10/12/2002

Sweet holy fuck am I bored.

Tonight's Homecoming night, and a respectable number of my friends are there. Matt, Tim, and I were supposed to go see Rx Bandits tonight at the Nile, but Matt's sick as a couple of sick motherfucking dogs, so we ended up calling it off.

Hmm. The first two grafs of this post are now a telegraph from four hours ago. Tim and Kenzie came by, followed by Brian. As I opened the front door, he dropped his phone.

"What's up," I said.

"I dropped my phone," he said. He picked it up. "I brought cupcakes." Indeed. "I'm stating the obvious this evening." And he was.

We couldn't think of anything to do. There was talk of going to see Rules of Attraction or Tuck Everlasting, but nothing panned out. Ended up going to Timmy's and watching Silence of the Lambs. Stef, Jen, Chelsea M., and Allysia showed up later, Stef fresh from performing "Guys and Dolls," the other girls fresh from watching her. Tim's cat kept molesting Chelsea. Pretty funny.

Tonight's Homecoming, like I said when I first started writing this post four hours ago. My absence from the dancefloor isn't a grand statement of nonconformity, but it isn't entirely unwelcome, either. Last year, the afternoon before the dance, I was dropping Chuck off after a setday, then chugging out of his cul-de-sac thinking about how I had to go buy a shirt when I blew through a stop-sign and got T-boned by an Acura. So today is the one-year anniversary of the big gash by the right rear wheel-well on my truck. Dances can get you worked up into that kind of neglect for traffic law, so I didn't go this year. In fact, I stayed inside all day. There are people worth buying flowers for, worth putting on a tie for, but I'm dumb enough to think there will be other opportunities for that sort of thing. Truth is I'm running out of those opportunities. But truth's never stopped me before.

On the night of a high school dance, you can guarantee there's going to be a lot more indiscriminate fucking within, say, a ten-mile-radius. The Indiscriminate Fucking index is through the roof, and you can feel it. Cops are everywhere, because drinking and fucking go hand in hand with their old pal driving-fast-into-things. It's the thing teen movies of all calibers are built on: hopes and dreams, fresh-faced swarms of girls primping in front of mirrors, her parents taking pictures, dinner, smashed corsages, that sort of thing. Potential for heartbreak everywhere. The sort of dangerous hormonal magic you don't want to associate yourself with more than once or twice a year if you don't have to. That's why I stayed in and watched a movie about a guy who eats people's faces.

Most people don't start pining poetically for their lost youths until their thirties. I'm saving myself the time and whining about wasted teenhood while I'm in the midst of it.

I've never stood on a cliff so I can't say for certain how it feels, but when I think seriously about how close I am to graduating and living this all behind, that's what I imagine it must be like. It's cold and windy and a long way down.

Strange mood tonight, can you tell?

Oh, and mostly for the sake of Naomi, who clamors for captions on these pictures, the centerpiece in the one above is Taryn. Ain't she just the cutest thing? Her birfday was last Wednesday. Also pictured are Sam, and the shoulders of Greg and Braden. I don't know why I'm doing this courtesy for a girl who hasn't updated her blog since she got it.
No, I don't drive a Civic SE with a little hula girl on the dashboard. The girl in the little monologue thing I wrote last night does, though. It's fiction. I was making it up.

From now on, here's the rule. If it's in italics, it's not me talking. It's a letter from the land of make-believe. And sometimes even if it's not in italics, I'm making it up.

A good title for that picture below would be "Jesus Flying Over Burger King," because that's exactly what it is.

"Sometimes I think I am wasting whatever talent they gave me back in Babyland, wasting it on bullshit. I am quite certain that I am."

-Kate Sullivan

It's the details that can kill you.

That's why I try to block them out, or let them run together. If, in my memory, we're in your white Civic SE and the radio's playing "I Can't Drive Fifty-Five" and the hula girl on your dashboard is shaking furiously, then I'm going to have to remember what we're talking about and the way you pronounce the word "forever" and what we did at that stoplight. But if, in my memory, it's just a boy and a girl driving home on a Saturday night from a football game, then you could be anyone. And it's not anyone I miss, so we're fine.

The details can kill you, they really can. Because we're nothing but a collection of little nuances, it's the uniqueness of these collections that hooks us and keeps us there. The things you want to revel in when you have them at your fingertips are the things you want to shake yourself free of when they're gone. And if you can't slap yourself into amnesia, you're going to want to squint 'till the past gets fuzzy. That’s what I’m doing. And it’s working.

