My experience with Meetup.com – AKA: the adventures of being ostracized in a public gathering.
First, a little bit of back story… Meetup.com is a site where people in a certain spot on this vast planet can decide to make a virtual group – usually themed – which allows any other person in the area to join up. Once a group has formed, this themed group of humans makes plans to meet in person. Thus, the premise being, that you get to meet people with similar interests, and you get to do something you enjoy in the process.
I had first heard of group meet ups from my lovely friends Kim and Edicson, both of whom had moved to a new area, didn’t know that many people, then ended up having some pretty good success in making local friends. Similarly, Luuk used meetup.com and was able to hangout with people all the way in the Netherlands, by joining a themeless group of meetup.com people.
So, last summer I decided to try and meet some people. I’d follow the formula that seemed to be working for my comrades:
Sounded simple enough. It had fewer steps than making a frozen pizza. I thought I had this one in the bag; if there were an election for person-who-could-make-most-best-friends I would have been president. Or at the very least…prime minister.
When I was a little kid I was beyond shy. I like invented shy. If you weren’t a family member of mine, I’d be the quietest child you had ever met. I’m not sure why I was like this, but my shyness often took a back seat to my urinary tract.
Anytime we would be doing an activity in class I’d go about my business until I had to do my business – get what I’m saying? I had no problem approaching my teachers one-on-one to let them know that things were stirring down below. I’d be excused to go to the bathroom and come back and it was no big deal.
But one day, in the middle of some lecture the teacher was giving, the urge to use the bathroom hit me like a sack of bricks to the face. It was so sudden that, without thinking, I jumped up from my seat and raised my hand.
At this point, I am more aware of my bladder than I am of what I’m doing. I know that asking to go to the bathroom (the whole “May I” instead of “Can I” question correction thing was so annoying, you remember that?) was a question; and when you asked questions you had to raise your hand.
Alright guys, I’m about to share something with you that only a hand full of people know about myself. That’s right, and after I discuss this with you, I’d kindly ask you to burn this post and never speak of it again. Sharing embarrassing secrets makes us basically best friends… Mmm, I feel so close to you right now.
So while I was driving back up to my apartment, after visiting family down south, I happened upon a crazy driver along the highway.
She was full-on jamming out to a Britney Spears song, like, JAMMING. Straight up going no-hands-on-the-steering-wheel-I-may-die-call-the-cops-I-don’t-give-a-fuck jamming. I call this kind of reckless singing: Beast-Mode-Acapella (BMA).
Basically, in that exact moment, that random lady was Britney Spears, and she was flipping out all the dance moves she could in the confined space of her motor vehicle.
When I realize that someone is going BMA, I get irritated that they’re jeopardizing the safety of the people around them. I may curse, flip the bird, or honk at them, but the one thing I never do…is judge them.
“Wait, you can’t judge the lady swerving into every lane while shrieking incoherent words?” I hear you ask. Yes, I have no fucking grounds to start judging that lady. Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to speed ahead of her and make sure I stay at a safe distance, but that’s only because I understand the great, involuntary power of BMA. You can’t control that shit. When BMA takes you over, all bets are off.
You see friends, there was a time when I would make the great trip from central to southern Florida basically every two weeks. It was a happier time, I had money left over from a few months earlier when I held two jobs concurrently, and my posse was still located in the same area; which made the trip to see friends a sort of one-stop kind of thing. The only problem is that the drive really killed me. Depending on the location of where I would be staying, the drive down south could be anywhere from 3 to 4 hours. I don’t mind making a trip that long maybe once every couple of months, perhaps even every month, but multiple times a month??? Let’s just say it takes boredom to a whole other level.
So, I decided that I should take advantage of the fact that the CD player in my car could hold more than one CD and indulge myself in some new music. Back in the day, the place I used to hang out the most was Borders (a super cool bookstore-cafe-awesome-adventure-building). I had a membership card so I got some coupons all the time to get discounts on CDs. One day, after I had gotten sick of my self-made mixes, I thought I would be a rebel and buy a couple of CDs from Borders at random (I live life on the edge). So I literally walked into Borders, went straight to the bargain CD bin, dug my hands into the mountain of plastic cases and pulled out two CDs. I was excited to listen to my random findings.
Turns out the two CDs I chose were the greatest hits of Cheap Trick (which featured some live tracks, pretty cool) and a Sarah McLachlan Remix CD from 2001.
So, I’m cultured enough to know who Sarah McLachlan is – some of you may recall she did a bunch of advertisements for animal adoption recently. You know, the ones that make you question the type of person you are for not saving every sad kitten or battered puppy? Spoilers, you are a fucking terrible person. As depressed as you are when you watch that commercial, you can’t deny the sweet, sweet serenading voice that Sarah McLachlan has man…its like…undeniable.
The thing that made me question my purchase was that this CD remix was from 2001. So I’m thinking…this is like…a weird, cheesy techno compilation of Sarah McLachlan’s stuff that I could find on those old-school Dance Dance Revolution arcade machines; you know what I mean?
But it was too late to panic, I had to be down south in a few hours. All I could do at that point was cross my fingers and hope the CD didn’t suck.
The second I loaded that bad boy up, something started happening… The song “Fear” came on. I had started the domino effect that leads up to a full-on BMA.
Phase 1: Introduction.
It starts simple enough, you’re just kind of listening to the music. You might not catch all the lyrics, you may even completely space out. You’re just kind of shaking the hand of this song, getting to know them a bit better. Nothing out of the ordinary per say.
