Sunday, November 27, 2005

My World is Gently Imploding

So I'm back down in Norfolk for Thanksgiving, locking in some serious quality time with the family. I love seeing my family, and Norfolk will always be home for me, but socially it is a bit claustrophobic. For me and my friends, Norfolk is a video game where we have already killed all the bad guys, gotten all the special weapons, and now we just run around the screen.

Now that all of my closest friend from home have either married or had their parents move off, it gets a little tough to find folks to kick it with down here. My dvd player runs extra hot...

So when my old friend and former math tutor from high school called me up to come out and have a drink, I leapt at the chance. She said "yeah, some other Maury folks are gonna be there, too..." and that did not even faze me.

As it turns out, it was a reunion of sorts for the folks that I could not STAND in high school. I have long believed that anyone worth being around now had a rough time of it in their formative years. Being into Batman, the Ramones and having horrible acne at fifteen builds character, dammit. All of a sudden I was surrounded by people whose character got built by team sports, hot cheerleaders and picking on the geeks.

"Suck it up, Simmermon," I thought, and dove right in with a hearty handshake. And man, I ashamed to admit that the experience was really not that bad at all. Once you close in on thirty, coolness is so much less of a badge, and it can be a shaky commodity to have based your entire personality portfolio on.

There were these twins in high school, and me and my friends got a lot of mileage out of not-so privately hating on them. They were on the swim team, ace students, shared a jeep and could have won class president of the planet Earth after pissing on a nun's back. Their cronies really dug calling me "McFly" and got extra off on referring to me and me peeps as freaks and geeks. This was before being "alternative" was a revenue stream for advertisers and well before Hot Topic became the one-stop rebellion shop.

These guys were archetypes of cluelessness, icons of mainstream toolbaggery, and I wanted nothing with them. Time went on, I started my own band, got into art and went off to college, never seeing those dudes again until the other night. It appalls me to say that I had the best conversation of the evening, possibly of this month, with one of those twins.

It's appalling because it really made me realize how long I've been clinging to a self-constructed identity as some sort of outsider, and how outdated that attitude is. Nick Hornby sums it up well in 'High Fidelity' when he has his main character say that what you like is more important than what you are like. It's funny because there's a lot of people that feel that way, and to an extent I'm one of them. Or was. While I can feel that wall melting, true personality change doesn't come crashing in overnight.

When you're a teenager, you're desperate to define your identity in the absence of much life experience. So you lean heavily on your tastes, likes and dislikes, and construct a working identity out of what you can. You make your friends based on their t-shirts, their presence or absence at social events, and the things they slag off in an attempt to construct themselves. Eventually you have some life experience under your belt, but if you're not careful, you'll just be this big Katamari Damacy ball wrapped around indie-punk snobbery. Fuck knows I can't stand the DC indie scene in aggregate...

I'm thrilled to have caught up with that guy and had a quick, real conversation that night. You grow the most when you get over yourself and dive in, and I'm so glad to be closer to ejecting that crusty old nugget from my core. If you'd told me at sixteen that the guy I was the most contemptuous of was going to be instrumental in my becoming an adult, I'd have laughed. I'm laughing now, too, but in a whole different way -- at myself. Good luck to you, Mister Young, wherever you are.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Help Is On The Way

Thanks to a comment from an adoring fan and fab guy and general drag pageant facilitator, I'll be re-uploading the mix cd discussed in an earlier post. However, the process could take several hours, hours I plan to spend sleeping. It may not be up until tomorrow evening, but I'll have the cd up as soon as I and my contract with my employers will allow.

In the meantime, here's a pacifier of sorts...this song, by the Versatones, is one of the creepiest and most joyful and rockin' doo-wop songs I've ever heard. I need this sing to be fifteen minutes long at least.

Here it is.

I got the track from the ever-interesting Spread the Good Word, a clearinghouse of sorts for all sorts of doo-wop, funk, blues, and off-the-wall mp3s...

---Just finished uploading. Click here for the disc---

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

House of Cosbys

Bill Cosby
Originally uploaded by Kelly Nigro.
So I just discovered this Internet cartoon called House of's screamingly funny, or at least repress-snickers-at-work funny. The creators apparently got a pretty serious cease-and-desist letter from the Cos's lawyers, so it's been stopped. However, has been kind enough to post and host all 5 episodes here.

This is probably not safe for work, although I fail to see how a cartoon image of Bill Cosby's cloned package is actually dangerous or offensive to anyone other than the Cos himself.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Finally Got the Mix Disc Together

As mentioned previously, I really appreciate those of you that have stuck with this blog through its recurrent dormant phases...many of you are personal friends of mine, so I could hug you thanks, but some of you are out of hugging distance. I'm thinking of a student in the UK specifically, a guy named Dungaree out in LA, a few New Yorkers and several Australians.

So I put together this mix cd for you guys to enjoy as a token of my gratitude...again, you can download the tracks here, and a printable cover here.

You have six days to enjoy this in, and only 25 people can get it. If you come too late, let me know by leaving a comment, and I'll re-upload the thing.

Here's a sample cover for you. Thanks again...



Friday, November 11, 2005

Thanks For Reading

In case you haven't noticed, the posting on here has gotten a bit that I have a job that a) I don't hate yet and b) requires me not to blog at work, I post a lot less. I look at more computers in one day than ten people from Arkansas, and blogging from home is the last thing on my mind most nights.

I really appreciate you all still reading and checking in -- if it weren't for y'all as an audience I wouldn't have blogged my way into that job. So as a thank you, I'm giving you all a mix cd. For real. Click here to download it.

If you put all the tracks into a new playlist, they should order themselves. I'll be uploading a track listing with my own personalized liner notes, as well as a printable cover. Keep this in mind, though: the cd will only be around for 7 days, or 25 downloads...whichever happens first. If you get this too late, leave me a comment and I'll try to upload another copy.

Thanks again for sticking with me, people.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

More Reptile Dismemberment

This is more from Jamie, my Australian environmental scientist friend. I'd say this is a bang-up urban legend except there's a heap of repulsive pics to prove it to be true...

Read the text first...

A guy in St. Louis was driving to work on Hwy 144 when he heard a 'pop'. He thought it sounded like a flat tire, though his ride wasn't affected.

After pulling over, checking the tires and finding them intact he opened the hood to look at the motor. Before the hood was even all the way open he jumped back in shock and knocked his head on the partially opened hood, unable to believe what his eyes were seeing! Nobody was going to believe this! sure wouldn't have either!

Fortunately, a coworker with a camera recognized him along side the road and stopped to see if he could help. Check out the attachment jpg files to witness for yourself the source of his amazement......Now, this has to be right up there at the top of the list of unusual but verified 'Reasons I was late for work'!!!!

engine 1

engine 2


snake engine

snake engine 4

The poor python must have escaped from a neighbor and curled up under the hood for warmth...