A Minor Revelation
Senior year of high school, I had a U.S. Government teacher who had formerly been a football coach. I guess he wasn’t a very good one, and his punishment was to teach Government, which seems pretty fitting to me. Trouble was, he would sometimes wax poetic about the sport, and to a kid like me, this was even worse than having to memorize the Preamble to the Constitution in a savage era when the Schoolhouse Rock song wasn’t instantly available at our fingertips.
Well, one day he went too far. He actually said something like, “I don’t understand how anyone can not like football. It really is just like life.” Ridiculous, of course, but whatever. I sat next to my first real girlfriend in that class, there was a House, a Senate, two or three branches, a test on Monday, and Black Label and Whippits at Tom’s apartment tonight. Football. Life. Whatever.
But over in the middle of the room there was this little straight-A debate team nerd. I’m not calling him a nerd the way I call myself and my friends nerds now. I’m old, and this story takes place long before the term was ever used with affection. This guy wore black slacks, a white shirt, and a tie to school every day. Voluntarily. This was a kid that even the guy who sat in the back, kept his mouth shut, and tried to be invisible could look at and think, “at least I’ve got it better than him.” And on this day, this kid spoke up. He didn’t just speak up for his own downtrodden and bullied peers. He spoke up for everyone who never gave two shits about football. He spoke up for me.
“Well, of course someone like you who enjoys the game will draw certain parallels between football and life,” he said, “but another person will see those same parallels in other things entirely. Maybe chess, or stamp collecting, or even dancing.”
I’m paraphrasing, of course. It was 25 years and many chemicals ago, but I’ve done my best to capture the tone and eloquence, and I know his first example was chess. He delivered it with a strong, steady voice, looking Mr. Forgotyourname dead in the eyes. It was top-shelf debate team shit, and it was goddamn glorious.
I don’t remember the teacher’s reaction. I wish I did. I know he moved on quickly to the electoral college or some other boring shit. The class reacted with a kind of stunned satisfaction that was a mixture of “Holy shit, the little fucker is right,” and “Did he just completely pwn a teacher?” Not that anyone used the term “pwn” back then. Not even the kid who sat in the back, keeping his mouth shut, trying to be invisible, even though he might have frequented the BBS’s at 1200 baud some nights (but even if he did, no one would know that, because such things were guaranteed pussy repellant).
It’s always been a regret of mine that I never told that kid that on that day in 1988, he became a hero of mine. He probably could have used hearing that.
But there’s a reason I’m telling you this story, and that reason is that earlier today, I experienced a minor revelation, and it is this: Never let anyone tell you that life is football, or that life is chess, or that life is macramé, rapping, archery, or competitive sportfucking. That’s all utter bullshit. Because life, my friends?
Life is pinball.
|Posted in Autobiographical, Geek||00:31:13|
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Words I’ve Added to my Swype Dictionary
If you’re not familiar with Swype, it’s an input method for Android phones that lets you make mistakes with far greater efficiency than the standard virtual keyboard. Basically, instead of tapping each fake key, you trace a line from letter to letter around the fake keyboard, and it recognizes the word by the pattern you’ve traced. This lets you enter words pretty quickly (and with one finger), but it also comes up with some pretty wild (and often amusing) misses. For instance, I once tried to type, “Woke up for a couple hours,” and instead got “Weiner up for a couple hours.”
Of course, when you get used to dragging your finger around to type things, it never occurs to you that there’s no way in hell that “monkeyballs” is going to be a word it recognizes, and instead you end up with “monorails”, which possibly changes the whole meaning of your text. So, you need to delete “monorails” and type “monkeyballs” the painfully old-fashioned way. Monkeyballs is now added to your dictionary, and you’ll forget all about it until you accidentally caption a photo on facebook with “Susie riding the monkeyballs at Disney World.”
You can probably learn a lot about a person by the words they’ve added to their personal dictionaries, so in the interest of full disclosure, here’s what’s in mine.
‘bout – It’s a whole syllable less than “about”, and therefore much easier to say. What? You say it’s harder to type, though? Shut up.
‘em – As in “fuck ‘em”.
3rd – Insteresting that I have this and not 1st, 2nd, 4th, 37th, 69th, etc.
