Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thank You For Being A Friend

By and large, I am not a cheesy Hallmark Hall of Fame kinda gal.  I don't cry over youtube cat videos, I don't get misty-eyed over sappy music, and the whole "30 Days Of Gratitude" thing on Facebook makes me want to throat-punch a dolphin.  But while I am not one to wax eloquent over the myriad blessings in my life, I am appreciative each and every day. Because my life is amazing.  Seriously.  Not a day goes by when I don't look at my home, my job, and my family and think "Who did I blow in a former life to be this lucky?"

My family really is rad as shit.  My dad stepped in to be the short people's father after my debacle divorce and he has been the ideal of everything I hope they grow up to be.  My mother raised us to find the fun in everything and to be the type of woman who would never be dependent on a man and I thank her for that every day.  And my sister, Holly, has been my best friend, my worst enemy, and everything else a sibling should be.  She is the mirror to my past and I love her with all my heart.*

*Even if she did drag my sorry self out of bed this morning to take a Barre3 class. . .at 6:00 am.  My perky ass thanks you, Holly, but my screaming hamstrings kind of hate your face right now.

But while my family is the center of my universe, today I find myself thinking of my other family. . .my chosen family.  My friends.  So, at the risk of going all Leo Buscaglia and running around hugging and crying and shit, I did want to take this day of thanks to thank all of my friends who have been there for me and whom I will always be there for in return.  You guys rock the hardest.

KELLY - I know why you had to go, I know you needed to be somewhere where you could get back on your feet, my brain all of this, and yet my heart just can't accept it.  Since you moved, I feel like someone has torn off my right arm.  Promise me that if this school isn't a good fit you'll come back home.  Promise me that if living with your parents makes you want to go all Menendez brothers you'll come back home.  In fact, just promise me you'll come back home, because I miss you so much it hurts.

GINA - Thank you for always being the voice of reason and the mature adult who has probably kept Kelly and me out of the Big House when our shenanigans escalated.  I am in constant awe of your ability to seamlessly balance work, marriage, and your beautiful baby boy.  I am in even GREATER awe that someone as classy as you would want to  hang out with a dipshit like me; but I'm glad you do. 

CURTIS - I don't even know where to begin.  You are, beyond all doubt, the best friend I have ever had.  You're that 3:00am friend.  You know, the one I can call at some ungodly hour and I know you'll be there for me.  Partly because you're an amazing human being and partly because you're as big an insomniac as I so I know you'll be awake anyway.  I love you more than you will ever know.

JENNA - How have we not known each other forever, because, seriously?  You are the one who shows up with cookies after a shitty breakup, the one who taught my short people inappropriate hand gestures, and the only person I know who could convince me to scale a wall and jump off of a building.*

*Yeah, that happened.

You are magical, my friend.

JOHI - God bless the interwebs for bringing you into my life and God bless you for being so wicked rad that I will never let you leave.  I can't think of anyone I would rather tour Chicago and buy shoes with.  You are every bit as beautiful on the inside as the out with just the proper dash of asshole to make you fabulous.  xoxo

KANSAS KELLY - My twin.  My fellow autism momma.  And the woman with as majestic an ex-husband as mine.  We've been through some shit, mah deah.  But somehow it's easier to get through when I know I have someone like you holding hands through it all.  Take care of you.

DYLAN - Although things didn't work out with us, I will be eternally grateful to you for restoring my faith in true love. I am so glad to still have you as a friend; you are a good man. But you're still a lousy cook, Dude.  I'm just sayin'. . .

BEX - Screw customs, screw immigration, we WILL find a way to get you to the States.  And when we do, Johi and I will take you wildstriding to Taco Bell where we will dine like kings. Huzzah!

KEVIN & EMILY - You two give me hope and rekindle my belief in the fairy tale ending.  I love you both with all my heart but seriously!  Enough with the snake pics on Facebook or at least warn a bitch first!  One day I will make it to your Shire and mingle with you and the rest of the hobbits.  

BRANDON - My buddy, my headache, my science project.  We have the weirdest friendship on record but somehow it seems to work for us. I'll always have your back, Kid.  And yes, I will continue to "Mom the shit out of you" for the rest of your life so suck it up, Buttercup.

