Exit Stage Left

“The engine turns on a dime, but I ain’t goin’ nowhere tonight.”

-Ryan Adams

I’ll admit, I’m retracting into my shell. The life of craving attention is quite over, and the point of this entire site was to promote the shark adventure. In the past two or so years it has morphed into more of a sounding board that would puke nonsense into the eyes of whomever decided to read it. Sometimes, perhaps, it was pertinent and entertaining. Other times it was just me being an angry drunk not knowing what to be angry at. Fact of the matter, this site doesn’t really serve a point anymore. I don’t have much else to say, except, we all have to move on. And I don’t need this anymore.

The same way I don’t feel the need to go drive aimlessly through the night down dark roads doing nothing but looking at stuff, wondering where the heck my life is going to lead me. I also don’t feel the need to stop for an adult beverage when I get stressed or even find myself reaching out for help from people that couldn’t possibly help me. I’ve sort of rearranged my brain and realized that the damn thing was a jigsaw puzzle with not just a few, but a hell of a lot of pieces gone. Those pieces that were gone I was trying to fill with stuff that didn’t fit. The more I tried to rearrange, the more deranged it became. Only when you can step back from a project you can really see the grand scheme of things, and sometimes it’s not what you want to see.

True story, I was once at a Ryan Adams concert (shhh, don’t tell anyone), and I accidentally got bumped into by someone which in fact made me spill some beer on the chick in front of me. She spun around and made the biggest deal out of it. To her the world was coming to an end and I was the scourge of the earth when in fact it wasn’t even my fault. Somebody ELSE knocked into me, and I was sticking with that as my excuse. What sort of excuse is that though, now that I think about it, should I have been there in the first place? No, not really, I didn’t even like Ryan Adams. Should I have been standing that close to someone notorious for moving about without warning? Eh, probably not either, it was a bad idea all around. Should I have had that beer in my hand? Maybe not, but that’s what all the cool kids were doing. I was just a reed bending in the wind, allowing the rest of the world decide what was going to happen to me, positive or not. In the end, I don’t remember anything else from that concert except for a long, silent ride home.

Bending like a reed in the wind…but why? What the hell, I mean, does the mighty oak sway in slight breezes, do the sequoias bend when a bird lands on them, does a…never mind, no more horticultural references…you get the point.

“Wild Willy makes bread – he’s 79 years old and doesn’t want to make bread anymore. He follows the directions and gets the same result every time. It makes you wonder if he’s ever wanted to sabotage his own recipe just to see it fail”

-Nikki Weed, the summer of 2009 at the weight of 82 lbs living in Kingsport, TN

I look back over almost a decade and a half of notes that I have written, quotes that I’ve kept and crap that I’ve chronicled in several small notebooks. I look over this, and remember very vividly that day. I was half dead, I was confused, and somehow, someway I found myself with my Aunts MDX at some flea market on 11W. Wandering in, mostly hoping to find some food to sneak (I had a problem eating in front of people), I met Wild Willy. His image matched his name, just a good ole boy that looked less like a baker than he did a genuine moonshiner. He had kind eyes, and when I wandered up, he had stories to tell, and I had nothing else to do but listen. I bet there was about an hour that passed me sitting there hearing his stories of being a kid growing up outside of Bristol, racing cars, dating “wimmin”, and the like. Towards the end of the conversation, however, the tone turned a bit more melancholy. He expressed the fact that he was sick and tired of making this bread that he was selling this bread at flea markets, how all the people look the same, and how everyone tries to hustle him down on a price that I thought was already more than fair. The hardest thing to hear was him say “I don’t know what else to do, I’m old, I can’t change now.”

It haunts me, that day, that summer, that decade. Why not? Then again, I found myself thinking the same way. What was I doing, where was I going? Why the hell am I making the same mistakes over and over again? For Wild Willy, he wasn’t making actually mistakes physically, he was just making one very large mental mistake, self doubt. I harnessed that for a long time too, until, with some very much needed love and support, I realized that I am, in fact, braver than I think I am. I can make good decisions, I can take control, I can make the decision not to put my fingers in the wood chipper (if you know me personally, you’ll know the reference).

“My life, I’ll live,

in a shadow of your past,

but I realize,

I’ll never be good enough for you.

I’m not a pacifist,

I’m not a complicated person,

I’m just not…

good enough for you.

I’ll never be…

good enough for you.

I’m me,

that’s the way,

I’ll be.”

Nikki circa 2007 (fuck, that’s some depressing fucking stuff right there.

I read this now and feel absolutely sick. Accepting myself as second rate and being okay with it, being oppressed and led to believe that I really wasn’t good enough. Good enough for what, I wonder now. Good enough for whom or what? Who’s to say that other thing wasn’t good enough for me? The progression backwards from this is interesting…taking another leap three years behind that…

“It is impossible to truly concentrate on anything when your wallet is empty and your heart is full of fear”

It was a quote from a Hunter S Thompson book I was reading, I remember being in an almost empty apartment in Lake Geneva after my cousin moved out. No job, no furniture, just my cat, my Nissan Stanza and a mattress on the floor. In many ways I was the happiest girl in the world because I had a few solid friend (most of whom I’ve lost contact with), but I was simple. Life was simple. The cat, my green suitcase, and maybe 25 bucks to my name.

And to the very beginning of my chronicles, back in 2002…

“Today’s pig is tomorrows bacon.”

I’m still not so very sure on that one, I guess it means use what you have today to plan for tomorrow, which is what I’ve been carefully scheming away at. Instead of being like the one that “isn’t good enough” or bending in the wind, or even baking fucking bread every day. I’m over it, I’m over letting other people boss me around and tell me what makes me happy, I’m sick of crying for pity for my own stupidity. Make the right decisions, that aren’t stupid, and you won’t have to cry for stupidity. I think the only thing my mom ever said that I ever took notation from was “stupidity deserves no sympathy.” I carry that with me every day, and when I do stupid things, I deserve the punishment. At this moment I’m hoisting my middle finger at my past and saying “Fuck you, bad decisions.” I’m moving on.

And I’ll leave you with one last kernel of information. I’m going to start seriously pursuing my writing career. Instead of sitting here with a bourbon in one hand and the keyboard in the other, I’ll sit here with my hot tea and my “works” in the other. It’s a hell of a lot cheaper than crashed cars, liquor store visits, and legal council.

I’ll just leave you with this and remind you, madness comes from within.

“Names on a paper, encrypted lives, poets and authors. Makes you wonder. Damn. These people need to get a life…upon further analysis maybe you should get a life. You’re the one reading it in the first place”

(someone, I think Bukowski, but I’m uncertain)


The Nissan Vespa, Varsa, Viagra, Versatile, errr

I’m sitting here listening to not only the rain falling on a pecan ridden roof, but also “Wildwood Weed” my Jim Stafford, two of my favorite things. Rain, it purifies, it cleanses the soil, it makes the flowers bloom….and the song, well, it’s just ridiculous. The repetition of the word “weed” is just sort of ridiculous. Of course it’s a reference to drugs, the line “take a trip and never leave the yard” is one of my favorite, but that’s not the point. It’s four am and I’m awake, more awake than at any other time of the day, and am contemplating life – as always. The song bleeds into “don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys” and I wonder what the hell I was thinking by creating this particular Pandora station. Titled “David Allen Coe Radio”, I look at it and try to remember the state of mind that I was in that I thought it was a good idea. Do I like hillbilly radio, sure, do I feel like I need a Pandora station devoted to it, nah, probably not.

This is the situation with the Nissan….grumble….whatever the hell it’s called. They say “Versa”, I say Vespa, but they didn’t ask me to name it and besides that name is taken anyways. Coming from a girl that has been spoiled with a left pedal for a few years, the CVT transmission was a bit baffling to me. Wait, you can just hammer down on the right pedal and go fast? Wait, this only has a 1.6 L engine. Wait, this car is made from the cheapest material and is supposed to be the cheapest subcompact car with the most value for its buck in the United States. I didn’t chose it, it chose me. it was the last car on the cheap ass lot, and I was happy to accept it. It was ugly as hell from the outside, and on the inside the ambiance didn’t change much. I was in a rental car, it is what it is.

For a full spectrum of rental car history, I’ve always been spoiled with pretty ridiculously awesome rental cars, starting with the Insignia that got thrashed around four (or more) countries in Europe, the Jetta that I drove through a blizzard, and my personal favorite, the C Class that we parked in the ghetto in Prague. Rental cars and I have a pretty good history. The worst (and that’s a loose statement) was the Chrysler 200 that was used for one day (and one day only) to attend my Grandpa Fabers funeral.It was a fine car, it had four fucking wheels and a few seats, but there was, somehow, a metal form of currency stuck in the door panel of the drivers side door that rolled around whenever acceleration or decelleration occurred. It was annoying, but at the same time, it was a pretty groovy ride. If someone were to offer me a 200 in exchange for the Civic, I’d decline, but at the same time, it’s seemed like a killer car. Good body lines, good off the line torque, excellent ride quality…but really, technology was way behind the times.

