Friday, September 30, 2011

Unread Messages

Last night I went to meet my friend Hiro at a bar and I got there a little bit before him, so I found myself just sitting alone, waiting. This was weird for a few reasons. Firstly, I’m almost never in bars at night anymore. I like to be in bed by ten and since my kids fall asleep between 8 and 830 and I usually have to wait until they’re asleep to eat dinner, and since I can’t very well just go out once they fall asleep because that shit’s irresponsible/illegal, I cook and eat at home and that’s pretty much all the time I have. There’s just no time for going to bars at night. Sometimes if I’m out for the day, away from my kids and working on stuff I’ll go get a beer in the afternoon just to kind of change up the atmosphere, but for the most part being in a bar in the day is totally different than being in a bar at night.

In the day, people are either old and wasted or they’re just having one or two beers. Restraint is exercised, strangers may casually bullshit, but usually in the day the bar is fairly empty and the regulars and the bartenders sit there and watch television and loudly banter about whatever the fuck is going on. At night, people are trying to get drunk, people are trying to get laid and people are generally suited up, both mentally and physically to get out there and be seen. I haven’t done this in a while (notable exceptions are when my friends play shows and I can get out to see them), and last night I realized that I now completely suck at being at a bar.

Firstly, I no longer want to or am able to just bullshit with strangers. That used to be my thing. I used to go to bars and just strike up conversations with crazy old men/pretty girls/scott ian from anthrax/whoever. Now I don’t. The reasons are several. Firstly, I’m an old, married guy with two kids. That means that I automatically kind of don’t know what’s going on with the scene and as a result I kind of feel like I’ve got very little in the way of cultural currency with which to barter in a conversation with a random person. I’m also not gonna strike up conversations with random pretty girls because, well, come on. I ALSO just am not really ever in the nighttime-barroom situation, so I’m out of practice at being social, though interestingly, I don’t care about that anymore. I don’t want to talk to anyone. I can remember being young and seeing guys like me just sitting there alone and silent until their friends came by and thinking “wow, that guy has a lot of confidence. I’m out here just trying to talk to everyone because I’m desperately insecure and want the validation of A) getting a good story out of the night and B) making strangers interested in me/like me but that dude over there doesn’t give a FUCK. That’s pretty cool.

But now I’m old and I realize that it’s just a different kind of insecurity. No one I’d be interested in talking to is gonna be interested in what I have to say because frankly, I don’t have shit to say anymore. I found myself gripped with minor-league stagefright when a woman across the bar started talking to me (she was just asking the bartender’s name, by the way). I don’t want to talk to strangers in that setting anymore because I don’t have shit to talk about and it makes me feel awkward and I hate feeling awkward so I just kind of retreat…and this is where I realized that bar culture is being irreparably damaged by technology.

What do we do when we have nothing to do? We retreat to our phones. As I looked around this bar at night, a zone that used to be where I felt more at home and “among the people” than anywhere else on earth, I was struck by the fact that EVERY SINGLE PERSON that was there alone was dicking around on their smartphones, myself included. That’s pretty fucking lame. I think the guy that goes to the bar to read is lame. The theory behind that is that if you really want to read, a dim bar with drunk people all around is hardly a good place to do it. Reading at the bar has much more to do with having a really bad idea of how to market yourself. If you’re reading at a bar, you may think you’re putting out there that you’re a sophisticated guy who also knows how to have a good time, and right now, you’re engrossed in your tome, but what you’re ACTUALLY putting out there is “I’m a dildo with no friends and this is, believe it or not, the best idea I could come up with.” (It bears mentioning that reading at a bar in the daytime is absolutely fine. That’s a totally different move. At night, however, it’s radioactive dildonium.)

The phone though, is completely different. It’s not a ‘move’ or an affectation anymore. I think it used to be. I think that when people first got cellphones it was cool to be on it all the time and seem important, but now they’re so ubiquitous that there’s no way that anyone at the bar or perhaps on the earth, is gonna think I’m important just because I’ve got my face buried in an iPhone at eleven thirty Thursday night. It’s almost involuntary. It’s a compulsion. It just looks like an awkward crutch that I can’t give up. It’s like smoking if smoking made you look less cool instead of more cool. At least smoking is dangerous in an exciting way. Dicking around on your phone is dangerous because it hurts your eyes and you’ll probably crash your car or walk into the street while you’re doing it (and it probably gives you cancer too, but it doesn’t have the same reckless cache of cigarettes).

Anyway, yeah. Bars are being ruined by smart phones. And so is conversation, eye contact and general humanness in public spaces. On the upside, it’s way easier to take a picture of your cock and send it to people than it used to be.

Have a good weekend, yall.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

quitcher cryin!

My baby is crying. It’s been a while since I sat down to write a blog only to discover that my brain was being hijacked by my young offspring’s incessant wail. It’s a fucking bummer is what it is. Kids are, as a rule, selfish and kind of shitty to their parents. This becomes completely obvious during teen years when I can’t remember a friend or acquaintance that wasn’t a complete turd to their parents. My kids now are great. They’re nice and they genuinely want to be around me, but they’re demanding and capricious and have no fucking concept of patience or allowing someone else to enjoy something. Take right now for example. My baby could very easily be lying quietly in her crib thereby allowing me a little fucking peace and quiet, but instead she feels it’s her duty to register her disdain for what’s going on here at the top of her lungs. No one’s happy about it. It’s a lose/lose situation, but what the fuck are you gonna do?

The funny thing is that even though everyone has an idea of what a pain in the ass they were to their parents, no one REALLY gets it until they have kids of their own. However, by then they’re too constantly pissed off and sleep deprived and on the ropes to really give a shit that they were assholes to their parents. It’s one of the many ultimate dick punches that life doles out to us sentient beings. But it’s funny, the second you have kids, the relationship with your parents flips completely upside down. Here’s what I mean.

It was not long ago at all that the notion of my parents coming to town signified a major pain in my ass. I was gonna have to put my plans of going out every night and sleeping all day and having tons of fun on hold to go to boring dinners or breakfasts where my accomplishments would be scrutinized. I was gonna have to clean my house and take showers and generally pull it together and though I love my parents, this was, to a young and unencumbered man, a complete pain in the nuts.

Now, it’s the opposite. My parents come to town and I suddenly CAN take a shower and go to dinner and breakfast and I sometimes even get to go out at night and my accomplishments are now these little people running around and my parents can scrutinize the shit out of them while I take a nap or run to the store. In short, what used to be the yoke that marked the one weekend a month when I couldn’t just fuck off and act like an asshole is now my tiny, spindly little lifeline to normalcy. To put it another way, my social life now sucks so badly that what used to be the worst part of my month is now the absolute best. What the fuck does that tell you?

