Monday, May 31, 2010

I Suppose I'm Scared of Lions

Emotions can be extremely sneaky. My life, as noted yesterday, is pretty fantastic and I love it, but that doesn't mean that I'm not prone (or at least, subjected at times) to momentary flashes of insanity.

I've noticed before that each day takes us further away from our youth...pretty fucked up right? When you're young your able to power through things. Any sort of challenge in my life has been met head to head as if I was some half naked warrior fighting a lion with a sword. The lion doesn't have the sword, I do, I mean, in my imagination I have a sword, I guess all I mean is that I'm half naked with a piece of sharp metal fighting a really fucking big/scary cat. But the older we get the less likely we are to fight that cat.

Fear has often crippled me and I have no shortage of reasons (read: excuses) why it's always been someone else's fault. This is not to say that mistakes haven't turned up for the best. For example Los Angeles was never on my short list of places to live, I doubt that it was even on my long list. By some twist in fate I moved here and thought, for a long time, that it was a mistake. It turns out now that it's been the best decision I've made 100% on my own. (Of course that previous statement was written without given much thought at any other decisions I've made in my life.)

I'm not sure what it is I'm afraid of or which cat I should be fighting. I just get the feeling, in flashes, that there is a lion out there and that I would be pretty fucking sexy in a metal skirt with a sword. However, sometimes I look at where I am in life and wonder why I'm not further along. Why have I not progressed in work? Why do I still sometimes worry about money? Why am I not the next Batman? Why wont the god-damned lion just show himself?

Fuck lions, right ladies?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Nap.

Fresh cilantro being chopped in a nearby apartment, cuts through the warm dry desert air and slips in through the windows. It's wafted in along side of an Asian stir fry and some nearby charcoal grill, just lit in time to catch the waning hours of the hot spring sun.

Not far off children shout, playing tag, catch, or maybe just chasing each other for no other reason than to run. Sirens break the shouts and laughs, but as suddenly as they start, they stop. These flashing lights will not be seen from where we lay but the noise will come up every so often. We won't flinch.

There are dogs beside us, silent and contented by the presence of an arm around them they situate themselves - just enough to be comfortable, sometimes it feels like they are trying to be invisible so that they aren't asked to move away from the humans they love so much. At their weakest moments they only sigh at the faded sounds of several other dogs, barking at cars, children, neighbors or, my favorite, howling at the siren bursts as they come closer. Dogs are a chain reaction, rarely is there only one who is barking so the will power in our bed is made even more impressive.

Then there are murmurs next to me. A reposition or a little wiggling mouth arduously breathing and swallowing. A faint moan or hum. A tug on the pillow, a push on the other. An arm finding a home on my chest and finally a head on my shoulder. My own sleep is broken for a moment as I realize how lucky I am. I smile, admire my own life for a moment and close my eyes again.

Ten years ago I wasn't a very good napper. I would wake up in a fog that would remain un-lifted for the remainder of the day. Ten years ago I was in the silence of the country but now the noises of the city calm and comfort me they lull me the way that a baby is lulled by the open road, a car seat, and a warm back seat; the way we all were comforted to sleep by Bob Barker on those days when we were just to tired of school and we convinced our parents that we were best suited for the sofa that day. All the noises, all the bursts, the scents, the shakes of the bed, the three bodies breathing around me, they all become a soup on a winter's day. Shortly after I lay down I cannot tell one sound from another.

She has also taught me that a properly utilized nap can make the day even better and I'm inclined to listen to her when she speaks, she's already made me happier than I thought possible - why question her. I now know her noises, her way of sleeping and even when there is a faint gun shot some several blocks away I'm comforted.

My life is pretty fucking amazing.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Internet. Sort of.

Last night I had a few beers with Georgia and we walked home (to my place) from a party. Along the way we stopped into a little shop who is open late, it's a little vintage place. Georgia offered to buy clothes for them or something, I offered to drink the sangria that was free and keep my fucking mouth sealed shut. She chatted with the woman who owns the place and eventually got her email address. I didn't know this to be the case until I just opened up the notebook on my cell phone to see it there. It's a hotmail account. Nothing says, "I don't use the internets very good" like giving someone an email address that ends with hotmail.com. It's either that or they person is saying "here's an account that I don't use anymore, save for assholes such as yourself."

My computer comes from work and it was previously used by an older guy on the East Coast. He was fired for being old as fuck and drunk a lot...or because he sucked at his job, who really knows. I only met him twice and he seemed like a drunk uncle who you sort of stay away from at the family party until you are drunk yourself - at which time you go up to him and ask him to recall fucked up shit about his youth, he'll do it, you'll go back and tell your friends about it. In fact, other than the creepy factor, I hope my nephews brag about my life at some point. I guess that means I should start doing more stupid shit, increase my baseline stories.

Alls I'm really saying is I wanted to post something today because now I'm seeing how many people are looking at my site, I just set that shit up and I'm excited to find out. On my phone's notebook I have different post ideas but the hotmail.com got in the way. So this is what you get, shit about the internet that makes you seem like a rube.

Firstly if you are using anything other than google or bing you're probably at least 1/4 retarded, and if you're using Bing you're most definitely a republican - which is fine (except that it isn't fine at all.) I think that Yahoo is good for going to see what middle America is doing, via their front page, but why search with it? Is the the exclamation point? Fuck, I do love over punctuating.

I won't get into social networking because it seems that I'm alone in hating this with a passion that burns when I piss. MySpace is no longer acceptable unless you are in a band, want to hear a song from a band, or from Singapore. Facebook is, I hate to tell all of you assholes this, equally fucking worthless. "But I catch up with people I haven't seen in years." Fuck you. Listen, there are a ton of people I haven't seen in years and guess what...I'm not fucking looking for them. I would get friend requests from my friend's old high school girlfriend's grandmother. My "Suggested Friends" looked like a graveyard of girls who I dated once or my friends dated for a month. Please stop. Tumblr and Twitter, you don't need more than that.

