I had a busy day one weekend. It started by going to the KUSI studio. They wanted to talk to me on their morning news program about parties. I felt awkward on a day when the big stories were the new Pope and a finger in chili at Wendy's. It was hard to wake up so early on a weekend. The green room was interesting. A few combs and brushes and lots of gels and sprays for your hair. I couldn't figure out why there were feathered boas in the corner. Were they for guests who felt they were a little underdressed? The priest who was the guest before me didn't wear one, so I didn't either.
My segment started off shaky. I told the newscaster that women out there should realize the camera adds 70 pounds. That threw him off.
The interview went well. My mom said I was funny but that my forehead looked shiny. Maybe that's why the newscasters kept slapping on powder during commercial breaks.
When they let me out the door after my segment, the gate wouldn't open in the parking lot. I had to bang on the doors for five minutes. They let me back in, and I left through the main lobby. After a woman opened the door and said goodbye, I found the front doors were locked. And I couldn't go back from where I came because that door locked behind me. For almost 10 minutes I knocked on the windows and doors to no avail. I called 4-1-1 on my cell, but my phone battery was dying. I got a number for KUSI, and it was a recording. I called a friend who ended up getting a newsline, and I was soon rescued.
From there, I went to a skate park opening. The Rancho Peñasquitos Skate Park had their ribbon-cutting ceremony. It's a great location, off the 56 freeway near a plaza. No neighbors to complain.
Police were all over the streets doing crowd control. Probably a good idea since kids were skating up from all different directions, and Carmel Mountain Road has a lot of traffic.
There were also two ambulances standing by.
I was surprised to see Mayor Dick Murphy. This might have been the last event he was at before his resignation. He grabbed the microphone and said, "I was gonna skate today, but my neck is in the shop."
When Councilman Scott Peters was talking, a few of the younger kids said, "Are these old people going to be talking all morning? When are they going to just let us skate?"
He said this was the third skate park in San Diego (the others being in Ocean Beach and Logan Heights).
When he was done speaking and ready to cut the ribbon, they had a kid skate through it instead. A few professional skaters were doing demonstrations before they let everyone else in. The line to get in was long.
This used to be a park-and-ride, and it's now all concrete and wood structures that kids can skate on. There was a long list of rules, including an age requirement -- six or older. It looks like the new skate park will be a success.
I haven't been on a skateboard since 1984, so I grabbed a hot dog and started to leave. As I was leaving, a group of kids asked if I was from a skateboard magazine. One said, "If you are, I'll catch some serious air. You'll get the best photos." I asked them how often they'd be coming here, and one blonde kid who looked to be 15, said, "Dude, my mom might have to forward my mail here. I'm living at this place for the next few months."
I had a few errands to run but was able to catch a quick nap before heading to a party in Hillcrest. Eli Gilbert gave me the wrong directions (he told me to turn right instead of left, but I wasn't lost for long).
I pulled up as five guys were leaving. I found out they were just going to the garage to look at the Subaru that Eli recently bought. These guys all belonged to an international Subaru club. I said, "All I know about Subarus is that they have those weird seats in the back that face the opposite direction." They told me all about the races they are involved in, and a bald guy named Brett offered to take me to the track. Eli's car had spoilers on the back and I said, "Are those just for looks, or do they make the car go faster? I would think the more you have on a car, the more friction you'd get with the wind." Brett said, "If you are going under 80, spoilers slow you down. Faster than that and they're beneficial." He then went into a very detailed explanation that went over my head. One of the words I remember him using was "vortex."
As we were admiring Eli's new car, which looked like it would need a lot of work before it was ready for the track, three girls pulled up. One guy said, "Now the party can start." Eli offered to parallel park their car. After they made a few attempts, they took him up on his offer.
I asked the guys if they get a lot of speeding tickets. They all shook their heads no. One said, "We save our speed for the track. Why waste the money paying tickets?"