I don’t want you guys to misunderstand me here. I love having kids and I truly appreciate the changes they’ve brought about in my lifestyle. I don’t want to be the old guy at the bar until 2 every night. It’s gross. However, I’m not rich. I can’t afford babysitters all the time and shit like running to the grocery store to get a jar of pickles that used to be something so easy that it wasn’t even a blip now involves packing a diaper bag, getting six shoes and three coats on and herding all these monsters into a car, strapping them in, and then doing it all in reverse once we get to the store, then putting them BACK in the car, then pulling them out of the car again and back up the stairs where I suddenly have to get all their shit off and put away before I can even open the fucking refrigerator to put the pickles where they belong.
That’s why there are no pickles in this house.

God. I’m sweating.

Monday, September 26, 2011

So! Many! Juggalo! Pictures!

Okay, this really pains me to say because I feel like I was sort of a pioneer in this movement and it’s making me retroactively feel like a dick, but man…enough with the culture slumming ‘embedded’ photo essays, articles and documentaries about the fucking Gathering of the Juggalos, okay? It’s too much. At this rate, by next year the entire juggalo gathering is just gonna be disguised hipsters ironically spraying each other with faygo and taking photos of one another for their various disaffected blogs. It’s too much. What a bummer.

I don’t want to overstate this: I understand and subscribe fully to the fascination with Juggalo culture. It’s been an obsession of mine for years, but it’s becoming too fetishized, and a lot of the joy of observing Juggalos is unfortunately being compromised by the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, which states, as we all know, that the act of observing something changes that which is observed. In this case, I’m not suggesting that the actual Juggalos are operating on an empirically different level. They’re still saying Whoop Whoop and asking to see tits and braiding their goatees and loving corn dogs and Charlie Sheen and all that. It’s more that all this newly generated web content from this last Gathering Of the Juggalos is starting to seem kind of crappy and exploitive. And yes, I’m aware that I’ve been a fan of crappy exploitation of Juggalos for a long time. I don’t, as a rule have anything against observing wasted people barter for tit views and klonipin, but these days the webs of hipsters and assholes like me that unequivocally look down upon the Juggalo culture but hope to exploit its foibles for the amusement of other people deemed cool enough to see how bizarre the whole movement is, are starting to connect, and the result is that what was once akin to going into the great unknown rainforest to try and get a glimpse of a crazy society of people who may or may not be friendly, is now starting to seem more like a shitty day trip safari (which, by the way would be a GREAT name for a band. “Shitty Safari” you can go ahead and use it).

And the real thing is, there’s nothing to be done about it because it IS fascinating stuff, but the novelty of embedding oneself within the sticky, shitstainy culture of the juggalos has completely worn off. The sheer numbers of embedded journalists and their unanimously condescending point of view (which is, ‘wow, this shit is fucked up, but you know what? These people are really nice and they’re having a great time down here on their little drug and titty bender…maybe we, as a culture could learn something from the proud, resplendent silverback juggalo and his mighty pride of Juggalettes and skinny, beef jerky-esque beta juggalos) is making the whole thing bullyish and exploitive. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m down with laughing at big fat gross wierdos who consider spraying soda on one another to be an acceptable form of social discourse, but I’m not so into the whole of postmodern, super cool, tastefully jaded 20-40 year olds just all pointing and laughing as though it’s something that they’ve (we’ve) all just discovered. Juggalo slideshows are up there with the ‘lined, wizened face of the grizzled hobo’ photos and the ‘plastic bag caught in the wind’ short films. It’s been fucking done to death and your version of it isn’t gonna be good. It’s just not. Sorry. Your investigative juggalo photo essay is nothing more than an ironic rite of passage at this point. Sorry.

And yes, of COURSE I wanted to go to the gathering and embed myself and be disguised as a Juggalo and come home with all sorts of crazy stories and photos and a movie, and I’m sore that the entire world jumped at the chance and I didn’t get to do it and now it’s oversaturated and as a result I’m never gonna be able to get the experience. Of course. But that changes nothing. If I’d gone to the gathering this year, I’d just be sitting here now coming to the shitty realization that I’d just gone on the same hipster safari that everyone else went on and sure, I’ve got a great picture of that guy with the ‘it ain’t rape if it’s dead’ shirt standing out by the porta potties rolling a joint laced with xanax, but so does everyone else.

Finally, something should be said for the fact that although I like to identify myself with punks and outcasts and ‘fringe culture’ (whatever the fuck that’s supposed to mean), the truth is that Juggalos are the real outcasts, they’re the no-bullshit, real deal, persecuted losers that made a culture that no one is supposed to understand based on their desire to belong to a family of misfits. I think the music sucks, the clothes are retarded and the rituals are lame. It also strikes me as more than a little dangerous. That’s what my dad said about my music/ideas when I was a kid. That’s what we all pretend punk was, that’s what we pretended gangster rap was, but the truth is that those genres were all, to the last, pioneered by smart, cool, good looking people who were obsessed with image and marketing. The juggalos are a bunch of slobs. They’re the real thing. And that’s pretty cool. We could learn a thing from the resplendent silverbacked juggalo and his mighty pride of Juggalettes and skinny, beef jerky-esque beta juggalos.

xoxoxoxo

Thursday, September 22, 2011

RIP

In what I’m guessing was about 2004, my band was on tour with our friends in Hot Water Music. Our roadie for this tour was one of my best friends, wealthy international playboy Sean Nader. The entire tour was a massive whirlwind of great times, and a lot of the shows were absolutely spectacular. One show that shit the bed, however, was in Athens, Ga. at the legendary 40 Watt club.

For those of you who don’t know, essentially the entire reason you know of Athens as an arty little liberal enclave in the middle of a hugely conservative state were because of a few pioneering bands that came out right around 1980 and received a lot of international attention after getting their start playing at the 40 Watt club. It’s a cool place. It’s big for a club and it’s HUGE when the promoter has dropped the ball and no one knows that Hot Water Music and the Lawrence Arms are showing up and as a result only about 30 people come to the show.

Okay, so you get the idea, right? We’re at the 40 Watt in Athens. We can tell we’re in for a rough night. We have seen the presales and we are witnessing the emptiness unfold before us. Jason Black of Hot Water Music is turning red and freaking out. He’s going into cardiac arrest. He’s talking really fast and nervously laughing about how the show’s gonna bomb. Everyone feels it. It just happens sometimes to smaller bands. Regardless of how dedicated of a fanbase you have, sometimes shows slip through the cracks and you end up sitting there backstage looking out at six weirdos just going “Really? This is what I’ve dedicated my life to? This is the worst. This is the actual manifestation of what my parents’ friends must imagine my life to be like when they ask me at cocktail parties if my band actually plays shows in clubs or if we just set up on the street. Time to go to electrician school. Sigh.”

So anyway, Nader and I bailed and went to a bar where we decided to do a bunch of whiskey shots and drink a lot of beers. We found ourselves wasted before we knew it and right around the time that shit started getting kind of sideways, Nader looked at the clock and said, “dude, we gotta get back. You go on in about ten minutes.”

