A Request and a PSA

Two quick things before I run away from work and drive downtown for Flogging Molly. I’m pumped, aside from a niggling fear that mystery pain will get worse and force an early exit from the show. Fingers crossed.

  1. Request: Does anyone know how and feel like making a new blog banner for me? The one I have now and have had for ages was made for me by The Aussie. It was to be temporary while he worked on something special. But he must have died and taken the banner with him, because that was months (well over a year) ago. I’d love to have something new, but I have no idea how to go about it myself.
  2. PSA: Tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day! Get out there, grab some free comic books and don’t forget to buy something to support your local geekhaven!

Happy Friday. Or something.

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Désolée (an un-poem)

I’m sorry, but…
I’m giving up on you.

Waiting for your call, your text, your email.
No more.

When you finally come to your senses,
I won’t be there, waiting as I always do.

Ardently, perpetually, relentlessly waiting.
No.

Je ne renoncerai plus à moi.
Je m’abandonne à nous.
Je renonce à toi.

Désolée.
Je suis très désolée.

5-Day Song Challenge: Fifth & Final

The five songs I’ve used in this challenge surprised me. The only one I knew I’d use was Slow Cheetah. The rest happened a day at a time, and none of the other songs I planned to use made it into the five posts – including today’s. That’s one of the interesting things about music moods for me – I never know what I’ll be in the mood for from day to day. And this time, rather than relying a planned lists of songs to type about, I decided to wing it from day to day and let my mood guide the choices.

Which leads us to today’s selection.

Song the Fifth:

Float – Flogging Molly

Flogging Molly’s Float is on my mind for two reasons:

  1. The theme: struggling with depression and indifference as time inevitably marches on. Trying to make sense from the senseless and grasping for reasons to persist. For obvious reasons, it speaks to me. Rather, it speaks me.
  2. The timing: totally going to a Flogging Molly concert tonight, and I’m stoked. Fucking. Stoked.

Have a listen.

The Lyrics:

Drank away the rest of the day,
Wonder what my liver would say,
Drink… That’s all you can.

Blackened days With their bigger gales,
Blow in your parlor to discuss the day,
Listen… That’s all you can.

Ah but don’t, no don’t sink the boat,
That you built, you built to keep afloat.
Ah no don’t, no don’t sink the boat,
That you built.

Sick and tired of what to say,
No one listens anyway,
Sing… That’s all you can.

Rambling years of lousy luck,
Ya miss the smell of burning turf,
Dream… That’s all you can.

Ah but don’t, no don’t sink the boat,
That you Built, you built to keep afloat,
Ah no don’t, no don’t sink the boat,
That you built… That you built to keep afloat.

Singled out for who you are,
It takes all types to judge a man,
Feel… That’s all you can.

Filthy suits with bigot ears,
Hide behind their their own worst fears,
Live… That’s all you can.

It’s all you can.
It’s all you can… do.

No matter where I put my head,
I wake up feeling sound again,
Breathe… It’s all you can.

Tomorrow smells of less decay,
The flowers create this blooming fray,
Be thankful… That’s all you can.

Ah but don’t, don’t sink the boat,
That you Built, you built to keep afloat.
Ah no don’t, no don’t sink the boat,
That you built… you built to keep afloat.

Ah no don’t, no don’t sink the boat,
That you built, that you built to keep afloat.

A ripe old age,
A ripe old age,
I’m a ripe old age,
That’s what I am.

I’m a ripe old age,
A ripe old age,
A ripe old age,
Just doing the best I can.

A ripe old age,
A ripe old age,
A ripe old age,
That’s what I am!

A ripe old age,
A ripe old age,
A ripe old age,
Just doing the best I can!

The best I can!

~

Fighting hard to not sink the boat. Hoping like hell that tomorrow smells of less decay. I’m doing the best I can. Are you?

So I Skipped Another Day (AKA 5-Day Song Challenge: Day 4)

Yesterday was insanity at work. Mostly good insanity. I love when I get to not do my job and do something completely different. (Not even sarcasm.) I interviewed several people for a management program we’re kicking off in about two weeks, and then the dreaded meetings (which I actually like when the people are normal, productive and cool).

So yeah, no posty. And now today, some fucked-up I hope it’s not a medical emergency shit going on with me. But I’m posting anyway, because damnit I’m trying to be here.

