Friday, January 30, 2009

Man, they love me when I'm laying the cut. (Day 57)

Awesome. Finally I'm getting back into the habit of mid-day posts.

Last night I worked on a short story thats kind of wreaked havoc on my psyche. I should explain:

Years ago in High School, instead of being on the football team and getting girls, I took the much less cool and studly path; I took Drama/Theater for all four years of my High School career. Through it, I was in a few play; most notably playing a psychotic killer named Vincent Grey.

Vincent was an interesting character, to be honest. And I hate come off pretentious like that. But honestly, he was an interesting character, and it was really fun to get to do that. Vincent came to a town, and was a handy man who every one liked. One day he accidentally electrocuted himself, and became a mute who's only purpose in life was to murder those who loved him.

One of the coolest things about doing plays is the live atmosphere. It's literally chaos behind the curtains, and side stage. Part of you is enveloped in the play happening on the stage because you're so proud of the people out there on the stage, but theres the part of you struggling to remember what you're supposed to say next, and then theres the elation and rush of adrenaline after having been on stage in front of a decent sized crowd.

Eventually Vincent was killed off. But several times, the protagonists attempted to kill him off, feeling they'd accomplished finally at one point they sat in relief on stage. Out stumbles Vincent.

And at the moment, one of the guys in the play, his mother was in the crowd. And of course there was the expected, "Ohhhh!" from the crowd. But this kids mother, in the dark you could see her stand up and yell loudly, "OH NO HE DIDN'T!".

I bit a hole in my cheek trying not to break character. Ladies and gentleman, presenting:
the Show Stopper.

It was awesome. To be honest, and I'd love to do it again. I really, really would.

But I learned a lot in that class. I feel a lot of what I learned in Theater can be applied to real life, so much more than mathematics. Plus I'm rubbish with numbers.

But you learn to read signs, read people for reactions. To think on your feet--think four or five steps ahead in case something unexpected happens. To hone your wit, and wherewithal.

In Albany, ever Monday they would have an open mic at this place called the Muddy Cup, which was a fun little coffee shop. So as often as I could, I'd go down and do the stand up just to help keep me from playing tag with a public bus' grill.

There was one instance after I did my little rant and rave where someone asked me what the process was of writing my jokes, and it kind of struck me odd.

I don't write jokes. What happens, with almost anything I do is rarely pre-meditated.

I forgot several lines during that play, and improvised just enough for it to fit flow.

But one thing I learned from Drama was the idea of method acting. Coming into things as a poor excuse for a writer, I find that concept quite interesting. I truly do. The idea of placing your self in a position where you are living the character you portray is an fascinating process.

While I like to leave wiggle room with stand up, and liked to do the same with doing drama, with writing its a completely different story.

I've been writing for quite some time now. I've not improved much, really. I'm barely below the line of sucking though, which is nice. Maybe one day I'll suck instead of defying the laws of physics by sucking and blowing at the same time.

But I constantly try to change how it is that I write. One thing I've discovered though is applying the idea of method acting and turning that into a tool for writing. I'm not really sure of anyone else who really does it. Jesse and I had a conversation today about authors; especially creative writing suburbanites in college classes.

So many of them become infatuated with the idea of being self-destructive to A) Have credibility amongst their peers, B) To show how they are the antithesis of a subversive existence; that they truly are a unique snow flake. One of a kind, or C) Become obsessed with the image of Hemingway, Bukowski, Kerouac, Wilde or any other author that drowned in their own decadence.

Instead of ever being concerned with what it is they are doing, and living their lives in a more contentious manner, they become in this character; this identity thats built upon false pretenses. "I drink absinthe, I take pills, I snort lines." and to be quite honest, not to say I'm absolving myself from some of those tendencies, they make it come across as their own prideful existence.

I nearly choke to death hearing people say, or even ask me, "I remember when I found my voice, when or how did you discover your voice, Aaron?"

Are you kidding me? What 'voice'? There are so many parallels between the literature industry and the music industry. I've had the dubious honor of being able to be exposed to both, and to be honest...I don't want to be apart of something like that. I do, but I don't, either.

"Whats your voice, Aaron?"

That disgust me on a different level. It strikes me the same as when kids follow underground bands.

What if I had a voice, and then one day I decided I'd hit puberty and had a different octave? They turn on you pretty quickly, honest.

