How to Be a Regular

“You don’t understand,” server Max at K’nB Wine Cellars said.  “We thought it was their first date. The way your mom was laughing at your Dad’s jokes. We thought they were a brand new couple. We were betting on whether they would last or not.” He took my empty glass to get me a new IPA, waved it around as he talked. “To discover they actually are married, for like years, and they have two functional kids-”

“Well.” I interjected with a smile.

“Whatever, Sami. LIke you guys are in college and you’re pretty good kids. Anyway it blew my mind.”

4-5 years later my parents still go to K’nBs and though he no longer works there, Max is one of my friends, whose notorious “cabin” parties I’ve frequently attended. And he’s gone to baseball games etc. with my parents and a QOTSA concert with all of us.

My mom’s unrestrained laugh is still a familiar sound there, even infamous; from far away her cackle alerts the staff to her presence. In their heyday, my parents have been whisked to tucked away tables on packed nights, bought drinks by staff, and had coasters thrown at them. All of the perks of being a regular — of being customers that helped support this business when it first began.

This is where my parents met. Well, that's what K'nB Wine Cellars believed for the longest time.

This is where my parents met. Well, that’s what K’nB Wine Cellars believed for the longest time.

Become a regular. Find a local bar just starting to establish itself. Go on Mondays because you need a beer to recover from the trauma of restarting your work week. Go on Tuesdays because you wish you came with an appetite on Monday and really wanted to try those sliders but, tomorrow, I’ll be back tomorrow. Go on Wednesdays because you’re halfway to the weekend and they have that special on craft drafts. Go on Thursdays because, why the hell not?

Tip well. Tip 20%. Get too drunk and tip 30%. Fuck it, 40%. Tip so much that they apply every possible discount to your order because they’re expecting your big tip and it almost embarrasses them to be treated so well.

Get free french fries when they screw up someone else’s order and have extra. Get free french fries when they screw up your order. Tease them for screwing up your order. Be teased for being loud and drunk. Be asked about your life, work, family. Bring dates and exchange knowing glances and feel like a hotshot.

And, most of all, smile when they remember you like a rum pineapple with lime.

The usual?

Yes, please.

How to be confident

Why am I so confident?

I want to analyze this, make a formula, spread the wealth.  Confidence is amazing and also useful at parties; I want you to have it.

I'm confident enough to wear a bunch of beanie babies I hot glued together as a garment.

I’m confident enough to wear a bunch of beanie babies I hot glued together as a garment.

Maybe it’s because…

  • I was a perfectionist from age 8 to age… 15.  This may have helped me develop the skills to perform under pressure and avoid messy mistakes like it’s second nature.  Somehow, though, I spent very little time criticizing myself as perfectionists are wont to do, and more time trying to get better and better. Crazy shit like making lists of attributes I’d like to have (“eloquence, uniqueness, compassion”) and breaking down the steps to attain them…
  • …But then I gave myself permission at some point to not be a perfectionist.  Some mistakes still send me into an anxious fit.  I hate making driving mistakes (like hitting a curb, cutting off someone).  I think that’s fair – driving is probably the most dangerous activity I participate in day to day.
  • I grew up an arrogant little bastard.  A few years spent thinking I’m better than everyone else may have wired my neurons firmly to the confidence centers in my brain. I’ve changed my ways, though, and really don’t care if anyone is better than me or I better than them. This happened when I went to England and was surrounded by fantastic people. I realized it was much more enjoyable to be in awe of them than to compete…
  • …And I’m not really competitive at all. I am self-competitive, trying to get better at things for my own satisfaction.  But I will surrender quickly if I realize it’s not worth my trouble to battle with someone. I’ve learned how to enjoy other people’s wins.
  • I am bloody good at some things.  It’s easy to feel great when people are complimenting me on skills I’ve acquired over the years.
  • I’m kind of a braggart. This creates a cycle in which I show off, receive praise, and want to show off more. Somehow I have avoided the whole “I neeeeeeed people’s approval” bit and just taken away a shamelessness when it comes to displaying myself. It’s easy to feel confident when I’m waving around my peacock tail and hearing sweet oohs and ahhs…
  • …And I don’t just show off my good side.  Everything is out there.  I’m an over-sharer, ridiculously honest.  It’s easy to feel confident when I’ve got nothing to hide.
  • I dealt with mind-numbing depression for a good many years.  (Still boggled and exhilarated every time I realize I’m better now.)  It’s hard for the small hurdles in life to seem significant when my biggest drain was my own personal hell. Yes, I had phases of hating myself, but for the most part that wasn’t the route my depression took.  In my backbreaking effort to get better, I worked out little checkpoints with myself. Instead of focusing on how horrible I was for not getting better, I focused on how horrible I felt.  It’s as if my self-preserving instincts saved me.  I also made it a point to keep functioning in society, so I learned how to fake it despite the depression.  It’s easy to feel confident when I’ve gone through the wringer and come out a better person.
  • I am (usually) good at empathizing.  This makes it easier to understand other people’s actions and motivations and avoid blaming myself for things that aren’t my fault.
  • I was in an emotionally manipulative relationship for 4 years.  I came out of that with the determination to not let someone make me feel like that ever again.  And I’ve managed to reconcile with my ex, be friendly with him, and have closure.
  • I have anxiety, but I fend it off pretty well.  I redirected it early on (subconsciously) to things that didn’t matter.  Instead of worrying about tangible things – school, friendships, my appearance – I would worry about strange things like the way colors seemed to jump at me or by imagining my depth perception was failing. I use my imagination to help me not take my anxiety seriously, make it somewhat of a game.
  • I decided it would be advantageous/attractive/fun to be fearless during my “self-improvement” phase.  So I made sure to practice not being afraid and taking risks to impress people.  I still do that a bit like the unblushing boaster that I am.
  • I surrounded myself with people who are good for me, and made it a point to always be grateful for them.  I have supportive close buddies, an amazing girlfriend, and friends who inspire me.  I try to figure out how to make people feel good, and in return they give me kind and appreciative friendships.  I also make sure to let people know what I want, and they happily oblige me since I made things easy for them.   (i.e. I tend to tell people what a sucker I am for verbal affirmations, and which kinds.)

