Thursday, December 19, 2013

Mastering Adequate, Feinting Goals, Boring Business

Hopefully this happens if I ever sign to a label. 
I am taking a short break from mixing so I figured I would update this shit. I am actually hoping to be done with Ruined's very first release by the end of the day today. I was planning on sitting on it and mixing it for the rest of the month but then I realized, that would go against my "Fuck it, do it live" ethos. I am a firm believer in not over-thinking when it comes to artistic projects. When I was in high school, I was really into non-objective painting. Obviously a lot of paintings in that style are garbage but I always liked Jackson Pollock and a few other artists. I found it exhilarating to add layer after layer of paint and really the potential is endless to create whatever you want. But it is more difficult then other styles of painting as far as knowing when you should stop. You could have something really cool on the canvas but if you add just even one more splash or layer you could ruin the whole thing. So that's why I think by the end of the day today I am probably just going to walk away from mixing and decide that it's good enough. One day when I am a rock star I can have some other jerk-off do all the mixing. Especially since I know only Jack and Shit about mixing and unfortunately Jack just left town.

I always liked this one. It's coo.
This is probably what will
actually happen.
As far as other Ruined plans go, this is my pipe dream list of goals that I have in mind for myself. Firstly I am going to put out this EP which I am calling "Vessel." It is 5 songs and barring some drastic changes it's just over 30 minutes long. I will probably be putting up the digital release on Bandcamp either today or in the next few days. I am broke as fuck right now so I am going to plan on doing a physical tape release hopefully by mid to late January. It will come with a lyrics booklet and a poster that I have been working on. It's nothing fancy but it's sort of cool. Then after that release, I have music recorded for a split I am doing but I am planning on adding another song to that one so I am not sure when that will be put out. Probably sometime in February or March. Details are vague on that at the moment. But otherwise I am planning on recording that extra song for the split and then immediately start working on an all guitar EP of another 5 songs I have cooking. I have no idea what I am doing for vocals or anything on that so that is a HUGE pipe dream at the moment but who knows. I plan on that having one song on electric guitar and all the rest on acoustic. Otherwise probably one more split after that and then I should probably start thinking about a full length finally after all of that shit. As far as gear goes, I have to get that new bass, a better bass rig and sooner than later I need to get a van. I want to play Grand Rapids a few times and then start touring as soon as possible.

Fuck businessmen.
Keep it real George.

Love this movie.
Now that all that boring music update bullshit is done with, what else is going on? Let's see...oh the crotch in my work pants has blown out really hardcore. Kind of turning into a denim thong really fast. I am waiting for a customer to pull me to the side and tell me, "Excuse me, your balls are showing. Bumble Bee Tuna!" What else, my hatred for humanity grows with every waking moment but hey what's new huh!? All these mouth breathers and business man assholes who are nothing but empty suits really piss me off lately. I find comfort in knowing that their lives are monotonous beyond comprehension though. My life is fucking boring but holy fuck I can't imagine what a day for them is like. "Hey Brett, did you hear about Alan down in corporate accounting? Well, he's been using "egg shell white" paper for years but now he has been using "vanilla cream" for his faculty memos. I know right? That's what Linda said. That Linda sure is something huh? Too bad we all have prostates the size of cantaloupes so our penises are nothing more than flaccid wet beef jerky strips. Jerky sounds good actually I am going to go down to the vending machine want anything?" Those sad fucks.  Also, I always have typos but if they have been worst lately it's because I spilled Wild Cherry Pepsi all over my keyboard and now it's all sticky. Specifically the "L" and "O" buttons are bad. And the quotation mark key is really fucking bad I just realized. So yeah, that's kind of driving me insane. AnywhoooOO''''l''OoLLLLl""l"""'''ll''oo Olll''''"''L"OOloLLoO"""''' FUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Mole Asses, Jolliest Asshole This Side Of The Nuthouse, A Dwarf Is A Dwarf Of Course Of Course

ZZ Top rhymed "molasses" with
"sunglasses" in that one song they
wrote that one time. I couldn't think
of anything else molasses related.
Have you ever put brown sugar in your coffee? I was in a tight spot the other day sugar wise and I did the ole "Fuck it, do it live" maneuver which always gets me out of tight jams. I added brown sugar and I gotta tell you, it is worth experiencing. I think molasses is coo. If anyone ever put a chainsaw to your larynx and wanted to know your thoughts on molasses, would you have a well developed and articulate answer for them? These are the scenarios I train for daily. Though they are rare, you will be kicking yourself when the time comes for getting beheaded due to simple unpreparedness. I love molasses. Has lots of uses and believe it or not has some great health benefits too. To any fellow vegans our there, I highly suggest you consider making it a semi-regular part of your semi-sweet diets. It is high in two nutrients that vegans need to seek out: iron and B6. It also has calcium, manganese, magnesium, and potassium. I use it for soups a lot and that is that secret shit right there. Caramelize some sweet potatoes and ginger. You feeling that shit? Get some water boiling and add that sweet sweet molasses. Now we're starting to make some money, you picking up what I am throwing down? Burr that shit together which some onion, carrot and garlic and you got yourself a meal fit for a Maggot. I can't reveal all my secrets from the P.M.C.C.C.  That's the "Potato Mine Community Culinary College" for those unfamiliar with that establishment. But alas, molasses is essentially the byproduct left over during the creation of processed sugar. You know that bleached asshole sugar I have mentioned in the past? (CLICK HERE to be hyper-linked to that blog post.) So basically all the nutrients that are sucked out of sugar cane plants is left in molasses in a bucket of bitter but balanced beautiful blobby goodness. It's puzzling why that shit is so expensive though. It's kind of like charging someone to take your poop off your hands. So many nutrients and applications!

Shitter was full.
Though I fear to be associated with boring white people, I have been really into listening to Trans-Siberian Orchestra as many people have been I'm sure lately. Bare in mind, probably at least 50 percent of their material is total fucking garbage. I fucking hate when they get all "bluesy" and they consign bloated dead-weight "rock n' roll" vocalists to sing about how Jesus was just one of the good ole boys coming to get the party started up in here. But I love when they stick close to their classical training. Some of the most beautiful guitar work I have ever heard. I have a very special place in my heart for Xmas music believe it or not. First of all, a lot of it is actually dark as shit if you read the history and lyrics in these songs. Some were entirely used to release music under the watchful guise of tyrannical monarchies and religious fascists. They were too naive to read between the lines, and just the minor keys that they worked within are heart wrenching even to the casual music listener. Which is why I am not surprised that some of the very first songs I ever learned on my own were Xmas songs. I would practice "God Rest Ye' Merry Gentlemen" and "Faith Noel" everyday for months and it would be summertime. Perhaps it was because I was born just before Xmas, but despite the capitalist bastardizations and Christian thievery, (Xmas was of course a pagan celebration of the winter solstice,) Xmas will always be a cherished time for me. And I know that TSO is playing Grand Rapids in 2 days but I obviously can't afford to go, nor would I really want to. I'm sure it would be really awesome to see, but as I said before I am confident that half the show would be insufferable.