We stagger out into the afternoon dusk of Athens and first thing we see is an old black guy in an amazing brown and yellow suit. He had that air of being impeccably dressed that somehow didn’t preclude the notion that he may ask for some spare change, and in fact, that’s exactly what he did. When we mentioned that we didn’t have any change, he asked Nader for a smoke, which Nader happily gave to him.

Then he said “hey, you all goin to the 40 Watt? Yeah? You working there? Man, lemme tell you guys a story…”

We were in a hurry, but we weren’t going anywhere. The guy pulled out a little flask and took a sip.

“One day I was out here just hangin out like I am right now, and this dude came running out of the 40 Watt club. He was panicking. He said ‘oh man, I need a guitar! I got a show, I’m in trouble!’ So I said, hold up, I got a guitar back at my house. I ran back, got him my guitar and brought it back to the guy and he ran inside and played. Afterwards he came out and hugged me and said it was the best guitar he ever played.”

The old guy paused and took a drag of his cigarette. His eyes got wide and when he next spoke it was in a near whisper.

“and that man’s name…was R.E.M.”

It was awesome. We high fived the guy and then went back and played a sloppy show to no one. Now REM is dead. I don’t believe it. I bet there are some teary eyes in Athens this morning.

I’m going to Colorado right now. See you fucks later.

Monday, September 19, 2011

a pirate's life for meeeeeee

I don’t have much of a relationship with boating. I have never been on a cruise. I’ve never slept at sea except for when I went to visit my friend Eric in Key West and slept in his docked 17 ft. sailboat. That vacation was pretty weird. I was about 21 and Eric had moved to Key West to become the first mate on the biggest schooner on the island the year before. He and his buddy, who I believe was named Chris, were both heavily bearded sailor types who lived on tiny boats in the harbor and worked on gigantic boats that were moored right next door. Essentially, their lives consisted of taking tourists out to sea for 2 approximately 3 hour excursions each day and spending the rest of the day keeping their various crafts (the ones they worked on and the ones they lived on) er…shipshape.

The entire thing reeked of an awesomely reckless abandon that I can’t even comprehend now. This was clearly way before the ubiquity of the cel phone, and down on these boats, there was literally nothing. You probably remember living in (or are currently living in) a crappy apartment that didn’t have, say, hot water, or a working stove. These guys lived in boats. They didn’t have stoves or beds or toilets or sinks or anything. These boats were, as I said before, approximately 17 feet long. That’s roughly three adult males head to toe. They were each maybe 6 feet wide at the absolute max. The cabin, where I slept was exactly big enough for two people side by side to squeeze into. In short, it was the bare minimum amount of space a single human being could exist in and still be considered “living conditions.” It got extremely hot in the cabin starting at about 530 am and by 7 it was completely unbearable. As such, the days were long and involved a lot of dicking around and drinking beer and stuff of that nature.

One of the main things that Eric and Chris would occupy themselves with was painting fiberglass onto the hulls of their various boats. This was significant to my trip to Key West for a few reasons. Firstly, the day before I got there, Chris and Eric had decided to play a joke on one of the younger dudes in the crew of Eric’s boat named Nick. Nick was the second mate if memory serves. Anyway, Nick was off dicking around and Eric and Chris took his bike, held it up to the wall of the marina and fiberglassed it to the wall. It was a diabolical prank in that a bike is a crucial device on a small island like Key West, especially if you’re a seafaring dude that lives in a marina and sleeps on a small sailboat. Fiberglassing a bike to a wall is not only hilarious, it’s also the kind of thing that can’t be easily undone and it’s ALSO the kind of thing that completely destroys the bike in question.

When I showed up in Key West, it was late at night and everyone was completely hammered. I got to the marina around 1 am. I was to stay for 2 weeks. Eric was, after all, one of my closest and oldest friends and we hadn’t seen each other for a while. Eric and Chris were in blind stagger mode laughing about fiberglassing Nick’s bike to the wall. I sat down and grabbed the rum that they were drinking straight from the bottle (I know. It’s always funny when someone lives up to the most stereotypical possibility that exists, and for these two modern pirates, being blind drunk on rum from the bottle and cackling about mischief could only have been topped if one of em had an hook hand or a parrot) and that’s when I noticed that Eric’s finger was looking totally weird.

He showed it to me and there was no doubt that something was wrong. His index finger had swollen up to the size of a hot dog. It was extremely fat and long. He said he couldn’t really touch it because it was so painful. He suspected that in the course of spackling Nick’s bike to the wall, he’d gotten a piece of fiberglass in his finger and he was suffering from an infection that he was gonna cure with rum and sleep. I suggested that he may want to go to the doctor. He agreed and after a sweaty and highly erotic night of boat sleep, he took off for the doctor first thing in the morning so he could be back in time for work.

By about noon I was pretty bored. I couldn’t sit on the boat because the water was rough and it turns out I’m a pussy landlubber. I couldn’t really just lounge anywhere because I was on a dock and there was no place to lounge. I didn’t really have enough money to go to a bar or a restaurant and Eric was still not back from the doctor. A girl walked up to me and said, ‘hey, Brendan? I’m Jaime, I’m Eric’s girlfriend. He’s in emergency surgery right now. Apparently he had severe blood poisoning and the doctors said that he’d have been dead by the end of the day if he hadn’t come in. He wanted me to give you this (key to the boat’s cabin) and tell you that you’re free to stay. He’s gonna be in the hospital for the next 2 to 3 weeks though.”

This was the day after I showed up. I was there for 2 weeks, living on a boat with no toilet, an unwavering 7am wakeup call, barely any money and no real way to change my flight and no place to hang out and nothing to do. It was fucking weird. So, what’s a boy to do in situations like that? There was only one move. I took the tiny pile of money I had and went looking for a beer. The section of Key West that Eric’s boat was located in (and I think the whole island, honestly) was the gay zone. I went to the nearest bar, which was a gay bar where I met lots of people who, to my delight, wanted nothing more than to buy me beers. I was upfront about my position and my lack of desire to blow anyone, but my not being gay didn’t slow any of those boys down. They were nice and inclusive to the last. They just wanted to party, and as a result I ended up hanging out with a lot of awesomely weird people and seeing a pretty kooky side of Key West.

I remember, for example, being with a group of German guys who were all wearing extremely short shorts. They brought me to a ‘party’ at this hotel bar, which I discovered once I got there was going to eventually unravel into some kind of all-dude orgy on the beach. It was apparently a somewhat regular thing at that hotel. SO, I’m standing there with these Germans, and they’re saying things like “You sure you don’t want stay for orgies? It’s going to be GREAT” and I’m politely declining, getting ready to finish my beer and make myself scarce before the whole scene changes, when all of a sudden this naked man comes staggering out of the sea making zombie noises. He’s super hairy and eventually I recognize him as Eric’s buddy Chris. He was just being a goofball and I guess trying to wig out the gay hotel beach orgy by staggering out of the sea naked (which doesn’t seem like it would be particularly effective, but it was hilarious at the time).

