First, I would like to point out the power of a MySpace bulletin I saw this evening. Someone has assigned personality traits to each letter so, when an acrostic is created, you should get a peak into the life of whatever the letters spell out vertically. My name is:
N: Loves to have fun
I: You like to drink
C: You are really silly
K: You're wild and crazy
Not bad for a goody-goody fuddy-duddy. I even missed being great in bed (represented by both E and L -- along with "You like to drink," represented by A, I and R, these are the only two repeated phrases which leads me to believe this was created by someone named Ariel) which isn't that far off. I often miss being great in bed.
Zelda has stopped calling me long enough to mention something about 07/07/07.
All I've been able to talk about for the past year is how I want to do something memorable for the holiday of Triple Seven (as, I'm sure, Ringo Starr, Vonda Shepard and Cree Summer were also saying) but couldn't think of anything at all. I didn't have the time to go wrestling alligators, the money to go back to Italy, or the desire to go start the city on fire and laugh at its ashes (though there are days). Nothing was coming to me though. So when the opportunity came up to go back to Trader Vic's to see Dames Aflame, I conceded.
This is probably a surprise to anyone who talked to me after my first trip to Trader Vic's. The incomprehensibly large tiki bar under the Hilton Downtown looks the part but sounds like a movie set. You know how when you see dance scenes or busy indoor situations on a movie or TV show generally the sets are pretty quiet and the sounds are added in later. That's the way Trader Vic's is for most of the week: nothing but the soft whispers of everyone else saying, "Hey, it's really quiet in here." It was like a scene from The Shining (1980). I was ready for Jack Nicholson to ax through the bar at any moment.
So why go back? All in the interest of scantily clad women and the hope that they could liven up the place.
We (Mark, Sarrah, Erica, Jonathan, Audrey, Katie, Jamie, Robin, Jason O'Donnell, Joey and I) showed up at around 8:00 (the show started at 8:30 but we wanted to make sure we didn't miss any of the possible good times and have to deal with the creepy silence again) and crowded the bar until they could find a table for us. The band was just starting to warm up and Dames Aflame ladies were selling raffle tickets. Everyone told them it was my birthday as if that was going to get me a free raffle ticket or some sort of lap dance from Monkeyzuma. I sipped my No Tai Mai Tai and nodded in appreciation to the group of grass-skirt-wearing girls wishing me a happy birthday.
I should pause to say that I've been wearing a lot of ties lately. The week previous to this I got some weird hankering to wear a tie and, even though the knowledge of tying a professional knot has never taken in the past, I suddenly learned how to tie the Four in Hand knot so I've been about obsessed with wearing a tie, even buying two more so I can wear them more often. Let's face it: generally men look better when they're wearing a tie so I looked straight up foxy.
The table as finally ready for us and a waiter walked us back into an impossibly far away dining area. The noise from the band near the bar got softer and softer until it was barely there. It was as if I was Navidson and we were walking into a better lit corridor from House of Leaves. By the time we sat down the music was a faint whisper and we were surrounded by couples on dates and business partners grabbing a meal before bed. Certainly, this was an unfortunate set of circumstances.
But we tore it up anyway. We laughed and drank and howled until everyone around us was gone. Some people had their first experiences with Monkeyzuma. It was good times. Jonathan got me two games for the Wii [which is ridiculous because (a) that's way too much money and (b) my present to him for his birthday that I missed was a hat I brought back from Italy for a fifth of the cost of his present] which I play all the time now (one of those games was the new Legend of Zelda). Many drinks later (including two Coral Reef drinks made from strawberries, mango and coconut cream -- yes, girly non-alcoholic drinks but they were like delicious smoothies) we finally tabbed out to head to the next place.
Again, I wanted to make this a special night, one that, at the very least, when I have to think about doing something, I had to think about this night. So I thought about things I've never done before so my first time could be this evening. When asked where I wanted to go next, I said, continuing the scantily-clad women theme:
"Let's go to the Pony."
I hate lapdances. Well, I don't hate them but I do feel like they are the most horribly awkward experiences I've ever had. Generally, when a girl is rubbing against me, I like to be touching her. So when there's a girl's butt in my face or nipples near my ear lobes at a strip club, I'm not sure what to do with my hands or how my face should look (it's a fine line between appreciative and creepy) or what to say, if anything. I was insistent that I was not to get a lapdance this evening. I was perfectly fine with ogling the women from afar.
The hangers-on for the Pony included Jamie, Jonathan, Audrey, Joey and me. What people say about the Pony is true: the girls are generally better looking. There were two or three I thought were really hot (one of which was Audrey's favorite stripper from many moons ago when the woman was performing a Snow White bit) but it was a different woman, one I was not completely attracted to, who came over to me.
She: "Would you like a dance?"
Me: "Uh ... it's uh ... a little too early in the evening for that ..."
Yeah, a little too early for a naked woman to grind up on you. Way to go, Nick. My excuse was doomed to failure anyway, though, because my drunk girlfriend bought me the dance anyway. So there I was, trying to fix my eyes on whatever I was supposed to, not really able to enjoy the sights of a stranger waving her naked body in front of me with my girlfriend watching, who was slapping me if my eyes even drifted away from her chest or her backside. Seriously, lapdances are the most awkward experiences I've ever had. And I've been in some pretty compromising positions.
But the girls were all great, our server was pretty and nice (she even told the dancer it was my birthday -- although I don't think I received any special treatment) and I saw a lot of boobs. Good times.
It was home after that. Katie went upstairs and immediately passed out in the middle of the bed. I tried to move her but she'd just slip back to where it was comfortable. I huffed, stole a pillow from her and slept on the couch. Some minor drama between some drunken friends kept me and my phone awake for another hour or so but, otherwise, it was a great time.
Someone: Hey, Nick. Have you ever been to the Pony?
Nick: Yeah, man. I went on my 26th birthday.
Enough of this. I have some Zelda to play.