Welcome to a collective of my thoughts, ramblings, writings, musings, and whatever-the-hell else I feel like broadcasting into the vastness of the world wide web.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Kicking Prescription Habits

I feel a great need to talk about something I've been dealing with lately. It starts with the following words; Technically, I'm a drug addict. I know, it doesn't so much make me look very good but bear with me for a minute. It's not like that, really. A few years ago I was living in Los Angeles with a girl who was going to college there. Sometime about a year in, maybe less, I started having panic attacks, full on shaking sweating can't-eat can't-sleep no-reason-for-any-of-it-that-I-can-tell panic attacks. I went to see a doctor who put me on Xanax, a fast acting short half-life benzodiazepine. I took xanax for about a year, maybe a little less, and then moved through three or four other medications that didn't work well for me before I landed on Valium some two plus years ago. Anybody who knows anything about drugs, and benzo's in particular knows that being on Valium for longer then a couple months is bad news. Being on it for a couple years is fucking terrible news. It's been so long since that first prescription I honestly don't remember how I decided on Valium, or even which fucking doctor first gave it to me. I can say I don't remember the doc sitting me down and telling me about the severity of the drug, or the fact that if I stayed on it for an extended period of time I'd have to go through Hell and back to get off it. 

By the time I moved back to Oregon and found a new doctor, I wasn't even slightly interested in being off my meds, I felt comfortable with what I was taking and didn't see any reason to change it. I'd been on them long enough without any warnings or side effects that I didn't seen a reason to be off them anymore. I want to be clear in that I have never abused my medication, never used them before the refill date and looked for more or shit like that. I took them solely as they were prescribed to me, one in the morning, one at night. Anyways, I started seeing a doc in Bend, and she would constantly yet gently push me to stop taking it, but I wasn't interested. I didn't want to be completely off medication, I didn't feel like I was ready, or in a place where I could handle it. Shortly after moving back to Oregon I was hit with several personal blows, blows that left me emotionally drained and decimated, and thinking about stopping my meds was unthinkable. The doc wanted to move me off the valium and on to an anti-depressant, but I'd taken AD's before and hated every single one. I didn't believe I was 'depressed', just anxious, and wanted nothing to do with any other medication. I was comfortable with my 5mg of V in the morning and another five at night, kept me in a nice warm little fog, one I lived in for so long I quit seeing it as a fog and it became my worldview. So she continued to prescribe it to me casually, keeping me on the same dosage I'd always been on. Did you know that after about a year of regular valium usage you start to lose some mental and cognitive functions? Essentially you get stupider. Anybody who knows me at all knows that for better or for worse I place a lot of stock and pride in my intelligence. I've never been a star athlete (though I was a kickass swimmer), never dated any supermodels, never made a million dollars. I've always and only had my brain to set me apart from the masses, and my taking this drug everyday was literally slowly eroding the bedrock of my IQ. I didn't care. Until about two months ago. 

I reached a point where I wanted to be off my meds for two reasons. Reason number one; I wanted to be off my meds. Period. I wanted to experience life beyond the valium daze. Fair enough right? Reason number two; You can't fly helicopters if you're taking that kind of shit. Gotta be sharp and alert. I decided to become a pilot, and in order to do that, I had to kick the valium. So I started tapering off with the 'help' of a therapist, going down a couple milligrams at a time, then throwing in a second benzodiazepine called Klonopin to be taken every once in a while as needed to cut the severity of the valium withdrawals. For the first couple weeks I went up and down, feeling good one day and less the second. I'd have waves of anxiety that would just come out of nowhere and crash into me like a truck, rendering me largely incapable of performing even the most basic of tasks or social interactions. After every drop in dosage the symptoms would come back for a couple days and then subside, never getting to a point where I really felt constantly aware of them. Until recently. I mentioned before that I had bronchitis a few weeks ago, and when I was so horribly sick I didn't even think about my valium until I realized one morning that I hadn't taken anything in four days. So I decided to see how long I could go. I made it a couple more days before I hit a wall of symptoms that actually scared me, and I took half a pill. Well its been over THREE WEEKS now since I took that last half of a valium. Two pretty decent weeks, withdrawal symptoms not very severe, coming and going, and for full disclosure I have still been taking half a klonopin as needed, usually every three to five days, with the periods in between slowly getting longer. Then came this past week.

I just today completed a full seven days in between k-pin halves, still haven't touched the valium, and good sweet Mary mother of FUCK was it a hell of a week. The worst of the withdrawal symptoms kick in towards the end, once you've been cold turkey for more then a couple weeks, and explaining the horrific nature of them is quite difficult. 'Sensitivity to touch', check, sometimes it hurts to just have clothes or my sheets touching me. It hurts the bottoms of my feet to stand. This brings me to 'general pain', which holy shit I have. It hurts to blink, to move, to turn my head. My body is in a near constant state of feeling like it's on fire and at the same time immersed in a bath of ice, it's bizarre. Reality is different, and this is the most difficult symptom to explain. I see things differently, I perceive them differently, and I'm able to watch from some balcony in my mind as my speech pattern changes, the way I move changes, and I can't do anything about it. Personality changes are common to see during withdrawals from valium, lasting weeks or months sometimes. Everything looks odd, objects I look at are razor sharp, like I'm fucking seeing in High Definition and I'm acutely aware of EVERYTHING, while at the same time it all looks fake and computer generated. The very essence of how I view the world, the people and situations and interactions around me, it's all CHANGED. I feel like I'm on a bad drug trip that won't stop, and in a way I am. Usually when that happens though you can just wait it out, tell yourself it'll only be a couple hours and you can soldier through it. Not this though, this fucked up ordeal is going to last anywhere from a couple more days to a couple months. It's not all bad in the end I tell myself. The sense of accomplishment as I make it through another day without valium is massive. I'm not quite in a mindset where I can calm my thoughts enough to appreciate it fully, but that will come and I can't fucking wait. In six months the oppressive side effects should have fully dissipated, and in one year I will have regained any mental or cognitive function lost during the last two years, and will essentially be 'me' again. At least as much as anybody can truly be themselves. 

So congratulations to myself, because what I've done/am doing is not easy, and I'm proud of me. Near the end of this road now, I'll be getting on a much better road, and if you asked me where it goes I'd tell you "Anywhere."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Big City Drug Deals

You know what sucks? Buying drugs. Now now, we're not here to discuss the morality or dangers of drugs, or the ethics of buying or selling them, we're here because I wanted to tell a story. Should I not tell this story because it involves some R-Rated subject matter? Or would that just be pandering. You're an adult, you can choose to do what you want and read what you please. Here, lets get if over with, ready, reaaaaady, I've done drugs before. Still here? Ok then, proceed. Regardless of how you may feel personally, there's no disputing the fact that lots and lots of people enjoy doing drugs, but I'm pretty confidant about saying there's probably nobody who likes buying them. It's typically a nervous, dark, shady type transaction that goes on, often involving nervous, dark, shady type people. It can I suppose be no big thing for some persons because they know their supplier intimately, but this either means you hang out with drug dealers or you do enough drugs to know them well. Either way is not perhaps the best position to have put yourself in. Also, I won't deny that it can, at TIMES, be a somewhat exciting experience, something that will get your blood pumping as you enter a world probably quite different and a little bit more dangerous then the one you live in day to day. The allure of a pill or powder or plant that will take away the burdens of social anxiety and lift you up and set you on a nice comfortable cloud for a few hours, well that is high enough for many people to deal with the negatives of buying. Here's a story that encompasses three aspects of the drug buy; the good, the bad, and the surreal.

It all happened on my birthday one year, in a large city, with which I was largely unfamiliar. I had been there before, several times in fact, but mostly stuck to bars and poolhouses, hadn't really taken the time to wrap my head around my greater surroundings. The city was close to where I was living at the time, and myself and a couple of friends had driven in and gotten a motel room for the night to celebrate. Allow me to set the mood for you. Our motel was in one of the dingiest, dirtiest little holes in the city, a fact we weren't privy to until after arriving and observing the plethora of lowlifes and hookers hanging out in our parking lot. This of course did absolutely nothing to deter us, if anything it just raised our heart rates a little bit and made us want to drink faster. That's the trick see, you bring a whole mini bar with you in your bag and mix drinks for yourselves in the motel room for a few hours, then take a cab downtown to the cluster of bars and upscale strip joints. I digress. We had decided on the way into the city that afternoon that today was a special day, my birthday, and just going into the city and getting roaring drunk and carousing with our friends wasn't enough. We were going to need some drugs, not no marijuana either, we had that, we needed some REAL drugs, some party-all-night-with-a-smile-cemented-to-your-face drugs. We weren't the kind of people who do those kinds of substances often, and it was a special occasion, so it seemed like a good idea.

 Problem was we didn't know anybody in this particular city to get drugs from, and it's something we were only comfortable doing with somebody we had been connected with. Buying drugs from complete strangers is hard for one, because it's hard to find said stranger, and dangerous, you don't know what the fuck is going to be mixed in with whatever they give you, if it's even real, if they are going to turn out to be a cop, or a psycho. No, we needed somebody who'd been vouched for who could hook us up with something of premium quality for a fair market value price. So we called a friend we trusted back in our town, somebody who had lived for a good while in the big city and would know about such things. He said he'd make a call and get back to us straight away, and within an hour he called back. "She'll meet with you. But she's paranoid, so here's what I told her, which she'll expect to hear you say..." He proceeded to explain to us that this was somebody he very much trusted to be on the level, and to hook us up with exactly what we were looking for. However, he said, she was paranoid, and intensely so, only agreeing to meet with us after our friend told her that we had grown up together (we hadn't) and that he'd known us for over ten years (nope) and that we could be trusted (of course), so she consented based on that voucher. When I arrived at her place, he said, I had to tell her about my friend, where we went to school together, and where we grew up. This was all sounding like a lot of work at this point, but we were already starting to feel the thrill of the buy not to mention the desire for what she was selling, so we moved forward. We got her name (fake) and number (real) from him and called her up. She spoke to us on the phone for probably 15 seconds, confirming who was calling and that there were only two of us coming, and then giving us an address and hanging up abruptly. Ok, whatever, drug dealers are weird, let's go. One of my friends and I hopped in the car leaving the others in the motel room to drink, plugged the address into the trusty GPS, and off we went.

 We arrived at our destination about fifteen minutes later and circled a large dark building a few times looking for her place before we realized we were already there. The large dark creepy building towering above us contained penthouse apartments, and that was apparently our where we needed to be. We walked into the lobby and my first thought was Holy Shit we're in the Shining hotel. Old carpet and dismal lighting, a front desk with nobody behind it, a light flickering off and on, some kind of string music playing somewhere, almost inaudible. We exchanged a look to confirm the other person was equally uncomfortable, swiftly confirmed it, and moved to the elevators. Way up there, above the twenty-something floor, was the penthouse floor, containing the penthouse suite, and so we hit that button marked P and began our ascent. What seemed like an hour or two later the elevator rumbled to a stop and the doors jerked open suddenly. We were standing facing a doorway. A doorway at the end of a scary-ass hallway that seemed about half as long as a football field, nearly pitch black, with a single light above the door at the end. I was almost surprised at the lack of a monstrous wave of blood rushing towards us. As we stepped out we realized there were other doors, down the sides of the hallway, and as we walked past these dark inlets two of the doors proved open a crack, shutting just as we walked by, mumbling voices behind them. Unnerved and walking quite close together, we made it to the final door, took a second to compose ourselves, and knocked. Almost immediately the door was yanked open to the chain, a shadowy dark haired woman peering out from the crack. Right away she quizzed us on the questions we'd been told about by our mutual friend, and we both spoke at once, stepping on each others sentences in a stammering effort to prove we were who we were supposed to be. The door closed, and for a split second I thought it was over, that she hadn't bought it and our quest had ended, but no, it opened right back up again, just enough for us to turn almost sideways and step through the archway and into the apartment.

 The first thing we were struck by was the light, after being in that dim and depressing lobby followed by the Hellway we'd just walked through, we apparently hadn't expected the place to be so well lit. It was almost luminescent. The second thing that hit us after our eyes adjusted was the realization that this women was gorgeous, long thick hair, pristine white skin and striking features, as tall as I am (6') lifted by her reverse skyscraper high heels. She turned and motioned us to follow her through the entryway and into her apartment, which was dazzling to say the least. High vaulted ceilings, giant windows overlooking the city lights, artful cubicle style rooms to each side of us, and then we were in the living room. Expensive art adorned the walls and fine furniture the floors, and sitting on a gorgeous white suede couch was a very well dressed man. He looked exactly, and I do mean exactly, like the character Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler) from Californication. If you don't know who that is google him and then come back, I'll wait. She introduced him to us as a friend, they were going to go out that night. He didn't bother to get up to greet us, but quickly engaged us in small talk about our night and whatnot while his lady friend disappeared into a bedroom. This guy was smooth too, speaking with a lackadaisical confidence that betrayed the importance and severity of the man behind the Charlie Runkle exterior. At some point our conversation turns to where we might be headed that night, and we mention a classy strip joint we'd read about and were going to check out. Oh, he says, that's where *the female drug dealer* dances, he tells us casually. We again exchange quick looks, as if by making eye contact with the other we could be sure we were indeed on this plane of reality still. Our drug dealer for the night was a stripper. Who lived in an apartment that was obviously anything but modestly priced, steep enough that it seemed unlikely our dancer/dealer friend was paying for it all by herself. Who knows though, she was involved in two industries where the right people can make a lot of money. I have my suspicions that her male companion wasn't a just a harmless stockbroker or something of the sort, but we never did find out. After a couple awkward minutes of bullshitting with Mr. Armani, she reappeared with what we'd come for, money traded hands, we gave the usual goodbye pleasantries and were escorted out. I don't think we spoke walking back down the hallway, too busy listening for doors closing, and it wasn't until the elevator opened to the lobby that I realized I was holding my breath. I don't know if this accurately conveys the deep strangeness and unsettling aspects of this tale, but I've tried. We later that night saw Charlie Runkle out at a club with our new friend, and after saying hi to them outside we watched him take three completely different, equally gorgeous and unattainable women under his arms like he owned the world, and walk away in the night. We live in completely different worlds, but at times we overlap and interconnect, and its always a trip, always something new, something strange. Sometimes more then others.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Winter Musings

Ay it's past midnight, which would mean it's now the first day of November in this year of our Lord Two Thousand and Eleven. The month of Thanksgiving. It just makes me think of time gone by. A year ago this time I was living in a van in various parking lots around Breckinridge Colorado with Stephen and Erik. It was bitter cold to the point that we would go to bed in the van wrapped in four to five layers of clothing, sleeping bags, and blankets on top of those. We still woke up in the night bitter and shivering. I remember one day about two weeks into our van livin', and tempers were flaring, edges were being reached, boundaries pushed, and my solution became to not talk for an entire day. I did it too, relaying any important information to my van mates by typing on my phone and holding it up, but otherwise I was completely silent and non participatory. At times it was an annoyance to them, but they got used to it and it ended up being quite the zen day for me. All that aside I'm thinking about this stuff right now because of the change between last year and this. The van we lived in is now in the process of being sold and taken away, and as much as it may have sucked at times, living in that thing for three weeks in such an extreme environment was a trip, and an experience I wouldn't trade. It bonded the three of us in a way, there's no denying that. Colorado, last winter, actually the start of this very online scribbling endeavor, it all seems so far away. Not so much the scribbling, he says as he scribbles. The winter though, the thrill of picking up and just blowing town, taking off for somewhere you've never been because you can, and because you want to get in some world class skiing. Moving across the country, uprooting everything and packing up some cars with some close and true amigos, and hitting the road. It was all so desperately exhilarating and spontaneous, the future constantly and excitingly unpredictable, something new around every bend in ever road. So many mountains and lifts and ski runs we could have rode there for a decade and not have tracked every summit and dropped every cornice, hit every run and memorized every back alley tree shoot. I miss coming home from work at the fuckin' corporate bookstore to my roommates, all six of them, watching tv, reading, cooking, drinking, doing whatever. I miss having family dinners with Stephen and Erik and Garrett and Colleen and Amanda. I miss jamming all of us in a car to mob to Vail or Keystone or wherever we felt like riding that day. I miss packing a car full of 6 or 7 of us and rolling out to the bars in Frisco or Breck, getting way too drunk and typically starting a dance party somewhere. Well, mostly I watched, but there was more then a time or two when I would break out my dancin' shoes, and usually after enough drinks that I would feel it necessary to dance somewhere like on a table or the bar perhaps. Don't know why I'm thinking about this so much. It's not that this winter won't be great, or won't live up to last year. It's a different time. Different isn't anymore a bad thing than it is a good thing. It just is. Still. I love my friends I have now and the life I'm working on making for myself, but there will always be things I miss. I'll always remember fondly a lot of things about the good ol' 970 and the six months I spent there in '10-'11. That is all. For now.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Portrait of an Insomniac

Blah blah blah bullshit bullshit bullshit.

Ahh. Sorry had to get that out. As long as we're throwing around apologies here, I'm also sorry I haven't put anything worth reading up in a good while, and I'm sorry that it seems like half my posts start with 'sorry I haven't posted'. Bad form I know, and thanks to the three people who are still reading this. What follows is what's on my mind about my life, right now, in no particular order of importance or relevance.

So I got bronchitis a couple weeks ago. That was dumb. Hit like lightening too, completely out of nowhere. I was healthy, I went to sleep on Stephen's grandparents couch in Eugene, woke up sick. Sore throat, head feeling like somebody stole my brain during the night and replaced it with a thousand cotton balls. Stuck around too. I made it three days before going to see the trusty family physician who promptly placed me on antibiotics and remanded me to my bed until such a time when I stopped showing symptoms. Being sick is a terribly unpleasant thing, because as nice as it may be to lie on the couch all day watching Frasier and eating the occasional bowl of soup, it takes the relaxation element out when you're wracked with the cough of the damned and the paycheck reflecting of someone who hasn't worked all week.

Halloween is coming up. The cynic in me wants to say it's just a day for assholes to dress like assholes and then get drunk. Young adults I mean, not children. I've yet to see a tottering inebriated child with a bad attitude dressed like a sphincter going around soliciting candy from people. Fingers crossed for this year though. For the people in my general age bracket (21-35) it seems like every holiday gets turned into an excuse to 'get hammered' these days. Maybe it's just me, granted I haven't been drinking much in the past month or two, so that could lend to my general disdain for the drunk and disorderly. Don't get me wrong, I don't have anything particular against drinking or whatnot, if you know me personally you know how true that statement is. I've just been in a place in life lately where alcohol doesn't have much of a pull on me, and as it goes, being the sober person around a bunch of drunks can be grating on the nerves. Swerving back to find my point, I am trying not to be so cynical (largely unsuccessfully) so happy halloween everybody. Don't be dicks and drive drunk.

Helicopter school. Is he gonna do it? Not? Yay? Nay? Fuck the back and forth, YES, yes, yours truly is going to enroll in school and start the journey towards becoming a professional pilot. If you were to ask me when I'd tell you "Soon...ish." I'm not in a hurry or a rush, I've got shit to take care of first, but I'll get there, and when I do it's going to change my life. More than I'm already altering it (which is quite a bit). Lots of changes and shaking up of things going on in my life lately, which in turn causes changing and shaking in my head. Rearranging your perspectives on things can be refreshing, eye opening, and at times straight up fucking terrifying. It's also frequently liberating, in ways both positive and not so much. To be free just long enough to have one's head bashed against a wall is not the type of freedom I seek. I want to make a life for myself, enough of this vagabond paycheck to paycheck lifestyle and on to bigger and better. So that's happening.

GIRLS! I love them, I really do. I want one. I'm not greedy, I don't need hundreds, or fifty, I just want one please. Where are the smart girls? The girls who won't bore me to tears within minutes of meeting them. The girls who aren't bitchy, petty, vindictive, materialistic little attention whores. Girls who have read and comprehended at least one book with more pages then pictures. Is it too much to ask for a brain and some edge simultaneously? I know I know, they're out there. You can't find them if you never look I suppose. I had one once, but instead of the faults listed above she turned out to be a dishonest deceitful little girl, her tongue full of lies and half-truths. I of course had my faults, there are things I would do differently if I could, but it wasn't all bad. In fact it wasn't even mostly bad, only at the end did everything sour and wither. The fights got worse, the mistakes unforgivable. She eventually cemented the end of our relationship somewhere in year three, the end of everything between us, by fucking my best friend, sending me reeling into my own personal full service Hell. It took me a long goddamn time to get over that, part of me hasn't yet and never will, part of me will always hate her for what she did. Part of me will always love her for what she was. I don't have the energy or emotional reserves to be passionate about that anymore though, it's a waste of my time and it's a waste of me. As flawed and incomplete a person I may be, I'm also genuine, honest, loyal, and full of love. I love my friends, I love my family, I love my dog and my snake. There's more than enough to go around, but I haven't quite nailed the part where I find somebody to share it with. Not short on time though either. It'll happen again, and I'll do it right this time.

There really aren't any points to any of this. Ramblings of a mind deprived of outlet at four in the morning, unable to sleep but able to type. Given the circumstances I'm not going to bother proof reading this at all, so there remains a decent chance I'll read it tomorrow and find things I wish I hadn't said, or I had said better. Nonetheless, like all my posts this shall remain unedited, standing as a small window into my mind for these few minutes it took me to write this.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Death and Shampoo

I was thinking about the fear of death in the shower today. It's where I do my best thinking next to when I'm driving a go-cart. Something about driving in tiny circles. When the course is closed I'll sometimes just go drive around roundabouts. Thinkin. (Not really I fucking hate roundabouts) Here's what I came up with, short and sweet. No. I do not fear death. Here's why. Because it's a mystery. They say that. Some have called it the greatest mystery. Seriously. Google that shit. 'Death; The Greatest Mystery'. I don't know what you'll get back 'cause I was too lazy to search it myself but I'm quite certain we can all agree it's a mystery. I believe we can also agree that no matter what, no matter who you are, everybody WILL at some point discover the answer to that mystery. (SPOILER: You're going to die. Drag.) It's just a given. Some people spend their entire lives in search of an answer, a clue, something that will help them solve the mystery. Early. Cause you're gonna solve it. You can stop worrying about that.

I say fuck it! I like surprises! No I'm not afraid of death. Just spiders. And sharks.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

THE GENERAL: Chapter one; The Backpack

So I've got this story of a friend of mine. It's a story I've told many, many a time but never to such a potentially large audience, and well...it must be. I have this friend I lived with for a while, the General. The General and I had been friends for years and spent a lot of time together, so the inevitableness of our living together had been a long time coming. We had a nice house, inherited by his grandmother, who chainsmoked Winston's on the couch and drank coffee mugs full of bourbon that she'd refer to as 'Jesus Juice'. She died in that house not a year after moving in, and well, General and I were not ones to be choosy at the time, so we took over her lease. Eventually we had to take on roommates to pay the most basic of bills. We ended up with the General's distant cousins who turned out to be Neo-Nazi's (nice people if not misguided...and stupid as fuck), and eventually a serial fast food employee who turned out to have an extensive collection of child pornography. He hid it in a closet by the front door and one of us found it by accident one night. I'll tell you what, the Neo-Nazi beat that dirty bastard half to death before he wiggled free and ran off into the snowy winter night in just a t-shirt and boxers. He was arrested the next day on multiple felony accounts. An interesting house is what I'm telling you, and I don't think I have any arguments. Eh?

So at this particular time, I believe it was just the General and I living in this house. It was located on the outer edge of a cul-de-sac, with a spacious backyard area that led into the front yards of the other houses. One night, myself and Nobody were out at a house party, and I get a phone call. We go outside because it's loud and whoever is on the other line keeps asking me a question I can't make out. We go the driveway and I hear "This is the sherriff's department...is this J?" I look over at Nobody nervously, I fucking hate cops, bad experiences and whatnot, and I know the General has been known to call me J. "Yes, and what, may I ask, is this regarding?" I say, suddenly feeling the need to sound as classy and professional as possible at 2:30am. The female police deputy on the line proceeds to ask me if I know a General (she called him by his Christian name), I tentatively answer yes. She tells me I was first in his call log and he is causing a scene and could I come try and calm him down before things got violent.

Now let me preface this. Don't worry, it'll be quick. A few hours earlier, for reasons at this point not even the General knows,  he said 'fuck off' to Nobody and I, packed a backpack full of liquor bottles, and disappeared out the back door. We didn't see him for a couple hours, he liked to take walks, we figured he'd make it to a park or a bench and sleep it off, end up back home the next morning. You have to understand, this just isn't strange. Sometimes the world reaches a point where a man must pack a NorthFace bag full of liquor bottles and storm off into the night. It's stupid, it's dramatic, yet sometimes we need to do it. But shit, he took a lot of fucking booze this time.

Back to the present, I ask the cop more about what's going. She tells me (seriously) that they have the General CORNERED against a fence and porch, and are contemplating tazing him. Apparently he had been wandering through a neighborhood singing and ranting at the top of his lungs until the police were called. Upon their arrival the General refused to give them identification of any kind or be touched, announcing only his first name and that he was sixteen years old (he was twenty-two at the time). He had become verbally abusive to the officers, refusing to divulge any further information, especially where he lived. We got directions from the officer and as we get closer I get a bad/funny feeling in my stomach. Her directions take us to a cul de sac. The one behind my house. The General had set up his very own Alamo on the neighbors porch (they weren't home) less then fifty feet from our back deck. You should have seen the commanding officer's face when he was informed that their crazy guy lived in the house directly behind him. I thought his face was going to melt off his skull. I watched as the General threw 'smooth' game at the female officers, and swore filthy slurs upon the male cops, the highest ranking officer being the cop who patrolled our high school. He'd known the General in school, and was the only current reason he hadn't been tazed and arrested already. Eventually after threatening to attack an officer with his own, then trying to but instead tripping and falling down the porch steps, they restrained him on the concrete. He was promptly handcuffed and thrown in the back of a squad car. I should mention that Nobody and I didn't just do sit there silently during the course of these events. The police allowed us to approach and plead with the General, trying to talk him out of this obviously futile campaign, trying to stress the seriousness of his situation. He would have none of it. The powerful mixture of whiskey and vodka and rum swirling around his bloodstream had formed together to make him invincible.

It was only after the police had him cuffed and in the back of the squad car that the tough guy facade dropped for a few minutes, as the General swore he was sorry and it'd never happen again and could they please not take him to jail? Then, when the officer from high school intervenes, the General takes it upon himself to use this act of good will from the cops to his advantage(?), and proceeds to resist upon being led into the house. The guy in charge must've felt sorry for him, or was just bored, or just didn't care, but it took four officers to wrestle him into our house, down the hallway (he scratched at the walls and doorways) and into his room and onto his bed. There they smacked him around a little bit while Nobody and I looked on, and then they tried to get him to accept his violations, his tickets. But the General was asleep. The officer got mad, smacked him around some more, demanded he respond to him. The only response he got was from the sandman, and the loud snores of the General, and after a couple more hits to the torso, he angrily stuffed the tickets in the General's pocket and they all walked out the room. However as they left, Nobody and I looked back to see the General, his eyes barely open, hands raised, giving the double middle finger to the cops backs as the walked from the room, grinning ear to ear like a diabolical creature of mischief. Faking it the whole time of course, and he's lucky as hell they didn't turn around or see him. Shit. The rest of the night involved Nobody and I babysitting the General (on police orders) so he wouldn't leave the house or cause anymore trouble. At one point I left him alone for ten minutes with Nobody to smoke a cig and get some quiet. Moments later there he comes, the General, stumbling out the house and down the front path, off on some cosmic mission. Slipped right past that piece of shit Nobody. I ushered him back into the house at which point he almost broke my arm slamming it in the front door cause I wouldn't own up to being the 'prophecy'. We got him back into bed, and he eventually passed out, mumbling and kicking out at the world.

Next day I'm eating a bowl of cereal on the couch and there he comes, out of his bedroom, the hungover and shabby ass General. He's exceedingly confused because not only does he feel like hell and have no idea how he got home or what he did, he has a thousand dollars in violations tucked in his shirt pocket. I could only shrug, laugh, and go back to my cartoons. I'll tell him all about it later.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Palace Love Letters

I fucking love my roommates, and yes, this entire post is going to be about them and us and our house and how things like that make me happy. I've got mad love for all my friends, and I have several who would make and have made great roommates, but right now, I can't imagine having a better living situation with better people then I do now. We've got a little bit of everything here, a wonderful harmonious amalgamation of personalities and character traits.

I've got my buddy G Money. This is a kid I've known since he was stumbling around behind his older brother while we went out and did whatever it was that thirteen year old boys did. We never really become friends, became close, until just last summer. I was living underneath Mr. Haze and his lady at the time, in a place lovingly dubbed the cave. I resided there with E Rock, and life was good. We spent our days playing wallball, smoking, drinking, playing video games. Video games. Thats how it started. I was at the cave one day with the General and G came knocking at the door. You see, he and Texas lived just two blocks down in their own place. Being in such close proximity and sharing all the same interests, these were the times of free love, sex, drugs, rock and roll, the times that birthed the W5. However I digress. G knocked and then walked in the back door without waiting for a response, this was standard, we would have become annoyed had he just stood out there knocking like an asshole. So he came in, and ended up hanging for a few hours, smoking and playing a snowmobile game on our playstation. It was the first time I'd just solo (for the most part) kicked it and shot the shit with G Moneys. I quickly realized this was an important guy to have on your side, he already was of course, being a fixture of our friend group, but it was then that I knew we shared an innate weirdness, something a little crazy and more then a little gonzo, but that we would get along swimmingly. During that summer I became closer with all those guys, we had a lot of fun, and we were a lot of fun. Our houses were revolving doors of people stopping by for a beer, a bong hit, a casual conversation. Then came the winter. G, Mr. Haze, E Rock and I all packed up shop and bolted for Colorado. Over the next six months G and I spent a lot of time together. The way the living situation worked out we had seven people in a 3 bedroom condo, and him and I ended up in the loft. It was great, because it afforded us by far the most amount of room space, but at the same time, the loft was directly above the kitchen and living room, and was cordoned off by tapestries, which aren't exactly soundproof. So yeah, space, but also anytime anybody spoke in the entire fucking house we could hear every word. We were in on every whispered conversation, every secret passed when someone thought no one was listening, we heard it all. Late in the winter we both lost our jobs, him to a broken down car, me to bankruptcy. We spent almost every day together til he left early for Bend, just the two of us, no jobs, nothing to do but get high and play video games and talk about weird shit. A lot of bonding and such. That sealed it, the winter in Colorado cemented the relationship I have with G Money, the little brother I never got to have, my peer, somebody I respect and I know has my back no matter what happens ever. Our minds communicate in some way that if anybody else experienced it, their head would probably melt. Or explode. G and I run along the same janky fucked up wavelength, and we're riding it till we die. I always have him to talk to about shit though, no matter what it is. It's a good feeling.

Then there's Mr. Haze. I've known this curly haired fool since we were in middle school. He used to hang out at my house with his giant curly white boy fro and his Chumbawamba t-shirt, you know the one, with the smiling baby. We didn't spend a lot of time together back then, started hanging out more in high school, cruising the parkway in our shitty cars, me rocking the '79 Volvo and him in his jeep, doing ninety, dogging each others bumpers. Stupid shit, kid shit, the kind of stuff you do when you are sixteen and just given a license to drive. After high school we went our separate ways for a while, hanging out once every so often, but then I moved to LA and didn't see anybody for over two years. Came back and within a couple months had been re-inducted into this group of friends that hung out where Haze lived, over on 4th street. I spent almost every day there, it would've been three summers ago. I'm sure I became a pest at some point, but with the amount of people coming in and out of there, crashing on couches and floors and porches, at least I wasn't alone. Even then, with me there all the time, hanging around Haze and our group of friends, it wasn't really till last summer and then Colorado that everything kind of came together. We've always enjoyed each others company, but we have this rapport that was never fully formed until now. I'm not saying there were any bad elements in our Colorado house, because there weren't, I had exceptional roommates, but I came out the other side with a very tangible and noticeable upgrade in my friendship with some people. Haze is one of the nicest people I've ever met, which often nicely counteracts my predilection towards being a prick, and he's not afraid to step in and tell me I'm being an ass, even though he knows he'll probably only get a 'fuck off' for his troubles. Most of the time he's our level head (although this is most certainly not a full time job for him), he keeps G and I out of trouble as best he can, he backs us when he needs to, and defends us when we need it. He's a standup guy, and we'd all be a little better off if we were a little more like Mr. Haze in some respect. I look up to him, I'm fascinated by him, and I'm consistently curious to see what he'll do next.

You see, this tripod, this trilogy of awesome-ness, this trifecta of triumph, it's the penultimate living situation. I'm in a nice cozy house. I'm a couple minute walk/bike ride to work or downtown, I've got a front porch I spend most of my afternoons on, keeping an eye on my street. I also live with two of my closest friends in the world. People that couldn't be more different from each other when you analyze them individually, but we are all the same where it counts. We have loyalty, we have respect, and we have each other when we fall short in any arena. My favorite times this summer has been when it's just been us, at our house, usually kicking back on the porch, beers in our coozies, cigs in our mouths, good music blasting out our front windows. These are good times, and they need to be remembered and immortalized, for they will fall away just like everything does. I'm not saying it'll never be as good as it is now, cause it sure as hell better be, but it'll never be the same. This house and these people I'm living with, it's lightening in a bottle, it's a flash in a pan, I'm sure as fuck going to enjoy the ride.

For the next nine months, the Weirdie Palace reigns. 512OG.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


It's funny, 1 month and a day ago I posted saying that it had been a month since I posted. I also believe I touched on the subject of how this is unacceptable, and blogs or writing endeavors must be maintained weekly if not daily. If I did not touch on said subjects, consider them touched. I have been without Internet this past month, and yes, it has been difficult. My phone in this day and age can do most of what my laptop can do, but there is no comfortable way to do things like upload pieces or write anything. Into a new house now, cozy little three bedroom with two of my Colorado roommates. Everything seems to be working out great, we're three pretty clean chill guys so it's a nice place to be. A lot of music, movies, smoking, drinking, hanging out on the porch. Garrett and I work a lot of mornings and get off around 3 or 4pm, which is when whichever of us is off first picks up a sixer of shitty tall boys. We sit out on the front porch and lawn, drink beers, smoke cigs, say fuck shirts, and generally mean mug anybody going by who looks like they got an ego on 'em. There's some type of mentality to establish myself (ourselves to an extent) in the neighborhood. We want to be friendly, our neighbors all seem cool and like stable put together laid back people, which is nice and fits in well with our aesthetic. Don't have much else to say at this point, and honestly, this post exists solely to exist. The WiFi just got installed today, I've got a fully functional system again, and I'm still here. I know, empty promises, but I'll make it rain with delicious literary treats for your eyes and mind grapes just keep paying attention. W5.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Status Updated

Sweet baby back bitch. It's been one month to the day since I last put up anything on here. I do have reasons though, valid ones. My laptop crashed out on me and quit charging, so I had to run it to Portland and then leave it there for a couple weeks. Only took a couple days and $10 bucks for them to fix the battery and replace the outer case (and somehow reattach my "I SKI LOVELAND" sticker), but I couldn't make it back to Ptown to pick it up. Had to wait on my sister's friend to make a delivery (thanks Sarah), got it back today, and here we are.

Been busy-ish the last couple weeks, putting in time looking for houses and apartments with Mr. Hayes and Mr. Gentry. Got a job at The Pretty Pussycat and been working there 3-5 days a week. It's been a pretty chill job so far, I've had experience working at sex shops before, but this one is tame compared to my last, more lingerie/headshop then porn and vibrators, although we do have some of that as well. The shop is nice and clean, and the clientele is a noticeable step up from 'ol Pleasure World, and I've got some seemingly cool coworkers, so it should work out nicely for the time being. Better then slaving under the corporate bullshit of somewhere like Borders thats for damn sure. It's strange, we've only been back from Colorado for a little over a month now, and yet it already seems like a dream. Thinking back to that condo, my mostly wonderful roommates, and the world-class skiing that was ten minutes in any direction, I miss it. Near the end of our winter, all I could think about was getting the fuck out of CO and back to Bend, now that I'm back I don't really want to be here either. It's a conundrum. I've got a good base of friends and people who love and respect me here, but the real pleasures and encounters are fleeting, and nothing gold can stay. Everything and everyone leaves sometime, and it's usually earlier then we want.

Helicopter school starts up in the fall, and as it gets closer I go back and forth on my commitment to it, swinging like an indecisive pendulum. It'd be something amazing, challenging, and in the end, rewarding both personally and monetarily. It also means I'd be in Bend for at least a year or two, longer if I'm working and putting myself through as I'd probably have to. I don't know yet that I want to make that decision, but at the same time, I'm 25 years old, I can't keep working for minimum wage and living paycheck to paycheck. It's getting to the point where its time to do SOMETHING, something permanent and that opens up a new world of opportunities. Right now I'm a high school grad with 'some' college under my belt and a rogues gallery of middling jobs that make up a fairly lackluster resume. I'm getting older and I'm starting to feel the pressure to 'do something' with my life more and more. I know, I'm still young, I could still wait around, travel some more, get on with 'real life' in a couple years, but I don't know that I want to put it off anymore. I want some real money, a real job I can go to where I see new things and go new places and don't hate being at work, but love it because I'm piloting expensive and incredible machines through the air on a daily basis.

So yeah. I've got many more entries partially finished, entries with points and reasons for existing and such, but I felt that a quick update on my life and status was warranted, and last I checked this was Sixth Stories, so I do what I want!

In closing I just want to put out a special shout out to my close friend and inspiration for flying helicopters, Matty Brantner. His older brother passed away two days ago, and it's been a really difficult time obviously. If you believe in God, send him some prayers, if you don't, think some positive thoughts. He's a solid guy and his family has been sucker punched by this tragedy. Wishing you well Matty and family, words don't do your loss justice, but nonetheless, I'm so sorry.

Back in the next couple of days with some more entries, they'll be coming in on the regular now that my laptop is back, so keep tuning in and reading. You know you want to.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Carter V. Carter

Today I had came across a blog my sister had, past tense as it hasn’t been updated since 2008. The last entry posted was entitled ‘Blaxploitation: A Black and White Issue?’, which immediately piqued my interest. Primarily as a film geek, and having been a clerk at an independent video store, films like “Foxy Brown”, “Shaft”, “Superfly”, and “Cleopatra Jones” were staples in my movie diet. So as I read down and see that my sister has been assigned to write a paper on “the media’s portrayal of individuals of a specific identity”, and has chosen “Friday” as her example I was needless to say very excited.

My sister is most often an intelligent and thoughtful writer, but oh dear Lord did she miss the mark on this one (just from my point of view, but when am I wrong, winning, duh). Badly enough that I felt compelled, nay, obligated to offer up a response. I will quote her liberally, but if you would like to read her piece now, you may find it HERE.

First off, I absolutely believe that "Friday" is a pinnacle of stoner films, the urban ghetto comedy that every film remotely like it after would have to measure itself by. Not only was "Friday" a funny fuckin movie that's endlessly quotable ("I'm gonna get you hiiiiiiiiigh today, cause it's Friday, you ain't got no job, and you ain't got shit to do!"), it was also an arguably intelligent movie. I know, that wasn't the first thing I got out of it either, but it's there. Friday was written by two people who literally grew up in the ghetto, and directed by a man who three years after "Friday" became the first black director to helm a film with a budget of $50 million dollars (so says wikipedia). The story and characters presented in "Friday" are both slapstick caricatures and true to life representations by people who have been there and lived it and now choose to laugh about it.

Now on to a back and forth from Erin's theories and my responses. She states that the producers (among them Ice Cube) "played into some of America's skewed misconceptions about the central and peripheral elements of black life." Ok, no, and what? You mean that by viewing this movie I'm going to, as a dumb average 'merican, think that all black people do is sit on their porches, smoke joints, and ride around on bikes in slippers stealing people's stuff? To open, aside from the crime, all that sounds AWESOME. But really, if you've ever had that thought then either you've seen "Friday", or you've seen ANY black comedian or comedy from the last 30 years. Racial stereotypes are everywhere, and that doesn't mean they should be ignored. They should be laughed at, turned on their head, made into something that is entertainment, not racism. If it is then Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Richord Pryor, Eddie Murphy, and ten billion other black comedians are racist and guilty of perpetuating stereotypes. Acknowledging a stereotype, making it into something funny if you can, that isn't same as perpetuation.

"If an understanding of black culture was derived from 'Friday', dysfunction would serve as its singular definition." I BEG TO DIFFER M'LADY. Friday treats it's main characters with a degree of respect and dignity even while making them the objects of jokes or humorous situations. There are two parents living in the house, both employed and seemingly happily married after an assumed 20+ years. There is stress placed on the main character to go out and find work by his father, seeming that the value of independence and self-sustaining are held high in the family. In Erin's article, the issue of unemployment being a prevalent issue seems erroneous to me, being as it's actually portrayed in an arguably realistic manner. The main character lost his job because someone was stealing from the company and on the security cameras it 'looked like him from behind', both a way to get the story of two slackers with nothing to do today going and possibly also a comment on 'all black people look alike'? Kudos Mr. Cube, well tread material but funny nonetheless ("How you get fired on your day OFF?!"). Nearly every adult in the film goes to or comes from work at some point, and the secondary main character does have a job, it's just that he's a pot dealer. Trust me though, that's a JOB, and it does involve work.

In this film, "poverty becomes a laughable condition, marijuana an instrument of relational bonding, and crime an effort to pass a lazy afternoon", according to Erin. Well, the poverty in such areas is portrayed accurately, and of course it becomes laughable you are watching a comedy, you want serious Ice Cube go watch "Boyz In The Hood". Marijuana an instrument of relational bonding? NO! That can't be! Wait no, I was thinking of something else that isn't awesome and doesn't make you want to eat sandwiches and kool-aid with your friends. Marijuana, just like alcohol or any other inhibition killer, is absolutely and nearly by definition a bonding instrument. As far as crime being an effort to pass time, that's not true. It's Deebo who is running around committing crimes, and its Deebo who forces Smokey to burglarize Stanley's house by threat of shiv. Everywhere you go there is going to be some kind of criminal element present, so including this in the film is obvious and unthreatening in any way. Deebo, this film's antagonist, is eventually knocked out cold by Craig, who decides to defend himself and his neighborhood with his fists despite having a gun in hand and facing a much larger opponent.

Erin finishes out by saying "Despite any redeeming qualities, 'Friday' undermines the efforts of thousands throughout history who have worked hard to build understanding and erase structural inequalities...Funny, yes. Inappropriate? Absolutely." First off, undermining thousands throughout history? Really? That statement is so overly dramatic and reaching I threw up in my mouth a little bit. "Friday" has enriched the millions who've seen it and enjoyed it, found it funny, still rewatch it and quote it to their friends on the regular. It's nothing deep, it's not trying to be, it isn't interested in addressing these social issues and stereotypes, just acknowledging their presence and hopefully get a few well earned laughs out of them. This isn't rocket science, but neither is it stupid, lazy, or race regressing comedy. So Erin. Funny, yes. Inappropriate? Yes. Everything it's supposed to be and even a little bit more? ABSOLUTELY.

Erin, you've been served. I also do take into account that it's been three years since you wrote that, and perhaps your feelings have changed. In any case, I've got two copies of "Friday" and you're welcome to borrow either if you want to reassess. Love ya kid.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Let's Talk About Sex

SEXUALITY. It's something oft discussed by me, specifically when I get drunk, or when people start talking about orientations both homo and hetero. You see my friends, I don't believe in 'straight' and neither do I believe in 'gay'. Not in the way you don't believe in say, unicorns or the Bible or whatever, but in the way the words are defined. It's always seemed to me that sexuality is a sliding scale from individual to individual, and the reason this isn't widely accepted or talked about comes from people not wanting to admit that they are anything but one hundred percent straight or gay (usually the straight ones). It's easiest to explain if you drag out the ol' 1-10 scale.

We'll go ahead and make 1 the baseline for heterosexuality. You are a 1 if you have never had even the slightest childhood inclination towards a member of the same sex. You are emotionally and sexually turned off by the sight or thought of any sort of intimate interaction with the same sex. You are a shining pinnacle of heterosexuality, always have been, and always will be. Most males you explain this to will inevitably try and immediately establish their position as a 1, and most of them would probably be at least a number or two low. Now we have 10. At a 10 you were gay at birth, born in a shower of glitter and sparkles, coming into this world at the same time you came out, proud as hell. Pretty much take the stipulations laid out for being a 1, reverse them completely, apply, and you have your 10's.

Where most people go wrong is not admitting to the existence of the other 8 numbers, ironic because whether you admit it or not, it's probably where you belong. We are human beings, we are extremely sexual in nature, and for most people that sexuality does not apply solely to one single sex, all the time, every second of every day. Be it a fantasy, a dream, your daily life, or a drunken moment, nearly everyone has had some sort of same sex experience (or opposite sex for those on the other side of the fence). The shitty thing is the stigma that still hangs over such things. I'm not going to use this (right now) as a platform for homosexual rights and acceptance, but I think it's time we all quit being embarrassed about who we are, what we think, and what we do in our own homes and most importantly in our own heads. We need to start by breaking down this wall of it being socially acceptable and even encouraged (usually by men) for women to experiment with each other while no one questions that ultimately they are 'straight'. It's a dirty double standard that we continue to perpetuate. Men constantly talk up and encourage this behavior among women, but would be ever so quick to pull out 'fag' or 'queer' or at the least get visibly uncomfortable if the same situation arose with two men instead. Even women who are professed bisexuals, that is still unfortunately often easier to deal with then being an experimental or bisexual man, because of the still ongoing prejudices, irrational fears, and mixed feelings about gay men. I also don't mean to belittle or disparage any and all homophobic vitriol that gets aimed at lesbians and female bisexuals at all, I mean only that it's often less widely acceptable and understood from a man to man point of view, be that right or wrong. I think that's stupid and ignorant. I'll be the first to admit that I've had a physical encounter with a member of the same sex. I'd also be the first to point out that I'm not gay, I'm not even bisexual. I love women, top to bottom, every inch of them. I don't feel that way about men, but I'm not necessarily turned off by them either. I'm able to appreciate a good looking guy just like I'd appreciate a good looking girl, I'm just 99% of the time not at all attracted to the guy in the same way I would be the girl. That puts me somewhere around a 3 probably, a place where I can appreciate the aesthetic appeal of somebody of the same sex, where if the inhibitions were low, the alcohol was flowing, the situation was perfect and everybody was on the same page, it could go further. It probably won't, but who am I to rule out that possibility. That would just be robbing myself of a potentially good time.

So I guess the general point I'm trying to make here is that people need to be more open and honest about themselves and their sexuality. I'm not saying you have to open yourself up to the same sex/opposite sex depending on your orientation, but only that we start to acknowledge that sexuality, like much else in life, is rarely a black or white issue. There is plenty of room for grey, and whether or not you can admit it to yourself, grey is probably the world you wake up in every day. Everyday I wake up hoping for a world where sexual orientation is not how you are defined, where there isn't anything that you should feel embarrassed or ashamed of. Where we just enjoy being people and humans and sexual beings in any way shape or form we feel is right for us. Obvious exceptions being made for child molestation, bestiality, necrophilia, ect ect. The kind of shit that not just the straights or the gays but evvvvvverybody knows is fucked up. In the meantime, lets just try and be who we are, lets come to terms with the fact that we probably aren't 1's and 10's, but somewhere in between, and that's ok. You don't have to talk about it, or announce it, or write long blog entries about it, but admit at least to yourself that it probably isn't a cut and dried matter, that you are or have the potential to be a much more sexually open being then you know or admit. I promise you it's freeing and liberating to be able to say to people that you have no sexual prejudices or hang-ups, that you are just you, unique and comfortable in your own skin. Straight people, embrace that 2-4 spread, it's ok, you can still be a heterosexual in life and in your actions, gay people I don't have to say this to as much, but some of you are as set in your ways and scared of compromise as much as us. For those of you that aren't already, jump into those 7-9 spots, you can still rock a rainbow tee and raise that fist in pride, but come on, throw back a few drinks and you aren't hitting on your straight friends girl? Just a little bit in good fun? I've seeeeeeeeen it. Being in the grey doesn't mean you can't be a hetero or a homo. You can, it's absolutely true that most people have a distinct predilection towards one sex above the other, but I think you sell yourself short when you completely shut down and ignore a part of you no matter how small, that's just a little bit different.

I have the balls to post this here in an open forum for anybody and everybody to read. All you need to do is find your own number, admit it to yourself, and be okay with it. Good luck.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tupperware Bank Accounts

Been a while since I posted, my apologies for the slacking. Technically I wasn't, as I've been busy preparing for and subsequently making the move from Colorado back to Oregon and the West Coast. Took us four days to get here, made it a pretty leisurely voyage. Stopped in Arches National Park, which after very little consideration it was decided should be named Giant Rocks That Look Like Dicks National park. I mean once you see one, they just all become dicks. Seriously, go there, google some photos, whatever, it's insane. Some of those motherfuckers look they were carved by Druids or aliens or some shit to look like massive phalluses (phalli?), no stretch of the imagination required. What are you going to do. In our case it was take a bunch of forced perspective pictures of us doing obscene things to some strangely and hilariously shaped rock formations as tourists walked by and looked on. This of course just made us laugh even harder, literally doubling over laughing with these world class sights and miracles of nature all around us.

Sometimes we may be a bunch of guys in our mid twenties acting like we're twelve, but goddamn if my friends and I don't enjoy the hell out of life whenever and however we can. I hope I never lose that, I hope we never lose it, and most of all, I hope I never lose them. Some friends you have and they come and go, just passing through your life for a while, making it better, changing it or shaping it in even the smallest way. Some friends stick around, are forever, are family and not just in a jokey metaphor but real family, the kind of people you know will be there your whole life. I feel like at this stage in my existence I have a few of those people, guys and girls who have run the gauntlet, been there for years, seen me through a lot of hard times, never turned away. We've spent years at a time apart some of us, but when we get back together it just flows, we've all got love for one another and it shows through the bullshit and the drama that comes with simply coexisting alongside your fellow man.

To close it out this post has served mostly as a quick vent, a release, an update cum love letter to my friends. I'd like to put up some more detailed pieces on Colorado and the winter we had once I've had a little more time to reflect upon it. It requires more thought then just banging out something in ten minutes because I haven't posted in a while and I don't want to lose whatever 12 people are actually reading this. I just wanted to get something up so this blog, this thing, can keep going, moving forward, hopefully at some point growing and evolving into something of substance and consistency. We'll see.

It's good to be back in Bend, it's strange and a little surreal, work is hard to find but I'm staying optimistic, looking forward to whatever this summer and the future have to bring. I'm ready!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sentimental Underthought

So it's been amazing moving out here and living the past six months. It's really made me realize how fortunate I am to be living the lifestlye I live. I answer to no one, I do what I want when I want, I've got a group of friends I'd fight and die for and it's reciprocal. I live each and every single day how I see fit, and I go to sleep at night and don't have an ounce of regret. It amazes me sometimes to think that I've been out of high school now for seven years, almost twice as long as I was in. Yet here I am, living with Stephen Hayes and Erik Benson, kid's I've known for upwards of twenty years, and Dustin Deveaux is sleeping downstairs on the couch, us knowing each other going back 11 plus years.

I was bunking in the loft here in CO with Garrett Gentry, one of my most recent promotions to best friend. We started the W5 together over a long night of everclear and throwing knives and it was a historic occasion, although we didn't know at the time what we had set into motion. I wouldn't trade my year with that group of five guys for anything. I'd take a blade or a bullet for any one of them and I sincerely believe it goes the opposite way as well. We're family, and in many ways we are five guys who needed some form of alternate family, replacement family, real true blue we bleed and die with you family. Not all of us have two parents, or living parents, or families that are there for us when we need them. Some of us do, but it's never all roses and dancing with glo-sticks, there are skeletons in all the closests. Those are the kinds of friends that I have and I wouldn't trade it for the world. They have my back when I need them, they are there with cash when I'm strapped, drinks when I'm thirsty, beds when I need a place to sleep, and fists when I run my mouth a little too fast.

I love each and every one of my friends, but those that deserve special shout outs are the original W5 besides myself; Stephen Hayes, Austin Marsh, Garrett Gentry, Erik Benson. There's also those homies who are just always there for ya when you need 'em, people like Casey Cathcart, Kaylin Landry, Marta Gurule, Eric Gastelum, Gabe Edwards, Eli Goodall, Amanda Gabourey, Ryan Moss, Natalie K, Amanda Wilson, Colleen Whipple, my sis, and countless others that I'm sorry I didn't have the time or presence of mind to mention. I promise I still love you. Anyways. Tonight was just one of those nights, one where over many many drinks and smokes you just appreciate and love your friends. I hope you are all as well if not better then I am. Much love. Goodnight Colorado! Posting from Oregon in less then a month!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Absolutes and Absolution

I am a writer and these are my words. They come from different places, from uncharted areas of my thoughts, from past experiences, a mishmash of past present and future emotions and expectations. This life that I live, the places I go, the people I am with, the choices I make, all things that I try each and every day to be proud of. Sometimes it's easy, sometimes it takes a little work. As my musing trickle down my ever firing synapses and down into and through my typing fingers it's hard not to reflect. Writing has taken me to so many places, both literal and figurative, peaceful and torrential, I learn more with every word and sentence and it keeps me moving forward.

In response to reading a piece on deconstructionism by my friend Gabe over at the Common Flow Narrative I have some thoughts that are perhaps corresponding albiet in a more nihilistic tone. I very much enjoyed his piece and for better or for worse it's inspired the following.

The world is a nasty place. Everything and everyone have teeth, and you can get bitten no matter where you are, both geographically and metaphorically. We build up our beliefs, our standards, our views and opinions but there is no absolute, nothing is finite. It is truly a meticulously assembled model just waiting to be taken apart piece by piece, spread out, mixed in with new pieces, and rebuilt as something new. Familiar yes, but never the same.

It's been my experience that all this, life itself, isn't happening within some personalized self contained bubble universe where you are free to go about your philosophizing and mental construct building without outside influence, be it good or bad. Some people will come into your life and just step right up and start fuckin with the controls and not word one from you can stop it. Aspects and understandings of and in your existence that you thought were concrete, you thought you knew through and through, dashed against the rocks into a million little pieces. Pieces that fly up into the air like pixels in an early nineties screen saver, swirling and changing right before your very eyes. Where they settle, what formation they take, it's going to be something you hadn't planned, couldn't plan, and thus enters the human factor.

You cannot predict your fellow man. If you are reading this than you are old enough to read and you should know this already. We are absolutely unconventional, fallible, misguided, self-serving, and entirely contradictory to nature and common sense in general. You may have a wonderful thing built up, each tiny cog and screw lovingly put into place over a long period of time, and no matter what kind of fences you build around it, no matter how strong you believe it to be, there always exists the truth that at any time, anybody, anywhere, could come along and tear it down. I'm talking scorched earth, absolute and total destruction, nothing left, no more pieces, time to go back to scratch. It happens. You can't control it, predict it, or God help you stop it.

I figure the only way to deal with this is to just go with it, accept it, know that it's out there and could happen and come to terms with that. You will rebuild, you will make something new and different and no matter what, better. It's better because it's progress. It's forward motion, and if you don't commit to it you will die, there is no place in this world for the stagnation and decay that accompanies motionlessness. You will be stomped on and beaten back and down until you know nothing but the intimate details and cracks on the floor.

If you accept that it's all fleeting, that everything is meaningless and nothing lasts, you open a door to freedom of a nature you've never known. Learning to just say 'fuck it' to those myriad obstacles you can't control or change is eye opening. There is so much worry and thought and time wasted on things that worry and thought and time have no effect on. It's all pointless. None of it makes any sense and it's just pissing in the wind to bother wasting brain cells on a meaning or a purpose. Just concentrate on the truths. Every day the sun will come up. You may or may not be around to see it, so live fast, enjoy all you can, and never put too much stock in things that fade. Take a deep breath and exhale everything that you don't have a direct influence or impact upon, because these unchangeable forces will suck the life right out of you in a sinkhole of stress and worry and panic. Embrace the void, and fall face first into the cleansing nothingness. The ultimate deconstruction will come when there's nothing left to pull apart. Just white noise.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Already Forgotten

Here it is. People are assholes. Also they are vultures, and have with them screaming babies and shitty attitudes and inflated senses of entitlement. What the fuck? I'm working at a massive corporate bookstore that is going under and as I work on this sinking ship in it's last few week(s) of life, you really see the underbelly of retail and consumerism. "I'm so sorry you are closing and losing your job along with 20 other people also hey do you know when things will be 45% off instead of 40% because I could get these cheaper online."

Me: "So go fucking get them online. We don't give a shit lady, we are headed for the unemployment line."

Customer: *Looks at my manager standing directly behind me*

Manager: *Shrugs, walks off*


That's one of the least volatile encounters I have had, including flipping off a customer in front of two managers. People are just fuckin assholes. Some people are cool, they just come in, buy something, acknowledge you, and leave. Some people come in dragging their yelling crying asshole infants with them, all full of attitude, demanding and laying down ultimatums. Where they go wrong is assuming we actually give a shit about anything anymore. We've all been layed off. Everybody. It just hasn't kicked in yet (give it a week and a half). Nobody gives more then a minimal fuck about anything in the store. If you treat us poorly, we won't be kicked around, we won't take it like dumb corporate drone sheep clerks. We are just putting in time now. If you are a dick to us, we will absolutely be a dick to you. I will not tolerate your idiocy or your hamfisted douchebag approach to what should just be a simple transaction.

Thanks to all the people out there who have been cool during the insanity and unpredictability of this bankruptcy situation, and a big middle finger to everybody who apparently wasn't raised with any manners. You insensitive bastards.

Other news I'm stoked to be done working soon. I'm glad my birthday is coming up (I didn't die this year!). I'm glad I have some true and loyal friends to get my back. I'm irrationally excited that I was retweeted by Lisa Lampanelli (LOVE HER). I'm excited to get back to Bend, and I'm excited to go through the next month and a half here in the Rocky Fuckin Mountains. I'm glad I'm me.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Post's done.

So sorry to everyone that I haven't put anything new up. And by everyone I mean my sister. Hi Erin. SO. Not an entirely impressive report to make I'm afraid. Work at the ol' corporate bookstore is winding down and life as an employed contributing member of society will soon be a thing of the past. In the meantime, more time to ski. Or whatever. The skiing has been great, I'd like to write up a whole post just talking about it, but I'm just kind of maybe possibly getting to the point where I'm like fuck this snow, give me some sunshine! Anyways there will be plenty of time still for sunshine, we leave here end of April for Bend, and oh how it will be good to be back. It's been an amazing goddamn winter that I'll never forget (except the nights I never remembered), but it'll just be nice to see 'home' again. Go to our bars, tip our bartenders, pick up on our girls (or your girls), talk to our friends.

Addendum. Things I'm really into right now, Charlie Sheen and everything he says or does, being a bigger asshole to asshole customers in front of my manager with total freedom, Donettes, going to bed.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tattoo Rants

As someone who is heavily tattooed I apparently fit into some sort of sub genre of human according to a certain set of people. To me getting tattooed is a way of life. It's something I've been fascinated by since I was a little kid and saw my first set of sleeves. My tiny brain couldn't quite comprehend exactly what I was looking at, or how it was possible, but I knew I wanted some of those. I started getting tattooed when I was 18, and in a couple weeks I'll be 25. I've come a long way since that first tattoo, my one color piece, a sacred heart on my back with a banner reading 'Veritas', Latin for 'truth'. Over the years I've built my tattoo collection in different states with different artists on all different parts of my body. Currently I have two nearly finished sleeves, an LA on one ankle as a memento to living there, and a full chest piece I plan on expanding into a full torso piece. I want to get to a position in life where I'm financially and jobwise set to where I can tattoo my neck and my hands. Each and every single tattoo I have I remember the needle hitting my skin, I remember where I was and who I was with and where I was in life. They are milestones and markers that for me, I display on my body, permanently and proudly.

I get that it's not for everyone. For some people they will never get a tattoo and never be missing out on anything in their lives, completely fulfilled in the skin they came into this world in. Some people just get one, or two, or several small pieces throughout their lives. Some people take it an entirely different level and tattoo their heads and faces, their eyelids. All of these are perfectly acceptable for the people who's choices they are. That's what they are, individuals making choices, choices that nobody else can judge or be party to, because what's displayed on my body or anybody else's is mine and their own damn business, respectively. I've had very visible tattoos for a few years now, and I'm used to the looks, the comments, the questions. When they come from somebody who is actually interested in tattoos, or wants to discuss where mine where done, by whom, or just to compliment my art, then all is good in jolly old. It's the people who look down their noses at you and ask snotty questions about how much money you must have wasted on that and why would you put yourself through that pain and my personal favorite 'You know those are going to be there forever right?' No you stupid asshole I've spent thousands of dollars and probably a hundred plus hours of discomfort and they DON'T WASH OFF??!?! Oh my God I've been had! I'm used to that kind of ignorant BS, like the guy who asked me if I had 'all them things' (my sleeves) so that if ya ever get decapitated you can be identified', but it more then makes up for it when somebody just comes up to you out of the blue and says 'Hey I like your tattoos.' It makes me feel good. It makes me proud to be displaying such quality work, and I have no problem spending twenty minutes pointing out who did what and how they are done in such differing styles from artist to artist. How my left sleeve is done in a ridiculously detailed black and grey shading, how you can tell the artist (Tom Clark, Fullerton CA) has been around a long time and has honed his craft and has worked to become very good. How my right sleeve is done in sweeping bold art (Nick Pulzone, Salem OR), an in your face style by probably the most natural artist I've ever met, that asserts itself and is not only incredibly well executed but aesthetically pleasing in every way. How my chest was done in one single sitting at the Portland Tattoo Expo (Nick) in front of hundreds of people, six hours straight made possible by large doses of percocet and intermittent cigarette breaks.

The interesting thing is, I HATE getting tattooed. It fuckin hurts. Some people will tell you it's just a warm tingling feeling, or that they like it. I can absolutely believe liking the rush of a new tattoo, but the actual process of applying said tattoo is never going to be something I like. I love my tattoos though, I love my friends tattoos, I love looking at and talking about tattoos. Thats something I'll never apologize for and I'll never change. Getting tattooed until I die or run out of space, and to the people who can't except that or who think they can judge what I do, well you know where you can go.

It was hell. In case you were wondering. See me for directions, I've vacationed there from time to time.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I don't really have anything to write about except an update on me and what I'm doing. Starting to actually look forward to going back to Bend in April. Garrett is leaving to go back April 20th, I may come back with him. Everybody else will be here til the end of April. Border's filed Chapter 11 and are closing 200 out of their 500 stores, including the one I work at here. I was a barista, but the cafe closed already, so now I'm a floor employee. To anywhere from tomorrow to mid April. Layoffs will be happening frequently, and I'm just a seasonal employee anyways so I'll be the first to go. Pretty much just going with the flow right now.