Anyway, he and I took off and after that I hung out with him the whole time I was there. He told me about how he and Eric had taken his little boat down to central or south America, just the two of them, sailing all night and day for months, stopping at ports to get fruit and stuff. He told me that there is no sensation so freeing as leaning off the side of a small sailboat at full sail in the middle of the night and shitting into the sea. I think about that a lot. It sounds like it’s probably pretty awesome but it also sounds like something I’m not ever gonna do any time soon. He also told me that after about a month they had a frank talk and just started whacking off in front of each other because well, what the fuck are you gonna do? That part didn’t sound as cool to me. Still, I think back about that, especially now that I’m a pretty domestic person and I reel at the amount of freedom that those guys were navigating. Crazy.

Eric ended up being fine and I even saw him for about 2 hours on the last night I was there. I have since seen him maybe 4 times. It’s a bummer because he’s one of my favorite people in the world. But that’s what happens. The world gets bigger and people spread out and huge gaps develop and next thing you know, a guy you’d sleep on a 17 ft boat with for 2 weeks is someone you haven’t talked to in almost a decade. And that’s shitty.

SO, moral for today: hug your friends and don’t fuck with fiberglass.

Bye.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I'm sorry baby!

Wow. So, this is awkward. I woke up yesterday and just kind of went about my business like everything was cool. I wrote about my experiences with DMX (see the entry below). I sent some emails. I took my kids on the train. I had some lunch and then, when I got home and put the kids down for a nap I opened my computer and BOOM! It hit me like a ton of bricks. There, on pretty much every website that caters to the destruction of innocent celebrities, were the intimate photos that Scarlett Johansen sent to me that I PROMISED, over and over again, to never show anyone!!!!! I’m bummed. Shit, I’M bummed? She’s bummed. She won’t return my calls now, and her IM icon is saying she’s “away” even though I KNOW she’s there. I KNOW YOU’RE THERE, SCARLETT!!!! I’m sorry. Gimme a minute…

Sigh….Okay.

I guess the whole thing is my own fault even though people are blaming Scarlett and saying things like “hey, if you don’t want nude photos of yourself out there, then don’t take ‘em” but that’s fucking CRUEL! How the fuck are you supposed to walk around with an appearance like Scarlett Johansen has and not take pictures of it? Let me phrase this slightly differently as to engender a little bit more empathy: YOU wanted to see nude pictures of Scarlett Johansen, right? Of course you do/did. Whether you’re into dicks or clams or dogs or melons with holes cut out of them that have been warmed in the microwave for (roughly) twenty nine seconds, you’ve got enough of a passing interest that you’d like to see her naked pictures, right? Of course. So does she! What do you think, that she’s the only person on the world who DOESN’T want to see naked pictures of Scarlett Johansen? She’s just a simple girl, folks. She’s not immune to that most basic of desires, that desire to see Scarlett Johansen’s jugs and ass photographed, and unlike most of us, she’s in the unique position of being able to just produce naked Scarlett Johansen pictures out of the ether using nothing more than a phone. If YOU could just produce naked pictures of Scarlett Johansen, wouldn’t you do it? Of course you would.

Which is exactly why I’m in all this trouble right now. I’m too eager to please and it bites me in the dick every time. See, humanity is, at its core, very interested in making other people happy, or getting a favorable reaction. Actually, most mammals in general are this way. A puppy and a baby both want to please. They’re born with that desire. It’s pretty much what they live for until your shitty parenting gets in the way and they start to resent you and decide to just make you as miserable as you’ve made them. That reaction of excitement from another person is something we’re hardwired to crave, so keep that in mind next time you’re in a position where you’ve got a situation that you must keep secret.

Let’s say, for example, that you’ve fucked your friend’s dad. It was a bad move. You were drunk. He was drunk. It was super late, one thing led to another and boom! Next thing you know he’s sucking your dick under the table. And it was AWESOME!!!! And, for obvious reasons, NOBODY can know. BUT! You’re dying to get it off your chest. You’ve gotta tell someone. So, you find your most trusted friend who’s as far from the social circle as the friend of the dad you fucked as possible, someone who wouldn’t even know who to tell if he decided to tell, and you spill the juicy news. Well, firstly, of course your friend is going to be stoked. For one thing, everyone likes to be confided in. It’s an affirmation of character. For another thing, he’s gonna be stoked (though this may also be mixed liberally with revulsion/disappointment) at how completely salacious this secret is. He promises up and down not to say anything. “Who the fuck would I tell?” he says, over and over again and you say things like “yeah dude, but SERIOUSLY. If this ever got back to Neil, I’d be FUCKED!” and your buddy says “yeah, yeah. I get it. But seriously, who the fuck would I tell?” and you walk away/ hang up feeling that you’ve unburdened yourself and that your secret is safe.

But the fallacy of logic there is HUGE. If this secret is so juicy that YOU, who stands to lose everything if it’s exposed, can’t even keep it a secret, what fucking chance does your friend have? If YOU gotta tell, it’s a promise, and it may be months or years down the line, but mark my words, your friend will be at a bar somewhere and that shit’s gonna come out as casually as a dick out of the mouth of a guy casually picking his teeth with a disembodied dick after eating a hooker’s face.

Think about the trust you’ve betrayed in your lifetime, however slightly, however innocently or inadvertently, however after the fact. There’s a hole in the soul of humanity and it’s built by that innate desire to please one another and because we’re cocksuckers en masse, one thing that greatly pleases us is schadenfreude, so your secret is TRIPLY delicious, because it affirms, it exposes AND just the act of telling it is a betrayal that creates a tiny conspiracy of schadenfreuede. In short, you and your secret are fucked.

Your secret is never safe. Your nudes are the same. Your nudes are just pictures of secrets. The only way not to have everyone not see you naked is to have been born, at the latest, in the early 80’s so you got out of the phase of taking pictures of your tits before everyone had cameras on their phones that went straight to the internet. Otherwise, yeah. Suck it up, turds. That’s gonna be your dick out there before you can say ‘cease and desist.’ It’s a sad truth. OR, and this is worse, it’s gonna be the pictures that someone sent you that were stolen and leaked onto the internet because you just HAD to mention that you had them, and you’re gonna just feel like an asshole. Just like how I feel with ScarJo.