The goal, I guess, is to strip away all your definition, the things that made you stand out in the first place. I’m making them non-descript, average, boring, even. Your smile becomes just another row of teeth. Your laugh could’ve come from anyone. I will never find another person on Earth with quite the same eyes, and so I’m not remembering your eyes in particular. I’m remembering you had nice ones, because so do millions of other girls, just look around. None of them are yours, but if I can’t recall yours, what does it matter? It makes you that much easier to forget, that much easier to replace.

As Vera, you are irreplaceable. As just some nice girl, ringers are a dime a dozen.

I’m sanding all the edges off my memory, the things that catch when I try to tear them out. All that sweet and subtle uselessness, I’m throwing it away, and moving on.

I can’t move on if I’m stuck at that stoplight in my memory, the music loud but it not really mattering because we don’t have to talk over it when what we’re doing isn’t verbal. I can’t leave that behind. But if it’s just another kiss, then I can file it away, and I can do the same to you and every bit of my past that features you as well. I’m changing the names and broadening the scope. You and me become just some guy and just some girl.

I don’t get a tightened chest by thinking of this guy and just some girl. Their story could be anyone’s, it’s so average, and it doesn’t make me wistful to think about it. The details can hurt you but the broad descriptions can’t. The only one who ever mattered becomes some girl I once knew, and then it doesn’t hurt so bad, because hey, it could be anyone.

And it’s not anyone I’m crying for, so we’re fine.


10/11/2002

I just signed on to AIM and already there's six IMs.

But I don't have any friends named BreAnna2383503 or Juicy19939327 who are lonely college girls with porno sites they want me to see. I wonder how much people who program automated Internet porno-bots make. I had an uncle who programmed regular porno-bots. With good behavior he'll get out in 2010.

If your eyes aren't all gummy with fatigue, that's because you didn't read six books of The Illiad in preparation for your Humanities test tommorow. Which is okay, because you're not me.

In The Illiad all anyone ever does is strap on armor and get into these skirmishes with opposing warriors where they circle each other for an hour talking about their family histories and shouting insults and gritting their teeth, getting infused with supernatural strength by the gods, before dashing each other's brains out with spears or big fucking rocks. It's kind of like an ancient Grecian Dragonball Z if you think about it. But I don't heartily recommend that you think about it.

Now if you'll excuse me, there's hay to hit.

10/09/2002

Lothario Japan bought an orphanage.

St. Anthony's on 52nd, you know the one I'm talking about. Big old gargoyles and wrought-iron bars. Wire-thin kids milling around in the back lot staring wistfully through holes in the fence. Yea, that one. Lothario Japan bought it. Then he adopted all the kids.


I once saw him take home a girl from Club Lamar, this girl weighed 320 lbs if she was an ounce. Her name was Gwen, but we all called her Shamu's Mother, because we are heartless bastards. Anyway, he did what you do with girls you take home from Club Lamar, only he did it faster and dropped her off on a corner with cab fare and called it a night.

Word got back to Sylvia. Word always gets back to Sylvia. If you have a word you don't want to get back to Sylvia, forget it. She find out everything, and she found this out. We were all expecting thrown objects and punched walls and murder-suicides, knowing Sylvia. But the thing we got, none of us expected: bumpkis. Nothing.

He explained it later, this relationship magic we'd all remember for the rest of our lives: "Among the cardinal rules you must remember, gentlemen," he said, "is that it's not cheating if she's fat."

Apparently it's true, because three weeks later Lothario Japan and Sylvia were married in Vegas. Sylvia must be following the rules too, because suddenly she's all about sumo wrestlers.


Anyway, he can't decides if he wants to turn the orphanage into a club or a safehouse or what, someone suggested an authentic Chinese tea-house, and Lothario Japan didn't bother to note that teahouses are Japanese because he's never been there, Japan, that is. So it just sort of sits empty. He has the orphans out working the streets, hobbling in front of speeding cars and shaking the drivers down for insurance money, having coughing fits in front of gullible old people, picking pockets, snatching purses, capturing pigeons for Lothario Japan's personal collection.

And the two love-birds loaf around the top floor, where the infirmary used to be, making frequent use of the shitty old sickbeds. Plaster chips fall from the ceiling; we try to play bridge and ignore it.

