Tuesday, May 19, 2009

leonard bernstien!

Oh, good morning. I didn’t see you come in. I’ve been pondering my existence lately, and I’ve come to a conclusion. I’m either going to the zoo this afternoon, or going downtown to the art institute to check out the new modern wing. Either way, my baby’s coming too (thank you very much child protective services). The zoo is close and free and I could conceivably convince some buddies to go because, well, shit man, watching a little kid get stoked on penguins and shit is pretty fun. ALSO, we could keep our standing Tuesday lunch date with my friends Toby and Katie if we just went to the zoo. Me and the baby tend to head down to this closed up bar and watch kegs come in and eat lunch on Tuesdays.
Now, the Art Institute modern wing, that’s a different story. It’s an all day affair. It’s been getting built for a while and this week, the shit’s free. It’s down in the real busy part of town, so parking would be a bitch and it’s also the kind of thing that I don’t want to rush through, you know? It’s big and supposedly amazing, which makes sense, because the Art Institute is a world class museum. Millennium park is down there too, and it’s worth hanging out in just on its own, so yeah. It’s the question of WAY cooler day with way more effort, or pretty good day (probably better for the baby, honestly) with minimal effort and maybe a beer. Hmmm…
I think this has solved itself, don’t you? We’ll go to the museum tomorrow when my cleaning lady is here and we have to be out of the house. Fuck. I’m so smart and clever and good with my time…no wonder you guys read this fascinating blog! You’re right. It IS the best thing on the internet.
Nah, giving myself superlative accolades is just part of the existence pondering thing I’ve been doing. Definitely, filling my days up with things to do seems like a big part of what makes life uh…more bearable, I guess, but there’s always that lingering malaise. I mean, I don’t have an answer to what constitutes a good, solid existence, but I know that really nothing that anyone tells you is important actually is. I mean, right now, I’m involved in filmmaking, practicing for the falcon show on Saturday, preparing for a Lawrence Arms tour, writing this dumb blog, being a dad, writing songs for 2 bands (in the very limited time where I’m unencumbered by a baby’s mischief, able to make noise AND inspired [it’s like getting yhatzee, not impossible, but it doesn’t happen all the time either]), working a job that, while it’s unchallenging and kind of shitty, puts decent money in my pocket (which, these days is more than a lot of people can say, unfortunately), raising a pretty cute baby and cruising along in a pretty fun marriage and associating, in general with people who I think are interesting, and somehow I still feel vaguely dissatisfied all the time. What the fuck is that about? I mean, if creative challenges and family life don’t make you happy, what’s the answer? More money? I doubt it. I feel like if I had more money it would just be something else.
People always have a rap about priorities, but, and I’ve said this before, it’s all so fleeting that none of it makes sense. None of it makes you happy if the circumstances aren’t right. I mean, think about this, if tomorrow you woke up and everyone you knew was dead…let’s say there was a massive cataclysmic event…Yellowstone erupted, nah…bigger, a huge magnetic polar shift that just wiped out 90 percent of the earth, would you care if you suddenly had six pack abs or a great head of hair or a bank full of money? Nah…nothing matters at that point. Maybe, MAYBE you can point to something you’ve done and be a little bit happy. You may find solace in your offspring, there at the end of the world (a la the Road) “Oh, look at my kid,” you may say. “That’s a reason to live”…but he’s of course, dying, or at least in a lot of danger, right? I mean, you’re living in a post apocalyptic shitscape. Don’t fool yourself. He’s in trouble. So, that one’s a little bittersweet, to put it mildly. So you try something else to find happiness. “Oh, I can listen to my record, or read my book I wrote, or watch my movie or fondly look back over my portfolio.” Nah…that’s not really gonna do it either. What would make you happy at that point? Food. Someplace safe to live. Maybe a beer. That’s it. Nothing else in the world. When you’re on the brink of serious, serious shit, all that matters is safety and nourishment. Nothing else is gonna compare, in terms of satisfaction.
Well, we have that stuff, right? But as soon as that’s taken care of, suddenly there’s all this self actualization bullshit that comes along and takes over and makes everyone obsessed and pissed off and generally miserable. Oh, suddenly it’s back to being about abs or the quality of people you bang or the fact that you have writers block or weren’t good enough to be a pro lacrosse player or whatever. At any level, this is bound to happen. I don’t know what a carefree existence is like. To a person in Somalia, I’m already living one. Hell, to a lot of people on the southside of Chicago, I’m living one. But it’s not.
It’s interesting, Dogs of War…Because, there need not be a cataclysmic event to knock your world on its ass. You just need to be walking along with someone you love and see them get hit by a car. That shit happens every day…Or you, you could get hit by the car. No legs. Or you’re dead. I mean, you could just be sitting there, where you are RIGHT NOW and some shit could just randomly fall on you and hit you just right and you’d be dead. Just as dead as the people from Hiroshima, or in the twin towers or as the people who will die in the cataclysmic event that proceeds the survivors of said event eating each other’s legs to survive…Do you see what I’m saying, Sock Drawer? There’s nothing that’s gonna ever be satisfying out there, so do a little dancing and fucking and go to the art institute and the zoo and don’t let whatever’s bumming you out eat you alive. Because there’s NO WAY OUT. Your problem: insurmountable, right? Yeah, so’s everyone’s. Welcome to earth.
Yipes. Maybe we should talk about felching and jizz, or anything to lighten the mood, please.