JAKE - I would still adore you even if you didn't hook a bitch up with free concert tickets on the regular.  Your blend of down-home country boy and anal-retentive control freak is like a one-man show of "The Odd Couple" and I love every minute of it.  

ABBY - So, you have issues.  Don't we all.  What I love the most about you is that you own your shit and aren't afraid to call other people out on theirs.  You abilities as a writer are only surpassed by your ability to give hope and clarity and kindness to others.  You are a blessing.

BISH - Whether we were spitting mashed potatoes at each other at formal sorority dinners or skipping class to drink shitty champagne at University Park, I have always known you were a kindred spirit.  Even though months can go by without seeing or speaking to you, when I see you again it's like no time has passed.  That is the sign of a true soulmate.

MISTY - I still consider you my friend.  We each had hurt feelings, all of which were valid, but I'm over it and hope you are too.  I miss you.

If I've left anyone off I am truly sorry but it's a little hard for me to think right now when I'm crying like a little bitch.  Yeah. . .you broke me.  Looking at every name on this list makes me feel so happy and yet so vulnerable.  I have given a piece of my heart to all of you, and with that comes the risk that it will be crushed.  I don't trust easily, but I trust all of you.  Thank you for honoring that trust. Thank you for trusting me with your hearts in return.  Thank you for the gift of your friendship.  Thank you for being you.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Honkyville, USA. Population: Me

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that I love my fair city with the burning fire of a thousand white-hot suns.*

*Which is ironic, considering the fact that, in Portland, we don't SEE the sun nine months out of the year.

Portland, Oregon is a weird and wonderful, caffeine-infused, skinny jean wearing bastard and I love it like Warren Jeffs loves young girls:  passionately, inappropriately, and with whispered apologies to the thing I will most likely offend and ultimately destroy.  But while I love urban downtown Portland, the suburbs?  Not so much.  Don't get me wrong, some of them are lovely.  Sellwood is classically elegant, West Linn and Wilsonville are thriving up-and-comers, and Hawthorne is just one vegan, organic, free-trade coffee shop away from being a 'Portlandia' sketch.  But I admit to getting a little twitchy when I have to cross over the river and through the 'hood, and Gresham?  No.  Just. . .no. 

But while the thought of inhabiting a quirky brownstone on NW 23rd street or a spacious loft in the trendy Pearl District fills my fecund heart with glee, neither option is terribly conducive to raising short people, so hi-ho, hi-ho, 'twas off to the 'burbs I go.

I chose my suburb for the following reasons: (a) It is consistently named "Best School District in the State of Oregon".  Yeah, you heard me. . .the entire damned state.  And considering my inability to add anything requiring more than ten fingers and that my knowledge of history in based on what season of "Buffy" it was when some major political shit went down, I was counting on the public school system to pick up the slack so my kids wouldn't be wearing a Taco Bell uniform and a hair net when they're forty.  (b) My house is walking distance to two amazing natural foods stores and a plethora of restaurants.  Now, this might not seem like a good reason to relocate but you need to understand that I watch a lot of Food Network programming.  And after every show, I need to eat. . .copiously and immediately.  This is why I don't watch 'Breaking Bad'; it would not end well.  And (c) My suburb has a rep for being full of rich, classy bitches and I thought "Hey!  Maybe some of that shit will rub off on me!"*

*Which obviously has not happened. . .as evidenced by my effusive use of the words 'bitches' and 'shit'.

People get a very distinct look on their face when you tell them you live in my part of Portland.  Generally it's that cool appraisal paired with a smug grin as they're picturing you diving all Scrooge McDuck in your pool of ducats.*

*But don't be fooled by the rocks that I got; I'm still, I'm still Jenny from the block...

In truth, I am your typical paycheck-to-paycheck single mom who tries to "pass" in my community every day.  Honestly, most days I'm amazed that the border patrol doesn't pick me off on Country Club Road when I come tooling by in my hoopty ride, but maybe they figure I'm with the Merry Maids.  My community is very wealthy, very safe, and very, very white.  Like. . .albino white. . .like, Robert Pattinson glistening in the sunlight white.  Par example: last week my friend Brandon and I were standing in my yard talking and I noticed my neighbor being all scowl-y and skulk-y and shooting Brandon the stink-eye.