I mean, after all, she only sent me those pictures because she said that my dong was the greatest earthly delight of all time and this is how I return the favor. Curse me and my amazing dong.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Losing Of One's Mind (Up In Here)

A few years ago I was standing in the Sydney airport preparing to clear customs. It was a typical affair with those seatbelty ropes corralling everyone into a long, snaking, back and forth line that moved as slowly as government lines tend to move. In the line directly in front of me was a young family featuring a mom, a dad and a boy who wasn’t more than 2. The direct flight from Chicago to Sydney is a long one and as such, everyone was pretty grumpy. The boy was particularly fed up. He had been good on the whole plane ride and yet here we were, practically a full 24 hours after we had boarded and we were being forced to stand in yet another line???? To a 2 year old (I would come to learn in the subsequent years following these recounted events) there is no greater injustice than not being dutifully rewarded immediately after going above and beyond the call of duty. To put this another way, you really can’t push your luck with a toddler. They have nothing to lose and they can and will snap at any moment. This long, bureaucratic line, necessary as it may be for the safety of Australia’s citizenry and ecology, was pushing luck bigtime.

(At this point I’d like to pause and reflect that actually, there’s often no bigger affront to humanity than feeling like one has gone above and beyond the call of duty and rather than being rewarded or even thanked, whatever powers that be simply demand more. That’s not really unique to being two at all. For example, let’s say you work late, finishing a project that you despise for your employer at the expense of seeing your family, eating dinner, getting a blowjob from that delicious boy from Shreveport who’s only in town for one night, what have you, and then once you finally see your boss, after sleeping on your desk, after giving your all and making it as perfect a project as you could, there at 9am when he shows up, fresh and chipper, and stands above your drool-lined, exhausted unshaven face, if he neglects to say, ‘great job! Go home! You’ve done a good job” or even say so much as thank you, but instead just points out the things you’ve fucked up and demands that you fix it because at this point it’s late…well, you’re gonna be pissed. Now, overwhelmingly, this IS the course that life takes, don’t misunderstand me. But it sucks. That’s why the older you become, the shittier you become. Once this happens to you enough it creates scar tissue all over your empathy glands and you just become another shithead who’s constantly scared and therefore constantly aggressive and angry or meek and distrustful. Anyway…)

The parents, for their part, were doing their best. The kid was crying and frustrated and they were trying to get him to ‘use his words’ which is not only a great way to help ease a child’s frustration (as so much of early life’s frustration comes from not being able to effectively communicate ones needs) but also serves as a great distracter, because frankly, two year olds have to concentrate pretty hard to say anything that makes any fucking sense at all. The parents were obviously tired, so was the kid. What are you gonna do? He’s two and the situation is pretty sucky, no matter how old and mature you may be.

Also standing in this line, and also at the end of his rope was hip hop superstar DMX. Now, DMX was about twenty points in the line ahead of me, so we ended up standing next to each other right in the middle of the line each time we snaked up a new layer. He was, in my memory, wearing a very cozy looking yellow and white track suit (though human memory is notoriously unreliable and as such, these kinds of details are almost always wrong. If you asked anyone else in that line they probably all remember him wearing something different [if they noticed him at all, which they almost certainly did, as you’re about to learn] and it’s quite possible that no one would be correct, were the Australian equivalent of TSA to check the security footage to see what, in fact, DMX was wearing that fateful day) and he was surrounded by an entourage that contained at least one fat guy in golden glasses and one woman. DMX was, to put it mildly, unhappy.

At one point, he approached from one side of the snaking line as I approached from the other and we end up mere inches from each other. He furrowed his brow, looked at the family in front of me and proclaimed (rather loudly) “Someone needs to beat that child’s ass and shut him up!” to which the father, visibly pretty shaken, replied “erm, excuse me?” to which DMX replied (even more loudly) “I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to that bitch!” and pointed to the mother. “You need to beat that child’s ass and shut him up.” The mom looked up and, in a remarkably calm voice said “Wow. Looks like my 2 year old isn’t the only one who’s crabby after an 18 hour flight.” DMX muttered some things about how his mom would never allow this or that, but the death blow had been struck by the mom. DMX was a little vanquished at that point, which only made him kind of stew more.

Needless to say, the line got pretty weird after that. No more barbs were exchanged, save some of the dirtiest looks I’ve ever been privy to. The DMX entourage calmed him down, or at the very least convinced him not to flip out anymore and that was pretty much the end of it. Next thing I know, I’m through customs and on a shuttle bus from the international terminal to the main terminal and I’m sitting across from the nerdy, suburban family that had just battled (and bested) DMX.

“Uh, excuse me, ” I said after about 2 minutes. “I just want to let you know something. When you go home, and you tell that story to your friends about what just happened back there in that line, you should include the detail that the guy that was yelling at you was DMX. He’s a REALLY famous rapper.”

“I don’t care who he is,” the wife said, “IfhesgonnatalktomeandmychildlikethatthenI’mgonnagivehimapieceofmymindand… a’
“Whoa, whoa. I know. I get it. I’m not saying anything about that. I’m simply telling you that by including that detail, that story goes from mildly interesting to really, really interesting pretty fast. That’s DMX that just berated your child. He’s been nominated for Grammys and shit!”
The dad, at this point, kind of comes to life and says “That was DMX?”
“Yup.” I said, pleased that this was kind of starting to sink in.
“Well,” he harrumphed “that’s the last time I ever listen to any of his music!”
“You! Own! His! Music?” the wife spun around on her husband angrily.
“erm…huh, well…I’ve illegally downloaded a couple of his songs.”

This seemed to satisfy the wife and shortly thereafter we went our separate ways. Since then, DMX has faced felony charges in something like 5 states. He’s been transported directly from one prison to another to serve out his various sentences for his various crimes. In short, whatever the fuck his mom was doing beating his ass turned out a fucking asshole that yells at kids and women, carries guns and commits crimes with the wanton abandon of a teenager playing GTA3. I think about this a lot when my kids are freaking out. I try to get them to use their words and calm them down without resorting to beating their asses. It’s a maxim I really try to live by as a parent.

Though I do love that song about him acting the fool up in here. I wonder who’s kids he wrote that shit about?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

nerd shit

As some of you may know, I’m making a record right now. Well, that’s actually not entirely accurate. I am finished with my record. This weekend my friend Eric came to town and, as he is the person that’s gonna be mixing the record, he took all the files with him back to Colorado where the lab is. It’s crazy how different the experience of making this record has been from any record I’ve made before, and not just because it’s a different project and it’s involving different players. The entire world has changed so much just since the recording of the last EP I did with the Lawrence Arms, which was itself way different from the last Lawrence Arms full length, Oh! Calcutta!

Oh! Calcutta! Was recorded to 2 inch tape over the span of about 3 months for a successful, cool label with offices around the world and a bunch of employees. Before going into the studio, we took about a month to pre-produce the record which is essentially a fancy way of saying we practiced the shit out of the songs, tweaked the arrangements and generally spent every single day, all day in a practice space (which had no windows and was above a pet groomer and next to the el tracks….the stench/heat was unbearable). Lots of you (eh, some of you) have seen the pictures from this preproduction in the liner notes of Oh! Calcutta! It’s a brick/drywall room covered in butcher paper on which we had written the lyrics really big so we could play the songs and sing them without fumbling as to better fine tune the way Chris and I were gonna sing everything.

What you can’t see in those pictures is that I’d snapped my left patella (kneecap) a few weeks earlier and was wearing a humongous plaster cast that extended from my foot right below the ankle all the way up on my thigh past my nutsack. In that hot, wet dog air, I was up there every day in a 20 pound thing that trapped sweat and smells and made it impossible for me to shower. It was not fun and contributed greatly to how angry I ended up sounding on that record. In fact, we were ready to go into record when I broke my knee, and it was during the month of complete immobility leading up to and immediately following the surgery (where I just COULDN’T move at all) that I wrote what ended up being some of the more definitive tracks, rage wise, on that record, including Devil’s Takin’ Names, Recovering, Key To The City, and Cut It Up. That’s neither here nor there, but it’s interesting how that shitty situation ended up completely changing the record and subjugating four other now long forgotten songs to obscurity (well, all of this is obscure. Those songs are just even MORE obscure, if not downright gone forever).

The point here is that we had to practice and fine tune everything as much as we could back then. We had to know the songs back and forth and we had to know our amps and our voices and instruments because we were putting that shit on expensive tape and we were planning something that was already gonna take a long time and we COULD NOT afford to fuck around. In the studio, everything had to be played and sung as perfectly as possible and that was because we were making something that would be purchased if people liked it enough and that was the only way to do it.

By the time we made the next ep, things were being recorded differently for two reasons: the first is the advent of pro-tools, which had made a lot of strides in terms of sonic reproduction in the years since we tracked Oh! Calcutta! To tape. The other thing was that the music industry had taken such a dump that our formerly international, multi HQ’d label was now run out of one small office and had only three employees. This made for a totally different experience. We were kind of in and out, things were less planned and more spontaneous, but we were still well practiced and we still brought the best gear we could find and aside from the speed and relative recklessness of things, we were still operating somewhat the same. The main difference was that we were free to take as many stabs at a performance as we wanted. The tape was gone and the freedom to try everything had arrived.

For this record, shit’s completely out the window. Protools and other digital platforms are now so good at what they do, and offer such extensive and specific plug ins that it’s literally not worth it to try and do it analog anymore. What was once a process involving a carefully selected instrument with the right components installed, pairing it with the right re-tubed amp and appropriate speaker has become just plugging into a fucking mac and making those selections digitally. If something is slightly out of time, you just move it. It’s insane. It’s not insane because I pine for the old days of honest to god gear (though part of me totally does) and it’s not insane because we’ve cheapened recording and now we’re settling for such a lesser final product, it’s insane because we’re really NOT settling for a lesser product. This shit sounds amazing and it blows my mind how easy it is.

We used to consider rooms, baffling that we’d hang on the walls, alternate reflective surfaces to put near the amps and some of that stuff still happens, but so much of it is just straight into some sort of interface where it’s manipulated for a second and then ready to go onto a computer as an MP3. I mean, I’ve got rough mixes of this record from every step of the way, something that would have been time consuming and irritating to demand or produce just 5 years ago. I have final mixes that sound amazing that were literally recorded in a pantry of my friend’s parents’ house onto a PC. THE ENTIRE SONG. It’s crazy to me how far this technology has come and how I’ve sort of missed it just by taking a break from recording for a few short years.

It’s a good thing too, because this record has a lot of crazy instrumentation and wacky tries on it and I don’t think that I would have been able to do it with the limited time and resources I have if it wasn’t for the nerds out there making everything so easy.

Well, easy for them. I have no fucking idea how to do any of it.

Monday, September 12, 2011

scat is also another word for poo. that's an interesting coincidence.

I’m currently sitting in a ‘euro’ café where I’ve been for the past several hours. I’m not ENTIRELY sure what I’ve been doing but I’ve applied for some jobs and I’ve written some stuff and I’ve researched steampunk a little, which has to be one of the more confusing subcultures I’ve ever encountered. It’s confusing because it’s some serious dork bullshit and it resembles that movie Wild Wild West with all the old timey-modern era mashup weirdness, but the actual things that the steampunk designers make look pretty awesome. It’s kind of Jeunet/Gilliam-esque, and I like those dudes. I don’t know. I’m not gonna explain/ figure out my complex feelings regarding Steampunk beyond I think it’s dorky to dress up in costumes every day, but those dorks seem to make some cool stuff. The real issue at hand is that this café is playing jazz and it’s bumming me out on an almost cosmic level.

I used to like jazz. When I was a kid, I thought that the saxophone was, hands down, the coolest instrument on the earth. In fairness to me, I was extremely young and it was the early 80s and saxophones were enjoying real moment in the spotlight. These days, pretty much the only way to look cool with a saxophone is to be a really skinny black guy leaning against something in a poorly lit subway station, playing some really soft, dark sounding shit. I’d hate to discourage anyone from making music, so I’m gonna stop short of saying anything like ‘the sax is the dorkiest instrument on the earth’ but well, let’s just say that you’re gonna have to really reinvent that thing to impress me too much.

Now jazz is, in theory, unbelievably cool. Born in America, a loose confederation of black guys who were super fucked up on heroin cruised around to illegal clubs to play illegal music that they just made up on the spot while playing together (often for the first time) based on a few conventions of style. That’s fucking AWESOME. Except for one thing: the actual music. Now, I was in a jazz band in highschool just like everyone else and at the time, I kind of was able to fool myself into thinking that jazz was pretty cool, but that didn’t last/stick/hold any water because there was no point ever when I was sitting around putting on jazz albums. Jazz radio stations stink, jazz djs are the WORST and any perversion of jazz, like vocal jazz, smooth jazz, modern jazz, deconstructed jazz, scat, that shit is just completely unacceptable.

I don’t think it’s out of line to say that scat vocals make up the most offensive music I’ve ever heard. It combines the cocksure retardation of speaking in tongues with the shittiness of jazz. There is NOTHING worse than listening to a bunch of wide assed white ladies with Han Solo haircuts barbershopping senseless bullshit over a bunch of electric pianos and saxophones. It’s infuriating. Well, actually no. Speaking in tongues is actually much worse, but that’s because speaking in tongues is just jazz for non musical, humorless white religious nuts and that’s shitty on a level that can’t really even be easily measured.

The theory behind speaking in tongues is that an angel, or the holy spirit, depending on who’s making the shit up, is taking possession of your body and speaking to you in the pure language of gods love. The way you speak in tongues is to stand there, wait for the spirit/angel to take you over and then loudly start just jib-jabbin nonsense phonemes until you’re plumb tuckered out. This is, obviously, one of the stupidest things you can possibly imagine trying to convince anyone of, but wide eyed mongoloids seem to absolutely lap that shit up for some reason. I mean, if those kooks can talk themselves into babbling like assholes in public, why can’t they just talk themselves into being allowed to have a little fun the rest of the time? At least the people playing jazz were high on drugs. There’s NOTHING cool about speaking in tongues except for that since you’re already a complete religious weirdo that’s afraid of sex if you do it, then you’re at least not getting laid any LESS by doing it, which is an impressive outcome of babbling like an idiot in front of your whole community.

Speaking of babbling like an idiot in front of everyone, thanks to all y’all who came out to the Double Door on Friday. What a great time. Thanks for the beers and cheers. I had an awesome birthday! You guys are all right.
Okay, I gotta get out of this fucking place with its fucking jazz. I can’t stand no more. It’s making me furious. Ta.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

FRI SEPT 09 @ DOUBLE DOOR IN CHICAGO: BRENDAN KELLY, THE SWAYBACK AND RATASUCIA! DON'T BE A BUNCHA DICKS!

Well, let’s get this shit out of the way right now: it’s my birthday, so far so good. I feel slightly more out of touch and confused than ever before. My joints don’t work, my wang’s a flaccid, dying worm twitching in a garden of decaying grey pubes and I can’t hear shit. Music these days sounds like noise to me, women look like whores and the men dress like sissies and clowns. I can’t stand the weather or the politics and everybody’s missing a little something that we used to call gumption back in my day.

Today’s restaurants don’t know shit about service or food. The bars are just drug dens, the immigrants are crawling all over everything like an army of swarming locusts on the crops of a sinful town of homosexual communists. In fact, the ONLY thing that is getting me through this writhing, fetid existence of sin and stench is the fact that:

TOMORROW, SEPTEMBER 9TH, I WILL BE CELEBRATING MY BIRTHDAY BY APPEARING AT THE DOUBLE DOOR ON DAMEN AND NORTH AVENUE WITH THE SWAYBACK AND RATASUCIA AND ALL YOU ASSHOLES SHOULD COME! BRING YOUR FRIENDS AND YOUR MOMS AND YOUR GRANDPARENTS!

I can’t promise that it will be good, but I CAN promise that it will be bad. Ha! I’m fucking around. Shit’s gonna be radical. I’ve been working on a shockingly awesome cover tune and generally, I’m pretty stoked to share my birthday with all of you. Okay, Im having some serious issues with getting a tiny run of DVD’s burned affordably so I gotta go figure some shit out. What? You didn’t think I was gonna sit here and bullshit with you guys on my birthday, did you? Fuck no. I’m keeping you all lean and mean so you all show up tomorrow night.

See you there!
Xoxoxoxo






I

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

farewell to #34 the best ever (eh, not really even in the top 10, actually)

Today is the last day of my 35th year, which means tomorrow I will turn 35. That’s confusing but it makes sense if you go all the way back to getting born and beginning your first year right there in the hospital/on the floor of the cab/in the tub while you’re still all gooey. Once you finish that first year, you become one. That’s what I’m doing 34 years later. 35 is not a very cool age to be unless you’re a hotshot politician or a very accomplished doctor. If you’re a woman 35 is good because while lots of girls peak at like 20, a whole bunch of them actually peak, appearance wise, somewhere in their 30’s. A great (and highly nerdy) example of this is the cast of Friends. They were in their 20’s in the beginning of that show and by the time the show was over the women were all vastly hotter and in their mid 30’s. In that regard, it’s gotta be kind of nice to be a 35 year old woman, because, well, who expected you to be this hot at 35? Not me. But there you are, hot. Surprise, assholes.

Me, I’m not a surprisingly hot woman or a surgeon or even a hotshot politician. I’m just a guy dropping my kid off at school, looking at all the parents who are also there (who are also not bigshot politicians or rockstar surgeons) and going ‘wow. I’m one of these fucking people, eh?’ I’ve hit the long, shitty, dull, soul crushing pedestrian walkway of middle age that spits you out on the other side all grey and bitter and just barely remembering what it was like to get a blowjob in an alley or sneak into the park with some beer or ambush and kill a unit of German stormtroopers and drink mead from their still-warm skulls or anything fun like that. Pretty weird.

I’m planning on some good times though. I’m having a show over at the Double Door in Wicker Park where I’m gonna play some hits and some new shits on my acoustic guitar and the always amazing Ratasucia and the equally amazing Swayback will be playing as well. Come for the birthday celebration, stay for the part where I make dick jokes and stagger around with my guitar for the amusement of all in the general zone. It’s gonna be a fucking gas, because I may be old, but this old man still knows how to rock n roll, kids! Believe that! Watch this!

…..at this point, you’ll have to imagine that I’m doing the splits, jumping into the air, landing on my groin, jumping right back up, back into the splits. Over and over again. I’m also screaming. Okay, got it? Good.

Yeah. See that shit? This old man knows how to ROCK! Boy. Who said they can’t teach an old dog some tricks, eh? You think you’re so tough? Boy, I used to hammer nails through metal two by fours with my dick when you were still just a stain in your momma’s panties! I used to fuck a room full of women and then walk across the street and fuck a roomful of men and THEN eat breakfast! I used to…

Shit. See, that’s the thing. There’s nothing to be done. The choice is, get older, have a little dignity, stop with the bullshit and the fun, become awkward, because you’re suddenly in a whole new situation where you’re acting like someone you’ve never really been before and you’re hanging out with the people your kids pick for you to play with, and they’re acting all weird too, or, you can act like you’ve ‘still got it’ which is just grosser than anything on the earth, OR you can wither and die, defeated by your descent into lameness. You can start fucking young girls or bleach your hair, you can sit there and bitterly decry all the new shit that’s happening. You can vanish into sports and intellectual interests, you can be the soft spoken erudite professorial type who listens to NPR and just kind of smugly knows what’s going on because you’re kind of tuned in, but aloof to it all even though everyone secretly thinks you’re kind of a smug dildo.

I’m none of those things. I’m just the same old asshole I was ten years ago but with an earlier curfew, less ability to take shots and a show on Friday night. I’d love to see you there. Come on down. I really like you guys.

xoxoxoxoxoxo

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

god hates you. just know it.

