Thursday, April 30, 2009

We'll Make It, Even If We Have To Fake It

Working on developing your self-confidence can have some rather surprising side-effects. For instance, my recent work in attempting to boost my own sense of self-worth has resulted in a lack of things to blog about.

You see, I commonly fill the days in between the silly things that happen in my life with stories of past loves lost. And, frankly, those stories tend to be pretty depressing. That’s a big part of my personality. I am that sad little boy who just yearns for someone (who is not batshit crazy) to love me as much as I love them.

I’ll let you know if that ever works out for me.

But in my attempts to force the world into thinking I’m okay, I’ve been avoiding writing about those assorted incidents and chance encounters. And it’s making my blog boring. Frankly, I can’t fill an entire blog with stories about how one of my brain-injured patients destroyed my ass at Uno last night. It’s funny, but not that funny (Btw, the final score was something like 16-1 in his favor.).

I guess the key lies in figuring out a way to write about those feelings I have without making myself sound like a complete wreck. Because I really am trying to recover. I really am trying to be a better person. I’ve had more than a few people tell me lately that the only thing they dislike about me is my crippling lack of self-confidence.

So, even if I have to fake it, I’m working on it.

Even if I have to fake it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


So, just about everyone at work was teasing me over the last few weeks about my PRO-ACT training, saying that the second I completed it, they’d change my rotation and put me in with the worst behavioral patients.

Well, go figure. The second I finish my PRO-ACT training yesterday, I get back to the apartments and find out that my rotation had changed. It really shouldn’t be that big a deal, but I was really getting used to the patients I’d worked with the last four weeks. I’d learned their programs and what I should do when they had certain behaviors, etc.

They didn’t throw me in with “the worst behavioral patients,” though. I got an apartment with three guys who are all pretty much independent. So independent, in fact, that I barely have to be there. Consequently, I’m basically a giant floater. I give people breaks, collect paperwork and keys, handle odd little tasks here and there. I’m not sure if this is a permanent thing, but it feels weird. At least it makes the shift go by really fast. I have a lot to do.

I just never understand the rationale for this sort of thing. Two of the supervisors have already told me that they wished I were still in my old apartment. They said that they never had to worry about that apartment when I was in there, which is a cool compliment. Unfortunately, they don’t make the decisions on assignments.

So, why have I been moved? Who knows? I don’t really know if it’s a promotion or a demotion. I’m no longer changing Depends and showering and doing every little thing for my patients, but I’m being called on to run around the apartments and handle various situations. It’s physically draining (especially since one of my patients demands an hour walk every evening), but it’s mental pie compared to what I was doing.

For all I know, they shuffled the cards in the deck and I was a leftover card from another deck. I just sort of got stuck in one of the leftover roles. That’s kind of how it feels.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


The most awesome and excellent Bon Don has challenged her BBF’s to continue this meme with a list of 10 of my favorite film characters (Not favorite movies!) and why I think they are cool. Then I am to tag 5 other bloggers to do the same.

So, um, I takes my shots…

Rupert Cadell (James Stewart)

Rupert is the classic intellectual in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope (coincidentally, my favorite film). He theorizes on why he, as an intellectual, is better than everyone else. When two of his students take his theories too far, it’s up to him to unveil them as the common scum of the earth. After the dinner party from hell, he tears down the killers for blurring the line between intellectualism and barbarism.

John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell)

How could you not love a man with no real memories? Dark City is a pretty fucked up film, and John Murdoch is the anchor that holds it all together. We see every confusing little detail through his eyes.

Thomas Jerome Newton (David Bowie)

If there’s any real patter in the movie characters I love, it’s the feeling of disconnection from their environment. Thomas is an alien sent to Earth to find a solution for the drought killing his dying planet in The Man Who Fell To Earth. Instead, he is suckered, twisted, and fully absorbed by our world’s pop culture and vices.

Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy)

Admittedly, the Scarecrow is my all-time favorite bat-villain, so it was a thrill to see one of my favorite actors play him in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. One of these days, I’m going to be the Scarecrow for Halloween. A really fat Scarecrow.

