Friday, March 19

A New Man.

Once I was old enough to form words and sentences, way back in 1985, I swore up and down that I would never get married. Not only that, I also swore that I would never have children. This seemed implied considering I wasn’t going to get married, but I also didn’t feel the need to father any bastard kids as well. I was going to be a bachelor for life, make and spend my own money, and die alone and afraid as we all will someday soon. I carried this mantra with me until somewhere around January of 2000, shortly before my 18th birthday.

Now here we are, over 4 years later, and its 90 days and counting until my wedding day.

I was just as shocked as you are now. Everything happened so quickly, that before I knew it I was completely wrapped up and fully dependent on someone else. At the time, I tried to play it off and remain distant and available. But it was only a matter of time before I threw up my arms in defeat, and hopelessly fell in love with Celia.

It’s not very difficult to fall in love with her. In fact, it’s so easy to fall in love with her that she should carry around a warning sign and an insurance waiver. Once you work up the courage to talk to her, she immediately sucks you in with her coy innocence, yet sheer brilliance and honesty. Speak one word to her, and you instantly feel like you could trust her with a dead body that needed to be hid as soon as possible.

And she would know where to hide it, too. She’s the most intelligent person I have ever conversed with. I’ve become so spoiled on conveying messages back and forth with her, that I sometimes forget how normal people think. Therefore, the patient, good listener person I used to be has been replaced with someone who no longer has the time to hear anyone else’s asinine ideas. We operate on a different plane. It may not be a higher plane (mostly due to Celia’s fondness for poop jokes), but it’s still our own little world. The big difference from most being that you are always invited into it, unlike other couples who shut you out with incoherent mumbling and code words. Code words should only be used in S&M relationships, not day to day life.

And boy howdy, is she beautiful! I’m thoroughly convinced that I will dearly pay for my indulgences in the afterlife, because no man could deserve a woman less than I deserve Celia. She’s the type of woman who’s so gorgeous that if you look at her long enough, you think about killing her. You know what I’m talking about. You look and obsess about someone so much, that they become too perfect to live on this earth. Then you have to go and take them out in some horrible fashion. Beauty and death are hand in hand. If you are with someone who you think you could kill on the grounds of her being perfect, the search is over. Marry that woman. But then don’t go on and kill her. Just keep that to yourself.

She’s high-class without being snobby, and low-brow without being unattractive. She appreciates fine art and architecture, classic literary works, antique jewelry and furniture, and all things Victorian. She doesn’t belong in this decade. Her beauty best suits her for the 20’s. I could see her jitterbugging with Al Capone, and then outsmarting him out of all his money and alcohol. But, believe it or not, this is the same exact woman who will laugh for days and days about the very notion of a dancing monkey.

As the days draw near, she works diligently on invitations and accommodations and all the other little things. She makes sure that my tux isn’t embarrassing, that everyone has directions, and the cats will be fed while we’re away. She does all this while working full time, and putting up with my staggering apathy and lack of common sense concerning all things resembling daily life. What I offer her is beyond me.

Now that I’ve given up my lifelong belief that I never want to get married, I also am giving up the belief that I will never become a Father. I used to think that all intelligent people knew better than to bring a child into this sick, disgusting world. Therefore, only stupid people reproduced, eventually leading to a completely stupid planet, leading to the complete de-evolution of our species. And while I still believe that, I also know that our child will be in good hands as long as Celia is around. (I plan on only lasting another 35 years. I never planned on going on any longer.) If we have a girl, she will be raised to become a beautiful, intelligent and strong-willed independent woman who is capable of succeeding at anything she decides to do. If we have a boy, he will be raised to respect women for whom they are, not for what they are expected to do for him. He will understand what it really means to be a man, and not just what it means to act like a man. The world will still be in chaos, but they will always have a Mother who knows how to make sense of it.

She’s everything you could ever need, and I get to spend the rest of my life with her.

And the best part is that she wants me to.

I love you Celia. And I can’t wait.

Wednesday, March 17

3 Years Ago.

Allow me to take you back to the year 2001. I noticed that 3 years ago to the week we played this show you see in front of you, and I just wanted to post the old picture because I liked it. I didn't like the show itself, nor the venue or anything else that happened that night. We were all in a bad mood, and our equipment was failing on us in the cramped, 100 degree sweltering barbecue known as the Blue Moon Cafe in Neenah, Wisconsin. We opened for Hill of the Dead, not only the best metal band in the state, but the lead singer happens to be Celia's brother and my future brother-in-law.

