“If you write something, and you believe in it, you’d like to see sixty million people moved by it.”
The fear of parking my ass in front of a keyboard and actually pounding keys has been a crippling feeling lately. All truth being told, I’ve been avoiding all sort of metal exercise, solely because I felt a sort of choke collar around my neck. It’s a new feeling, a feeling of drowning and choking at the same time. Gasp for breath and choke a second later. People have called it many things, writers block is not one of them. For a person that loves to be poised with fingers at the ready wanting to barf words onto a screen using fingers, I know writers block isn’t the term for it. Confidence was the issue, I knew there weren’t sixty million people wanting to read my stuff, actually, I’d be surprised if six people read my junk.
But then again, the internet is flooded with people looking for attention, grasping at a piece of that sixty million. How Nelson Algren came to the figure of sixty million I’m unsure of (however I’m damn sure that almost nobody, maybe one in a hundred have heard of him). It’s a pretty suitable number to wrap your head around, though. There is a lack of quality context and a flood of context for the sake of making content. I have a blog/YouTube Channel/Twitter account/Instagram….you get the point. Nelson, buddy, I wish you could see what you’re missing out on. Your figure of sixty million wasn’t too far from the truth, but back in the 20’s, when you threw the figure out, it was probably absurd. That many people all wanting to be heard and have attention. I’m struggling with this, as any serious intellectual probably should.
I was defeated by it. I wasn’t going to compete, self esteem at an all time low and my willingness to sit down and try to spew forth philosophical dribble was even lower. I did not, however, turn to chemical refreshment, the pal in my pocket. No, it wasn’t going to help, I wasn’t going to sleep my way through this informational a-pocky-clipse. I had to wait till my mind was good and ready, and my heart was there. My heart was starting to ice over and I was beginning to be concerned with an absolute freeze over and expulsion of all creativity from my brain. The internet was killing me.
“Every natural human urge has been thwarted in one way or another, so that some cocksucker gets to make a dollar off of your guilt.”
And the cocksuckers are making plenty of pennies.
At the apex of a turning point in life, many of us find ourselves crashing into the preverbal tire wall of self worth. You’re acing the course, at least that’s what you feel like, you line up your turn it, hit your mark, gently guide in to hit that glorious apex and then, wham, you’re neck deep in a wall. That’s what they want, they want you to have to buy tires, new cars, a neck brace. It’s an odd parallel to draw, but stick with me. The race track isn’t much different from the track of life. Rare, if ever do people want to let you pass so you can be better than them and place better on the track, same goes in real life.
There are sixty million people that want to see you succeed, however, you only meet maybe three of them in your entire life. It’s not your fault, it’s a big freaking world. It’s easy to become defeated and bury your head in the sad sand, aka, the internet. Which, today, actually became a good place for me to be…enter Frank Zappa.
“There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”
A friend, vicariously through the great creation that is the BMW CCA, posted this on his feed. I love scrolling feeds, however, I don’t read much. Typically I look for cat videos and pictures of dogs. This isn’t due to my lack of intelligence, it’s actually the opposite. The internet is full of people arguing, and when an argument occurs behind screens, where people can copy and paste emotions, it’s a waste of time to read most of it. *most* I saw this post, and I had a sucker punch moment, almost like it was a sign from Nelson Algren himself (you’d think I’d say Zappa, but I’m sure he’s far busier in the afterlife).
I leapt from my second hand store rocking chair that my mom bought me for five bucks in Burlington Wisconsin….and I toted back to South Carolina, in a tiny One Series BMW….with luggage for three. (I’m territorial of my rocking chair). I went to my fiberboard bookshelf that has long been sagging and grabbed my copy of The Real Frank Zappa Book, a book that I’ve had since maybe 2001. I read it, and handed it to my sister, six years minor, and honestly didn’t think much of it at the time. Ten or so years later, after we had both moved out of the house, I went back to visit and found a few books. Bukowski, Palahunik, Zappa, Thompson, Algren, and an odd Capote (that nobody read). I took them with me, never opening them up.
Today, however, I popped the front cover of Zappa and found a sweet pile of pictures that my sister had stashed away. A sweet one of us as kids with a baby bird, pictures of her friends, a picture of her at a Mexican restaurant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee (I took that one, I remember). I’m not sure if it was the tangible paper between my fingers, the book itself, or nostalgia, but I had a gripping feeling of completeness. I was onto something that wasn’t the internet (ironic…seeing as how I’m using it as my medium right now).
I tore into other books, seeing highlighted passages and makeshift bookmarks. Dogeared pages that I scoured wondering what the pertinent passage was. So many pages, so many sheets of paper flipped over. So many ideas that permeated young minds. These were my guide books, flight patterns, goals.
In one book, my original copy of Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas, I found my ticket stub from when I skipped country (yeah, not even town, but country) to visit Morelia, Mexico to be with the love of my life at the time…long story short, I don’t live in Mexico now, lesson learned. I wouldn’t take that back for the world though, however, somehow I forgot all about that adventure.
Another book, another set of memories, not so much mine, but my sisters. In Sex, Drugs, and Coco Puffs, I found some of her PETA literature. A pamphlet with a bunny on it. I didn’t read, but I’m sure testing and Hasenpfeffer had something to do with it. It wasn’t my journey, but I shared it with my sister. I remember that, and I might not have, had it not been for paper remnants in an old book. Memories on Facebook have nothing on an artifact found between to sheets of literature.
“Plastic soldiers in a dirt war.”
I dug deeper, grabbing books left and right until a pile of photos fell out that took me from my intellectual slumber into full blown writing rage. I remember the day/night like it was yesterday and forgive me if I ever forget it again. I was at the height of my intellectual insecurity, hosting a brunch for people seventeen times more educated than I. A professor at Duke, an incredibly esteemed English teacher, a PE, and, well, Malcolm. I served made from scratch Beef Wellington with paired wine and cheese. I had emergency snack rations for afterwards, God forbid the beef be tough. I wore my most modest dress….okay, let’s be honest, I wasn’t myself. I think they picked up on the scent because everyone was uncomfortable.
