Often, I end up going out and meeting people, and every once in a while, these new people I meet are tough guys. You know, as in, they're impressive physical specimens, enjoy a good fight, and have alot of macho pride about things. They're the type of guys who think you're a pansy if you break your finger and seek medical attention for it, or if you catch some other dude looking at your girl's ass and you don't at the very least tell him off while employing as many expletives as possible.
I'm not mocking these kinds of guys; some of them are actually pretty cool. Since I turned about eighteen or so, I feel like I've been meeting an inordinately high number of these guys, and for some reason, I tend to befriend them alot now. The funny thing about this, and about befriending tough guys in general, is that they're always saying things-without any provocation or solicitation- like this:
"If anyone has a problem, send them to me. I've got your back no matter what goes down, dog!"
Apparently, it is an integral part of the tough guy ethic that one shows affection by vowing to squash any potential foes of one's friends, even when the plausibility of such foes' existence is slim to none. This is very reassuring to hear, and actually kind of generous of them when the person in question is a genuine tough guy who strikes fear in the hearts of Non-Tough Guys (like myself) everywhere. But what I find unfortunate is that now that I've done enough social maturing to actually win over all these tough guys and make them my allies, I can't really take advantage of their allegiances because not enough people want to kick my ass anymore.
Only five years ago, I would've loved to have had legions of tough guys looking out for me. When I was sixteen, I went to the mall with a couple of friends where I was brutally mocked and even had rocks and spare change thrown at me by a group of eight homeboys (come to think of it, these wankers were kind of like the forefathers of the assholes who descended on me at the movies last week) who had decided that because my hair was dyed red and I was clad in a white dress shirt, black tie and sneakers that I must've been a "***". My two male Drama Club enthusiast companions offered consoling words once the mob had *finished* pelting me with nickels and quarters and calling me "flamer", but they did little more than shrink away and pretend not to know me while the going was actively getting tough. My female company that night tried to assuage my tender male ego by saying those guys were" total pussies for attacking in such a large group".
Where were the five to seven, 6 ft-plus and 200-plus-pound WWE afficionados that are my current acquaintances back then? Were they congregating in the food courts at counterpart malls and hurling rocks and homophobic insults at other nerdy punk rock kids while their wimpy friends and powerless dates looked on in dismay? And, if that happens to be the case, what exactly caused their change of heart now? Did all of these bullying types have some sort of collective religious conversion?
Someone should really be looking into this. I'm pretty sure that this is a pressing sociological conundrum. That's just my opinion and you're more than welcome to disagree.
But if you choose to, just remember that this time I've got backup, ok?
Tonight, on the way home from the studio, I saw a homeless guy with a sign that read:
"Bet you a dollar you read this sign."
I thought this was pretty clever, but also rather inappropriate. Is a guy begging for change from passersby really in a position to be so snarky? I picture that sign turning alot of people off, but then again maybe the common man is so impressed with the homeless guy's quip that the snarkiness pays dividends.
So tonight will be our last night in Paul Leavitt's studio. At the conclusion of tonight- probably around 1 or 2 am- ten of the eleven songs on the record (not including the bonus tracks that come with the preorder) will be fully completed. Then, it'll be back to Greg's basement "studio" next week to track vocals for one more song, a very special jam that is definitely shaping up to be one of my favorites and is incidentally also slated to be the record's concluding track.
This whole experience has been so strange, so draining, and so much fun at the same time. I've wanted to write and record a full-length album since I was about twelve, and it's going to be an amazing feeling to actually accomplish that goal nine long years later. Part of the idea of completing a record was to see if all of my glorified predictions about the process of doing so lived up to my expectations, or if I "got it out of my system" over the course of doing it. When we decided to pursue this band seriously, and I opted to defer my scholarship to school, I knew there was at least a slim possibility that I would allocate all my time, energy and resources to chasing this lifestyle only to find in the end that it wasn't really what I wanted to do, or that what I really needed to be doing was going to college somewhere doing kegstands and nailing coeds.
Well, I don't think that I came to that conclusion, although I'd be lying if I told you that doubts didn't infiltrate my consciousness more often than I care to admit. There have certainly been some rude awakenings, some challenges I didn't forsee and found irksome, and plenty of times where I had to bite my lip pretty hard to keep from throwing an outright temper tantrum. ( A couple times I threw some not so outright ones- in the privacy of my home of course ha ha) But more than all of that, I think I've matured a ton as a songwriter and even as a pure musician, and through this process I've discovered how much I really like doing this. All we can do now is finish up these last couple tracks, mix and master, and hope that people like our record enough to justify our continuing to do this. Writing songs is the shit, gigging is the shit, and I mean, I'm no good at beer pong, so this is kind of a lifeline for me.