Oh, and to comment on the comment from yesterdays Sock Drawer (the comments section, for any of you who have missed this monumental title bestowal) that suggested that my advice yesterday was off the mark, and that it flew in the face of my espousal of confidence as a magic panty peeler…Lying about something that you do not understand is a stupid thing to do. It is a transparently UNCONFIDENT thing to do. Confidence involves laying it out there, using your own good attributes, not faking the funk. I mean, by your logic, having a comb over is a more confident move than shaving your head. It makes NO sense. Either way, you can see right through that shit, man. No experience or no hair or no money or no whatever, the best thing to do is own it. (And, yes. Fine. Bullshitting your way through something CAN be a measure of confidence, but that’s if you’re already confident that you’ll be able to bullshit people. In that case, it’s not a question of being a confident ‘doctor’ it’s a question of being a confident ‘con artist,’ to borrow a situation from Catch Me If You Can). Look, just be the goddamned bald virgin with no money. And just rock that program. Trust me.

37 comments:

Capt Murdock said...

Did you jsut finish 'The Road'?

I ask because the themes (and of course the direct references) have been creeping into your posts quite a bit lately.

T.NERB said...

I just finished (smoked) two political philosophy classes and they both are based around what you just said (obviously a lot more elaborate you know.. with plato, rewriting existence, inventing truth, purpose yadda yadda.. Nietzsche assraping those writings with the whole the world in and of itself is without meaning, any meaning it has is a human invention, so it is up to you to see that understand that, and affirm life while you're here by creating art, (whatever kind of art that may be.. painting, songwriting, maybe even inventing some new sex act such as felching.. who knows..) in order to make life beautiful and meaningful)because, like you say, in an instant your world as you know it can fall apart rendering everything you've placed so much meaning in meaningless. so always create. if something is torn down, or must be torn down, reinvent something new and meaningful to you(you seem to have done a pretty good job doing this) and force it on the world for the sheep(sockdrawer) to embrace and place value in, when in reality, it is your creation that will only be strung along as long as you let it. the power you have bk to really crush our lives in an instant is immense. i could go on and on.. but to sum it up, you rule, those classes rule(d), that teacher was the best teacher i ever had, ever, ever. This teacher once made the statement that hes a sellout because he went from black flag to bananna republic.. when i turned in my last final to him, i also gave him a manilla envelope with every lawrence arms cd (post-first two.. no offense), every propagandhi cd, and most against me! songs, with the lyrics printed out along with them, and told him that since he changed my life by introducing me to his favorite literature, i was returning the favor by introducing him to my favorite punk rock bands. he'll be stoked. thought youd like that.

planespotting said...

