Archive for August 2010

Danger Is My Middle Name 2010-08-12 06:41:01

Today I heard beautiful music. Learned a lot about life. And saw beauty and ugliness at the same time. If it sounds epic. It’s because it is.

25 facts about me brought to you by writer’s block.

I cant write tonight. I’m tapped out I think. Nothing fresh to report or things to ponder.

So I looked through old posts for inspiration.  I found this in my facebook. It’s like a year or so old, but still hold true… so this is what you get tonight…

1. Every girl I dated has a soundtrack attatched to her. To this day I cant hear The Smiths, The Cure, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, Bayside, or Smoking Popes without thinking of a girl from my past. There are more, but those are the ones that jack me up.

2. I once kicked a girl I was dating out of my apartment because she said Star Wars was dumb while the movie was playing. It never could have lasted.

3. The first time I was in a plane. I flew it.

4. I was married once. It didn’t work out. I will always be crushed by this. But I know that deep down I was meant for something great. The best thing she could have done was leave me. When I find what I am looking for I will send her a thank you card.

5. When I was little, I thought that everyone was a robot and shut down when I left the room. Sometimes I still think that.

6. I had a turtle for about 10 years. He lived with me in every apartment, met every girl in my young adult life, saw every roomate and stuck with me through all my bands. He was the closest thing I had to a best friend in that time period.

7. I am in love with the A minor chord on piano

8. My dad bought me and my brother our first comic books. I don’t know if he knew the monsters he was creating, but it changed my life. Twenty years later, my friend Fabian tracked down that Avengers comic and bought it for me.

9. All my years in bars have caused me to hate the songs “Margaritaville” and “Hotel California”. These songs are in every bar juke I have ever seen, and they are always played, after countless nights under a neon moon you would hate them too.

10. I have never felt more alive than when I am onstage playing my music. If I dont play music on a regular basis, my soul gets sick.

11. There is a period of my life from 19-25 that I have blacked out of my memory and general conversation. I don’t talk about that time much. But it was awesome.

12. I have an alter ego. His name is Tim Oi. He was in charge from 19-25. He has no guilt, no remorse, and is the life of the party. He has gotten me in the best and worst times of my life. He only comes out when I am in self preservation mode. .

13. My life last year was just like “Forgetting Sara Marshall” except it wasnt in Hawaii and not that funny.

14. My apartment is clean. This is only because I only come here to sleep and write, living is done in the outside world.

15. I have told stories my whole life. But I decided to become a writer after a pretty girl in English told me a story I wrote was pretty good. When I look back on things, most of my choices in life were made because a pretty girl put in her opinion.

16. I write for a videogame website. But I think I really just get paid to drink and travel instead.

17. I have written countless short stories. But my pride and joy are my two novels.

18. My friend Kelley got me into the blues. Years after his death, I am returning the favor by giving the music to people in need.

19. I think robot legs are hot.

20. My next girlfriend has to be passionate about something.

21. I am 32, but live like an adolescent boy.

22. music and friends saved my life this year… so thanks Scott, Neal, Danny, Corndog, Amory, Chris and Mica, Bean, Mdawg, Lance, Mitch, Steven and my brother John

23. Soy Un Monstro

24. My brother is a jerk, but he is the best friend a nerd like me could want.

25. I will always miss the life I had, but since I can’t have it back, I will live the one I got.

A Love Like Yours…

So we are reworking this song for our next upcoming video shoot. The song will be faster, more upbeat, the words are the same. I’m glad.

All these songs have a story. This one was no different.

I wrote this, for a friend of mine. I had an impossible crush on her, and it sucked to see her in one bad situation to another. It broke my heart to see such a cool chick go through so much crap. I do think, she had just been picking the wrong people this whole time. She wasn’t like other girls. She didn’t need a knight in shining armor to come rescue a helpless girl. She needed a brick wall to kick at when she was mad, and she needed someone who was going to stand by her to kick the world’s ass with her.

For some reason, I felt I was that person. I never told her. I couldn’t. She was back then (and due to my horrible timing) will probably always be someone else’s girl. I will always find her in between some rebuilding phase unprepared for a force of nature that is ME. And for that, I will never truly have her, and she will never truly know what it is like to feel the full radioactive atomic blast of this heart. Good for her.

I remember the first night the band played this song. She was in the crowd. Her boyfriend was with her. And there I was singing about how I am a better man for her, and it kills me to know he makes her feel bad. She texted me late that night, the first night that song was played in public. She asked who the song was for. I had visions of her boyfriend looming over her shoulder after some silly argument that was my song (She confirmed later they both instantly thought it was about her) I lied to her that night, told her it was for another girl. I am not that much of a homewrecker. Well… not if it wasn’t going to pay off anyway. She’s a good girl. She wouldn’t have left him for me. She won’t leave the life she has now for me either. It’s ok. I’m fine with all that.

