:: Sunday, October 12, 2003 ::
Subject: Andrew Dice Clay in a Cultist Outfit
:: Tuesday, October 07, 2003 ::
Ever notice how James Maynard Keenan can totally make anyone an angst-filled ragemonster just by listening to two or three songs?
I just saw ADC on VH1 in what appeared to be some kind of outfit that a cultist would wear. Or a fake ninja. He had fingerless gloves on and a jacket that had shoulderpads that jutted out to the sides. It looked like he had a hood that could be drawn up over his head and face for occult ceremonies. I have trouble believing ADC would be that kind of guy, but hey, if he's really doing it... isn't that one of the 42 signs of the Apocalypse? Let me check the list...
31) Andrew Dice Clay reveals he is part of a dark occult circle of Devil worshippers. Does his bit for the Grand Huzzach of his Sect; is beheaded for crimes against his Unholiness, the Prince of Evil.
I'm listening to 'Magdalena' from ~A Perfect Circle~. Still my favorite song off of 'Mer De Noms'. I am filled with angsty rage. And rib sandwich.
See the new picture? I need a haircut. I also need less frustration. I'm in an odd mood today. I'm antsy. I feel like I want to do something, but nothing I do sits right with me. I started drawing and I couldn't get the image in my head on paper. I started to watch TV but even things I like I didn't want to watch. Listening to music soothed the beast, until I played the Tool album 'Lateralus'. Now I just want to take revenge on everyone who ever wronged me. You go Keenan. Keep doing what you're doing. I love it.
Jessica's Birthday is Tuesday. We're going to do something fun, I'm sure. Just thought I'd mention it before I went back into my strange thought pattern.
Anyway, I feel more out-of-it right now than I have in a long time. It's just been over the last couple of hours, too. Bothers me because I was so happy all day. Now it seems like everything is bothering me. I should probably just call it a night.
Anyway, did I mention that I started watching Power Rangers again last month? I did. I don't know why I ever stopped. It's half corny, half kick-ass. Three-quarters Japanese and a Quarter American. It's Part Eighties, Part Nineties, and it's in my soul. Oh, God. It's in my GODDAMN SOUL.
I have Power Rangers: Ninja Storm... Pillowcases.
Add that to the Hello Kitty toothbrush.
I am FUCKED UP.
I'm going to carry pennies in my pocket so that I can always give people my two cents before I tell them how stupid they are.
:: Beni 11:55 PM [+] ::
Subject: Waxing Nostalgic
:: Wednesday, October 01, 2003 ::
I've been on a non-stop trip down memory lane as of late. I guess it comes more strongly with age. I mean, the year is ending, and as cooler temperatures descend upon our parched Texas plains, rumblings of the upcoming holidays begin. Thanksgiving and X-mas always prove to be the most memorable holidays for me, and they are merely a month apart. Add to that the turning of the year, and you have yourself a varitable smorgasbord of memories clumped into a relatively short period of time.
I think this is the first time in years that I'm not dreading the holidays in some fashion. For the last five years (sans the past X-mas) it was filled with a very nervous sort of happiness. It's the kind that comes when you live in the sort of volatile environment that we had back then. The slightest things can ignite that powder keg, and so you're always on edge, gleefully laughing more from the tension sheeting off of you as from actual amusement. The laughing is the only thing that keeps you from crying. It's times like that when I feel truly fortunate to be able to give a gift to someone else, because that's the only real good that comes of it.
This year, what with those troubled times long gone and issues with my Father currently behind me, I am somewhat optimistic about things. However, at the same time, I am forced to look back over the years, remembering the people and events that shape them in my memory.
Side note: I've gotten really cynical as of late. I blame that on circumstance, as I'd strived not to become a cynic. Firstly on my blame list is simply the aforementioned past few years. They've not instilled a deep faith in humanity within me. I think that my whole perspective on life, for better or worse, has been permanently skewed by the events that took place down in Angleton. From neck to nuts, that's truly what did it. I'm not talking about the whole shoot that had Jeff guffawing a few months back about being a jaded gamer. That was not a big surprise. I just think that the last few years, coupled with the mounting volume of apathetic mooks in this country that are stepping up to fill the shoes of my generation have turned me into a seething cynic. I am aware that that may have been something of a run-on, but let's not argue sentence structure here. I just felt like expressing myself there.
Surprisingly, I've been thinking more about Harris lately than anyone. Figure that one out. I barely hear from him. On top of pretty much hating electronic communication, he's so busy that he can't respond to what I send him without letting a week or more pass. No sarcasm intended, seriously. That's just the way things are. I can't imagine it being any better via telephone or any other form of distance-based communcation. This is, as stated, simply the way things are, and I see no reason to desire more than this simple bit of exchange. It's at least nice to know what he's up to now and again.
So maybe it's my limited contact with him that sparks the flood of memories. I don't have anything new to put in the mental 'Harris Folder' so to speak, so my mind keeps pushing up old things. Some of the many years of memories I have include Harris playing a large part. I grew up with Harris. Kids, Teenagers, Adults. That growth period. Hard to shake those mems.
Funny thing is, something my Dad said a long time ago rings true in this situation. He said that no matter how many good things you do in this world, it's the bad things you do that people will remember you by. John and I have had a great deal of animosity build between us over the years, and it hasn't really lessened. It just got pushed to the side. I don't personally have a problem with Harris, and I don't think he has a real problem with me, but all of that animosity didn't just go away. I can still feel it. Call it a hunch. With my luck, it's more like foreshadowing. I see something on the horizon between he and I, and I'm not getting a good vibe off of it.
Based on my contact with him as of late, he still seems very quick to judge, and he still judges in a fashion that I find unsettlingly similar to our younger days. One reason I stepped out of that circle was to avoid the chaos and the frustration that came with being in that situation. When he emailed me (out of the blue) with a message that sounded like vintage Harris, circa 1993, it was like I was back in High School again. With that came the same impotent rage I felt back then - being unfairly judged and immaturely criticised, in a message rife with cheap shots and attempted insults. I say impotent due to the fact that there was never any reasoning with him back then. Apparently, there still wasn't in that situation. He says he didn't mean to send the message, but all that says to me is that he typed up how he really felt and decided to try and send me a sugar-coated jellybean of joy instead. It just made me chalk up another mark on the "That's Just John" board. Taking tally of the score of "Signs of Old John" vs "Signs of a Changed John", Old John is pretty much the landslide victor in this situation.
Am I complaining? Actually, no, I'm not. I'm stating these facts in plain view of Harris himself, who used this blog to gather information about me before launching that insult-tipped missile into my Inbox. It's just how I feel about it. I'm actually leading into a theory that I have recently been bouncing around:
I think that Harris and I simply bring out both the best and worst in each other. From years of familiarity comes the freedom to say or do anything, knowing full well the consequences of the actions one takes. John often chooses to blow off steam in a heated fashion, whether or not he means the things he says. His open disdain for things that I find appealing shows truth in his abusive statements, and they always have, but that doesn't mean that he seethes with hate and malicious intent. I couldn't help but get angered by these obviously personal attacks, not due to their content, but due to the fact that I can't understand how a person could jump from simply being upset by something, to attacking everything from the roots of a persons' birth to the toothbrush that they use. It seemed ridiculous to me, not to mention completely overshadowing any attempt at constructive dialogue. Even still, just as he reminded me of that 13 year-old whenever he'd pull that stunt, I can't help but hop back into my old shoes and feel that old anger when it happens.
Strangely enough, even though I wish nothing but good things unto Harris and those he loves, I just can't help but continue to be somewhat off-put by that initial email. It's not water under the bridge yet... More like water 'near' the bridge. I think that once Harris and I sit down (alone and in person) and chit-chat, it'll pass.
What does all of this have to do with the holidays? Read between the lines, grasshopper.
Harris and I spent most of the holidays I can remember together in some fashion. Maybe we didn't see each other on Thanksgiving. Maybe we didn't see each other on X-mas day. He's still very strongly tied into each of my memories from those times. Not all of them were good. John and I were kids. We argued a lot. I have a lot of good memories about John, and I have a lot of bad ones. It's just the way of things. When these times near, it all comes flooding back to me, and Harris is at the top of the memory pile right now.
Luckily, most of the memories I have with John, even the bad ones, I think of in a nostaligic fashion. "Ah, the good ol' days". That kind of thing.
Lately, the only feeling I've gotten from my limited contact with him is some aggression, an apology, and then a whole lot of very little.
I think a perfect holiday season this year should include a sit-down with Harris. We don't have to talk about anyting serious. We have no more air to clear. I just need to see his face and shake his hand. We'll have a meal somewhere, discuss old times over tea and coffee, and part on good terms. Maybe then I can put the rest of my negativity away on the shelf. Until then, I guess "Old John" reigns in my memories.
My hope is that Harris reads this, and can see things from my perspective. I hope that he sees that I'm not complaining about his actions or asking for another apology. These are merely observations from within, observations that by all rights I should be able to express here, in my tablet of thoughts. Consider it as it has always been - a little venting along with a constructive observation. Other than straight-up bitching, that's about all you get when you come here.
Oh, and music. Did I mention that I got the new "G-Love and Special Sauce" release? It's like chewing bubble gum in the desert. Mmmm... crunchy gum. It tastes good, but has just enough dirt in it to remind you you're in the desert.
Translation: Two thumbs up. Not for everyone, but definetly for me.
:: Beni 11:50 PM [+] ::
Subject: We Were Turning That Key Inside
I don't know how much longer I'll have this internet connection. My free trial ends fairly soon. That's okay, though. I'll be getting another service soon enough.
If I may be so bold as to break away from tradition, I'd like to be bitchy about one thing... Hold on a sec...
I can't believe they still haven't fixed this stupid ass connection!!! It's been over a month!!! Get off your lazy asses and fix it you fuckholes!!!
Okay, that felt good. Sometimes it's good to let out your pent-up emotions you know. ^_^
Seriously. They are expected to complete these work orders in a timely fashion. Too bad they got lost on the way here. They must have pulled out of the driveway and driven straight up their own asses, because I can't imagine how it's taken a month and a half and I still haven't heard anything.
Well, anyway, I can't really complain. As you can see, I haven't been spending much time on the computer. I've actually been spending a great deal of my spare time playing Wrestlemania XIX for my 'Cube. So much time, in fact, that I haven't had time to write up a review of it over at Confessions. That's since September 9th. Do the math. The game is that good. I'm actually contemplating not even truly reviewing it in the traditional sense. It's something that should be experienced. If you're a wrestling fan, it's a must-have.
Other than that tidbit, I do have some even better news. I have finally gotten my hands on Seal's new album (Seal IV). After listening through the album about a half dozen times since last night, I definetly can say that it was worth the wait. Seal made us wait even more than the usual four years between albums, but it was definetly worth it.
In case anyone is reading this who doesn't know me too well, I can safely say I'm the biggest Seal nut you're likely to meet. I have over twenty Seal CD's. Quite a feat considering the fact that he only has four full album releases. I have B-Sides and Rarities, Maxi-Singles and foreign releases. To say I'm a Seal fan is definetly an understatement. He's my hero. He is the most kick-ass man on the planet.
I was very fortunate when I went to the record store to buy this album. I was also able to aquire the Maxi-Single for the album as well, which is something I've never actually bought from a store physically. I've bought all of mine off of the internet (eBay, actually). It was cool to be able to pick them both up on the same day. I have had to wait to get this album until now, and my patience was rewarded... this album is fantastic.
He went old-school for this one. The cover art (specifically the track listing on the back) is reminiscent of the first album. Not only that, but the carefree attitude that came with the first album is back. Gone is the melancholy, brooding nature of his third release, "Human Being". I'm not saying that's a good thing or a bad thing, just that the internally reflective qualities of that album aren't present in this fourth release. He had a good time making this album, you can tell that right off the bat. It's good to hear him happy again.
The album is full of great songs, each of them a gem in their own right. From the upbeat 'Get It Together' and 'Let Me Roll' to the ballads like 'Love's Divine' and 'Touch', each song is Seal at his best. Trevor Horn's thumbprints are all over this album, but not so much as in the fantastically multi-layered sound in "Human Being". This album seems to be much more influenced by love and hope than anything else. Songs like 'Don't Make Me Wait' are so full of energy and hope, that you can feel his emotions straight through your headphones. That's nothing new for Seal, but it's always something special.
I'm already a big fan of the song 'Heavenly... (Good Feeling)'. Personally, although he had the least amout of fun making it, 'Human Being' is still my favorite album. I feed off of that soulful melancholy in a creative fashion, and the hundreds of layers of sound always get my mental juices flowing. It puts me in a good place. 'Heavenly' actually has many of the attributes that made me love 'Human Being' as a whole. It's like a little piece of that third album in this new one, and it even has a couple of samples from some unpublished works, like the songs he worked on with Pil.
As usual, I love each and every track on this album, and the order in which they are placed is perfect. Wouldn't change a thing. If I had to nitpick one thing, it would be that the reprise at the end of the album is painfully short, and it didn't fill me with the feeling of closure like the past two albums' reprises have done. It's only a nitpick, and it's simply because I believe that nothing is truly perfect.
Still, a masterful work from my favorite musician, Seal. May the years we wait for his fifth album be filled with the sounds he has already created, and may that time yield yet another masterpiece. Cheers.
:: Beni 11:28 PM [+] ::