Last Friday, I had the wonderful experience of meeting Elanamatic and The Dude. They were in LA for week, and Mina and I met up with them in the Valley.
Meeting happyrobot people continues to make me nervous even though every happyrobot person I've met has been nice. I wonder sometimes what people are expecting when they meet me and just how much I fall short of that expectation since I am not a robot that grins all the time.
After the big meet up in a Sushi place about to close, we jumped into the magic chariot (aka The Jag) to search for a place where we could drink cocktails and talk some more. Out on the road, we spotted a sign glowing in the darkness of the night. It read, ‘The Port' in red letters; however, it was on the Starboard side of the car. Then underneath it read ‘karaoke tues & thurs' in cheap letters. What the heck, let's give it a shot, and I aimed the magic chariot into the parking lot.
After getting all our IDs thoroughly checked because we all look like we're 19, we proceeded into The Port.
On stage, a little blonde wisp of a girl (with a big white scrunchy in her hair) was doing her best Tori Amos impression with her electronic keyboard. She was sweating and she was loud. But why would she be sweating? Tori Amos doesn't sweat. Then, I noticed the ankle weights just above her feet. Yes, she was performing and getting a workout at the same time.
Elanamatic, The Dude, Mina, I all felt this was whacked, so I felt I was drinking with kindred spirits. Even though we could not communicate through spoken words, we were able to relay our opinions through a series of hand gestures and facial expressions. It was kind of like in Dances With Wolves when Kevin Costner gets down on his hands and knees to communicate the word, buffalo.
We went over to a booth in the far corner. The booth was made of black fake leather and single light (I think Ikea) was hanging over the table with a black table cloth on it. It was like we were spies exchanging secret plans. Meet me at the Port, corner booth, come alone.
By the time, we were comfortable in the booth, the ankle weight girl was done. However, she was soon replaced by the middle aged garage band which did not perform barefoot with ankle weights. I watched them in a mirror that was directly across from me. Their guitars wailed like they did twenty-five years ago, and there was even a horn blower who played pretty much in tune.
The center of the band was a guy leaning over a keyboard that was a little too low for him to play. He was younger than the other guys, and it was the consensus of our table that he was the one shagging ankle weight girl. In fact, the only one who was dancing around and screaming to the band was ankle weight girl, out on the dance floor all by herself. I think the other band members tolerated her in the hopes of getting into her pants.
So many stories could be written about ankle weight girl and middle aged garage band. Stories about their hopes, their dreams, their aspirations. How they persevere in the face of incredible odds to make it in the world of music. Stories of packing up gear, unpacking gear, loading it into the van, and driving to parts unknown.
After about three very long songs from the garage band, we had heard enough. Our collective sanity was losing its bearing. Besides, a chubby little waitress in Daisy Duke shorts and a black T-shirt kept taking our drinks off the table.
‘Do you want another?' she'd keep asking.
‘No. We're fine.' We kept saying. We had supported the Port enough, and we were leaving.
‘Hey, I use to work in the Playboy Mansion.' The lead keyboard guy said as we walked toward the door.
‘Hey, people usually shout when I say that. Let's try it again. I use to work in the Playboy Mansion.'