I want to learn this song today.

This is the scene with Bilbo and the Dragon.
The movie trailer made it seem way more intense.
I want to be an Elf when I grow up. 
Otherwise, I got up WAY later then I normally do today because I was up all night watching the midnight showing of "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." I got home and my adrenaline was pumping too hard still so I ended up staying up till 5 a.m. and watched "Good Luck Chuck" to calm my nerves. Have you seen that movie? The premise is dreadful, and why is it always the Goth kid who has to be the antagonist in movies? "The Crow" kind of turned that on it's head I guess. But anyways, the movie last night was awesome. And without spoiling too much, the ending was a huge fucking cliff hanger. The movie did involve a Hobbit though it you were unaware. It also had some wizards in it, like a dozen dwarves and a couple of elves. I hope that didn't ruin the movie for you. But if was really nice hanging out with my old friend Karen who I hadn't hung out with really since the last "Hobbit" movie came out which is really fucking sad. To any old friends I may have who reads this, always know that I think of you often and usually in a fond way. Sometimes a song will play and I will just start crying because I miss someone so intensely. "Into The Fade" by Queens of the Stone Age came on yesterday and I teared up thinking about my old pal Monte. Here I go again. I didn't get enough sleep I am too emotional. God Hates US All, Maggots For Life, Nu Metal Lives.  

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Jeff Dan-Kills, Get Over Here!, A Magnificent Missive From The Loquacious Lavatory

Pretty sure this smoothie could be made vegan.
Just use some almond milk for that shit.
And go to the health food store for
some seitan moose testicle.
I am up and about bright and early once again on this humdrum day. Which of course I am grateful for. I am content with any time I can spend outside the bastille of torment that is my vocation. I am just sipping on some coffee which is tasting surprisingly good for how cheap it is. "Anything free is worth saving up fer'." Yeah, I just quoted "Escanaba In Da' Moonlight." Have you seen that movie? I think the first half was really good and funny, but then it turned into a weird alien/cursed woods thing. One day when I am a billionaire I will remake that movie and have an alternate ending where Jeff Daniels realizes that slaughtering innocent animals is not a rite of passage into manhood but a descent into madness. And in my movie instead of the whiskey turning into sap, Jeff Daniels turns mega vegan straight edge and ends up smashing the whiskey jars over his brother's head. Then he goes all black ops and stalks all the other hunters in the woods and kills them all with his bare hands thereby liberating the Northern woods from all of nature's trespassers. Then he goes home to his family carrying a Tofurkey on his back and lives a long happy life which is extended and enriched with no cholesterol and reduced risks of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and erectile dysfunction. I will have to save some money to remake the Mortal Kombat movies though. That was one promise I made to myself when I was young. Fuck those were bad when they could be SO FUCKING GOOD.

This I never got. Was a spear that jettisoned from the hands not cool enough?
Back in Earth Realm though, things are pretty quiet around here as always. I have been pretty sick the last few days so I have basically been sucking down lemon ginger tea and daydreaming like I always do. Apparently there is a festival that happens in a few cities across the country called "Two Piece Fest" which as you may have guessed is a fest exclusively made for bands that have only two members. It is happening in February and unfortunately I did not learn about this until yesterday and they were seeking bands back in August. But I want to try and see if I could get Ruined involved. It's a long-shot but it would be really cool to play something like that. I have yet to play live so it's pretty stupid that I am trying to get on this but it's basically 3 months away so I am pretty sure I could pull it together by then. Also I have some half ass ideas about getting a vehicle for touring and shit. Obviously as I said, these are mostly the delusional ideation of a desperate fool but hey why not beguile myself. Whatever gets me through the day.

Now those are some poopy hands.
Weird that he's actually dead now.
Keep that sage burnin' unless you want
poopy hands and thighs.
To each their own I say.
Otherwise, I have been listening to yet another primarily 2 piece band called Crystal Castles a lot and have been really enjoying it. I always liked that band but never gave them the attention they truly deserve. And though I am learning more and more everyday, listening to them makes me realize how little I actually know about recording and creating a great sounding record. If you listen to one of their songs, they have so many layers and little things happening all at once and it all comes together so well. Obviously I am assuming they had help from producers and recording wizards, and I am just some jerk-off from Conklin trying to mold some shit into a shitty bowl of music that might hold someone's attention without leaking too much. I am basically Patrick Swayze in "Ghost" but instead of being all sensual with clay, I am being tormented with trying to turn feces into gold. And in the end I just wind up with poopy hands. Speaking of poopy hands; I just went to the bathroom and was playing some Ruined songs on the ole bass guitar, and when I was done I needed some bathroom tissue to cleanse my unholy blighted spaces. But the roll was put in so you pull it from the bottom. Which of course means you pretty much have to use both hands to tear off any sheets. Well what about people like me who need one hand to hold their bass guitar they brought into the facilities with them? HMMMMMMMM?????? Who the fuck does that? Its up and over or fuck-all for this cowboy. I must investigate who is doing this abominable act.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Beyond The Shore, I Am Scum Between Your Toes, The Pepsi Challenge

I look once more...
Many of you may be able to relate with this. But lately I have been feeling like I am approaching a fork in the road. A little over a year ago I had been unemployed for a while after coming home from a European tour. It was difficult for me to imagine going back to a job and perpetual misery after such a life altering experience. Obviously I am grateful to have been given the chance to even go on such an endeavor, but it changed me greatly and made the bitter become acrid when it came to the monotony of life. But after quite a few months the realism was either I find employment or go live in the woods somewhere. Like most people, I thought of it as a temporary bandage to help me get back on my feet until the next rock n' roll adventure arrived just around the river bend. Then I would ask the grinning bobcat why he grins. Then I would sing with all the voices of the mountain and paint with all the colors of the wind. Sorry, let me get back to being cereal. ("Serious" to the South Park layperson.) But alas, it has been since last February since my last even mild rock n'roll adventures. And money of course is always a factor; need to make money in order to fund the rock n' roll fantasy. I have no van, few able or willing musical companions and am left with only shitty gear and decent ability. None of that adds up to being a functional, self-sufficient musician. But what are we to do us dreamers of dreams? Jerk off and eat at Wendy's until the end of time? I accepted long ago that I was always going to poor, but I wanted my life to be enriched with experience. And the past year I fear I have been letting myself down. And that's okay, sometimes we trip up along the way. It's just important that we are able to recognize the faulty choices we make and eliminate them from our lives.

