16 November, 2012

The Death of Oranges

I know what I said, I was done. And I am; this being the exception. This is the final post at Oransje, and I thought it was fitting that I took that opportunity to share some things about the people I have met in Orlando, and those elsewhere since moving here. I know I used this avenue to express a lot of hurt, anger, and seemingly little to be optimistic about. Most days, that is how I perceive my surroundings... unfortunately. But that's a post for my other blog.

This is going to go in length, and I may add to it as I remember more. I'm going to start with why I am even here in Orlando, what possessed me to move here?! That's rather simple actually, it was go to Orlando, or leave the company I had been a part of for seven years. The severance package was enticing, and at the time, that economy bubble hadn't yet burst, but given where May and I were at the time, in quiet stagnation, and being the provider for both of us - being unemployed wasn't a reality I wanted to gamble with. In hindsight, I made the right choice. We found a great apartment, and it provided May some privacy and an art room that was solely her own. Our lives were about to change in ways we couldn't have imagined.

It really started with a trip to the Winter Park Spring Art Festival. The utter chaos and draining environment of that pushed us away quickly, and May remembered seeing an ad for the Outsider Art Festival in the same area. We found it and our path changed from then on. We met Ed Hdez, Ralph Verano, and Tracy Burke. They were so embracing and warm and encouraging of May showing her art. They opened that first door that led to a much different existence for us. May's first showing was the following month in Baldwin Park, and the ball rolled fluidly from then on artistically. She made fast friends with Orlando's artists, and built a foundation and developed a belonging to this city's artist community. It was a vision and effort come to fruition for her and it was beautiful! For every sour moment, there was a dozen experiences that were memorable and irreplaceable. As a witness to this, very few made me feel unwelcome, or outside the circle, but I certainly viewed myself as such. A non-artist in an artist's world.

Over the years, we didn't spend much time with Ed, but he was always supportive and encouraging, and even up to the moment May left, he was checking out her sketchbook at Full Sail during The Sketchbook Project. Ed has an amazing spirit and talent, and his soft-spoken beauty emanates purely from his core. Tracy and Ralph became close friends; confidants, and a source of exhaltation whenever we could share some time with them. I fondly remember May and I trying to piece together our conversations with Tracy after any given encounter at Redlight Redlight with her... she sometimes talks at a level only dogs can hear. More importantly; both Tracy and Ralph were so supportive and encouraging, it really made us feel like Orlando was a community with human spirit and a beating heart. They shared so much with us, beyond art and contacts... there were meals, music, friendship, sincerity and trust. Of all the relationships May and I built as friends in the Orlando community, I would struggle to think of one that was more important to us.

It was Tracy and Ralph that challenged May to paint publically, something she'd never done even for an audience of one. She embraced it, and we met even more of the artists working in and around Orlando. It was at this event that she met Travis Smith, and began a strong friendship with that continues today. He too, was another person that was unyieldingly supportive and helped open even further paths to explore artistically. I never made it easy for Travis to be in my company, but despite that, he never stopped trying to accommodate me or engratiate himself to me. I will forever be thankful to him for the support and friendship he gave May.

That brings me around to Tr3 Harris and Frankie Messina. One would think that two people connected to every nerve and vein in Orlando would have little or no time to stop and converse with an unknown artist on the scene. Beyond doing exactly that, they also found time to engage me. Share stories, pick my brain, and seek out what talents I keep buried beneath the skin. Frankie and I have connected on a personal level sort of hemmorhaging from painful places, and that is something that I was profoundly affected by, even if it was momentary. When you see the vulnerable side of someone, it changes that relationship; in this case, for the better. Tr3 is amazing. He's a man always moving; I doubt he sleeps, he might be undead, but he will always take time to talk with me, with anyone. He is sincerely interested in people and their stories, their muse, their voice, and I have to be honest, that is so rare and amazing to me, that it borders on reverence. I would have never guessed I would meet someone else like that, especially in Orlando, but more on her later.

Okay, so adventures lead us down so many paths, but none so unique as Karen Russell. I am utterly enamored with her, artistically and personally. I envy the people that are close to her, because she tugs at every synapse my brain will fire. She exudes mystery and sexuality with no effort, and life sort of chases along after her barely keeping up and probably hungry and tired and sick from the horrible food she feeds it. I hear and have probably said the phrase, "hot mess" , but Karen is one of the most real people I know. She exists in this life, but is not it's bitch, and embraces the moments that matter to her without inhibition. It's admirable, and like I said, unique. Karen is amazing, we all know it, and she always manages to make it, whatever it is, happen.

Moving on to Art In The Park! More new faces, more amazing people! I met Veronika, Dana, Hannah, and solidified friendships with Van J, Justin Barrows and Snappy. Snappy is someone who, despite where he might be personally, makes someone else feel like the most important person in the room. His heart is beautiful and sincere, and I can only imagine that he must be made to suffer for that as I have... inexplicably. I am pretty sure he's a genius, and his knowledge of culture and music is staggering. I am blessed to know him, and no matter where I am, I will always carry memories of his frivolity, creativity and smiles. Van J, I met outside of Milk Bar, and I had no idea how often our paths would cross afterwards. It's been countless years since I've known someone with such a peaceful spirit. His mere presence is calming. The people that can call him friend are truly blessed. Justin Barrows... I don't even know where to begin!?! No one has tried harder to make me unleash the inner artist than Justin, and it's only out of his sheer determination that I shared what I've had. Without him, there would be no unfinsihed art books piling up in my apartment, there would be no dead trees on a door somewhere, and a piece that went god knows where? He is the most dedicated and determined artist in Orlando, and at the same time, a great friend who I don't see enough of.

Okay - moving on. Jenn. My amazing, unspoken, undefined bond with Jenn. She got me to dance... so, like Justin, she pulled the impossible out of me. I really have no words to describe her, only feelings and emotions. If she was a painting, she would be priceless and as mysterious as a Mona Lisa smile. Going away, I would certainly feel that break in our connection, whatever it is, and despite how rarely we ever get to see one another. I feel good in sharing with she and Teege what an inspiration they are to me, and how they give me hope for a relationship with such strong and healthy roots. If I listed 10 things beautiful about Orlando, their relationship would be number 1.

Cake, Mikey, Jeffrey. I love all three of them for different reasons, and I cherish each of their friendships for different reasons. Cake, being such a figurehead of the Orlando art scene, could very easily turn his nose up and not really look beyond his magical world. His talent is only rivaled by his enormous passion and enthusiasm over the Orlando art scene. He's caring, supportive, embracing, and willing to help out the entire Orlando scene. More importantly to me, as a non-artist, Cake has been a friend. Offering advice, allowing me to intrude into his world, and allowing me to share pieces of mine. There's not a lot of people in Orlando that know my business, even if they think they do, but the 3 Bears know more about myself and May than almost anyone in Orlando says alot about their sincerity and trust and friendship. Mikey, always boosts my spirit, even if that encouragement is ill-advised. I know Jeffrey is Orlando's cheerleader, but Mikey is mine. If there's a more comforting presence in Orlando, I haven't found it. Jeffrey, whom I am probably closest with. He and I have spent a lot of time talking, because he's always working at places I tend to go. I think we share a commonplace that is rooted in some sadness. I don't know, we've never discussed it, but I feel like we are kindred spirits. If I was at bottom, I feel like I could reach out to Jeff and he'd extend a hand.

I would have not expected this time last year how close I would have become to Joe Quillsong and Anne Schummer. Joe reaching out to me and opening up to me is still a moment that is carved poignantly on my heart. It was someone who I respected making an effort to reassure me. If I trusted anyone with anything, it's Joe. His spirit, his soul are like beacons in a storm - it's safe passage through some miserable darkness. Anne and I bonded after May left, and it's a relationship that defies explanation. She may be my little sister. We love the same music, movies, fashion, etc.

Someone who has piqued my curiosity since I met him is Thomas Thorspecken. He has sketched May at least a half-dozen times, and an adventure with him is always something special. I will never forget our canoe trip, or having him over for lunch. He's a fascinating person, with an intoxicating smile, and a huge heart and sense of humor. His laugh is infectious, and I know if I am out somewhere and see him arrive, my night will somehow be improved. He was offered a unique perspective on my divorce, and was witness to it's fruition.

Two people that came into my life this year and had a prominent impact are Tonya and Stephanie. I only group them together, because both those relationships are fractured or non-existent. They did however ground me when my heart and mind went far reaching looking for understanding, and bore witness to the shattering of my relationships, ultimately our own. Stephanie is one of two mothers I met this year that I have utter respect and admiration for. I don't know how she juggles everything and still manages to raise such a well-rounded, intelligent, respectful child, but she does and I am in awe of it. We share a love of music and challenges and movies and I always welcomed our conversations over coffee. Tonya is talent, layered upon talent. I don't even know all the skills she possesses, but her thirst for adventure and learning inspires me. Her aesthetic eye, and devotion to her art ushers me to other-wordly places and each creation is a storybook land that is somehow rooted into her life. She is one of Orlando's unique souls, and the time we've shared talking offered me so much perspective and understanding and I will always appreciate those moments.