"Umm, Martinez?"  I asked Brandon.  "Is there any reason besides your Boston Red Sox cap that my neighbor would be going all George Zimmerman on your ass?"

Brandon rolled his eyes.  "Jen, when was the last time anyone saw a Mexican in this neighborhood that wasn't pushing a lawn mower?"  

Touche, my friend.

Living in my community every day you gradually become blind to the fact that we have as much diversity as a snowglobe.  Kind of like when you make microwave popcorn and you sit on the couch and eat it, then you fall asleep watching 'The Kardashians' and wake up six hours later and go out to get the mail and come back in and you're, like "Wow. . .it really smells like microwave popcorn in here" but you didn't notice before because you were in the house eating the popcorn and 'The Kardashians' were on and when did Rob get so fat and seriously, Khloe needs to cut her losses and move on and where did Kendall get those shoes?  And. . .wait. . .what were we talking about?  Oh yeah. . .we're white.  Very, very white.

And there is no crime in my 'hood.  Zero.  Zilch.  At least none of any significance.  In fact, a few weeks back some dude walked into the store where my friend Nathan works and asked him to call the cops because some guy went all 5-1-5-0 on his face outside of a nearby bar.  Nathan called the po-po because he's all upstanding and shit and when they showed up to take the beat-up guy's statement they sent five police cars.  Five.  Which basically constitutes our entire police force.*

*And did I mention the cops in my 'burb drive Range Rovers?  Because. . .yeah.

I guess they weren't too taxed from a day of citing people for excessive air-kissing or wearing white shoes after Labor day to send out the SWAT team for this guy's stolen cellphone.  You don't know what kind of back-up you'll need to take one drunk guy's statement in an organic grocery store.  Vegans be cray-cray, yo.

In much the same way I turn a blind eye to the glaring lack of melanin in my community, I am oblivious to the lack of crime as well.  That is, until our local paper comes out and I have the opportunity to peruse the police blotter.  I present to you, some excerpts from last week's issue.

She should see what they're saying about her daughter on Instagram.  #whore  #nudeselfies  #lowselfesteem  #daddyissues   #sixteenandpregnant

First of all, there is nothing delightful about scarecrows.  Nothing.  Scarecrows are just oversized, handcrafted clowns and seriously?  Fuck clowns.  Secondly, are extra patrols REALLY necessary when someone has gone out of their way to rid the earth of scarecrows?  I think not.  And thirdly, we have no farmland in my 'hood, so WHAT KIND OF TWISTED MOFO HAS MULTIPLE SCARECROWS ON THEIR PROPERTY!?!?  I think the 5-0's time would be better served checking this dude's basement for roofied coeds and jars of lotion.

Oh, never mind.  That's what was in the basement.  As you were.

See, there's her first problem.  Everyone knows you don't "invite him over to get his stuff".  You sell the electronics on Craigslist and leave the rest on the lawn.  Pfft!  Amateur. . .

Someone was obviously absent the day Dick Van Dyke taught us all to "Stop, Drop, and Roll".

Has Martha Stewart been in the area?  Because we all know about her penchant for yard decor and criminal malfeasance.  That bitch's fingers are stickier than a Vietnamese whore in a peanut brittle factory.  But still. . .it would be interesting to know what she could do armed with nothing but a ceramic mushroom, a hot glue gun, and a dream. . .

Honestly, I'd be less terrified of seeing some dude who looks like 'Lil Wayne skulking around my Ford with a crowbar than some poor man's Yanni reenacting his "Live At The Acropolis" tour in my cul-de-sac.  That shit ain't right. . .

So, while it would be nice to expose my short people to something more ethnically diverse than Taco Bell, you can see why I live here.  In summation:  great schools, good food, no crime, rich people, and thanks to the work of one good man with excellent night vision and a flatbed truck. . .no scarecrows.

Now, if we could just do something about that pesky yard gnome outbreak. . .



Friday, November 15, 2013

No. . .I'm Not Dead.

Thanks to those of you who messaged me in concern that I was either violently ill or trapped under something heavy, thus explaining the lack of bloggage as of late.  Neither of the two are true.  In fact, the only thing under which I have been trapped is a soul-crushing, mind-numbing bout of depression that blind-sided me like Michael Oher on crystal meth.

