Saturday, December 03, 2005

Life in Oxford Ohio:
The Good, the Bad, and the Extremely Ugly

(ZP) -- Friday night started off so wonderful. Finally found the time to hook up for coffee and dinner with a fellow OxBlogger, attending a release party for a new anthology by a local writers collective, and having one of the best times I've had in Oxford.

After dropping Stephi off (and spending two hours chatting in the warmth of the cab of my truck about everything from politics to the negative impact of materialism to racism), I decided to swing by one of my favorite bars for a nice nightcap.

Whoa. Big mistake.

When you've had an awesome night, it's always good to know when to cash in your coolness chips before the scene gets lame...




THE GOOD

Ogbuefi Stephi is an amazing date. Man, am I impressed sometimes by the true passion that lies behind the often deceptive veil of the World Wide Web.

Since I saw somebody local, I guess, post a comment under the impression that somehow she and I were on a "date" date, I guess I'd better explain a bit.

No romantic stuff, just hanging out. I don't know how anybody got the impression otherwise. We've been trying to find time to hang out together for months now. We planned it a long time ago.

Its extremely difficult to find people in this town who make for absolutely wonderful company and know how to carry a conversation. She's absolutely brilliant, and if you get the chance, catch her radio show, The Avacado Couch, Saturdays, 4-6pm ET, on WMSR Redhawk Radio.

If you're a local reader who likes posting comments anonymously, hey thanks for taking the time to stop by. But I'm starting to feel a bit like some middle-of-nowhere Ohio Reverse-Gawker. I'm not frigging Paris Hilton getting attacked by some pet monkey here.

I'm just a dude, seriously. The other OxBloggers I link to are also just dudes and dudettes, abeit probably much cooler than I am.

But I digress...

Last night marked the launch of the first issue of Megaphone Piggy, a new local poetry magazine. The launch party was held in a local artist's loft; the performance art was spectacular and the publication was a hit with the guests.

The free jugs of wine and snacks didn't hurt, either.

Kudos to the writers and performance artists on a successful launch and on rekindling the ZenFo Pro's belief that good art is made great by dedication to the craft.




THE BAD

Should've called it a night. Like a dumb ass, I decided to venture into Uptown Oxford after midnight.

First, I run into a Miami student I know who needed a lift to a party. He flagged me down near Miami's campus, actually.

I venture towards said party at his invitation. Before we can even reach the right house, we come across three girls and two guys, extremely intoxicated, watching a girl and a so-drunk-he-shit-himself guy in a yelling match.

Long story short - guy raises hand, takes closed-fist swing at girl. Their friends just stand there. Not cool.

What the hell was I supposed to do? Stand there and watch?

That girl was somebody's daughter, somebody's granddaughter. I'd like to hope more people would

I feel bad for having to resort to this kind of behavior, because it resolves nothing.

Luckily, he went down like a sack of potatoes.



THE EXTREMELY UGLY

By the time I finally made it into my favorite local watering hole for a nightcap, the bar was filled with way too many people.

I have a quick Red Needle, say hi to one of my favorite bartenders, make sure I leave a 25% tip.

I end up migrating to the downstairs bar with some friends and getting a table.

I nurse the same beer for two hours.

The students are partying hard the weekend before Finals. Some end up partying too hard, as always.

At last call, this guy passes out stone cold at the bar while I'm chatting with a bartender about our information literacy session a few months back.

And then he comes to just long enough to throw up all over the bar...and my boots.

I end up carrying this guy out of the bar with the bouncer, who has to call for an ambulance for fear the guy will freeze to death in the snow.

The bartender's visibly shaken, because she didn't realize the guy had reached his limit. Normally she's good at spotting it. But this guy literally went from talkative and relatively sober to completely wasted in the blink of an eye.

I consoled the bartender; she's a good person and close to graduating. Not her fault. I couldn't even tell the guy ws well-past his limit, honestly.

After I cleaned up a bit, I went home and put on some Warren Zevon.

Welcome to your average night in the small hamlet of Oxford Bloody Ohio...

