Posts Tagged meta-blogging

You got some ‘splaining to do, Lucy.

18 May 2011

Well friends… I see that it’s been about two months since my last post.  You might be wondering what gives. I could tell you that I’ve been super busy with work and two bands and shows happening and more coming.  And all the while, my house is a mess and has needed to be cleaned for weeks.  And that’s all true.  But you’d think I could have found some time to sit for an hour and write this in a span of two whole months.  And yet, I didn’t.  Have I lost my zest for blogging?  It could very well be.  Whatever it was that used to drive me to want to document my current events and be clever… somehow it’s not driving me anymore.  I could have filled a dozen blogs with all that’s happened lately.  Instead, you’ll get the short, short version.  And I will have forgotten some things by now.  I feel like I should be sad that this thing might be winding down.  Maybe temporarily, maybe forever.  But it’s just not sustainable.  Should I expect to have time to blog every week the rest of my life?  And if I don’t, will my memories fade away because I didn’t record them?  And will my progeny someday read this and be disappointed that the blog starts to fall apart here?  I don’t know.  But I guess I ought to just go with my instincts, and right now my instincts are telling me to hit the high points but not spend too much time on it.  Let’s see how that approach works out for us…

So last time, I mentioned that I was about to embark on digitizing my music collection.  Well I’m off and running, and it’s going even better than I hoped.  Sure, it’s taking a lot of time and will probably take several more months.  And sure, this pursuit has put a halt on my MySpace archiving project.  But it’s what I’m motivated to do at the moment, so I’m going with it.  Apparently the legality/morality of keeping a digital copy and selling the original is up for debate, so with that in mind, of course I’m only selling the things I’m not keeping a digital copy of. And I keep an eye out on Amazon to see what’s out of print and going for a high price, and I’m keeping that stuff for now. But hypothetically if everything else were to go to Amoeba, an estimated 30% of my collection I’ve gone through so far would have hypothetically netted about $750 in store credit!  Using what credit I actually have gotten, I’ve picked up (often used) CDs and artists I’d been waiting on.  My OCD about CD collecting often kept me from buying collections that were not definitive on their own, but with my new digital approach, I have no problem what collection(s) the songs came from, as for all my purposes, they all live in the same digital bucket.  And having it all digital and organized and at my fingertips is bringing me way more in touch with my collection.  I’m listening to stuff I forgot I had.  This whole thing is a win/win… win/win/win/win…

Despite my busy schedule lately, I have managed to squeeze in some time with friends.  Back to the Haight with Shel like the good old days.  There’s a Dr. Marten’s store there now that sells all manner of Docs… gold, white, powder blue.  If they were something non-leather, I’d be broke from all the shoes I’d have bought there.  Even caught some movies (Insidious scared the piss out of me for days!).  And I’ve managed to hit a few Smiths nights, a Haight Street Hop, and Booze, Broads, & Hotrods.  That’s actually not a bad list.  Now mellow out, watch this, and realize the we’re really all just clinging to a speck of dust floating through the cosmos…

Lake Tahoe Milky Way Night Time Lapse from Justin Majeczky on Vimeo.

I’ve been to a couple of great shows lately.  OMD with a bunch of good friends, and then Paul Simon at The Fillmore with mom.  The latter was a pretty special show as you might imagine.  I got the tix at face value the day they went on sale (thanks to Sus), but they were fetching upwards of $500 each on Craig’s List.  It was nice to be able to go to a show with mom.  Reminded me of doing that when I was little.  I think my first concert ever was Don Henley with her on the “End Of The Innocence” tour.  Coming up soon is Bootsy Collins at The Fillmore, and Reverend Horton Heat at The Independent.  2011 has been good for shows so far.

And it hasn’t been bad for TCB lately either.  There was a wild night playing that Smiths night at Milk Bar in San Francisco.  Though it’s a smaller place and the rain was pouring, we got a nice big crowd of die-hards who helped make the night one of our best in recent memory.  Some good greenroom stories, too.  Sacramento was fun as usual, and our Petaluma debut was interesting.  That night, I heard about how Tenacious D once opened for Super Diamond, and a young Jack Black was all over the band talking about his Neil Diamond obsession.  Not long after, Saving Silverman came out, which prominently features a fictional Neil Diamond tribute band.  Gee, I wonder where that idea came from…  Then this last weekend was a Modesto debut (the highlight of which had to be the DJ starting a song through the PA during one of our songs; not between songs, and not our first or last song… but right in the middle of a song right in the middle of our set).  Then it was Fresnope, and though the show was rocking, the next day brought me a double whammy of 1) Claim Jumper being closed permanently and 2) my car getting hit by a U-Haul just before leaving town.  But hell, I’m alive, aren’t I?  Guess things aren’t that bad.

Speaking of music, a random bitch I’ve had on my mind lately.  Anyone know what’s up with the trend of musicians naming themselves with numbers?  I don’t know who the first one to do it was, but that was probably clever at the time.  But everyone who came after… I mean, how lame is that?  After the first guy, it totally loses its cleverness and instead looks like an unoriginal gimmick.   John 5, Adam 12, Nick 13.  At least come up with a clever one like “Claude 9.”  You’re welcome.

The quote of the week comes from Virgil, as we watched Davy Jones on Pirates Of The Caribbean in a Fresno hotel last weekend:

“As an Asian, I want to eat his face.”

Merry Christmas, asshole.

20 December 2010

It’s been a rough few weeks for my beloved car.  More on that in a moment.

I wanted to mention briefly that I’ve started a project I’ve been dreading for a while now.  I have begun converting all of my 250+ MySpace blogs to this site.  I’m doing everything I can to preserve the historical accuracy of each, including the comments and timestamps.  The only thing I’ll consciously be changing is updating the links that pointed to other blog postings so that it’s all on here.  Each conversion takes about 10 minutes.  Even at one or two a day — which is a big assumption I will be motivated to keep up that pace — it’ll take me the better part of a year to get them all done.  I’ve added a new category called “MySpace Archive” if you want to see what I’ve gotten to so far.  I’m going chronologically starting from the beginning.  And for those of you who subscribe to my blog here (which I encourage you to do!), I won’t be hitting you with any email notifications for the converted blogs, so don’t worry about an additional 250+ emails.

I’m trying to get in the holiday spirit.  You all know my feeling on exchanging gifts, but I did put together another Xmas CD.  You know, making mix CDs has been a hobby of mine for ages.  But with the move to digital media (iPods, etc.) there’s been an unanticipated casualty.  CD jewel cases are becoming harder and harder to find.  You can still get plain black of course, and white and clear ones at a few places.  But there was a time when you could order tons of colors, and even this slick glossy black of which I only have a few left.  Nowadays it’s all slimline (which don’t allow me to design sleeves) and digipak (which I don’t have the tools to create at home and isn’t realistic for the one-off projects I do).  I am better than average at sourcing hard-to-find things on the net, and I’m telling you this stuff just isn’t out there anymore, anywhere.  I’ve asked the internet specialists, and they’ve told me that the market for the classic jewel case is dying.  They’re dinosaurs.  I can get by with plain black and white, but I don’t like it.  I need a new strategy for future CDs.  Is it time to give up the hard copy for good and just start giving out digital copies with a .jpg attached?  Lame!  Ideas anyone?

Otherwise, the holiday season so far has had its high points.  Some good times with family and friends.  The Yard Dogs Road Show was amazing as usual.  We’ve got tickets to see Wanda Jackson and Jack White together in L.A. next month, which is going to be memorable I’m sure.  And some good TCB shows are in the works.  But yeah it’s also been fraught with all kinds of trouble, not least from my car.  Allow me to explain…

