Monday, May 21, 2012

Various Events of the Past Few Weeks

This is going up about a week later than I would have liked, but I’m doing the best I can to write.

In case you haven’t read any of the posts where I’ve mentioned it, I have a trainee at work. I have apparently given my masters at work the impression that I am not only good at my job, but capable of showing somebody else how to do my job. This takes up an awful lot of my time. Before I might have been busy for fifteen minutes to an hour and then had an hour or two of slow time. Now, I should really be explaining and training pretty much constantly. But I have been blessed with a very sharp and competent trainee who is picking things up very quickly. I still don’t have as much time to write, but I have more than I thought I would. I was really worried that Needless Things might get cut down to two or three posts a week.

The other thing that sucks about the situation is I am stuck training on the bad side. I am qualified to run two different consoles – one shitty one and one really shitty one. For the next three months or so I am stuck on the really shitty one.

So that’s where I am right now.

But I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to talk about things that have been going on outside of work. Mostly my birthday events, seeing Mastodon live at the Masquerade Music Park, and then returning to the Masquerade a week later to see The Queers and Screeching Weasel for Monkey’s birthday.

Like any post of this nature I really don’t know how much I have to say. Nothing particularly crazy happened, but good times were had and I’d like to share them here.

I turned thirty-six years old last Thursday. I’m not so much concerned with how old I am because it becomes clear over time you are only as old as you allow yourself to be. And thirty-six really isn’t any big deal, anyway. It’s not like I’m thrity-nine. That’s old. But it is important to me to party on my birthday. I want to be around cool people doing cool stuff. It’s not about marking any particular milestone, it’s about partying.

Usually I have a pretty good plan in place for partying on my birthday. Whether it’s a movie night, a concert, or some other social function; I tend to have an idea of what we’re doing a month or more out. But this year I really wasn’t too sure. The Mastodon show was happening Saturday night, which is usually the night I’ll have the event. This is kind of a problem, because it means I am always hung over when I call my mom on Mother’s Day. It’s why I started sending ProFlowers every year. If she’s already dazzled by a beautiful flower arrangement, my slurring and occasional pause to vomit may not seem so offensive. Especially since it usually comes around three in the afternoon (the call, not the arrangement – I ship the flowers on Saturday because it costs $14.99 extra for Sunday delivery and that’s just ridiculous).

Anyway, I couldn’t really expect anybody to pony up thirty bucks to see Mastodon for my birthday. I was planning on maybe a low-key event. But Evil wasn’t having it. The second I mentioned that I wasn’t too sure I was planning anything, he pointed out that Friday the eleventh was open and that Platinum Championship Wrestling just happens to have events at the Academy Theater every Friday night. Score. He also pointed out that Savage Pizza was right down the street from the Academy Theater, which explains why the Avant Garde had free Savage Pizza for everybody a couple of months ago. I also put in a call to the man that keeps the funk alive, Quasi Mandisco, to ask if he knew of any hot DJs spinning later in the night. This is terminology I was terribly uncomfortable using, but I do what I can for my peeps. Honestly, I wasn’t even sure people said “spinning” anymore. The last time I knew any DJs people were still wearing Jnco pants.

Initially I set the event for 6:30 at Savage with PCW at 8 PM, but PCW has been bumped back to 10:30 all month because they do, on accession, have actual plays at the Academy Theater. Fine. Later is better for partying.

The big night came and we got what I would consider to be a pretty super turnout considering wrasslin’ was the main event and I can count the number of actual wrestling fans I am friends with on one hand. Angry Matt – may angels shower him with blowjobs for all of his days – was once again our Designated Driver. Me, Mrs. Troublemaker, Angry Matt, Evil and Lady Evil got to the pizza joint around 8:30. I spoke with the man in charge and apologized for not calling in advance; I told him I just wasn’t too sure how many people we’d really have and didn’t want to take up a bunch of their time if it wasn’t necessary. The guy was very accommodating and had his people move some tables around on the patio. Shortly after we ordered a bunch more people showed up and we had a nice little crew getting their buzz on.

Me and the missus got a spinach, tomato, and bacon pizza. This may sound like kind of an odd combination and it is. But I really liked it. Mrs. Troublemaker, not so much. Apparently her dinner made several return visits throughout the night. We also had an absolutely great beer in the form of Alphaburger. Or Alpsenbourgeoius. Or Asparagusblubber. I don’t know. I can’t ever remember the names of beers because I only ever drink Miller Lite because I can’t ever remember the names of beers. It’s a vicious cycle.