There was a karaoke machine at the party. Eli was making people sign up to sing. I asked him who his favorite singers were. "Billy Idol and David Bowie." I can understand Bowie, but Billy Idol?
One couple got up and sang "Love Shack." I would end up hearing that song another two times in the course of the evening, but it wasn't for lack of selection. They had a book filled with songs. When a girl walked around having us sign up, I told her I couldn't sing. She said, "You have to. Just write a song down." I wrote "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida." She said, "What the hell is that? I don't think we have it."
Someone sang Madonna's "Like a Virgin," and Madonna jokes were told for the next 10 minutes. One woman asked if there were any Gwen Stefani songs. The girl with the book said, "Who is that?"
A few women sang "I Will Survive." They sounded great. A guy who got drunk later in the evening didn't sound as good singing it (I thought he'd try it the way Cake covered it, but he basically slurred all the words and danced around like a shaman).
I went on the back patio, which was really long and narrow, but without a lot of space. There were a few people smoking. I pulled out a cigar, but the second I got it lit, drizzle fell. Someone said, "Maybe God is trying to tell you that those things stink."
Carrie O'Connell came outside and we had a great conversation. She recently moved into Eli's place. I asked if it would be a problem having a male roommate. She said, "I thought Eli was gay, at first. He's not. He's really cool, so everything will be fine." I told her I didn't want to waste my cigar, so she suggested I smoke it in her room.
I went in there and commented on the great books she had. I pulled out Catch-22 and she said, "That's where the phrase came from." I couldn't believe she had such a fine book collection but such a horrible CD collection. It was filled with lots of country, and lots of Dave Mathews.
I told her I had met her sister outside. Her sister is getting a boob job next month, and I tried to talk her out of it. I said, "You're cute. Why do you think guys need a woman with big breasts? You look fine the way you are." Carrie laughed and said, "She can have mine. I'm tired of 'em."
Carrie comes from an Irish-Catholic family and has eight brothers and sisters. She has been step dancing since she was nine. And one of her co-workers told me, "Last week, we made her dance for us. She didn't want to. She finally did and was amazing."
I talked to an African-American woman named Kim. She spent two months in Australia and now works from her home. She had a lot of interesting stories, and kept telling me she wasn't going to stay long, because she was going to a birthday party/wine tasting in the morning. She didn't have a gift, and I told her she should get the Sideways DVD (since it was a wine-themed movie).
I heard her tell a few others she would be leaving soon, but she was there the entire night. She licked Brett's head at one point and said, "I've licked many bald heads in my day." I asked what it tasted like and she said, "It was good, like a salty melon."
I went back outside where there was a girl who looked like Hilary Swank. There seems to be one at every party I go to these days. She said, "You're from the Reader? They've written about me a few times. I was in a band called Sought Out. I was the bass player and singer." She tells me they were a Christian rock band. After she continued to curse and chug beer, I asked about her Christianity. And she had some interesting takes on religion.
A tall red-headed woman named Jacyn said, "You are the party guy and you don't have a drink in your hand." She made me a 7&7, and whenever I finished one, she'd make me another. One time my cup emptied and I looked for her. She was with a good-looking guy in the kitchen. I said, "What's up with my drinks?" She immediately started to make me another one. I said, "I'm joking. You don't have to." She said, "I'm so excited. I met that guy over there and his name is Jason. How weird is that?" I replied, "It's not weird that his name is Jason. It's weird that yours is. What would really be weird is if you both had the same astrological sign." She then asked his sign and couldn't believe it was the same. When they pulled out drivers licenses, it turns out their birthdays were the exact same day -- April 14, 1977.
I was talking to two Asian guys who were kind of quiet. Carrie's sister came over and said, "Are you guys into racing, too? Race cars suck. What a dumb hobby." I asked, "What hobbies do you have?" She took a drag from her cigarette and said "Fucking." She then told me she played basketball, and when I said I did also, she challenged me to a game. She said, "I will kill you on the court." We were going to go find a court, because she was so cocky I wanted to shut her up. And the idea of a woman beating me at basketball still makes me laugh (save your letters, women; I've seen WNBA games).