Part I: The Tale Of The Golden Fuel Pump
About a month ago, after leaving my car unattended for a couple of stormy nights on a hilltop, I found it wouldn’t start.  It cranked but wouldn’t turn over.  For some reason, I thought of the electrical storm we’d been having, and I wondered if that didn’t have something to do with it.  Friends and the tow truck driver agreed it sounded like a fuel pump problem, but what could we do?  I had it towed ~100 miles back to the S.F. area to the only place I knew I could drop it at 1am: the dealership.  Now I know what you’re thinking… of course they’re gonna rip me off.  They’re famous for it.  But in the years I’d been dealing with these guys, I feel that by and large they’ve been pretty good to me.  Well, this time they weren’t.  They charged me $1100 to replace the fuel pump, a job that most other places later quoted me $600-$700 for.  And it doesn’t end there.  A few weeks later, I was reading through my car’s manual investigating another warning light (which I’ll get into next), and what did I see?  A section that explains something to the effect of “if there has been an electrical disturbance, the vehicle’s fuel pump breaker switch — located just under the hood — may activate as a safety precaution.  Check to ensure there are no fuel leaks, and then flip the breaker switch back and the vehicle should start.”  Which is all to say that it’s possible, maybe even probable, that all I needed to do was flip a fucking switch under my hood and I would have been on my way.  It’s also possible that my car really did need that $1100 golden fuel pump (which are known to crap out at around my current mileage).  But for the rest of my life, I will always wonder if that dealership totally fucked me and overcharged me to install something they knew I didn’t need in the first place.  And the worst part is I will never, ever know for certain.

Part II: I Can Make The Ass Drop
Cut to a couple weeks later, where I’m investigating the aforementioned warning light.  I’d seen one come on a couple times for the ABS brakes.  Then later a couple times for the air suspension.  Eventually, my rear suspension went out on me on the freeway, and I was barely able to get it home with my tail almost dragging on the ground.  I wasn’t about to take it back to that dealer, but it seems there aren’t many other shops that do air suspensions on Town Cars.  I don’t know why I didn’t think of this years ago, but what’s special about Town Cars?  How about the fact that they’re widely used by fleet services!  Where do those guys go?  Well, I lucked out and found a place that specializes in Town Cars.  And this place, you cannot imagine, it was a parking lot full of smashed up limos and cabs.  A giant warehouse with 20+ Town Cars being worked on by as many mechanics.  A whole body shop in the corner.  Tires, electric, and they even custom convert/build stretches.  I mean full service exclusively for Town Cars.  The waiting room was full of what were clearly limo drivers which tells me this place must be fair, honest, and reasonable… because these drivers wouldn’t keep bringing their business vehicles back here if it didn’t make financial sense.  And unlike the dealership that fucked me, these guys see dozens of Town Cars all day, every day.  Their expertise is beyond dispute.  If there is a problem a Town Car is capable of having, these guys have seen it before.  I will be going there exclusively from now on.  How many other car models have whole warehouses dedicated to just them?  One of the unexpected benefits of driving a limo for your personal car (along with being flagged down and offered money for rides at 2am every night — honestly).  They were super quick (45 minutes!) and super cheap.

Now the here’s the rub: in what was surely a freak occurrence, someone forgot to latch my hood.  I got less than a mile down the freeway before the hood flew up, cracking the windshield and bending over the roof.  The hood itself was totalled and bent upwards so it wouldn’t close.  The roof was dented and the sunroof broken.  Luckily, I was in the slow lane for once and was able to quickly get off the road before anyone was hurt.  I meant to take a picture to post here, but I was in shock at first.  To their credit, the shop immediately sent out a tow, gave me a loaner car for the week, and fixed everything up, good as new (as far as I can tell), free of charge.  They even detailed it.  Every little dent and nick in the paint from years of use.  They even replaced a tire that was somehow damaged and ready to blow out.  When I picked it up, it looked nicer than when I bought it!  Scary story yes, but relatively happy ending, all things considered.  I have no doubt it was a freak accident (how could they stay in business otherwise?), and I will continue to bring my car to these guys… they seem to be honest and fair.

So with any luck, my car trouble is done for now.  These Lincoln problems are Cadillac worries, you know.  I know these stories make it sound like a hoopty, but those of you who’ve seen it know that it’s anything but.  It’s been a great car to me, and I don’t want this spate of malfunctions to sully that otherwise sterling reputation.  That last tow truck driver told me — without knowing my car’s recent history — that the fuel pump and suspension are the most common problems for aging Town Cars of similar mileage, but that with some TLC they will last a very long time.  Just look at how long limos and cabs are on the road.  We’re talking upwards of 400,000 miles and more.  I would love that, because I’m in love with this car.  I may have to cover that affair in a future post.

The quote of the week comes from last weekend’s “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell me!” on NPR.  They were discussing that the long-abandoned Chernobyl disaster site is being opened as a tourist attraction.

Kyrie O’Connor:  Well, actually, it’s supposed to be… I mean, it’s like totally overrun with wildlife because there’s, like, been nobody there.
Peter Sagal:  Right. I mean, if anything bites you, chances are you’ll gain the strength and powers of that animal though.

Tin Cans And String

27 January 2010

After days and days of dealing with open source tech support (who are helpful but ultimately not on the hook for anything), I finally figured out a way to get this “subscribe” feature working.  At the end of the day, I had to actually downgrade to an earlier version.  It’s not as fancy as the newest version, but at least it’s working.  I won’t bore you with any more than that.

In theory, if you submit your email address in the field off to the right there, you will get an email whenever I post something new here.  I’ve heard stories about multiple emails getting sent.  Let me know if you’re experiencing any weirdness like that, and I’ll see if I can find a cure.  So yeah, hopefully those two or three of you out there who are interested will be able to keep up with me here without having to remember to check back all the time.  Let’s hope it works.  Fingers crossed!

In other news, I need to come up with a new name for this thing.  “Soapboxing” is tired and lazy.  I’ve been focused on the tactical of just getting it up and running.  Time for some strategy and vision.  Stay tuned…

The Story So Far…

16 January 2010

For continuity’s sake, I figured I should start by linking us to the past.  I’ve never kept a diary or a journal.  Not really.  I guess I never saw the point, or maybe I just wasn’t the type that found any solace in confiding in an inanimate object.  Either I keep it to myself, or I confide in someone else… for their reaction… validation… absolution… whatever.

Somewhere along the line, the emotional exhibitionist in me was lured into sharing whatever was going on in the form of a blog on MySpace.  But as I mentioned before, “DrySpace” traffic has started to dwindle lately, and now that this blog lives on another site completely, I may get virtually no readers at all.  Out of sight, out of mind, and all that.  But oh well.  In truth I guess it was mainly a diary anyway, albeit public.  “Dear Diary, I wore my new party dress tonight, and nobody even noticed!”

Which reminds me, I need to come up with something clever to call this thing.  I’m tempted to use “Dear Diary.”  Or maybe something with those hater Muppet Show critics, since I seem to bitch a lot.  I dunno, something will come to me.  In the meantime, it remains simply “Soapboxing,” in deference to the original name of my old MySpace blog.  And shit, the whole point of this entry (which has gotten away from me) was to provide the link back to that in case you want to retrace history back to 2004.  Because unless and until I find the time to copy/paste all those old MySpace blog entries over here — and I don’t see that happening — that old link will be the only way to see those past few years of musings, and all the wonderful comments you left there.  So, yeah, here it is:

OK, enough of all this meta-blogging.  Next time, something interesting.  I promise.  I hope.

This is the last song I will ever sing…

15 January 2010

CONVERSION NOTICE: This is one of 250+ blogs that originally appeared on MySpace. I’ve done my best to represent it with as much historical accuracy as possible, but there are limitations. Read about it in the FAQ.

Current Mood: cold disappointed

No, I’ve changed my mind again!

My blog, or more specifically my blog on MySpace, has come to an end.  Don’t worry, I’m not leaving MySpace entirely.  But with less and less people on here these days, and the growing concern I’ve had that all of what I’ve written here is “stuck” here and at the mercy of their admins to delete at will… I feel like it’s finally time to make the leap to my own blog.  So I’m moving to the proverbial “international waters” of my own domain, where I’ve just set up a new blog:

It’s less than 24 hours old, so it’ll be a while before I learn the ropes enough to pretty it up and really make it my own.  I do wonder/worry that moving onto an independent site may make things just enough of a hassle (for what few occasional readers I may have) to forget about me altogether.  But I’m hoping that some of you will still keep track of me there.  And though it may be slightly more of a hassle to comment, I hope you still will.  Because now those comments — as well as whatever I put up — will be administered by me alone.  So I can say what I want, post what I want, and regardless of the future of MySpace, come hell or high water, this new blog will remain.  (Can you hear George Michael’s “Freedom” softly playing in the background as you read this?)

