Thursday, December 31, 2009

Best and Worst Moments of 2009: part two

Worst Moment #5 - Totaling my car
You can read all about it in a couple of previous entries. I wasn't injured, which was good. But watching something that has been a huge part of your life: from getting me into some serious trouble, to saving my ass countless times (even serving as a place to sleep on a handful of occasions)... I loved that car.

Best Moment #5 - Turkey Tourney 6
Always good to get everybody together for this annual event.

Worst Moment #4 - DIU Drama
Also something you can read about in previous entries. Bottom line, I learned my lesson the REALLY hard way.

Best Moment #4 - Jodie
Some of the best friendships and relationships one can have in a lifetime are the shortest. This girl really lit up my life for the brief month or so we spent together. Maybe it was the allure of being with a younger girl, or just a refreshing new person in my life, but it was pretty awesome. And when she was gone, it sucked but it didn't turn my life upside down by any stretch of the imagination.

Worst Moment #3 - My night/morning in County
At least it was Champaign County and not Cook, but it still wasn't fun. (Details can also be found in previous entries.)

Best Moment #3 - My bike
I found a bike for free on the internets. Nothing special, just a working mountain bike. My new favorite form of exercise and transportation.

Worst Moment #2 - Swine Flu
Not that I got it, it just pissed me off. Most annoying disease since bird flu. No, just kidding, I'd actually have to say car accidents in general. By my calculation I was involved in four this year, all semi-serious. Gladly, no one has perished, unlike from that bastard swine flu!

Best Moment #2 - Losing my car
While I do miss my precious VW Golf, the responsibilities (mostly financial) of car ownership SUCK. I will do my best to go without owning another auto as long as possible.

Worst Moment #1 - Losing my job at Petsmart
I know I hinted at this being "Jess breakup pt. 2" but losing my job at Petsmart was probably the shittiest thing that happened to me this year. It sparked the chain of events that led to 2009 being the worst year of my life.

Best Moment #1 - Sookie
She just showed up in the backyard one day and I was in love. Sweetest Pit Bull ever. She is always by my side. I go pee and she whines outside the door. Talk about loyalty. She makes all the crap I went through this year so much easier to swallow.

Well, there ya go. I could have elaborated on all of these a lot more, but I think most of them have been covered in previous entries.

I'm pretty confident in saying that this was the worst year ever. I'm a pretty optimistic person, and as you can see, I have found the good in the year.

I'm still battling with depression (on and off you could say) and I'm trying to do so without medication. It's been a rough four weeks without it, but I'm still here. I had a bit of a breakdown today, before writing this. The sun was setting on the last day of 2009 and I was just thinking about everything, trying to remain positive as I look ahead to 2010. For whatever reason I couldn't do it. Maybe it's this time of year. When the holidays are over I always get a little sad. Maybe it's that I've got no plans for 2010, and as much as I love Champaign, I want to move back home. I'm not entirely sure. The fact that I am more or less homeless doesn't really help either.

Throughout the past decade I've had a crack at a "fresh start" more than my fair share of times. I always blow it. I can never focus long enough to keep at something. Or I get bored. I can blame 49% of my failed relationship on this.

I guess this is where I attempt to end on a positive note. Well, it's not easy. I guess it's time to get ready and head to the place where I was ten years ago tonight, my buddy Mikes house. There won't be a whole lot of people there, but two, maybe three of my oldest friends will be there, and another one or two in spirit (they're not dead, they just are spending their NYEs elsewhere). To be honest, I think this will be good for me. While going out and getting hammered at a bar or a huge party somewhere sounds fun, I spent too much of 2009 doing this. Come to think of it, I probably spent too much of the past ten years doing this. (Now I'm making myself look like an alcoholic at 16. Honestly I didn't even start drinking until I was 19.) But anyway, a warm shower almost always cheers me up. So I'll leave you with this:

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man. ~Benjamin Franklin

Happy New Year, everybody.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

if ya wanna know me better, you should probably read this

I have convinced myself otherwise, but the fact of the matter is that I really don't hate my life. I've confessed the opposite to my own Mother countless times. But the truth is that my life is pretty kickass. The only thing I remotely dislike about my life - strike that - the only thing I dislike about life is how mundane it can be.

In other words, I despise how pathetic most peoples lives are. No offense, peoples.

For the past ten years (or so) my life has been anything but predictable. And I love it. I truly am in love with the idea of waking up every morning not knowing if I will live to see the sunset. For me, right now, in this stage of my life, this is the only way to live. You might find this entirely depressing, or even despicable. I pity those of you who agree with that statement. But don't take this the wrong way. It's not like I rise every morning with a death wish. I just live my life as simply as possible.

The day I wake up and know exactly how my day will play out will most likely be the day that I die. Spontaneity has been the constant theme of my "adult" life.

Many of you will argue that by doing this I am not being an "adult," but in my 26 years on this planet I have come to the realization that one can only be happy in the present tense: Adult, child, retard or otherwise.

Let me break this down for you...
For most of 2009 I have been living in (dwelling on) the past. I've recently realized how ridiculous this is. I will NEVER get back together with my ex. My Mother and Father will NEVER fall back in love, divorce their respective spouses and remarry (each other). And my beloved 2003 VW Golf will not mysteriously resurrect itself in my nonexistent driveway.

Likewise, I cannot wish, or even plan for my future. There are too many outside variables that will most definitely come into play. I could win the lottery tomorrow. I have a better chance of getting struck by lightning (even in December in Chicago - look it up, seriously).

I've always excelled at math, but I've been a pretty unreasonable person for most of my life. This has been both a curse and a blessing (and in a handful of cases, a blessing in disguise).

