so i did go out for New Year's, and it didn't completely suck. imagine that.
i hadn't really meant to go out. i meant to work and then head home. i've done the whole First Night thing, and it's been fun, sometimes. it's also been spectacularly cold, and annoying. nothing like trying to sardine onto the T at midnight with 15000 of your closest drunk friends to put you in the mood. so. work, duck out early, and head home, because i hadn't been in much of a mood to celebrate anything these past holidays.
the show promised to be fun - two local bands, Hybrasil and The Push Stars, two sets each. general admission as long as you had a button, so no ticket tearing, no seating, no nothing. just check buttons and count bodies.
since i was still on vacation (took the week between Christmas and New Year's off), i slept most of the day and headed downtown around 5ish. bundled up in my favorite warm wool sweater, as i was going to be at the door; welcome change from the usual white shirt routine.
when i got down to Park Street, i started to head over to work, then turned around and went back to the vendor by the T exit. he looked like he was freezing, and i thought i should make it worth his while to be out there, so i bought 4 hats, all different colors, to take to work. somewhere, i have incriminating photos of the four of us wearing our 'Happy New Years' hats. made things kind of festive, even though we were working. i, of course, got the purple hat. gifter's choice.
and i wore the hat all night, too. somehow, it made me feel better. other people were coming in in costume from the Mummer's Parade, or had on goofy hats of their own, and it was good to have a hat of my own.
get this - i was the entire usher staff. mm hm. Z looked around at one point and asked about ushers, and i quipped 'you're looking at all of them.' not as bad as it sounds - we had door staff, and a ton of security, so it's not as if i was really working alone.
first set was mellow, not too many people. and when Hybrasil started playing, i got all wiggly happy. i adore horns, and they had a tenor sax. 'sounds just like Morphine,' i said to my boss. gee, i wonder why. perhaps because it's the same guy? not too many tenor sax players on the local rock scene, that's for sure. i should have known as soon as i heard the sound.
things started to get a little more crowded with the second set, so i wandered out into the alley and began directing people. i felt like an air traffic controller, walking down the alley, waving my arms and pointing while hollering for people to line up. most people were pretty cool about it; a few of them didn't get that it's easier to let everyone out before letting in the new crowd. (these must be the same people who slam their way onto the T as you're trying to make it to the platform.) 'have your buttons out, and your bags open; security will check them on the way in.' holler that nonstop for 20 minutes and see if you don't feel like a tape recorder.
somewhere around the third set, someone broke out the champagne. i swear, i felt like i was back in high school theatre, hiding in the back room, guzzling cheap champagne. not that i guzzled cheap champagne in high school - it was more the 'forbidden fruit' thing.
so i directed traffic between the rest of the sets, and only whacked two people by accident. the way i figure it, if i'm walking backwards and you're walking forwards, the onus is pretty much on you to not walk into me. seems fair, no? i still managed to clock a few people as i was pointing the crowd over to the sidewalk; fortunately, they were both good sports.
only one wanker in the whole crowd, which is a pretty good ratio. JerkFace came in with his wife and kids and gave me some song and dance about leaving his button back at the hotel, and they had walked so far in the cold, and he couldn't go back for it and couldn't i just let him in? 'sorry, sir; this is a button event. you can get a button across the street.' he would not get out of my face, and i kept repeating politely that he needed a button. somehow this devolved into an irate JerkFace calling my a slimy troll, two confused JerkFace kids, and a crying Mrs. JerkFace. but, wait - it gets better. after they leave? he tells them to wait and comes back in to take a swing at me. i've face a lot of irate people in my time, and generally don't back down, but this time i hid behind the biggest security guy i could find. JerkFace, needless to say, got tossed out on his ear.
the thing that kills me is that if he'd played the sympathy card and told me his 5 year old lost her button, i totally would have let them in. some people just don't get the power of a cute smiling kid.
anyway, we punched out in time to catch the last bit of the last set, and then headed out. much to my delight, the T was empty; everyone must have still been watching the fireworks. my boss thought he was going to head home, to which i said 'what are you, nuts? it's New Years. c'mon!' we hiked over to the Gs (me still wearing my purple hat), ran into some mutual friends, and generally had a good time.
not so bad for a holiday i didn't intend to celebrate.