Thursday, June 21, 2012

USA All The Way! Trip Update 1

 Is this Congo, or West Virgina?  You decide!
Sexy picture taken by the awesome ladies of Mama Congo!

I have been back in the great old US of A for almost two weeks, dear readers, and it is truly a land of wonder and opportunity.  I know all of you have put your summers on hold, waiting with bated breath to hear of my journeys.  Well, never fear, I have sensed your frothing demand and will answer the call.

Things have been great.  I walked into a restaurant my first day back and ordered a steak.  

It came with pancakes.  

It was 4:30 in the afternoon.

On the way to White Castle (one hasn't lived until one has consumed at least two sacks of Chicken Rings at 3 am) we drove down a highway.  This was remarkable for the simple fact that it had lighting, signage, and a surprising lack of hop-ons.  I also didn't see any scooters with four people on them (two of them carrying small children) or goats standing on top of jeeps while barreling down the road.  And everyone around me was wearing clothes.  I didn't see any awkward little boy penises.  

Needless to say it was a bit of a cultural adjustment.

After years away it's nice to be able to walk around without bearing witness to folks milling about with machine guns and/or razor wire, excepting Central Pennsylvania of course.  I have a long list of peeps to catch up with and am trying my best to fit them all in (that's what she said) but it's been hard to work it all out to everyone's satisfaction (that's what she said while in a more somber mood, probably with a box of wine clutched desperately in her lonely, gnarled hands).

I've managed to buy new pants, so hopefully I won't have to spend weeks wearing a paperclip in lieu of a button in a desperate attempt to keep my crotch hidden away from the world.  Unless you guys are into that, in which case- crotch ahoy!  Maybe that would help with my page views.

I also had the chance to check out the Stone Pony in Asbury Park.  It's a weird feeling, rather bittersweet in fact, to go to a place you used to play at (Death Metal Sundays were awesome) and see that it has been gentrified in your absence.  I have glorious memories of the Stone Pony.  When I was in Inebriation we played there all the time, sometimes in front of as many as 11 people.  That was the place that I had my first soundcheck.  Kissed my first groupie.  Played in front of my first mosh pit.  Kissed my second groupie.  

It was at the Stone Pony, one fateful night, that Slymenstra P Hymen threw a fireball at my face for the first time.  And then spit on me.  And then she smiled, smiled with the face of an angel. An angel with wings of metal.  Oh, the greasy, greasy memories.  

 We were like two ships, passing in the night.

Things have changed there now.  They had stools, and tables, and the floor had been scraped clean of vomit. I think that these days you'd have to wash the blood off your clothes before they would even let you in.  Damn yuppies ruin everything.

Times Square has also been cleaned up since my last visit.  During my sojourn there (while pounding back Pork Slap Beer), I didn't see even one prostitute.  And the only person with a feathered hat turned out to be an actor instead of a pimp.  For shame, NYC.  For shame.  Although the Disney Store was rather kick ass.

It has been a great trip thus far- it's been nice to have the chance to hang out with my brothers (do you guys know I have three brothers and two stepbrothers?  Our manliness cannot be contained.  The amount of back hair in the shower after a Lippart reunion would make enough blankets to keep an Indian Reservation warm for an entire winter).  My one regret is I don't have more time.  There are so many people I'd wanna see.  I have friends in Florida, California, New Mexico, and a bunch of those square states in the middle that I haven't spent time with in years- I will get to you guys on my second leg of the Lippart Experience Tour (coming to a couch near you in 2013!), if all goes according to my sweaty plans.

Tomorrow I am off to Washington DC to visit Erin.  This will be my first time riding a Greyhound Bus so I hope it is as good as my Asian busing experiences were.  By the end of it, if someone doesn't offer me either a live chicken or try to sell me a baby, I will be sorely disappointed.  And I hope to see at least one goiter, preferably not attached to me.   It's gonna be great to spend some time in the bustling capital of our great nation- the birthplace of democracy, freedom, justice, and Marion Barry.   I will post when I am able, so check this space for further adventures, you sexily devoted bastards.