Roland was a warrior from the Land of the Midnight Sun
With a Thompson gun for hire, fighting to be done
The deal was made in Denmark on a dark and stormy day
So he set out for Biafra to join the bloody fray...

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Um so sorry about that. I'm kind of new and don't know this blogger thing too well. My friends use myspace and I was just a bit drunk last night. Totally sorry if I made you mad or something.Yeah it was really cold. Thanks you again for stepping in last night.

JS

p.s. Whats with the strangeletter code?

Katherine said...

Hey! I saw you at like omy my go mac & joes and I was like soooo drunk...

Just kidding. I learned a long time ago to make the bf come up to OSU before finals. When are we getting together coffee by the way?

Critical Darling said...

You know, if an anonymous person came onto my blog and recited what I did the night before, I would probably be so terrified, I'd stay home for the next year. You are a brave man.

The ZenFo Pro said...

JS:
Hey, thanks for the e-mail. Emailed you back. No worries. Not mad, injured, or anything. Please be careful, though, when you're in Uptown Oxford at night. Too many students in this town seem to be under the impression that college towns are safe havens. They are not. I e-mailed you my office contact information, too. My door is always open and I'd be more than willing to help you find the information you need...that's my job :)

Katherine:
LOL...M&J's is my favorite bar, but it does get kind of nasty late at night. I hadn't been in a while, but I'd never seen a kid black out AT the bar. BTW...ask your beau about what they found at Hole in the Wall this past week

Non-Ohio readers:
We've been having some of the most bizarre bars-gone-crazy event around here lately.
First, there's a bar that's adopted a racist dress code.
Article Here

Second, The Hole in the Wall Bar is under investigation for watering down its liquor and replacing top-shelf booze with a mixture of well swill and...Kool-Aid. Not kidding. KOOL-AID.

The ZenFo Pro said...

Critical Darling:
LOL...yeah, the joys of living in a tiny college town :( I used to get paranoid about it and still, some days (esp. when I post something like this), I get a bit worried about reactions.

I debated turning off the the anon. posting a while back but decided against it. I'd rather give people the chance to share their thoughts without feelng locked out of a discussion.

Before I posted my photo avatar, I had a custom PhotoShop graphic. But I made the mistake of posting my full name early on. In my profile. I had a few shall we say not-so-comfortable encounters, so I slowly and discreetly changed a few things to prevent those occurances.

Alice: In Wonderland or Not said...

Sounds like a nice Friday sans the later part.
I have decided I would hate living in that town though; I don't know why I just think it would get on my nerves.
I have always left my blog open to anonymoius comments I really don't care I can always delete them.
At least where I live there is no chance anyone is going to find me via my blog. Someone found me via the gfery first online journal I had once thoough and that was scary. You really should be more careful.

yea there are dates and then there are "dates". lol

The ZenFo Pro said...

Alice:
Lol...yeah. If I'm ever up around your way, I'll drop you a line. I've decided I'd love to host a blogger cocktail party one day.

I've noticed that there are probably a lot of posters here that would be pretty cool to hang out with offline. I'm convinced at times, for instance, that G at Library Bitch is actually my goateed doppelganger in some Canadian parallel universe called Ontario ;)

Oxford can be a god-awful place to live in sometimes, but its not all bad. When, for instance, the trust-funder kiddies go home for the summer or at things like the Megaphone Piggy premiere party. I actually had more fun watching the perfomances than I've had at similar zine launches in Santa Barbara and Sacramento.

Yeah, I do have to be more careful, definitely. Especially since I'm in a rather highly visible position where I work. My library is probably the single most widely visited facility in the community. (For those who haven't figured out where I work, yeah, well...its not that difficult...) The thing that annoys me more than anything is the perception that blogs work like FaceBook.

As for "date" dates...lol...I'm lousy at them; I'm more of a hang-out kind of guy. I hope Stephi doesn't get mad that I posted something about she and I chilling out on a Friday night. I don't blame "JS" (I actually know her, it turns out)for posting something. We all do that sometimes. I really did have a lot of fun; I love just sitting down for coffee and chatting more than anything else.

The ZenFo Pro said...