ADHD – I haz it. Now even diagnosed!
apeshit – Something someone goes, often on someone or something.
ass – It didn’t know ass by default? Come on, they’ve been able to say “ass” on TV for decades, and it can even mean “donkey” even though it never means “donkey”.
asshole – Yeah, I can be one.
assholes – Sometimes there’s more than one asshole. Not on the same person though. Least not that I’ve ever seen, and I’ve watched my share of freaky porn.
atcha – As in “Comin’ atcha” or “Back atcha”.
Aw – Expression of disappointment.
B-Bops – Best fucking burgers in Iowa.
backrub – Who doesn’t like a backrub?
backrubs – The only thing better than a backrub is more than one backrub.
baconish – Having a bacony quality.
bacony – Having a baconish quality.
BFF – Best friend forever.
BFFWB – Best friend forever…with benefits!
birfday – Yes, I’m ashamed.
bitch – Please.
bitchy – Probably in reference to my ex-wife, but anybody can be bitchy.
bleah – How I feel much of the time.
bollocks – Never mind them.
boner – Because I’m 12.
bro – Surely I was being all ironic and shit.
bullshit – When malarkey just won’t do.
capper – A final, usually negative event or a piece of brewing gear. Probably more the first thing.
CBGB – Best music venue ever!
CentOS – Because Red Hat forgot that Linux was free.
chainmail – Better than leather, lighter than plate.
Clerks – One of my favorite movies. You’d think the word would be in the standard dictionary, and I’d just have to worry about capitalizing it, but whatever.
Coen – Brothers and gods among writer/directors.
cornhole – Yup.
crazybad – Even badder.
Crotchtower – “Have you heard the good news about my penis? Would you like to buy a copy of The Crotchtower?”
cunt – I throw it around like those British cunts.
Daltrey – As in Roger. Apparently I like The Who enough that he needs to be in my dictionary. Which raises the question, why the hell Aren’t Entwistle and Townsend in it?
darlin’ – Sometimes I just wanna s/ing$/in’/g the world.
deflective – Maybe that’s not even a word. No, it totally is.
dev – Short for “development” or “developer”.
dick – This was in the standard dictionary, albeit capitalized. I rarely use it that way.
dickwad – I try hard not to be one. I sometimes fail.
dissin’ – Don’t be.
DMACC – Des Moines Area Community College. You’d be surprised how often it comes up.
DNS – Domain name system or domain name server, depending on context.
Drupal – A nice, free, PHP content management system that I’d love to work with but nobody will pay me to.
dude’s – Apparently I talk a lot about things belonging to dudes.
dumbass – Smartass fail.
dystopian – We’re nearly there, man.
elsewise – I think I say this more than “otherwise”.
erm – I never say “erm”, but I never type “uhm”. Almost always followed by an elipsis.
Evo – My phone.
Ew – Expression of mild disgust.
falafel – It’s amazing how much I talked about falafels one day. I think it took me 3 times before I finally put it in the dictionary.
falafels – See what I mean? And in the whole conversation, Bill O’Reilley never came up.
FatDave – Hey, that’s me!
fb – Because nobody cool types out “facebook”.
foolin’ – Because nobody cool pronounces the G in progressive form verbs.
FTR – For the record, this means “for the record”.
FTW – For the win/fuck the world
fuck – I’m offended that the standard dictionary contained no curse words whatsoever.
fuckable – Not sure who I was talking about, but pretty sure it wasn’t Kate Moss.
fucked – Yes, let’s get every tense covered.
fucked-up – Broken or drunk. Sometimes I’m both.
fucker – One who fucks.
fuckin’ – I fuckin’ say fuck a fuckuva lot.
fucking – I’d rather be doing it.
FUCKING – Sometimes caps are necessary.
fuckton – More than a shitload.
fuckup – Hey, that’s me!
fuckuva – See: fuckin’
gearhead – Since I’m not one, I was probably looking for one.
geez – Derivative form of “sheesh”.
gorram – Browncoat for goddamn.
grandkids – I have none, thankfully.
Grimey – Frank “Grimey” Grimes, Homer’s Enemy.
guh – Expression of exasperation..
hee – Laughter.
heh – A little less laughter.
