Tuesday, April 30, 2002

I hate my father, but I refuse to allow that to be the defining center of my existence.
The big graduation weekend was wonderfully representative: on Saturday, Mom, Dad, David, and I had a lovely dinner back in Grand Blanc and then went to the movies; on Sunday, Dad told me that he loves me but that I'm never going to amount to anything. I don't think this is the way families are supposed to work, but I'm not really sure since this is the only one I've known. It's weird that for all the reasons my brother, sister, and I think our parents did a spectacular job raising us, my father thinks he failed abysmally. But I do know that this much was and is wrong with the household in which I was raised: I find it odd almost to the point of confusion when the parents of one of my friends visibly and honestly love each other. Growing up, I was too little to recognize Mom and Dad's misery; so, it's not like I've always believed marriage is synonymous was unhappiness. But, as I've grown older and matured, the marriage which necessarily functions as my model, or at least as the model with which I am most familiar, has been a loveless one. I think that's really sad. The only thing more sad is that Dad still believes he loves me; he only loves me in the way I love him: over twenty years of familiarity and the societal expectation that parents and children love one another.

When I was in high school, the speech I was given this weekend made me hate myself and everything around me. This time, while of course I'm upset, the primary effect has been to reinforce my desire to spare my children the ill-fortune of that man's presence. Even with all this, though, I'm still much more fond of my father than either my brother or sister... and my big plan for his funeral is to do a little jig on the bastard's grave.
Sometimes you want to hit a person in the face with a brick and thus reveal to them, by the bloody mass to which you have reduced their face, the vast, and in its own way impressive, expanse of their stupidity. Sometimes you want to hit the whole world in the face with a brick. Sometimes you want to hit yourself in the face with a brick. Sometimes you look around yourself and ask, "These are my friends?", and then you want to break down and cry.

And sometimes Nick Coliadis calls you out of the blue and saves your life.

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

I saw Justin and Emily (notice the subtle implication that they've become one person) today for the first time in a long time. Of course, the first thing Emily said was about graduation. I know I should have expected as much, but I can't help being disappointed. Everyone is asking about graduation. I understand that it is the "biggest" thing going on in my life right now. But can I be blamed for wanting one person to ask about something else? "You are not your job." I am not my degree. Fuck my degree.

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

The girl at the next computer is wearing headphones. She's listening to country music with the volume turned up so high I can actually make out some of the lyrics. Does it make me a bad person that I sincerely hope she does permanent damage to her hearing?

I've been wanting to burn a mix CD for Lindsay for months, but I never got around to doing it because I knew it'd be interpreted as what it is, a gesture of unrequitted love, not just friendship, and we just couldn't handle that level of weirdness right now. (Side note: yes, I too like the idea of a mix tape more than a mix CD, but she doesn't have a tape player in her car and I don't know if her stereo has a tape player; so, the project has been technologically upgraded.) In any event, a few weeks ago Lindsay asked me to burn a whole bunch of discs for her before she moves. I don't know if she knows what a gift that request has been to me. So, now I'm drawing up lists of songs and organizing them into compilations; I'm putting all my favorite songs on there, not just ones I think she'll like, so that these discs will be a (hopefully) constant reminder of me. David is helping me out by letting me use the software he uses to design the Real Can of Yams discs and liner notes. Last night, we designed the CD stickers, and I think they're going to look awesome. Of course they're black, and I've decided to go minimalist. On the lower half, in large, plain white lettering (Courier New, so plain that its plainness is a statement of sorts), is each disc's title (because the music will be divided up by genre: ska, punk... okay, so my only genres are ska and punk, but I've still got some sweet titles to use). In the upper half, in the same font, but smaller, it will simply say "for Lindsay." I'm very excited about these discs. Plus, as an added bonus, it's always fun to work on something with David. I love just hanging out with him, but I have to admit that sometimes I get a little jealous of how much he and Kevin work together on BTW projects.

Saturday, April 20, 2002

I've decided. I don't care if it takes the rest of my life and all my resources, I'm going to marry that girl.

Friday, April 19, 2002

I wonder what it's like to have a really good relationship with your parents. All the way into high school, I thought I had a really good relaionship with mine, but then something changed. I don't know if I changed or if they changed, or if I was finally old enough/mature enough to see what was going on. I fear the truth lies closest to the last option. I'd love to be one of those people who is excited when his parents come into town, except my parents never come into town. At least not for anything other than an occasion, usually one of David's performances.