A friend of mine recently described his depression as an "ebb and flow"; most of the time we flow through life just fine until we are drawn beneath the swirling waters by a sudden undertow.  Winston Churchill was noted for labeling his depression as a "black dog" and that analogy is fitting as well; most of the time it rests quietly on it's leash, but when awakened will sit heavily on your chest, growling softly in your face.

For me, depression is a person.  It is someone who draws you in with wit and charm and affection and just when you let your guard down and feel safe, it turns on you.  It deserts you, leaving you feeling lost and alone, and returns at sporadic intervals, never with any consistency so you are constantly off-balance.  It comes back just to whisper softly in your ear:  "You are ugly. . .you are worthless. . .you are pathetic. . .no one will ever love you. . ."  And when it does, I am hard-pressed to find any evidence to prove it wrong.

So, I'm sorry I haven't been holding up my end of the bargain; that being, I blog and you read. . .if you are still reading. . .I hope you are. . .if not, you aren't reading this right now anyway so I suppose the point is moot. . .I will be back.  I do have some outings planned in the not-so-distant future that I am sure will lend themselves to some healthy, blog-worthy shenanigans.  In the meantime, please be well.  Take care of yourselves.  And to those of you suffering from similar afflictions and maladies, please reach out.  I am sending you all the biggest of hugs as I would give anything in the world to be on the receiving end of one right now.

It's going to be OK.



Thursday, November 7, 2013

Stupidest Crap Ever Spoken By Me And My Friends: We Are Magical Beings

ALEX:  Ah, Halloween.  When good girls dress like sluts, and sluts just pretend they're wearing a costume.

GINA:  Why is your sandwich called a Monte Cristo?
ME:  Because, one day it will return to this deli disguised as a tuna melt and EXACT ITS REVENGE!!!
GINA:  I probably shouldn't ask you why mine is called a Muffaletta.
ME:  Good call.

KELLY:  I don't know why everyone's so upset about the government not paying its bills and refusing to work for a couple of weeks.  My ex husband did that for years and he's just fine.

KELLY:  Why are your toenails blue?
ME:  Because it's game day.
KELLY:  . . .
ME:  ((sigh))  If I don't paint my toenails blue AND have blueberry pancakes on game day then the Seahawks lose!
KELLY:  Huh. . .did you hear that?
ME:  What?
KELLY:  The sound of my 'cray-dar' going off.
ME:  Pfft!  Don't be such a 'cray-cist'.  Hatin' is whack.

ME:  What are you going as for Halloween this year?
JESS:  I was thinking of something really scary, like a zombie. . .or Obamacare.  How about you?
ME:  I think I'm going to dress as a milkshake and stand in the yard.  You know, just to see who it brings.
JESS:  What's it like in your brain?
ME:  I could teach you, but I'd have to charge.

GINA:  How're things going with the new guy?
KELLY:  Oh God.  He's a total Ayn Rand.
GINA:  Huh?
KELLY:  Long-winded, hard to read, and there's no way in hell I'm sticking with him 'til the end.

ME:  Just saw a Prius today without any bumper stickers.  Surely, the End of Days is nigh.

ME:  I just heard that Tom Clancy died.
ALEX:  I can picture his obituary:  seven pages of medical jargon describing the technology of his life-support system.

KELLY:  If I hear that Lorde song "Royals" one more time I'm going to drive a Sharpie into my eardrum.
ME:  I don't mind the song, but what in hell does a sixteen year old know about Grey Goose and trashing hotel rooms?
KELLY:  Right?  She should be drinking wine coolers in her parents' garage like the rest of us did at that age!

ME:  My last name is a pain in the ass.  I always have to spell it out saying: "N as in Nancy, M as in Mary". . .
JESS:  So, if your name was Mary, would you just say "M  as in Mary. . .then the rest of it"?

ME:  How do you think Harry Potter picks up chicks?  "Hey, Baby, did you survive 'Avada Kedavra'?  'Cuz you're dead sexy."
MY SON, J:  "My name must be Moody because I have a Mad Eye for you."
ME:  "My name might not be Luna, but I can Lovegood."
MY SON, J:  "Did you just say 'lumos maxima'?  Because you turn me on."
ME:  I have never been prouder of you than I am at this moment.