Hermanos – Capitalized, because I have a couple of friends I call Los Hermanos Enos.
hmmmm – The sound of thinking.
Hoth – Iowa in the winter.
IA – Iowa, where winters suck.
ick – Expression of distaste. Also a fish disease.
ION – In other news…
IOON – In other other news…
ish – Weakens any adjective.
jerkdom – I suppose there are annals.
Jimi – If you don’t know who this is, get off of my blog.
k – Shortens “OK” by 50%!
katana – A sword. Also my old phone.
kidlets – How a friend of mine refers to her children, en masse. Individually, she gives them Borg designations, i.e. “3 of 6”. Yes, I have awesome friends.
LaForge – Geordi, I presume.
Mallrats – Another Kevin Smith movie? OK…
McMuffin – Not the thing everybody is trying to steal from each other in a movie. Unless maybe the movie was financed by McDonalds, and as far as I know that’s only happened once. Thankfully.
mediocre – What the default Swype dictionary is.
meh – How I feel about many things. How you probably feel about this post.
meth – Have I mentioned I live in Iowa?
mojo – Got mine workin’.
mopey – Punch me if I act this way.
mp3’s – The reason “CD’s” is not on this list.
multiball – Lock is lit. Ball 1 locked. Ball 2 locked. MULTIBALL!
nao – Not later.
nevermind – I know this is supposed to be two words, but I always write it as one in honor of Nirvana.
nighter – Must have been part of an all-nighter.
nom – The sound of lolcats eating.
noms – Things lolcats eat.
noreply – I have no idea. Part of an email address, I guess.
nothin’ – Taken from nothin’, it leaves nothin’.
nutjob – Likely preceded by “Christian”, “conservative”, or “Christian conservative”.
NYE – Either New Year’s Eve, or yelling at Bill Nye the Science Guy.
one-liner – A clever bit of humor or a clever bit of code.
oy – Every once in awhile I forget I’m not Jewish.
pachinko – I bring it up anytime somebody mentions Japan.
pervy – That’s me.
Pez – If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life.
piss – It’s a verb! It’s a noun! It’s an interjection! It’s more profanity!
pissed – Angry in America, drunk in the UK.
pissing – Did I cover all the tenses?
pissy – A mood I sometimes fail to avoid.
polyamorous – A long-term 3-way.
PTSD – Did I mention my wife was a cunt?
pussy – Sorta like another way to call a cat a kitten.
Robocop – Dead or alive, you’re going with him.
rockin’ – Possibly the suburbs.
sammiches – They were invented by the 4th Earl of Sammich.
sayin’ – Just sayin’.
seester – After years of calling my sister this, I ran into two sisters who use it for each other. Maybe it’s standard.
setuid – *nix nerd stuff.
sheesh – I once had to explain “sheesh” to a girl in Manchester, who was reading some book where the characters said it a lot.
shit – Has almost as many uses as fuck.
shithead – Navin R. Johnson’s dog.
shithole – Always a place, never a body part.
shitload – Not as much as a fuckton.
shittastic – The polar opposite of fantastic, which is appropriate, since shit and fans should be kept far apart.
shitty – Most 80’s music.
Skyrim – Back when everybody was talking about Skyrim, I was talking a lot about Skyrim, at least when I wasn’t playing Skyrim. Oooh, you know what I haven’t done in awhile? Played Silent Hill.
Slitheen – A criminal family from Raxacoricofallapatorius.
slut – I meant it in a nice way!
Smithwick’s – The W is silent.
snozzberries – They taste like snozzberries.
somnambumurderlation – A side effect of Ambien.
spork – The eating utensil with an identity crisis.
sporks – Seriously? Plural too?
stoopid – Superior spelling of “stupid”.
Strat – I wish I had one, then I would only need a Gibson SG to have every electric guitar necessary.
sucky – Somehow this means bad.
Sweeeet – Capitalized, because it is always a self-contained sentence.
t-shirt – “We’ll make T-shirts for our friends. And F-shirts for our friends with both arms on the same side.” – Turanga Morris
teh – The inordinate article.
texted – Because “text” is a verb now.
thunk – Past participle of “to think”. Also something to do with data mapping.
torchwood – A Doctor Who spinoff and a plant in Plants vs. Zombies.
unattracted – How I felt towards a girl. Yes, it really does happen sometimes.
unshod – More fun to say than “barefoot”.
