Tuesday, April 24, 2007


The past 36 hours have been a trial by fire. I'm handling it well, but I am exceptionally tired.

I realized something though.

The first is that I can't go out and get busted up anymore. Not because I can't take it, but rather that there is someone who takes every beating I take right there along with me. It's something that I didn't realize before and only now have. I always said that it didn't matter what happened to me, because I am tough/macho/bulletproof or whatever, but it isn't just me. I wouldn't take care of myself because I figured it didn't affect anyone but me.

I am exhilerated and frightened to be wrong.

I have a reason to protect myself now. I have a reason now to do the right things, both for myself and others, not just for me, but because they reflect on someone else, and they affect someone else.

It's a hell of a thing. A hell of a thing.

I also realize it goes both ways, that anything that happens on their side affects me also. It's new territory for me to be so involved with another human being, to worry and share, and rejoice and mourn, with trust. It's something that is really hard for me to do given my background and such. It's frightening too, but I'm ready to face it.

I'm leaving you tonight with a quote I found inside my brand-new Spider-Man Handbook: The Ultimate Training Manual by Seth Grahame-Smith:

"A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, April 23, 2007


They took my car.

Let me say it again.

They took my car.

I came home after being out all day running errands and getting my roomates car worked on. All day I had a nagging feeling in the back of my skull, but I chalked it up to a bout I have been having with depression and the need for reassurance. I tried to be nice. I even reached up and got something off of a high shelf for a lady in a store I didn't even work in, because it was nice. Because it was the right thing to do.

Well I guess no good deed goes unpunished.

I got home, and my car was gone.

Turns out the apartment decided that it was abandoned, or dirty, or something. The office manager gleefully smirked as she presented me with a copy of my lease agreement regarding the parking of automobiles in the lot.

Here's the play-by play, highlighted by who will be referred to now henceforth as "The office bitch":
My notes will be included in parenteses.

We may regulate time, manner, and place of parking all cars, trucks, motorcylces, bicycles, boats, trailers and recreational vehicles. Motorcycles or motorized bikes may not be parked inside an apartment unit or on sidewalks, under stairwells, or in handicapped parking areas. We may have unauthorized or illegally parked vehicles towed according to state law at the owner or operator'sexpense if it:
a flat tire or is otherwise inoperable; or
(Car runs. been working on it daily for a week now. all tires are good.)

2) is on jacks, blocks, or has wheel(s) missing; or
(None of these apply)

3) Takes up more than one parking space; or
(nope. just one.)

4) belongs to a resident or occupant who has surrendured or abandoned the apartment; or
(i still live here. my cats and all my stuff is here)

5) is in a handicap space without the legally required handicap insigina; or
(it wasnt)

6) is in a space marked for office visitors, managers, or staff; or
(it wasnt)

7) blocks another vehicle from exiting; or
(it wasnt)

8) is in a fire lane or designated "no parking" area; or
(it wasn't)

9) is in a space marked for other resident(s) or unit(s); or
(it wasn't)

10) is on the grass, sidewalk, or patio; or
(it wasn't)

11) blocks garbage trucks from acess to a dumpster; or
(it wasn't)
12) has no current license, registration, or inspection sticker, and we give you at least 10 days notice tht the vehicle will be towed if not removed
(everything is current, and they didn't)

So my crime was that my car was dirty, and I haven't been driving it lately.

Now, some of you may think "It's just a misunderstanding. I'm sure it will be worked out tomorrow."

Nay, gentle readers. I'm afraid that's not how this tale goes. See, the way I found out was that I contacted the office, and the Office Bitch who worked there provided me, complete with smirk, a highlighted copy of my lease containing the rules and regs listed above. When confronted with the fact that i, and my car, violated exactly ZERO of these stipulations, she retreated into another office, locked the door, and informed me that if I did not depart that the police would be called. I hadn't even yelled yet.

Yes. The Police.

I could breathe fire right now. I am half through a fifth of Jack and about ready to go get what's mine on my own and drive it thru their gorramed office just to show them what's what. I am THAT mad. I am BRICK mad.

One thing is stopping me. Appendix A.

You know, I try to do what's right, I do. I do even when it hurts. I do ESPECIALLY when it hurts, because at least then I can look myself in the mirror and say "That sucked Dave, but you did the right thing."
I pay my bills. No one helps me. I try to be responsible. I try to be an upstanding member of the adult community and contribute my time and effort into helping others, even in the mall on my day off.

Where I did NOT find replacement sunglasses, which is a seperate issue.

