I like lists.

Look, an anhinga. I have no suitable pictures for this post...

So, I thought screw it, I’ll make another.

I had a mental one going in my head last night, noticing things that drive me nuts. I’m sure a few of these things might apply to others. Some may not make much sense to you, but we all have those little dislikes.

Chewing with not only your mouth open, but tongue action in there as well. It’s like you’re making out with a slice of pizza, hoping nobody will notice the pool of food forming at your feet. And it’s not the lack of manners or ability to function that bothers me. It’s the sound of it. I cannot fucking handle the sound of someone sloppily eating. It makes me lose my appetite for anything but blood and shame. Yes, really. I want to harm you.

Facebook posts accusing someone of being a dick, but never mentioning names. Sure, calling people out on their shitty ways in a public forum is unkind, depending on what they did. I’m sure that if they are a serial cat rapist, it’s best to let the world know not to let him babysit Mr. Fluffles. But if it’s a private matter, keep it private. Instead of freaking everyone out (“is it about me?!”) or just looking like a tool (“zomg ppl that talk shit beind ur back R DA WURST U KNO WHO U R”) just… talk to them. Give ’em a phone call? Or just be like everyone else and make your status “Today sucks.” then give no explanation.

“You look busy. Let me discuss this dust mote with you.” This just happened to me, and I am still perplexed. Granted, he wanted to discuss Android vs iPhone (don’t care) and Mac vs PC (don’t care) but prefacing your random conversation with exactly how it is you’re annoying a stranger probably isn’t the best way to go, it simply reinforces to me that you are well aware of how you’re bothering someone.

“Why don’t you smile more? You always look so EMO.” Just because you don’t have the concentration necessary to be familiar with the face of someone thinking doesn’t mean that person is “emo.” I just don’t need to smile maniacally while I mentally consider if I want a cigarette or not.

Asking someone how serious their relationship is when trying to woo them. It’s a wedding ring, so I’d say that’s somewhere in the serious scale between volcano and a very sudden need to poop. So, pretty serious.

Here's another useless picture.

People that spell chihuahua “chiwawa,” or shih tzu “shitsu.” That’s pretty obvious. If you own it, you ought to be able to spell it. If not, just get a cat. C-a-t.– “Why don’t you drive? That’s so weird.No, no it’s not weird. It’s a choice, for both my safety and other drivers. There’s public transportation, my legs, bicycles, and unsuspecting friends.– Trying to guilt or force introverted people to quit that shit. It’ll just scare them right back into that safe little hole they built before you started making them extremely self-conscious. Stop doing that.– Telling me to get off of my computer and interact with everyone. All of my friends are currently buried in iPads, laptops, smart phones or any other manner of electronic crack. We’ll talk on Facebook like real friends do, damn it.

When I get off my computer and do something else, ask why I’m not online. WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME PEOPLE?

Massive dumps of duckfaced bathroom photos or self-portraits with your cell phone. I’ve hidden your feeds. I give up.

Writing lists. I always feel like a douche writing lists, even though it’s fun.  I’m so sorry.

Part two: Writing.

Well, since the last one was so well-received …

Master wordsmith, here.

(I gave those bitches a list. Bitches love lists.) I decided to make another, for my other job. These are some things I’ve heard the moment someone found out I moonlight as a writer when I’m not teching out. I’m not some fancy published author, of course, but I’m gaining articles under my belt and have many, many unfinished stories, which I guess is enough for people to think I’m somehow good at it.

1. While I don’t mind proofreading someone’s long as fuck thesis on the anatomy of the testicles (that’s what a thesis is, right?) if the same person keeps asking me to check over their work fifty times without a thank you, I’ll be editing in so many “dicks” and “balls” your professor will assume you need to see him after class for special extra credit.

2. I won’t write something for you to take the credit. If I somehow get paid for this, cool. But since I’m trying to build a portfolio, letting someone else ride my words for their benefit blows. And not a nice, happy blow. A nasty, toothless one.

3. No, I don’t write poetry. I have nothing against it, but I don’t write it. If I did, you can’t read it. That shit’s embarrassing.

4. You should write a book!” … Really? I should?! Well why the hell didn’t I think of that? I appreciate that someone would want to read 453 pages of my rambling about inserting balls into a college paper, but I think it’s obvious that a writer ought to write a book.

