Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008 Denouement

All right, for all you gossip columnists out there, I have found a best man (Joe Boxman) and my groomsmen (Forrest and my brother Eric). I've asked Nick to sing "In My Life" by The Beatles. He claims to be learning it without sheet music, which means he'll learn it in the wrong key and then insist he's right. Oh, well. At least the lyrics will come through clearly.

Is it weird for me to say it didn't quite feel like Christmas for me this year? Maybe it's because I was so busy with work and school (and the lack of a television, meaning I didn't see any Christmas commercials), or the fact that I was in Bloomington until the night of 12/24, and back within 48 hours. I don't quite know what it was - probably all of the above factors.

Regardless, with this being the first year ever that I bought Christmas presents with my own money, I learned a new meaning to the Holiday. I got used CD's and DVD's for my family, but I made sure it was something they would love.

Perfect example: Any time a song by Three Dog Night would come on the radio, Mom ALWAYS mentioned how this was the first band she ever saw in concert and how the song takes her back to 8th grade. So I got her the best of Three Dog Night. See? Thoughtful!

On an unrelated note, Kieth Buchanan (Graham's ex-boyfriend and my former roommate) has left Bloomington. He didn't have everything quite as ready as I'd thought he would for move-out day, so between that and the awful ice storm we had on 12/23, I couldn't take him up to the Greyhound station in Indianapolis. Thankfully, a friend of his came over from Cincinnati to help him pack. He took him up there, so everything worked out.

I don't know if I mentioned this, but Kieth was gone from just before Thanksgiving to 12/18. He originally thought it was going to be a week long excursion to be there for his mother in the wake of his parents' divorce. It turned into a month because of the infrequency of buses going through his corner of Oklahoma.

Meanwhile, Graham has been dating a new guy since before finals. One night Graham was having him over and had a table and wine glasses and candles set up. It was really sweet. He asked me not to tell Kieth about it. Unfortunately, Graham is such a damned slob that all the dishes and the candles and EVERYTHING was still out, including a wine spill on the tablecloth. It would have been a little difficult to convince Kieth that what he saw was my mess since I'm never over there for recreational purposes.

Since Graham left the entire place looking as though the Rapture had occurred in the middle of a dinner party I had no problem telling him what had gone on in his absence.

Graham is now moving into a new phase of his life: he has started going to church. Anyone else I would be happy for them. For Graham, I don't know - something doesn't smell right about this.

I don't want to go into too many details, but Graham was scheduled to fly out 12/22. When he heard Kieth was going to be back on the 18th, he rescheduled for a flight on 12/17 so that he didn't have to see him. He also took a piece of Kieth's luggage and his modem. Graham also left Kieth a very impersonal note saying "I hope you find what it is you're looking for in life. Please don't take anything that isn't yours. Happy Holidays! --- g "

I'll admit, my first impressions of Kieth weren't good. But in the time I got to know him, I really came to like him a lot. Hey, hey, my, my, how the tables have turned.

There is a sense of melancholy about all this in that I may never see him again. Life has taken him to Colorado, and for me, well, that's still yet to be decided.

An acquaintance of mine on Facebook had this posted on her profile as a note. I figured this would make for a better year-end recap than any sort of uber-verbose rant:

Q: What did you do in 2008 that you had never done before?
A: Visited Bowling Green, OH. I worked as the grading assistant for Zappa, Hendrix, and (in a limited capacity) Beatles. I also got engaged to the right woman.

Q: Did you keep your new years resolutions?
A: My secret resolution was to win Shelley back, but that stemmed all the way to November after Kate and I broke up. Still, it was only 6 days into the new year that it happened. So, yes. I did.

Q: What would you like to have in 09 that you didn't have in 08?
A: A career in a graduate program somewhere. Anywhere but here. That and a wife.

Q: What dates in 08 will remain etched upon your memory?
A: January 6th, June 13th and 14th, October 31st (for good and awful reasons), November 20th - 22nd, and December 13th.

Q: Did you suffer from any injury?
A: Broken spirits and crushed egos count, right? Then yes.

Q: Best thing someone bought for you as a gift?
A: Shelley got me The Boondocks DVD back in January. It made me really happy.

Q: Where did most of your money go?
A: An engagement ring, CD's, the occasional DVD, groceries, pizza, gas, Alabama...

Q: What did you get really excited about?
A: The prospect of asking Shelley to marry me (I started making payments in July), working at Spencer's, working at the school (yeah, I know...), my senior year as an IMP student, going up to Bowling Green and seeing Rick again, living off-campus, buying a cat.

Q: What song will always remind you of 08?
A: Oh, yeah, right, this will be a brief answer...
JANUARY - "The Boondocks Theme" by Asheru, "Cinnamon Girl" by Neil Young (I just saw - I had this for January of 2008 when I wrote my 2007 recap! Care to know why? The song reminded me of Shelley!)
FEBRUARY - "Mammon" by Todd Rundgren, "King Tubby Meets The Rockers Uptown" by Augustus Pablo
MARCH - "A Day In The Life" by Jeff Beck, all of Trout Mask Replica by Captain Beefheart
APRIL - "Swastikas On Parade" by The Residents
MAY - "Hard Time Killin' Floor Blues" by Skip James, "Killing Floor (Live)" by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
JUNE - "Mama Talk To Your Daughter" by J.B. Lenoir, "Changes" by Band Of Gypsys
JULY - "Orange Claw Hammer (Acoustic)" by Captain Beefheart & Frank Zappa, "Morphine Song" by Ray Davies
AUGUST - The entire After The Gold Rush album by Neil Young
SEPTEMBER - "Like A Hurricane" by Neil Young, "King's Lead Hat" by Brian Eno
OCTOBER - "Hey, Hey, My, My (Into The Black)" by Neil Young, "The Train Kept A-Rollin'" by The Johnny Burnette Rock 'N Roll Trio, "Susie Q" by Dale Hawkins
NOVEMBER - , "Kick Out The Jams" by The MC5, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" by Gil Scott Heron
DECEMBER - "Ever Fallen In Love?" by The Buzzcocks, "Everything I Own" by Ken Boothe

Q: Favorite TV programs of 08?
A: The Office

Q: What was your greatest musical discovery?
A: Um...Neil Young, Captain Beefheart, and The Residents

Q: Best book you read this year?
A: Ray Davies: Not Like Everybody Else by Tom Kitts

Q: Favorite Film of this year?
A: Burn After Reading and Harold

Q: How would I describe my fashion concept of 08?
A: Hmm...I invested in a Che shirt and a hammer and sickle shirt early on this calendar year. I'd say that set the stage fairly well. Seeing as we now have a Socialist president. (Oh, and by the way, I'm BEING sarcastic!)

Q: Which celebs did you fancy the most in 08?
A: Ray Davies, Jimmy Carl Black (RIP fellow drummer), and Neil Young

Q: Who do you miss?
A: Rick Chandler and Eric Condon. Easily.

Q: What countries did you visit in 08?
A: Papua New Guinea, Equitorial Guinea, New Guinea

Q: Biggest achievement?
A: Engagement.

Q: Did you fall in love in 08?
A: Yes. And it's a beautiful thing.

Q: What's one thing that would have made your year more satisfying?
A: For Condon to put his violin down and apply himself, for Sarah to butt out of things she knows nothing about like people's relationships, for Gill to break up with Amanda, for Johnson to get his license, for Shelley to be assertive and honest with her parents, for Mom to mind her own damn business, for Mary to cheer up and be happy knowing she is alive, for Andy to have not jumped to such asinine conclusions and not written me off as a thief and liar, for Joel to have been a better bandleader, and for Laura to stop being a crotch-hopping pothead who flirts with any guy she sees.

Q: Did you learn anything valuable?
A: I learned not to waste people's time with blogs and emails and shit.

"A very Merry Christmas, and a happy New Year. Let's hope it's a good one, without any tears." Or is it "fear"? Whatever, I like "tears" better.
(No, seriously. This year kind of sucked. I really don't know how I could have gotten through it without Shelley. I wish I was kidding.)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Roll Over, Trump, and Tell Ted Koppel The News

The real crime, I think, is the hair.

