Monday, March 31, 2008

nervous energy and the music that doesn't help

And in a new northside home / I can spend a night alone / Not thinking of who I would leave / If the bottle got the best of me. - I Am Not Who I Used to Be by The Gunshy

I am a ball of energy. I work in less than 2 hours. I already rode my bike to lunch and back. I already played guitar for about an hour. So much energy.

Long drive home / Shoes on the staircase / You play new songs / Come recommended from / A guy you know / But you don't mention his name. - Channeling th Boss by Deepshit, Arkansas

I am having anxiety today, a little at least. I am nervous. Not a worried nervous, just nervous. I guess that makes it anxious.

Could we be saved by inventions and hopes? / Cause I'm not all right. / The night seems to swallow me whole and spits out / second guessing. - Young Loud and Scotty by Lifetime

I haven't been feeling 25 lately. More like 15. 10 years off the mind, body and heart. I don't dread waking up. I don't hate going to work. I don't have never ending thoughts of impending doom. I am enjoying every second spent with my roommates and my friends. Every song I listen to or sing along to feels better than the song before. I'm feeling things and saying things I haven't in years. I had no idea being back in California would work out so well for me.

I always wanted / Your affections / Now I don't know what to do with them / You say you crave / My attention / But I'm Tired and I won't be dragged back in. - Dragged Back In by The Weight

I'm going to take a bath.

monday morning, 1:46 am

I'm listening to old mixes, looking at old photos. thinking old thoughts, waiting for phone calls that I didn't even know I was waiting for. I may sound sad, but I am really happy. I'm just putting x's on calendars for the next 5 days. It feels right to say it, life is good.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Minus the dancing - Video Day

My life is just like this video. Minus the dancing. And the pregnant girlfriend. And the fire escape. And Rod Stewart. But other than that, exactly the same.

"Young hearts be free tonight, time is on your side"

Fuckin' A, Rod Stewart, Fuckin' A.

I was thinking about that, the young hearts part. And I'm pretty sure he meant young as in age, especially with the running away and parties and all of that. But I prefer him to mean young as freshly in love. When it first starts to happen, when you wake up for the first time thinking about them, when you call them for the first time just to hear them talk, or when you make plans to do nothing but bask in their presence, you are young. You act irrational, like a teenager. You save their text messages/emails/voice mails and go over them over and over again. You think of the tiniest ways to make them smile, or make their day that much better. It is such a great feeling. Until it fades.

But I'm thinking it doesn't have to fade, right?

Young hearts be free tonight, time is on your side indeed.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Even if the sky must fall

I'm still recovering from my last 24 hours. 2 hours of sleep after a very large beer and champagne before I drove to the airport at 3:30 in the morning then some more sleep. It was a day of listening to songs written by my friends, singing along to others, and writing my own. I wrote a song today that I am very proud of and is the most honest thing I have ever created. I was supposed to go watch basketball with Whit, but I ate dinner with my roommate Crystal and had an evening of great conversation. Bill got home and he got to hear the song and he showed me a video interview with this guy Jeffery Brown. Bill went to bed and I stayed up and read two of his books. I'm putting off going to bed because I'm not looking forward to doing it alone. I guess some nights have to be this way so you appreciate the others. Goodnight.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

12 hours ago...

I was at LAX. I was dropping of friends for a trip to New York City. I was driving one of their cars and I thought about parking it and buying a ticket to somewhere. I love flying. A little part of me hurt, literal pain in my stomach, from being so close to security and ticket agents and 5 dollar pints and baggage claim and not participating. My bank account got the best of me. Time to plan another trip!

In Between Days - mix

This post is late. By more than a week. At least its not my period. ;)

On March 19th, 2000 a war ended. It was a Sunday. I had spent St. Patrick's Day weekend in Ventura at a Holiday Inn. I was celebrating a friend's birthday with a future ex-best friend, a future ex-girlfriend, a future bride and her mother. I don't remember anything else about that trip. What we did, where we ate, or if I slept good. When I got home on Sunday I got the phone call. My mom wasn't home, and she was never coming back. There were tears, and I understood and I didn't want to.

On March 19th, 2003 (give or take some hours) a war started. It was a Wednesday. I had spent St. Patrick's Day in my converted boat house room drinking Black and Tans. I was celebrating drinking on a Monday with a future ex-coworker, a future ex-girlfriend, a future ex-friend, and his broken chair. I don't remember anything else about that night. While I was at work I on Wednesday I saw the news on the TV. I put it on the radio in my department at Best Buy. I heard the sounds of rockets and explosions and talking heads while I sorted car stereos. When I got home I tossed and turned all night with the sound of analysts and missiles and the green hue of night vision on my television. This time there were no tears, and I understood, but I didn't want to.

So to celebrate, no remember, the intersecting of my personal and non-personal lives on the same day 3 years apart I made this mix. It's about love and hate, war and peace, me and myself.

Inbetween - - mix
When It Rains - Paramore
Ashtray Monument - Jawbreaker
Lullaby For The Taken - Kimya Dawson
The Weight of Guilt - Lucero
Good Fucking Bye - Matt Skiba
This Year - The Mountain Goats
Black Masks & Gasoline - Rise Against
By The Throat - Dead To Me
To Lanterns, Denver, and One Last Lament - Defiance, Ohio
Playing Dumb - The Good Life

Editors Note - I had thought that the phone call came on St Patrick's Day, but in going over calenders I see that it actually happened on the 19th. That is why the mix is called in between days, because the post was supposed to be on the 18th. I hope that helps any confusion.

Monday, March 24, 2008

a resurrection of sorts

I drove on a freeway over hills I've traveled many times before, mostly a passenger. The car had driven me small distances around town, to an airport once, and once home from one. The sun dropped over the mountains and at moments split the space between the visor and the car in front of me. It was blinding, but for only seconds. A song on the stereo full of f.m. static I've heard and danced to before sounds different. The passenger let trails of smoke from her cigarette sweep out of the rolled down window. The thought, then the smile on her face, her legs crossed in an easter dress, the very yellow rays of a sunset everywhere. My arms, half covered, tried to steady the steering wheel and take this all in. Somewhere someone is thinking of their savior rising from a grave. Me, I'm taking a picture and hoping to escape my own.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

How to...


From top to bottom:

  • Get tiny chocolate bottle of booze
  • Turn upside down and peel off half of the wrapper
  • Bite the ass off
  • Spit ass into box/bag/cup (not pictured)
  • Drink!
  • Throw empty chocolate bottle into box/bag/cup
  • Repeat (not pictured)
Crystal (Bill's girlfriend and one of the roommates. Editor's note: It wasn't them watching basketball, it was my other roommate Bobb and his lady, sorry for any confusion.) had a box with WAY too many of these under her bed that she forgot to pass out at Christmas, so she put them on the coffee table for all of us (read: me.) to enjoy. Tim came over a night or two later and we "ate" almost 2/3rds of the box. The trick to doing this is to not eat ANY chocolate. It will inhibit your buzz getting ability and make your belly not happy. Plus, if you are like Tim and I, you are drinking beer too, and chocolate doesn't really go well with beer. We've put them in coffee and tried to eat the whole thing, and honestly, this is best way. Some come Christmas next year keep you eyes out for a box full of chocolate bottles of booze, and if you go halves on the plane ticket I'll come give you the demonstration in person. Sorry, I'm never taking a bus anywhere again ;)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

a post intended to create more post-funeral threesome opportunities

OK, not really. Well, maybe. I don't know.

Tomorrow will be two weeks unemployed. That is no problem. I have things that might lead to work, or they might not. I'm thinking food stamps maybe. That would be good.

I'm cooking a lot lately. Doing things I've never done before. Sauteeing mushrooms, pizza from almost scratch with potatoes on it, and some interesting takes on burritos.

I've also been writing.

And riding my bike.

And rediscovering the joys found in other people.

And listening to great records.

And listening through the wall to see if my roommate is breaking up with his girlfriend and she is crying or if they are just watching basketball.

And shaving off my beard for a funny moustache.

And trying to live like I've always wanted to.

California has been very good to me. Thank you.

Tomorrow, a how to post, via either video, slide show or powerpoint.

I do have one regret.

I'm not having or going to an Ides of March party.

Next year I promise.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

a partial list of things set on fire in my backyard on 3/10/2008

  • chair
  • cd's
  • a 7inch record
  • speaker wire
  • bottles
  • cans (clap your hands)
  • underwear
  • booze
  • traffic sign
  • random wood

Monday, March 10, 2008

well there's poor then there's poor

That's the opening line from a song my friend Dan wrote today. He recorded it and sent it to me. It is very good. When there is a proper version of it I'll pass it along.

