Tag Archives: memoirs

No Nostalgia Sundays (Time Travel Edition III): Oblivion Buddies

Standard
No Nostalgia Sundays (Time Travel Edition III): Oblivion Buddies

In many ways, the Acid Kid was my soulmate, a kindred spirit that I ended up sharing a very important and sizeable chunk of my life with. We weren’t lovers, although we spent so much time together that others may have suspected otherwise. We just understood each other on a deep, unspoken level and, moreover, were equally fucked up.

The first time I laid eyes on the kid, he was lounging out in front of the student apartment building I lived in wearing a Velvet Underground T-shirt, a purple baseball cap, high top Chuck Taylors, and Harry Potter glasses. At this point, I hadn’t made a single real friend at Berkeley. I had friends in San Francisco and Oakland, but none at school. That particular night, I had been drinking tequila very openly on the sidewalk in front of the building and hurling drunken verbal insults at every college kid that walked past, half trying to make friends and half trying to get myself expelled from college so I could have an excuse to go back home.

When I saw the Acid Kid though, I didn’t insult him; I told him I liked The Velvet Underground very much and that all these other college kids were into lame shit like Nickelback and Creed and that I was probably going to end up murdering my roommate because he would play said lame shit at unacceptable volumes and that it was cool that at least one other person liked ok music at this fucking university. He told me he played piano and worshipped the Beatles. I told him I played guitar and worshipped The Replacements. We were instantly and irrevocably best friends and completely inseparable for the next four years.

Read the rest of this entry

No Nostalgia Sundays: Petty Jealousy, Baby Talk, Mild S&M, Etc.

Standard
No Nostalgia Sundays: Petty Jealousy, Baby Talk, Mild S&M, Etc.

Love ain’t for the birds, it’s for the kids; love is child’s play, a juvenile affair. It reduces even mature adults to children of sorts, and perhaps it is some ephemeral vision of childhood innocence that lovers seek in one another’s eyes or grasp for in an embrace. After all, don’t we idealize love in many of the same ways that we idealize childhood? The aforementioned innocence, wonder, adventure, the distinct feeling that everything is possible and nothing will ever get old—aren’t these the qualifying features of a worthwhile childhood or love affair?

Maybe it’s not as poetic as all that. Even if it is, there are certainly negative connotations associated with childhood that are just as prevalent in love; perhaps love can just make grown adults speak and behave like children: petty jealousy, baby talk, mild S&M, etc. Unfortunately, I’m not immune to this either, and I’m as guilty as the next Adonis-With-A-Case-Of-Arrested-Adolescence of waxing playground when it comes to romance, dig?

I suspect that love, at least romantic love, is only possible with a child-like approach. In my experience, love isn’t rational or logical or premeditated; one is not afforded the luxury of choosing when or where or with whom they fall in love. It just happens, and then it’s time to play. You might end up with a scraped knee and a bloody nose, crying on the tire swing because your playmate turned out to be kinda mean, but guess what: there are a hell of a lot of other kids on the fucking playground, and chances are there’s at least one that wants to play hopscotch with you without pushing you onto the blacktop.

Read the rest of this entry

Dear Dionysus XVIII: German Hospitality (In The Flesh)

Standard
Dear Dionysus XVIII: German Hospitality (In The Flesh)

Dear Dionysus,

We found the Germans to be rather trusting and accommodating people for the most part. They shared their beer, offered us their couches to sleep on, and (as previously mentioned) flowed us ridiculously large bags of swag weed. They also didn’t seem to question our intentions or credentials too much when we tried to do things that young men of our age and caliber would never be permitted to do stateside. Like, say, rent a Mercedes Benz to drive to Oktoberfest in Munich.

To my knowledge, one must be twenty-five to rent an automobile in the states; the oldest amongst us was Yorick, who clocked in at an ancient twenty-one years old. But this was Deutschland, where they let kids drink at sixteen for Christ’s sake. In spite of some language barriers and concerns as to the validity of Yorick’s California driver’s license, we were able to secure a rental car for the next week that would get us to Munich, which is about 364 miles* from Berlin.

The Benz was a stick shift, which meant that Yorick would be doing all of the driving, as neither Franky nor myself could operate a manual transmission. Yorick swore that was the only car they would let us have, but I was convinced that he picked it on purpose so that he could do all of the driving. Indeed, Yorick was rather fond of speeding, and was certainly excited about the prospects of entirely ignoring all of the speed “suggestions” on the Autobahn.

Read the rest of this entry

No Nostalgia Sundays: Of Pizza Pies & Semen Masks

Standard
No Nostalgia Sundays: Of Pizza Pies & Semen Masks

In 2011, I brought my life crashing down around me. It certainly wasn’t the first time and, unfortunately, it wouldn’t be the last. As a result of a few misunderstandings with the local police, I had been placed on felony probation. I had no job, no money, and no prospects. I was twenty-six years old and I was totally drowning.

I had miraculously managed to kick the two-gram-a-day heroin habit I had been operating on for the past two years prior, but I was still in rough shape physically, mentally, and emotionally. Simply put, I was fucking looney toons insane, and I couldn’t pull it together enough to formulate any real long-term plan that would get me out of trouble and get my life back on track. Somewhere along the line, I had lost the ability to think rationally and realistically about anything.

