Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Working Downtown

(The only open lane, on the far right) MUST TURN LEFT
PARKING GARAGE (for which I pay $160 a month) FULL

And that's just on the way into work. Today was a rare occasion when Chad and I carpooled into downtown together, because he had fancy meetings of minds.

Chad met me at my workplace at the end of the day. As we stood at the busy intersection across from my urine-and-vomit-scented parking garage for which I pay $160 a month, a man came walking towards us calling out, "Brian, Brian. Hold up, Brian." The walk sign lit up, and several people including Chad and I started across the street. "Brian's friend" started walking into my path, stopping when I stopped and slowing when I slowed, effectively herding me out of the crosswalk. I stopped and took a step backwards, saying, "please, after you." Brian's friend stopped too. Finally, I just made my way to my destination curb, not caring if he tried to get in my path. Brian's friend said to Chad, "give me a dollar." Chad replied, "sorry, I don't have any cash." The whole time, we walked in stutter steps as he tried to herd me off of the sidewalk, never touching me or stepping on my feet, but barely missing. I had pepper spray in my hand, trigger finger on the spray button. With my other hand, I must have touched my hair, because Brian's friend said, "That's it. Run your hand through your hair, girl." I stopped, turning to face Brian's friend fully, giving him a steely (yet terrified) gaze. He responded, "Oh, are you gonna call the cops on me?" I thought he had a novel idea, so as loudly as I could, (remember I am a trained actress who knows how to project my voice) I yelled the name of my work building's security guard, "Bruuuuuuuuce!" Brian's friend did not care for this. He stopped in his tracks. Took a few steps backwards and looked at me as if I might be mentally ill. Good. Once I got into my car in the parking garage, I gave in to a slight fight or flight meltdown after locking the car doors. Then I drove Chad and myself home in terrible traffic.

I hate downtown.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Aging, Wealthy & Rocking Out

Last Saturday Chad and I got to rub elbows with the rich & infamous at a Formula One concert event starring Duran Duran. I won the pair of tickets courtesy of a media conglomerate by retweeting a message about their sponsorship of the event. (Thanks, media conglomerate!) I would never purchase such extravagant concert tickets myself, as the face value for the pair was $1350. *gulp*

The event venue, ACL Live, (Austin City Limits' huge new-ish studio) is impressively cavernous with great sight lines from every seat giving the convincing illusion of an intimate space. I won't complain about the open bar or elegantly artful catered buffet of appetizers on the mezzanine level. Nor will I complain about our fabulous reserved seats. Duran Duran put on an amazing performance, still very talented, still very gifted musicians and showmen.

I will, however, complain about the aging, wealthy, drug-fueled fellow-concert-goers: people old enough to know better, but apparently too rich to care. Side note: I have never partaken of an illegal substance, but have heard anecdotal evidence from those who have, and certainly read many studies, essays and fictional works about recreational drug-users. If I can look at the sad, over-botoxed, over-self-starved, woman dancing by herself wearing a sequined mini-dress and know with 90% certainty that she took more than one hit of ecstasy, that is beyond sad. If I can rebuff the aggressive, 60-something year old man, wearing his khaki cords with shoes matching belt and tucked-in plaid button-down, who repeatedly pulled on my elbow telling me to stand up and dance, knowing that his frivolity is cocaine-powered, that is also sad. If I worriedly watch the 40-something lady with her 60-something hairdo, shakily climb the stairs to the exit after she danced and yell-sang along with the entire concert with multiple fresh drinks in her hand throughout the show, that is sad, and she needs to fire her hairdresser. I hope all of these drug-addled & alcohol-addled people were within stumbling-distance of their hotels.

I enjoyed seeing Duran Duran perform, loved the venue and had the handsomest date there. BUT, 85% of the people around us made me sad with their aging, overindulged states. I never want to be that person.

I want to nest in my little sanctuary of a cozy house, and maybe just listen to Duran Duran's greatest hits next time they are in town, especially if the tickets are that expensive.