Which leads me back to the Nissan Vespa, oops, Versa, it was a Versa, I get it confused, because it might as well be the same thing. My rental car, after the Shark decided to take a shit, was to grab something cheap and easy. Cheap for me is “how close to free can I get”. After analyzing the online sources, I was offered a “subcompact” for 17 dollars a day. Fuck yes, I can wing that, I mean how bad could it be. I mean, a mode of transportation that would only take me two and a half work hours to pay for a day out of my seven hour day.

That’s not the point, me showing up for work is more important that dinero in the bank….I digress.

I picked up the Nissan Vespa…errrr..Versa…fuck it, we’ll just call her Vera. I picked up Vera from the rental agency with the grand expectation of getting a Hyundai Accent. To be totally honest, I was excited. I spent almost five years of my life driving an old Accent and I loved that car for everything it was, not everything it wasn’t That car took me ridiculously cool places like my first road trip with my sister to my voyage to South Carolina to set up shop  My Accent was special, the fenders didn’t match, the hood latch didn’t work so it had hood pins, there was no heat, the passenger door didn’t work, there wasn’t much to say about the car except that it ran down the road and played music.And…there was only one instance that it had an off road adventure, that that wasn’t even my fault…I digress, again…

The fact that I got into the the Nissan Vespa (grumble, it’s hard to call it anything but that), I had this negative connotation to the gearbox. My smarter half in a past life had to rent Nissans at least twice a month due to the fact he was the engineer at nissan a couple of states away. To keep up appearances, he always showed up in a Nissan of sorts, but after return the complaints about the CVT transmission were abundant. It was confusing, it was aggravating, and for one you never know what gear you’re really in. I believe the exact quote was something along the lines of “it’s like being on a moped with four wheels and technology. You go, that’s about it.”

I had this negative connotation with this “CVT” transmission, I got into the Nissan, whatever the fuck you call is, I still call it Vespa, and you are entertained by the fact you have to choices of gear selection.

D for drive

L—for those that don’t understand what manual transmissions are all about.

I shook my head, expected disappointment, but was pleasantly surprised. The thing about this “CVT” transmission is that you go, and you have no control over it. The machine, the technology, the gear box is smarter than you. It anticipates what you have in mind and responds accordingly. If you want to really surprise yourself get on an onramp that is on an incline and anticipate passing a semi that’s still lingering in the right lane. You’ll have no problem, it’s almost like the CVT says “Oh shit, we’ve gotta do something, and we’ve gotta do something quick.”

That, in essence, is a valuable asset to have if you’re less than attentive at driving. I, particularly, found myself getting lazy while driving, for the simple reason that the car thought for me. Not only did the car think for me, it tried to find the fastest route between point A and B. The scary thing is that  you might not always way to get to point B that quick. Therein is the problem. Automation, is it really your friend behind the wheel.

I loved the CVT transmission, and it’s a big statement for me to say because I was told to hate it. Without ever driving one, my senses has predisposition to hate a transmission that delegates no human output. Right pedal go, we’ll take care of the rest. I was sold on the fact that the Continuously Variable transmission was evil. The CVT was nothing more than a moped motor in a car…I should hate this riding set up…

For the only reason that someone I knew hated it.

How does that work, do we really base all of our connotations on what other people perceive to be the “BEST” I listened about how terrible the “slush box” was and how it was like driving a moped through rush hour traffic, at the same time, I saw something different. That was only, however, that I decided to think for myself. I rented a Nissan with a CVT, I rented it, not because I wanted to be cheap, but because I wanted to experience this “slush box” first hand.”

In comparison to the poorly running shark, this thing was an oasis, but not a very luxurious one. Sure, it was lacking all the USB ports, Bluetooth, and other technological nonsense the shark had, BUT, it had the CVT. The Shark, in it’s iling state, was struggling to get into whatever gear you needed it to be in. In certain circumstances I found myself going 40 mph up an interstate. That, of course, is not only illegal, but unsafe. That’s when the Shark had to take a nap and let me work on other things for a while. A large boulder of pride had to be swallowed at that time, but I knew it was the only route I had out. The Honda wasn’t going to be done for another four days and I still needed to travel.

If anyone wonders, the Nissan vespa, Virtual, Versa, whatever the fuck it’s called can haul. Think of that transmission. It’s 100% based on your imput. If you tell it to “plow fucking field” it will, and trust me, it will. I had a healthy run against a Mustang. I understand that the engine under that glorious bonnet of his was way bigger than mine, the fact that he didn’t know where his shift points were was laughable. I didn’t even have to thing about it. It was almost as if I told the Vespa — alright, you’ll have to deal with that as it’s name– “okay, go.” and she went. Not only did she “went” but it was seamless. The transfer through gears was so fluid that I didn’t notice that not only had we passed our buddy, but we were going a speed that was way over the limit.

In the Civic, I’d still be wondering which gear would get me past quicker. It’s a learning curve, I’m sure, but at the same time the ease of smoking the guy in the mustang was precious. My rental Vespa…errrr..Versa…will kick ass and take names if you’re not sure how to work your machine.

When Senna comes back tomorrow, however, I’m going to be working on getting my gear adjustment as close to the CVT I enjoyed in the…whatever the hell it’s called….

Lost In The Past – Fighting The Future – War Of One

I wrote something yesterday, but with a click of a button I made it disappear. I didn’t want to read my own drivel, which is pretty par for the course. For some reason, however, the entire piece just reeked of this sort of defeatist mentality. In it’s entirety the piece spanned about 600 words and was actually pretty well put together – complete sentences and everything. I wasn’t under the influence of any sort of mind stabilizing medications, I wasn’t drinking, and I wasn’t even on one of my eating disordered rampages where the room is spinning and the words just kind of barf out without me realizing exactly what I was saying. All of those words are gone, the time that it took me to write those words is now gone, and I don’t want them back. Looking back hasn’t been my strong point.

I’m sure there is some sort of “autosave” feature here in WordPress in which I could scour my past and find the article from recent past. I’m sure it’s somewhere in my history on the computer, but I don’t want it. That was yesterdays news, today is a different story. I feel the same as I do yesterday, in regards to what I was babbling on about, but at the same time it just doesn’t seem important. Life isn’t very important, there will always be somebody to piss in your boots. This is where I am now, the article of yesterday comes true today in vivid spectacle and all I can do is shake my head. The premise of the article was about not letting other people steer your boat.

Master your own sails and all that shit. The only one that has time to rock the boat is the one that isn’t rowing, right? I never quite understood that, how large is this boat, how many sails does it actually have, and who the hell let that trouble maker on the boat in the first place? If there is one thing that I can very strongly say is that I learned at a very early age to select your boat mates very carefully, you never know when you might need them to save your ass because you decided to jump into the lake after too much tequila….I digress.

The point of this dialogue is not so much to try to relive what has been lost, but why what we lost should stay in the past. Recently I got to adventure out on a spirit journey of sorts. In a bitter sense of the word I used my ailing grandfather as a catalyst to make this happen, I didn’t want him sick, and I didn’t want to see him suffer, but at the same time I couldn’t not see him. Given a wild hair and a pension for irresponsibility my battle cry for this journey was “for pops”. All of my actions were to lead me to visit and cherish him while he was still making jokes and using profanity. All of these things that form me into who I am today, all of these things that lead to character defects, work ethic, and hereditary predisposition to addictive activities were going to be celebrated on this adventure. What better company to celebrate the sorry sot you are than nobody but yourself, right?

This is where leaving the past behind is very important. Although you’ve fought the good fight all your life to become the person you “think” you want to be, there are so many damn things that are stuck – like your hereditary – that you can only ride the wave out. The past life of your debauchery, missed connections, and casual encounters can lead you to a future of repeating those same sorry acts. It’s hard, however, to break this cyclical thinking, especially if you decide you don’t want to. Your past is comfortable, your past is familiar, your past is just that, yours. On my journey for Pops, I realized that there weren’t many things about my adventure that were 100% me – the drinks I chose were because they reminded me fondly of other people, the places I stayed were because I liked the people there, the food I ate was because I knew it would make somebody mad somewhere. All of these things were who I “was” but really, it was more what other peopleI was trying to be.

Perfect example, my affinity for Makers Mark. Truth be told I can wallow in a bottle and tell the world to fuck off with no trouble at all. For all intensive purposes I think Makers Mark has broken up more of my relationships than I care to remember, but lets not look at the past – the failed relationships – lets look at the present. Which one of those past people are here for you to give you a hug right freaking now? Who of those people whom you “destroyed the relationship with your affair with the red wax” would still bend over backwards for you even though you truly wiped your ass with them? This is where you might start pumping your fist and saying “yeah, screw exes, screw them right in the ear”.

That’s where you’re wrong, because that failed relationship is in your past, doesn’t mean it can’t still very much be in your future. Your future can include your red wax lover, but at the same time a richer tapestry of life has to occur. Instead of dwelling in the past and realizing “damn, I really fucked up a good thing” or “they just don’t understand how good a snort is at the end of the day” you’ll start to realize that it’s really not worth it, nothing can be worth it. It’s just a beverage, it’s just bourbon, it’s just so damn good. Is it really though? Is it the warm feeling that you get in your belly when you drink it? Is it not the same warm feeling in your belly that you get when you embrace somebody that you really love and cherish in your life? The subtle burn on your tongue, is that not that same tingle that you get when your lips press against somebody that loves and cares for you even if you have morning breath or crooked teeth? Is that brown liquid not just showing you love?

