Saturday, January 3, 2009

I tell your story like a thrifty book with the previous owner who highlighted the parts they liked the most. (Day 30)

First things first; Congrats to the Cardinals. It only took a decade for you to not only make it to the playoffs, but to win one. To all the media that counted them out after that car-wreck of a loss...suck it. I don't see the Cowboys anywhere near the playoffs, unless watching from their plasma TV's at home (because it's like being there, dontcha know?) counts. Which is doesn't.

It's the weirdest thing, those first few weeks to months after getting out of a relationship. Everything is completely different in your eyes, yet the reality never quite sinks in that nothing really is, in all actuality different.

I always seem to fall out of relationships around this time of year, and I've always regarded this time of year as one more dedicated to a page turning and new personal evolution. Except right now, I'm not too sure where it is I'm heading.

I want to be dedicated to something, and give it all. But I don't feel like I have that 'it' that differentiates one type of person from the other. I've never wanted to accept mediocrity from myself, but these days it's all I seem to see.

In a conversation last night I asked someone what they wanted to accomplish. And while they weren't initially sure of what they wanted to accomplish...they remained hopeful. To quote her, she said, "I hope it lives up to the hype."

And it caught me off guard. We put a lot of hope in the new year. It's a literal transition, and theres so much riding on this year for so many that I know. From medical maladies and personal tragedies, to just general bad weather for the last 12 months I can't honestly say I know one person who escaped last year unscathed with a smile on their faces.

And her saying she hoped it lived up to the hype kind of struck a chord somewhere deep down in them guts. I don't want to settle for mediocrity, and I certainly don't want to settle, period.

Every aspect of my life I've settled. Whether I've been better than what I eventually succumbed too or not remains to be seen, because so many times I've sat in silence when all I wanted to do was scream. And that eats at me. I'm a person who can transition from defeat easily, but now...I can't just settle.

I've been too scared to roll the dice for anything, but continuously fantasize about where I want to be. And when I don't get there because I never even left the house I get depressed.

I can live with going down in a blaze of glory.

But I can't live without not shitting but still staying on the pot just in case.

I don't know where to start.

A few years ago I got accepted to a photography college in California, as well as a film school also in California. I instead opted out of those schools to pursue a relationship doomed from the get go because the sure thing felt so much easier. And I feel into a rut of living only to work, fuck, eat, sometimes sleep, repeat. That...thats not what I envisioned for myself as a kid, and I really think so many people also in that routine never wanted that easier.

So why do I, you, we always wind up in the situation that we as kids would never have even accepted as a palpable reason, or something even close to rational?

When I used to write for Racket, a few questions I would always ask, just for myself if not for anyone else, would be, "When you (random band) comes off the road what do you do for a living? What did you do for a living? What happens if this doesn't work out?"

And not one of them ever skipped a beat in accepting that there was any alternative. That where they were now, wayfarers blazing trails on the roads less traveled would ever come in second. One guy, who was a complete dick and shitty dude in general that I interviewed (which sucked, I'd always liked his band) answered that question in the most perfect way though, that it still astounds me that someone so ignorant could leave this kind of impression on me.

He said, "I don't give a fuck if this all comes crashing down after the show tonight. I just don't give a shit. Whats the alternative? Pick up another guitar and play in another band. This is all I know, and all I know is this. Whats waiting for me back home? I can't even call it home...I'm homeless. I don't even have an apartment."

Granted if this were a small little no-name band...but this band, and because the guys a dick they get no actual recognition, but this band is fairly popular. They've had several hit singles. And to hear he's homeless was not only disheartening and a wake up call, but inspirational.

I'm lucky to have what I have, and believe me I don't have much. And I know I could be completely happy with a pen and paper and headphones. Little else.

But I just don't jump, but I've been sticking my toes in the deep end for years. My toes are pruned beyond recognition, but for whatever reason I'm worried about getting my ear wet. Why? Because I might drown?

One day this wells going to dry up. I know that. Right now it feels like its over flowing, and nothing upsets me more within myself to know that, and not do a goddamned thing about it.

It kills me to know one day I'm going to be someones used copy of something they always wanted to check out, too.

