I love celebrating my friends' birthdays. I think it's really awesome to be able to let someone know that you care about them and were happy that they caused their mother unbearable pain and ripped her vadge open to let out that shrieking bundle of joy, you now call "bestie". I have a shitload of friends (not that I'm bragging or anything. Okay maybe I'm bragging just a little. Suck it ) and I don't get to spend as much time with each and every one of them as I would like. But birthdays are mandatory. If you miss one of your biffles bdays, you might as well excommunicate yourself. You will never be forgiven. Friendship bracelets will be recalled and you will be deleted from facebook albums. I'm not kidding.
The strict rules of birthday festivities almost got me in hot water this year. I am a huge comic book/cartoon fan. Everyone knows this about me. I don't play games when it comes to my favorite shows. I used to wake up at 3am every day to watch old school X-men the animated series (this was before DVR) and I have every episode of The Justice League:Unlimited saved on my television set. Unfortunately, it just so happened that we (meaning Naimah, Psycho, Josh, Nathan, Bridget and I) bought tickets for the midnight screening of The Last Airbender on the day Melissa wanted to celebrate her birthday. Now Melissa is one of the Wives. The Wives are the group of girls whom I consider more than friends; they're family. We've taken a vow to be there for each other till death do we part. And believe me, sometimes we want to kill each other. But a vow is a vow and I'm stuck with these bitches forever. The sad thing is that I'm glad that I am.
So Melissa saw our desperation and decided to do something different for her birthday. Instead of the typical club-drunk-mess-fest we tend to plan come our anniversaries, she wanted to go on a Caribbean cruise. What the french? Who does that? Of course I did the research and though the site's description sounded awesome, the reviews were anything but. It was supposed to be Latin music with carnival dancers and food and drinks. The crowd was supposed to be in their twenties and ready to mingle. Basically it wanted to bring the islands to the shores of New York City. My thought to that is, isn't everyone is New York from a fucking island. We're all immigrants here. Whatever. Even though I was hesitant about spending fifteen dollars for a cruise on a Thursday evening, I was down to go as long as I made it to that midnight screening.
So off we went. Myself, Harold, Psycho, Josh, Nya, Bridget and Melissa boarded this shady boat and immediately I knew that this was going to be a long boat ride. There were forty year old women who were trying to pass for twenty with their skimpy outfits and ridiculous makeup and there were men who were trying to pass as non-perverts. Both groups failed. It was set up as that typical eighth grade dance, where the girls are on one side and the boys on the other. In all honesty, I didn't want to be grouped with either side, so we chilled in the middle. We decided to take a look around the boat and see if it was more fun downstairs. Nope. Not a chance. Since there were more chairs on the bottom deck, the "older " (and I do mean older) group settled down there, resting their orthopedic-crocs ridden feet and staring blankly at the New York city shore.
Once we returned to the upper level, we realized that there was no salvaging this party. Unfortunately, we were on a moving boat. That is precisely the reason I hate boat rides. Somebody else dictates when I can leave and I'm not down with that. I'm not about to be left last while someone else decides who gets life vest a la Titanic. You better be sure that I'm not going to be playing with the string quartet as the boat goes down. I'm going to fashion myself a raft out of one of the gross looking men's polyester zoot suit and sail myself to safety.
While I was content with making fun of the others on the boat, we could see that Melissa was a little upset that her birthday wasn't the shindig she expected. So what did we do? We danced of course. Whenever one of our girls is in the dumps, we immediately do whatever it takes to cheer her up. So we started busting a move in the middle of the dancefloor and was winding it to the same 6 songs the DJ decided to play over and over again. For three and a half hours we danced the night away while men that wear sunglasses indoors and faux-gator shoes, oogled at us and attempted their lame pick up lines. And we actually had a good time. We had more than a good time. Psycho was dancing away commenting that we always take him to the strangest places. Josh was doing his best Russian White Boy dance that involves a little bit of Saturday Night Fever on sedatives. Bridget was swinging her braids back and forth and probably cut part of my lip with those razor like extensions. All in all we were having fun. But you better believe that when that boat docked, we were the first ones off the boat. C'mon we had movie to go watch.
We hightailed it to Union Square where we found Naimah waiting in the front of the line with snacks galore. Yes we skipped everyone in line but when you're rolling with a six foot, 300 lb gangster named Psycho, people don't really fuck with you. Nathan and his wifey joined us as we entered the theater and picked our seats. We settled in and I had Psycho on one side of me and Josh on the other. Now I need to let you know that this evening was a long time in the making. I love the series, Avatar: The Last Airbender. I've seen every episode at least 12 times and that might be a low estimate. When I heard that it was being made into a live action movie, I had my reservations. Then when I heard that M. Night Shymalan was the director, my anxiety increased. However Psycho was the one that declared that Shymalan was going to be brilliant with this adaptation and I was going to eat my words when the movie finally came out. Now this was a good year before the movie was released. So we made a promise that on the opening day, we would attend a midnight screening together and assess the film directly after.
So finally the lights dimmed in the theater and the mood is set. We all put on our 3D glasses and silenced our cell phones. Well all of us except Naimah who has managed to pick up her phone during every movie I've ever seen with her. Bear in mind that I've known her since the eighth grade and I see every comic book/cartoon movie with her by my side. It's been a lot of "Yo, Imma hit you up later. I'm at the movies with Steph right now". You can't tell her anything so I don't even try. But if you're reading this Naimah, you know I'm right.
Needless to say the movie was shit. And not like it was the shit, more like it smelled like shit. Nothing was right. Except for the fact that the first lines that the actor playing Aang recited sounded exactly like the cartoor version of Aang. Weird. Nonetheless the racial undertones by having the evil Fire Nation being played by all Middle Easterners, and having the Water tribe be White people did not go over very well. The fact that the story line was rushed and there were inaccuracies riddled throughout the screenplay didn't help matters either. Sadly the thing that made everyone upset was the pronounciation of certain characters. Since when did Sokka becoma Soca? Uncle Iro is not Uncle Eroh. And Aang is not Aahng. I'm sorry if the cartoon prounounced these tradtional names wrong, but if you'r going to take the liberty and change the racial dynamics of the film, at least let us retain some semblance that we're watching something akin to the show we all loved. And we paid to see that piece of shit in 3D, but the only thing that was in 3D were the subtitles. Really? Really Shymalan? You think I care that you can bounce off words on a screen. Most people don't come to the movies to read and you're not improving the literacy rate in this country by letting me know the correct spelling of an IMAGINARY LAND. FUCKTARD!Sorry I'm still a little upset. Needless to say, Psycho and I didn't need to have a discussion about the film. About three quarters in the movie, He got up from his seat and started yelling "BOOOOO!!!! BOOOOO!!!!!!!!". The entire audience looked back at this giant a bit scared of what he might do next, and then they broke out into applause. They all agreed. We spent that last quarter of the film chatting up everyone else in the theater about how M. Night deserved to have Appa, the magical flying bison, throw him from the highest mountain straight into fire nation territory.
It's kind of weird. What I expected to be a horrible day, dancing on a boat with nekkid carnival dancers and skeezy old pedophiles, turned out to be an awesome time. On the other hand, what I wanted to be the best cinematic experience ever, turned into one of those moments that I loathe myself because I spent money on that bowl of shit. Sometimes your intuition about something is so off base, but you've got to try everything to see what really works for you. However in both instances, I realized that i will try anything as long as I've got my friends besides me. Regardless of where we end up, I know I will have an awesome time with them. That's why I fucks with them---till death do us part.