Thursday, October 29, 2009

San Francisco Rooftops aka JK the Cat Burglar

OK, blog fans, I had started a retrospective on my time in India and falling into the Ganges, but the save function didn't work properly, so I'lll whisk you to San Francisco, last week.

I was vacationing in my former place of residency, when this strange incident occurred. I was staying with a friend in an apartment building of around twelve units. The staircase ended in a door to the roof, which needed to be propped open while you walked around on the roof and surveyed the surrounding landscape. It's a great area in Western Addition that includes Alamo Square Park, home to the iconic homes of the Full House television series. My final night home, I made my way back after a night at McTeague's and the Kozy Kar Bar (kind of weird but with comfortable seats).

Prior to leaving, I had a downright bizarre experience with a beautiful French ballerina. For some reason, she patronizes McTeague's once a week despite living in the beautiful East Bay city of Oakland. I barely spoke with her on my first visit there, but after returning from a snack of animal crackers and candy served by my friend Eddie in his apartment, she began talking to me almost immediately. It really seemed like I had to be on hidden camera for the following reasons: A)this woman had no business at McTeague's B)she had no business talking to me, especially because I was wearing a beard that hadn't been shaven in months along with my black-framed dork glasses that I bought with the express purpose of driving away females C)her bizarre behavior to follow.

Despite my best efforts to show almost no interest in this amazingly gorgeous woman, she managed to corner me about my plans for the weekend. I told her that I was just in town for a few days and was leaving for Vegas in the morning. To this, she replied, with the cutest French accent, "Why are you going to Las Vegas? Why not stay here?"

RetiredJK: "Ummm.... cause if I stayed here I would miss my flight to Vegas."
FrenchBallerina: "But what would you miss in Vegas? You should stay."
RJK: "I'm going to my friend's birthday party. There's no argument about this."
FB: "You should stay; you never know."

Never know what? How creepy a hot French ballerina can get after a couple drinks? I don't think I want to stick around for this. At one point, I actually enlisted some friends' assistance in a cock-block setup to get her away from me.

So we parted ways, and she drove off down the road, the wrong way on a one way street in her BMW SUV.

So I trekked home to the Full House apartment and clicked on the baseball highlights. Drawn to the rooftop around three AM to look out on the city, I forgot to block open the door in my haste and forgetfulness. No problemo, I thought, I'll try the keys. No luck. Being the huge guido that I am, I tried to muscle the door open, but to no avail. At this point I first faced the possibility of spending the night on the roof in my shorts (I had changed into shorts upon arrival), a possibility that could be fatal in chilly San Fran. I stood by the edge for about a half hour, waiting for someone trustworthy to walk so I could toss my keys to them in the expectation that they'd actually come up and open the door. But at 4:15 in the morning, there just aren't alot of people walking around, and most that are you wouldn't want to be in posession of your keys.

So I gave up on finding someone to let me in. I check the fire escapes, which I realized would be my only way off the roof in case an inferno engulfed the entire place (no, setting it did not cross my mind). They looked steep. And close to people's windows. And possibly slippery. I sat and meditated on my next step for awhile. At this point, it was closing in on 5 AM. I called my friend who owned the apartment, and dammit, he was staying elsewhere that night! In my time of need, you're gone, and I'm stuck on a rooftop; I think I could make contemporary rock song up about the situation. So I decide that I need to take drastic action, lest a tenant come up to the roof for their morning yoga and find my asleep in my shorts in front of the door. That's not something they call the police for; it's something they call Animal Control for at that point.

I check the two fire escapes and opt for the one away from the street so that, maybe, not as many people will call the police. I shimmied awkwardly down the ladder to the top floor of windows; no lights on. So far, so good. The rest was just stairs albeit thin ones, but I took the final couple floors in a matter of seconds. Only one window was lit and I avoided looking into it. I smashed a potted plant on accident. But when I got to the bottom, I discovered that I was STILL ON A FIRST-FLOOR ROOFTOP.

There was no way out; all the sides were at least twelve feet to the ground with no obvious ways down. Evidently, escaping was not meant to be. Desperately, I surveyed the surrounding territory. The building was attached to a row house by a garage and small garden. However, getting to the ground would require climbing onto the house's windows, garage and fences. At this point, I had no other option. Certain that the police or at least a dog would await me on the ground, I crawled across their oversized stone window sill and down several small rocky shelves in their garden. A security light switched on and I went into stealth mode. Only one more barrier; a six-foot fence to the street. Of course, I couldn't open the gate from the inside and had to scale yet another fence. I sprinted to the apartment building's door, entering just in time to watch the police pass by on the street.

