Jonathon Vance is a guy I’ve worked with since I was 16. We work together as bussers at Red Robin. He got the nickname Vegas from our general manager Hal. No one knows why he chose Vegas, but since then, that’s all he goes by. I am convinced that he is a captain of a pirate ship. I even wrote several short stories about it for my friend that she’s kept in her notebook for years. His culture is the opposite of mine. He calls me weekly to cover a shift of his, because he has some business to take care of. It’s usually crap from his baby’s momma (who still wants to get with him, but he’s having none of it).
Last weekend was Captain Vegas’ 26th birthday. He showed up at the place of party already 21 hours drunk. I was impressed at first. The thing is, you can’t really control a ghetto drunk, and the Kansas City ghetto came out of him when he showed up. What was funny at first slightly turned disastrous. The whole point of the party was to go swimming at Nic and Alex’s place. I was ready to go. Somehow Vegas’ prison stint got brought up. The next hour Nic, Dylan and I slightly feared that Jon would get out of hand. He kept repeating his fight record in the clink. “9-2, 9-2, 9-2.” We tried every response from “That’s cool,” to “Good thing you’re out now,” to “Let’s go swimming,” to “There’s some nice weather today.” “9-2, 9-2, 9-2.” He even showed off his moves to Nic at one point. I was sure there would be a hit to the face. It was very close. Steven told me once that a drunken Vegas punch is the hardest punch he’s ever taken.
After a long time of coaxing, we finally got him out the door towards the pool, and everything was peachy. We only made it to the stairs before I thought he would kill again. Drunk Dylan was spitting some raps and said the “N-word.” The “N-word” is derogatory towards African-Americans.
Side note: I’ve never known fully what race the Vance family is, I believe he’s adopted, because his older brother looks Irish, and Vegas and his sister look African-American, but not. I’ve tried to develop the attitude that race doesn’t matter, so there’s no point in asking.
At first he tried to blame me for saying the offense. I immediately placed it all on Dylan. Dylan tried saying he said something else, and he started saying words that sound like the “N-word.” My favorite was “nigré,” said with a French accent. I don’t know how Vegas bought this. Probably because he was drunk. I’m glad that we didn’t find out about the knife he was carrying/he had forgotten about the knife he was carrying until several hours later when he had calmed down and was eating mac ‘n’ cheese.
I wear Macbeth shoes because every tool in America started wearing Vans and I felt it necessary to separate myself from the crowd. I think it’s absurd that older people, such as my dad, noticed the trend, and they started wearing knock off Vans. Cheaper versions of the style. My dad wears crocs’ versions of Vans for one; he is quite into that brand. I bring this up because I have an internal struggle. My brother works at Vans. He gives me 50% off of a shoe’s price. That, as they say, is a steal of a deal. Yet I don’t want my feet covering to resemble that of Chad Peterson. What a tool.
My favorite authors are Melville and Vonnegut. I know they don’t really fall into the same category. It’s like saying Barry Manilow and Insane Clown Posse are my favorite musical acts (they aren’t). My dad didn’t understand Moby-Dick when he tried to read it. I did somehow. I think that’s because I had to read it so fast for a class. I didn’t pay attention to the meaning of every word. I just saw the whole picture and I revel in the feeling I got at the end of the book of. The moral of the book I believe is, “such is life.” Yeah, it sucks completely that a whole ship and its crew was lost all because of the vengeance scheme of Captain Ahab. Such is life.
Vonnegut is very dry. He puts the facts out in front of the reader. I really liked Slaughterhouse Five. It has the thoughts of a “crazy” person and challenges whether or not he was actually crazy or just living in an alternate universe. I’ve wondered if I’m going to go senile later in life. It could happen.
The best movie I’ve seen this year was Hesher. Dustin, Jeanna and I saw it in the Mayan Theatre in Denver. This was my first experience at the Mayan. It instantly became my favorite theatre I’ve been to. They have these cool sculptures all over the place and really cool murals. The theme is Mayan culture, as per the name suggests. Hesher starred Joseph Gordon-Leavitt, Natalie Portman, Rainn Wilson, and a young boy named Devin. I remembered that because my name is Devon. Apparently he spells it wrong. I like the spelling of my name a lot more, and if people mess it up, my emotions fall between annoyed and perturbed.