GINA:  What are you watching?
ME:  A horror movie.
GINA:  Ooh!  which one?
ME:  My wedding video.  ((yelling at screen))  No!  Don't go in there!  He's crazy!!!

ME:  A little girl today told me I looked like a Disney Princess.
KELLY:  Oh!  That's sweet.  One of my clients called me an Angel of Mercy today, only he pronounced it "ignorant twat" and spit on my shoes.

ALEX ((watching a documentary on fundamentalist cults)):  You know, polygamy's not such a bad thing for these folks.  Because, there's like, hundreds of those girls running around with Snooki poufs and Little House on The Prairie dresses, and I can't imagine there's more than ten of those dudes who think that's hot.

STUDENT #1:  Did you hear that Neil Armstrong died a couple months ago?
STUDENT #2:  Ohmigod! He was so young!  Was it the drugs?
STUDENT #1:  Dude, he was, like. . .82.  And what do you mean about drugs?
STUDENT #2:  Isn't that why they took his Tour de France medal away?  For using drugs?
STUDENT #1:  That's LANCE Armstrong.  I'm talking about NEIL Armstrong, the astronaut.
STUDENT #2:  I thought they were the same guy.  Didn't he start biking after he, like, retired from NASA?
STUDENT #1:  You're so lucky you're pretty.

BRANDON:  I looked at the clock and was all "Sweet!  It's 6:00 so I can start drinking!"  Then I remembered that it was 6:00 a.m. . .and I'm at work.

ME:  Did you see the video of Guy Fieri beating up his hairdresser?  It was like watching 'Real Housewives', except with less silicone, and more Ed Hardy swag.
KELLY:  Can't really blame him.  I've wanted to slap the shit out of Guy Fieri's hairdresser for years.

Friday, November 1, 2013

"Return Of The Mack"

I often hear fellow single parents bemoan the fact that they "never go out" and spend every evening firmly ensconced on the couch watching Project Runway and binge eating Wheat Thins.*

*Which I totally do, but only because the heady combination of Zac Posen's scathing wit and a salty/sweet snack food is more than my fecund heart can resist.

But, I am not one of those parents.  I am a firm believer in the "put on your air mask before assisting others" tenet and if Momma doesn't get some adult social interaction, it's gonna get all Andrea Yates up in here.  Of course, I realize that I am something of an anomaly, as (A) The majority of my friends are single and childless and therefore have a surplus of time and money to gallivant freely, (B) My parents live close enough that they are willing and able to sit on the short people for the night at a moment's notice, and (C) My short people are wicked awesome and are therefore completely chill about me having a life that does not revolve entirely around them.*

*Don't get me wrong, my boys are the most important thing in the world to me, but I have seen a LOT of self-entitled short people in my life and that dog won't bark in my yard.  No, I will not pay you an allowance to do what you're supposed to do anyway, and no, I will not let you grow up believing that other people's wants and needs are somehow inferior to yours.  Fuck THAT noise.

As last week was my 8th annual 35th birthday, by best friend Curtis kidnapped myself and a friend of ours, Shellie, and treated us both to an evening with Macklemore.  ("what-what...what...what?")  First of all, let me state that Shellie is every bit as batshit crazy as I am about white rappers, so we'd been running around squealing like fat chicks at a Clay Aiken concert all week.  Secondly, let me further state that any outing with Curtis rapidly devolves into an impromptu episode of 'What Not To Wear' as he is wont to go all Joan Rivers on any and all wardrobe malfunctions we may come across in our travels.  All in all, I knew it would shape up to be a magical night.

We arrived at the Rose Garden with time to spare.*

*Yes, I know it is now called the Moda Center, but I refuse to acknowledge that douchebaggery in much the same way I refuse to call Front Street "Naito Parkway" and staunchly deny that Canada is a real country.  C'mon, they're connected and they have the same animals we have.  If you want to establish yourself as a "foreign country" you need more than pink money and faux French aesthetics.  You've gotta throw in some kangaroos or panda bears and shit.

The clothing we encountered upon entering the arena did not disappoint.  First, a young man passed us wearing a large animal head atop his hair.