Overall, this morning was a test of my gymnastics, my wits, and my stupidity all at once. Luckily, I took off a few hours later for Vegas, where no one really cares if you're crawling around with glasses on at five in the morning.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fat Babies, New Jobs, Snowmobiles

Whaddup Staten Island. OK, so I take back what I had said earlier about the discriminatory bar in town. With my tail between my legs and no money in my pocket, I approached the manager for about the fifth time looking for a job. Well, ask (a bunch of times) and you shall receive. I started last Friday and am liking it pretty well. It's minimum wage plus tips, but the real attraction is control over two (2) televisions the entire time I'm there. I don't have any TV's at the cabin, so YouTube gets alot of play, and the radio is pretty entertaining to go along with books. But anyway, when I'm at the bar, I rule the channels with an iron fish. I mean fist. Tom and Jerry is on alot, and so are Looney Tunes. Nebraska games get first priority Saturdays.

I dropped half a bottle of Crown my first day on the job.

Anyway, if I hadn't told you already, I am applying to psychiatry residencies, which I think will be perfect for me. But there is one program administrator who seems to be preoccupied with how I spend my free time: she really wants to know what I've been doing for the last four months. The best I could muster is this: "I hike and fish alot, and soon I'll snowboard alot." I don't know if I'll get anything from them re: an interview.

So has anyone heard about this chubby baby in Colorado who was denied health insurance for being overweight? He's six months and seventeen pounds, and his family was told he couldn't be covered due to being >95th percentile in weight! Alot of people have come to this little glutton's defense, but I for one am taking a stand! Why should I pitch in on insurance for this miniature Augustus Gloop? Someone needs to put their foot down, have an intervention, and say baby, that's enough! You're too fat! And if he doesn't understand the tirade, they should make him fast for a few days to teach him a lesson. You can't just go through life eating everything, lunchbox! You can't just be born into this country expecting insurance when you eat Ho-Ho's and salami all day!!!! Pull it together, baby!

Also, I have increasing amounts of proof that hitting your computer actually does improve its performance. For the longest time, this craptop I'm using to blog would only start up about every fifth time you pressed the button. I fixed that with a few blows to the kidneys, located on the sides of the mousepad. It starts up every time now. It's kind of like holistic medicine for your computer. I mean, there are "Western methods" of fixing a computer, if you have screwdrivers and knowledge and stuff, but when the computer is just out of chi, you need more than a microchip and a wish to fix it. You need to address the source of the problem, which is the computer's inherent evil. Only moderate strikes with an open hand can fix this problem.

So the other day, I learned how to snowmobile... at two in the morning. It's pretty exhilarating, those things can go over a hundred miles per hour! Craziness. I took a couple sweet jumps, but nothing too ridiculous.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A new way to play "Guess Who?"

So yesterday after a dinner of nice Chianti, bruschetta, e pasta a la vodka a la funge portabella, we set out for a board game. This quest began around 10 PM mountain, so finding an open toy store was impossible; trusty Wal-Mart had to suffice. After narrowing our choices to "Twister:Hopscotch" (which could be the name of a Nicholas Cage flick), "Guess Who?", and "Life", we decided upon the former (which would be the second in a series of three.)

I'm sure you remember this game from childhood; it features two boards of 24 matching faces with 24 "draw cards", each portraying one of 24 "characters" in this petty game. You each draw one, ask yes or no questions alternatingly, and thus try to deduce which "character" you opponent has drawn. Usually, the questions go something like this: "Does your person have brown hair?" "Yes. Does your person wear glasses?" Pretty standard. Problem is, this "hyper-objective" approach to the game really dichotomizes people unnecessarily and throws alot of bias into your world. So we came up with a new way to ask questions, a way that involves alot of grey area, which I like. ("How grey?" "Charcoal."--Fletch) (Did you know grey can be spelled with an "a" also? Although greyhound is always spelled with an "e".)

So the new way to ask questions involves alot more personality development and creative thought on the part of the players. Instead of objective questions like, "Is your person bald?," you ask questions like "If your person went Thailand, would he try to engage in child sex?" or "Has your person ever worked in the computer industry?" Believe me, this is much MUCH more fun than the original game, which may I remind you is a children's game primarily intended for the twelve and under demographique.

Here's a little sample of the interplay and witty repartee in which you can hope to engage:

Playa1: "Has your person ever been in a fight and won?"
Playa2: "Never been in a fight. Does your person do Sudoku with any regularity?"
Playa1: "Only when pressured at the office. Has your person ever visited an STD clinic under an assumed name, preferably Ron Mexico?"
Playa2: "Absolutely and on a regular basis. Does your person eat a salad at least six days a week?"

The game is also augmented by random statements about the characters' personal lives, such as: "Maricia is a buck-toothed skank!" and "This guy probably met his wife through"

I lost, naturally, as women are far more able to personify a real person from an animated figure on a card. It also helped that she picked Zachary almost every time, cheater.

(Note: Zachary is behind and to the left of the yellow Megan card, sorry this is the best I could find.)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Loosie From an Arab

Alright blog fans, I went on a sweet date tonight, and usually I could publish in the morning but my editors say this story needs to be told at 3 AM Denver Standard Time. That is now.

