still down, not out.

Everyone should get the bird flu.  It’s a nice way to catch up on time that you’ve not been spending with your bed, and your borrowed DVDs of season two of 24.

Fortunately, this is actually a mild version of the flu — if it were avian, it would be a hummingbird, or maybe a canary.  Still not a whole lot of fun, but much better than it was last year.  I can actually move around every now and then, and I can bear the light of the computer screen.

Life should resume it’s normal course tomorrow.  I’m trying to look at this as a good way to close out February. Thank goodness that I only do inventory on a quarterly basis.

aargh. that’s about the gist of it.

Random quick notes:

  • I am dying.  Same flu, same time, different year. At least I’m not trying to smoke through this one.
  • A little ballet over the weekend is certainly a different form of entertainment.  Christiana did really well — I’m no ballet aficianado, but I know dancing and music when I see it.  It’s always nice to see artists with true passion, and there were at least a few up on that stage this weekend.
  • Ready for contact lenses again.  Glasses suck, especially when it’s raining, or when I’m bartending.

Back to bed now.

What is wrong with the world?

You’ve got curfews in the Middle East to try to stem the brutality that’s been uncontrolled since we “won the war.”

You’ve got men killing their wives and babies.

You’ve got Kid Rock and Scott Stapp in a sex video, and corrupt politicians while a nation seemingly turns a blind eye, and theft and rape and arson.

All this, and I’m stuck inside on a day like this?

Where did the world go wrong?  Oh, Lord, why have you forsaken me.?

Sympathy for the Devil

A point of clarification leading into this:

The last post (I’m not convinced that aliens don’t walk among us) didn’t really contain anything that should have been able to stir up so much debate, especially from someone who has known me for more than a quarter century. It was a comment on something that I find amusing — the Contract of Wifely Expectations. Holy fuck, the title alone is enough to keep me from taking it seriously. The entire thing smacks of the sort of thing that a D&D nerd or RenFaire junkie might think was appropriate — certainly not (to me) the signs of an abusive husband/pedophile. But again, what do I know? I thought the humor would be inherent. I was, apparently, wrong.

So this post: this is serious. No fucking around here, folks: if you laugh at any of this, you’re inhuman, and you make the baby jesus cry. Continue reading

We’ll be the Cocktastic Four, if we can just find an invisible chick…

I think you, Garth, and I should start a team of Super Villains.

You can be Bipolar Man, Garth is the Bulldog, and I’ll be Dirty Old Man. You’ll confuse people with sudden and awkward mood swings, I’ll fluster young women by copping unwanted feels, and Garth — well, Garth will just bite people.

I wish I could say that this was spam, because how funny would it be to get spam referencing a diagnosed condition that you have, as well as accurately describing two of your friends?

Sadly, it’s from a friend.

Of course, I use that word loosely.

I’m not convinced that aliens don’t walk among us

(Thanks to Helluva for linking to this)

Ah, the Smoking Gun — while they usually just manage to dig up dirt on celebrities (because who among us doesn’t want to see the mightiest of the American Dreamers brought down to the level of the trailer park?), this time they’ve posted something really interesting: Travis Frey’s marriage contract.

Travis Frey, if the newspapers are to be believed, is a shitheel of the highest order. Iowa man, my age, two kids. But let’s not even bother with the fact that he’s been arrested on charges of kidnapping his own wife or downloading child porn; that’s all alleged anyway, and not fact. It would be wrong to convict a man in the press, before he’s had a right to fair and impartial trial.

No, in this case, let’s just go with that contract. Seriously, you need to read it. Go on; I’ll wait. Feel free to chuckle, giggle nervously, or vomit. All are valid forms of self-expression when confronted with something like this. I wonder: which was Ruth Frey’s reaction when she received this? I’m going to guess giggling and vomiting simultaneously.

How old do you imagine this contract is, though? How long has she been living with this? Okay, the news reports say she didn’t sign it, and good for her. I think if you can sign something like this with a straight face, there’s something seriously wrong with you. Seriously. No more chuckling, for the moment. Okay, we’ll toss in an exception for the rare deviant couple who embrace the whole alternative lifestyle / BDSM thing; but again, I’m going to question your stability. That’s just me, though. What do I know?

