Mark's first party after his last party / Mark finally goes to a
"Hard" Event

When I first discovered HARD, I liked the clean neon on black graphics on their fliers and website. I also thought that it was cool that they let you download free mp3 mixes from Destructo and others. Most importantly, I also liked the dedication to Hard Dance Music. Keep in mind that the Hard parties play the hard stuff (with the occasional Hip Hop break), but not Hardcore or Hardstyle. More like Hard House. In objective mathematical terms, they do not play music faster than 135 bpm. Hardstyle is usually at at least 140 bpm and Hardcore can go up to 190 bpm or even higher. If you have no idea what I am talking about, you should download Virtual DJ and learn a little bit about how to mix and what is what in dance music. It is so easy to get into it now, and so cheap. Back in the day - the summer of 2000 - you needed to have at least $2000 for Technics 1200s, a decent mixer, and a hundred vinyl records. Now you can download DJ software for free and buy High fidelity songs for 99 cents. Please, please, please, if you are into the scene, please get into dancing or learn how to DJ or produce music or something.


Before the party, at about 7 pm, we went to Ralphs for Peach Schnapps, Raspberry Vodka, Pineapple Juice and Sprite. The ingredients for a White Gummi Bear (which is even better with Peach Vodka instead of Peach Schnapps). On the way back we saw people in line. Already??? Damn!!!

For us it was not yet time to stand in line, but to pre party at the hotel. You know how that goes, so no need for the details, but by the time we started to walk to the venue at 10 pm, I was drinking pure H2O as to rehydrate and actually level out a bit.

The line was a full city block long, and my calculus said that it would be at least a two hour wait. Fortunately, from my years of partying, I somehow manage to avoid such inconveniences.

I remember one time when I walked to the front of the line at a club and my wrist glowed under the black light as if it had been stamped - although I had not been to any clubs that night or counterfeited a stamp on my wrist. I never figured out if that was a permanent “in/out” stamp from years of partying or a mind trick so effective that not only the doorman saw a stamp that was never pressed, but so did I.

Seriously, that was really weird.

Tonight was much less mysterious. Some guy simply asked us if we would be willing to pay $10 each to go right to the front of the line. Moments later … WE … WERE … INNNNNNNN !!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Feeling a bit like the old #37, but still a bit in disbelief as to how well this worked out, it was time to check out the space. We headed to a door on the first floor.

The gatekeeper looked at our tickets and pointed to the stairs. Our tickets were for the balcony, not the dance floor. OK, well no need to get bent out of shape. We would just go upstairs and wait for my party brain to subconsciously figure out how we can get full access. I admit it would be have been handy to have a press pass.

A beer later we find seats on the balcony. This was fun for a while, but it would soon gro tiresome and we would not want to be here all night. We watched - not danced to - Destructo’s set and made frenemies with the people next to us. They wanted us to sit somewhere else so that they could claim complete dominion over the entire first row of the balcony. A pathetic goal to begin with, but one that would only come to fruition by waiting for us to leave when on our own accord. At least Ernest was chill, and we swapped tips regarding Farmville.

Like a toaster that successfully turned a simple slice of bread into marvelous toast, my party brain made an audible “ding” and I knew how we would gain access to the dance floor.

But first, we had to smoke a cigarette and check out the basement.

In the smoking area, we learned from another couple that San Diego is much crazier than we thought and public gangbangs take place at fraternity parties.

In the basement we learned that there was an exclusive sanctuary that played classic rock and was protected by an invisible bubble. Only people that dared pass through the bubble could enter “Paradise” while others could get right up to the bubble, but not manage to walk through it. Sometimes they would even ask for help. This place was called “Paradise” by the lone bartender, a real rock and roller, injected into the party as if by time machine. There was only rock music here, and there was no line at all for drinks. For that old rock and roller - whose band was almost ready to release their album, this was paradise.

But for us, it was time to dance.

As you can see from the graph to the left, all we had to do was ask people who decided to leave early for their floor tickets, which they would not need anyway, as they were leaving. It took exactly the same amount of time to get my floor pass as it did for us to get into the party in the first place. The security guard waved us by without asking to see our tickets as we approached the opening to the dance floor. We were not the droids he was looking for.

While I didn’t need to have tickets for both areas, it still felt good to have them. I guess the best way to describe it was that I felt like I was better than everybody else, and let’s face it, deep down inside, isn’t that what we all really want?


The rest of the night was a mixture of drinking beer and lording over the rest of the of the attendees, who went from seeming just younger to seeming just simply less cool. From the horney-as-a-rabbit-on-viagra jewish guy named Evan who wanted to have a three way with Christy and me (GROSS!!!), to the 20 something year old latin girl on E that would be an 8 if she lost 20 something pounds and who totally tried to hook up with me and I maybe would have if I was a little more drunk and I was actually really drunk so maybe she was more than 20 pounds away from being an 8, to the kids trapped on the balcony like so many meaningless feeder fish** - just waiting for the party to end - never once experiencing the glory of the dance floor or the much more powerful bass found here, nobody was having more fun than we were.

All in all, I had a really good time. The vibe was more like what you would expect at a concert than at a party, and while many of the kids seemed unguided, there were definitely a few that knew about the code and who made an effort to make the party better by being helpful and nice. Kudos to those who know that at least here you should be selfless and kind in order to truly enjoy yourself. That when you act badly you feel bad. When you act like a douche bag, you have to live with knowing you are a douche.


If you know the code, but you choose to break it, then you should at least revel in the dark side of your nature.


My devilish deeds come to light
Deviation of the path of wrong and right
So big up to the villainous one
Shine so bright, to become one with the sun

Sell your soul to the devil inside you
Just remember this because I'm coming for you
So big up to the villainous one
Shine so bright, to become one with the sun

Time can change me into what I dream to see
I recall a time when I wasn't what I seem
I'm unapologetic for who I was
And I'm unrelenting for who I'll be

I walk ahead of those who say "never"
And I'll walk this path alone, forever
Losing those along the way, I remember
It's just another day in my life

** But seriously, seeing all the people at the party that only sat in a chair on the balcony all night was really sad. Even the the people on the floor were barely moving, obviously oblivious or obscenely obtuse or ostensibly obese. I label this generation of party people the spectator generation. What a waste of music, even worse, what a waste of youth. Come on, I am super old and I still party way harder than you do, and you are like 14 or something!!!

I made the most out of my youth, and I still make it out to the raves once in a while, but things have changed a little bit for me...

I still pop pills on the way to a party, but now those pills are Advil.

I always get a hotel near the venue, but not so that I can host an after party. It is so I can go straight to bed.

While some of the people at the party may have not had sex in months - and are disgustingly horney and would do anything to get laid, I had an sex hour ago and even if I didn't it is hard to be as horney as a 19 year old.

When security pats me down before the event, they treat me with respect. As if I were a grandpa. If I try to show them my drivers license they smile and nonverbally communicate to me that “there will be absolutely no need for that whatsoever, sir.”

To me, party goers that are 21 look like they are 17. Party goers that are 18 look like they are 12.