When I used to go through Reddit a lot there was such a buzz around Maddox coming back into the blogging scene. I've met him, he seems like a nice enough dude but honestly do we need him? And he seems to rail against people who would go ape-shit for him "coming back," honestly wouldn't we all rather see an Epic return of Cliff Yablonski? Or would that be a Fail?

You internet people have ruined many a fine word with your white-collar ebonics but what you've done to the words epic and fail will never stop pissing me off.

It has crossed my mind, as well, that people are still probably jerking off to a series of 5-10 second porn clips...call your son, as him where the longer clips are, he'll tell you. Porn is free now. Sure, it's going to ruin the industry but then again, it's going to ruin the industry! Which may force your son out of the house, maybe he'll actually find a girlfriend, maybe you'll have granddaughters...she'll probably get into porn because it's all a big fucking cycle. Have no fear though, you're penis will have long since died - you're not far behind it either.

The cynicism has hit level 9...that means I must be leaving.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pictures of shit I hate

My job involves a lot of driving...which means it also involves a lot of anger. Here is a short list of things that piss me off to no end.

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These cars are all stopped. Why the fuck does this ass hole need to leave 25 feet between himself and the car ahead of him? Honestly, is there a single good reason that doesn't involve someone being insane? (No. The answer is no.)


PEOPLE: They are generally fat, we start that young too. We create products that are intended for fat people only.
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If they aren't fat they are probably horribly confused about life (Ed Hardy applies):
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Every now and again I'll stumble upon some graffiti that actually makes me chuckle:
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But more often than not it's just not that funny:
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And if you can find your very own fuck up (aka: "fail" but really, who isn't sick of that word,) you will now momentary joy:
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And for the love of god, when you start your own company and your friends give you the advice to make the store's name ironic, please know that you'll be opening yourself up for the harassment you deserve:
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The only thing that's worse than claiming Happiness via being a fat turd is putting your face on your product, it's never a good idea. NEVER!!!
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I get it...you're a hippie selling hippie peanut butter but guess what...nobody wants a hippie touching their fucking food.

Honestly, the amount of things that piss me off on a given work day number in the thousands, these are just a few scant examples. I'm a really happy person, I couldn't imagine having this job, seeing all the miserable shit I see and not having a positive outlook on life, I'd've jumped off a fucking building 3 years ago.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Music ruined your life

Growing up in the 90's meant I was subjected to pretty awful music; Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Stone Temple Pilots ruled the airwaves. If you were cool you knew Weezer 14 seconds before they blew up and you stuck with them until the Green Album when you realized they were never really that interesting they were just pop music with guitars, which was not otherwise played on alternative rock radio at the time.

If you think about the music that this generation spawned it's difficult to hate the actual Columbus's of the scene because their offspring was so horrible. Offspring was also horrible but that's a different story altogether, sort of, but it could be said that Nirvana was more punk than Green Day ever was and Offspring was ushered into prominence on the back of Green Day who owed a great deal of their success to the grunge scene.

Green Day along with Offspring and many others were simply Weezers with fewer chords and effect pedals. If it weren't for these pop bands sneaking into the otherwise super grunged-out radio airwaves we would never have gotten the pop backlash that struck those same dials.

Suddenly a Nirvana song was followed by a Soundgarden song, followed by a Green Day song followed by Lit's "My Own Worst Enemy" which went into Eve 6's "Inside Out" at which point you were already turning into a musical idiot. I'm no fan of Nirvana now and I was only slightly a fan then. I had already discovered Ween, They Might Be Giants, Pixies, and some slightly off the radar bands and was falling into that but Green Day did kick off a shitty pop-punk phase that I'm embarrassed to talk about.

After hearing "Inside Out" the radio stations started to slip in Sugar Ray, Smashmouth, fucking shit, even Hootie and the Blowfish had their moment. It was awful adult contemporary and it was pretending to be "alternative," which lost all meaning at the same time I lost all interest in Nirvana. How could something be both alternative and be charting so high? It doesn't work that way. What was really upsetting was three bands with one very common link:

THIRD EYE BLIND
SUGAR RAY
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS

On the surface they are pretty different, RHCP have always had some sort of credibility (thanks Flea) where Sugar Ray was the obvious over-hypedness of a slightly attractive lead singer and Third Eye Blind was...I don't really know, I guess they had some hits but the world has never really been able to explain it. So what do they have in common??? Tone-deaf lead singers.

Nobody really cared about Anthony Kiedis, he's pretty fucking awful but people didn't care at the time and now he's probably at least a little better. Unlistenable:

Nobody cares about Third Eye Blind, I won't even bother with a link because I'm not going to give anyone any reason to remember them.

But Sugar fucking Ray. There is no finer example of a bunch of douche bags with no talent becoming famous than this right here (try to stick with it):

And in this clip we see why there are so many disillusioned failures walking among us today. We all have some calling to become famous, we all deserve it. We tweet, we blog, we seek our own slice of fame. We find ourselves hilarious and entertaining. We believe we are special. All we really want is the life we deserve because in the end Mark McGrath is famous so don't we deserve it too?

Mark McGrath sir, you are the reason Americans are reality obsessed ass holes who have an inborn belief that they are somehow entitled to be rich and famous. With your complete lack of talent and "best looking kid in the trailer park" looks you've shown everyone how easy it can be if you just suck the correct cock.

And yes, he is in fact ugly. Look at him. American teenage girls were told to think he was good looking because it was a transitional phase. First these young girls fell in love with Kurt Cobain who took it open himself to do a little plastic surgery, via a shotgun in his face-hole. They they either turned down BoyBand Road or SoftRockDouche Lane, which certainly included Steven Jenkins from Third Eye Blind but the class president was Mark McGrath.

I do not say that Americans are ass holes for believing they are owed some level of fame and pretend for a moment that I am above this. I've tried to record an album, I find myself to be attractive, hilarious, intelligent, and at times I almost think I could "make it" but at the end of the day I have nothing to say that isn't said a million times over by a million other people across the planet and thankfully I know that. But I'm not above anyone and I'm not saying that I am, at times I suffer from The Mark McGrath Disease but I snap out of it quickly.