To Capt' Murdock - Thank you! I was trying to place that 'man and son in an apocalypse' reference and couldn't remember where I'd heard about that recently.

ty. said...

Brendan,
That was one of the darkest posts I've seen on here in a while. It also completely cheered me up and inspired me. Thanks a lot. What do I have to complain about? Starting Friday, I'm touring with the Menzingers!!

M! said...

This reminds me of Maslow's Pyramid.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_Pyramid

Maybe there is some correlation.

M!

Andrew said...

i was gonna mention maslow also.
cheer up bk. I'm sure you're not really depressed or anything but you've got a lot goin for you. Hell I have much less and I'm about as happy as I can be. No job, no girlfriend, no money to finish school. But I'll be damned if I'm not just pretty content with my life.

Jon said...

Get your son stoked on Penguins for sure. Better than Blackhawks.

Talk some hockey BK. It's a good time of the year to do so.

timziegler said...

I want to know more about these film projects. Check out some shorts I've done:

www.timothyziegler.com

Still working on more.

Dax said...

So, my girl who I've been with for about three and half years broke up with me last week. We got along great until about 3 months ago when she got pregnant and had an abortion (plan B pill, we both decided it was best choice for us). She said she felt like she woke up pregnant and married (we're not, but might as well have been)and it scared the shit outta her. So she started staying at her parents house (we still hung out quite a bit though) and she's been re-evaluating her life and feeling lost and like the the spark in life is gone. We moved in together last June and until the pregnancy things have been great. We did definitely get in a rut of being lazy and watching too much tv and stuff (stupid weed). But we've always got along great (and the sex was fantastic!). We haven't had one real fight EVER. Even now she was so damn honest with me (and didn't cheat) that it's hard to be mad at her for turning my life upside down. I love her more than anything and I've never hurt this bad in my whole life. I sit around at home, work or go to the super market and I find myself trying to not break down balling. My insides feel scooped out. I just never thought this could hurt so bad. She said she hopes she realizes this is the biggest mistake ever, but she can't make any promises and she just needs to do this right now.
What should my gameplan here be?
I have to try to get her back, but I definitely want to give her time to think and figure shit out. She's staying at her parents house and I'm moving into a place with a roommate next month. So that should help her not feel married. What should I do? How long should I wait until I try get us hanging out again? And what's the best way to go about doing this without being annoying and/or pathetic.

Any advice would be great. (I'll take the sock drawer's advice too, if ya have some for me).

p.s. we also a 10 month old puppy that we got last year. She already had a dog, so I can't seperate them.
If we don't get back together, would it be wrong of me to ask for visitation rights? I really love that fucking dog.

wilddanimal said...

Man, that was heavy. You just explained why I have become such a shitty person: because being a "good" person is not really any more fulfilling. As I've gotten older, I've gotten more honest with myself about my inevitably human flaws. Instead of trying deny the importance of simple superficial things like money, drugs, and pussy, I've come to embrace it. What makes me not a COMPLETE schmuck is that I do care about things that are more 'meaningful'.

FAskies said...

I think I get this confidence thing now.

In the example of the musician: They get a lot of women because they have the confidence to go up on a stage be themselves and pour their emotions out into sounds and words. This is what they do best, and they are pushing it as far as they can.

Am I on the right track here, or still off?

christa! said...

Jesus Christ bk, thank you, thank you, thank you. This is why I read your blog.