This is me whenever I
reflect upon my life.
But I am trying to stay motivated to dig myself out of the capitalist grave I have dug for myself. I decided over the weekend that I was going to record a 5 song EP for Ruined. I have had a few songs for a very long time that I never had the chance to decently record and I felt that I really need to get some actual tangible music out to the gloom masses. I recorded all the music yesterday and hope to get started on vocals today if I can get some of the rough mixes done. The fact that it has taken this long to even record these songs is yet another nail in the coffin of disappointment that I have for myself but fuck it, better late then never I suppose. I was going to hold out and just shoot for a full length, but these songs come from a different chapter in my life. I still think they are important to be released, but I am not where I was then. But I often times look to the past to keep me present. Like whenever I am unhappy I like to look back and thing "Remember when you lived in a frigid basement with only mice as companions and feces for sustenance?" That really makes me appreciate living in arctic tundra conditions but with cats as companions. I am really hoping to get some support for this release so it can help me start acquiring essentials that I have mentioned like a new bass, a tour van, a reason to live. You know, shit like that. None of this post is very entertaining and I apologize for that, I guess I am feeling a little macabre. Here, let me lighten the mood with a story from my boyhood.

Unrelated, but I have been hearing a shitload about 
this band Chelsea Wolfe. I was listening to this record
while I was writing this. It's pretty good but I think
it will grow on me more. 

That's me in the back there.
Probably the last smile of my innocence.
One Halloween, actually several Halloweens I dressed as a Pepsi can. My mom made this really coo costume and I wore it for as many years as I could before my stupid maggot body pulsated and grew too large to fit inside of my carbonated uniform. I guess I am still angry about outgrowing that costume, I would probably still be wearing it right now. Covered in mustard stains and ejaculate, what a sad state I would be in but hey at least I would still have my innocence. Anywho! In 5th grade I wore my costume to school and I must say it's probably the one time in my life that I felt pretty coo. Everyone else had some cool costumes but there was no denying that mine was totally the coo-est. A quick side story; during that time we were learning about how plants grew. So we all had planted a soybean into Styrofoam cups with our names on them with dirt and we were responsible for watering them and taking care of them. Well that Halloween, Kerry King had other plans for me. I was dressed in my big happy fun time Pepsi can costume and I happened to see one of my friends outside the window where the plants were basking. I ran to the window out of excitement for them to see me in my super coo costume. Unfortunately the apparel I was adorning was beyond my 5th grade skill of depth perception. I accidentally knocked almost every plant in the classroom over, destroying the progress we had all made and thereby setting the tone for the rest of my life. Everyone in the class didn't talk to me the rest of the day and I ducked my head into my soda can carapace and cried quietly as to not ruin anything else until I got to go home. I think the hatred I have received and my identity as "That Guy Who Ruins Happiness For Everyone Else" could be traced back to that very moment. So there, that's my super funny lighthearted story from my childhood! YAY!!!! Have a great day everyone!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Nu Metal Isn't Dead, It Just Went Underground, Bass Pace

This is me on one of my kicks.
Do you ever get in music moods? Of course you do! Isn't it fun? I love being really into a band for a chapter of time. Often times I will hear a song and it will take me back to a season in my life or sometimes to a precise moment. I really hate it when I am not on a band or album kick. Recently I came off of another hard Jesu kick. Was listening to that shit day and night for probably about a week straight. Before that it was Envy, and then I had a wicked A Perfect Circle addiction for quite a while. Usually I can find a pretty good flow and each kick will crash into the next batch of music waiting on the horizon. But every now and then I find myself in the dead water of my musical disposition. I hate that shit. One minute I will be opening the pit up on a band's entire catalog of music and the next minute I have no idea what the fuck I want to listen to. I find myself lost in the miasma that I call my life. Luckily I just swam out of that static lagoon and am facing the opposite problem. I am on a few kicks right now. I cannot listen to enough Rammstein and System of a Down right now. I am facing the problem of which band to listen to when. They are both so fucking good.   Dream band: Vegan Straight Edge Nu Metal Band. Every show we would play our set, and at the end we would unleash entire hives of bees upon the audience. Call ourselves Winnie The Doom Bear and The Honey Hell Hammers. With our debut platinum record "Honey: That Shit Ain't Vegan Get The Fuck Over It. Sweeten That Shit With Cane Sugar Or Just Fuck Right Off Already." Can we please talk more about Nu Metal bands?
It would go something like this.

"Christian punk huh? Cool...yeah right"
As you all know, I am a level 666, corpse belt certified Maggot. I listened to Nu Metal all day today at work and fuck I had such a good time. Of course it was ruined when about 60 Christian "punks?" walked through the door. What do you call these people? It's like a while back when I found a Christian "witch" on the internet. Listen, either be a damn witch, or be a fucking Christian. Pick one. When I reached the fork in the road of "Be A Respectable Human Being" or "Be A Fucking Pit Warrior" I weighed my options and windmilled my way into history. It's just that simple. I think there are other identities that can overlap, but being a pagan mystic who summons imps for a blood orgy while listening to Godsmack cannot also break bread with Johnny McChrist-Crotch over a Sunday penance of taint flogging. I hate segregating within a scene or really anywhere but man that shit is annoying. Such a vexing paradox. It saddens me that people can be exposed to so much thought provoking music and experience such uplifting activities like D.I.Y. punk shows and still get bogged down by that garbage. What a boring life that would be. As Nietzche said, "In heaven, all the interesting people are missing."

This is what I want to
do to my current bass.
Total piece of shit.
Speaking of being boring, I have some news on the Ruined front and a few new ideas I am kicking around the office. Firstly, I put a new bass on layaway yesterday. It has been 9 years since I bought my last bass, and this thing is a decent bass if I was in a middle school Nu Metal band. (To any middle school Nu Metal bands reading this blog, please contact me I am VERY interested in joining your band and playing your friend's mom's basement sometime.) But the time has come to finally get a bass that will be great to have for the next few decades. The unfortunate thing is I have a lot of payments to make on it and it will be several months before I actually get my hands on it. And I am deciding if I should keep recording music with this piece of shit that buzzes all the time, or if I should wait until I can get the new bass. But, I was also thinking about possibly recording some music in order to help raise some funds towards the new bass. I know probably only 10 people would buy a record that I put out but hey, every dollar would help. I'm not sure what I will end up doing, I also want to start thinking about live shows so I got a lot of shit to sort out. Do I put out shitty buzzy recordings and play mediocre sounding live shows to help expedite the new basses arrival? Or do I just sit in limbo for several months, waiting for my new gloom weapon to arrive? Please give me some input, I don't know what's cool. Maggot out. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Shit FM, Analog Annotation, Mailbox Massacre