5.  You’re such a grammar Nazi.” Ok. I take responsibility for this. If I correct something, it’s out of habit. I scrutinize my words so harshly that it just happens. If so, I apologize. But using that term means what, exactly? Does that make the person I corrected an “illiterate Jew” …? Just call me pedantic and save yourself the return nickname.

6. Which author should I read for inspiration?” How the hell should I know? I’m not you, and what inspires me may not work in your head. Also, aspiring to be exactly like an established author is a poor choice. You’re here to make your own mark, not pee in the exact same spot in a genre someone else claimed years ago.

7. If my headphones are on, I look like I need to shit (in other words, very intense) and I’m alone in a corner, I probably need to be left that way. I’m either watching some horrific pornography or writing. Probably the first one, but whatever. You don’t want to see that, do you?

8. I probably have no idea what you’re talking about when you start listing off your favorite obscure or classic writers. I love to read and have too many books, but I’m not a literature enthusiast by any means. I know the theories behind Ayn Rand, but I never read her. I never got into Twain. Sorry.

9. This one is really important, and I cannot stress this enough: I really love Scrabble. It’s like an obsession. I’ve been accused of cheating for some of the words I use, but I assure you, I never have.

10. Lastly… please. PLEASE. Please. I don’t know anyone that can get you published. If I did, I’d try and do the same for myself. I don’t know anyone that can help either of us. I am useless! IGNORE ME!

Still not getting this right, am I?

Don’t bite the techs, please.

We make things pretty. Please don't abuse us.

I’ve never really written about my job on here before, but I think something needs to be addressed. A few things, actually– so, here you go.

1. Please– and this is a big please– don’t ask me why it’s a bad idea to use your old, stripped cables near a leaking fog machine. Seriously.

2. If you pull the microphone too far, have it snap back and magically lose audio… this is not my fault. You’re stupid. Stop yelling at me.

3. No. You cannot use the monitor as a seat. Your ass is the cause of the crackling you’re asking to have fixed. Please stop.

4. Never question my use of gaff tape and if it’ll hold. Gaff tape was commissioned by God himself to tape together rickety solar systems. True story.

5. If you’re an actor, take advice from the good old Tech Bible: I’m a person with marketable job skills without you. Without me, you’re naked in the dark, emoting alone.

6. I don’t really care how they do it in Chicago. I’m still not going to assure you a solo dressing room while everyone else has to change in the hallway. You’re not that cool, bud.

7. Yes, you look fine. No, really. Yes. You… yes, you… you look… god damn it… YOU LOO– YOU LOOK FINE, DAMN IT.

8. When you’re shocked at the sight of someone in all black when you’re backstage and assume this makes them emo/goth, or make the joke of “who died,” you need to go home. Go.

9. Asking the lighting person why the audio is off, then complaining to the rail guy that you have weird shadowing from the lights, while begging the audio guy to drop the curtain at said time will earn you nothing. Learn who your techs are, or forever be confused.

10. It’s not a light bulb. It’s a lamp. Don’t say the light bulb went out in a light. Try sticking a light bulb in a stage unit and see what happens.

11. While I’m sure that your friends and family are far more important than everyone else’s, I see no reason for you to beg me to get them backstage ten thousand times. Or for tickets. Or for an autograph. Or their underwear, you sick bastard.

12. When I’m not working and at a show with you, don’t bother trying to get me to pay attention to the band. I’m checking out their gear, and I will for half of the show. It’s a deep, emotional need of mine. Stop holding me back, man!

13. When it’s season, just pretend like I’m dead. Trying to make plans with me will be as fruitful sticking a wrench in your dog’s ass and telling him to go fix your car. In other words, fairly painful, useless, and probably illegal.

14. If your band is having a show, I’d be glad to help you load in your gear. (Hello, Shovel!)

This looks legit.

15. If it’s live TV and you “forgot” a cue you needed to go over, miss it, and get yelled at by the big guys…  it isn’t magically my fault. I didn’t make you forget. If I had that power, I’d be totally awesome.

16. Last but not least, my most important thing to say … you’re not giving the mic a blowjob. Please stop trying to deep throat the poor thing. Saliva doesn’t help them work well, as hilarious as the image is.