"Whatcha know 'bout rocking a wolf on your noggin?"  Curtis rapped, then sighed deeply.  "I know you should wear it with SOME level of irony."  Moments later a woman passed us wearing this. . .

"Oh, Honey"  Curtis moaned, waving his hands in the air as though wielding a Ouija planchette.  "All signs point to. . .NO."

Shellie laughed, having never been witness to Curtis' inner Tim Gunn breaking free.  "Is he always like this?"  she asked.

"Sweetie, you have no idea."  I assured her with a pat on the arm.  "It's even worse if you give him alcohol. . .kind of like feeding a Gremlin after midnight."

Moments later two young women came giggling by wearing stretchy skirts short enough to make any passerby an amateur gynecologist.  Curtis turned to me gravely.  "Jen. . .say it with me."  Taking a deep breath, we locked eyes and intoned in unison, "Lycra is a privilege, not a right."

Shellie shook her head in quiet amazement.  "This is a side of you I've never seen, Curt.  It's fucking beautiful."

Bowing with a flourish, Curtis then faced the rest of the incoming throng with a world-weary sigh.  "Seriously, people.  Just because the man raps about a thriftshop doesn't mean you should dress like you just left one."

'C'mon, Shell,"  I said, grabbing Curtis' arm. "we should get him inside before somebody pops a cap in his ass."  Walking toward our entry gate, we passed a Ticketmaster sign advertising Seattle Seahawks tickets.  Curtis and I may have held hands and squealed. . .I shall neither confirm nor deny the aforementioned statement.*

*The Seahawks are my raison d'etre. . .until Mariners season, that is.  Until Oregon gets either a major league baseball team or the NFL sees fit to create the Portland Hipsters then I shall remain ever faithful to my boys up north.

"Can I just TELL you how excited I am for the game in December!?!?"  Curtis gushed, squeezing my hand.*

*My dad got me two tickets for the Seahawks/Saints game in Seattle.  My dad is rad as shit.

Shellie looked at Curtis' excited face with confusion.  "Wait. . .you like football?  But aren't you. . .?"

"Gay?"  Curtis interrupted.  "A trouser man?  A rear admiral?  A sausage jockey?  A friend of Dorothy?"

"Well. . .yeah."  Shellie stammered.

Curtis laughed.  "Sweetie, I couldn't be gayer if I had Channing Tatum in my lap right now.  But I still love football.  Men in tight pants wrestling with each other?  Screw baseball, FOOTBALL is the American Pastime."

"Seattle will be amazing."  I sighed.  "The potential for shenanigans is astronomical."

"Do you feel we should call Mayor McGinn to properly forewarn him?"  Curtis asked.

"Oh, no!"  I cried.  "Forewarned is forearmed; we don't want to be met at the border by vigilante mobs."

Curtis nodded solemnly.  "Valid point."

The three of us entered the arena and found our seats behind two 12-year-old girls and a boy who couldn't have been older than 7.

"Is it just me, or is this MAYBE not the best concert for small children?"  Shellie queried dubiously.

I furrowed my brow in thought.  "Aaaaaand, maybe a little past their bedtime. . .on a school night.  Shit, this is past MY bedtime on a school night."

As we sat waiting for the opening act to take the stage the tweens in front of us reminded me of one of the myriad reasons I am glad I have boys.  The hair.  There was so much hair.  It was flipped, it was tossed, it was pulled up, it was let down, and each and every time a shining hank of Suave-scented tresses whipped against my bare legs I felt a tiny bit of darkness enter my soul.  

"I swear in the name of all that is good and holy, if Malibu Skipper flips her wig in my lap again I'm going to scalp her like an Apache war bride."  I hissed in Shellie's ear.  

Shellie chuckled, then sneered as the other tween elbowed her in the thigh while pulling her mane into a ponytail.  "Oh, that's IT, Bitch."  she muttered, "Game ON."  Sliding her foot to the side, Shellie surreptitiously pinned the girl's ponytail to the back of her seat and then chortled with glee as the girl attempted to stand and was slammed back into her chair with a yelp.  "Ohmygosh, I am SO sorry!"  Shellie cried, before grinning and reaching over to lightly fist-bump me.

