This month has been pretty awesome so far

I would think of a topic, but my brain is fried for the week.

Moved a few blocks east to the tail end of Bloomingdale, and I love it. Except that the AC is currently in a crap state so I've been sleeping elsewhere, in a cold room with a warm body. Can't say it's the worst idea I've ever had.

I ride my bike everywhere, although I highly recommend being fully awake before doing so. I started doing Muay Thai with my coworkers twice and week and can probably fuck you up. I also started smoking again and you could definitely outrun me.

Lately I've been listening to a cosmic shit ton of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. How did I miss this, and the Birthday Party? It's so good, and even though I could never write anything as wicked and complex or random and awesome it did inspire me to front a new band.

I'm on vocals only, with members from the Electricutions, Nervous Impulse/the Reticents, and .... actually I don't know the drummer, but I heard he's good. Half stoked and half terrified. We already have 6 songs, although our first practice with everyone is happening later this week. It's pretty much the same shit I always write. Sloppy punk rock and roll. This time I get to jump around like a jacked up ferret and likely fall over and crash into things along the way.

Two days ago I went to Brooklyn to see Eric Davidson's new band The Livids-- they were sick. Definitely a band to watch out for, especially for fans of the New Bomb Turks.

I also, as always, had two slices of NYC pizza, and it made my week.

P.S. SW<B is also playing a bunch of shows and putting out a 7 inch on Big Neck Records.


Nobunny loves the bomb

Awesome poster my buddy Alex Fine did for our show with Nobunny in two weeks or so.  Get you tickets, this may sell out.


Break ups, Affirmations, and Power Pop

This subject is personal, and I tend to shy away from such topics. I have written about "love" before (see: meatloaf) and the essential nature of it, but not my own.

A few months ago I reluctantly pushed forward in (another) breakup. Why reinvent the wheel? This song sums it up just about perfectly.

It comes down to a few factors
  • I made a major, life-changing decision last year: to live.
  • After the death of my former ego, my new self definition is in constant formation about ... well, everything.
  • I give less a fuck than I ever used to. In a healthy way... really.
No surprise to those that know me; a personal dogma has never dictated my actions. This hasn't changed for the most part, except for the aspect regarding personal welfare. Taking care of myself and my loved ones is now the intrinsic motivational drive that consumes my life. And there's really no room for anyone else right now but the closest, truest friends. And music, of course.

In other words... It's not you, it's me. And will always be just so. Because I've learned that it's okay to be a selfish motherfucker sometimes, and do what's best for yourself. So I'll do what I always do (exactly what I want) until someone comes along to shatter my heart.

Alright, that's my vaguely personal post for the year. Back to the carnage!


Memorial Day

My Grandfather, Carl "Goldie" Goldenberg

Taken from The Ringmasters - A History of the 491st by Allen Blue (1964)

D-Day dawned early for the 49lst — CQ’s woke the crews at 0030 for briefing. The frustrations of the ensuing hours are perhaps best described by quoting the diary of a participating EM:

"At the war room everything was in a state of confusion. For the first time MP’s were stationed at the doors checking everybody. Inside, the briefing officers had covered the target map with a sheet and a guard was there to dissuade peekers. After a while Col. Goldenberg came in and walked briskly up to the platform. The room grew really quiet, and he stood there for a minute looking at us. His eyes were tired, he was unshaven, and his clothes appeared to have been slept in. The men loved him, and when he spoke, the affection he had for ‘his boys’ was uncontrolled. ‘Gentlemen, a day you will be able to tell your children and grandchildren about: D-Day. Time is short so all I have to say is good luck and give ‘em hell.’ He walked from the room and out the door of the pilots’ briefing room, a tired man with the lines of responsibility plainly etched upon his face.

Sweating out a return, Parmele, Merrell, Goldenberg, Goff, and Shy watch landing operations from the upper deck of the Metfield tower. (Photo-USAF)

Both 1st Lt. James C. McKeown and his B-24 were seriously mauled by flak on the same mission. McKeown, badly hit in the ankles and groin and bleeding profusely, was laid out on the flight deck and given what aid the crew could accomplish, including several injections of morphine, while the co-pilot, Lt. Bob McIntyre, took over and brought the Liberator home on three engines. Arriving over the base, McIntyre found he would have to land the crippled aircraft in a strong cross wind -- something he had never done before. The first pass was unsuccessful -- at which point McKeown got up off the floor and, in spite of a serious loss of blood and the intense pain in his ankles brought about by the strong rudder pedal pressures required, landed the plane safely. McIntyre claimed later that his pilot couldn't wait to get down to collect his Purple Heart while McKeown (who was actually awarded the Silver Star) claimed he was afraid if they stayed airborne any longer the crew would give him more morphine -- and, according to Mac, a needle in the hands of a nervous gunner was as bad as the flak.

