Showing posts with label Stu. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stu. Show all posts

Two Teeth

I have many teeth and at one time I had many cavities, but they are now drilled out and filled with silver stuff (older) and kinda white stuff (newer.) You would think that someone in my position would avoid the dentist unless it was completely necessary. But you know me and on two occasions I have been to the dentist (Well, once. The one guy wasn’t a dentist) when I didn’t have to be there and still had my teeth worked on. We’ll break this up into two parts called “Drilling for Dollars” and “Binaural Audio.”

Drilling for Dollars
Years and years ago I got a call from a friend. We’ll call him Mr. T. And now you have a big, black guy with gold chains stuck in your head. Think the polar opposite… skinny, white, red-head dude that’s pushing six feet tall. Mr. T was taking his dental exam so that he could become a full-fledged dentist. I think there are three parts to the test and he had passed two of them. He needed to pass the third test which was drilling and filling a cavity. Seeing as that I am always willing to help a friend and that I usually have a spare cavity, I agreed. I felt I could be my friend’s gateway into a profitable dental career. Mr. T took me in to have a bunch of x-rays taken so that he could send them in to the board and have me OK’d as a patient. Sadly, the cavity I had was not perfect and Mr.T had to work the x-ray machine like a professional photographer. At the end of the day my face was glowing and he had the perfect shot. It was almost like a reverse internet profile photo where ugly people take odd angles to get the best photo. He was taking multiple angles to make the cavity look as bad as possible.

A few weeks later, Mr. T and I drove up to Cleveland for the test. We went up on Friday for the test on Saturday. We were able to sleep in because people would be taking the first 2/3rds of the test and the cavity filling was the last part.

But we showed up and the testing area was nearly empty. Upon questioning the staff that was there, they said that Mr. T needed to be there three hours ago for the start of the test. There was a good bit of nail biting and in the end, they said we could still jump in and take the test.

I was stuck in the chair. Numbed. And drilled. Mr. T was sweating bullets. Because everyone had finished the test and moved on, the people that oversaw the test and were normally were spread out across the room had nothing better to do than stand a few feet away and wait for this asshole that showed up three hours late to finish his test.

Mr. T was asked to leave and three dudes looked over the new hole in my face. Mr. T was then called back in and given the opportunity to fill my hole with silvery goodness. He did. The three old men came back and checked out the filling. Mr. T asked me to listen in on what they said. I couldn't make heads or tails of what they were discussing.

We left the test and Mr. T was sure he failed.

But he didn’t! My cavity was the finish line to his schooling or perhaps the starting gate to his dentist license. Mr. T probably thinks of my every time he fills a cavity, drives his Porsche or towels off with a sheet of twenty dollar bills.

Binaural Audio
In 1999, Stu started working in our division and my eyes were opened to what reckless creativity can spawn. Stu is like no other person I have ever met and you would be lucky just to know someone who knows a guy like Stu.

Stu was very interested in an exhibit we had previously built that used binaural audio or 3D sound. The basis of the technology is that audio is recorded with two microphones spaced a head’s width apart. When that recorded audio is played through separate headphone sides, the audio can feel like it is happening to you. If you have a set of headphones, I recommend listening to this painfully long youtube video.

Stu and I discussed what would be the best 3D audio. We came up with some really great ideas. We took the microphones out and recorded all sorts of crap including creepy guy sneaking up on you in an alley, creepy guy breathing in your ear and dude shooting arrows at your head. We then discussed an evil sort of voice that would sound like it was coming from behind the listener. The voice would tell the person to look up and when they did they would see little glowing eyes in the dark recesses of the ceiling. We were 3D audio geniuses.

The best idea to delight and terrify our guests was the idea to record audio of someone getting dental work done. We asked around and no one had a dental appointment coming up (or they just flat out lied because they wanted nothing to do with us.) So finally I volunteered. I called up Mr. T who was now DDS T. I told him about the recording and that I’d need some type of work done. He at least agreed to see us.

We ran over to his dentist office the next day. I got in the chair and Stu put the microphones on either side of my head. DDS T looked around in my mouth and, for once, didn’t see any work that needed done. He had me chew on some mimeograph paper and found a high spot on one of my teeth. He asked if I wanted it ground down. Yes, yes I do want my teeth ground down.

As DDS T worked, Stu had him move the drill around and make noise in both of the microphones. He drilled and smoothed and slapped me on the ass and told me to keep flossing, knowing that I hadn’t touched the waxed stuff in ages.

So, you ask me, “Doug, where can I hear this wonderful audio?” And I say to you, “You can’t.”