It’s been an awesome five years sharing with you here.  According to MySpace’s counters, this is my 262nd blog.  In that time, I’ve received 865 blog comments from you, and over 26,000 views.  I hope that if you’ve made a point to read any of them over the years, you learned something.  Or were at least amused.  And I hope you follow me to my new home.  All the best, kiddies!

Goodnight, and thank you.

The Dawn Of A New Blog

15 January 2010

Welly welly well… it’s 2010, and here I have finally moved off of MySpace’s blog, where I started all those years ago.  I’m just starting to get my bearings here, but I think I’m gonna like it.  I can already see that there is a lot of flexibility with all the features and add-ons here.  And I gotta figure that with something like WordPress, whose whole business is bloggin’s, I’ll have freedom here that I could never get with MySpace.  I’d be lying though if I said this move wasn’t largely motivated by what appears to be the sudden and sad decline of MySpace.  As Facebook steps up to be the latest leader, it’s time for me to move to a blog platform that is independent of that constant churn.

This blog will live under my Smartest Man Ever domain, and I will have complete control over the content.  I’ll be able to back it up, and even move it if I ever need to.  I had rare run-ins with MySpace where they would delete my blogs (likely because a certain rival band complained about the opinions I expressed about them, but that’s another story).  Anyway, we’ll have none of that here.  This ain’t red China.  This here’s the free press.  And everyone is entitled to my opinion!

I’m looking forward to learning and finding my way around this new blog.  Presumably it will get prettier and slicker as I get used to it.  Hope you all continue to read me, if you ever did.  Onward and upward!

Makin’ Lights

30 November 2009

CONVERSION NOTICE: This is one of 250+ blogs that originally appeared on MySpace. I’ve done my best to represent it with as much historical accuracy as possible, but there are limitations. Read about it in the FAQ.

Current Mood: busy busy

A very merry unbirthday to you all.  Hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend.  I did!  Got to relax and visit lots of friends in what was probably the least traditional Thanksgiving of my life so far.

Before I forget, Morrissey on Wednesday, bitches!  I’ll see you all there, I’m sure.  He comes by so rarely these days, you know.  Who knows when we’ll get another chance!  In other news, due to an unfortunate ticket mishap, I will most likely miss the Cranberries on Saturday… unless I come across some reasonable prices and soon.  Fiddlesticks!

The Popscene show was fun as usual.  We stuck to the Smiths and we stuck to the hits, mainly to keep it accessible and efficient.  Rest assured though that we’ve been extra busy learning new songs, and we should have plenty of surprises for the next show (Red Devil Lounge on January 8th).  At this moment, we’re just six songs away from knowing all 72 Smiths songs.  Holy shitake, that’s amazing, is it not?  Anyway, yes the show was fun.  Lots of friends showed up.  Not my luckiest night though.  Ten seconds into “How Soon Is Now?” I broke a string… normally I’d stop the song, but that’s not one that you stop once it starts, you know?  Luckily we got through it relatively unscathed.  Then while cleaning up, my main gitter (that black 335) fell over or was knocked over.  After assessing the damage at home, it’s got a new ding on the side, and a tuner was yanked halfway off the headstock.  Tuner’s shot and its screw holes are stripped.  So that’ll be $65 in parts and ??? in labor to get it fixed, damn it.  At least it’s got more character now, right?  That’s what I’m trying to tell myself.  And for the hat trick, I went to load in my car as I left the club only to find my car with a flat tire!  Thank God for AAA and real men.  Could I have changed that flat?  Of course, but why am I paying for AAA?  Let them come out and do in five minutes what it would have taken me a half hour to do… at 3am… in the cold Thanksgiving night… alone in a back alley… after wearing myself out at a show.

