last night i dreamt that i was fighting nazis. i was clearing out a house with my buddies, but we didn't check a room off to the side behind us and one of them came out and was trying to kill me with a knife. somehow i was all alone at that point, and i don't know why i didn't have an M1 or something. but he had one knife, then i managed to grab it, then somehow he had another one. and he slit my throat. didn't cut my windpipe, just broke the skin good. i could fucking FEEL IT. but as he let his guard down i plunged the knife i had into his neck. it was hard to do, even though the neck's a pretty cushy, delicate spot. and he gurgled a bit and then i went to find my friends, my throat still cut open.
what the fuck did i do yesterday to dream that? i mean seriously, what. the. fuck.
and then i started dreaming that i was with jodie foster and she was leading me down this small trail cut into a large stand of some kind of green lush plants. but when we got to the end of the trail, to this campsite, it was winter and snow covered the ground. and then i realized i was in some kind of movie, watching it but also being a part of the cast at the same time. she put some fresh wood on the glowing embers of a campfire, and started to boil some water. it was neat the way she did it, putting a metal rod through two holes that were bored on either side of a coffee can and lowering the can into the flames. i could tell from the soot and scorch marks on the can that she had used it before. then after a minute or two, we walked back up the path to a house where a bunch of her "family members" were, and she and her "sister" started talking about how their dad had molested them at that campsite.
then i woke up.
and i ask again, what the fuck did i do to dream that? it is pretty creepy shit, and not what people should dream about. i should be dreaming about weddings and bunny rabbits and shit like that. not slit throats and child molestation. the closest thing i watched to violence yesterday was the season finale of Weeds. oh, and monday night football, hahaha.
so i am a little unsettled this morning. i've had violent/unpleasant dreams before. plenty of times. but these...these were just plain fucked up. and i am intensely curious as to what they really mean, because...what. the. fuck.
i smell like it. we ran out of regular bar soap this morning, apparently, and a bar of sandalwood-scented soap was all i could find. i am a walking stick of incense. add this to my bloodshot eyes--because i sleep with my eyes half open--and i can only imagine the image i present. this scent is radiating off me. makes me kinda wish i was smoking. hell, all the bindery workers i walk past in the morning probably think i lit up a doob before i showed up. so why not at least get some fun out of it?
i wonder what they think of me. i come in through the back entrance so i can punch the time clock, and during the last week and a half there has been at least one person out there taking a smoke break. i feel like clarice starling at the very beginning of "the silence of the lambs," when she comes off the training course and has to get into an elevator full of burly men. it's uncomfortable. i work up front, in a cube, with a computer. they work in the back, assembling printed materials. and in the morning, i am on parade.
ugh. this coffee tastes like poopy shit.
i digress. i'm trying not to let this bullshit with my father color my day, and more importantly the final 12 days before my wedding. janine suggested i call my mom while dad's out of town and let her know how i feel. janine's wondering if my dad is truly taking this seriously, if he realizes that despite its limited scope, this is in fact my very. real. wedding. and the government may not recognize it in North Carolina or most of the other 50, but that does not change a thing. this is not just playing house. i am getting up there in a white suit and proclaiming my love in front of our family and friends, and at the end the minister will sign the marriage license and we will be legally married.
i think...no, i know, that part of the reason this hurts so much is that i am genuinely worried that come november, people's prejudice will get the best of them and they will vote yes on proposition 8. it happened in oregon. all those marriages invalidated. rights simply stripped away. so part of my anger and my worry toward that happening is being projected onto my mule of a father. but i know he's a mule. i knew it before i sent him those emails yesterday. i played the one ace i had: seeing me as his daughter whose rights will be taken away (and continually suppressed) willingly by this man and the people he represents. mccain supports invalidating my marriage. he believes janine and i cannot create a stable, loving household for our children, that only a man and a woman can do that. i will not get into how offensive this is to much of the population of single mothers and fathers, and grandparents raising children, etc.
but by extension, that is the message i am getting from my father, whether he realizes it or not. either way, my ace is wasted on the mule. and i wonder, if i cannot convince my own father that mccain is not the man who should be running this country, how could i convince anybody else?
does my father really understand that my wedding is real?