I lost a lot of blood, sweat and tears last year. I'm not ready to be defeated so easily, either. I just wish I knew where the fuck to start. I work hard at everything I'm passionate about, I would never put out something I wasn't sure wasn't up to my (minimal, low, low standards, but standards nonetheless) standards.

I'm open for suggestions. Please feel free.

Thats all I've got. Make sure to check out Piss and Vinegar, and For Your Consideration and of course my good friend Velvet's awesome blog, Have Tumor, Will Travel (and comments are good for the soul, I promise.)

Until tomorrow!

Friday, January 2, 2009

The worlds my oyster, a hotel rooms a prison cell. (Day 29)

I wound up sleeping a lot today. I rarely sleep all that much, I've always been pretty lousy at it. Any small noise really keeps me up all night, and I've never really understood why.

Why sleeping feels like the enemy, why being unconscious feels like I'm going to miss something important or worthwhile. And why so often being awake feels like a letdown when nothing eventful happens.

What happens at the end of the line? If it like a train, and you just get off and thats it? Do you know where to go from there? Does what you did in this life dictate what direction you take in the next?

I feel like a lot of the time I'm just drifting through life without a purpose or direction, and I feel like if I found one, I wouldn't have any idea on what to do when I got there or had an inkling. How do you know?

They say your job becomes you, and you become your job. Something dies, and somethings born, but what you are reflects in what your job is, and I think that terrifies me the most. I don't ever want to be one of those sad old fuckers that has nothing else to offer, nothing else to talk about besides their job and how Rick from Accounting is a no nothing putz or how I could really go somewhere if my boss who knows nothing would notice me just enough to give me a different title for the same meaning of shit life has become.

Where I no longer get excited about movies, or get to old to go to shows and sing along. I dread the day looming when I can't get too drunk and roam around in public anymore.

I dread the day of irrelevance, and the worst part is one day you become forcibly irrelevant (unless your name is Martin Scorsese) and you become that creepy gaffe still trying to hold onto something that never really belonged to you anyway.

How do you leave your mark on a beach? Theres always tides coming to wash it away, no matter how deep and defined you tried to make it. Eventually you're carried out to sea to mingle with the dolphins and grains of sand.

I'm jealous of Kerouac, Burroughs, Ginsberg, Bukowski...jealous of all of 'em. No matter what happens, they won't ever be forgotten, maybe just overlooked. What they did mattered, and they lived every moment of their lives, and they lived it in a way that made others want to live it with them.

Until tomorrow.

Won the race but lost your mind. (Day 28)

These kidney stones are a bitch. Absolutely the worst pain I've ever been in my life, and thats a considerable amount seeing as how I've had some pretty fun injuries (including a head through a windshield).

I believe them when they equate it to giving birth. I took percocets today, and initially while I could feel them working, I also felt Clancy (I named him, know...the whole like birth thing) was rolling around my ureter, happy as a clam.

Anyway, it's made me fairly nauseous. They've given me some medication for that, too, but it's completely wiped me out so unfortunately tonight I won't be doing much of an update.

But I had to still come on and show up! It's the first post of 2009!

In a few weeks I'll be going back to my doctor and figuring out what the next step is, and in the next few days I'll be upgrading from 50mg's to 100. So a lot will be happening.

I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable New Years last night. Drinking up all the punch, kissing all the people they wanted to kiss, not drinking and driving...I hope thats what happened!

For me, all my plans fell through and I'm a little bit sore about it, but I wound up getting to reconnect with an old friend of mine.

I've been worried about her for years. When I first met her, we were both in high school (albeit different schools) but she was cool. I mean that, too. The epitome of cool. Me, I was pretty much a loser which I mean, probably comes as little surprise. But man, she was so awesome. She liked all the best music and movies, had some great tattoo's, but I think the coolest thing about her was how talented she was.

As time went on she went her separate way, I went mine. But I never forgot about her, and I always wanted her to be okay. She's had some trials and tribulations, but I think shes on the right road at this point. And that gives me hope, because the path she was on is a hard one to get off of once you've been down it for five years. I want her to know I've got her back the entire way should she ever need it.

