SOAR: The Scene of the Crime

My Facebook status reads “Anthony Guy is teaching salsa tomorrow at SOAR. FFS, no restraining orders this time…” It turns out I’m getting old, because I didn’t know that “for fuck’s sake” could be abbreviated into a handy-dandy acronym. Well, before I get onto why I would post such an ominous message, the gang and I went foraging for a new abode this fall. I’m not going to say that Jordan and I will have the most awesome pad to have ever existed, but at the very least, it will raise eyebrows. Rave Green paint can do that. Also, there are some movies that your friends should not tag you with, particularly those that force you to say “no homo” afterwards. I love the Boondocks. I loathe Tyler Perry’s formulaic system for creating blockbusters.

Last year at SOAR was the beginning of the roller coaster ride that was The Improbable Salsa Juggernaut. One Anthony Guy rose to power, restored salsa to prominence with his guerrilla warfare approach to marketing, fun, shenanigans, and there were others involved…probably. It was also where I first met Blondie. I’d be lying if I didn’t chuckle to myself noting the irony of it all. A year later, kids will be calling me “doctor”, I champion my initials, and a restraining order mars my reputation. Funny things happen over time, when you blend love, power, will, destiny, and hope together, then watch it manifest into something malignant and scary. I’m not sure what the healing process entails for me, but one would reckon that I’m only allowed absolution through traveling the same road to see if I’ve learned from my mistakes. I can guarantee I am up to see what’s next, but the pain’s still there. I went into my sack to find standard operating gear that’s served me well each time: Salsa Club shirt, navy track pants, navy athletic socks. I’ll go to my Shaman of Sexy Christmas stocking to find my pair of green sleeves, which will go in the CSULB bag that contains my first pair of dance shoes. I’ll drive back to Long Beach after work, tired, yet resigned to my duties as the Last Emperor of Salsa. My unwashed Malibu will find a parking spot somewhere free off campus. I’ll march to PE-93, commiserate with colleagues before I enter, then begin my routine of suiting up and stretching. I’ll hear a few curious giggles from a packed room, think of Pippa for a moment, then announce to the crowd the following words:

Hello students. My name is A.T. Guy and I’m a professor in Communication Studies. I’ll be teaching the lesson this evening on behalf of Salsa Club. Please, hit my music and no restraining orders. Skibbedebebop. Much later.

Current Track – 12 Stones “We Are One”

Home Blues

Where has Anthony been? Somewhere in Hawthorne, in perfect isolation from everything that was devastating. Well, almost perfected isolation; three more weeks and it truly will be perfect, at least until the itch settles. I’ve been fighting the urge to hit the salsa floor and end my semi-annual retirement, but I figured this would be the best place for me. I’ve had the privilege of inciting anger over a simple palette of green and white, becoming a martyr in victory and a punching bag in defeat. I like being someone that people can rally around or against; everyone needs a focal point, and I apparently don’t mind wearing Celtics gear in Los Angeles.

Hawthorne is a paradox: it provides both relaxation and odd stress. My mother and I have an amiable relationship except for when I move in for vacation. After that, it’s like hell on Earth. I’m in the way, and it makes her opine I should get out more. I stay out late studying, and my business is put on notice at the company meeting in front of strangers. My sister and I went half on a birthday spa package for her, and she hates it because the last time, someone felt her up. That’s funny, because when we gave her the package two years ago, she enjoyed it tremendously. Yes, she lied to my face after making my sister and me feel like crap. In the process, her homophobic attitude and paranoia about my own “qualities” left me feeling like I had the right idea by quarantining her from the media when I go public. She made a point by saying I’m much more open to things than she’ll ever be, and I think that was an insult. My sister and I do not always see eye to eye, but I’m not a big fan of the crass attitude my mother shows her for seemingly no reason. Yes, in the past, and even in the present (don’t get me started on the future), shenanigans are abundant. At the same time, someone’s alleged preference shouldn’t be considered when judging someone’s character, especially your own kid. Also, being disrespectful after receiving a gift is not cool. Seriously, who receives a gift and starts bitching about her kids not listening? I heard this same story for Christmas a few years ago, and I did not think I’d witness a repeat. Sure enough, yes. From here on out, I doubt I’ll be getting anything personal for her, opting for a plain envelope with money. I’m barely forgiving with people in the real world; after this, there’s no incentive to be forgiving at home.

