And about my birthday…
I had a very nice 21st birthday. I opened my gifts after waking up. I got a new camera and two seasons of Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman. I also got a Discovery channel documentary called How the Universe Works. My sister also got me a $30 gift card to Chipotle. I’m very excited about all of my gifts. I then went to Mimi’s cafe with my family. My first legal alcoholic beverage was purchased there. It was a pimosa—orange and pomegranate juice with wine. It was a good breakfast.
I then went home to play with my new camera. I eventually needed to charge my camera’s battery, though, so I went to Trader Joe’s to get a bottle of wine. I ended up getting a bottle of white wine. It was pretty tasty. Also quite strong. I had two glasses of it. I shared the rest with friends as they arrived at my house. Derek got me a really nice monkey grip tripod for my camera. It can be used in nearly any situation. I love it. Joe, Matt, and Tamara also bought me a jug of sangria. It sits happily at the foot of my bed and will continue to slowly diminish for many days to come.
We then headed to Fullerton to play laser tag. We stopped at Northgate to buy some 40s. They were about $2.50. Pretty good deal. We played laser tag after taking care of the 40s. It was so much fun. There were eight of us and we had the whole place to ourselves. It was like a real-life game of Call of Duty. The referee laughed at me multiple times during the round. I kept trying to shoot her. I couldn’t tell she wasn’t playing. I ended up getting third place. It was a lot of fun.
Afterward we all went to Rutabegorz for dinner. I ordered a delicious cappuccino-liqueur-laced drink and a glass of Sofia Coppola’s white wine along with a gigantic salad and 42-cent hummus. Everything was mighty tasty. Everyone seemed to enjoy what they ordered. I was happy to see that. It was so nice to be sitting among people whose company I enjoy so much. The only downside was the fact that we were sitting at a fairly narrow rectangular table so it was hard to talk to everyone at once. I wish we could have sat at a giant round table so we could all see and talk with each other equally.
I then returned to Long Beach to go see my friends’ band Lazy Mary play at a bar called the Prospector. Mark came with me. Some bullshit happened there. The guy at the door didn’t allow me to enter the bar on a “technicality”—I apparently wasn’t fully 21 yet because it was the day of my actual birthday. I had to come back at midnight if I wanted to attend. I was really confused. I really, really wish I would’ve debated this fucking fool. It could have went something like this:
"So I need to come back tomorrow because I’ll be fully 21 by then, yes?"
"I was born at 2am. This means that I have been 21 years of age since 2am this morning. Why do you say that it needs to be tomorrow for me to be fully 21 if I’ve been over 21 years of age since 2am?"
"…Sorry, you can come back at midnight." *he actually said this and did so while staring at the ground*
"You are an idiot. I can tell by the way you’re staring at the floor that even you know you’re being a fucktard. Don’t let your will to power consume you. I know being a bouncer for a collegiate bar in Long Beach probably makes you feel like you’re one of the most powerful people on the street. Keep this in mind after you get off and drive home by yourself in the cold."
I would’ve hoped for a crowd to gather for this verbal punishment. I love a crowd. I would’ve liked for the guy’s skin to have crawled off of his body in shame. This will to power shit drives me insane sometimes. It’s an idea I learned about when studying Nietzsche. It’s basically the idea that everything anyone ever does is done because it gives them the strongest sense of “causal efficacy”, or, in real English, the feeling that you’re making a significant change to your environment. The will to power is why the old librarian fines you for bringing your books in one day late—doing so makes her feel like she has a lot of power. In the case of the fucking stupid ass guy at the Prospector, not letting me in on my birthday was him exercising his right to not let people in as strongly as he could. The will to power seems to run contrary to reason in a lot of cases—we’ll do things that are completely stupid if doing so makes us feel powerful. It may be impervious to reason, actually. That doesn’t stop me from wanting to debate people over it. The beauty of it is almost no one knows what I mean when I tell them to check their will to power. I guess it’s funny, in a way.
But I ended up not saying anything. I left after he said to come back at midnight. I wasn’t drunk enough (yet) to turn off my inhibitions. I stood outside and formulated a plan. I really wanted to go to West Hollywood for my birthday. Evan offered to take Mark and me back to Mark’s car so we could drive to West Hollywood. She and her boyfriend Mike did end up taking us back to Mark’s car. By the time we got to his car, though, I decided that it would probably be better to go to other Long Beach bars.
