests.” We both simultaneously said, “WHAT???” “You see, on your son’s tests here, these are fairly complex equations for a student of his age, and he’s simply writing down the answers without any proof of his work. So we think that he’s somehow getting the answers from another source.” My dad being a cop & knowing that I’m pretty damn good at math said, “Where could he get the answers from? Do you have an answer key or something?” “Yes.” “And where is this key hidden? You know what, don’t answer that. Is it in a safe place? Under lock & key?” “Why yes.” “So the real problem based on the reasons that you’ve explain isn’t that my son is a cheater, but that my son hasn’t been showing every basic step to reach the solution in the problems.” “Mr. Love, like I said, these are fairly complex equations for a student…” “Excuse me, just one moment. Steve, did you cheat on any of these tests?” “F**k no.” “Watch your mouth boy. If I don’t get to swear, neither do you. Miss, would you be satisfied of my son’s innocence if he were to take another test, right here, right now?” “Well sure, I guess I could find one that he hasn’t taken yet.” “Actually, why don’t you pick ten random equations out of a test, the book, your head, wherever you can find ‘em, put them on a piece of paper, and watch him solve them before your very eyes?” So she did… and I was telling her the answers as she was finishing writing them down. “X equals 3… X-intercept is 4, Y-intercept is -2… C equals 3 and two-sevenths or 3.285714 repeating” and so on. By the time she was done, she was convinced that I wasn’t cheating. So my dad, a little sleep deprived, said “Look, if you want my son to show every single step on his work, just ask him. He’s a brilliant young man and he’s usually pretty good about doing what is asked of him… even if he’s a bit of a wise ass about it sometimes. However, please don’t drag me out of bed after I’ve spent my evening protecting good people like yourself from gang bangers & rapists when I’d much rather be tucking my children into bed… and then accuse my first born son of lying & cheating on a pointless test… and only because he doesn’t need a f**king answer key to get the right answers. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get some rest before I go back to work and I believe you have some children to teach, have a great safe f**king day. Son, I love you… and I’m proud of you, but please show your work when your doing these tests so that your teacher can figure out how to get the answers too, okay?” “Okay daddy.”

There are two points to that story. One, my dad was a great father… and basically a bad ass… even with his flawed character traits at times that would become more evident later on. Damn, I just realized that he was pretty much my age in that story, maybe a year or two older. Anyway, number two, I oftentimes think in lengthy ballads but speak in shorthand. If you want to know the what, why, when, where & how of my answer, then just ask for it, I’m usually more than happy to give you my train of thought (even it’s a little “out there” sometimes). What’s the square root of 69? Eight something. What dessert should you get? I may want to know what kind of dinner it is… but ultimately, I’m gonna say go with your gut… because that’s who you’re aiming to please. Like I said, I’m not really irritated, I just don’t know what you’re looking for out of me… and please don’t disregard it as bullsh*t. If it’s bullsh*t, I’ll usually tell you…or just laugh at the end of whatever I’m saying. That’s my tell.

Anyway, after that, I went back to the apartment to watch movies on a dreary day with Jackie D. First up was “New York I Love You” which starred, well, it seemed to be pretty much most of the actors in Hollywood that I don’t particularly care for – Hayden Christensen, Ethan Hawke, Rachel Bilson, Shia LaBeouf, Anton Yelchin, & Orlando Bloom, but it’s balanced out by the likes of Andy Garcia, Chris Cooper, Natalie Portman, Bradley Cooper, Christina Ricci, Cloris Leachman and THE James Caan. So yeah, pretty good ensemble cast for a small-time movie. Basically it’s the story of a bunch of very different love stories set in New York City and directed by a bunch of different people… from high school kids to call girls to old people to pick-up artists to thieves to artists to jewelers to Jews and so much more. All in all, it shows how different people from completely different backgrounds come together to live… because EVERYBODY has a story. You may think that you don’t have a story… but you do. Granted it may not involve anything that made the news or will have a movie made about it… but everybody has a story, full of love, pain, intrigue, adventure, passion, pleasure, anger, betrayal, all those peaks & valleys that make life worth living. Then again, I wouldn’t particular say this is the greatest movie ever made… but hey, if you’re into independent movies & like NYC, give it a shot.

Then Jackie D & I cooked up some LARGE steaks with various colored pepper slivers on them along with season potatoes. It was delicious… and plentiful. We chased it with a bottle of Castle Rock cabernet sauvignon while watching a sexual thriller “Chloe” starring Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore & Amanda Seyfried. Basically, it’s the story of a woman (Moore) who is convinced that her husband (Neeson) is cheating on her, so she hires a call girl (Seyfried) to seduce him and report back to her. This can only work out in a positive way, right? Well, she agrees, because she doesn’t have to blow anybody and she still gets paid… but then the seduction takes an intriguing turn. I’m not going to spoil it because I think you may want to actually go see this movie if you’re into these erotic thrillers, which you know I am. I would recommend it, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself going “Wait… what? What is happening right now?” a few times during this movie. It has some… awkward turns… and I know that only intrigues you more, you dirty minx.

Anyway, that’ll do it for today. I’m sure you enjoy my ramblings about my own character flaws… as you surely do if you still read this thing. Hope you enjoy it. Another roommate interview tomorrow… so wish me luck. Have a great day everybody!!!

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