Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Doctor: Doctor. Doctor: Doctor.

I’m not a complicated person. Sometimes, I tell my little stories, and experiment on anyone who bothers to read them. Other times, I pull out the soap box and pretend as if I have a clue. Still other times, I completely make shit up, asking friends and strangers to help me by commenting on it, so I can improve my attempts at the art of human expression.

For those who know me in real life, I’m not as manic as this variety of communication makes me seem. But here, on the interweb… well, why the hell not? Why not be a tad enigmatic? Why not act like a complete and state-assisted retard? Why bother getting an original template to post on?

And so it goes. And here we are.

Since you’ve stuck with me, I’m going to make some introductions around, so that everyone has a better idea of who everyone else is. Here goes, in no particular order. Well, unless you call “alphabetical order” particular. For those who do NOT know me personally, do not be offended by my little summaries. I am simply throwing out a bunch of rumor-mill hearsay in order get the dirt churning. Is that wrong? I ask you. Come on. For those who know me personally, well, what did you honestly expect from me? I mean, really.


Allison De Hawaii. The loving wife of one of my most long-standing friends. She hails from the great state of Hawaii, which makes her completely exotic to us country folk in Tex-Mex Tejas. Her mom is sweet as butterscotch and she can karaoke like no one’s bidness.

Allison De Dallas (area). She’s on her way back to Texas after doing some time in NoCal! One of the most admirable qualities that I can think of amongst humans is the ability to persevere even over almost insurmountable obstructions. And yet, I honestly admire the ability to recognize when the goal will not be enough to make up for the cost of attainment. Allison is a person who is capable of being both of those impressive people.

Avatar. From somewhere in Southern California. She’s on a mission to “experience” the opposite sex, and she intends to tell us all about it. I’m a big fan of transparency, so she and I agree. She asks well thought-out questions, as any journalist worth her salt would. I’ve learned from her writing, and I enjoy getting edjudimicated on stuff.

Banksean, my brother. He’s just as manic a poster as I am. But he gets much, much more philosophical or technical than I would ever bother to. He’s like, all smart and shit like that. The CEO of our old company used to refer to him as “GOD”, if that gives you any idea of his potential. I believe he is a commonly underestimated individual, who kicks complete ass, and will be attending the Architecture in Helsinki show with me tonight. Lonestar tallboys all around.

Bella. Another brilliant writer from the great north. Crazy Canucks. She does some sort of radio show where she gets to highlight her keen ability to pick out great sounding new music. I trust her instincts when it comes to the bands she recommends, and her writings on art, Russian history, and religious text/context is always enlightening. Plus, her photos kick much ass.

Brother Nick. He has no blog or web site. I’ve known this guy for A LONG time. One of the most intelligent people I have ever met, and probably the most underrated. He is the other character in this story right here. We have many, many other shared experiences from growing up together. The best of times, and the most desperate of times. My first girlfriend back in high school was convinced that he had a man-crush on me. Which is funny to me, whether it’s true or not.

Carmen. Babu. Jayne. Carmenita. What can I say about Carmen? She’s a damn good artist who reads hella fast. Her dog is part pit bull, part prairie pig. When she drinks, which isn’t often enough, she smiles constantly. She’s the kind of person who always has a compliment handy, but almost always chooses to ration them out so as to keep their value up. She owns lots of orange things, and she is a close friend of mine.

Debbie. Those crazy members of the 51st state! The Prattler. Debbie has a wonderful way with description. She writes an open letter of lust to construction workers like you’ve never read. Her love of martinis, the crafted word, and the endless pursuit of men make her a most entertaining read. One of my top ten “People I’ve Never Met but Would Love to Have a Drink With.” She’s moving to Montreal from Toronto soon, so wish her luck.

Drew. Another great drinker, who can stand tall, even amongst marathon drinkers like Zander. And of course, the taller they stand while shit-talking drunk, the funnier the fall from the barstool. Drew has a great way of describing average situations so that the reader can feel like they’re there with him, boozing it up and acting on instinct. My only wish is that he would go ahead and WRITE a damn book already. Just. Write the thing. Word. [Well: wordS, but you get my drift]

Girl (with an alibi): Owner of “the lists”. She can break anything or any topic down into a set of points, along a list. This is an important skill when you’re trying to discuss a complex topic, and the people who read your blog are probably like me [kickin’ it with an extra chromosome]. I am not a particularly religious person, but I appreciate her stance when it comes to her faith. Bygones.