The good news there was that Big-O replaced it free, aside from the cost of my time the next afternoon.  While I was out driving that next day, I caught my self weaving in and out of traffic a lot around the city.  I had to wonder, do I really drive that fast?  I don’t generally care if I’m zooming along at top speed, I’m just concerned about makin’ lights.  (I gotta make those lights, son!)  It drives me nuts to miss a light because someone else is not paying attention.  For some reason, the city was full of the clueless this weekend.  And while I’m rambling about city driving, I saw a guy on a Van Ness island asking for spare change/food… and talking on a cell phone!  I mean, was someone making a political statement here?  Was this like performance art?  Or was it real?  Because I think it was real.  I thought it was pretty shameful, but am I just out of touch?  I guess maybe a cell phone really is considered a bare necessity these days?

And now, a dedication to a friend who just moved to Oakland this weekend…

So I finally finished Goddard’s Mozipedia — all 500+ pages of it — and I am happy to report that it was well worth the effort.  It took me August through most of November, but I learned a ton.  I really enjoyed the tidbits on songs that never were.  Some of my other favorite entries were the ones covering Mozzer’s more controversial viewpoints, and in fact my favorites were the entries on vegetarianism and Margaret Thatcher.  If you read only a few entries, I recommend those.  I wish I could reproduce them here for you.  Powerful stuff, I thought.  My only criticism of this massive textbook is that it’s a little heavy on the actors/movies/television influences, all good stuff to know, but not always so interesting to read about (speaking personally).

And finally, a question I’m afraid to ask: is MySpace dying?  I continue to prefer it to all those other sites.  I like the flexibility, and I like the robust music infrastructure.  But I can’t deny that in recent months I’ve noticed a rapid and growing lack of activity among my friends here, while Facebook seems to become more popular.  I don’t see the appeal of having to rebuild everything for yourself over there when it’s already in place here.  What happens when the next big site comes along and FB dies (remember Friendster anyone)?  Then off to a new site?  Rebuild your whole network again?  All these competing social networking sites just seem to dilute the value.  If a site came along that could “talk” to MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, etc. so you’d have a one-stop-shop, now that would be valuable.  Then you wouldn’t have to maintain statuses on several sites, etc.  I know, I know, one world currency, communism, etc.  Whatever.  I’m just saying… too many cooks spoil the broth.

“Lord, I confess I am not what I ought to be, but I thank you, Lord, that I’m not what I used to be.”
— Maxie Dunnan

Now Serving: #250

29 September 2009

CONVERSION NOTICE: This is one of 250+ blogs that originally appeared on MySpace. I’ve done my best to represent it with as much historical accuracy as possible, but there are limitations. Read about it in the FAQ.

Current Mood: sore sore

Well it’s hard to believe, but according to MySpace, this is my 250th blog.  Holy shit.  Can you believe that?  Two hundred and fifty.  Think about that for a second.  Two hundred and fifty times over the last five years — basically once a week — I have sat down for an hour or so and written out some kind of emotional exhibitionism for you, the reader.  In the past, I’ve questioned the wisdom of doing this.  Questioned this dubious use of time.  Again though, it has served me as the closest thing to a journal that I’ve ever had.  And hopefully it’s been entertaining to you on occasion.

What I secretly want to know is: are there people out there that have been reading since the beginning?  Possibly even someone who has read all 250?  You don’t have to fess up.  But to those silent types who read and rarely or never comment… there’s never been a better time to come clean.

I must confess that I’ve looked into moving future blogs off of MySpace.  I love that people can access these so easily and comment and all.  But I also know that MySpace seems to be losing steam, and then there’s always the chance that the MySpace powers that be could delete my blog or even my profile, and what would be my recourse?  More and more, I’m considering continuing on a blog hosted on my own site, where I never have to worry about posting something that might piss the wrong people off.  My virtual mouth has led to stuff getting yanked off here before, after all.  But once I move off onto my own URL, it seems like I’d run the risk of falling off the radar of what few of you actually care to read what I put up here.  And if I’m going to drift further into obscurity, then why keep it up at all?  Not sure what to do…

Well, I celebrate my 250th with a massive headache.  I managed to bonk my head on a garage door on Sunday, hardest I think I’ve ever hit it.  I didn’t lose consciousness, but I’ve had a headache ever since.  And not like a bump on my head, but like a full on headache.  I don’t think I’m all that clumsy, but I have no one to blame but myself on that one.  And in fact, I’m kinda feeling like laying down right now.  Here’s hoping I’m back to “normal” tomorrow.  :(

The quote of the week comes again from Taxi Driver Wisdom, and it sums up my week, my year, and my 250 blogs.  Good night, kiddies.

