12. The lady who works in the mail room with the Dora the Explorer mushroom haircut, who smells like soup and wears polyester.
11. Bats. Rats with wings, indeed.
10. People I went to high school with who didn't speak to me, called me a "culture queer" and who now want to apologize and tell me how much they admired me. "Hey asshole, the grating marks that were embedded on my forehead after you smashed my locker into my noggin 16 years ago, fucking disagree."
09. The guy in the wheelchair who begs for money outside of my local grocery store everyday, who has a brand new Blackberry Pearl. My cell phone is held together by duct tape, and NOT because I am so DIY.
08. Cracks in the sidewalk...... and crack in general.
07. Italian Food..... Sorry Real Housewives of New Jersey.
06. My overweight neighbor who always tries to get me to pay his daughter for yard work, so she can go on Christian Missionary Trips.... Not only am I too broke to pay for help, I also love Satan.... He also was too freaked out to clean up the cat he ran over on his driveway, which meant I had to do it before the kids saw it. He sat there and wept.... It wasn't even his cat.
05. Vera Bradley bags.... I think there are hidden messages from Charles Manson in those swirly flowers. Clever devil.
04. I was going to say the Jehovahs Witness ladies that stalk my house on Saturday morning, but I kind of like to make "Yahweh Threeway" jokes, while going in and out of talking in tongues.
03. Disney Channel Teen Idols. Not because they are annoying, they are. But, because I believe that they are zombies created by the militant wing of the Catholic Church who have set out to eat the brains of the public, hiding the evidence of their victims under trendy styled, hair helmets.
02. Too much responsibility.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Friday, May 7, 2010
Thursday, May 6, 2010
We done got old! We're reproducing like a virus and dropping like flies!
Last summer, an old friend of mine was involved in a pretty serious car accident that totaled his truck, but apparently only bruised his elbow. A week after the accident, he suffered two massive strokes as a result of his carotid artery being severed by his shoulder belt.
He survived, but will never be the same.
Needless to say, this has been devastating to his fiancé and two very young daughters in a myriad of ways. Their father is incapacitated and a shell of the man he used to be. I say shell, because his soul and conscious are still there, but the ability to operate and control his body is gone. So he's essentially imprisoned. His fiancé now has to be a caretaker to three people in the family, two of which are completely dependent upon her; her infant and her fiancé. To say this is physically exhausting and overwhelming is the understatement of the century. Pile on top of that a bureaucratic system designed to hinder instead of help and social workers whose only advice is to drop the father of your children off at a VA hospital and forget about him.
AMERICA! FUCK YEAH!
His fiancé set up a CarePages profile for him, which she updated often. Many friends and myself were keeping abreast of their struggles and donating what we could, all the while feeling incredibly helpless about their dire situation. Our social group is comprised of artists, punks, do-gooders and liberals...... all of who are not known for their vast financial resources. It was frustrating to continually read about all of the heartbreaking obstacles this family was facing and really not being able to do a fucking thing about it.
One night while sipping some beers around a local bar, owned by some swell friends of mine, we discussed the heartbreaking situation our mutual friend was going through and the dissolution we were feeling with the systematic refusal to help them from the government and how life was unfair, and we wished we had money, and yadda yadda yadda.... When five facts dawned upon our thick, inebriated skulls:
We have friends in popular bands
We have friends who own bars
We have friends who own other types of businesses
We have big mouths, eyes for detail and good organizational skills
We all wanted to help in any way we could.
We created a benefit show and tagged it as a reunion of sorts. A reunion for all of the Cincinnati punk rockers, skinheads, rude boys and girls, and straightedge hardcore kids from the late 1980's and 90's, who all hung out on Short Vine Street. As we started to pull it together and raise awareness for the show, it became evident how much time had passed. I know in my rational mind that it has been over 20 years since I have seen some of these people, and the last time we saw each other, we were absurdly young. Much too young to be pulling the kind of shenanigans we were pulling at the time but so be it.
I started going through picture after picture from "back in the day" ( I really fucking hate that phrase, I need to find a new one... I am too lazy) and comparing them with recent shots.
Many thoughts were racing through my wee brain, but the ones that stood out the most were:
WE ARE FUCKING OLD. LIKE "MY PARENTS SUCK!" OLD.
MANY OF US ARE FUCKING DEAD. STONE, COLD, DEAD.
The picture album was eerily similar to an "in memoriam" album and it was quite depressing.
One of the side effects to the alternative, rock and roll lifestyle is early mortality and I have the pics to prove it, Internet. I really cannot believe how many people we have lost and how much we used to take life for granted. Cliche but true: Youth is wasted on the young.
Each and everyone of us who are still here and not imprisoned are fucking lucky ducks, because Xenu knows, I have done my fair share of life risking and crime committing, as many of you.
So come out to the show for Ben Stigar. We'll eat, we'll drink, we will sing, dance and ring in the new! HAIL ATLANTIS!
See you there. RIP Iron Mike.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
I used to have a friend named Mike. Mike towered over many of us with his giant bald head, brilliant smile and congenial manner. He was a real sweet potato.
We were the 90s; playing in bands, being in the scene, putting regretful tattoos on our bodies, blazing trails and taking numbers. Mike played in a band called Oxboard Drain with some of his closest friends. They were metally, hard core fun.
We were all young, we all needed the money, but none of us had started to care quite yet. We were tripping on youth, rebellion and freedom from responsibilities (other than the $350 in rent we scrounged up monthly from wait service jobs).
Time marched on and little by little, we all started to grow up and out of touch. Degrees, jobs, babies, marriages, mortgages, lawyers, guns and money. I would run into Mike from time to time, bask in his fantastic bear hugs, then saunter on back to my life in my world, on the other side of town. Taking life for granted, the ironic juxtaposition of existence, thinking I would see him again real soon.
Sunday morning, Mike finished up his bar-tending shift, went home, and went to bed.
He would never wake up again.
Iron Mike was a son, brother, husband, father and friend. He was a really special person and last night I had to say goodbye to him without his signature, affectionate embrace. I looked around and saw how his absence was affecting the people that had come out in droves to say goodbye. We were all waiting for a bear hug we would never get again. We all cried.