Rob Gordon (John Cusack)

I had to include Rob from High Fidelity, simply because I’ve had a good half million people tell me that I remind them of him. And I sort of agree, only I don’t have the commitment issues he does.

I only did five, simply because I don’t think anyone has all day to read this. And I’m most certainly not tagging anyone. I appreciate keeping my kidneys intact!

Monday, April 27, 2009

5 Monday Music Thoughts

* Jarvis Cocker’s new album, Further Complications, hits stores on May 19th, but like everything else, has leaked to the internet early. I don’t think I really need to explain just how much Jarvis means to me. He’s pretty much who I’d like to be, if the world were ideal. Further Complications is a brilliant album, with shades of T-Rex, early Bowie, and Iggy Pop’s The Idiot. Did I mention that it was produced in Chicago by Steve Albini? It’s unusual territory for Jarvis, for sure, but it’s surprising how well it works. I’ve listened to the album at least 30 times in the last week and I love every inch of it. I recommend that everybody buys a copy. I’ve got it preordered on vinyl myself. Below is one of my favorite tracks from the album, along with a lengthy video of Jarvis spelling his name. I could watch Jarvis spell his name for hours. And I have. *sigh*

I Never Said I Was Deep - Jarvis Cocker

* I know I’ve made fun of Silversun Pickups in the past, but their new album, Swoon, is a shining example of the new guard of shoegaze. Sure, they sound a bit much like The Smashing Pumpkins… but they’re not embarrassing themselves like Billy Corgan has been the last several album. Silversun Pickups are on the more commercial end of the modern shoegaze spectrum. No one’s going to mistake them for Autolux or The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. But if they get more people into the sound, it’s not a terrible thing.

* Admittedly, I didn’t expect The Breeders to release anything so soon after their last album, 2008’s Mountain Battles. Their new EP, Fate To Fatal, is very reminiscent of their first album, 1990’s Pod. The Breeders have always suffered from the problem of essentially being a Pixies side-project and Fate To Fatal certainly isn’t going to change many minds about that fact. But it is refreshing to see Kim Deal writing and singing independently of Frank Black, without being any less a musician than him.

* Datarock’s second album, Red, is finally close to release, and the songs trickling out of it are making me shake my ass something fierce. The first single, “Give It Up,” has a Michael Jackson-inspired video that’s fun and goes quite well with the mood of the song. Datarock’s post-punk-meets-Daft Punk style is fairly obvious at times, but they’ve got crossover potential written all over them.

* I’m not exactly the biggest Atmosphere fan in the universe. I mean, generally, I don’t really get them, and their fans certainly terrify me a bit, in the same way fans of, say, Sublime or Weezer do. But there’s something about their latest single, “Your Glasshouse,” that really hits me. I don’t know exactly what it is. Maybe it’s the downbeat nature of the song. Maybe it’s the cute girl in the video. Beats me. I just can’t stop listening to the thing.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Social Networking, Bromances, & Me Being Gay For Kele Okereke

* Facebook is fun, especially when people who hated you in high school attempt to friend you. Or, even better, when people who hated you in high school attempt to friend you using one of their friends’ accounts so they can spy on you without you knowing it. I can save you guys the time. I got fat. I had a kid. I‘m not a doctor or a lawyer or an astronaut. I really don’t care what you’re doing these days. I don’t care if you got fat or had 50 kids or went to Koozbania on a fact-finding mission or invented a time-machine so you could go back in time and take credit for Rocky Road ice cream. I still hate you. That should suffice.

* A guy at work offered to have a “bromance” with me the other day. I say “offered” like it was something simple and easy and kindly, like the offering of a cookie or a ride to the park. Nope. This guy followed me around for two days, wanting to talk incessantly about movies and comic books and telling everyone he could tell that we met on It’s not that I felt a flush of shame or anything like that. It’s more that I was annoyed as fuck to have this boring little man following me around, wanting to talk about Deadpool or the films of Dario Argento. It felt like I was back at my old job, surrounded by nerds who wanted to make me their nerd king. I just don’t do straight guys very well. I have something like two straight male friends (not counting male partners of my female friends) in the whole world and I’m pretty satisfied with that total.