i can't think about this anymore right now. the anguish and the sandalwood are making it too difficult.
i love you. you have always been a great dad, even if sometimes you are stubborn and a bit deaf when you want to be. you have always been there to listen, and you love me for who i am. i know you are proud of me. you taught me how to ride a bike. you always encouraged me to do my best in school and in life, to do what was right. you came to all my softball games and played catch with me in the yard. you took me to buffalo bills games as a kid, just me and you. you took me and billy camping as kids and taught us how to build campfires. throughout my life we haven't seen eye to eye on a few things, but it was always okay because i knew you supported me.
but when i read this:
Sorry but NOTHING you can say about [Sarah Palin] will make me vote for Obama. The man is an empty suit. And Biden isn't a whole lot better.
Trust me when I say I am no huge John McCain fan, but I cannot and will not vote for Barack Obama. ... And as much as I know that the same sex marriage issue is on your front burner, it's down on the list for me.
Can I vote "None of the above"?
I REALLLY Don't want to do this email politics thing and I'm not going to continue the back and forth.
I have stuff to get ready for Reach the Beach this weekend and have to focus on that, Sorry
it makes me sick. you tell me there are outright lies in what i sent you, but you won't list them, and now you have to go because you have to get ready for reach the beach....if they are so blatantly obvious, it shouldn't be too hard to type them, or fucking bold them and send it back. whatever.
this is my fucking life. same-sex marriage is on my "front burner" BECAUSE IT IS MY FUCKING LIFE. this is me and janine and our marriage ON SEPT. 22 and this man McCain wants to take it away, throwing his support behind the ban. you're going to come to california and watch us get married in shakespeare garden in golden gate park and then vote for this man? this one who says
I support the efforts of the people of California to recognize marriage as a unique institution between a man and a woman, just as we did in my home state of Arizona. I do not believe judges should be making these decisions.
you said the same "none of the above" thing about kerry in 2004, and you voted for bush again anyway.
McCain says on his issues page that
[He]believes the institution of marriage is a union between one man and one woman. It is only this definition that sufficiently recognizes the vital and unique role played by mothers and fathers in the raising of children, and the role of the family in shaping, stabilizing, and strengthening communities and our nation.
and you can still sit there and type these things? vote fucking "none of the above" but do not fucking vote for this man. you want to look me in the eye and say that janine and i won't create a loving and stable family for our children, for your grandchildren? you think our home will be something lesser? something not as good? that the lessons you taught me as a child and that janine's parents taught her magically won't carry over because one of us is not a boy? that our family of two loving parents who care about their children won't strengthen the community we live in?
i call bullshit. come to my wedding and watch us say our vows and be LEGALLY wed and sit at our reception and celebrate and make a fucking toast about how much you love us and you are glad we are together and happy, how proud you are of your little girl, but it will all be fucking hollow in the end, completely negated, if you pick this sack of 72-year-old shit. a politician who takes a position like that, well, that's a fucking deal breaker for me, that's for sure.
i know you love me dad, and that you always will, but this is a tough one to take. i shouldn't have e-mailed you today. not before the wedding. not while i still need to finish my vows and pick out the fucking music and get my suit tailored. i should have waited. because now i am the one who is suffering.
i have to write my vows this week. the wedding is 2 weeks away. we're leaving for san fran on the 18th though, and we have to send them to the minister before we go so she can print them on note cards. i have some things scratched out on paper, but i never thought it would be this hard. i just want them to be perfect. or as close as i can get.
why don't you dance a little closer? (closer)
and i'll spin you around, your heels will never touch the ground
i always want to sweep her away, to have her know that she is the only girl in the room. that she is mine and i am hers and that is how it will always be. i hurt her so badly before, almost ruined this forever...what are the perfect words to swear my love and fidelity in spite of all the sadness?
the only thing that matters now
is this could be perfect
even when we were going through the bad period back in early 2007, i knew i could never have a life without her in it. when i was questioning if i had gone so far that i could never get back to her and us, the love and the life we had, i still wanted her there. when you break your love/your best friend's heart, crush it into dust, is there room for anything more? i had hurt her so badly, fractured her heart and her soul and her confidence, everything in her to her core. i didn't know if i deserved to still be with her...but even then she and i knew we could never just be friends. we'd be lying to ourselves and hurting any future significant others. janine and i were not meant to be just friends.