I do know that this sort of thing makes for a cute joke. And I’m not going to say that it wouldn’t be amusing — this is the sort of sick humor that is right up my alley on a bad day. And I’d like to think that my wife and I would laugh about it, maybe over a glass of wine or two. And that she wouldn’t refuse to sleep with me ever again, or Bobbittize me in the middle of the night. And most importantly, that she would throw the damned thing away when the laughter was done, maybe even shredding or burning the evidence so damning of my immature sense of humor.

What? It’s not a joke? Really? No, stop — you mean someone would actually have the nerve to present this to someone with any level of seriousness? You’ve got to be kidding me.


Okay, Frey — that’s pretty fucked up. Not hard to explain, by any stretch of the imagination: low self-esteem, bad communication skills, and some sort of power trip need. But damn, man, the more I hear about you, the more I think maybe you should have counted yourself lucky to have ever gotten married in the first place and left it at that.

And Ruth — woman, what are you thinking? Look, you’ve got kids with him, you’ve been married to him for some time (I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt and pretending that the marriage contract is something that he handed you just recently), but still… There are women reading this ready to kick me in the head just for joking about this being a joke. Surely you can muster a little integrity and pride up for yourself, get a little angry, and tell this guy that he’s on the sofa for life, at best. Yeah?

It scares me to know that people like this — both the crazy domineering type and the kind that need love and companionship so badly that they will put up with behavior like this — are not only out there in the world, but probably in far greater numbers than I’m willing to consider. I know that there are different strokes for different peeps and all that jazz, and I’m okay with that. But damn, folks, really?

I’ve been asked if I can ever imagine myself married again. I’m not stridently opposed to the idea — if it’s important to the woman I’m with, it’s something I’d consider for her. But in general, I’m not a fan of marriage; it’s a social contract, for one thing, that is based largely in religious foundings, not really my cup of tea. But the other thing stems from my romanticism: the idea that every morning, that person lying next to me is still there because she wants to be, because she loves me, is one of my favorite ideas ever. Much better than knowing that they’re staying because someone else expects them to.

Plus, who wants to feel even remotely guilty when you file for divorce because your husband turns out to be some skeezy spineless wormboy?

Thanks, Neely.

I am covered in skin
No one gets to come in
Pull me out from inside
I am folded, and unfolded, and unfolding
I am
Coffee black and egg white
Pull me out from inside
I am ready
I am ready
I am ready
I am…fine
I am…. fine
I am fine
Counting Crows, Colorblind

The write stuff…

Its career-change time (part of that mystical “everything you know is worng”) (yes, that’s intentional, again).

I’m tired of working in a big office, of being less a known entity than a face and name and employee number.  Surprisingly, I’m tired of not having enough work to do, and of not being noticed if I’m in or not.  Sure those, last two are nice, some days — but damn it, if I’m forced to be here forty plus hours a week, make it for a reason.  Otherwise, instead of me pretending to work, you pretend I’m working instead of hanging out at home doing freelance.  Hey, you get paid more than me, so you do the pretending…*

I’d like to find a place that can take advantage of more than one of my skills.  I kind of have that now — I do some design, some programming, some writing — but I need all of that plus a little room to be creative.  And, as I’ve mentioned before, creativity by committee is not such a fun idea.

The days at Heckler’s could have been ideal, maybe (although I feel certain that I’m glamorizing this a lot in retrospect).  There was a fair amount of creativity, and I did a little of literally everything — writing, design, programming, multimedia.  And for christsakes, it was all video games and comic books and horror movies, so how bad could it be?  Well, of course, I’m leaving out the drama and politics and soap opera atmosphere, and the financial aspect (a classic case of the tail end of the dot-com boom, where the founders were rich and getting richer, and those of us on the bottom of the food chain were making less than busboys at chain restaurants).

