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Weekend Report January 28-30, 2011

Anybody who gets to know me well enough will learn that beneath my outlandish, wig-wearing, glitter-dusted exterior lies a painfully shy soul who is hesitant to approach people for fear of rejection. It is a fear I am gradually unravelling with time and practice.

The preceding week had been a bit isolating and I decided that Friday night I needed to get the hell out of the condo. I did a quick stop at the homestead to water plants and make sure nothing had exploded, as my parents are on safari in Africa right now. (Yes, really.) I originally planned to go to Cineprov to see them mocking The Goonies but I stopped by a random restaurant for dinner and one bowl of soup and glass of wine later, it was too close to showtime for me to make it. I'd checked Twitter on my phone while I was waiting for food and found that Degenerate Press was playing board games at his girlfriend's place and asked people to call if they wanted in.

Degenerate Press (hereinafter "Degenerate") is a music scenester I've known for ages who also designs board games. He runs an email list that I've used to plan my weekends for many years, and he also loosely organizes outings to the drive-in or to restaurants where his wide circle of friends can converge.

I did have Degenerate's phone number in my contact list, even though I've rarely used it, so after more internal debate than a normal human being would go through, I made the phone call. Degenerate's new girlfriend gave me the street address and I punched the coordinates into my trusty iPhone and set the course to her doorstep.

I knew I'd found the place when I saw Degenerate's Thunderbird parked out front. I arrived to find Degenerate, his girlfriend and a couple of other folks about three turns into the Game of Life. I ended up having a lovely evening sipping wine, playing dumb games and chatting with people I knew and people I'd just met. Score one for taking the leap.

Saturday morning I went for my haircut appointment with Patti and we got on the subject of thrift shops when she hung up my Red Coat of Awesomeness. (I decided I needed a not-falling-apart wool coat that I could wear to smoky venues and not feel like I was ruining it. On New Year's Eve, I scoured three different Goodwill stores before I found the Red Coat of Awesomeness, which fits me perfectly, looks fabulous and was a mere eight dollars and sixty-six cents with tax.) She mentioned a place across the street from where we were and, after my hair had been trimmed, treated and lovingly blow-dried, I decided to go browse for a bit. I picked up a twee self-help book with a pink cover that I will probably put up on Swap.com when I'm done with it, but it was seventy-five cents worth of self-indulgence to curl up with when I got home.

I'd planned to go to a meet-up of creative types at TahCha, but by the sticky afternoon hours all I really wanted to do was spend some time doing nothing, so I did. I spent a long stretch of time in my head, slaughtering my mental demons with mental automatic weapons. It was surprisingly helpful in making me feel better, to the point that I was actually able to push past the wall of reluctance and get my home properly cleaned from one end to the other.

Once that was as done as I felt like doing it, I glammed myself to go see Pinups, a Bowie cover band, who were playing in Decatur. I first encountered them a couple of New Year's Eves ago at Kavarna, where I met Mod Boy. I've had something of a big silly crush on Mod Boy ever since and to my delight, he was playing with them that night.

Mod Boy is the son of a deceased rock star of some repute (we'll call him Daddy Mod) though I had absolutely no clue about this until after I'd met him. Mod Boy also has a band of his own (which sounds pretty much nothing like anything his dad did, so there) who got signed to a proper label and everything and then had to deal with said label going bankrupt in the middle of their tour. I managed to pick up a copy of Mod Boy's album on Swap.com and fell utterly in love with it. Go directly to iPod, do not pass Go, do not collect $200 kind of love. So now I'm really smitten, which only intensifies every wee interaction with him.

I attempted to play things cool, let him come to me, that sort of thing. Fortunately, I'm getting to know that particular circle of regulars to the point that I can have conversations that are not made of awkward. Unfortunately, when Mod Boy comes around I get a little manic and excited and find myself exclaiming things like "This coat is my new boyfriend!"

The show was fantastic and I had a wonderful time, even if I was a little too tired and weighed down with melancholy to get up and dance much. I enjoyed myself from a comfy seat and watched Mod Boy in action on the guitar when the crowd parted enough to let me see him. They added a cover of "Life on Mars" to their set and I sang along at the top of my lungs to the chorus.

After the show, Mod Boy asked me how the fight against the Evil Cult was going and I hauled out the phone and showed him pictures from the last protest. (I keep trying to coax him to come down and join us in sign-waving, but it's a terribly long drive from where he currently lives.) Captain Blurt (britpoptarts will know who I'm talking about) came up to say goodnight and managed to make things beautifully embarrassing by calling us 'lovebirds'. We both explained that we weren't flirting, we were just ranting about the Evil Cult. Mod Boy excused himself to go finish gathering his equipment and I made the rounds of goodnights to people I knew.