This weekend I was inadvertently drawn into a fun little twitter war and called a demon by a woman from the Westboro Baptist Church. For those of you who don’t know or just haven’t put the name with the kooks, the Westboro Baptist Church are the “god hates fags” guys that protest soldiers’ funerals and gleefully remind us that we’re all doomed and going to hell and it’s pretty much all because of the wanton gayness of the gays. It’s worth mentioning that the god that the WBC worships is not a nice god at all. He lays down ‘godsmacks’ which encompass everything from 9-11 to tornadoes to little kids getting killed by drunk drivers. Whenever something bad happens, the WBC show up with their signs, which are profoundly offensive, and their beaming smiles to tell the devastated mothers of the recently deceased about how it’s our nation’s tolerance of the sodomite lifestyle that has caused god to smack them. They’re STOKED on people having their lives ruined. They’re excited for the anniversary of 9-11 which they refer to as some sort of ultimate godsmack. (It should be mentioned at this point that I REALLY like the fact that they use the name of that horrible band to promote their shitty agenda. That said, Godsmack the band is about a million times more acceptable than the Westboro Baptists, and that’s really saying something because Godsmack effortlessly coaxes the jizz from dog balls). That makes a lot of sense, when you consider that as religious wackos, they’re probably pretty attuned to the ravings and actions of other religious wackos. They have gone on record as saying that Osama is A) in hell but B) someone who was sent by god to send a message about doom, which seems to imply that getting into the WBC heaven is probably harder than getting into a tight, young teen butthole. They’ve got pretty advanced and detailed ideas of hell and in general, but you never ever hear them talk about heaven as far as I can tell.

The big thing about the WBC is that they’re pretty much just one family, helmed by patriarch Fred Phelps, who’s presumably the one behind all the awesome signs and the lunatic ravings. In the eyes of Phelps, the America is doomed. There’s no repenting at this point. We’re fucked, and we’re gonna be getting sucked into a dungeons and dragonsy version of Hades’ where it’s gonna be painful and cold and full of demons who eat your tongue and peel the skin from your face. Why? Because you don’t hate gays enough. Even if you hate them, you’re not REALLY hating them like you mean it. Sorry. You’re doomed. You’ll see.

This guy spends so much time thinking about gayness and sodomy and cock that there’s really only one (not too taxing on the imagination) conclusion to draw. He’s gayer than Christmas, he is too cowardly to be gay. He’s jealous of those people brave enough to get out there and suck cocks. He’s angry with himself, he’s angry with everyone who gets to have their needs met in the way they most desire. As a result, his brain has rotted a little and next thing you know, he’s wearing Oakley blades and standing down the road from a dead soldier’s funeral with his kids and grandkids wildly screaming about fags while people throw things at them from moving cars.


The thing is, the WBC is so universally despised that they literally get protested by the Klan. The Klan, it’s worth noting, is a patriot organization and while they hate gays as much as the next guy, they’re not gonna back the picketing of dead soldiers and patriots. I didn’t really think that the Klan and I had ANY mutual enemies or similar notions about who is/isn’t an asshole. But that’s what’s so great about the WBC. They’re so completely down the road and around the corner from sanity that EVERYONE hates them and they just hate the shit out of everyone in return. Pretty wild stuff. I mean, when you’re too far out for the Klan AND you’re too far out for people that anonymously participate in bathhouse orgies, you’ve pretty much covered the spectrum. And so yeah. I’m stoked as shit that this lady called me a demon.

Twitter is great for this very reason: people you only read about and/or see on tv are right there and sometimes they talk to you. And every once in a while they may even call you a demon if you’re truly wicked enough. That’s pretty rad.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

a new chapter begins.

My kid started school this week, which is a weird thing to deal with. I, like probably every adult in the history of the world, consider myself to be much more ‘young at heart’ or whatever the dipshitty phrase is, than I actually am. In my mind I’m still a messy kid who won’t ever grow up and the ravages of time only serve to somewhat camouflage/highlight my whimsy/arrested development in the face of my aging exterior. The reality is that I just dress like an asshole and I’m not very good at some things that I thought that all adult men are good at. Like, I can’t fix a car or paint stuff well or really understand things like stocks and money and mortgages. This doesn’t mean I’ve retained any of my childlike youthful exuberance, it just means I’m kind of a moron in a lot of aspects of life and now it’s become kind of obvious that I’m not gonna just ‘grow into’ any sort of knowledge. If I want to (for example) fix the leaky radiator in my car, or examine my investment portfolio (whatever the fuck that means) well, I’m gonna have to really steer my life in the direction of learning that shit in order to do so. The notion that some day everything will all just come together is out the window at this point. I’m just kind of dumb, and being ‘forever young’ has nothing to do with it.

That’s obvious when I do things like go out to a bar and want to leave at eleven thirty because I’m exhausted or when I end up talking to a hot 22 year old girl and all I can think is “god, you’re stupid” or when I look at my skateboard and know for a fact that I’m not riding it anytime in the foreseeable future. I’ve maintained none of the trappings of youth (save creative output I guess, but that’s really not the domain of the young. It starts when you’re young, but people that are dull adults usually weren’t creative kids and lots of people who ARE creative adults weren’t creative as kids) and despite what I believe, deep down I know the truth, which is that this is it. Life is a big game of bullshit fakery and nobody has any fucking idea what’s going on or how they’re supposed to behave except for people between the ages of 20-32, who for a brief, fleeting moment in life may just have it all figured out.

Now, that’s not to say that I really mind being a grown up. I think it’s cool. I just find it crazy that I’m now the person picking up another person from their school, where they meet people and make friends and have a social life and I’m just one of the dull pods back at home that sits around doing work and reading the paper like THAT shit could possibly be even remotely interesting when there are overgrown vacant lots to run through and cases of beer to steal and bugs to squash and pretty girls to try to talk out of their bras and so on and so forth. It’s a little odd to realize that I’m firmly, two feet planted on the ‘adult parent’ side of things. But that’s what my kid going to school has really exemplified.

Although, it must be said that I’m a bit like the black-punk-rock kid in that the other parents don’t REALLY fully just accept me as one of their own, but I don’t have the time or energy to really run with the non-parents either. Not that I want to hang out with the dork parents of the shitty kids my kid is in class with, mind you. I could really give a fuck about that, but see, that’s disingenuous too because at some point if my kid wants to play with another kid, it’ll be nice if I can get along with the parents because (and this is the dick punch to eternally flatten all dicks) his friends’ parents are now my fucking acquaintances, and my last chance at new friends unless I somehow end up in some field with a high turnover and an open-floor office plan (not bloody likely).

Whatever. My kid seems to be handling school well. He’s apparently not really listening much and when I asked him what he did on his first day he sighed and said “dad, I didn’t do ANYTHING in school.” He says he doesn’t like his teacher’s face, which is mean, but a respectable position to have and he says that despite all that, he likes it there a lot. I mean, fuck. He goes three hours a day, three days a week. How fucking brutal could it be? I asked the teacher how he was on the first day and she sighed and said, ‘eh, he was pretty good.’ Pretty hilarious.

Anyway, tonight and tomorrow night I go back into the studio to sing and do some final percussion and guitar stuff and then this shit is getting shipped off to Colorado to be mixed. I’m fucking STOKED on how this shit is turning out. Lots of keyboards, actually. More than I had initially thought, but it’s really ending up cool. The rough mixes of Suffer the Children Come Unto Me and East St. Louis are really great so far. I can’t wait to hear how Covered In Flies turns out.

xoxoxoxoxox