Hopefully someday all these fucktards who go on reality shows will see that, while they are probably more talented (in every way) than McGrath, the sun only shines on the dog's ass hole a few times a century and Ryan Seacrest has used up most of the Universe's free ticket allowance for the next 10-20 years.

So get in line with all of the other untalented people and bring me a sandwich if you think of it because I'll be there too - even though I have no preconceived notion that I am deserving of any sort of fame. I'm only there so that if I ever get to the front I can slap Mark McGrath in the face and quietly return to my life.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Music Monday - Tenacious D? Sort of.

I've given some thought to my blog, which makes it decidedly more serious than I anticipated it ever being but basically I've come up with a theme for each day. There is no hard and fast rule that I have to adhere to the thematic decision that was made at random one afternoon a few weeks ago, case in point - I've yet to follow it (save one post,) but when I'm stuck it gives me something to do. Today is supposed to be Music Monday, I'll give you a quick look before I jump into MM.

  1. Music Monday - anything about music. I love music but I have no hopes of ever being one of those MP3 bloggers who gets all the newest music sent to their homes. The amount of work that those (Gorilla vs. Bear, MOKB, Skatterbrain, et al.) must put into their work guarantees that I'll never have the time to do that, nor the patience, and mostly I'd never be interested enough. That said, I do love music.
  2. Revieusday - clever huh? Alliteration on Monday to using a play on a first-syllabic-rhyme for Tuesday. I'm really living life to the fullest. Basically I can just review shit on Tuesdays. Beer, books, beards, perhaps even things that start with different letters.
  3. Memory Lane Wednesday - Seriously uncute name. But an important day if there ever was one. This is where I'll tell you about the shit that makes me who I am...and when my therapist tells me who I am I'll even let you in on that.
  4. Thurecipe - Not always food. I've remade chairs and tables, built art projects and I can fill them in like recipes. Probably a good way to fill my blog with pictures.
  5. Facing Fear Friday - This is under protest and I'll revisit it at another time.
  6. Hacky Saturday - Just life hacks. I often don't feel like/have time to write on Saturdays so it's likely to devolve into lists of shit.
  7. Blech Sabbath - I can do whatever I like.
So here is an example of how loose this format is going to be...

Tenacious D. "Friendship is Rare"

See, growing up I never really realized that my parents didn't have friends really. They kept a very tight circle whom they never visited, spoke with, or generally seemed too interested in spending any time with. For a long time I believe my mother when she would talk about how busy she was but now I'm an adult and I realize that working 2 or 3 days a week and complaining about being busy is really ludicrous. The only reason she's busy is because of the amount of time she wastes complaining about just that.

The further I get from home the more I want certain traits to pass me over, my nephews too. Hopefully we can weed them right out of our gene-pool altogether. When the Tenacious D album came out I was living with Jay, we were then and are today great friends..."besties" sure but dudes with units like ours don't use words like that (read: if you average our penis sizes we are somewhere around average for Sri Lanka...and I have no idea what that means.) I always attribute that song to him and that time. Music really does suck me right back to the time when I first heard it.

Now I realize, friendship is fucking rare. It's tough work being friends with people. First of all people are pretty annoying; they are rarely exactly who you want them to be, and when they are you just marry the fuck out of them regardless of their sex. At 30 years old I've had so many friends come and go, I can only imagine this will continue on through my life. My brother and I have spoken about making friends and how it only gets more difficult. Thankfully right now my girlfriend is wonderful and her friends, for the most part, are pretty alright.

We are applying to be bestie-couple friends with some couple we met at a party. I don't think this other couple understands that we are actually going to stalk them until they relent and become friends with us, in fact I'm 99.9% certain he doesn't have the foggiest clue what my name is, which would put us on equal footing but he is a director and we found some of his (extremely popular) videos online, so we yanked his name from the credits. Hopefully someday they'll read this and it'll ruin our friendship, my ladymate would be so pissed ("hopefully" was sarcastic baby...just kidding she doesn't read this blog, if she did she would know that I'm functionally retarded. (I hope "functionally" applies at least.))

Only Nate has been to each of my birthdays since I moved to LA. 1 person. He came to dinner the first and and then left right away, the next year he hung out despite his ex being there, the next year we were living together, this year he and the ladytron were the only peeps there. I do have a bunch of friends whom I could call up and hang out with but of them few wedding invitations would I receive should things go that way. This is not to say that I don't love these people, I do; alls I am saying is that friendship is rare and it takes fucking hard work.

You think the Gorilla vs. Bear dude has friends??!! Probably, but his best relationships have undoubtedly taken at least the same effort to create as did his blog. And kudos for it. But don't ever think the work is done. It's tough to stay in touch with Jay. It's difficult to see Nate. I rarely talk to Kyle, Emily, Brad, Courtney, etc. of those people only 2 of them even know I have this blog...it's tough work but then again I don't want the tough part to be the part where I say it's difficult and put forth zero effort, then I'd just be my mother...and that's why I start therapy again tomorrow.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Memory Lane Wednesday: Woodstock 1999

There is always that one friend, who, at a given moment, can piss you off to the very brink of your own sanity. They are always there when you stumble on a slightly raised sidewalk, he is the one who claps and fake laughs loud enough to draw extra eyes onto the situation. When you’ve had a few too many shots of tequila and you find yourself slung over a bar toilet he is there, standing with the bathroom door open shouting the play-by-play back across the bar to your seated friends. And he was there in 1999 when I went to the worst, and subsequently the last ever (hopefully) Woodstock.

He was driving in from Cape Cod so he picked me up along the way in upstate New York. We made the hour and a half trip blood free. I sat in the back and the excitement of it all carried us along the way, so did the open windows and lack of general conversation. That was where the niceties primarily stopped. We searched out parking when he informed me that his aunt and uncle would be meeting us, they were both about 50, their children where much younger, but also coming. I figured I could deal with that, he told me the uncle was bringing an ounce of weed and his aunt has cancer so she had good pain killers. However odd I found the idea of a cancer stricken woman bringing her 15 and 12 year old boys to Woodstock, I took solace in the mention of the drugs.