"You are the wind beneath my wings."  I whispered reverently as Shellie sat there in silent victory.  Suddenly, the stagelights dimmed and the crowd lost its collective mind waiting for the opening act to take the stage.  A DJ appeared with a small sound system and suddenly a young man dashed out on stage.

"Let's hear some noise. motherfuckers!"  he screamed, waving a middle finger in the air while the mother of the children in front of us visibly cringed.  "I said, LET'S HEAR SOME NOOOOOOOOOISE, MOTHERFUCKERS!!!"

"You know," Curtis noted "in my experience, if you have to BEG the crowd to actually react to your performance then perhaps you have not properly captivated your audience."

I nodded in agreement.  "I am, however, deriving a rather perverse pleasure from watching the mom in front of me slam her sphincter shut every time this poor man's 'Lil Wayne calls her children 'motherfuckers'."

Curtis chortled with laughter and high-fived me as the young man began hopping around the stage, rapping with fervor. 

"Old school when I ride, forever sky high
Workin' wood wheel, when the sun outside
I'm just rotating my tires, rotating my tires, rotating my tires, rotating my tires..."

Curtis turned to me in confusion.  "I'm sorry. . .is he rapping about tire rotation?"

I crinkled my brow and listened as he continued.

"Not a care in the world, me and my girl
Candy coated pearl with the bowling ball swirl
I'm just rotating my tires, rotating my tires, rotating my tires, rotating my tires..."

"Where did he write this?"  I wondered aloud.  "Oil Can Henry's?"  Curtis laughed, which godDAMN it only fuels my antics, so I threw up a gang sign and began to freestyle:

"Pull into the Jiffy Lube, my minivan so fly
Poppin' Diet Coke bottles got my shorties by my side
It's just a signature oil change, just a signature oil change, just a signature oil change..."

Shellie began guffawing which earned her a head slap from Curtis.  "Shellie!  Don't ENCOURAGE her!"*

*Too late, Suckah.

Promising to behave, I listened as the rapper began the bridge of his song.

"Wheels on the slab go round and round, round and round, round and round
Screens on the slab fall down and down, down and down, down and down..."

"I'm sorry,"  I said with a raise of my hand.  "I don't mean to sound judgy, but. . .did he just rap 'The Wheels on the Bus'?"

Without missing a beat, Curtis turned to me and sang:

"The Crips on the bus gonna tag some shit, tag some shit, tag some shit
The Bloods on the bus gonna shank yo ass, shank yo ass, shank you ass..."

After a solid half-hour of his inane antics, the rapper again began to demand the crowd "Make some noise!"

"You suck ASS!!!"  Shellie yelled at top volume.  Curtis and I stared at her in astonishment.  "What?"  She said with a shrug.  "Not the 'noise' he had in mind?"

At long last, Wiz Kha-loser got the hint and staggered off stage.  Finally. . .the return of the Mack, right?  Yeah, not so much.  There was ANOTHER rapper who was so bad he made the first guy look like freakin' Flo Rida.

"What fresh hell is this!?!?"  Curtis cried.  "No.  Just. . .HELL no!  Let's wait in the lobby 'til Macklemore comes on."  Which we did.  For a half-hour. . .and then 45 minutes. . .and then a solid hour while listening to this douchenozzle screaming misogynistic lyrics peppered liberally with derivations of the verb "to fuck" at the underaged crowd.  FINALLY, at 10:15pm, Macklemore took the stage.  He was amazing.  He was funny, and humble, and every one of his songs was performed with passion and conviction.  I can truly say, that without a doubt, it was one of the best concerts I've ever attended.

Except for being ear-raped by the D-list rappers. . .

And the girl flagellating me with her hair. . .

And the fact that it was waaaaaaaaay past this old lady's bedtime. . .

And the guy behind me who smelled like day-old hummus and feet. . .

But when Macklemore whipped off his jacket to reveal a Portland Trailblazers jersey and later paid homage to gay rights, family, and the Seattle Mariners, all was forgiven.  

"And they say, 'Don't forget where you come from
Don't die holding onto your words
'Cause you know you got a whole world to change
But understand who you gotta change first'."
-Macklemore, "Victory Lap"

Stay gold, Mack.