I don't even want to talk right now. I'm writing this as a means to vent, or to explain that "Diplomacy has failed, and I may be off the radar for a couple of days trying to take care of some unpleasant business." I hate feeling like this, and I love feeling like this. It's empowering and frightening because it isn't "proper." It isn't what we do in a civilized society. And that's exactly why I love it because it allows me to be defiant. It allows me to be justifiably angry in a world where I don't get that oppurtunity. It tempts me to do the dangerous things that the snarling beast that lives in all our guts tells us that we should even though we know better.
And I do know better.

And I may be calmer tomorrow, but I can't guarantee it.

And somebody is going to get verbally assaulted to the point that they either lose or quit their job. And I'm going to do it without cursewords, too.

I'm tired, and i'm angry, and my skull is splitting, and my upsetedness over this has killed my appetite. It feels like the world wants a fight, and all I want to do right now is to get shitfaced drunk and give them what they want.

Am I better than that though?

To the dismay of the beast in my gut, I am.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Rough tides.

It's been a trying few days.

Saturday night I felt my blood pressure drop, my temperature rise, and my head go light. It was less than fun. I didn't pass out...though I think my body wanted to.

Something still needs adjusting, physically, emotionally, and just overall.

I've spent a year adjusting things trying to get life back in order. Something is still off. I tried to spend a couple hours the past couple days tinkering with the Camaro to try and drag me out of this funk that i'm in, but it doesn't seem to be 100% reliable as each thing I fix reveals a couple other things wrong.

It's like a damned hydra, really.

Something inside me says that it needs fixing, now, all of it. So I'm listening to that instinct.

I used to live my life under the assumption that everything was fine unless specifically told otherwise. When that backfired (well, not really, I was just being manipulated) I began to overcompensate by assuming that everything was fouled up unless told specifically otherwise. This level of insecurity has me reeling a bit and I am...well, I'm pissed off about it as it isn't very leonine of me. I'm not sure what to do about it, though something needs done.

I guess there's a wrench in my hand, and a bunch of bolts needing to be tightened up, but I'm not sure where to start. It's overwhelming how many little things there are to do. On the surface or from a distance, everything looks fine, but up close and personal, well....

I rattle like a used and abused 1987 Camaro. Go figure.

I looked around for some old pictures of me from days gone by, but they seemed to have vanished. It's hard sometimes not to have anything solid besides memory to reflect ont hings with. Though my memory is excellent (I've been caught "memorizing" things, events, and people before) its not the same as something you can touch. It's saddening somewhat, but I guess I'll get through it. I'll keep looking, as there are a couple nooks and crannies I haven't explored in my pile o'stuff here, so who knows.

Laying awake in the warmness of spring,
with a cat on my chest thinking just of one thing.
Moving forward each day, with each turn of the wrench
Tightening up all the bolts that make me come unclenched.
Though the reasons are far to many to list here,
I will battle through all this and conquer my fear.
And I'll say again now, like I do every night:
It's for you that I do this, because... fighters fight.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Adventure? Excitement? A jedi craves not these things.

He knows a hero when he sees one. Too few characters out there, flying around like that, saving old girls like me. And Lord knows, kids like Henry need a hero. Courageous, self-sacrificing people. Setting examples for all of us. Everybody loves a hero. People line up for them, cheer them, scream their names. And years later, they'll tell how they stood in the rain for hours just to get a glimpse of the one who taught them how to hold on a second longer. I believe there's a hero in all of us, that keeps us honest, gives us strength, makes us noble, and finally allows us to die with pride, even though sometimes we have to be steady, and give up the thing we want the most. Even our dreams.

Aunt May, Spider-Man 2

So some apologies are in order. I spent the past couple days decompressing. I was exceptionally selfish, I didn't return any phone calls, do any chores, think too deeply about anything other than how soft my cat Storm's fur is.

Part of that is due to a migraine, first one in months, and let me tell you, they were NOT missed, not one bit.

But, here's a tale I'd like to spin,
of wild adventure and spirit within.
A tale of a man who left it all on the stage...
And I'll put it right down for you, here on this page.

He felt a little insane as he prepared to take the stage. Pulling off his clothes to reveal the private thing beneath, he felt a twinge of fear in displaying himself in such a manner. That fear, however, was countered by something else. A straightening of the spine, a pounding in his heart, an exhileration he didn't quite believe could actually exist. Taking a deep breath to calm his nerves, he awaited his turn in the wings, trying to calm his nerves and concentrate on the task at hand.

Then he heard his name. Well, it wasn't "his" name, his given one anyway. Tonight he was using a pseudonym, an alias, something he created out of nothingness, leaving himself behind with his clothes in the staging area for the performers.

"Be athletic," he told himself. "Be graceful. Be energetic, and charming. Be fluid, and stylish and witty and funny. Be seductive and proud, and all in between."