Then we got stoned in the parking lot. Summers, for me, were a slower fare than were the school years. In high school I was the rare unpopular homecoming king/quarterback. I was a straight edge loser it what I really was, so parties were never mentioned to me, thus I spent a lot of time sitting around alone throughout my high school days, so returning home for the summer meant working…pretty much exclusively. So when we got high, I recall getting very high.

After finding his family we walked into the combine. “This spot is good,” or “let’s settle here,” I said about 90 times. Each time I found a spot to set up camp I was turned away. We were off to find a better spot. We walked, mind you with a cancer stricken mother, to the complete other side of the combine, away from the car and set our stuff down. I didn’t like the spot one bit. We would later learn that we set our bags down directly on a patch of poison ivy; the joke was on him as I’m not allergic to it.

He decided we would use his tent so I didn’t bother to bring the one that I had just bought. Mine – brand new, big, clean, etc. His…well it looked like a 1974 tent with sides that didn’t stay up, broken polls, missing pieces, it was exactly the type of thing that he would do. I should mention he was my largest friend, at least 260lbs and about 6 feet tall. During the setting up of our tent his uncle had to come over and tell us to calm down as I was screaming; “you fucking idiot, you don’t even know how to set up a god damn tent,” and he was screaming; “get your fucking hands off the tent you jack ass, you’re going to fucking rip it,” generally nice things like that.

Eventually we set up the tent. Sort of. Each morning I would wake up with the nylon of the tent stuck to my back as the sides would cave in on us. You could spend the entire day walking around the campgrounds and I honestly don’t think you would find a worse tent than ours. If you were able to find one I wouldn’t have gone within 50 yards of it, as it was probably a mobile meth lab.

Until the fires started I don’t remember much. I remember taking a poop once and wiping my ass with my own sock, it was during Limp Bizkit and I’m still sure missing them to wipe my ass on a sock was my best decision to that point of my life.

But then the fires started.

In the middle of the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s set we could spin around and see fire starting in 14 different spots. I don’t know why I remember the number, I just do. If they met we could have been surrounded by fire and things could have gone much worse, fortunately I didn’t die via Woodstock. The set was rather weak, I thought, and we walked back to our befallen-Charlie-Brown-Christmas-Tree little tent. We pushed passed people smashing open ATM machines with rocks, others openly selling Portobello mushrooms as if they would get you high, and aged hippies condemning our generation for being so violent and evil towards one another. One man in particular was saying things like; “these are your brothers! Your Sisters! You mustn’t destroy you must love!”

A lot was later made of the cost of water, food, etc. At the time none of that bothered me, that’s what happens, you go to a concert and get raped by vendors, you should expect that much. I’ve always known the real reason things went ablaze was nothing more than the fact that people where handing out candles, a few people wanted to be tough, and thus fires happened. It didn’t seem like a big deal at the time and it still really doesn’t. I remember walking the mile back to the car with police and military on either side of us, standing shoulder to shoulder as we marched, dirtied and beaten, back to the parking lots and back to real life. It still seems really extreme. But that was the following day, we still had some time left at camp.

“Let’s go see the fires,” I was pestering him to go get into the action. He kept denying and then getting pissed when I was going to go off on my own. I don’t know how I eventually got him to go with me but after an hour or so of prodding him we finally struck out, and it was easily the most interesting time of our Woodstock experience.

Initially we stopped to watch a kid sit in a fire for about 3 minutes. He was on a piece of plywood in the middle of a huge fire, the board was getting smaller by the minute and he was getting stupider by the second. Of course the crowd was full of comedians yelling at him to keep going. We eventually left, not because the fire dude was going to die but because a group of young hippies had surrounded a tree and were keeping it safe from the fires. Of course the only fire near that tree was 40 feet away, with a shirtless bro sitting in it, the tree was in no danger but young hippies are annoying.

We walked amongst the looters for a while. There were rows and rows of concessions. Tee shirts, food, watches, all sorts of shit. It was the first time we had visited this area, the entire weekend he ate MREs that his family brought and I ate ice cream (just once, the rest of the time I fasted out of brokedome.) We wanted to steal something so I jumped into a booth and grabbed a few keychains. When I say we wanted to steal something I really mean that we were scared to steal anything big so we grabbed stuff that nobody else wanted so we could later recall how fucking cool we were.

Walking down there was a booth that stood out, we walked towards it. There was true madness around us. There were people running around with bags and boxes of stolen merch, there were Ryder trucks now parked near the booths, and fights were breaking out; it was like jock-heaven.

“Please, help me and I give you whatever you want.” At first we had no idea where the voice had come from but eventually, out of the darkness, arose the booth we had set out for. “These people are going to rob me, help me get the boxes in my truck and you can grab tee shirts for yourself.” Perfect! Finally, life was working out for me. I knew instantly that I was going to be able to tell people heroic (and fake) stories about how I jacked all this merch from “the man” and all the while I would actually be helping a guy out of a sticky situation. I jumped over the booth’s wall and started stuffing boxes. There was a small box that I set aside and I would occasionally toss a shirt or a keychain in there, this was my box – I was keeping it.

“What do you want?” my friend had stopped me from throwing stuff into the Ryder truck, his absence from helping me was really noticeable but I chalked it up to his unbelievably lazy nature. He was like a sloth…a stoned, fat sloth.

“We need to go…now.”

“but we’re helping this dude out,” his face repeated the ‘now’ over and over, hundreds of times, and in increasing volume. We turned to see the back door of the Ryder truck slam shut. We watched in awe as it cut through the human traffic and drove straight through a fence. I was standing with my little box, not having the slightest clue what was going on when he explained it to me.

“I was talking to the dude who ran this booth…he was all fucked up on something. A security guard came and asked him if he had the vendor pass or something and then the other guy,” there was another guy who was somewhat directing us on how best to pack shit, but mostly just screaming at us to go faster, “he runs up and smashed the security guard over the head with something. They both took off towards the truck, I grabbed you.”

