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End Of The Year Blogs Still Suck
End of the year, children. Another fine year of writing for you cats and kittens. Hopefully I didn’t disappoint every week. Just some weeks. They all can’t be winners, can they. This is blog number 330, and although I haven’t posted each one (some of them will live forever in mysterious obscurity on my hard drive), it still means that with three more blogs, I’ll be a third of the way to a thousand. There’s something exciting about that, isn’t there? No? Yeah, well, that’s the best I got. Let’s move on. This is how my year shaped up.
2011 was a bum year for super villains, wasn’t it. Yeah, the world lost some evil motherfuckers, and regardless of your political stance, we have to at least come close to agreeing that the world is a better place without them. We also (and by we I mean the world, I guess) lost some people whom the average, uneducated youth of America could probably more easily recognize than the terrorists and dictators who’ve met their grizzly ends. Jane Russell, Elizabeth Taylor, Nate Dogg (whoever that is), Randy Savage, Dr. Jack Kevorkian, Joe Frazier, Steve Jobs, Patrice O’Neal, and of course the Slovak football player (soccer) Jan Poplihar. Deaths of the year lists always make me feel old. They always include at least one or two people from my youth. Like, Randy Savage? Are you serious? I mean, that’s sad and tragic and all of that, but man, how old am I? OK, that’s pretty insensitive. Let’s get off the dead people.
There were a bunch of kick ass records that I’ve enjoyed this year. New records from Primus, Otep, Motorhead, Megadeth, Machine Head, Cavalera Conspiracy, Bootsy Collins, Amorphis, (figuring out how to sneak the new Adele in here without looking like a sissy), and Devildriver. My favorite record of this year, though, is probably “Last Night On Earth” by Elysian Fields. It’s a gorgeous jazz, indie, poetically dark New York scene vocal beauty. I’ve been a fan of them for a long time, and this record is really something special. Go check it out. The new Megadeth, “Th1rt3en” is fantastic too, and “Unto The Locust” by Machine Head oughtn’t be missed either.
You kids also know that I’m into movies, and I’ve watched an obscene amount of blu-rays this year too. I don’t go to the theatre for reasons I can’t explain. Mainly because I don’t know why I don’t go to the theatre. I think the last flick I saw in the theatre was “Tron: Legacy” with Dan. We were two of about eight people in the theatre. Dan was wearing his Olive Garden uniform, and I was trying to figure out how to wear the 3D glasses over my real glasses so that they wouldn’t dig into the bridge of my nose. All the while, like an asshole child, Dan was ducking during the trailers saying things like, “It’s like it’s really there!” and “It really is the third dimension!” just to be a dickhead. Some of the highlights of my movie watching this year included “The Perfect Host,” “I Saw The Devil,” “Captain America,” “Hobo With A Shotgun,” “X-Men: First Class” (despite what my friend Dee thinks. He doesn’t read this shit anyway, right asshole?), and “Monsters.” I did well with the blind buying this year. Of course, there were some regrettable blind buys like “Red Riding Hood,” which was nearly unwatchable. In case you’re keeping score, “The King’s Speech” won this year’s best picture (didn’t see it), Natalie Portman won for “Black Swan,” (didn’t see it), “Toy Story 3” won for best animated (saw it and cried like a girl), and “God Of Love” won for best live action short film (didn’t see it).
I got a Nook this year (and one of my books will be available on it as soon as Isz and Steph get my a cover photo; that’s right, I’m calling you out, my lovely little indecisive ladies), so I’ve read some great stuff. Red Dragon, Silence Of The Lambs, and Hannibal, all by Thomas Harris; Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs; A Scanner Darkly and Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick; John Dies At The End by David Wong; Children Of Men by P.D. James; and Cobb by Al Stump. I also started Imajica by Clive Barker, Hannibal Rising by Thomas Harris, Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis, and a reread of Lord Of The Flies by William Golding, and American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. The Nook has been a great little technological addition to my life. Dan had to tell me to stop bringing it to gigs and reading in between sets. I’d have liked to read more this year, buy I only got the bookreader in May or June. I plan to read more this year. That’s one of those resolution things that everyone forgets they made when they wake up on January first at three in the afternoon after a night out celebrating the new year’s coming in a blaze of glorious drinking and promiscuity. Yay tradition!
The highlight of my year was actually two things. The first was the first date with my current girlfriend Nanci. Our first date was January fifteenth, and the fresh and beautiful getting-to-know-you bliss of meeting someone has very much yet to dissipate. She is beautiful and wonderful and the most perfect compliment to my quiet insanity. Without her, this year would have been one of the more difficult of my life. She’s taught me that I deserve happiness too, that I am allowed to be loved for who I am, that I am much more than a pair of broken legs, that sharing and knowing feelings and bothers and joys and miseries helps to share my Atlas stone. Her arms are great and wonderfully strong things to take from my shoulders my stone, and hopefully, I’ve done for her a third of what she’s done for me. This is going to be one of those long term things, so be prepared to hear about her a lot, kids. Also, she bellydances and knits, so I’ve learned a lot about those this year. She doesn’t do them at the same time, though. I bet she could. That would be a sight to see. That’s got Coney Island Freakshow written all over it.
The other highlight of my year (which is a dumb thing to say because one has to be higher light than the other, right?) is that my grandmother is still alive. Some time in 2010, my grandmother, the most beautiful woman alive, was discovered with stage four cancer of the lungs and other organs. Last Christmas (not last week, but in 2010) was one of the most emotionally difficult moments of my life, as with my family gathered around, we all cried as my grandmother poured about how that would be the last Christmas she’ll have and how she doesn’t want to die. She saw last week’s Christmas and she isn’t dead, and I’ve never been happier that someone I love was as wrong as can be. God blessed us with at least another year of her life, and though I am very much one of those people who say that if you want to be dead, you ought to let death come with his vapor breath and scythe and cloak and not delay the inevitable since the last years are ones that seem the least pleasant. That theory works fine for myself, I think, but I am glad my beautiful grandmother and family think my theory is absurd and wrong. I love her very much, and this year’s difficulty with chemotherapy and radiation and bad weeks and good weeks and tiredness and abandoning familiar life behaviors is very much outweighed by my grandmother at the dinner table saying, “Come talk to your grandmother. You have nothing to say? Well, think of something and then tell me.”
Also, with my grandmother’s decay and my own erosion into a further circle of handicap hell, my mother has been the most firm pillar of strength anyone has ever seen. My old man was forced into retirement as well, and my mother has taken the reigns of an out of control stagecoach and steered it into a normalcy and peaceful doing. She is the strongest person alive, taking on her shoulders the burdens of a thousand people. She methodically and quietly gets shit done. I can’t imagine her watching her own mother fight for life, her son fall to biological pieces further every day, manage her daughter’s wedding, succeed at her job, take over a new role in the household with my father’s retirement, and still remember a passing conversation with my girlfriend about a lost bracelet to where she buys one like it for her for Christmas. I’ve never seen my mom without a shirt on (which in thirty-one years of life, I’m glad about), but I am certain she has wings hidden because she is an angel.
So that’s my year in a nutshell, or more accurately, a boring blog. Hopefully you cats and kittens read some of my shit and looked at things differently for at least a moment or two. Hopefully you’ve seen some beauty you’d otherwise have not seen. Hopefully you have passed along to a stranger the gift of beauty that he didn’t realize that he had hidden beneath years of other corrosive shit. I’m no sage or prophet or even a relevant voice in the grand scheme. But I think I know what beauty is from years of thinking it didn’t exist in me, and I hope that this, another year of my shooting my face off about it helped you cats and kittens see that without having to have the doubt in it that I had. I’ll take care of the doubt if you guys take care of getting the word out that we are all beautiful. If I’ve convinced two people in all of this passed year, then we’ve had a good year.
Stay beautiful, kids. Stick to your resolutions if you make them, and try to make realistic ones. ‘Becoming King Of The Moon’ is not a very achievable resolution. Or maybe it is. Just remember that I can play music, so I’ll be a moon court minstrel in your moon kingdom. Don’t behead me when you take power. I’ll even wear the hat with bells on it and the funny shoes. I’m drawing the line at the tights, though. What a waste of a conclusion paragraph. See you all at the turn of the year. Stay beautiful, kids.
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