Sylvia comes down later in a bathrobe and asks me if Yoshiro's called yet.

I ask her if she should really be playing the field now that she's married.

She says there's no field in sumo, it's really more of a ring.

10/08/2002

When people throw up the horns, like Alecia is doing in the picture at right, and they add in the thumb, then it's no longer Hail Satan. With the thumb it's "I Love You" in sign language. And it's a bloody lie. Look at her. She loves no one but the cloven-footed king of the Underworld, and I think we're lying to ourselves if we pretend otherwise.

I wish she hadn't included the thumb. Now every deaf person who looks at this site is going to think I love them. I like you a lot, Deaf People, but I need space. I need to see other disabled demographics. And stop bringing your translator to bed.


This Chelsea, the young one, Hotson, wanted to go to a concert tonight but plans got screwed up and she didn't get to go. Which is a shame. I know how it is to miss out on concerts thanks to poor timing or a donkey with a bad knee or things like that. I sympathize. And that is why, tonight, Ham Fisted Theatrics presents HamStock 2002, the only festival-style concert extravaganza contained entirely in a second-rate blog post.

Featuring such show-biz luminaries as:


Legendary economist Thorstein Veblen


The Eagles


The 1902 Philidelphia Athletics


Hindu Deity Ganesh

Wow, what a lineup! And to think the fun is just beginning here at HamStock 2002. Just wait 'till the Eagles rip into "Take It Easy" with the Ganesh him/herself on steel guitar AND drums AND glockenspiel. There won't be a dry eye in the house, but that could be because we mist the air here at HamStock with a subtle irritant. We find it increases sales of commemorative HamStock EyeWash. Seven fifty a bottle. No refunds. No bathrooms, either. Hope you went outside.

Sure, other people rock harder, quicker, even. But our rock leaves you feeling like you've just been socked in the testicles. Girls find this feeling extremely disconcerting, apparently.


I owe you more post than this, but for once, fatigue wins out. Just let the acoustic stylings of the 1902 Athletics take you away, to a place where you're amused and this post was good. Yea, that's right. Everybody now.
In Economics right now we're doing this project where you have to buy a house in the Tempe area. The catch is, you're married, you make 50 grand a year, before taxes, you have no savings, and you have a six-month old kid.

I asked if killing our parents (who aren't giving us any help) for the insurance money was an option. Mr. Waddell wasn't having any of it. Too bad.

Do you think you know the most annoying person in the world? You don't. I do. He's sitting next to me right now in the computer lab. "I shouldn't have had those two energy drinks," he says. No, you shouldn't. And you smell terrible.

It's rough being a young prospective home-owner.

10/07/2002

Did you have a Route 44 Strawberry Limeade with orange tonight?

I did. It was possibly the worst drink ever. I really have to stop playing mad scientist with the flavor add-ins at Sonic; it's a terrible taste roulette that more often than not leaves me sucking on something akin to a citrusy seltzer fart, which is pretty much how I'd describe the drink tonight. But there's so many flavors, man! How quickly we can be fooled into thinking we are Beverage God. Yes, I said pineapple root beer! No, YOU are the one who is insane, tinny voice on the other end of the drive-thru thingy! Make it so!

Watermelon Coke is pretty good, though.


I am going to kill my Open Diary. No two ways about it. Of course, I'm not telling it that. It sits patiently, awaiting fresh new entries, because it is a couple of lines of code, not a living being. Foolish diary. I don't know what my point is. I'm just having a lot of fun feeling superior to a bunch of ones and zeros is all.

It has served me well, and I fully intend to give it a long-winded eulogy as the final post, then save it to my hard drive and let it get swept away whenever it is Open Diary refreshes their servers and purges them of old un-updated diaries. I'd like to think it returns to the ether of the Internet, and its essential nutrients get re-absobed and recycled in other, funnier websites, but online diaries aren't dogs nor are they cadavers, so I should probably quit the useless metaphor about as quick as I'm quiting the diary.

Then I'll focus my energies here. I will write your socks off. If only I can develop some automated system of collecting the socks I've removed with my awesome writing, I will be known as the Used Sock King of the Internet. I remember when I was known as Pantyhose King of the Laundromat. I have never been so arrested in my entire life. What a day.


