Marriage Isn’t For You

Marriage Isn’t For You:

So recently in my facebook feed, a lot of people have been sharing this blog entry titled “Marriage isn’t for you” (Link to the blog above): Women mostly. With comments like: “THIS. OMG.” etc.

So I clicked on it. Basically this dude wrote a Nicholas Sparks themed blog post that I’m sure he meant very much except that I took great exception to it. You see in his post he says:

1. Marriage isn’t for you. It’s for the other person.

2. Marriage is for your future family

3.Marriage isn’t for selfish people.

Here’s my problem. I AM SELFISH. So is my wife. We are artists, who often alienate ourselves from each other and the public. So yeah I guess that makes us selfish people.

When I got with Brea, everything made sense. I finally understood why it didn’t work with anyone else. It was because as a selfish person, I was going through the wrong compromised motions becoming  unhappy and it made all my previous relationships terrible because I was a monster trying to live in the village so to speak.

Then I got with Brea, who let me be myself. She let me be the musician I needed to be, and the moody writer who needs his space and also needs to swig whiskey and yell at things as long as he produces stories and songs. Then when we collaborated it was magic because she was the glue and the slave driving task master who kept me on track and not afraid to call me out when I got lazy or missed a deadline.

I was happy of who I was when I was with her. My addictive personality needed her around. Like that talentless hack sang in a song, I liked it, so I put a ring on it. I wanted her to always be with me. I wanted her to keep inspiring me and drive me to do better. In short… I was selfish. And I still am.

As for kids or a future family…. We go to the grocery store and watch you guys deal with your bad ass kids in public as a form of birth control. We aren’t really trying for all that. If for some reason, it would happen to us, we would rock it, but let’s face it, we would rather have pet rats than kids. They are definitely cuter and I don’t have to pay for college.

I’m sure the guy who wrote this means well, I’m sure it must be nice to marry his high school sweetheart, but let’s face it dude, you are like in a one percent class all your own, real life, real people and real situations happen to the rest of us. So please… keep your romantic movie moment where you’re dad gives you tear jerking advice to yourself, and stop giving some weak minded people a roadmap for marriage.

Marriage isn’t about what you say it is. It’s not about what I say it is. It’s about what two people want and we aren’t included.

It’s More Than A Ring Size

With our wedding coming in October, I went to get sized for a ring today after work.

I had not been sized for any jewelry (I don’t really wear any) since the first time I tried the marriage thing in 2005.

My ring finger got a size bigger..

It’s probably because in the last 8 years, I have switched career paths and now that I am older and working with my hands, my joints have begun to swell, but I like to think it’s because I have grown as a person instead.

There have been many changes in my life. I do not regret them. Even though my first marraige ended after 3 years and left me in the worst state of my life, it forced me to grow, put me in a new situation, and let me get creative again.

Everything I have accomplished in the last 5 years would not have been possible. I would have never “gotten the band back together”, I would have never written the books I did or gone to so many conventions. I surely would not have started the podcast with Brea, and even more… I would never have gotten together with Brea.

Our story, our path, is long and complicated. Almost as if God were testing us, we found ourselves thrust into bad situations with money, downsizing, moves, scene politics and project after project.

Unlike any other girl I have been with, Brea not only has stuck things out, she has been my partner in everything. When I feel like giving up, she makes me take a step back and assures me that togerter, we can do anything.

As an artist and a creative person, it means the world to me. As a man, it makes me want to make her my wife, and as the luckiest person in the world, she still hasn’t backed out yet.

Where I’ve been…

It’s been awhile since I wrote. I would be lying if I said there wasn’t a bit of laziness involved, but the truth is, life happened and I was riding the bumps in the road, when it struck me that I had not been blogging (oh but paper journal how many stories you hold)

It sounds hooky, but I feel like the past few months, I have been trying to get more comfortable with my place in the world. I always knew where I stood, but now, I have the direction I know I should stay in. That direction is really writing fiction and playing music. I tried to paint, and draw, thought about making models or doing something interesting, but the only thing that I seem to be slightly good at is writing a tune or telling a story, life is too short to waste chasing things I have no aptitude for (visual art) So with that in mind, here we are, back to square one.

A lot has happened though since I last wrote, here are some highlights:

– After 12 years of loyal service and 2 demotions this past year, I finally left my job in a call center. I do not wish it on anyone, customer service is an oxymoron, and the only thing I got out of it was a dislike for offices and plenty of story ideas for messed up people.

– I got a new job. I love it. I work with my hands and I get to build some of the most awesome machines in the earth moving industry. I help make machines that make the world a bigger and better place. My work is a direct reflection of me, there are no politics in this tier of workers, and for the first time in 12 years, I am proud of my job.

– I proposed to Brea my girlfriend. We’ve been together for a few years. I’m happy. We are both not complacent with life and strive to make everything better in our life. Art, music, writing, our life is a mash up of projects and productiveness. I’m happy to have her in my life. I can’t wait until she’s my bride.

– The Stout City Luchadore EP was picked up by Sinkhole Texas Inc. records and we have already sold out of our stock. The podcast is going strong and just had it’s 100th episode. Everything is good…

Now I need to start writing.

My Own Independence Day

Today marks what would have been my 7th wedding anniversary and also the 4th anniversary of the day we filed for divorce. I am not bitter about it at all. I have learned a lot the past few years, the most important was that through complete sadness and devastation, the circle completes itself and life goes on.

When she left, I was crushed. I had given up playing in multiple bands, playing a lot of out of town shows, and my solo music was all but stopped. I became a family man in those three years and suddenly found myself without a family to take care of, and suddenly alone, with a huge black void in my life.

I never understood why she left back then. Things were good, the bills were paid, we went out to eat regularly, I took care of my own laundry, I loved her daughter… on the surface we looked like we had a pretty good life, we had it figured out. My life was shattered the day I found out what I had been dreading the past week or so, and it was only made worse by the fact that instead of working things out or even acknowledging what I discovered, she refused to help repair it and left.

The next year was a healing year, spent with a lot of nights drinking wine on the patio with my understanding parents, reforming the band called The Loveletter which would save my life, and lots of traveling to take my mind off things. I went to Europe, Seattle, Ohio, LA, on tour with the band, writing trips with, anywhere that would take me out of the town I was in to forget where I was.

In the midst of all that traveling, I found myself again. The guy I was before he got married. The guy people fall in love with, not the castrati that so many men become when they enter into a relationship they think is right. I became the wanderer again. The musician who will play any gig just to play and I finally understood why it didn’t work.

She didn’t want a guy like me. Most women marry men hoping they will change, most men marry women hoping they never will. The biggest mistake anyone can make is hoping they can change them, When I talked to my ex wife months later, she said something like “You never spent time with us at night, you were always in your office writing something, never downstairs watching TV with us”. And she was right. I never did. I had to write. I wasn’t playing music, I had to do something creative or I would die a slow death. I say reality TV as a waste of time, and so while that was probably a  comfort to her to spend time with someone, I was busy scratching this creative itch I had. She wanted a house. I never did. I still don’t want to be tied down to this town, I dream of taking off to another city, anywhere but here, and starting over. It’s the nomad in me.

The band took off, my writing has kept me busy, I wasn’t even aware how much I had gotten over everything until I was on the other side looking back.

It sounds silly but I have this idea that God wants me for something else, and it doesn’t involve the traditional marriage set up. I’m not knocking it, love is a beautiful thing. But I think that God has a bigger role in line for me and it involves music art, and being unchained. I think that when I met my ex, I was doing what everyone expected me to do and God said “OK Tim, I’m going to give this to you… for awhile so you can see how it is, then I am going to take it away because you have work to do.” It sounds stupid but that’s what I believe when I think of all the stupid things I have done in my life and close calls I have had, how could I not?

Now? I’m here doing the work the good Lord set me out to do. I’m making music, pushing music, living day by day, making art and enjoying everything it has to offer. I have a new person in my life that not only wants me to write and make music, she pushes me to do it and calls me out on things and projects I don’t finish. I truly understand now the type of person I was meant to be with this whole time. I am happy, but not complacent, because together the two of us push each other to the next goal, and it is an awesome feeling to have someone as passionate about things as I am.

Do I miss my old life? A piece of me will regret not seeing her daughter grow up. She was innocent in the whole thing. But if half the things my ex wife told me were true, maybe that would have made me a bad dad. I don’t know. I was never invited to any birthdays or events about her life after the big D so I probably will never know. I used to try to meet up with her and take her out to eat, but that changed after a lot of cancellations, I guess I finally got the hint. That is one loose end that will have me question things. But I have to be confident in the fact that she is in a stable home, and if she wants, I will always be around if she needs someone like me in her life, I am never hard to find.

Happy Independence Day to me.

Shit. Fart. Damn.

Both bands played 2 shows eacj Saturday. Then The Loveletter had a 3 hour practice Sunday, followed by a last minute practice with my friends in The Cherrybombers. (They need a keyboard player for their show at The Texan so I am helping them out) I am nothing short of exhausted.

The promoter for the show late Saturday night (not to be confused with the AWESOME and FLEXIBLE promoter at the Dia De Los Muertos festival during that day!!) had us play last late late Saturday following a trendy (and popular) hardcore (?) band. The result was that everyone left after the trendy band played and we played to an empty room. *Sigh*

The dreaded last spot. The killer spot. The ego shrinker. The Last Resort. Too bad it was for charity. I would have walked out.

There comes a time when you stop trying to be the victim and stand up for yourself as an artist. I hate it when people say I’m “supposed to do it for the love”. I love my job. But I expect to get paid for it. Don’t you?

Anyway. Shit Fart. Damn.

That’s all.

Death, Folk Art, and Literary Badasses

Today is All Saints Day, Tomorrow is All Souls Day. Only really means stuff to you if you’re religious I guess. I was raised in South Texas in a Mexican family, so this obviously means Dia De Los Muertos to me.

My favorite “holiday”. I love the folk art etc.

Anyway… just thought you’d like to know.

Let’s see…

Ummm… I went to that Spoken Word. It was lame like I figured it would be, I really did want to give it a chance, but there were maybe two serious people there, and the rest made it seem like hip hop amateur hour as they made fun of everything and got on the mic and tried (emphasize the word TRIED )to rap when they got on. I left the place feeling more alien than usual.

Not all bad though, I met one of the poets I really liked at a Halloween party Saturday, we talked a bit about writing and such, and I told him about my idea to have a posse of literary badasses. Not necessarily a writers club, just a badass group of smart people who happen to write who get together and hang out. If we talk about writing… cool, but if we drink each other stupid and tell dumb stories about road trips and bad lovers, even better… he seemed to dig it, he’s going to hang out with me and Brea Wednesday and we’re gonna trade obscure poems and movie monster analogies or something (I made that part up)

NaNoWriMo started today. I’m excited but lamed out. I lost my drive for the plot I had two weeks ago, I’m worried I can’t finish it. Really I don’t know if I can. Instead of doing what I wanted to, I’m thinking I might just write a story about someone falling in love. I don’t think I’ve ever done that. I’ve killed my characters, messed them up, traumatized them, got them laid, got them fired… but I’ve never let one fall in love. Maybe I’m messed up, but I wouldn’t wish that torture on anyone.

Oh well… NaNoWriMo beckons… see ya soon.

For Carlos

My grandfather’s birthday is coming up Thursday. He, sadly is no longer with us. He passed recently. I was a pallbearer in his funeral. I was an awful one. I couldn’t afford a suit, and I hadn’t worn a tie in close to four years. So I sat in this funeral home with some ill fitting slacks a black dress shirt and a tie that choked me enough to remind me why I hate working in offices.

I was honored to do it though, no way would I tell them no. He was a strong man. A man of faith that I can never be. He was a hard worker and a family man. He carried that family with his heart for decades. The least I could do was carry him the last few steps.

I miss him terribly.

It’s an awful thing. Like most people, I was “too busy” to see him except occasionally. I lived 2 hours away. Work, school and band all take their places. But I always heard the constant argument of his immediate family on what was best for him and where he lived. (I won’t get into all that, just that as an outsider “ie grandchild” I had no say so in these discussions) To say the least, he spent the last few years of his life trying to get out of a nursing home he didn’t feel he belonged in. He wanted to be in his own house. I can’t say I blame him.  Here was a man, who did everything he could for his family, who suddenly found himself ousted. In a nursing home, put on a shelf like a broken toy. It broke his heart. It made some of us angry.

The day he passed, I felt a great sadness pass over me. I have never shared it with anyone. I am not sure why I am writing about it now. I just feel I need to I guess. The family would never be the same. The get togethers that would be at his house would not happen again. They would pick up in some other house maybe, but that era it seems is long gone.

And I have no reason to go back home. No reason to travel 2 hours to the place of my birth. Why? To see the land of dirt that yields nothing good? To talk to relatives that have nothing in common with me? To have bad memories of growing up a lost child in love with “sissy” things like science fiction and weird music? The only reason I had to go was him. His soft face that was weathered from living smiling as he would proclaim “my favorite grandson” (something he told all his grandchildren of course)

He used to play guitar. He was the head of his little choir in the church he belonged to. Guitar was one of those things that everyone always said he did well. They say music runs in our family. Sometimes I feel like the only one, but I know he was first. When he was in the nursing home, he once told my parents “Everyone is so sad here. When I get out. I’m going to come back and play my guitar for them.” He did get out a few times. Something always pulled him back in. Once though, when he was out, one of the doctors who tried to say he belonged in the nursing home attended the church my Grandfather played in. My parents said he just kept staring at the old man. Playing and singing. Full of life. Nothing like they diagnosed. Real men don’t die easy. They never did.

Rest easy Carlos. They can’t get to you now.

A Post

Last night, Brea and I spent the evening sitting on the porch drinking hooch while she strummed her guitar attempting to write the most personal song she ever has, and I sat with my journal trying to come up with metaphors that aren’t a cliche. It’s harder than it sounds on both ends of the spectrum.

For her, writing a song has always been a personal thing. She only writes when she is inspired to do so. In our line of work, it’s usually when she is going through a rough time. This is particularly hard for her when she is not in that mood. For me, I have never thought about metaphors much. I know what they are, but never tried to use them as a prose writer because I always thought I should just tell you exactly what I think and not try to hide it.

I’ve written hundreds of songs if not thousands… in every mood possible. She has read and studied (and maybe written? she’s a mystery that girl) tons of poetry. If we were smart we would have just traded places, but we’re not, and we are also not complacent with what we know and do.

So we sat last night, drinking stout beer letting Turkish cigarettes drift smoke up to the bulb that lights our way at night.  She strummed her guitar, and hummed the lyrics, halfway singing in a voice she says she doesn’t like but has captured the hearts of men (and women) in almost every bar she plays. The timid nature of her comes out in those songs. It leaves her emotionally drained and puts her in a different place. I am there to offer my support, to look up from my horrible scribbling and tell her what I think. I have never lied to her. But I also tell her what she needs to hear. She keeps doing things her own way, and that’s the piece I have fallen for. A kindred spirit. A fellow shark. Swimming and never complacent.

Damn Peter Pan Was Right

It never ceases to amaze me the things we do to appease other people. Even those of us who consider ourselves free spirits are always under the constant pressure to consider ourselves different and cool enough to justify our radical behavior.

I guess I’m not making sense.

I was looking through some old photos and saw tons friends in them that I hadn’t seen in a few years. Years obviously mean more than a decade because I forget that I graduated close to 20 years ago. I sometimes forget my age because well, I suppose I never “grew up”.

I looked them up, my old friends, they weren’t hard to find, they all joined facebook when it became popular to do so, during the great myspace migration, they are still figuring out twitter and have no idea where to take their social media experience from there. They are trying very hard to stay hip and revelant in society and trying to prove they aren’t that old. But they are. Their pictures in their facebook and all their statuses have their kids, talk about family life and how great a cook their spouse is, etc. They aren’t fooling anyone. They’re old. They settled. They are ready for the kids to start growing and get into their niche. There isn’t anything wrong with that except for one thing…. I am the same age.

This is where I begin to think there is something wrong with me.I know… crazy thought right? I’m not married, although I did try that it ended badly. I live like a kid. While some of my friends played in bands, I am still doing that, taking them on the road praying we get paid enough to drink off a tab, eat and make it home with gas without dipping into the rent. I still eat meat from a can, I meet bands and came up with cohosting a podcast just to meet and interview my favorites… I’m a 6 year old who drinks. I dated girls way younger than me because well, no woman my age would think I’m serious. Even though everyone wants to be hip and cool, when you are living the life at age 35, is that still hip and cool? Or is that a lonely old man?

I think I’m just cut from a different cloth. I play music because if I don’t my soul gets sick. Trying to get people to my show to get paid, that’s just a perk. I like punk rock and star wars because that’s what I grew up on, why should I give up the things that make me happy? If I had a kid and got into music and sci fi movies would I be awful?  I don’t think so.

I guess just as my adult friends shake their head and wonder about me, I do the same for them. Yes, it’s a different and sometimes lonely life, but I do not regret the way I choose to go about my business or my life. I would rather do this than be in a sad fenced in relationship bottled up with frustration.

Plus, my girlfriend is like 11 years younger than me, so it looks like I totally win.

New Song Lyrics

I wrote a new song today, I was having trouble with the lyrics, but after reading a few journals, old songs, and memory searches, I wrote these lyrics. I kind of like them: Verse: I haven’t slept for 7 long months It’s a process to forget you And I know that I will go insane [...] Read the rest of this entry »