I'm So Great: The Rantings of a Jaded Youth

When I grow up, I want to be just like me.

Guess Who Met Tommy Wiseau! (It Was Me.) August 30, 2010

So my friend Shannon (still maybe an internet rapist) desperately wanted to go to the most recent midnight-showing of The Room at the Laemmle in West Hollywood. If you haven’t seen The Room, here’s imdb’s summary of it. The movie is nothing like that. Anywho, normally I have to work Saturdays (waaaage slaaaaave), but the Gonzalez Family Reunion was nigh, so I had the night off.

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Speaking of the Gonzalez Family Reunion, this is how my extended family will remember my immediate family since I took the liberty of bringing pictures for me and my brother, who couldn’t be there, and my mom didn’t bring any pictures at all. Good job, The “Gonzalez’s.” Also, if there was any doubt in your mind, my pictures are not the ones in nice neat rows with borders cut out around them.

So anyways, we gathered up a group to meet at the Laemmle. My car’s group got there super late because Lames Foreman wanted to watch Mazes and Monsters. When we got there, I was floored by how many people were there. The line was obscene. Shannon had said the show sells out but I just couldn’t believe people would flock to pay to see an absolutely horrible movie like The Room. When we found Johnny and Boy (Also from the internet. Apparently I meet all my friends there.), they were adamant that the main character of the movie, which they had not yet seen and had no idea what to expect from, had been running around the crowd getting everyone all jazzed. Now I haven’t believed anything that Johnny says since I told him my idea for a show with a renegade cop who plays by his own rules…of physics, and Johnny told me that was a show in the 90s called Centrifugal Force with Adam Corolla and Eddie Murphy’s ghost in the body of a robot. Sorry, Johnny, you just can’t be trusted. So obviously I didn’t believe him. I was even more skeptical when they said Tommy Wiseau was very nimble and had been tight rope walking on the wrap around ledge. Right, Johnny. Tommy Wiseau can’t even figure out how belts work.

So the line started moving and when we got into the theater, and who was standing just inside but Tommy Wiseau himself. He looked like a corpse but he was super nice. And he either actually talks like that or he’s the world’s most committed actor. Shannon almost peed herself when we saw him and she needed a picture. Thanks for roping me in, Shannon. It was seriously fun. So we went over and I snapped a few pictures for some other fans. I almost cut out Greg Sestero because I didn’t recognize him at all. Here’s our picture:

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Note the unrestrained delight in Shannon’s eyes as Tommy Wiseau tells her she has a great smile, me in a Wiseau/Sestero manwich, and my boyfriend Ernie. Ernie had been taking the picture, but Tommy Wiseau, who seemed like a genuinely nice guy and couldn’t stop talking while the pictures were snapping, asked me (and you have to imagine it in his undiscernable accent), “Who’s tall guy?” When I replied that he was my boyfriend, Tommy beckoned him over, “Come here, Boyfriend!” and Ernie was sucked in. Tommy Wiseau takes really good pictures because, as I said, he seriously looked like a zombie.

We walked into a random theater, since they were all playing The Room, and we were all riled up and talking. By 12:30, the movie still hadn’t started though. Just as I was wondering when it would start and what was up, Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero walked into the theater for Q&A.

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Remember how I said Tommy Wiseau doesn’t understand how belts work? It’s made abundantly clear in this picture where he’s wearing two belts and he still had to constantly grab his crotch to keep his pants and belts in place. Also, I captured the guy with the clipboard in the front row on film. I guess he’s not a ghost like I assumed since Ernie seemed to be the only one who saw him.

So Tommy Wiseau took questions and brought a birthday boy down to the front with him, then picked the kid up and spun around with him. The weirdest part about that was that Tommy kind of sighed and went, “Okay” as if the kid was waiting for Tommy to pick him up. Does he do that for every birthday kid he can lift? It’s Ernie’s birthday on the 31st, so I was REALLY tempted to see if Tommy Wiseau would try to spin Ernie’s 6’6 ass.

I don’t know what I was expecting when Tommy and Greg left and the movie started, but it wasn’t what happened. Amid a symphony of “FUCK YOU, CHLOE”s and “BA-BOOM, BA-BOOM, BA-BOOM” every time Lisa came down the stairs, the movie began. It was absolutely delightful. There were clearly moments where people had already scripted things to say, and every time the artsy framed picture of a spoon came on the screen, a storm of plastic spoons rained down on us, but there was also a lot of hilarious ad-libbed riffing, which was way better than the audience’s script. I honestly hadn’t realized that The Room had become the new Rocky Horror. If there’s a screening by your house, I whole-heartedly encourage you to go because I had a blast. The only other time I’d seen this movie was with Rifftrax, and while that was completely awesome, seeing it in the theater with a huge audience of riffers was a phenomenal experience.

