This is a funny little story I wrote about how I used the Violent Femmes song “Blister in The Sun” as a relationship test. It’s 90% humiliating. The other 10% is merely embarrassing to the depths of my soul.
I am so thrilled, excited, humbled, and freaking out that it found a home with one of my favorite publications, Queen Mob’s Tea House!! Many thanks to Reb Livingston for giving this piece a chance. She’s the Misfit Documents editor over there at Queen Mob’s, and a damn fine writer, too. Check out her bio and pick up some of her books while you’re at it!
I would run a woo-hoo happy lap around my office right now, but I can’t run more than about twenty feet before I have to use my asthma inhaler, and that sort of ruins the whole “Not a Cartoon Nerd” thing I’m trying to accomplish in my daily life. I think if you use an inhaler while wearing Invisalign, an after-school model rocket club appears and forces you to get a bowl-cut. (And the Invisalign is going great so far! More to come on that in the next couple weeks!)
Thanks again to all of you for hanging out here every week and being so cool and awesome and stuff. Many, many hearts to you. 🙂
I came home to a neighbor blasting a Kid Rock song (on repeat!) through the wall of our apartment the other day. Now, normally I’m very meek when it comes to confronting neighbors, having toiled with some particularly nasty and violent neighbors in the past, but I made it less than ten minutes before I marched over and started banging on his door.
You’re gonna play Kid Rock into my HOME? Where I eat and sleep and expect houseplants to flourish?!
It got me to thinking that I’ve never heard someone blasting music that I would consider decent. Not once. Not once in my life. Not through an apartment wall, not out of a car, not from a radio on a towel at the beach.
(For the record, it was that “Sweet Home Alabama” monstrosity that Kid Rock horked up and furballed onto the radio a few years back. The one where he rhymes the word “things” with “things” for god’s sake. Also, he is not from Alabama, and neither is Lynyrd Skynyrd.)
I’ve never sat next to a car at a stoplight that was blasting music and thought, “Oh wow! This person next to me has got great taste in music!” It’s always something just absolutely terrible. It’s like there’s a law that if a musical note is heard loudly in public, it has to belong to a musician who is no more than six degrees of separation away from Limp Bizkit.
Same goes for someone prominently holding up a book that they’re reading. They’re never holding up something fantastic like a David Sedaris book or a Jughead comic. It’s always something like “How To Win Bitches” or “Chicken Soup for The Precious Moments Figurine Collector’s Soul” or some shit by Ted Nugent where he’s wearing the Constitution as a loincloth. I think if I ever heard a good song blasting out of a car or saw someone holding up a decent book, I would be so shocked that I would just drive right into an embankment.
Witnesses say the last words the victim uttered as they pulled her charred, limp body from the fiery wreckage were, “Finally! Someone blasting The Ramones! Please – someone save my Betty and Veronica Double Digest on the passenger seat. Save it for the future generations.”
I’ve come to realize that the same is true for loud conversations. As a soft-spoken type, I’m appalled at how loudly people converse in public, and it’s always the conversation that you don’t want to hear.
We were sitting in a bar the other night (big surprise there), and someone nearby was having a two hour long, one-sided conversation with the person next to them, broadcasting it out of their mouth at approximately 5,000 decibels, blasting in my ear like in the opening scene of Back to The Future when Marty McFly plugs his guitar into that giant speaker and it blows him back like ten feet.
The subjects varied between a riveting tale about that time she ordered a bottle of wine at a Red Lobster in Daytona Beach in 1982, several mentions of how the Jello-shot the bartender had just given her looked like a urine specimen, her strong belief in guardian angels, and how Trump was going to earn her vote again if he levels Iran.
Basically the conversational equivalent of a Kid Rock song.
Never once in my life have I been sitting at a bar and heard someone shouting a conversation about the Abstract Expressionist movement in art, or about the best red lipstick for your skin tone, or about how every single kid on Mr. Belvedere was so ugly that sometimes it actually hurt to look at the television. You know, stuff that I’d actually be interested in hearing about! Never!
It’s always the person who wants to shout racial slurs and talk about the “handy” he got for half-price when he was stationed in Okinawa because she was missing two fingers. Or the women at brunch who try to top each other’s birthing stories at full volume, making sure to really enunciate the words “…THE SIZE OF THE BLOOD CLOT THAT FLOPPED OUT OF ME…IT WAS LIKE TWO CALVES’ LIVERS, CAROL.”
Nobody’s ever like, “Let me yell my well-thought out opinion about Wendy’s versus Arby’s!” That’s a conversation I could get into!
I mean, where are my people? You’re probably off in the corner, like me, quietly debating the best Talking Heads song, not talking about Jello urine specimens or vag-shrapnel, and making plans to get nachos and watch Rocky IV for the fiftieth time later.
And Wendy’s is the superior option because they have baked potatoes that are actually baked in an oven, which are something that would take you like an hour to cook at home and would heat up your whole house.
And because Arby’s killed my entire family when I was a child.
Okay, maybe not. But Arby’s doesn’t have baked potatoes.
I just looked it up and they actually do have baked potatoes.
Rather than bore the hell out of you with my usual ramblings, I’ve decided to bore the hell out of you with some news! I’m going to deliver this news in list format, because that’s the laziest, cheapest way to write anything, and yes I’m looking at you, Buzzfeed.
Stupid lists. So here’s my list!
One: My memoir/essay collection manuscript “Dirtbag Lights” has been selected as a semifinalist for the 2019 Pamet River Prize. It’s given out once a year by YesYes Books, an indie publisher in Portland, Oregon. Yes, I nearly fell to pieces crying when I got the notification and woke Bobby up from a dead-sleep at 5:30 in the morning to tell him. No, I do not know where the Pamet River is. In the unlikely event that this publisher loses their mind, chugs a bottle of Fabuloso, and declares me the winner (to be announced in September 2019), the prize is publication of the book, a satchel of money, and a buttload of “hyperventilating” and whatnot.
Two: I have been asked to sing harmonies and play hand-percussion for a friend’s band next month. On a stage at a club downtown. In front of people. After not having stepped foot on a stage in nearly eight years after the ohmygodnuclear implosion of my former band, I feel compelled to tell you that the stage fright associated with going back up there does not make me want to bite my fingernails at all. Not at all! It makes me want to set my hands on fire, eat them, and then vomit up fingers like a Roman candle filled with flaming Vienna sausages until I die. Which is why I enthusiastically said yes and will be climbing up on that stage at 43 years of age and wondering how the hell my life is my life. Fair warning – I will need to be 80% hammered to do this.
Three: I need to lose ten pounds before I get on that stage or else be faced with watching the videos later in horror as my tattooed bingo-wings flap about the screen, which means I will be even angrier than usual for a spell while I do 5am workouts and eat goddamned salads three times a day. There is no need to worry about your own personal safety during this time – unless you live on Earth – in which case you will most certainly be affected by my Wrath of Hangry and should take cover immediately.
Four: Robert Palmer is very, very underrated as a singer and performer and I ripped off his stage mannerisms for YEARS. As they say on The Twitter, fight me.
Five: I’m working on a short film with my friend/drummer/villain-partner-in-crime Jon. It’s about Greg Brady. Fight me AND Greg Brady.
So lots of stuff happening at the moment. Lots to do.
Which is precisely why instead of working, I’m going to hit the ‘Publish’ button on this, and then go watch The Golden Girls for the next few hours while I rock back and forth, stare into space, and ruminate about events that I can’t change because they happened in the fifth grade, all the while staving off a panic attack and/or trip to Dunkin Donuts. You know, self-care.