“Whatever you become, someone will long for what you were.”

Superman Looks At 30

22 June 2009

CONVERSION NOTICE: This is one of 250+ blogs that originally appeared on MySpace. I’ve done my best to represent it with as much historical accuracy as possible, but there are limitations. Read about it in the FAQ.

Current Mood: blah intense

T-minus 4 days, guys.  That’s four short days until I turn 30 years old.

What should I say?  Just give you the usual rundown?  I saw Big Sandy and The Legendary Shack Shakers.  I saw Star Trek and Drag Me To Hell.  David Carradine died.  Christina Ricci broke off her engagement.  I explored Fort Funston alone on a Tuesday afternoon.  I got sick and missed Colin’s wedding dinner, LTB, The Guana Batz, and A Camp.  All those consecutive days home sick allowed me to test what happens when I don’t shampoo my hair for days (erm… dandruff?) and not shave so I could see what I might look like with a beard.  During this down time, I managed to spill scalding water all over my left hand and almost had to cancel the Reno show.  I went to Reno after all, and my car broke down on the way.  Do people still read blogs on MySpace?  Am I wasting my time?  I feel like in the last couple of months, people have abandoned MySpace.  Is it true?

As I approach 30, I wish I had something shattering to say, but I don’t.  Maybe that’s the point though.  I feel like this should be some momentous occasion.  For all the dread and stress that’s led up to it… for all the societal and cultural pressure… I feel like this should be a major event in history.  But something that’s taken a long time to learn, something that I think some people learn when they become parents, something that I have just started to grasp myself… it’s that no one is really meaning parents told you, you are not Superman.  You are mortal.  Your time is finite.  You may be above average, but in the grand scheme of things, you aren’t that different or special from anyone else.  The big dreams you have in youth of being president or an astronaut or an NFL quarterback or a rock star… they don’t come true for virtually any of us, and even if they did, it doesn’t make you happier.

After 30 years, what have I learned?  The things you accomplish, the things you buy, the things you build… they’re just things.  What matters is what you are.  Or maybe what matters is that you are.  I think my happiness comes more and more just from existing.  In the long run, that promotion you got or didn’t get, that car you bought or didn’t, that city you did or didn’t move to… it’s not what makes you happy.  All those decisions can go “right” or “wrong” and either way, your happiness is ultimately dictated by what’s inside you, not what’s around you.

You know, I’m questioning the value of these blogs.  It’s nice to go back and read this stuff, but it’s not unlike scrapbooking.  What a waste of today’s life to spend it chronicling yesterday’s life.  To spend so much time trying to document and capture the past… when our time is so very finite.  It’s ridiculous.  Spend your life living your life, not documenting it for the future.  We won’t be here long enough for this record to possibly matter.  It’s hard to swallow that.  The idea that these dramatic gestures won’t echo throughout history.  That maybe every little thing I say or do isn’t worth capturing for posterity.  I used to think that it was all so precious, but it’s not.  It’s dust in the wind.  We’ll all be dead and gone before anyone has a chance to get serious use out of it.  All that matters is you and me and here and now.

So I guess put another way: I’ve learned to be humble.  Seriously, how can you not be humble in the face of eternity?  We’re all nothing.  If you’re lucky enough to get even 80 years on this planet, do want to spend another futile second of it trying to face down eternity?  Stop living for tomorrow!  I could write more, but I have a life to live damn it.  Time to take my own advice here and stop wasting my night away in front of the computer.  Who knows, maybe I’ll be so lucky as to read this when I’m 40, and I’ll laugh at myself.  When I look at what I thought I knew at 20… well, I have to laugh.