Glitzy. Holdin’ it down in the left-hand state! I almost lived in Michigan, for university. I would have really enjoyed the cold, but I would have really missed my friends and family. If I were to have made that move, I would hope that once up there, I’d meet someone as cool as Glitzy to fill the void. She knows video games, good music, and her eye makeup is NUTS. I enjoy reading of her exploits and daily life, and I enjoy it when she comments here.

Grimace. This man can write through multiple sides of the same pen. That is to say, he can take on many different perspectives or personalities in his writing. Whatever it takes to get his point across. I have no idea what he does for a living, but it better be in music or writing, because those professions need more like Grimace. Who else could come up with their own Super Hero named The Peacock? I ask you: who? No one but Grimace.

Harley. Best. Fiction writer. In blog land. Hands down. If you want to read some funny, and deeply creative writing, read this. Seriously, good goddamn writing.

Lycan. I enjoy the tales of Lycan because I get to live vicariously through him. Not that my sun has set, and I’m just kickin’ back with a Bud Lite while watching Wheel of Fortune reruns or some shit. Rather, I never bothered to approach the social scene the same way as he does. And unlike many others who approach it as if they were a Lycan, he does it with style and he is capable of communicating the mindset behind it all, very effectively. Plus, it’s just fucking entertaining to read. I’m big into debauchery, so his stories are perfect.

Melanie is another kick ass Austinite whose blog I magically ran into one day. She labeled me “random” after that, and so it goes. Her blog is a more personal look at who she is, where she’s going, and what she wants to be. Fascinating look into the personal life of a witty local. Plus, she works at The Oasis, a rather popular spot out on the lake. Always good to have a hook up, right Mel! Whoo-hoo!

Misty. I have no idea how she found my blog, but we know people in common. She hasn’t posted in a while, but I enjoy it when she does. Hello? Misty? Anybody home anymore?

Oscar. It was his birthday yesterday, so feel free to with him a happy belated. Oscar is a mad-crazy traveler whose job puts him everywhere, all the damn time. When he’s here in Austin, we eat too much, drink WAY too much, and tell each other how pretty we are CONSTANTLY. This man knows the art of travel, fine cinema, show tunes, Czech beer, and chicken wings. Do not mess with his hair.

Rameshwar. Ramdung. Dungster. Dungmeister. Ramshit. One Dung Low. Whatever. Ramdung comes from the old school. He is a gifted creator of music and dabbler in high-level philosophy. He’s all into some existential shit right now, but then again, aren’t we all? He writes brilliant music reviews and can make you laugh at just about anything. He burns himself with his iron FAR too often to be normal, and that’s okay.

Sara. Of all the stories I’ve ever read, hers seem to be the most honest. She just lays it all out there for anyone to read, and potentially judge. And in a way, I see that as the challenge in following her life. Judging is soooo easy. Four year-olds do it, so it isn’t rocket science. And her writing forces the reader to honestly consider where she’s coming from and why she makes the decisions she makes. I appreciate the perspective. You might too.

TxBx. From the panhandle of Texas comes Texas Biscuit! I first ran into this blogger by way of these crazy memes that kept dead-ending with me. I don’t like memes, but I am always curious as to who the hell starts them because there is a certain level of wit necessary to their successful construction.

Zander. This guy is living a life relatively similar to the one I lived when I was in New York. Except he has a job. Which is a HUGE fucking difference. But, other than that, his stories are remarkably parallel to that of mine. Besides the fact that he’s like, over six feet in height, has melanin in his skin, never publishes typos, and drinks scotch instead of gut-rot tequila with Tecate chasers. Okay. So there’s no real similarities there. He’s funny as shit, and he drinks a-lot. So there.

Alrighty then. Talk amongst yourselves. Say hello. Or don’t. Just stand around all awkward, staring at one another with odd apprehension. Start a mosh pit. Croquet game. Running Man. Whatever feels right to you.

I’ve probably left someone off by accident. I didn’t mean to, because I’m seriously trying to introduce everyone around. So, if you’ve been left off by accident, or you’re a no-goodnik lurker, give me a shout-out. High five. Middle finger. Whatever.

Word be bond.

Monday, June 20, 2005

I'll Have the Lobster Bisque. Now.

One of the biggest barriers to my own happiness appears to be a general misunderstanding of the importance behind knowing what I want. I know, it sounds idiotically elementary, but I don’t believe it is. And I don’t believe I’m alone in this. It’s a complex problem with almost infinite variables, and it’s a virus that we all carry. But some show more signs of infection than others. I'm covered in the stuff.

The simple example would be an indignant encounter with The Soup Nazi. He has a long line, streaming out the door into the weather. But his soup is absolutely delicious. So you wait in that line. You wait… you wait… and then, hey, you wait another five goddamn minutes. Eventually you hit the front, and there he is, staring down at your tired ass: knees locked, threatening to pass out from weak circulation.