There's so many people that have just been amazing, and unexpected. I can't say this from experience, but Orlando must be unique in that atmosphere. It's truly beautiful. Steve Parker, in his accomodation and above and beyond dedication to curation, besides his amazing talent as an artist. Marcus Adkins who always remembers my name, despite my having to add him on Facebook to concrete his name into my brain. Little did I know until I added him that he was this phenomenal photographer. Jay Gordon and Beni Belak and eventually Charlotte who I met when I forced myself out on my own one night. Three inspiring, engaging, brilliant people that broke me out of the belief that I could only have friendships via May. Katie Dannelly, who has become my refuge and grounding rod at work, and has become a close friend. Leon Carter who embraces my passion for music and buying music! But more importantly, supported me through my darkest moments in Orlando and gave me the time I needed to set things right. Leah Fairchild, with an enormous spirit and heart, and a real beauty that precedes her. My newest friend, Nick Mariano who shares the same interests in music as I do and he's a DJ! But as I have known him, completely approachable, amiable, and sincere and I hope our friendship continues even if I depart. Eric Johnson who gave me a monicker, and an escape one weekend to go see art. He is the antagonist in my "pull the shades closed" world. He always finds a way to pull laughter out of me, and remind me that I know and am friends with some awesome people in Orlando. Another person I bonded with, and who's friendship and support has been invaluable is Kim Marshall. I haven't met anyone more gracious and caring. Jessica Earley reinforced my belief that being vulnerable and sharing feelings is okay, and nothing to feel ashamed about.

But my life in Orlando really took root when I met, really met, Hannah Braden. I felt a little lost here until we began to talk. She offered me a perspective that made Orlando feel like home to me for the first time. I am not going to start sharing more than you already know, because I do respect privacy. Suffice to say though, I don't know anyone more inspiring than Hannah. I've witnessed a curator, artist, manager, mom, friend and on all levels, I was left enamored and transfixed. I have never known someone like her, that manages so much and still maintains such a beautiful presence. Wherever I go, for however long, if the word Orlando is uttered, she will be the image that comes to mind, because Hannah made Orlando feel like home to me. Made me embrace it's people and it's places in my own exploratative way.

Outside these walls, I also bonded with Zara Kand, Allie Hartley, and Bethy Williams since landing here. Three artists of extraordinary skill, whom I have also had the pleasure of knowing on a personal level. I only met Zara as a result of the work I did for her mother, but as I saw her artistic and music talent outside of that realm, I realized what incredible talent she had and what a beautiful heart she possesses. Allie paints what I see in my head, quite inexplicably. I know so, very little about her, but I am so very intrigued. We are going to start sharing correspondences, so I hope by this time next year, we will have a much more profound idea of one another. But her kindness has been inviting over these past few months. Bethy, has been a foundation for me (possibly unwillingly) over the past year. Talking to me into the wee hours, and sharing our quirky interests with one another, and allowing me to make compilations for her that would make babies cry. That's how you define a unique and priceless bond. I love her in how we connect in that way, and as I said - it's been the only light a few times over the past few months.

So, that's it! I know I forgot someone(s). But the point of this LONG-ASS post is this. As I put this blog to bed to awake as something else, I wanted to do so by thanking all of you that I have encountered in Orlando and elsewhere. I did not want to be gone, without having said it, at least one more time. Since this blog was about my time in Orlando, it's befitting it should end this way. I may or may not be moving on, but whatever happens, Orlando specifically is no longer the adventure. Today, it's the point from where my adventures originate, but not the focus. One last person that deserves thanks is May. Without her, and her determination, the adventure that lead to so many amazing people would likely never have happened. I'm blessed to know you all, and above all else, thankful for knowing you.


a Blue Pair

I found this adorable couple last weekend, a thrift store find. I picked them up and put them down more than once, but in the end, had to take them home. I can't imagine what their use was/is. I feel if they were simply figurines then they wouldn't be hollow, perhaps that's a bad assumption? Upon seeing them, I immediately thought Dickens, and Victorian England, but again, that might be a bad assumption. I also think they are someone's creation as opposed to some commercial item based on markings in the base.





12 November, 2012

From the Least Cool Sister's Album

Though I do admit, it has some great tracks. And "Sister's Least Cool" is still rather fucking cool. I've had an utterly defeated kind of day, so there's this.

11 November, 2012

Last One

This weekend has been an anxiety meteor shower, last night being a full blown storm. If I didn't literally wake-up every twenty minutes, I would be amazed. I feel wrecked instead of rested. I've been making an effort to not act on anxious thoughts and instead give them time to be well-formulated decisions, but I've one more, possibly irrational thing to do.

First off, I was of the opinion that no one was reading this blog. The lack of comments supported that belief. Seriously, that's fine. My perception of my blog was one of a journal/diary. I wasn't uncomfortable with doing so in an open setting, because I am generally pretty open with how I feel about things. I also believed that as long as I kept names out of my blog, then I wasn't publicly admonishing, praising, worshipping, hating anyone... beyond what anyone else would know besides the person involved. Recently, my friend, K. quoted a sentence from a post, and I realized someone was reading my thoughts, and further comments from others cemented that  curiosity. Again, I don't have a problem with people wanting to know, or voyeuristically reading the "tickings of a young man".

I have however, decided to stop making personal posts. There's two reasons. The main reason is this: my blog is in no way a supplement for you and I to have a conversation. There is nothing I write here that I wouldn't share with you in person. And I know the majority of you, whoever you are reading my blog, don't know me well enough or have enough trust in me to know that I am open, trusting, and not looking to crawl down your pants. That was an assumption I was making that a friend helped me to understand better. It was quite an epiphany really, not everyone is like me, and not everyone knows me as I'd like them to. Back on point though, there's been a series of conversations where assumptions have been made about a blog post, or feelings have been hurt. If you knew me, as I'd like you to know me, hurting people is really the last thing I'd ever want to bestow on someone, anyone. I forgive a lot,  A LOT, to my own detrement, but hurt whether intentional or unintententional is not who I am. These interractions in which my a phrase from my blog takes breath is alarming, and for those with enough courage to challenge me on it, I wonder how many haven't, and how many upset/confused/hurt people are there that I haven't uttered a word to?

Secondly, I tend to write from the endless springs that are my emotions. Emotional writing is charged writing, and I feel it carries an energy. Which brings me to why I chose electronic writing over pen and notebook. I have a few of those notebooks and volumes of poems from my teens into my twenties, and they still reek of a very fractured and broken spirit. I felt brave enough to open one the other night, and it made me ill. I also realized that if I burned all of this, I wouldn't miss it, because I suck at writing. Between losing countless journals due to incapacitated states, and having a physical manifestation of raw emotion pulsing from a bookcase until the end of time; I decided electronically writing is like a cloned sheep... no soul. It's life begins and exists on a series of cables and encased discs until such a time that the Terminators take over, or I swallow the correctly-colored pill.

So, no more personal posts. I will continue to share music, photos, interests, but not much depth beyond that. At least until some aspect of my life begins to settle. The big one is myself. Understanding why I am the way I am, either accepting or changing it, and why I seek unreciprocated love. Secondly, my personal life needs to have some stability. I need to understand and trust it, and find a friendship that values me as much as I value them, without the worries of, "when are we going to be naked?" And finally, I'd like to find harmony in my personal interests as much as my work interests. I want to continue to feel valued at work, but I want new challenges, and I want the focus and energy to take those on. Originally, I thought I'd commit these thoughts to pen and paper, until that encounter with history the other night, so now, I will simply internalize them. And that's that. If you want to know what I am thinking, you'll have to ask...

Listening to: R.E.M. - "Fables Of The Reconstruction"

09 November, 2012

And You Are...

Been here at work now for a little over an hour. Amazingly, but not surprisingly, I am the only one here and the only one on time. In fact, a handful of people are over an hour late. Obviously, if I have time to write in my blog, then I don't need to mention how dead it is right now. I have as many work projects to do, as I have projects at home to do - and they are getting equal amounts of attention: none.

So, what's going on? It's really not easy for me to describe. On a surface level it's confusing; on a deeper level, it's a debate on the impact of Ayn Rand on modern society; in that it hurts to think about. You sort of evade some things when you elect to not define it, not discuss it, and refuse it labels. As my manager is fond of saying, "it is what it is". Okay, but what is it? Maybe I am not okay with such simplified reality, maybe I'd like a little shading on that stick figure, give me a fucking crayon, give me something. Are we benefitting by that avoidance? Do you feel better than if you said, "you are..." . That's the point I realized, it's not the definition, it's the responsibilities that are associated with labels. I don't think it's fair to call this, "living in the moment", because that suggests it is care free, and repercussions and emotions and hurt, and love, and pleasure, and joy, and experience are circumstance and devoid of depth, devoid of reaching something amazing, incapable of touching heart, incapable of setting fire to soul, uninterested in making a bond that transcends today. I am an analytical, science as religion, technogeek who refuses to subscribe to a notion that the ability to feel is a weakness, or is somehow controlled. This isn't a rant, and I am not accusing anyone of treating me this way. I do however bear witness to it daily. It goes back to what I have asked many times in my blog, why is it so hard to be honest with one another about our feelings toward one another? Why is it a bad thing? Someone told me yesterday, that they realized I was a rock in their life, and there's been times that I was the only anchor that kept them from giving up, I gave them hope. I can't describe how touched I was to hear that, but I was so struck with someone being so open and honest with me. If this person had told me that I made them feel torn down and small - I would still be struck by their honesty. People are complex, and today I may make you angry, tomorrow you may think I'm amazing. It's not about that really, it's about connecting. It's about being real and being open. You could be angry at me forever for all the times I've hurt you. Maybe it's unforgettable, but is it unforgivable? Am I capable of being selfish? Of course. I have failings like we all do. I chose to love someone despite their flaws if more often than not I feel valued, respected, and reciprocated in our relationship. A bond with someone is precious, and it's not simply undefined. We made this bond, however we came to it - with trust, with intimacy, with sacrfice, with mutual respect - it ties us together, and I am not able or wanting to simply let that go because right now there is hurt.