This is war, folks, and some of us have become comfortable here. War against ourselves, our bodies, our brains, our diets, our beverage selections, the cars we drive, the list goes on. If you’re not fighting the good fight, you’re dying a cowards death. Fight for the things that make your bodies feel good and your bellies burn in the right ways. You’re not doing it right if you don’t swear a lot, if you don’t break a few hearts, and if you don’t make a few people blush along the way. Welcome to the fast lane into the future, folks, the toll booth is asking nicely for you to deposit your drama in the basket.

“you can tell a true war story if it embarrasses you. If you don’t care for obscenity, you don’t care for the truth; if you don’t care for the truth, watch how you vote. Send guys to war, they come home talking dirty. ”
― Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried

And of course, we’ll wage these random wars throughout the day, in the evenings, and even in our sleep. How many times have you woken up in a cold sweat from a dream that seemed a little too close to reality that it awakens you? That imagery of something that doesn’t really exist haunts your brain in the minutes, hours, days after you’ve risen from your slumber. For me, I’ve got this freaking recurring dream of forest fires and brake failure. One of my best friends has a recurring dream of a fairy with knives, and my own dad has a recurring dream about worms. The fact of the matter is that they still haunt us, we’re not sure why, but it’s there. My fire, his fairy, his worms, they’re there, and there isn’t a single thing that we can do about it. We have absolutely no control over it, unless we take something like ambien, but then we have other experiences that aren’t pleasurable….but that’s not the point. We embrace our past and hold onto them by choice, however, these dreams we have are inflicted in our brains without our say so.

What’s the difference, I ask, between something that used to exist and something that never existed?

Can you really look upon the past or a dream and say it’s going to affect your day to day life? Really, it’s sort of the same thing, an image in your brain that your subconscious decides to haunt you with. You haven’t a power over it, you can’t chose not to dream, and you certainly can’t chose to not have a past. The dreams that manifest, the past we’ve had, the future that we decide are all congruent in a way that isn’t easily explained. We learn from our past in the fact that when we’re burned, we avoid fire. When we dream about brake failure, we make sure our braking system in our vehicle is up to par. When we expect somebody is a bonehead, we stay away from them and avoid some sort of relationship. Our dreams, our pasts, our futures are all interwoven in a way that isn’t easy to comprehend, but at the same time it’s all too simple.

Think about your last dream, where did it take you? Chances are it was someplace you were at least semi familiar with, although it could have been a bit altered. It was something you could recognize, comprehend, interpret. Think about your past now, how clear are your memories, is it nothing but a sort of dream like state that you sort of remember the details but fill in the blanks as you go? Is your past more of a color by numbers picture as opposed to a museum worthy piece of art.

And your future, what exactly is that? A movie that is missing the sound? A painting without the color? A book written in a language that you don’t understand? I know I lost the article that I had written yesterday, I have a vague idea as to the topic, but could I ever replicate it, no. Do I want to? Absolutely not. Today is here, yesterday is gone, and the words that come out today are way better than could have ever come out yesterday. The reason, every day is a chance for growth as a person. Every day is a learning experience.

“Day after day, I get angry and I will say
That the day is in my sight
When I’ll take a bow and say goodnight”

-The Violent Femmes

So when are we actually going to take that bow, when are we actually going to bid farewell to the past.

Most importantly, when are we going to fess up and admit that we as humans fuck up…sometimes really badly….but learn from those errors. True story (to reference a prior comment) I jumped off of a boat in the middle of a lake after consuming too much Tequila. It was about 3 o’clock in the morning and I thought I was invisible. I hit the water and sunk like a stone. There was no sort of cognitive reasoning going on to make me kick and swim to the surface. I. Just. Sunk. I can look back at that now and think to myself, “I should have done things different”,  but I didn’t, and I learned from it. I was brought to the surface, but at the same time I had to swallow my pride and admit that I shouldn’t have attempted swimming.

Same thing goes for the “deleted” article from last night. Of course I could have taken the proactive approach and made sure I saved drafts every ten minutes, but I didn’t. Why didn’t I do that in the first place you might ask….well, it had never happened to me before. I typically follow a piece through to the very end, but in that circumstance it didn’t work out.

And now, I’m looking at the things in my life that didn’t work out and am happy they didn’t.

I’m happy. I’m here. I’m hopeful.

He had something on his nose…

“In my mind I still need a place to go, all my changes were there.” -Neil Young, Helpless

So if you have any sort of background in music of another era, you might be familiar with the whole crusty nose appearance that Neil Young made on The Last Waltz. With great anticipation, he was welcomed to the stage with the upbeat announcement of “You know this guy…” and on comes Neil. Harmonica hammock, guitar, and a big freaking booger of cocaine on his nostril. Without any sort of knowledge of it being there, the show went on, and he performed an absolutely haunting version of the song “Helpless.”

I think the best part about it was the fact that he didn’t even seem to know who he was playing with, the statement of “These people on the stage” was a direct indication that Neil was somewhere else. His music traveled with him, his soul traveled, but his mind was somewhere else. He was there, but not really “there”. In the end, the final cut that made the film had to creatively edit the booger out. Think about it, you’re talented enough to deliver an absolutely ripping version of a depressing song, higher than a kite, and still manage to make the final cut of the film. He was questioned about it decades later, his response “it wasn’t my proudest moment.”

I however think otherwise. The combination of the lyrics, the facial expressions and the fact that he was, indeed, helpless. He was in the grasp of a great white wonder. He couldn’t function without it, or if he could, he chose not to. Then, we can flip the channel and see the stark opposite when he does “Needle and the Damage Done” on the Johnny Cash show. Expressing the feeling of being caught in the claws of addiction. When, though, does somebody start taking their own advice. How many times does one have to sing a song, tell a story, show a picture, before they learn from it. It’s the old “don’t touch that, it’s hot” mentality. Deep in our brains we know it’s hot, but there is a larger part of us that is curiosity stricken that wonders exactly how hot is it.

How high could you possibly get? How hot could it possibly be? How fast could I possibly go? It’s a hamster wheel of thoughts, never actually getting you anywhere. This doesn’t just resonate with people that struggle with addictions, it’s an every day occurrence for normal people, there is almost always a what if. In the Helpless song, what if Neil didn’t do a line before going on stage, what if Paul Walker didn’t go for a joyride? What if I decided to stay in Wisconsin. All very valid questions, but they’ll never get answered, because there is no way to go back in time.

Just like you can look through YouTube and fill your eyes with smut, songs, or silliness, you’re never going to get that time back. The time spent wasted will never be gotten back. I kick rock on occasion wondering what the hell I’ve done with my life, and of course, I’ve had many a shameful incident, none involving white boogers, but similar. A potent combination of lack of respect for life and lack of self respect put me in more comprimising positions than I care to admit to, but at the same time, I’ve never been helpless, there has always been a light at the end of my tunnel. The hardest part, however, it to push on through to the end. You have to have a reason to keep on chugging, sometimes it doesn’t seem worth it, but really, it is.

Looking back at the last few months, I can see a few times that life has thrown me a few curve balls that were too fast and too off center for me to catch. I wanted to quit the game, I wasted time and money trying to numb the reality that was life, but that didn’t get me anywhere. I needed change, and the biggest step towards making change is to admit you have a problem in the first place. Mine was just a deep seeded desire to self destruct, and I didn’t really think anybody noticed, but they did. The same way people noticed that booger on Neil, to us our struggles might not be too obvious, but to the rest of the world, it could be plain as day. Suffering in solitude isn’t going to get you anywhere, reaching out, however, will show you that there are actually some people that will come out of the woodwork that actually do care.

I listen to Neil Young, although I’ve noticed most of his tunes are pretty well peppered with drug innuendo, there are some good points to be made. Listen to Heart of Gold, “and I’m getting old…” Watching him fumble through the first live performance of this song is almost painful to watch, but also, it’s sort of an eerie feeling to see him in 1971 talking about getting old, and look at him now. He’s old. We’re all getting old, but are we going to sing about it for the next forty some odd years?

I listen to Neil Young when I’m blue. I usually throw it on the old record player and absorb the pop and hiss of the needle. The resonance of the voice seems to be right there in the room for me, and even though I think he can be a bit, ahem, whiny at times, aren’t we all? I’m blue, I’m sad, but I’m here, I’m pushing through to another day without falling on a bottle, driving fast, or swallowing pills to alter reality. This is life, kids, and it’s ending one minute at a time.

…but….I’m not getting old…

A Shark, a dream, and a fat guy on a bicycle (the preface to the new book)

“You will ask why did I worry myself with such antics: answer, because it was very dull to sit with one’s hands folded.”

Fyodor Dostoevsky from Notes from the Underground

As I walked along the beach front in La Jolla I spied a man sitting on a bench along the sidewalk overlooking the beautiful blue canvas that was the Pacific Ocean. Instead of gazing out into the abyss that was the restless ocean, he had his nose in a book. Sitting, sort of slumped over, he focused his entire attention span to those yellowing pages of a paperback book that had looked like it had either been left in the sun or sat in a library unattended for years. The book had age, and upon doing a once over on the man, it seemed as if he had some trips around the sun himself.

My companions noticed me slow my gait and observe the man, they too took a look at the mysterious man on the bench, but neither of them saw what I saw. I saw a man, on a bench, reading the book The Idiot. Upon further inspection, moving my focus from the book in front of him, I realized that he was in bicycle shorts and some sort of athletic top that seemed like it might have fit him better in his pubescence, not in his 40’s. The contours of his body pushed through the synthetic fiber of the shirt and gave him a look as if he hadn’t ridden a bicycle in decades. There he was, however, in his athletic attire, with a bicycle propped up on the bench behind him. I didn’t even see the bicycle at first, my gaze was on that book. That tired old book.

My companions urged me along to get to our terminus, The Children s Pool Beach, where we were going to go watch some fat, lazy mammals sunbathe. I couldn’t take another step, I had to talk to this man. My curiosity was abounds, why was he on that bench, why was he reading that book, why did he have that damn shirt on? I struggled with something to say, something to break his concentration, but I was at a loss. Should I comment on the bicycle, the weather, the book, something, anything.

“So you’re into depressing Russian literature too, huh?” Words, they tumbled out of my mouth, and at that point I couldn’t put them back in. I stood, partially paralyzed with regret that I didn’t have anything more poignant to say. My companions sort of looked at each other and then back at me. They were now in on the conversation, even though they didn’t see what I saw. Curiosity filled their eyes in wonderment as to why I’d talk to a random stranger on a park bench almost 2500 miles away from my home.

He man looked up from his book, back down at it, and then back at me. A look of confusion washed across his slightly weathered face and a hint of a smile cracked his lips. “It’s pretty heavy. It’s not the easiest read.”

Contact, he responded! My belly filled with glee upon the possibility of having a “heavy” philosophical conversation with a total stranger on a park bench overlooking the ocean. At that point, that’s where my words started to come easier and fluid. Almost as if I had this dialogue in my head for years but never had a place that was applicable to use them. Even though I had his attention, I had to keep it.

“You have no idea how awesome it is to see somebody reading that book. I’m reading that book too, although, I’m about three quarters of the way through it. If you think it’s heavy now, it’ll really blow your mind when Natasha comes in to the story.” I clammed up, not wanting to ruin the book, but it was going to happen eventually. He was going to keep reading, he was going to get to the part with the charming, seductive female that screws with everyone and in the end destroys herself.

“Yeah, he’s still on the train. I’m not sure, I bought this book for a quarter at some joint up the coast a ways. It seemed interesting. I wanted something to occupy myself while I’m taking breaks. I’m riding my bicycle up and down the coast. It seemed like a cool thing to do.” At that point, he closed his book and took a look at the cover. He looked back up and smiled, a big one this time.

“Wait, you’re riding that bicycle up and down the coast? Hell, I’m just driving a car across country. I thought I was doing something challenging by driving a 30 year old BMW from coast to coast, but really, that’s not as much of a feat as riding a bicycle. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t make it out of La Jolla before I crashed into something on a bicycle. That’s admirable. You’ll love the book, keep plugging away at it.” Contact, something in me had a weird connection to this mans brain. We had something in common, reading “heavy” literature, and a sense of adventure. We both had that spark in us that motivates us to do things that others would deem unimaginable. Perhaps we had nothing else in common, but for that moment, I envied him. I wanted to be on a bicycle going up the coast. I wanted to be a free spirit with no tethers. I wanted to be sitting alone on a park bench reading a Russian novel with nothing but my backpack with a few select items and the ambition to go adventure.

“I’m not sure, though. Riding this bicycle, seeing the coast all day everyday, it has gotten a bit old. I mean, I think I’d like to see something else. I think I need to get out of California.” His face contorted a little bit as he looked over at my traveling companions for the day. It seemed to me like he was expecting some sort of conversation with them as well. They weren’t in on the connection I felt, however. Patiently they waited, until I sent good vibes to bicycle man and turned to walk away. It was sort of a stick in the eye, I wanted more conversation, but it wasn’t going to happen. He wasn’t as engulfed in that book as I was. At least not yet however.

As I walked down the boardwalk towards our destination, I looked back over my shoulder to see bicycle man with his nose back down in the book. I could almost see the words he was reading, and I tried to put myself in his shoes and how to interpret the concept of the book. Why did he select that particular book, why was he there, why did I see it? Most people would have just walked on by, taking a casual glance over to see a man, who looked sort of homeless, and passed judgement.

I however, saw an opportunity.

We got to the beach and watched the large mammals flop around, sleep, flop some more, screw, roll around more, dive in to the water, get back out of the water, screw, and every once in a while make this remarkable noise that sounded like some sort of prehistoric creature would make. I was less than entertained, but I took it all in anyways. My adventure didn’t revolve around the destination, it revolved around the getting there. I remember more about that encounter with the stranger than I do most of the time I was in the San Diego area, for good reason. I was connected.

**so, in an attempt to replace my bad habits with something more productive, I’ve decided to finally sit down and write the book about the “Great Red Shark Adventure***

“Why? It is absolutely no matter whether I am going away or not going away.”

some line from somewhere that I don’t remember.

Let’s break this down really quickly. I have ants in my pants and want to adventure professionally. After over a decade of pointing at plants and pretending to be someone I am not, I’m over it. No more keeping up appearances for the sake of others (okay, I’m still going to bathe and do all that shit), but on a deeper level, it’s time to start being honest with myself. I’m not the norm, I’m not the “average girl”, I don’t want three hots and a cot, I want to live life. Before I can start doing that, I have to give up the life that I had.

I used to drink, a lot. I used to drive fast, a lot. I used to hurt people, a lot. All of those things became such a noose around my neck, with every day it seemed like it was getting tighter and I was getting closer for the dead man neck tie to actually do me in. With one swoop, I feel like it has been taken all away, and I’m starting to realize all of those things I “used” to do, I was never really that good at anyways. Drinking always led me to bad decisions – usually driving fast – then hurting people. Ridiculous.

I can look out over the past six years and shake my head in remorse, it has been littered with empty bottles of bourbon, wrecked cars, failed relationships, and a few scars that I’m not even sure where they came from. I can look back over the years and realize that I was – to use modern terms – a hot mess. People gave up on me, and truth be told, I sort of gave up on me too. I hit bottom so hard I found myself reaching for all the pills in the house and the bottle of bourbon again, I was done. I was over it.

Then, somebody that decided not to give up on me came to my rescue. Somebody that admittedly I had found extremely mysterious but also very alluring came into my life like a bull through a china shop. We sat there, on my bed, my face still swollen and busted open from the crash that could have very easily taken my life, and just were together. It was a very similar feeling that I had with the man on the bench in California. There was something that connected, there was a deeper feeling, more intense than a superficial attraction, it was magnetic. I remember sitting there, spinning old vinyl, and wondering if it was a dream. Did my brain really get that knocked loose in the crash, was I really experiencing this?

I was. It was real, it still is real. I can still remember gazing into his eyes as we enjoyed each others company. Like daggers through my heart, I realized what love was. It wasn’t something that you throw at someone to shut them up, to make them feel comfortable, or even to get into their pants. It was an actual physical feeling, making your heart race, your brain to reel, and your outlook on life change completely.

I was chasing the “American Dream” since I was about 14 – all those years I was chasing the wrong dream. I denied my own emotions, and now, with them pouring forth, it inspires me to write. I’m now living a different dream, one that evolves daily as reality, not one that I feel I have to go chasing after. Chasing dreams is much more tiring than actually living a dream.

“Good thoughts are no better than good dreams, unless they are executed.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

And so, as I put on my uniform and go push pills for a very low wage, I’m happy. Happier than I have been since I was a clueless little girl playing with toys. No pharmaceutical can give this sort of feeling, no drug can get you this high. As for the future, I look far down the road, and the past, well, that can be the ship that sunk a long time ago and forgotten. My smile is spreading like a piss puddle on concrete.

“To my fellow lost souls. Reach out with your heart rather than your arms for sometimes what you desire is out of reach. Observe with your eyes rather your hands for many a pleasantry can burn and love with your brain instead of your body because memories last a lifetime.”

-some other quote I forget where is from-

red shark

Psychology, Music, and Diatribe…

“Putting change in the jukebox, which can be a very expensive machine for those who need steady noise to keep from thinking. ”

Dr. Thompson

I am a music person and I realize that non-music people would see it as being a nuisance, but for me, it’s a continuity in life. The noise from the speakers makes everything in balance and right. It’s not so much the song, it’s the fact there there is someone out there, talented or not, singing from their soul. There are times that we may find ourselves in an elevator, tortured by elevator music, but hey, it’s still music. Respect needs to be had to the best songs that come across your ears.

I’ll promise you, these are not the songs you would ever think about in modern day life. Actually, they’re probably not even songs you’ve heard of before. For me, I typically get into the music and lose myself after about three glugs of bourbon, but that’s irrelevant. Music haunts, and if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to expand not only your mind but well being.

For me, I have never trusted anyone that doesn’t appreciate a good tune. Case in point I was kinda-sorta dating a guy and his favorite jam was “In Da Club” by 50 Cent. That night ended up a hot mess, but I realized that well, he had no music appreciation. he was stuck, and I couldn’t help him. Music was what drove me away, and what keeps me away. If you can’t appreciate the art, ignore it. there is a capacity to expand your mind and reach out to new material.

In which, in a very futile attempt, ‘m going to try to open the minds of people and encourage personal development.Here is a requested playlist to try to steer you in a proper direction:

“You ain’t goin’ nowhere” The Byrds

Okay, so it’s not really the band that makes this song, it’s Gram Parsons himself. Although, in my personal opinion he was better with the Flying Burrito Brothers, he killed this song. In the entire album “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” most of the songs are sort of bland and had way too much steel guitar. Here’s the underlying situation with this song, it wasn’t supposed to be as fluid because in all actuality it wasn’t a self written tune. Listening to this album and comparing the lyrics and emotions expressed through the lyrics is totally different from the vibe of the rest of the album. If anything, it sounds foreign, almost as if Gram was pushing his talent to a level he was unfamiliar with.

The point is, you never know where your talents are until you push yourself into an unfamiliar zone. Take for instance the accountant that has been sitting behind the same desk for decades. That’s it, that’s life, he never sings anyone elses songs. He plugs away, day in and day out because that’s all he knows. From Gram, this cover song, originally from Bob Dylan, was a sort of exploration of exciting new musical territories. Dylan did the song at Woodstock, however, the song never got the popularity that it deserved. Of course, most people just look at the song as a wicked awesome cover, but others think a bit deeper into it, the lyrics themselves are enough to make you explore your deepest feelings.
“Climb that hill no matter how steep, when you get up to it”

Go for it, that’s what I get from this tune. Push yourself up the mountain, the hill, the ant mound, whatever the obstacle, push until you feel like you can’t push anymore. In that case, start pushing harder on the things that you thought didn’t exist. Let’s think about the marathon runner, there might be a time that his legs ache with the assault up a hill BUT, he is able to adjust his mind to the situation. He completes his task and moves on.

Honestly the rest of the lyrics are sorts jumbled and I’m not quite sure what “ride me high” means, but sure, if that’s what it takes, I’ll do it.

“Careful with that Axe Eugene” – Pink Floyd

Let me express something before I continue further with the diatribe of nonsense. I like Pink Floyd, but only the Syd Barett era. Honestly, anything after Atom Heart Mother can rot and die as far as I’m concerned. Umma Gumma was one of those reasons that I decided that Pink Floyd isn’t that bad. I got a ripped copy of Umma Gumma on an old cassette tape and listened the hell out of it. At the time I was about 14 and had no idea what the hell this psychedelic music was all about. To me it was just something that made my mom wonder what the hell I was on, and at the same time it made me wonder what the hell I could be on. Fact of the matter is that Umma Gumma, Careful with that axe, was one of those tunes that formed my teenage years. Angst, fear, and most importantly lowliness. I felt I was the bottom of the barrel of monkeys.

The absolute primal scream halfway (or so) through the song made me realize the pain that not only I as a teenager was going through, but what people of all generation are going through. The notion of screaming bloody murder is wrong, I’ll say that much, but the scenario of having that axe pointing to your own head is another story. In the context of the song it wasn’t exactly an “axe” that was torturing an innocent soul, it was his own brain.  That axe, for me, is the underlaying eating disorder that has manifested itself without welcome. For this song, the balance of smooth guitar and limited drums is a tell-tale sign of emotion, not just noise.

The greatest part of this song is always when the screams occur. It’s almost like you know they exist, but even when you expect them they still catch you off guard. The parallels in life are the same. How many times do you find yourself somewhere expecting “a” and got “b”. Did you scream bloody murder, did you panic? It’s a blatant example of how scary the world can be if you’re not aware of what’s going on around you. Eugene might have had an axe, but honestly, did you already know he had that axe?

“Oh, well” – Fleetwood Mac

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever thing that the words “Fleetwood Mac” would appear in something that I’ve written, but it’s happening, for a good cause. The problem was that I had a negative stereotype of Fleetwood Mac as being the yowling cat dying on the side of the road sort of band. Digging deeper, I realized that Fleetwood mac evolved, as we all do. They have roots, I have roots, and neither of them are the same roots we’re used to. The “Peter Green” era was entirely different from the Stevie Nix (whatever the hell he name is), Fleetwood mac we’re used to. That transformation made the entire band sort of scoffed at. They lost their roots, they deicded to go mainstream.

This is why I hold this album close to my heart and realize that most people don’t
get it” Fleetwood mac to me is Peter Green and a bad attitude. Fleetwood mac to most people is more of a yowling woman that seems like she’s being tortured every time she opens her mouth. How, on this green planet, is that justifiable. Are we supposed to torture our ears with others pain?

The entire jam is something like nine minutes long, but it doesn’t seem like it. The lyrics are so poignant and personal it’s hard to think of anything besides reflecting upon our own life. Have you lived a life of “oh well”? Are you pretty, are your legs thin?” All questions that develop from this song can be summed up in one of the most iconic lyrics of all music history:

“You might not get the answer that you want me to.”

And that, my friends, is what life is about, not being able to satisfy the entire population at one time, and realize that there are going to be some people that don’t appreciate who you are and what you represent. Perhaps people think I’m off in the nugget to think so deeply, but at the same time, I’m not one to be complacent in the shallow side of the pool. Bring on depth, bring on challenged, and if it doesn’t turn out well I’ll shrug and say “Oh, well”.

“Pusherman” – Curtis Mayfield

Curtis died in 1999, which is probably a blessing to him. In all actuality the culture of music these days is something to be truly embarrassed about. The most excellent thing about this song, and actually, that entire album is that it’s so politically incorrect it’s brilliant. In current times it would be absolutely unapproved of society to see a song like this come into pop culture. The culture now is one that can obscure sex, violence, and drugs in some sort of code system. Take for instance “lend me a line”. Most people from the right side of the tracks would think that it would be a reference to borrowing a phone. Not so much.

Curtis made it front and center. There wasn’t any sort of hiding the facts of the situation, he WAS “the pusherman”. Not only was he “the pusherman”, he was happy with the fact that that was who he was. It’s just a song, but at the same time it was so freaking believable, him being that “n” word in the alley is something we can all relate to. We know it’s out there, it exists, but do we ever actually experience it? It depends.

The entire song is based around an obscure 70’s movie revolving around drugs (big surprise, right?), The most resonating lyrics have to be “how long can the good things last”, which is sort of indicative to modern life. Really, lets break this down into the simplistic form…you’re used to getting coffee at the same gas station and all of a sudden the coffee set up is different, the coffee is awful, and you’re not sure what to do. You’ve been accustomed to that coffee, it’s not there anymore, what are you going to do. You have two options, either wallow in the reality that is change OR make the initiative to make changes for yourself. It might push you past your comfort zone, but really, is it work it?

The pusherman, to me, is the force generated inside of us that craves comfort. The force that drives us to love. Most importantly, the pusherman is “us” not them.

“Don’t think twice, it’s all right.” Bob Dylan

So, perhaps there are two songs on this list that have been attributed to Bob Dylan. Don’t confuse it with the fact that I actually like Bob Dylan. There are certain times that Bob Dylan is the only person in the world that makes sense, all of the other time, he just sort of sounds like a whiny dude with too many emotions. He, however, has a talent to pull emotions out of weird dark corners of your soul. It’s a trick, and sometimes I wonder if he’s some sort of magician that makes words to mess with your mind.

This song, in particular, is one of those that I lean on when things get tough. Being a runner (away from situations), this song holds a very strong tie on me. Everything about it just resonated in my soul. Although I doubt there are any other people in the world that get choked up with this song, I’ll explain exactly why this is the most important song to me, and if you have similar feelings, you’ll understand too. Lyrics, plus explanation too…

“Well, it ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe
Even you don’t know by now
And it ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe
It’ll never do somehow

There have been so many times in my life I wonder what the hell I’m doing. At the same time I realize that there is a certain sun on the horizon that I have to keep chasing. I wonder to myself, “why the hell am I chasing something that may not exist”. What exactly am I waiting for, or I guess a better way of forming the question is, “should I keep waiting?”

When your rooster crows at the break of dawn
Look out your window, and I’ll be gone
You’re the reason I’m a-traveling on
But don’t think twice, it’s all right.

And that’s going to be engraved into my tombstone, “You’re the reason I’m traveling on”…for the simple reason that there is nothing in the world that stabs as hard as fake affection does. There are certain levels of continuity in life, such as the rooster crowing, the geese pooping, and you car running low on gas. You deal with it, but matters of the heart are different.

I’ve spend almost 13 years running, and honestly, I’m tired. Very tired. The aspect of life is not so much being a vagabond anymore, settling down with a good reason to stick around is a huge apex for me. I’ve listened to this song in particular a few times, performed by different artists, but there is no connectivity between the artist and the song. It sees forced, such as the relationships we get ourselves into. We push and try to make it our own but at the same tine we’re haunted by songs of the past. We can’t progress until we drop the past and focus on the future songs to be sung.

And It ain’t no use in turning on your light, babe
The light I never knowed
And it ain’t no use in turning on your light, babe
I’m on the dark side of the road

This is by far the most important lyric in the entire song, the simple sentence (phrase, whatever you want to call it) is “And it ain’t no use in turning on your light, babe, I’m on the dark side of the road”.

Ouch. Every single time  hear that lyric my heart bleeds for those that perhaps needed more light on their side of the road. It’s a heavy burden to tote. I care, and something I realize that the care is too much. I try to help people, but at the same time, you can’t help anyone else if you can’t help yourself.

But I wish there was somethin’ you would do or say
To try and make me change my mind and stay
But we never did too much talking anyway
But don’t think twice, it’s all right.

In this retrospect there are limitless opportunities to let your heart bleed out. Emotions are something that we have, but are not tangible in the real world, this is my life. How many times can you find yourself somewhere dumbly making it through the situation without actually being present? What sort of life is to be led if you live behind a shield? This is pretty straight forward, it’s impossible to be happy unless you take the initiative to make it happen. That means pruning out the dead wood of your life and growing new tissue.
So It ain’t no use in calling out my name, gal
Like you never done before
And It ain’t no use in calling out my name, gal
I can’t hear you any more
I’m a-thinking and a-wonderin’ walking down the road
I once loved a woman, a child I am told
I gave her my heart but she wanted my soul
But don’t think twice, it’s all right.

So long honey, baby
Where I’m bound, I can’t tell
Goodbye’s too good a word, babe
So I’ll just say fare thee well

I ain’t a-saying you treated me unkind
You could have done better but I don’t mind
You just kinda wasted my precious time
But don’t think twice, it’s all right.

Towards the end of the song, I sort of lose it. The point is that the lyrics illustrate the nonsense that life contains. Teh fact that there is always some sort of tug at your heart that will distact you from your goals. Of course, there is room for improvement in all of us, but the bottom line is that if you love someone, you’ll take the flaws, the quirks, and especially the little things that confuse the hell out of you. We’re all rocking on this planet, let’s keep our chins up and quit judging. Take wise words form Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, and especially the Byrds…life is wonderful…but only if you let it be.

(tacky reference to a song by that guy I don’t like)

Howie Mandel Can Drink Bleach And Die (although, I’m not going to be the one that serves it to him)

I usually don’t cuss, I usually don’t come upright and forward with an opinion that seems very stark and one sided, but quote me on this, “Fuck you, Howie Mandel and your stupid show with the people with talent.” His statement this evening (that I accidentally overhead because my dad loves the show) of “You make bulimia more entertaining” was inappropriate. I mean, seriously, this coming from the knucklehead that doesn’t shake peoples hands, that has an obsessive compulsive disorder, that ADD? Really, you’re going to pick on those that have bulimia, what the fuck is wrong with you?

Sigh. Fine, I understand, I’ve used up my quota of “f” words this evening, but hey, I’m madder than, well, whatever gets mad and shows out. I’m so upset I don’t even have words to explain. That’s pretty serious, I don’t remember the last time I’ve been so angry, and it’s not because I hate Howie, I don’t even know the guy, but at the same time, he’s making a mockery of something that so many people battle and deal with every single day/hour/minute/second of their life. You don’t have to tell me, you don’t have to give me statistics, I’m a living breathing proof that you can have “it” and deal with “it” every single moment of the day but I promise you, it’ll never be “entertaining”.

I’ll provide ten facts and rebutt them as to how “non-entertaining” they are, and why the actual statement of even trying to make bulimia entertaining in the first place is absurd. I mean think about it, are eating disorders really supposed to be entertaining? Does throwing yourself on a toilet entertain anyone? Does the thought of purging your body with laxatives really seem entertaining? No. The simple answer is no…and that’s why I’m irate. The ignorance of the disorder in his eyes is blatant, and the temper in my eyes is true. Then again, I have not a mean bone in my body, I wish nobody “real” harm, I just want to provide the facts of the situation. I want some sort of resolution to this issue. (thank you http://www.healthline.com for the easy to reference guide to the top 10 facts of bulimia)

Fact #1: “It consists of a rollercoaster of compulsive habits.”

Okay, Howie, let’s think about this. You’re, what, ADD and OCD. You don’t shake peoples hands, you have a problem with strangers and you’re quirky. Some people might find that “cute” but at the same time you’re actually sort of worse than the bulimic on their worst day. Sure you have the need to steer away from germs, but whats the difference from germs and calories. Let’s face it, you can actually kinda “see” calories in a donut, you can’t “see” germs on a hand. Really, you want to make bulimia more interesting, maybe we can start licking hands and trying to throw up the germs to make you satisfied and “entertain” you”.

Fact #2: “Bulimia is a mental disorder.”

Yes…as a matter of fact it is…so is Schizophrenia, hysteria, attention deficit disorder, and well, hell, necrophilia. Is it really something that we have to be entertained by? Is it comical, or entertaining to sit there and watch somebody pound a dead body because they have a mental disorder that causes them to have the urge to do such a thing? Is it entertaining to watch a grown man fail to shake hands with somebody? Is it really a case that we have to group it with some sort of perverse mental disorder that people should point and stare with fear? No, we don’t hurt anybody, we’re just hurt by everybody.

Fact #3: “Culture clash” can be a cause.”

Yes, it’s true. There is a modern day stigmata on people (both male and female) that exemplifies thinness. We’re supposed to be leaves in the wind as opposed to the mighty oaks that stand the tests of time and weather. The world as we know it has become skewed to a certain vantage point of thin and pretty. At the same time, “thin and pretty” doesn’t always mean “happy and healthy”. For those that look upon culture to believe that everybody should fit into a certain mold…there are an equivalent amount of people to cry at night and torture themselves because they don’t fit this “mold”. We’re different, and as an individual I can personally say that “I fit no mold”. Culture tells me I’m supposed to look like the models in the magazines, the people on TV and the random people you see in the check out at Target. I can also promise you this, that’s not inner happiness, that’s making the rest of the world happy and you subjecting yourself to misery. (Typically involving a toilet, a garbage disposal, a waste basket with a plastic sack, or hell, the side of the road if you’re in a pinch).

Fact #4: “It’s not exclusive to women.”

Nope, nope, and nope. You have to think about it, when stating that “You make bulimia more interesting”, you thought only of one aspect of the disease. There are so many other facets of how that particular mental disorder manifests itself you have no idea what you’re talking about. Take for instance the gym rat that spends their entire day counting calories, weighing themselves, and then punishing themselves unhealthily on the equipment at the gym. They push their body beyond it’s limitations, that’s also called bulimia. Also, look at the person that decides that they want to purge themselves but with a pint of Milk of Magnesia a day. You can innocently say “well, they want to be regular”, but the fact of the matter is that they aren’t brave enough to actually do the “deed”, and get rid of it before it hits the lower GI. Really, men can do it just as easy as women. I know, I’ve seen, I’ve wept.

Fact #5: “Bulimics can have normal body weights.”

Well, sure, we can be “normal” but the torture that we go through to be “normal” is ridiculous. At the same time the rest of the world looks at those suffering as “normal”, we as suffering bulimics see ourselves as worthless slobs that don’t deserve the breath of air we take or the gravity beneath us. We’d probably rather get sucked into some sort of black abyss hole and never be seen again as opposed to stepping on a scale in public and being announced as “normal”. We might be normal from a text book standpoint, but deep down, we’re far from it. We’re bleeding, we need stiches, but very few people know how to heal the wounds.

Fact #6: “Bulimia affects more than just your weight.”

Yeah, lets think about that for a second, what’s so entertaining about somebody ailing from a disease? Wait, what? I need an explanation please? Anything, something? As a person that has dealt with this condition for well over 10 years, I can honestly say I’d probably be better off if I was doing cocaine at this juncture. The damage that has occurred to my GI tract, my teeth, and most importantly, my mind, is something that I will never get back. Beyond my ailments, there area multitude of other nonsense that can go wrong. Take for instance the twenty something woman trying to have a child, but is suffering from bulimia. As a pregnant woman trying to overcome not only the hormones of childbearing, but also the urges of bulimia…what do you suppose happens? I can tell you from a first hand stand point, you lose the child. You get devastated, you recoil into your deepest nightmares. Is that entertaining? Really?

Fact #7: “Bulimia can be genetic.”

It’s an addiction sort of mental disorder, and hell, why is that our fault. If there is some sort of truth behind the fact of this getting passed down from genetics, why is it the bulimics fault? What exactly says that the struggles they deal with every single minutes of the day have to be entertaining? Let’s take for instance the alcoholic, whom learned their traits from their fathers/mothers. Is it entertaining to sit and watch them drink themselves into a jaundiced state of living and give them an excuse of “well, it’s hereditary”? Hell no, we should get the same treatment and let’s be brutally honest, We’re actually better than the alcoholics and the OCD people.

Fact #8: “Bulimia can inhibit healthy reproduction.”

I’d love for an explanation as to how unhealthy reproduction is entertaining. You claim that bulimia is supposed to be entertaining? Really? Let’s talk to some of the people that have lost so much because they were consumed by an evil that you want to be entertained by. How is that fair, and why the hell should we as suffering people with eating disorders be on this planet to entertain you? It’s almost like going to the zoo and shooting a lion only to sit there and watch it die.