And TapeSouth was a decent enough gig, too, though I don’t know that I ever felt appreciated or recognized for my abilities.  No, I’m not the engineer that Daniel is (or even then, was), nor the designer that Ginger was / is.  But I was one of the only people that could do everything from start to finish on a project,and except when I was being lazy (good lord, the idea of QC’ing another 2,500 cassette job in this lifetime is enough to make me break out in a cold sweat), I was damned good at the job.  Not good enough to help keep the business afloat, unfortunately, but so it goes…

And then, I consider going back to bartending.  Cause the money’s great, the job is easy, and the perks are often well worthwhile.  Of course, that’s probably a terrible idea in the long term, but hey — I got this far without thinking about the future?  Why start now?

I’m reasonably sure that’s mostly a joke, sort of.

* thanks to Bill Hicks, who is dead but still fucking funny

After the Flood

(Yeah, they’re lyrics to a song. I wrote them. Fuck off, or I’ll make you listen to the version with my vocals.)

Shadows in the sunrise
Angels in the storm
Sorrow without reason
Anger without form

Daylight burns the blind
Passion scars the mind

Driven by forgotten dreams
Blinded by the tears
Scream the silent lullaby
Drown in whispered fears

Daylight burns the blind
Passion scars the mind

Sheltered by a foundless faith
My garden’s path grows wild
Torn rose petals hide the blood
And the body of the child

(Well, bugger me — look what I found…)

A while back, on I-20 between Jackson MS and Birmingham, I saw in my rearview mirror the most amazing sunset just after a fairly brutal rainstorm. I don’t actually remember too much detail — just that I was overwhelmed in the moment of it all. This would have been sometime between 1996 and 1998 — closer to ’96, probably fall. And in the moment, the disease that I’ve dealt with all my adult life suddenly made perfect sense to me; it’s summed up in those first two lines.

This is one of the very last songs that I wrote. I know that there’s Beautiful Garbage from around 1998 (a total Canon in D rip, with some really great lyrics by Jonas Grey) and King of Shadows from the same time (again, lyrics by Jonas – easily my favorite thing that Jonas and I ever did). But as far as music and words, all by me, After the Flood was it. Oops — not entirely, actually; the music was written by me and Daniel as part of a soundtrack thing we were working on for some nature thing. I still have those original tracks that were eventually spliced together Frankenstein-style to make up After The Flood.

Frames per Second — there’s a memory. It’s the closest I’ve ever come to having my “own” band, which is to say, like the Exhibit(s) are for Eric — mostly by me, but with input from Jonas and Daniel. And yeah, it’s some really uplifting shit — you can check out about half of the catalog at Garageband, which I had forgotten all about — but keep in mind that when I’m in a good mood, I’m not sitting around long enough to write a lyric.

FpS still exists as a moniker for my own stuff, the things I do at home with samplers and loops and the occasional experiemental or solo instrument piece. But for a short two or three year span, it was mine, and though the production is rough and rushed, I think the arrangements and lyrics and playing are all something that I can be proud of. Hell, I can still stomach hearing the songs ten years after they were finished, and while flawed, I think each of them has moments of their own where they absolutely shine.

This started out as a post to anyone who wonders what being me feels like. I know it’s not much of a help, but it’s there.

And if nothing else, King of Shadows has a great beat. Maybe you can dance to it.

Anonymity, etiquette, and the sound of a thousand fists pounding

There are times when I think that everyone who steps out of line on the Interweb should be — totally unexpectedly, caught red-handed — called on the carpet.  I mean, the full deal: whether you’re lying about who or what you are, using the 0s and 1s to create a full-body mask for yourself, or perhaps you’re just being an asshole, stirring up negativity because you can.  Maybe you’re leaving posts on someone’s blog that disagree with them, and you take it a bit too far, make it personal.

Whatever.  I think everyone should have to work fast food or retail when they’re young. I think everyone should have to wait tables or bartend at least once.  And I think everyone should have their online identity revealed at least once, if only to show that it can happen, so maybe you ought to be a little nicer. Continue reading