Sunday, snowy sunday

Seriously. It’s the middle of April. I can deal with rain in April. I don’t even need every spring day to be beautiful but one would be nice.Yes, I know, it’s awfully pedestrian to bitch about the weather but it does seriously affect my life.

Today I woke up at 9am with one thing on my mind; working pedicab for the Twin’s game against the Mets. Nope, not gonna happen. That game was postponed due to the fact that the weather is really really shitty!

I called the pedicab company to inform them that the game had been called off and asked if it still made any sense to work. They said that if the weather is that bad that there is no point coming in.

“Fine.” I said. “I’ve got plenty of other things going on in my life.”

Which is true, I do have many things going on in my life. Unfortunately, they are all affected by this miserably weather as well. Nope… I really don’t want to do anything today. That really kind of sucks. I so wish I was able to get other things accomplished on days like this. Shitty days just sap my passion. Beyond necessity, beyond survival, passion is the only thing that drives me. Come to think of it, my need for survival may only be driven by my passion as well.

So what can I accomplish on a day like this. Let’s see, should be pretty easy to recount. I made coffee to wake me up. Realizing I had nothing I had to do today I later made a cocktail, afterwhich I took a nap. I woke up and jacked off. Then I made myself a salad. I ate it while watching Doctor Who on Netflix. Inspired I tried to find something more intelligent to spur my brain so I turned to the Aspen Ideas Festival website. Unable to find inspiration in anything there I turned back to porn. That gives me temporary relief from the numbness at least but soon after I found myself experiencing hunger. I made myself a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich.

Now I’m going to grab a beer and return to Doctor Who. I’m still hoping that I can use this day off to write something brilliant. I have so many thoughts in my head, just no will to do anything with them.

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.

Today’s ambitions

Today was my day to get shit done. I always say it’s good to have goals. You can’t get anything done with out them. I also say it’s good not to be too specific because things rarely ever go as planned.

I had plans to hang out with a friend last night. I figured we would just chill for a bit, watch some TV, drink a glass of wine or two and I would get home at a decent hour, get up early and get to work. I don’t know why I thought that. That is not the way things go with this particular friend. She is one of my very best friends and I haven’t seen her much of her lately since she has been spending most of her time in the Suburbs with her new boyfriend  – you know how those things goes. Then when I learned that she had a box of wine and was planning on getting drunk with me it became clear that I would be spending the night.

SIDENOTE: If you have been following this blog, or if you continue to follow this blog, keeping up with my friends may seem like an impossible task. That is by design. My friends and family are the most important parts of my life. I need to write about them but they have not signed up for this so I will not name them. I can’t guarantee anonymity but I can at least offer plausible deniability.

I have many people whom I consider my best friends. These are a combination of people that have been in my life for many, many years as well as people that are very active in my life right now and trust will always by part of my life. They are people that I talk to every day or so as well as people that have moved away or moved on to other activities and I might might only talk to once a month or even less. Still, I know that if I ever needed them, they would always be there for me, as I would be there for them. They are people where no matter how long it has been since we last talked, we can pick up the phone and continue the friendship as if we saw each other yesterday.

Throughout my life I have had, maybe, twelve people who fit this description. Some inevitably decide to leave, new people enter my life and sometimes old friends return. At any given time there have never been more than six. This seems like all I can handle at one time. My hope is that as more time passes, as I become a better person and as my relationships grow stronger, I will be able to handle more. But maybe not, best friends are a lot of work sometimes.

Last night was wonderful, and worthy of sacrificing today’s ambitions. Knowing that someone knows the real you, and loves you anyway, is the greatest feeling in the world. I got to feel that twice last night. At 2:04 am another best friend called me up just to tell me that she loves me. She was expecting to leave a message but I was still up. I guess we must have stayed up until close to 4 am.

I woke up this morning by 10 am. I made coffee and had a cigarette, then I woke up my friend. I helped her haul some stuff up from the basement then I needed to get home. My van was covered in snow which was still falling and continued to fall all day. I got home and shoveled my sidewalk. I still felt like I could get everything done so I headed in to get to work.

I pulled out my laptop, set it up on my kitchen counter, put a pot of water on the stove for coffee, gathered up my mail, checked Facebook on the computer in my bedroom and then wondered… where is my coffee?

Oh shit! I left a pot of bowling water on the stove! This is not the first time this has happened. If you have ADD you probably know this experience. I don’t, but I’m a Type A personality with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome so I can relate to a lot of the struggles faced by people with ADD. Actually, being Type A is probably why I have CFS, and as a result, why I’m an less Type A than I was before getting sick.

