Sobriety…sha-my-briety…

…if you know me, have followed my tweets or even this blog, the title does not make any sense but it will by the end of this post. I just had to premise this since my titles generally serve as an awesome lead in but I guess what I have now will serve its purpose.

…the plan for today was to go out with Emeline. The initial plan was to hit up a Grammy party at Playhouse in Hollywood but then Marissa posted on Facebook about the Downtown LA Artwalk. I totally forgot about it being that time of the month again (second Thursday) but then again I have not been keeping track. I figure it would be something cool to do before the party plus we both have not been. We had a chill time just walking around Downtown and chatting last time, after our date at the Walt Disney Concert Hall a few months back. But then again I was not the one walking the hills of Downtown in heels for little over a mile. Insert evil laugh of some sort…

…I tried my best to rush home from Vegas hoping to get home by 3PM since I still had to get ready as well as get my car wash. I do not even know the last time I had it washed, most likely before a date with Megan awhile ago, but it has been awhile and I have been swamped with Scarpetta to even bother. I had to get it washed, not only for my date with Emeline but I was spending the Valentine’s weekend with Megan concluding with a trip to Vegas on Sunday.

…I tried the car wash right by the Ontario Mills. What I liked about this place is that they hand prewash cars and then put them into the conveyor belt to me washed by the machines. My car was spanking new again and really sexy. I have not seen it shine like that in a awhile. I used a new car wash place which kind of sounds like I have a regular spot but I do not. I tend to wash my own car but hand it off to the professionals when the dirt, grime, and dust build up. Anyways, car is cleaned and I head off home to get ready.

…I get ready in record time and head over to Em’s around 4:50ish. She always seems to be behind in getting ready but she is always good at telling me before hand which usually works out since I run behind as well which is kind of funny to think about recalling what I remember from our first date years ago. =) I pulled up and waited a little bit. I passed by Christiney’s house and did not see her car. I texted her to see where she was at and she told me she was at Kabuki. As I am waiting in front of her house, her sister comes outs and appears to be leaving. I look at her and I swear she gave me a dirty look. I have not really seen her in years but did see her when I last ate at Red Robin’s but I did not say anything to her then. I did hear her have to do their birthday song to some kid which is quite funny. It reminds me of that movie Waiting. Other than that its been years. Maybe it is all in my head.

…we eventually went on our merry away. First stop, Downtown LA for the Art Walk. The drive was not too bad and the conversation was engaging as always. I get really self conscious when there are periods of silence. I feel as though I am being boring as though I am obligated to keep the conversation going. Maybe I psyched myself out a few years back after a media sobriety experiment I had in my Mass Communication and Society class at Chaffey. Something that stood out from that class was “there is a reason why the radio is on in the car, try turning it off and see how you feel.” I guess I have the need to always be interesting and talkative or I get really uncomfortable with myself. Wow, someone get me a couch, tissues, a script, and Dr. Phil’s number please.

…I cannot recall exactly what we talked about but I do know I filled her in on my final days at Scarpetta and the drama revolving within the confines of the overly marbled countertop kitchen. As always, she knew the reason why I left and why I even started to work there, (my unfavorably of routine and my nature to do random things, respectively.) Oh we did figure out a mutual connection we had with two totally random people in our lives. Again, it is such a small and crazy world but we have had that with other people as well.

…we arrived into Downtown a little before 6PM and scanned the area for somewhere to park. I was surprised I did not see groves of hipsters walking around and taking their sweet ass time in the crosswalks as they did a few months ago when I came down here to pick up David and head over to the Bazaar for Rajiv’s birthday dinner. It was rather tamed, at least at this time of the night.