Basically we were too scared to steal but in the end we helped someone who had apparently rented a truck in case there was an opportunity to loot. This same truck was in the local news for about a week. It had knocked over about 10 different booths. Of course, it would have been 9.9 if it weren’t for my help but I don’t want to brag about it.

The security guard was fine, he went on to study engineering at MIT and now works for NASA…I mean, perhaps. He did get up on his own and walk away so we figured he went on to great things in life, as have we all.

I’ve not actually spoken to that friend since senior year of college (three years after Woodstock.) We remained good friends throughout college. I’ve heard he’s married, has a baby girl, and is bald. If I ever see him again I wonder if we’ll start arguing right away or if we’ll try to avoid it. My honest feeling is that we won’t be able to avoid it, we had to be held back from punching one another several times…but we were mostly great friends and I miss him.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Taking Action; For No Reason

There are reasons to break routine or just to do something for the sake of doing something; rarely is the result amazing or ground breaking but it passes the time.

I can imagine the scene at my landlord's home this weekend; "I haven't done anything recently over at the apartments," to his wife. She probably wasn't listening, certainly nobody with any sense heard him.

While my apartment is very small it does have the benefit of having zero shared walls. It is a tiny bungalow where you could hear me farting from any room. I do like it here, it certainly wouldn't be for everyone but it's plenty for me. It stays relatively cool in the summer and doesn't need much heat in the winter, granted this is Los Angeles. Although, I have a large tree in front that blocks much of my roof from the sun during the summer months.

There is a small shelf that I built into my kitchen window. It hold's my vitamins, salt, pepper, oil, and maybe a few more things. It's the one window that I can always leave open, no blinds.
  1. 2 windows in my bedroom, each looking directly into my neighbor's apartments from maybe 10 feet, probably less.
  2. 3 in my living room, all of which are frequently walked past by the other members of our little bungalow block. Easy to look into, hard to be private.
  3. 2 windows in my kitchen, they face opposite directions. The one that looks West is the one that I open while I'm doing dishes but the hard core Christian sisters (about 55-65 years old) that live next door are awfully "screamy" about their lawn decorations (read: outside cats.) The other window is small, it's the one with the shelf and it's perfect, the blinds have never been down because it faces only the tree in my front yard.
Of course, I arrived home today to find that my tree has been 99% removed. It's going to be hot as shit in here soon and my blind is already closed. It didn't take me walking into my apartment to realize the awfulness of this idea. When these situations arise there is always a moment where you are forced to bite your tongue or get into a conversation that is of no interest to any party.

"Oh you trimmed the tree huh? Lot's!"

"Yeah, looks good right?"

"Yeah." Unlock my door, walk in, shake my head and think about the stupid shit I've done just to feel as if I'm doing something. It's not the worst thing that's happened to me, just another annoyance that will piss me off for a few days.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

One Fear Down.

The list of things that make me nervous in this world is about double the length of Oprah’s grocery list. Suffice it to say, I’ve never had a shortage of paranoia in my life. Anything from the mundane fear of driving to the somewhat crippling inability to use 2 different types of cleaners on the same day, I can span all fears. Today I’m conquering one that has been on my list for some time.

Today, my good friends, I’m whitening my teeth.

I’ll either be the first person in history to give himself completely white gums or I’ll swallow way too much and actually die. Can you imagine the services, or my friend’s explanations to their bosses; “well, he was young, it’s really sad, so can I have Thursday off,” they would ask, and eventually ‘what happened’ would arise, to which, one can only imagine they would feel embarrassment for me. It’s difficult to be embarrassed when your dead but it’s even harder to check things off your to do list. My list is all written for someone who is still alive; perhaps that’s a flaw in my planning.

I chose the Rembrandt 2 Hour Whitening System after reading a few Amazon reviews in line at CVS. Amazon, while I hardly use it to actually order things, has become my most trusted source of reviews, anywhere. I’ve read recently that Yelp pads their reviews depending upon if the stores give up the $ for ads and shit like that, so I can’t even trust yelp anymore. Not that I would go to yelp for a tooth whitening review. Anyway, Amazon said to use Rembrandt so here I am, mouthful of spit, waiting another three minutes before my first rinsing.

It goes like this: 20 minutes on, 10 minutes off, 20/10, 20/10, and 20/10. Basically it’s enough time to get started on something and then not be able to finish it, which is perfect for my ADD.

Maybe I should let you all know that my cleaner days have also been conquered, at least somewhat. It stems from first hearing about mixing bleach and ammonia, I got nervous cleaning a window outside of my house with window shit and then cleaning the shower, inside and totally on the other side of the house, with some sort of shower cleaner. What if residue was hanging out on my hands? What if they mixed and I was killed as a result.

First 20 minutes is up. Time to rinse.

Holy shit, they actually look whiter. I’ll know this works when I see my girlfriend later, if she notices something different. She won’t. Then I’ll tell her and she’ll say; “oh yeah, I thought something was different,” no she didn’t but it’s sweet of her to say so…or rather, it will be sweet of her to say something assuming she will.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Create-a-day

After being open and untouched for about 35 minutes my screen saver pops up with the single word "create," to gently remind me of my only goal for 2010; create something everyday.

The goal is an imprecise as it is lofty, in many ways. Surely days have gone by and I've failed to create anything substantial my overall tally sits well above the amount of days we've conquered in 2010 so far. I didn't really give myself rules for this creation experiment so I've been forced to make them up as I go along. Here are a few that I can readily think of:

  1. Creating a blog counts only once. I cannot simply post something on my blog and have it count towards a creation. However, if I were to write a piece of fiction and post it here I would surely count that.
  2. Meals can count but they need be a challenge and completely new to me. A few meals that I've counted have been; fish tacos, chard and tomato gnocchi, and chicken noodle soup from scratch.
  3. Starting can be creating. Some projects cannot be finished in one day so if I make some serious progress towards an end it will count. Case in point: demo - I've been working on it very hard in spurts.
  4. Recreating is very much in play.
Yesterday, I had hoped to work on my demo but my girlfriend and her friend are recording new videos for a certain television network's website and they needed a little help. They will be filming at my-not-girlfriend's apartment so they were busy setting things up all week. It's been crazy really; 12 new drinks, dresses, recipes, scripts, etc. They told me they were going to redo her kitchen table so that it would look nice. They were going to sneak this project into the middle of their day. This is the type of project that actually offends me when I'm not asked to help. Power tools?! Remaking furniture?! And I'm not invited.

I offered to do the table. Saying that they had enough to worry about, or something along those lines. It gave me boyfriend points, it gave me my daily creation, and it gave me a chance to put my blue-collar-perfectionism to a task.

while not too much of a perfectionist there are certain projects types of things (mostly blue collar in nature) where I cannot settle for "decent" or "done enough" or "reality show quality work," I have to go all the fuck out and make it look like someone did it who knows what the fuck they are doing. usually I don't know but I fake it.

So after about 2 hours of sanding the topside of the table I stained it. According to my inside sources it came out looking just great...then again, one of them is in love with me and the other is in love with me as a boyfriend for her friend, so the bias is heavy. I'm sure, when I eventually see it, the flaws will be the only things I see, which is pretty much the way it goes.

Today's creations revolve around my "album" or demo, or whatever the hell it is, even I'm not sure.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

demoalbum: update

Tonight I changed directions. I hit a point, I said; "this isn't working," and now I've reworked my songs, it's going in an indie pop direction now. I've narrowed it down to 20 songs. That's it, I won't add a single song. While I might not be asked to play the Nebraska Pop Festival this year it's bound to happen.

Blissful, shiny pop music.

Back to the music (only in bed, while sleeping and not actually listening to anything.)


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Life Wink: 1

Have you listened to This American Life #379 where Dan Savage talks about his mother dying? Did you get tears in your eyes? It's playing right now in the background and it's really freaking good, as Dan Savage usually is.

Today is mother's day, I have called mine to tell her that I won't be able to come home in June, as I had planned...more leg bills are holding me back from a lot of shit, travel being one of them. She was sad. And, there is nothing like a little slap in the face of your mother on her day. I would feel worse if I had decided just not to go home but it's more a matter of money than anything really, I just feel I should continue to save.

I woke up at my girlfriend's house this morning, ran home to walk to dogs, shower, and do a few things before heading back over there to celebrate mother's day with her family.

It's strange how things get connected in our everyday life. I didn't know that I would listen to TAL while I was filling out a spreadsheet for work. I didn't know that the third act of the radio show would be a gay man talking about his mother's death, my listening on mother's day. I didn't know that gay man would talk about his faith, his religion but for whatever reason I took this picture at my girlfriend's house, where people put little items they don't want anymore.


Whenever I see a book on the ledge I stop and leaf through it briefly to see if it would be of any interest whatsoever. Today there were these two books, both dealing with the gay community. Both intended for gay men to read them. And inside a bookmark of a saint. Some religion from a gay man, on mother's day. 30 minutes later I would fall into more of the same. It's just pretty cool when those little life winks happen.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

My...Album..??

There are a few different ways I record song that I write.
  1. eMac. Yes, it's an ancient computer at best but it still works really well and when I use it to record I can easily convert songs over to MP3 and then listen to them in my car. The idea here is that I'll eventually edit them down someday, rewrite lyrics, perfect bridges, etc.
  2. iPhone. I have a little recorder on there, the sound is shit but I can actually email the file to myself and throw it onto my iTunes. It's my "in a pinch" go to though. It takes about 5 minutes to set up my eMac and sometimes I'll forget in that time. So I'll pull out my phone and take a quick little recording. This is also my means of keeping one line songs alive, these are the songs I write in my car whilst working; driving around with the radio off singing to myself.
  3. Video Camera. When my aunt died I got a corgi named Moanna (pronounced Mona - was named Mitzy or Bitzy when I got her though) and a shitty camcorder. I'm not sure if it's even made by a company or just made by the early 90's itself. It's the kind that records to mini tapes that you then physically place into a larger tape which will play in a VCR. The reason this works out well is for solos (note: I have never written a solo in my life) and playing weird chords that I don't know the name to. Basically if I don't think I'll be able to remember the song, without a visual aid, I turn to the camera. It's between eMac and iPhone.
  4. Old School: I have a digital 16 track recorder with 2 inputs. I use this as my mixer for the eMac, it holds up. At one point, it was all I had and it was really when I started recording music. I spent $1,000 for it at the time, it may still be the single largest purchase I've made to date. I've never even bought a car that cost that much.
From 1999 through 2003 I recorded somewhere around 200 songs. I'm not sure if they were country, indie, pop, punk, or what...probably a mix. One day I wanted to bounce these songs over to my eMac so I could edit them. It would have taken about 5 days to record each song into it's own track so instead I was going to put them onto CD and then import them. I had to format the hard-drive on the recorder in order to do so. I did. It was the last time I ever heard any of those songs.

Now, I understand they were probably 99.9% shit (especially now, as tastes have drastically changed) but they were mine and now they are totally gone. Seriously I was crushed. A few weeks later I happened to rent "Comedian" and was inspired to just say good bye to my music. A brief rundown, Jerry Seinfeld throws away all of his stand up and starts over...I'm not Seinfeld so I figured it would matter even less.

It was easy. I threw out papers, forgot songs. Went along on my way. Shortly after my tastes went way more indie and way less punk. None of this is the actual point. The point is, I've been trying to write an album since probably 1997 when I wanted to do a choral christmas album with my friend Jon. Today, 13 years later I've spent several hours pouring through songs to come up with a list. It's a working list. Some songs are old, some new, some will be lost, some fixed, but I'm pretty determined this time to finish something.