And since I’m in a fuck society punk rock place at the moment, I’ll share some with you.

The Song:

Smallpox Champion – Fugazi

A nice, solid, damn-the-man punk rock song.

The Lyrics:

Smallpox Champion of the U S of A
Give natives some blankets warm like the grave
This is the pattern cut from the cloth
This is the pattern designed to take you right out

This is the frontier with winter’s so cold
Greed informs action where action makes bold
To take all the cotton that’s cut from the stalk
Weave in the the disease that’s gonna wipe you right out

What is good for the future
What is good for the past – won’t last

Bury your heart U S of A
History rears up to spit in your face
You saw what you wanted, you took what you saw
We know how you got it- your method equals wipe out
The end of the future and all that you own
Under the blankets of all that you’ve done
Memory serves us to serve you yet
Memory serves us to never let you wipe out

Cha-cha-cha-champion you’ll get yours
Wipe out

~

So this is a heavy one and more than a bit “political.” I wrapped that word in quotation marks, because I think it’s a cop-out to dub genocide a political issue as a justification of sidestepping uncomfortable topics.

If you’re into punk rock, you’ll dig it. Love me some Fugazi.

5-Day Song Challenge: Le Troisième Chanson

What up, peopleaneous! I’m sleepy but hopped up on truckstop caffeine (and not of the coffee variety because spew). I gotta stay awake so I can tutor after work and then go to a comedy show. Yeah baby!

This post is the third of five songs I’ll offer up for the 5-day song challenge. (By the way, you’re all challenged to join in. If you wanna.) Let’s get into today’s song selection.

Today’s Song:

Not Afraid – Eminem

It’s tough to choose one song – or hell, even just five songs for this challenge. I wanted to use Pearl Jam’s Black. Or DMB’s Grey Street. Or Bob Marley and The Wailers’ Three Little Birds. But bleh. I keep changing my mind. Hmph.

This one, though. Eminem’s Not Afraid, while not my favorite of his tracks, is an important song for me. For where I’m at. For flipping the middle finger to the world and holding my head up high, walking tall and strong so I can keep on keepin’ on. Some days are easier than others – today is easier than yesterday. And some weeks are harder than others. This week is tough as fuck compared to last week. One day at a time. One hour at a time. One motherfucking minute at a time. Right this minute?

I’m not afraid.

Let’s dive into the lyrics. Do y’all love lyrics as much as I do? I’m a lyric fiend. Love the tunes, the melody, etc. But the lyrics? That’s where I live. If you’re one of those weirdos that hates words but has a fucking BLOG, then just listen.

The Lyrics:

I’m not afraid (I’m not afraid)
To take a stand (to take a stand)
Everybody (everybody)
Come take my hand (come take my hand)
We’ll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just letting you know that you’re not alone
Holler if you feel like you’ve been down the same road (same road)

Yeah, it’s been a ride
I guess I had to, go to that place, to get to this one
Now some of you, might still be in that place
If you’re trying to get out, just follow me
I’ll get you there

You can try and read my lyrics off of this paper before I lay ’em
But you won’t take the sting out these words before I say ’em
Cause ain’t no way I’ma let you stop me from causing mayhem
When I say I’ma do something I do it,
I don’t give a damn what you think,
I’m doing this for me, so fuck the world
Feed it beans, it’s gassed up, if it thinks it’s stopping me
I’ma be what I set out to be, without a doubt undoubtedly
And all those who look down on me I’m tearing down your balcony
No ifs, ands or buts, don’t try to ask him why or how can he
From “Infinite” down to the last “Relapse” album
He’s still shitting, whether he’s on salary paid hourly
Until he bows out or he shits his bowels out of him
Whichever comes first, for better or worse
He’s married to the game, like a fuck you for Christmas
His gift is a curse, forget the Earth, he’s got the urge
To pull his dick from the dirt, and fuck the whole universe

I’m not afraid (I’m not afraid)
To take a stand (to take a stand)
Everybody (everybody)
Come take my hand (come take my hand)
We’ll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just letting you know that you’re not alone
Holler if you feel like you’ve been down the same road (same road)