However, I was smart (or stupid) enough to figure out that I should probably seek employment. Aside from heroin hustling and street scams, I hadn’t worked in a year. Not to mention, my employment history was shaky at best and I was a convicted felon. It was irrelevant, or so I thought, that I had two degrees from UC Berkeley. I didn’t even attempt to find employment that would require any kind of skill or focus or talent; no, it would have been far too disappointing when I was surely turned down and, moreover, I knew that I wasn’t mentally capable of hacking it at a real big kid job.

So, at twenty-six years old, fresh off heroin and crazy as a fucking loon, I became a pizza delivery driver.

Read the rest of this entry

No Nostalgia Sundays: Lessons In Greek Mythology And Bleak Pathology

Standard
No Nostalgia Sundays: Lessons In Greek Mythology And Bleak Pathology

I dig allusions. I always have, and I probably always will. I like the idea of metaphorically pointing to something outside of a piece in scope and time and having the reader get a better, fuller understanding of what you’re going for without having to actually spell it out for them, which admittedly can be a painstaking process.

Don’t call it laziness; call it artistic license.

When I was younger, however, I saw allusions a little differently. Allusions were poetic street cred: the more you laid down, the more you were showing that you were down, dig? It works much the same way as namedropping within the music scene: the more obscure bands you know about, the cooler you are. See how that works?

Read the rest of this entry

Sailor Jerry Rum Label Love Missives: Casanova In A Coma

Standard

Sailor

Read the rest of this entry

No Nostalgia Sundays: Exorcising The Spirits Of ’77

Standard
No Nostalgia Sundays: Exorcising The Spirits Of ’77

I’m a punk kid—-always have been and always will be. I may dress a little nicer and hide my tattoos a little better, but at my core, I still hold the punk rock ethos dear. It molded me in my formative years and proved the launching pad for which I got into other schools of music, art, and literature.

When I got into punk rock as a teenager, there was an unhealthy dose of hero worship that came along with it. I wanted to be just like all of the cats that I listened to on wax, particularly the 1977 ones: Joe Strummer, Johnny Thunders, James Chance, et al were my teachers, and I was an apt pupil. Aesthetically, musically, and, most importantly, philosophically, I tried to follow suit as best as I could. In hindsight, I missed a few key things.

For one, most of these guys either died tragically or withered away into anti-prolific obscurity. For two, it wasn’t 1977 and I wasn’t in New York or London, man. That didn’t matter though: I was for all intents and purposes an honorary member of that time and place, at least as far as I was concerned.

Read the rest of this entry

No Nostalgia Sundays: New Shoes (And Real Old Poetry)

Standard
No Nostalgia Sundays: New Shoes (And Real Old Poetry)

Summer of 2003 was not a good one for me: I had lost my first love, caught my first pair of handcuffs, and was just generally blowing it all around. I had been an adult (on paper, at least) for just a handful of months and I had already begun to muck things up pretty badly. In hindsight, however, it may have been one of my better summers out of the ensuing decade. Not to say that this one was good, because it totally fucking wasn’t, but the sad reality is that I was merely getting started with my misadventurous journey, the trend of which would be things growing ever worse (and never better).

I had turned eighteen with little fanfare, from others or myself. The only thing that seemed to change for me when I hit that dull milestone was that I became a little more aware of the fact that I was expected to figure out what I was to do with my life, or at the very least make the appearance of doing so. But I didn’t really want to get a haircut and I wasn’t really qualified for a real job, so I had to pick something that was more aligned with my lifestyle back then.

Basically, something that would complement the odd hours I kept and the bad habits I was into, but also had some semblance of respectability. The obvious choice was to become a writer. It seemed to me that writers were encouraged, perhaps even obligated, to live a reckless existence, and I, all of eighteen whole years, was already way ahead of the curve on this one. Yes, I thought to myself, I will make a fantastic fucking writer.

Read the rest of this entry

No Nostalgia Sundays: Pistolwhip’s Passing (And Poetic Parlor Tricks)

Standard
No Nostalgia Sundays: Pistolwhip’s Passing (And Poetic Parlor Tricks)

While attending university, I spent more time in barrooms than I did in classrooms. I don’t think this was a conscious decision on my part, it’s just that classes were held on set days for predetermined periods of time and bars weren’t. Most students seemed to prefer boring places to study like the library or cafes, but I was always of the opinion that bars were the best places to get schoolwork done– even if I’d end up getting so drunk that I’d forget my completed assignments when I left.

The funny bit about all of my bargazing was that I hated all the bars in Berkeley, and yet I found myself at Kip’s and Blake’s and even the fucking Bear’s Lair nearly every day. I mean, the Bear’s Lair didn’t even serve liquor, for Christ’s sake (as in the Japanese wine, which they also did not serve).

I would usually choose Kip’s out of the bunch because it was the scummiest and I preferred dive bars over the more frat-friendly establishments. The bartender there also made an all right Irish Car Bomb and, after becoming accustomed to my drinking habits, would oblige me when I would order two or three at a time for myself. One time though I walked in there at eight AM while the dude was cleaning and tried to do the same. He looked at me funny and told me that he didn’t open for six hours or something and that I would have to come back. I was really perplexed; why would a bar not be open that early? When I moved to Oakland the next year, I found that the people there seemed to agree with me, because the bars were always open around sunrise when I needed to treat some shakes.

Read the rest of this entry

Feeding Back The Feedback, Jack

Standard

I got bored this morning and made a trailer video for my YouTube Channel (Prank Calls From Outer Space). Some of the quotes I actually swiped from my followers, so check it out to see if you’re in there. I didn’t mean anything with the clowns, by the way…

</3