But I've gotten sidetracked! The real reason I started writing this blog was to ask if any females with golden pipes out there might want to come over next week and lay down a part on the last song. We can't pay you, but it will be decent exposure and you get to hang out with two extremely good looking guys while you're doing it. We're tracking in Olney, so if you know someone or are someone, drop me a line here or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You know, it's not really the worsening economy that has me worried about getting shittier tips at work. It's really the promulgation of the perception that the economy is worsening. I don't mean to say that I doubt that we are in fact in a downward spiral; I just figure that the more media attention the economic downturn is given the more miserly Chinese food consumers are going to get when they're signing credit card endorsement sheets and deciding what percentage of the bill they should compensate me with, and I imagine their faith in their financial standing will decline - along with my average daily revenue- faster than the rate at which the economic slow down will actually tangibly affect most people.
So stop talking about the economy already, CNN!
I'm trying to buy some new sneakers or something! Shit.
Recently I've noticed a bizarre pattern in my interactions with the fairer sex.
It's funny because even though I can intellectually identify this, I can't react in any way except for the way I did before I noticed the pattern. At least, for the moment this is true.
When a girl smiles at me, or laughs at one of my jokes, or just does something that is otherwise cute, I feel like I'm in love with her. No, really. I really do. As in, I'm pretty sure my brain chemistry is actually being thrown off by a sudden surge of endorphins, and my ability to reason becomes clouded to a caveman level of sophistication (I'm sure those geico cavemen are gonna be pissed about this) and all I can do is associate the endorphin rush with the stimulus that I'm taking in at that given moment. Mind you, this doesn't even have to be a pretty girl! Even an average-looking one! Even like a four hundred pound one! It just sort of happens, and for a few seconds, I think things along the lines of "me and this girl should totally get married. I think I want to write her poetry and buy her things!" This happens to me alot more often than just getting horny. In fact, I'm pretty sure that this happens to me with the frequency that other, more typical dudes get horny. For me, it's actually alot more distracting than just getting horny. And it's even worse with girls who are actually gorgeous. Or with girls who belong to someone else. And it's fucking awful when it happens with girls who are both.
I just literally feel like someone cracked my head likes eggs on the side of a cast iron skillett and fried my brains like yolks- but in a good way. It doesn't last very long, but it is a really powerful feeling. And I never get used to it. It fucks with me every time it happens- which is alot. And so I can't help but wonder if this would continually happen even if I had a steady girl, or worse, a wife and kids or some shit. Moments like this make me extremely certain that I'm straight. But even as it happens, I know in the back of my brain that I only like Girl A or B *abstractly*. Like, "sure, she's grinning at me from across the room right now and it's cool and whatnot, but she would bore the shit out of me after five minutes on a date". Or, "there was something enchanting about how she looked when she was squinting to see the score on the television, but I could not handle waking up next to this girl." So, what happens is, I kind of idealize every girl I meet in my head for fleeting instances, but then rule them out just as quickly.
It's not a conscious thing; it's not something I do as a preventive exercise or defense mechanism. It just fucking happens. Over and over. In short, I kind of like every girl, and that maybe means that I don't like any. But then when it comes to dealing with females in between or after those fleeting moments of pseudo-love-craziness, I'm plagued with a powerful antipathy. It's just kind of a general and for the most part unshakeable aversion of getting too close to them. Not like they're horrible, just like, "You know I bet there's something good on tv right now that I'd much rather be watching." Then, right when I'm thinking that, they laugh or say something cute and my head is spinning again. Fluctuating between the two extremes is disorienting, uncomfortable, and exhausting, and I can't control it. On top of that, it's pretty unfair to the girl in question.
So, as I see it, I'm either not mature enough to have a genuine, meaningful, lasting attraction to a girl, or I just haven't encountered all that many alluring girls. I suspect some combination of the two is the truth, but it's not even that I'm all that worried about it; I find the whole thing more fascinating than troubling. Or maybe the premise for a romantic comedy starring Wayne Brady and Megan Good. Also, I'm pretty sure it's this pattern of behavior that leads other people to believe that I go to bat for the other team!