My life's work, this week's edition: I am going to locate cultures where they have never seen electricity, and make it my sworn duty to go into whatever sweaty buttfuck jungles they dwell in and show them the light switch. How cool would you feel? I'd be a deity to like, seventy-two different backwards ass villages across the planet! I would never run out of virgins, because, hell, I gave them the gift of captured lightining, and they'd better be grateful. This, I shall do for the rest of my life.

That, and be Beverage God. And Used Sock King of the Internet.

Now tremble.


Naomi from Australia who I met on FOD now has a blog which is already well-written and funny and she's only two entries in. Stay tuned.

Dana got a cat. If Dana had a digital camera I'd pretty much have to quit this whole blogging thing, or at least the visual component, because her LiveJournal would have so many good pictures I'd feel inadequate and like my posting my own pictures was almost an insult to her great-itude. But she doesn't have a digital camera, so she's pretty much limited to pictures of Edward Norton, and if I was gay, I'd probably be eternally grateful, but as it is all I can do is go, "Yup, there's Ed Norton. He's probably doin' something badass." Reading her LiveJournal made me download a lot of Phantom Planet which is something that just had to be done. And now it is. Thanks, Dana.


Beverage God, signing off.

10/06/2002

So, yea, the Diamondbacks lost.

In case you're wondering, this weekend has been Official "Start Each Post Out With A Depressing Declaration" Weekend here at Ham Fisted Theatrics.

It was also All-Request Weekend on KOOL 94.5, which sounds like every other weekend on KOOL 94.5: The same twelve oldies over and over again. The Turtles and The Supremes spiraling on into infinity. Almost bad enough to make a guy wish he had a CD player in his truck. Almost.

But anyway, the D-backs won't be chasing the pennant this year. Found out via the bar TV at the concert last night, while I was paying not much attention to one of the opening bands. It was muted, of course, but there was Busch stadium and there was a shower of red glitter and a bunch of rejoicing St. Louis fans. I took it the red glitter wasn't just coincidental, it meant the blasted Cardinals swept our beloved Diamondbacks in three measly games. Then I wondered if they had that red glitter ready at all times, and then I thought it'd be cool if they let it fly every time an opposing player got beaned with a pitch. How humiliatin'. Then I got really disappointed with the Diamondbacks, watching them trudge back to the showers, thinking if you're not good at nursing a broken heart baseball is probably not a good business to go into, because you can bobble the ball at the wrong moment and snap the fragile hopes of the kids at home, your boys in the dugout, and your inner child. Your dad probably wouldn't be very pleased, either. Then I turned back to the fat guy screaming on stage.


You've heard of cases of mistaken identity.

I keep getting caught in one of those. I keep mistaking myself for someone cool, and I'm the only one fooled, even temporarily. I don't mean I'm not a person of value, I have my exceptional points, and I'd tell you about them, if you had a couple of hours to listen to arrogance that'd make your ears bleed. But one thing I'm not is cool. That breathless quality few of us possess, the thing they pay Ed Norton millions for, whatever it is, that indescribable it, I ain't got it.

But that doesn't mean I don't pull the wool over my own eyes, on occasion. For days, weeks at a time, sometimes. But I get pulled out of it. Tonight, I was uploading pictures and I was also pawing through old ones on the computer upstairs, namely, one from our trip to Pittsburgh my freshman year. I was on the other side of the camera most of the trip, but there's one of me with the family at a Penn State game and gee is it priceless. Big floppy-ass hair on a big stupid-ass head, split down the middle and puffed up like I'm frightening away predators (girls, too.) Dragonball Z t-shirt, blue plaid shirt draped over my shoulders. A true player in every sense of the word. There are some legacies you just can't run from. This would be one of them.

I'm good at being me. But that's like saying a guy who's a bad driver is good at hitting retaining walls and pedestrians. I'm good at being me, but "me" just isn't very slick.

Could be why Almost Famous is one of my favorite movies of all time.

I am many things, but one thing I will never be is cool.

That, and I have no shoulders. Look at that picture. Cripes.
She has a boyfriend.

Yea, I know. You think you're disappointed. Oh well. Not too depressed. It's my own dumb fault for not getting these things out in the open right way. Anyway, the show was sweaty and cramped and fun as fun can be. Midtown owns your ass. Don't even try to deny it. They have the title.