…one of the lessons from tonight: there is a reason why one parking area is cheaper than another. Especially when the lots/structures were maybe 30 feet from one another. I pulled in and it already looked a little shady. I wish I took a picture of the structure, which looked like a skeleton of what a chop shop would look like in a Michael Bay movie or something. The structure had one too many free standing vertical support beams. It took me a few tries of backing up, folding my rear view mirrors in and with the help of the attendant I squeezed into the spot. After playing Tetris on the slow level but on that level where those blocks are already in the way…yeah…I have not played Tetris in awhile, but all my gamer nerds know exactly what I am talking about…hopefully…

…off to the Art Walk, sorta. From what I remember we were parked at, near, around Fifth and Flower? I really did not do the research in order to exactly know where the main galleries were and figure we would just walk around aimlessly until we see where the hipsters flock towards. It took us awhile to find where all the action was. There were random hubs of people here and there but it did not feel centralize.

…about thirty minutes to an hour in we found a random mini bazaar in a small courtyard with various shops. We took a lap around to check out the wares. Emeline noticed all these feather products especially the earrings. I did not know what it was all about but she predicted it would be the newest trend in the weeks to come. I told her that she was crazy, then again what do I know? I stopped my subscriptions to GP, Details, and Native American Vogue. haha.

…we made it around to a guy who was selling what seemed to be intricate paper or wooden flowers. He gave one to Emeline which was sweet but the scent musking from the flower was potent. It reminded me of cheap perfume that used to always give me a headache. I remember when I was younger where I used to dread family trips because my mother had this migraine inducing perfume. Anywho, I expressed my dislike for the smell and of course Emeline would mess with me, sticking it in my face, and telling me to smell it. I played along but it did start affect my head, but I guess it gave me a new whiff of her Paris Hilton perfume. I am just in love with that scent. Not because of her, she got me loving the Britney Spears perfume, but it I love it.

Cheeseburger Dumplings from the Dim Sum Truck

…the courtyard was sunken where the street was above right above us. We went up and there was a parking lot with food trucks. Food trucks has always been my thing because where else can you get gourmet items of food with such convenience? I noticed the Dim Sum Truck and made a b-line there. I have heard some good things about the cheeseburger dim sum and had to try them out for myself since I did not have a chance last summer at the LA Food Truck festival at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA.

…as we made our way to order a random guy walks up to us, more toward to Emeline, and says, “you are cute.” Then he sees the flower she was holding and says, “you both are cute, he’s a keeper.” We both kept walking and played it off but I did turn around because I was walking ahead of her and told her, “yeah Em, Imma keeper” and smiled at her.

…I ordered the cheeseburger dumplings and hoped they were good. I am not big fan of hype and hearsay and always need to make a decision for myself. We were both hungry and knew we were going to be drinking a lot. I have been a burger fiend as of late and wanted to try out Umami Burger and that was the plan after the party. The dumplings were decent and came with a thousand island type dipping sauce. The beef inside tasted a little dry kind of messed with the texture but other than that, it was a decent tapas for the heck of it.

…it was getting closer to 7ish and we made our way back to the car.  Emeline wanted to change into her club entire. I was not sure how the dress code would be since it was a private event. What she was wearing now was appropriate but Miss I Always Gotta Look Good and Be Overdressed brought heels and a dress. She went and changed in my car. It just reminded me of the time I took her up to Mt. High to check out the snow as a surprise. I had her sister pack warm clothes for her and she changed once we got up there.  Anyways, while she was changing I texted Casey and started to joke around. Oh! Oh! When Emeline opened my door my rear view mirror slammed into the cement support beam! There was a little scratch that occurred. Anyone else, I would have made a huge deal but it was her so it was not a biggie. We did argue statue of limitations of when I can sue her and kept that on the table. haha.

…she finished changing and we headed out to Hollywood. I have driven by Playhouse many times and Emeline has been there. But we both did not know what to expect. We pulled up on the side where valet was and went on in through the back. Oh, I was a little mesmerize when we were walking in. The dress she had on was umm to put it simply was uhh pretty damn sexy! I will get into it more later. 😉

…we walked in and it was fairly packed. We made it right to the bar and ordered our favorite drinks, vodka tonics. The bartender was a really cute girl with a tight body but I do not even pay attention to that stuff when I am with Emeline. We headed up to the terrace area with seats and sat down on the couch with our drinks.  Servers were walking around the entire club with hors d’oeuvres which consisted of sliders, chicken satay, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Emeline and I did not eat anything. I do not know why, granted we were planning to go to Umami Burger later but to be honest, we talk and talk and talk and did not want the breath to be kicking.  However, that did not stop the two girls who were sitting next to us. Every single time a tray came around, they were on it! This may sound like an exaggeration but I assure you it is not. It was kind of funny to see but hey? Free food is free food I suppose? Eating was the worse of their troubles which I will get into a little later.