Evil and Lady Evil recently got engaged. I think that’s pretty awesome because they’re both awesome people who I want to be happy. I knew we were all going to be at dinner Friday night, so I wrote a little toast:

"To (Evil) and (Lady Evil)
Two people who have made my life and the lives of everybody here richer
In one way or another.
Congratulations on your new life
And fresh, shared destiny.
May your path together be free of turmoil and full of love."

Unfortunately, I waited until after a Miller Lite and the second pitcher of Alphaburger to make my toast and it came out more like:

Friends and neighbors of us all,
I think both of Evil and that Lady are pretty great.
They’ve been pretty neat to everyone and some stuff of destiny happens.
They have some roads on the way and I think it’s going to be happy.
But mostly, I just think everybody is great and there’s some love on there.
Congratulations on your new pistachio.”

Not exactly my finest moment, but I guess I got my point across.

After dinner we had a big ol’ convoy and headed over to the PCW Arena to see some dudes get it on.

I’ll provide my awful color commentary tomorrow. I was drunker than usual for this event and I really can’t imagine how bad this one is going to be. I feel I’ll be lucky to manage 500 words about it. I don’t know how many of them will be coherent and actually relate to one another or the events that occurred.

I will say here that we had a great time there and added some folks to the DCW Hooligans roster. The Queen of Crunk finally made it to a show and Muffinface, Big Jason, and Dom Solo are brand-new additions. We had a larger-than-normal ratio of ladies that night and I’m pretty sure their favorite wrestler is none other than the amazing Kyle Matthews. They were impressed not so much by his wrestling ability as the shape of his posterior, but I suppose fans are fans. Many pictures were taken of Mr. Matthews and many breathless giggles were exchanged.

As a matter of fact, one particularly salacious picture made its way onto Facebook the next day. It just so happens Mrs. Troublemaker took and posted this one and it garnered quite the collection of comments from the ladies of our social network. So many, as a matter of fact, that I really felt Kyle Matthews should be aware of his new fanbase; so I tagged him in the picture.

So PCW put on a great show and made some new fans. I got to chat with Dany Only a little bit and none other than Stephen Platinum himself came out after the show and gave me a birthday hug. Evil checked with Quasi Mandisco to see if anything was going on in the area, but it was a slow night. At that point I really didn’t care where we went. I just wanted to hang some more. Somebody suggested Trackside Tavern, a nearby establishment that served the sort of adult beverages we were in pursuit of. We formed up another convoy and headed out.

Trackside Tavern was perfectly acceptable in that they did, indeed, have adult beverages. It was also relatively hipster-free and clean enough that I didn’t feel like I had to take a shower afterwards. We played some pool and just generally had a pretty good time.

At one point I was standing there with my pool cue, swaying slightly and awaiting my turn. Now, there’s something you should know about me – I am terrible at pool. But when I drink, something very strange happens and I get marginally less terrible at pool.
Anyway, I was standing there with my pool cue – which, if you didn’t know, is not a small item. Like, you tend to notice if somebody is holding one. So this guy walks up to me and says, “Hey man, are you playing darts?”

I looked at him, looked at the pool cue in my hand, looked back at him.

“Um, noooo.”

Then I realized that I was standing in what could be considered the shooting range of one of Trackside Taverns’ Official USACDT-approved Official Dartery Championship dart boards. I was potentially interfering with the dartistry of some professional dartists; most likely some classically trained fellows. So I moved quickly out of the way, thinking this guy was an idiot and too drunk to realize he had been being an asshole.

That’s one of my few faults – I have a tendency to assume people are stupid and often miss sarcasm. If somebody makes a statement such as, “I totally enjoy the work of Kevin Costner,” I will take their statement as fact and just write them off as an idiot. It’s not so much that I am oblivious to sarcasm as it is that I am always ready to believe people are fucking stupid. And I am usually right.

But this guy was just being a douche and I now have a problem with dartists. This will show up again later.

We finished the night off with Bear buying me some sort of shot that tasted like cinnamon. I usually do not mix beer and liquor at all. I usually don’t even mix different types of beer. But it was my birthday and I figured I might as well. It was a delicious shot and quite frankly might have saved me from a vicious hangover. For whatever reason, I only had a mild headache accompanied by some lethargy the next day, not the round of 6 AM vomiting that typically follows a night of heavy drinking.

That lethargy lasted me all day, though, to the point where I had no interest at all in drinking at the Mastodon show Saturday night.

I’m closing in on 2,000 words, so I’ll make the rest short and sweet.

My awesome sister-in-law made me this for a birthday present:

That night, I arrived at the Music Park at the perfect time. I walked in, checked out the t-shirts, went over to the field, and Mastodon started playing. This was not due to any sort of planning on my part, just coincidence. They opened with “Black Tongue” and just kept playing awesome music. I very badly wanted to hear “Blood and Thunder” and got it towards the end. Actually, it was the last song I heard because I decided beating everybody out of the parking lot was more important than hearing every single song Mastodon played. I had heard most of my favorites and that last one pretty much topped it off for me.

