Thursday, June 09, 2005
back or something
I wrote recently that because of my move downtown, where I lived for two years before moving to the Upper East Side in June of '04, I am "back". If the events of this past week and a half are any indication, I most certainly am back. And I will probably be dead within two weeks, tops.
In many ways, living in the Upper East Side was like going to prison. I feel like I was "away" for a year, kinda like when my Uncle Teddy was "away" for a year when he "borrowed" a car that happened to belong to a retired cop. Sure, I saw my friends occasionally, but for the most part I had minimal contact with them, mostly in the form of emails or telephone calls. I hung out 90% of the time with my roommates (in our analogy, my cellmates) and we sort of kept to ourselves. None of our friends ever came up to visit us or to go out in our neighborhood, and I don't blame them. It sucked up there. It was a long, lonely year.
[I'm making it sound like we never went out, when of course we did go out, but bear with me here...]
But now...oh boy. Like an inmate who's just been paroled, I'm out and fucking loving it. I've been going out a lot, meeting up with people, having drinks, trying to re-establish the friendships I had before "going away". Sadly, many of my friends have left NYC, having gone to law school or to grad school, having returned to their hometowns, etc. But what's left is a good group of core people, friends of mine from college or from Philly, who are slowly but surely becoming "New Yorkers".
And this is who I'm trying to get back in with. The BBQ this past Saturday was one example. I also went out Tuesday night (briefly) and last night. Tonight I have a party to go to (though not sure if I'll make it, as I'm hurting - more on this later). And then the weekend, well, it's on this weekend. So it's official: fathers, lock up your daughters. Jason Mulgrew, 200+ pounds of maniac and fury, is on the prowl. May God have mercy on you.
Last night, I met up with my friend Holly. Holly is a very sweet girl. I will say right away that this was not a romantic rendezvous; Holly has a boyfriend, Steve, who I've met on several occasions and is a good guy. Also, she has very good self-esteem, so I wouldn't stand a chance anyway.
We meet up at some Asian fusion place around Union Square for some drinks. This wasn't our first choice. We walked around for a bit, but everything was packed and it was so hot that Holly could see that I was growing deceased before her eyes, so we plopped down at the nearest place that served booze.
And we got good and drunk. Nothing crazy. I expected to be there for an hour or so, but we were there almost four hours. Several times the bartender came over to Holly and I and asked, "More?" And several times, we both agreed that we'd have "just one more."
Has any phrase been abused quite the way that "just one more" has? If we did a Top Ten Lies That I Tell On A Weekly Basis, it'd go:
1) "I'll have just one more."
2) "Seriously, this is my last one."
3) "Everything is under control."
4) TIE: "I know exactly what you're talking about" and "I did that already"
5) "All the stuff I write about is made up."
6) "I would never drive your truck around drunk looking for hookers, Dad. The police are mistaken."
7) "I didn't get your email/call/message."
8) "It's good to hang out with again."
9) "The things I appreciate most in a woman are confidence, intellect, and top-notch self-esteem."
10) "I think men should take responsibility in terms of birth control."
At any rate, after having about six "last ones", Holly and I parted ways, and I began my stumble back downtown. Before we go any further, I need to take a short but necessary detour to explain my actions that followed. If you are not already familiar with it, allow me to introduce you to one of the most important things in my life: Cold Stone Creamery.
Cold Stone Creamery is a franchise of ice cream shops. What makes Cold Stone different from Baskin Robbins or Ben & Jerry's or any other ice cream shop is that the customer can create his own ice cream concoction. Cold Stone has several base flavors of ice cream, like Sweet Cream, Cake Batter, and White Chocolate, in addition to your standards. Then, they have all sorts of magical mix-ins, everything from Butterfingers and M&M's to Apple Pie filling and Pineapple to Brownies and Oreos. The customer picks a flavor ice cream, picks the mix-ins, the creation is slopped on a large piece of granite (hence the "cold stone") and mixed by an overly chipper professional. The result? Deliciousness you can not possibly fathom.
Cold Stone is so good that if there is not one near you, I suggest you either start your own franchise or move. I guarantee that if you do this, you will send me an email in a month saying, "Jason, you changed my life by introducing me to Cold Stone. I am coming to your home to blow the shit out of you. Thank you."
I am completely getting off topic here (as I am wont to do when speaking about ice cream), but the one thing that I miss about living in the Upper East Side was the nearby Cold Stone. It brought me and my belly hours of enjoyment, as I sampled almost every creation possible. No Cold Stone and no Taco Bell are two of the biggest drags about my new place. And yes ladies, I am single.
So last night when I left Holly, full of Harp and Tsingtao, I hopped a cab. I was drunker than I should have been because I didn't eat dinner. I was thinking about getting Italian food when HOLY SHIT - STOP THE CAB!
Lo and behold, a Cold Stone Creamery has just opened up near my neighborhood. Joy. I threw a fiver at the cabbie, hopped out, and treated myself to 16 ounces of my favorite mix: cake batter ice cream, oreos, and whipped cream. Again, joy.
Then I had to get another cab, because I wasn't that close to my apartment. In retrospect, sure, this is a little embarrassing. Hopping out of cab drunk to get an enormous pile of ice cream isn't something I'm especially proud of. But that doesn't mean it wasn't the best decision I've made in the last three or four months.
So I got another cab and headed back to my place. I didn't think it'd be a good idea to go to bed having consumed twelve beers and a huge bowl of ice cream, so I got out of the cab a few blocks from my apartment and got some pizza (two slices to be exact). And so there I was: drunk and stumbling through the streets of Little Italy, one hand holding a an overflowing sundae, the other holding two slices of pizza, sweating through my work clothes, as tourists dining on "authentic" Italian cuisine looked at me with a mixture pity and horror. Again ladies, all this can be yours.
I got home, wolfed down the pizza and ice cream, and passed the fuck out. At around 2am, I woke up feeling like I was being stabbed in the stomach. Unbeknownst to me, pizza, beer, and ice cream don't mix too well, and so I spent the next twenty minutes or so throwing up most of my vital organs and the contents of my stomach (pizza, beer, ice cream, a woman's size 11 high-heeled shoe, seven rubber bands, an intact tube of toothpaste, and the fender of a '89 Cutlass Supreme) . I felt better after I was done. That is, until around 4am, when I woke up and did the same thing. I went back to bed, but woke up again at 6am. I have been up since. Sweet.
The bad news is that today is not a good day for me. Not at all. The good news is that, yes Virginia, I am most certainly back. And I feel stronger. Unlike the hangover on Sunday, I feel like I'm getting my body back into optimal drinking shape. And when that happens, well, um, well nothing really happens. I just kinda drink beer and eat a lot. But it's fun, so screw you.
And now if you'll excuse, I have to take my hourly dosage of Pepto and Bayer. Thank you for listening, and have a wonderful day. And seriously, get some Cold Stone. So, so good.