Saturday, July 4, 2009

You traded all my imperfections for directions to a party across town. You bring the house down. (Day 206)

Artist - Alkaline Trio

Song - Burned Is the House

Album - Agony and Irony (Deluxe Edition)

Happy Fourth of July. I hope everyone stayed safe.

Me on the other hand, I got a concussion and a headwound. Hooray for tripping over a bathroom rug and going head to head with a steel plate. I'd like to say I won, but I'd be a filthy liar. The blood is a testament to that.

I've discovered the best cure for a concussion is drinking alone in the dark while listening to the Alkaline Trio on repeat, and hating everything that's happening right now. Tomorrow will be a better day, but I was due for a bad day.

I've been looking at schools in Seattle a lot lately. The more I think about this idea, the more I think that it may be the best move for me. Researching the city more and more I fall in love with it just a smidge bit higher than I did prior.

Thinking about where I live, Arizona, I realize that I do love this place. But with so many things you love, you still have to just walk away. I'm learning that slowly and painfully left and right. I've been able to overlook the fact that our main export is meth and our biggest tourist attraction is heatstroke.

But I can't grow old here.

There's something else out there, and maybe new people where I can forget my old life and go to the next chapter and not need to worry about looking back. That's where I'm at now.

As for depression and anxiety...the anti anxiety pills aren't working worth a good goddamn, but the Cymbalta is, and I think I've found a keeper.

There's too many haunts and ghosts now. When I leave the next time, I know I won't be back. And it's heartbreaking, but sometimes that's not such a bad thing.

Giving up the ghost has always been such a powerful expression to me. It's one I wished for so long I'd had the courage to do, but now I'm finding that courage to move forward in so many aspects. It's so hard to let go, though. When you could taste the future at one point, and now all you want to taste is cheap Fleischmann''s an awkward trade off, because in the morning you still taste both, and they make such a horrible mixer.

The more and more I think about it, I just want to leave everything behind. I don't think there's much that would ever hold me back, and the truth is...who would actually notice if tomorrow I up and left and never said another word to anyone in a zip code left behind? Would you? I doubt that.

Everytime I should've just said goodnight, goodbye and I didn't...I realize now what a huge mistake that was. Having the last word is a death sentence, I suppose. And I also guess there's something to be said for always leaving them wanting more.

But the words, they've always been so wrong.

It's late at night and I'm drunk off of cheap vodka. These are ramblings. What was the point?

Was there ever one to begin with?

-Until tomorrow.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Come all you weary with your heavy loads. Lay down your burdens find rest for your souls

Artist - Thrice

Song - Come All You Weary

Album - The Alchemy Index Vols. III & IV

For me, this song really makes me think of a friend who's recently went through trials and tribulations I could never begin to even comprehend.

Sexuality is such a double edged sword, and no matter which way you look at it, if you deviate from the norm you're bound to wind up getting cut in one way or the other. And I've never understood why that was, honestly. Who could honestly care that much what happens behind closed doors with another person. Perhaps in the eyes of those more puritanical or reserved, the idea of voyeurism is extremely enticing, and to toss something new and different can be shocking.

But to make the decision to change what you feel was a mistake, to be trapped in a body causing you nothing short of confusion your entire life...why is that looked on with such judgmental disdain?

Humans hurt humans, and it makes this Earth so combustible and filled with sorrow. There isn't enough time for hate a prejudice. Gandhi knew that, Dr. Martin Luther King knew that...why can't we as a collective whole?

-Until tomorrow.

I felt my tongue swell and fingers split. (Day 204)

Today is kind of a short deviation from what I usually have been doing for the past month or so. Those lyrics are from me, and they are from a song that I recorded today.

We've been in this building/makeshift recording studio for 11 hours now, and at one point we all got so stir crazy we wound up recording maybe the most silly and ridiculous song ever done. At one point I do the voice of Inspector Gadget's nemsis, anything to just kill the stir crazy feelings.