I went back into Carrie's room to finish my cigar. Eli came in saying, "I thought you left." He grabbed my cigar and starting puffing away. He said, "Why are you staying in here?" I said, "I can smoke in here. And it's in Carrie's bedroom. Who wouldn't want to be here?" He laughed and said it was okay to smoke in the living room, so I went out there. But when Eli started singing a Billy Idol tune, I quickly headed to the kitchen.
Someone in the kitchen said, "We can really get loud at this party. There's a psychiatrist that lives upstairs, and he's never home during the weekend. A lawyer lives next door, but he's only here on weekends. And there's a canyon in the back."
One guy came into the kitchen for a beer and said, "It smells like feet in here. Why are there 10 of you jammed into the kitchen?"
There was a cute blonde girl that reminded me of someone named Sara Pitts from my high school days. She had a few interesting stories, but I couldn't figure out her boyfriend. He looked like Stiffler from the American Pie movies. When I told him that, he laughed and said he's heard that before. He was wearing a shirt that said "I Love Strippers."
He grabbed a Budweiser and said, "This is low carbs. Cool." A woman responded, "It's also lower in taste, unfortunately."
I heard one girl talking about moving here from Florida. She said, "San Diego is too cold. There's no humidity here." I later heard her say, "My friend is dating someone she met on Match.com. The guy is a real tool." Every time I walked by her, I'd catch a portion of some conversation that sounded interesting.
There were three people on the couch all talking on cell phones, I assumed not to each other.
I heard a guy say, "Why do all the women here have freckles? I hate freckles." He had a point. But the girls were all cute. I said, "Would you rather have a party filled with ugly chicks that didn't have freckles?" He looked at me confused and said, "I just hate freckles; that's all." Fair enough.
I talked to Carrie about her college days. She went to Chapman and was in the Sigma Tau Delta Sorority. She told me that she came up with shirts that said "STD... there's no cure for genius." A perfect shirt for the honor society. Another one said, "Excuse me, but your participle is dangling."
There were four full bags of trash in the kitchen and I helped her carry them out. I asked her if she recycled. She said, "No. I should, but I figure the homeless guys go through the trash anyway. They'll get all the cans out of there."
It reminded me of my friend who never puts the grocery carts back at store parking lots. When I bug him about that, he says, "They have employees come out and do that. I would hate to put them out of a job."
The Asian guys came in from the patio and said, "Why didn't you kick that girl's ass in basketball? I wanted to see that. She was out there saying guys can't take pain the way women can and how they would never be able to deal with the pain involved in having children. We needed you to shut her up." I hear women say that they have a higher threshold for pain. They often bring up the childbirth thing. But aren't their bodies designed for that? I broke my arms four times growing up. The times I've seen girls break bones, they are on the ground crying.
A few of the women here work as party planners. They told me, "You can't say this was a lame party. That would hurt our reputation."
One of the girls then said, "Let's do some shots of Jäger. It isn't a party until you down some Jäger." I didn't try any because I heard it tastes like black licorce, which I hate. Two guys debated what it actually tastes like.
I heard Carrie's sister say, "Where is the bedroom? We're going to go get it on."
Her boyfriend is from another city, and his body is covered in tattoos. I asked someone why he had numbers tattooed on his neck. Somebody guessed they were gang-related. They did retreat to the bedroom, and I never saw them again.
One of Carrie's co-workers showed up late, but he brought a Padres item for her as a housewarming present. Carrie started telling me about how much she loves baseball. I said, "Once people start talking about baseball, it's time for me to leave."
Plus it was after 2 a.m.
After all the 7&7s Jacyn made me and baseball talk, I was afraid I'd fall asleep right there.
Crash your party? Call 619-235-3000 x421 and leave an invitation for Josh Board.