It’s New Years Day and the MLB lockdown is ongoing, so there is no news from the MLB or the Rangers.
So I’m going to share an anecdote from my youth. It has no real interest or anything. But it happened at a New Years party, so it’s about a calendar point of view.
It would have been, I believe, New Years Eve 1998. I lived in Austin – I only moved to Houston when I started law school in the fall of 1999 – and Ben also lived with me there. moment.
I must note, for those of you who have heard stories from my youth, that at that time I was a more grounded and responsible person than I was in my early twenties. Looking back, I’m still not sure exactly how I survived my twenties, which I don’t say as a humble swagger or like “I was a wild man!” Type thing, but as “I did a bunch of really stupid, stupid things that in retrospect I really shouldn’t have done” acknowledging that I was a jerk back then.
So that was the AJM a bit more mature – I’m saying a bit because it’s not like I’m not inclined to some very questionable decision-making, just that it was more casual at this point and minus a real way of life – that’s the subject of the story.
A former co-worker invited me to a New Years party. She’d been a receptionist where I’d previously worked, moved to Houston to attend South Texas College of Law, dropped out, and returned to Austin. For the purposes of this story, we’ll call her Cassie.
Cassie lived in North Austin. Typically when I lived in Austin I never wanted to venture north of campus – really, I preferred not to venture north of the part of the Colorado River known as Town Lake, but as UT was north of the river and my jobs my last few years in Austin were north of the river, that was not an option. But for unprofessional purposes, I never wanted to go north of the river.
She too, if I remember correctly, lived off Research Blvd. boul. was the street name for part of US Highway 183 at the time. There was also a part known as Ed Bluestein Blvd., and I think other sections had other names. But anyway, having to go somewhere out of 183 – especially research – was a negative.
Now, I’m not sure if that’s still the case, but when I lived in Austin, Route 183 was a long stretch of road that wound southeast of Austin north and then west. Once in the northern part of Austin, it became a busy east-west thoroughfare in a city with no freeways or east-west freeways. Parts of it were still under construction, as Austin’s growth and lack of east-west freeways meant there was more traffic than there was room, so it had to be expanded and high to alleviate the need for traffic lights and all that is done to make more room for cars.
Anyway, crossing Research Blvd./183 sucked, and was a big part of my desire not to go north of the river.
However. It was New Years Eve. I had nothing else to do. I was single. I didn’t want to hang around the house all night with Ben. So I decided to go to Cassie’s New Years party and took Ben with me.
I don’t know what time we got there, but we were among the first. Cassie let us in and was almost theatrical in her words and manners to welcome us into her role as host, despite the event taking place in a one bedroom apartment. She introduced us to the other two people who were there, a pair of women in their mid-twenties that she knew from another job she had had.
This is where I have to note that Cassie was … a little crazy. She’s someone who, if her friend wanted you to settle in with her, she would say, “She’s a little bit crazy”, which is not entirely wrong. She was crazy, especially when she was sober.
But there were also a few quirks that “kooky” didn’t quite catch. For example … when I started working with her, I walked past the receptionist’s desk and heard her say to the person who called, “I’m sorry, such and such is not available. right now, she’s in the pot. I was puzzled just to hear that. I decided to wait until she picked up the phone with that person, then I said, “Can you do me a favor?” If someone calls me and I’m not available, can you please never tell them I’m “in the pot”? She laughed and said, “Oh, I guess that sounds strange, doesn’t it?” “
So, this is to give you an example of why “kooky” doesn’t quite cover it.
But again, that was when she was sober. When she had a few drinks, she was …
Okay, I know “crazy” is a hackneyed word to describe women. Guys use it so much to describe women who don’t necessarily meet the expectations of society that it’s a cliché, something that no longer carries weight. So I mean when she had a few drinks she was crazy.
I will say she was crazy, however. And I say that as someone who’s got a lot of experience in fucking madness. Drunk Cassie was a six sigma wackadoo.