Straight guys seem to come in two distinct groups: the “bros” who are total dicks, but girls think aren’t on the inside and the geeks who girls think aren’t total dicks, but actually are. This guy is sort of combination of both. He thinks he’s a cool “bro,” but he’s actually a geek. And both sides of him reek of dick. I tend to choose my straight male friends from the ranks of straight males who aren’t either of those stereotypes. Essentially, the 1%. Rusty and Ricky made the cut. There are other wonderful straight guys out there that I consider to be great people, like Discotrash’s boofriend and Will Betheboy. And that Mikey H! I tell you, that’s a great guy. But they’re the Oingo Boingo LP’s trapped in the box full of $1 used Candlebox cassettes. I’m sure they’re around somewhere, but you have to really, really, really look for them.

* Speaking of the sausage, the Bloc Party show I went to with the aforementioned Discotrash last weekend was a total sausage festival. Frankly, I didn’t know meaty frat boys were that into a British band who mostly write songs about failed relationships in a Gang Of Four-raping-Depeche Mode sort of way. Disco had a panic attack, which is not surprising, considering the amount of processed meat product and man-stink being foisted upon her senses from every direction. At least I’m tall enough to avoid it. The show itself was phenomenal. Bloc Party play with this restrained energy that’s a joy to behold. They’re great at building a crowd up and then tearing them down. Oh, and I touched Kele Okereke. My life may be complete.

* I’m close to deleting my Twitter account. I’m just fucking sick of it and even more sick of hearing about it. It’s been a little over a year since I started using Twitter and, at this point, I can barely stand logging into it. I think The Soup pretty much sums up how I feel:

Thursday, April 23, 2009


It’s been a hectic week and a half of so in the life of yours truly. I’ve barely had time to breathe, much less write. It’s getting worse over the next two days, as I meld PRO-ACT training into my regular schedule. The result? Working from 9am until about midnight today and tomorrow.

Um, yay?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Stroll Through Bell Mansion Corridors

Would you like a tour? I'll be your doorman.

There be destruction!

And a Discotrash!

And a vinyl orgy that hurt my credit card, but soothed my soul...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Things To Know

* I am not dead. Things just sort of spiraled at the end of last week for me, so I really didn't feel like posting anything. Things are okay, though. Rejection sucks, but hey, we all have to deal with it, right? I'm sure there's someone out there that will appreciate me for me, and if there's not, than whatever.

* There won't be a 5 Monday Music Thoughts this week, because I'm not home and just don't have the time to do it from here. I might do a special edition later this week when I get back to Bakersfield.

* And where am I? Avila Beach, of course, hanging out with Discotrash. We saw Bloc Party at the SLO Vets Hall last night and they were amazing. I could gush for days over how awesome a show it was. I'm sure I probably will at some point. Oh, and we drank half the central coast. We're going to start on the other half this afternoon. I work tomorrow, right?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cold Wind, Cold Heart

It’s almost five in the afternoon and I’m on my dinner break. I forgot my “dinner” at home and it’s too early to eat anyway, so I stay at the apartments to smoke on the break-room patio and bask in the few remaining minutes of sunlight.

There’s a cold wind blowing through town, but it’s not stopping spring in its tracks. The flowers are still blooming and the town smells better than usual. Directly across from the break-room patio is a pool with several tables. On one particular table, I’m watching a battle for supremacy.

There are three sparrows on the table, two males and one female. The males are fighting over the female, squawking and flapping their wings at each other. Every so often, one of the males will get an advantage and peck at the other bird’s neck or chest. The losing bird will flap off for a few minutes, giving the winning bird a moment or two to take his prize.

Shortly thereafter, the losing bird returns and the struggle continues anew.