I have to get back to work, and I am rambling. But my lips are bruised, my tongue a pariah - so I will remain silent unless asked. Because if I have learned anything this year, it's that people don't want to know how I feel about them. Going forward, I will respect that.

Succession

Last night, my dreams were the freight train that runs through Downtown Orlando at 3 A.M., seemingly endless and frustrating, because all you want to do is get somewhere that's comfortable. Each boxcar representing some event, either from the past or as of yet unfulfilled. And though I outwardky have almost no anxiety regarding H., clearly, I do so internally and she was the tether binding one scene to the next. Even though, I am trying to accept each day as it presents itself and not look for horizons, my mind will in the end, do what it does with or without me. This may also be the results of weaning myself off of anxiety meds, in fact, I am electing that as my resolve and resuming my normal activities. Keep messing with me brain, I have pencils now.

07 November, 2012

Can I Set You On Fire?

I have zero time to write, but much to say. It's been one of those days; the kind, where I wish I could set people on fire. Fed up with my manager, and right now, fed up with a few Republicans. I can empathize with your pity party, but the toxic, nasty shit falling out of your face this morning is absurd, and only reinforces my resolve to make sure you and who represents you never have a voice in determining my rights, my liberties, and my freedom.

I will write more this evening; perhaps I will be calmer then. Right now, quite livid.

06 November, 2012

Blueberry Muffin Coffee

In my odd, horny-as-hell, 5 A.M. wake-up, I feel like I want to do a thousand chores and work on Christmas presents. Not sure if that's the pulsing testosterone or the blueberry muffin coffee?! Whatever, I'll take it, I have neglected chores.

It's been a long while since I busted out my Dulli. There's a certain mood that tends to precipitate his inclusion in my playlists, and oddly, I am not feeling those feelings. I think in lieu of sexual appetite and suave confidence, it's actually New Orleans that beckons the former Afghan Whig to my ears. Like New Orleans, Greg Dulli is at surface a polished, and inviting mistress, with a language that weaves about loin and heart, and a soulful gaze that pens fantasies in your mind. But with tips tracing the flesh, you can find the fractures and scars. With each kiss, the flame upon your tongue tastes like decay; and whispers spin spells that purchase the remnants of your inhibitions. In all, it's a decadent feast that ends only when every ounce of you is barely recognizable.

So, in addition to Mister Dulli's intrusion into my days, there's also been a flood of thoughts. Short scenes of inticing moments I'd love to share. Cuddled on a couch watching movies; preparing meals together; exploratory walks with endless eye candy and dialogue; and a shared inspiration what will become part of who we are, forever. It's not that I am engraving my expectations in stone, or writing intentions to paper and setting them to flame. But it is an intoxicating series of comfort that sells me on the idea of embracing something new.

Last night, I watched, "Broken Blossom", a D.W. Griffith film starring Lillian Gish from 1918. Sadly, even the stunning beauty of Miss Gish can resurrect how depressing this film was. Set in London's Limehouse District, we are first introduced to a young Chinese man's arrival in the city to spread his Buddhist wisdom. He immediately realizes that the brutality of the London is spirit-crushing and he finds himself living in the midst of opium dens which soon take hold of his spirit. Meanwhile, Gish portrays the daughter of a drunken boxer that funnels his frustration into beating her within an inch of her life. She's not allowed to eat while he's eating, and is expected to be home when he's home (which isn't exactly a set schedule), so just always be home. After one such beating, Gish wanders into the streets and collapses at the doorstep of the Chinese man's home. He mends her, takes her in, and falls in love with her. The whole thing unravels when it's discovered that Gish is staying there, and her brutish father arrives and takes her home where he beats her to death. Her new suitor arrives too late, and is confronted by dad, and he's shot-to-death by the Chinese man. He takes Gish's body back to his room, prays for her and then kills himself. I expected a lax respect for minorites, but D.W. Griffith still managed to hit my frustration point. Our main character is dubbed, "Yellow Man", and Gish gives him the pet name of "Chincky". An Opium-addicted friend of "Yellow-Man" is called "Evil Eye". Even the father, with his drinking, anger, and facial expressions is a stereotype. It's truly hard to enjoy a film, or appreciate what it offers when we've been so conditioned to recognize the disgusting elements of human behavior. Beyond that, the bleak, hopeless aspect is only barely breached with the building love between "Yellow Man" and Gish, but they are absolutely punished for that experience, and you are reminded that chincs are dirty, and you leave feeling that their love is forbidden because of only that. It's not even classism, it's clearly racism.

Well, off to chores and breakfast. More later.

05 November, 2012

Strangers

My head is so full... all of it is trying to fall out at once and thus nothing can get through. I accomplished none of the personal things I wanted to do. I want to avoid my usual holiday procrastination this year, and start working on presents. I was supposed to be off work today and tomorrow for doctor visits, but the situation in the Northeast continues and my time-off was canceled. That might be okay on a personal level, I am still full of thought and emotion from the weekend, and perhaps a distraction is exactly what I need. Over-analyzing is afterall, my super power.

So, the weekend. It was similar to those moments in our lives where we set off thinking we know exactly what will unfold, and it's familiar, but as it begins to play out you find yourself ushered along a path that has an infinite number of possibilities; there is no clear conclusion and you're left with only embracing the experience and the excitement it offered. I could not have expected where I'd be, how I would be feeling. Internalized; the fight that was happening was as contentious as anything a politcal ad could throw down.That's multifaceted. That connection: my own insecurity has convinced me is so paper-thin and delicate, that at any moment I am a ghost again. I don't know if my actions are what's best for anyone involved, and I don't want to hurt people. With no clear understanding of why people have been cutting me out of their lives, as I mentioned before, the coincidence of the act has left me convinced it's me. So, I have only insecurity in my words, my movements; so the struggle between thought and action is bloody (literally). So, for much of the night as emotion bottled up behind my tongue, I sat quiet, allowing the night to go where it would. And in retrospect, that was best. I managed to do so until dawn's break, and said those words that perhaps burned as painfully as a fire's ember. I am foolish if I want to believe that wasn't already known. Yes, I love you.

So, there was star-gazing, misdemeanor criminal activity, music sharing, bonding, a lot of laughing, and a wonderful fire. Nothing short of an awesome night.

I am heading into work wrapped in the experience of the weekend, and haunted by the phrase, "imperfectly connected". However true it is, love makes it hard to accept. It is reality, sadly; it's actually the perfect description. Of course, I am compelled to fix that, but that internalized struggle is telling me: "Right now, accept the connection, embrace the bond you have with someone you love, and if it is supposed to be anything more, it will be." So, thank you inside voice for the wisdom, and I will spend a few days trying to convince myself that you do actually have a clue about what you are telling me.

Listening to: Portishead - "Dummy"

04 November, 2012

Thrifted

Yesterday, I had a few moments free, so I swung by my favorite cd thrifting spot and picked up three completely unknown-to-me discs, much as I have done my entire post-adolescent life. This is obviously a hit-or-miss process. So, here's the three:

Dewey Defeats Truman: "b-sides, rarities, and out-takes"
This early 2000's, San Diego-based band is not terribly unique, but offers enough nuances that makes it worthy of listen. Clearly talented, and diversely influenced, it's surprising that it doesn't seem to fight beyond such familiar trappings. It is at times familiar to Harvey Danger, and probably a lot of pop-punk bands I am barely familiar with, but as I mentioned, there are some sparks that grab hold. Tempo changes, and Fugazi chord progressions wrapped in a bittersweet punch of Weezer is my best effort to offer some define. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a single thing on YouTube, or the interwebs to provide a sample. So, unless you are a huge fan of indie/pop/punk - then I think you might not want to seek this one out. But if you should locate one of their two releases, I wouldn't say, skip it. It's worth a listen and it's worthy of being in your collection.

The Teacups: "This Will Come Back To Haunt You"
Okay, this is immediately adorable. It's "Lump"-era Drop Nineteens, Deerhoof and They Might Be Giants. Not at all surprised that their label is based in Athens, GA., or at all surprised this they are Wisconsin-based, but quite surprised to discover this is a '98 release. This may very well be pre-hipster?! It is painfully familiar, and simple on most levels, but it's permeable innocence is intoxicating and I love it. This disc is a gem and I am ecstatic to have discovered it. Again, couldn't find anything to share. Eff! The album is on iTunes.

Homescience: "Jungling"
This was another score. I love that it was recorded into multiple channels, so that sitting in the car listening to this disc is like being surrounded by the band. Homescience is from Edinburgh, and that comes as a bit of a surprise because the britpop elements are subtle at best. The y may very well be Scotland's answer to Low. It's equal elements harmony, and muttered vocals subdued beneath a wave of keyboards and 60's fringe pop. It's a brilliant melange of textures, unique instrumentation and manic-depressive lyrics.