I’m sure there are many things I am forgetting, but I may have blocked out some of the truly dumb things to spare my sanity. Not all techs are smart, not all actors are dicks, and not all directors are fuckheads… but there’s always at least one guy that likes to fling around a douchebag stick and mess things up. Don’t be that guy!

Something a little different.

This is actually a re-tweaking I felt like doing today on an old short story I wrote. It is based off a dream I had where I was a young man in the 60s (my dream brain is strange) and it ends here just as it ended in the dream, down to the last thought. I just always felt it was interestingly linear and made a lot of sense for a dream. It was like a movie, perfectly smooth and realistic.

 

Today was fuckin’ hot. Not the usual hot, no. This was sweat in my eyes, shirt plastered to my chest, ass burning hot. I hated days like this, especially since I had so many damn deliveries every Friday, as always. So, here I go, heaving boxes up and down, up and down. Hand ’em over to the new kid in the storage area, over and over. I keep telling myself I’ll stop working here, but who am I fooling? Sure as hell not me.

So I hop on the loading dock and light one up. It’s supposed to be my lunch, but we never really get those here. Not like you can go far, and the bossman hates it if you buy his own products to eat. So we just smoke a lot, shoot the shit and go back to it in fifteen. Today was pretty cool, though. Something new happened– someone new. Now, I’ve had my share of girls before, don’t get me wrong. But this one… oof.

She came waltzing past us like she fuckin’ owned the place. She had that crazy hair those girls have, and her pants were so tight I thought they were skin. Her eyes said do me just so, and her walk said even more. I had to give a yell at this one, because you do NOT see a girl like that come by every day.

“Hey! Hey, you! Where ya goin’?” I put on my best grin, wiped the dirt off my hands with my rag, and waved my hand like a mongoloid kid.

“I’m goin’ down the block. There’s a band playin’. You probably don’t know ’em.”

Alright. Cool. She’s one of those arty chicks. Guy like me can’t hang, eh?

“How about after ten? Whatcha doing then?”

“Dunno. Got something in mind?”

Ok. Ok. I can win this. What do girls like her do? Music? Get high? I don’t even know.

“I’m gonna go down to the park and watch the fireflies.” Shit. Shit. Shit. Great. Now I’m a damn six year old.

She just stood there, eyeing me. I felt like I was suddenly on display, some kind of new product to be sampled. Was she cool with what she saw?

“Sure. Meet me back here at ten, kay?”

Oh. God. Damn. “Y-.. yeah! Back at ten. Hey, what’s your name, huh? Mine’s Gabe.”

She gave me the most soul-pounding look I’ve ever seen from a girl, those brown eyes tearing into me like I was nothing.

“Laurie. See ya.”

My eyes widened as I jumped up to wave her on. “Bye! Laurie! See you!”

All the guys had seen this. Every single one of ’em. I was stunned… so were they. Me, the jackass loading the boxes, I got her attention. Me! Who the hell am I, anyway? What do I even try with a girl like that? Who knows. I had a shift to finish, and quick. Laurie was gonna come back and make my night.

So here I am, heading home in my old beater. I’m elated. Ecstatic. All the other good words meanin’ I’m fucking happy as shit. This is it, I’m thinking. I can change things now. I can get a great girl like her, find a better job, move out of the crappy place I have now… I can do something special. Shit’s gonna be good. It’s gonna change. Gotta get home quick and change. It’s–

Dirt flying– the road’s behi– something hit– rolling, the car is roll… what have I done? Honking, metal, this is all crazy. I don’t…

I can still see her face. I can’t see much else, but I can see her face. She’s gonna be waiting for me. I can’t let her down, now. I have such big plans, huge plans. Those eyes, just so… god, no. It’ll be perfect…

I’ve lost track.

This weather isn't helping.

I’m trying to commit to balance.

The theatre season has begun, and right now I am enjoying one day off out of nine at work. I have writing due every night, and people to attend to. There’s art I have to create for shows, and no sleep on the horizon.

While there’s something brutally rewarding in the fact that my world is saturated in the arts, I’m seeing how some people go crazy in the process. (The owner of this blog in no way, shape or form is stating that she was not already crazy.) There’s been so much going on around me that I am unsure what is keeping me awake or thinking.