This continues for a good 20 minutes and I watch, smoking and feeling numb. Drawing a parallel to my life is far too easy. And far too banal. So, I just observe. I never act. I just observe. Eventually the birds are chased off by a larger bird, a raven checking in to see if the sparrows had found something interesting.

Again, the parallels are far too easy.

This week has been painful enough to get over certain things in my life. Which, admittedly, is a good thing for all parties involved. But those kinds of realizations are usually enough to send me into a cold, miserable state.

In a few days, or weeks, or whatever, I’ll emerge better for it. And I’m sure I’ll find all sorts of new things to make me miserable. But at least I won’t be miserable over these particular people or situations. It’s a bit like freeing yourself from a trap and then looking back at it and wondering, “Now, what the hell did I do that for?”

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

(2) Reasons Yesterday Was Win

(In other news, I got another jump-start this morning and drove to Sears. Sears told me they had my battery and it would take 30 minutes to install. 45 minutes later, a rather dim mechanic found me and told me they didn't have a battery for my car. "Can you at least give me a jump so I can go somewhere that does?" "Uh, yeah, I guess." A few maneuvers around the swarms of mouth-breathing Sears employees later, I found myself at Pep Boys, where I got a new battery and an oil change for $70 less than what Sears was quoting. Fuck Sears. Fuck them in their big, hairy earholes. Anyway, I just barely made it to my work "staff meeting." I got a $10 Jack In The Box gift card for attending. Life is strange, sometimes.)

Reasons Yesterday Was Fail

Some days, nothing goes as planned. Or even as desired. Naturally, yesterday was one of those days…

There were missed connections. There’s a friend from Sacramento that I keep trying to meet, and it just never pans out. Lost opportunities. I could have worked an extra shift. Embarrassments. I could go into detail about those, but why bother? Did I get rejected? Yeah. A few times. It’s the usual stuff. It’s the usual assortment of reasons that I suck as a person.

What compounded those failures was my adventure around town with Susannah. All we were doing was shopping out of boredom. Anything to distract myself from the fact that I can’t do anything right. Nothing special. So, of course, my car battery dies in the Petco parking lot. The rest of the day had been one giant fail, so why not my car, too?

Normally, this isn’t a big deal. I have roadside assistance. I can call and get a jump start. We played a board game whose name I can’t remember in the car while we waited for the tow truck. The guy came after about 45 minutes and gave me a jump start.

We drove around town another half an hour or so to charge my battery and went back to her place. It was getting late and she had school in the morning, so I headed home. Only, my battery was still dead. It’s dead-dead now. No amount of charging would save it. No warnings. Nothing.

I called Susannah and she came and got me and took me to Walmart, since it was late and they sell car batteries. Walking through the aisles, I told her, “I really should be more upset. I mean, this is the sort of day where there’s a hiccup in everything I do. I should be freaking out, but I’m not. What does that say about me?”

I should have kept my mouth shut. Walmart was out of the battery my car needs. I bought some jumper cables and we drove back. We couldn‘t even jump my car. The battery was that dead. Admittedly, the dejection finally sunk in. I was done. Still am, really. I called roadside assistance again. Susannah went back to her apartment. She came out a few minutes later to tell me that one of her turtles died while we were out.

I got home just before one in the morning. Around five, my Dad woke me up to jump start my car. I pretty much figured no one would be open to sell me a battery, but whatever. I’ll just sleep in the parking lot. He couldn’t jump start my car either. So, I have to call roadside assistance again today. And get a new battery. And hope that the fail of yesterday doesn’t bleed too much into today.

Monday, April 13, 2009

5 Monday Music... Er...

In lieu of my usual “5 Monday Music Thoughts,” I thought I’d shake things up and let you guys have some input. I love making mixtapes, which if you know me in real life, means you probably have one or fifty of the things.

And I especially love making long, intricate iTunes/iPod mixes with different themes to them. One I’ve been considering working on lately is simply based around the theme of anger. Normally, I’m not a very angry guy. But every huge once in a while, I feel the need to vent.