Without doubt the June loss that was felt most keenly by the crews occurred, not in the air, but in the chain of command; on the 26th Lt. Col. Goldenberg left the 491st for the 339th Fighter Group, It was a great blow to the air echelon who had learned their trade under "Goldy", and these men openly speculated among themselves as to the wisdom, sanity and other qualifications of those responsible for the decision. But the pace of the war was too fast to allow much time for reflection. Without a break in the mission schedule, the new CO, Col. Frederic H. Miller, took over the 491st.

By the end of June the Group could look back on an eventful month with no small amount of satisfaction. The assembly problem had been cured and in the air the Group looked good. The overtime spent on formation flying back at Pueblo was paying off and already the 491st was being credited with flying "the best B-24 formations in the ETO." They had completed 29 missions in 29 days for a total of 895 sorties, more than any other B-24 outfit in the Eighth and exceeded only by three veteran B-17 groups -- the 303rd, 379th and 384th. During the last two weeks of the month the 491st led the Second Bomb Division (all 8th AF B-24 groups) in tonnage of bombs dropped, hours of combat flown, number of sorties per assigned crews, number of sorties per assigned aircraft, lowest loss of aircraft and lowest loss of personnel.


Some Rough Cthuhlu Concept Art from an Undisclosed Project

Too much ink burned hole in his face. Ink, speedball pen, pencil on too soft sketchbook paper

Rawr. Corel Painter X, Cheap 3004 Wacom Tablet.


I look at Her the Same Way I look at a Starving Animal 3/5/05

What the hell was I thinking? I'd already forgotten about everything. Marked it off as a loss. Painful, sure. But the scars had healed. And now this girl, with her fucked up correspondence...

She ruined my perfect life. I couldn't concentrate. I couldn't work. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't eat. I couldn't fuck. I couldn't think and most of all, I couldn't feel.

I'm a fucking wreck
, I thought as I drove towards what seemed like the ends of the Earth. Through that flattened expanse of dust, of desert and cacti, camped out hippies on peyote screaming at the sky, rotted corpses of satanic sacrifices, bones of the non believers... through the empty lots of trailer parks, washed away as mudslides collided with lightning storms, as the Mississippi swallowed Tennessee to Oklahoma and crept closer to which way to Albuquerque...

I just want to fucking feel again, I told myself as my ears went deaf. Even with my most revered bands blaring on the stereo, the silence of the night was still louder. I had to stop somewhere in Nevada before my Civic's engine exploded.

Inside a mom and pop gas station, a tinny radio played Buddy Holly. A weathered old grunt behind the counter didn't look up from his copy of On the Genealogy of Morals. I took my time to survey the candy aisle. Oil and vinegar chips went in the bag. "And a pack of camel filters." I added while he rung up the pint of Jack Daniels.

"I'll need to see some ID, mister."

I lowered my head, recoiling from the savage instinct to bite a hole through his throat. "Are you serious? I don't look 22? Cause I'm not, you know... I'm fucking 27...." I went on. I'm never that rude, really. But the ride was killing me. I was a fucking wreck, like I said. My hair's falling out. I got crows feet. I haven't really slept in 5 months. My tattoos look like they're bleeding off my skin. I sweat, piss, and bleed whiskey.

He snorted and threw the cigarettes in the bag.

There I was, somewhere in southern California. I never thought I'd see the Pacific. I never had the desire to. I knew it was there. I could smell the salt water amidst the thickening stink of sweat. I heard seagulls barking, I heard waves breaking. I heard children laughing at how fat an old lady on the sand was. I knew it was there, just like I knew that older woman was there, about four blocks east of the bench I sat on. Apartment 5A. I smoked another cigarette.

I had thrown away every one of her letters. She always used a stamp of some cartoon breed of dog. They all had huge noses and mocking grins. I could it was her, because the labels were always typed out. J. LESTER ADAMS. 1454 N. JORDAN ST. ALEXANDRIA, VA.

And they always started out the same. "I know you told me never to write you again..." and then they branched off in a couple different variations.

"I wish you would write back like you used to..." or "I can't stand it anymore.." or "I just need some reassurance from you. Or advice. Or instruction. Anything." or "Things aren't too bad now, I've kept my promise but my patience is wearing thin" or "I'm sick of replacing all my favorite things. Today..." and then finally, in the last, and shortest one... "I'm desperate. You need to come here now...

"I'm going to kill him."

And I knew he was with her too, four blocks east in Apartment 5A. I knew the stairs would creak before I walked up. Just like I knew the Pacific Ocean was there, and I thought I'd never smell it.

Everything went so well after I flew back home. I got over it. My life reached perfection. I loved my job. I loved my girlfriend. I marked Oscar off as a loss. I just had to get out. I was fine now. Until the letters started. And tore me apart slowly. It ends now.

My skin bristled as I heard footsteps.