I have a CD made now that is a collection that spans very rough to nearly finished. The songs are:
  1. Nervous Man. This is the last song I've written and I honestly like it.
  2. Boring States. Circa 2004-5. It's stuck around because I have a soft spot for it.
  3. Die Young. Wrote this just after New Years 2006, it's extremely rough, I forgot about it but I like the form of it.
  4. Good Eye. Second song I ever wrote on banjo, mid 2006.
  5. An Instance. The first song I wrote after "throwing out my library."
  6. National Anthem. I have a sneaking suspicion that this song will fall short of making the cut. Written in 2004-5.
  7. Play On. Sometime just after moving to CA.
  8. Royal. Old song, has been reworked so many times I have no idea what I originally intended it to sound like.
  9. The Slipping Kids. I'm not sure why I kept this one on the demo. I don't think I like it.
  10. Trouble 2-Step. First song I ever wrote on banjo, first day I bought my banjo. I like it, it could work.
  11. Be The One. Wrote this in the waiting room to find out if I had cancer in my leg. Not as sad as you would think it would be, given the situation.
  12. The Way I Left. It's new, I have no idea.
Beyond this there are about 15 others that need to find their way onto my eMac somehow over the next few units of time. I'm not sure what those units are though.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fuck reddit.com

Today, fishing around reddit.com I realized that I had been given my first 'trophy.' Which is a stupid thing they give to losers like me who spend too much time on that site, participating in the destruction of our own usefulness. Apparently my 1 year anniversary has occurred, so now I'm leaving.

Everyday, the first website I check when I get home is Reddit. I sometimes spend an hour but usually I spend 4-5. I never learn anything it just feeds into my ADD. Headline. Comments. This guy is an ass hole. Leave a comment. Look at my karma to see what people thought of my comments. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Lately though, I've realized that comments have been completely unfunny and a few funny ones I've left have been completely misread. In short, the people of Reddit, not unlike the people of Earth, are fucking ass holes. So I'm gone.

The other, and probably the real, reason I'm leaving is that it's just a waste of time. There are funny things to be found, usually with little effort but in the long run it's adding nothing to my life. So I'm leaving for a year. Fuck it. I have bigger things to pursue...for the most part I have no idea what they are but I'm pretty sure they're bigger and there is no doubt they are better.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Delhi or Saratoga Springs, NY?

I was tossing around the idea of taking comedy classes in Chicago, pouring every bit of myself into the alt-country scene in Nashville, or becoming an indie-pop-lo-fi sensation in Portland. I kept going back and forth and had a trip planned to the first two which would lead me to decide between the 3.

One day my friend Nick calls and says, "I'm out in LA visiting Jay and Kyle, I'm going to stay. Should I get a 2 bedroom apartment?" I didn't want to say yes. But, eventually, I did. It was about 2 weeks after that when I left. Just packed my shit and left. No job and even less prospects for one. It didn't matter, I'm a survivor so I just left.

How did you end up in Los Angeles? That was the question. Until today my answer seemed sort of brave or at least I felt brave in my leaving, sight unseen, for a city I had heard mixed reactions about. Los Angeles is a love/hate city, every ass hole out there has an immediate reaction when asked about it. "Ugh...I fucking hate LA," is the usual response but I gave it a shot because I don't generally give a shit what other people think, mostly because they are always wrong.

Today I learned I'm not brave at all.

Vib (pronounced like bib with a v, just like it looks) met up with my boss and me today to interview for an internship. He's Indian. Holy fuck is he Indian. He's been in the country for 9 months. A country nobody from his family has ever visited. We won't hire him because it's a sales job and he doesn't drive, in fact he arrived via taxi, from USC to Beverly Hills. I don't want to posit a guess as to how much money he wasted on that - but being curious I offered him a ride back home. Mostly I wanted to pick his brain.

Cricket is the national sport of India, when asked if he played; "of course, everyone in India plays cricket." We love football, baseball, basketball, and NASCAR here and not everyone plays, fuck...as for NASCAR we all turn right all the fucking time. Delhi, the capital, is where he is from. Random bull shit chit chat like that happened for a while but I pressed on, stealth style into the good stuff.

He appears to be a virgin and totally unconcerned about it, even though he's about to get his masters in some stupid shit from USC. How does this happen? Some people like sex more than others, I understand that, but why would you want to wait to figure that out? If you hate the color blue, you look at it, you say, "I don't like that," and then you know. If you hate spicy chicken wings it's probably because you've tried them and decided they weren't for you. I don't know if India is uptight about sex or not but I know that Christians are...and I figured I would ask; "yes, I went to a Catholic school." Weird right? India seems to have a lot of cool religions and he picks the shittiest of all.

The most interesting thing I gained from Vib on our little drive was his journey here. Firstly, he is here because his family's business has struggled with the world's flailing economy and they need a jump start, they need new ideas. He, being apparently a family first type of guy, said to his family that he would come study in an American university.

Secondly, the coolest thing was for me to think about the other roads Vib could have turned down. He applied to several schools, accepted to all, and selected USC because of the engineering graduate school. He turned down, among others, North Carolina State, some school in Chicago, another in Texas, and something in the Northeast. I don't remember but it really doesn't matter.

Vib knows what Southern California looks like, he knows a little about Los Angeles, a frowned upon city, and to him this is The States. He could have such a different opinion on our country depending upon where he landed. Now, where USC is in this city I love is...fucking horrifically unlivable, at best. I love LA like no other city and yet I almost wish, for him, he ended up somewhere else. USC does drive me fucking insane because of it's nepotistic nature and the arrogance of people who go there. Listen, I grew up in the north-east, we are unimpressed with your cute little education.

What would he think if he went home with the bitter cold memories of Chicago? Or if his take away impression was the kindly urban south and the crazy moronic rednecks who come into those cities on Friday night? Will he forever think that shitty south-downtown LA is America? Most importantly will I soon forget about him and give the balls back to my own migration story...I seriously hope so.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Why would I care about xkcd's color bull shit?

Why the fuck do we care?

It's all over Tumblr, it's front page on Reddit, it's probably on Digg (but that site is so fucking awful I refuse to even go check,) and some ass hole friend has already emailed it to you.

THIS JUST IN: men and women are different!!!

