Big city dreams for a small-city boy

{After all we are, we are all friends}
23 August 2003 @ 10:30 AM

BGM: "Friends" by Sprung Monkey
Wanting: more than this
Wearing: white Old Navy tee with blue and grey stripes, black FTL boxer-briefs

Things seem a little tense in the relations between my group of friends as of late. I'm sure I'm not the only one that notices this, but I'm the only one that's spoken up about it. A lot of times my obliviousness will be turned to MAX and I won't even notice something so obvious as say, a big yellow school bus with a bunch of screaming kids waving glowsticks in the middle of the night until it hits me. This however, is too glaring to not notice.

But then again, it could just be me. It does seem like a rather off-period for everybody, so maybe things will return to their pre-established pattern of randomness that passes for normalcy around here.

Speaking of which, I would like to announce that due to complications which I'm sure she'd rather not have me discuss publicly, I announce that fab femme friend Shaunda is no more. She is now to be referred to exclusively as Dorian. That is all.

PS: For those of you that care, I do a semi-occassional post on PuNK-STyLe (a counter-cultural-y blog that roommie Matt runs. I had something really funny (IMO) to say. Check it out.

~A (Doo'n doo'n doodoo... A-AAAA-AAAAHHH!)

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{Sucky day rant}
21 August 2003 @ 7:57 PM

BGM: "Here With Me" from Webster Hall's Tranzformed
Wanting: to hurt and mame
Wearing: white Hanes v-neck tee, khaki shorts

I knew my super-genki mood couldn't last forever. Somewhat ironically (but more fittingly) enough, my fluffy happy mood was crushed at work. I swear, the relationship that Info and I have is reminiscent of a Shakespeareian trajedy... or is it a Farrelly Brothers movie? I forget which, but either way, it still leaves one feeling depressed and a little nautious.

Anyway, what's my no-animal-byproduct beef with work today? My shoes. Yes, my shoes. My really awesome, navy blue Airwalk Converts. Size 11½.

Info has this really whacked-out dress code that could baffle the Benbridge Scholars. I'm not going to go into detail about it, but as far as footwear goes, their rule is (and I'm paraphrasing here): "If you can have fun (ie: play sports that involve a ball or go to the beach) wearing a such footwear, then it's not appropriate to wear to work." So no sneakers, flip-flops or beach sandals. Got it. But there are a few things give me so much grief...

First, female employees get to pass flip-flops off as dressy if they have the large platformed soles and/or have shiny, sparkly decorative things on them.

Secondly, my shoes aren't sport shoes. Well, not really, they're skater shoes. And they're comfortable ones at that. They are shoes that will look okay if they're hidden under semi-baggy cargo pants (something that - Thank Alanis - are actually allowed) and I've actually gotten away with wearing them on dress-up days (not that I was being dubious in wearing them, because I honestly didn't know that they weren't allowed until today).

Lastly, and most importantly, IT'S JUST A FRICKIN' CALL CENTER FOR CRIPES SAKE! It's not like wearing Sunday clothes will make it any difference whatsoever! But no, we have to maintain a (and I say this with the sarcastic finger quotes:) "professional image." I can see that it would be advised if we dress up when we get a visit from corporate, but not from day to day work. Especially not if the customers don't seem to give a damn.

Anyway, I was approached by one of the TMs early on into my shift (even before my first break) and tells me that I can't wear those shoes again. Normally, I'd probably give them a dirty look or flip them off wildly as they turn to leave, but this TM is supposedly my friend, and it kinda hurt to have her say that. So I was left dumbfounded and all I could say was "I'm sorry." I felt like such a monkey.

It didn't matter that the rest of my work attire was stricktly within the confines. For better visualization, I wore this midnight blue polo-style Info shirt and my khaki shorts. I wore the infamous pair of shoes with quarter-cut socks, my trademark. I could not have been a more perfect picture of a clean-cut business-casual corporate faceless pawn if I tried. They even went well together too!

Sigh... When it comes to work, I just can't win.

Another thing that happened while at the hive... I was on my last break and I was just hanging out in the comfort of my car and as I was leaving to go back in, I close the door, locking my keys in. Great, I so didn't need that. Apparently, I had stuck the key into the ignition, but only far enough so that it wouldn't make that annoying beeping sound as I had the door open. So, I guess I figured that if I wasn't beeping, my keys weren't in it. I swear, my obliviousness will be my ultimate downfall.

So I had to wait about a half-an-hour for the locksmiths to arrive. It was in humiliation, I was irritated and I was really tired. I just wanted to go home and flop onto my bed and get this whole day past me.

