A nearly perfect day

It’s always a good sign that I’m going to have a good day when I wake up on my best friend’s couch. Almost anything is better than waking up alone in my own bed. Since my son left for college the whole empty nest thing has really sunk in. I didn’t think it would be that big a deal. He was a very independent teenager and, despite my disabilities, I’ve always been a very active person so we didn’t  actually see a whole lot of each other the past few years. Still, I miss having him  here. It’s a much bigger change and a much greater adjustment than I had bargained for.

So not being alone is good. A sunny Sunday is good. And, yes, I did get out of the house yesterday which is also very, very good. As I was writing my blog yesterday I got a text from a friend whom I hadn’t seen I quite some time. She was contacting me to see if I sill wanted to get together for a beer at the 19 bar. With the way I was feeling I was kind of hoping she would blow me off, as often happens in my life, for which I am grateful as often as I am disappointed. As it turned out though, this was just the motivation I needed to get my ass in gear and hop on my bike and venture out into the wintry tundra. It was pretty cold last night and a 10 mile bike ride to the bar but I didn’t care; I needed to get the fuck out of my house. I had been cooped up in my house for three days without going anywhere. In fact the only person I had seen was Venus when she stopped by to give me my tour check.

The 19 Bar is my favorite gay neighborhood bar. It’s a gay bar for sure but a lot of straight people in the neighborhood go there. It just happens to be in a gay neighborhood. So it’s a gay bar, it’s a neighborhood bar, it’s a gay neighborhood, we could call it a neighborhood gay bar but I like to refer to it as a gay neighborhood bar. I think that’s more accurate.

Like most bars with a numbers for their name, the 19 Bar is named after it’s address at 19 W 15th street. The 19 Bar is also the oldest gay bar in the Twin Cities. Way back in the day, even back in the day I first stepped into the establishment, the only way you would have known that there was a bar behind the door with a 19 on it was if someone had told you. It’s still a pretty discrete location but there is a sign with a pink triangle and I think some neon. I guess that’s progress.

I knew I could get to the bar without any trouble but getting home might be another story. I sent my best friend a text to see what she was up to. She lives in the neighborhood and the 19 is her regular bar and I know I can always crash at her place. Okay, it may sound like I’m just taking advantage of her, and you are welcome to think that, but this is how I survive, by knowing and making use of my resources and these resources have been cultivated through a life of generosity, honesty and love and are received with tremendous gratitude and humility.

So here is my recipe for a nearly perfect day:

  • Coffee – Need I say more. If I’m addicted to anything it is coffee in the morning. Don’t even want to know what life would be like without that.
  • Sun – Especially in the winter I need sun. We simply don’t get enough of it and it totally effects my mood. I need the Vitamin D. I’ve been taking 2000 IU of D3 everyday and it helps but there is nothing like actually seeing the sun.
  • Dishes –  Okay, I love washing dishes. If I wasn’t a famous rockstar and paperboy I would totally want to be a dishwasher. I love washing my own dishes but washing someone else’s is even better.
  • Beer –  I had my two favorite kinds of beer today. My favorite is the kind someone else bought. My second favorite is beer at happy hour prices. Yup, I had both today.
  • Friends – Mean everything.
  • Biking –  I haven’t been on my bike since the 28th of January. That’s so not right. Biking is essential to a perfect day.
  • Pizza – Pizza is the perfect food.
  • Chocolate – No wait, maybe it’s chocolate.
  • Doing something that scares me – I was perfectly happy to have a simple, comfortable, easy going Sunday but really, no day is complete without doing something that scares the hell out of you.
  • Dive bar I was biking by Halek’s bar, as I always do on my way home, but this time I just decided that I had to stop in for a quick one.
  • Music – I love their jukebox!
  • My kids – I talked to both my kids today. They are both doing really well. At the end of it all, that is all that matters.
  • Boobies – Okay, I don’t know why I am including this but yes, boobs were part of my day. If you are trying to have a perfect day there have got to be breasts in there somewhere. Boobs are awesome!

So why was it only nearly perfect? To be honest, it’s because I don’t know what perfect is. Maybe I don’t believe in perfect. For all I know, everything is perfect just as it is. Anyway, perfect is something to strive for, not something to achieve. That would take all the mystery out of it.

Birthday Suit

I woke up this morning to find myself lying naked on my friend’s couch. I thought to myself, “This seems like a perfect way to start my birthday!” You may be thinking that it’s the perfect bookend to a night of debauchery but last night was pretty tame. Tonight might get out of hand though. It’s my birthday so there is no telling what might happen. But last night I was just tired. By the time I got my friend home I could feel my brain starting to shut down. The drive back from Downtown St. Paul was really stressful, the roads were full of drunks after the Super Bowl, it was snowing and the road conditions were horrible. It just didn’t seem wise to attempt that again. The naked part I don’t know about. I was wearing pajamas when I went to bed. But it was really warm in her apartment and I’m not a fan of wearing any more clothes than necessary.

I did have some really crazy dreams however. One I want to share. I was in this town and it seemed like all the teen-age girls were coming-out as lesbian. I know that girls are coming-out at a much younger age these days but there was no way that all of these girls were actually lesbians. Then I realized that I was in a very conservative town and anti-gay sentiment was rampant. At least some of these girls were identifying as lesbian as a way to rebel against their parents. I don’t know how much that actually happens but I’m sure it does. I’m not offering this as hope for parents of gay kids who really want to deny who their kids are. That wouldn’t be helpful. If it is going on it is still caused by the nonacceptance of homosexuality. The only way to combat it is for people to get over their close-minded bigoted way of thinking and accept their children for who they are even if that doesn’t fit in with their perfect image of an idealized world. With any luck, this will be the last generation that will be able to use such a tactic to rebel against their parents.

I did have other dreams but they were all pretty sexual and I’m going to keep them to myself.

I am realizing that there are some things in my life that I am not writing about. My last post ended with me on my way to pick up Jazz. I didn’t mention anything about the studio party which you would think was the highlight of my day, and it was. It just didn’t motivate me to write anything. There was no drama, no revaluations or inspirations. Everything went just as I expected. I’m not saying that I find that boring, just that it’s not anything I wanted to write about. Plus, I can’t write about everything. There simply wouldn’t be enough time. There are a couple of tidbits that I have deliberately left out. These have to do with people with whom I’m experiencing strains in our relationship. I am avoiding writing about those situations, at least for now, out of respect for them and not wanting to make matters worse. I guess that’s what my therapist is for.

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Yesterday I started my first article for this website which is to be titled Fear and Loathing in Minneapolis. I’m finding the articles much more difficult to write than these blog entries. Also, The Bad Waitress may not be the best place for me to get work done. I have a lot of distractions there. The best distraction was when my son showed up with two of his band mates and another friend to have dinner. He was in town to play a show in St. Paul. He goes to college three hours away so I haven’t seen him since Winter break.

Funny story… we were sitting there at the restaurant when this song came on internet radio:

My table of college students all look at each other with faces half stunned, half filled with glee. “Are they playing Peaches?” surprised that they would be playing such a song in a seemingly family-friendly establishment. “No, you’ve gotta watch this”, I reply having experienced this situation before. At that moment Kate, one of the baristas, runs out from behind the counter towards the jukebox, has to double back to grab the key from one of her co-workers in a great feat of teamwork. Luckily the song has a long opening because she skips to the next song just as we hear “Sucking on my…”. As Kate walks back in triumph we greet her with round of applause – makes me wonder how many of the other patrons where aware of what just happened.

So I only got about a third of the way through my article. I did manage to get some bills paid and still had a few bucks left over to register my domain name. You can now find this blog at: lefreakshow.com.  That was all I could do before getting distracted by The Puppy Bowl which was playing on the monitor about the bar. Seriously, too cute!

After that it was time to head to St. Paul to see my son play at Station 4. He was playing a benefit put together by an Anoka High-school student called Young Musicians for the Greater Good. I was really impressed with how well it was put on. I think they raised around $380 to support local homeless shelters which is quite an accomplishment. I do this kind of work with an organization called Rock The Cause and it’s not easy. To see what high school students are able to pull off gives me a lot of hope for the future.

My son’s new band is called 8-bit Johnson. The original name was 8-bit Dildo but when they realized that the band could actually go somewhere they decided to change the name to something a little more radio-friendly while still being no less profane. I guess I’ve done a good job teaching my son about the power of language.  I have not taught him much about being a musician or encouraged him to pursue that vocation in any way; at least not conciously. That he did on his own. And he’s doing amazing. I couldn’t be more proud. To see him on stage with such confidence and command of his presence; it makes me think of myself at that age, were I to have been more well-adjusted.

This being a Sunday night and an all-ages show they closed up early. My friend and I stuck around to finish our beers and swap stories about the bar with Renee, the bartender/general manager. I seem to spend a lot of time in bars after the doors have been locked. It wasn’t my first time doing it here. This bar has a multi-generational history of musicians who got their first bar gig now returning to see their children play. There are not many bars like it and every time I’m there I’m overcome with nostalgia. While it’s gone through many name changes and a few cosmetic improvements it still has that seedy rock club ambiance that I remember from my youth. Back then it was called Ryan’s and I remember by first time there; drinking beers at age 15 after seeing Van Halen on their 1984 tour. For years, my mother tried to get the place shut down while she was on the St. Paul City Counsel but you can’t kill this place. No matter what, they keep pushing on. Now with the light-rail coming in and stopping right out side their door I expect that they have an even brighter future. Times may have changed but I’m glad that they are still around, providing a venue for our youth, the next generation of rockers and freaks.

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