Anyway, I figure it will all make sense when I grow up. ;)
But if you do (I realize it's somewhat inevitable) at the very least consult Motivation (like, you know, to exercise) or Appetite (he's a an assertive fellow, isn't he?) before hand so that they may adjust accordingly.
Years from now, when I think of the late spring that I was twenty-one, I'll remember spending most of my time reading about the election alone in my room, doing some vaguely unethical things for rent money, working on the record and trying to convince myself not to hate every song I ever wrote, not turning any homework in on time but writing some truly transcendent papers that were worth the late grade, and constantly listening to the Graduate.
Then, from this state of being an older version of G'Ra strolling down memory lane, I'll use these memories to construct a characterization of the late "ought years" in a Chuck Klosterman-eque essay and tangentially connect it to some grand and insightful observation about culture and society and the changing of the times. And the big problem I have with this is that even as I experience the things that will make up the retrospective meaning of this year of my life, my brain is already at least halfway invested in concocting some sort of artistic or aesthetic significance to it so I can later mine it for creative output. There is something intrinsically lame about this, I'm certain.
Maybe it's still not too late to become a garbageman when I grow up.
When I was a kid, I was infamous for hating baths. I mean to say that there likely were many times that I went four or five days without submering myself in any kind of cleansing agent, and my parents found it thoroughly appalling. And well they should have! Now, as a mild-mannered, girl-chasing, stage-rocking, tip-dependent twenty-one-year-old, showers are my best friend. In fact, somewhere in the midst of early pubescence, my attention to hygienic detail became anal retentive, or at least as close to that as a guy as "lazy, laid back, crazy or just on crack" (See: "Enthused"-Blink) guy like me can get about something. The process of this resulted in a routine consumption of appearance-enhancing paraphernalia from the local CVS that has been integral to my morning preparations that I've fondly named
Or, the collective title for the assortment of deodorants, cheap cologne sprays, hair and body washes, lotions, toothpastes, breath mints, and the like that any conscientous young gentleman employs daily to maintain his hygiene, appearance, and (approximate) attractiveness to the opposite sex. Particular in this group is that especially excellent shower gel that Old Spice makes that is a combination hair and body wash. It not only saves you money from having to buy both soap and shampoo, but it also gives the odd satisfaction that comes from being able to rub the same thing into your scalp as you scrub on your balls. Can't beat that with a stick!
My thinking about all those hair jokes and the process of making an alteration to your appearance that provokes responses that are varied in nature but consistently apparent has lead me to hatch a new word:
That is, the alternately glamorous or cantankerous feeling you get when you pierce your hair or dye your hair or cross dress or get a mohawk or whatever and you are enhanced and empowered for having physically distinguished yourself as different from the pack and simultaneously at a heightened state of awareness that leaves you ready to defend yourself -whether verbally or physically- against the acerbic reactions of the conformist demimonde that is sure to scorn you and your new look.
If I go into politics in twenty years, I'm sure some smarty-pants cog in the Republican Attack Machine (is this real? Obama and Clinton mention it all the time, but are there really a bunch of Newt Gingrichy-looking guys with "Dark Marks" congregating in alleys and drawing up schematics to undermine Democrats?) is going to use this very blog against me. I mean, heinous anus especially will come back to haunt me. They'll say "you mean to tell me a guy who at twenty years old devised a perverted version of 'Duck, Duck, Goose' in which a group of males sit in a circle and smell each others anuses until one anus is determined to be the smelliest and is then marked as so by being crudely finger-banged is going to be the next Governor of Nevada? Why, that's unamerican! " Sean Hannity, Jr. will be on CNN saying " I really question the judgment of a man who smashed a pie in his own face for thrills as a youngster! He's bound to be weak on national security."
And since Barack Obama's middle name- Hussein- has proved to be so incendiary, I have no doubt that my own weirdo middle name's connotative association with a similarly feared,hated, and depraved villain would be exploited by the Grand Ole Party as well. Imagine what a field day they'd have with someone named G'Ra *Hannibal* Asim!
The amusement I will enjoy from seeing how the next generation's incarnation of Rush Limbaugh will blast me a couple decades in the future on the asinine musings I make now is almost a good enough reason to justify running for office some day.
Does anyone remember those "All Fruit" commercials from the nineties? If you don't, All Fruit was this none too spectacular alternative to jam or jelly that you could spread on toast, bagels, or your balls or whatever, and the primary element of its ad campaign was something about how it was the epitome of sophistication and refinement, and by it eating you became this aristocratic, blue-blooded snob and got to feel better than everyone else.
In the commercials, a bunch of old white people would sit around a table in ritzy looking outfits and say "pass the All Fruit" to each other repeatedly whilst an eager, grinning, bumpkin-looking guy smacked his lips in anticipation for his turn with the stuff. Finally, when there's a pause in all the requests for the All Fruit, the poor guy goes "wouldja please pass the jelly?" and all the old white people in the scene emit sounds of grief and outrage at his calling the precious All Fruit "jelly". I think it was supposed to be funny and encourage you to buy it so that you, too, could have a superiority complex, but it always kind of pissed me off because I empathized with the bumpkin-looking guy. I mean hell, he said please. He seemed perfectly good-natured to me.
Today I have felt like that guy since the moment I woke up, but I suppose that's sort of like empathizing with the "Trix" rabbit, and I think I read in a Chuck Klosterman essay that in a survey of adult Americans nationwide, an overwhelming majority said the kids should just get over themselves and give the rabbit some damn cereal.
We all need convenient sexual jargon. It's important.
Think about it.
You don't want to go to the water cooler and brag about your latest conquest if you can't explain the basic details of the encounter with just a few, quick, dirty phrases.
" So how was going out with Angie last night, dude?"
"Oh, man. It blew, dude. And by that I mean, she *blew me*."
"Yeah? Sweet. You'll be beating that shit in a week."
Ok, but consider if that conversation had to take place using only colorless, clinical terms.
" So how was the date with Angie last night?"
"It was swell. In fact, she even placed her mouth over my erect penis and applied a suction-type pressure. Simultaneously, she stimulated my genitalia with her tongue. She did this until I ejaculated, at which point she-"
"What the hell? You sick motherfucker."
No one wants this. We need our dirty words! We need our innuendo! Without them, social interaction becomes awkward and sterile. Male bonding is strained, hindered and in some cases, rendered impossible. As such, I feel obligated as an (arguably) productive member of society to submit a new term to the modern American sexicon ("sexual" plus "lexicon"; yes I made it up, yes you like it, and yes you're going to use it) in the hopes of carrying on the American way of promoting the exchange of clear, concise, and descriptive sexually oriented discourse everywhere.
My contribution, while perhaps not suitable for the water cooler, may find itself into the mouths of junior high sex education teachers, paternal, suburban Eugene-Levy-in- "American Pie"-types, and teenagers in mixed company who experience confusion when using the woefully unspecific "base system". Everyone loves a little mutual masturbation, but the term doesn't really roll off the tongue especially well. So, I postulate:
If we call blow jobs and the like "oral sex"
And we call traditional intercourse "vaginal sex"
Then certainly it follows that we should call mutual masturbation -your friend and mine- "manual sex".
It has a great, proactive connotation. It kind of sounds communisitic and blue-collar; *manual* labor and *manual* sex. Power to the proletariat! Handjobs aren't intellectual, anyway. They're like the workingmen of sex acts. Sure, a "blow job" is still a job, but manual sex is like a lifestyle, a social class. We wear overalls and hard hats to work, our wives make us ham sandwiches for lunch every day, we come home with grease under our fingernails and dammit- we like manual sex! See what your wife says about it tonight.
"Baby, I thought we'd mix things up a little bit tonight and try a little *manual sex*."
"Oh, I love it when you talk Marxist to me, honey."
Hell, it's a lot clearer to understand than "oral sex". When I first heard that term as a naive eleven-year-old while watching a news feature on the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, I was sure it meant that they had had sex over the telephone.
If Booker T. Washington had come about in a more sexually liberated America, you can bet he'd be quite the public advocate for manual sex.
Let's get on this already, huh? I mean, I'm just saying...
Things I Will Get Rid of the Minute the Whole World Stops Kidding Themselves and Puts Me in Charge (Part 3 of a series)
Now, if you're a chick, I honestly have no idea if you will understand what I'm talking about or not. If you are in fact a girl, and do know what I mean from personal experience, I'd actually rather not know about it anyway. For all you guys, however:
Ok, so you're in a public bathroom, pelvis pressed to a urinal about six inches from another guy with his pelvis pressed to a urinal and about three feet from a line of guys who are behind you and very eager to press their pelvises to urinals. You're under a little pressure to perform, and while you do in fact feel the urge to urinate (hell, that's why you ventured into this haven for eager-pelvis-having men and boys in the first place, right?) you're not quite cranking it out at the speed you'd like. A burly trucker guy with his wiener halfway out is up next in line, and he seems to grunt a little more urgently every three or so seconds. Your anal cavity is in dangerously close proximity to his nearly exposed and eager member in the first place, and you don't want any confusion to ensue. So you do what any guy would do. You do what every guy has done- at some point. You put a little strain on your bladder and thrust your hips toward the urinal, the way an alcoholic might thrust a can Budweiser against his lips in hopes of freeing those last, elusive, few savory drops. But the desired effect does not take place, despite your best efforts to cater to the impatience of the avid "Momma's Family" viewer behind you. Instead of urine coming out at a faster rate, or at all, you actually just bust ass.