And the pitter patter of claws on linoleum as she opened the door, the look of incredulous surprise and horror fixed in her eyes.

The words I carefully chose grated my throat as I spat forth sonic venom,

"Give me my fucking dog."

Oh, victory. Compromise. Vengeance. Relief. What the fuck ever. I couldn't help but melt when I felt that sloppy tongue on my cheek again. I almost cried. I barely smiled. But she was still standing there, mouth hanging open.

"Jack... I didn't think you'd.."

But I was already halfway down the stairs and long gone with my life back.


Notes from the road... unedited... circa 2008..

I used these notes to create a story for a journalism class. The story itself turned out rather well, but I find myself far more amused by the raw notes used to create it. Most of the context is long forgotten. Names have been changed to protect the innocent until proven guilty

March 2008
There is a law against a celebrity impersonating a normal person. Yellow submarine?
Marla says, "That shit was chronic, yo"
Schmitz: "Never drinking Budweiser again. Actually I prob. will if it's free."
Schmitz: "Fuck you, you crazy thing!" <--Yoda tried to kill us.
Head says Mitch went to Africa to hunt for blood diamonds and was attacked by a lion. Which he then slew heroically.

Schmitz's dream: "We were all pulled over and arrested cause Dong was actually Dustin Diamond in disguise."
Sargent Peppers, smoking with a three legged dog named Mitch. Show last night was Free Nathan Blondes. Tom Tom tells us where to go. 'The Voice of God', or Yoda when we want to move backwards.
It's raining. The traffic is...

The Soapbox in Wilmington NC. This town looks straight out of the 1950s, Cape Fear Laundromat downstairs and "green room" actually gray. Tubs of free PBR, can't complain. Kentucky Gentlemen shots. Punched Kenny in the face so hard his teeth: "CRACK!!" Projectile vomiting. Ultimate Frisbee, rat shit. Dude from Giant Tigers tells me about a place called "Rock and Roll Adventure Land", hidden deep in between the mountains with a rope bridge, elves and fireworks... ?
More than anything in my life I want to be there. I imagine a spa resort, high class, waited on, catered to by elves who have presents and toys. "Yes, I'll have the Pinot Noir." "Thank you, excellent choice, sir."

"If it's not an ice storm, it's a shitstorm." - Schmitz

Schmitz: "Don't tell Hollywood about that gallon of whiskey. Cause if I feel like it I'll just pull it out later."
Marla: "That's what she said." $84.95.

I am a person of low moral fortitude.
Party at ___'s house. I was horrified. "This is NOT RIGHT." "Shit happens." He said, and promptly stuck his finger up my ass. That was not sexy. How are you going to explain this?!

"That's your boyfriend." (Points to a pidgeon)

Chattanooga notes. This! Place is Redneck wonderland. I am impressed. Hollywood played best set last night, same with Giant Tigers. Lotsa beer $2.00 Guiness, fire in a trash can. Schmitz with the joint.... we played two songs sober. RTX sucked!! Terrible took all the cash Kev wanted to slash tires

It has come to our attention that robots have taken over the town of Chattanooga Tennessee. We believe that our PisaPizza waiter is a defective. There was a glitch in his programming that caused him to twitch:

About Sonny's place...
An old heavyset gentlemen hard of hearing slams an underage drunk kid by his neck onto the bar and chases him in the parking lot. Sonny is his dead son. Ashley is his other, who is still alive in an erratic sort of way and owns the bar.
They encourage patrons to buy whiskey from the liquor store next door and drink inside.
"Once I seen him (Ashley) riding down the street on his motorcycle in that damn penguin suit, holdin his flippers up!"

Accents are thick. Teeth are scarce. Many residents have drug twitches, nervous ticks or strange gaits. The Meth Capital of the country is alive and grinding their teeth. I made our getaway at one A.M gripping the steering wheels with white knuckles

6 hours later with the fuzzy scum of 2 redbulls and 3 large coffees in my mouth I pull the car over at the Florida border. At this point the stench of our vehicle was unbearable. At high noon Orlando welcomed us unto her supple, grandmotherly bosom. A quick act of pathetic brokeness and we walked into (what we found out later was the bum hotel) room, eager to wash the scum of a thousand farts from our flesh.

(NICK FURY, AGENT SHIELD.) The neatly lettered welcome card usually propped on the bed with maybe a towel and bar of soap was not present. In it's place was a single joint, tightly rolled and most definitively not ours. Dong graciously accepted this mysterious gift.

Dong: Drummer, 21 or 22, youngest boy of 6 children born and raised in Baltimore City.

Already completely hammered, I play the majority of our set on the ground or staggering towards it. Projectile vomiting. Face hemorrhaging. Black out, tears, and nothing good.

I wish there was more but whiskey, ass and whatever else was around won out over pen and paper. This is likely a good thing.