I know that Mom wishes we were more normal, but at the same time I know she loves us more than she can say anyway. I just wish I could have more respect for the way she's lived her life, but it's hard. She's never tried to figure out how to make herself happy, and as she quite clearly isn't, she tries all sorts of things, like redecorating the house or switching jobs. Why did she switch jobs? Yes, the new one is more money, but she loved the old job! No person could even be more suited to a work environment than she was to the old office! Damn it! And she didn't even check out the new job like I told her to. Mom, you're so frustrating. I think her life is, in a lot of ways, like her Christmas and birthday wish lists. We go out and buy her earrings and banana hangers and cheesy paperbacks because that's what she asks for. When we press her for what she really wants, she just tells us she'll like whateve we get her. AAAAAARGH! MOM, IT'S FUCKING OKAY TO ASK FOR WHAT YOU REALLY WANT! IT'S FUCKING OKAY TO WANT TO BE HAPPY!

And Dad, there's just no helping a man who loathes himself that much. Do you know what it does to a kid to idolize his father for his whole life, only to find out one day that his father hates himself and thinks of himself as a failure and thinks he's failed in raising his children? I do. It was called being seventeen.

Thursday, April 18, 2002

I think it is, if not healthy, certainly educational to indulge in despair every once in a while. Not suicidal depression, but your regular garden variety hopelessness. A pernicious malaise can be your best friend.
The air conditioner I bought from Mike is working perfectly. I've had to minorly rearrange my room, but that's no matter compared to the infinite comfort of artifically chilled air on a hot Summer's afternoon. "No pleasure, no rapture, no exquisite sin greater than central air." (Okay, okay, so mine's a cheap little window unit. The point is valid nonetheless.)
A bit of wisdom I've acrued in my career as the liar man: In this world, there is nothing more true than the worst lie. The fiction we make up for ourselves is more honest, more to the core of who we are (who we are being a function of how we see ourselves) than any of the petty details of the banality that can be everyday life. We are luminous beings.

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

I don't know why, but April is the single worst month of the year. Maybe it's just because of college, and I've come to equate April with finals, and this year, graduation. I cannot say for certain. All I know it that every April I feel this overpowering malaise, with more than just a hint of melancholy. And hanging out with Lindsay the past two nights hasn't helped, it's just made more acute my awareness of how soon she'll be gone and how much I'll miss her.

And I'm jealous of Julie's blog because it is so very much better than mine. So much mor honest and insightful. God, I've got to get out from under this cloud. I can't do anything when I'm in this state. Maybe if I bought Mike Alber's air conditioner... because God knows that buying stuff is the road to happiness. (Actually, it sort of is. I bought a new watch yesterday and it felt great to once again be wearing a working timepiece.)
I hate avoiding my parents. Well, I don't hate avoiding them at all, I just hate the hassle of avoiding them. But, when my dad's in a piss-poor mood and I'm in a piss-poor mood, it's just best that we don't speak. At least until David achieves financial independence, then the whole bridge of communication gets burned down. Life is too short to squander on idiots and bastards, and there is no larger bastard than my dad. I love him, but I'll still do a jig on his grave.

Monday, April 15, 2002

It's the first hot day of the year. Fan-fucking-tastic. The Mustard Plug show on Friday was incredible. Saturday was my second Animania screening as Vice President, and the last of the transition. The old core staffers are gone, leaving things in my incompetant hands. Oh, yeah, this is a good idea. Both Dan and Sangita are gone, and they supplied almost all of the club's tapes. Crap! If I have any extra money this Summer, I'm going to have to do a little fansub potpourri. Dammit. Plus, I want to do some mailorder from Asian Man, specifically Ultra Panic by MU330 and A Go Go! by Potshot. Aw, crap.

At least my tax refund should be on it's way soon. Why do I always wait until the 15th to do my taxes? At least this year, I planned ahead: I finished them Thursday night, even if I didn't mail them until today.

David printed out a part of my blog that was rather uncomplimentary and posted it on his door. The most important thing is to make sure I don't start censoring myself.

Thursday, April 11, 2002

A good day for Star Trek, which makes the current lamentable state of the enterprise's health all the more distressing. Pun intended.
Man, that lunch thing yesterday? That worked out well. Great even. I had lunch and read some comic books. It was everything I knew having lunch and reading comic books could be. I woke up late on Wednesday; so, to punish myself, I didn't shave. Ugh, I hate being all scruffy. Ew ew ew.

Jim wants to have a "summit" to discuss the future of The Newsletter. It's incredibly dorky, but I'm really excited to hear that. Yes, I know what you're asking, Why would a three-man editorial staff, especially a three-man editorial staff in which two of the three live together, need to have a summit? Why can't we just have a meeting like normal people? Or talk it over at Big Boy? Fuck if I know, but I regard The Newsletter as a long term project (I'd love to one day write a column about how disgusting the birth of my first kid is. Come on, all that uteral fluid, and then the placenta? You can't tell me that isn't six kinds of gross) and I'm delighted at the prospect of someone, even Jimmy Judas, sharing that "vision."

The Mustard Plug show is on Friday. Sweet. The Eyeliners last Friday and Mustard Plug this Friday. Life would be nearly perfect were there a ska or punk show every Friday...
"What's going on this weekend?"
"Dude, rock."
"Oh, yeah, sorry. I'm still used to the bad old days when rock shows were all too few and far between."
"Yeah, it's a brave new world, my friend. Not in the totalitarian, 'year of Our Ford' way, as much as the great music every Friday night sort of way."
"It'd be cool if it was sort of like 1984, though. We'd have the Ministry of Punk Rock, Minipunk!"
"This is one seriously fucked up discussion."
"Only instead of Big Brother, we'd have Joey Ramone watching over us!"

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Though twenty-two, I'm still having formative experiences. I want to relate one that happened just recently, but I don't think I could do it justice right now. Right now I'm too concerned with lunch and reading today's comics. Needless to say (but, curiously, said anyway), it revolved around Lindsay, since she seems to be all I think about recently (and if anyone reads this, I'm sure you're getting sick of it).

Tuesday, April 9, 2002

Weird day today. I want to ask Lindsay to marry me, but that's just about the single worst idea ever. Maybe I'll just go home and the watch the "Clone War" trailer again.

Monday, April 8, 2002

Remember last Thursday when I said it'd be great if Lindsay stayed the night? Well, Friday she stayed the night. It was only because she was parked in (she slept on the couch and I in my bed), but it was absolutely fabulous. We talked until 5:30 in the morning, and when we, went out for breakfast. Sadly, there is a good chance she will never be mine. Nevertheless, I shall count myself lucky to be her friend. I know that she is already one of my dearest friends, perhaps the dearest I've made in college (the Blue Tree Whacking staff don't count, because while we may have become friends in college, I've known them since the halcyon days back in Grand Blanc).
About an hour or so ago, Brad and I had a frank discussion about how poorly his girlfriend has been treating him. I want to like Missy, but she doesn't seem to even like Brad; so, when she starts screwing with his head, it's hard for me to see her side. This weekend was their first anniversary, yet Missy went home to study and to be with her mom. Yes, Missy's parents just got divorced, but trust me, she is going home as much to hit the books as to comfort her mom. She went home rather than celebrate their anniversary; were it me, I'd cut my losses and be free of her before she hurt me any worse. Brad, however, has convinced himself that he's in it for the long haul. So, I don't know how to help him.
I attended a town hall-style meeting today with Senators McCain and Bayh. This was perhaps a mistake, as it was not nearly as interesting as I'd hoped. For my money, give me a good political lecture. The way to suck the life out of the room is to give every idiot a microphone and let him believe that his opinions matter. God, one of the questioners introduced himself as a raging pacifist. I think it would be really fun to start a fight with a pacifist. Like a fist fight. You know, see if idealism boy would fight back. I have no interest in real physical violence, it's just that I hate pacifists so much. They are so fucking misguided that it's incredible. My God, did these people learn noting from the Second World War? If the pacifists had had their way, the Third Reich would still be standing and there would not be a single Jew, Roma, or Slav alive in Europe. I love democracy only because it is the best system of governance thus far devised, not because of any inherent respect on my part for other people.

Still, it was fun to see Adam, an acquaintance of mine and dedicated liberal, be so happy to see as ardent a conservative as John McCain. Even as a Republican, I'm far more liberal than McCain. But you can't deny that the man's got something, a certain populist charisma. Except that he lost, because he did the same thing everybody does: he underestimated Bush. He let Bush goad him into breaking his own promise to avoid dirty campaigning; he let himself believe that Bush was as dumb as he let on. Fortunately for the country, the Democrats are going to keep making that mistake, both in this year's congressional races, and in 2004's big dance. Excellent.