She has a beautiful son, too. That kid has no idea how lucky he got to have her for his mother. He's probably gonna be a rockstar, honestly.

So heres to her. I'm just glad to know her.

Thats about it for tonight. I updated Piss and Vinegar last night (so go check it out!), but that wasn't the only updating I did (besides Days Gone By). A friend of mine named Miles and I launched a new blog. I will be updating it a few days a week, and really I hope you guys go and check this one out. It's called 'For Your Consideration' and it's basically a "...fuck you opus and homage to Pop-Culture." It centers heavily on movies, but also dips into comic books, music and novels as well. Maybe even sports, who knows? Plus in a few weeks there will be the starting of an advice column! So I'm really looking forward to this, I think it'll be fun, and I hope you guys check it out and spread the word.

Also, if you want to write and article or do your own 'Top 5 Theme', or even suggest a topic to be discussed, please get a hold of me. We'd love to have you.

Thats all for tonight. I'm going to go writhe in pain and contemplate taking a wire coat hanger to my pee-hole, and fish out my kidney boulder.

Until tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Eve was as boring as Heaven. (Day 27)

This is the final update for Days Gone By of 2008.

I can't iterate how happy I am to bid adieu to the shittiest year I've ever lived in. I've never been so happy to put a year behind me. I gotta say the last two days of 2008 really put the boots to me, but with an hour left to go (as I'm writing this) I gotta say:

I'm alive. I'm still breathing, and god damn it...I'm still standing.

With the closing of this year, it feels like so many chapters that had been so integral in my life are now closed forever. Some of them I'm sad to see go, and's for the best.

So say your last goodbyes. I know a lot has changed for so many people. And I want to believe in the next year. Hope is a funny thing. A very, very funny thing where one minute its all we can believe in, and in the minute it fails us we simply reside to saying, "No surprises here."

It's been so a long and dragging year, and I've felt every step of the way reverberate from the soles of my feet to the cockles of my heart.

I've met a lot of amazing people this year. I thank them all so very much for being there with me on this ride, and thank them for letting me join them in theres.

Theres so much to be hopeful for starting tomorrow. I honestly felt like this day would never in, but here I am safely, somewhat healthily grateful to have the ones I love still healthy as well to see yet another year.

I have big, big plans. Either the dam breaks this year, or I flood right the hell over the top of it. Thats just the way it's going to have to be.

I've got about forty bad habits; ten of them I'd like to break.

So what defines you as a person? Yes, you reading this right now. Please answer me that question, because I really have to know. What defines you, whats defined you, and whats shaping you to be where you want to be?

What broke your heart this year? Did anyone mend it back? Did you mend it back all alone? What was the happiest moment, the saddest moment...the most memorable of all? I'd really love to know.

I want to thank everyone for sticking with Days Gone By. It takes a lot for me to talk about a lot of the things I do, and for the most part the feedback has been great, and I really appreciate it. From Chicago, Illinois to Rome, Italy...thanks. I mean that.

A few months ago I wrote out a list of things I wanted to do before I died, and I've been working on it. I want to share that list with you now, and I'll put an X next to the things I've accomplished.

I'd love to see yours.

Here we go:

