Monday, August 6, 2007

B'ham, you are on your way to being the strangest place I've ever been to (and I've been places)

Monday, October 02, 2006

(old post from the myspace)

I swear that Birmingham is not the strangest place I've ever been to. The Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD is stranger. But Birmingham might be the strangest place I've ever lived in. I don't say that lightly. I once lived in Vienna, Austria and those people buy milk you can leave on the counter for days and all of their local wine comes in bottles that say either Rot or Weisse. Plus they yell at you if you can't remember the word for "stamp" in German. Apparently asking for "A small piece of paper with glue which I will to you pay 90 schillings and use to send this letter to my mother in America" is annoying to them. Don't even get me started on the mean old ladies in fur coats with teeny dogs or the rendered goose fat that they spread on bread or the way there is NO live music other than the symphony....I digress.

Point is, I once lived in a city that puts corn on pizza but made fun of me for bringing homemade brownies to a party and I still find Birmingham to be the stranger place.

Example: Friday night I went out with M~. She's a huge Karaoke fan so we started the night at Starz. I hadn't been there before, probably because karaoke makes me so nervous that I get light headed. Unfortunately/fortunately I was the designated so there was no way that I was going to be drunk enough to perform a song. This did not keep me from doing it anyway. I think I felt bad that M~ was out with a total karaoke-pooper. I droned Mazzy Star's "Fade into You". My knees literally knocked together and the KJ put flashy lights up in my face, maybe to pep up my rendition. If you want to know what I sounded like, pick a note. Make it any note but not your favorite note and then sing any song but only with that note. That will sound better than I did.

Not long afterwards the bar started filling up. Some people were pretty good but most weren't. It was fun once I started breathing again. There was a guy there who kept dropping by our table to do magic tricks. Card tricks mostly and one trick that involved lighting a quarter on fire which ultimately didn't work but we didn't care because of the entertaining fire.

By far my favorite people of Starz were the girly-girls. (I know there is a theme emerging in this blog and it is: Mariya-makes-fun-of-girls-with-smaller-hips-and-better-fashion-sense-than-she-has. What's your point?)
So there were lots of girly-girls there. I insisted that they were all coke-heads but M~ told me that they were from Samford and were able to be that ridiculous on one and a half beers. Each and every one picked a "sexy" song. The best was a rendition of Kelli's' "Milkshake". Two girls got up to perform that one. There was a fat one, about a size 8, and a thin one, wearing a size 2 but it was falling off of her. They didn't know any of the words except for the chorus but the dancing was magnificent. The Thin One attempted a jelly-shake but not having any jelly it was possible to hear her bones knocking together. At one point I thought she was collapsing, having used up the very last of her energy stores. I actually stood up to see if she was going to be okay but it turned out that she was just dropping it like it was hot and not falling over from hunger.

Actually, I was the one who was falling over from hunger so I dragged M~ out of Starz and over to midnight sushi at Sakura. The place is under new ownership and I do really like what they have done with the d├ęcor and the menu. They have lots more veggie choices now. The staff however, is still just as underpaid and over utilized as they ever were. M~ and I sat at the sushi bar and got to witness several staff meltdowns between cooks and waiters. The place was slammed and people started to leave when their food never arrived. At one point, the sushi chef standing in front of us took the lid of a rice pot and banged it down over and over in response to a particularly annoying waitress. But we survived, got our food (very) eventually, and had a nice chat in the process.

We left around 1:30 AM and although it was Friday, Five Points was definitely emptying out. I was just saying to M~ that I regretted parking so far from the restaurant when we heard a commotion to our left. In the street next to us was a yellow cab with the back door open. The cab driver was in the driver's seat. In the back seat was a man half lying in the cab while outside a second man was trying to pull him to the curb by his pant legs. The man still in the cab was yelling "you can't make me!" over and over. The second man reached into the cab and tried to pull the first man out by his collar. At that point the first man changed his cry to "I will cut you! I will f@$king CUT YOU!" while kicking the other man in the nuts.

I chose to run across the street in the opposite direction, forgetting that M~ was wearing heels. We crossed into a red light and I heard her clack-clack-clacking behind me but neither of us was hit by a car. We were however, regretting our (my) choice a moment later. The street was pretty much deserted except for us and one other person. He was walking towards us with a very purposeful step. M~ and I were a little nervous and both of us picked up our speed when we saw him. Out of the corner of my eye I could see him reaching for something at his waist band and I was pretty sure it was going to be a gun. We tried not to look at him directly and kept walking. Both of us breathed a sigh of relief when we could hear his footsteps continuing to recede behind us.

"Just so I'm clear, that was his penis right?" She has a very charming southern accent so "penis" came out sounding like "pay-nuhs".

"Yeah, M~. He just shook his dick at us."

"Oh, I didn't want to look directly at it in case it was a gun."

She considered for a second and then added, "Or a penis, I also didn't want to look directly at a penis."

We were nearly to my green Rolla when a car full of men started hooting at us. I wasn't fazed; they kept their pants on or, if they were pant-less, they at least stayed seated.

So that was our night. Strange, a little scary, but still not as wierd as a whole building covered in corn kernels. Give it a few more weeks, I'm sure Birmingham can live up to the challenge.


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