I don't think it's really possible to be completely satisfied. To some degree that's not always a bad thing. Complete contentment in many cases breeds complacency, which I consider far worse than just being dissatisfied. The need for an artistic outlet and the general desire for change is often brought on by some form of dissatisfaction. The least anyone could do is try to make things (even if it's just for themselves) slightly less crappy. I guess I’d rather be a wanderer than be stuck in one place…but yeah, either way being discontent totally blows…

Katie said...

the modern wing is fantastic. some of the main area's design wasn't the best for the massive traffic flow this past weekend but I think it'll smooth out once the crowds aren't so crazy. Definitely give yourself at least 3 hours there for the first trip!

another justified disease said...

i'm a 25 year old math major and i've been in school for three years. i wouldn't have graduated because there's only three math majors here so the classes aren't offered every semester, leaving me time to get my philosophy degree also. anyway, last semester horrible time occured and i spent some time in the mental hospital then just time in the regular hospital then i couldn't afford my medications so leaving the house was out of the question so i pretty much stopped going to school. anyway, i am now not allowed to attend school for one full year because of my poor performance ecen though i still have a 3.75 gpa. so i'm not too sure what to do. my best friend jeremy is the drummer for druglords of the avenues and lives in san fran. i've been talking to him and he'd be more than happy to take me in. i could just load my dog, my clothes, my records, my record player, a bottle, two 30 racks, and i think i'd be set. i was just wondering if it's worth staying in a town where there's no work being out of school for a year (hence i'll forget all my math stuff) and wait for the next go around? or i can just whore myself out, sell some drugs, and earn enough money for gas money to the weird world of san francisco?

kylewagoner said...

Brendan, I'm laying on my mom's bed while she's in the other room playing Zuma or some shit and laying with my dog while flies annoy the shit out of me and the dog and he tries to eat them when they fly by so they'll die. His name is Weiner Dawg. There are roosters crowing at each other outside. There are 7 horses in my yard and about 30 goats. I just want you to know that we backwoods kids have a strong respect for what you do, in case that makes you feel any better about the rest of the world. Though, I wear a different punk band t-shirt every day and wear my Descendents Vans religiously, so I'm not really the typical "backwoods kid," but I DO wonder at times how many people wear their Paint It Black shirts home from the show to go brush horses or throw hay into a truck. I love you, man.

love,
Kyle

P.S. My word verification word for this comment is "impti." Is that how we feel sometimes? At least you recognize it as normal. I hate 13-year-old girls asking for advice from me sometimes...

Manny Los Gatos said...

I guess I didn't have time to fully flesh out my response to the virgin guy. I'm glad what I said helped you dude, cuz I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle. My guess would be that most guys first hooked up with someone when they were a)inebriated and b) that person was more experienced than them. So I think you are right in the wheelhouse as far as that goes. Should you come clean? You could. If the girl is that "experienced" than she probably has a decent idea that you aren't exactly Dirk Diggler (or Gene Simmons, or Wilt Chamberlain, or what Bono could be if he was unfaithful), so you probably won't be shocking her with the info. No question, if you really care for her, be honest with her as much as you conveniently can, although you might want to tell her that you like her new hairstyle, piercing, tattoo, even if you don't. And no question, she always needs a new pair of boots. I don't think I was telling you to not be yourself, because that might get you laid, but it might mess up the relationship, so there is a balancing act there. Do you want to get experience and have some fun? Or are you looking for a relationship? I dunno.

Are you guys fucking with me on the zep thing? It's from fast times at ridgemont high. I used to get busy to Dark Side of the Moon. That cd def has a place in my heart and elsewhere.

AndBurnTheRest said...

I don't think I'd qualify Plan B as an abortion. I'm sure it's a not-so-fun thing for a chick to deal with, and we can debate the conception question all you want, but Plan B is basically just a flusher, except for zygotes not drugs...an abortion is like, "Holy shit, I'm 8 weeks pregnant and I don't know what the fuck to do." And at 8 weeks, it's a lot more painful process.

At the same time though, who the fuck am I to try and qualify someone else's tough situation? Shit that is a lot less difficult than Plan B gets emotional, draining, and depressing so I guess Dax, hang in there man. Try and figure out what's best for you and your little lady. Ask her what she thinks, that's usually a good start.

And Brendan, I dig the Maslow talk...Life is just...well, whatever the fuck this is.