Intuition told me to wait until 2:00 AM, so I dithered accordingly and found myself on the sidewalk in front while Mod Boy and Mr. Jay (the frontman for Pinups) packed the last of the equipment into Mr. Jay's car and tried to figure out the vagaries of who was riding with who and where. Mod Boy was staying at Mr. Jay's place and they were making noises about getting a cab as they'd both been drinking all night. I gently pointed out that I had a car, it had seats and Mr. Jay's place wasn't far from where I was planning to sleep that night. Mod Boy told me to talk to Mr. Jay about it, and so I did.

I should perhaps digress again here to explain that Mr. Jay (yeah, not his name either) had been giving me a very odd, cold-shouldery vibe over the past several months. It was nothing I could particularly put my finger on, but it was definite enough to get to me. I went to his shows anyway and waved back when he waved hello, but generally avoided approaching him unless I had to. So, acting as if there was nothing weird about it, I made the offer to drive him and Mod Boy to his place.

"Where's your car?" he asked.

I pointed just down the street. "It's right there. I'll have to shovel out the back seat to make room, but I can carry both of you."

So he agreed. He ducked into the bar across the street from us to say goodnight to someone he knew and I went with Mod Boy to clear a couple of seats in my car for passengers. I apologized for the state of my car; Mod Boy told me he'd seen worse. Then again, as a touring rock musician, I'm sure he's seen the kind of worse that would make some pretty dreadful things look good by comparison. I got my iPhone plugged into the car and the map set to point to Mr. Jay's house and we chatted about how I'd gotten Mod Boy's album and how Vince Guaraldi was a fair trade. (Mod Boy was flattered that his album was considered worth it.)

2:00 AM was the point that Mr. Jay emerged from the bar (with apologies) and we piled into the car and I drove them home. Mod Boy took the back seat, which was probably for the best, because it was at an hour when I really needed to keep my eyes on the road. I got them to Mr. Jay's house and they thanked me sincerely for sparing them the hassle and expense of a cab ride home. I got to the house practically on autopilot and flopped into bed.

I got up for Mass, did my Catholic thing and then went back and had a long sticky nap to recalibrate before driving home. Since the usual Sunday dinner was cancelled due to African safari, I decided to join Degenerate Press and his buddies for the Get Delicious Supper Club, an informal group that picks a restaurant to try out once a month. This month was a soul food restaurant called The Beautiful Restaurant. The official start time for the event on Facebook was 6:00 but as I found out, most people don't usually arrive at the restaurant of choice until seven. But I was hungry and there was food, so I got in line (and it was a long one!) ordered fried chicken, picked a couple of sides and sat down to eat. I was pretty much down to the bones by the time Degenerate and crew arrived, but it had been tasty and I was full and I joined them at their table once they had gotten their dinners and sipped water and talked about movies at the Plaza. (I tried to explain to one girl what The Room was, and I think I may have intrigued her enough to go.)

I drove home and went into a food coma for the rest of the evening. And scribbled madly in my diary, because that's the way I am.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
puppetmaker40
Feb. 1st, 2011 02:54 am (UTC)
Have I told you recently how proud I am of you?

You are a creative wonderful person my dear and I am glad that you are taking chances and putting yourself in social situations.

yr. big sister-
Kath
wonderbink
Feb. 1st, 2011 03:08 am (UTC)
Aw, fanks! Obviously it's something that gets better with practice, and with getting to know people.

It's funny. When Mod Boy and I were waiting for Mr. Jay to get out of the bar I ended up blurting out that I didn't think Mr. Jay liked me very much. Mod Boy assured me that Mr. Jay liked me just fine and added "Everybody likes you."

Everybody likes you. Mod Boy. Said that. To me.

My gremlins have had a hard time shouting that one down.
michael_b_lee
Feb. 1st, 2011 03:03 pm (UTC)
Everybody does like you. What is more, they always have.

I'm sorry. I thought this was obvious, or otherwise I'd have pointed it out a very long time ago. :)
(Deleted comment)
wonderbink
Feb. 1st, 2011 04:57 am (UTC)
Yay! Thank you. :)

I have a few people on my friends list who know that awkward social feeling. My hope is that my experiments in sociability can be an example to other shy folks like me.
michael_b_lee
Feb. 1st, 2011 03:04 pm (UTC)
Given what I know of your family, you could probably write that your parents are vacationing on the moon and I wouldn't blink an eye.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )