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Fat Tuesday

Wednesday, February 9

It wasn’t because it was “Fat Tuesday,” even though some of the drunken voicemails that I left will quote me saying, “Because it’s Fat Tuesday, Fucker!” It was an excuse to interact a little bit. I’ve been so reclusive of late, and there was no better reason to leave the house than to see debauchery. Boobs for beads -- someone deserves knighthood, a holiday, or at least a street named after him [because it had to have been a guy] for that idea.

We went to the
Bassa Vita Lounge to see some improvisational comedy [it’s been this kick for me]. Well it was all right -- it was like bad choir, drama club, flag-core rejects, and other people trying to find other alternatives to Ritalin. There were a couple of moments of real comedic genius but a lot of times it’s like watching someone in an embarrassing moment, and then their embarrassment bleeds onto you, and then you feel embarrassed for watching this train accident that they call a career [God, I’m such a hater]. Honestly, the only thing that made the night go by easier was the cute bartender and the Jack and cokes.

We stayed as long as we could, and then we went off to the
House of Blues -- as advertised, “We Got Your Fat Tuesday Right Here.” Well, maybe it didn’t say that, but you get the idea. We got inside and it was all right -- it looked like something straight out of the Roxbury with the bad DJ and the fuchsia lights. It was filled with people that looked like they’ve been legally drinking for 8 hours. The other half looked like stragglers from a poser Harley Davidson Gang or fat salesmen lost in Cleveland. It was sad -- not like “Schindler’s List” sad, like “Cool As Ice” sad. We stayed -- then we decided to leave, then we went to another venue called the Spotted Dog -- I’d add a link, but it’s like someone’s basement with a lot of booze and someone’s hot mother serving the drinks. That pretty much sums it up. Some scary white trash drunks, some ugly white girls with black guys [why can’t they tell they’re ugly, those were the saddest white trophies]. It was a place that made me feel pretty. But I digress -- we stayed for a bit and then left, and today I woke up with a wicked hangover.

This is usually where I add my epiphany on social havens, but I’m not. Nights like this make me appreciate my friends a little more, and I feel a bit of regret for not taking advantage of the time that we had together when we were all a little younger and closer. Making strangers and acquaintances into manageable friends -- that’s what we’re doing these days. Bartenders, club bullies, and emotional drunks -- no wonder everybody is switching to coffee these days.

I Might Regret This Later

Tuesday, February 8
My father said, “I think the best course for you is California.” And I’ve thought about it -- I’ve even looked into UCLA and USC for an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. No it’s not a M.B.A. or Law Degree [both things I have looked into in the past], but more importantly it is a direction. But I’m leaning away from it -– not the degree, but the geography even though there are quality people residing there.

Get money, they said -- it will make you happy. I did but the happiness probably came from the booze and jet lag.
Get a house, they said -- it’s a great investment. But I find myself just getting things to cover up the blank walls and the empty space. New bills like gas line repairs. New chores like shoveling a driveway that has a grass divider. Cutting the grass every few days because it just won’t stop raining. Remembering that it’s trash day –- Lord, I miss apartment complex dumpsters.
Now they say, go to California -- it will make me happy, and forgive me when I question it. It might be because it doesn’t feel like my own idea.

But worst yet, I have these fears that I might be going out there for the wrong reasons –- for fear that it might be for Jennifer. Even though we’ve decided to be only friends, but then those sad clichés ring in your ears: What if we had a second chance? What if things were different? What if you were here or I was there? What if? I hate “what ifs,” they make you believe you’re a failure for not bending. They make you feel like you’re being punished. They make you feel like your own life isn’t good enough. And then slowly, without your own knowledge, you begin to choke yourself on these “what ifs” that have linked themselves together, making its way over the support beam, and crocheting a loop.
It’s difficult to be content –- let alone happy with yourself when you find yourself just pleasing other people. Then to abandon that notion and then ask yourself –- what makes you happy, even though your happiness may tread on the happiness of others? And simply, it is to be honest with yourself and not to sound cliché, special, or even worse –- a good person. What is it that I want? I’d like to be a writing teacher –- to give what my teachers gave me. To feed off of them, the way they would feed off of me: a symbiotic, academic relationship. I have come to the realization that as much as I need knowledge and direction, it is equally as important to me to give knowledge and direction. That’s what I realized when I stopped “blogging” or even writing –- that the things I knew and needed to be said weren’t being said, maybe I was afraid of being judged or criticized, but holding ideas inside and not being forthcoming hurts me more than someone that had a moment of self-righteousness. Everyone can think what I say or do is stupid –- it is their God-given right. Destroyers, deconstructionist, critics, killers, reviewers, purists, and hard-core fans –- people that think they all know better, but it might be the simple fact that what you’re doing does not fit in the scope of what they understand and know. What you are is beyond them. To branch out –- you’re a sell out. To say your peace –- you’re stupid, you’re wrong, what you’re doing is not the right inside my world. That’s all it is –- to do something that people disagree with takes courage, to say it takes will, and sometimes when they judge you it might be advise, but it might envy because within this life – they lacked the courage to live their own life by their own accordance, they lived life by what was expected of them. And in this life – I fail many, many, many times, but I will walk the path not paved, but the road I have set down for myself.

The Secret to Great Reality TV

Wednesday, February 2
Did you know it is possible to shed 20 lbs in 24 hours? I didn’t either, until I saw my new favorite show in the world: The Ultimate Fighter. Let me explain –- it has what every good reality TV show really needs:

1. Confessionals: Because guys that want to be in the UFC must have brilliant things to say in their TV journals.
2. Competition among already easily agitated people: Because cage matches attract inner, reflective people.
3. A small living environment: A caged octagon [an eight cornered ring – even though a ring is circular and has no corners].
4.Physical challenges that includes Mixed Martial Arts, Kickboxing, Brazilian jujitsu, Submission Wrestling, and Boxing.
5. An elegant dismissal ritual, which includes two 5-minute rounds in which the winner is declared through knockout or submission.
6. And did I mention blood and vicious beatings.

But back to the point, a man can shed 20 lbs in 24 hours -- it’s called cutting weight and it pertains to water weight. This competitor was weighed in and was declared “too heavy” so he went into a sauna with a plastic suit [that made him sweat even more] as he rode a bicycle. He shed 20 lbs and then had to compete in a fight, in which he knocked the shit out of some crazed hillbilly.

But the epiphany -- if there were no blood and the men weren’t being revived with smelling salts and carried off in stretchers, this would all look pretty gay.

Rambling M[Tr]an

Conversations [for me] are difficult, because I’m horrible at “The Art of Bullshit.” I hate disposable discussions. I hate talking about the weather, God, and Iraq. I don’t want to trade quips on economic reform or dirty my hands with anything that has to do with gallop polls. I hate deconstructionists and “The O’ Reilly Factor.”

So maybe I’m just good at rambling.

But even if it is rambling, there’s something comforting in it. When you talk to someone new -- you get to tell the important stories all over again, and then you do a self-assessment: Are you still that person? Is that dream still in your wallet, decomposing? Like a man that has experienced a bullet whizzing by him and then he conducts a checklist for genitalia, face, and chest [in that order]. Are things, are you, still in order?

It’s freeing -- that biographical, 3-hour talk before I left for California [but at least it was after 9PM]. The conversation in Huntington Beach, Barnes & Nobles in the self-help section about “what ifs” and “the importance of being remembered fondly,” or the talk about you actually doing the “Anus Monologues” because you might finally have enough material for it. The questions you had about what strippers were really like just after discussing the works of Billy Collins and John Tarrant.

My friends -- my confidants, just collages of secrets, bad jokes, and embarrassing moments. It’s all I have of them, pieces from emails, packages, and phone calls. Living life in segments instead of single thread.

Life would be easier if there were more of you all, and less miles in-between.

Currently Spinning: Garden State SDTRK