Fuck, music used to be so fucking cool.
I had the unfortunate privilege of listening to a modern "alternative rock" station earlier this week. At first I was actually enjoying myself since they were playing a few songs that might be considered oldies at this point. Heard some Tool, Green Day and even some good Metallica. But only moments later I heard bands like Pop Evil, Theory of a Dead Man, and fucking Aerosmith. Now I pretty much hate Aerosmith, but I can get down on some AC/DC once in a while and of course Led Zeppelin is usually a treat. But I don't listen to a fucking "alternative rock" station to listen to those bands. But to be fair the bastardized primordial alluvium that was once music is far worst than any of these classic rock bands. First of all, it blows my mind that bands that were shitty in 2004 are still touring and selling millions of records everyday. Pop Evil? Come the fuck on people. I have said this many times, but for the most part I believe in "To each their own." I normally would not even critique anyone's musical choices, but there is a line. You all know what I speak of. Once that line is crossed, you just find yourself among a whole new species of humanity. I know what demographic they are trying to appeal to: Imbecilic, hedonistic froth from the carrion depths of contemporary aestheticism. They are basically congealed piles of misogynist intuition and Bud Light. You know, frat guys. You see, frat guys don't have time to develop strong musical backbones and dynamic systems of inspiration. They are far too busy stroking one another's egos and carrying out the genetic imperatives that their fucked up fathers "bestowed" upon them. I am convinced that all problems can be traced back to a man. Even bad music, bad taste and bad moral compasses. Fuck men. Not sure how I went from Aersosmith sucks to fuck patriarchy but hey, fuck it do it live.

This is how I picture most men. They are
like the shit demon from Dogma. 
Old thoughts from a dying memory.
The days of my life.
Otherwise I got up early today and I right away journeyed down into the catacombs of my basement. Or for those of you who don't know, the ancient dwelling of yours truly. As I traversed the piles of garbage and battled the now conscious box of Beanie Babies, I eventually found my way to the dungeon that was once my sanctuary. As much as it sucked sleeping in a freezing basement and having only mice as companionship, I almost miss the person I was at those times. I went down there specifically to find my journal. I recently decided to start keeping a journal again but I wanted to transpose the last few entries of my handwritten journal onto the journal I keep on my computer. I had not made an entry since February of this year which saddened me. I have been using this blog as a kind of journal over the past year, but for the most part I don't do much self reflection nor contemplation on here. I think it's important to have private thoughts and to document them if for no other reason then to see how much you have grown or failed to grow. And in many ways I think I am in a much better place since my last entry but I also used to read far more often and just try and learn as much as I could. Now I just jerk off stale-fish and find it hard to question my current path. Because I know if I truly reflected upon it, I would probably feel horribly disappointed and trapped.

I searched "stop sign humping"
and I found this. I like Green Day
and Macbeth shoes so hey. Whatever.
Speaking of being horribly disappointed, I have some news on the Ruined front. I have finally finished the songs I am doing for a split with my good friend Monte. My side is about a total of 12 minutes and I have been listening to it while I write this. And I must say, I am feeling pretty good about the way it turned out. I know that I am no recording wizard, in fact I am about as capable as a wet carrot in that department, but for a clueless idiot maggot like me I think it turned out okay. I am expecting to be able to put the digital version up for download in the next week or so with some limited physical copies made available shortly thereafter. This is actually my first time putting out music basically by myself so I am excited but nervous about it. I hope that I won't fuck it up. But I already have some plans for another release on the horizon and now that I am done with the songs I have been working on I feel as though I should get started on some new shit today. It could be the 3 cups of coffee but I feel this sense of urgency so I think that would be a good outlet for that. Otherwise I could always go hump a stop sign or fight a mailbox. Me: "What did you say to me mailbox!?" Mailbox: "........." Me: "I will fuck you up man, every heard of the Conklin Crusher?! That was me all day baby!" Mailbox: "...................Fuck Conklin..." Me: "OH FUCK NO YOU DIDN'T!!!" I would be found hours later in a ditch with wounds consistent with mailbox violence and a Times magazine up my ass. The coroner would also note heavy chaffing in the groin area with traces of red and white street sign paint on my pants. Alright I think that's enough for now. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

You Say Potato, I Say Fuck It, Pensive Patience

I was thinking about potatoes a few minutes ago. I am currently frying up some potatoes to make potato burritos and I thought about how over the years this dish has become one of my favorite meals. And not to toot my own bah-gerp, but I can sherp a potato burrito like it ain't no derp. And perhaps it is the spooky nature of today being Halloween or watching too much X-Files again but I thought about a likely scenario: What if someone broke into my home and tied up me and all my roommates and at gun point demanded a damn fine potato burrito or they would execute us one by one? I must say in that situation, I would feel pretty relieved. I just hope they would make me go first. But there would be a lot of pressure still though, potatoes can be a sweet but cruel mistress. You have to have just the right amount of heat, just the right amount of seasonings and you have to have the right ingredients for sure. Firstly, it's olive oil or fuck all. Vegetable oil may be fine for Fucky McFuckSwing but that shit is abominable. Also as many of you know, there are many varieties of potato. Russet potatoes are tried and true and in a pinch, they are sufficient. But they lack the fortitude of other potatoes. They get mushy really easily and don't brown very well. But in the lowest valleys of my life, russet potatoes have been a loyal ally in my battle towards survival. Red skin potatoes are probably my second favorite potato so far. Once again, they are not my favorite though for frying, because they also get a little loose. But they definitely hold the compliment of dill really well for potato salads and they have a natural creaminess that makes them great for mashed potatoes and soups. But my personal favorite would have to be Solanum Tuberosum, also known as a good ole fashion Michigan white potato for all you good ole boys and girls. Just a nice all purpose potato with all the bells and whistles a country gal or guy like me could dream of. Just thinking about those potato plants being swept with that cool moist Great Lakes air brings a tear to my eye. Delicious and comforting, if only intercourse would produce such affirmations.

This is a comic I drew a while back. Upon review, I may have had some self esteem issues. 

"We'll do it live, fuck it!" -My life motto
Now that I have eaten my sustenance I am preparing for a long day of recording. As of right now the song I am working on is about fifteen minutes long. With doing multiple takes and layers, I am not certain if I will be done by the end of the day. Going into this endeavor I have a desire to make it sound really good and as professional sounding as possible, but I also don't want to lose that "Fuck it, do it live" attitude. I will probably do maybe two takes and say "Fuck it" and then spend many hours mixing and fixing what I fucked up by only doing two takes. That's the "Doing it live" part. The shitty thing is I wish I had a nice analog tube amp. I was listening to "Two Hunters" by Wolves In The Throne Room last night on vinyl and was just blown away by there sound. The song "Cleansing" also just fucks me up almost every time I hear it. To imagine being able to sing that beautifully seems celestial and unattainable. Mastery of instruments is very physical and also can seem ethereal beyond comprehension, but the power of voice is something else all together. That is such an internal, inborn trait that I can't help but feel that each and every person who can sing like that has been gifted with the grace of Kerry King.

