new 4.3 Gigabyte hard drive came in the mail today, another $200 down the drain, but damn I needed the storage. Installing that sucker in my Windows 95 machine consumed much of the day while I should have been preparing for today's surely epic Aquarius Party. I clipped out a few Aquarius symbols from tin foil and pasted them on the wall, then I went around pushing my paintings so they hung at weird angles, that was the extent of my early preparations.
t a certain point, Jessika, Joanna, Peggy & the Baboose showed up, about to head off to look at prospective rental properties in the Crozet area (some 15 miles west of town). The stated reason, you see, for Joanna's even coming to Charlottesville this time was for her to scout out a place to live and a job so she can move here, something she's been wanting to do for three years now.
Somehow Jessika convinced me to come along, mostly because she said we'd be stopping at world-famous Crozet Pizza for dinner. I left my computer in some kind of horrible unbootable state, which weighed heavy on my mind the whole time I was away from it.
Somehow we wound up at an enormous old farmhouse. It sat weary on the cold clammy land beside a railroad track. Overweight dogs useless for any possible guard function happily greeted us as we ambled from Joanna's van. One of the dogs I quickly named "Wormy Butt" after he dragged himself some fifty feet down the gravel driveway on his enormous ass, a look of rectified rectality on his cloven-lipped visage.
There was a human at the house when we arrived. "It" had a long blond pony tail and an androgynous body and it took me a little while to figure out that it was a woman, the lesser half (I take it) of a lesbian couple that had been living in the huge dilapidated old place. We walked around inside as it gave us a tour. The house rambled on for many rooms of peeling paint, humpbacked floors, and code-violating electrical wiring. The whole time Joanna was ooing and ahing about how much she was in love with it, especially since the rent was only $540 a month (after only a $400 deposit). I had a more detached, critical view. Well I remember the multi-grand backlog of electric bills in the days of Big Fun. It didn't help that the house was clearly colder within than the temperature outside.
As we drove away, Jessika and I did what we could do to inject some necessary perspective into Joanna's somewhat irrational love for the place.
In downtown Crozet, we found we lacked a necessary reservation to eat at the tiny but respected Crozet Pizza. So it was on to other restaurants, where similar rejections awaited us. We could have gone to the Subway I suppose, but our expectations sat entirely too high at this point.
Then of course came the endless time at the thrift shop. The place was all full of clothes entirely too small for me, with hardly a gadget in sight. I went off to explore the railroad tracks until the cold drove me back, whereupon I flicked through a National Geographic from 1986, reading an article about the Soviet Space Program and "Are they ahead of us?"
e ended up returning to Charlottesville for our dinner. After some debate, we went to Anna's, the folksy Italian place within spitting distance of Kappa Mutha Fucka. Joanna somehow knew the place was one of those inferior places that serves iceberg lettuce instead of whatever greener, less crisp variety she prefers, but she went with the program. In the end she had to admit the pizza was excellent.
I notice that Joanna's road rage is starting to manifest even when she drives in the Charlottesville area. Perhaps she's coming to feel that this is part of her territory. Maybe this means she really is about to move here this time.
I snuck off to Kappa Mutha Fucka early to get my computer working as well as investigate the party situation. I was, of course, concerned that without my motivating influences the house would still be completely unprepared for the evening. But, reassuringly, I found most of the essential preparations had already been made. The couches sat stacked on their sides against the walls along with the mattresses, clearing the floor and providing a barrier against the insane noise levels that would eventually be coming.
Eventually the girls came back from the pizza place and hung out with me in my room as we awaited the return of Matthew Hart, Angela and Zachary. When they came back, we began to devise a plan to get the beer kegs we would be needing.
bout this time Nancy Firedrake Taylor and The Mayor of Bethesda Avenue arrived as they'd said they would, all the way from Maryland, oh how fun. Nancy was all decked out in her leather miniskirt, fishnet stockings, Monica Lewinskiesque beret and aluminum speed cane. The Mayor is laid back and unassuming, while Nancy rides along on the mood like a rum-sipping Cuban on a small homemade raft. She reminds me a lot of Jen the wacky Tokyo Rose bartender (one of the few of my peers remotely approaching me in age), though without any of Jen's sociopathic quality.
Nancy and the Mayor are a bit older than my usual friends, but still, they're closer to my age than most of my chums, so you might say it was a refreshing change from the usual. I have, after all, occasionally made noises in here about wanting to have friends my own age, so here was my big chance.
Nancy and the Mayor had brought a big box of fun little party favours, including fireworks, hats, those little things that unravel when you blow in them, and the sticks that shoot telescoping columns of wax paper when flicked. There was even a rawhide chew bone for Shira, and she made a good show of appreciation by excitedly tossing it around on the floor in preference to her many other chew bones.
While Nancy and the Mayor went off for dinner, Matthew, Deya and I went to get kegs. First we went to Farmer Jack, but after the three of us debated what keg to get in front of the cashier (and Deya -still two days shy of 21- handed me money), we were all asked to show I.D. Whoah, that was tragic, so we went on to Kroger, where we picked up a keg each of Budweiser and Milwaukee's Beast Ice. Unfortunately, we discovered that a stolen tap wasn't going to work because it lacked an essential seal, and further complicating matters, Kroger was fresh out of available taps.