But after that we all seemed to be in a really good place, and we wound up recording a very rough demo of a song I wrote called, "Say Goodbye To My Old Life, I'm Off To Better Days."

It's the final track of of an album I've been writing called, "Go Get That Education, Mama" which is, for all intents and purposes a somewhat autobiographical account at sometimes, and a very personal story of four different people (yes, myself is included in that.) It's a project that I'm most proud of. At times it's somewhat sad, at othertimes it's happy. It even tells a really good love story, too. Well, maybe not really good...maybe that's too bold of a statement. However, it is a song thaqt I really like and can't wait to record.

It's a new hing for me. I've recorded a few other songs before, but not to this extent. Not in a comfortable and relaxed environment. So relaxed that at one point during set up I wound up sleeping on the hard floor for about and hour.

I'm not the only one recording any material here, either. I've been extremely lucky to watch to very talented singers and musicians give some very passionate performances. I was even lucky enough to join in on a cover of Thrice's "Come All You Weary".

That song is very beautiful. Regardless of your opinions on church or faith or God, or if you believe or not I really think most people could relate to this song in one form or another.

And in singing it, I realized just the depth of how much I've turned my life around. Or begun too, at the very least, and I can see some of the rewards coming from that. Letting go of that ghost on my back, I'm no longer so depressed and unwilling to do anything social. This past week has been an amazing week, and a lot has gotten accomplished along the way.

Along the way. Who would have ever though that those three words would actually carry such an interesting connotation?

If laughter is the medicine of the soul, the music is the food. Without it...where would any of us be?

-Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I've never felt so strange standing in the Jersey rain. (Day 203)

Band - Gaslight Anthem

Song - The Patient Ferris Wheel

Album - The 59 Sound

When was the last time you stood in the pounding rain? I can honestly answer that question now. Tonight the skies opened up and pounded rain. As I speak, I'm still soaking wet. After one of the hottest days of the year, the rain was such a relief.

Arizona heat sticks with you. Even in air conditioning, you're never quite cooled off. And for the first time in months, I feel so energized and happy and cool.

Rain can be therapeutic. It can wash away so much, you just have to be there willing to let it do so. And in doing so, I've decided that after school, I'm moving someplace where it rains often.

I've always liked Seattle. At least the idea of it. I've never been, but I plan on going before the years end. Just somewhere where it rains, where it's green and goddammit...someplace new.

I'm so excited for the future. For the first time in years the idea of waking up tomorrow isn't depressing.

So hell. Fall in love, stand in the rain, sing loud and dance proud. You only get one go round, right?

"Forget this dead man's town, I'll take you home."

Yeah baby, I'll take you home tonight.

-Until tomorrow.

What have I to show except the promises I never kept? (Day 202)

Artist - Thrice

Song - Artist in the Ambulance

Album - Artist in the Ambulance

This song has always (since it was released, I mean) held a very dear place in my heart. I can relate more than most people could ever comfortably admit. I've been given more than a second chance, and I do owe my life to a stranger, or two.

It's taken me a long time to learn how to move forward. This past year, all throughout this blog.

It's been hard to let go of my friend Leroy. Every day I carry his death on my shoulders, there hasn't been a single day that's passed that I haven't thought about him. It never gets any easier to accept, and I truly hope no one else ever has to suffer the pain of having someone you love be murdered in cold blood.

I decided on that day to move forward with my life. I owe it to every person I've lost in the past few years to try and reach some form of potential, whatever that may be.

I just hope I never let them, or anyone who's decided to believe in anything I do down.

I took my placement test for college today, and did pretty well for all intents and purposes. Velvet asked if I was excited, and I told her not really. While I am a little excited, I also realized I'm 23 years old and just barely a freshman in college. Is that anything to be proud of or to be excited for? I don't know if it is, really.

But I had a lot of things I had to take care of before hand. In retrospect, it might've been the wisest thing I've ever done.

-Until tomorrow.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Here it comes again, that old familiar feeling. Get sick and leave your troubles on the floor. (Day 201)

Band - Samiam

Song - She Found You

Album - You Are Freaking Me Out.