Same thing goes with a band. The second you add that fifth chord and break from a 2/3 time signature you're a sellout.

The egos of almost every 'serious' writer I've come across makes me want to fucking vomit. Every single one of them want to live a lifestyle I could never imagine myself living. Buried deep in the Five Burroughs of New York City (No slight on NYC, I love you kids) having wine, attending art galleries while some pompous DJ spins unintelligible records from obscure Peruvian Techno artist. I know a lot of people attempting to fit into that "art" scene, and honestly want no part of it.

As far as writers who aim to actually get published, I have no friends or associates in that realm.

No one (in the writing community) seem to be willing to deviate from that path and commit the taboo of not giving a fuck. Of just being yourself for the sake of just accepting that thats the best fit. I'd venture to say most of those serious authors have no clue who they are.

Thats why they romanticize decadence. At once it was fun, but now it's an integral part to who they are. You gotta uphold this image to fit into a community, and honestly...whats the point?

Which is why I want to disassociate myself from ever having a 'voice'. I don't need to find who I am through my work, because honestly...I do this for me. Not for you, and I don't mean to sound like a dick. I want people to dig it, sure, or else I wouldn't be publishing it. But I have nothing to prove to my "peers".

And in applying method acting to writing, it's an interesting process. I don't want to get into specifics right now, mostly because I'm trying to shake off the feeling I've had stuck with me for the past eighteen hours. It's something most people would never willing participate in, I know that much.

I wrote this story called, Chet. You might remember that from a post a few weeks ago. I'd had trouble with trying to decide if I should even write it because of the content. I finally decided that I needed to do it because the idea continuously burned in the back of my head.

The preparation for it though kind of took a bit of a toll on me.

So many of these "serious authors" attempt to make their struggle their existence to hone their "craft".

Because of I write a story, I'll start a story and not move until I've finished it. I don't want to have to relive some of these issues longer than need be. But as soon as I'm done with a story, I literally want to disassociate myself completely from writing, from the story, etc.

So anyway, thats my rant. To sum it up, "I'm so sick of modern art."

I leave you now with two more bits:

The guest updates is shaping, and is looking very promising. I've gotten confirmation from one in particular that I'm so giddy I may birth a unicorn. Don't even ask. But I'm really excited. There are so many talented people taking helm, that I can't wait for this to take shape. Some of the entries so far are really, really good.

And secondly I leave you with a teaser from Chet. Here we go. Hope you hate it:

Chet Teaser.

"It used to be safe here. Safe from the vermin, the filth, the putrid
infiltration of the secular world. It floods this city like a tidal wave
filled with sin and depravity. But I, I stand alone in these bleak streets
at night with the armor of the Lord, for I am his sheath and his shield.
I am the reckoning.

They took my daughter from me. They took her, and I watched her eyes scream
in horror whilst her mouth lay cocked in a smarmy smile. Curse the Devil, and
damn his minions for breaking those lips askew. I watched her eyes scream, gasp
and finally the shimmer was gone; I watched them take her, defile her...I watched
her die slowly.

They loved every moment.

But for what they took from me, I shall regain. In the name of the Lord,
in the honor of angels, vengeance shall reign.

And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye,
tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. - Deuteronomy 19:21."

Thats all I got for today. Make sure to go check out Have Tumor, Will Travel. It's much more interesting than this whiny baby bull-shit.

Until tomorrow.

A giant fist is out to crush us. (Day 56)

I dealt with my case worker today.

It's enough for me to completely refuse any treatment outside the way of medication, and just go it alone. I don't do well with the theory of "group", and she made sure under no circumstance I would not have choice or say in the matter.

She went on to say she had no idea who I was, nor had she the time to look through my file at the moment. When she answered the phone, it was extremely confrontational, "Yeah? What do you need?" "Um, you left a message for me to call you." "Well, you left one first. So what is it that you need?"

As I described what I was being treated for, she made damned sure to tell me that my issues "weren't my specialty".

I got so fed up with it, I wound up saying, "So I guess you can do nothing to help me, or apparently anyone. Thanks."

She attempted to schedule and appointment, and I really doubt I will go through with it. I'd rather wind up smashing ants that aren't visible than ever deal with her face to face.

So I'm sorry for the late update. Just like olden times! But in my defense, I've been writing a story all night, and the character, the main one, is a vile antagonist. I just don't feel comfortable with this.

I think it will be worth it in the end though.

Anyway, again, time for the hype machine!

Coming soon, soon, soon! Guest updates! Yay, no more boring assed Aaron.

I've got a few in so far, and they are looking mighty fine.

Thats all I got for tonight. I need to finish this story. After this, theres one more to go, and File Under Powerviolence, as far as the actual writing is concerned, is done! God I can't wait to see a tangible proof of my efforts and work.

Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I've been wearing this new outfit called "Quit while you're ahead". (Day 55)

This will be a brief update.

I'll be starting a new sleeping medication tonight, called Trazodone. That will be added on top of the Ambien I already take. Elvis just emailed me, and he said he thinks I'm on too many pills. Thanks King. Good to know you died on your throne.

Anyway, in much more exciting news. Starting very, very, very (VERY!) soon there will be guest updates. I don't want to really blow the surprises by some of the people who've loosely agreed to do an update, but I'm so freaking honored it hurts. The guest updates will be going on as long as people are willing to do them (from those I've asked, whoever agrees, etc) and I'm really just excited. It will be from all angles, and I'm just pleased as punch about this.

I'm not sure exactly when the guest updates are gonna start, I'm waiting until people submit, and I've not finished asking people/waiting to hear back from a few. But if all goes according to plan (and my insane fanboy wishes, believe me I'll hype that post up a lot if it comes to pass) and prayer, the final guest update is one you will not want to miss. Trust me.

So that's all I've got for now. I finished up writing the story thats going to end File Under Powerviolence today. I just have a little bit more tweaking, and this baby is nearly finished.

Until tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I'm just dancing to the beat of a different drum. (Day 54)

Doctors can be infuriating. The place I go to for psych and everything, I don't understand how it is they are exactly helping anyone. They've let go thirty employees, and some people who are in counseling at this place are being told they will no longer receive care.

This office has given be the run around so much since the beginning of the New Year, and while it's my fault I had to cancel one meeting (I was dying of food poisoning) they continuously waited until I was at the office for two consecutive meetings to tell me I was either late (due to their own mistake) or the doctor took a day off.

When I went there today, I wound missing a ride because the same doctor was running late. Sitting in the lobby, I discovered that either the whole world has gone insane and I'm the sole survivor of sanity, or I've lost my mind. People rocking back in forth in their chairs talking to God (not praying---conversing. Direct quote: "God, why did you make feet? You so crazy.") to a hyper active child who nearly tore down a secured door just because he was hungry and bored.

As for the doctors visit itself, I felt very rushed. While going into it, before I even sat down the TV (she's never there face to face, it's done by using a web cam) told me I had 15 minutes. I was lucky if I got 8, though. Every concern I had was dismissed, and other issues I had was rushed.

Apparently I've had a case worker who was supposed to be in contact with me this whole time. I didn't even know. So when it came time for me to set up an appointment with him, I discovered that he was one of the thirty employees let go. I was supposed to receive a call informing me of my new case worker at about 1pm. As of 1:am, right now, I've not gotten any call or anything.

Why is it the first medical field to be shortened is this one? The people left behind are so jaded with their jobs that its almost not even worth it show up, on either parties account.

What if I'd had serious problems I needed to discuss with her? Now, or in the future. Do I need to adhere to the 15 minute rule? Should I practice a dissertation, or present my problems and assertions in speech from like a politician taking stage during a press conference?

I know that in the future, as apprehensive as I was going into this, all the while I was supposed to have a case manager and um, counseling, but I know now that I'm in no way whatsoever, even by an inkling, any type of a priority--even when I'm sitting in the chair.

And it's not that I want it to be about me, me, me. There are people there with very serious problems. But I gotta think I'm not the only one feeling frustrated with the lack of even common decency from then.

The child I mentioned above was only twelve years old, and very obviously needed to be seen by someone, and I mean immediately. But do to bureaucracy, he had to sit like a cog in the system while they tracked down an approval from AHCCCS because it'd lapsed a few days prior. The only reason I know all of this is because the room is small, and it echoes, and his mother was distraught (understandably so). Also, I used to be her boss.