On a more somber note, I have been listening to the song "Light and Solitude" by Envy a lot lately. It has been making me feel very pensive and nostalgic. The nostalgia is being drawn from how this song reminds me of Final Fantasy every time I listen to it. Envy is one of those bands I just appreciate and lovingly accept the gifts they have bestowed upon me. I draw a lot of inspiration from a lot of bands including Envy, but unlike other bands, I am not envious of Envy. Other bands I listen to and I want to strive to do what they are doing. I want to be them. But when I listen to this song, I just think about all of the musicians in that band and how it was just a matter of luck and perhaps fate that brought them all together. The way the guitar melodies caress the air and encapsulate the
senses. And the drums just make all the right hits in all the right places cascading you deeper and deeper into another dimension of thought. And I highly suggest looking up the lyrics of Tetsuya Fukagawa, they are nothing less then poetic genius. I have no ambition of ever creating something as perfect as this song or this band. I don't possess the collective power that this band and many other bands have. I hope to one day maybe be a part of something greater then myself as a piece of an incredible band like this. But to try and achieve something that amazing on my own is just futile. So I guess when I begin recording today, I am doing it with a humble heart. And though I am going to do my utmost to create something great, I am just one creature beneath the sun. One beast above the soil. For now.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Nailed To The X-Files, Later-Anus, The Capricorn Curse

Even this episode creeped me out.
I woke up today feeling anxious and restless which was probably due to two factors. The first one being that I watched way too many episodes of the X-Files last night and it put me a little on edge. Still to this day at 24 years old that theme song still creeps me the fuck out. When I was a kid I had two options when my parents would watch that show: Either sit in the dark room with my parents and watch the show, or sit in an adjacent dark room by myself and cry and listen to the noises of spooky aliens coming to eat my face off. That was the situation for me a lot of times when I was young. I was easily scared of the dark, or spiders or aliens. So while my parents or peers wanted to watch scary movies, they would often times roll their eyes and realize "Oh wait, Zach is scared of every fucking thing that has ever existed, guess we should lock him in another room so we don't have to listen to his cries of terror." That may be a mild exaggeration but you get my point. I felt like I was a burden a lot of times, but in some ways that may have helped me overcome my fears. As I got older, I just sort of stopped being scared. It happened very rapidly and I couldn't pin point when I started to be okay with scary things but one day I just grew up I guess. But watching that show brought about a lot of repressed anxieties that I used to feel on a daily basis when I was a young boy. Though I find that show interesting and fun to watch, I think I need to pace myself whenever I watch it.

But the second thing that drove me from my slumber was that my hand recorder arrived in the mail yesterday. So today was the first day that the cosmic door of being able to record shit was open to this lowly potato munching maggot. I also needed to start finishing vocals for the four Procession songs we recorded back in February. It's really hard to believe that it's been that long since we recorded those songs, but hey I guess if it takes us eight months to finish four songs then they must be pretty fucking good songs right? I mean Tool took five years to write "Lateralus" and that had thirteen songs on it. So we're about on track with that shit. And to be fair, this is some of the best shit we have ever written. Hopefully it will be well worth the wait. I don't really know what lies ahead for that band but I am feeling really excited about those recordings and who knows. Do it live.

If only we sounded this good.

Professor Shit-Shingle is nothing like Ben Stiller in
"Pick of Destiny." He'd be totally coo.
He looks more like this shit-ass. What a shit-ass.
The day after I ordered that recorder though I ended up ordering a mic stand to hold it while I am playing instruments or doing vocals. The mic stand arrived earlier today but I was foolish enough to think that it came with a mic clip attachment with it. It of course did not. So now I am delayed once again for recording the Ruined tracks I have been talking about recently. I could do it and just lean the hand recorder against something but it'd be nice to keep a consistent sound setup throughout the recording process. But anywho, I thought about going to Guitar Center to just buy one on the spot instead of waiting for a clip to show up in the mail. But I have decided I am officially retiring from shopping at Guitar Center. I had so many reasons to hate that store for so long but now I have had enough. I have described the employees of Guitar Center before: Narcissistic, bile bellowing shit-hammers. But there is this one guy who, for the sake of anonymity, we will call "Professor Shit-Shingle." I fucking hate this guy. Whenever I walk into that store he is of course always there, waiting in the shadows to strike out and spew his drivel and hawk his shitty guitar strings and unreasonably priced bullshit. But there is someone I hate even more then him, and that is myself. I despise the way that I act when he talks. I just sort of nervously laugh at his dreadful jokes and try to push through so I can just buy my fucking strings and leave. And when he finds out that all I want to spend is four dollars, he starts pining and imploring me to buy more shit. And it is so ingrained within me to avoid confrontation that I just bottle it up and hope that it will all be over soon. Despite my intense misanthropy, it is difficult for me to be rude to people especially strangers. It's that damn Capricorn personality I tell you. If I had my druthers, this would be the perfect scenario. I enter the store. "Hey bro! Come to check out the X-49 Turd Humper huh?" says Professor Shit-Shingle. And I would respond with, "Fuck you Professor Shit-Shingle. I hope your dental hygienist castrates you with dental floss at your next cleaning."  Only in a perfect world. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Porcelain Pontification, I Don't Fun, Gloomedge Revenge

My morning routine.
Believe it or not, I often times come up with ideas for this blog while I am sitting upon the porcelain throne. In fact, I feel that many people overlook the useful amount of time we spend in the bathroom. I have found that it is a vital time that has wondrous potential for productivity and creativity. For example, aside from using that time to come up with delightful topics that astound and entertain you fine people, I have also written some of my best music in there. Hand to Kerry King, I'd say about 80% of the time I spend in the bathroom I will bring a bass or a guitar into the facilities with me. Why not? You are just sitting there debasing yourself with bodily imperatives. Mine as well get some work done! And usually the acoustics are excellent so that is also a bonus. I usually find it difficult to sing though, since my diaphragm is preoccupied expelling feculence. But take some advice from a simple sailor, if you're going to make doo-doo, better get some shit done-done.