He stepped out from behind the curtain, music and cheers and the feeling of nakedness threatening to overcome him. A cartwheel, a hop, and a crouch, with a smile to the crowd he leapt to the stage like a man half his age. When the sounds begin to abate, they asked him his name.

"I'm the ArachKnight," he said proudly while striking a heroic pose, his midnight-blue spandex outfit seeming to shimmer some under the lights.

Mmmm, gotcha.

Ok, here's how it went down. Last Monday I heard there was a Marvel Super Heroes live action show being held here on Friday, and afterwards a "Superhero Tryout." So in a rush of creative enterprise, I assembled a costume, complete with neck-to toe spandex, a maroon sweatshirt with the sleeves cut off at the shoulders and a styilized spider spray painted on the front, the obligatory Utility Belt, and a domino mask to top it off. The idea was similar to "American Idol" or "Who wants to be a SuperHero, complete with question and answer session, interview, and performance.

Wow was I scared though.

But it was good. I had a really good time putting on a show for people, explaining my powers of super speed, and that I was an homage or legacy to my hero, Spider-Man, and did battle in the style and example he set out for us. I didn't have a plan, or a script or anything for myself, everything I did was completely done on the fly, from the hip, off the cuff, or other euphemism for "I made it up as I went along."

Now, I've been known to play Spider-Man for birthday parties, but this was different. This was me, but not, out there. It was frightening and exhilerating. I felt naked yet invulnerable, confused yet profound, and a dozen other contradictory things that somehow worked for me that night.

A lot of it passed by me in a rush, I remember that I made sure that I asked everyone to applaud for the tryouts that came before me, and I remember being really excited and it was hard to concentrate, especially the q&a session. I remember of course being asked the pertinent questions such as:

Q: "Where did you get your powers?"

A: "Off the internet. Man, you really CAN get anything off of eBay."

Q: What's in your Utility Belt?"

A: "That's classified, sir. You might be a Super-Villain in your secret identity."

Q: "Do you have any weaknesses?"

A: "Do red-haired girls count?"

I got a lot of laughs, which was great, and it's a hell of a thing when the crowd responds to you positively. I only lost them at one point, when I was asked what I was fighting for.

I answered that I didn't want them to believe in me, but that I just wanted to give them something to believe in.

That was met by some crickets, so I amended my answer to "Truth, Justice, and the American way!"

That brought them back.

Other things are kind of a blur. They asked for a demonstration of my powers, so I did a couple of flashy high kicks, and asked for a volunteer to join me on the stage. I picked out a kid, who came up there with me. His name was Javier, and I made sure to tell everyone to clap for him too.

So as I stood there trying to come up with a suitably impressive demonstration of my super speed, I channelled Muhammad Ali (the boxer), and a cut scene from the movie starring Will Smith about his life.

I told him I wanted him to hold his hand out in front of him, with the palm towards me. I got down on one knee and explaiend that I was going to hit his hand three times in the time he took to blink once. I asked him if he was ready a couple of times, and he started to flinch some. I watched his eyes very closely, and he didn't take them off my right hand, which was poised in a fist and prepared to strike the target he had displayed for me.

Timing it just right, I waited for him to blink, and when he did, he flinched. Grinning, as I had actually stayed motionless, I looked at him and said:

"Did I hurt you?"

The crowd loved it, I loved it, and I'm pretty sure Javier did too.

So that's my super-hero story. I had a great time doing it, and I don't even cae if I get any callbacks or invitations or job offers or anything else. The icing on the cake was Spider-Man shaking my hand as I left the stage, which put me at a 47 on the scale of 1-10 on the geekometer. I had a great time, and everyone else did too.

Especially the New Vixen Mafia, who seemed to believe that a super hero costume consisted of lingerie and a cape.....

But that my friends, is a tale for a different time.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Couple mondays ago

Restless tonight
Cause I wasted the light
Between both these times
I drew a really thin line
It’s nothing I planned
And not that I can
But you should be mine
Across that line

Finger Eleven, One Thing

That's the first thing I heard when I entered the NMSU Pan American Center for the concert a couple of weeks ago. Yes, this concert review is a little bit late, but there have been the sort of unusual happenstances that occur in my life, thus causing it to be delayed.

But let's Tarantino it some. Lets go back in time a little bit.

I arrived a little late, due to traffic and lines, and missed most of Finger Eleven's set. I was able to hear some of it while in line outside waiting to get in. I had floor seats to this event, a pair of them, but no one to go with. So I scanned the people around me, looking for someone to give my ticket to, and after about fifteen minutes of looking w hile standing in line, I saw him.

He might have been 17. I have trouble telling ages of people now since the young look older and the old look younger than I remember them being. He was standing off to the side of the line next to five or six girls who he knew, but he didn't seem to be "in line." This was a less than physically superior fellow, and he apeared somewhere between nervous and doomed, and I wondered briefly if I would get the pleasure of watching a young Scoundrel try to crash the gate. As the girls in line neared the door, he split off from his group, and they reminded him to pick them up after the show.

Oh no, he wasn't with them. He was their bitch. He got to drive them there, he got to pick them up, but he didn't have a ticket to the show, and because he liked one or more of them, he was putting up with it. The sidelong glance he cast the blonde affirmed that as he walked away sadly to sit under a tree outside the Center and wait.

Shit. I used to be that guy. We can recognize our own, you know.

So I hop out of line, and trot over to the tree, and say "Hey."

He flinched some. We sensitive types get a little flinchy when suddenly approached by other men. It's a survival reflex. Sort of the survival reflex that mice have to flee for their lives when confronted by cats.

So I ask him his name, and he asks why. I was already late and irritated, so I asked him his name again, while inserting a curseword in the question this time. He responded that it was Tony, and I asked if he had a ticket. He said no, and looked forlorn, so I went straight to the point and said "Now you do," and handed my extra to him. He yelled thank you at me as I ran back to my place in line and entered the arena.

Alright, I'm a big softy, even when I'm not being particularly nice about it. I did have an agenda this evening you know.

So Finger Eleven is playing, and after a quick stop for some merch, I entered the arena proper and made my way down the stairs to the floor where my tickets (now ticket) was valid for. Finger Eleven seemed to be a group of really cool guys, a cross between a pack of stand-up comedians and musicians. The lead singer reminded me of Jeremy Piven for some reason, in his mannerisms and the way he talked. I wish I'd seen more of their set, but my time travel powers are limited to literary linearisms, as the Flux Capacitor is out on the Camaro.

Ah well.

The lights come up, as the second band of the evening prepares to do their set. They were a band named Chevelle, who I'm not a huge fan of, but I like a couple of their songs, and they seemed like really cool guys too.

I'm in a new place, with the same face
And nothing is familiar to me,
But theres a storm rush, then the wind starts
And its bringing out the woman in me
I know that you're out there somewhere
Waiting on a deeper connection
Now I'm lookin to my left, searching on my right
'Cause we could be the greatest adventure, I'm
Come and find me, I'm not gonna hide
I got the sun on my side, it's
Heavy 'cause I'm finally open for the one and
I'm ready, ready

-I'm Ready, by Chevelle.

Chevelle's set ends, and I start to feel the rumble as the lights fall down and the band I'm waiting to see is about to go on. I'd seen them once, had tickets to another show that got cancelled, and this was something the universe owed me. I forced my way to the front of the pit, ten feet from the stage.

Then it hits me, like a sledgehammer, sound and fury coming out of the twenty foot high speakers above my head.

It's true, we're all a little insane
but its so clear
now that I'm unchained

Amy Lee of Evanescence's voice rips through me. My heart started to thunder, as she continued into the next line of "Sweet Sacrifice," and although I can never prove it, she looked at me before it came out.

fear is only in our minds
taking over all the time
fear is only in our minds but its taking over all the time

I love this band. I love their driving guitar, their thunderous drums, the voice and words of their singer. And I love the message they always somehow bring to me. They played some of their older and then newer stuff, songs that I enjoy but don't love too too much, but then when the song "Tourniquet" begins, I know I"m about to get something special.
You never call me when you're sober, my battle cry song from 2006.

Paper flowers, complete with snowfall (!) in the arena.

Going under, another battle song from another time.

Don't turn away, my Get up and Fight song.

They played all my favorites, but two were missing as the lights came up and they left the stage. Part of me inside yelled "WTF?" but I know the rules.

Save the best for the encore.

How can you see into my eyes
Like open doors?
Leading you down into my core,
Where I've become so numb.

Without a soul,
My spirit's sleeping somewhere cold,
Until you find it there and lead it back

Wake me up inside.
Wake me up inside.
Call my name and save me from the dark.
Bid my blood to run.
Before I come undone.
Save me from the nothing I've become.
Bring me to life.
Bring me to life, Evanescence.

So there it was. The thunder I needed. I didn't get it at the time due to some other things happening in my life, but it's what I needed. All I needed and more, enough fuel to get me through til the next phase. I just wish you'd been there with me.
So this is yours, the last thing I heard before leaving the arena that night. From My Immortal:

When you'd cry I'd wipe away all of your tears
When you'd scream I'd fight away all of your fears
I've held your hand through all of these years
And you still have
All of me

Thanks, universe.