so here i am, listening to spitalfield and drawing inspiration and trying to come up with the right words to express my love and my gratitude to the size of her heart and her ability to forgive me and love me. we were friends before we were anything else. she is my best buddy, and my love, my confidant, my partner in crime. we laugh so much together, even when we're just sitting around the apartment. we cook together (she's the head chef to my sous, but i like to chop). she watches baseball games with me and even lets me keep football on for longer than she'd like. she sings the words to all my favorite songs. when we were in college, she'd reset the alarm for me before she left for class. she is beautiful and smart and funny and challenges me to be a better person. and when she kisses me, "this is the one for you" pulses through me from head to toe. i see our future together more clearly than i ever have. a house and land, enough for a huge garden. traveling to all the places we wrote down on a scrap of paper when we first moved in together in 2005. children and working together to make a home. growing older with our fingers still entwined. two old ladies with tons of family around. all our dreams coming true.
i love her so much and i am the luckiest girl alive to have a second chance that many people never get. i can't erase what i did, but i can keep her floating. her heels will never touch the ground.
i have 28 weeks later on right now. this is probably not the best writing atmosphere. but i love how they shot this. when the infected are relentlessly attacking. so frenetic. such great camera angles. fitting music. i wonder how long it took them to shoot this opening scene. or at least to edit it together. and robert carlyle, choosing his own life over all the others.
that wasn't the point of me writing this. anyway. today i was listening to brandtson's "a thousand years" and it made me want to write again. i have so many things unfinished, snippets of stories and bits of lyrics. as i drove home today i turned the stereo off and sang out the thoughts in my head. just me and some rhymes and a whole lot of off-key warbles. and it has been so long. it felt so good. this brandtson song makes me think of seduction, the first time two lovers really see each other, tenderness and hands shaking, but nothing will stop them from doing this, being together, melding. those moments that stretch on for what seems like hours and there is no one else in the world. anyone who has felt that, has tasted how sweet love can be...i wonder if they'd get the same thing out of this song as i do. if i had heard this song two months ago, or even three weeks ago when i was still drinking regularly, would i have interpreted it the same way? would it have had the same effect?
i don't really like brandtson's albums as a whole, but this song and escapist are two of my favorite songs.
falling out of trees are kites and paper airplanes
that float away and never touch the ground
the sidewalk starts to move, the buildings crashing down
and no one seems to notice if it makes a sound
a thousand years from now
i wonder if they'll wonder how
the world looked to you and me
the continents will change and islands rearrange
and float away and maybe fall into the sea
so many places to go with this thought. i love when music has this effect. not just reaction or identification, but inspiration. this song inspires me to keep typing, to find that girl who used to be unafraid of keeping a journal and scratching out the littlest bit of an idea, whatever the subject may be. when i was 18 and at the rock and roll hall of fame, i made a wish on yoko ono's wish tree that i would be a writer, and people would love the things i wrote. i just need to keep writing...
i don't remember why i signed up for this site, what it was that compelled me to register and to post. i do remember that i was searching for news on the starting line and yellowcard and a review that tate had written came up on google. i read it and liked it and stuck around to see what else was on here. and so it goes.
i like the b-sides thread, what's in our mailbox, the release date calendar, the random music recs floating around. i like the people i talk with on a regular basis. they make me laugh and they help the time pass during the day. this place has a lot of good in it.
but then there are days like today, and i wonder why the fuck i post here. so much anger and so much hate, and it is ridiculous.
and as i type this, NC State's quarterback just took two really bad shots to the head and is being strapped onto a board to be carted off the field. so i'm not going to finish this blog, because there are more important things in life. in REAL life. i hope this kid will be okay.
mom told me yesterday when we talked--another one of our hour-long phone conversations--that billy has officially moved into my old room. i understand it, i mean, my room was the biggest of the two, and his was so small we had taken to calling it "the cube." plus, i haven't lived at home in more than three years. but it's still weird. it was my room for nearly as long as i can remember. mom and dad had that house built for the family, that room for me. just another reminder that i'm not a kid anymore. that things have changed. every time i go home now, something else is different from how i last left it. i wonder what will be different when we go home in december.