My blessing actually came from the high level photography that I was doing at the time (again, I forgot that I even did that). On a tour of our home, Malcom and Sarah were blown away with a few of my pieces and asked if I had them in a gallery somewhere. The answer was no, and the tour went on. They saw my binder and folders full of information about my new to me E24. Turns out Malcom had one back in the early nineties. Sitting around the living room, conversation got dull until I offered up a beverage…bourbon…Makers Mark 46, and Malcom jumped at the opportunity.
Actually, everyone did.
We spoke of everything from Jimmy Buffett, to the collapse of cotton in the south, degradation of mental health due to technology, and I remember it well as it was my favorite topic, dresses with pockets. It was the first time I ever felt on level playing ground with people of higher educations. It was the first time I didn’t feel bad about who I was, degree wise. Never in my life have I ever met a couple of more genuine people.
In case you’re wondering, the evening climaxed on the Liberty Bridge in Greenville, SC. To be fair there was only so much charm our home had to offer, downtown seemed like the answer.
Malcom and Sarah still send me an email at Christmas.
And for them, I owe it to them to try harder. Pick up my camera and take better photos, type on my machine and make better stories.
But always leave a paper trail. Had it not been for this snap, I might have forgotten about this moment forever.
“The only way I could finish a book and get a plot was just to keep making it longer until something happens. ”
I’ve been greatly influenced lately by something other than my old friend, booze. (insert gasp here).
I know, I know, it gets old after a while, reading about my opinion on things and the adventures that I have. To be fair, I’ve had quite a few of them in my time, and I like to let people live vicariously through my reckless abandonment of rationality. It seems to be very gonzo of me, to embellish the honest goings on of my mundane life. As Hunter S Thompson once said, “it never went fast enough for me”, which is how I felt for quite some time, especially when looking for something to write about. It led me down a path of self absorbed urgency and bad decisions. It led to stories that I never wrote about, because, well, life indeed got too fast for me.
Now it’s going at a snails pace and nothing exciting really happens to me, or at least, nothing anybody would want to read about. I guess it might be the big 34 creeping up on me, maybe it’s the fact I haven’t driven in a year. It might just be the fact that I felt I saw my viewer count drop, so my assumption was that people stopped caring. I got a random email once in a while asking when my next post was going to be, and well, I didn’t know so I didn’t respond. I left everyone hanging, all three of my fan club.
I wrote my book 18 Wheels, A Road Trip Through The Mind, and nobody bought it, or read it. It dehumanized me and I felt like a failure at writing, so I quit. I mindlessly worked my job, every once in a while with a spark of inspiration to write, but did nothing about it. I looked at my draft folder maybe once a week, but opened none of the files. I skimmed through the manila envelopes of organized material that I have saved to write the Great American Red Shark adventure, but did nothing. I made a conscience effort to write something after my good friend Ken Kanne fell ill and I set up a go fund me account (which he could still use help, visit the donation page here). My site sat blank and the money didn’t roll in. I felt bad, I wasn’t helping Ken out much, but then again, I wasn’t helping myself either.
A turd, I felt like a turd that had been floating in the toilet of attempts for too long. I was stagnant.
Now, the urge to flush the attempts down the toilet is strong. The urge to hop back on the writing horse is there, and I’m pulling myself up by my hard trodden boot straps. I’ve pouted long enough, it’s time to type. I’ve been investing too much time in playing The Sims and not enough time typing. I’ve got to start somewhere. The time is now, the place is here.
After writing 18 Wheels, A Road Trip Through The Mind (which you can buy here) the idea was to have a recurring project, getting through all 18 categories of our hero, the truck driver, emotional trauma. Good news, I’ve got #18 done, and I’d like to publish it, however, I’ve got stage fright. I’d like to have some feedback from those that have read the first one as to the input as to what should appear in the next in the series.
I understand not everyone uses the Amazon platform, so, if you’d like a copy sent to you pdf or word doc, I can certainly hook you up. This writing thing is my “sort of secret” way of raising fun money. You know, the kind of money you spend when you’re on a adventure.
Give yourself a moment to ponder, would you rather spend a half an hour scrolling through stupid shit on FaceInstaTweet or invest 4 bucks and read my book?
I’m waiting 🙂
Ha. No, you can refuse it, but I don’t recommend it.
As many of you know, I’ve had quite the adventure the past year. Exactly a year ago, to the date, and almost hour, I was settling into my new place in Oregon. Life was crazy, life was upside down, but I loved it. I had freedom in my veins, and not a soul within a two day drive that I could rely on to bail me out of tough times. Tough times I had, but I made it through. I worked, but with a half heart, because I didn’t want to have a boss. I wanted to do my thing, which, at the time at least, was be reckless.
Free spirits are often riddled with responsibilities that don’t seem to fit in with crazy free spirit living. I tried my best to adapt to the desk life, it didn’t work. I loved what I was doing, but I couldn’t mentally keep myself in the chair. My mind was outdoors, exploring, but I cranked away at the computer. The entire time, I always had Zips on my desktop as a computer wallpaper. A fantastic picture of him taken in Sweden, always there to give me a smile even when I wanted to cry. He also hung out in my purse, under my desk, for extra moral support. A few of my coworkers, who worked within a desk length sort of kept their heads in their own space, never opening up to me, so if I was emotionally struggling, I had nowhere to turn. My best friend at work, Betsy, was a room away, yet I never really opened up. I kept. My nose in my own struggles, knowing it wasn’t sustainable. I lived the company I worked for, I could make it happen though, and I feel sad about that.
Fast forward, I’m still struggling with the daily battle of lack of passion for my job, but a glimmer of hope broke through yesterday. Forever and a day, I’ve had Zips by my side (he’s right here, as a matter of fact on his very own bar stool). He inspired me to pitch an idea to a company, a company that sells bee advocacy products. I sent a picture of Zips, strapped into his travel spot on my tote and explained Zips travels. I also explained that wherever I go, I get questioned “what’s with the bee”, which afford me the opportunity to raise awareness of the decline of the bee population. My idea is to make Zips clones _not identical_to sell, so others can experience a life with a Zips of their own.
He’s so much more than fabric and stuffing, he’s an emotion support bee, he’s an advocate, he’s a steward, he’s a positive influence on society. See where this is going?
I’m going to start producing Zips, hand sewn and made out of repurposed fabrics and start making a few different prototypes. It’s still a baby business in the making, BUT, it will be my business. Not one of these “I am my own boss, yes still sell products that other people make and take a cut of” (leggings, supplements, makeup).