Why? Because we got really busy, that’s why. All that audio needed edited down and we had other shit to do. In the end, time ran out and we used the pre-packaged audio that we had purchased in the first palace. Years later, I asked Stu where the custom audio was. He didn’t know. He’d quit and moved on. I poked around, but never found the tapes.

Last week I went into my dentist’s office. There was a filling in my mouth that wasn’t holding up and it needed drilled out and re-filled. Once I realized it, I told my dentist that it was the one that the once Mr. T had earned his license on. My dentist laughed as he drilled it out and then refilled it with whitish stuff.

What up, Stu!

Of all people, I ran into Stu at Circus during the Margot and the Nuclear So and Sos show. Time has been good to him, but obviously his vision is the only thing that has changed.

Erik and Doug go to Stu's 2009

The last time Erik and Doug went to Stu's it was 2006. We had unbelievable amounts of fun. There is something about going to Stu's that is almost magical. I cannot believe that it has taken us three years to go back. I'll illustrate with words and photos.

About six months ago, I asked Erik to go to Stu's with me. He said he was busy. I asked him to check his calendar. He said he would be free in August. So we set a date in September. We left work at 2:17pm on Thursday. Suggested arrival time was 5:17pm. We stopped once for gas and Swedish Fish. After exactly three hours, we arrived at Stu's place at 5:17pm. He met us at the end of his drive with his son, Oscar. Oscar is about 16 months old and a bundle of fun. We grabbed our bags, headed inside and sat down for a few beers.

Ann-Marie on the stairs with Erik and Stu below.

We had just searched the toy chest for Ann-Marie's missing wallet.

Ann-Marie with Oscar. Stu and Annmarie are expecting again in a few months.

In Indianapolis, you cannot buy beer cold. You have to buy it warm and either drink it warm or wait 45 minutes for it to cool down. Stu mentioned that in high school, his buddies would "roll beers" in a pan over a hot stove to cool them down quicker. It sounded just plausible enough to be bullshit, so we tried it out.

Test materials.

The rolling technique.

Scientific equipment.

We realized that unless we had a control, this experiment would be for naught, so we ended up drinking half cold beers (or half warm beers if you are British).

As we drank, we discussed what opportunities we had for the evening. Basically we were going to head to the Broad Ripple area and drink. That sounded like a plan. Stu mentioned that we would be taking bikes as to avoid drinking and driving. So we went down to his garage, selected three bikes (mine was called "The Mule") and we headed out.

Stu's bike for the evening. Made up of parts from four other bikes.

Three men and three bikes. It's hard to tell from this photo, but Erik's pedals were so close to the ground that they scraped when he turned.

Heading to town.

A photo for the insurance company to prove the bikes were actually there.

We started things off at the Broad Ripple Tavern. We initially pissed off the bartender when I offhandedly said "son of a bitch" until we realized he was fucking with us. We sat at the bar and ate wings and drank cheap beer. We called Shorty to apologize that we forgot to stop by and pick him up.

Stu talks with Shorty.

Doug and Stu. Stu's hat was obtained by trading hats with a prison sanitation worker.

In the back of the bar they had a Golden Tee 2009 on a huge screen. We waited for the two pros to finish up and I solidly beat Stu (who claimed he hadn't played in a while) and Erik (who claimed he had masturbator's wrist).

Cute waitress.

We were now completely loaded with beer and should have walked around the strip, but instead we got on our bikes and circled around for five minutes before Stu had us pull up to the back of some building. He said, "The Bikes are here!" and walked right in the back door. Erik followed. I followed.

That back door belonged (I found out later) to the Vogue Nightclub. A well known concert venue in Indianapolis. As I pulled in, Stu was putting his bike against the wall. Erik and I followed suit. There was a huge crowd of people in the place. It felt like they were in between acts. The guy at the back door politely asked us what the fuck we were doing. Stu said that we were told we could put our bikes back there and that they would be kept safe. The guy asked where our wristbands were. Stu said that we didn't need wristbands because we were with the band. The guy asked us who told us this. Stu turned to Erik and said, "What was the guy's name." Erik replied, "George." We were told that we would have to leave. And we did.

Our bikes in the back door of the Vogue Nightclub.

The bouncer wasn't having any of our bullshit story.

We grabbed our bikes and headed out, realizing that maybe we should have had a better story. Stu suggested that he could have used my HolyJuan business card to say he was a reporter. Because we didn't think we were ever going back, we told Stu that that sounded like a great idea.

Stu took us down some back alleys and we parked our bikes outside a, literally, back alley bar.

Back alley bar insurance photo.

There were a few very nice ladies coming out who took our photo.

Erik, Doug and Stu. I'm bending down so that Erik and Stu don't feel so short.