finally found a copy of new Valencia. on the drive home from the best buy in chapel hill (really durham), i got caught in a ridiculous torrential downpour courtesy of tropical storm (now a depression?) fay. i had the music up loud and could barely see as i tried not to crash into the blurry red tail lights in front of me. there's something poetic, or stupid, in listening to upbeat music about people who've died while trying not to die yourself. but i made it home.
so we had therapy today. the therapist was not impressed with my drinking on friday and saturday. "i thought we were going to have you go a month without drinking" and another somewhat snide comment about me not being able to go more than 5 days without drinking. first off, when we left last time we all decided i wouldn't drink until our next session (so two weeks). second, i was quite proud of myself for not drinking during that time, and aside from those two days, i haven't drank. i'm drinking a mountain dew right now. and i'm 100% sure i wouldn't have drank anyway on friday had barbara and eric not set out three beers on ice especially for me. like i've said, i didn't want to be rude or weird or call attention to my business. i do not like awkward situations. i'm awkward enough as it is. so i was frustrated with our therapist saying that, but i hate being put on the spot, so i didn't say anything about the time discrepancy. i did mention how proud i am of myself. so this time around we've modified it to only drinking a beer an hour in party situations. but basically that means, any situation where it would call attention to my business if i abstained completely.
i have new valencia, but i'm drawn to a line from old valencia:
"is it in me, to put the bottle down?"
but it's all about moderation and control, and that is my challenge. i know i am up for it.
0/3 on my search for new valencia today. i checked best buy's website when i got home and apparently the best buy 2 minutes from my house is the only one in the area that does not have it in stock. go figure. so tomorrow after counseling and awesome burritos at cosmic cantina, i might drag janine back to chapel hill (well, technically it's still durham, right on the edge) to the best buy there to see if i can find it. i think it's really important to support these guys. they might not make any money off it, or as much as if i bought a shirt or something, but my purchase counts toward the overall numbers, and i want them to do well. if all else fails i will steal a car while i'm in long island this weekend and find it there.
so, i ended up drinking friday at janine's mom's house. when we got there for dinner they had three beers chilling in an ice bucket for me, and i didn't feel like being rude or awkward, so i drank them. and then two more over the course of the evening, about one every hour we were there. which isn't great, but technically also is not binge drinking.
then there was saturday, and lots of miller lite and awkward times. janine and i were the only people who stayed past about 9:30. becky kept saying that she was glad it was low key, and that we were her only true friends. but nothing will change. she'll still keep her distance, not invite us out, spend time with her work "friends" who did not come to her party. whatever. i'm just about done putting up with all that. and i kicked her girlfriend's ass at beer pong. hahaha. in one game i made five shots in a row, LEFT HANDED. something i have never done, despite all the times i've played. i was kinda proud of myself for that. but of course because i drank too much, i slept like shit and felt like shit until about 2 pm or so. and immediately gained back the weight i had lost.
so it's back to apple juice and mountain dew ("and water, what about water stephanie?" -my mom). i realized i feel a lot better not drinking at all, let alone not drinking how much i was. it's a good feeling. i am doing it for me, firstly, which is most important, and as a close second, it has only helped my relationship with janine. this weekend, we're going to long island for her grandmother's 75th birthday party, and her family is what i will politely call a family of good-natured lushes, so there will be significant amounts of drinking, but overall i feel quite good about it.
today is day 6 of the sober experiment. no booze, no pot. just me and my thoughts and feelings and a lot of mountain dew and apple juice. i will admit it was tough in the beginning, because i'm just used to cracking open a beer--watching tv, making dinner, etc. tough in the sense that drinking beer was/is part of my routine. but it's a lot easier when i just substitute something else, like the dew or the juice. i also like that janine knows i am sober and present and not drinking her away or anything.
do i think i am an alcoholic at 25? no. do i think that i could be if i let myself slide? absolutely. there's too much genetics and unhealthy behaviors involved to think otherwise. i wonder how my mom feels now, after a decade of sobriety. i am afraid to ask. i don't want this coming up. i don't want her to know. i don't want her to worry about me.
tomorrow will be day 7. saturday will be day 8, if i can make it through becky's damn birthday party. in that situation drinking will be more of a coping mechanism to deal with her and the tools she works with more than anything. although i suppose at its core, that IS what getting drunk is. a coping mechanism. but these people are assholes, and they'd be a lot easier to tolerate if i was drunk. not sloppy, but nice and buzzed. but then again, after a week of no drinking, it'd be a step back to start. and i'd have to go through the withdrawal period again. that's the worst part, the adjustment period. after a day or two, everything's fine.
I started smoking again Monday, once I found out I didn't get the job. I figure it's somewhat of a consolation prize, magnified by the fact that I didn't get to smoke with my brother when I was home. It was a little unsettling how fast the floodgates opened. How much that urge returned when I finally did it. A lack of tolerance is nice though. Makes things last longer. I combated the munchies with a glass of apple juice, so I'm proud of myself. Plus, one beer yesterday. I'm REALLY proud of myself for that one.
I think I want to start a running journal/log thingy. I've gone four times, and I think it would be a good idea, just for tracking my progress. According to Google maps I ran 1.2 miles yesterday. It was so peaceful compared to running the length of Fayetteville Road. A lot fewer cars, and there's actually shade on the new route. I pass by wooded areas. I see birds. I run over a nearly dried up creek. Quasi-nature is better than nothing. Plus, the scale was back down to 173.something this morning. So I know that cutting back on the beer and increasing my exercise is actually helping. It feels good. At least if I can't be in control of my work life, I can be in control of my personal life.
I wasn't sure at first how I'd feel about smoking again. I didn't do it until like 11 pm Monday, and that was actually a mistake. My brain can be SO active when I'm high. This probably sounds like a contradiction, and I do complete my fair share of mindless tasks while high, but a lot of times, my brain just goes on a hike. Let me try to explain that better. My mind wanders through an endless stream of thoughts and topics I have stored up. Call it a tour of a storage facility if you want. But because I smoked so late, Janine and I had to go to bed before I was even close to coming down. So I laid there in the dark, strolling through a million different thoughts, unable to sleep. It was a weird feeling, but much preferable to having the weed be a sleep aid. That's a bad habit to get into.
This is a random entry today. Marie and Kim sent me a belated birthday gift, a mix CD and one by a band called Sea Wolf. Haven't had a chance to really listen to the CDs, but I want to send them something in return. They represent an entirely different chapter in my life. A connection to a time and place I can't ever get back to. One I'm not sure I'd want to go back to. Drunken and extremely out of control, hung up on a girl I could never keep caged. Hmm, I owe that bird an email. Anyway, they met me when I was unstable, when I was young. One of the more volatile periods in my life. We will always have that summer. What a fucking cliche.
We watched movies and read books and played softball. We took walks and got drunk and jumped in the lake with our clothes on (or maybe that was just me). We wrote poetry and prose and took photographs in Jamestown. We fucked and told lies and made trouble in the quiet Chautauqua streets. I was 21 and invincible and the whole thing was fucking awesome.
I want to write more. I need to make the effort. I say this every time, and I never do it. But maybe this time I will.
Tonight's one of those nights. It's not quite a voice in the back of my head. More like an urge, an invisible hand pushing, pushing, pushing, silently yet forcefully telling my brain I want more. I wish I knew why some days I can be fine, and other days I get like this. Typing this helps a little, keeps my hands busy enough to stay away from the glassful of light red liquid on the coffee table. That I poured despite the nearly full bottle of ale sitting next to it, because it works faster. I blame this on a lack of pot, on my shitty job for forcing me to temporarily quit. I blame this on my mother, on my grandmother. On a great grandfather I've never even seen a picture of but heard stories about. I blame it on all of them, because I cannot blame it on myself. That would mean I'd have to take responsibility for that whisper of a hand, pushing me to drink. Take responsibility for that glass. For all the nights I don't remember. I just took a sip. Tastes pretty good in a blue Vietri tumbler. Is this because I'm alone? Because my lady's working late? Because I don't have that bowl to take its place? I feel so much more in control with pot. The therapist I used to see, who broke my trust, would tell me that substitution is no better. The sip(s) have taken effect. The push has lessened. Which came first, the drink or the urge? Some days I am fine. But I wonder if "fine" means I just block it out. For now. Until the next time that hand begins to push. I blame this on my mother, on her genes, on everything she put me through. I wonder if I'll know the day my liver becomes cirrhotic, even though I don't believe it will happen to me. I'm 17 days shy of 25. I'm still invincible. And now I am calm again. I don't think I could ever say this out loud. Not to my lady, not to anyone. So I'll post it on the internet for everyone to see. I'll act like no one reads this. I'll give this a dull title, something that will blend in. But it will be there, a personal reflection in the middle of Times Square. Maybe if I make this long enough, no one will read it and/or care. I wish I knew the answers to the questions I'm not asking. But I am calm now. The hand has left, the push is gone, and I wonder, how will this all end?