Virtualbox – More geek stuff. Lets me run Windows on Linux. Lets you run Windows on Windows.
VLC – If VLC won’t play it, it just won’t play.
VNC – Free remote desktop software. Let’s me get at my Xfce desktop from my phone.
VPS – Virtual private server.
w00t – What leet haxxors say.
WTF – A pretty good podcast.
Xfce – What you switch to when you realize just how horribly bloated GNOME has become.
Zep – Who doesn’t like Zep?
Zevon – I miss him dearly.
|Posted in Geek, Humor||19:16:24|
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My Bad, You Fucking Cunt
I was at the mall today. Leaving, I started to pull from the parking area into the road that circles the outside of the parking lot, but then I saw the old woman in the beige SUV coming down that road, and hit the brakes. My car moved maybe a foot.
She came to a stop and laid on her horn for what must have been a full count of five-Mississippi.
I just stared at her kind of quizzically and raised my open palm, as to say “I’m sorry. My mistake.” I sat there for a few seconds like that, hoping my “what-the-fuck?” look would sink in. She just sat there staring back, so I pulled out in front of her and made my way to the exit. Maybe she thought I was such a terrible driver she couldn’t run the risk of having me behind her. Maybe she thought I’d intentionally ram her with my piece-of-shit car. Maybe she was worried I’d follow her home, slit her throat, and stomp on her parakeet. Those are probably the types of things you have to worry about when you behave that way.
But I didn’t do any of that. I didn’t even shout or give her the finger. But echoing around in my head was the phrase…well, you know.
|Posted in Misc||21:44:18|
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My brother told me the night before last that our dad is dying. He’s receiving hospice care at the nursing home he’s lived in ever since he was dying around this time last year. And while that was also not the first time he was dying, it was the first time he put in a Do Not Resuscitate order. That, combined with the aforementioned hospice care, leads me to believe he’s getting better at it, and he may even actually succeed this time.
They’re estimating anywhere from a couple days to a couple months, so clearly I need to go see him soon. I’m not looking forward to it. I wish I could say our relationship is complicated, but the truth is it’s really just awkward and forced.
I didn’t see him at all between the ages of 4 and 22, and my early memories of him are dim, like fragmented and blurry clips on faded Super 8 film, each with audio and intense emotions, but each lasting no more than a couple seconds. And there are only very few of those. He and my mom divorced before I was even born, and I think I only saw him a handful of times.
The man I came to know later was nothing at all like me. A lifelong accountant, the notion of breaking any stereotypes about boring fucking bookkeepers seems to have never once formulated in his ledger-filled brain. He only ever listened to country music, and I doubt he could name a single Beatles song to this day. He was born and raised on a farm, I was proud to be a city boy. He was an evangelical Christian with no life outside the church, and by the time I re-met him, I had nearly a decade of atheism under my belt. He was a hardline conservative, and I wanted to see a gay wedding in every bilingual abortion clinic. He once said to me, in dead seriousness (if you’ll pardon the expression), that he wished leisure suits would come back into style. It didn’t take me long to decide that his absence from my life was probably a net positive.
And mind you, I don’t blame him for his absence. That decision lies squarely with my mother, who downright bragged to me about how she fought to keep custody away from him, and never missed an opportunity to tell me how horrible and evil he was while I was growing up. As far as I can piece together, his only real crime was being a colossal dork and overbearingly religious, neither of which is good, but she’s the idiot who rushed into a doomed-from-the-start marriage for shitty reasons and immediately got knocked up. But fathers in the 70’s didn’t have the rights they do now, and there was no way she was going to let this son-of-a-bitch spend any time with her precious baby, even though she very nearly had that baby Hoovered out of her uterus. She also never missed an opportunity to tell me that. Love you, mom.
