Sunday, October 16, 2005

Better Late Than Never

Oh, where did I go? Too busy to blog, and I already have quite a schedule! It certainly has been a ROCK-tober so far, and there are stories to tell, but today, I let a friend do the talking...

The adventures of Cristina, going to school in Austin, having an up close and personal Rock'n'Roll moment.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

I got hit on by the bass player from Slipknot!

I am kind of a congenital jackass, and so as a result, I am often in situations where I don't really understand some very important aspect of what's going on. Being hit on by the bass player from Slipknot the other day was definitely one of those times.

Wednesday morning, I had a random craving for a bagel at the Einstein's on Guadalupe, across from campus. My plan was: go get a bagel, sit at the cafe, study until my sociology class at 1:00. I walked in to the cafe and joined the end of the line, and as I was putting My Precious, El iPod away the person next to me says:

"So, you have an iPod, huh?"

I look over. A very short man completely bald of any hair on his little head had fixed a pair of big brown eyes on me, expectantly. He seemed kind of anxious about something, or a little intense, or just a little too tightly coiled for a conversation about an iPod. Not wanting to exacerbate whatever was vexing him, I say, "Yeah, I just got it. But I think it's already not so cool anymore." I smile, hoping he'll relax.

"Yeah, I have a Nano," he says, with a small smile and a sense of satisfaction. "It holds 1,000 songs. What about yours?"

There ensues a brief conversation about how many megabites or gigabites or whatever hold how many songs or something. He claims to be explaining how this all works; I smile politely and resist the urge to reach down and pat him on his bald little head. I realize that he is missing four front teeth, and I wonder if it's hard for him to eat? Does he have dentures? That's a lot of teeth to be missing...

I tune back in as he asks me where I'm from and what my name is. Cristina from Arizona, I tell him. He says he's from Iowa, but he's been to Arizona because his band has toured there.

Riiiiight, I think to myself. Your "band" has "toured" there. Who in Austin doesn't have a band? Probably 40he people in the cafe at that moment had bands that had been on tour to random places like Arizona.

Strangely however, he continues with his whole 'I'm-in-a-band' schpiel by saying that his band is currently on tour and they've stopped in Austin. In fact, they're playing the Frank Erwin Center that night.

"But the Erwin Center is huge," I say, not bothering to hide my surprise.

"Yeah, well, that's the only building around here that would fit all our fans," he says, puffing his teeny little chest out a little.

"Really?" I ask, puzzled and openly skeptical.

Just then, it's *finally* my turn to order my bagel. I tell him good luck with his show, and think that will be the end of the conversation, and hope that now I can order my low-carb bagel with cream cheese and tomato in peace and go study.

Somehow though, we end up talking more as I wait for my food. He starts in again on the whole I'm-in-a-band thing, and so just kind of out of boredom with this line of conversation, I ask: what's your band's name?

"Slipknot," he says, putting milk in his coffee. Somehow, when he says 'Slipknot,' my mind flashes on an image of that word in red paint streaks on a black background-- like it's art from an album cover that I might have seen somewhere? But I'm not sure? It certainly seems like that word is somewhere in my consciousness already, so this can't be a totally random local Austin band. Right? I think? I'm a little taken aback, and struggling to put words together, so I say:

"Oh, wow, I think I've totally heard of that band somewhere!"

He nods and sips his coffee, big eyes fixed on me now. "Hi, I'm Paul Something, bass player from Slipknot." He extends his hand out, and I shake it, in a kind of shock. Still completely out of ideas for what I should say, I dig the hole a little deeper.

"Well, good for you!"

He sips some more, nods.

"That's great! Really, congratulations."

"Can I tell you something?" he asks.

"Sure," I say, wondering if he's going to ask me how I got to be such an asshole.

"You're gorgeous as hell," he says.

Well, that totally throws me for a loop. OK, he's five feet tall and has no front teeth, but when was the last time a bass player from a band YOU had vaguely heard of told you in no uncertain terms that he found you attractive?

Laughing into his coffee, he calls me on my embarassment: "You're blushing like crazy."

More conversation somehow happens here about what I'm studying, speaking Russian, and his thoughts on going to Buffalo Exchange that morning.

"Buffalo Exchange is kind of lame," I offer, realizing how bad that sounds. "Well, I mean, I don't know, they're in every college town, so it's kind of passe." OH MY GOSH, who *am* I? I attempt recovery: "I mean, but you never know, maybe you'll find something interesting there."

He nods, and again upends the conversaion with: "Can I ask you something?"

"OK," I warily assent.

"When I told you you were gorgeous as hell, why did you look at me like I was crazy?"

"Well, I just don't hear that very often."

"No? You should. It's true. How old are you?"


This is the first chink in his armor-- he was obviously not prepared for me to be 28. His head actually recoils and cocks to the side as he apraises me anew. "Oh, I thought you were younger. You look younger."

Torn between the flattery and a rising feeling of being pissed that this midget of a toothless man has the audacity to be nonplussed by my age, I say: "um, thanks?"

He says I should come to the show, that he can hook me up with tickets, backstage, etc. I say, well, sure, it was nice to meet you, but I've got a low-carb bagel with my name on it. Take care.

We part ways. Whew. That was the weirdest Einstein's encounter ever. Of course, I can't study, and end up calling an ex-boyfriend who was into extremely harsh music, thinking he'll know what Slipknot is. He does, and before I can tell him what's happened, he offers "I think they're from Iowa, and they're on tour right now, I'm pretty sure." I call Rachael, the Music Guru, for help in interpreting what's just happened.

Then I look up Slipknot on the Internet, and that adds a whole new dimension to the encounter. Paul, the bass player, wears a Hannibal Lecter mask on stage when he performs. The band plays songs with lyrics like:

The system has failed and you have failed with it
No time to care, just time to say "Who gives a shit?"
My mind boils as I've decided I'm through
Fuck your position in life. I'm taking vengence on you

Apparently, this band is really heavy, for people who like songs about self-mutilation and suicide. Which is OK. I certainly enjoy Nine Inch Nails once and a while, and in high school, I thought about Trent Reznor more than I should have and was surgically attached to my copy of Pretty Hate Machine (it's true! getting it detached was way more painful than when I got my eyebrow pierced). But I really wonder if he would have started talking to me if he had known that I have LL Cool J, Pink, and Jennifer Lopez on my iPod...