World, it’s been a great life so far.  I hope to take less of it for granted in my remaining years.  I will do my best to always strive to live in the moment, and appreciate every solitary second I’m lucky enough to be here.  I have a lot of regrets, but I’m choosing to use them as fuel to be stronger and wiser in the future.  To the people I’ve known so far, I hope that your life is better for having known me.  Good or bad, I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it weren’t for every one of you, so I thank you.  I’ve always tried to be a good and fair person.  I’ve tried to avoid hurting others whenever possible.  To anyone I’ve hurt, I’m sorry.  I didn’t always have all the answers.  I’m human, and I’ve made my share of mistakes and bad calls.  But I’ve always tried to do the right thing.

I turn 30 this Friday, and all the pressure to make a big deal of it was relieved when the opportunity to play this show came up.  We’ll be back at Ireland’s 32, where I have so many great memories of the early days of TCB.  We’ll play the Smiths and Morrissey we all love so much… and maybe some other stuff too.  It’s half birthday party and half casual TCB show.  I’m just looking forward to seeing my friends and playing a show without the usual rules.  Hope to see you there!


Insanity Laughs, Under Pressure We’re Breaking

12 November 2008

CONVERSION NOTICE: This is one of 250+ blogs that originally appeared on MySpace. I’ve done my best to represent it with as much historical accuracy as possible, but there are limitations. Read about it in the FAQ.

Current Mood:  distractable

When I was going through an old file full of notes to myself, etc. from years ago, I came across this entire blog entry that I wrote but decided not to post.  I suppose I thought it was too negative (or creepy?) at the time.  But I might as well share it now.  This would have been from somewhere around late July or early August of 2005.  Holy shit, that’s more than three years ago!  It would have been about the time that Jared was moving to the U.K.  I had just met Taylor.  I was just getting to know Orlando and starting This Charming Band.  I had just decided to go see a shrink for the first time.  I was preparing to move again, and to live alone for the first time ever.  These were rough days.  A period of serious reflection, one of the few that rivals my current situation.  I just went and re-read some of the things that I did post around that time.  And it’s difficult to read, even now.  Anyway, enjoy… a “lost” blog from 2005…

For a long time, I’ve thought of the various weird interests, hang-ups, and rituals I have as… eccentricities.  Things that, in my view, everyone should share.  But I’m afraid that I may have been wrong.

Recent events have forced me to face a part of my personality that I’ve always been able to get away with ignoring.  I am a rock so long as I am in the bubble I’ve built for myself.  But outside of that, I apparently don’t know what the hell I’m doing.  It may finally be time to see someone about it.  Obviously, I’m not shy or ashamed of this.  I know a good bit about it for a civilian, and I believe in the process.  My social life has been turned upside down, and all of my issues have been shaken out.

To those I have hurt: I know I fuck up a lot.  And then every time I try to fix it, it’s like I’m putting out the fire with gasoline.  But I’m a sharp guy, and I have to believe that I can turn this around.  That I’m not beyond saving.  This is not me.  I am better than this.

A while back, when I was in Seattle, I had a terrible and disturbing thought, which I was not planning on sharing, then or ever.  But now, it feels appropriate, being that the subject is “Reasons Benjamin Is Crazy for $1000, Alex.”  Several times during that trip, I found myself with a terrible headache (which I almost never get) and a general feeling of not being at ease.  I’d be sitting in a room with co-workers or something, typing away on a computer or something and out of nowhere I’d have this savage urge to bite them.  Do you believe that shit?  And I’m talking tear into them.  Not like they were annoying me and I was having daydreams of attacking them.  I know what that feels like, and I think that’s probably normal.  This was different.  I almost jumped at one of them for Christ’s sake.  I have no idea what that means, but between the headaches, the agitated disposition, and the unexplained urge to bite another human being, my first thought was… rabies.  I know this sounds ridiculous, but I’ll tell you: I’ve been leading a very functional and sane life for 26 years, and I know what I was feeling.

And now some poison.  I’ve long had a suspicion that everything is life about vanity.  Everything.  Being nice to people is a way to prove to yourself that you’re a good person.  Giving someone a gift is a way to make yourself feel generous.  And even people who try to help you when you’re down seem to do it more to show off their good advice than to actually help see you through your crisis.  Certainly if I pay someone $200 an hour, they can leave their ego at the door and just try to fucking help.  My kingdom for a little pure compassion.

Back to 2008… I just want to say, for the record, turns out I didn’t have rabies.

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