Post-Game Wrap-Up

First of all, the game was pretty exciting. I didn’t mind watching at all, though I couldn’t care less who won. No one at the party was a super-fan so we didn’t have any problems with guys in face-paint going berserk when some dude dropped the ball.

Twenty-two guests showed up. Scott, Gunther, Gordo, Polly, and some other obvious candidates, plus the dry cleaner Ramon and believe it or not, letter carrier Hung. The Whole Foods contingent came en masse, and the fun thing was, a lot of people brought a friend or two, so there were new people to meet.

One of the best things about the party was that it was such a weird mix of people that practically no one (besides me) knew more than a small percentage. So everyone was meeting a lot of new people. But hands down, my favorite new person is Astrid the check-out girl’s boyfriend Cesar. He works in marketing, but mostly for appliance manufacturers. His job is to “humanize” appliances by making boring features seem more intelligent. Example: He pointed to my toaster oven. It had a setting called, “Bagel.” He asked me, “What do you think that does?”

I had never really thought about it, but I did use it every time I want to toast a bagel. I said, “I don’t know, some kind of sensor makes the toaster heat penetrate a thicker dough of a bagel?”

He said, “That’s what I do. I make you think the toaster is smart. ‘Bagel’ setting increases the toast time by 10%. That’s it.”*

Turns out, there are only two things that are adjustable on the toast setting. Power and time. You can make the power go from 10% to 100% and you can adjust the time it toasts. That’s it. Putting a button on the front that says “Belgian Waffles” doesn’t change the fact that there’s only those two variables.

I love this guy.**

Anyway, the party was a big hit. Everyone had fun. It was good seeing Scott again. And Gunther even got along with his ex Monica. (I should have mentioned that things didn’t work out with 19-year-old aspiring TV personality Marta. It didn’t long. I think they broke up in December.) I’m not sure, but I think Gunther and Monica may have left together. So maybe if that’s back on, I can add matchmaker to my resume.

* Bagel setting also makes only the top element heat because it assumes you sliced your bagel and placed both sides face up, unlike the normal toast setting which toasts on both the upper and lower element simultaneously. But I already knew that part.

** I will post another entry about the rest of our conversation. I just love it when I learn something that never occurred to me but is so obvious when someone tells you.

Gathering the Troops

This week has been fun trying to invite people to my Superbowl party. The first and only rule is: no emails as it kind of defeats the whole purpose.

I don’t have a Rolodex of everyone I’ve met in the last 18 months but that’s okay. It’s an excuse to track people down and talk to them.

So first, I called the people I know well enough to have phone numbers for. Gunther obviously. And his stupid friend Gordo. I also called Monica but she wasn’t home and I left a message. I called Scott and we caught up for a bit. He’s been auditioning a lot and has a new girlfriend. I invited people from work like Janet, but not Neil and Kyle because they’re just co-workers not strangers I talk to.

I ran into Polly and she’s coming. And my new friend Luke from the pet store.

Tracking down the rest has been a challenge. I left a note for Maria the cleaning lady but I’d be surprised if she showed up. I also left a note for letter carrier Hung and Pedro the newspaper guy.

But I visited Ramon the dry cleaner in person. He was actually very helpful in explaining who was playing and the backstory for the game. I also invited the Cheese Guy and Check-out Girl in person because I was Whole Foods anyway and it was easy. The check-out girl (with the nose ring) is named Astrid and I made sure to invite her in front of Michelle so she didn’t think I was asking her out. She asked if she could bring a friend and I said the more the merrier.

All in all, I invited a couple dozen people and I have no idea how many will actually show up. But I’m buying a lot of beer and a couple party subs from Bay Cities so hopefully it will be a decent turnout.

Parking Ticket Guy

We went to see Man on a Ledge yesterday. Wow, what a bad movie. P.S. that girl from 40 Year Old Virgin, no one believes you are a cop. Whose ridiculous casting idea was that? Was Amy Poehler busy that day?

Anyway, in the garage at the Century City mall, it’s fully automated now. They used to have ticket booths to get out a few years ago but now you have to pay inside and put the validated ticket into a machine at the exit. Yet, for some reason, there is still a guy who helps you put your ticket into the automatic machine. Again, there’s no booth–he just stands there on the concrete barrier between the exit and entrance lanes. He literally takes your ticket and completes the six inch journey from your car window to the machine.

So I said, “I don’t mean to diminish you or say something negative about your job, and it’s great that the mall can gives a few more jobs in this economy, but why did they automate the exit if they were still going to have someone take your ticket?”

He didn’t seem surprised by this line of questioning. He said, “Yeah, it doesn’t make much sense but as long as they keep paying me.”

I said, “I hear you. It’s like they wanted to go full automatic but they didn’t quite trust people to be able to handle it.”

“You’d be surprised. You know how many times a day someone can’t get out because they need help working the machine?”

At this point another can pulled up behind me. Michelle tapped me on the shoulder to let me know.

I said, “Well, nice talking to you.”

I was about to pull out and then I just blurted out: “Want to come to our Superbowl party?”

He said, “Yeah, sure.”

The car behind me honked. I said, “I’m just going to pull over. I’ll be right back to give you my info.”

I went through the exit gate and pulled over. Michelle looked at me and asked, “What Superbowl party?”

I said, “I don’t know. The idea just came to me. Hang on.”

I went back and we exchanged info. So turns out I decided to throw a Superbowl party next Sunday. Yes, I know, I don’t like sports. I don’t even know who’s in the game. But I thought it would be cool to invite all the people I’ve met in the last year to a party and this seemed like a good excuse. Michelle, God love her, said it was a brilliant idea.