Real New Year’s Eve

My D&D group celebrates Fake New Year’s Eve because we usually have other things we want to do on actual New Year’s Eve. Here’s what I did this year!

I went up to Chico to visit some friends and go to a club.

My wife has kept in touch with one of her best friends from college. She’s moved to Chico where her fiance is going to college.

We’ve visited them before and its a lot of fun. Even more this time because we went clubbing on New Year’s! My wife and I are far too insular to usually go clubbing even though we like it a lot.

We got to their apartment around noon and we did not immediately go to the club. We instead immediately went to lunch at a Chinese restaurant.

After that we went on a walk downtown to a comic and game shop, but didn’t get anything (They didn’t have what we wanted). We did look at all the Munchkin sets they had though. I learned that my wife’s friend’s fiance plays Munchkin, but just like me, can’t find people to play with him!

We got back to the house and the girls went to go gossip while the fiance showed me the popular game, Binding of Isaac. I’d heard about it before and always get excited about it because my name is Isaac too.

I knew it was a old school style game, kind of like Zelda. There are rooms in a dungeon and each room has its own set of monsters. You have bombs and ranged weapons and special items and all sorts of stuff.

I never really understood the plot of the game before. There isn’t much, but basically Isaac’s mom wants to sacrifice him to the Devil. This causes Isaac to cry (his tears are his weapons) and he fights back to escape her clutches and those of the Devil.

We watched the awesome Disney movie, Brother Bear, sometime before dinner, which was pasta and garlic bread.

Then we went out to the Beach!

The Beach is a pretty typical club. Cover fee to get in, tons of drinks to choose from if you want to wait forever in line, and a dance floor that hardly anyone was dancing in when we got there at 10:40. My wife and I were some of the first people to get on the dance floor and we pretty much stayed there until midnight.

The party heated up around 11:00 as more people got on the dance floor. The DJ didn’t seem to understand how slow songs fit into his mix, but was pretty good otherwise. Never lingered too long on a song, so if you liked it you got enough of it, but if you didn’t it was gone quickly.

My wife wore a sparkly gold sequin shirt that other girl’s occasionally got their hair caught in. There was a roudy guy that jumped all over the floor that the fiance and I both got to shove away from our group.

At midnight my wife and I got to kiss and a bunch of balloons dropped on the floor. The sound of popping balloons filled the air and we left the club because we were pretty tired.

The four block walk to the car was hard for my wife because she only had the heels (uncomfortable) and didn’t bring a jacket for the freezing weather. We made it and she got under the blanket we’d thought to bring ahead of time.

We fell asleep back at the apartment and left in the morning after a nice breakfast of tater tots and waffles. All in all a great start to the New Year!

-Mister Ed

Haircuts

I got the best haircut of my life last week. I tend to say this every time I go to a barber, but this time it felt objectively true.

In the past I have always chosen to go to barber shops for my haircuts. My parents took me to hair stylists occasionally but it never worked out. One of them pulled my hair and the other two I’ve seen operate out of their own homes which always seemed quite odd to me.

I’ve enjoyed the barbers I’ve seen in the past. One of them let me play Link’s Awakening on his old Gameboy Pocket while he cut my hair. Another loved hearing about what I’d learned in school lately. One liked to brag about all the famous people he was connected to, saying things like, “My friend knows the guy who wrote that book!” One had a Coke machine from the 1930’s that you could get a bottle from for only a quarter.  Another place had the shop filled with action figures for kids to play with and homemade wicker bicycles for adults to gawk at. A few others had a TV in the barber shop always playing the History Channel or baseball as if those were the only two channels in existence.

I’ve been to a lot of different barber shops, not because my family moved, but because I have zero loyalty to any of them. While many of them did nice things for me, I never felt a lasting  special connection to any of them. I did like the one who listened to what I’d learned in school, but I stopped going to that shop when he moved away.

Barber shops are traditionally located somewhere in a downtown area with that nice rotating pole out front to tell you what the shop is. They have the haircutting seats inside and a bench constructed from a row of old theater seats for customers to wait on. There’s a table or a rack of magazines and newspapers to choose from. If there isn’t a table or a rack, then the magazines inevitably occupy one of the bench seats. I have yet to find any exceptions to this stereotype despite going to around two dozen different barbers.

Recently, I have been visiting only Asian immigrant barbers. In high school I stopped enjoying talking to my barber when I noticed they weren’t remembering who I was. Why would I bother updating them on my life’s progress when they wouldn’t actually see progression over the different times I came to see them? I started going to barber shops run by foreigners because they didn’t have enough confidence in their English skills to initiate a conversation with me. Thus, I never had to politely answer the typical barber questions about my life as the Asian barbers wouldn’t ask them.

Which brings me to my haircut last week. In my typical fashion, I said I needed to get a haircut a month ago when my hair started getting in my eyes. I put it off as long as I could. I finally gave in by going to Supercuts instead of my typical downtown Asian barber because Supercuts is open until 8PM on weekdays, which is pretty convenient. Even better, the local Supercuts is also right by my grocery store.

I walked in  at 7PM and made an appointment for 7:15 with the cashier (I’ve never seen a barber shop with a cashier). I did my grocery shopping and came back in time for my haircut with the stylist. She sat me down and this is where it gets good.

She actually asked me how I liked my haircut. Not the typical “long or short” bullshit. She actually asked about specific parts of my hair. Do you like it long on the sides? How would you like your sideburns? How do you like your bangs? Would you like the back to be square or rounded? Is this the right length?

FINALLY! A haircutter who knew how to actually please me with the haircut. I didn’t even notice that I was starting to have an enjoyable conversation with her. I walked away with the exact haircut I had imagined in my head. I’ll definitely be going back there again and asking for the same stylist.

That’s all for today!

-Mister Ed