Run with the bulls in Spain.
Spend a night in jail.
Participate in a bar fight.
Use a bathroom in the White House; preferably the Oval Office.
Sleep in a field in Scotland.
Go to Amsterdam.
Plant 40 trees.
Finish making a solar theremin.
Meet biological father, or at least learn his name.
Hitch-hike up Pacific Coast.
Make the same trek routed in the song, "Wagon Wheel" by Old Crow Medicine Show.
Publish book.
Trip to India with Austin.
Not let fear dictate desires.
Meet Ian MacKaye.
Thank Matt Skiba.
Visit Charles Bukowski's grave.
Tell Nic Cage face to face he sucks the life out of everything he touches.
Go whale-watching.
Go on actual African Safari.
See where the great whites jump out of the water to attack seals, and do flips.
Play hide-and-seek in pyramid. Will settle for Mayan ruin, or Roman collisieum.
Moon Pope.
Get banned from Vatican.
Ride emu.
Play game of 21 vs. Mike Jordan. Will settle for Thunder Dan or Amare Stoudamire.
Free cattle at cattle range.
Street race.
Incite victimless riot.
Crash class at Harvard.
Kick Pete Wentz in the ass.
Purple-Nurple Scott Heisel. You either get it or you don't.
Go to the Fest.
Try to go shot-for-shot with actual Irish alky. Red hair and freckles a must. Green hat optional.
Drive Porche.
Learn to drive standard.
Book tour.
Get chance to tell Dane Cook he's not that funny.
High Dive from Olympic regulation platform.
Land a plane.
Take Sarah Palin to museum of natural history, show her dinosaur exhibit. Will settle for band UnderOath.
Legally change name to Max Powers.
Legally change name back.
Tell girl of my dreams she is girl of my dreams. (x)
Open American Country Buffet restaurant in China. Charge 4.50 all you can eat.
Finish movie script.
Get Doctorates.
Step foot on every continent thrice.
Be in four places at once, drunkenly.
Learn how to play poker.
Go to Las Vegas.
See the Alkaline Trio in Chicago.
Spend 24 hours awake in Mall of America.
Crash P. Diddy New Years Party.
Learn to speak French.
Learn to speak Spanish
Replace all Gideon Bibles in a Hotel with copy of On the Road by Jack Kerouac.
Visit Aushwitz.
Within the span of one day, see both West and East coast, swin in both oceans.
Water Ski.
Dump Coca-Cola in an English Channel. Turn about is fair play.
Go to Mardis Gras
Do Spring Break.
Join secret society.
Run for Congress on third-party ticket, preferably Jedi.
Win seat in Congress.
Thumb Wrestle Hacksaw Jim Dugan
Free-style battle the Macho Man Randy Savage.
Write comic book series.
Fly paper airplane off of Seatle Needle-point.
Throw super bouncy-ball down Grand Canyon.
Cook scrambled eggs for a pro-life rally. Protestin' is hungry work.
Have child.
Crash a wedding.
Camp in Yellowstone with Ed.
Swim with Great Whale.
Make Flava Flav clock necklace for a Giraffe.
Have sex at mouth of active volcano.
Proclaim American Cheese is best cheese loudly in public setting in France.
Order Freedom Fries in France.
Be kicked out of Irish pub in Ireland.
Swim to Alcatraz.
Eat Mexican food in Mexico City.
Oktoberfest in Germany.
Open a bar.
Go to Canada.
Find Waldo.
Finish marathon.
Have sex in Lincoln Bedroom.
Paintball in Melbourne, Australia.
Erect George W. Bush monument at Michael Jacksons' Neverland Ranch.
Learn what "a zig a zay ah" means. (Spice Girls, "If You Wanna Be My Lover.")
Photoshoot at Roswell.
Make contact with extra-terristrial life.
Pay respects at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.
See every piece of work in the Musee de Louvre.
Walk across SF Golden Gate bridge.
Get tattoo by either Aborigine or African tribe. Or both.
Reach goal weight.
Accomplish 80% of this list.

Granted not much has been finished on this list, but I'm working on a few of them as we speak.

Half way through next year I will repost this list revised.

I hope everyone had a safe evening. Take care, because tonight is the end of the world.

Make the best of it, because if the Mayan's are right, we only have three years left.

Until Next Year!

A funeral for myself, someone tell my crying mother her son is in a better place now. (Day 26)

I'm so stoned right now, the biblical era just emailed me and asked me for permission to use my likeness in a book.

I woke up this morning having to piss like I've honestly never had to in my life before. So I peed, and right as soon as I was done doing my business, I felt like I had to pee again and thought nothing of it.

As my Dad and I went to go get the mail (our PO Box is on the other side of existence) I started to get these rolling waves of sharp, shooting pain in my groin. As soon as we stopped, I went to urinate again, when I discovered it wasn't pee I was expelling; it was blood.

Now, I'm not a fancy learned doctor. No, no. I hate to give that impression, but I was fairly certain of two things: One) boys don't get periods, and two) peeing blood isn't exactly...good.

I spent nearly all day in the emergency room. I met some really cool people, but's an emergency room. I spent 12 hours waiting to be treated, and to me thats absolutely unnecessary.