Man, three posts before the crack of noon. These turnover days addle my brains just enough to make me (at least think I’m) a genius.

 

Hey! Why didn’t anyone ever tell me how awesome karaoke is?! August 15, 2010

So I’ve been violating everyone’s ears with my singing for years and only recently have I been introduced to the wonders of karaoke. I mean, I knew it was around, but I’d never gone to a bar on karaoke night and belted out my favorite oldies in front of a bunch of sort of drunk people.

Shannon (who is definitely NOT an internet predator) and I went to this ridiculously hilarious bowling alley bar called The Lindbrook a couple weeks ago for karaoke night. The bowling alley had this kitchsy 60s light-up BOWL sign that flashed with 100 individual giant bulbs. We parked and unloaded our glittery selves out of the car and into the bar. We floated into that drab, dark bar like drag queen butterflies. I didn’t get any pictures, like a FOOL, but I have a before-make-up picture of my snail dress.

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I’ve been aching to find a reason to wear this amazing home-made dress again, preferably without some harpy shrieking at me about it. It’s birth caused a fiasco a couple Halloweens ago because a friend of a friend was furious that she wasn’t “the only bug” at the party and that I had “won the costume contest.” She took no consolation in the fact that she WAS the only bug because snails are mollusks and would hear none of my protests that there had, in fact, been no costume contest and that me besting her at Halloween was entirely in her head. This had caused numerous drunken rants directed at me in the years afterward, but I think she’s finally over it.

ANYWAY, Shannon looked equally as fabulous and out of place in her leopard print top and seriously awesome red glitter make-up. We took a seat and, both broke, refused drinks. When the karaoke cards were passed out, we set to work finding songs like drowning women. Gasp! Written down. Guh! That one! ALL THE SONGS! We filled out about ten cards each and ran up to hand them in, buzzing with excitement as the big, black DJ sang a love ballad.

When he finished, who was first but Stephanie Fantastic with Never Gonna Give You Up. So I went up to rickroll the old drunk crowd. It started off fine. I know the whole song. My brain, however, shut off and devolved into a chorus of giggles because it couldn’t figure out why I hadn’t been clicked out yet. Laughing uncontrollably in my over-the-top snail dress, I handed the microphone to the DJ and announced that I was done. Next up was Shannon with Suffragette City, which she performed with gusto and actually finished.

When we sat back down at our table, giggling with karaoke glee, the old trucker-looking lady bartender came up to us and informed us that we would need to buy at least one drink each if we wanted to sing. Okay no problem, I thought. I have credit and one drink won’t break my bank. So I pulled out my card and asked for just a bottle of water and whatever Shannon wanted so she’d get off our fabulous backs. She came back after a few minutes with drinks and I went to hand her my card but couldn’t find it anywhere. I had dropped it on the floor and had taken forever to find it, but when I went to hand it to her, she informed me that it was a cash-only bar. We made a token attempt to remove $20 from my credit card but I knew I didn’t have a pin for it. So we gathered our things and walked out, SHAMED but not defeated. I mean, really. She should have told us it was cash-only before making or bringing back any drinks. We had a good time elsewhere anyway.

So The Lindbrook was not the greatest place to do karaoke. It was really uptight and catered to a much older, quieter crowd than I’m used to being around. A couple days ago, though, Shannon pretty much chose out of a hat The Tomkat Lounge. What a fucking difference! We were just as extravagant and out of place (I just realized I was wearing another home-made outfit, this time my final project from sewing class), but the whole atmosphere was so much friendlier.

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I’d like to note that I only intended to wear the blue glitter lips for a second and then wipe them off to go to karaoke but I really liked them and Shannon’s second opinion sealed the deal.

So we got to the crowded, tiiiiny Tomkat Lounge a little before karaoke started and espied two tables covered in bright green plastic cloths and glitter. Now, in hindsight, it seems pretty obvious that those tables were set up for someone, but at the time, we squee’d and beelined straight for them. As Shannon was setting down her purse (take that, two tables shoved together!), we heard a very loud man yelling, “DON’T SIT THERE!” Startled and unsure of where the voice had even come from, we moved to another table in the back. A few minutes later, a giant older man in a cowboy hat strode toward us, threw his arm around me, pressing me close to him, and began to talk directly to Shannon.

Drunk Cowboy: Hey! I didn’t mean to scare you ladies! Only it’s m’daughter’s birthday today!

Me: Oh, is she here?

Drunk Cowboy: (looking at me like he hadn’t realized he had his arm around someone) Oh no, but she’ll be here soon! She looks just like me!

Shannon: …Does she also have a cowboy hat?