If that wasn't bad enough, as I was looking at eBay listings for digital cameras, I just stumbled across a relatively cheap one. I got excited and I bid on it, not knowing that it doesn't come with a memory card or batteries or anything at all. It's just a freaking shell that has the name Sony engraved in it. So here I am, I'm currently the highest bidder on a camera that doesn't have anything attached to it. I'm seriously hoping someone outbids me on it, but that's so not likely because it's the last day of bidding and I'm actually the only one that's done so. Any positives that can come of this? At least the shipping's free. *Gives a weak thumbs up sign*

Life's lessons suck. Everyone must deal with them, I know. I can't help but think that maybe I get penalized doubly because I refuse to believe in reality so much. If that's the case then *flips off reality*

~A (I cannot breathe, until you're resting here with me)

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{Phoenix!!!}
21 August 2003 @ 1:09 AM

BGM: "Opticon" by Orgy
Wanting: to live in Phoenix
Wearing: white Hanes v-neck tee, light blue Stamford boxer-briefs

Okay, so I better get this in while I'm still in a big ol' whimsy about recent events...

For over the past 24 hours now, I've been on some sort of magical, wonderous spectacular musical with lots of dancing and kicks and numbers... only without all of that at the end. It's been so good that I can't help but feel that others are being put out by my profuse excitement.

Actually, one of my girlfriends is having a very literal identity crisis, but I won't mention anything else about that. I'm just saying that to prove the point that my friends and I are on this weird Emotional seesaw that seems to permeate our lives 24/7.

Back to happiness, so this trip to Phoenix was like everything that involves my friends, totally random. Shaunda and Fox had read this article in Echo (a PHX-based queer mag) about this awesome Eastern European restaurant called Transilvania. I wasn't there for the decision process, but I imagine it went something like this:

Shaunda: Hey this restaurant looks cool!
Fox: Cool, let's go to it!
Shaunda: When?
Fox: How's this Tuesday?
Shaunda: Okay!

I imagine that sometime after that I was invited in on the evil scheme.

So we meet at Shaun's house at about five, after I've had time to slip out of my confining work clothes and into something more comfy. Ruben's also invited, but he flakes at the last moment.

After that and filling up at the nearby Texaco (cuz we sure as hell weren't going to try and get gas in Phoenix), we hit I-10 and take us to where our dreams live.

We had some way decent travel music, all courtesy of Shaunda and Fox's extensive collections. I have my Sailor Moon manga to keep me entertained and to also serve as an aide to help me get a nap.

When I awaken, we are just entering the southernmost parts of the Phoenix Valley; Queen Creek and such. Once we approach those cool overpassing ramp thingies that all the cool big cities have, my giddiness is activated.

Pretty soon, we're right in the middle of it. Right amongst the other million-plus residences of the Arizona capital, crusin' the 10 in the carpool lane and dancing like weirdos to DJ Sammy's "Heaven" and whoever sings the techno version of "Cherry Bomb."

Then, I catch sight of it. One of the most beautiful things that I can ever hope to see. The downtown area of Phoenix appears on the horizon. My eyes light up and I let out a squeal of delight. I live for large city skylines; the tall buildings reaching into the sky, the lights from everything just piercing the blackness of night and the excitement of knowing that this place has it goin' on.

Sadly, we depart from I-10 and get on the 17 to head north to where our destination lay.

Soon enough, we arrive to our location. We narrowly missed it and had to turn into a *Psycho shower scene music plays* church parking lot. *Laughs* It was so funny, the three of us would not stop screaming in faked horror until we left it (at least I was, I think Fox's and Shaunda's were geniune).

Upon entering, we are greeted by this petite little girl of a woman who seats us. We take it all in. The surroundings are like something of a mix between a sophisticated Euro dining hall and Southwest bourgeouis. Then HE came. The hottest hunk of man to ever have an unplacable accent comes up and waits on us. I try not to slobber as I order. He even touches me as he collects the menus. *Dreamy sigh*

So, the meal was awesome. I ordered the Chicken Parmesean (can't spell it!), and some fried cheese that starts with a 'K'. It's really tasty. As we eat, Fox, Shaunda and I talk about making trips like this a more semi-frequent thing. Shaunda's all for finding a decent Russian restaurant, I agree to it. Hell, I'm all for anything involving getting out of Tucson to keep ourselves entertained.

After dinner, Fox and Shaunda go ask the cute hostess for directions to Tempe and ASU so we can go do some random U of A-style things and cruise Mill Ave. (THE MOST posh of all streets in the entire state). I pay for the check and have the cute waiter flirt and ask me if I know a such-and-such with my same last name. For the most part, I just stared intently at him, all the while smiling a little too widely.

