Life outside my head

I haven’t really written much about what has gone on in my life since getting back from Mexico a month ago. Part of that is because not a lot has been going on. It’s winter and I haven’t been doing all that much that I consider all that exciting. A better answer is that I have been living in my head so what has been reflected in my blog has more to do with what I’ve been thinking than with what I’ve been doing. Neither are completely accurate however. The truth is I write about whatever I want to write about whenever I want to write. And even more accurate than that would be that I write whatever I write whenever I write because most of the time what comes out when I sit down at the computer is not quite what I had in mind when I decided to sit down at the computer.

For now I want to abandon the thoughts in my head and recap what I have been up to the past couple of weeks; let’s say going back to Christmas. It’s been an extremely chaotic time with the holidays and weekends and birthdays and random shit thrown in but in a way all of that is pretty run of the mill for me. I just want to capture the essence of what I’ve been up to so that I can move on. I’m expecting this to be a pretty boring post.

For starters, I’ve been spending a lot of time laying on my bed watching Netflix – mostly documentaries. Here is a boring ass list of said documentaries and historic dramas:

  • The Billionaires Tea Party – A left wing view of the Tea Party.
  • The One Percent – A billionaires view of the very wealthy.
  • Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream – A comparison between Park Avenue in Manhattan and Park Avenue in the South Bronx.
  • Surviving Progress – Our progress may be a trap.
  • Ayn Rand & the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged – The life and philosophy of one of our most popular thinkers.
  • The Secret of Nikola Tesla – One of our greatest inventors who claimed to have never invented anything.
  • Lovelace – A dramatization about one of our greatest porn stars.
  • Future by Design – The story of futurist and engineer, Jacques Fresco.
  • Escape from Suburbia – What are people going to do when we run out of oil?
  • Pedal-Driven – Mountain Bike riders work with the government to solve problems.
  • Unborn in the USA – A non-bias view of the Pro-Life movement.
  • Zeitgeist: Addendum – A non-political propaganda film worth paying attention to.
  • We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks – An interesting expose on Julian Assange.
  • Occupy Unmasked – An extremely right wing view of the Occupy Movement.
  • Better This World – A remarkable tale of left wing radicals in my home town.
  • The Big Buy: How Tom DeLay Stole Congress – A story of power and corruption in law and government.
  • Runaway Slave – The story of one man’s move beyond the race paradigm
  • Let’s Make Money – A propaganda film that should make you think
  • Color Me Kubrick – A dramatization of the life of the man who pretended to be Stanley Kubrick
  • American Addict – There is more money in pharmaceutical drugs than in street drugs.
  • Patriocracy A look at the political divide and the unspoken majority who just want to get along.
  • The People vs. George Lucas – The love/hate relationship between the man who created Star Wars and it’s fans.
  • Hungry For Change – What happens when we stop eating food and start eating drugs.

Wow… twenty-three movies in fourteen days!?! How could I have had time for anything else? Okay, I cheated a bit. That list went back to December 13th but I really wanted to get in the name Ayn Rand. I know that simply being able to tag her will give me a hit or two and I think she wants me to have that. She has given rise to a political movement that is completely counter to everything I believe in but I don’t think most of her followers really understand what she was saying. They just picked up on what they liked.

But that’s the way it goes.

People seem to like Ayn Rand because she gives them justification for being a selfish prick. I say just be who you are! If you are a selfish prick then own it. No one needs to give you permission or justification. I think she would agree with that. But then you can’t complain when all the people around you care more about their own needs than yours. Birds of a feather flock together, bitch!

If you do want another view of the future I would really recommend watching Future By Design by Jacque Fresco. Actually, I would recommend watching all of these documentaries. Some are more biased than others. Some are more opinionated but all have the potential to get you thinking and I highly recommend thinking… in moderation.

So knowing that I can’t simply live inside my head, what else have I been up to?

I went to my sister’s for Christmas. With my parents out of the country I had really hoped that I could just take the day off but when my sister decided to do something at her house I figured it was important to attend. I’m sorry that my other sister was not able to attend but that is the way it goes in my family. We are a group of very diverse people but clearly… somehow… we still love each other.

Usually I spend Christmas night at the bar commiserating with others who either don’t have family in town or just survived another awkward family diner. This year I just felt like going home.

The following night I had rehearsal for our show on Friday. The show was fun. The show was fantastic. The show was what I do.

Hexagon - 27 Dec 2013

Hexagon – 27 Dec 2013

My son’s mother’s sister, who lives in Canada, was there. I helped raise her when she was in high-school and she totally loves me. It was so wonderful to see her again. Also in the audience was a woman who used to live with me and while doing so taught me a great deal about the toxicity of anger and the fear which comes with it. It was really good to see her again after getting past all of that. I also talked with a fan who told me that he could never do what I do but by watching me on stage he feels like he was living vicariously through me. That is one of the greatest gifts I can give as a performer but the truth is, I too am living vicariously through the audience.

The day after a show is usually just a day of rest but I got tired of just sitting around. The weather was nice but I knew it was going to get really cold so I wanted to get out of the house while I still could. I had no plans but I needed a back up battery for my e-cig so I hoped on the bus and headed to Smokeless Smoking in Northeast Minneapolis. My friend works there so I got the “family” discount.

As I left the store he asked, “So, what are you going to do now?”

I said, I have no idea but there will probably be whiskey involved.”

I needed food so I headed to the Spring Street for nutrients and libations. After that I headed to the 331 Club for a beer or two. Next thing I knew there was a dance party going on and I was shit-faced wasted. A friend of mine had sent me a text to see what I was up to but I didn’t notice it until two hours later. I still wound up crashing at her place. Forgiveness it the key to happiness.

The next day was hard. My friend gave me a ride home but I still didn’t know whether I wanted to be alone. It was my daughter’s birthday and I hadn’t seen her face or heard her voice since September. I tried calling her that morning but could only leave a message. I figured it would be a good day to just be alone and do nothing. I made myself a screwdriver to ease the hangover but still having my doubts about being alone I reached out to my Facebook friends. Within thirty seconds I had a phone call from my friend at Smokeless Smoking offering to come pick me up.  I spent the day and night in the loving company of him, his partner and their son.

When his partner dropped me off the next morning I said, “Thank you so much for being there for me.”

To which I was replied, “No, it was you who were there for us.”

Seriously, this is how my life goes but I think it is how life goes when we are willing to humble ourselves to ask for help.

The next day of significance was New Years Eve. Once again I had no plans. If I could have done it I would have done nothing on New Years Eve. It’s fucking amateur night but I needed my peeps. I called a cab and headed to the Cabooze to see WookieFoot. I knew the show was sold out but I hoped that the lovelight would shine on me and I would still be able to get it. It didn’t and I was’t. Luckily there was another cab waiting so I grabbed it and headed to the 331 Club where my friends in the band Rapedoor were playing.

There was a great line up at the 331 that night and it was free but it was still my second choice because one of the bands has a tendency to get naked on stage.  Now I have no problem with nudity but as a stage gimmick it seems over played, especially for a band with so much talent. For some reason that didn’t stop me from stripping off all my clothes and prancing around totally nude when I was brought up on stage.

I got a ride home that night but I couldn’t find my keys to get in my house. Luckily the people who dropped me off knew well enough to make sure that I got in my house. It was cold enough to where I could have froze to death if I spent the night out doors. Instead I spent the night on the couch of some friends in South Minneapolis. By morning I was sober enough to find my keys and make it home.

Thursday I had a therapy appointment. I wanted to spend some time with my friend who let me crash at her place after the first 311 Club night. We actually had a nice evening snuggling on the couch watching movies until four in the morning. Unbeknownst to me this was much later than she wanted to be up. She was pretty pissed off that it had gotten so late and to be fair it was largely my fault. I was a pretty talkative movie watcher that night. Sharing two bottles of wine and a six pack of beer will do that to me… especially since I drank most of it.

She stormed off to bed and I took a cab home. There was a time when I would have had no choice but to sleep on the couch. I feel quite grateful to have the financial resources to take care of myself when these conflicts arise because they will happen… drinking or not. By the way, we are just fine now. In fact we were fine the next morning.

My plan was to go back and retrieve my van but I never got sober enough to drive. I thought that my son would be coming home that day but it turned out he wouldn’t be back until Saturday so I just kept drinking slowly throughout the day. That night I had a meeting with the full cast off Venus’ performance art project. I’m doing the music for it. The meeting was great and I’m looking forward to it but that is about all I have to say about it at this point.

After the meeting Venus drove me to the Spring Street where two of my friends where celebrating their birthdays with an incredible line up of bands in the basement. There is much more that I could say about that night but I’m really trying to keep my posts under two thousand words. Suffice it to say I wound up at the after party and a really cute boy brought me home.

We can also say that I didn’t do much the next day other than welcome home my son, who I haven’t seen since we got back from Mexico.

It wasn’t until Sunday that I managed to retrieve my van. That took walking over a mile in sub zero weather but my van still started up just fine. I spent that night at the bar with my friend; the one at who’s house my van was previously parked. Remarkably, that night went much better.

Monday I drove my son out to see his sister and step-mother. Today I went to retrieve him. It sounds like my daughter is doing fine and at the end of the day, that is all that matters to me.

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Best laid plans

I’m still trying to find my voice for this writing project. In my mind I feel like I should sound like some combination of Louis CK and Doctor Who. To be certain  I have no idea what that would sound like. I don’t even know which of the eleven Doctors I have flowing in my head. The forth will always be my favorite but I’m also a big fan of the tenth.

Not inspired to write anything Friday night, I tried to find inspiration by watching, Louis CK “Live at the Beacon Theater” as well as re-watching the last few episodes of Doctor Who, Season One. This was not my first choice for activities Friday night. In fact it wasn’t even my second or third.

After not getting to see my daughter on Thursday I had really hoped she would be spending the night Friday. We did spend the afternoon together. We went to the grocery store, which is one of our favorite activities. My daughter’s diet restrictions make food shopping somewhat of an adventure. I also wanted to make sure that there was food in the house for my son who was returning home from college on spring break. I spent nearly $80 on food, more than I have been able to buy in a long time.

My daughter made it clear that she was not feeling that great and would want to spend the night at her mother’s. I told her, “That’s fine sweetie, whatever you need.” and then I called a friend who I thought would be available to be kidnapped when I dropped my daughter off at her mother’s. That back-up plan appeared to be working.

I had also hoped that my son would be home Friday night but weather prevented that from happening. The weather also made getting my daughter home treacherous. It had started snowing in Minneapolis but that was not the problem. With temperatures hovering right around freezing, wet roads had turned to glare ice. It was a slow, careful yet terrifying drive to get my daughter back to her mother. During this time I got a call from my potential kidnapping victim informing me that tonight would not work. I was disappointed but at the same time relieved. I didn’t want to be on the road any longer than necessary.

By the time I made it back home, I was ready to just be home. My standing plan for Friday night was to head to First Avenue for a special ’90s version of Transmission with Jake Rudh, my favorite dance night. That wasn’t going to happen either. Considering that I had gone out the night before and with the weather being what it was, I was done for the day.

There I was, at home, alone, uninspired to do anything. I’ve had a full bottle of Vodka in the freezer for over a month. I had a bunch of juice in the fridge that I had bought when I had expected to have company. I just had no one to drink it with. I still made myself a strong cocktail but it did nothing to alter my mood. The two or three cocktails that followed didn’t help either. In fact it was kind of pathetic and depressing. Drinking alone does nothing for me.

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.

—–

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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