Back at Kappa Mutha Fucka, we soon discovered that the JPA Fastmart was also fresh out of taps to rent. So I switched into McGyver mode, and made a replacement seal out of Styrofoam, and when it almost worked, I went in search of better material. I settled on bicycle inner tube, cutting several instances of the right-sized gasket and stacking them one on top of each other to arrive at the necessary thickness. Let me just say, it worked miraculously. I was so proud, especially given how skeptical Matthew had been about my chances of success.
atthew was also skeptical that anyone would come to our party at all. Pehaps this was related in large measure to the fact that, in his somewhat absorbed relationship-induced social fog, he'd neglected to invite anyone. But Deya and I had done our homework, and gradually the results came streaming in.
A big coup was the arrival of the Quintuplets, which is, as you may recall, the term I use for the contingent consisting of the identical Virgo Jewish triplets Esther, Hannah and Naomi, along with Sarah Kleiner (another Jewish Virgo) and KC (a non-Jewish Aquarius). The Quintuplets are five stylish, attractive young women who frequently circulate without male companions. When they come to your party, there's hardly any reason to decorate.
The Jessika put on one of her recent favourite bands, the Blood Hound Gang, which is sort of a white boy rap-metal hybrid played by some Philadelphia-area kids. It's great stuff, and the lyrics are hysterical. For example,
'Cause my fifteen year old cousin has less acne.
Why is everybody always picking on me?
'Cause you haven't brushed those teeth since 1983.
Why is everybody always picking on me?
'Cause you walk like a girl and sit down to pee.
Why is everybody always picking on me?
'Cause you took your mom to the prom and you got lucky.
It's good stuff to dance to, and I was already in a mood to dance. Hannah the Triplet and I put all the wallflowers to shame.
Let's see, then more Internet chums arrived. There was Astrogirl and her significant other Tino. Later came Spring, another online journal personality. (Jessika remarked to me later that Spring was "strange" -not necessarily a bad thing- and also that she surprisingly knew lots of obscure dance moves appropriate to the 1920s music with which Jessika has recently become infatuated.) Jamie Plummer, who once wrote a good article about my musings in the Cavalier Daily, also made an appearance.
Yet more people came, people such as Amy the goth girl, Amy the retro-mod, Cory the Coffee Cart Girl, and scads of people I never really expected, such as the Curious Digit people (complete with groupies), most of last year's Vegan Death band, my old housemate Elizabeth, and Natalie the German Girl. Elizabeth and Natalie must have thought we were having some sort of low-key cheapskate party, because they brought their own beer. They seemed both amazed by the presence of kegs (schwag though they were) and overwhelmed by the maddening crowd.
One interesting thing about the crowd was that it was mostly comprised of girls. I suppose that was a direct result of the fact that most of the inviting had come from Deya and myself, and most of our friends are female. As Nancy Firedrake pointed out later, it's best to have mostly girls at a party, since the boys seem to like it just fine, and the girls don't mind being in the majority either; they're plenty happy just talking with each other.
fter much delay, equipment was set up and live music was played. At first it was just Raphæl on guitars and vocals and someone on bass, and it sounded like crap, like a surefire crowd thinner, but then someone (I don't know who) stepped behind the drunk kit and began to pound away. Miraculously, the music immediately crystallized into something beautiful. It was amazing, and testified to the understated power of drums in modern do-it-yourself music.
Later the Counselors got up and played. Their guitarist now is none other than Zachary, and tonight he played a five string guitar. The few songs they had a chance to play were perfectly suited to the raucous crowd's energy. I was running Zachary's camcorder to record the event.
The cops came after a couple of songs and told us a neighbor had registered a complaint and that we'd have to knock it off. Damn that Lorna! At one point I saw her looking apprehensively out her window as I stood in the street peeing. So we piled a mattress against the door and hung a sign telling people to come around back to enter the party. The band played a while longer, but then the police came again and said if they had to come back, they'd take someone to jail. Well, that threw a wet blanket on things. I suddenly realized that Kappa Mutha Fucka has the distinction of living in a dork neighborhood where one may not raise a racket on a Saturday night! The band and I bounced around ideas about ways to possibly play another set, but Matthew was thinking more clearly I suppose and somehow counseled us to do something less noisy. In the end I set up my guitar in the kitchen, and played it to Raphæl's tooting on an old trombone I once dumpster dived. Then he took over on my guitar. I tooted the trombone for maybe 15 seconds before I hyperventilated and handed it off to Zachary. Before long, a classy little impromptu lowfi concert was happening in the kitchen, with various strangers banging on pots and pans and cupboards. It was beautiful in its own way, and since it was on the other side of the house, we received no more visits from the cops.
During a lull in the action I ran across Nancy Firedrake on the stair. She bore a strangely non-heterosexual gift from Scott that was rendered ickless only by virtue of the proxy of its deliverance. From there the proxy became something of her own. Matthew Hart passed us on the stairs and humourously judged us. Whatever.
In my room, Nancy and I found a group of complete strangers hanging out, smoking pot. Since it was there, I smoked a little too. The strangers were jolly and friendly, and none of them had stolen anything, so I was pleasant in return. Eventually they left Nancy and me alone.
related linksNancy Firedrake's account of today.
The Mayor of Bethesda Avenue's account of today.
Spring's account of today.
See some photographs from today.
one year ago
back to the top
previous | next