Back on the road, we make our way down to 59th Ave. (sp?, I forget). But according to the girl at the restaurant, this was the way to get there. I, having a 2nd hand knowledge of the layout of the Valley, question the validity of the course we're given. After driving down 59th for a few blocks, we pull into a seedy Best Western right next to some railroad tracks and send Fox in to get some directions.

After what seemed like an eternity, Fox (and Shaunda who had gone in to get him) re-emerges with a map of the Phoenix metro area in hand. From there, we have our direction and head down southeast Grand Ave. which cuts diagonally through the city and eventually runs into the street that'll eventually spit us out in Tempe.

Grand eventually takes us to downtown Phoenix *jumps up and down clapping*. We get onto Van Buren and cruise right down the center. Oh yeah. From there however, the street gets really questionable. For a really long stretch (which took us past the street which leads to Sky Harbor Airport), the layout of the street was like, sleazy motel, porn shop, run-down used car lot, sleazy motel, porn shop, convenience store, porn shop, sleazy motel, occasional Mexican convenience store, porn shop... and well, you get the idea.

Finally at about 10:00 Pacific Standard Time, we are welcomed to Tempe by a really cool bridge lit up so prettily that you could swear that it was Christmas.

We park and then proceed to traverse across the wonderland that is Mill Ave. All of the stores there and the white lights made it seem less like a major street in a college town, but more like Downtown Disney or something. I was in a euphoric trance. Inwardly, anyway. On the outside, I was in just as much awe as Fox and Shaunda.

So, our first destination? Fascinations. Yes, the porn shop. *Shakes head* We've been to both of them here in Tucson and the first place we visit in Tempe is the tired adult novelty shop. At least it provided with some mild amuesment. And a really hot employee to gawk at.

After that, Shaunda, having the eyes of a hawk, spots our safe haven. Starbucks. Visions of Vanilla Soy Lattes and Caramel Frappuchinos danced in my head. Though, this was met with some apprehension, in Tucson, the one at the University closes at 10:00, so I thought that we would have to go without our overpriced-but-quality-coffinated sweetness. The only way we find out for sure was to bravely traipse in and ask. Much to our delight, it was still open. Mixed coffee drinks and use of the restroom all around!

Satisfied, we all left with drinks of our own. I happily sipped at my precious Caramel Frappuchino while we walked over to the Harkins theater nearby. The urge to see a movie has never hit me so bad as it did when I saw the theater. It was so amazing looking! There was a bunch of those cheesy squiggly neon lights from the early 90s that I so *heart*! The front of it was also all windows, so you could peer out into the night as you awaited the movie to start. Unfortunately, the movie we all wanted to see (Pirates of the Caribbean) had the last show start at 9:00. Unfortunately for that, we were SOL, but we were in Tempe to explore, not to get sidetracked by every better-than-they-have-in-Tucson thing.

From there, we went to the cool, two-story Borders. It was about 15 minutes to closing, so upon entering, we dispersed and made our way to the part of the store of our choice. I, naturally gravitated towards search of the graphic novels. I then moved over to the newsstand and perused the magazines. I saw the Entertainment Weekly and it had Russell Crowe on the cover. Now, I don't want to knock him (for fear that I may offend enthusiasts), but he looked so hideous. He looked bloated, belligerent and sweaty, which I'll admit was kinda how I looked because of all the walking, though I didn't have bleached-blonde ratty hair.

It was then that Matt called. Coincidence? Not to say that he has ratty bleached-blonde hair, but he does have a soft spot for Mr. Gladiator. Anyway, he calls me to let me know that he's off of work and that I was supposed to pick him up. I was well-aware of this, and quite honestly, I didn't think that we'd be up in Phoenix this late into the night before we came, but when we were near Glendale asking for directions at the Best Western, I left Matt a detailed message telling him how he would have to find another ride home, but apparently he never got it. Thankfully, I would later find out that that would get itself taken care of, but at that moment I felt kinda guilty.

That quickly passed (hey, Matt's a resourceful guy!), and I continued with my binge of fun. I forget exactly where we went from there, but we continued our walk down Mill until we came to University. We were anxious to check out the ASU campus, so we walked down eastwardly in search of it. Despite the lighting, we couldn't see it, so after a block, we turned around and headed west down University. After a few blocks, the sidewalk started to become really cracked and broken, so we stop in at this pizza joint and ask for directions. As it turns out, we were right the first time, we just had to continue down it a little further.

Once we step onto the campus, I get some strange vibes. First, I felt like was in season four Buffy; that's exactly how the ASU campus looked like to me. I was half-expecting to be attacked by a vampire, or worse, run into that troll Riley. Next, I noticed that there wasn't a really warm and welcoming feel like the U of A's does. Lastly, I felt very, very sweaty and hot. The night was really warm and humid and my arms, my neck and forehead were all coated in a layer of sweat (lovely).

We proceed to make our way down into the university and check out the requisite local spots. Their Rec Center is so huge! It's like the size of... *tries to make an analogy to describe the sheer size of it but fails* ... something really huge. Next, we walk by to the MU (the Memorial Union). I didn't have much expectations for this, because the U of A actually has the largest student union in the country. Booyah! Anyway, I was so not impressed. Next to it was this really cool fountain. Shaunda had a skirt and some flip-flops on, so she was the only one that could really make use of it. I could only damn myself for not wearing my sandals so that I could dip my feet in. We lingered there for a bit and recuperated before starting our way back around.

Speaking of cursing my lack of foresight, all throughout the night I kept saying to myself, "damn, why didn't I bring a camera so that I could record all of this for posterity?" I think it was then that I decided that I would invest in a digital camera. I think I've worked enough overtime this pay period to afford a quality one from eBay. Usefulness when it comes to doing memorable crap like this aside, I could finally scare away unwanted visitors to my site by posting my ugly mug for all the world to see. Then I will whittle it down to all of the undeterred and think of a creative and sadistic way to deal with them.

Whoa... tangent much? Anyway, I should probably continue...

It was close to 1:00 and we were all but spent. We leave the ASU campus through this concrete skywalk that only has stairs a quarter of the way up and seems to be sloped at a 45 degree angle. My last burst of energy was spent on gaining speed on the way down, running behind Shaunda and trying not to fall as I take the stairs down at the fastest pace I have ever done in my life.

From there, we walk back down University towards Mill. On the way, we walk past this outdoor bar called Dos Gringos. As we do, this car drives by and a frat boi with a really pale ass moons the bar crowd. I think Fox enjoyed it. I yelled for the dude to get a tan.

At that point, I was pretty much shuffling down Mill. I was tired and sweaty. It was a good kind of tired, though. It's the kind of tired that you used to feel as a kid after a day of spinning around and doing random inane kid-things. I would have to gauge my exhaustion at about two three-song DDR sessions. I felt really statisfied for that. A few metros (the buses there) passed, still in service (shock!) as we made our way back to Shaunda's humble Saturn.

Once we left, I rolled the window all the way down and welcomed the breeze. It felt oh-so-good. Like I've never felt the wind before.

We hit the I-10 and headed East, back to the place we call 'where our beds are'. On the way, we danced to the remainder of one of Ruben's burned dance albums and Orgy. I turned back a few times and bid goodbye to my adventure-filled metropolis. Phoenix has such a bright aura from all of their bright lights. It was then that I promised myself that if for whatever reason I should not make L.A., Seattle, Portland or Atlanta, I will take Phoenix.

It's plainly obvious that my enjoyment was at maximum. I've known that I'm built for the big-city life forever and getting a taste of it like this seems almost like a cruel joke. It's like "this is what you can't have." But oh no, you are wrong, Fate. I will make my way in a city so large that a state (or even country) needn't be mentioned that people will know where you're from.

Which segues me perfectly to today's events. I was unusually peppy at work. I guess some residuals from the Central AZ adventure were still keeping me going. Anyway, at about 5:00-ish, three hours away from the end of my shift, this guy calls from New York state. Apparently, he had met this girl at a bar the night previous, and was looking for her. The problem was that he only had her first name, a very unisex name too. So I go down the list and give him about 30 or so numbers that matched this person's first name. Now, we're only allowed to give out up to three numbers per call, so I was feeling EXTREMELY generous. Anyway, by the time I finished reading them all to him, the guy on the line is so thoroughly impressed that he asks to be transferred to a supervisor to commend my efforts. Before he did though, he actually gave me his cell phone number because he offered me a job in New York... CITY. He didn't say what he did, but he did say that I could make about $38,000 a year and that his offices were next to Verizon's corporate, so it must be prestigious. Besides, how could he be BSing me if he would have nothing really to gain by doing so?