But for all it was worth, they could've seen that kid while they were waiting for the approval.

There was another guy who I guess fancied himself as some what of a Don Juan. He approached every woman, and I literally mean every woman--despite age, or anything otherwise, by saying, "Hey girl". And I don't know. I'm all about people talking to the opposite sex, and finding someone, except this guy was obviously the biggest creeper.

Since I'd been jerked around so much by this particular facility, I decided that they could come and pick me up and drop me off this time (they have a free ride service, which is pretty cool, actually). This guy rode in with me, and I guess he had some sort of head trauma, and he made sure I knew it.

But his personality drove me insane.

I make jokes, sometime their sex jokes, but it's nothing thats done so distastefully that it'd be considered sexual harassment. And I'm used to hearing a lot of guys say things I couldn't ever fathom being uttered outside of a porno set. Music venues, hanging out with bands or whatever, for the most part it's basically a boys club (isolate that), but even then you get the sense that it's only done in jest. But this guy actually made my skin crawl, and I'm a male.

On the ride home, the driver (who was really cool) and I got into a discussion about Blues, and Jazz. Apparently Creeper Connoley in the back is a big fan of jazz, because he inserted himself in such a way into our conversation that he completely cut me out of it. But after a while he realized he hadn't spoken in three seconds, and decided to address me. He asked who I'd seen that day, to which I responded.

"Oh, I would tackle that given the chance". And he stopped for a second expecting high fives, and double-gun pointing from the driver and I. Maybe I'm the weird one, but the idea of a stranger saying that to any randos....I just think thats extremely inappropriate, and I'm not exactly a subscriber to America's Puritan Standards and Practices.

When he didn't get the high fives, he continued. I had to just tune him out at that point, because I felt like I was going to say something. I'm really glad this extra for Chris Hansen's "To Catch A Predator" lives within a stones throw of my house. Really.

But sitting in that lobby was completely unnerving for me. I don't know if it's because of the medication, but lately I've been really stressed out and anxious, and I lost my temper so long ago I'm just not sure if I can find it again. But given that, I'm not a stranger to places that aren't exactly Eden. I've been in the room while people have done meth, I've had a memorable night in Harlem, and yeah...I've been in some of the less than pretty places in my life. But that lobby is the one that bothered me.

Asides from the guy rocking back and forth, shooting the breeze with J.C and God, there was a guy who refused to sit down the entire time he was there. He wound up standing right next to the receptionist desk, and he stared straight at me the entire time. And when I say entire, I don't mean he looked away here and there, or we would sometimes catch eyes. I mean he stared at me the entire time, and that stare is the stare of a prisoner thats recently been released, and is starting to get used to society again, but hasn't quite reached it. If I'm one thing, it's in most instances (minus with women) I'm observant. In being observant, I realized he didn't take shining to me, and we never said a word to each other, not once.

He kept walking up to me, within a few feet, and would check his reflection in the mirror. He did this once every five minutes, I counted. He would constantly go to the bathroom (which to get too, a button has to be pushed to allow you through) and he wouldn't say anything. He would walk up to the door, still staring at me, and then just continuously pull on the door, hard, until someone obliged him.

What I'm getting at is that, it takes a lot to make me uncomfortable with anything (minus girls). But this entire day, I really felt uncomfortable. Why there isn't a guard at this place in particular astounds and amazes me to know end. The one place where it is needed, it isn't there. And it's not like they are completely oblivious to this pending problem, otherwise why would they have the door thats locked, and has to be buzzed open? The receptionists sit behind bullet-proof windows that they slide open to deal with you, and the second the conversation is over, that glass window is slammed shut.

Theres so many issues here, and I really feel they need to be addressed by someone in a position to make an effect, because mental issues shouldn't be attended too in such faulty faculties. It's a delicate situation, and the problems facing this building in particular is a travesty, in my opinion. A lot of these people need help, and they are being shepherded into 15 minute segments, aren't informed of anything pertaining to their cases, and in some instances cut completely without the consideration of at least a months notice.

Anyway, that's enough of me talking about stuff no one cares anything about. On to exciting (!!!) news: Tomorrow there will be a guest writer for Days Gone By. I could tell you who now, or I could let the surprise speak for itself, although if you've read more than two posts from here I'm sure you can pick out who it is.