“What soup you want now?!”

“I, uh…”

Fuck. While standing in that line, your brain apparently cut loose. You neglected to make a decision concerning your soup flavor. The vegetable beef with that corn broth. Or the lobster bisque. Maybe the New England clam chowder. And oh, it smells so good… licking… the lips… so succulent…

“Hmm. Let’s see, I guess I’ll have the-”


What? Who?

“But, I was just… I wasn’t, it’s just that the line made me…”


Too pokey with the demands, man. The dude behind you pushes you to the side and immediately drops his order with military precision. He’s going to get some of that deliciousness. Plus he didn’t waste thirty minutes in that godforsaken line. But you? Oh no. Not you. You get muscled out the door by the moving crowd. Empty handed.

Aw shit. Mickey D’s again. Damn.

A more complicated example would be: whatever the hell you decided to spend your time on when you were sixteen. Did you realize, especially back then, how much of an influence that would have on your happiness today? Did you? You seriously believe that you understood the “grass is always greener” cliché? The ultimate killer of happiness? Really? Did you honestly consider what your opportunity costs were going to be, before making every decision, as a teen?

Well, you can lie to me, but don’t lie to yourself.

Two general examples, both intended to display the extremes, and regardless of their different surfaces, both have the same fundamental problem with malformed decision making skills. Both sixteen.

One is Jenny. She’s a cello virtuoso, lead soprano in the choir, Vice President of the Chess Brigade, and a strong candidate for National Merit Scholar. Her most commonly used phrases are “sorry, but I will be prepping for my PSATs that weekend”, “you should never take a right on a red”, and “no, seriously, what is a blow job?”

The other is Chad. Chad already beat Vice City twice, can roll a joint while driving, just got promoted to Head Creamer at Marble Slab, and takes most Fridays off from school (you know, to wind down from the week and shit). His most commonly used phrases are “I’m gonna be a fucking rock star, just wait“, “this job is total bullshit, man”, and “ dude, what the fuck?”

Ten years down the line, both come to the conclusion that they are victims of their own inability to make an honest decision for themselves. Regardless of appearances, both are equally ignorant as to what they will eventually enjoy in life, and what paths must be found to get there. Both are on diametrically opposed modes of autopilot. And both are equally lost, starting at the delicate age of sixteen.

It will take ten years for Jenny to shed the desires and expectations of her family and the institutions which propped her up. She will find out what a blow job is. She will stray from her path, burn some things down, and eventually risk everything she has ever worked at in order to “find herself”. This will probably include a really slutty trip Europe, and maybe a two-year crank habit. She’ll learn though. She’ll find her way clear of everyone else’s decisions, and learn to make her own, based on her experimentation with “what” she “wants”. She’ll learn the importance of being comfortable with having others disapprove of her actions, as long as she believes in what she’s doing. She will force herself to discover real confidence, forged from successes brought on by her own will, rather than the completion of tasks handed to her by others. She will build her own person, and always wonder what would have happened to her if she had only known these things when she was sixteen.

Chad will toss and turn through the following ten years. Falling about, this way and that. Never really sure where he is going, or what the point is. After being allowed to drift for so long without being taught the proper discipline necessary to helping one figure themselves out, he is left with no clue as to what he wants from life. He’ll take odd jobs. A telemarketing gig here and there. Probably become a sales rep for plumbing products until he gets fired for nailing the owner’s daughter (or something equally well thought-out). But he’ll figure it out eventually. He’ll figure out that all those distractions were just that: distractions. And that no one else seemed to care whether he was happy, so it’s obviously up to him. He’s been locked up long enough. He’ll have to shed that laid-back party-boy exterior and buckle down. He has to discover his real talents, and explore interests which are not dictated to him by popular culture. And he will, even if it kills him (probably in county, if it does). He will look back on his days as a sixteen year-old with strange curiosity, and wonder how he ever got by back then.

There’s no map, script, or schedule to the thing. It’s a mess, as it should be, with some being messier than others. Some “get it” with amazing ease. It hits others just before their last breath. Many never get it at all, or never even consider that they didn’t have it back when they were sixteen (and certainly haven’t acquired it).

What do you want? What is YOUR point? What is it you NEED to feel?

You don’t want to wait this whole time, through this whole life of criss-crossing situations and potentially wonderful relationships without asking yourself what you want to order. You don’t want to spend all this time and effort, just to get to that counter to have some douche balloon slap it all away…


Me? I’m leaning toward that lobster bisque. I hear it’s the shit.