Owner Operator said...

another justified disease.... GO! DO IT! I'm stuck in this shit hole of a job wishing i could go on a road trip to jsut hang with my mates on the east caost (of australai that is) but someone ahs to pay the rent and the bills don't they! fark, jsut got back from a two week holiday on monday and it's wednesday and i already need a break. do some reading while you're in san fran and just enjoy life. bum beer and food of ya mate, crash on his couch. live it up!

Angiepants said...

Brendan, this is of the utmost importance. What's your favorite D4 song title?

Shane McPain said...

Dax, that situation blows, but your not alone man. Sooo many people go through something like this everyday, and yeah that feeling sucks arse. Its starts out by feeling like you've been winded and then kinda levels out to a steady numbness. I guess the best advice would be to maybe give her some space. Of course I dont mean totally ignoring her, like, you should let her know your there for her and that you care about her ect first. Just give her time to sort her own shit out while you sort your shit out.Hopfully it'l work out for you, but try to put it out of your mind and dont obsess about her too much either way, because you'll come out of this alot more worse for wear, and thats pretty much a guarantee, I speak..er type with experiance.

or whatever, you can just get your arse over there, stick on some led and let the sparks fly...heh, sorry. Do not do not DO NOT do that.

sorry if i came across cheesey and/or preachy, good luck.

Samantha said...

Oh, Lincoln Park Zoo. Near and dear to my heart...

But seriously, the best part about the zoo is watching the little kids get really excited by, say the squirrel perched on a railing or the birds eating the all of the dropped food in the middle of the walkway. Screw the lion 20 feet away when right in front of them there is a seagull choking down some popcorn!

That's wildlife in the urban jungle for ya.

Sylvester Trombone said...

Coincidentally, I was at Millennium Park today scarfing some Chipotle on my lunch break with some work buddies when I read this post on my iPhone. I turned slowly around in my seat fully expecting to see you and the little dude ogling the bean behind me. Then I kept reading and found out that the zoo probably won out. Anyway, it's gonna be hot as balls tomorrow so definitely hit that shit up. But a word of advice, if you decide to have a picnic at M.P., get a green table with an umbrella because, mark my words, your food/shirt/face WILL get shit on by a bird. The umbrella is key.

Dave said...

You have a cleaning lady? Seriously? Even my one friend who is marrying this kind of rich girl doesn't have a cleaning lady.

Dave said...

You have a cleaning lady? Seriously? Even my one friend who is marrying this kind of rich girl doesn't have a cleaning lady.

Mark said...

One of my favorite entries. Embodies what I'm feeling right now. Thank you.

lisa said...

you hire someone to clean your house? holy shit dude. come on. seriously?

Seagull Steve said...

Wow, everyone seems bummed today. What the fuck? Should we all accept the fact that we are, on some level, shallow assholes who dont give a fuck about anything else? Yes, of course. Should we dwell on that and really embrace it? Jesus, fuck no. People who do this are the people I wish death upon.

Dax - yeah dude....it might be semantics at this point.....but Plan B is not an abortion. I hung out with a friend of mine while she was having an abortion. Its not really like what you described. But I know how you feel. I don't really have any advice for you accept that A) you will recover from this, no matter what the outcome and B) don't ask for visitation rights for the dogs.

Saulio SBJ 123 said...

I'm pretty sure Brendan has mentioned the maid before, so I'm wondering why Dave and lisa are both so surprised (and surprisingly similar in their posts and time of posts).

Stizzy said...

how dare you have a cleaning lady I guess


also everyone come hang out in the sock drawer forums

thesockdrawer.proboards.com

it's fun and there is a picture of a dong somewhere

monkeyman8889 said...

One of the most inspirational blogs yet. I liked the "Cant stop" speech. Keep up the entertaining banter!

Justin Stitches said...

Dax: My heart is shredded for you. Hang in there (and all sorts of other trite "feel better" speak). I think you are headed down the right path. Just let her do her thinking. Don't go pestering her. And if you gotta cry, do it. Fuck anyone who doesn't "get it".