Seriously, did he really think he could get away with it? Selling a seat in the United States Senate. It was so flagrant that he might as well have put it up on

But, GOD, that hair! I know, I know, your man Mitch doesn't exactly have a suave aura about him either (you aren't fooling anyone with that comb-over, fruitcake)...I still don't know what's worse.

And to think, this guy was proposing he could - maybe - take the Senate seat for himself if (and I'm paraphrasing here) "No-fucking-body fucking else had the fucking money for this fucking seat in the fucking Senate", which in turn meant he would make a bid for the Presidency in 2016. Make no bones about it, people, there be crooks in both parties, old school (*cough* Ted Stevens, the Clintons) or new (Rod Blagojevich, Sarah Palin).

Also - I'm engaged now.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Humor The 13 Year Old Girl In Me

Deep down, I secretly love these things. For the love of God answer it.

What would you do if..
1. I died:
2. I kissed you:
3. I lived next door to you:
4. You found out I was married:
5. I stole something:
6. I was hospitalized:
7. I refused to leave my home:?
8. I got into a fight while you were there:

What do you think about my...
9. Personality:
10. Eyes:
11. Hair:
12. Family:

Would you...
13. Help me hide a body?
14. Keep a secret if I told you one?
15. Hold my hand?
16. Take a bullet for me?
17. Go on an extended road trip with me?
18. Try to solve my problems?
19. Help me kill a man? Woman? Domestic animal? Endangered species? The neighbors' dogs?
20. Scratch my ass?

Have you ever...
21. Lied to make me feel better?
22. Wanted to kiss me?
23. Wanted to kill me?
24. Broke my heart?
25. Kept something important from me?
26. Thought I was unbearably annoying?

27. Who are you?
28. Are we friends?
29. When and how did we meet?
30. Describe me in three words:
31. What was your first impression?
32. Do you still think that way about me now?
33. What reminds you of me?
34. If you could give me anything, what would it be?
35. How well do you know me?
36. When's the last time you saw me?
37. Ever wanted to tell me something but couldn't?

Um...thanks in advance for your responses. I look forward to reading all two of them.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Lost In The Woods

I'll admit, I've been in a funk this past month or so. Maybe I wouldn't have so much contempt for you-know-who if our little episode had happened during a less loaded period in my life. But it triggered lots of self-doubt and was just ill-timed.

My association with this person will be strictly professional come January, even then I won't have to deal with them directly but once or twice. The graduate applications will be submitted by the time of my birthday (1/11 - I expect checks in the mail from each of you), and from then it will be out of my hands until I hear back. Whatever the decisions may be.

What I'm saying is while I'm not quite out of the woods yet, I see a village in the distance. Could be Bowling Green. Could be New York. Could be someplace I haven't even thought about yet. (On that note, I've got a resume to prepare. I hate entertaining the very thought of me not getting into a graduate program, but there's always a chance.) All I know is it's not going to be Bloomington.

And it's definitely not going to be Seymour.

Special thanks to Neil Young and The Clash for bringing me out of this dark place. Funny I write this on such a sunny day.

At least I've learned some things from this. I saw a two month old entry where I said I would miss IU and not harbor any bad feelings. On Halloween I was given every reason in the world to get my ass out of here once I was done. Bad feelings? Well, they are aimed at one specific person. He has probably moved on, whatever. He's wired different from the rest of the human race.

I've also learned that no matter what the message is - preacher or professor - people can be total hypocrites. Everybody has a side they don't show often, whether it's a shy little girl or boy inside a very extroverted person, or a complete jerk hiding within a very cool and charismatic exterior. It probably goes without saying that I learned how NOT to do things, as well.

It makes me feel like a complete idiot. How much derision have I had towards what Frank Zappa called the "check-mailing nincompoops" who waste their time and money on glorified snake oil salesmen turning a profit off our own inherent fear of doomsday and Armageddon? And yet I did the exact same thing with (fuck it, might as well) Andy.

The big lesson from all this is that until I met Andy I was still marching to my own drummer. I didn't owe anyone anything and sought out to impress no one beyond myself. Perhaps I should go back to being my own person again. At least then I won't have anyone to disappoint, amuse, or amaze but me.

I've got to admit, it's getting better. Getting better all the time. (It can't get any worse.)