Speaking of productivity, Ruined has been in high gear for the past week. It feels so good to be passionate about playing bass again. I have said this over and over again, but every time I pick up my bass I am so pissed at myself for ever putting it down. I have been working on some new material for the split that I mentioned in my last post. I have been putting a lot more effort into learning how to build drum tracks and making the tracks sound a lot more interesting. But I also get very anxious and frustrated with doing that stuff since I am not a drummer in any sense of the word. So realistically I have no idea what would sound good when I am building those tracks. So far all I know is that if the drums are slow and boring things seem to sound heavy to me. But I am trying to experiment with doing new things I've never done with this type of music. Since it is only going to be a drum track, bass guitar and vocals, I feel that I need to do a lot of stuff with the bass to keep it interesting. While still maintaining the stark and barren sound that I am going for. But once I get those drum tracks done I am hoping to buy a hand recorder this week and start recording shit. On the topic of recording and gloom music though, Dan from Have A Nice Life posted a link yesterday about his label Enemies List. He is trying to reformat his relationship with the label but needs some help over the next year to get things situated. (Balancing life, music,work etc.) That man, band and label have had a huge impact on my life and so I would like to encourage you to check out this link ( It's a little long, but if you read the whole thing it makes a lot of sense. He needs at least 400 people to make it work though. I get paid tomorrow so my ass is hopping on that shit like lumberjacks playing blackjack with flapjacks while carving jack-o-lanterns and using Jack Daniel's as lubrication for jacking-off.


Best Edge Day ever.
On a more personal note, today is Edge Day, a straight edge holiday. It is an auspicious day that is vague in it's observances. It just happened to be the day that an annual hardcore music festival was happening once a year. It would have been a lot cooler if it was the celebration of the day that a beer baron was drowned by his own son but we were not fortunate enough to find that nugget of knowledge in the history books. But it is fun once a year to be reminded of what straight edge is or means to each and every one of us. I have discussed straight edge on this blog before, but this post is more about the nostalgia I feel on a day like today. It was early September of 2009 that I decided to become straight edge, and now it is 2013. A lot has changed in 4 short years, but that is a constant within the blizzard of vicissitude. I was an entirely different person 4 years ago, but I am grateful for my mistakes and lessons that I have learned. As Destiny's Child would say, "If I surround myself with positive things, I will find prosperity." Now that was a great 90's straight edge band right there. My positive things are not typical though: rainy days, fog, grey clouds blocking out the sun. That may sound like I am being a goofball but I honestly find comfort in the macabre. So I may not seem like the posi-est piper in the pickle pantry but as long as I am enveloped in darkness then I am a happy camper. And it's nice to have an understanding lady-friend who lets me be gloomy as fuck all the time. She gave me the LP of "Destroy The Machines" by Earth Crisis this morning. She initially got it for Christmas but it arrived yesterday and today just made way more sense. So that made my Edge Day super special. I hope yours are equally magical.

Remember Victory Records being cool?

"Straight edge - the discipline. The key to self liberation is abstinence from the destructive escapism of intoxication. I separate from the poison - a mindlessness I've always abhorred. Usage will only increase the pain, a truth I constantly see ignored. The pollutants that kill the body breed apathy within the mind. The substances that once brought release in the end will always confine."

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Monk of Monotony, Dust In The Sin, Reaping The Wreckage

Kerry King = Hippie Holocaust
Autumn is in the air, and perhaps it is the organic matter beginning to decay or the recent increase in precipitation, but I have been in a pretty decent mood the past few days. First of all, my nephew Jack Atlas Meier was born at 7:45 a.m. on October 8th at 7lbs 8oz. So that was super duper awesome. It's crazy holding a human being that was inside someone just a few hours earlier. My brother and sister-in-law are tired as fuck but seemed to be doing dandy nonetheless. And it is strange to realize that there is now a generation between you and the abyss of progress. I went from being a middle child, to being an uncle in just a short 9 months. And now I have to get to work on making him a vegan straight edge warrior. Luckily I would break into my brother's apartment every night for the past 9 months and would play Earth Crisis through headphones around his wife's tummy. Needless to say, that kid will be "A Firestorm To Purify!!!!" But also yesterday was the birthday of some pretty neat people. It was John Lennon's birthday and over the years I have accepted that he was the King of the Hippies, but I still think he was a great man whom I wished hadn't had to meet his end the way he did. But it was also one of my co-worker's birthday who has been slaying upon the Earth for many moons now and it felt good to make his birthday somewhat cool even though he was at work. I remember becoming a cook on my 16th birthday, and look at me now! life is boring and stupid...fuck... Anywho! Though I wish pestilence and famine on most of the mouth-breathers this cesspool called "Life" congeals on the daily, it has felt good to take a short sabbatical from hating everything and everyone for once.

The key to self liberation!!!

One of Chumm's few shows ended
in such an awesome way.
Like that Elton John song says,
"Our giant inverted cross burned
out long before our legend ever did."
But enough of that posi-shit!! Let's talk about The Gloom!! THE GLOOOOOOMMMM!!!!! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! As I mentioned earlier, Autumn is a time of rebirth and reflection for your's truly. I never realize it until I am in the grips of it, but I do the majority of my music writing and playing in the Fall months. Almost any band I have ever played with we wrote our best stuff and played our best shows around this time of year. My first real band Cult of Reason would play basement shows all the time over on Richard Terrace St. Procession wrote "Spring Thaw" in the frigid unheated depths of The Cage one Autumn's eve. And I wrote the majority of my gloom songs for Longing in the dark embrace of my room towards the end of October and early November a few years back. My old vegan straight edge hardcore band played our first show November 1st of 2010 I believe. Boy that sent us tumbling down the old rabbit hole I tell you what my interesting sailor friends. And who could forget the faithless night that Chumm played Fowlerville? Hell swam to the High Heavens that night. And our tour van "The Red Dragon" took a shit on the way home. Fuck, hard to believe how long ago all those times were. My ass is getting nostalgic as shit right now. Good Times 

Back to the gloom. As I have mentioned a few times in this blog, I have been trying to get a drum and bass project off the ground called RUINED for a little while now. A lot of barriers have been in the way and my general problem of having my spirit crushed by yuppies every waking moment of my life. But with the power of Autumn and astonishingly dreadful rainy days, I have been trying to push through and start getting material together for recording a release. As of right now I have plans for two upcoming releases, one being a two song EP or possible LP depending on how carried away I get with the shoegaze drone. And the other release is a split I am planning on doing with one of my oldest and most cherished friends. Without "Ruining" too many surprises, I am really excited about doing that split and have many cool ideas for making the physical copies we distribute to be unique and fun to create. Without getting too carried away with the creativity of the packaging. (See the final paragraph of a previous post HERE for my thoughts on the shit-squeezing obsession of "D.I.Y." music distribution.)  But I think it will be fun for any Gloom Gurus who pick up the record to know that a lot of care and work went into their purchase. As always though, I have no idea when I will begin recording for these endeavors. It will probably end up being a rainy day, an 8-Track and will just be done fucking live probably. Who knows. I am a broke ass with little access to even decent recording equipment. But hey, no one's perfect. 