DC is gonna be sweet.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

USA!!! USA!!!

 One nation under oh dear God . . .

It all comes down to this.  

The last three days of school.  

For those of you who don’t know, regardless of where you are in the world, or what grade you are teaching, an amazing transformation happens during that last week.  Fueled by teacher burnout, student apathy, and janitorial rage, the campus is quickly transformed from a stately hub of educational virtue to a chaotic scene reminiscent of the last 20 minutes of Point Break, but with less parachuting.  


In just five short days I will be back in the United States for the first time in nearly five years.  So much has probably changed in the interim . . . I am expecting to see hoverboards, vending machines that dispense pants, and holographic movie projectors.  At the least, though, I hope White Castle still sells chicken rings, which have to be one of the greatest symbols of American hegemony ever devised.

So much has changed for me, too, since my earlier visit to the good ol' US of A.  Last time, I had just returned from a near death experience in Myanmar (courtesy of Cyclone Nargis) which left me feeling rather shell shocked and jumpy.  Shortly after I arrived I was dumped on my birthday (but I did get to see a kick ass Suffocation show, so the glass was half metal) and was getting ready to start my new teaching life in Taiwan, a land which (I fervently hoped) did not have open sewers.  Turns out I was wrong about that bit, but it was a nice place to be for a while nonetheless.

And now, I return a new man.  A stronger man.  A man for whom abs are a long lost memory, crying empty tears into the bitter rain.  But a man who has been able to do some truly random things over the past number of years living the expat lifestyle.  I am just about wrapping up my second MA (no big deal- hee hee), I have published a book (oh god cheap plug) and plan to have two more out in the next couple of years, knock on wood.  In addition, I have become the top selling death metal cylindrical phonograph recording artist in the world (click here for the juicy details, and click here if you want to know what my music sounds like whilst played on a recording medium nearly a century old).  A caveat: While I might be the top seller by default, as I think I am the only one silly enough to release death metal music on such an obscure format, that victory is still sweet, nonetheless.  And did you know last year I wrote a play?  Indeed I did.  I am glad you asked, sexy reader.  In a fit of irony (or just silly timing- there is always such a fine line betwixt the two) it was performed in Taipei exactly three days after I left the country forever.   So I have never actually seen it performed, although I got to meet the theatrical version of me, which is a weird experience.  It also did not, sad to say, provide me with any oft-rumored theatre groupies.  Just in case you think I made that last one up (especially you distrustful Ukrainians), feel free to read an article about it here.

But enough about me (who am I kidding, haha).  Point is, after many years abroad, and possibly more to come, I am going back to New Jersey, the land of beaches and poorly dyed hair.  My goal is to have micro brewed beer, go to the pinball arcade, buy a pair of shorts, and see Erin, my family, and my friends while wearing the aforementioned shorts.   After I leave here it is back to the sunny wilds of Mallorca before jetting off to Wacken, where I plan on headbanging until my skull rotates completely away from my body and lives on in orbit around a small planet, a la Unicron. 

You've got the touch . . .

Man, that was a great movie.

I am not sure how much computer access I’ll have so it might be a while before I can update again.  If you are going through vitamin M withdrawals and are in desperate need for more reading material (and you’ve already read through my extensive blog archives), you should check out my friends’ blog, Mama Congo.  Unlike me, who writes solely about himself, beer, and himself with beer, they have some wonderful (and sad, funny, moving,  etc  etc) stories about what life in Congo is really like when someone is NOT drunk.  And they rarely mention chaps, beer, or powerslides.   Except when talking about me, which I hope they do more of, because I am a publicity whore.  Anyways, highly recommended.  They even have this cool pink arrow thingy, which I will totally steal from them once I figure out how it works and how it knows what to point at.

And so, dear reader, I leave you for now.   If you are in Jersey during June let me know and I shall allow you to buy me a welcome home beer, followed up by a "glad you're back" cheese steak.   If not, I hope to see you in either Mallorca or Wacken this summer, where we can have beer and whatever it is those heathens eat.