On How The People In My Life Aren't Always The Ones I Love

I thought about calling off work today because the weather is so nice. I was going to say I cut myself shaving really bad but then I'd show up tomorrow with this lumberjack beard on my face and my alibi would fall through.

Working in a retail job I get the pleasure of interacting with many personalities I'd never have a chance to otherwise, like the crew from West Virginia who drove all the way to the big city just to go shopping at the crappiest of the big three malls in Columbus. The mom wore a giant yellow t-shirt sarcastically exclaiming, "LET ME DROP EVERYTHING I'M DOING TO WORRY ABOUT YOUR PROBLEMS" which is kind of awesome because she's a mom and that's sort of what mom's are supposed to do. She also kept her youngest son on a leash.

Then there's the compulsive shopper. We'll call her Cyndi because that's not her name and I like Cyndi Lauper. Cyndi has a problem. She has rung up massive credit card bills almost resulting in the destruction of her marriage. She can't stop buying things. She has undergone therapy to help curb this appetite for consumption and part of her one-day-at-a-time plan is to put things on hold instead of buying them.

Cyndi shops at every location in this town, despite the fact that each location carries more or less the same product. Everyone knows who she is and everyone can't stand her, myself included. She isn't friendly. She isn't grateful. She views our employees as nothing more than elements of her recovery process. I find myself putting items on hold for her at least twice a week knowing these items will not be purchased. I would love to just disregard the phone calls from other stores to put back a size medium for Cyndi, but she will come in to look at that size medium and while she most likely won't buy it, if it isn't on hold for her she will lose her mind and call customer service to complain.

Cyndi is now a part of my professional life because of her condition. I'd love to find her therapist and punch that person in the throat for volunteering me to be part of the treatment. The only nice thing about having Cyndi in my life is that when I buy those John Varvatos shoes or that incredible pair of A.P.C. selvage jeans, I don't feel as guilty. I'm not the one with the problem.

Thanks Cyndi for being worse than me!
  • Current Music
    Titus Andronicus - The Monitor

On How Reflection Can Lead To Prophecy...Or Some Bullshit Like That

On How Reflection Can Lead To Prophecy...Or Some Bullshit Like That

I'm sitting in a coffee shop in Clintonville being a complete hipster cliché, wearing my tortoise shell glasses, drinking from a massive cup of black coffee, and listening to a surprisingly quiet band called Fuck all while typing this blog entry on my white Macbook. I've accepted the fact that I am part of a group, a stereotype, a generalization. There's not much I can do about it other than to stop doing the things I enjoy. That isn't going to happen because then I'd be doing something like having a conversation about lawnmowers over a six-pack of Natty Lite while the game plays on a tiny television stacked on a milk crate. Exaggeration? Possibly, but that's sort of the opposite of anything I'd actually enjoy.

I'm thirty years old now. I've been alive for three decades. It's 2010 now. There's a science fiction novel with that title. That seems huge to me, like someone should be freaking out. Why isn't Fox News blowing this out of proportion, filling every ounce of airtime with continuous comparisons to reality with the occasional fabrication thrown in to keep things interesting. I guess after 1984 didn't come true and Y2K turned out to be nothing but a really great catchphrase, the idea of any one year being symbolic or extraordinary has become a silly thought. Well, at least until 2012 when that John Cusack disaster movie happens.

Personally, 2009 was quite incredible. I worked through a difficult, stressful job and now have anxiety pills as a result, only to switch companies for a lower position and a little bit higher pay. I developed many close friendships feeling more and more at home in Columbus every day. I started playing music again as well as messing with video editing and paying slightly more attention to my photography. Oh yeah, I bought a house, too.

I now own a washer and dryer, a lawnmower, a few sinks, a furnace, a hot water tank, lots of asbestos siding, some water hoses, a bathtub, a toilet, two refrigerators, many-but-never-enough electrical and cable outlets, two flights of stairs, quite a few light fixtures, lots of hardwood planks, various styles of tile, and a dog to destroy it all. So 2009 was big on acquiring things. I got lots of stuff. Lots of physical, hold in your hands, tangible stuff.

That doesn't mean the year was completely devoid of any emotional highs and lows. Actually the last year was quite incredible on that note as well. Being a gay man of course I want homo-marriage to become legal, but it wasn't until this year that it began to stir passion in me. Why? Because I've never begun to think about it as something not just feasible, but something I actually wanted until this year. Sure, I've made comments before and the thought has crossed my mind, but there was something about this year with Fred that really made me think about when we were going to get married.

I don't know if it was the instant-domestication that came with the house or some specific experience together, but I really feel as if now is the time, he is the man, Columbus is the place, and those rings at Tiffany's would look perfect on our fingers. Does that mean that it's going to happen soon? Probably not. I'd love to get married in the state in which I reside, but Ohio is still a little too Fruit Punch for that. What it means, at least to me, is that I'm thinking about it and that I want it and I think 2010 might involve a bit of getting to that point.

Maybe I can make this into my own personal Jennifer Aniston movie!
  • Current Mood
    thoughtful grown-up-ish
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On How A Drive-By Is All You Get

Hi LiveJournal!

It's been a long time, I know. I won't be upset if you disown me as a friend or delete my account. I haven't been around much lately thanks to things like jobs, mortgage payments and sleep but I promise I haven't forgotten you.

How could I? You brought me magical things like awesome people I never would have known otherwise and that great series of lip-sync videos that made the rounds a few years back. You were my first forray into "online social networking", unless you count friendster and I don't because that thing was a piece of shit.

I used to spend a lot of time going on and on about how my day was and what new band I liked and what form of alcohol gave me a headache the most. Gradually though I think I realized that reviewing the minutiae of my terribly average life was probably not that interesting to most people. I'm fairly decent with words, but even the most talented blogger runs out of ways to say "Work sucked!" or "You'll never believe what she was wearing!" or even "HiLookAtMeI'mAwesomeTellMeHowCuteIAmAsMuchAsPossible!"

What does all that mean to us as a couple? Well, I don't know. I appreciate every moment we have together but I can't invest the hours and hours I've spent trolling through posts looking for humor, emotion, or pictures of shirtless hairy dudes anymore (Thanks xTube!). I'll swing by to say hello every once in a while and maybe I'll get inspired to write something substantial now and then, but the interwebs is a big place with so much to see and so many bandwagons to jump aboard. It's all I can do to keep up.

So don't miss me too much. There isn't that much to miss anyway.

PS- Despite my comment of jumping on bandwagons I still think Twitter is stupid.
  • Current Music
    The Abominable Iron Sloth

On How Productivity Is At Its Highest When You Give A Shit

So we're all moved into the new house and my week of vacation is almost over. It wasn't really a relaxing time away from work, but it certainly was gratifying:
  • Primered and painted three rooms.

  • Reupholstered dining room chairs.

  • Installed a new chandelier.

  • Assembled a new bed, a new dresser, and two new bookcases.

  • Vomited excellent decorating taste all over this place.
Pictures are forthcoming but not now. No, I have a date with the Fred. He's making Thai gumbo and there's a bottle of wine just waiting to be opened. We shall eat, drink, and be merry.
  • Current Music
    The Quiet Storm---Yep, that Quiet Storm

On How I'm Growing Old and Grown Up Stuff

Standing in line at Planet Smoothie surrounded by kids between the ages of Disney and Barely Legal who all know the lyrics to the Good Charlotte song playing on the radio makes me feel old.

In other news, we close on the house on Friday. Time can't move fast enough.
  • Current Mood

On How The House Is Still A Go And Other Stuff

I'm still buying a house. We close March 6th. I can't wait. Here's the online listing.

I'm fascinated by a new local artist. His name is Christian Faur. Peep his shit. Don't miss the crayon work.

Other than the house thing, life is pretty swell. Work is calming down and I can actually spend time with friends again. Fred's birthday was yesterday. We went to Ikea to celebrate, shopping for ideas and checking out hot dads. He said it was the best birthday ever.
  • Current Mood
    cheerful awesome-stuff-ish
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On How I'm One Step Closer To Being A Homeowner

Just over a week ago I got pre-approved for a home loan.

Two days later I was out with a Realtor looking at houses.

Three days after that I looked at one property for the second time.

Yesterday my parents were in town and we went to look at the house for a third time.

Today I made an offer.

Let the fun begin.

On How Stuff Is Happening

So yeah, I might be buying a house and stuff.

Also, we have a black president, which is awesome. The media went on and on about the historical significance of the inauguration and I am in full agreement. It is historical and incredible and such a step forward.

What irked me a little about the whole thing is that some folks got up in arms about how the news media kept going on about it. And the black community went on and on about what a massive event it was for them. Here's the thing though, if the black community could alone elect a president then Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton would have been in office years ago. This is a monumental time for the civil rights movement of the 60s, all those folks who truly gave everything they had for something they believed in, but in the greater scheme of things, I think it's monumental for our society.

It isn't just that a black man holds the most powerful position in the land, but that a country as diverse as ours, racially, economically, politically, spiritually, and any other adverb you can throw in there elected him. We made that choice together. To me that's the most important aspect of this whole shindig. I guess that means I'm on board with celebrating that we voted for change, but really I'm just stoked crusty old white dudes are no longer the only actual options we have to lead our country.
  • Current Music
    Titus Andronicus

On How A Photo Set Makes Me Want To Rock Again

I woke up this morning and looked at the top of my left hand. Underneath the hair I've grown there in the last ten years, I noticed a list of numbers written in blue ink, the result of a 12-hour inventory marathon yesterday that began at 4:00am. Many people became upset and infuriated by the end of the day, being asked, nay told to stay until everything was complete. Not wanting to waste anymore time, I quickly realized the search for scratch paper to document these numbers was not going to help the cause and resorted to a blue BIC and my hand as a temporary resting place for the information.

I used to wake up in the morning with a word rubber-stamped on that hand or depending on how long ago "used to" means, with a big "X" hastily drawn in black Sharpie across it. In fact, in the mid-to-late 90s and early 2000s, it would seem I had a permanent stain on that hand. A few times a week, me and some friends, sometimes just me would fork over the $3-$7 cover charge for an all-ages show somewhere in the Chicago-land area. More often than not, we were out west on Fullerton, about halfway between Western Ave. and California Ave. at a dingy, rundown shithole called the Fireside Bowl.

Last night I stumbled across this photo set and the flashbacks began. First I remembered the facade, the tan paneled exterior with the red trim and detail. The font that read "FIRESIDE BOWL". The giant bowling pin that falsely advertised "BOWLING". Though bowling did happen on occasion, it wasn't sport that made this beat-up building special. It was the incredible roster of bands that pulled up in broke-down vans hauling trailers filled with road-worn instruments.

I spent a good hour last night reading through all the old flyers posted here. I actually remembered picking up some of them and stuffing them in my bag after shopping at Reckless Records. I recalled the anticipation of first hearing about some of the shows listed. Most of all, I absolutely remember playing on that stage in the corner with my old band notaword, some of the shows we played are even listed on these flyers. It brought on a wave of nostalgia I haven't felt in a long time. Not an introspective what-the-hell-happened-to-me sort of experience, but a damn-those-are-good-memories sort of reminiscence.

I saw the last Los Crudos show there, the one where Martin jumped into the crowd and almost started a massive brawl not five feet away from me with the disgusting goth-punks hurling anti-gay insults at him. I saw Death Cab for Cutie open a four-band lineup, the first of many times I not only saw them because of another band, but also realized how terrible they are live. I played gigs with Appleseed Cast, Shiner, and An Albatross, who by the way used to have a name that was at least 20 words long and set up in the middle of the floor and destroyed a 7-minute set so incredibly that they were asked to stick around and play the late show as well. I met my first gay indie/punk/underground/whatever musician friends there and realized I could be a fag and still play in rock bands.

The Fireside Bowl will always hold some of my greatest memories. The last time notaword played there we all snagged a bowling pin as a keepsake. That was in 2001, maybe 2002? A while ago. I still have the bowling pin. It looks as beat up as the venue itself: chipped, stained, dented, battered by years of abuse. I've amassed quite a few nice things in the years since, but that single grimy bowling pin, certainly standing out among the Jonathan Adler pottery, numerous pieces of art, and pricey modern furniture will always be one of the most special artifacts decorating my house, no matter how far away I live from both the place or the era.