Phase 2: Infiltration.
Things are picking up, you’re getting the beats of the song all up in your car. Yeah, you like those beats. Not bad for a techno song. You’re paying a bit more attention to the lyrics, you may even be bouncing your head along to the rhythm. This is the song’s attempt to give you a false sense of security. You my friend, just let your guard down and personally escorted that slimy mother fucking song worm right into your brain. But you’re having such a good time you don’t even know what just happened.
Phase 3: Infestation.
The damage is done, you can’t go back now. That base is sick and already getting stuck in your head. Those beats got you moving your whole body. You are clinging on to every song lyric, those words were written for you man! This is the infestation of the song. It has tricked you into thinking it knows you on a deeper level, you guys have chemistry, you go way back – this is the one that got away. This is your lover. You got to move your body, you got to seduce that lover back into your life. You can’t stop now. You wouldn’t even if you had the option. This is your life now.
Phase 4: BEAST MODE ACAPELLA.
I AM SARAH MCLACHLAN. LISTEN TO MY FALSETTO MAN, I AM A GIFT TO MANKIND. I SHOULD BE FILLING UP STADIUMS WITH THIS VOICE. HOW DO I NOT HAVE A GRAMMY IN MY HANDS RIGHT NOW? AM I DRIVING? I DON’T FUCKING KNOW. LISTEN TO ME. THIS VOICE CAN SOLVE WORLD HUNGER. OR AT THE VERY LEAST PROPEL A ROCKET INTO SPACE. MY VOCAL CORDS HAVE THE POWER OF A THOUSAND SUNS.
Do you see how dangerous this shit is? I could have caused an accident. That’s 4 minutes and 46 seconds of pure, reckless singing.
I swear, this doesn’t happen to me every time I hear a song. I’ve listened to so many freaking songs on my travels from north to south… but this is the only one that makes me go BMA. This song did something to me, and no matter how many times I hear it, it is still as powerful as the first time it seduced me. Self control doesn’t exist with this song. I have to flail my arms to my terrible, improvised choreography and scream bloody murder to reach the high notes that only I can hear.
This is why I can’t judge that girl I saw today, driving like a maniac. Because the second that Brittney Spears song ended…she grabbed her steering wheel and went about her business as usual. Like nothing had ever happened. The song still possesses her, but it won’t come out until the next incantation.
So about that thing that I mentioned earlier, the one about the secret and the burning and the stuff… yeah. If you guys ever mention to anyone that I listen to Sarah McLauchlan techno music, I will disown you and deny this entire thing.
So I came across this cool finding about Cilantro! Some researchers at Ivy Tech Community College have found out that Cilantro is bioabsorbant which allows it to grab metals from undrinkable water. Adding to its usefulness is the fact that this plant is not an essential crop, so using cilantro won’t hinder any staple foodies that, specifically Mexico, may need!
ground-up cilantro can be inserted into a tube into which water is passed through. The cilantro allows the water to trickle out but absorbs metals, leaving cleaner drinking water. Dried cilantro can also be placed into tea bags that are placed in a pitcher of water for a few minutes to suck out the heavy metals.
And in non-related news, I have created a cartoon Kiam! :3 And here she is!
I want to encourage her to write more stuffs for her blog, cause she doesn’t know what to talk about, but she says Beluga a lot. XD
While staying with my Argentinian lover (Natty Cakes) I was introduced to possibly the most tasty soup I have ever had, a leek and broccoli soup. It was hand crafted with strategic cooking magic that only a Korean-Argentinian could possibly create.
Since I lack these magical skills, but I’ve been on a health binge, I wanted to recreate this deliciousness. So I did what I do best, fucked around on youtube. Eventually I happened upon Nicko’s Kitchen, an amazingly delicious looking channel that only made me insanely hungry(er). It just so happens that Nicko did a video just for leek and broccoli, cause secretly he knew I was craving that shit, I know you got my back bro. Thanks Nicko.
See how easy that was? I was all full of self-confidence after watching that. Like, seriously, all I have to do is boil some green shit, blend it, and pour that delicious vegetable liquor into my face hole? WHY AM I NOT DOING THAT RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND?
:3 And so I did. I went out and got an organic leek and organic head of broccoli (mad cause I bought organic? yeah, you’re mad) and chopped it up.
But after pouring some water into the pot, I looked at how lonely the leek and broccoli seemed. So I decided to open the fridge and throw some more in. Specifically, mushrooms.
But, you know what I love even more than mushrooms? Onions. So I added that shit too.
So now I’m looking at this Leek n Broccoli n Mushroom n Onion mountain & I’m excited to stuff it all into le pot.
However, a quick observation reveals that the chopped up mixed no longer fits in the original pot that I selected to cook in… So I transfer my concoction to a larger pot, now I’m ready to rock n’ roll!
Aaaaand this is what it looked like, before the boil.
After my veggie water mix was done I poured it all into the blender, but of course, I started thinking creatively. WHY NOT ADD MORE? CAUSE MORE! So I poured in a bit of veggie broth. THEN I BLENDED :3 AND IT LOOKS LIKE THIS:
So now I am pouring the finished result into a bowl to stuff my face.
I added a lot of pepper and a lil bit of salt. I have to say, I am excited to put the Leek & Broccoli Soup Badge of Adulthood on my Life Scout sash. Its not quite as good as my friend’s mom’s recipe – but the fact that I made this and I didn’t feel the need to vomit is an amazing achievement. I’m patting myself on the back.