 

It hit me earlier, as I was pushing myself further than usual– I thrive on this. I am the kind of person that needs to be shoved, tossed, and made to perform without rest. I get bored and anxious easily, so this makes for a fine distraction. I’m not afraid of burning out… I’ve avoided that for some time, now, and I think I can keep it up. I just don’t need to know what day it is or where I am, and I’ll be fine.

I gave up meat, I’ve committed to trying to sleep at least three hours a day, and I drink healthier things. That’s not going to work for very long, I’m sure, and I’ll find myself in a corner stuffing Mountain Dew and pepperoni pizza into my mouth, screaming “WHY ARE YOU SO FUCKING GOODMUFFMUFMMMMF” and crying. It seems like a natural response to stress, right?

There is one thing I have gained from driving myself over the edge that I didn’t expect: Pride. I’m proud of the things people have said about all of this, and the compliments I’ve received for the work I’ve put in to the magazines. It’s not something I’m used to, at all, because I’ve always been far too critical of myself. I think it’s time to let that go, if only for a little while, and realize that maybe I can do something right.

Again, that won’t last long, and I’ll have an epic movie-like scene of tossing about my notebooks and sketches, rambling on about how I’m a failure. Usually in those movies some older mentor comes around to try and assuage those feelings, but I’ve yet to find my professor figure. Maybe I’ll pay some guy that looks vaguely like Sean Connery to just stand around me and grumble out slightly biting, but useful, words of encouragement.

Nooo, don't go down the doom staircase.

Until that cool old dude shows up, I just have to rely on myself to keep moving forward. I’m seeing changes in myself as this progresses, and realizing some things that need to change. I have a solid goal now, and any roadblocks have to be dealt with accordingly. I can’t be afraid of it anymore.

Here’s hoping I can keep up.

 

The mind is a terrible thing.

Around me, every single night, I watch the minor collapses in people as they struggle to keep up with themselves and everyone else. Relationships have crumbled, minds have caved and individuals have snapped from existence. I hear what they have to say, and I try to be as liberal as I can with assistance and advice, should they desire it. I never, ever mind listening to the problems of another, even if it’s not someone I am particularly familiar with.

This is probably a bad problem solver.

What I don’t like is seeing the same patterns repeated in different people, supposed “fixes” that don’t do anything but cause more problems.

I can hint, pester or harangue anyone about their misinformed choices, but in the end, it’s never up to me. It’s solely up to the doer, and they don’t always make the sound decision.

Take the perpetual drinkers. If they have a bad day, it must be fixed with a drink. Then another. Maybe just a few more?

Some people are truly alcoholics and need help. That much is true. Some place themselves there, finding something else to cope for them. Why develop abilities to survive when you can smoke it away? The drug-centrism of this area doesn’t help, and you end up with droves of people falling into anything but facing a problem head-on and just dealing with it.

Then you are led away and eaten.

One person jumps on a drug or drink, suggests it, and it flows through like water. Even the kava bar I posted about before has that sort of ripple effect, with people coming back night after night to just feel that calm it provides. It’s a replacement for something else, as always.

One of the routes that distresses me most is the relationship hopping. I’ve been in the situation myself, but some make a hobby out of it. It’s one thing if you were already unhappy and happen to stumble upon an individual that gives you the feelings you crave (though I never advocate cheating as an alternative) and you go from one to the other. It happens, as much as it is hurtful to the other party. But to dive from one to the next proclaiming them to be the ultimate lover, the only one, THIS IS IT! … every few months. Not a safe plan for anyone involved.

I worry often about the people I know, wondering if they will make X mistake again, or go back to X bad person. I gravitate towards people that are having a hard time– which has put me in very hurtful relationships, so avoid that much if possible– and want to see them do well. I’m tired of seeing the nearly there, the almost, the so close. I know not everyone can get their lives together, but it is a nice thought to me.

The dependence on chemicals to keep sanity is habitual. I wish that wasn’t the case, but also realize that some people just need it. Anyone that has suffered massive panic attacks or mental illness can tell you as much, and the ideas of self-control go out the window. There are some less invasive ways to go about it, but not everyone has the time or control to handle them. I know I can’t just will away a panic attack, so why should I expect anyone else to?