Playhouse Night Club

Inside Playhouse Night Club


…back to the drinking. Oh, so this has happened before and will be an inside joke for years to come. We ordered vodka tonics and Emeline instantly knows it is not tonic water. My taste buds have been off since being sober for nearly four years and I really do not care what any drink tastes like as long as it does not take like alcohol. The last time me and her grabbed drinks was at the Yard House and they spiked her drink with whatever it was but it was not tonic. I had trouble even then distinguishing the difference. In both instances, they were passing it off as tonic and did not even tell us they were replacing it with more.  Needless to say, I went back to the bartender and tried to get them replaced. She told me they were working on it, went back to our seats, and proceeded to wait and sip down the drinks we had in front of us. The time passed fairly quickly for us since we were enjoying the show right next to us.

…when I came back to our seats, two guys entered appeared next to the  two girls who were grubbing like they were waiting for this meal all day. From what I remember, they were two asian dudes and the girls were white and latina of some sort. Emeline was closest to them and started laughing. I did not know what was going on but she told me one of them said, “hey girl, why so beautiful?” Oh wow, really? Is that what constitutes as a pick up line these days? This always seems to happen to us. Anytime we go out, there is always some sort of random ass happenings around us. It is without fail. This went on for a period of time but I cannot recall what other lines one in particular was spitting. I do not know if they got their numbers but they went on their marry way and made their moves on some other unsuspecting victim somewhere.

…after the humorous show adjacent to us, we continued on with our drinking. I am sure the bar had fix their tonic issue by now and order the vodka tonics. This time around I requested Grey Goose. The bartender used some sort house bootleg vodka before and it mind as well have been Popov or something. The drinks tasted much much better. I do not know it started but I am sure Emeline started it. I was challenged to a drink off. I had to keep up with how many drinks she was drinking and vice versa. I already came into the night knowing I was going to drink, knowing I was going to drink a lot, and knowing I will be drinking the most I have ever drank up to that point in my life. Sad, I know, but it is what it is. I knew what was going to happen, getting drunk, but I was with someone who I was comfortable with and I knew I was in good hands.

…a couple drinks in and we were feeling kind of good. When I say a couple, I mean two drinks, and when I say we, I meant me. Emeline has that Spanish blood in her and can handle a couple drinks, so she tells me. I have no legs to stand on since I have not drank in years and never really “drank” drank when I did. Only thing I have to my benefit is that I do not have that Asian glow after a few drinks. Carrying on, this is the point where I get really talkative and less likely to censor my feelings. If you know me personally, I never censor my thoughts, but my feelings? They are kept pretty close to the vest. Emeline and I get into wondering what kind of drunks each of us were. I figure I was a talkative fun drunk and she concurred. I really do not see myself as an emotional or sad drunk. I have seen those kind and they are just a downer.

…a few more drinks in and things get very very interesting. I am not sure where we were, but it had to be the third or fourth drink. I could not be anymore happier with the super buzz feeling I was having and the person I was with. At this point, I was tweeting, facebooking, and texting all at the same time and it all had the same theme, I am drunk and Emeline got me there. It is amazing feat since I have been sober for over four years since the New Years Eve of 2007. But like I stated before, I knew what I was getting into and who I was getting into it with.