We first went to the Silver Fox. The cute bartender examined my ID as I sat at the bar with Mark. I saw the calculation of age go on in his head. He then yelled “What?!” and walked away to ring a bell. He asked for my name and wrote it on a piece of paper attached to a clipboard. He then returned and asked me what I wanted. I told him that I wanted something sweet. He said “Got it,” and returned with a sweet tea. It reminded me of a Long Island Iced tea. I think it was just something he knew how to make, though. It was very strong. I had two. Mark paid for the second one. Since it was Tuesday he gave me a card to get a free second drink (or, in this case, a free third drink). I finished both of the teas and then asked the cute bartender to make me another sweet drink. He returned with a drink that definitely included cherry grenadine and vodka. It was tasty. Evan and Mike met up with us there. I believe they ordered a margarita. It was incredibly strong. Mark ordered a beer.
Mark and I eventually left to go to our next bar: Ripples. By this time I was pretty intoxicated. The world was spinning and I was speaking more openly. There were five people in Ripples once we arrived: Mark, myself, two strangers, and the bartender. It was very loud in there. The bartender was really funny, though. He held out a lighter and told me to make a wish. I didn’t but still blew out the lighter. He then did a cute little dance and said “Here I am, hi!” I have a video of him doing this. I couldn’t hear him over the loud ass music so I just laughed and smiled, though. I did that for everything he said. I asked the bartender for a sweet mixed drink that was about $6 or $7. He made me one of the strongest damn drinks I’ve ever had. I probably could have poured it into a lighter to fuel it. I have no idea what was in it. It was supposed to be an orange-creamsicle-inspired drink. I’m not good enough at alcohol to understand the connection because all I could taste was the pure alcohol. God damn it was strong. Evan and Mike also met us there. She ordered a tequila sunrise. I loved it. We left after a while and went to the Executive Suite.
The Executive Suite was very cool. The bartender was awesome. She gave me a lot of free drinks. Her specialty is a drink called a red-headed slut. I don’t like the name of it… but god damn I do like the taste. It was apparently made of strawberry and peach syrups along with Jägermeister. I had many of these red-headed sluts. The first round were shots for everyone. Evan then ordered me the non-shot version of the red-headed slut. I think I may have also had another drink. I’m not quite sure. I made friends with a woman there who may have been the one to order me the drink I can no longer remember drinking. She was very nice. I was highly intoxicated by this point. It was pretty late, too. We left as they were closing. I immediately had so much more fun when they turned the music off because then I could talk normally without having to shout. I am immensely excited to go to a bar/club that isn’t loud so I can make friends. Or perhaps lovers. Who knows?
We went to Del Taco afterward and then sat in Mark’s car. We talked a lot in the car. I really don’t remember what we were talking about, though. I do remember mentioning how I could almost feel my prefrontal cortex removing the inhibitions from my speech. I was talking first without thinking about it beforehand. I may have been saying stupid things. I’m not quite sure. It was very liberating, though. My shyness wasn’t an issue this night. I had no reservations. I’ve never known what it feels like to have no inhibitions. I’m glad I’m not an idiot because a lot of other people also love the feeling of having no inhibitions. They take their lack of inhibition as evidence of their being able to drive a car or get some girl. I take it as being free from my prefrontal cortex telling me that what I have to say isn’t worthwhile. (An explanation: the prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that deals with complex aspects of human cognition. One of the things it does is regulate decision making. This part of the brain is affected by alcoholic inebriation.)
I eventually started to feel a bit sick. I was truly “wasted”, as one may say. I told everyone that I should probably be going home. We parted shortly thereafter. It was after 3am. Mark drove me home. I thanked him for the wonderful evening (I hope—I’m assuming I did thank him. It wouldn’t be within my character to not thank someone for driving my inebriated self around all night when he had work the next morning).
I must unfortunately admit that my 10+ year streak of not barfing ended the night of my 21st birthday. I didn’t get to bed until around 5:30am. I hadn’t barfed since I had a stomach virus at the ripe young age or six or seven. I regret nothing, though. I now know what it feels like to be really drunk. I know how bad very drunk people will eventually feel. I’m taking this experience as a rite of passage into adulthood. I will not drink that much again for a very, very long time.*
So that was my birthday. I had a pretty terrible next morning. It wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle, though. I just felt a bit dizzy and disoriented all day. It was more annoying than anything.
Thank you to everyone who had any part in my 21st birthday being as good as it was. I’m not used to being the center of attention. It usually makes me feel selfish. It was thus nice knowing that people made plans to hang out with me (yes, me!) on my birthday. I love my friends. And family. Thank you all.
I’ll post some birthday videos I took with my new camera. My only regret is that I didn’t take more videos and pictures of everyone together. I didn’t want to intrude. Perhaps with age I’ll learn to give myself more credit.
And sorry for this being so long. I usually would’ve written this in my journal but I figured that it’d be fine if it were public.
*Flash forward ten years: “Look! There’s Danny the Drunk! He’s gotten drunk like this every week since he turned 21! Poor man.”