Okay, so women know colors better, they give a shit about the difference between the many different greens, men don't care. To men green is either "yeah, I like that green," or "I don't really like that green." Do we really need more? No, probably not. But if we do, well we turn to our left and say, "woman, what color green is that?" When they answer we pat them on the head and reward them later by slathering our tongues all up on their vaginas.

I just don't fucking get why anyone cares about how we all differently label colors? Of course the Reddit comments are no help, it's a bunch of ass holes thinking they are funny, I'm often one of these ass holes so I get it but again it leads me to no conclusion why anyone would care.

My favorite magazines are Psychology Today, Wired, and Money the main reason is that they are all studies and statistics (breaking it waaay down, I realize they are all more than that) just like this little color bull shit...but still I don't care. The same way I don't think that Ron Paul will win the Republican nomination just because a Fox News poll shows him leading Romney, Huckabee, and Palin by the count of 48%, 44%, 38%, and 36%...because, you know, call me crazy but something seems wrong there.

It should also be noted that I've realized that I'm color-retarded. It is very different than being color blind. I never fail to see the different numbers in those color blind tests and shit like that, but ask me what colors they are and I have no idea. There is a certain type of green that looks blue and certain blue that looks green, yellow and orange often trip me up, but in the end it's just that I don't really give a shit.

What I do care about is when people refer to sweatshirts as sweaters. It's a California thing and it's almost reason enough to never move here...well, that and we don't want you.

Monday, May 3, 2010

When I'm President

Today, I can proclaim to the world with 100 percent assuredness that, as surely as I will one day walk on the sun I will also be elected to the highest office in the land. Yes, I will be the president of the United States of America, unlike my friend Alturk who aspires to be vice-president and at the least speaker of the international house of pancakes. My sights, however are set much higher. Rather than worry about policy my campaign will focus on some things that all presidents get wrong these days. Here are my non-issue-issues.

Firstly I will not vacation. There is plenty of travel involved with the job already. My family will have grown up by the time I run and my wife has grown tired of me already. Believe me, working 365 days a year will be a welcome escape from the rut my life will be in at the time I run. Yes, I will slack off from time to time, mostly after 11am each day, I will do so from my office, plane, mobile office, or submarine.

There will finally be Submarine-One, when I’m elected. It’s going to be cool as shit too. I’m going to have one of those round beds in there and everything will be very 1970’s because I’m sure people were pretty in to submarines in the 70’s.

No professional or college sports teams will be visiting my office. I like sports as much as most Iraqi children like the Detroit Lions but I feel this is outdated and a huge waste of time. You won the league, you make millions of dollars, what the fuck do you need me for? You don’t. Honestly I would like to meet with some of you but only in my teams win and when I say teams that’s assuming I start to enjoy more sports than currently are on my roster of zero to one. I’ll send one of those e-cards that don’t cost any money. “Congratulations on winning you’re THE LEAGUE! We all loved following your season, especially that time against your rivals when you almost were going to lose/win! How crazy right?? Remember to floss, dental hygiene is important no matter the month.”

Every month will be wiped clean. No longer will February be Black History Mont, dental hygiene month, Corgi awareness month, whale nectar tasting month, and scat porn month. No, to this I say clean slate. We will auction off the months to the highest moral bidder. This is to say that if the NAACP wants January as Black History Month and Coke wants January to be Coke History Month we will see who has the better reason. Right off the bat I’m going to side with the NAACP because I despise soda but I’m going to have to play impartial referee between the two. The beautiful kicker is the that the loser will have to pay a hefty fine for having wasted my time. They may have to meet with that year’s sports winners – while I like this idea we will have to think tank that over at HeadQuarters.

Camp David will be renamed “Overnight Camp for World Leaders.” I’ll then invite the leaders of all different countries over for scary stories, mostly about my wanting to bomb them; smores, this will depend on if I invite a cocoa producing nation or not; and our first homosexual experiences, making our meetings afterwards very awkward. Can you imagine the Swedish President or Premier or whatever they are (mental note, learn some of this shit incase my opponent gets all dickish in our debates) watching me and the President of Antarctica speaking after a OCWL session, the Swedish dude will totes know that I forced the Antarcticbro to make out and look at my wiener. Can you imagine the power I would have?

All those who oppose equal rights for everyone will be forced to give up the very rights they oppose. If you’re against gay marriage you can’t get married. If you’re against illegal immigrants assimilating naturally you will have the burden of proof that your first ancestor became a citizen legally (I like this one a lot.) If you ever voted for or owned a pin for Sarah Palin you have to move to Alaska.

I will allow Alaska to succeed from the union…gladly. Once they are gone we will bomb the fuck out of them and take them over. We will allow them to succeed again. We will then bomb them. We will do this for as long as it takes until they realize how much they love being American. Check it out Canada, Mexico, we’re done fucking around.

NAFTA will be abolished. This was President Clinton’s biggest mistake, it’s killing our industry and ruining Mexico. Plus we can’t compete with Canadian timber. Right? Right.

Tax rates will be as followed: If you’re rich as all fucktard you’ll be allowed to take home $2 million dollars if you’re single, $2.5 if you’re married, and you’ll get an extra $500,000 per child. That’s it. We are taking the rest. Nobody born poor becomes rich unless they accidentally suck the right guys penis and get thrown into a movie. So those of you who will complain about wealth redistribution please understand this; at 26 years old I was making $60,000, if you’re 40+ and making less than me you’re fucked. I’m helping you most of all so stop being so fucking stupid and republican.

(R) and (D) will forever be abolished. All the god damned minions will be forced to listen to the actual issues. I know it’s going to suck especially since, we are going to nationally subsidize news, your anchors can make as much as the highest paid teacher in a public high school in the town or city from which they broadcast. There will be no multimillion dollar O’Reilly shows or Maddow shows. Nope, it’ll be people who care about news, people, and not ratings. Don’t like it? Move to Alaska but for fuck’s sake, bring a helmet.

Finally, 4 day work week, full month of vacation, and a 35 hour work week. That’s it. I would also like to have more water slide parks but that is going to be the cherry atop the second term.