Why is modern medicine such a fucking hassle? The bills are tremendous, the process is endless...the bureaucracy of it is mind bottling and staggering. Case in point: three different interns took my blood pressure.

One was brave enough to state I had high blood pressure. My only response was the only appropriate one:

"I've been in this medical facility for nine hours, most the offices look like bombed out ER's in Fallujah, my dick feels like its going to explode, and I wish....I wish to God in heaven I had something sharp to gouge out my eyes so maybe you people would get to the dude pissing blood every five seconds a little quicker. Do you see why my BP is 1000 or infinity, sir?"

I'm usually a patient person, but within the past 48 hours anyone in the medical field has seemed like they have it out for me. Prior to me being in the ER for a grand total of 12 hours, I spent three hours in a urology department waiting to be seen. After five minutes with the glorious Doctor Fucking Zhivago, he promptly informed me there was nothing he could do for me "in good conscience" and turfed me over to the ER for another gauntlet of waiting.

But what made everything even fucking worse was that five months ago I knew I had a kidney stone. I'd had one prior, and it's not a pain you'll ever forget, especially if you're a guy. It's the male equivalent of giving birth, and thats coming straight from my doctor who's a female.

But I had an ultra sound done in October of this year, and was told there was no kidney stone.

Had the technician not been so incompetent, and preoccupied with her French Tips, she might've seen the boulder growing in my kidney, and we could've nipped this in the bud. I'm pretty sure this is a core definition of malpractice.

The kidney stone, and I don't have the full dimensions right now, I'm really stoned on Dilaudid, which is perceived to be five times stronger than Morphine.

I'm no stranger to pain medication, but this shit is the upper echelon of amazing. It was worth every bit of Hell today for it. I didn't expect it to hit me as hard as it did, and it's still rolling over me in waves of euphoria. I'm 100% certain this could end wars.

But the kidney stone itself is about double the size of the common BB.

So I get to deal with that.

I'm out for now. Early update, recap on this wonderfully shitty year.

Until tomorrow!

Monday, December 29, 2008

In the backseat we just try to find some room to breathe. (Day 25)

You ever wonder whatever happened to someone you used to date?

Like really, really wonder?

I do constantly.

There was a girl I dated, and for all intents and purposes of the story...she wound up with a V card one night. I was feeling charitable.

It was one of the longest nights of my life.

She came and picked me up, and we went up to the house she was moving out of. We wound up playing Monopoly with her mother and brother until about two in the morning. After they went to bed, she and I (I'll refer to her as Holly for the sake of the story) outside and talked about random things.

We weren't dating or anything at the time. Just pals. She'd just gotten through a rough break up, I mean really...really rough break up with a close friend of mine at the time. When I say rough, I mean death threats, court orders, etc. really wasn't pretty.

So we were hanging outside, and it started raining. It never rains in Arizona's the desert. No life should ever step foot in the cockles of hell that is this barren wasteland.

I've never been good with women. I never seem to know what to say, I'm horrendous at picking up signals. I fuck around so long, eventually I find myself firmly implanted in the friend zone, and I really don't know how to change it.

I've been told my entire life that it all boils down to confidence.

I have confidence is so many things, but when it boils down to interaction with a girl I suddenly am not so Johnny-Suave anymore.

So we're standing outside in the rain, two am, when I draw a line in a puddle and dare her to cross it. She does. I freak out.

And I do nothing.

I get the feeling I pissed her off. We wind up going back inside, and shes ready for bed. Throws a pillow at my head, etc. So...I'm pretty sure she's angry at me. But see, I'm a bit of a wisenheimer. As she hit the lights, I said, "What, no goodnight kiss."

Needless to say I got some. For the first time.

The point of the story isn't to brag that I had sex, but rather that soon after her and I began dating, and even sooner...we broke up.

And I think about her all the time.

I heard she got married to a Marine and they had a child. But that was it.

And its not that I want to stir the pot or anything, I just...

It feels like with every person I meet, date, fool around with...that I'm leaving a piece of me with them, and right now I feel like theres not much to me anymore. I wonder what those people, every person I've ever come into contact with...what they saw in me, what they got out of me, and what, if anything it is they remember me for. Have I affected them? If so...was it for the better? Did I make anyones lives that much more cheery, or am I dark spot better forgotten.