After a drink and a great pizza compliments of Marco's Wood Fired Grill, we proceeded to a little place called the Giggling Grizzly on 20th St. Lower Downtown (LoDo), Denver is the scene just in case ya didn't know it. It evidenly was the winner of 6 awards last year in Best Of Denver: Best College Bar, Best Singles Bar, Best 3 Bartenders, and 3 other things, although now that I look on the WWW, I find no evidence to back up those claims. Anyway, the presence of an air hockey table attracted us to this place. I cleaned up in air hockey 2 out of 3, but what ensued what quite entertaining.

First, we were flanked by a group of young adults, possibly college students. There were about 8 guys and 3 girls including one female Oompa-Loompa (doompity-doom). All the guys except one seemed intent on taking home the non-affianced, non-Loompa girl; the remaining one really just wanted to do 180's and stare down my date in a very suspicious manner. (Hint, dudes, if you have to do a 180, you need to say something at least. Or pretend to look at something else.) They did have some sweet glow lights. But when Ms. Oompa stated to sing the song "Loompa Land," it was a cue for her to take off with her guy, who was dressed in matching brown shirt and blue jeans (not kidding).

Anyway, at some point during this time, the conversation turned to the music of Miley Cyrus (Kjell, I know you love this part.) Of course I felt the need to jukebox terrorize this college crowd with a little music not by Modest Mouse, A-Kon, or Kings of Leon; thus I promptly followed up some Phil with a song by Miley. Halfway through "See You Again" they stopped the music, got on the PA, and asked who played the Miley song. I kept my hand down, not wanting to be assaulted, but someone near me rose their hand, arrived at the PA system, and was rewarded with shots of Bacardi Limon.

But during this sweet song interlude, as I had guessed might happen, two lovebirds decided they needed to dance to Miley Cyrus. I don't know if they realize Miley Cyrus is only seventeen, and thus couldn't be talking about anything of a semisexual nature in her songs, but here is how they decided to dance:

It was pretty amazing, especially when she did a slow-dance pop-lock and drop it to a Miley Cyrus song.

About this time, the college students near us started to get a bit intoxicated and unruly. At one point, a dancing male asked my date if she knew where she was. Sensing she didn't, he threw out one of the sweeter pickup lines I've ever heard: "You're at the dirtiest bar in Denver." As she pointed out later after falling for this DU Don Juan, "It's true, the air ducts are horribly unclean."

Well alright, after she had her way with me in the final game of air hockey, I managed to grab some water at the bar. During this time, I was informed that there was a guy air-humping another guy while they played air hockey; a sight not to miss. I actually managed to get a picture of the air-humper in the frame with this fortune cookie message I had received two days earlier from an Indian resturant: "A chance meeting with a stranger will possibly change your life." POSSIBLY? Definitely, broski, my life is changed. It's not the same.

So anyway, all good things must come to an end. No, that doesn't mean that Soulja Boy is retiring. It means that the bar closed at closing time. But there was more fun to be had. People outside selling burritos for $1.50. Fights in the street (we were in close proximity to BASH, a downtown urban club; if ya don't know now ya know), police, cabs, drunks. I bought my first "loosie," or single cigarette (which I'm not even going to smoke). As Dave Chappelle stated, it was indeed bought at the store, "from an Arab."

PS-- I also tonight found out that a person I know did it with Redman in the back of his tour bus, along with dozens of other girls one crazy night.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Roughin' It

So I returned yesterday to my humble abode in Centennial to find that the water had been shut off for the "winter" (even though fall just started). With temps hovering in the mid-twenties and snow blowing all over, there was a real danger that the pipes would freeze and burst. So I showed up late at night here to find an indoor ambient temperature of forty degrees, a pile of wood, and no running water.

So I've had to make some drastic changes in my routine, and quickly. I reuse alot of silverware and dishes. I don't shower much. I try to use the bathroom whenever I'm in town or over at somebody's house. I eat straight out of the pan to reduce plate usage. I spend alot of time with my feet on top of the wood stove so I can move my toes. And I listen to alot of Mannheim Steamroller Christmas hoping that Santa will come and deliver me with running water.

Seriously, though, have you ever been in a home where it got below sixty degrees, ever? Most people have not. It's absurd. Congealed olive oil is NOT SEXY. It curdles, but it still tastes amazing, and it's actually a boon in disguise because it doesn't drip as much. Pork and beans CAN FREEZE and I have a dream that one day I will drive away an intruder (OK, I'm really just hoping for some company) by throwing a frozen block of beans at him. In a couple months, true irony will set in: my fridge could actually be WARMING items to keep them from freezing in the air of the cold empty cabin. It's modern technology, turned on its head.

Needless to say, I dont venture outside very much. I have on a Snuggie about 70% of the time. I usually take it off when I leave the house though. I am actually pondering getting a TV, something that this cabin has never had. Although I'm not sure if I could get any channels; most of the radio stations are pretty staticky (and Dad took the satellite radio).

And this is just day 2.