01 November, 2012

Fat City or Bust

For a few weeks now, I assumed there would be an opening in New Orleans within my company; a position that would be a promotion for me. I thought about how amazing it would to live in The Big Easy, but there's plenty of rumors afoot that New Orleans, like many branches, will be gobbled up and centralized. Let me give some back story here. I used to work in the Tampa, FL. branch. We were self-sufficient, everything happened in our building; from taking the payroll from our clients to the printing and delivery of the payroll to our clients. After 6 years of that peaceful tranquility, along came the concept of centralizing the print operations aspect of the payroll process, and thus the fulfillment center was born. This was a cost-saving measure, as well as a disaster preventative leap. All print operations for all of our Florida locations were relocated to Orlando... safer from hurricanes and close to the airport. We were not the first center, but it's a concept that's caught on nationally. It was a brand new center that I almost relocated to in California last year.

So, here in lies my concern. New Orleans is still a branch setup, just like Tampa was. They have already gone into recovery once, during Katrina. The rumor is, they are being absorbed, like Tampa was, to a center that already exists in either Houston or Dallas. And so, I have two conerns that need to be dealt with and feel some assurances about before I commit myself to pursuing New Orleans. One, I need to know with some certainty that they are not being relocated; I have no interest in living in Dallas or Houston. Secondly, what happens to me if they do relocate, not all supervisors from Florida came to our center, how do I know I'd even be needed at a new center? So, it boils down to, are you moving or not New Orleans branch? I don't want to be without a job in this environment. All I have is my history and talents within my job; I have no degree. So, this is a critical concern.

On a different note, we've done recovery for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York this week. It feels good to allow our peers in the NE to be with family and freedom from having to worry about work. But more importantly, I have thought about myself as one of the millions of employees that work for our thousands of clients, and I thought how important and reassuring it would be for me that despite all the obstacles, I could still count on my paycheck to be there. It's the kind of thing that despite the size of our company, allows us to connect on a very personal level with the people we provide service for and that really resounds with me. Our donations to United Way, and verious charitable organizations is one thing to be proud of company-wide, but this is something that goes beyond that easy, philanthropist, pose-for-the-cameras effort. We found out today, as has the nation, that the NE is without gas and we are about to go down again. Our affected centers have been running off of generators, and that's about to be an impossibility, so the recovery effort will continue.

Well, that's all I have for now. Halloween was a little depressing to be honest. So much is different now.

Listening to: Coil - "Musick To Play In The Dark"

31 October, 2012

HalloWeaned

Alone on Halloween, kind of blows. I will do my ritual of the original Halloween and Charlie Brown of course, but it's lacking something when there's not someone cuddling up beside you. Guess I need to put the big boy pants on and get used to this, there's some more holidays down the pike and they aren't any more fun alone.

30 October, 2012

Torn

I have no time to write, should be on my way to work. Today, I'm troubled by a dream last night. Not really understanding it's meaning, if any, but it was unique. In the dream, I was unconsciously eating pictures of a friend. The feeling I had when it was brought to my attention what I was doing was one of being unsettled with the friend in the photo, and then one of being disturbed that I would destroy my mementos of this person, having so few. I don't know, it's odd, but it's message is confusing to me. A couple people have offered their thoughts and research on it, and what's been said doesn't feel right or completely the opposite of how I feel. Want to shake the feeling.

I may have over-estimated what Sunday was. Just not going to think about it or evaluate it any longer. I want it to be nice; I want it to be like it was. Not going to push it or allow it to affect my emotions to the best of my ability. But I can be pushy and overanalyzing most times, and my need to have peace and resolution quickly is my issue, not anyone else's, and certainly no one is responsible for meeting this need of mine.

Gotta run. I got no feedback on Haloeween V.4, so I think it was a bust. Granted, it's audience of 2 is selective, but I don't think I compiled a hit this time around. I will keep trying!!!

28 October, 2012

a puzzle without corner pieces

It's inappropriate for me to spill the abstract of my emotions here when I have grave concerns about the NE. My work week will begin in a rescue atmosphere for some of our largest centers in the NE. It's going to be a no-holds-barred stress factory until Thursday. I will gladly take that stress so that people evacuate and are safe. It's really a concerning situation.

Where last week was a dissolving of comfort, this week is a reconnection with the people I love. I am of course thankful to have those connections, but it's toll on my emotions is difficult to articulate. I am not sure what I feel or what I should feel. Confusion is the best I can come up with. Distrust is another. What's wrong with me? What is it that I do that drives someone to the point of exploding at me, or cutting me off completely? It's obviously something related to my behavior because far too many people have made efforts to isolate themselves from me to be coincidence. It's something I need to sit and reflect on and understand it's source and correct it by whatever means are needed. The last thing I want is a remaining bitterness between myself and someone I care about; someone that cared about me. Maybe I do forgive too willingly? Forgiveness, is an aspect of love that I feel is vital. It is not forgetting, but I recognize that people act out of anger, bitterness, and of course, we all make mistakes or phrase things in a selfish way. Sometimes it's a pattern people get locked into. There is hurt that comes about from these occurrences, on both sides, and I have a hard time letting someone important in my life become a ghost. If there was abuse involved then the circumstances to protect yourself are certainly different, but in instances where it's emotional and raw, I hold on to the belief that there can be a horizon where two people that care about one another can find a way back. While I am willing to forgive, trust is much harder. Being hurt isn't high on the "Things I'd Like To Do Today" list. I can only be hurt by love, and love can be such an insidious creature. It knows every fragility; it's vocabulary is mentally penned with confidences and trusts bestowed; and love's warmth is only paralleled by it's ability to be callously cold. I know I am rambling a bit here, my thoughts are jigsaw scattered. When I am asked tomorrow how my weekend was; "surreal" will be my response. I could not have imagined I would be watching dawn break with you, beyond even seeing you after so much absence, I must have seemed scared...

I finally witnessed the spectacle and sexuality of Orlando's Halloween. A lonelier person could masturbate endlessly for months on the things I witnessed last night. I can't find fault with adults using Halloween as an opportunity to express whatever they wear beneath their skin on any average day. I do find exception with how that has translated into teen and children's costumes. Not every fantasy/film/career/icon needs to be hyper-sexualized whether it's what my kid wants or not. In my opinion, it is not okay if my child wants to be a sexy vamp on this one day out of the year. She/He is not adult enough to understand the dynamics of being "sexy" and that it's more than the attention it garners. To be honest, most adults don't understand it either. I realize this is an old argument and I am not offering anything new to the debate. Wearing next to nothing generally shows a lack of imagination, and the fantasy you are bringing to the party is one that probably would turn your stomach if it was painted out for you. Challenge me, bring me your imagination, show me who you idolize or want to pay your homage to. What speaks to you? I did certainly see some of that as well, and when all is said and done - it was an experience I'm glad to have been a part of.

Well, I need to close. Things to do. I likely will be scarce for a bit...until Sandy is done. Everyone take care and have an amazing Halloween. Much love!

21 October, 2012

the Land of Undelivered Love

Everywhere around me are gifts for someone who as of Monday wishes to have nothing to do with me. I'm not really sure what will become of this melange of misfit love? Part of me hopes that it will in some way find an open door to their intended recipient, because despite what she thinks, I do have a great deal of care for her and I always will, connected or not. I am still a little broken at the shattering of that tie, but I have to accept it. Had the previous day not been a complete disaster and dissolving of my bond with my ex, then I probably wouldn't have been able to swallow the end so acceptingly - but because I was already hemorrhaging from all the insidious little words thrown at me the day before, being cut-off this way seemed like just one more shovel of dirt. I basically waited to hit the bottom/cliche county song scenarios to unfold: car breaks down; loses job; pet dies. Unfortunately, from a completely selfish perspective, I am without anyone locally I can trust or confide in. Yes, I am to blame for that in my choice of words. I happen to believe that I am capable of making mistakes and I may sometimes be selfish, and though it's not okay, I think it's forgivable. But that's not my choice to make.

Maybe I didn't lose my job, my car, my pet - but this week, right up until today has been no less a rollercoaster and a series of unforeseen chaos. Between system issues at work and having to defend people I don't respect, it's almost been an out of body experience. I am too tired to explore all those details tonight; I will in another post this week. My five hours of sleep since Thursday has wrecked my ability to conjoin words into cohesive patterns that represent recognizable language.

Inexplicably, this week/weekend comes to a close with closure. With so few people in my life now, there simply aren't a lot of loose ends that occur. On a positive note, I was part of and witnessed something that gives me hope for someone I care about but haven't had much interraction with in the past few weeks. A night and morning filled with so much disgust, anger, and difficulty - somehow turned into a new beginning. Maybe they hit the bottom finally; somehow I am envious. But mostly frightened as to what bottom looks like for me when I've already been through so much hurt.

Listening to: Ethyl Meatplow - "KCRW - 1 August 1993"

16 October, 2012

Worn Thin

I've been respectful; I've been patient. I didn't ask for this situation, but I accepted it for what it was. Instead of choosing anger and bitterness, I chose to continue extending my heart. I chose to block out all those disgusting things you said about me and instead keep the words that I clung to as real and important. Maybe that was a green light to continue treating me like crap? My acceptance of your attitude towards me is completely broken at this point. Trust is gone. I'm letting go of you now, and you may take your place in the cornfield with the rest of the people that think my feelings and needs are secondary to their's.

13 October, 2012

All Beauty Has It's Bashers

This is going to be a long post, and I hope it doesn't get lost along the way. I am going to go in order to try and avoid the wandering. Beauty and It's Bashers is the yin & yang of my last four days. Trust - misplaced. Unconditional love - under certain circumstances. Friendship - on your terms. Frivolity - emotional hatred.

With so much hesitation, to the point of nausea - I reluctantly agreed to meet you. We talked, and you offered volumes of understanding; unyielding remorse over the way I was treated; and such a high pedestal of reassurance that the slightest tumble could be treacherous. I learned from our conversation, that your dalliances had again attained Lazarus miracles. Flag. I knew enough by the time you vacated the passenger seat, that nothing would be different, and so, I made no suggestion of revisiting our decay. You could have easily brought me in, because this void of interraction in my life is a difficult one. And though I'd rather it not be you, I was half-willing to have anything good or bad.

I spent all day Friday comforted by the thought that I was going to go out, on my own and just do what I wanted. See some art, see some friends, and then go home and crawl into bed with Irma Vep. No, you cannot have this Mr. Marrs. You are going to babysit despite promises that you won't. And then you will be responsible for taming the shrew. Take that dumbass. You opened the door and you got home invaded. Fuck me. It's another scathing reminder every time I receive your texts, your voicemails, and your phantom apologies.

I went to bed at 3-ish, and spent an hour cursing myself before slipping into a dream land. It was equally unforgiving. Bad dreams in which H. was involved, and 3 hours of sleep. I forced myself out of the apartment and made my way to Sanford on a beautiful Saturday morning. Stopped for a mocha and a toasted, pumpkin-walnut bagel with pumpkin schmear. "Oh, thank you, Einstein for giving me back my smile!" Picked up my friends, and headed to the Halloween Folk-Art Festival. Before we arrived at the parking lot, I spied with the corner of my eye, an old, brick building off the beaten path. The Pico Building was a hotel at one time, but it looked so much like a firehouse to me. Traveling around the perimeter of the building reveled several Masonic symbols, and curiously enough, a Masonic Lodge was housed behind this relic. It appeared to be in the throes of restoration, but it kept it's internal secrets. The festival was so amazing, and I hate that I missed this the past two years. I was not prepared that it would be happening amidst an air show and Sanford's Biketoberfest. I asked my friends if Sanford blew the entire city budget on this one weekend and asked if we could expect fireworks at dusk. The folk-art gallery was breathtaking, and housed about 20 vendors. Anna Maiya was the only recognizable face, but I met some wonderful artists and more importantly, R. and K. had a great time. I picked up a number of business cards, and met some artists showing for the first time that live in Orlando, so I am going to try and hook them up locally if I can. I was totally comfortable and all of the artists allowed me to be comfortable. I did not encounter any negativity or ego - and it was a great day! Completely worth the $5 entry fee. What I found astonishing is, that Friday night was the opening day, and entrance was $20 - but the majority of the artists sold extremely well. One lady I met from NJ had her tables cleared! People love Fall and Halloween!!! And I think that's especially true in a place like Florida because a lot of Floridians are transplants that miss the seasons, and the Crackers embrace it because it's our facade of seasons.

From the festival, we hit the antique stores along 1st. Immediately, I wanted H. with me, and it's a feeling that clung to me like a cardigan throughout my afternoon in Sanford. All I could think about was her new art project and, "how perfect this is, that is, how would this inspire her?" Maybe this is unhealthy for me to be doing, but it comes so naturally. I did settle on something, and maybe she will find a use for it? I really want to return with her... sigh. I fell in love with something for myself: a Bell & Howell 8 MM video camera. $30, good grief! I was assured it worked. I want, I want, I want! I may need to ride over again on payday.

We headed over to lunch. I wanted Fish & Chips - but we decided on the seemingly empty Corner Cafe. We opened the door to chaos. I had utter sympathy for staff; the boss was an ass and the bikers were rude. We waited patiently for 30 minutes for our food, and I was wholly unimpressed, and I will share my experience on Yelp. Our day ran late and we needed to pick up the kids, so as we waited for K. and the children, R. and I talked. My high went completely flatline. I am not going to write verbatim what was shared, but it broke my heart. K. is a mother of 2 in her early 30's, has a huge heart and unconditionally loves and supports her husband and family and asks for nothing in return. But she is being taken for granted, and I don't if I should or how I will open this door with her. It's so depressing to know how she is being seen, why did he share this with me?!

I'm home. Feeling off to say the least. From last night, to the dream, to today - it could very well have just been wonderful, but the color was bleached from that waterolor. Part of it was my own undoing. My effort to find beauty without compromise continues. It exists, I've seen it. I'm curious what the remainder of my weekend offers, but I am inspired enough by today's art excursion to continue the decorating.

10 October, 2012

Oh Rozz

Still, I listen to your voice; hear your words; and the emotions usher forth. I was admittedly already on the fragile side. I really am not in a writing mood, but my head is flooding, or sinking actually.

I try to treat people with respect. I'd like for the people that are close to me to feel important and special, and I think it's something I am consistent in doing. I don't believe I am demanding of a person's time, attention, or focus. But more than once, I've been left feeling like there's no time for me. Something oddly enough I never asked for, and secondly, don't feel I should be dismissed because of. Yes, I understand your life is chaos, and I fully understand and respect it, and never once suggested it was an issue for me. I do feel however, I deserve something a little more than, nothing or excuses. You chose to sacrifice 'friendship' (I thought it was), because of a schedule, and I certainly deserve better than that. I am not a commodity you can return to the store, I am non-refundable, and now I am not trusting as well. If it's my feelings you wanted to spare, you tragically failed, despite your least amount of effort. Anyway, it's gone now. I'm not mad or bitter towards you and I hope it's the resolve you needed.

Sitting here surrounded by a pile of paper scraps, envelopes, rubber stamps, and my fingers are charcoal-colored from all the ink. "Would anyone else do this?", I wonder. "Does it matter?" "Is this the problem?" I'm so confused, it just seems like sharing, caring, and trusting are like razors to my relationships. And since this is who I am, I feel hopeless and lost in the idea that I will find someone. I look at my alternatives, and I don't know how to care about football, and bimbos, and the new Linkin Park album. I don't know how to be dismissive of someone's feelings, or shut-off to emotion, or cast a blank stare at anything with sub-text or requires reading between the lines. But I seriously feel like my personal life is in ruin because I cannot learn and adopt these qualities. I feel utterly unique, but not at all special. So, I look at all these parcels and tethers to friendship, and I think, it's fragile and fleeting and soon to be gone. I'm begging for evidence to the contrary.

Anyway, I need to go and make an effort at sleep.

Listening to: "Haloeween V.4"

07 October, 2012

Crashed

It's such beautiful weather tonight, it beckons me to be outside, but I have no where to be. Half of me wants to get in the car and go somewhere, the depressed half just wants to shut in and shut off.

I am not down because of any one thing in particular. I think I am disappointed more than anything, because I thought I turned that corner. Yes, my plans for Friday didn't come to fruition, but I understood it and i was fine with it. Even today's plans falling through. If that's all it had been, no problem. But the conversation this morning, I was unprepared for it, and I have no idea where it came from. I am not in any position to demand or expect disclosure, I hope I am getting honesty. Nonetheless, it was a conversation that I have complete confidence will be revisited (unfortunately), and it will likely be a third party to our excursions (if any) going forward. I'm left feeling convinced this is another relationship that is damaged, and it was one of only a handful remaining that I had trust in. Not unlike my failling out with T and no less confusing.

I decided to follow this up with some History Detectives. What could possibly fucking go wrong with that idea? Touching on a completely different set of emotions was the story of a Vietnam Veteren who had in his possession for 50 years, a journal he procured from the body of a slain North Vietnamese soldier. Guilt had been his companion through life, and before he died, he wished to make it right and illicited the help of Wes Cowen to somehow find a way to return the journal to the slain soldier's family. Unbelievably, he was able to do just that with the help of the U.S. State Department and Vietnamese government. I was literally crying like I haven't cried in I don't even know how long. The words of this slain soldier's family coupled with the visible pain and guilt of this American veteran was too much. When the story finished, I turned off everything but the computer and finished up Haloeween V.4. I may have chosen a bad day to do so; it's not my best effort, but I do feel accomplished with it. Going to send it out to two people this coming week.

I was feeling a bit better and put on a documentary I've been excited to watch, Z Channel: A Magificent Obsession. I knew right from the onset, this was not going to be an easy journey. Basically, Z Channel was a Los Angeles-area cable network channel that preceeded HBO, Showtime, etc. It was not the first, but it was very successful. More than that, under the direction of Jerry Harvey, the station was innovative, provocative, and inspiring. Harvey sought out lost films, and would befriend (obsessively) directors for films they had made that saw little to no release. And because he would air these, commercial-free and unedited, he won the hearts of directors, actors, and producers - he provided a voice that wasn't dictated by critics or movie studios or budgets. It's praise was finally being realized when they saved Heaven's Gate from oblivion and Salvador from editor's ruin and managed to get James Woods an Academy nod as a result. Sadly, Harvey carried some darkness, and it managed to free itself from his control and he murdered his wife and then himself. A close friend of his was rather eloquent in describing the damage his darkness brought to so many lives, and how palpable and real it was. But believed that the inspiration and innovation of such a man can be equally palpable. I left this viewing feeling rather fucking wrecked.

It's officially Sunday now, and I am going to start this day off with something positive. H and I spent a lot of time texting Friday, and I feel confident we can salvage a friendship from what we've shared. The emotions are still raw, but the hurt is subsiding. We are sharing again, and I hope that will lead to trust and a willingness to hang out or have an adventure again. Time will tell, and I am not pushing it. The simple truth is, H is sometimes the only foundation I find when my own is bottoming out. It just reinforces what I already know, what an amazing and wonderful person she is.

Listening to: ✝ DE△D VIRGIN ✝ - "Anxieties"

30 September, 2012

Burnt

Another quarter-end weekend is in the books. And though the nonsense will drag on for another month, as far as weekends go, it's done. Not sure if this is number 39 or 40? It's what I sometimes think about when I consider becoming a supervisor. My supervisor is never part of the process, but I know wherever I go, I won't be so fortunate. And it's a little daunting to think of doing this for much longer. It's part socially-conscious in our use of so much paper; the other part is just being burned out by it. The only challenge is physical (increasingly); mentally the process is more and more simplified and less and less rewarding.

Changing gears. Today, I am feeling more at peace with the state of things on a personal level. Maybe I am just so exhausted that I don't care this particular moment, but I know that the people who matter to me, and mattered to me, aren't throwing mental darts at the thought of me. I know it shouldn't make a difference, but it's important to me to maintain as much beauty and positive from my relationships as possible, even if the romantic aspect has passed. I am heart-warmed at the effort, and I sincerely believe it's genuine. I can feel it. It means a lot. There's so much beauty there, and someone will be blessed when they meet her.

Running amuck and causing more chaos than manageable is my empathy. I am flooded with a lot of good and bad, and suddenly realized that my work wife is feeding into my emotions. That was completely unexpected. Her energy is sometimes volatile and scattered, and it's palpable. It's adding to my struggle to separate myself emotionally from my recently severed friendship. I can only describe it as a live wire (i.e. my severed friendship) down in the middle of a road, and it can be easily avoided if careful and mindful. But suddenly it's begins to pour and the street pools with water (i.e. work wife's chaotic emotions), and suddenly the entire street is electrified and no place is safe. It's not her fault. I am studying some meditation techniques that might help. It's funny to me how some people are completely silent to me despite a personal connection. It's stupid, but it's similar to the relationship between Sookie and Bill.

The one thing I am pushing, repressing, choking for dear life are the thoughts about the holidays. It was brought up recently in conversation, and I remembered how Tracy and Ralph opened their home and hearts to me. I immediately felt sick, because that too is gone. What a weird year it's been. That's not true - it's another year with rebirth, death, failure, success, love, love loss. It's life. I guess when you are in a relationship for awhile, those fluctuations are different; you are a voyeur to them. I imagine, with this blog and my random 'likes' and posts on Facebook, someone else is my voyeur now. It can't possibly be a beautiful image, but I can change that, right? Making myself healthy is much more important than the appearance of healthy. It's where I will start. It's important to note, and understand, not everyone is going to like who you are. They may even be vocal about it, and spit as if a cobra. That's how they choose to react and respond, and I simply choose to walk away from that. If how I feel, or what I want to share incites such behavior, then that person was the wrong person to share anything with.

Going to unwind until I get tired enough to sleep. Take care...

Listening to: White Ring - "Black Earth That Made Me"

26 September, 2012

Who Are You?

It's been extremely busy at work; no suprise, it's the end of the month and the end of the quarter. I expect later than usual nights, a long Friday, and working all weekend. It's absolutely fine, I am a boy without plans or people to share them with, so I might as well make some money, right? My attitude is one of malaise, not really concerned about anything, not dwelling on anything, just being and doing. I was quite content with that. So, I was probably in the wrong for upsetting that atmosphere with inappropriate words like, "good morning", and "how are you today". Foolish, quite foolish.

Somehow...(?), I purcahsed a free lecture on how I had no place dating when I have financial responsibilities to attend to, and that I was quite misguided in thinking that any single mom would be interested in me because I was a man with debt. If I was even attracted to a woman who measures love and emotion with a decimal point and a routing number, who the fuck are you to tell me how to live my life? That "debt" you keep referring to as mine is only mine because I was respectful enough and cared about you enough to assume it. It seemed at the time, heartless to say, "I supported you, the artist, for 10 years and you never had to work but now you can have some of this debt WE accumulated." It didn't seem to matter then that we were struggling, and if it did, there was no measure on anyone's part but my own to curb it. You never batted an eyeleash about your treatments, your art supplies, your socializing needs. Not even the hundreds of dollars it's cost to mail your belongings. I haven't asked for anything in return, but I guess I hoped for as much as respect as I have given you to pursue the life you want, to be where you want, and with whom, and more importantly how we got here. I never once criticized you for the choices you made or how much hurt you put me through. So this new found reverence you've placed upon money, it's all yours. I have zero interest in living a life where value isn't an emotion it's a commodity. You don't get to bully this situation anymore, and if you want it gone, show me the $10000 necessary to make it disappear and I will evaporate right along with it. You provide no solutions or insight, just complaints and decisions about how I should live my life. Your future is on hold because of money? Well, I can only say I am sorry about the choices you've made for yourself, but I am not responsible for those decisions. That is the bed within which you chose to lie.

As it is that I apparently have such dominion over your life because I pay the bills, it seems like bad practice to be pissing me off, yeah? And if perhaps I find myself attracted to a single mom, maybe she is smart enough to decide whether or not she can be attracted to me?

24 September, 2012

Lunch

I have almost no time to write, and no cohesive thoughts, but I feel compelled to write. There are always these small reminders. Today's: I was notified of a supervisor position very likely opening up in New Orleans. Wow. There's a few hundred stories that immediately flooded my thoughts. The position hasn't been posted, so there's still time to ponder it. They may very well absord the branch into one of the larger ones in Texas, which would leave me in New Orleans with no job, so it's not black and white. The facilities along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts have proven to be a liability every Summer/Fall for the past 5 years, so it's only a matter of time before they all moved inland.

The cool weather this morning had me pause for a second. Wanted badly to call in and spend hours walking around Greenwood. That thought came from nowhere, so I considered that fact carefully and decided to go to work. There's plenty of cool mornings coming, but that first one after Summer is usually the sweetest...where every second and experience is memorable and savored. I hope it's a beautiful day for anyone not shut up indoors today, you are in my thoughts.

23 September, 2012

Vacuous

It shouldn't feel that way; it really shouldn't, but it's company is suffocating. Severing that connection with someone who for all intents and purposes is your reflection of both good and bad doesn't take courage, it takes being sick of yourself. There's really nothing to say, it was necessary for both of us to say goodbye. It's not been that simple with so much invested, but I hope the best for both of us wherever the paths take us.

Friday, it was so relaxing and nice. Natural. It's rare to find such simplicity and somehow manage a lovely evening, but for me personally, it's the most comfortable I've been in awhile. I am not erecting palaces and penning great novels, it's just refreshing to feel welcomed by someone else.

There's something I haven't really discussed with but one other person and not in any kind of depth with anyone. It's a nagging dischord in my efforts to find balance, direction, and solace with myself, my surroundings, and my quiet evenings. California has let it be known to me personally that they are still interested in me working for them and that there may be an opening very soon. I really didn't bat an eyelash this time when they asked... save one. And I am keeping that to myself this time. In an effort to not put carts before horses - I have banished all carts. The comment has been made so many times, "do something for you", or "do what's best for Ron". I think I did that. I maybe made the wrong choice for the wrong reasons, but I am pretty sure that was me deciding to give up a promotion and stay in Orlando last year. What would be easier for me is if people would just be completely open with me. I will and always will choose people over promotion, I am not driven by being a corporate success or money, I am driven by things that feel, have depth, and have a soul. But no one wants that burden or responsibility of keeping someone based on emotion or feelings. I don't know - it's a hard one. It takes vulnerability. I don't know what's going to happen - but should I isolate myself from meeting someone or having feelings about someone because I might be going away? Even if I should, I am not wired with that functionality.

So, yeah, California. So much going on there, but the idea of being alone is so scary. In conjunction with banning carts, I decided to begin rearranging. What went from an art room to a waiting room is now going to be my music room. No, I won't be able to listen to music in there because my neighbor hates it, but I can quietly store all I want. Haven't decided if I am going to relocate the vinyl and cassettes, but I am happy with the results so far. I am going to bust out some of my stored posters... Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins, and some Motley Crue as well. I am reclaiming the room - it's been someone else's since I moved here. Fuck that - it's mine now. And Birthday's of course.

I am still a little incapacitated, but nothing like the week. It's swollen and tender, but it's functional. Saturday and Sunday - kind of empty. That's where the redecorating came from. I need to overcome this. I had a good night Friday - that should fill me with something wonderful that carries me to the next good evening. The problem is, I rely on that company. If I am not sharing a moment with someone, it has no value, and that is the thought process I need to fix. I can't be living in California and not content with being alone - I will go effing nuts. So, it's a work in progress.

Well, the words aren't really cohesive tonight but I wanted to write regardless. I'm considering a Haloeween V.4 - but then I question why? Who will I be sharing it with? Oh, Halloween, why do you forsake me? Lol.

Listening: Ela Orleans - "Something Higher"

19 September, 2012

Did I Do It Right?

Another odd week to put into the books. I've been wanting to write, but honestly, I have been and still am at a loss to articulate these thoughts. The standards are there: still missing H; more than a little disappointed at how my Halloween will take shape; and haunted by the seemingly inescapable reminders of something that was profoundly heart-warming; and of course insomnia. But I really should try to discuss matters beyond that, sort of force it out; all scattered like if necessary.

I think I will start with last Wednesday. I decided I was going to see Faun Fables. It was cheap enough, unique enough, and I thought unlikely to repeat, so GO! Fully intent on going alone, something for me to enjoy (or not) and not have to necessarily share at all. Really, just a moment that was mine; kind of a baby step in trying to convince myself that doing something on my own was completely okay and no one was going to chase me through the streets of Orlando with pitchforks and burning lumber. Alas, my need for escape was not allowed to be just mine, and that revelation came guilt-wrapped. Fine... let's try for a different baby step. "A. - this relationship is inbalanced to such freakish levels that Carnegie would have created a side show to exhibit it. You need to distance yourself from me and make the choices you are ignoring because nothing is ever going to change until you intervene in your own life. I am in a state of decay; incapable of supporting both our weights anymore." It was a conversation that would have perhaps utterly ruined the entire evening had it not been for Ashley Dudukovich. She got onstage as opener for Faun Fables and it was almost as if she had a book of lyrics penned in the blood from my hemorrhaging heart. She didn't fix anything, she did however distinctly touch upon me the idea that as fragile as we are, we can manage such beauty. And I knew from her words, she was not immune to hurt, pain, and being on the verge of collapse - yet this brave soul stood before all 20 of us and wore that pain and presented it's wound with such sincerity and beauty. It wasn't ugly to me; I wasn't a voyeur to her shattered happiness; her willingness to be vulnerable was inspiring.

Inspiration can lead you down a dark path. Thursday. Basically had to hit and run Karen's show at Sip. Did not want to have to do that, but after the difficult night prior, I was not ready to embrace all of Halo, or put on that brave, "I'm ok" face. But I took inspiration from a friend and I decided to share my core, honest feelings with the people in my life: friends, peers, bosses. Quite a mixed result, but I learned that so few people want to know the truth good or bad. There's a reason that "ignorance is bliss" is a phrase that presses upon the lips to this day.

The rest of my weekend was one of those weekends that gnaw at me uncomfortably. Save for Bethy offering me escape and friendship - I may have said it was a complete loss. Piecing together the puzzle of enjoying alone time... I can't even find the edge pieces. I know I want amazing friendships in my life, because as a child and a teenager, I was never allowed the luxury of building those foundations with others. I know it's why I have such a hard time connecting with others, and why I foolishly and inherently trust others. I try much too hard to cement those relationships and often they are received as me looking for something more. Partly that's true, but it's more the idea of having someone to share with, explore with, have adventures with. When you boil it down to it's wrecked roots, I want someone to play with. I am exhausted by my sadness and my loneliness, it's not just since May left - it's as far back as I can remember. It's you telling me after not seeing me for 2 weeks, "no, I didn't miss you, it was nice to have some space". It's coming home after school and finding a garage full of boxes.

My weekend of nothing was necessary anyway. I filled it with documentaries about strange tiles, mothman, henry darger and an 80's movie called "Night Of The Comets". Friday, I wrecked my back at work and I did not start to feel good until Sunday evening. Monday - scorched earth at best. Severed lines with A., opened up to a friend and that went utterly wrong, and spent the evening prying apart the mysteries of another friend which I have surrounded her in. Again, she was a light on an otherwise 'lost at sea' kind of day.

Tuesday - the utterly confused friend turned into rather annoyed friend. Neat. Blew out my knee, spent too many hours in a hospital, arrived home to find a book I ordered months ago and had hoped to be sharing with H., and then looked at my stairs as if I would never again know what lay beyond them besides the cat that watched me labour painfully upon them.

I just don't know. Everything seems so fucking crazy. I am manufacturing crazy in my life, why?!? I need and want it to stop and to do so, I need to quiet this voice that says life isn't of value without someone sharing it with you. I know I don't want to be alone forever, but I need to know and believe that it's okay to be alone right now. H. did it for years. Bethy does it, S. does it. And all are people that I respect and admire wholly, in part because of that. It's a great mystery to me, like they've unraveled some ancient riddle. I want it too.

Listening To: James Iha - "Look To The Sky"

13 September, 2012

Haloeween V.3

Okay, the final installment. I do like this one best, because it is so mixed and offers some indie selections. I am addicted to the Big Bad Voodoo Daddy track, but my favorite is the Sneaker Pimps choice. Something about it... mellow and infectious. Also included my favorite Oingo Boingo track. I still laugh when I think about that night Maisy and I discovered The Shaggs! The link will remain active until Halloween. Enjoy!


Download Haloeween V.3
01. Surfin' Spooks - Ghastly Ones
02. I Go To Bed With The Undead - The Meteors
03. No One Lives Forever - Oingo Boingo
04. Funeral Song - Sleater Kinney
05. Small Town Witch - Sneaker Pimps
06. Attack Of The Ghost Riders - The Raveonettes
07. Swamp Witch - Jim Stafford
08. Zombie Riot - Batmobile
09. Dracula's Wedding - Outkast
10. Spooky madness - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
11. Monster Mash - The Misfits
12. Evil - Nerve Agents
13. Zombie Stomp - Ozzy Osbourne
14. See You In Hell - Grim Reaper
15. She's A Zombie Now - The Meteors
16. The Halloween Dance - Reverend Horton Heat
17. Devil's Dance Floor - Flogging Molly
18. Vampire Ska - Horny Toad
19. Halloween - AFI
20. Rotting Vampire Eyeballs - Tsunami Bomb
21. Night Of The Vampire - Roky Erickson
22. Zombie Crush - Groovie Ghoulies
23. Halloween Night - Gypsy & Queen
24. It's Halloween - The Shaggs

11 September, 2012

Haloeween V.2

Here's, "Haloeween V. 2". Again, a mixture of some obvious choices and some rather obscure pieces. I was never able to identify the artist on Ghostbusters, but it is in the vein of Me First And The Gimme Gimmes. Addictive comes in the form of My Girlfriend Is A Vampire and the Penis Flytrap selections. Again, I will keep the link active until Halloween. Enjoy!


Download Haloeween V.2
01. Werewolf - Southern Culture On The Skids
02. The Creature From The Black Lagoon - Dave Edmunds
03. Ghostbusters - ?
04. Emotional Vampire - Butt Trumpet
05. Village Of The Damned - Penis Flytrap
06. Tonight - SSQ
07. Dead Man's Party (Techno Mix) - Oingo Boingo
08. Haunted House Of Rock - Whodini
09. Ghost Town - The Specials
10. Is It Scary? - Michael Jackson
11. I Walked With A Zombie - R.E.M.
12. My Girlfriend Is A Vampire - Planet Smashers
13. Surfin' Dead - The Cramps
14. Cemetery Girl - Penis Flytrap
15. Monsters - The Cruxshadows
16. Vampire - Bif Naked
17. Monsters - Pushmonkey
18. Horror Movie - Lords Of Acid
19. Haunted House - Jumpin' Gene Simmons
20. Furry Happy Monsters - R.E.M. with Sesame Street Monsters

10 September, 2012

Haloeween V.1

One of the things on my mind a lot this past week has been Halloween. It's been kind of killing me that I won't be sharing it with somebody that I know absolutely loves the holiday and "goes a bit overboard with the decorating". I was secretly so excited about it that I was fantasizing. Anyway, I don't know what will happen, where I'll be or what I'll be doing, but for a number of years I was making Halloween compilations dubbed, "Haloeween". I am ready to retire these and share them one final time in this format. They are not perfect, and some of the selections are predictible. I warn you ahead of time, Go Go To The Graveyard and Vampire Girl are utterly addictive. I will leave this link active until Halloween...


Download Haloeween V1
01. Bloodletting (The Vampire Song) - Concrete Blonde
02. This Is Halloween - Danny Elfman
03. Halloween - Siouxsie And The Banshees
04. Burn The Flames - Roky Erickson
05. Riboflavin-Flavored, Non-Carbonated, Polyunsaturated Blood - 45 Grave
06. Go Go To The Graveyard - Deadlines
07. Pet Semetary - Ramones
08. Black Magic - T.S.O.L.
09. Over At The Frankenstein Place - Rocky Horror Picture Show
10. (Everyday Is) Halloween - Ministry
11. Monster (In My Pants) - B-52s
12. Halloween - Aqua
13. The Witch - Rosetta Stone
14. The Mummy - The Slackers
15. Little Red Riding Hood - Sam The Sham and the Pharoahs
16. Cemetery - Headstones
17. Vampire Girl - Groovie Ghoulies
18. Vampire Love - The Misfits
19. Zombie - Cranberries
20. The Phantom of the Opera - Me First and the Gimme Gimmes

09 September, 2012

Without Sleep

My body is absolutely exhausted. A several mile walk full of resolve and stimulation didn't bring about a wealth of rest. A heartfelt and open discussion that offered me a lot of insight and strength purchased minutes, not hours with a dream world. Copious amounts of liquor did manage to put a strangle hold on my motivation but refused to hold the door to anything resembling sleep. Bloodletting, drinking, resolution, 120 Minutes with or without Matt Pinfield, coping with my memories of you - all of it has brought me no closer to this one perfect thing that at this point my mind has exiled to an unknown land and left me with no clues. Insomnia is a vicious cycle, because at the very moment you offer thoughts that suggest something is wrong, you've resigned your mind and body to a fateful contract from which the fine print is endless. You managed to successfully outwit yourself from perhaps ever sleeping normally again. Imagine if we could apply that delicate and simple power to other things in our life, like love, adoration, trust, friendship. Since I am in this losing battle, I have grown quite content to lay all of my struggles at the feet of this unrelenting foe. It's because of you (insomnia), that I cannot accept heartbreak and believe I will heal and one day find someone to share my passions with. It's your fault that the majority of my friendships have been shred to just tethers. It's your fault that people no longer recognize me and frankly aren't a whole lot fond of this other person. It's your fault that a razorblade offers as much solace as lunch with a friend.