I wasn't really sure what The Starting Line's announcement would be, although I'm not surprised what it was. Ken's got a point. I couldn't imagine doing the job I currently do, even if I loved it (I fucking hate it), for that long. But nonetheless, today was huge...and sad. I started tearing up a bit as I quickly typed out a post, desperately trying to convey to this band what they have meant to me. I don't think it's really possible. There are few bands who influenced my youth more than TSL. Even better than that, who I still enjoy listening to on a regular basis, new music and all.
I don't remember the first TSL song I ever heard, but I remember all the emotions that went along with them. When Say It Like You Mean It came out, I was 19 and finally figuring out who I really was. Realizing I was gay was a scary and liberating thing. Meeting that first girl was even scarier. When the year was ending she changed the words to "Greg's Last Day" to "Steph's Last Day," to things we had in common, and I fell for it so, so hard. TSL played the soundtrack to my summer, in all its gut-wrenching glory. The girl came to visit me from Jersey, of all places, and when she left she took my heart. When she got home she broke it, met someone else, and "Decisions, Decisions" got me through. I sang it screaming every time. I was so young and foolish, but I sang it screaming every time.
"And I tell myself, 'Well Ken,
it's better to have lost love than
paint a smile and pretend'"
"(S)he loves you, who loves you more? to let you go..."
And so, The Starting Line got me through all those hot summer days and long fucking nights. I began writing music that summer, shitty four-chord songs about losing the girl and dying inside. Your standard teenage angst. I worked the night shift a lot, and the mornings were cool as I drove home, "Cheek to Cheek" on repeat. It comforted me.
"I tried so hard, and I've done my part, and not to mention most to all of yours. Try and feel, try and listen, try and think of what you're missing, try and look into my eyes...TRYYYYYYY...goodbye."
I only saw TSL in concert once. Still 19, still naive. I saw them with my best friend and his cousin. It was so hot in that little fucking club, and my friends came because they wanted to see Reel Big Fish headline, but I was there for Ken and the gang. I needed to see them play the songs that saved me. I knew every word, six feet from the stage, and that is still one of the best concerts I have ever been to.
I am sure more memories will come. I've made too many while listening to this band's music. But I needed to get these two out now. Thank you guys, for every note. You made all the difference.
One of the things I like most on this site, besides the b-sides thread (tee hee), is the weekly "what was in our mailbox" post. Such a nice convenient list to use for new music. I have discovered several gems from this list in the past. Right now I'm listening to the first band off the list for Feb. 4, The A-B Theory. This reminds me so much of The Postal Service it's uncanny. The singer even sounds like Ben Gibbard, and the songs "Tell Me How Colorado Is" and "Ataraxia" could be Postal Service b-sides, from the beat to the vocals to the use of synth. Impressive, and a pleasant surprise for a Monday morning, for sure. Bonus points for using (and additionally, rhyming) the word "dichotomy" in "A City Scene."
Oh and how 'bout them Giants? Best. Super Bowl. EVER. This almost makes up for the Bills going 0-4 in my childhood. Almost. But definitely one of the best football games I've ever seen, and I watched "the comeback" when the Bills, led by the legendary Frank Reich, beat the Oilers by 3 after being down by 25 at halftime. Either way...fuck the Pats haha.