I’ve also heard, again through my brother, that he’s anxious to see my kids, which is understandable, and I suppose they should have the chance to see their grandpa for what could very possibly be the last time. But I fucking hate taking them to that place. I try to be honest with them, but there are still a few harsh realities I’d like to shelter them from for a few more years, not the least of which is society’s habit of shoveling our aged off into dismal buildings only to get a head start on decomposing, a foetid gloom of stale piss and despair hanging, inescapable, in the air. What’s the lesson to be taken from that? Use a lot of drugs and drive recklessly, so this doesn’t happen to you? Go out like Hunter, on your own terms and with some fucking dignity? Ensure you’ve always got a friend (and a backup) ready to deliver you a lethal dose of morphine at a moment’s notice? Kids, promise your daddy you’ll burn out, because this is what fading away looks like.
I suppose the worst part (for me that is, for him I’m sure it’s the actual dying) is that I don’t know how I’m going to feel about it once he checks out. I’ve been extremely lucky in that I’ve never had anyone close to me die, and I’m afraid that will continue to be the case. He was never a father to me, but I can’t be angry about that, because he was never given the chance to be. He tried early on, but my mother was a formidable opponent, so he ended up being a man that circumstance required me to have an uncomfortable association with. We have nothing in common and very little to say to each other, but both feel obligated to stay in touch because 43 years ago he misguidedly fucked my mom to pregnancy, and she, probably equally misguidedly, chose to let me live. I suppose my predominant emotion will be relief that I no longer have to maintain this strained relationship. And that will probably make me feel guilty.
We did once manage to have one real conversation. It was when I put in my obligatory Father’s Day call last summer. My divorce had recently been finalized, and we were able to connect on the subject of our bad marriages to spiteful and vindictive women. At last, we had found something we had in common. In 20 years we eked out 45 minutes of genuine bonding, regrettably over negativity, but that’s what I’ll remember as our best time together.
So, I’m going to take the kids to see him this afternoon. Awkward and forced as our father/son relationship may be, this is just something I’ve got to do. If he were to die before I had the chance to say goodbye, I’m not sure if I’d feel regret over missing the opportunity or relief for not having to do it, but I don’t want to risk the regret. And who knows, maybe we’ll get lucky and he’ll pull through. Then I’ll get to do it again next year. And maybe even again the year after that. The guy’s pretty bad at dying, after all.
|Posted in Autobiographical||11:24:57|
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I once said something along the lines of, “Man, my mid-life crisis is going to be spectacular.” Three years later, I can only hope that it failed to live up to those lofty expectations, because I don’t want to consider what it means if I haven’t already had that fucker.
I haven’t written anything in so long. I can’t call it writer’s block, because for one, I can’t call myself a writer, and for two, it’s not like I’ve been trying. I just haven’t had a thing to say. At least not anything I can delude myself into believing merits more than a status update to the only people who will end up reading this anyway. But maybe that’s all writer’s block really is. Nothing to say plus deadline. I have the luxury of no deadlines.
But why don’t I have anything to say? The last few years of my life have been insane. My marriage fell apart. I got divorced. I’ve fallen in and out of love. I’ve been heartbroken, and I’ve broken hearts. I’ve been at the center of events that I don’t understand and no one can or will explain to me. You’d think I’d have some goddamn stories to tell.
But I don’t. So here are some general musings on what it’s like to be fast approaching 43.
I could sit and try to describe what it feels like to be me, middle aged, and single again for the first time in nearly fifteen years following a long, bad marriage. Maybe I could string together some words that, if I’m lucky, adequately describe the feeling of being a half-time single dad/half-time bachelor. Or instead, I could just tell you to go watch season one of Louie on Netflix, only imagine him without the cool job. That show pretty much captures it pitch perfectly. At least that’s how I feel on a bad day. On a good day, it’s like a fun episode of Louie. I’m pretty sure he’s made one of those.
A month or two ago, I read back over a bunch of my earlier posts here. I was surprised at how angry I seemed. I can’t remember for sure how much of it was real anger and how much of it was just posturing for cheap laughs, but I’m pretty sure even in the latter case it was coming from someplace real. And while some of my friends may argue that there’s no measurable outward manifestation of this, I am happy to say that, for whatever it’s worth, I feel like I’m no longer that angry.
I share custody of my kids 50/50 with my ex-wife, alternating weeks, Friday through Thursday. On weeks when I have them, if they’re being little bastards, I’m ready for them to go back to their mom’s by Tuesday night. But on weeks when I don’t have them, I’m missing the hell out of them by Tuesday night. I think the obvious solution is to change the schedule to Wednesday through Tuesday.
My friend DeAnna is fond of the George Carlin quote that goes something like, “Women are crazy. Men are stupid. The reason women are crazy is because men are stupid.” It’s cute and clever, but I always used to think that the man’s stupid paled in comparison to the woman’s crazy. Now that I’ve written that and you’ve read it, it seems pretty obvious that I was harboring some resentment towards women, but I never allowed that thought to fully crystallize. I imagine most of it came from my marriage (which was pretty bad, especially at the end), and I imagine that’s only natural and maybe even expected. But I still wish it hadn’t been there. And that’s not to say I don’t feel like I’ve been jerked around since I left my wife. I think the mythical Impartial Observer might even agree I have been. But even in those cases, lately I’ve begun to fully understand how my behavior affected theirs, and the full scale of my selfishness, cluelessness, and arrogance has started to come into perspective. In short, I was stupid and it made them crazy. Amazingly stupid. I should have known to listen to Carlin. And to DeAnna. The damage I’ve done is almost certainly irreparable, and that knowledge empties me.
I’ve lost enough weight that if I lose much more, the FatDave moniker will start to seem ridiculous. Fuck you, I’ll brag if I want to. A hundred pounds, bitch. The secret? Get single after fifteen years of relative romantic complacency. And get put on speed for ADHD. I’ll probably piss off some Daves who are fatter than me and want the name on Twitter, but I’ll just keep an old picture on my profile there and continue to not say anything. That feels like the path of least resistance, and my instincts on spotting those are usually top-notch.
I’ve been drinking a lot. Even my last remaining defenders would likely call this at least a flirtation with alcoholism. I’ve switched from beer to vodka, almost exclusively, usually taken with orange juice (because vitamin C is good for you, and because the cheap shit I buy doesn’t taste good enough to drink straight). I still love a good beer, but vodka gets me drunker, cheaper, quicker. The full extent of my habit becomes most apparent when surveying the array of empty bottles scattered haphazardly around my countertops, but the impression is probably exaggerated by my well-documented reluctance to clean my kitchen. Interestingly, I think my work ethic has actually improved since the escalation. Maybe it’s a work hard/play hard thing. I do worry about my liver sometimes, but I’ve got two of those, right?
I realize a lot of this may sound bleak, and I don’t mean to come off all whiny emo bitch. Just honest. The truth is, I’ve had a great week this week. Past mistakes have led to introspection, and introspection has led to new self-awareness. And for some reason, I’ve been indulging in fantasies of self-improvement. Not in the area of giving up any of my vices though. Let’s not get carried away or anything.
Speaking of being single (well, I was earlier), I don’t have a date for New Year’s Eve. I should probably get on that. Not that I’m not content to be alone, I am (occasional Girl Who Changes Everything aside), but it’s been a long time since I didn’t get a kiss at midnight, and it would be a shame to break the streak. I’m not necessarily one to get hung up on tradition, but traditions that involve kissing will always be the ones I’m first in line to uphold.
To wrap this up, I suppose the big question is if I’m happier now than I was in my marriage. For all of the ups and downs, I truly am. But more importantly, I’m in charge of my own life, and all of my decisions, no matter how good or bad, are my own to make. And I just can’t find a bad way to look at that.
|Posted in Autobiographical||18:09:14|
|1 Comment »||Permanent Link|
Did Everything Just Taste Purple for Three Years?
Well, there’s slacking, and then there’s fucking slacking. Then there’s didn’t-pay-my-hosting-bill-got-disconnected-and-never-bothered-to-bring-my-blog-back-up slacking. Not like I had anything to say anyways.
And it’s not like it’s the first time, though certainly the longest. So far. We’ll see. Just the act of resurrecting this blog will surely set me up for more self-sabotage, because that’s the thing I truly excel at.
Anyway, here I am, maybe back at it should I have a chance encounter with Inspirado. There’s probably some broken links here and there. Maybe I’ll fix them one day. Probably not.
I’ve copied some facebook notes I wrote in the interim over here. That’s anything dated 2010 or 2011. There’s five of them. I’ve written five things in nearly three years.
So you know, check back daily!
|Posted in Misc||23:16:47|
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Facebook status games. I never play them. You know the ones: “Answer this question, then copy this to your status, and blahblahblah.” Sometimes I’ll answer the question, but I never copy the status.
So one of my friends posted one of these. The gist was “At age N I was doing this, and in a relationship with this person, and my favorite band was, and [a bunch of other stuff I don’t remember]. ‘Like’ this and I’ll assign you an age.”
But I never play these things.
So the age she gave me was 22. This was a week or so ago, so she surely thinks I’ve forgotten, but I haven’t. It’s just that I seem to have no idea where I was or what I was doing at age 22. Which is weird for me. Despite decades of bombarding my cortex with various chemical cocktails, I usually remember past events so clearly and with so much detail that it freaks my friends out. “Do you remember that time we were doing Whippits and Black Label in Tom’s apartment and you said Robyn Hitchcock was totally overrated?” “Ummm….no.” OK, bad example, that was every night in Tom’s apartment.
And what’s more, this comes at a time when my introspection has become retrospective. I’ve been playing parts of my life back in my head to the point that I start to feel like Billy Pilgrim.
But where the fuck was I at 22?
I was born early in a year ending in zero, so the math is easy enough even for me. 1992. OK. There are two facts I’m reasonably sure of. I was working at Chicago Speakeasy, and going to DMACC. I’m reasonably sure of both of these.
But what was I doing at The Speakeasy? Was I washing dishes or had I become a cook yet? I know I was still a dishwasher when I turned 21, because I remember turning 21, getting off work, and buying beer. It was at that exact moment that I stopped getting IDed.
Pretty sure I was at DMACC from like 1990 to 1993 (yet still managed to come up 20 credits short of a two-year degree). Is that the year I took Desktop Publishing and met Photoshop? Don’t think so. That was later, because I remember my 3 favorite things were writing, programming and graphic design right when I discovered the web, which was ‘93ish. Let’s hear it for convergance. Sick of all the assholes I hated in high school suddenly dressing and behaving the way I always had, I declared that I’d just be a huge computer nerd. That would never be popular.
But that was 23, not 22.
Was I living in my mom’s basement for one of my many just-can’t-get-my-shit-together spells? Did I have my apartment in Ankeny? Did Leslea and I have our place by The White House on Penn Ave? No, that was earlier.
Was I even with Leslea then? I know I was in ‘91, because I heard “Smells Like Teen Spirit” for the first time in a car (whose, I don’t recall) sitting on University in front of her place at 42nd Street in what is now the parking lot of Git-N-Go. But we broke up for good right around that time. Was I hopelessly in love with the married waitress at work? Was I madly in lust with the married girl at school? And which one of those did I make out with? Kidding, I totally remember that. It was the girl at school. Shame, I could’ve spent a good long time with that waitress. Women married to dicks who toy with nice guys. If ever there was an archetype. Whatever, killed by a jealous man seems as good a way as any to go out. Part of the reason Robert Johnson is a legend. Also that he was an OK guitar player.
I wasn’t with Ann yet, though I may have been working on stealing her from her boyfriend (the attentive reader will notice a theme emerging). I know I had my own place then, because I remember sealing the deal with a song. Man, I thought that girl was everything. So did everybody else. Shame about the blackout drinking, the other guys, and the not-very-brightness. But where did I play her that song? Must’ve been my place in Ankeny. Did I really live there that long? I know I was still there in ‘95. No, Ann must’ve come later.
And what was I listening to? It’s a safe bet The Beatles, The Who and The Police were in there, but that’s not exactly going out on a limb. Rush and Tull, of course. But who did I discover at 22? I didn’t give much of a shit about the grunge thing, though it was clearly better than EMF. Think I first met the blues around then. Or maybe not. I should go see when all those old issues of Guitar Player are from.
Any remarkable film impressions? Not that I can think of. The Kubrick, Scorcese, and Gilliam kicks came much earlier. Tarantino and Smith were later.
Fuck, I’ve just got no idea at all about 22. I’m gonna mark it “Transitional Period”.
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