So, please, cheer me on in mkinh this happen. I haven’t named the company yet, not have really taken a needle to fabric yet, but it’s happening.
On the plus side, it’s hard to get fired when you’re the boss.
“People only count their misfortunes; their good luck they take no account of. But if they were to take everything into account, as they should, they’d find that they had their fair share of it.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky – Notes from the Underground
I sat in a darkish room, with darkish walls, around a darkish table, surrounded by people of grim expression and waning enthusiasm for life. Sitting there, in my bright red blouse, coordinating black and red skirt and red heels, I fit in like a mouse at a cat convention. Wringing my hands beneath the table, I looked down at the sheet of paper that sat in front of me on that dark table. The edges of the paper were yellowed with oils for hundreds of hands before me. People were speaking, I was hearing, but not listening. These strangers around me were sat in the dark room, most of them voluntarily, reading from these sheets. Some of them didn’t even have to look at the sheet to recite the words, for many of them knew them by heart.
“Nikki, your turn.”
“Step one: We admitted we are powerless over….” and I read, keeping my eyes downcast, looking in the direction of the paper, but not really reading it. This was an AA meeting, and we were basking in the pain each other had experienced and or were experiencing. The faces were friendly, almost to a familial extent, all looking to help those looking for a hand up, not necessarily a hand out. The meeting went on, as they typically do, stories of sadness and hurt, and upon conclusion, I was making a hot trot towards the door. It was a Sunday morning, I wanted to get on with my life.
“Please, young lady, Nikki was it? Please, join us for congregation and fellowship. You need no money, we will feed you.” The soft voice echoed for me from behind. “South Main, it’s…”
“By the tracks, I know where it’s at.” I left without much more to say. I hadn’t been to church since the annual Christmas Eve service with my mother-in-law a year or two prior. I wanted no part, I didn’t want to be around a bunch of holy rollers, nor did I want to monopolize my precious day off with sitting there listing to some sort of preaching. I kept walking, zeroed in on my car door, actually planning on crossing the county line to buy the ever elusive Sunday beer.
“The congregation is full of people like you, Nikki. There are drug addicts, both recovering and not. Alcoholics, some show up drunk. Homeless people, prostitutes, all of them are welcome. We don’t judge there. North Main.” He proclaimed from the door, almost as a beckon call.
I sat in my car, offended. Did I look like a damn drug addict, alcoholic, homeless prostitute? I faltered slightly before starting the car and heading off to the house, not going for beer. The entire ride, the whole three miles, was nothing but a reflective trance, the fear of what people thought I was, or even more frightful, what I had seen myself become. I wasn’t being invited to fancy occasions, formal dinners, company picnics, I was being invited to a church full of winos and hookers. That was the company I kept, or at least, the company I was perceived to keep. I ended up going to the service, against what I would typically do on a Sunday. I sat in the extreme back row, I gave no alms, I did eat a sandwich though and had a very interesting talk with some of the congregation.
The crowd was interesting, and as described, diverse. Some people in their Sunday best, hats and all. A few were in pajamas, a few were sleeping in pews. The minister didn’t care, he stood up there, spoke his sermon, threw water on some people, and as a congregation, songs were sung. I sat that one out, only because I wanted to focus on the faces of this crowd, this incredible gathering of oddities. Upon entering, I held my nose in the air, I was better than these people, or so I thought. By the end of the sermon, I was lower than these people, I felt like the slime on the underside of a slug, and to borrow a line from Crime and Punishment, I wasn’t worthy to keep the feet nor shake the pinky of any of them. I left there, shaken up, and in a funk for the rest of the day. Honestly, I hadn’t thought of that day until yesterday.
“Women gouges out own eyes, leaves bystanders shocked and disturbed.”
“Woman found holding her own eyes outside upstate church.”
“Woman rips out own eye, shows up at upstate church.”
You can see where this is going, it was that church. That same church that welcomed me, welcomed everyone.
I opened the new article and immediately recognized the church from the photograph. I felt sick to my stomach in a way I hadn’t felt since about a year ago when I read the new article about the woman stripping naked and running with the track team, Julie Ledger. The problem that I had, the draw that I had towards this story wasn’t the macabre nature of the story, it was the fact that there was some sort of parallel that I could see between the two stories. I had a personal connectivity to the woman in the upstate, could she have been one of those people in the church on that Sunday?
Without needing to be said, people don’t rip out their eyeballs without an inner demon that takes the wheel of their destiny. In this case, it hasn’t been released if or what sort of drug it was, but there is a huge part of me that leans towards some sort of same substance that caused a girl, wrapped up in the wrong lifestyle, to strip off her clothes and chase a track team around. These activities, these actions, these life changing circumstances all stem from a decision to escape reality. This is the only logic reason for one to subscribe to a lifestyle of drugs, and in some of our cases, alcohol. Reality becomes so gray, difficult, and impossible to handle we chose to numb our senses and drop out of it for a while.
Here’s the hitch in the giddy-up, there’s always going to be the edge.
“”The Edge… there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.”
Hunter S Thompson
I’ve been to within feet of the edge, I could feel it in my blood. It’s an interesting feeling, almost as if you fear death, but at the same time you welcome it to put a period at the end of the sentence of life. Crashing cars, unable to walk, poisoning, heart failure, all of these near misses of going off the edge didn’t really effect me. I’d shrug it off as luck, and never really stopped to look back and take inventory of all my “luck” incidents. This girl, with her eyes, whom might I add was only stated as being 19 years old, has gone over the edge, and who knows how any times previously she had a close skirting with the edge without going over.
I feel my friend, although I’ve never met her, Julie, had a ridiculously close skirt with the edge, and I feel for her, our nameless woman here in the upstate – no wait – scratch that – girl – has dove headlong over the edge. Think of it this way, she can barely buy cigarettes and lottery tickets, she can’t buy beer, and for the rest of her life she will be haunted with a decision that changed her life forever. It takes one step too far, one shot too many, one snort too long, one tree too sturdy to put you right over the edge.
I’m not getting preachy, but keep in mind, I’m shaken and tend to pull out my worn out soap box, take a delicate step onto it, lift my hands into a cone shape around my lips to form some sort of hand megaphone and yell a message. This is my message.
We all take risks, and none of us are saints. I’ve realized that drinking has, well, ruined my life. I do not hate myself for it, I just have become very cautiously aware of it. Have I become a teetotaler and put a plug in the jug for good? No, not hardly. Have I become hyper aware of those that don’t take care in their decisions when participating in their favorite escape. I care, I care about everybody, stranger or not. I hear stories that could easily be one of my friends, acquaintances, or hell, even people I don’t particularly care too much for and I care.
“As we are, so we do; and as we do, so is done to us; we are the builders of our fortunes.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Listen, life really isn’t a lottery, you’re not going to have a fortunate and fulfilling life by living on luck. Take the reins and make the right decisions. You might need help that you don’t have within yourself. I’m here if you need me.
“What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’m so sick of stealing quotes, and I sincerely wish that one day I’ll be acclaimed enough to find my way to a site that quotes my nuggets of sage advice. Sadly, I don’t make memes, I don’t post on Twitter (often), and I don’t think that there will be a Wiki page made about me. My fame isn’t going to come any time soon, and for some reason, that makes me very sad. We all want a moment in the limelight, a chance to be on the stage, all eyes on us.
Sadly, I found myself in the limelight in about sixth grade on the stage in front of a semi-attentive audience wearing clogs that I had never worn before and tripped and made an ass of myself in front of that entire auditorium. Keep in mind, it was a tiny town in Wisconsin, a tiny congregation of probably non-judgmental people, but even so, I thought it was my chance in the spotlight, and I blew it. Walking across the stage I stumbled and tripped and made an ass of my sixth grade self. All eyes were on me, trying to be cool, but ending up a hot mess of embarrassment. I failed. I had one task, to walk across the stage without making an ass of myself and I failed. I was reliant on acceptance, and well, I relied on the judgmental audience before I was reliant on my own satisfaction.
We can all take a collective sigh in the imagery if a clumsy pre-teen tripping across stage in an act of too big shoes and lack of confidence. Growing pains, that’s all it is, at least, that’s what we accept to believe. Reliance of applause, I wanted acceptance, and when there was a din of quiet chuckling, I about died. Being reliant on the acceptance of the audience was a toxic prescription to my young mind and, unfortunately, it polluted my mind up until my adulthood. I can’t honestly look at a person wearing an open ankled shoe without having a tiny echo in my soul resonate some sort of pain.
It was nothing but my perception of judgement. I was being seen as a failure because I could walk in clogs. Today, I look back and thing “damn, those were ugly shoes anyways.” Perception is reality, or at least that’s what I thought for a short while when I was deep into philosophy. Then I realized, Philosophy is only as good as the people that you surround yourself with. In other words, if you’re deep enough to quote Nietzche and understand the difference between Kant and a cunt, you might get it, but it’s not very common nowadays.
**Side note: while trying to investigate resources on my quotes, my auto-correct kept demanding I meant Kanye not Kant. After four times of trying to correct it, I took a sip of wine, and realized, this isn’t the world I want to live in**
“In law a man is guilty when he violates the rights of others. In ethics he is guilty if he only thinks of doing so.”
Which brings me full circle to my oops of adulthood – – my Washington Island adventure.
—>interlude: for those that need speeding up, I screwed up and more than likely lost my writing contract because of a judgemental piece I wrote about a sweet island that wasn’t ready for my bitter nature, surprise——<
Life comes full circle, and today everything from the clogs to the ferry to having my Honda repossessed to eating Ramen to being arrested in Utah to eating fried chicken in Georgia all comes down to reliance.
I have nightmares to this day about my adventure to Washington Island, but, it’s not an unpleasant trip. In my dreams, unlike the tripe that I wrote in my original article, it’s exactly as the island is: an oasis from modern living. There are quiet places to reflect, there are clean places to grab a beer, and more importantly, there are good, genuine souls that live and work there. They have a reliance on the commerce of the island, that’s where the paycheck comes from. That’s where the island thrives, local culture, and my head was so far up my ass that I didn’t see it. My reliance was on being better than others, in other words, not being the one that stumbles across the stage in clogs ever again. So….I brought others down with my sinking ship. I relied on the cinder block technique, also known as, if you’re going down, you’re tying a block to anyone else who might seem easy targets.
“To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering”
To this day, I feel remorse in what I wrote, what was published, and what the outcome was of that article about that sweet island. I was surviving and suffering, and I chose to take it out on an innocent island. I feel bad, and I apologize. I was relying on acceptance, and when I was faced with genuine people, I was confuse and did the only thing I was used to doing, ostracize, just like I was used to with those that heckled me in my clogs. It makes me sad.
Reliance, however you define it, infects a soul in a very special way. Forever, I was terrified as to what people would see me as, that was years ago. Many things have happened since then, and now, even though it’s impossible, I wish I was invisible, but still had a voice. Today, was a special day. I forgot to wear my glasses, which made my have a lazy eye, and I had a dead battery in my phone. I had no way of dulling typical living situations.
I looked around, I saw people look at my poor eye, which was investigating while the other was oogling. I couldnt’ pretend to be focused on social media without being called out as a fraud with a dead phone. It was interesting. People seemed to be seeking acceptance through their high tech devices. It was sad.
I’m still sad at the notion that we’re done with judging people personally on their clog fail in the physical audience, we can now judge people worldwide on their failures. What makes us so great that allows us to laugh at others failures? That’s what bothers me now, and I feel bad. This is officially my open apology to Washington Island. I’m not better than you, in all ways, you’re better than me.
absent. Yet without,
life is the dankest hell.”
Charles Bukowski (as he said about the holidays)
We embark upon the end of another year, and that always means a bubbling up of memories of the past. The book A Christmas Carol really nailed it on the head with the imagery of what was, what is and what will never be. It wasn’t until this year that I started really thinking and having feelings for this book, this epic tale of a bad man that, deep inside, was wrestling demons of greed, narcissism and a general self loathing of his environment. The thing that I don’t necessarily grasp of the book is why does it have to be centered around Christmas? Could this legendary tale be set in another holiday? Could it be reissued as “The Haunts Of Halloween”? Would the “Phantoms of Easter” not paint the same picture?
Probably not, and in this modern day of the unique form of narcissism in the form of social media it’s even less likely the tale would even make sense if it were rewritten. I had this morning, a visit from three spirits of sorts, while I lay in my bed staring at my phone. As a joke, I’ve been told I would die without my phone, but this morning I felt it kill a little bit of what lacking Christmas spirit I did have. I’ve been avoiding the holidays, feeling much like a Scrooge in my own way, but it never fails, they always find me. I see the joy in other peoples eyes at the miracle of the birth of Christ, the joy of recieving gifts that they probably could have gone out and gotten for themselves if they really wanted it, and the happy families. I’ll stop there.
As I lay in bed, I roll over from a sordid night of dreaming about carrying around dead puppies, a portal to be reunited with my Grandfather who had passed, and a haunted Kleenex box. No sugarplums danced in my head last night, and as I lay grasping the covers in my sleep I could almost tell, though sleeping, that there was something else instilling itself in my slumber land subconsciousness. I’d like to blame the spicy food I had for dinner before crawling into be, but that couldn’t be it, I’d like to blame sleeping medication which effects me like LSD, I’d like to blame everything but myself for my night terrors, but I realized it was all an internal attempt and expressing that if in fact I do harness my hate towards the holidays, nothing good would come of it.
Upon heavy reflection before even lifting my head from my pillow, these were all sorts of signs. My gut, soul, inner eye, whatever you chose to believe in, or even God for some I suppose, was leading me down a path of holiday reflection, and I didn’t know what to do about it. Every time I would close my eyes to try and fall back to sleep to try and replace bad dreams with more pleasant ones, maybe like reindeer or something, I’d have a vision of that dog. A dog. A dog. A dog. What did this mean?
To try to distract my attention I turn to my phone to have it blow up in my face like a proverbial emotion bomb. On the top of my well used screen was the ever-present Facebook notification, of course the first to in the morning. There’s nothing like a little ego prick to start the day. So-and-so said such and such here, so-and-so liked this, that guy liked your picture. Snooze. In the overwhelming bombardment of likes and comments in the holidays, I sort of glaze over most of it. It’s pretty much a bummer. Much like Scrooge sort of looked over his own ability to celebrate the holiday at first, I did the same with the feed.
Until, the dreaded “On The Day” notification. I was haunted by the ghosts of Christmas past. Last year was what I called the “Fake It ’til You Make It” Christmas, where I tried to put on a brave face and prepare a Christmas dinner and conjure up Christmas cheer. Not exactly a winning year. I put on a mask for about two weeks leading up to Christmas, a mask to hide my actual desire to hide. I even put up a tree and half-assed some lights outside. My stomach sort of sunk remembering the pain of inadequacy. Nothing I prepared looked like what it was supposed to, and the bunch of people that gathered with me were about as awkward as the blind leading the naked.
Then I got hit with Christmas past part two, two years ago I was throwing a suitcase, a backpack and myself into a 40′ motor coach to head to Sacramento. We didn’t care it was Christmas, and we didn’t care what other people were doing. On that day we made excellent time and, had it not been for the tacky ass nose and antlers on peoples vehicles, I wouldn’t have known it was a holiday at all. Stopping for dinner somewhere in Alabama, the diner server had a melancholy look upon her face, a face which sort of looked like it was chiseled out of hard clay then held to a candle in certain places. “Y’all are so sweet, probably travelling from your families today.” We both took a firm stance on the topic and said no. As we left, I had the comment “California or bust.” Before we knew it Christmas was over. Life was good, no bullshit, just business.
Three years ago, only one picture, but a ton of wall posts telling me how much I had been missed. Friends, relatives, all wondering where I had been and what I was doing. Had I dropped off the grid so much so that nobody where where I was or what I was doing? Then, one picture, actually, a picture of a picture. Taken back in 2005 when I had first moved to South Carolina. It is still hard to look at to this day, for the subjects in said photograph have all been through so much and sustained so much pain because of me, I can’t shake it. Betrayal, mostly, for I had been in the throws of self involvement too much to really feel for anybody else. I didn’t care who I hurt, but, in that picture, I had a face of a person that couldn’t harm a fly. That ghost really got into my bones and started doing the “for shame shuffle” on my heart.
Four years, another picture, and at an apex of my lost identity. I could tell in my eyes I had no idea who I was as a person. I looked almost robot-like with a little girl holding me tightly with a huge smile on her face. She was glowing with all the enthusiasm of the holidays, I had been smuggling rum most of the night, so I had a glow of sort too, but not in my eyes. I remember that holiday well, playing board games, playing with the kids, and really, ignoring the adults and their boring “adult stuff”. I stuck to the garage a few time for drink, yes, but not to dull the pain, only to cope with the feeling of being a misfit. Traditions mean nothing to me, so trying to pretend Cornish Hens were gods gift to the Christmas table wasn’t exactly easy, but with Rum it made the entire get together more palatable.
The past gave me quite a sucker punch, and although I wanted nothing more than to lay in bed and watch stupid cat videos, I knew I had to face the day. I was facing the ghost of Christmas present and I wasn’t having a good time, until I saw that there was one notification that I had ignored, an email. Rolling my eyes and actually wondering if time would be better spent scouring the underbelly of the internet for a cat knocking ornaments off a tree (because that was sort of what I was channeling) I opened it. An open letter of confession of hate, concern and also hope from a person that I wasn’t aware had emotions other than humor and hate. A heartfelt short sort of expression that, even after getting super bummed by my past haunts, lifted my spirits up. A message, from a person I feel bad about hurting, still cares. At that moment, I realized, humankind isn’t that bad.
I walk with my nose to the ground casting by gaze at my shoestrings more often than not, and the condition of the weather doesn’t concern my overall mental health as much as many others. The quest for fulfillment for me doesn’t end when my cup runneth over, emotionally or mentally, I always have a thirst for more. My past has left me with such a serious state of dry mouth from thirst, it’s amazing it hasn’t desiccated and fallen completely out. However, a sudden electrical charge sparked within me and there was a sense of re-enlightenment. This small illumination in my spirit isn’t going to falter by the wayside like so many others do after the holidays are over.
I think many a people look towards the future as mile markers. Make it to the next, and the next, and the next. Christmas is over, pack up your shit, wait for the next one. Birthdays, pack up your shit, wait for the next one. Relationships, pack up your shit, move to the next one. One after another will pass you buy, becoming mile markers of the past, until one day you will run out of mile markers. Here’s the thing, although the mile markers are still back there, and your progression down the highway of life is a one way street, they’re still going to haunt you.