Been loving Jesu again lately.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Sugar Mountain, Waffle Making Kicking Through The Shit, The Actualization of Araya

I named my cat Harvey after this man.
Technically they're a girl cat but fuck the gender binary.
Have you ever heard the saying "A Watched Pot Never Boils?" Well this sailor can tell you first hand, that statement is untrue. (In that last sentence I wanted to say, "This sailor can tell you first hand THAT THAT statement is untrue." I feel like I do that way too often. I do THAT "THAT" thing. I need less THAT'S in my life and more commas. I think THAT is the right thing to do. Fuck it.) Anywho, watched pot remember? Stay with me. I just stole some leftover, room temperature coffee from my roommate, (sorry Richard.) And as I tell people often I take my coffee like Harvey Keitel's character "Winston Wolf" in Pulp Fiction. "Lots of cream, lots of sugar." Or in my case, "Lots of almond milk, lots of organic, fair trade, locally grown, no preservatives, gluten free, all natural, cage free cane sugar" Not really, it's that bleached asshole kind of sugar. But I didn't want to add cold ass almond milk to room temperature coffee so I splashed some in a pot and put it on the stove full blast. Within a few moments it was boiling like a pit warrior at a Justin Bieber concert. It still tastes like a microwaved plastic bag floating in boot broth but hey it's coffee.

I needed a boost after playing a Tristram show last night. Luckily the show was at a house known as "The Waffle Haus" which is literally just down the street from our place. We really need to invest in a van though, because it still took 3 small ass cars to drag all our shit over there. I have no idea where any of this money will come from but I guess that is the life of a rock star. The show itself was okay at best. We ended up playing last and we pretty much played to the other bands. But honestly, that is not always such a bad thing. Obviously I would prefer more people would come out and buy merch so we can purchase more bleached asshole sugar, but it is always good to make band connections with out of town bands and local bands. I also had never been nor played at that space and it was nice to break the ice over there. That being said, I didn't get home till midnight and I am usually in bed by 9:30 p.m. And yeah I know I am a fucking loser. I have a strange dichotomy within myself when it comes to playing shows. I either want to tour for 2 months straight, or pretty much stay at home all the time every night. When I have a local or out of town show, I pretty much dread it all day and ruin the rest of my day leading up to the gig. It's not quite as intense as having an anxiety about it, but I really hate having plans on the horizon. I like to feel like I can do whatever the fuck I want when I get home. But on the other end of that, when I am on tour, I love that the only things I have to worry about are eating, sleeping and playing the gig that night. It simplifies and compresses all my concerns into 3 easy to focus on categories. Fuck I want to tour. Fuck working. I don't even want to think about that shit since I am actually in a decent mood this morning.

Before I started this post, I put my Itunes on random. I rarely ever do that since usually I land on a lot of bullshit that I never listen to and should probably delete. But in the time that I typed this so far I have had "After The Gold Rush" by Neil Young, "Failures" by Joy Division, "Why Are We Not Perfect?" by Jesu, "Accept Yourself" by The Smiths, "This Photograph Is Proof" by Taking Back Sunday, "Call In The Night Boy" by Talk Talk and "Funeral Rites" by Sepultura. Been a good start to a most likely lazy day. But listening to these bands and thinking about that show last night I realize more and more that I need to become more dedicated to my craft. I played pretty sloppy last night and it has been a while since I had that much trouble playing. I am usually a finely tuned mosh machine but I was an adolescent hiccup humper last night. I talk about musicianship and passion all the time, and yet I know I am allowing working all the time to crush or at least dampen my spirit and endeavors. And just knowing that I am unsatisfied with playing on mediocre gear after almost 13 years of playing on that garbage. It's good for getting a start, but I have never been able to break that barrier between me and decent shit. Cause I am a broke ass fool. I seriously wish one of these trust fund fuckhole bands would clip me with their tour van so I could just take all their shit from them and they would have to ask their parents for even better gear. It'd be worth having to limp on and off the stage every night. But hey that's just me being petty right? "Raining Blood" by Slayer just came on. I read a story that Tom Araya trained to be a respiratory therapist and funded Slayer's album "Show No Mercy" with that job. Then when they were going to go on their first big tour he had to decide whether to keep his job, or take a risk and do it fucking live. Maybe I need to follow the Path of Araya, minus the Catholicism of course. God Hates Us All.

One of my personal favorites.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Omen Kill-Sun, Aqueous Anamnesis, Misty Master Splinter.

Picture Owen Wilson as the carpenter.
Why the fuck not?
I've been told I look like him.
I don't know if that is a compliment.
Now Luke Wilson is some damn.
As anyone living in the Grand Rapids area knows, we are well into the shit-fest known as Artprize. (See my previous blog post HERE if you are unfamiliar with this shit-charade.) As I suspected, not only do we have the normal shit-shamrocks that haunt the streets of our fair city, but we had to import even more shit-kabobs and make life even fuckier for the rest of us. But I had a great idea the other day that would make Artprize fun for one year and possibly cause the whole thing to cease from then on. My idea is this, you have an obscure artist enter the competition. No one has really ever heard of this artist and perhaps they don't even consider themselves an artist. But they have years of carpentry experience and are a true craftsmen. They would acquire a large outdoor space downtown where they can set up. But unlike all the other "artists," this artist would not have their artwork complete by opening day. In fact the day the festivities begin, you will find this mysterious person with only raw materials, tools, and a large pile of lumber, which would peak the curiosities of any passerby. Then our anonymous artisan would go to work. They would begin working day and night, swiftly cutting and carving, hacking and stacking, sanding and staining. People would stand around and be amazed not only by their prowess but also their passion and obsessive loyalty to their trade. It would inspire young and old to gather around our artist and even bring them sustenance. And of course they would begin voting for our artist based on their will to win alone. Then after about a week, people begin to be truly touched, for it becomes apparent that our artist has built the outline of what appears to be a bell tower, complete with a crucifix. The crisp fall air would only intensify the chills one would feel from this pilgrim's piety. Another week passes and it has taken form as a small chapel, complete with breathtaking carvings of the twelve apostles, John the Baptist, David and Goliath and fuck it the entire cast of Veggie Tales while we're at it. At this point, there is no question who will be the winner this year. Both people's of faith and secular critics would agree that this artist truly is blessed. Then at the awards ceremony, everyone gathers once more around the creation of our artist, a beautiful cathedral no larger than a schoolhouse but remarkable nonetheless. Then Dick Dev-il-os would hand over a check for $200,000 and the crowd would applaud in enthusiastic agreement that they had all made the right decision. Then the moment the check was in their hand, the artist would walk over to their masterpiece and burn it asunder. People would gasp in horror and confusion. Their trust and faith in everything and everyone would be questioned. And whether they understood it or not, that is what art should embody. Perhaps they wouldn't agree with it, most likely they would despise that person and be disgusted by their actions. But that person stirred them in so many ways. They lifted them to high heaven and then crushed their spirits into the mud. After only embers were left, the artist would donate all of the money to a woman's shelter. Seeing it as a small bandage for the atrocities the sons of God have committed. It would be glorious.