So, this is where you guys come in. Being the “not so angry” sort, I have no idea what to put on this thing. Feel free to throw out your suggestions for an angry mix that would kick all sorts of booty.

To get you started, here are two of my favorite “angry” songs:

Burning Inside - Ministry

Angry Chair - Alice In Chains

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Your Easter Is My West

This message has been brought to you with deep disapproval by Simon "Puss Puss" LeBon. Simon dislikes shenanigans. Easter is full of shenanigans.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Excerpt 14

You make me never want to fall in love again. Because every time it ends badly. And it’s always because of something I did. Or didn’t do. You make me feel like an asshole, all the time. I don’t even have to mean anything by the things I do. I don’t have to mean anything by the things I say. No matter what, it always comes out wrong with you.

And I’m tired of feeling worse and worse about myself because of you. It’s okay that you don’t love me. It really is. But false hope is worse than no hope whatsoever. You’re not the first one to do this to me. To make me feel that warm glimmer of hope. But I hope you’re the last. I hope that I’m going to be stronger.

The reality is that there is no one for me. The few people who really, genuinely understand me can’t do a thing to help me. Their hands are tied. Or clasped gently by another. I’m going to be alone because I’m not enough, or I’m too much. It’s always something. I want it to be nothing. If there is no one in the world who appreciates and loves me for who I am, I want nothing. I’d rather be alone than lie. I’d rather die young than suffer until I’m old.

Because you make me never want to fall in love again.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Destroying Los Angeles

Yesterday was a very long day for yours truly and the legendary Discotrash. We started with an in-studio performance by Unwritten Law at the Clear Channel building in Burbank, ate surprisingly terrible macrobiotic food, drank our way through Sunset Strip, saw Julien-K at the Roxy, and closed the night with awesome Thai food at 3 in the morning.

Along the way, I met some interesting people, was introduced to a small army of "guys in bands," and spotted the lead singer of Puddle Of Mudd at the Rainbow. No, I did not hit him. And, at some point, a picture was taken of me under a Ryan Seacrest sign. I hope it never surfaces.

There are all sorts of crappy YouTube videos of the Julien-K show up already. Here's one:

I got home around 5 in the morning, to the puzzled expressions of my cats. They don't get it, but that's okay...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

More Reasons To Love Franz Ferdinand

Bar Time Happy Fun Hour(s)

On my way to the bar... I should have shaved...

Oh, hai, beer!

Hey, look, kids! It's Susannah!

I really do look asshat tonight.

Could be the vodka.

Discotrash and Das Todd are not stunned because I'm taking their picture. They're stunned over who had just walked through the door. Here's a hint: think of sea mammals.

The world famous Mr. Mike!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Late-Night Call

After a long night of work with a smidge of overtime, I was heading home in my car, listening to Blur and thinking of the delicious sleep awaiting me on the other end of town. It had been a long week and I had two days off coming, so I was fairly jazzed to be in my car without a worry in the world.

A friend of mine called early in the drive because she was having a problem. Normally, she wouldn’t call me at midnight, since she gets up a the butt-crack of dawn to go to work on weekdays. But she was having a problem with a boy we both knew in high school.

Not to get into too many details, but he’s recently come back into her life under strange circumstances and has made some especially awkward advances towards her. Like, the kind that would absolutely freak any normal person out. But since he’s an old friend, she doesn’t really know what to do.

So, naturally, she called me, since I’m absolutely win at dealing with strange relationships. Okay, seriously, she really just called to commiserate, and that’s fine. We talked about her situation and some of the stuff I’ve gone through over my life to sort of compare and contrast. And we figured something out about me in the process.

I can’t take complements. I’m not sure if any of you have figured this out (though, probably), but I have absolutely zero self-confidence. I always think I’m an awful, ugly, fat, stupid, rude, thoughtless, bastard of a person and no amount of love or friendship makes that go away.

I was telling her about something that happened the other day at work. One of my co-workers was giving me the “20 Questions” treatment before a change-of-shift meeting. There’s nothing unusual about that; plenty of my co-workers have asked me about who I am and my past. I guess I’m just approachable in that way.

But after the questioning about me, she asked me if my eyes were green or blue, because she couldn’t tell. I told her they were green, even though they’re more of a greenish-brown. And she followed up by telling me how pretty my eyes are and how she wished she had green eyes.

It’s a fairly simple complement, and not the kind of thing that would make most people blush and want to hide under a table. But that’s exactly what it made me want to do. I can’t stand the attention. I can’t stand the implication that there’s some iota of personal detail about myself that doesn’t completely and utterly suck.

So, maybe I am crazy. I mean, I know it’s not normal and it’s not like I do anything to myself to compensate. Unless you count the drinking. And if you count the drinking, stop being an asshole. Booze is good. But I don’t cut myself or anything like that. I just don’t like myself and no amount of self-improvement changes that outlook.

We wrapped up the conversation a few hours later, after I managed to get the conversation off of why I don’t suck (in her opinion, not mine) and onto stuff going on at work. I guess we all have our little problems. This boy from high school has sexual issues. The friend who called me doesn’t trust anyone. And I just think I’m awful. Oh, well.

Monday, April 6, 2009

5 Monday Music Thoughts

* It’s been about four years since the last Doves record hit shelves. In the interim, it might have been easy to forget why Doves is such a great band. They’re from the same school of musical thought as Travis, or even Radiohead. But what separates Doves is their orchestral scope, which makes them feel at times like a British Sigur Rós. The new album, Kingdom Of Rust, is worth the long wait, if the first single is any indication.

* I know I’ve prattled on about …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead’s new album, The Century Of Self, enough in the past, but what has me excited today is that there is a new video for my favorite song from it, “Isis Unveiled.” The video cuts down the track by a few minutes, but the core of what makes it such a brilliant song is still there. Is the video the best ever? No, but the song is.

* I know I could quite possibly lose credibility by admitting just how into electroclash I was back in the day. Miss Kittin? Felix Da Housecat? Ladytron? I simply couldn’t get enough of them. And at the very top was Fischerspooner, the most over-hyped band to never sell a record. Their third album, Entertainment, is being released independently quite soon, and it’s a nice pickup for fans of Depeche Mode or anything fey and electronic. Yes, that is a high recommendation, coming from me.

* Phoenix is one of those indie bands you’ve probably heard of, but likely haven’t actually heard. That’s starting to change suddenly with the release of their fourth album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. They’re getting more than the usual good press; they’re getting exposure! Take this appearance on Saturday Night Live this past weekend, for instance. Is Phoenix about to be huge?

* Oh, Camera Obscura, how you make me weep! These Glasgowegians are very reminiscent of Belle & Sebastian and their songwriting is pretty up to par. Their fourth album, My Maudlin Career, is in stores in a few weeks. The leadoff single, “French Navy,” isn’t as tear-jerking as 2006’s “Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken,” but it’s still pretty keen.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


I’ve been working at this new job for close to a month now and if I’ve learned anything, it’s that few people stick around for very long. I went from feeing like “the new guy” to just one of the many, many, many “new guys.”

People leave this job for many reasons. Some quit because they can’t cut it; others get fired for making surprisingly huge mistakes with their patients. And then there are others who get fired for actually cheating.

You see, the first three months of employment at my job come with a lot of hurdles to jump. There are the basics, from CPR and First Aid training, to more advanced courses like PRO-ACT (basically, how to take down a physically-aggressive patient without hurting them or yourself).

In addition, there are a series of eight tests that cover advanced techniques for dealing with people with brain injuries. So far, I’ve taken and passed two of the tests. I need to get the other six completed over the next two months. But, apparently, there are a number of people who just can’t handle these tests.

So, they cheat. And they get caught. And fired, naturally. I can’t even begin to estimate how many people have departed in the short month I’ve been at this place. Some days, I come in and it seems like a dozen employee boxes are missing. Usually around this point, I’m asked by a supervisor to work a double shift.

Maybe it’s a maturity issue. A large percentage of the people hired by my company are under the age of 23. Maybe these people are looking for a quick summer job. Maybe they’re looking for some fast cash while they’re in school. Either way, the job is far more demanding than they expected.

I mean, I know how I was at that age. I’m at least 1000% more calm and patient than I was in those days. Life experience makes me appreciate what I have, even if some days it doesn’t seem like a lot.

As for my time there, I’m doing the best I can. The job is tough at times, but I’m enjoying it. If anything, I’ve been worried about making a mistake I’m not sure I’m making. I mean, you really never know.

Frankly, no one in a position of power in the company had told me one thing or another about how I’m doing. I could be doing just fine, or I could be screwing up royally. I wouldn’t know, aside from the fact that I’m still employed.

But yesterday, I finally got some feedback. One of the programmers was working in the apartment I was in, helping a patient straighten up his room. I was working with my usual patient and going about my normal routine with him.

As she was leaving, she pulled me aside and told me that I’m “really good” with that patient and thanked me for my hard work. I can’t even begin to tell you how great it felt to finally get some sort of feedback. And the fact that it was positive feedback? Even better…

I don’t know what the future holds. I’d like to continue working at this place, but that’s contingent on a lot of elements. I need to complete my training and get out of my probationary period without screwing up. Who knows, maybe I’ll make it?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Did I Just Get Herpes From Watching Television?

I guess I never realized just how much bad television people watch. I’ll admit, I watch some pretty crappy things. I mean, no one should watch Survivor. Really, no one. But working in an environment where there are televisions everywhere, I’m getting a real taste for just how bad things are.

For whatever reason, the people at my job have an intense fascination with the terrible reality shows on MTV and VH1. I can’t even begin to describe the atrocities I’ve been forced to witness in the last month.

For example, VH1 has this show called For The Love Of Ray J. I’m not entirely sure who Ray J is. I honestly don’t care. Maybe he’s a rapper. Maybe he’s a pimp. Maybe he’s a pizza delivery guy. Regardless, there appear to be an awful lot of under-educated, over-indulged young women who want to get in his pants. And they all have names like Caviar and Unique.

Or how about MTV’s Girls Of Hedsor Hall? A show where, um, sluts go to England and engage in such stereotypical British things as, um, eating Spotted Dick? Oh, yeah, make me watch more of that.

Another one of my break room favorites is anything on the Lifetime Movie Network. I’m not sure who loves LMN so damned much, but somebody at my work does, because it’s constantly on in the break room. I guess LMN is where all the really bad Lifetime movies are put to pasture.

Does it get any better? Well, yeah, if you consider SciFi original movies and pro wrestling better. There’s really nothing I can do about it, though. I could put on a Law & Order: Criminal Intent rerun, but the channel would be changed pretty much immediately to Rock Of Love Bus. I always wondered why these shows kept getting put on the air and I guess I understand now. People in the medical field have to watch something, right?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Excerpt 13

I have never once in my life relayed a conversation I’ve had with you to anyone else. I don’t know why, though. I mean, I tend to open my mouth at every twist and turn of life and blurt everything out. I’m not so much a gossip as a lovesick asshole with diarrhea of the mouth. We don’t even share that many friends. It’s unlikely that what I say will get back to you.

But for some reason, I’m reluctant to talk to anyone about what we talk about. It just feels so fucking special when we speak. Like, somehow, I’ve won the lottery just by being able to talk to you. And if you knew I felt that way, you’d probably tell me to knock it off and just be happy with my ridiculous little life. That our conversations aren’t special. That they just exist.

So, for those reasons and many others, you have no idea how I really feel about you. Oh, don’t worry, it’s all good stuff. All of that sappy, gooey crap you have no interest in. I just sort of swoon a bit while I’m around you. I keep my mouth clamped shut when we’re together with other people. What if they figured it out? What would they say? How much would they laugh at me?