I currently work for my dad as his assistant. Somebody asked me yesterday what that entails. I lied, saying I assist him in his Market Research Firm, helping him process data and develop surveys. I really don't know what I do, I just do what he says to do. A lot of the time, my interpretation of what he wants me to do, is not really what he wants me to do, and he gets angry. I can understand the frustration. I would be the same.
I have a relatively new obsession with vinyl records. I don’t see a point in owning an iPod. I think iPods are a sign of the coming zombie apocalypse, they numb the listener, but curiously enough I use iTunes. I am horribly obsessed with listening to music. My brother and I trade bands like 90s kids traded Pokémon cards (another trend I couldn’t bring myself to doing).
I’m thinking about unionizing. The only other employee is Taylor. I don’t think she’ll be game for it though. She likes my dad entirely much more than I do. She’s a really nice person. I don’t know what I would unionize for. I think it would be an interesting experience. The only downfall is that he might lock me out, and I wouldn’t be able to talk with the rest of my family, and I wouldn’t be able to use family facilities until we settle on a new C.B.A. He’d probably want to enforce a salary cap, and I’d be opposed. Ultimately, I’d realize that my offseason routine was shot because of the lock-out, and I’d have to settle. I’d like to imagine I’d get some benefits out of it, like lower rookie salaries and no two-a-days. Also, some shared media. Even though I already get Netflix and mlb.tv, I’d probably try to get NHL games paid for online. I think the hassle’s worth it.
I’ve grown my hair out since October because I was sick of having short hair like everyone else. I was entirely influenced by Jude Law in Cold Mountain. My thinking was, if I grow my hair out like him, I will be as good looking as he, and I will get women that look like Nicole Kidman pre-Botox to fall in love with me. So far it hasn’t really worked, but I enjoy feeling better than every guy with a faux hawk.
I speak fluent Spanish. Not the “Hola, como estas” type of Spanish that every “fluent” college student claims to know. It’s the, “Mira la puerta; que la rubia tiene piernas de oro,” type with the cooks I work with. I converse with any and all Latinos on life, death, literature and all the finer things in life. I learned around Puerto Ricans, so sometimes it gets real ugly, “Oye chico, vamo a coger la juajua, tenemo’ que ‘alir pa’ la playa. Tambien, quiero comer pollo, ‘tonces paremo’ en el KFC.” Because of that special gift to speak Boricua (it’s close enough to Dominican), I understood Manny when he was being Manny, and he was especially Manny in Spanish.
Tonight we are going to Casa Bonita. Not for the food. I haven’t been there since I was in the 3rd grade, so I vaguely remember it. But I do remember the sweet awesome cliff divers. And Black Bart’s cave. Basically, that’s the only reason we’re going tonight. I’ve heard the sopapillas are good. This place was featured on the cartoon South Park.
My brother wants me to get a tattoo. I most likely won't go through with it. I don't have the money to do it, and I don't really find it necessary. I’ve considered it. I know what I would get. It’s my version of the Colorado flag. Basically, the bottom blue stripe would be mountains, the red C would have sun rays coming off of it, as it is coming upward over the mountain. And the top blue stripe would be clouds. I have thought about adding little v’s in there to simulate birds flying. I also think I might add the saying by Bright Eyes, “I’m wide awake, it’s morning,” in cursive. Or from Iron and Wine, “So may the sunrise bring hope where it once was forgotten. Sons are like birds, flying always over the mountain.” That’s a homage to my dear mother, who I love a lot.
I’ve been reading my Book of Mormon more recently. I’m in the chapters of Alma that I like to call, “The War Years.” I think they’d make a really cool movie. Especially the scene were Teancum slays Amalickiah in his tent.
My parents are out of town. My mother pulled her back on Sunday. I was surprised she left. She could barely walk. It looked painful. My dad and I gave her a blessing of health on Sunday using the Melchezidek Priesthood. It worked.
“Mother remember the night that the dog had her pups in the pantry?
Blood on the floor, fleas on their paws,
And you cried 'til the morning.
So may the sunrise bring hope where it once was forgotten.
Sons are like birds, flying always over the mountain.”
-Iron and Wine- Upward Over the Mountain