This would be playing at the bonfire of course.

I love these movies.
But hey on a lighter note, have you ever had a super vivid dream that you were peeing and then woke up peeing? I totally did that at about 4 a.m. this morning. I didn't full blast let it rip pee all over the place but there was definitely some seepage. I have been feeling kind of sick so I am not sure if it was related to that but that has not happened to me in a real long fucking time. Like two decades long time. I was probably snuggling some Beanie Babies or some shit the last time that happened. Blew my fucking mind. It reminds me of this time that I lived with my brother years ago. I remember I was still in college and we were living in this apartment together. I woke up one morning to go to class and felt pretty much fine aside from being a little tired. I was laying on my back and felt some bubbling that was not out of the ordinary. I thought, "Welp, I guess I have to fart." So I began the process of farting, but I got more then I bargained for. My sphincter was just like, "Hey Zach, I am taking the day off. You may want to buy some cork or something." Needless to say I immediately emailed my professor and said, "Sup bro, I know I have missed a lot of classes, but if I come to class I am just going to poop my pants and have to leave." Maybe I am just getting old.

One of the few movies we had at my dad's house.
Still awesome.
Otherwise, I have pretty much just been slaying dragons on Skyrim and working. Tristram is going to be playing a show on the 2nd of October at the old Turtle Den. I guess it's called The House Of Pancakes or something like that. I will probably always refer to it as the old Turtle Den. That is a way cooler name. But hey, I am just some fucker who is going to play there, I am grateful for the space and time. The best thing is it's about a 3 minute walk from my house. So when I come off the adrenaline from playing and remember that I hate everyone I can totally bail. Man I love bailing. I think in some ways I maybe have social anxieties and shit, but I also truthfully think that most people have nothing enriching to say or discuss. Also I get this overwhelming inertia when I see bands play. I guess you could call it inspiration but I see a band and often time I feel like "Why the fuck am I here I should be practicing so I can do what they are doing." I just went to the Knife Ritual, Cloud Rat, False, Thou show in Muskegon last week and it was fucking incredible. I am really glad I went but I got that feeling hard while I was there. Rorik and Cloud Rat overall are the reason I decided to start playing guitar. A lot of other guitarists had influences on me of course but after I saw Cloud Rat I was like, "Fuck it, do it live. These smooth criminals are doing it live real hard." So yeah, I guess I am saying I should go see my friend's bands more often, but I should also not go and practice so I can play with them and go on tour forever and ever.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Mourning Memories, Allegory of Atrocity, The Pink Passenger

You will not be missed, but never forgotten
Enjoying my morning today which I seldom have the opportunity to do. Usually I am about halfway through my shift by now. Wow, what a fucking loser huh? Anywho, I am feeling lighter and more regenerated lately. I have begun working out again and have cut back on soda and other shitty shit. I also removed a lesion I have had for a long time now. I had a giant fucking mole on the top of my head removed. The procedure itself was pretty unremarkable, they numbed me, took a razor blade to cut it off then cauterized the wound. Which it's pretty gnarly to smell your own flesh burning. Pretty metal. Fucking brutal actually. But like anything, when you are at the end, you think about the beginning. I remember the day that I even noticed that mole for the first time. I was 19 and I went to the mall with my first real girlfriend Audrey. She went into a shoe store while I sat on a bench outside. As I sat pontificating and flatulating, I began exploring through my scalp like any bored sailor would do. Who knows, perhaps there would be some dry skin or maybe some food I had misplaced earlier in the day. But on that day, I stumbled upon something new and exciting. My instinct first told me that it was my sebaceous glands causing a blockage of the bacteria known as Propionibacterium acnes more commonly known as a pimple . I would occasionally find those on my head so I began the struggle to remove the contents. I battled long and hard and to no avail. I had decided to give up and try again later and then Audrey came out of the store. "What happened!?" she inquired. Apparently I was bleeding down the side of my face and neck and hadn't realized. So basically to any passerby I was some guy who had probably just been beaten up. Which upon review, fuck those people! Here I was, bleeding profusely and no one had the decency to see if I was okay? Wow, what shitasses.

Me roadtrippin' with some pals
back in the good ole days.
Being taken back to the magical age of 19 takes me even further back, to the days when the strapping Zach you all know and love today was a little less strapping and a little more chaffing. I was what most people would consider an atrocity. I basically looked like Freakshow from Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle except I was fatter and had braces. But when I look back at these times, I miss the simplicity and innocence I knew then. I think most people do, but I would literally play World of Warcraft and bass guitar simultaneously for 8 to 10 hours daily and that was on school days. Wake up at 6 a.m., go to school, get home by 3 p.m., play until 10 or 11 at night. Repeat. I can tell you one thing, I was a far more disciplined musician during that time then I am now. 16 year old Zach would kick 24 year old Zach into the dust. And my naiveté was a blessing and a curse as it always will be. I had zero concept of what "The World Of Sex" was like. I would just day dream that one day I would be good enough at bass that perhaps someone would want to hold my hand and we could dance and sing with gumdrop smiles. But I received very little attention until my body image had made a 180. Which is an unfortunate but necessary lesson I had to learn. No matter how much trust you have upon others, or how much you romanticize the actions of your fellow mammals, at the end of the day we're all just beasts. At times we can be noble beasts, but our shallow thinking will always be our tether holding us from nirvana. And pushing us towards buying the records of the angst riddled euphoria of the hit 90's band Nirvana. What ever happened to that guy? Oh...right...

Ain't that some shit.

My internal being. Actually he looks
a lot like Diglett. Maybe my mole was
a piece of my soul. My soul mole.
In a lot of ways, I feel like that boy is still raging inside of me. My perceptions of people instinctively are usually good, because at the core of me I'd still like to believe most people are honest, loyal individuals. But years of trials and disappointment has shed the light of wisdom upon my fairy tale. But I do believe most people enjoy the company of what lies at my core, and I suppose that is a good thing. Perhaps they ignore the bitter, hateful cloak I have placed upon myself and try to see through to the gooey gummy-bear guy inside.

On the subject of innocence, yesterday was of course the anniversary of an unfortunate event that will be talked about for decades to come I am sure. But I looked back at that year and realized that some of my favorite records I listened to when I was younger (and even now) came out that very same year. And I believe the most unfortunate thing that happened that year was we all lost our innocence. No one is innocent. The lighthearted spirit we all possess took a deep cut that year, and things will never quite be the same. And I can only imagine what the next few generations have in store for us. All I can say is that, God Hates Us All, and we must keep our eyes open for those sparks of humanity that keep us getting out of bed everyday. We only have each other.

Been in a huge Maynard mood.