Okay quit playing with the scissors and shit, and cut the crap
I shouldn’t have to rhyme these words in the rhythm for you to know it’s a rap
You said you was king, you lied through your teeth, for that
Fuck your fillings, instead of getting crowned you’re getting capped
And to the fans, I’ll never let you down again, I’m back
I promise to never go back on that promise, in fact
Let’s be honest, that last “Relapse” CD was ehhh
Perhaps I ran them accents into the ground
Relax, I ain’t going back to that now
All I’m trying to say is get back, click-clack, blow
Cause I ain’t playing around
It’s a game called circle and I don’t know how, I’m way too up to back down
But I think I’m still trying to figure this crap out
Thought I had it mapped out but I guess I didn’t, this fucking black cloud
Still follows me around but it’s time to exorcise these demons
These motherfuckers are doing jumping jacks now!

I’m not afraid (I’m not afraid)
To take a stand (to take a stand)
Everybody (everybody)
Come take my hand (come take my hand)
We’ll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just letting you know that you’re not alone
Holler if you feel like you’ve been down the same road (same road)

And I just can’t keep living this way
So starting today, I’m breaking out of this cage
I’m standing up, I’ma face my demons
I’m manning up, I’ma hold my ground
I’ve had enough, now I’m so fed up
Time to put my life back together right now! (now)

It was my decision to get clean, I did it for me
Admittedly, I probably did it subliminally
For you, so I could come back a brand new me you helped see me through
And don’t even realize what you did, ’cause believe me you
I been through the ringer, but they could do little to the middle finger
I think I got a tear in my eye, I feel like the king of
My world, haters can make like bees with no stingers
And drop dead, no more beef lingers
No more drama from now on, I promise
To focus solely on handling my responsibilities as a father
So I solemnly swear to always treat this roof, like my daughters
And raise it, you couldn’t lift a single shingle on it!
Cause the way I feel, I’m strong enough to go to the club
Or the corner pub, and lift the whole liquor counter up
Cause I’m raising the bar
I’d shoot for the moon but I’m too busy gazing at stars
I feel amazing and I’m…

I’m not afraid (I’m not afraid)
To take a stand (to take a stand)
Everybody (everybody)
Come take my hand (come take my hand)
We’ll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just letting you know that you’re not alone
Holler if you feel like you’ve been down the same road (same road)

~

I’m gonna let these lyrics stand on their own. It’s difficult for me to select specific parts that mean more to me than others, but I’ve boldified the ones that touch me the deepest.

Enjoy. And remember; you’re not alone.

5-Day Song Challenge: Day Numero Twovius

So yeah, this was probably supposed to be a consecutive post thingy, yeah? Yeah. As much as I like thingies, I couldn’t post this weekend. I mean, I could have, but yeah. Yeah. A lot of “yeahs” in this post? Had you noticed, or did I just point it out for you and make it worse? …yeah.

I already did the intro and rule thingies in numero the first post. So I’ll get right to today’s song.

Ahem.

Today’s Song(Bet you didn’t see that coming. Cuz I’m suave. Like Rico.)

Feel it Still – Portugal. The Man

This is a new song, and I’m digging the hell out of it. It’s extremely overplayed on a local station, but I don’t mind (yet – I will soon hate the song with the rage of a thousand scorned dragonflies (you thought I was gonna say “women” didn’t you?)).

Have some lyrics in your faceholes. The two little ones that (usually) have eyeballs stuffed in them. The Lyrics:

Can’t keep my hands to myself
Think I’ll dust ’em off, put ’em back up on the shelf
In case my little baby girl is in need
Am I coming out of left field?

Ooh woo, I’m a rebel just for kicks, now
I been feeling it since 1966, now
Might be over now, but I feel it still
Ooh woo, I’m a rebel just for kicks, now
Let me kick it like it’s 1986, now
Might be over now, but I feel it still

Got another mouth to feed
Leave her with a babysitter, mama, call the gravedigger
Gone with the fallen leaves
Am I coming out of left field?

Ooh woo, I’m a rebel just for kicks now,
I been feeling it since 1966, now
Might’ve had your fill, but you feel it still
Ooh woo, I’m a rebel just for kicks, now
Let me kick it like it’s 1986, now
Might be over now, but I feel it still

We could fight a war for peace
(Ooh woo, I’m a rebel just for kicks, now)
Give in to that easy livin’
Goodbye to my hopes and dreams
Stop flipping for my enemies

We could wave until the walls come down
(Ooh woo, I’m a rebel just for kicks now)
It’s time to give a little tip
Kids in the middle, move over ’til it falls
Don’t bother me

Is it coming?
Is it coming?
Is it coming?
Is it coming?
Is it coming?
Is it coming back?

Ooh woo, I’m a rebel just for kicks, yeah
Your love is an abyss for my heart to eclipse, now
Might be over now, but I feel it still

Ooh woo, I’m a rebel just for kicks, now
I’ve been feeling it since 1966, now
Might be over now, but I feel it still
Ooh woo, I’m a rebel just for kicks, now
Let me kick it like it’s 1986, now
Might be over now, but I feel it still
Might’ve had your fill, but you feel it still

~

It feels to me like this song is about quite a few things. I did bold some of the lyrics that I like the most – or are the most meaningful to me.

For the most part, to me it’s a song that has a fun feel and makes me move. As for the lyrics, there are a lot of things and even people about which and whom I can say, “I feel it still.” Might be over now, but I feel it still. I haven’t had my fill.

As for what or whom those things and people may be? I think I’ll keep that bit to myself. For now.

Review(ish): 6 Reasons I’m on the Fence about 13 Reasons Why

Last night, I finished a show called “13 Reasons Why.” Now that it’s all said and done, I’m frankly not sure I should have watched it. And I’m not sure how I feel about it. Did I like it? Not really. Did I hate it? Nah. Too harsh. Did I need to watch it? Not sure. Is it topically important? Yes. Absofuckinglutely. Was said topic handled properly? Sometimes yes. Sometimes no. On the fence here.

Before I begin: If you or someone you know needs help, please reach out. Right now. Right. Fucking. Now. You aren’t alone, and there are people who are fucking eager to help you. Don’t wanna talk to anybody? How about texting? Some awesome people who realize phone calls can be scary have set up a texting crisis line. Go. You’ve got nothing to lose if you’re at that point.

The Premise:

High school girl commits suicide. She leaves thirteen cassette tapes (well, thirteen sides) explaining why she chose to end her life, hence the title. The show follows one particular student as he listens to the tapes, which leads to at least half of the show being presented as flashbacks to when the girl – Hannah Baker – was still alive.

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13 Reasons Why I’m on the Fence (spoilers ahead):

  1. The blame game. No sense in saving this one for last; it needs to be addressed right away. Hannah (and therefore the show) strongly asserts that there are thirteen people responsible for Hannah taking her own life. Not Hannah, the girl who sat down in the bathtub and opened her wrists. Not Hannah, the girl who baited her guidance counselor into failing her. Not Hannah, the girl whose mom asked more than once if anything was wrong. The reason I’m on the fence? Well, that’s easy: it’s realistic. It’s extremely realistic for troubled people, regardless of age and stage in the whole hormones and puberty thing, to seek out people to blame. I think it’s more realistic for us to blame ourselves, but we do point fingers. If only that motherfucker hadn’t… If only she’d listen… If only he’d stay… If only they would pay attention… If only… They all hate me… They’re better off without me… Why do they all treat me like shit?… It’s so. Fucking. Realistic. The problem lies in the fact that teenagers and other people who are in highly susceptible states of mind are watching this show (based off of a book that I didn’t know existed until the end of the show), and they’re thinking…yeah! Fuck those guys! I’ll show them! So where do we draw the line between depicting realistic scenarios and being socially responsible? Do we only show one type of suicidal narrative? Do we avoid it altogether? Do we allow the conversation to occur in all forms? Was the show irresponsible? Or was it honest? Or…was it both? I’d say both. It was honest to the narrative of some and irresponsible to all. Does that mean it should be censored? See what I mean? Fence-rider.
  2. Dangerous implications that are never addressed. There are things shown or implied in the show that never get proper treatment. For example, toward the end, the boy who plays a photographer / stalker is shown stockpiling weapons in a secret compartment at the bottom of a clothing trunk. This is never addressed, but the implications are clear. There isn’t one gun. There are several. And the picture the mind paints in this post-Columbine society is one of an impending black trench coat and a troubled, bullier / bullied boy, going out in a “blaze of glory” in the middle of school, taking out as many students and teachers as he can before he aims the muzzle at his own head. Again, these are conversations that need to be had. The problem is that we are shown one or two images that imply these things, but there is never any discussion about it. It’s merely displayed there and left to you to understand that this is yet another terrible type of fallout from bullying and exploitation.
  3. Soft-core pornification of rape. Two girls in the show are raped: Hannah and her one-time best friend, Jess. As with the previous two points I broached, I’ll also say that this is yet another topic that needs to be addressed. It’s all too often swept under the rug, hidden away as something shameful and secret. So I’m okay with the fact that the show discussed rape, the rape mentality and the conflicted emotions felt by victims and witnesses. What I’m not okay with is the way one scene in particular was drawn out. When it gets to Hannah’s rape, it seemed like the scene would never end. Were producers trying to convey the endlessness of victims’ experiences? Were they trying to make viewers feel as much discomfort as possible without showing rape-porn? Perhaps. And I understand that – we need to be uncomfortable. We need to be confronted with shit we try to hide from; otherwise, it will never be addressed. But the soft lighting? The endless slapping sounds as he took her from behind? The close-up camera zoom on Hannah’s breasts as the perpetrator fondled her and slipped her bra down? Or the zoom on her ass as he pulled her panties down? Was that really fucking necessary? “Hey guys, I need you to get a better shot of her ass! Wait, hang on, there’s not enough tit in this scene! If we’re gonna show a real rape, we need to show WHY THE FUCKING RAPIST WANTED HER?!?!?!” What. The. Fuck. And how long are we supposed to sit there while we watch her body rocking back and forth, back and forth, as she’s being raped? I sincerely think this was mishandled. And that isn’t me saying we shouldn’t talk about rape. We should.
  4. Okay so I’m not done with the blame bit. How many times are we told that Clay, the main character who listens to Hannah’s tapes, is responsible for Hannah’s death? Sometimes he’s told, “We’re all responsible.” Okay, fair enough. Fine. But right before Clay begins his own tape, he asks Tony something like, “Did I kill Hannah Baker?” And Tony tells him that yes, he did kill Hannah Baker. A few fucking minutes into the tape, Hannah says YOU SHOULDN’T BE ON THESE TAPES, CLAY, BECAUSE WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN US WAS MY FAULT. And yet, the narrative through the rest of the damn show is that yes, Clay did kill Hannah Baker. Is being shy, nervous around girls and somewhat introverted a crime? He didn’t kill Hannah Baker; he only hurt her by his inaction sometimes. Yes, he could have stood up for her a couple times. But fucking hell, is there zero room for “mistake” in life? Not according to this show. You so much as breathe around someone who dies the next day, and it’s your fault. Yeah, we need to have discussions about our roles in each others’ lives. About how we treat each other. About compassion and empathy. But you fucking killed Hannah Baker because you left the room AFTER SHE TOLD YOU TO LIKE A HALF-DOZEN TIMES? Piss right off.
  5. The treatment of authority figures. Throughout the show, the students / kids are taught a myriad of lessons. Whether they stick or not isn’t my issue – it’s realistic that most people aren’t gonna fucking change. And it adds to the true story of how horribly we treat each other, and how we all need to do a gut-check. The kids are shown discussing these matters, though. They at least get chances at redemption, telling the viewers that they deserve another chance. The authority figures? Hmm. Let’s see. Over the course of the show, we watch as Hannah’s perception of her parents grows more and more negative, though I will say they are treated the kindest. Them and Clay’s dad (though he is a bit oblivious, but not criminally so). (Oh, and by the way, of fucking course the victim’s parents – victims themselves – are painted with a soft brush. God forbid they have flaws aside from extremely common arguments over finances. No, let’s save the flaws for everyone else in the show – every last one of them are murderers! Until they kill themselves, then Hannah’s parents morph into villains, too.) Alex’s dad, the police officer, has no redeeming qualities. He’s proud that his sons fight people. He let’s them break the law, regularly. He’s constantly looking for a way to escape responsibility, for himself and his boys. Is this realistic? Yeah, for a lot of people it is. But he’s not even a three-dimensional character. There’s no depth to him and no opportunity for reflection or growth. He’s a stock stereotype. (Oh, and by the way? Alex shoots himself in the head at the end of the show. With one of his dad’s guns. AND WE DON’T TALK ABOUT IT AT ALL.) Justin’s mom and her boyfriend, another set of stock stereotypes: abusive, neglectful drug addicts. Yes, these people exist. But in the show – all the kids get a chance to own up to shit they did and change their ways. Repeatedly, in fact. “Oh you won’t be reasonable in this episode? Well, you’ll get a chance IN EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE REMAINING TWELVE EPISODES! Your parents? Man, fuck them. Adults suck.” The guidance counselor? He never fully accepts his responsibility and his role in his students’ lives. Realistic for a lot of people, fine. But again, young and susceptible viewers are validated, “SEE! THIS is EXACTLY why I won’t go see Mr. Smith. Guidance Counselors are a fucking joke. AND SO ARE ALMOST ALL ADULTS IN THE HISTORY OF EVER.” There are a lot of shitty adults. Because, all too often, shitty kids turn into shitty adults. But a show that claims to want to help the suicide epidemic is making it worse by telling kids that adults are useless.
  6. How peaceful they made the act of suicide look. When it came time for Hannah’s suicide scene in the denouement? It shows the whole scene set-up, from start…to finish. And it fucking wrecked me. That part, I’m not gonna take umbrage with. It should have wrecked me. People need to be wrecked to take this shit seriously. It’s fucking serious, and people are in danger. The problem I have is that, once Hannah slits her wrists (which it shows – explicitly), there’s no real demonstration of pain. Maybe there is no pain – maybe she’s too numb and in a state of shock to feel it or express it. But you know what’s fucked up? How g-damn peaceful they made it look. I even thought, “Damn. Maybe…I mean, look how easy that was… WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU, STEPHANIE.” I knew right then they’d fucked that part up. She shivered. Hannah shivered. She fucking shivered, then closed her eyes, slid down a little, and peacefully went to sleep while the bathwater turned a warm shade of pink. Yes, suicide is a private thing. Probably often done in silence. And there’s a complete sense of being abjectly alone. But I think creators of a show like this had a responsibility to make it not look like you’re TAKING A FUCKING NAP IN THE BATHTUB. Look. Just LOOK at how EASY it is: a momentary wince and then a nice little nap. <—THAT is irresponsible.

You know what? I’ve just talked myself out of almost any redeeming quality about this show. It’s irresponsible and dangerous. Hell, I knew what it was about going in – and my reaction when it was over? “I should not have watched that show.” I even said that same thing to two people: “I should not have watched that show. I really shouldn’t have watched it.” I was a fucking wreck. And I’m a grown-ass woman with at least like, one or two coping mechanisms. And it fucked me up at the end. I can’t imagine what it’s doing to kids. No, I won’t go so far as to say: ban it. Not gonna do it. But is the show irresponsible? Fucking right it is.

P.S. I’m fine now, by the way. At least from the effects of the show. I’m more concerned with the impact it’s having on kids – or adults who aren’t currently strong enough to fight.

 

5-Day Song Challenge: Day the First (Or: Slow Cheetahs are not faster than me.)

The awesome Rob at The V-Pub invited me to do a song-a-day challenge thingy. And since I love songs. And thingies. I decided to participate. Plus, it gives me extra incentive to actually show up every day for five days straight. What! To think I once posted every day for like forty days. Who was THAT person?

Anyhoodles. I love – and agree with – what Rob says about music: “It’s something that speaks to individuals in different ways. It’s universal and paradoxically personal.” Yes. That. Yes.

So. Yes. Rules. How I love thee, rules. (Did you hear that? I just snorted.)

Rule Thingies:
Post a song a day for five consecutive days. (Oh shit.)
Post what the lyrics mean to you. (Optional. Sweet. I like options. And crawfish. Damnit, I miss crawfish. Oops.)
Post the name of the song and video. (Not optional. Come on, dudes. This is supposed to be the easy part.)
Nominate 1 or 2 bloggers each day of the challenge. (Fuck.)

Today’s Song

Slow Cheetah – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Yep. Gotta start off with my current favorite Peppers song. (Peppers favorites shift for me. But right now, it’s Slow Cheetah.) Have a listen and take a look at the lyrics, and you’ll see why.

The Lyrics:

Waking up dead inside of my head
Will never never do there is no med
No medicine to take

I’ve had a chance to be insane
Asylum from the falling rain
I’ve had a chance to break

It’s so bad it’s got to be good
Mysterious girl misunderstood
Dressed like a wedding cake

Any other day and I might play
A funeral march for Bonnie Brae
Why try and run away

Slow cheetah come
Before my forest
Looks like it’s on today

Slow cheetah come
It’s so euphoric
No matter what they say

I know a girl
She worked in a store
She knew not what
Her life was for
She barely knew her name

They tried to tell her
She would never be
As happy as the girl
In the magazine
She bought it with her pay

Slow cheetah come
Before my forest
Looks like it’s on today

Slow cheetah come
It’s so euphoric
No matter what they say

Everyone has
So much to say
They talk talk talk
Their lives away
Don’t even hesitate

Walking on down
To the burial ground
It’s a very old dance
With a merry old sound
Looks like it’s on today

Slow cheetah come
Before my forest
Looks like it’s on today

Slow cheetah come
It’s so euphoric
No matter what they say

Slow cheetah come
Before my forest
Looks like it’s on today

Slow cheetah come
It’s so euphoric
No matter what they say

~

I’ve added emphasis to the lyrics that resonate the most with me and, therefore, mean the most and hit me the hardest.

I’m not one to look up song meanings. I’d rather listen. Feel. Soak. On my own. I don’t want someone telling me what the takeaway is. Not even the singer/songwriter. Music is so deeply personal, and lyrics are so often the poetry of my soul.

I don’t need someone to tell me that Slow Cheetah is about being: lost, adrift, alone, aimless, pointless, worthless. And fucking numb and over it all. It’s…euphoric. Right? No matter what they say. And I sure as hell don’t need someone telling me that not what it’s about. Even if it really isn’t. After all…everyone has so much to say, they talk talk talk their lives away. But this song…is deeply personal to me. And for me, it has become about survival in spite of myself, no matter what they say.

Because this is one of the many songs I attribute to saving my life. Even on days when I barely knew my name, this and countless other songs spoke me in the dark. Made me feel seen. Understood. Part of something – even a dark something – and therefore less alone. Not alone. I’ve had a chance to break, so I took that chance – even against my will – and I’m still. Fucking. Here. And no matter what the fucking predatory depression says or does…I’m not alone.

No matter what they say.

First Comes Pinball, Then Comes The Fuckening

One of my new favorite things to do is go to a barcade. It’s a place for grownups, where distinguished ladies and gentlemen meet up to…whoop each others’ asses at arcade games, while getting nice and toasty on beer (ahem: cider for me, please) and sharing some sloppy-ass nachos (not to be confused with sloppy ass-nachos).

Louisiana girl here had never heard of barcades before. (Do y’all call ’em barcades? Cuz that’s just me doing my portmanteau thing. But I bet I’m not the first on this one.) One of my date people person dudes took me to one, and I’ve been hooked ever since. You wanna see The Stephanie in full form – giggling, talking smack, cursing and laughing and choking on cider, raising fists into the air – in either victory or defeat (people are SUCH cheaters, I swear) – take her to a barcade.

I’ve only been twice now, but I will be going back. With sacks of quarters (hehe she said sacks), a 15-year-old mentality and a winning streak itching to be released. Hashtag suckmytopscorebitches.

The second time I went was just a couple of weeks back, and it kickstarted a wave of drama that I semi-anticipated but am still supremely disappointed by. People are such brainless dickwhistles. It would be fun to watch them running around, scratching their heads (you know, the ones between their legs) and launching all sorts of wild accusations…if I weren’t one half of the target.

A former coworker (from Louisiana – formerly known as P. Whipped right here on Stephellaneland) and semi-friend was passing through Portland. He was on an epic Road Trip slash Personal Quest slash Work Assignment, and he messaged me on his last night in Portland – letting me know he was in town, asking if I’d be interested in meeting up for drinks. I’m like, dude. Dude, Yeah! Where’s the fire! I told him about the barcade, and he was down. Because DUH BARCADE.

We met there, and I commenced to smashing him on pinball and old-school arcade games. He cheated a few times and “won.” We had drinks and laughs and traded stories about the shitty stuff that lead us each to begin our Personal Quests. He took a selfie of us – aka The Selfie Heard Round the World. And then? You guessed it. He posted in on Facebook. Made it a public post so the whole world can see it.

So. Fucking. What.

Right?

Wrong.

Because apparently, nowadays, first comes pinball, then comes marriage the fuckening. Back in Douchetown, Louisiana, I’m becoming known as the girl who banged Anklebiter’s fiance relationship detritus that she threw away for the dude she was (allegedly) cheating with. What. On Earth. Gave them that idea?

Why, the smiling selfie taken in a barcade on “Henry’s” last night in Portland, of course! Nevermind the fact that we were at the same shindig maybe three times when I still lived in Douchetown. Nevermind the fact that I didn’t think the dude even knew my name before that night. NEVERFUCKINGMIND the fact that PINBALL shouldn’t imply that I was interested in playing with HISBALLS.

For fucks sake, what is wrong with people? I had two ciders. He had about five crown & cokes. We played arcade games for about 2 hours, then chatted for about an hour. He gave me a hug just before I walked back to my car and drove back to my apartment, and he took an über back to his hotel. He left the entire state the next morning. And guess what? I don’t owe that explanation to anyone.

But nooooo. I’m a homewrecker (in a situation where there is no home to wreck). A PINBALL PLAYING WHOREMOUTH. I need a Scarlet P. I’ll sew it onto my homewrecker cape, right above my high score. And a new selfie of me flipping off Senorita Anklebiter and her minions.

Signed,
The Pinball Prostitute

*Thanks to Tikeetha for reminding me of this gem. I used to go around singing it, but I’d forgotten about it somewhere along the way. Highly appropriate for today!

 

Settling In

Work is an asshole. Not as big of an asshole as previous work, with Queen Bitch Extraordinaire. But Queen Bitch Lite still makes for an asshole environment. And since we share a cube wall, I have far more asshole contact than a proctologist. Settling in here looks like: scouring the job boards between writing assignments and interviewing managerial candidates as a side thing I’ve been doing for a different department.

Words are hard. It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be: writing for a living. No, the job isn’t particularly difficult. But it’s tough as hell to write well and consistently about businessy stuff, especially while immersed in cubeland with several chicks all on the phone at once. And then, when it’s all said and done…personal words fail me more and more, and I’m left feeling empty and quiet. I need to figure out how to work through that. But so far, I’m still settling in.

Relationships are harder. Though I’ve been “putting myself out there” more, I find myself actually isolating a great deal. I’ve pushed a lot of people away (you here, my WordPress family, were the first…), including people that I know I really hurt in doing so. Depression, anxiety, blahblah, etc. makes us do things that aren’t good for us. Or others. And I’m not even gonna bother saying I’ll try harder. I’ll just take each day as it comes. And dating. I’ve been dating. Some dates have been stellar. Most have been less than. Far less than. Far. Far. Less than. Okay, borderline lock those motherfuckers up less than. And now there’s this nice boy. Really…nice. But there’s no fire. In the belly. In the mind. In the anything. I’ve never been treated so nicely. Or felt less fire. What does it mean? What do I do with that? The fires never stay. They leave, usually with a trail of destruction in their wake. But damn do they keep you warm while they stick around. And damned if I can’t stop thinking about those fires. Longing for them, even. Why can’t there be a nice fire? Anyway. I’m settling in. With myself. My thoughts. My goals, that I still haven’t figured out. But I’m settling in with them, stewing over them, nursing them, weighing them.

Apartment life is sad. I’m so glad I got out of the psychohouse. Those people seriously need some special kinda help. But now I’m in this mostly-empty apartment. A free couch I found on craigslist, and a mattress. It makes me a bit sad and uncomfortable to be there, so I try to stay out as much as I can. At least on the weekends when I’m not working or tutoring. Parks. Gardens. Concerts. Comedy shows. Poetry stuffs. Spoken word. Pubs. Pinball. Markets. Tulip festivals. This one is more of a trying to settle in. But it’s gonna take a while.

This post sounds mostly kinda pathetic. Probably because I’ve been dealing with Queen Bitch Lite all day. She’s totally PMSing or something, and Stephellaneous is ready to cut a bitch.

So..this is me..peeking my head out. Wanting to write, but feeling drained of words from writing all day at work.

I don’t show it…but I miss y’all. And shit is actually a fuckton better than it was in Louisiana. But I’ve still got a lot of settling in to do.