Speaking of forgiving, I’ve taken the time to try to acknowledge that I work harder than I should, and I’m seeing the fruits of my labor. I check my enrollment daily to see whether new students have signed up. At the moment, I am over half of my maximum capacity, and all seventy-five seats will be filled, plus a few expected adds since I don’t believe I’ll turn many crashers away. Also of note, I’ve steered clear of girls for awhile. Hmmm, maybe my mother was onto something…or maybe she wasn’t. I still have my feelings in a decided place, and if they leave, they leave. If they stay, then I’d welcome that as well. My mind is focused not so much on repairing damage that has been done, but seeing my way through the next challenge, and willing my way to victory. Oh, and willing those around me to victory too, if duty calls. Sure, Skylar and I could tear shit up again in a measured fashion, and I’d like to amicably resolve things with Blondie, as someone so eloquently named her, but I am not in control of either situation, despite my propensity to seize reign. I took a walk around IKEA to see if I could find something to sate my thirst for Rave Green, and I came away with a few ideas. Between the new place, new career, and new spin on being “active”, I am two weeks away from saying “meh, I’m bored.” By then, I’ll have the textbook shipped to me so I can start having fun. Skibbedebebop. Much later.

Current Track – TobyMac “Showstopper”

Schedule of Classes

The shadow of the day will embrace the world in grey, because someone just got validated as a teacher. Good song, but probably awkward, since I’m considering pledging my allegiance to the Seattle Sounders FC and changing my official color from “lime green” to “Rave Green”.

Wait…the hell? Me? Who in their right minds would authorize this? Gandhi?

While working today at the university, I got bored from the usual grind and decided to do a bit of research. Sure enough, my research led me to my school portal, where my status had been upgraded from student to faculty. This was a welcome development, since it could only mean one thing: A.T. Guy will be teaching this fall. I checked the school’s schedule of classes, and there I am, slotted next to three courses of Interpersonal Communication. Officially, I have arrived, and there’s not a damned thing anyone can do about it…until I do something unethical, of course.

Sunday, the Triumvirate officially closed eight years of camaraderie by celebrating Jordan’s graduation…at the Afrikan Student Graduation. You know, the premise is fishy at best, but that’s where we excel. We had no business at a black graduation, because I think we passed up having “black cards” years ago. Jordan may be the closest one to the culture, but do recall we all met in El Segundo, not exactly known for its diversity. On second thought, Brandon told me there are more black people there than we last knew. I promptly scratched the city off my list of places to attend after hearing that disconcerting news. Back to Royce Hall for our previously scheduled program in about…yes, Royce Hall. I must say that there were plenty of things that represented the culture “admirably” in retrospect. It started late…surprise. The African drummers that preceded the march included one white person, who kept the beat better than the coloreds…classic. There was a Mexican cop at the door armed…necessary. I wore a Celtics jersey out of support, while Brandon wore a Kobe Bryant shirt…conflict. Jordan’s cousin joined me in representing Boston, so all was…controversial. There was texting the whole time, because we could not believe the inanity of the ceremony. Everything was laughable, because it was one hell of a mixture between education and ignorance. First off, black people majoring in Black Studies should be outlawed, but I feel the same way about anybody specializing in a person’s native culture, or cultural department. Nothing, however, prepared us for the keynote speaker who decried the very platform upon which he spoke. You can’t reasonably talk about the ills of the white man at UCLA. You also can’t ask black people to get back to their roots and praise the One God when African roots generally leans towards polytheism. I had no intention on turning the graduation into a textual analysis, but there were certain shenanigans that led Brandon and me to call bullshit, as well as any other educated person in the audience. Luckily, Jordan’s family has plenty of smarties on call, because we all laughed at certain tidbits that craved laughter. The crown jewel of the event would have been the boos that cascaded Jordan’s entourage due to the Celtics swag in attendance, but there were a few “moments” that should be mentioned. A guy brought his skateboard on stage. A guy had his daughter on his shoulders and proceeded to “stomp the yard” without removing her. Numerous people declined to shake the officiating professor’s hand upon recognition. Some people “minored” in football. The Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity would not stop chanting and dancing. Some names were hard to pronounce, even at a black graduation. The students who majored in serious subjects, such as biology, did not make asses out of themselves as they accepted awards. The students who majored in joke subjects acted like jokes. Through this all, the Triumvirate laughed and praised the stars we hailed from El Segundo, alma mater dear.

Afterwards, the Triumvirate (with our new sister-in-law, Brittany) enjoyed repast at the Cheesecake Factory. Note, they don’t sell apple cider, just apple juice. However, their jambalaya is spectacular. I was reminded that I should seek out a significant other instead of feasting on cider. Funny, the people in the know laughed at how my luck was consistently the worst out of my friends in the romance department. Yes, it was that bad. However, my name does appear on the schedule of classes for the fall. Maybe that’ll turn into leverage with a girl. Or maybe in two years, we’ll be at the Cheesecake Factory discussing the situation when I finally say “screw it, it’s time for that rampage I’ve been planning.” Skibbedebebop. Much later.

Current Track – Linkin Park “Shadow of the Day”

Triumvirate Triumphant

As of this press writing, I am happy to report that my colleague Jordan McIntyre has completed his term at UCLA to receive his BA in History. Added to the prior ascenscion of Brandon Lane at CSU Fullerton with a BFA in Animation, and a collected BA in Rhetorical Studies and Political Science…the triumvirate has made 2010 the most successful academic year in our storied…eight year history. Screw academic, I think we just blew shit out the water. The pride and admiration I have for my gang goes beyond my words; in fact, the way they graduated reminded me I still have work. One had his former flame in the stands, the other his current. I had…my degree. Would it really kill me not to read into these things?

Four more weeks at the school, and I can mail it in for the summer. I’m doing better than I expected in my field of work, but really, I’d expect nothing less if I wasn’t devoting full concentration to it. Alright, that’s a lie; I can’t truly give full concentration to anything. If it was diagnosed as some acutely hyperactive form of ADD, I’d be surprised. Or, even more fun, I could be diagnosed as a high-performing autistic. Meh, I digress.

The case for seclusion could be made anytime I hear something that has me reaching for a red flag. I heard from a girl recently that she has no interest in me because I seem to be allergic to dates, which is a scary notion if we were to date. I found it odd, because contrary to her opinion, I have no problem with the date situation. What pissed me off specifically about her accusation was that the triple date she had with Skylar was my idea. I suggested it, got Pippa, and added on another couple for stability to complete the evening. Pretty much, if I didn’t coordinate, it would not have happened. For someone to be that averse to dates, I sure did have no misgivings setting up a, well…a date. Shit like that…it reinforces why I’d prefer a quiet life out the spotlight with a girl and a car. No one will ever appreciate you for what you do, and won’t question how the job got done. Who knows, that’s probably for the best, since if people really knew who pulled the strings, I might be even deeper than I’m in now. Two months until school starts and I settle into the Palace of Wisdom, located a world away from ignorance, but bordering on insanity. After all, insanity is genius taken to the next logical progression. Skibbedebebop. Much later.

Current Track – Eminem feat. Pink “Won’t Back Down”

Heavier Things

Going back to high school, I graduated with the thought of uniting with Christine at CSULB. The year, 2006, was a crazier time; I had bleached hair, two jobs, a Mexican week-long bender, a knack for jerseys, and the prospect of starting anew. My first year in Long Beach was pretty quiet, as I didn’t have my niche together. I had a one-track mind, and that was to get Christine. Things did not go as planned, and I haven’t talked to Christine in over a year or so. I saw her periodically, but those were not quite the circumstances I had pictured.

Four years later, I have just completed my undergraduate career at CSULB, in love with a girl who put a restraining order on me. This is wrong on a number of levels, but I can clearly state I’m sure of how I feel. Pippa put me through hell on more than one occasion, but I’ve felt lost when she wasn’t nagging me. I have no clue on what true love is, or what form it comes in, or even if I won’t end up alone. All of that’s up in the air because I have done a lousy job managing my personal life and subsequent affairs. For all I know, this is karma coming back to remind that not fully exploiting my talents is a sin. Everyone I know is more than happy to give me a free pass with what I’ve done and accomplished, and the promise of endless possibilities later. I have not done things perfectly, coasting when I can and outright conquering when I must. Little do they know what I have back in my mind that haunts the sleep I don’t get anymore. I can see success beyond even my wildest dreams, and I’ve had some pretty wild dreams. Jordan floated the idea of Stanford being the final destination, and I’ve warmed to the idea considerably. Once I did my research and found that I do not have to continue in their Communication program, I’ll be happy with Modern Thought and Literature. It sounds quirky, anyway, just like any degree in the discipline would sound. “Hey, I have a doctorate in Modern Thought and Literature. From Stanford. Swoon.”

I saw a picture of her at commencement with the same guy that was with her at Phil’s party last fall. I had the idea that she’d be there with my family watching me accept the title of graduate. I was so close…or at least it feels that way. In lieu of this, I’ve begun work on my gimmick for the fall that will turn heads. “Hello, I’m A.T. Guy. I’m a professor at CSULB. I have my own place. Yes, that’s my Ferrari.” I love it when relatives get new toys and share them with me because I’ve busted my ass. Still, the victory feels diluted. All the trophies, the honor, the valor, the prestige…I’d trade it in a heartbeat. Pippa was my heart. Skibbedebebop. Much later.

Current Track – Leona Lewis “Better in Time”