I wish her well. I’ve had to. I eventually told her it was about her. She sort of always knew. I like to think it got me a little closer. But a little closer to her heart is really nothing if I can never get to it.

And that’s the story of my life kids. Always closer. But never there. Every time I play that song I press my two fingers to my lips and point them to the sky. It is a silent prayer for her. Hoping that she finds what she needs. I also pray that one day I find what I need.

It’s going to be a hell of a video.

If I had a love like hers… I really would need nobody.

My Life in Boxes

I’m leaving my apartment soon.

I’m moving out of this place to live a bitter artist existence. I’m very excited about it. It’s not always bitter, that’s what I like to say. In the end being surrounded by art, an awesome housemate and more financial stability to travel with is appealing to me.

I am putting my life in boxes. This is the perfect time to simplify my life. Live simply.

So I put my life in boxes. Sell. Give Away. Throw Away. Keep.

I have made a deal that the “Keep” boxes will be the smallest pile. I need it to be. Belongings wont be much to me in this world the next few years. If  and when I fall in love (for real this time), she will understand what kind of person I am and not care about my belongings. She will be more interested in the fact that I read, write, play music, make art and have a million good stories to tell… and also that I want her in my stories.

I look at these boxes, it’s slow going, and I’m running out of time. What stays and what goes? What memories do I really want to take with me when a lot have ended wrong anyway. But then I like that too. My past helps me, gives me fuel for the fire I have now. Now I want to do awesome things in the world to spite every bad deal I ever got. There’s nothing wrong with that is there? I have a drive to be something I always wanted to be, and for some reason, moving again is the latest chapter on my plan to do it.

I need it. I need to travel more, this will give me the freedom to do that. I need to find the things I am missing. I always wish my friends and acquaintances well on their life’s journey and hope they find what they are looking for. I sometimes think I found it, sometimes at the wrong times in my life, but I think I catch glimpses of what life could be. God doesn’t want that for me. He wants me to wander a little, to emit this emotion into a terrible scream so others won’t feel lonely by hearing mine. Sometimes I fool them. I am not as lonely as I portray, and other times, I am the loneliest man in a crowd of a few hundred people, even when they all paid five bucks a head to see me tear my heart out on stage.

It’s no one’s fault it’s the way I’m wired. It’s my breed. We are a different breed. We play, we sing and scratch. We are the best lovers in the world, the worst winners and a hell of a ride if you are lucky (and unlucky) enough to get involved with us. I see that when I pack these boxes. Memories. Trainwrecks. Friends. There are so few real friends these days.

Just Remembered This From Lastnight

Girl: you’re so cute! *pinches my cheek*
Me: thanks I think so too
Girl: eh… now you ruined it
Me: story of my life

epiphany

I’ve made a few adjustments lately.

I have to. Some things come easy. Some don’t.

Truth is. Everybody around me is a liar. In some way shape and form, they are liars. They lie in the bars to meet people. They lie to their friends when they are being just a little annoying. Sometimes people lie to spare another’s feelings because they don’t think they can handle the truth, wanting to spare us from some uncomfortable feelings in the present only making it worse later. We trade our integrity and our real selves for “little white lies”, ” half truths” and “omissions”

After 2008, I resolved to never lie about my true self again. What you see… is what you get.  It makes my songs more honest, it makes my relationships deeper. I do regret that sometimes, I post my feelings and personal observations to the world. That sometimes everyone thinks I’m manically depressed because I am tapping into ugly emotions to write heartbreak stories and lyrics.

I regret it but I won’t stop.

My heart is all I have. It’s fragile and scarred but it still works. It still puts out love more than anyone you probably know. It is thoughtful, loving, and when it opens it is like a flower in bloom because everyone wants to stand near it when it is open and I am emitting love from my core. I truly believe God made me a conduit for it.

I don’t know what purpose I have on this planet. My friends who know me very well know my theory that God is saving me for a big thing, and that I should have died a dozen times over with all my stupid stunts. I think it has something to do with music, I’m not sure, but some days I feel like I don’t even have permission to die until I’ve done my task.

Why am I telling you this dear reader? I don’t know. Because I need you to understand that I don’t mask filter or hide what I say. That this blog isn’t like other blogs that have  a point or purpose or just blog about technology or travel, or Ipods… no this is a personal blog filled with crap I wrote. I need you to understand because sometimes I post stuff you may or may not follow.

With that being said… there are a few people who I am changing their security clearance to my personal being. I just think it was better when they were acquaintances and not friends. One guy, has ties to people I knew back in my hooligan days. I don’t like being reminded or having stuff brought up of  when I was a little “rough around the edges”. There are some days I feel like I am in Carlito’s Way, and although I would never succumb to that peer pressure, I don’t like the idea that I “owe” someone or have some sort of imaginary debt just because someone was in a crew with me years ago.

Another is a girl that I let into my heart, things didn’t work out like I hoped, and while she wants to be friends with me, I am concerned that being an actual friend will give her too much access to my heart that could have been hers unconditionally. I don’t dislike her… quite the opposite (I actually think I’d be quite happy with her),  I just think it was easier when she was an acquaintance and I didn’t have a tie to her like I feel I do now. That means that while it may suck to not be as close with someone as I used to be, and I may miss her, and it will blow a lot when she eventually begins dating someone who is dull, boring and a schmuck, I think it will be better than continuously reopening a dead issue I am not sure of how I ever got into. My only hope is that she doesn’t lose the potential to be what she wants, I was trying to help her with that, but the path she has chosen is clear I am a side figure, as I should be. I don’t believe in hindering people from what they think they should do, but my honesty in not being a liar makes it hard to not share this with you all. I am not disappointed in her I am more disappointed in myself for letting myself be as trusting as I was so quickly. I have to put her in a not as close category like she was when I met her, and watch her live life, have success and make mistakes from afar. (she may read this I don’t know.. she would know who she is… my only advice Doll, is to not be complacent. Ask yourself if you are and if you are just living the same thing every weekend. If you find you are, remember that list I told you to make, and start living it. I guess I can’t be the person to help you scratch those items off. I think I just cared too much and you had other plans)

The last is someone from a totally different standpoint altogether. I think sometimes it doesn’t have to be your past or matters of the heart to stop people. It can be a number of things that make you yourself. I am guarded these days.  The things I share in my posts are heavy.. but think of what I keep to myself. Some days I feel like an ugly monster, I see the frame I live in, the cosmetic features God has given me to teach humility and I feel like the villagers are coming to get me any day with pitchforks. And somedays, when girls pay attention to me, or I am particularly boyishly charming, I feel pretty invincible. It’s a part of our psyche. Sharing it with anonymous readers is easier than sharing it with people in real life. I only hope that one day I will be able to find the right people to let in.

Mitch The Photog…

I have a lot of friends and acquaintances. The number of close friends I have however, is a much smaller number. This is because I tend to become close friends with people that are, well, a lot like me. They display some manner of qualities that I identify with and I like to be around.

My buddy Mitch, is no exception. I’ve known him for years now, and as we get older and embrace our impending adulthood, our matching qualities exhibit the same thing… Getting older doesn’t mean settling for being complacent, it is the chance to do what you always wanted to do.

My friends and I, we are a different breed. My REAL friends are artists, musicians, and writers. They will go an extra mile to experience something new, they will travel to have a story to tell, and if you are like Mitch, they will go to great lengths to get a great camera shot.

Mitch is a photographer. I knew him when he wasn’t. But it’s been neat to see him take the thing he loves to do and make pure art out of it. As a fellow traveler, I have had the pleasure of going on many trips with him, as I sit and soak in experiences, mulling future songs and stories in my head, remembering past loves and future disasters, Mitch listens, puts his own input on my words, then snaps a picture that makes my head spin. I have also watched as he has begun posting pictures that continue to impress me, and do gallery showings of his work.

Being an artist is recognizing beauty. The world is filled with it. It takes a special person though, to identify even something people consider “unconventional” and turning into something that makes you look, think, and appreciate. That’s the feeling I get when I look at some of his pictures.

Mitch’s strongest abilities come in capturing the human spirit. Emotions, actions, candid shots, humanlike expressions in animals and even the aftermath of something that has already happened.

He also likes working with bands. He says he likes to work with them because they seem more “human”. I agree with him. A musician is an artist who is regularly pouring emotion out into the world. That’s a hard tap to close, so sometimes it’s better just to leave it on. I’ve had the privilege of taking Mitch with the band on our first summer tour. For a few weeks, we came back with a beautifully documented journey. So much so, we continue to acquire his services when our schedules sync up. His work has never failed to impress the band or our fans, or even other photographers who recognize him as “THE” photographer for the band.

Mitch is a nomad, he’s kind of like the A Team.

If you have a need for a photographer who will capture life and not just take a typical picture… you should feel free to contact him and see if his schedule syncs with yours. Tell him what your looking for… awesome candid shots for your wedding, fashion shoots, band pictures (live or group shots), etc… and let him run free with it. It’s worth it and he’s reasonable.

I can sing his praises all day, but as it is I am biased. Here are some examples of his work he did with my band and feel free to look at his other work and if you wish,  contact him through his websites:

http://www.mitchahrens.com/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/todaysrising/

photo by Mitch Ahrensphoto by Mitch Ahrens

photo by Mitch Ahrens

photo by Mitch Ahrens

photo by Mitch Ahrens

photo by Mitch Ahrens

photo by Mitch Ahrens

photo by Mitch Ahrens

photo by Mitch Ahrens

Mitch the man himself… (I snapped this picture while in Europe, he did the post editing to make it pretty)