Inside this bar, we were greeted with an angry mob of people watching the IU game as they barely scraped by Eastern Kentucky. We were also greeted with a girl wearing a bra, so we sat down. There was some promotion going on that night and for some reason this chick had her shirt off to win a shirt. She did win the shirt and put it on, only to remove her pants. We hoped it was going to get very interesting, but that's about where it stopped. Stu bought $20 worth of pull tabs and we won $2.

Note that the girl on the far left barstool is not wearing pants. It was uncomfortable more than it was hot.

Douglas brand addiction.

We left the back alley bar and Stu took us back west again, this time to the front door of the Vogue Nightclub. Stu wanted to try the business card idea. Before he did that, we stopped and got photos of the bratwurst girl on Erik's bike.

Wait... is that a girl's bike?

Stu, once again, rode his bike in the door, this time in front. Erik stood by the door while I rode off in circles waiting for him to get kicked out. For a minute, it seemed like he might have succeeded, but soon he appeared, rejected, but not dejected.

Stu then took us off on a tour of the neighborhood he grew up in. We stopped at some tennis courts and rode around in circles for a few minutes. At one point, Erik and Stu dismounted to pee. A group of people walked by in the distance on one girl yelled, "Go suck dick in some other park!"

We left this park and during the next part of the ride, Stu's pant leg got caught in his chain. In trying to pull it out, he managed to tear the pants all the way up the seam.


Underwear or nutsack?

The bike that I was riding, The Mule, had 15 gears but only one of them worked. I'm assuming it was 11th, because I had to pedal 170 times to Erik's 1. This meant that I was great on hills, but slow on the straight away. After the pant rippage, Stu and Erik took off and I was left in the dust. I actually lost them for a few minutes and caught up with them only after hearing their laughing in the distance. I followed their voices and suddenly I was entering a stadium with a track which was currently being raced around by Stu and Erik. Erik won.

Stu showed us some places he had graffiti-ed as a kid and then took us back to the bars. We stopped in a very popular place called the Mine Shaft, but there were way too many hipsters, so we went to Average Joe's, the bar next door.

Whole lot of hipsters with a whole lot of keys that don't open shit.

Average Joe's had an open front so we parked out bikes in front of the open front and ended up sitting in the open air portion right on the street. We planned on watching the bikes get stolen.

The next two hours were spent with Stu greeting and saying hello to everyone walking by us.


How are you doing?

Looking good!

Hey pal!


And oddly enough, everyone either ignored us or were very pleasant in their response back.

Also in the bar were two ladies who did not run off as soon as we entered. We chatted them up a bit and we actually able to get them on Erik's bike for a photo op.

Lady friends.

Ladies with Erik on the bike. They feel special!

At some point, two of the people Stu said hello two walked by again and were very chatty. They were your run of the mill homeless punk teenagers who were having the time of their lives. Earlier when we saw them, they were carrying a stack of pizza boxes and said they had got them for free out of the dumpster. When they stopped by again, they were pizza-less, but Stu inquired about the pizzas. The homeless guys were a bit put off by the current status of the pizza as they left them lying in the street. Stu said he would give them $5 if they would get a box. They reiterated that the pizza was on the street. Stu reiterated that he didn't care and would give them $5 for pizza that even homeless people wouldn't eat.

They ran off.

They returned a few minutes later with a box, filled with a lot of pizza.

Homeless Pizza Delivery Service

Before the homeless guys took off with thier cash, we made sure to get a photo of them on the bike with Erik. While the homeless guys thought this was awesome, the chicks sitting behind us were put off that they were about as special as the two homeless dudes.

Oh my f'ing god that's disgusting!


Lucky for all of us, the bouncer told Erik that outside food was not allowed and Erik took the box away.


Happiest dudes in the world.

We ended up pawning our girls off to two other guys who had been standing in line for the Mine Shaft. I said, "Why stand in line when there are two ladies right here?" And the two dudes checked them out, shrugged, came in our bar and swept these girls off their feet.

Our job done, we headed home back to Stu's. By now the beers were actually cold and we sat on his porch and re-lived the the nights events and past nights long gone.

In the end, this trip matched all the others. Drunkenness. Spontaneity. Laughs. Random shit. I'm not sure if you have a Stu in your life, but I highly suggest you get one.

I hope that we do not wait three years to do this again.

Thanks, Stu.

Stu and Anne-Marie had a boy

Congratulations go out to Stu and Anne-Marie. Here is their message:

Here is our new son Oscar.

He is so healthy and handsome and very funny already.
Ann-Marie is feeling great, she was amazing.

The earthquake shook him at dawn and I guess that was his cue...

Oscar Henry
Born 11:43 a.m. April 18 2008
8 lbs 10 oz. 21.5 inches

We are so fortunate and happy and hope you can all meet him soon.

Ann-Marie and Stuart