Fact #9: “Antidepressants may help.”

Without getting into my twenty minutes long pharmaceutical rant, I’ll just put it this way “the drugs don’t work”

—last but not least, at least not for now…—

Fact #10: “It’s a life-long battle.”

I can bow down and attest to that, and actually I can say that I’m a better person because of it. Look towards the future, what do you want tomorrow, what do you want in three days, what do you want in a year? Typically people have some sort of financial idea as to where they want to be, what they want to own, and what they want in the bank. The world of a tortured bulimic is nothing of the sort…we’re just trying to make it to tomorrow. It’s a nonstop Russian roulette where you take chances every single time you put something down your throat. It’s not entertaining, it’s terrifying. It’s one of those situations  that you look at someone and wonder “how did you get this way.” It’s easy enough to say that for anyone though “why do you like the color red?”, “why do you wear womens underware?”, “why the hell are you afraid to shake hands?”

Valid points, but none of them explain the amount of disrespect was given to the eating disordered community this evening. Fuck you, Howie Mandel.

Ghosts, Witches, Sisters, Brother, and History

“When I look out my window
Many sights to see
And when I look in my window
So many different people to be
That it’s strange
So strange”

Season of the Witch Donovan

And whatever reason my laptop decides that it wants to post a damn article before I get done with it is besides me…but that’s not exactly the point….the point is that after about four nights straight of insomnia and racing thoughts, I had the straw that broke the camels back this morning. After having a discussion about not being up at three am typing madly away at my laptop in the office listening to weird music…guess where I found myself…in the office at 3:30 listening to weird music and typing frantically away. I was escaping the thoughts in my head, but mostly I was escaping that damn song that was stuck there…an obscure song that most nobody my age knows, most people older don’t know it, and it might as well be ragtime music to some, but it was there.

Infecting my brain like a parasite. Gnawing, but why? that song was reminding me of something, but what? Does psychedelic music and sleep deprivation make you reach some sort of higher learning potential? Was I onto the meaning of life? Was I finally figuring out where I put that damn hairbrush that I can’t find?

Nope. Not even close, I listened to the song in my head, then pursued it on YouTube and listened to the damn thing, it was right there, I just wasn’t getting it. Then, of course to be more obscure, it dawned on me, that song, the way it flows, the demeanor, the everything was like listening to the song “Story of the Ghost” by Phish. Yeah, nothing about it is the “same”, but to me it might as well be the same damn song. I frowned, and went back to typing, working on my next book, and wondering why the hell my mind retains some of the crap that it does. Why do obscure songs stick in my head, why do I analyze peoples actions, why the hell do I like bourbon so damn much?

It’s easy, it’s who I am, and just like in the song Season of the Witch, the more I look out of that window, the more I realize that there is an entire world full of people that I could imitate, but I would never actually be “me”. I could dress up different, I could have a different attitude around different people, I just could never be “me” upon imitation of another. It’s impossible, and although the comparison I made to the song Story of the Ghost was a stretch, it sort of made sense.

“I feel I’ve never told you
the story of the ghost
that I once knew and talked to
of whom I’d never boast”

Story of the Ghost Phish

They paralleled in a weird way, the former song depicting the inability to become a stranger and the latter depicting that confiding in a total stranger (a ghost have you) to get advice on who to be was easier than confiding in oneself. The rest of the song is sort of, well, redundant, but the point gets across that eventually he gave up talking to his ghost, he knew it was still there, he knew it would talk back if he wanted it to, but he never sought it out. He left it alone and became ghost-free. It’s getting muddy, I’ll explain in bullet points…

-season of the witch, trippy tune about observing other people

-story of the ghost, redundant, although jamming tune about finding your own person

-season of the witch, doesn’t really make much sense

-story of the ghost, makes sense, but usually only after having a long psychological session

-season/story – seasons are temporary, stories are told time and time again but can change over time

Season/story – seasons have similar fluctuations and expected outcomes, stories are fabricated my the teller to be whatever the hell the story teller wants it to be

Huh, maybe this is only making sense to me, seeing as how I’m probably one of the only people out there that would take two such obscure songs and draw a philosophical paradigm between them…perhaps I’ll use somebody more, well, understandable for further explanation.

“That’s too far out there, I’m not even sure they play banjos where you go in your head sometimes.” -My Dad

In regards to deep thoughts on where life is going and what the hell I’ve been doing with it for the past few years. Then there was a flash of emotion and his hands flew up in the air, almost as if he was being held up at gun point. “What the fuck am I saying. I’ve spent 20 years wrapped up in bad break ups, between the women in my life and wrapping my head around shit, I’ve wasted more time being stupid than I have actually left alive.” It was true, I saw it, I saw a hell of a lot of it. There was a moment of silence, and all I could do was nod. There were some really ugly times in there, times that absolutely nobody else should have had to gone through (he and I), but at the same time we were always there for each other. I’d watch him go on his warpath, not knowing how long it was going to last for. Sometimes it’d get a hell of a lot worse before it got better. Sometimes it would persist as a slow sting for years.

We hit a mutual understanding, neither of us are very good with break ups, and neither of us are very good drunks. The paths that I saw him take, I saw me going down too. The decisions that he had made, I learned from, my “ghost” was my dads past, my “season” was a season that we perennial found ourselves in with no other decision but to wait until the next one rolls around. Seasons can be shitty harsh and kill people, human seasons are no different. Sitting last night, in total sobriety and honesty, my Dad proclaimed “I’ve given up, I don’t need a woman to temporarily make me happy, I need me to stay happy forever. Women make me go insane.”

I thought about it, and it was true, but at the same time without some of those women some incredible people wouldn’t be on this earth. There wouldn’t be the little sister, big sister, and big brother who have all loved and been supportive. Without my mom, perhaps my little sister wouldn’t have gotten to know the Reetz family who have raised her when my Dad wasn’t there. Without my big brother, perhaps I’d never know how awesome old stick shift trucks are and that song about a squeezebox. Who knows, without my big sister I’d never really understand that it IS okay to be a strong willed female. So yeah, through the 20 some odd years of pain, greatness came from it.

I’m looking, I’m doing math, I’m up to about three and a half years of “break up hell”. The first one is always the worst, and as we spoke last night, we realized there was a pattern….

“After the first guy, that fucker that knocked down my building, what’d you do?”

My response – drive to Iowa because I felt like I needed to get away.

“And, what about after you took him back, because you were being stupid, and he did it again?”

My response – I drove to South Carolina and moved as far away as I could go.

“And that weird one you were married to?”

My response – I moved to Tennessee

“And when you took that one back?”

My response – I see a pattern…

“And the red head?”

My response – I moved to Anderson

“And when you took THAT one back?”

My response – well, that wasn’t so bad.

“And where are you now?”

My response – back in Anderson.

“History repeats itself.”

I shook my head in disbelief, how could I have overlooked that all the time? I pouted for a moment, then thought long and hard about it. There was a simple solution to an overall confusing situation.

My response – “Maybe I should stop taking people back?”

His hands flew up in the air again. “History repeats itself, you can only move on if you don’t look back.”

Damn. And to think the whole conversation started with banjo music in my head – and although it wasn’t ACTUALLY banjo music, it was weird acid trip sort of music, it made sense.

2012-08-20 21.35.50

Plato was an asshole.

“According to Greek mythology, humans were originally created with four arms, four legs and a head with two faces. Fearing their power, Zeus split them into two separate parts, condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other halves.”
― Plato, The Symposium

I don’t do movies with a bunch of kissing or a love story to it. Hell, I can barely make it through some of these commercials for Viagra without covering my eyes in a sort of prude splendor. I’ve always been that way, when we were little kids growing up watching Disney princesses kiss their prince charming I was out making mud pies. There wasn’t anything about that nonsense that I wanted any part of. Holding hands on the playground in third grade was okay, I guess, but then again I think at that young age I realized “what the heck am I holding his hand for, I really like THAT guy”. Whatever like was in third grade, I think I kept that mentality.

I think a very large reason for that misconception as to what “love” really was, and how it pertained to people was that I never actually “learned” what the heck it was. To me it was just stuff you saw on tv. I don’t remember much loving going on in my house growing up, of course everyone loved each other, but there wasn’t any of that 50’s sitcom shit going on. Looking back at my childhood, it was actually pretty awesome. I made my own rules, and I suppose I still do, but never did I realize that making my own rules actually effects others, for the good and the bad. Without any sort of understanding of what “love” really was, I decided to dig into the philosophy of, well, life, and instead of burying my head in some sort of existential carrying on, I went way back.

Prepare the way back machine.

Plato, The Symposium, I read it way back in 2002 on a road trip somewhere in Ohio and Tennessee. It was sort of confusing, seeing as how I was about as naive as they come. What, there are bad guys out there? You mean people can actually REALLY break your heart? You mean that there are feeling that dwell inside of our hearts that don’t include shower shit and shaving? What the fuck, why was I just then learning of the whole “two make a complete one” business. Why didn’t they teach this shit in health class instead of showing us diagrams of private parts? Why didn’t they teach us to follow our hearts but always lead with your brain.

“Evil is the vulgar lover who loves the body rather than the soul, inasmuch as he is not even stable, because he loves a thing which is in itself unstable, and therefore when the bloom of youth which he was desiring is over, he takes wing and flies away, in spite of all his words and promises; whereas the love of the noble disposition is life-long, for it becomes one with the everlasting.”
― Plato, Symposium

I remember reading that, while sitting in one of those unstable folding camp chairs and just about throwing that book in the campfire. What the hell, is this true, are there really people out there that will smile and you accept it with an invisible gun to your head waiting to go off. That explosive event when you realize it’s done, you’ve aged, you’ve moved apart, what once bound you to another is about as stable as a three legged dining room table. Yeah, eat Thanksgiving dinner around one of those a few times. You’ll get what I mean. The bloom of youth, time passes, we grow as individuals, but we also shrink in confidence. It’s going to hurt you, it’s going tear you apart, it’s going to make you cry.

Why the fuck is the point? I crossed my arms across my chest and didn’t quite know if I wanted to read on. It was a book that I thought would expand my ever curious mind but all of a sudden I felt hollow. I felt like the air had been let out of my tires and all the hope for the future of living happily ever after was just a ruse. I was bitter, of course, but I was also young. Crap, really young now that I think about it. I was lost, I didn’t have anyone to talk to about this weird feeling, so I just swallowed it like the acidic pill it was. I went on with life, always crossing my arms thinking back to that book. Still wishing I would have thrown it in the fire.

The problem with said book was that I only picked out the things I wanted to see and ignored all the beautiful prose that was sprinkled in those pages. I’d see the word evil and immediately disengage from any hopes and thoughts of a bright future. I got married, it was okay, I suppose, but I can’t say that was what I thought it was going to be like, only because I was focusing on the lines of hatred and sadness and not looking at the lines of happiness and fulfillment you can get from another person. I got divorced, and still, I crossed my arms and said, “that Plato, he was one smart dude.”

It’s like having a piano only only playing the black keys, you’re always going to be sharp and you’re never going to be in tune with anybody else trying to duet with you. You’re stuck on the black keys, you refuse to accept the possibilities that there is a world of white keys out there that aren’t going to hurt, or sound bad, or hell, even pay attention to you. White keys isn’t really the best metaphor, but hey, we’ll run with it. I’m not exactly happy with the fact that I played the black keys for so long, it was a learning experience, I do not, however, accept the fact that now that the jaded glasses are off, what is this world that I’m seeing?

“For, observe that open loves are held to be more honorable than secret ones, and that the love of the noblest and highest, even if their persons are less beautiful than others, is especially honorable.”
― Plato, The Symposium

Reading back over that book, it’s actually hard for me to even see the black keys anymore. It’s amazing what can happen when you open your eyes and start looking at what’s been in front of you all along (or at least for a good amount of time.

I’m going to go back to listening to depressing country and western music until the sun comes back out….

Sometimes fire isn't really that hot, sometimes the night isn't really that dark, and sometimes the songs that you don't hear are the most beautiful songs you'll ever want to hear.

Sometimes fire isn’t really that hot, sometimes the night isn’t really that dark, and sometimes the songs that you don’t hear are the most beautiful songs you’ll ever want to hear.

I. Am. Happy.

“Some people turn sad awfully young. No special reason, it seems, but they seem almost to be born that way. They bruise easier, tire faster, cry quicker, remember longer and, as I say, get sadder younger than anyone else in the world. I know, for I’m one of them.”

Ray Bradbury

And as I sit here and look out the window at a big ass tree and grass that needs to be cut I find myself sad. Although I’m not awfully young, as Ray Bradbury put it, I still feel like I’m in my prime (whatever the hell that means), and still doing the whole song and dance of getting up in the morning and being a productive member of society. We’re born sad, we’re born happy, we’re born, we’ll just put it that way. When in the great adventure of life do we actually regain control over our emotions, never? Are we cursed to be sad for the rest of our lives just because we were “born” sad?

I used to think so, I used to think that “sad” was just another emotion such as happy, hungry and horny. I used to think that sad was just one of those things that everyone deals with, day in and out, you get sad because you burn your toast, you get sad because your tank of gas didn’t last as long as you’d like it to, you get sad because you have to crawl your ass into a job that you hate and make money that you don’t really even care about. You get sad because you’re alive, you get sad because there are people alive around you, you get sad because, well, nobody taught you how to be happy.

Let’s take a moment and think about it, as a baby, you knew to cry when you were happy, when you had shit yourself, and especially when you needed attention. These basic instincts were just born to all of us, we cried as babies because we didn’t have language skills enough to express what we really wanted. I need my ass wiped, I want some food, fuck, I want to be played with. These basic things that we needed, but weren’t getting was what made us cry, and crying usually coincides with sadness. I’m sad, give me attention, make me feel better, life will go on. At what point did we decide that crying wasn’t working for us? At what point did we find ourselves using words to express our feelings instead of crying? The moment we used language for the first time was when we lost our touch on reality. Our ability to be sad went away and all of a sudden we were trying to use words to express our emotions.

Honestly, there aren’t enough words in enough languages to really depict emotions, good and bad. When you’re pissed off what the hell are you supposed to do to release that negative energy that dwells inside of you? Swear? Hit something? Does any of that really satisfy your anger? Worst case scenario you’ll end up like me and either hit a wall, hit a tree, or hit the hay. I’m pretty good at putting my anger at ease without using words, but at the same time nothing ever gets resolved. I’m still mad at something, I’m still in limbo as to what has hurt me, and I sure as hell don’t know how to fix things.

Coming from somebody that has been perennially “sad” for 30 years, it’s been a blessing and a curse to see what it takes to really set me off. I can be “sad” in a way that I would be after hearing a sad song, but I can also be “sad” in a way that makes me want to hide from the world and wish it all away. Sad, as Ray Bradbury put it, is a permanent condition, one that all of us know about, but only few of us actually deal with on a day to day basis. I can look at all of the amazing things in my life and still have this dark nugget of sadness curled up in my brain.

Well, I did have that nugget, but somehow, in someway that nugget dissolved into a mysterious feeling called happiness.

Whoa, hold on, did the little blonde girl actually say “happiness”?

Yes, and no. It’s sort of a double edged sword, follow closely because this might get a little deep.

“What I want is to be needed. What I need is to be indispensable to somebody. Who I need is somebody that will eat up all my free time, my ego, my attention. Somebody addicted to me. A mutual addiction.”

Chuck Palahniuk

The nature of the human beast, set in a couple of sentences, summarized everything that I am sad about. Ever since being a little kid playing with my brother and sister I had this evil feeling of being disposable. It wasn’t my parents fault, it wasn’t societies fault, it was solely my own fault. Even from diaper age I felt like the world didn’t need me. I did bad things, I continued to act out, and finally, around the age of 13 I gave up. I realized that I was indeed disposable, nobody really cared, or so I thought, and I went about my teenage angst believing that I didn’t matter. My life didn’t matter, my actions didn’t matter, and in fact, sad was the only thing I really believed in. I didn’t believe in myself, my future, or even my own potential. I was just breathing air that somebody else should have been breathing. I was alive, but I was dead on the inside.

I never felt indispensable to anybody, I sort of assimilated myself to a paper plate, plastic forks, hell, a paper towel. Use it, toss it, get a new one. That was what I felt in life, that was the “sad” that encompassed me, that was reality to me. It wasn’t anyone elses fault but my own. That was who I was, that’s who I chose to be, and carried on that way until this morning. This very morning, I realized that I am needed, I am indispensable, and all of my free time is taken. Although it’s not easy to describe, it’s easy to feel. I’m floating along feeling hated and lost, I’m also floating along feeling loved and desired. It’s not something that anyone else can offer, you have to find it inside of yourself.

Let’s think about this for a minute, a simple example. You have a car, it needs gas, you give it gas, it goes. You rely on that car to get you to where you have to go but at the same time you have to take care of it, in the form of gas, oil changes, and maintenance. You give the car attention because it gives you what you need. Looking inwards, we’re born sad, or at least that’s what we allow ourselves to believe. It’s like having a car with a leaky gas tank, a blown motor, or hell, a flat tire. We accept the fact that there are things wrong with the car, but we continue to drive it….we don’t get very far though. Same happens with our brains and how we take our outlook on life. We have a sadness that doesn’t get up anywhere, just like a flat tire, but we allow it it to be a hindrance. We don’t take time to look at the problem and fix it, we just accept it and go on with our lives. If you had a flat tire on your car, you’d pull your ass over and put on the spare, because you have to get to where you’re going. Why is it, however, that we allow sad to become our flat tire?

I’ve dealt with my flat tire enough to realize that it’s not going to get me anywhere. I’ve found happy, it’s in the same toolbox as sad, but it gets me much farther than sad ever did. If sad was a tire it’d be the worst quality rubber compound on the market and would flatten if you looked at it wrong. Happy, however, is the tire on the car that will never go flat, it’ll get you to where you have to go, and it won’t let you down. Although our brains are trained on so many levels to accept different emotions, the only one that really matters is happiness. It’s the only tire that rolls to where you want to go.

I. Am. Happy.