I got video of several songs and as tends to be the case with my concert videos the sound is good, the picture is stable, and the video quality is terrible.

Finally, I went to see Screeching Weasel this past Friday.

But that’s going to have to wait a second because I just had an amazing idea for an episode of Mythbusters. I totally believe that you could make a guitar out of a horse. I mean, not you personally. But I think that somebody with the right skill set could fashion a guitar or a reasonable facsimile using nothing but a horse. A single horse. I need to submit this, but in case I don’t I invite one of you to do so. I think that would be a great episode.

Okay, so I picked up Monkey to go see The Queers and Screeching Weasel. Our wives couldn’t go because we had no babysitters. I often get to go and do stuff that Mrs. Troublemaker can’t. She insists I go. Believe me when I say that most of the time I would be perfectly willing to just stay home because it isn’t fair for me to go somewhere. I’ve even offered to let her go without me from time to time. But she always says I should go. I think she is saving all of these nights up for Dragon*Con when she meets Norman Reedus or one of the little boys from Vampire Diaries. She’ll be like, “Remember all those nights I stayed home with your son? Well tonight I’m gettin’ me some Reedus wang.” And I’ll have to let her.

My arrival time was once again amazing, because pretty much as soon as we got upstairs and got some beers The Queers started playing. They were great. I got some more video. It was only slightly better than the Mastodon video.

The Queers are one of my favorite punk bands and I have seen them several times before. They’re great live and they just barrel through songs like crazy. I think they played for about an hour and we probably heard at least thirty songs. The only chatter consisted of Joe Queer mentioning that he had moved out of Atlanta to the suburbs. He gave a reason for this that I am not going to repeat because I’m not sure I heard him right and if I did I might not have caught the context or intention. But anyway, the band was great and I heard “Monster Zero” and “Born To Do Dishes”, my two favorite Queers songs.

Screeching Weasel took a little while to get on stage. This was partially due to an extensive soundcheck that was a bit fraught with irony. You see, there was a time when Kill, Baby… Kill! were candidates to open this show. Apparently Ben Weasel didn’t particularly want a surf rock band opening. I kind of get that. It was a good, old-school punk show and as much as The Queers may wear their Beach Boys influence on their sleeves, surf rock isn’t a perfect match for Lookout! material. It’s okay, but maybe not ideal. So Karbomb ended up opening. I don’t know anything about Karbomb and we missed them so I have no comment there. The irony comes from the fact that the first song a member of Screeching Weasel played was perhaps the most recognized surf rock tune of all time – “Misirlou”. Granted, it was during the soundcheck, but it still made me chuckle.

Screeching Weasel came on after a while and the sound was pretty terrible. I don’t know what the problem was, but it was so bad that I couldn’t even recognize a bunch of the songs. Some were easy to pick up on – I caught “My Rights”, "This Ain't Hawaii", "Dingbat", "My Right", "Supermarket Fantasy", and "Hey Suburbia". So I got most of my favorites.


It’s not that the band was bad – the sound was just awful. It happens at The Masquerade sometimes. It was still a fun show, though. Ben Weasel proved that he is not – as the song says – an asshole. He was a very gracious and sometimes weird front man. He went on some diatribe about being nice, condemning the middle finger and endorsing the thumbs-up. At the end of their set he thanked the crowd and the venue. Weasel made a big deal out of the venue being hospitable and helpful. It was pretty cool, because in all the time I worked at The Masquerade nobody ever acknowledged the staff, let alone the security. Well, unless it was to talk shit about the bouncers for being too rough with kids; by which I mean we wouldn’t let the kids get up on stage and fuck up the bands’ gear. You’d even get some asshole bands that would sit us down before the show and tell us we had better not let anybody up on that fucking stage and then talk shit about us to the crowd for not letting anybody up on stage. I wish I could remember who did that.

So overall the show was awesome and I finally got to see Screeching Weasel after all these years. Then we went to Midway over in East Atlanta and I ran into some more dartists.

Nothing happened except that they wouldn’t get out of the fucking way when we were trying to get to the bar, but I did notice they had their own darts with their own little carrying cases and that struck me as very silly. Not as silly as the little baggie that contained what appeared to be a dart repair kit, but still pretty silly.


  1. had tons'o'fun at your birthday! (alphaburger=alagash) we should probably incorporate Savage pizza into all wrestling nights....good combo! (and now I have to go check on all those comments about the tush...missed that!)

  2. Thanks for the rad card! Here's the link to the World Championship Buttocks: