Sunday, April 26, 2009

Pink Eye Flowers

So there's this wise saying type thing that goes something like "It's a family tradition to cut the ends off of the family ham every Christmas, we've been doing it for years--as long as I can remember. One year, Christmas was being held at my house and so I finally had the opportunity to ask grandma where this family tradition came from. She said "Well dear, I used to cut the ends off every year because my pan was too small to fit the whole ham in!""
It recently came to my attention that my family and I have one of these situations. Since I was BORN I believed that this certain type of desert flower, the "apricot desert mallow" caused pink eye. All throughout our childhood, my siblings and I called them "the pink eye flowers" and stayed away from them like they were poison; we knew that if they touched our eyes, we were doomed with swelling and puffy pink eye embarassment for weeks.
My brother has been into landscaping for quite a few years now and he informed me one day recently that those flowers we'd been fearing since childhood were nothing to be afraid of. They were completely harmless and often times used in desert landscaping. It was a really odd feeling and hard to break the sense of forbidding that the flowers held, it was like rejecting a fact of life. You breathe. Check. Geese fly in V's. Check. Pink eye flowers give you pink eye. Check. Yesterday while sneaking into a small nature preserve in Phoenix, Richard and I encountered the apricot mallow. I decided to tell my fears to eff off and grabbed the head of a flower and rubbed it vigorously around both of my eyes. It gave me a sense of defiance against my mom and all the bullshit she fed us (intentionally and unintentionally). Felt good.

A Quacking Package Deal

Him: "I don't think I've ever seen a duck caged up in a trailer before. Have you?"

Me: "Well not usually caged up, but yea, once or twice."

Him: "Don't you think that's a little...weird?"

[I extend my hand and give him a firm shake]

Me: "Welcome to the family."

Friday, April 24, 2009

'90's Alternative Rockness Monster

There are certain songs that make me feel fuzzy. In this post, I shall speak of those songs which are '90's alternative (mostly). I guess it's because that was my "growing up" time when I just started getting into music and it felt good to turn on the radio that I have such an affinity for these songs. I was even able to sit through those annoying car commercials. BLOW OUT SALE! YOUR HOME HOME HOME OF THE $1 INSTALLATION! THIS WEEKEND ONLY! BLAHHHHHHH! Obviously my tolerance has waned. I am a compulsive station changer.
Most of these songs make me feel the same feeling, which I can't quite put my finger on but to say "longing", "wholesome", "sincere", "comfortable." What is this feeling I'm feeling? Here is my mini list:

Blind Melon-Soup
The Verve Pipe-The Freshman
Gin Blossoms-Hey Jealousy
The Shins-New Slang
Dave Matthews-Crash
Matchbox 20-Push
Goo Goo Dolls-Slide
Toad the Wet Sprocket-Something's Always Wrong
Foo Fighters-My Hero

I know they're not particularly unique, I'll even admit some might be a tad played out. I'm not the type to get crazy into knowing all kinds of teensy band names and songs like Stinky Monkey Ball or Squeak Beak and the Dingo Punchers. (If you have a band, please name your songs these names. That'd be awesome.) When I hear something I like, I like it. These are kind of reflective of the beginning of my love of music. They have a little room in my heart, third door on the left. Feel free to drop by some time, I'll leave the light on for ya.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Copper Blur

These are our kitchen canisters (sugar, coffee, tea) which we ran across at an antique shop in downtown Phoenix (maybe Cucumberz on 7th Ave/Indian School?). I really like the richness of the color copper. Blur has a strange appeal. As I tend to be obsessive, our entire kitchen has run rampant with with copper: Canisters, bread box, hanging overhead light, antique cake serving tray with top. I dig it.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Goldie's Genocide

I think it's time to write this down. I remember my childhood in fuzzy clips, I think the most impacting things stayed with me, but attempting to remember the rest is like holding a handful of sand in the ocean. It just doesn't stay with me.
This particular memory comes around the time I was probably between 6 and 8 years old. We had a dog named Goldie and she'd had a litter of puppies; it was the middle of the sweltering summer and so she had them under the trailer where it was coolest. We kept climbing under there through the spiders and dirt on our elbows and taking them out and putting them in the dog house. We wanted to watch her and make sure they didn't get dirt up their noses and suffocate and so on. Well, the back and forth went on for about three rounds and finally we locked her in the dog pen and put the baby pups in the little white plywood dog house with her; we made sure she had lots of water and we put a fan in the dog house so the air would circulate and it wouldn't be so hot. It was probably in the 110's or 115's. This is undoubtedly one of my most tragic memories. We locked her up so she couldn't protect her pups and keep them cool. I went out to check on them the following afternoon and the whole litter was laying in there with Goldie, every last puppy was dead. She was just laying there with them, panting, looking at me. I don't recall ever feeling such remorse as I felt then, even to this day. I ran and told my mom and she came out and tried to resuscitate them, she put her mouth around their tiny muzzles and breathed in and she was crying and I was beyond crying but there was no saving them.
I have always felt responsible for the genocide of those little babies. I just couldn't leave them alone under the trailer where she knew they had most chance of survival. We locked her up in the dog pen and they suffered a terrible scorching death. Every time I think about it I still cry.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Local Scene Sarcasm & Booty Pains

So an old buddy of mine from hyke skewl (ahhhh!) asked me to write a quarterly column for a local music newsletter he's putting together (and funding!). I am not the type to do things that aren't completely based on my selfish interests or do things that require me to meet deadlines and be "working on" a project. I just feel...icky. Intimidated. I procrastinate. I refuse to edit and re-edit. I sit down, slam crap out at my own will and then that's how it stays. Needless to say, this isn't the standard protocol for writing a column in a newsletter with deadlines and printers and particular times that it comes out. I'm feeling overwhelmed. I'm supposed to be interviewing some local bands too, but I've never actually conducted an "interview" before, so I'm kinda just being a turd and trying to take the easy way out.
Why is he so accepting and overruling of my feeble attempts at flaking out?! I told him he should find someone else, someone who appreciates or even LIKES the local AZ music scene. I told him I suck as a human being. You know what he says? He says "I know, and that's why we're friends. We smell our own. Write me up something in your whimsical intelligent way and sent it to me" That sonofabitch leaves me no loopholes! I kind of appreciate it because it's going to be fun, but new things involving people I don't know make me uncomfortable.
To get the monkey off my back, last night I spewed out something "whimsical" about the local music scene that wasn't very nice, but got the point across. I can complain about anything. Writing objective, intelligent, observant material? I smell a challenge in the air.

I also joined LA Fitness on Tuesday. My ass, legs and thighs would only hurt more than this if they were being dismembered, breaded, fried, and served to a large family with grubby children. We are on day two of creaky walking and groaning when getting into and out of vehicles. Hurts so good.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

FAFSA & Barack

I finally filled out my first whole FAFSA form, which I have began to fill out for the last three years and been stopped up at the parental information so I just clicked out of it instead of attempting to locate that information. I am an idiot. I could have been going to school for a much reduced cost the last several years if I hadn't bummed out. Dumb dumb dumb. Well, we're here now and hopefully I will get some dough so I can go to school! Holy crap that'd be cool! And it's long over due. I could have already been working on a Masters degree right now; I don't even have an Associates. Shiesh. Well, today is a new day!
Obama also got me an extra $25.00 on my pay check by lowering taxes. Thanks, Barack. You can be a pretty swell guy sometimes.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

All My Ex's Live in Texas

So, my mom took off on Sunday evening back to Texas. I can't say I blame her. I can't say I'm not relieved. Things were getting shittier and shittier. She drinks a lot more when she's here. She has much more free access to other drugs while she's there. Ah, I guess it's selfish but I'd just rather not see any of it. I can't help her, she won't do shit for herself and it was only a matter of time before she left. She used up all her resources, stayed at all the places she could stay and stretched the limits until there was no one left to take her in. She sure as hell can't live with me or my brother. We live too well and drama free for her. She needs her bullshit going on. She would have been finding homeless people and letting them in our house like she did at grandpa's house and Aunt Deb's trailer. I'd rather not find some tweaked out bum taking a shit in my bathroom or making a sandwich with dirty hands in the lunch meat.
As with most things involving my mom, it came without warning. She called at 8:30AM on Monday and told me that Dave had driven down and he was picking her up and taking her and Moose back to Texas. She's got animals there to take care of, so I'm sure she'll be happy and kept busy enough to drown out at least a little of the pull to drugs and drinking and blah blah blah. Sure won't be as interesting without her around though.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

4th of July

I took this photo on July 4th, 2008. I realize you can see that from that hideous photo date stamp, but I felt some unnecessary need to reiterate. Anyway, this is my little demon niece, Jenna. She looks like a little Satan spawn here and that's kind of awesome because it's true. The closer I look, the more I like this one. I'd like to do some cropping and blow it up.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


First it picks off the bad ones, the pre-fucked up ones that were destined to be just another skiddie in the drawers of society anyway. Those whose parents didn't care or didn't have time to care so they took refuge with a family of like minded friends. The like mindedness is what brings them together and they feel invincible and vulnerable all wrapped up into a neat, hollow faced fuck up. No one takes notice because this is to be expected. This was too easy.
Now it gets bored, needs a challenge. It starts showing up at parties where you just expected the usual underage drinking, instead the group now includes young jittery kids sticking their fingers in their noses asking when the dealer man is gonna get there-you couldn't be more than 20, kid, what are you doing here? They take it into the next room, a whole pack leaves at once and with finger-up-his-nose kid you know they can't be doing much else in there.
There's another guy I'd seen before, leaning against a wall and stalking the back rooms and garages every chance he gets. His nose is huge. I can't help but think of a vortex swirling up and making a tiny tornado every time he snorts. This kid gets anxious and I know he's at the top of the list of toothless 30 year olds that fidget their mouths too much and sniffle like it's going out of style. He mumbles "if he's not gonna show up, I might as well get punched in the balls and go home." I internally shudder.
I didn't know these kids. When it strikes someone you know and once had an affection for, it should be like a change. I only tried once to talk to him. Never saw him again after that. "It's stronger than you" is all I kept saying. 'Course I was drunk, but I did what I could. He said he knew it was stronger, but he didn't care. He was having fun. I wanted to grab him by the shoulders and shake him.
I didn't feel a loss, but an old reminder coming back around. Made me think of you in the back room with the TV blaring and me traipsing in at a towering twelve years old to tell you and your friends to "shut up and go to sleep, we have school in the morning!"
It's got you all by the balls, and holding tight. It is stronger than you.

(Listening to: Deftones-Change in the House of Flies)