That reminds me...

Anybody reading this who e-mailed me in the last six months asking where my Friends list is or what year I am or if I'm in their Marketing/Biochem/IMS/Ceramics class or wanting to know if any of the female posters here are my girlfriend, spouse whatever...

Please stop that. Its really damned annoying. Blogs don't work that way; I link to the BLOGS of people I find to be kindred spirits and I frequently post comments on their blogs.

Finally, I AM NOT A FRIGGING MIAMI UNIVERSITY STUDENT. Period. I have never enrolled in or completed a single course at MU. I am not studying in the library; I work there, 45-50 hours a week, 5-6 days a week. I hold two academic degrees, a BS in Journalism and an MLIS.

Hope that doesn't come across as rude to anybody, but I figure I'd better get that off my chest.

Lupe T. said...

LOL man! get it off your chest dammit :) Hey, sorry I haven't posted in a while! Just chilling down the road from you in West Virginia (checking out grad schools with mom)

dude we had this guy like totally throw up all over everything the other day at work. Yea it sucks, but I'm sure the bartender appreciated the encouragement.

lol...it sounds like hanging out with ogbuefi chick rocked at least. Glad you're learning to at least have some fun out there.

Peace out!

renee said...

If people ask you weird personal questions then maybe you should make your blog sucky and boring. That way no one will read it or care.

No one stocks me or asks personal questions. Why? Because I post recipes, that's why.

I totally agree with your description of oxford. Sometimes I feel like it's a cool place, sometimes I feel like it's like living in an armpit.

renee said...

stocks? stalks!

Alice: In Wonderland or Not said...

Now that makes me feel kind of bad being that I am a trust fund student in a manner of speaking. I have had to spend my whole life trying to prove that there are trust fund kids are not all dregs on society with no redeeming qualities what so ever.
See stereo types of all kinds are annoying.

G said...

Fun stuff. Just like a night in London (Ontario), except that here we have rich kids who'd rather take advantage of drunk girls than swing at them. More than once I've had to pull some rich fuck off a clearly passed out girl in the park. These guys, being drunk (naturally), go down rather easy also. I figure I could call the cops when I see it, but by the time they get there, the damage is done, the guy has scrambled off, and if caught, his daddy's lawyer will get him off the hook on a technicality, as all the snob kids do. It's easier to beat it into him instead, and save the girl the scars of being raped while intoxicated. In either case, you and I have done what we had to, and would again, because stopping those acts, be they violence or rape, is the right thing to do. Good on you, dude.

BTW, I may make it down to Ohio sometime in the next month or two to check in on some fellows I know to talk a little web shop - trying to get something set up for myself up here. If it looks like I'm going to be your area, I'll let you know - we should hook up, dude.

Peace,
G

The ZenFo Pro said...

Lupe:
Hey girl! Thought you were dead or something. :) Yeah, trying to have a bit of fun, when I can.

Renee:
LOL...are you implying somehow that your blog is sucky or boring? No self-depricating about your blog, chica! Your recipe posts are much more nutritious than my bullshit :-) Yeah, its been a nasty day for spelling. Mispelled my own last name on the phone today...

Alice:
Hey chica, I hope I didn't offend ya. Not my intent at all...there are at least a few folks who come from wealth of some kind who have redeeming qualities :)

The ZenFo Pro said...

G:
Yeah man, I hear ya. We have our incidents like that, too. I've never understood the whole "I'm rich and I can do whatever I want and the rest can eat cake" mentality. And, yeah, cops are often forced to take the "it ain't a crime until after the fact." It just really bugged me that people were just standing around, watching, like some damned reality show.

Lol...why is it some rich folks can spend tons of money buying designer duds, donate money to causes, yadda yadda, and spend absolutely no amount of spiritual capital working on building a better community?

G said...

They're standing around watching because the media has made everything into a reality show. And what the TV says is true, or so it tells its viewers.

I mean, what do you expect when you can flip the channels and watch cops going overboard for the cameras in pursuit of black men and rednecks with dope, watch husbands swap spouses in non-polygomous States, see people judged by appearance to be a 15-second star model, witness recording contracts in action for rich kids who've never had to work to earn their place, observe smug college kids stick their noses up some megalomaniac's ass to get handed a job, be a voyeur of washed-up celebs whining about nothing in a rather ugly house, get involved in the lives of random people placed on some island whose ecosystem they and the crew will no doubt alter forever, etc etc etc ...

Matt Drudge, love him or hate him, has a great quote in his book:

TV is sick.
The people who are on it are even sicker.
The people who run to watch it are sickest of all.


I do watch TV, selectively ... but I know crap when I see it, and don't run to watch anything. If I miss it, big deal. My life isn't that empty that it's over if I don't see who slept with who to ensure they weren't voted off. I'm pretty sure I'm better off for not knowing.

That TIVO shit is just out there to further glue us to the messages on TV. What other good is it, honestly? What does it say about us when our lives revolve around the TV so much that we are desperate to alter programming schedules to the pockets of our lives that the media has convinced us we have nothing better to do with? It's like our society's own version of the Machurian Candidate. Freaky.

All right, got to cut out. Enough of a rant for now. Need sleepie. Maybe I'll do a post on this later on. Piss a few people off. Always a good time.

;-) G

Mysterious Girl said...

I've seen that way too many times too. esp.here in oxford. a good friend of mine was almost raped at a party three weeks ago. I kept watching and waiting for somebody to help but had to do something when I realized this guy was a wannabe rapist. I feel so lame and hope this doesn't gross anybody out but I punched this guy in the balls. Then I helped carry my friend home. As a woman, I've learned to never go out alone at all here but there are too many women in my hall that think nobody will ever assault them. Its really sad.
Hey sorry I sent all those random emails about f-book and asking if you were a student. I didn't know really and hope I didn't make you mad. I never posted before so please be gentle 8)

The ZenFo Pro said...

G:
Hey, man...awesome rant. Always welcome, especially when ranting about the decline of Western Civilization through over reliance of the media.

It does remind me of the Manchurian Candidate as well...corporate brainwashing. C'mon...look at the quality of politicians we produce nowadays. Leaders-By-Default, nowhwere near being the quality of human leadership the world had in, say, the 18th and 19th centuries. In the 1700s, Ben Franklin, Isaac Newton, Peter the Great, Mozart, Florence Nightinggale, etc...were superstars. Now, I go in the grocery store and have Jessica Simpson staring me in the face. What the fuck? Nicole Richie's withering frame is important? I'm supposed to give a shit?

Mysterious Girl:
Yeah, isn't Oxford grand? Hey, don't sweat the e-mails. You weren't the only one, so don't feel bad. Not mad at all. Hopefully, this comes across as gentle :)

As for punching a would-be rapist in the Jimmy, don't worry about grossing people out. Good for you! Definitely good advice about not going out alone. It is sad, but keep fighting the good fight.

Leigh said...

What a night! It reminded me that I actually went out this weekend and that I should add that to my post! I would be pissed about the shoes! Well at least you can't say it wasn't boring!

The ZenFo Pro said...

Lol...yeah, my poor boots. Luckily, I've scotchguarded my D. Martens.

Girl on the Blog said...

What a drama you experienced... I would have been a little ticked about the shoes... okay... A LOT!!!! Just a sweet guy you are! Anonymous bloggers sometimes scare me... but I leave them on my blog... sometimes the bloggers who identify themselves are the scariest... stocker bloggers are the worse!!!

Glad you had a somewhat pleasant night except towards the end... ahhh the shoes!!!

The ZenFo Pro said...

GOTB:
Luckily, waterproofed and the barkeep and bouncer let me clean up a bit in the john.
Anon. posters bothered me a lot less than the "random bible verse" folks who would call into the radio programs at the stations I've worked. Or the strange old ladies who'd recognize my voice in the grocery store.

Very pleasant night indeed! The first part, at least.

WDL said...

ahh. the life of a librarian.

no one believes that we go to these lengths to let our adoring fans spend time with us.

puke on boots.

sad.

hilarious.

glad it wasn't me.