"Your conscience may force you to vote Democratic, but deep down inside you want a cold-hearted Republican to cut taxes, brutalize criminals, and rule you like a king!"
I had the most lovely weekend! I saw Iolanthe twice, attended The Eyeliners' show in Detroit, and saw Lindsay Friday, Saturday, and Sunday! Consider yourself fair-warned: in late May/early June, when she is packing up to move/has just moved to Berkeley, I am going to be very unpleasant to be around. I'm going to be miserable, and when I get miserable, I get mean. I'm not proud of this, but that's what is going to happen. God, that's going to suck. But, carpe diem, so for now I shall take every opportunity to bask in the Sun that is her smile.

Friday, April 5, 2002

I just lost a really good post because Monopolysoft Internet Explorer decided to crash for no fucking reason. I'm regarding this as the last straw in an already bad day. Fuck this shit, I'm going home.

Thursday, April 4, 2002

There are so many times in life when being able to lie better would have been so useful... Last night, SSG asked me what I was doing. Without thinking, I said "Nothing." So, blinded by the promise that Lindsay was coming over, I got roped into hanging out with Mike and her. "The four of us can watch a movie or something." We ended up doing nothing but going to Bennigan's, which is not bad, but if I'm going to have to endure SSG, I want more of a reward than Bennigan's. A reward like a movie. (I love movies. Yes, more than most people. I don't mean I love movies more than most people love movies, I mean I love movies more than I love most people. Cold? Sure. Whatever. All I know is that movies never puke on my shoes and if they are vapid, I can just turn them off. SSG doesn't come with an off swich and murder is kind of hard to get away with.) Ugh, adding insult to injury, SSG's been at the house all week doing laundry, and because of Eddie (the bat in our basement), she's afraid to go down there by herself. So, I've escorted her like three times. (Fuck! Why? Why do I keep doing the right thing? I'm not trying to sound pretentious here, I'm just pissed off at myself for not having the strength of conviction to just tell SSG to fuck off.) Yesterday wasn't as bad as all that. I just wish it had ended better, like with Lindsay staying the night or something. (In my mind, I'm still 17.)

Wednesday, April 3, 2002

Okay, so I'm sitting here working on my latest masterful column (and holy crap did it turn out well!), and I start emailing back and forth with Julie. She's teasing me about how I need to go to NYC to visit her and I keep telling her that I want to, but there's no way I can do it right now. Anyway, I finished my column, which turned out so much better than I thought it would (which I largely attribute to the good mood talking to Julie put me in), wandered over to the Warped Tour site and hatched a wonderful, awful idea! The tour is going to be in NYC about a week before the show in Detroit (in the parking lot of venerable Tiger Stadium). I want to see Julie just to see Julie, but if I could see Julie and get to see the Warped Tour twice, I'd be the happiest Last Angry Man this side of the Continental Divide! I must start planning now to make sure this all comes together. Dude, sweet!
New comics aren't coming in until tomorrow; so, I've got this big block of time I can dedicate solely to my column, but I don't want to write it. But if not now, when? Sadly, I know what I'm doing all day for the rest of the week. I hate having that kind of foreknowledge. I like to play things by ear. Knowing when you will be doing what makes time pass far too quickly.

Ah well, back to the proverbial salt mines with me.

Tuesday, April 2, 2002

Tomorrow, this blog is going public. It has always been public, but only in the safe, anonymous way that you can tell absolute strangers things about yourself that you'd never dare reveal to those you love. To this point, only Julie and Dylan have known about this (if you know us, I hope you got a nice chuckle out of the irony of that); Julie because hers was the first weblog I ever visited (before she told me about it, I had no idea such things existed) and Dylan because he lives over a thousand miles away and doesn't know most of the people involved (again, the intimacy of the stranger). As far as I know, they are the only two people who have ever read it, save me.

I'm not inviting everyone (and inviting is an odd word, since anybody could happen to wander in here), just a few individuals I truly consider friends, the kind of guys you stay in touch with even over thousands of miles, not just friends of geographic convenience. It is telling that as much as I care for her, I won't be inviting Lindsay. The level of self-censorship that would require would essentially nullify the point of having a weblog. In a way it is sad that I can't be that honest with her (or as it specifically involves them, pretty much any of my friends), but to change that would be to change the fundamental nature of human discourse, and I've got better things to do with my weekends.

So, the first wave of invitations (a mass email, who am I kidding) go out tomorrow. Just a few individuals, mostly the Blue Tree Whacking gang, but I hope to expand until I've invited everyone I consider a friend to visit The Secret Base of the Rebel Black Dot Society. Maybe someday I can even invite Lindsay.

Monday, April 1, 2002