…since we were in a club, the mention of dancing naturally came up. However, this was not the right setting due do the fact it was a showcase for a hip hop artist, Sozay. It was similar to when Turtle from Entourage had that showcase for that rapper he discovered,  Saigon. After the showcase, they were going to kick everyone out and reopen as the normal club. Emeline and I never gone dancing together. We almost did years ago after a Josh Groban concert. I met up with Manny and he was doing the whole KIISFM thing at a club, in Alhambra, called Azul. I had to meet up with him anyways to get some Jesse McCartney tickets, do not ask, and I could not get Emeline in because she was not of age. We talked about songs we were dying to dance to. I wanted to get down to Rihanna’s “Only Girl in the World.” I thought it was a good song to dance to and plus has been my ringtone for awhile now. Emeline stated she hates hates hates Rihanna but whatever. Her song was Edward Maya’s “Stereo Love,” which I was not sure what song it was, but I did tell her there was a song on the radio I really wanted to get down on. Funny how it ended up being the same song , I laugh to myself everytime I hear it and think of her. We decided right then and there we were going to dance tonight. I was a little disappointed because I really wanted to try the burgers at Umami I got over it really fast when Emeline told me she dances really dirty the drunker she is. Cmon now, that was a no such a no brainier. I guess her old friends has the idea that she is really conservative, which is true is most sense but not all, but that all goes to the waist side with each drink I suppose, so she tells me. I made the right decision, damn the burger!

…at this moment I was feeling as though each move I made, my body echoed in that direction about three times. Yeah, I was buzzing. Even though my body was in this state, my mind was still intact and my tweets, fb posts, and texts were all spell correctly and everything. This was when I thought to myself, there is so such thing as a drunk text or dial. You know damn well what you are doing. Being “drunk” is just the catalysis of what you really want to do. I think this was when I started telling Emeline I had the biggest crush on her since high school, and the way we connected years later was nothing less a fluke. I did not get into why I ended our relationship years ago because it was a sore spot for both of us.

…sometime between the drinks and the heart to heart, Sozay performed. From what I remember, he was actually pretty good. Most of the time for rap/hip hop acts, it is generally hard to hear clear vocals from the emcee. Sozay was really good and performed around four to five tracks. It was getting closer to nine and we were five drinks in. I knew we had to get another drink in before the performance was over. This was when I was getting really friendly and started hitting on the bartender. I asked her how she liked working there and what not. I got her name but did not try to remember it since I was with another girl. She was really nice though.

 

http://www.ellenwood-ep.com/blog/music/who-is-sozay/

Sozay performs at Playhouse. Photo by Jacob Gaitan

…I made my way back up the five steps as carefully as possible. The servers traded in the savory items for more the sweets, mini cupcakes to be exact. I could not resist plus they were really small, practically one bite. We were on our sixth drink. Technically, I was not because I spilled over my first drink and she finished hers. She pointed this out so I finished my fifth and drank most of her last one but of course she claimed she was one up on me! I did not want to argue but I swear we were somewhat even. I already knew at this point that I was gone! We started talking to the two girls next to us. We all wanted to figure out how to stay in the club and not have to leave or at least guarantee getting back in. Emeline ran off to talk to a security guy. Am I sure she would talk her way into something somehow like she did at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. She came back and they basically told her to hide in the bathroom. Really? Really?! I could have seen it, me and em texting each other while we are popping a squat on the toilet.  I was not feeling that and decided to wait in line and try our luck.

…as I stumble out of the club arm in arm with Emeline, who is helping me walk, I am thinking she had to spike my drink. Here she is walking all fine and dandy in heels no less. We walked around the club and next door to Numero Uno Pizza. I am sorry but I really needed to soak up all this damn alcohol. I had to drive us home safely at some point of the night. I ordered a couple pizzas and bought some sort of pizza. I know I was leaning against the counter the entire time blabbing and Emeline was right there with me. She not only real talkative when she is drunk, she lets the pet names loose.  “Babe, hun, sweetie” were floating in the air and I was hanging onto every word each time she said it. I am not going to lie, it was nice to hear them come out of her and have them directed at me.