I can't stand not being able to speak with everyone, to have direct and constant contact. It feels like after I never see a person again, I'm packing up my stuff and moving, and each and every single time I leave something else behind. Another piece of the puzzle that even if I did remember to go back and pick up...might just never fit the same again.

Maybe we don't belong to ourselves, but rather to the people around us. Maybe thats why narcissists are such assholes in our eyes, because we give and give and give, and in get nothing in return. The nature order of things is skewed, and we feel robbed.

And this feeling burns deeper in my chest when its someone who I used to date.

Wondering how they are, what they are thinking of. Are they happy? How has life been treating them? Are they getting everything they wanted?

It's a vicious, endless cycle. I just wish it could stop because I'm pretty sure its not the most healthy of habits.

Until tomorrow.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Never had a drink that I didn't like got a taste of you, threw up all night. (Day 24)

A quick note for Arizona Residents:

On January 5th, my friends from the Bay Area, Bastards of Young (whats not to love about them already, they are named after an awesome Replacements song) are playing a show at the Trunk Space in Phoenix.

They aren't expecting a big turn out, which is unfortunate because these guys are really cool, and the tunes are awesome. Please go check them out, and help support the little guys.

Below is a video of them performing.

Please, go check them out. Consider this a late Christmas/Birthday present. I didn't get much for either days, but it would mean a lot to me. Plus, we could all hang out!

The next few updates will be thematic, just like last weeks travel stories. These updates will be more focused on past relationships.

A good friend of mine is still kind of going through the slings and arrows of a break up, and I feel terrible for them, because this person means a great deal to me and I wish nothing but the best for them, and hope that they can come through this as awesome as they are.

It's weird. Falling in love and breaking up. It seems like when you break up with someone, no matter how much distance you put between you and them, you still carry around the ghost of them. For whatever reason, and that sucks a whole fucking lot.

I used to be so guarded when it came to the girls I was dating. I never put both of my feet in the room, I always seemed to have one foot out the door just to avoid all the pain and heart ache that comes along with the other side of the coin. And when that side of the coin comes up, it can crush you.

The one time I put all my chips on the table I lost everything and then some that I came to the table with.

The one time I didn't have my poker face on, I got took for all I was worth. Like a drunk thats lost a bet, I just glided through life numb for so long after that.

A pal of mine, over at PunkNews recently decided to pull away a bit from the online discussions, which can get pretty rampant at times. As with so many of the decisions males tend to make, theres a female involved, and I won't get into it too much more because I don't want to blow up his spot, but I want him to know I feel for him.

I've never really had that long of relationships. I keep the time frame pretty short because I honestly don't know if I could go through that process of losing someone again. You invest the most valuable asset we as human beings have, and thats your heart. Once thats damaged...Jesus Christ, you feel like theres nothing else in the world left but to drink until your liver crawls out of your throat and goes to Betty Ford.

I know now a lot of the reasons why my relationships didn't work is because while I wanted to be close to them, that lingering fear of one day being ultimately rejected isn't exactly the most appealing aspect of life in general. I'd rather get mauled by a bear, because if I least I get pain killers, cool scars (chicks dig scars) and eventually that physical pain will dissipate.

Up until recently, the girl I'd previously fallen the hardest for, after our break up I carried her with me everywhere I went, until eventually I wound up on the East Coast searching for myself in the Atlantic.

I saw her not too long ago, and decided not to say anything to her. That dog is currently in a coma, and I really don't feel like waking it from it's slumber. I'd rather run while I've still got the chance.

I suggest everyone run as fast as they can, and don't look back.

But I pushed her so hard, and for that I truly feel sorry. She got more than she bargained with me, and the truth is...I'm a very difficult person to handle in any type of intimate exchange.

My mother has been married a lot of times. This marriage now will stick, and I couldn't be happier, but the thought of going through multiple divorces...multiple break ups...I don't know if thats for me.

For everyone who's going through a lot of Hell right now, I feel for you guys. I truly do.

Tomorrow will be a lot less vague of an update.

Until tomorrow!