So, I’m sure I could think of other things, but now I want to hear what the community has to say.  What makes you feel confident?  How confident are you?  How confident do you perceive others to be?

A Primer on Concealable Flasks and 2 Alternatives

height-profile-alternatives-to-classic-concealable-flask-liquor-alcohol-shots

Disclaimer: I’m not really one to let moralism get in the way of partying, but I do have to say that if you can’t afford to buy a couple drinks at your local bars (and tip!) then, please, stay home on facebook and “like” pictures of all the people you wish would have sex with you.

On the other hand, I am not going to wager $20 cover on an event of dubious potential, expensive drinks, and no-reentry.  If the music sucks, at least let me spike your weak fucking $9 cocktails with the whiskey I hid in my socks. Bonus for you, my sweet venue: if I look like I’m having fun, maybe other people will be tricked into thinking they are also having fun.

Anyway.

classic-flask

First, we have our classic bootleggers flask. This one has been vandalized with a sticker. If you are wearing actual boots, and I mean big, badass boots with buckles and shit, you may be able to get away with this one. Most likely, however, you will be caught and this will be confiscated, and you will be sad because it is made of actual metal and you probably paid some dollars for it.

disposa-flask-disposable-plastic-flask

The next logical step is the plastic flask. This one is black, so it can hide in a very dark corner of your purse. It is a little bit smaller, perhaps because the makers know you want to hide it. The advertising on the front claims it can hold 5 shots.

disposable-flask-disposaflask-claims-to-hold-5-shots

However, the makers of DisposaFlask are lying liars or else they are in cahoots with the people who pour weak fucking cocktails, because I’m counting a shot as a plastic liquor mini bottle, and it don’t add up. Technically, a shot in this country is measured at 44ml, but it’s much easier to divide by 50. The DisposaFlask is not labeled in ml or even oz so I did a quick science for you:

disposaflask-holds-150ml

I’m rounding down to 150ml as a penalty for lying liar behavior. Also, and I’m just throwing this out there: look at that meniscus. (I just wanted to say meniscus in my head. Meniscus.)

disposable-flask-disposaflask-actually-holds-3-shots

That gives us 3 shots. This explains why I always finish off this flask feeling vaguely not drunk enough.

1-flask-equals-almost-5-shots

An 8oz flask does in fact hold nearly 5 shots.

pocket-shot-whiskey

Now, neither of the hardbody flasks are easy to hide on us squishy-body people, which is why the makers of Pocket Shot invented this delightful little packet.

pocket-shot-equals-1-liquor-mini-bottle-shot

The Pocket Shot is exactly the size of a regulation liquor mini, and it is definitely squishy. It will snuggle up to your skin and/or skivvies in all sorts of places. Squirrel away a few of these, and if security finds the one in your shoe at least they won’t find your nut-stash. P.S. they are fun for hookup partners to discover in your bra (true story).