Drunk Cowboy: (loud guffaw) Nah! She’s dressed in little kid clothes!

Me: A little kid who’s old enough to go to a bar, right?

The conversation pretty much carried on like that and later, when his daughter walked it, he introduced us and I told her we were bffs with her dad. Everyone was about as friendly as that guy, even a really old guy with a trucker hat who danced with me for a bit as Shannon was singing some Creedence. No one said a word about my blue lips and I feel like I really rocked Walkin’ After Midnight. It was all around a good night. Also, we had learned our lesson from The Lindbrook and brought cash AND each bought a tequila sunrise even though no one asked us to buy anything. We’re cool like that.

We left when the Elvis contest started because there would be no more freestyle karaoke. Apparently there was a serious contest going on because all through the night, Elvises poured into the bar. Full jumpsuited Elvises, lazy Elvises in jeans and big Elvis sunglasses who didn’t even look like Elvis when they dramatically took off the glasses, fat Elvises, not as fat Elvises, a madhouse of Elvises! And from what I understood, one lucky Elvis would go on to some Elvis finals when he won.

We both only sang one song again but it was such a blast. So again, I say, why didn’t anyone let me loose on karaoke before?

 

It is physically impossible for me to take a compliment BECAUSE I HAVE NO ARMS. August 14, 2010

Okay, I lied. I do have arms. But my arms are kind of flabby and I’m not that into them (Shut up, Ernie (my bee eff (TRIPLE PARENTHESES))) and I think that’s probably why the statue of Venus doesn’t have any arms. She was like, I WILL NOT HAVE THOSE WINGS ENGRAVED IN STONE FOR THE REST OF ETERNITY! And then she took the Greco-Roman equivalent of a bat to her own statue in feminine rage.

But I was just talking to my new internet friend Shannon (who has not turned out to be an internet predator…yet.) and I pointed out that I have a bad habit of just glossing over compliments and talking really fast about something else because I have no idea how to react to a compliment. It’s like how it took me forever to be able to accept hugs from people. To this day, I feel terrible that when my Marine Biology teacher (who was a completely adorable Persian woman with a fabulous ass and a tie-dyed rainbow labcoat) hugged me, my entire body tensed up to the point that she let go, startled, and asked me if I was okay. Sorry, Ms. Sahlolbei. It’s not that I hated you, it’s just that I got very uncomfortable any time anyone touched me for any reason. In fact, I really liked her. I drew a picture of her because she told the class she knew how to belly dance, but then I didn’t ever want to show her because it was insanely inappropriate and I wasn’t as scared of sexual harassment charges as I am now, but I didn’t want her to think I was weird.

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Okay, but I got totally off topic. In addition to not being used to being touched ever and therefore becoming socially inept in the age where everyone hugged each other hello AND goodbye, I also was not at all used to receiving compliments until very recently. My mind goes into a panic any time anyone gives me a compliment. It goes something like this:

Awww, thanks. Should I say something nice back? I HAVE been thinking that her shirt looks awesome all night. Really frames the boobies nicely. Wait, would that be taken the wrong way? Will she think I’m just complimenting her because she complimented me and that I don’t even mean it? Maybe I should wait about a half hour and then tell her shirt looks nice…or maybe like a day. I could text her the compliment after I leave. I DON’T KNOW! Oh god, how long have I been debating this?! Quick! Say something! Anything! Talk about Hugh Jackman!

Stephanie: You know Hugh Jackman can juggle up to 4 balls and has an adopted son named Oscar? I think when Oscar grows up, they’ll be travelling clowns together.

Complimentor: What the hell are you talking about? You know, your hair looks really nice today.

Fuck, another one?! This soon?

Stephanie: Whenever I took my lunch at my last post, I would always forget to take my nametag down and a hundred old ladies and dumb guys would be like, “Heyyyy, you’re not Stephanie!” and I wanted to cut off all my hair and make a wig out of it so that the guys could put it on during my lunch and be all, “What do you mean I’m not Stephanie?!” It’d be awesome! You can get a wig made of your own hair for like, $300. AND AT THIS NEW POST, SOME LADY SAID HER DAUGHTER THOUGHT MY HAIR WAS A WIG AND I WAS ALL, “NOT YET!”

And then my head explodes!

I don’t mean to panic. I really don’t. But I have this thing where it’s hard for me think about my mind and my body as the same person so when someone compliments me, it feels like I should be able to say what I think about it too, but I don’t want to seem narcisstic (even though I totally am) and I also don’t want to seem too critical. THEN I realize that they’re talking about ME and not some random manniquin body and it gets even weirder for me to comprehend.

Anyways, if you say I look nice or am cool (or have in the past) and I go off on a random tangent or tell a ridiculous anecdote about whatever you complimented, this is why.