With that said, I'll leave you with this:

I don't know where my life is going, and I honestly don't care that much. I don't know where I will be living a year from now, much less a month or week from now. (As of today I do not have a "place of residency.")

I do know this: I love writing, probably more than I love living. But, in order to write I must live. (I also - recent find - love reading, mostly because it inspires my writing.)

But right now (at 3:13 AM) there are noises upstairs, and I must live in the present tense and see what is up. Plus, I have to pee. So I must bid you farewell.

This has undoubtedly been my favorite blog post to date. It ranks within the top 5 of most honest as well. I hope someone gets something out of this mindless rant. I know I will.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

2009: Part 1

Time for the Best and Worst Moments of 2009.

I'm sick and tired of voting and writing about the best music of the year. I really didn't see enough films to throw in my two cents about the best in cinema. TV is something that happens in the background while I'm a) drinking, b) writing or c) thinking about drinking and writing (while listening to music). Considering I don't read enough, I am left with very few things to rank regarding the year that (almost) was. So, without further ado, my personal top 10 moments and/or memories that shaped my year (pending nothing crazy-awesome or horrific happens in the next 5 days, which is actually more than likely).

There's good news and there's bad news... and then more bad news. Which do you want first?

Worst Moment of 2009 #10 - IRS Audit
Yeah, it happened. Back in, er... some month of this year I received a letter in the mail that informed me that I owed the Federal Government some money. No, I did not cheat on my taxes, nor did I "forget" to pay them. I (in all honesty) forgot to report my (prepare for contradictory phrase) unemployment wages. And this was all ab out timing. In a "normal" year this wouldn't even make the list, but it was the icing on the shitcake that was 2009. Yes, I just said shitcake.

Best Moment of 2009 #10 - Jeff Tweedy in concert
My friend Chris had purchased a ticket for me. Last minute, I couldn't get the day off work. Then that crazy thing called Karma stepped in: Long story short, I had a misprinted version of my work schedule which made me an hour late, thus resulting in me getting sent home and allowing me to see Tweedy. Best, worst mistake EVER. Ranks in the Top 5 shows of all time.

Worst Moment #9 - New Years Eve embarrassment
Thinking I had a shot with a co-worker, I attended the striking blonds NYE party. Unfortunately she was not ready for a midnight kiss, resulting in TOTAL drunken embarrassment for me. Thankfully my other coworkers stood by me and dismissed aforementioned blond as a crazy bitch.

Best Moment #9 - DROID
Hate to say it... kinda, but this phone has really changed my life.

Worst Moment #8 - Leaving my campus apartment
If you ever rent an apartment in Champaign: DO NOT rent from the University Group. Those MFs really screwed me over. Nuf said.

Best Moment #8 - You're lookin' at it! (blogging)
And writing in general I suppose. While compiling this list I looked back at all of my posts from 2009 and realized that I am a big fan of myself. I like... strike that, LOVE my writing. Lol, but mostly I love being able to look back at my writing, or my life you could say. It's kinda fun, among other things. I highly recommend that everyone blog or at least keep a journal - some form of self-recollection/preservation.

Worst Moment #7 - My breakup with Jess (pt.1)
Technically this happened in 2008, but the whole thing stretched out long enough that it ruined the first few months of 2009. Details later...

Best Moment #7 - Pygmalion Music Festival
Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.

Worst Moment #6 - Getting hit by a car while biking home from Pygmalion
Hit and run after the first night of Pygmalion. Sucked. Hurt. Left some badass scars. The chicks dig 'em.

Best Moment #6 - Being Single
When you flirt (or sleep) with other woman you don't feel so guilty if you're single. Just kidding. Not really. Well, kind of. Being single was pretty sweet at first, but all of a sudden you miss the companionship. Then you meet someone new. Then she runs off on you. God damn Karma.

Stay tuned for the Top 5...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Who the hell is Wesley Willis?

A number of years ago (pre-youtube days) my brother was listening to this awful yet awkwardly contagious song, which to the best of my recollection he downloaded via Limewire (or maybe even Napster. lol, Napster.)

"I kicked Batman's ass. I kicked Batman's ass... Rock over London. Rock on Chicago."


My brother went on to play me "Rock n' Roll McDonalds" while explaining that this was some homeless guy who performs with his keyboard on the streets of Chicago. His name was Wesley Willis.

We downloaded a bunch more of this "music" which included a handful of songs about bestiality (sucking camels dicks and such) and many more that ended with a corporate slogan ("Taco John's: A whole lot of Mexican"). The Wesley Willis craze lasted a couple of weeks, tops, and all was soon forgotten.

If this were to happen today, I of course would "Wiki that shit" and discover that Wesley Willis was not a homeless man whop performed on the streets of Chicago, but rather s self-proclaimed Rock 'n Roll star and artist who toured the country playing both solo and with his punk band, the Wesley Willis Fiasco. In addition, Willis would sell his drawings after the shows, and actually made some pretty decent cash. Oh, and did I mention he was schizophrenic?

Anyhow, there is a whole lot out there to learn about this guy. I stumbled across a documentary about Wesley Willis on Pitchfork and have posted the introduction below (which is now a different video). I highly recommend watching the whole thing, if you find yourself with 77 minutes of free time.

Intro fromWesley Willis's Joyrides

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Norah Jones covers Wilco, gets remixed by the Beastie Boys

Pitchfork informed me of this fun news, so I thought I'd share. I'm not a huge Norah Jones fan, but her collaborations with Ryan Adams, Jack White and others have always impressed me, as do these two little gems...

That's What I Said remix can be heard here.

Jesus, etc cover