Looking forward to being back in Bend, but as for how long I don't know. Maybe a few weeks. Maybe the summer. A lot of that depends on whether or not I officially start at Leading Edge to be a helicopter pilot, and/or when I start. No rush, I want to be confident in the decisions I make. I don't know how good this summer in Bend will be, and last summer will be hard to beat. We had Erik and I in the cave, Stephen and Marta upstairs, Austin and Garrett two blocks down, and all our favorite bars within easy stumbling distance. Last summer was endless games of wallball, video games, joints, parties, decks, sunshine, beer, friends, the official formation of the W5. This summer Erik and Stephen will be mentoring kids at camp (scary thought), Marta's off discovering herself in Israel, Kaylin moved to Ashland and will probably be assimilated into hippie culture, the Amy's moved to Washington, and it'll be a different and less colorful and exciting place (Bend). Add to that there is apparently somebody back in my hometown that I don't want to see or run into, but with the circles we travel it's inevitable. Strangely enough I really wish I could be this guy's friend, I do miss hanging out, I miss what was once my closest friend. He choose a path that doesn't allow us to be friends though, and seeing him again it would've once been hard not to take out his teeth. I don't have the motivation anymore though, the fire I had a year ago wouldn't have let me stop until I heard things breaking, but its died down to burning coals. Anger and disappointment that I could misjudge people so badly, that he could value our friendship that little. I'll deal with that when it comes up though, and I'm tired of thinking about this so, moving on.

I don't have a car, I don't have a home, and I'm really not looking forward to crashing at my parents house again. Then again my moms is great, she cooks, it's cheap, and she'd love to have me around, at least for a while, so I suppose thats the route to start at. Wherever I am or I end up, I'm going to make the best of it, and do my best to enjoy the shit out of life, have as much fun as I can whenever I can. All I have ahead of me are options, possibilities, and potential, and that sounds pretty damn good to me right now.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Faded Ramblings

Technology kinda freaks me out when I stop to think about it. Which I do, occasionally. I remember when cell phones were a huge deal. I remember when we got our first family cell phone. I was probably 10. One of those old bulky Nokia's with the tiny yellowish screen. It cost one billion dollars a month and we got 18 minutes of talk time and if we called somebody further away then Redmond it ran 19.00 a minute. I remember getting my first cell phone, a blue screen standard Mitsubishi, I was probably a freshmen or sophomore in high school. None of this really has any point or relevance other then that I'm typing this entry on my phone. Which is one of the most amazing and versatile things I own today. If there was a fire I would save three things, my 42" flatscreen, my laptop, and my phone. Which also happens to be my iPod. Which also happens to be my detailed calendar, my actual address book, ect ect blah blah blah. It does nearly everything my laptop does and it fits nicely in my hand. Ten years ago this kinda shit was a dream for the average Joe. Now you've got little kids in diapers with Blackberries and iPhones. I remember what a huge deal it was to have a DVD player on a laptop, if you even had a laptop. Now I can watch fucking Inception on HD on my cellphone because my Blu-Ray disc came with a digital copy. It's insane to for me to think of a generation growing up with all this crap readily available and provided by parents even.

I know there wasn't a point to this but sometimes you just have to get faded and think then write about what's on your mind. No matter how mundane or pedestrian a read it may be. If you are even still reading I salute you. From my godamned can't live without it phone.

In closing, a quote I think we could all take some time to think on.

"Shut up."
- Stephen Haze (in regards to...anything)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ghost Writer?

I feel so small, in a really big fuckin world. I used to feel like I had my own little universe, somewhere I was comfortable and content if not happy. Now the line is severed and I float adrift, nothing really tying me to any particular job, town, adventure. I come and go as I please, but I don't feel free, more lost. Lost is some people's free I guess, although its also a variation on trapped in a maze, strapped down and forced to stare at this riddle for the rest of your life and half the time I swear it makes no fuckin sense. I don't want to be on some goddamned assembly line, just sliding along, bouncing up and down like I've got puppet strings attached to my destiny and I don't believe I trust the puppeteer. Or that there even is one. I don't believe in many things these anymore, harshness of reality, disillusionment of principles, all those cliches lined up in a row, give me a chance I bet I can hit every single one.

Ok here's something thats not bullshit metaphors and whining. Things to do.

1) Figure out what makes me happy, figure out how to make money doing this, do this.
2) Get more tattoos. This is already proven to make me happy.
3) Keep saving money. Money is good, I have some, I'd like to have more.
4) Go after whatever I want, and fuck the obstacles, the haters, the fear of failure. Be all nike and shit.
5) Fly more helicopters. This seems to be something that could both make me happy and make me money. That's a two-fer.
6) Keep writing. Even if its silly shit like this blog, and even if its just me who reads it. Its good for me dammit, and sometimes I'm good for it. I don't see myself pursuing it as a monetary draw, but its a good hobby, and I've already been working on it for oh, 20 years.
7) Smile you sonofabitch! For all the shortcomings that may be in your life, you have it pretty damn good. Enjoy that.

Cheers. Here's to all the things to come, whatever they may be.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Not about you...about you all.

I'd like to speak to the special agent in charge of this whole fiasco. Relationships. Men and women, men and men, women and women, and any other combinations you can think of. They can be gold, and they can be cancer. Regardless of the situation, regardless of the problems and the vitriol and the issues, once its gone you just want it back. Entirely contradictory to everything rational, but nobody ever said emotions had any correlation with rationality. We are all controlled by impulse, we'd all fight and scratch and kill to get something that in the end might very well destroy us quicker then we could destroy each other. We all yearn for that human connection, and we'll drive ourselves insane to achieve it. Happiness is so fleeting from inside a padded room, and those embraces we so long for are complicated by straight jackets. Smile that vacant smile and take your meds, if you are weak enough you can let your fantasies become your life, but it'll only ever be in your head. I've been mentally shuffling through my rolodex of every woman who's ever meant something to me, and it's not such a long list. I miss them all though, the good, the bad, and yes, the ugly. I miss late nights talking in parks, long drives, the rain and everything in it, the music that has provided a soundtrack to each and every girl I've taken interest in, and packs of cigarettes smoked throughout conversations that seemed so goddamned important at the time. It's strange how now they can seem important again, like some sort of network error I never noticed, severe delayed reaction. I feel like the lines are up again though, data is being sent and received, and there are connections, some to be made, some to be reestablished, some to be severed if they haven't been already. I think I could make you happy, I just don't know who you are yet.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Always and Fornever

Isn't it weird how things can reverse on you? A situation completely and utterly polarized can be a jarring and unnerving ordeal, which is strange in itself because you've been on the opposite side, its like inverted deja vu. You've seen the way it went the first time, you know the reactions and the responses and yet you still can't help yourself from going through the motions. At some point you have to try something new, even try nothing at all, but quit walking down the same old dirty beaten broke ass path, you've been here before and it isn't going to lead anywhere new this time.

People are strange and complicated and unpredictable things, and no matter what you think you know there will always be somebody standing in front of you smiling through their deceit. Accepting that you can't change people is the summit of understanding. The people you know, your friends, your family, you yourself, are who you are and always will be. There are layers to everything, but deep down, maybe not even so deep, we're all the same. We all want to love, laugh, fuck, feel, experience, succeed. We are all visceral emotion and twisting contradictions, just moving throughout the day trying to keep it all in check without exploding. We all need somebody to connect to, somebody who operates on that same wavelength as us, somebody who can keep you tethered and sane, and you for them. Thats a true partnership, those that have it are lucky and those that don't, keep looking.

I like to keep in control of things. I don't like situations being flipped on me, I don't like being out of my element. Technically I'm not though, and at this point, with the amount of things I've been through, I could just relive everything in reverse and never have a new experience. Fuck that obviously, I'm off the path, gone from the map, and I'm making my own destiny. The elements can be damned, I'll live where I want and be where I want and do whatever with whomever I want. The beauty of choice, of being young and free of wires and puppet strings.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Here we go again

What is this, the fiftieth, sixtieth time I've started this. New beginnings and shit though right? It's just me now, like it used to be, theres no filter, no judge and jury. It doesn't have to be about anybody and it can be about everybody. I don't give a damn how you decide to interpret what you read, thats one of your rights as a human being, and possibly a hater although that debate hasn't yet been settled.

It feels good to type. Feels good to hold words in my hand and make them dance to the tune of my flute. Which is a total contradiction because if I'm holding things (words) how am I playing a musical instrument (flute)? I don't even play the flute. I played the clarinet once. Literally once. Then I just kinda sat in class and distracted people for oh I don't know, five years. Oh yeah you know who you are if you went to high school/middle school with me and were in the clarinet section. Third chair typically. I'm sorry third chair, we let you down, but just trust me, the band was better off.

Ok so there wasn't a point to that divergence. But you came here and you read it so I don't think there's anybody to blame in this situation but yourself. More to the point, I've written on Myspace, LiveJournal, notebooks, and now I'm going to write here. I don't know what I'm going to write, but you should probably read it, groundbreaking stuff I'm sure.

A fuckin blog. What is this, 2003 you silly sonofabitch.