Why is this happening? In its haste, your body's waste system has become confused, and any attempts to pee faster actually just result in gratuitous farting. I've come to term this embarrassing, inconvenient and smelly phenomenon "sparfing", and although I've taken the time to name it, I've simultaenously decided that it needs to be eradicated from existence as soon as possible.
I mean come on! God, in all of his infinite wisdom, couldn't figure out how to wire our peeing and farting parts to work independently? I want a complimentary tune-up on my waste production systems, and it better be free goddamnit because I kept the receipt! Someone should really be working on this.
Things I Will Get Rid of The Minute the Whole World Stops Kidding Themselves and Puts Me In Charge (Part 2 of a series)
~ The "You-didn't-hear-me-the-first-time-I-said-something-thus-you-are-a-moron" Phenomenon
Every so often I will be talking to someone, listening contentedly when they have something to say, contributing adequately when the person pauses talking, and just generally enjoying the company of another when quite suddenly- something strange happens. For no immediately discernible reason, the audio department on the switchboard of my primitive human male brain begins to falter. Whatever the other participant in my conversation was saying becomes gibberish (or worse, I hear literally nothing at all) and the flow of the discourse is interrupted. At points like this, my inclination is to let the other person know that the latest bit of speech they uttered has completely failed to compute with me. Generally, I'm just trying to communicate the notion of "Hey, I was with you up until that last line that sounded something like 'I want to give a dinosaur a blumpkin'. Do you think you could repeat that?"
Typically, at this juncture, the other participant (let's call her Ingrid) gives a short noise of impatience and repeats herself. Despite Ingrid's best efforts, I honestly am no closer to understanding what she said, or why giving a dinosaur a blumpkin would be a point of intrigue for her. The look of pure befuddlement on my face gives me away, and she snorts petulantly again, this time repeating herself syllable by syllable, much in the way one would scold a dog that had shat in the kitchen for the fifth time in a row- despite being chastised for the same crime several times prior.
But wait! What's wrong with this picture? Did I really do anything to warrant the supercilious attitude? Somewhere along the line, it became socially acceptable to treat a person who misheard you as if they're an idiot- simply because you were not understood the first time. Fuck, maybe the inarticulate person is the real idiot! By the time Ingrid is done repeating herself in that obnoxious, impatient cadence, I honestly could no longer care less about her or her stupid dinosaur blumpkin fetish.
Things I Will Get Rid of The Minute the Whole World Stops Kidding Themselves and Puts Me In Charge (Part 1 of a series)
~ Trapping Defense Joning (also known as "Chummy Joning")
A trapping defense jone is basically when you approach someone and try to ridicule them to provoke a general reaction of laughter and approval from the people nearby, but then right before the ridiculed person can strike back with a quip of their own, the Trapping Defense Joner says something chummy and reassuring like "Hey man, you know we're cool. I'm just joshin'!" or something equally asinine, thus neutralizing the mock-hostility of the situation. At this point, the Trapping Defense Joner has gotten their jab in on their target, but has rendered the target's opportunity for retaliation void because the Joner's audience has already absorbed the effect of the original joke but the target is not likely to respond in kind because in light of the aggressor's apology, a biting reply would seem cruel and unnecessary and would likely escalate a situation that has proved jocular and harmless. I relate it to the trapping defense because in basketball one uses this defense by assigning one defender to aggressively inhibit an opponent's dribble and a second defender to clog the opponent's space so that when the player with the ball become's frustrated by the intense defensive effort against his dribble he will eagerly look to pass the ball, but in his haste and panic he will fail to notice the lurking second defender, and the attempted pass often becomes a turnover. It's basically a lose-lose situation for any attacking player who is without superior ball handling finesse or court vision. Similarly, the trapping defense jone is a lose-lose situation for any unsuspecting target who is lacking superior social agility or verbal dexterity.