For instance, on the Christmas trip to California, we were in some of the worst weather of my entire life in a rig that had no heat and half a windshield wiper. Was it an uncomfortable feeling? Of course, but would I take it back, no. Uncomfortable situations are where memories are made. Such is with my awkwardness during the holidays. If I were to set my mind to not doing anything, being a rather Scrooge, have you, there wouldn’t be anything in my “On This Day” at all, which would mean I wasn’t doing anything with my life, just passing mile markers on the fast road to the grave.
To all of my fast lane folks, I’d like to express my heartfelt open arms to you and embrace your existence. As always, I don’t proofread my work, and if I did, it’d be wrong anyways.
Whilst cleaning out the old garage, I stumbled upon a whole butt load of E24 parts that never got a chance to make it on Grandpa Shark. I’d like to see these all go to good homes, so if you know anybody that might be interesting in one, two or all of these parts, let me know.
I have pictures for all of these items and would be happy to ship them to you on your dime. Prices are negotiable and payment can be paid through paypal or local pick up!
(1) Leveling Switch Originally purchased from Pelican Parts Part #6131 $45
(1) Bosch Fuel Filter Part Number 5201 Purchased from Get BMW Parts $7
(1) Wiring Harness Co-Drivers Side (haha, that’s actually pretty funny) see link below. $70
(2) Seat Heater Switch Part #61 31 1 371 998 Genuine BMW Part see link $60 each $120 for both
Circular Connectors All bought from Get BMW Parts. If you’d like a picture of them, I’d be happy to snap one, they’re sort of boring to look at 🙂
#61 13 1 362 144 Baggie of 8 of them $4
#61 13 1 371 605 Baggie of 10 of them $6
#61 13 1 376 195 Baggie of 5 of them $10
Control Symbols Bought from Get BMW Parts Euro Spec Originally See link below $38 I’ll sell it for $30
“Plug” BMW Part # 64 22 1 370 340 (I have no idea what these “plug” They’re cute little things though. Purchased from Get BMW Parts See the link for the picture I have 8 Total $15 for all
BMW Ashtray – Rear Part #51161968487 Was in the original Shark before we upgraded the interior to M6 trim. $20
Master Cylinder ATE Original Part New in box with all extras see link below for comparison pricing $185
Fog Light Lens, Hella, Bumper Mount For Above Light Assembly for Fog Light with Bezel, (Left and Right) These were the original lenses for the Shark. They are a little rough on the surface, but no cracks or chips. I changed the front lip spoiler to the M6 and took these out of the old one. Genuine! These are no longer available from BMW, so they’re pretty special 🙂 $150 for the set or will separate
Magnetic Drain Plug $5
Fader control with Cylindric Part #65121379325 – Brand new OEM part, never installed, but I can’t find the box. $35
Fader Control original from the car – it has a different pin pattern on the back and has a little bit different depth. $15
Front Power Seat Controls – Original from the car, one is a little more faded than the other, but worked completely before we took them out. $40 a piece
Seat Switch Up Down Illuminated from original car, up arrow is fully there, down arrow disappeared. $40 each or $75 for the set See link below for better description
Rear Window Shade Bracket (2) $1.50 for both of them
I also have this cute little square switch that I’m not sure where it went to. Looks like a seat button, but it’s not! If you need a little square button, shoot me an email and I’ll send you a picture 🙂
///M6 Badge, very vintage. The///M colors are faded, but it’s very in tact. Cool looking! $15
Original Climate control panel cover – no buttons or switches or anything. All numbers and letters legible. $40
Original Owners Handbook including Radio Instructions and Manual and BMW Service Book (International) This is retailing on EBay for $350 WITHOUT The Radio Manual and Service Directory. I’ll let it go for $325. It’s in perfect condition, never been opened. Sat inside the glove box. Rare to find in perfect condition.
Electrical Troubleshooting Manual for 1985 635CSI – As seen on Ebay for 79 bucks, I’ll let this go for 60. Perfect condition. No Fingerprints, tears or stains!
“You understand, this struggle to live and succeed is going to kill you.”
A quote spoken to Hunter S Thompson in 1972
Fragility is a word that doesn’t really fall out of my mouth often. If it’s breakable, I probably shouldn’t be around it. I have overlooked the largest, most fragile thing in the entire universe – – life itself.
I have been using this poor blog for a battering ram the past couple of months against everything that pisses me off at that moment. I hate YouTube videos, so I write something nasty about YouTube videos. I hate politics, so I counter politics with doing an scathing post about hating politics. In other words, I’ve wasted a lot of time being hateful and using this as a catalyst for my own opinions. I do apologize, and to those of you that have been reading since, well, I think 2013, thanks for sticking around.
The original purpose for this “site” was supposed to be an open forum for spreading messages of inspiration and to open up your minds, and my own in the process, to different philosophies and ideas. Somewhere along the way I sort of morphed internally into this hateful person, in which I let my hatefulness effect my art. Maybe writing isn’t an art, but it’s my outlet. I used to paint, but it made me hateful because it never turned out on the canvas as I saw it in my head. Writing is way easier for me to use as an outlet of self expression.
“Find something you love and let it kill you.”
My life flashed in front of my eyes last night in a dear death experience. Although I’ve had several death flashes, this one particularly bothered me on a philosophical level. Why am I so hateful all the time, and all of a sudden? I remember telling people “I’m happy” and my heart and eyes would radiate that same statement. Now, when people ask me how I am, the response is inching closer and closer to “I’m hateful.” On the inside, I hate people that hate, and I think I’ve been stuck on that hamster wheel of hate for quite some time now.
Let’s deconstruct what causes hate. Simply put in a philosophical way, hatred is an evolutionary survival mechanism. T Rex probably didn’t hate much of anything, cause he was king of the dinos, but when it started getting chilly, I bet he REALLY hated the cold. (I’ve been thinking a lot about dinosaurs lately, don’t ask why). In modern culture, we hate those that are presumably a threat to us, or at least that’s where hate is supposed to come from. It would be okay for me to say that I hate the knife gang hanging outside of my house because I have a genuine fear of harm. For me to say I “hate” the all Puerto Ricans because that particular knife gang has a few Puerto Ricans is wrong. That’s not how hate is supposed to work.
Specificity is key in establishing a healthy hate for anything or anybody. My blanket statement “I hate YouTube videos” should be taken apart and given more parameters. Much like the knife gang, not all YouTube videos are created equal, some are more equal than others. I dislike certain videos about history because it bores me. Why do I want to watch what adventures other people had when I could go be creating my own? I dislike certain videos where people have opinions. Why do I want to watch something that might get me upset and want to argue. If I wanted to argue, I’d call my mom or something (just kidding, we don’t argue).
I was working last week on a particularly nasty vehicle and I made a statement that I cannot take back. It was, again, a blanket statement about hating a certain type of people. I should have specified and said “I hate people that leave their cars interiors filthier than the bottom of a dumpster that hasn’t been dumped in a few months.” Anybody, any gender, any race, any sexual orientation has the potential to be nasty, and I shouldn’t have profiled. Me dwelling on my hate didn’t make the work any more tolerable and it sure as hell didn’t get the quarter inch of grime off of every surface on the inside of that vehicle. My hate just fueled my already demeaned feeling of having to clean up after nasty ass people.
I will go on to say I do hate Thanksgiving. If you can name a single thing that is good and wholesome about it, I’ll be willing to entertain you. I hate food, I hate having to gather on a certain day because the calendar says so, I hate the idea of having to eat a certain thing because it’s tradition. I could go on. I will say this, why do we have to wait until the end of November to gather with family? Why can’t you eat tacos on Thanksgiving without being looked at as an odd ball? I don’t do holidays well. Perhaps you’ve noticed. This year, I’m going to rename it “Hatesgiving”. The negative connotation that I have with holidays is part of my survival makeup I guess you can say.
For the number of holidays I’ve had to excuse myself to the bathroom during a meal to cry because I couldn’t eat; for the number of holidays that I ran to the bathroom to throw up all the food; for the number of holidays I cried in the bathroom because I was spoken down to by a family member or in law; for the number of holidays I stayed in the bathroom because I didn’t want to make small talk; those are just some of the reasons I hate holidays. Thanksgiving in particular. Holidays are never fun for those with mental disorders.
So therefore, I feel my hate is justified, but, I’m not going to let it bleed into all aspects of life for life itself if fragile. The delicate processes of your heart beating in your chest and your lungs furnishing oxygen to your body doesn’t know hate. The struggle to survive is hard enough as it without adding hatred into the mix, without proper reasoning that it. I’ve been emotionally scared by more holidays than I care to remember, but allowing it to pull me down isn’t acceptable. I hate that concept. This year, I’m not going to let hate kill my happy. I’m not going to be a slave to making everyone else happy except for me, instead of the self hate that has consumed me, I’m going to work on self love.
This is my PSA to everybody. The holidays are tough on some of us, don’t make it any tougher than it already is by rubbing our noses in your “cheer.”
Besides, none of us get out of this thing called life alive, so why not make the best of it.
“And paper cups that hold two quarts.”
I sit here on my stool at Starbucks drinking an overpriced Americano and a free cup of water. In all honesty I think the water tastes better than the hot beverage, but that’s just me, that’s just my mood this morning. Much like everybody else in this amazing land we call America, first world problems that aren’t really problems. Yes, I’m bitching about a coffee. It’s too hot, the ice is too cold, the air is blowing from a vent above me, and chilling me out. Oh the things I could complain about, oh the things! That man over there, he closed the blinds because it was glaring off of his computer screen, I liked the sunshine, I should bitch about that. That guy over there is about 60 years old and keeps licking him thumb to flip through the newspaper that I assume he’s going to put it back in stack of public reading material.
Then there’s bro-dude, sitting at my twelve o’clock with a sort of track jacket thing with “USA” plastered across it. I reminds me of something Olympians would wear before diving into a pool or falling down a ski hill. His patriotism makes me sick. I don’t get it, then again, maybe I don’t want to get why. Does he know about the government of the USA? Does he know how disturbing it all is. Does he really believe in the land of the “free” (cough) and home of the “brave” (cough cough). Maybe, just maybe he’s not even from here, maybe he’s a foreign exchange student and thought it would make him fit in.
If it were later in the day and perhaps my veins had bourbon instead of coffee beans I would sit down, buy him a coffee and explain a few things. My lack of patriotism will probably get me in trouble, but there are a few things I think anybody wearing a “USA” sweatshirt should know, or at least ponder about while drinking their coffee beverage. Yeah, you, put down your cellular device or step away from your computer screen and do some thinking.
No, better yet, go listen to Frank Zappa. Songs like “Willie the Pimp”, “Hot Poop”, and “Weasels Ate My Flesh” sort of makes me think of what America has become.
“This here song might offend you some
If it does, it’s because you’re dumb
That’s the way it is where I come from.”
Frank Zappa “Wind Up Worin’ In A Gas Station”
Our culture has become sissies. A bunch of people offended by shit that really, in the long run doesn’t really matter. Sure, there are certain circumstances that justify caring, like if you feel your life is in danger, but most of this shit is just too much. A culture of babysat crybabies that are afraid of the real world. This is where Zappa comes in, sure, his lyrics are a bit, how can I say this without discrediting his talent, blunt maybe, but you know what, his songs make a hell of a lot more sense in the culture of today than the Star Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful, or any other cheesy song that heralds a time of yesterday when farmers actually farmed to live and didn’t rely on government handouts.
(I know, not all farmers take handouts, or the politically correct term “assistance”)
Raw lyrics like “watch out where the huskies go, and don’t you eat the yellow snow” makes a hell of a lot more sense to sing before a sporting event or any other sort of occasion where patriotic singing in needed. With songs like this, the generation for the most part that many of us are relying on for our future might learn to use some common sense. Something that is starkly void as I’ve noticed lately. Headlines such as “man walks in front of bus while texting”. Death by stupidity, but there was also a headline about “banning texting while walking.”
What. The. Fuck. What happened to “land of the free”? What happened to those “brave”? Sure, firemen are brave, some army guys are probably brave in their own special way, hell, I’m brave when I go out fishing knowing there’s a pack of wild boar across the water that could come mangle me at any moment. It seems whenever someone dies due to either lack of common sense or sheer stupidity a little bit of our “land of the free” disappears. Remember the days when seat belts were’t mandated? Seriously, if you’re stupid enough NOT to wear your seat belt, when you go soaring through the windshield and end up in a tree, you probably deserve to be there. There shouldn’t be any reason for punishment due to lack of common sense.
That being said, if I’m in a vehicle without a seat belt warning alarm, I don’t wear it. I traveled thousands of miles doing RV transport in a truck with over a million miles and grabbed for the seat belt maybe twice. My decision. If I want to get mangled in a wreck, let me be mangled. Leave me alone about it. The dummies out there that mandated there to be a warning notice on my coffee warning me it’s hot. Looking into my magic ball I foresee a mandate coming in our future that will disallow hot beverages from being more than a certain temperature. Ack. Rules, regulations, land of the free indeed.
As a self identified member of the “Underground Gonzo Press” I feel it necessary to report on the causalities of modern living due to the lack of common sense of some. The ability to become complacent and willing to adopt new rules and regulations because “they protect you” drives me up the wall, as it should everyone.
“Girl, you though he was a man, but was a muffin.” -that’s it, laws and regulations disallowing anybody from resembling a muffin.
“I can’t wait till my Fro is full-grown, I’ll just throw ‘way my Doo-Rag at home.” No hair over a certain height especially in fro form due to the fact that hair products are flammable and might potentially cause a fire.
“And as a man, who is attached to a prostitute, is unfitted to choose or judge of a wife, so any prepossession in favor of a rotten constitution of government will disable us from discerning a good one.”
Thomas Paine, Common Sense
Instead of making kids read “The Scarlet Letter” in High School, books like Common Sense, Notes From The Underground, and other counter government nanny books should be applauded. I made a joke the other day about the book Fahrenheit 451 being almost as realistic as any non-fiction book ever read. The day is coming, sooner than later, that we’ll be told what is “approved” musically, in print, and in all other forms of media. It’s already happening with the YouTube take over. Pretty soon places like Amazon will quit selling certain books and music. Songs like “Titties and Beer” won’t be available and all of the “freedom” you enjoy on the internet will be slowly whittled away to include only government approved crapola.
“Drums are too noisy.” Frank Zappa
See, I told you his was wise before his time.
“I don’t mind a parasite, I object to a cut rate one.”
Times are tough all over, I get it. Life doesn’t always go your way, I understand, boy, do I ever understand. Sometimes you get dealt a losing hand and you have to make the most of what you’ve got left. Fine, but none of those things should ever, under any circumstances take precedent over self morals and humanity towards your fellow neighbor. Your life may suck, but for the love of God and all that’s holy, don’t take it out on others.
This being said, I have been sucker punched with the news that a very good friend of mine, a friend that has picked me up out of a deep dark hole on occasion, has had his personal property stolen. Being someone that knows the dirty feeling that is associated with being robbed, my heart bleeds a steady stream of red tears for this loss. This is a man, and his wife, who do nothing but bring smiles to enthusiasts faces, help with charitable organizations, and never hardly have I heard from anyone, have met an enemy. They are very possibly the sweetest people I know, and the thought that they’ve been stolen from makes me absolutely sick.
Here’s the scenario, an unmarked V Nose Cargo trailer, white, unassuming, was stolen early in the morning Saturday, October 7th. Luckily for the owners, not so much for the assailant there was nothing in the trailer, which they probably noticed when they went to pull away and there wasn’t much drag on the trailer. The scary thing about the whole thing is that back in my RV transport days we’d park stuff in that same very parking lot all the time, thinking is was secure, well lit, and had cameras. Not to mention I lived a mile and half up the road from said location, never once thinking any crime was near me. I was wrong.
I’ve got a few hypotheses.
The Foundation building is located off the main road, off of a secondary road, off of a cul-de-sac with no traffic going back there except for Foundation business only. Perhaps an errant delivery truck from Fed Ex will grace the parking lot, but rarely do any casual drivers stumble upon the building. That being said, the signage for the Foundation doesn’t actually say anything about having anything of “value” and, again, to those just driving down the secondary road where the sign is, would think of it nothing but an office building for the CCA staff to congregate and eat fudge. Even if you did have curiosity, there isn’t anything to conjure up any interest in actually thinking there is anything of value there, except maybe paperwork. This is perfect, and it really keeps the Foundation facility free from just run-amoks looking to waste time. It is really a haven for enthusiasts of the BMW marquee.
To my next point. Unless you know the area, and know the parking lot, there is no way to actually see down into the parking lot from any of the roads. You’d have to be purposely driven to go down that dead end road and get to that parking lot on purpose. In that area, for a grab and go thief for example, there are tons of other places to yank a trailer for resale out of state. Construction is abound in that area and with a simple set of bolt cutters you could find your way around any trailer lock. This being said, it seems like the culprit was targeting that particular parking lot for the simple reason that there MIGHT have been a classic Bimmer inside.
Social media is a criminals best friend. How often do we see pictures of all the cool stuff being brought in and out of the Foundation and other enthusiast museums? Just recently there were a few race cars that had been welcomed into the graces of the unassuming buildings caverns, could the thief not be someone who has been watching from a computer screen planning on what and when things were going to be shuffled around? Would a non-marked cargo trailer really be that hard to steal? It wouldn’t even have to be full of classic car, it could be full of keychains, which would actually be pretty funny.
The sunny side of the story is that nothing of real emotional value was stolen, and although it’s a pain in the ass having to file police reports and such, it could have been much worse. I’m hoping with this post, you’ll find it in your heart to share and try to find the trailer and bring these scum to justice. You can steal from a stranger of mine, and I’ll frown upon you, but steal from a friend of mine, you better believe the internet is going to find out about it.
If the thief does happen to read this, I’ll have you know, you’ve got one of the closest knit Car Clubs of America against you. You’re not going to get away with this. Not on my watch. Hopefully the camera footage will show what you were driving and a good picture of your deplorable face. (Side note, I will be posting something on every craigslist site from here to wherever to make sure it doesn’t try to get sold under false pretenses.)
Here’s the trailer, keep an eye out. There aren’t that many that are white. Maybe this is a sign, maybe if anyone out there has an un-marked cargo trailer you should take the time to blaze something on the side of it to make it stick out. Just a thought.
This us an unusually TALL trailer with inside ramps above the wheel wells.
Police have been notified.
Foundation cameras show a silver or grey crew cab Chevy or GMC. License plate not visible