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April 19, 1997, Saturday

Something I shouted while drunk tonight: "I'm convinced that I am a Tinman!"

I punched his plastic comb down and he croaked "Good Morning!" with a tinny electronic voice.
The beer hangover was appalling this morning as I rode my bike from Abundance House to Comet. I hadn't had a complete night of sleep; I'd seen the light of dawn before falling asleep and it was 8:30 am when a ridiculous rooster alarm clock started crowing to alert me that it was time for work. I punched his plastic comb down and he croaked "Good Morning!" with a tinny electronic voice.

It's a beautiful day. Too bad I'm indoors pulling my Saturday 9am-5pm shift. It'll be six before I get off though; Robert, my replacement, is flying kites today and will be late.

Nathan VanHooser came by to visit for awhile. We don't seen each other much despite the fact that we were childhood best friends and now lie in the same town. But we always manage to have wonderful conversations whenever we hang out together. Today we discussed the possibility that the Warthog Jet that vanished over the rockies during a "routine training mission" was actually stolen by its pilot. I'd read in HotWired that it is possible to land such a plane on a mile of straight road, pull its wings off, and pack it into a standard 60 by 14 ft truck trailer.

I put flyers up in UVA's Gilmer Hall. My Dad is planning some kind of botanical field trip to the mountains and intends to extract money from those who would go.

I idled away considerable time watching Cops on teevee until I despaired of my pathetic wasting of precious hours. There are only about 300 days left of my 20s you know. While I watched teevee, I played around with my addled thoughts. To call this "meditation" would be somewhat of an exaggeration. My mind was still functioning chaotically as a consequence of the hangover that had dogged me all day. As I tried to reflect on some issue at depth, my thoughts would frustrating slip to a related issue or be distracted by the teevee. It was much like web surfing when one is overwhelmed with links to interesting sites on a subject of interest. But there was also something very troubling about the ease with which I could cause myself dumb confusion. It was as though I was discovering that my mind is not an idiot-proof device, that I could think my way into insanity in the same way that I used to fear I could swallow my tongue.

I decided to lay down and "sleep off" my hangover. This was a dangerous move in as much as by doing so I risked missing out on the considerable chunk of evening remaining.

I woke up at about 1am. Supposedly a party was to be happening at my house, but the only people there yet were housemates Ches and Steve. And Ches was doing class work. Gradually though, others began to appear. There was a keg of Red Hook on the back porch and there was the obligatory rap or techno blaring from Ches' room. The essentials were all in place but where were the people?

Cecelia and Leticia Brazilian Girls both arrived. They are a good first step in the process of building a party crowd, since they are weird enough to give the place a decidedly non-Frat feel while being at the same time highly decorative. Added bonus: they came with their own vino.

Then there was the odd assortment of UVA kids that I did not know but to whom I proved outgoing (and, at least from my perspective) charming.

The most glorious coup for my contingent came with the arrival of Bri Bri of Malvern Pennsylvania, Monster Boy, some other Malvernian guy named Shwam and, last but not least, Steve Weiner. For whatever reason, Shwam had driven all the way back from the Philadelphia area and brought Monster Boy with him (and Bri Bri along for the ride). Elizabeth was particularly overjoyed by the return of Monster Boy; she'd repeatedly told me that she'd been missing him while he was gone.

Here he is, a magnificent pot-bellied Jewish man with big grey hair, missing teeth and a raspy voice that seems almost contrived.
I found myself brimming over with pride that Steve Weiner had come to tonight's party. Here he is, a magnificent pot-bellied Jewish man with big grey hair, missing teeth and a raspy voice that seems almost contrived. He comes waddling among the glamourous, the refine, and above all, the youthful, to sit down and partake of the festivities. Silent, he is art. And when he talks, he's an experience. Tonight I saw in him a dignity I had never sensed before. Monster Boy later told me that both Andrew and I had thanked him for bringing Steve to the party.