Welcome back. Take a seat, sit back and relax. I hope everyone had a great weekend, I know I did. Enjoy some legendary Samiam!

When I last left off on Friday, I was talking about my last week in Albany, New York. It was such an important time in my life, and at times now it feels like maybe it didn't even happen. I don't want to ever forget, because every moment at that time was amazing. Now sometimes amazing isn't such a good thing. It can be amazing how much damage can be done by a racial slur or derogatory comment towards someones sexuality, or even the amazing devastation that can come with terrorism or natural disasters.

So amazing is quite a word at times. But every moment in Albany was amazing. From standing on a stage telling jokes to people, to being just a little too drunk to even just riding the bus, there was so much to encapsulate in my memory. I miss that, because I haven't had too much of something as gratifying to the senses since then.

While in Albany, I suffered from the longest bout of writers block I'd ever had. Two years later the irony is that it's been a part of my biggest inspiration. So I'm not exactly quite sure how that worked out, but I'm so thankful that it did.

I met a lot of amazing people, and I said goodbye (for all intents and purposes) to one really amazing friend in the fray of it all. That really does stick with me. I think about it constantly.

But that last week, those last few days...all I saw still stay with me. Breathing in the final moments of something great, and knowing that it's finality is nothing but guaranteed is somewhat awe-striking.

When I left Arizona, there was a song I listened too pretty much the entire trip to Chicago. It's an old Jimmy Eat World song called "Goodbye Sky Harbor". If you don't know, Jimmy Eat World are from Mesa, Arizona and Sky Harbor is Arizona's big airport.

I've mentioned this numerous times, but I've always had a love affair with airports. I don't know many people who do, most people find it stressful and tedious.

"So here I am above palm trees so straight and tall you are smaller getting smaller but I still see you."

And then everything I'd come to known was gone. I'd become a total stranger in seven hours. And on that flight, a flight like that....I mean, anyone would be questioning who it was they would become. Not everyone gets a chance to reinvent themselves, but a lot of trouble I had was that I didn't want to forget who I was. I didn't want to return one day, and all the people I loved not be able to recognize who I was anymore. I didn't want to become a fake or a phony. Or lose touch.

Months later I was coming home, and I questioned what I'd learned. To be honest I still do.

And that last week remains fresh in my head.

What did I learn?

What drove me to New York was a broken heart, and what I gained in New York, and the East Coast as a whole was a perspective on life that's more valuable than love, money and possessions. I found myself, and the irony is I was so adamant about not changing. But I did, and in that process, I gave up the ghost.

It takes time for anything worthwhile to grow. I learned that in a beautiful way. For that I'm eternally grateful.

I'm not a spiritual person, and I won't even pretend I know what happens when we die. I don't. Know one truly does that's alive at this moment in time. Gods come and go, but memories of human beings...that's eternal.

I learned that what you do in this life matters. Maybe you're actions aren't even meant for you to gain some sort of learning from. Maybe it's for outsiders to see, and watch and dissect and learn from. We might not all wind up in History books or be famous rock stars and politicians, but there are people always watching, even if we don't know it.

But in all this I've realized all the people I've had the privilege and absolute honor to meet...I'm blessed. Maybe not in a spiritual sense, but in an ethereal sense. I've got a story to tell, and I've been so lucky to hear so many others stories as well.

There's scrapes and bruises and wounds that might never heal, but sometimes the pain is half the fun. Chicks dig scars, right?

Driving to the airport, and knowing what I was leaving behind I saw the airport one last time. How fitting it was the first thing I'd seen all along.

It was a beautiful, cloudy rainy morning. All along I'd questioned, "Was it worth it?"

More than you'd ever know.

It's been a weird journey, but here I am again. Tomorrow I take my college placement test...and the what else happens...well, I don't know. But I'm about to find out.

"Say goodbye to my old life, I'm off to better days."

-Until tomorrow.