Yesterday I learned something about my friends when I was trying to be told something else about them. Another person, my dad, was trying to get me to join the military. And he was saying I've wasted the past 8 or so years of my life. And that my friends don't care about me. I threw rocks across the street at a real estate sign that I couldn't hit. I drank box wine from a red solo cup and tried not to cry when trying to defend my actions/feelings/loves up to that exact moment. But I didn't do any actual defending. I sort of caved, and agreed that maybe things could be better, or at least different.

Bill came home. Crystal came home. Juliana and Bobb came home. Bert came over. Stephanie came over. We shared drinks and stories of the disconnect between us and our parents. How I am spoiled that my mother shows general interest in the things I do, the songs I sing, the pictures I take, and the things I write, and that none of our other parents understand what we are doing. They were all married, with kids, and careers by this point in their lives. Some were on their second marriage already. They don't see the point in working jobs we hate to have enough money for rent in a house with our best friends and buy 24 packs of beer on a sunday night. They don't see the point in anything we do. And that is ok. They still all love us, and they still wants nothing but the best for us, but their best and our best are different. I can tell you that we all care about each other, and we all include each other in most of our plans and decision making.

And I learned something about myself.

I can find something to be passionate about. I think I found it. And I learned that I can tell someone something and not need their approval, or a response. I can say something so that I know it has been said, and that is all that matters.

I'm learning to apply my diy/punk rock ethics to other areas of my life. It makes me smile.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

this first week - video sunday

The Good Life - Heartbroke

The title of the song does not relate to my life right now. That is nice.

My first week back in California has been good. I've been on a couple of bike rides. I'm still walking places and driving the least amount possible. I've got to see a bunch of people I have really wanted to see. I'm playing music, writing songs and writing in general. I've taken a bath. I'm about to take another one. I am happy to not be in Chicago, I am happy to not be in the army, I am happy to not be sad. Yesterday I did have a spot, a little rough patch, and that is where that blog came from. But between the sunlight, the sound of activity in the house, the conversation of friends, the records spinning in the other room, the planning of days and nights to come, well, I am better. I don't have a job, and the shrinking money makes that a worry. But it's not too bad of a worry. I think that everything should happen very fast. I should be working already. It has only been a week. It will be ok. Everything will work out exactly how it is supposed to. And with that I will take a bath and go for a walk. Enjoy your Sunday, and if you can, hug your mother.

p.s. about the jet blue flight. besides the two next to me, there were only two other empty seats. and the kid didn't throw up till almost the end of the flight, I had been up for more than 24 hours, and I am against rewarding someone for not enjoying turbulence ;)

Saturday, March 08, 2008

the changing faces of days

I'm spending a day filled with listening to records, drinking beers, talking with friends and dreaming of other coasts. I'm turning worries over and over in my head that are new, but nothing different. I am no longer cold, I am actually a little sunburned. I am surrounded with the friends that I was missing intensely. I can see the sun setting through the window, the wind is blowing the last old leaves and a couple new ones towards the house. I have these feelings about all of this, and a lot of things that I haven't spoken about. And it all comes down to this.

Today used to mean something. It had significance. It still does, to some, and a little to me, but it is not the same, for the first time. And it is strange.

So here's to all the pisces I know, at home or abroad, born today or any other. May you never know the melancholy sitting in the pit of my stomach. Take care of yourself. It is hard.

Friday, March 07, 2008

a warm welcome back to california

I flew jetblue back to california. I had a whole row to myself. I watch espn on one tv, the google map of the plane on another tv, and listened to xm radio 80's alternative hits on the third tv. I slept sprawled across three seats, which resulted in me getting dirty looks from the older woman across the aisle from the seat my feet occupied. She was next to a mother and her son. When I woke up we had just entered california, and as we crossed over some mountains by riverside the plane bounced and shook and dropped with turbulence. It made the kid throw up. It didn't make my heart feel as good as normal, but it still made me feel good to be home. Here are some pictures of the things I've been doing the last few days. Now I'm going to ride my bike to whit's. (bike ride with bill, drinking at a desert preserve, pina colada's, veggie pot pie)

Sunday, March 02, 2008


someone is waiting for me to come home. someone is waiting for me to leave.
someone is waiting for me to write another song. someone is waiting for me to never write again.
someone is waiting for me to calm down. someone is waiting for me to not stop.
someone is hoping this isn't the same as all the other times before. someone is thinking they know better.


I'm just waiting for the train.