…while my pizza was getting made, Emeline and I were having a tag team wrestling match with the restroom, things turned for the interesting to say the least. From my recollection, it was the most interesting of the night. It is like when you see a movie trailer and then see the movie, the entire film fails in comparison because all the best parts were in the film’s trailer. I do not know who brought it up or maybe it was natural since we had a brief discussion earlier, but we started to talk about us. Again I went into me having a huge crush on her in high school. I mean I only was introduced to her by Leeann and talked to her once but there was something about her. I knew off the bat she was mixed, Spanish and Korean. Amazing! Okay I need to stop, I am gushing.  Oh that fluke I mentioned earlier? One of my friends had her AIM screen name. This was a few years out from graduating high school. I used to hang out with him all the time, tutor him, and what not and noticed her screen name. It was obvious it was her and I had to get it. We started talking and the rest is history, which one can read through out this blog. One thing that stuck out in our relationship was the day I met her parents. I did my thing and the text she sent me afterwards, “That was impressive…”  I wish I still had that text saved somewhere but it my T-Mobile Sidekick is long, long gone.

…okay now here is the kicker, the climax of this conversation peaked at, “We weren’t ready back then.” I was not the one to state this. What?! We were not ready?! What the hell is that suppose to mean?! Does that mean we were not ready those years ago but now we are? I did not think too much into it but I was kind of stopped in my tracks then again I was buzzing hard! Like always, she was right, she is always right. We were not ready then. I can encompass my entire thoughts and feelings I had at the time with every single lyric from “Tearin’ Up My Heart,” by *NSYNC when I decided to end everything. Was it a good idea? I cannot really say but I did what was best for me at the time. We started to talk about Valentine’s and how she did not even know it was coming up. Out of everyone I know, Emeline is as much or more of a hopeless romantic as I am. She told me it was because law school was keeping her pretty much swamp and I thought to myself, her boyfriend is totally slacking!

…I had a couple glasses of water and we headed back into the line outside. I did not finish the pizza and the guys were nice enough to hold on to it after we leave the club. The line was not too bad but we ended up waiting for almost forty minutes to an hour. This really effed with our sensibilities since we are not a fan of lines nor do we ever have to wait in them. I did learn Emeline does not like fruit flavored gum and preferred the minty kind. She went up to the security guard to talked to earlier to get some pull and he basically shunned us for not hiding in the restroom. Four party buses pulled up through out the wait and the club basically told us we would not get in. I hit up one of my promoter buddies and he was at Voyeur.

…we headed that way and valeted. Dude it was twenty dollars to valet! Really?! I paid twenty bucks to most likely not get in because all promoters are all talk. But we really wanted to dance so I guess it was the price to pay. We tried to get in but of course, the typical promoter bullshit. He had us waiting outside for around thirty minutes before any concrete answer. What even pissed me off even more was that the DJ played four Kaskade songs in a row, songs I wanted to dance to as well. With the usual Hollywood scene celebrities are out. We saw Frankie Delgado and Brittney Gastineau.

…the night ended up a bust but I was totally sober. Actually I sobered up while waiting in line at Playhouse which was surprising. We headed on way home. All and all it was a fun and eventful  night. A night reminiscent of the nights we used to have. We open up more and more each time which is refreshing especially the way we are. I am looking forward to more outtings with her. Oh! The very next day I came to the realization that one of the valets either Playhouse’s or Voyeur stole my Coach keychain lanyard! I never felt so violated. I did not notice when it happened last night since I was buzzing but one of them stole it. One needs effort to take it off or cut it, it does not just simply fall off. I was so upset! Granted it only costed me eight dollars but it was the fact one of them had the nerve! Argh! That is why I never like to valet my car at all!

With a spoonful of alcohol makes the feelings come out, the feelings come out…

About Anh Nguyen

Anh Nguyen is a Los Angeles based freelance photographer. Over the past six years, he has covered various concerts, movie premieres, red carpets, parties, and events. A southern California native, Anh attended UCLA and holds a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy and a minor in Accounting. In addition to photography, he is currently pursuing his license as a CPA and hopes to go law school. Adding to his many interests, Anh also loves to cook and has worked as a line cook for Food Network's celebrity chef Scott Conant's restaurant, Scarpetta, in Beverly Hills.