Tag Archives: relationships

It Sucks When Your Favorite Songwriter is Your Ex.

I never thought that I would write about Tommy, but here we are.  I’m not going to talk about our relationship.  Too much happened and didn’t happen to tell that tale coherently.  Maybe one day, if I’m feeling particularly masochistic, I’ll open a bottle of whiskey and that Pandora’s box, but this is not that day.  Today, what I will talk about is that Tommy Simms was the best singer/songwriter that I have ever known.

Tommy turns his Alvarez into his bitch.  I am a junkie for a heartfelt melody, and he was my supplier.  That may have been one of the reasons why I stuck in that relationship for longer than I should have.  For a time, I think I may have been his muse, so that’s probably one of the reasons why he stuck with me for longer than he should have.  I am addicted to stripped down songwriting and  I’ve never seen someone do what he can do with an acoustic guitar.  He can make it sound like there are two guitars playing, while simultaneously setting your soul aflame with his vulnerable voice and charismatic ways that seems to pull at everyones heart strings.

I always knew how special his music was, and the fact that I still thought so, even after being heartbroken, confirms that I wasn’t just a fan because he was my boyfriend.  I was his number one fan because I saw him at his best.  Tommy alone with an acoustic guitar is where the magic happens.  I’m one of the lucky ones who got to witness the behind the scenes footage of him sitting on a dilapidated couch with heavy eyes that always had some secret behind them, strumming through minor chords and humming new melodies under the pale moonlight.  And those songs would fill the room and find their way into your bloodstream.

I don’t think he ever liked his songs as much as I did.  He always seemed pretty nonchalant about his talent, and never used it as much as I felt that he should have.  Years later, and I think only now do I kind of understand that it wasn’t so much that he was apathetic, but maybe he was just tired.  I knew him after he had already put everything he had into music.  I’m not sure, but I think that he had got his ass kicked by trying to “make it” and that tends to deteriorate your soul.  It happened to me.  It’s like a cancer.  It spreads.  In less than a year, I went from 100% identifying as being an artist, to 0% thinking like an artist.  I once saw artistic inspiration in everything, and in a matter of months, I lost it all.  When your dreams keep getting shut down by the rat race, it’s very discouraging, and I think that may have been where Tommy was at while I knew him.  However, even without his whole heart in it, Tommy had more talent in an EP, than I probably do in my complete portfolio.

One of the reasons I say that is because he can write a song for every style.  If you ask Tommy to write you a pop song, a rap beat, a doo-wap, a country tune… he will do it in a few minutes.  That was always one of the more impressive things about him.  So it’s a real shame that he never quite figured out how to wholly utilize his natural abilities.  Society is just not conducive to artists.

Tommy’s recordings are fine, but they absolutely do not do him justice.  He is best live because half of the experience is him.  He’s got this allure on stage and it’s like a sudden spell that cloaks the room.  No one knows exactly why they’re suddenly entranced, but they are.  However, he only has half of the qualities required to be known.  He has the talent and the charisma, which is the recipe for greatness.  Unfortunately though, he’s lacking in work ethic and has a tendency to burn bridges.  That may be the main reason why he’s not in a recording studio with Steve Albini at this very moment.

What inspired this random musing, is a video I just watched of him.  I have been cleaning out and organizing my digital closet over the last few days, and I came across this old video that I had forgotten about.  I recorded this years ago when he was playing a small show in Savannah, Georgia.  We were living together at the time and I remember that he hadn’t done a show in a while.  Please read the written guide I have provided below as you watch.  It’s all worth seeing and hearing.

The first song is called New Accents and it was always one of his most popular.  I believe that he wrote this one with Josh Greenburg and I’m pretty sure he wrote quite a few of his songs with Josh, so I want to make sure I give credit where credit is due.  Josh is probably the best musician I know and I suspect that he has perfect pitch, but I’ve never asked.

He was surrounded by close friends, so in the beginning, you can tell that he is kind of nervous.  But at minute marker 1:15, you can hear those nerves dissipate and he becomes more comfortable.  This is why I believe that live music is the most powerful form of art.  It’s a direct interpretation of someone’s soul in real time.

 

I never asked him about song lyrics.  As long as I live, I will never ask a songwriter the meaning behind the lyrics they write.  I think it’s far too personal.  Yes, he was my boyfriend, but there are still privacy lines that shouldn’t be treaded through.  I can guess what some of the lyrics are about, but I never confirmed any of these speculations.  I know that mingled within these songs that he wrote while I was around, are words that other girls would know the meaning to, and that’s where being in a relationship with a musician gets ugly.  I was similar though, so I’m sure it wasn’t easy being with someone like me either.

 

10:49- Tin Lizzy is possibly the best song he has ever written.  No idea what it’s about and never asked.

14:30- Timmer!  The boy who is in that shot, I have very fond memories of.  One of my favorite times with Tommy was the winter of 2009.  I think it was 2009 anyway.  He was living with me in Savannah, Georgia and most of our friends went home for the holidays but me, Tommy and Tim stuck around.  It’s one of those slices of life where everyone involved probably remembers it differently.  Tommy and Tim’s memories of that time are most likely different from how I remember it.  When I think about it, I feel this odd little temporary family built between three early twenty-something year-olds.  Tim never left his house, so Tommy and I would walk down the road to his place and we would all drink NOS energy drinks together in the morning, then switch over to beer at night, and talk and laugh and dream up ideas that we knew deep down we would never create.  In hindsight, it felt like our own little secret world.  None of us really keep in touch anymore, but we had December of 2009 together and it was something to be cherished.

20:34- He starts with that build up and you can feel it.  From here until the end, this is the epitome of Tommy in his element.

Maybe it’s just me.  Maybe Tommy and I just aligned in some fucked up telepathic, artistic way.  I always said that if Tommy and I used the same medium, we would create the same art.  My true art was dance.  Dance and choreography was the only thing that I was ever really good at.  If he was a dancer, I think he would choreograph like me.  I choreographed movement and he choreographed notes.  And if I was a songwriter, I think that I would write like him.

The climax of his studio recordings was “Homeboys.”  He nailed it with the recording of that song and I was very proud of him.  I have it, but I am not sure that he ever formally released it, so I don’t want to throw it online.  Here is a fucking beautiful live performance of it however that I just found:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TI8at4JgS0I

Tommy, I always thought that How It Feels would be great solo live if you can figure out how to make it work.

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The Key to a Healthy Relationship is More Relationships – 2 of 2

If you’re just tuning in and have trouble staying focused like most humans seem to when it comes to the written word, this means that you didn’t finish reading the title of this entry which ends with “2 of 2.”  So, to get the most out of this topic, which I think is important, please click here for the first part of this write-up so that you fully understand why the hell I’m discussing people currently in my life.  Or as I like to call it, “my village.”  I know that a lot of you won’t click… so I’m going to first encourage you again to do so, otherwise this may be confusing.  Then, because I know a lot of you still won’t, I will quickly summarize the point I am attempting to make.  In modern romance, we have grown to expect one person to satisfy all of our human desires, from security and dependability to adventure and spontaneity and that’s unrealistic.  Different people play different, yet integral roles in our lives, and we need all of them to keep us fulfilled and happy.

Every Sunday night I drink gin gimlets with Snow White.  Her and I have a lot in common, so when you parallel our personalities, it might make sense that we would get along.  We both have a unique perspective of the world that others may classify as odd or eccentric.  The unexpected part about our friendship is that she is barely twenty years old.  Twenty-year-olds can be entertaining for a second, but for the most part, they are not going to hold my interest every Sunday night because there is little chance that they can say something that I haven’t already thought about.  There are exceptions, and Snow White is one of them.  She’s further than an exception,  I would describe her more as an anomaly because she is not like talking to a girl.

Girls are great, and having a girly outlet is a need in my life.  Having a person in my life who I can have cerebral discussions with is also a desire I seek, but you don’t often find yourself in a cerebral conversation with chicks.  Snow White and I at times have challenging conversations that I’m finding inspiring.  She is one of the smartest people I know and she makes me want to learn more.  Somehow she makes things like the value of entropy sound like something I want to study.  Having inspiration in my life is definitely a role that I need present.  I’m used to being creatively inspired, but I’m really enjoying Snow White’s scholastic inspiration.  I’d like to think that in some way I do the same for her.  We have a kind of beautiful complementary friendship because she will teach me about acute pulmonary embolism, and then I’ll tell her stories, summarizing for her the poignance of Of Mice and Men or the genius ending to Lord of the Flies.  It’s a nice little routine and I love my Sunday night’s with Snow White.

I used to need my significant other to inspire and challenge me.  I still LOVE when boys I am with do that, but now I’ve recognized that maybe that doesn’t need to be what their principle role is in my life.  If I keep people like Snow White in my “village” and others who inspire me, then that desire will be fulfilled and I won’t feel unsatisfied by my boyfriend if he is not the one making me run to an encyclopedia or a canvas to everyday.

Then there is Lady Insanity.  Lady Insanity is a 50-year-old woman who matches her eyeliner color to her shirts, she is obsessed with mini bottles of hand sanitizer, she owns a tanning bed that is in the guest bedroom, her favorite drink is Bud Light Lime-A-Ritas, and she slaps me when I “take the lord’s name in vain.”  I don’t know how or why, but I seem to have recently ended a lot of my nights with this crazy woman.  We absolutely have some great times (bordering on sloppy), but we also have become strong friends.  We talk to each other about a lot, and we support and help each other.  It’s a very unexpected friendship.  Sometimes she satisfies my spontaneous desires because I’ll think it’s going to be a low-key night, but suddenly I’m with her, singing along to Snoop Dogg songs and then going to talk to psychics.  Then some nights she plays the role of a more maternal, voice of reason to my life.  We all need days when we get wasted by the pool and then think it’s a good idea to dance in public.  And we all need days to talk shit out and get insight and advice from someone who has been there.  Lady Insanity is one of the ones that meets both of those desires.

Kristy is my best friend and you would NEVER guess it.  She looks like she was in a sorority, she is loud and outrageous, she is the most high strung person I have ever met, she is obsessed with “nippies” which are nipple covers and she will happily tell you all about them and send you a link to the ordering page.  Essentially, Kristy was a Xanax girl.  We all know those.  The chicks in college who were into Xanax, they all have very similar characteristics am I right?  If I had to sum them up… borderline obnoxious but fun.  Kristy is like that on the surface, but then you get to know her and she is such a beautiful human being.  That girl has been there for me through every single life obstacle I have gone through post sophomore year of high school.  A lot of these obstacles, I probably couldn’t have fought through had it not been for her.  She has been my life support during times when I thought I would never recover.  Kristy is the only person in the world who knows EVERYTHING about me.

Luckily, I really like her fiancé and her other friends too.  So often there is about five or so of us who go out for drinks, and it is always such a good time.  My cheeks hurt from laughing.  I’ve come to notice that almost every time we are all sitting around a table drinking beer, Kristy’s asshole gets brought up.  I don’t know how or why, but it seems like at some point in the night, we all start talking about her butthole for some absurd reason.  The last time was her fiancé asking her if he has been in her ass the furthest.  “I don’t need names!” he said, “I just want to know that if anyone else has been in there, that I have been in the deepest.”  Such a ridiculous conversation, but I was dying.  I’ve been sitting at a bar with them before when they ordered a sex toy on their smartphones from amazon.  Obviously, Kristy plays the role of “best friend, trusted confidant” by which she meets my human desire for “dependability and permanence.”  All at the same time… I have so much fun with her and that girl can make me laugh.

These descriptions of people who make my world go ‘round, leads to me Logan.  Logan meets multiple desires, but I would never expect him to meet all, which is why even though he is a new addition in my life, I still need all of the people I’ve already discussed in order to maintain a healthy romantic relationship with him.  If I abandoned those relationships, or if he abandoned his, then we would seek ALL of those desires from each other and that is unrealistic and unfair and would ultimately lead to an inevitable demise and most likely resenting each other.  Basically, what happens to a lot of couples who devote their lives to one another and don’t nurture the other integral relationships in their INDIVIDUAL lives.

What is amazing about Logan, and one of the reasons why he impresses me more and more every single day, is that he is the only boy I have ever been with who seems to TRULY recognize that, and does not just pretend to.  He also impresses me because even after telling me that he shaves his fucking forearms because he thinks it makes the swollen muscles show up better after leaving the gym… I’m still obsessed with him.  That’s a feat.  He deserves at least a high five for that because normally I would be gone before that sentence was even complete.  We have grown accustom to a point system using high fives.  So when he tells me that he shits his pants once a decade (which is something that I could very easily write an entire entry about), he gets at least negative a million high fives.  But when he says “I was super into Xena Warrior Princess when I was younger … For real, I was all about that bitch,” as a way to prove that he is not sexist, it makes me laugh really hard and want to kiss him and he gets at least two high fives for that.

So world, meet Logan, the boy with the dodgy eyes.  The first time I saw him, I crossed my fingers that he would talk to me.  According to him, it was my smile that honed him in, but for me, it was his eyes.  He has this dangerous, kind of shady look about him that was really doing something for my boy crazy side.  Three months and about multiple boys later, and Logan is my rock.  I’ve always found that line to be incredibly lame, but if I said, “Logan is my tree trunk,” that would be weird.  I do think of him more like a solid tree trunk though, because I koala the shit out of him.  That’s what he calls it.  I latch on to his torso like a koala on a Eucalyptus tree and he just walks around with me like that with no struggle.  Or throws me onto the bed and manhandles me, which is my favorite.  I lay on him, and kind of climb all over him (especially when we are laying on the couch and I am making him watch Dawson’s Creek), and his body can take it all.  He is big with a ridiculously solid, strong core.

What this description is leading up to is that part of Logan’s role in my life, is like his stomach muscles.  I know that is a weird thing to say.  I’m definitely a weirdo, and Logan definitely is not.  He’s a self-proclaimed bro dude.  A lot of his interests are so douchey.  He likes football and fights and power lifting and he was a bouncer and listens to OG hardcore and has a fucking tattoo of Florida, among other douchey tattoos.  Every time I see the Florida tattoo, I say “Flo Grown!” and he rolls his eyes and says something like, “Okay, you bitch.”  And that makes me giggle and then he just sighs and lets his arms flop to the side until I’m done laughing and then I probably make fun of him for something else like, “remember the time you went to a vape convention?”  Then I REALLY start laughing and he sighs again, and then says, “are you done?” and I’m probably not, but he’ll grab my face in the middle of my laughter and kiss me and look me in the eye and say, “you are so fucking beautiful.”  I am so fucking lucky.

I have embraced his douche bag qualities because when you put them all together, Logan is gold.  He has embraced my weirdness and adapted to it.  When I explained to him that, “you are for me, like your stomach muscles.  I can punch it or koala it or put my weight on it, and it doesn’t falter.”  His response was back, “I pinky promise that I am always going to be like my stomach muscles for you.”  When he said that odd sentence, I knew that he had fully embraced my weirdness and was learning to speak my language.

A friend of mine, named Mark, said something to me a while ago that stuck.  He is much older than me… maybe in his late 60’s or early 70’s? so it felt like words of wisdom.  He told me that one should NOT marry their best friend, but instead marry for lust.  I’ve never been an advocate for marriage (to put it lightly), but I still heard what he was saying.  People often advise, “marry your best friend,” but even at a young age, I never felt that I agreed with that, though I couldn’t articulate why until now.  Mark is right.  There should be people in your life that already meet those “best friend” desires.  You shouldn’t need a best friend in a partner, you should WANT your partner.  Sex.  Lust.  Whoo!  Fun words!  Sex and lust are basic human desire and unless we want to start debating monogamy, is a desire that in our culture we tend to get from one person at a time.  So why not be with somebody who wholly satisfies your sexual desires?  The one thing that no one else can give you.

Obviously, other characteristics are important.  You can’t have lust and nothing else.  But I think we write off lust too quickly when considering partners because for absurd reasons, people associate lust with sin.  I don’t think that I should necessarily be giving relationship advice, but you’ve made it this far, so I might as well continue with my self-righteous solution.  I think that the person you decide to really try with, should be the person who you can’t wait to talk to about your day, and also the person who you can’t wait to grab their face and make-out with.  I think that Logan and I will be okay because on top of wanting to rip his clothes off AND talk to him about everything constantly, he meets my human desire for stability, acceptance, laughter and dependability.  Money doesn’t matter to me, but the older I get, the more I realize that stability does.  Logan is stable, and it’s hot.  Like I said, my tree trunk.  He also accepts me wholly.  We all need people like that in our lives.  Those who accept our past and flaws and nuances and show no desire to change any of it.  And Logan makes me laugh.  A lot.  Which is sexy.

So world, meet Logan.  I thought I had eradicated hope from my life, but I do hope that he is around for a while and that you all can get to know him.  And I still cross my fingers everyday that he will keep talking to me.

To truly bring this full circle, I’ve realized that none of these people would be in my routine and none of these human desires would be met if I was still touring a lot.  Road life was absolutely what I needed over the last few years, and I loved it.  I also truly believe that I am a better and wiser person because of my roadie life, but I think I’m ready to move on from that now.  I was using touring as a form of escapism and while it was a friggen blast at times, I currently don’t feel the need to escape and I have all of these people to thank for that.

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The Key to a Healthy Relationship is More Relationships – 1 of 2

Back in December I had turned down a couple of tours for the first quarter of this year.  One of them because the band’s manager is the most hated man I have ever met and I will absolutely never be associated with him ever again.  The second one because they weren’t offering enough money and it was for a support band on a five band tour package… and I’m a snob.  I very much prefer working for the headlining band, or co-headlining band because it’s a lot less of a headache.  I knew that by turning down these gigs, it would mean that I would be home for a while and the thought of that usually makes my vagina shrivel.  I was expecting the Post Tour Blues to kick my ass immediately.  I was not in a great place because I had just left the Viking for a second time; a true modern romantic tragedy that I may tell someday.  And I also was expecting to come home and be with a certain boy, but life doesn’t give a fuck about your plans, so that didn’t end up working out.  I thought I would spiral into a major depression and then jump at the first opportunity to runaway and onto a bus with a rock band and drown in immediate gratification, new faces to make me forget the old ones, and lots of whiskey.

What actually happened though, was that I was okay.  I’ve been home for a while and surprisingly, I’m good.  My demons must be tired from years of antagonizing because they are laying dormant right now.  My sister and I signed up at a boxing gym, and I think that helped a lot.  We decided that we wanted to be badass boxers, so I dived into that.  Don’t piss me off because I can hit you with a one, two and it will hurt.  Definitely don’t piss my sister off because she is diligently looking for any reason to hit someone with a solid one, two, hook.  In that spot of one’s soul that we keep hidden, I have love and empathy and Raven has rage and violence.  I’m waiting for the phone call from her in the middle of the night telling me that she killed someone with her barehands and needs help cleaning up.  I’m kidding.  But she seriously can’t wait to knock a mother fucker out.

Another reason why I think I’m okay, is that a lot of my human desires are being met, through a kind of routine that I developed.  I never thought that I would use the word routine without rolling my eyes and throwing up in my mouth a little bit, but look at me now!  All grown up!  Well, I can’t get too carried away.  I still get very excited when I come in contact with a bouncy ball, and I still play in the rain and giggle when I see a penis drawing.  My routines are not lame, which is what is saving me.

A long time ago I watched a Ted Talk by Esther Perel about the secret to desire in a long-term relationship.  Firstly, if you don’t watch Ted Talk’s, you’re being dumb.  That talk is one that has always stuck with me and I recommend it to everyone, even if you’re not in a relationship.  Clearly, most of my life I have not been, but I still took a lot from this lecture.  Her thesis statement is that around the globe, where romance enters, there seems to be a crisis of desire.  I will paraphrase.  In modern day relationships, we except our partner to provide all of our needs and wants for us.  Back when marriage was an economic institution, what was expected was children, social statures and companionship.  Now, we expect all that from our partner, but ALSO for him or her to be our “best friend, trusted confidant and passionate lover and we live twice as long.”  When you think about it like that, it’s really ridiculous.

She goes on to say that as humans, we seek security, dependability, and permanence but we ALSO seek adventure, risk and spontaneity.  For some retarded reason, we have grown to expect ONE person to provide all of that for us, when until modern society, it was an entire village which provided those needs for one another.  This lecture of course led to some introspection, and I started becoming aware of all of our “roles.”  No matter what type of relationship you have with someone, you play a role in their lives that in some way meets at least one of the human desires.  For example, Fat Face for a while satisfied my adventurous, spontaneous side, but didn’t meet my innate desire for security and dependability.  I had to get that from someone else.  This confirms for me my theory that it is very healthy and 100% necessary to maintain friendships with the opposite sex (or sex of your choice) when in a relationship.  It’s plain dumb to think that one person can satisfy all of your desires when taking into consideration the grand spectrum of desires.  So, after watching the Esther Perel talk again, I recognized that all of the people currently in my life, play a different role so that my desires are met, which leads to health and happiness.  Like she said in the lecture, a small village once provided all of these things, so this is my small village.  The friends and family and lovers who meet my needs and are helping making this weird life less painful and sometimes down right beautiful.

I’ll start with Rach.  Rachel is my age, but married with three children and doesn’t drink at all.  Basically, we could not have more polarizing lives unless she was a Sudanese woman married with three children and malaria.  However, her and her whole family meets my kind of family, “wholesome” desires.  Each time I leave them, I feel so uplifted and just- – I don’t know… wholesome!  I have become this weird extra appendage to her family.  Think of when people have an extra finger or toe… that’s me.  I’m the strange extra flab of questionable skin to the Holm family.

Rachel thinks that my life is so interesting, but I think her life is so interesting.  She has a cat named Jeff for crying out loud.  I think that is hysterical.  And she has an adorable little four year old girl named Matt.  Okay… her name is Mattie, but I call her Matt because I’m a twat and just find it funny.  When all of us go out to eat or do something, her and her husband fight over which one is going to be on “Mattie duty.”  They’re serious about it, but I just giggle at the side and play soccer with the son using a wadded up piece of paper.  Once we are settled, Rach, me and her husband attempt to use code words and gestures to discuss adult matters such as, what it means that a guy I was dating couldn’t get it up… and how much they do or do not make-out as a form of foreplay.  We manage to have full blown conversations about this while Matt is singing “up  town funk you up” to herself, the boy is coloring and the oldest girl is playing with my bracelets.

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Me and the fam.

Rachel and I have known each other since we were six years old, and we were very close from then, and all the way through high school.  After high school we drifted apart for a while and I think during those years, our differences kept us apart.  Now, I think it is our differences that seemed to have brought us back together.  When you’re someone like me, who is constantly going through an existential crisis and sometimes can’t remember if I may or may not have made-out with two different boys in the same night, it’s good to have people like Rachel around to hear about how they need to bake 300 cookies in one day (for reasons I still don’t understand) and how her kids all play Bloody Mary together in the bathroom.  Seeing Rach and her family has become routine, and the role that they play in my life is getting doses of wholesomeness and innocence that I don’t get regularly from anyone else.  Another integral role that Rachy plays in my life is that she encourages me when I think it’s a good idea to buy a floppy hat and sparkly fake glasses.

On this same vein, there is Cody.  I never thought that I would be watching movies in my living room on a shitty television and ordering shitty pizza with Cody again.  Just like Rachel, I thought that our best days were behind us.  We have been extremely close since age 14, but after a few years of not living in the same area (during our mid twenties) and having very different lives, I figured that we would just continue growing apart until we both realized that the only reason why we were pretending to be friends still was out of some morbid obligation we thought we owed to our former selves.  Close to a year ago though, something changed (including proximity) and I remember announcing to my sister, “Cody is cool again!!!”

Him and I have been hanging out fairly regularly since and it has been my favorite thing.  We have nacho night about once a week which simply includes making nachos, drinking PBR and watching stupid youtube videos.  We also play pool occasionally though we never seem to get better, we watch movies, we talk about writing movies, he tells me about albino snakes and I tell him about books I’m reading and we laugh over the things that we used to get pissed at each other about when we were young and in love.

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Cody and I.

Cody satisfies my desire to talk, and also to be 100% comfortable with someone else.  We talk about all of it.  It’s great to have someone who you can discuss the psychological effects of the technological boom with, but also turn around and laugh about how weird nipples are and if we would rather fuck Fiona Apple or Alanis Morrisette.  Laughter is the most integral to life, so include as much people as you can who make you laugh.  It’s also important to have someone who you can be 100% real around.  Maybe a lot of people get that from their significant other, but that has never been me.  Right now, I’m getting that from Cody and my sister and realizing how important it is to have that in your life.  We all need at least one person who we can be completely unimpressive around and don’t give a fuck if we have sweaty armpits or if we just feel like eating a lot of Taco Bell and not being judged.  What I’ve learned the most through this resurrection friendship with Cody is that sometimes, you can go home again.  That’s part of his role, he provides me with a sense of home and comfort and it helps keep me grounded.

My sister, Raven.  I’m living at home again, and that means spending more time with Flava’ Rave, as Cody calls her.  She is just so funny because she is a paradigm for her generation.  My morning routine seems to be, make coffee, then talk and laugh with Raven for about an hour and a half before we contemplate what we are doing with our day.  Considering how far apart we are in age, Raven and I are very close.  She’s nine years my junior, but I can still talk to her about A LOT.  She’s a total B though too, and if she is getting slightly annoyed with me, she’ll just put her hand up and say, “bye.”  It makes me laugh every time.  She actually just left the room and we both were cracking up because she is being so NOT chill about a current crush she has.  We honestly just spent 15 minutes deciding on the exact words and punctuation to use in a two sentence text to her crush.  In this role, I think it’s more about what role I am playing.  I’m her big sister and providing that role for her, provides me with a small sense of purpose which we all need.  I am there for her in every sense of that “you’re my blood” type of way.  Essentially, she can do no wrong and no matter what, I got her back.  That unconditional love should absolutely be in everyone’s routine.

To be continued…  Part 2

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Raven and I.

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Confessions of a Heedless Sinner – Vol. 15

If you’re just tuning in, please see Vol. 14, so you can get caught up with my current love life (or the shitshow, which is probably a more appropriate title).

I added boy number eight while simultaneously out with my smooth boyfriend.  My game is getting a lot of practice.  We were at a local bar and I was showing the smooth boy my boxing skills that I’ve been practicing when I spotted this kid at the jukebox.  I recognized him right away.  He was this guy that I had met once months before, who had left an impression on me but we never exchanged information or anything.  He had this kind of brooding mysterious thing going for him, so I shouted what I thought was his name, just to see if he would turn around.  I figured, if I get his name right, then I’ll go talk to him.  If not, then I’ll just forget about it and maybe give him a head nod when he notices me.

I shouted, and sure enough, I got the name right so he turned around.  I told my boy, “I have to go say hi to this guy.”  He is a smooth motherfucker, so he didn’t skip a beat and just said something like, “Yeah girl, you do your thing,” as he sucked down some gross sweet vodka drink that I make fun of him for.  He’s definitely my current favorite, by the way.

I chatted it up with brooding boy for a few minutes at the jukebox, and then he asked for my number which was appallingly obvious since he busted out his phone not seven feet away from my smooth motherfucker boyfriend.   Oh well.  When brooding boy actually used my number later that night, it instantly turned him into another dude on the list.  I will say that he impressed me slightly when later in the night, after seeing my smooth boyfriend touch me in a more than friends kind of way, brooding boy straight up asked me, “Is that your boytoy?”  which I responded with, “Is boytoy one word?  Either way, I don’t know if I would use that term, but sure… something like that.”  Brooding boy still called me for a date.  Like I said before, it’s astounding the level of shit that people put up with during the chase.

I try not to break date plans because that just means schedule rearrangements and unnecessary apologies and it’s just an overall pain in the ass.  With that being said, I canceled on brooding boy.  First of all, his idea of a first date was watching the sunrise.  I appreciate that he was trying to be unique I guess?  And I feel I am being gracious by using the word unique, because… really dude?  You want me to wake up at 6:00 in the fucking morning to watch a shitty sunrise over a polluted bay with traffic in the forefront with you?  Whatever.  I figured that I’d make him get a good breakfast with me and I also figured that maybe I should embrace the idea because it meant that I would have more time with the other boys.  The ones who I would pencil in for normal, human functioning hours.

I texted him to confirm that we were meeting at 7:00 in the god damn morning, but I got a vague response back at approximately 1:00am, so I took that as a no.  I didn’t even wait for further clarification because I figured on the off chance that he actually was trying to say yes in his poor attempt at a response to a very simple yes or no question, I could just inform him that he absolutely sucks at written communication.  The following morning, I got a text from him at 10:00am, asking if I was awake.  I was, and was a little annoyed that he just blatantly disregarded the fact that he broke plans with me, but I was starving.  I texted him back and asked if he wanted to get breakfast.  No response.  So I figured this kid just doesn’t have it together and I’m going to get the newspaper and read it over french toast by myself, because that’s really what I wanted to do anyway.  At this point, I was just thinking that I wanted to get this brooding boy date over with so I could move on with my life.

Not so very long story shortened… his phone seems to have difficulties.  That is an immediate red flag for me.  Not to be judgmental, because we all know that I will give anyone a chance (obviously), but a boy not having a car or a functioning phone is a big indicator to me that they just don’t have their shit together.  I don’t mean financially, because I could not care less about that.  Even if they didn’t have a car or a phone by choice, I would think that’s awesome and I would probably like them more.  However, this is never the case.  Usually, when someone doesn’t have a car or when they have one of those pre-paid phones, it just means that their life, in every area, will prove to be as big of a hassle as dealing with picking them up is, and the constant, “Call me on my roommates phone because I need to buy more minutes,” issues.  Soon enough you’ll be listening to him bitch about how he got fired because his boss hates him for some reason, but you’ll be thinking to yourself, maybe he fired you because you’re always high, show up late and do the bare minimum.  Mark my words, guys without cars and with pre-paid phones seem to attract problems.  My life is an unpredictable mess, but if YOUR life is such an unpredictable mess that you can’t commit to a phone plan, you need to lay off the drugs and re-evaluate your life.

Back to brooding boy.  After annoying communication problems that morning, we finally got a normal conversation in, in which we agreed that I would pick him up (yes, pick him up) from across town and go to lunch.  At this point, it was well passed breakfast hours.  The last thing that was said as we got off the phone was that he would pick a spot to eat at which would be nearby his place.  Not five minutes later I receive a text from him saying, “So what’s the plan?  I’ve been waiting.”  WHAT?!  I called him immediately and despite how much I do NOT know this kid I yelled, “Are you on drugs right now?!  We JUST said that you would pick a place and we would go to lunch.”  I honestly don’t even remember how he explained himself because I was way over it at this point.  I told him I had to cancel because I had a sudden obligation (which was partly true) and I haven’t decided if I’m going to attempt to waste my time on him again or not.  He seems to have really good taste in music and his Heathcliff type demeanor was doing something for me, but he’s clearly on what I call “stoner time,” and I am just not on that same clock.

 

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Confessions of a Heedless Sinner – Vol. 14

I am kind of dating eight different boys right now.  This wasn’t intentional.  It’s not as if I go out on hunts, it just happens when you’re subconsciously open to it.  My rule proved to be true.

Caitlin Rule: Tread softly with your words because once something is said out loud, it becomes real.

I received a really retarded text from a boy who kicked my ass recently, and it was kind of the last straw.  My friend Rachel was with me and in a burst of frustration I shouted, “I’m just going to go back to being a man-eater!”

Sure enough, that very night, suddenly two new boys whom I have zero possibility of a future with were in my life.  Two weeks later, and now my number is up to eight.  Yes, it is taking some bravery to write this entry because it will absolutely piss some people off, but I figure it’s a way to wean out the faint of heart.  Maybe one day I’ll find someone who understands the humor behind my exploits.  I tell all of these guys that I see other people, but most boys seem to have selective hearing, so if this comes as a shock… their bad.

Caitlin Rule: Never date a writer because they will write about you.

Right up until my outburst with Rachel, boys had kicked my ass over the past year or so.  I suppose I had it coming because for a good chunk of my twenties, I was mostly just using boys as a form of entertainment.  Of course there were some who I truly cared about, but looking back on the flings between the ages of 24-27, they mostly just provided immediate gratification and held little integrity.

There were times back then when I would be dating a handful of people at once.  To maintain some level of self-respect, I’m never sleeping with more than one person at a time.  Mostly these guys I was “dating” I would maybe see once a week and we’d go somewhere like a gallery opening or a comedy show, then have a couple of drinks.  Generally this would lead to a profound conversation and then making-out on their couch.  Then I’d smile sweetly and say, “I have to go,” and they wouldn’t hear from me again until next week… after I had done the same thing with the other four guys.

Obviously, that got tiring and meaningless.  It wasn’t a conscious decision, but somewhere along the way I did just start naturally looking for something with a little more stability.  Something to be respected.  Well, I found a few, and they just ended up kicking my ass!  I tend to not write about the ones that hurt the most, so all I’m going to say about the one who beat me up the worst (metaphorically speaking), is that I did truly try.  For the first time in a long time, and possibly only the second time in my life, I truly tried in that relationship.  He still left me though, so look where that got me!

After that, there was another guy I started seeing (again).  It wasn’t serious, but I began to believe that we could be great together if we gave it a real shot.  Now he’s a baby daddy.  Well, the chick is still pregnant, so he is a soon-to-be baby daddy, and that obviously brought on far too many complications for our mild “relationship” to stay afloat, let alone blossom.  What I’m getting at is, after all of those years of acting like an asshole and not getting emotionally invested, the second I give people some real respect, and the second I try to build relationships with solid ground, they fucking pummeled me.  So, inconsequential flings with some people who make me laugh and definitely don’t make me cry, sounds like a beautiful counteraction.  You may be thinking that “rebound” would be a more appropriate description to which I can see your point, but I don’t fully agree because rebounds insinuate that sex is taking place (which it is mostly not in my case) and rebounds also seem to be associated with a kind of darkness; an inner turmoil that one is trying to drown out with false love.  I am not in a dark place right now, I’m just having a lot of fun and not taking myself or anyone else too seriously.  I have completely eradicated hope from my life.  That may sound depressing, but I find it sincerely liberating and I’ll explain more about that some other time.

Since I have been attempting to juggle eight different boys, my personal life has been like an episode of Gossip Girl on steroids.  A few days ago, I decided to get organized.  I sat down at my desk to get to work.  I had just received my schedule for the week, so it was time to begin adjusting these boys’ lives to mine.  I began texting them, all at the same time which was a terrible idea, and quite literally had to pencil them into my calendar.  Okay, I used a pen, but still, I actually had to bust out my calendar at my desk to write in for Saturday: “Lunch with boring boy, dinner with thug boy and late drinks with baseball boy.”  Wednesday looked something like, “Coffee with boxing boy, show with skater boy? or possibly baby daddy?”  The fact that the baby daddy is still in my life is ridiculous, I know, but he’s only like 3% (a minority that doesn’t even count) in my life and I’m sure I’ll explain that story soon enough.

With this type of schedule, of course I have to prepare for the unexpected.  I mean, what if dinner with thug boyfriend (I call him this because he looks like a straight up drug dealer) goes way better than anticipated and I want to continue having him as company?  Well, that means I would have to cancel on baseball boy.  Here is why it is slightly okay… I don’t lie.  In the off-chance that thug boyfriend holds my attention for more than a couple of hours, then I will text baseball boy and tell him, “I’m so sorry, I can’t make it tonight for drinks!  I got held up at dinner.”

If baseball boy straight up asked me, “is that because you are with someone else?” I would absolutely say, yes.  But they never straight up ask.  And neither do I.  That’s not my business nor my style.  As long as things are light, I honestly could not fucking care less if I was also penciled into a guy’s calendar.  One very important thing that I learned from the boy with the white hair is that it’s crucial to understand what your role is in someone’s life.  I understand that my role in most of these guys lives are just like what their role is in mine.  They’re using me as much as I am using them and I find nothing wrong with that.  We enjoy the time and then continue.

I just got off of the phone with Cody (who is a great old friend of mine that I talk about in This Is Now), and he suspected for a moment that I was meeting these guys online.  He knows better, so I don’t think that he actually thought that, he just has a terrible case of not being able to stop his mouth from moving.  Quite literally, I don’t think he can refrain from words coming from his mouth at all times.  So he says shit that he doesn’t even mean or believe.  It’s almost like having Tourettes but with whole sentences.  I love him for it though.  Anyway, the point being that I would like to make it perfectly fucking clear that I am in no way online dating.

The point of all of this is to kind of bring you, the reader, up to speed because I think I will start chronicling this absolutely absurd dating life.  This is the first part, and I’m sure that it won’t last long because these kinds of romances never do.  For example, I thought that I’ve already crossed one guy off of the list because I accidentally sent him the wrong text, which was absolutely bound to happen.

Like I said, I have at least a little bit of self-respect, so I am only sleeping with one of these boys.  I meant to send him the text that said, “Did you throw me up against a wall or something last night?  The center of my back has a bruise on it.”  Well, I sent that text to boring boy instead.  I realized it immediately and just started laughing out loud.  I mean, what else can you do in that situation?  Then I texted it to the right guy, to which he responded, “Unfortunately we weren’t in a place to be doing that.”  Which was true… we were very much around other people for the whole night, but there was a couple of times that we stole a passionate kiss, so I thought that maybe one of those times he banged me up against a wall and I just didn’t notice because whiskey and hormones were involved.

I was busy daydreaming about him throwing me against a wall when I got the text from boring boy that said, “wrong text.”  Yeah, thanks, champ.  “Sorry about that” is all I could say back.  The truly amazing part is that I still heard from the boring boy two days later.  It’s stunning how much people are willing to put up with during the chase.

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Is Your Name Yo-Yo-Mama?

I decided that I want to date a rapper.  Preferably by the name, Yo-Yo-Mama, but I won’t get into how I came up with that.  It involved me, my Nana and my Aunt while watching a soap opera from the ’70s, so I won’t bore you with more details.  I’ll settle for a rapper that goes by another name, but I think I’m going to stay away from any whose stage name starts with “‘Lil.”  I just know that I could never successfully sleep with anyone who is serious about going by a name that starts with ‘Lil.  (I’m sorry ‘Lil Wayne, you’re awesome, but I could never sleep with you.)  Even if this imaginary rapper that I am not going to sleep with is really good in bed, I know I would inevitably start laughing out loud right when the thought that I am currently sleeping with someone who has the fake word of “‘lil” involved with his identity crosses my mind.  This thought would probably cross my mind every few seconds because I am convinced that my brain has a forever diabolical plan to sabotage me.  Anyway, I’ve dated enough fucking guitar players, and I’ve had my fair share of drummers and bass players and lead singers, so I think it’s time to test out a rapper.  It’s possible that this is the worst idea I’ve ever had because lead singers often have this severe condition called Lead Singer Syndrome.

Lead Singer Syndrome- A serious social affliction with an unknown origin.  Theories suggest that it could be a birth defect, and a symptom of such is becoming the lead singer of a band.  However, the most widely accepted theory is that after becoming a lead singer, the subject develops feelings of self-obsession and superiority and has a tendency to burn bridges (metaphorically speaking).  The lasting effect is that everyone secretly hates him/her.

Before I piss off too many of my friends, I would like to make a very important note which is, not all lead singer’s are plagued with this syndrome.  But it’s a solid majority.

Not that I know any rappers, but I am taking an educated guess that they may have the worst cases of the syndrome.  I suppose if I am being realistic, Eminem falls under the category of rappers that I do not know, though sometimes I like to imagine that he is my boyfriend and we know each others minds and bodies well.  He is a great kisser.  Well, I’ve made the executive decision that he is a great kisser.  Maybe that’s the difference between stalkers and everyone else.  I like to pretend that Eminem is my boyfriend and that he is a great kisser, but I understand that he is not actually my boyfriend and that I know nothing of his kissing capabilities.  I don’t think that the people who turn into true stalkers can make that distinction.  So if you’re reading this Eminem, don’t worry, I’m not going to show up at your house wearing a fancy dress with mascara running down my face and holding a gun, declaring that you forgot to meet me at our spot for our anniversary so now we both have to die.  The craziest thing I’ll do if we ever happen to meet is, I will totally ask you out on a date.

Sorry, I got on the topic of Eminem because I was in the midst of saying that it’s very possible that rappers have severe self-obsession characteristics, but I wanted to make it clear that in Caitlin World, Eminem does not fall under that umbrella of possibility.

The only rap show I had ever been to was a Tyler the Creator show sometime last year.  Or maybe it has been two years… after you turn 25, years are fairly meaningless.  I don’t know how the fuck I ended up at a Tyler the Creator show, considering that the only reason I had ever heard that name before was because when I was living in Los Angeles, my sister came to visit and she saw him at Amoeba Records and peed her pants over it.  Fat Face was going to the show with his hipster roommates, so I guess he just asked me if I wanted to join and I said yes because I had never been to a rap show and I generally say yes to any of his suggestions.  Unless it involves turkey, which in Fat Face world, seems to be a frequent occurrence.  If he mentions turkey, then I shamelessly say, fuck no.  Turkey meat smells and tastes the most like something dead. Anyway, the Tyler show was great.

My second experience with a rap show was very recently.  I started working at one of the local music venues while I’m home.  I just go in on days that they have a show and help with loading or merch or stagehand stuff or whatever they need.  One of the shows was Mike Stud.  I had never heard of him before.  He’s some white kid that played baseball in college and the only reason that I know that is because I googled him twice because I kept forgetting what his damn name is and I needed to make a spreadsheet with his name on it as well as the opening and supporting acts.  I actually just googled him again, because I forgot his name again.  So Mike Stud, if you’re reading this, you need a new stage name because clearly, yours is forgettable.  With that being said, you kind of won me over with your ridiculous show and though I would rather go on a date with Eminem, I wouldn’t mind making-out with you as a plan B option.

At first, I thought that the show was a fucking joke.  I got a sort of behind the scenes look at it, and after witnessing the sound check, texted 0069 (my good touring friend who does front of house audio) telling him, “You need to get a FOH gig on a rap tour.  I have never seen such an easy/simple soundcheck.”  He texted me back saying, “Been there.  They don’t like white guys.”  Fair enough.

Mike Stud had his whole crew on stage which was essentially just his friends, and they were all just doing the typical arm movements that white guys do when rapping or listening to rap, which to me, just looks like slow motion karate chops.  They were trying to go for a house party feel, and I thought it was lame.  I was literally laughing out loud, in the corner of the venue with my backpack on and boots and a “Brand New” t-shirt, while every other girl was 17 years old and wearing mid-drifts and those shorts that go up to your belly button.  They had a case of Bud Light on stage, and a bottle of some flavored vodka and they all kept chugging.  He had a boy band look and feel and I thought the whole thing was incredibly gimmicky and Lead Singer Syndrome-ish.  So if you’re a rapper, giving your friends stupid job titles so that they can come on tour with you is a real thing.  I thought that was an urban legend.  For example, the merch guy was never actually at the merch table.  He was busy being on stage and doing the slow motion karate chops while simultaneously texting and drinking Bud Light along with the rest of the “crew.”

Over the next hour I laughed at how some of the rappers kept kidnapping peoples phones so that they could film themselves rapping, and then give the phone back (an act that would never occur during a rock show). I chuckled by myself at how the “bodyguard” pretended to be relevant and kept coming on stage when someone reached out for a high five. It all seemed very unprofessional when compared to what I am used to.  But then, after a while of being a judgmental jerk, I checked myself and realized… I’m obviously being entertained! I stood here watching this when I could have just left and came back after the performance. So that means that it was a successful show.

Then I found myself fantasizing about making-out with Mike Stud.  There was something about him.  That’s common though in lead singers or rappers or front-men or whatever.  They are generally charismatic because… well, that’s how you become a lead singer!  You have to have that spark that gets people to want to watch you on stage.  That’s what also makes them the most dangerous.

The show that I thought I couldn’t relate to at all, forced me to remember that it’s the energy that we all have in common.  No matter what kind of music you like, if you appreciate the energy that live music provides, then you can find something to enjoy about any genre of live music.  Just don’t be all judgy about it the way I was at first.  Within Mike Stud’s peformance, I went from wanting to slap him, to wanting to kiss him.  His music is still terrible, but whatever, the show was fun.  Kissing him was very conceivable.  All I had to do was go out back after I was done with my duties and turn up my flirt notch.  I was tired though, and settled on the idea that I will find a rapper to make-out with when I am not exhausted.

So, if you’re a rapper that miraculously doesn’t have Lead Singer Syndrome, then call me!  My number is 727-686-4819.  I am a good muse, I like gin and juice, I am not offended by the word bitch and I’ll practice looking cool while doing the karate chop arm movement thing.

… And I swear on my sister’s life that as I am writing this, this cute black guy with dreadlocks is rapping after he just put down his acoustic guitar.  Bye!  Got to go flirt.

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The Risks We Take to Blossom

Last night I was reminded of my life rule which I sometimes abandon.

Caitlin’s Rule: Give everyone the time of day.

My first mention of this is in I Dare You, but the wrestler reminded me of it last night as we were sitting in his backyard spying on these weird birds and discussing Alan Watts.  We went on to recognize how vastly different our lives would be had we not randomly started talking to one another at a bar one evening a long time ago.  I hate to give him this pseudonym, because he is so much more than just a wrestler, but for the sake of writing, it’s the easiest and most concise way to identify him.

A few years back, I was at the height of my insanity.  I was about two steps away from becoming Miss Havisham, so I made a conscious decision to break my funk.  I was going to force myself to be social, because when we want to shut everyone out, is usually the times when we need someone the most.  I had a whole list of things I needed to do to help myself crawl out of my self induced lair of misery, and one of them was to try to meet someone new everyday for thirty days.  This was day one, and I had just got done with work, so it was an excellent time to attempt to do something social.  I’ll start tomorrow, I thought.  Because what I really wanted to do was grab a beer and a bite to eat and read my book alone.  I went to a restaurant, sat at the bar and did just that.  I didn’t recognize it at the time, but I think simply by making the decision to try to be more social, I was naturally a lot more friendly and receptive to others without consciously trying to be.

I did notice that the boy a few seats down from me was hot, but I didn’t think about it more than, “oh that guy is hot.”  Then it was out of my mind and I forgot about him as I escaped into The Last of the Mohicans.  I’m kind of immune to hot boys.  In my experience, the socially awkward kid with a pot belly is usually more interesting than the quintessential “hot guy.”  However, I have learned to give everyone the time of day because they do usually surprise you.  The wrestler is what I would describe as a quintessential hot guy, but he turned out to be one of the most interesting people I know.

Him being hot would later prove to be a detriment to us (unbeknownst to him) romantically speaking.  I have a pot belly, I’m perpetually pale and I often forget to shave my legs.  He has perfect hair and a perfect smile and like a 20-pack abdomen and legs that are so toned that you wouldn’t even have to remove the skin to study quadriceps muscles.  What am I supposed to do with that?!  Anyway, as Hawkeye and Uncas were taking me through the French and Indian War, I was interrupted by the hot guy to my left who started laughing really loud.  He was all by himself and started laughing very hard for what seemed like no apparent reason.  At first I just smiled to myself, but then he kept going so I couldn’t help but to start laughing as well.  He was only a few seats down from me, so naturally, we HAD to start talking because now we were both laughing, though I had no idea as to what.  To be honest, I can’t even remember what it was he was laughing at.  He told me, and that’s what started our whole relationship, but I honestly can’t remember what it was because that wasn’t the important part.  The important part was that we continued to talk, and had a really fantastic conversation which resulted in me sitting at that bar for far longer than I was intending.

Due to my state at the time, I would not have normally been so friendly, but there was something very innocent about him.  He was absolutely in no way the typical kind of guy that begins talking to you at the bar.  The conversation flowed and I was not dreading in the back of my mind when he would pull the “let me see that beautiful smile again” line, or the “when can I see you again” question.  I can tell when someone is trying to pick you up, and he had no intentions of trying to sleep with me that night.  He was like me, just one person enjoying another’s company and open to doing that again.  So we did.  The following week, I met up with him and we attempted to play trivia but desperately sucked at it.

We went on to date for a while, and that tale is worth telling one day, but this is not that day.  However, I do hate when writers fail to recognize the most interesting part of a story.  So, I will tell you a little about the beginning and tell you more about him because I can imagine you are all wondering what the hell kind of a wrestler he is.  Yes, he is a full on, professional wrestler who was with WWE and on Monday Night Raw.  The funny thing is, I didn’t even realize that until our third hang-out session.

During our first conversation on that first night, our “jobs” did get brought up, but we were not having one of those annoying small talk type conversations, so I believe it was just a subject that got brought up momentarily and not really discussed or thought about much.  I do remember him saying, “I’m in the entertainment industry,”  which did segway into him disclosing that he was a wrestler, but for some reason I did not really think about it or think to myself, oh, that’s weird.  I think our jobs was just the B roll of the conversation, and we were actually discussing something else that was related.  Point being, I left him that night not even a little bit thinking about what he did for a living.

The following time I saw him, again, it didn’t really get brought up.  He is very interested in a lot of things, just like me, so the conversations were always excitedly jumping from one conviction to the other without pause to discuss the simple things like, where are you from? or, how is work?  Those questions were replaced with, “if there is a minimum wage, don’t you think that there should be a maximum wage?” and “how much of the Simpson’s do you think is a social commentary?”  At some point during the third date we hopped into his car which I discovered to be the type of car that I would never imagine myself in.  Basically, a very expensive car.  At this point, it finally fucking dawned on me that this guy is a real, professional wrestler and how in the hell have I not realized this yet?  I remember I said, “do I need to google you?”

He responded with a laugh and, “No!  Please don’t google me.  Everything you need to learn about me you should learn from me.”  I respected that notion, but of course the first thing I did after leaving him that night was google his name.  First thing I see on the search is all of these pictures of him flying through the air and his wrestling name (which was nothing close to his real name) and lots of spandex.  I literally started laughing out loud and shook my head with an, “oh my god,” and then exited out of the internet.  I didn’t even click on anything and was probably only on the search page for fifteen seconds.  He was right, I didn’t want to get to know him that way.  After all these years, I still have never read anything about him on the internet.  Everything I know about him I learned from him.

We have somehow managed to keep in touch, and we have been just friends for quite some time now.  The main point of this is that the wrestler has profoundly made an impact on my life.  I would be very different, and I know he would be too, had I never given him the time of day at that stupid bar.  We have both grown a lot I think, since that time when we were first dating.  The way I have grown I know that to some degree, is influenced by him.  His knowledge and interests and attitude towards life has rubbed off on me and I know that I have to some measure, done the same for him.

So my friends, give everyone the time of day even when you’re feeling antisocial.  You never know what could happen.  I think this is my way of reminding myself.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” -Anaïs Nin

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This is Now.

My high school reunion ended with me walking down the aisle of Publix on a Sunday afternoon, still drunk and carrying a case of Rolling Rock with patches of sand all over my body, wearing combat boots and a little black dress.  This only solidified my theory that we are all weird.  Both of my jobs, merch girl and bartending, provide similar circumstances.  I meet a lot of strangers and only have to deal with them for a short amount of time.  I find myself thinking that people are so friggen weird all of the time.  On average, I would say that at least one out of every three people, I think to myself, who the fuck is this person?  How are they so weird?

I realized though, that statistically speaking, that that means that one out of every three people that come across me think that I’m weird.  As I was eating breakfast this morning, (which preceded the Publix run) looking like I just came from a funeral or possibly a domestic disturbance, and chugging cups of coffee down like it was my job, there is no doubt that I was absolutely one of the one out of three, that everyone else thought was strange.  I just giggled at the notion as the boy with the white hair signed for the check and rubbed my back saying, “You look good, babe.”

No, I really don’t.  But that was sweet.  How I got there, is not all that fascinating but it’s still another episode of my life as the shit show.

A girl friend of mine, who we will call, the girl with the good legs, know each other from high school.  Though we don’t keep in touch all that well, it’s never awkward or forced conversation or any of that hassle that generally goes with “catching up” with old friends when we do see each other.  I gave her a call because I knew that due to the aforementioned characteristics, she would be a good date.  We were both apprehensive about going, but decided that we should because the worst that was going to happen was we would awkwardly say hi to some people, and then leave and go to a dive bar down the road.  Actually, that’s pretty much what happened, but we made it kind of fun with the help of Cody and the boy with the white hair… and a flask of Jameson.

Cody and I were on and off for most of my adolescence.  I first fell in love with him in math class when I was 14 years old and he smiled at me from the back of the room.  From there, we went on to be a mess until we were about 22 because he kind of became asexual, I got seriously involved with someone else and it had become harder and harder to keep forgiving each other for past mistakes.  But through it all, we stayed friends.  I had moved away, then I moved back and moved away again and then he moved and we both have emotional problems and blah blah blah.  So the point of that is, we have sucked at keeping in touch over the last two or three years.

However, we are obviously close, the kind of closeness that doesn’t fade, so when we do see each other, it’s like no time has passed at all.  It was pouring down rain outside, and I had just gotten into my toy car to drive to the reunion.  I call it my toy car and Fat Face calls it an ’84 Ford Forgettable.  It’s actually a ’93 Ford Escort, but it’s so small and ridiculous that I think that it looks like a toy.  The tires honestly cannot be more than a foot tall, and it has those seat belts from the ‘90s that automatically roll up the side of the door to strap you in when you close the door.  It makes me giggle every time.

Anyway, I was pulling out of my driveway when Cody called me, saying that he had decided to come to the reunion last minute and can I pick him up.  As of now, he lives less than a mile from me, so it was no problem to go grab him.  He gets anxiety about everything, and he was already in a wad due to just being in my car that is the size of him and also has no safety features.  On top of that, he was freaking out about the magnitude of the rain and water on the road.  It’s a good thing he was with me because I probably would have plowed through the underwater streets and stalled out my car.  He was smart, and suggested we rethink our plan.  So the night started with Cody and I in a torrential Florida thunderstorm with Katy Perry playing on the radio and me laughing as he is clinging to the dashboard.

Then we did what any respectable adult would do… we called my Mom.  I turned around and switched vehicles because my Mom wasn’t going anywhere and she has a car that is not a toy, and won’t get swept away in a roadway rainwater current.  We finally made it, had a fiasco parking, and then walked a few blocks to the hotel that the reunion was being held as I hogged the umbrella.  Cody was starting to get nervous because he thought that his feet might smell (long story), so I gave him a stick of gum.  Oddly, gum seems to calm Cody down in the same way that a shot of Jameson does for me.  With that being said, he never has gum and whenever we hang out I find myself scavenging my backpack every thirty minutes, looking for my pack of Orbit.

We rocked up fashionably late, and immediately got some whiskey and busted out our terrible dance moves for approximately ten seconds before moving on to the whole being-social-with-other-people part of the reunion.  I found the girl with the good legs and we basically stood in a corner together and talked about hair, high school and hot boys.  Surprisingly though, it was pleasant.  All I’ve got to say is, thank god she was there.  Cody was off trying to flirt, and her and I realized that we didn’t know anyone there.

Her favorite moment of the night was when I utterly failed as socializing with this sweet girl who i was friends with during those years but who I never talked to after graduation.  If I try, I am generally pretty good at maintaining conversation, but I was just not in that state of mind at all, so when a sweet girl came up to me, we did the “Hi!  How are you?” thing that I hate so much, and then there was awkward silence for a couple of seconds as Cody and the girl with the good legs looked at us hopelessly.  So what did I say?

“You want a shot of Jameson?!” and offered up my flask that I was shamelessly carrying.

“Uh, no… I’m good…” the sweet girl said, and that was it.  Then we awkwardly walked away from each other.  The girl with the good legs was laughing her ass off at me as Cody just took the flask and did the offered shot himself.

The people that we mostly associated with in high school were not there, and after that embarrassment, I decided to call the boy with the white hair to come rescue us and bring us to a bar.  He went to high school with us as well, but he is definitely not the reunion type, though he conceded to meeting up with me and a few others after, when I used my pitiful little girl voice on him that I know he can’t say no to.

He looked pretty hot when I walked up to him, outside of the hotel.  We walked to a dive down the road and of course I found the only black people in the place and tried to make friends.  Sometimes I think that I should have been black.  Cody and I followed along with this cool hip hop style line dance thing that they were doing, but then we just embraced our inability to look as cool as them, and started doing our own dance moves that probably made us look like we had cerebral palsy.  The boy with the white hair got hit on by a blonde, Cody didn’t know what to do when a drunk girl sat on his lap, the girl with the good legs was just being cool and hot like always, and I drank my weight in whiskey.

And like how most drunk nights end with me… there was a body of water involved.  I made the boy with the white hair jump into the Gulf with me and we swam around and he saw his first shooting star.  He got us back safely, and apparently tried to get me to take a shower, but that was absolutely not going to happen.  I was out.  So I got his whole house sandy and then woke up demanding a toothbrush and breakfast.

We drove to breakfast with the windows down, listening to NPR on the radio and discussed America’s involvement in Israel as I sat on my feet because the seat of the car was still wet from last nights escapades.  As we walked into the breakfast joint, we passed the only woman who looked weirder than I did today.  She was at least 100 years old and had a vicious camel-toe made from her bright pink spandex pants, among other eccentric attributes.  I decided that I wanted to be her best friend.  I replaced her in the establishment as the weirdo, and walked in at noon, still drunk, with eye crust, a little black goth style dress, black combat boots, hair the size of a bald eagle’s nest, orange legs (long story) and a backpack.

Then my sister called me asking me to pick up beer for the house.  The boy with the white hair dropped me off at my car, and I made my way to Publix, and walked down the aisles only carrying a case of beer and looking rough as fuck as the families carted by with boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Lean Cuisines.  Then I went home and giggled with my sister because when her boyfriend asked her from the other room for a drink, she poured him a glass of almond milk.

The moral of the story is that you seem weird to approximately every third person and I have absolutely digressed in maturity since high school graduation ten years ago.

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Is it Weird that I get Turned on by Vocabulary Words?

Asceticism has been my new vocabulary word.  My friend Devon and I just got over our phase of using the word “pheromones” like it was our job, so now I’m on to asceticism.  I’m obsessed with it.  For it being such a rare word, I think I have somehow found a way to say it at least once a day for the last week and a half.  I was reading “No Impact Man” (a book that should be required reading for all human beings) and when I came across it, I think I literally said out loud, “what in the hell is that?”  I looked up the definition in my Webster’s pocket dictionary that I keep on my nightstand, and have been fascinated ever since.

Asceticism is a lifestyle or practice characterized by extreme self-denial, austerity, self-mortification, avoidance of indulgences and abstinence from worldly pleasures, with the purpose of obtaining a higher spiritual or moral state.  I apologize for the run-on sentence, but I got excited.  Anyway, think monks.  The practice is typically for religious purposes, but it doesn’t need to be.

This made me start wondering… when I stop relationships before they even begin, does this mean I’m practicing asceticism?  When I don’t eat when I’m hungry because I lose my appetite due to my current hatred for First World consumption and get pissed at the endless rows of pop-tars.  Does this mean I’m ascetic?  No Caitlin, it just means that you’re self-destructive and crazy.  I wanted to associate myself with my newfound vocab word, but I don’t think I can quite claim it.  There are some characteristics of the lifestyle that I can relate to, but with MUCH less severity.  Those monks are hardcore.

I was passion vomiting (a term I have coined, meaning when I passionately rant or go excitedly off on a tangent about something that the listener could not care less about, but I don’t care and continue to make them suffer through my opinions) on the boy with the white hair recently.  I was telling him all about why he shouldn’t keep his air conditioner on 68 degrees because it’s murdering the planet, and all of my other epiphanies I’ve had since reading “No Impact Man.”  He said that this book is ruining his life and he hasn’t even read it.  I wish he was saying this because it has inspired him to stop buying plastic and make some life changes… but no.  He means it’s ruining his life because he has to listen to my passion vomits.  I laughed really hard, but still went on to try to say, “No!  But the whole point is that it’s not ‘ruining‘ our lives!  It’s enhancing it!  It’s not about asceticism–” and then I realized, the boy with the white hair is totally ascetic.  Well, in a mild way, but I still got a rush of excitement and slightly turned on because I got to apply my new favorite word and because I think I discovered his word, which is austere.  Like I said in Extinguishing a Wildfire, I am fascinated with what I believe a person’s “word” is.

Then I got immediately sad.  Sad for the boy with the white hair, that he doesn’t really allow himself to be happy.  Many of the things that I think of as “worldly pleasures,” he thinks of as distractions.  He is the guy that is not tempted by a pretty girl if he has work to do.  How he came to be this way is quite a story, but I’m not going to tell it here because it is private.  All I’ll say is that it is amazing that he has become a fully functioning, respectable human.  In that regard, he’s truly admirable and I respect his goal, which is essentially to become financially successful.  For someone who has such little interest in money and things, he sacrifices a lot to pursue prosperity.  He does it for altuistic reasons though.  He has siblings that he feels responsible for, and wants to provide for them.  He doesn’t care about having money for himself, but he needs to succeed so that he can take care of them.

In some ways, we are very much on the same page with avoiding indulgences.  He, more than anyone else who is currently in my life, is equally as disgusted with consumerism as I am.  Neither of us spend much money on “things,” for the most part we only take what we need, so we both live pretty simply.

In the past, I have always urged him to let loose a little bit.  I don’t think I’ve ever actually used the phrase “let loose,” because that sounds incredibly lame, but you get my point.  I constantly try to convince him to go on a vacation.  I MADE him strip down to his boxers and jump into a closed pool with me at three o‘ clock in the morning.  I am always trying to get him to play fun bar games with me like, “guess which bar patron played this song on the jukebox” and I regularly tell him to just go out into the sun and soak up some happy rays.  Instead, he sits in a Starbucks for hours NOT hanging out with me and working on codes or coding or whatever the fuck it’s called.  Basically, working on stuff that I don’t understand.  Side note: he’s very academically inclined.

He goes to work, he leaves, then he works again from home until late at night, and then wakes up and does it again.  Okay, wait.  I don’t want to make him sound like a boring white dude.  He will definitely go do things and one of his jobs requires him to be social.  We go to dive bars together, we hit up art shows and music shows and occasionally grab lunch or something.  He has a small group of friends that he sometimes hangs out with and he dates girls (though he seems to kind of suck at it just like I do).  However, all of this falls far behind work on his priority list.  If he feels that he should be sitting behind a computer doing work instead, then we are not going to a show that night.  Most of his heavy work load is self-induced.  Yes, he has a day job, but one that he could just leave at 5:00pm and be done for the day.  He takes on a lot of extra work by choice, and that’s where his ridiculous work load comes from.

When we laugh together, I can feel that he feels good, but I can also feel that he is partially resenting it.  It’s a distraction for him.  He doesn’t want to be thinking about me later that day or tomorrow or next week when he is trying to work.  That’s where the self denial comes in.  He purposely deprives himself of “feeling good” because the good feeling gets in the way of his quest toward a higher state.

“Don’t you get lonely?” I asked him one evening, and his immediate response was, “Yeah.”  He didn’t say it with a tone of despair, he just said it very matter-of-factly.  More like yeah, of course I do but it’s a necessity and I don’t think much of it.  Relationships of any kind are what he considers distractions, and distractions in his world, are unacceptable.

I felt compelled to “save” him, introduce him to fun.  Then I realized, who am I to say what does and does not make him happy?  I’m being selfish and I’m trying to instill my values onto him.  Just because he doesn’t find immense pleasure in hopping fences to jump into pools in the middle of the night the way I do, doesn’t mean that he doesn’t find pleasure in the things that he does do. I keep trying to force “fun” into his world, because that is important to me.  I keep thinking that if he just gets little doses of fun, then he’ll be happy and not want to deprive himself of said happiness.  In a way, I think I’ve been trying to change him, but maybe he doesn’t need change.  Maybe I need the change.  I need to remember that not everyone seeks the same values that I do and not everyone is as discontent with themselves as I am.

I live off of momentary exhilaration; immediate gratification, so I try to provide that, and be that for everyone else, and maybe that is where a lot of my issues lie.  Most people don’t live as temporarily as I do, and I need to realize that just because the boy with the white hair doesn’t feel the need to break into abandoned buildings with me, doesn’t mean that he is depriving himself of happiness.  Maybe his source of happiness is just different from mine, or maybe he has contentment figured out.  Or maybe he is just as fucked up as I am and this epiphany is meaningless, but the point is, that asceticism is a cool word and I respect the boy with the white hair’s lifestyle choices, even though I sometimes don’t understand them.

Caitlin Rule: Don’t judge what you don’t understand.

There is more about the boy with the white hair in my book that will hopefully be published sometime in the near future.

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The Difference of the Sexes

I have discussed this theory with quite a few people and they agree.  I believe the biggest difference between men and women is that men are good at making sound effects.  I’m so jealous of how boys can make such good explosion sounds with their mouth.  It seems like so much fun!

Years ago, I was hanging out with Lance, and he had a pencil and some other mundane object, and he randomly started making the noise the train track crossing alert bell things make, acting like the pencil was the post that comes down.  Then he used the other object as a train and started making a really really good train sound effect.  I looked at him and thought to myself, I would never do that.  That type of inclination does not even exist in my DNA.  To further that, I realized that I would never see ANY girl do that.  Even little girls!  That’s when I came up with my theory, that the main, innate difference between boys and girls, is that boys are good at sound effects, so they make them, and girls never do.

I have just made my second discovery in the subject of the differences of the sexes.  I hear females complaining all of the time about how their boyfriend or whoever, doesn’t talk to them.  I’ve realized, that they will, only if we shut the fuck up for a minute and let them.  They must process differently and don’t always have an immediate response in the way that most females do.

I am very interested in a lot of things, so I’m constantly blabbing about the environment or politics or music or how I think that movies should warn you at the beginning if they are going to be so sad that they will probably ruin the rest of your day.  (I just made the mistake of going to see Me, Earl and a Dying Girl on what was supposed to be a carefree Sunday afternoon).

Currently, the person who gets the most of my passionate rhetoric (the poor thing) is a boy we will call Vox.  He’s a lot like me though, and takes an interest in a lot of things, so it’s great.  We can go back and forth for hours, discussing our newest thoughts and discoveries and how we feel about gun control, smart phones and whose country has scarier possums his (Australia) or mine (America).

Another person who has to suffer through my random musings is Fat Face.  He’s usually a sport, and he will give his two cents and only rarely will shout, “Don’t care!”  But since I’ve known him, I have always found myself feeling a little bit bad because we seem to mostly discuss topics that I bring up.  He rarely seems to be the one initiating new topics of conversation.  Not too long ago however, we were in a relatively deep discussion and I was getting mildly frustrated because he wasn’t sharing much of an opinion, so I just stopped talking because I didn’t want to be an annoying asshole, hammering on about shit he did not seem to care about.  There was a silence, then he started talking.  He voluntarily began sharing.  I’ve continued this experiment with him (unbeknown to him) and have found that if I just shut up, he will eventually share and state his opinion, he just needs a minute and doesn’t always have an immediately comeback to everything in the obnoxious way that I seem to.

I am very passionate about art, and often go to museums and exhibitions.  I dragged the boy with the white hair with me to the latest one because he is passionate about art too, and needs to get out more because he works to much, which I regularly shout at him and he just says back, “Okay, girl.”  He really doesn’t talk much.  He probably says ten words for every 100 of mine, but we are both used to it.

I decided to try out my social experiment on him.  Instead of looking at a painting and immediately sharing my thoughts and then asking his, I decided to just shut the fuck up, and see if he would ever share first.  With him, that is kind of expecting a lot.  But he did.  It took a while, sometimes I would have to wait a whole sixty seconds (which is a long time to be staring at a painting with someone and have neither say anything), for him to express a thought out loud, but just like with Face Face, if I remained patient, he did eventually speak.

So there’s my advice to women, practice patience when you find yourself saying, “he doesn’t talk to me!”  But boys, realize that your silence sometimes comes off as uncaring. Oh, and I’ve also found that boys seem to always squeeze toothpaste out from the middle of the tube instead of the bottom.

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