Meanwhile, over at the Tokyo Rose, the Vitamen and Vegan Death were playing to a crowd of Charlottesville's alternative scene. Now it bears mentioning that the Vitamen have been pretty much out of the picture since last year after "the Vitaman," the singer, graduated. But tonight there was a reunion performance. Originally I'd had intentions of going too, but the party last night, the hangover today and the nap this evening were the path I chose instead.

Not all was lost however; all paths ultimately converged tonight at the Dynashack. When the Tokyo Rose closed down, many of the people there came to the Dynashack Party. Among those in this late influx were the members of the Vitamen, Vegan Death, the Curious Digit, as well as all the familiar Tokyo Rose employees (evil Darius who kicks people out, lovely Amy who works the door, etc.). By now the crowd within the house was so dense that it was difficult to navigate through the hallway. A large hemmorhaging of people had spilled into the street. By now, our party had been joined by most of the people who had been at the Abundance House party the night before (Cory the Java Hut Girl, the boy Elizabeth regards as "dreamy," and both Jenfariello and Ami Sage).

An indignant Reitmanesque party pooper, a diminuitive lad with a frat boy haircut whom I had never seen before, grabbed me firmly and said "That is NOT allowed" as if by making such a show of order his dubious social status would improve.
Meanwhile marijuana had appeared in all of its smokable forms. Through the fog of my memories there is a comic image of Steve Weiner puffing on an enormous hooter.

On the back porch, Shwam, who is a big-haired/dark-skinned guy of Subcontinental Indian extraction, stood at the keg dispensing beers for any who wanted them. It would not be too much of an exaggeration to say that for every beer he dispensed for others he dispensed one for himself as well. He'd become completely trashed, and being so had made him into a loud, obnoxious, happy, but somewhat threatening drunk. It's the sort of drunk I would occasionally reach in the days when Ritalin was abundant at Big Fun. For all his craziness, Shwam was apparently compensated well; rumour has it he "got laid" as they say.

Monster Boy later told me that the drinking had begun many hours before on the long road trip from Philadelphia. According to Monster Boy, Bri Bri, who is quiet and unassuming in Charlottesville, is over-the-edge in his native habitat, especially when intoxicated. Somewhere along the road, he'd seen a car full of Indians and told Shwam, "hey look Shwam, it's your family!" Then he'd made faces at them. They flipped him off and Bri Bri responded by sticking most of his body out the window and shouting for the Indians to fucking bring it on.
It was the marijuana that kept the party alive after the alcohol inevitably ran out. I was feeling so enormous good, that I joined the dancers in Andrew's room and whirled around with abandon to the cheesy music being played there. Some fool ran into me and I said, "Oh, we're moshing now!" and I proceded to mock-mosh. An indignant Reitmanesque party pooper, a diminuitive lad with a frat boy haircut whom I had never seen before, grabbed me firmly and said "That is NOT allowed" as if by making such a show of order his dubious social status would improve. I was in such a good mood that I didn't even kick his ass or bother to point out that "it's my house and I'll mosh if I want to." Despite how much fun I was having, I could see the cultural limitations that enslave such a large party. I took Monster Boy aside and explained that the more people present, the more a party becomes a frat party. This is because the more people you have at a party, the more the average standards of those present approach those of the mainstream. Fratboy culture is simply mainstream culture suddenly placed outside parental supervision.

The party wound down quickly after about 5am. It seemed as though Steve Weiner might have to spend the night. But someone, Monster Boy maybe, called him a cab. When I realized that Steve was going to make it home okay, I was so overjoyed that I jumped up on a little stool and started playing air guitar solos energetically, complete with whammy bar tremelo effects. Later I did an encore for Elizabeth and the Brazilian Girls, but I started laughing so hard I couldn't finish. Guitar solos are so fucking hilarious when you really think about them.

What an amazing evening. Dynashack had somehow pulled off another party miracle. It reminded me of September's Space Party just for the number of people who turned up and the amount of fun that was had by all. But it couldn't be Space Party II (that's on May 9th), so I've given tonight the working title "Space Party 1.5."

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