Monday, August 22, 2005

San Jose to Guatemala

Our best friend Dana is officially leaving the country this week. After coming here to edumacate herself at UC Berkeley she decided to go and waste all that information she's learned in her third-world home country. ... BAH! I say.
We started the evening with cocktails. Then a drunken ScottO appeared at our house and instantly infused the occasion with an unhealthy dose of annoying negativity. That, spotted with a frequent outburst of "I'm wasted," was the soup of the day for us unfortunate souls.
As the evening progressed we made our way to Seven Bamboo, the local Karaoke Bar in Japantown.
Quickly my gf put me on the Karaoke list, much to my dismay. I was to sing "My Way." Immediately I subjected myself and Luke to a shot of Patron. When my turn came up, I reluctantly mumbled into the mic. The crowd reacted with, "LOUDER, LOUDER." I think the shot kicked in because suddenly I was wailing louder. Not quite "crooning" or even "singing"... I ended the song with a farewell announcement to everyone that our friend Dana was doing it "Her Way" by moving her ass out of the damn country and never coming back.

Meanwhile drunk-ass ScottO couldn't stop being annoying. You ever have a belligerent friend? The kind who you have to babysit EVERY time you go-a-drinking? Is he going to get himself in a fight? Is he going to insult your co-worker? Is he going to pass out AT the bar? Do I really have to deal with this fucker?

Later we cabbed it to the Temple Lounge. It was fucking hot in there. I had to piss, so I left the peeps at the bar to order our drinks. After waiting in the line, pissing and negotiating through the crowd, they had still not gotten their drinks. "Fuck it," I said, lets go to Dive Bar. As we walked out, we were suddenly jolted from behind as this huge islander busted past us. A commotion outside indicated a fight of some sort. Once out front of the bar, a bunch of dudes were chasing each other around outside. In the mix, ScottO was chasing the action up and down the street. He looked like a runt puppy chasing the pack around a dog park. "What the fuck are you doing, You idiot?" I asked. He had no reply but drunken gibberish.

As we strolled the 3-4 blocks to go to Dive Bar, I noticed the droves of people roaming the streets. Now, Santa Clara Street has always been a cruising strip. HoodRats from all over the south bay congregate here to flash their shiny rims, wear their gang colors, throw up their gang signs and be generally disrespectful toward women. But in the past couple years, the crowd has gotten more thuggish. With the fight outside Temple, and the thousands of thugs, downtown San Jose seems to have become MUCH more dangerous than when I went to school here. As much as we love San Jose, my GF actually suggested that we move to get away from the tough crowd. "Do we really want to raise kids here?" I could only reply, "No."
I can't help but have negative feelings towrad the gangsterization of downtown. I did see some college kids roaming around from bar to bar, but mostly young people who appeared to be gang-related were just standing around whistling and waving at carloads of underaged girls as they drove by.
The danger was probably perceived to be more than it actually was though. Because there were literally hundreds of cops in the middle of the road. Actually I was surprised to see so many gangsters. Starting shit on Santa Clara Ave. on Saturday night is not a good idea, you're basically begging to get arrested. They even had the patty wagon fired up and ready. One parking lot we passed was filled with probably a hundred cop cars. I'm sure they were ready for a full-blown riot.

We miraculously found a cab and made it home just in time to pass the fuck out.

See you in Guatelamexico Dana. That is unless the revolutionaries get me first.

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