The downside is that these guys are a little expensive, and of limited variety. I mean, I’m not against putting a plastic-encased mystery “W H I S K E Y” in my body, but you might want a flavor you can trust.

And so that brings us to… the DIY disposable concealable flask

infantino-squeeze-pouch-for-babies-freshly-squeezed-feeding-line

What is that? Why, it’s a squeeze pouch. For babies.

Infantino makes a squeeze pouch “feeding line” (are they children or are they livestock??) so that yuppie parents can package up custom applesauces, vegetable purrée, and other goo for their toddlers to quaff. It will set you back about $15 for a box of 50 pouches. I will demonstrate in pictures how to alter this fine product to smuggle liquor in your underwear.

photo-grid-concealable-flask-diy

Wow. This photo grid is exciting. Isn’t it just ready to go up on a Pinterest board? This is How I Spend My Summer. But the branch clipper photo kind of says it all:

turn-infantino-squeeze-pouch-into-concealable-disposable-flask

The elegant minimalism. The textures: pristine factory plastic, rusty blade, raw clipped edges. So much narrative implied in one photograph, and yet, the mystery. Congratulations, parents; I’m using my art degree to teach my friends and internet strangers how to repurpose baby products to get drunk cheaply at concerts.

infantino-squeeze-pouch-for-babies-holds-2-shots

Your DIY concealable disposable flask holds two minis. My confidential expert consultant says she can hide 4 of them in the crotch of her jean shorts. Impressive.

alternatives-to-classic-concealable-flask-liquor-alcohol-shotsA final photo for your comparison. Enjoy.

 

How to Crash Parties in PB

Katelyn does whatever the fuck she wants. So I really shouldn’t have been surprised when, after we’d spent most of the night at a friend’s house party, instead of letting me make a beeline for Jack in the Box and Disneyland Bed* she told me to turn North on Ingraham: “We’re going to crash parties in PB.”

We drove around the neighborhoods slowly, windows down, listening for the sounds of revelry.

Anyone who attempts this should definitely work in pairs. For optimum crashing teamwork, one person should be hopped-up on energy drinks but otherwise sober (me), and the other should be teetering between well-buzzed and fully drunk (Katelyn). Sober teammate can keep us out of the danger zone, and drunk teammate can manage the brazen introductions that are necessary.

I have to acknowledge the fact that what we’re doing isn’t possible for everyone. It probably helps that we’re two attractive (white? that might help) girls. I think it could be done by guys but they’d face more rejection.

But, my god, getting to wander around the streets at night as a woman is exhilarating. I don’t need to be afraid — the world isn’t always full of predators, I can fend for myself, I can be the intruder for once.

Technically, of course, we made sure to get permission before entering a person’s home. They may or may not have assumed we were invited anyway, but we let them open the front door for us. At party #1 we hovered near the neighbor’s door until they motioned for us to hop on over the back wall. “You’re the neighbors, right?” And that’s the story we stuck to when a new housemate came home from a night on the town and asked us, “Who are you?”

girlfriend-in-party-hat

Party #2. She found this hat and had to wear it. Every time she went outside to smoke a cigarette they made her take it off. They were on to us.

I met an incoherent philosopher. He made us give him really long hugs, but they were more drunken than amorous so I was fine with that. Maybe because he shared so many gooey-ooey thoughts about humanity I stole one of Katelyn’s cigarettes and traded it with a stranger who wandered up to the back wall for a high five. I met shitshow-dancing-guy who stood up on a chair and fell ass-first onto an iPad on a glass table. He knocked a taco plate on the ground but miraculously didn’t break anything. I also helped a girl roll a joint because even though I don’t smoke I really wanted to feel skilled at rolling joints for a minute.

Nearly everyone went home or to bed, and we were left with incoherent philosopher and girl with a joint and no desire to help them smoke it. So we exited the same way we came and followed our ears across the street. We found The Jungle.

This group of people all live in close proximity to each other in the same condo complex and share a courtyard. They’ve named the sluttiest guy in the group, “King of the Jungle.” Fucking romantic. I plopped myself in a lawn chair like I belonged there and peered at the attractive strangers through palm fronds. I mostly had to introduce myself, and when they asked how I knew everyone: “Neighbors.”