I'd actually like to do a week of guest spots, just to add a little bit of depth, and something fun and different. It isn't just the Aaron Hale show, starring and produced by HaleCo.

So make sure to check in tomorrow, and check out the awesome guest spot. It'll be so much better than what I do. Honestly.

Also, on a side note: This blog is dedicated to the memory of Barry Minnilow. Barry was Velvet's turtle, Yertle's adopted pet. You're swimming with angel minnows now, buddy.

Thats all I have for now. Make sure to check in tomorrow, damn it.

Until tomorrow.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I'm so sick of fighting with every single person I know. (Day 53)

Once again my doctor has made me out to look like a doctor, and thats fine. I've already got a sterling reputation, one more tarnish isn't going to hurt.

The other night someone asked me if they should be a writer. It might strange, and despite doing other things to make ends meet, when you do kind of takes everything out of you. It's physically and emotionally taxing, and to be quite honest with you...I wouldn't suggest it. Pick up a bass, or get a drum kit. Everyone wants to play guitar, no one wants to be the real backbone of a band and lay down as the skeleton and hold anything together; they want to be the skin, the part only the most casual of people see or seem to care about.

If you need an artistic outlet and you want to take a somewhat difficult road, but one that almost undoubtedly will yield even the smallest of noticeable returns, just pick up a bass guitar and learn how to pick it out. By 'Static Age' from the Misfits (not the 'new version', the real version with Danzig on the vox box), and work from there to the Ramones, and then the Alkaline Trio. You'll pretty much learn all you need to know to be a punk rock bassist from there. Not to take away from the musicianship that it takes to play bass, Dan Andriano is fucking brilliant on those four strings. Brilliant.

Work it out in sweaty clubs with people throwing shit at you, or insulting you or ironically yelling out a "Free Bird" request (the worlds first meme, apparently) at every single show thats ever existed since that song became a hit.

Or pick up a drum kit. Start with the Misfits, Ramones, Alkaline Trio sure, but make sure to include bands like the Suicide Machines and even the Lawrence Arms. Derek Grant is a genius behind the snare and cymbals. I've never seen someone so effortlessly switch between right and left handed domination, and then back. He makes it look so easy...but Neil Hennessey is the most underrated drum currently pounding away. And he's so god damned good it's kind of scary.

As for writing's impossible to ever gauge what it is you're doing, if it matters at all or how badly you might actually suck. Theres no fervor, theres no fire behind it. Whats even the point at all? Anyone who ever really left a lasting impression on the world behind the pen and pad was never really fully recognized until they were long dead, save for a handful of writers here and there. But only time will tell whats in store for that legacy.

But being in a punk rock band...when people love you, they hang onto you with a love so unparalleled that it'd be borderline stalker-esque in any other circumstance. The shitty thing is, as soon as those miles logged in a van start to pan out, they will turn on you. Whatever though, they will still be at the shows requesting "Free Bird" to maintain their credibility. Just enjoy the ride, and pay no mind.

But it's not like I could ever do a book reading and someones going to request "A PERFECT DAY FOR BANANAFISH!!!" and I'm just going to start reading it. One in one hundred people (save for those that click that link) would even understand that reference. So really, whats the point? I don't even know, I just know I don't really have any other desire to do anything else besides see my dreams dashed to bits on a monthly basis. Rejection tastes like bananafish. Delish!

But to you...I wouldn't suggest it. That might actually go on my urn, too.

While you still have the chance, learn the three chords to "Blitzkrieg Bop" and never look back. Making music is one of the most ethereal and respected things to do in this world.

Until tomorrow.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I'm every morning you woke up alone. (Day 52)

I found my wallet. By the hammer of Thor, thank Zeus, etc.

I'm really excited for my friend coming down soon. I reference her blog all the time, but I get to actually see the process of her doing what she does best: pictures. And she really does it better than anyone I personally know.

After the false alarm last week, I will be going to my next psych appointment at 9:30 in the morning tomorrow. I really feel the dynamic of this blog is going to shift soon. I just wonder how.

Right now I'm in a great mood.

Thats all I've got for tonight, I know it's short. But I need to hit the sack early tonight. I was up until the sun rose last night/morning...

I wouldn't have had it any other way.

"I still love Tom Petty songs and driving old men crazy."

Until tomorrow.