Underneath it all is this deep interdependence on each other, a need for approval and acknowledgement. If upon walking into a favorite place to be nobody greets you, you’d have a paranoid fit inside.  It’s a natural tendency, but harmful in large doses if it consumes you.

EVERYONE MUST LIKE ME ALL OF THE TIME FOREVER!

Not everyone gets along. In large groups, that is very obvious. You can fake it, but that will only go so far as buttons continue to be pushed. There are always limitations to a person’s ability to remain neutral.

So as I hopped from one person to the next last night, their problems amplifying in my head as they spoke, I wanted to stop time. I wished to place them in the right situations, remove the unsavory things, wipe the bad memories away. But I knew, even with that ability, I wouldn’t. Learning is the only way. They either survive and grow, or they’ll flounder. That’s never up to me, and never will be. All I can do is try to be there.

To my friends in the hard times, I’m sorry. I don’t know if it will get better. I won’t lie and just say it will, because that’s untrue. Some things can’t be fixed. I can’t stop a relative from dying, or your mental illness. Nobody can. It’s unfair to give false hope in any situation. But the only thing anyone can guarantee is that it won’t always feel the same, and things change. The way you handle it changes, and how it will impact.

Now a bad word.

I’m simply glad to have some intelligent, witty and wonderfully broken bastards around. I just wish there were less almosts, and more finally. Maybe we’ll get there someday.

Maybe.

I don’t listen.

Nope.

It’s a bad habit. People tell me to do something, and if I don’t particularly agree with it, I might wind up doing the opposite. I don’t mean to do it out of spite, but I have a tendency to know what action I should take in a situation and don’t like second-guessing myself. I was told not to write about this because someone might think it’s about them. That’s not my problem if they see themselves in this. That’s for them to consider, for if you see yourself here, there’s your answer. That’s why this is being written, and no, it’s not about me. I’m not that much of a dick.

So, this is a story of a little girl, living a little lie in a little town. She lied her way in and out of friendships, relationships, places and things. Not once did she learn a lesson, however, and kept right on trying to be more than she was– a lost little girl without a place to call her own.

One day, that little girl found a man! She pranced about for the man with the genuineness of a senator in a sex scandal, and landed her prize. This wasn’t enough, though, and she needed more. “More approval!” her brain screamed. The next step was simple enough– make friends. Many, many friends. So many friends that the lies started to spill over in the wrong directions, and people started to take notice. It wasn’t what she had expected. What’s a little girl to do?

Suddenly, more and more people started to whisper.

“What the hell is she doing?”

“Is she crazy?”

“Doesn’t anyone else see this?”

While some were assuaged, others didn’t turn a blind eye so lightly. They knew better, and refused to cave. Still, silence was about all they could muster– things had become so twisted up that nobody was sure what to believe. It was time for damage control, so the obvious step was to redirect all blame elsewhere. Oh look at this other person over here! They did bad things! You must believe me!

Where they can often be found having sex.

Yet, she rode on that valiant high horse to her ultimate destiny. Eventually, when it became obvious enough she couldn’t win, it was time for plan X: Say nothing. “If your mouth is closed, the lies don’t come out!” she reasoned, and nobody can put the blame on her.It was almost a wise move. When her family was fed up, the people turned their backs, and she was left scraping the bottom for anyone she could find to believe her martyr stories, she did the only thing she could: Ran away, again. Never rectify, never fix, never apologize! Just flee, flee! So she did.

As she fled, she waved her tear-soaked rags at them all, screaming how nobody understood the pain she went through. People shrugged, people laughed, people mumbled. Nobody cared. So she moved far and away, to become someone else’s false dream girl, if only for a little while. Eventually they’d catch on, too, and do the same. All the while she would build up more lies to tell to gain sympathy and love, never thinking twice that perhaps someone might notice the slight changes in story.

In the end, people vowed to never fall for it again. Everyone got a high-five and a pat on the back over how smart they were for seeing it well after the original observant few gave up trying. About this time, the new one was planting seeds and plotting her new uprising to take place of the last little girl, like all the others before her.

On and on it goes, in the typical South Florida fashion, ruining men as the girls prance and flaunt their misdeeds.