All the pictures I've been putting on the blog this week are from one big photographic binge last Saturday night at the Fourbanger/Logik show, where a good time was had by most. It was at Stratum Lasertag on the other side of town, and we traversed the distance in Tim's mom's car listening to Rx Bandits and playing with Ty's baby. It's one of those little robotic children they give you in Child Development class so you realize what a responsibility infants are, and you will stop boning every girl you meet at the drugstore. It has obviously not taught any of us anything. I bone me three before dinner, on average, and make 'em take hormone supplements to get extra-pregnant. I've almost got an entire defensive line worth of illegitimate tykes. Anyway.


I like this picture, because it looks like all these extreme youngsters are lining up twelve deep to get into the Mesa Antique Mart. They're not. This is the line going into Stratum. The line for the Mesa Antique Mart was further to the right, and all the line occupants were way too EXTREME to be captured on film.


Stratum shows are always (meaning the two I've been to) are always filled with ten-year-olds; because I'm betting when you're pre-pube it's much easier to convince Mom to drop you off at the lasertag place for the evening than to the smoky shithole concert venue where people keep getting busted for ecstasy and shootin' guys. Fair enough. I didn't know how to rock for real 'till I was of driving age. And these are kids that could be somewhere listening to Papa Roach. That, and if they're in your way, they're easy to move.




This is Bombs Away. They're awful damn good, for being one eighth the size of an actual band. They're like a Travel-Size band, they fold up for ease of use. You hear what I'm sayin'? They're tiny! I think most of them are sophomores. They made Wiseacre (Brady, Matt, Trevor, Jack) decide to put off recording for a little while, they were that good. They were playing when we got there, and they were then followed by a mediocre band of little note (I think), during which I got a chance to see everyone's alternative shirts, making statements about important issues, issues which need the opinions of punk girls with way too much time on their hands and black magic markers before they can ever be truly solved. To wit:



Fight War Not War. Well, naturally. Like when I go to the store to get bread, not bread.


Preppies Need To Die. Come on. I think this fellow has something to say. Their girlfriends don't wear clothes-pins in their eyes. Their clothes haven't been worn by someone else before. They don't care what we think about their music. I'm surprised no one noticed their need to die before.

Ah, pretend class warfare. It's fun to sentence an entire group of people to death because of stylistic disagreements, ain't it? I also like what this shirt has to say about Scotty. I was thinking the very same thing myself.

Then Logik played. I had seen them a couple of times with Fourbanger and I love their demo, but never, ever, ever, had I seen them like this. They clocked Rock over the head with a blackjack, shoved it in their trunk, drove it to the coast and committed it to a watery grave, screaming cuss words all the while. It was ridiculous. You know a band is good when you can learn their songs just by seeing them live a couple of times. They need to be recording right now, but the lead singer says they keep running into money problems. What a sick sad world, in which this rock can't immediately be committed to wax and shoved still smoking into your ear. What a sick sad world indeed. Before, if we saw Logik with Fourbanger, it was kind of a bonus. But now I'd go see them by themselves, even if they were playing in Satan's asshole, although I hear the acoustics suck in there.

Their label's mp3.com site is right here. Take a listen, especially "Lifeguard," "Epidemic," and "Devour," although the recording doesn't really do them justice. (Which is a music-nerd cliche on par with "I prefer their early stuff," but it's true.)

Then there was another string of not-terrible-but-not-astounding bands, during which we wandered around waiting, waiting, waiting, for Fourbanger. I bought a shirt, which I'm wearing now. It smells like gross punk sweat. I'm so real.

If you wait long enough for something, if you're lucky, you'll get it, but you will have been so bored waiting you will have taken many pictures so your camera will be almost out of batteries and you won't get a whole lot of pictures of whatever it was you wanted in the first place. So it was with Fourbanger. I only snapped a couple before I ran out of battery completely, but I prefer to think that the sheer rock of Fourbanger can't be captured on my speed of film, anyway. They reminded us all why we are filled with rabid devotion to them, why they feel like our band. Because they are gracious and they turn the mic to the crowd when it becomes obvious that everyone's singing along at the top of their lungs and they look like us (well, Jack) and they harmonize brilliantly and their bass player is always looking up to Heaven as if God's about to strike him down. They have great new songs that will eventually be part of a great new album, which I can already identify just after hearing them live a couple of times. Now if only they'd play "Do You Believe In Love?" once in a while. Everyone likes Huey Lewis.

My camera struggles desperately to keep up:








then it blinked off, I gave up, and yelled every word 'till I felt like I was going to have a stroke. Then I got pushed forward and split my nuts on the monitor. Oh well. Rock n' roll.