I ran back to my kitchen to find the pot on the stove, bone dry and smoldering. This is not a good idea when using a Teflon. Apparently you can get Teflon poisoning from overheating. I washed out the pan and boiled fresh water and made my coffee. I had a few sips but it still tasted burnt.

Shortly thereafter I started having flu symptoms. I laid down but I couldn’t sleep. I decided to watch House of Cards on Netflix. It’s pretty good. I’m not a big TV fan but I do find that I like non-commercial television… and shows that get canceled within the first three years because they don’t make any money. Last night I was introduced to Shameless which is a Showtime remake of the British show which I have seen. I think I like the people in that show better than the people in House of Cards but they are all pretty fucked up. BTW, fucked up is very endearing to me.

So that was my day; not as productive as I hoped, but there is always Monday. I am feeling better. Actually, I’m feeling kind of drunk but that is a result of alcohol poisoning, which in my opinion, is better than Teflon poisoning.

—–

TEASERS:

Tomorrow I’m going to see Testament at First Avenue with my bff, her sister and her sister’s boyfriend. This will be my big night out thanks to the gift I received Tuesday.

Sunday I have tickets to Other Desert Cities at the Guthrie Theater. I asked a cute boy to go with me but he is at a conference at the college my son attends and doesn’t know if he will be back in time. I may be scrambling to get a date at the last minute.

Yeah, Monday will be my day to get shit done. Let’s see how that goes 😉

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.

Albuquerque – Part 2

I know, these are going to be out order but I simply did not have any time to write yesterday; Fetish Revolution – Part 2 will have to wait. As it is, I only have about half an hour to write this morning before we head out again. It’s a mad dash to get back to Minneapolis – crazy, I know. Why would we want to leave the sunny southwest for snowy Minnesota? What’s even crazier is that it is currently warmer in Minneapolis than it is in Albuquerque. Oh, you Mother Nature! In her infinite wisdom, is she just preparing us for what’s to come? I suppose not, but it’s harmless to believe there is divine intervention at play.

So yesterday began with a phone call from Venus at 10 am letting us know that we needed to get up, check out of the hotel and get on the road. When I heard the phone I was hoping it was a call to go out for breakfast and that I could decline and get another couple hours of sleep but there was no such luck. It was time to get back to work. I was pretty hungover for reasons I will have to explain later but in the meantime I sure you can fill in the blanks.

To be honest, I sometimes think that being hungover is easier than what I deal with getting moving on a normal day. The pain in my head clouds out the pain in my body and makes me focus on the task at hand. Besides, hangovers go away in time; chronic illness does not. Without a doubt, yesterday was easier than today. Today is just miserable. On the plus side, being on the road does greatly simplifies my life. I only have to deal with whatever I brought with me. When it’s time to leave I just need to pack up everything I own and go – no decisions.

On our return to Albuquerque we drove the southern route which took us through Los Cruses, NM. I guess there was snow in Flagstaff so this turned out to be the most logical course but it also meant we could stop by and see our friends David and Donnie for a brief visit. They are such a wonderful couple and I miss them terribly. I wish we could have stayed longer but we still had another three hours before we would reach our final destination.

It was almost 11pm before we pulled in at Jule’s in Albuquerque. We had just enough time to exchange pleasantries and catch up a bit. I helped myself to a beer in the fridge and Venus and I slipped into the hot tub. Knowing that we had a hot tub waiting for us may have been the only thing that got up through those last few hours.

On the road again

The band is packed in like sardines; three musicians, three guitars, two amps, snare, cymbals and all our personal effects in a ’97 Toyota Corolla. We call it the T.A.R.D.I.S. because it’s bigger on the inside.

Packed in - Jazz

In typical All The Pretty Horses form we left town under snow filled skies  I think we would freak out if it was any other way. Now the sun has come out as we approach the Iowa border.

First gas stop - Jazz & Venus

The secret of success

The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” – Michelangelo

I agree, and my aim is high, and I rarely hit my mark, but sometimes I need that feeling of success. Some days I just need obtainable goals. I have found that life is a lot easier when I don’t try so hard. I know that much of what makes my life hard is my own doing, my drive, my ambition, my need to be more, and I’m okay with that. I am not driven by a quest for success. I realize that success is not a destination. Success is a feeling, a moment, and it is fleeting.

So yesterday was a day of realistic goals. It wasn’t suppose to be. My plan was to enter the drunken alley-cat bike race known as Stupor Bowl, held each year in Minneapolis on the Saturday before Superbowl Sunday. This is typically one of the coldest, harshest weekends of the season, so it’s not for the faint of heart.  After that I was planning on going to The Crooked Pint where my friends Viva Knievel (not to be confused with the riot grrrl band from the 90’s) were performing and another friend was celebrating her birthday. We were going to make it a joint celebration given that my birthday is on Monday. That would have been a crazy day!

Instead, against my request, my band leader scheduled a studio performance at our rehearsal space/recording studio. Well, things being what they are and as much as I enjoy getting drunk and riding through the wintery streets of Minneapolis with a bunch of crazy bike messengers, I enjoy playing music more. On performance days, if at all possible, I don’t focus on anything but the show. I know that the key for me is to stay relaxed. There is usually a lot of work to do but no matter how prepared I am something unexpected will still go wrong and when it does probably no one will notice and even if they do, who cares? It’s rock-n-roll and it always works out in the end… or you die.

I spent the afternoon just getting ready, dying my hair, trimming my beard, painting my nails, doing my makeup, picking out my stage clothes and running through the set. I used to worry a lot about promotion. These studio parties are private invite-only events so I would spend all day txting my friends encouraging them to come out but it never seemed to pay off. It’s a different crowd that goes to these things. And I don’t care how many people are there. I’m going to do what I do no matter what. I’m there to put on a good show for anyone who wants to be part of it. I’m there to have fun with whoever shows up, not worry about who didn’t. Still, I had some time so I decided to take a minute and make a post on Facebook reminding my Minneapolis friends about the event.

Turns out it was a really good thing I did. Moments after posting I get a call from our drummer, Jazz. He asks, “What are you doing?” I say, “I’m about to head down to the studio.” Apparently he had no idea we were having a studio party because he asked if we were rehearsing.  Anyway, he says he’s going hop on the bus and meet me at the studio. I thought to myself, “Yeah, that’s probably a good idea!” I got off the phone feeling annoyed. I didn’t know whether I was more annoyed with Venus for not communicating better or with Jazz for being a dumb-ass.  It only took me a few minutes to realize that it didn’t matter. These things happen. My only question was what could I do to make it better. I called Jazz back and suggested that I pick him up on my way. I figured I could do more good helping Jazz get there than I could getting to the studio earlier. Plus I needed coffee and the co-op I go to is in his neighborhood.

On the way to get Jazz I stopped in at the Wedge co-op. I’m wearing high heal shoes, thin silver sparkly socks, tight black pants with slits up the side, a long lime green trench coat, a black glitter eye-patch and a black sequined cap. It’s 9 degrees Fahrenheit and it’s snowing. Yeah, kind of crazy but at least I wasn’t biking. A woman in line at the check-out asked if I was warm enough in what I was wearing. I said, “Hell no! This is a fashion before comfort situation!” To which the cashier chimed in relaying her story of getting caught under-dressed when the temperature  dropped 40 degrees recently. Yes, Minnesotans are a hearty stock but we love bitching about the weather while simultaneously bragging about how tough we are.

Get Real

Okay. This is where this blog takes form. It would be really fucking boring if I only wrote about my good days. Yesterday was awesome. Well, it was up until my last post which I wrote at the Bad Waitress, a cafe restaurant where my best friend works. They have wi-fi, really good food and beer. I expect many posts will be written from there. Oh, and when I checked in there I became mayor on Foursquare! So yeah, really good day up until that point. My BFF even bought me a beer so totally fucking kick ass!

Except it’s Minneapolis and fucking cold as hell and nothing stays kick-ass for long. My BFF got off work while I was there so I offered to drive her home. I don’t drive often and love to help out a friend when I can. Did I mention it was fucking cold as hell out? Driving is no big deal, right? If you keep reading this blog you will learn about my philosophy on helping and how I think it’s easy and makes the world a better place and that if you are a selfish mother fucker like me you should do it every chance you get.

Turns out my BFF needs cat food too. She doesn’t drive so we have a great opportunity for her to make use of my generosity and have me drive out to Chuck and Don’s in St. Louis Park. All went well for a total of about 10 blocks. Then we ran into a power outage. Not my van. It is thankfully running just fine. No, the goddamn city was in the black. I really have no idea what caused it. I’m sure I will find out. I figure it has something to do with the weather. It dropped 800 degrees in one day. But yeah, a huge swath of the city was without power. No street lights, no stop lights, backed up traffic and no power at the pet store. We spent an hour driving in the dark to accomplish nothing.

Well, once we got back to civilization we did stop by the liquor store and my BFF stocked up on beer so I guess I made some use of the drive. And after all that I figured it would be appropriate to stop in for a quick one. So for the record, this paragraph goes in the good column.

[Got coffee so hopefully I can keep writing]

So now I’m running late for rehearsal. My band leader is always running late so that probably means I’m right on time. Which I am. I get to the studio and Venus is unloading her car. Perfect timing. A good quality in a bass player I say. We get in and get everything set up but still no drummer. We were actually suppose to rehearse the day before but our drummer had apparently got assaulted and slipped on the ice and broke his rib and couldn’t make it. I don’t know exactly what happened. I’m hearing it second hand but I think he should have a blog. Sounds like his life is way more exciting than mine. Anyway, he’s in pain and totally spaced that we are rehearsing. Venus tells him to skip it and we rehearse without him. We are the ones who need it anyway. I don’t understand it. Our drummer always seems to do fine but I suck if I don’t rehearse. Venus sucks without rehearsal. The drummer has just got it but he has other issues. Just saying.

I kind of like rehearsing without a drummer. I wouldn’t say I prefer it. I really prefer having a drummer. Drums are important but there are benefits to not having him there. For starters, I can hear myself. Drums are fucking loud! With a drummer you have to turn up so loud that it’s hard to hear anything. Okay, that is the only benefit. Other that being able to play at a lower volume and hear myself it really sucked not having him there. But rehearsal went fine and we got a kick-ass set put together for our show in Scottsdale, AZ. I guess our studio party on Saturday will be our full band live rehearsal. Damn I’m glad we are professionals. Don’t know how we pull this shit off.

So yesterday was a long day. The kind of day that does me in. The kind of day that doesn’t end. And it didn’t. It kept going. Oh yeah, there is more excitement to come. I left rehearsal wanting nothing more that to get home, have a beer and curl up in my nice warm bed with my kitty cat. Well, that’s not what happened. I get in my van and drive home. I’m listening to Minnesota Public Radio as I often do. I’m a sustaining member. I’m listening to As It Happens and they have a story about this guy, Aiman Youssef of Staton Island, NY who lost everything in Super Storm Sandy. Now he has a tent set up in front of what used to be his house and has spent every day since the storm helping his neighbors. It choked me up. It’s sad, but the best of humanity seems to come out of the worst of situations.

So I’m driving, I’m emotionally engaged, I’m tired and basically on auto-pilot. I pull up to a stop sign before making a left-hand turn not noticing the cop car I just cut off until the lights start flashing in my rear-view mirror. I pull over wondering, “What the fuck did I do?”. And I bet you are wondering, “OMG, how drunk is he?”. Nope, two beers at the restaurant, one at my friends, all many hours ago – I’m sober, just tired and distracted. I take drinking and driving very seriously. I lost an eye that way when I was 21. I consider myself lucky. It’s nothing to fuck around with. I got lucky this time too. The cop just ran my license and let me go after I apologized profusely. I’ve actually had really good experiences with the Minneapolis Police department. Probably helps that I’m a white guy but who knows? Maybe it’s the mini-van with LEFREAK plates.

I get home and it’s time for a beer. Well, a beer and a whiskey. I’ve discovered that I can drink cheap beer if it’s coupled with cheap whiskey. I crawl into bed. It’s been a good day. I watch the Daily Show, make a post on Facebook, comment on a friends post and I’m ready to be done. But no, my friend realizing I’m awake sends me a text, “Can I call u?”. I respond, “No” because I’m a dick like that. Then I called her. We talk from 2am until 4am. I had more beers and more whiskey. I don’t remember everything we talked about but I do remember telling her about how she hurt me years back when we first met. We bonded instantly. I guess it’s one of those things that happens when a real, genuine, honest person meets one of their own. And there was attraction. There was chemistry. To put it bluntly, I wanted to bang her. I wanted to be her friend and I wanted to have sex with her and I even considered being her boyfriend. But that’s not me and she knew it and she moved on leaving me in the dust. Yeah, it was the right thing to do. It was the right thing for her and the time and it was probably the right thing for me but it still hurt. In this life you don’t meet that many people with whom who can really connect on that level and they are not to be taken for granted. But hey, she’s back in my life and all is good. In fact I just got a call from her reminding me that I agreed to meet her and that she has chowder for me. Awesome! I have no food so this is really good.

But my big fuck up of the day was over-sleeping. I left my phone downstairs so I didn’t wake up when Home Service Plus called at 7:44am. They were coming out to fix my washing machine which is leaking and my stove which won’t light. Yup, totally missed that. I’ve been dealing with these problems for a while because I just can’t get my shit together to remedy them. Guess I’m going to be dealing with them a little while longer. It’s all about time. Time fucking fascinates me.

And now it’s time for me to go get me some chowder!

%d bloggers like this: