23.09.00 - 01:13:21
On Saturday Elio, Jenny and I spent most of the day buying things. I was going to write about this but then realized that buying things is a boring thing to write about. Nevertheless, for informational purposes, Appendix A will detail the things I bought.
We got to Sandeep & Triet's housewarming party around 6. They were making Jamaican veggie burgers and Jamaican potato salad. (Arnie's take on this Jamaican-themed fare: "Jamaican me crazy!")
There was drinking... there was smoking... the night began to swirl like water down a drain. Some random notes:
BATTERIES At one point Moritz walked into Sandeep's bedroom. Sandeep, Triet, Angi and Jenny were sitting in the dark licking batteries. The explanation was that Sandeep licks batteries to see if they have charge-- you get a mild shock if they do. Someone saw him doing this and naturally inquired, and next thing you know they're all doing it. But I love the image of Moritz (a mild mannered German guy) walking into this room and thinking he'd walked in on some unspeakably depraved drug scene... like in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas when Hunter S. Thompson walks into a bathroom to do a blotter and some of it spills on his shirt and some other guy walks in and says "what's that on your shirt?" and Hunter S. says "LSD" and the guy says nothing, just walks over and starts sucking on Hunter's shirt, and then some other guy walks in, sees them, goes "whoa" and walks right back out, for the rest of his life wondering what other unspeakable practices are going on in public bathrooms all around him. Would he dare to suck a shirt? No, better not. Play it safe...
FAINTING At one point in the party, late, after we'd been carousing for some time, Elio fainted. It scared the shit out of me. I saw him kind of fall/sit, backwards against the wall, and then for several seconds that seemed to last much longer, he was just staring into the space ahead of him, completely gone. I looked in his eyes and saw nothing. I had no idea what had just happened, stroke? Concussion? Embolism? It sounds funny now but those were seriously things I thought about. His eyes were looking straight ahead without seeing, soul departed. Some crazy music was playing (possibly Cindi Lauper at the wrong speed, see next note), and I was not altogether there myself if you get my drift, and it was just terrifying. I had never seen anybody faint before. He came out of it after a minute and was ok.
CYNDI LAUPER Someone (maybe Noel?) put on a Cyndi Lauper record. Sandeep & Triet are both producers and they have the phat DJ setup in their living room, with turntables and mixers and mysterious blue sequencers and all that. For a while we'd been putting on hip hop, techno, the usual. Then Cindi Lauper. Ok, I like Cindi Lauper. But they were playing it at nose-bleed gabba speeds-- 45 for a 33 speeds. And they played it for a *long* time. I think after a while they switched to playing it at a much slower speed-- her voice low and distorted-- did this happen? The end of the night was a mutated C.L. blur.
JULIE I came back in from smoking outside, and there was an Asian girl wearing a tight, green Rawkus shirt. I was drawn to her, as if she were a vacuum and I was dirt (or perhaps cat hair, which is the primary thing I vacuum up when I vacuuum, which is rarely). Jenny and I started talking to her. She was really into hip hop! I'd never met a girl who was so into that kind of music. We were talking about Mos Def and Big L and freestylers at concerts we'd seen... it was cool. The only mildly disconcerting thing about her was, she talked in total hip-hop parlance. I mean we (baycrew, the usual suspects) drop an occasional 'word' or 'peace' or something, and sometimes it's not ironic, but still for the most part we still talk like middle class college educated kids, which is what you'd expect. But Julie sounded like she'd just walked off the set of a GangStarr video. It was fresh, don't get me wrong, but I was trippin' on the slang she was slingin'. If you dig.
(note to self: "dig"? ok, "daddy-o". utter rubbish-- excise in final draft)
This incongruity (petite Asian girl talking like Harlem) was even more interesting because I ended up borrowing this Big L cd from her that night, and the one Big L song I'd already heard was this *awesome* song called "Ebonics" in which Big L. breaks down all kinds of street slang to amazing effect.
But anyway, I liked her, and we all said we'd meet up again some time. It will be interesting to meet her in a straighter frame of mind. I've never met somebody for the first time while lifted before-- not sure how that colors the picture.
HOT SAUCE You know how I'm always telling Jenny I'll eat crazy things for a dollar? She finally called my bluff. So I ended up downing a shot (capful) of the Jamaican me-crazy hot sauce I'd bought for Sandeep/Triet/Suman as a housewarming gift (see appendix A). It was a slow burn, prolonged and somewhat painful. After about 2 or 3 minutes the initial pain had subsided and I was feeling almost euphoric-- clear and light-headed, like Homer Simpson in that episode where he eats the crazy hot chili and starts chasing talking animals around in the desert. My brain must've been swimming in endorphins. I don't advocate abusing the hot sauce-- use it responsibly. Friends know when to say when. (You hear that Jenny?)
Incidentally, Elio also downed a capful of the stuff, and he got $3 to my piddling $1. That's always how it is-- the innovators get robbed, imitators make bank. (Are you listening, Fatboy Slim?)
Eventually the night ended. Angi and I drove home. There were hardly any cars on the highway-- it felt like we were moving very fast through the darkness. When I got home thoughts were still bouncing around in my skull at a furious pace. I stayed up till 6 in the morning reading "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men".
APPENDIX A: THINGS BOUGHT OR CONSUMED IN PALO ALTO
- One "short stack" with coffee and two scrambled eggs, about which the less said the better.
- One pearl ball iced tea (mint) -- and let me just say if you've never tried it, it is "da bomb". (See, I still have to put quotes around that stuff. Julie could say it convincingly.) The sensation of tapioca balls slithering up your straw amidst milky sweet iced tea is something everyone should experience.
- Two pairs of phat sneakers that Jenny helped me pick out. The Filas are very modern looking.
- One pair of jeans that were both phat and on sale. I wore the jeans and Filas to work on Monday and it felt like the first day of school. Kind of embarrassing, but I did turn several heads with my dashing profile)
- One bottle of fancy olive oil, one bottle of Jamaican hot sauce, one bottle of "burnished white nectarine" jam (I don't remember what kind exactly, something all frou-frou)
The olive oil would have been a great gift if it wasn't for the fact that Sandeep Suman & Triet already have like seven bottles of the stuff! Sandeep opened up a cabinet and it was filled with half-empty bottles of oil. These will undoubtedly come in handy if they ever need to fill a boiling cauldron and scald people trying to beseige their house, but for everyday cooking it seems a bit much.
The Jamaican hot sauce was appropriate given the Jamaican themed dinner, but far too hot to actually use. Maybe if I'd brought an eyedropper as well.
The "rosewater plum" jam (or whatever) remained unopened.
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