There's a lot of things that happen when a person sleeps. They heal; they write into their subconscious that day's experiences and processes them either in dreams or rationale; and they learn. I sort of feel like a car with an electrical problem... I am driven around but never get turned off for fear that I may not restart. So, I refuel at great risk of fire; I sit idle at lights overheating and polluting the people around me; and when I do finally get home where the greatest opportunity exists for me to restart, I sit in the driveway getting cold, and leaving others to question my reliability and not trusting me like they once did. A bond has been broken.

Like I alluded to, sleep is a scapegoat. I have these problems because I have created or manifested them. And in all honesty, I am feeling better than I did a week ago, and especially two weeks ago. A very strong conversation with someone helped me to realize that what I am putting out into this world is not the beauty I am capable of, and unless I want it to return in my life, I need to send it out. This decayed and unhealthy person I am becoming is only manifesting and drawing more of the same. When I sat and reflected on this later that day, I realized how frighteningly true those comments were. As my mood and patience and trust slipped away from me into darkness, all of my relationships slid right along with it, and worse, those relationships repaid me in spades. I also realized how amazing the people are that I am lucky enough to have in my life. They are so varied and I am blessed. I have learned so much and will learn so much from all of them. I am slowly becoming my own person again and I have made some costly mistakes that didn't just hurt me. I have to accept it, because I am going to make them. It was a lot easier when I didn't exist and all of me was a shadow of someone else and I allowed that, I was comfortable there. Let me do this, let me support this, and I will invest all of my resources, energy and time into making you something so wonderful, we can share that. It's a devastating reality when that becomes a source of resentment and anger and irreparably damaged and you are left as a ghost.

As I said, I am so blessed to have met the people I have. No, I don't think I will find someone again that I can have a YouTube date with and it be the perfect night. I don't think I will necessarily find someone I can sit and watch Akira Kurosawa movies with and marvel at the beauty and sincerity of those films. I might not be lucky enough to find someone that is willing to just get in the car and go get lost with me and have a day's adventure of quirky, laughing, music, and mischief. I am not likely to meet someone that has the resources to order fresh lilacs for my birthday. It doesn't mean love can't exist in my life, these things are moments that built love and there will be others equally magnificent I am sure. I am rich with these experiences, and they will always be special to me and I will always love the people I shared them with. One thing is certain, until I can find a path to being happy on my own, and self-confident and have a sense of self-worth, no one else will see it in me either.

07 September, 2012

Diane Arbus

I have been on a bit of a Diane Arbus kick lately, and thankfully the Orlando Public Library system has my medicine; hell, they even leave it on my doorstep. My exposure to Arbus came in the form of "Fur" with Robert Downey Jr. and Nicole Kidman, and I have been curious about her work since. My exploration into her body of work revealed an artist that found beauty in the taboo; on the fringe; and where most refused to look. More importantly, she found beauty in the every day; the dirty, the untouched, unglamoured reality of living and being true to one's passions, interests and desires. I know there's been claims that Arbus was exloitative, and early embodiment of current individuals such as Harmony Korine. If that is the comparison, then the problem isn't the artist, it's the one offering the critique, because just like Korine, Arbus wished to strip away those taboos by forcing you to look; and using her notoriety to encourage the glance. The reality is, years spent photographing for fashion magazines was not her idea of beauty; it was not real and had no soul; but a drug-adled, broken-spirited model on the verge of collapse or a war hero nearly crippled by the weight of his choices were characters full of life, and begged for Arbus' lens. Not to mock, but to offer truth. Her name alone gave her access to the most powerful people in the Western World, and she embraced their cracks in the same light as she would the pride of a 75 year-old nudist.

Mia Farrow

Arts Critic John Gruen

Female Impersonators, Club 82, New York City, 1962

Which one is the real one?

Max Maxwell Landar, Uncle Sam

Tiny Tim has never been so handsome...

Little Rechard

Winston Churchill

Mrs. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at his wake

03 September, 2012

Audra - "Everything Chamges"

Let me preface this post by saying this is not as much a review as it is a chunk out of my life. I could never have anticipated the events that preceded "Everything Changes" or the emotions that would follow. So, please forgive if this review bleeds into personal depths.

"Everything Chamges" is Audra's finest release, without question. The fact that it is independently released, and steers clear of the familiar (or expected) shows the band emerging and rebirthing. Audra was never a "goth rock" band, but their connections with the Rozz Williams community, their tribute song to Rozz, their infamous show with Gitane Demone, and of course the comparisons of Bret Helm's vocals to that of Peter Murphy sort of locked the band into a scene that while loved, was not one they coveted. Anyone blessed enough to hear their material prior to their self-titled Projekt release knows that Audra has more in common with Jane's Addiction than Bauhaus, but in all honesty, they wouldn't shy away from either accusation. The three members of Audra, Bret Helm, Bart Helm and J. DeWolfe encompass such diverse musical interests, and present themselves with such mastery of their craft, that trying to compare Audra as a whole to anyone is fruitless. It's a line you can draw from Gram Parsons to Venom... but I challenge you to pinpoint any single note and say, "See, there, that's so and so!" Audra is wholly an original band that is not relegated to any one sound or genre.

I was fortunate enough to see Audra perform live at Convergence 14 in Tampa, Florida. They offered a preview of what would become "Everything Changes" and they truly rocked the hell out of the Tampa Convention Center and blew away all other acts that night. Fuck, even a "techno-viking" wannabe was enamored with them and shred the dance floor. The much more important event that took place that night was the bond I made with Bart, Bret, and Greg Gibbs. It is one that transcended that night in Tampa, and has become a part of my life. I couldn't have prayed for a nicer group of people, or a more fun adventure in S & M, body builders, and corny jokes. And I learned how to tell what side the gas cap is on without getting out of the car. It has and always will be etched upon my memories, and had I known what was to come, I likely would have grasped a lot more tightly to that moment.

It's eerie how profound the songs on "Everything Changes" would become, and still are. It's a powerfully, and personally written collection of songs complemented by an emotional and driving musical arrangement. There isn't a track on the album that doesn't illicit for me some memory; flashes of the show; flashes of words exchanged; flashes of smiles. The disc opens with 100 Years, a driving track that soars and makes the limbs move. A song about being true to yourself; trusting yourself in spite of the walls that crash in around you. It's a powerful opener and set's the stage for the songs that follow.

The title track, continues you on the path of wisdom and "Everything Changes" sort of takes shape as a concept album. You realize that this truly is a transition for the band; shedding the cloaks of expectation; transgressing into who they want to be musically. It's a difficult and painful journey, and this album paints such a brilliant and precise portrait of that landscape that the immediate response is to draw parallels to your own adventure through life. It is a personal album, not only for the band, but for the listener.
What's Meant To Be continues that conflict of stay the course or give in and be someone else. Bret's vocals have never been so inviting. Musically, it's a brilliant blend of electronics, subtle keyboards, and amazing drums/percussion. It fills you with hope, gives you some assurance that life is what you make it.

Robin Wilson of Gin Blossoms offers vocals on I Just Can't Let Go, and this is a song that is most evident of Audra at their best. Passionate vocals, a wall of guitars and driving drums. It's a chilling song, and it builds and builds and then the backing vocals come in, and it's simply brilliant.

Jason And The Doors is that track from every Audra album that you know is somehow influenced by some bizarre night or some unexpected event that is an inside joke amongst the members. Opening with vocals and piano, slowly accompanied by percussion and then a beautiful and subtle song evolves with slide guitar.

Forceful, frenzied and decadent is Ocean. The underlying electronics fill this song with anticpation, while you are propelled to move to the rhythmic assault of bass and drums. Definitely a club favorite!

Life On This Planet is in my opinion a total departure for Audra. They will likely smack me for this comparison, but upon hearing it the first time, musically I would compare it to something from "Anti-Christ Superstar", it is bombastic, and seethes with a sinister beauty. "Bret, are you inviting me to take a bite of the apple...?"

My favorite track from "Everything Changes" is Syd Barrett. Audra absolutely captures the madcap musician perfectly, I believe he would be honored by this presentation. The opening notes are intoxicating, and J. DeWolfe's percussion is so precise and a perfect blend between subtle and driven. The echoed vocals give way to Bret Helm spitting his affirmations of being okay. Bart Helm's guitar wails as if exorcising the insanity. There isn't a more appropriate close to this story.

I unfortunately can't listen to "Everything Changes" as much as I would like to, it's simply too personal, another scar, however brilliantly colored, on my heart. It's a tremendous album and Audra's finest. It's a special journey and if you find yourself at a crossroads in your life, this could perhaps be your closest companion.

"Everything Changes" is available thru Audra's Website: Audra's Official Website