She was also beautiful, by the way. And I’m not going to pretend that wasn’t a factor in my decision to go up north of the river for a New Years party at her house, or a factor in my decision to spend time with her outside of work. in past cases this had exposed me to some of his bizarre behaviors.
One night in particular, I remember a group of us from work going out to drink and I ended up at her house. She invited me in, then invited me out on the porch to have another beer with her. We were there, I was spitting my game out, and out of nowhere she looked me straight in the eye with a really serious expression and said, “I bet your weiner is really tough right now, isn’t- isn’t it? “
I didn’t get a good answer to that. And sweet reader, I had planned to take my shot that night. After that, I don’t think I actually fired my shot. I think the best way to describe what happened was to dribble the ball with my foot. I was so upset that I never really got over it.
Which, in retrospect, might be why she said it.
Anyway … Cassie informed us when we got to her apartment that she had already had a few drinks, and she was so excited that we were there, and was so excited that Ben could join us, and she just knew that we were going to enjoy talking to her friends who were already there, and she was thrilled that we were meeting her boyfriend, who would be there later that evening, who, you know, I filed.
I do not remember the names of the former colleagues. One was blonde and I don’t really remember her. The other was a brunette who was pretty – she looked like a cross between Kelly Clarkson and Allie Haze – and had a bit of a country accent. They were seated on a sofa near a low table. I sat in a chair at one end of the coffee table, and Ben stood across from them and decided to court.
In particular, Ben started to go through some of his tracks with him. At the time, Ben was a very angry young man in his early twenties, and so most of his passages were about anger about things. And so he turned their conversation around and for about 15 minutes did his routine and his songs and talked about things that made him very angry. And it was funny, and the girls liked it and laughed and thought it was funny.
I was like, eh, watch Ben do his thing. Then, as the girls on the couch were chatting to each other for a bit, at one point, campaign girl Kelly Clarkson said, “So my PeePaw …”
And Ben interrupted him and, with his outward voice, said, “PEE-PAW ??? Are you from the country ??? ”
She turned her head to him, frowned and said, “No, I’m not, angry little man, so go mind your own business and be angry somewhere else.”
Poor Ben. He looked like he had been hit. I walked out, he followed me and I said, “You were fine there until you laughed at her for saying ‘Pee-paw’.”
More people have arrived, things have changed to a typical apartment party fashion where there are about 20 people mingling and mingling. Everyone drank alcohol, there was a nice atmosphere. When midnight arrived, I got a kiss from a drunk young woman, even though she wouldn’t give me her number. Maybe it was a kiss of pity.
Cassie was floating around, mingling and mingling, and getting more and more drunk. Her boyfriend arrived at some point in the evening, but he didn’t want to talk to anyone, and basically laughed at him. At one point, he and Cassie disappeared into the bedroom, and then she walked out without him. She approached me and said, “He’s upset because I don’t pay enough attention to him. Now he’s crying in there. I told him if he was going to cry he had to stay in there because I don’t want him to ruin my party.
Shortly after midnight Cassie announced to everyone, “Hey, I just remembered, I have fireworks to shoot for New Years! She disappeared for a moment and then came back with… I don’t know what exactly. I think there were a few rockets in a bottle, and this little tank-like model that you apparently were lighting and sparks were shooting from the cannon of the cannon sticking out of the turret.
Someone said, are you going to go out and cut them down on the lawn in the apartment? She said no, the complex would get mad at her if she did that, so she would just turn them on inside.
This is what she did. Starting with a bottle rocket. That exploded and hit a curtain on the window.
Ben was looking at this, drunk, and turned to me and said, “Hey, man, is she setting off fireworks in her own apartment?” I said yes, it seemed to be. Ben said, well that’s probably a sign it’s time to go. I agreed, and without telling anyone yet, we left and returned home.
I’m pretty sure this was the last time I saw Cassie.
I’ll note that this is a story that Ben and I tell every now and then, and when Ben does tell it, he always ends it with, ‘you know the party is really out of hand.