I know you haven’t figured it out. I’m pretty sure you would have said something by now if you had. Regardless of your feelings on the subject, you’re pretty brutally honest with me. It’s one of the aspects of your personality that I find so alluring. You lack the tact to pretend that what you say will impact negatively on those around you. You just assume that those people will just get it.

I guess that’s pretty fucking cool. I know I’m not nearly that self-confident. I could never do that. And I guess that’s probably part of why things would never work with us. I lack the ability to roll my eyes and walk away and not care. I can listen to an entire Can album without flinching. I love Ingmar Bergman. I’ve watched every episode of Lost without complaining that it “doesn’t make any sense.”

But I can’t make life seem as easy and effortless as you do. I’m not wired that way. I’m more comfortable second-guessing myself and worrying about things I can’t control and longing for the infinite than just living my life and letting the detritus fall where it may. I could learn a lot from you, if I just shut my eyes, relaxed, and stopped being madly in love with you.

Tweetup, Art Brut, Bloc Party, Booze, And Sad

* I’ll be at the Los Angeles Tweetup at The Studio Bar Wednesday, along with Discotrash, Cinchy, Tattooed Pepper, and an assortment pack of your favorite and, um, possibly less favorite, Twitter personalities. Before that, I’ll be at a radio station, quite surprisingly. After the Tweetup, I’ll be at the Roxy. If anyone has a hit out on me in LA, you’ll have ample opportunities to complete the contract Wednesday.

* I’ve been listening to a disturbing amount of Art Brut the past few days. It makes me feel better. You see, I really wish I were Jarvis Cocker, but I’m actually more Eddie Argos. That’s not a bad thing. It’s just not as sexy. Art Brut Vs. Satan is amazing, by the way… Is it coming out on vinyl? I might need that.

* Thanks to the awesomeness that is Tristan, I will be at the Bloc Party show in San Luis Obispo on the 19th. See you there?

* I’m drinking at my sister’s house tonight, but she won’t be. You see, she’s been having some health problems over the last year and her doctor has recommended not drinking for a month to see if that helps her situation. Though, as she told me this morning, “If this doesn’t work, there will be blood.”

* Yesterday was, ah, yesterday. Thank you, though, for all the kind words. My liver appreciates them.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fool

Exactly one year ago, on April Fool’s Day, it felt like my life ended. It might as well have.

I couldn’t breathe anymore. I called anyone who would listen. Some did. Some didn’t. I panicked. I opened a bottle of rum and drank the whole thing that night. I did other things. I regret a few of them…

Full disclosure: My family put me on suicide watch for a few days (And that’s about as much detail as you get on that. Some things just can’t be said.). I packed up the charred remnants of my existence and tried to start over. Why?

Because 11 years of my life evaporated in one night and I became an April Fool.

It sounds melodramatic, I know, but 11 years counts for a third of my life. A full third of my life was rendered meaningless, overnight.

I get that things end. I really do. I understand that sometimes love makes no sense and sometimes it really ends terribly. It’s just that I never expected something like this to ever happen to me. I never saw it coming.

I was in love. She was not. And so she hurt me terribly. This is how things go.

It took a long time to even attempt to move on. I knew things were over. That wasn’t the issue. I had no intention or desire to try to fix what couldn’t be fixed. You can’t fix what’s no longer there.

My problem was that I didn’t know if I even wanted to start over. Most of the time, I didn’t.

It’s been a whole year. My attitudes have changed. But every once in awhile, it still gets to me. I hear a song on my iPod, or a stumble upon an old picture. And it hits me. Today is April Fool’s Day and thinking about it is unavoidable.

So, I’m gonna go to sleep in a little bit. And when I wake up, I’m hitting the bar. Am I celebrating? Commiserating? Wallowing? Time will tell. But I’ve got ten bucks to put in the jukebox in your honor. I’ve got a lot of drinking to do, all for you.

And then after all of that is done, your memory goes back into bank. I keep moving forward. And I’ll forget about you. Eventually.