Later Katelyn and I went into the house. A cluster of people sat on a large L-shape couch around an ottoman and two women sat on the opposite wall on bar-stools like cross-armed sentries. Next to them: a huge In-N-Out wall hanging. I felt very welcomed because Cindy or Cynthia or Kathy or whatever put me in a barstool in the middle of the room and told me I look like a mermaid (my hair was down and I had on green tights).

Katelyn and I had to have a pow-wow in the bathroom because “holy fuck we are crashing a party.” We heard a sharp knock on the door, “Hello, I’m the owner of this house. Do you need help in there? Because I would really like to help you.” That was the only tense moment of the night. After we came out of the bathroom all was forgiven.

I want to say we made new friends, but we really didn’t. I think that’s the side-affect of joining a group of people at the bitter drunken end of their night. I did make the mistake of giving my number to a guy I shouldn’t have given my number. He is in love with me and sang me a song and wants to 3-way kiss with my girlfriend and me. I really want to text him back and say his messages are improving (fewer Ys in his heyyyys, yay!) but I don’t want to give him false hope.

heyyyy-hey-desparate-text-message


*We have a new bed & new pillows. It is perfect. It is like sleeping in the Disneyland hotel. We’ve spent the last 2 years on a 7-year-old full size mattress so this is a big deal.

How to Play Cards Against Humanity

cards-against-humanity-haiku-mime-having-a-stroke-reddit-foshofersher

Stolen from reddit user, foshofersher.

Remain sober, so you can defeat everyone with your mental acuity.

Identify known trump cards. “Pacman guzzling cum” is a trump card. So is “dick fingers.” For most, so is “Hellen Keller.”

Try to recall your friends’ personal trump cards. Emma G. will always choose “BATMAN!!!” Art Meier is weak for bacon.

Cheat. When you draw “Toni Morrison’s Vagina” and you know your friends aren’t going to get it, slyly put that back in the deck and draw a new one. Or not so slyly. Nobody is paying attention to you.

In general, just realize that nobody is paying attention to you because this game is designed for narcissists.

Confidently play “8oz. of sweet Mexican black tar heroin” only to be beaten by a deeply nostalgic moment over the card “Lunchables” that has nothing to do with the black card at all.

Try to bring up the fact that Cards Against Humanity charged an extra 5 dollars during Black Friday, but everyone already knew that. Become deeply insecure that you might be a “boring person.”

Start regretting that you offered to be the designated driver, because it’s like all the drunk people speak special drunk people language and they are playing by deranged drunk people rules.

Try another attempt at a trump card by whipping out “Firing a rifle into the air while balls deep in a squealing hog” — which you’ve been saving for 3 turns — only to lose miserably to “Glen Beck convulsively vomiting as a brood of crab spiders hatches in his brain and erupts from his tear ducts.”

Carefully time your bathroom break. Come back. You didn’t win.

Finally take your first turn as the Card Czar and announce the cards with decreasing dramatic zest…because a side conversation starts to dominate the table. Once you’ve got your white cards arranged into piles, wonder what everyone wants you to pick because you’re starting to think you’re categorically unfunny. Nobody laughs when you select your answer.

Cry a little inside when you draw the card “Active Listening.” What does that even mean?

Cry a little inside after you play your pick for “White people like _______,” and the replacement card you draw is “White privilege.”  IT’S TOO LATE. YOU ARE NOW CURSED. YOU WILL ALWAYS DRAW THE PERFECT CARD 1 TURN TOO LATE FOR THE REST OF THIS GAME.

Zone out for awhile contemplating the intricate levels of inside jokes you are not a part of.

Start chucking throwaways into the pile every turn because you’re determined to save “Trail of Tears” for that one card about white people ruining the lives of Native Americans.

Feel a little grateful that you’re at least not playing Apples to Apples.

Surreptitiously check Urban Dictionary for the definition of “swooping” on your smartphone and discover someone else out there had the same idea while playing this game. Feel less alone.

Draw “Life for the Native Americans was forever changed after the white man introduced them to __________” as your black card. Slam your fist on the table. Your friends look at you suspiciously. All hope has died.

Start writing a blog post in your mind about how Cards Against Humanity, while effective at bringing a room full of people together, is perhaps the loneliest game we play at parties.

From cah.tumblr.com