While it is only near your level of heart decimation, I was abandoned by "Ms. Right" (whom oddly enough lives Chicago) for no GOOD reason, only to see her "in a relationship" on myspace several days later (after removing me from her top friends). To make it much, much worse, one of my best friends and mentors--my grandfather--suddenly died two days later. (I had to buy new tires for the car in between there... I figure that was the cosmos throwing in a shot to the pills for good measure). Then I got a speeding ticket leaving his town after the funeral. How's that for a slice of deep fried shit?

My point? I think there was one... OH YEAH! No matter how vile shit seems to get you gotta just get moving on and do shit for yourself, not for someone else. I guess this kinda ties in with BK's thoughts. I felt so fucking hopeless, even up until this past weekend, but I have resolved myself to make 2009 the best year yet and be as confident and positive as possible. If it wants to try to shut me down (whatever IT is), I'm not going to roll over and let it. In defiance of my shit streak (HA!), I asked the female news anchor out at the TV station I work at. Fuck it, I can't feel worse. And ya know what? She didn't shoot me down.

I have noticed that '09 has pretty much sucked karmic cock for me and everyone around me so far. Anyone else notice this? I mean yeah shit always sucks, but this year has been whoa rough already. Fuck 2009.

Sorry for the length. No reason. Just felt like spilling guts on my the net.

Cheers.

p.s. - @T.NERB: awesome finish to your class. I'm sure your prof loved it.

Max said...

i too am going through a "whats the whole point of this again?" little phase. i just dropped out of college about two weeks ago because i am seeing a bunch of people graduate and shit, and they just sit around until they can find some crappy job that they don't want in a field that they didn't study for, kinda like how my parents went about life. so yeah, i decided to drop out because i want to do something different than whats socially advised and have the chance to become something that i'd truly be happy being (haha i don't really care how dumb it sounds, but i hope at somepoint i can be playing in a band that'll make enough money to get from show to show and maybe be even get a mcdouble everyonce in a while. the two kids i'm playing with right now have the same little dream, so who knows, maybe it'll happen) , rather than just settling for some 9-5, in which i will freak out at, some thirty years down the line because i never tried to do the things i really wanted to do, just like my parents. they got tied down with a kid (myself) and kinda had to give up on what they really wanted. i understand that when you have a kid it changes things, but i don't even know if i want a kid. i mean, if it turns out like me, i'd be pissed, i don't want no drug addict college dropout for a kid. i'd rather just live life how i want and when i'm on my deathbed i can look back and say "hell yeah, i went for that shit." and it'll probably be great. talk about rambling... its almost 6 in the morning and i haven't slept. thank you adderall!

mckuly said...

OK I will just say it Brendan, why the fuck do you have a cleaning lady ? there it was as blunt as I could be, mind you it's not too "punk rock".

Seriously though whats the deal man? please verbally rip me apart 7 ways so I can get an explanation for my accusation.

After all I guess some one dose have to unflip the bread bag & put the tie back on it

Did I just answer my own question ?

Dax said...

Thanks for the advice and kind words.

In regards to the plan B... it was about 4 weeks in. So it felt pretty damn real to her.

Obviously not having to have the actual procedure did makes things easier, but it still is what it is.

planespotting said...

FYI people - BK's mentioned his cleaning lady about a zillon times on this blog, so don't act like this is the first time ya'll have read about it.

Also - heavy stuff about the plan b. Are you (and her) sure it actually worked? I mean - 4 weeks after is not really what plan b is designed for, and I can't imagine the success rate for that stage is probably very high. Might want to get that checked out ...

Nina said...

Dax my friend, Plan B barely works 72 hours after unprotected sex. Plan B is a toxic amount of levonorgestrel, a hormone found in birth control, it basically attempts to stop the ovulation of the egg, and sometimes prevents fertilization. But there's really no way four weeks into a pregnancy Plan B could be used effectively.

Just throwing that out there. I really do feel for you though, I hope things work out.

Dax said...

Ok, I guess it wasn't called plan b pill then. But she found out about it early enough that she could take a pill instead of going in for a procedure. She had definitely been pregnant for almost 4 weeks when she took the pill. She had even started getting the morning sickness.