So enter the dilemma, Manhattan was never really a city of choice for me go to, but is THE city as far as a lot of things go, so it would certainly rank up there (if not higher by other people's standards) with L.A., Seattle, et al. Could I... no SHOULD I try my hand and see if NYC is for me? I know that I'd have to be smart enough and save enough money to keep me afloat while my job takes off and enough for me to get out should it not work out. Do I dare follow my dream and see if this would be the move for me? I mean, I already know two people in New York personally, so I could possibly hang with them, but is it for me? Like I said, I never considered New York as an option, but how often will such an opportunity present itself to me? This will definitely become my obsession (both mentally AND financially) for weeks to come.

~A (The only thing that matters is just following your heart and eventually you'll finally get it right)

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{untitled}
20 August 2003 @ 11:35 AM

BGM: Orgy's entire album
Wanting: to return to Phoenix
Wearing: work stuff

Hee... I *heart* getting new fans. Granted, my somewhat duplicitious banners seem to have a hand in that, I still appreciate new people coming in and browsing. It makes my life seem more interesting... I mean, more than it already is! *nudge nudge*

Last night, Fox, Shaunda and I had an awesome adventure in the Phoenix valley. I'd so love to talk about it in great detail right now, but I have to get to work, so it'll have to wait.

PS: If you've come in via my banner, I'd so love you forever if you told me what you think! Thanx to all those that have already done so!

~A (Guilty by design)

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{Can you dig it?}
19 August 2003 @ 12:10 AM

BGM: "Your Song" by Ewan McGregor
Wanting: an afro maybe?
Wearing: same as this morning

Someone at VH1 loves me. Tonight, instead of opting for going out and renting a video with some friends, I decided to stay in and let me old friends at Video Hits (a little-known fact that that's what the VH stands for) entertain the night away for me.

The first thing on the menu to keep me company was the first two episodes of I Love the 70s (1970 and 1971). Now, I know that I missed the 70s by like three years, and I would've been too young to remeber anything anyway, but I still found it all so very (to put it in the slang of the era) Jive Turkey. It was very cool to revel in other people's nostalgia. If nothing else, Hal Sparks lookin' all fine and schtuff was enough to keep me glued to it for two hours.

Next, there was this special on queers in the media called Totally Gay. It was basically an hour-long documentary/news special that chronicled the presence/impact/whatever else associated with Family being visible to the mainstream. I learned some cool new terms like the real definition of "metrosexual" - a straight man (or woman, who knows?) that has mannerisms that would be at onetime considered 'gay' (ie: fashionable, gets his hair/nails/face done, etc). And I also found out that Kurt Cobain was bisexual. Apparently he came out to The Advocate way back in 1991. I think I might've known that, but anyway, the show helped to cement that fact in.

But there was other stuff too, like interviews with Amber Benson (Tara!), and they talked about Tatu and all this other stuff that I found incredibly fascinating.

Oh, and one last thing about VH1. While I was tuned in, I saw one of the channel promos; animated cut-outs of cats dressed as the Ramones singing "Hey Ho, Let's Go." It was hi-freakin'-larious. Forget chimps, everything's funnier with cats.

Good times.

Now I must off to sleep.

~A (I've made my own gay bed and I shall pull my gay sheets over my gay head and sleep gaily in it)

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{For lack of better excitement}
18 August 2003 @ 11:23 AM

BGM: "Your Song" Instrumental from Rehersal montage from "Moulin Rouge"
Wanting: some Tylenol
Wearing: two-tone red Old Navy shirt, floral print FTL boxer-briefs

So I have absolutely nothing of import to talk about today. My life is in a perfect state of idleness and the only way that there will be something interesting happening is if I make it happen. And I'll be damned if I have to resort to that anytime soon.

Actually, as of late, I've been listening to the Moulin Rouge soundtrack (both discs) very extensively. I've especially become a tad obsessed over track one on the second disc, the "Your Song" Instrumental from the Rehearsal montage. It's so pretty. I think I'm going to change my voicemail greeting to have that playing in the background. It's been made apparent to me that not all of my friends appreciate my current greeting of "Clocks." Jerks. But anyhoo, I think I should probably get that updated, I mean I think I've had it since Portland, knowing me and my inherent flakiness, that's an unbeatable record. But seeing as my understood purpose in life is to please others, I guess I should get crankin' on that. Now if only I could remember my damned passcode.

~A (He's like a detuned radio)

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{where do i start?}
i am... a dancer and a dreamer, latino, gay, a singer, a poet, an artist, a son, a brother, no one's lover, way too obsessed with sailor moon for my own good, a romantic, temporarily unemployed, and too much more to list here

{emotional me}
The current mood of invernal at www.imood.com

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{cool-style}
i was always blue-green cuz we are living in a material world...
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