So here we are, playing our catchy ska songs to a bunch of metalheads who are tapping their watches with impatience. Later on, the same crowd would destroy the Blue Moon during Hill of the Dead's set, hereby banning them and us from the venue for life. How we got attached to that verdict was beyond me.

I just liked the picture, is all. I'll keep posting Mediocre At Best show pictures on the coinciding dates in the future. And my apologies to Ben and Celia, there were no good shots of all 4 of us at once. I'll post plenty of you 2 in due time.

Tuesday, March 16

2% Skim

My attention span is about as short as hey a butterfly!

Nevertheless, I’m not going to be successful at anything unless I can stick it out, and come up with something that can be interesting for more than a paragraph. All the great ones can do it. F. Scott Fitzgerald would constantly rewrite and edit his drafts until they became something completely different than what he started with. That explains why the first 1,000 printings of "The Great Gatsby" had that infamous “axe murder” ending that was subsequently removed and replaced in later editions.

Some authors have the gift of being able to keep their readers glued to the pages, unable to put the book down for any reason. This is due to an abundance of adhesive applied to the spine of the book, and that was a funny joke. But seriously, pick up anything in the “Goosebumps” series, and that magnificent bastard R.L. Stine can keep you gripped for upwards of 48 pages. I’m convinced you need to be born with a gift like that.

Lesser authors will unnecessarily pad out the book for hundreds of pages with worthless fluff; Describing clouds, gratuitous sex and violence. Swears-a-plenty, that sort of thing. Stephen King and Dean Koontz have made an empire out of quantity over quality. But you can’t argue with success!

So I decided to test the waters a bit, and figure out what writing style was not only the most comfortable for me; but which one was also the most commercially profitable. I took a common task (walking across the street for a gallon of milk), and adapted it to 3 different commercial styles of writing. This would calibrate my style, and shape what I would become.

First off, I described the act using the writing style of depressing, descriptive memoir. This style has been around for literally hundreds of years, and I thought it would be a good jumping off point. Here’s what I came up with:

Tender steam escapes from between my parted lips, my feet stepping onto dirty melting snow. The dark full moon in the clearest sky of early spring beams down its’ spotlight, leaving me alone on this stage of asphalt. Cautiously avoiding sidewalk cracks and wingless doves roams I, trickling tears turning to ice on red cheeks. Cars dodge the fool who doesn’t check for danger, too immersed in failure and loss to comprehend basic pain. Crossing the street of broken dreams, and into the supermarket of lost souls.

Is it I who holds the gallon of milk? Plastic container of life-giving fluids, clinging to me like a frightened and cold child during the most violent of thunderstorms? I will comfort it, shelter it, and do what I could not do for myself.

Stepping into the unforgiving fluorescent light, cradling moo juice like the most premature of infants. The shelter is quiet now. The glass sits empty, waiting, yet begging to be flooded with sweet nectar. I shall comply, and give satisfaction when I could never receive it tonight.

Drink, dear Sir. Drink.

This worked well, and was surprisingly comfortable for me. I could have stopped right there, and decided on a winner. But I wasn’t going to half-ass my one shot at success. I continued on. My next style was that of a Stephen King or Dean Koontz. They like to tell stories about people in dangerous situations coming to terms with past mistakes to overcome their peril. Here was my interpretation:

The Pick-N-Save on O’Keefe Avenue had been built on an ancient Sioux burial ground. Everyone knew that the dairy isle had been site to some of the most brutal killings this town had ever seen. Everyone, that is, except Ryan.

Ryan knew he had less than 5 minutes to get the milk, as he urinated fiercely into the eggshell toilet. “Shit”, he said, “I’m later than shit”. “I’m no better than a damn shitty woman”. He quickly squeezed out the last few drops and headed through the lush forest to the abandoned market.

Being in these woods reminded Ryan of when he was 9 years old, and a stranger had stopped him as he played alone in the forest by his home. The strange man was nude from the waist down, and repeatedly made Ryan sing “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”, as the man laughed and danced, his flaccid unit swinging wildly.

Being reminded of this, he picked up his pace, knowing he had only 3 minutes now before the milk went bad, and the entire market would be sucked up into an abyss. It was at this point that Ryan pondered shopping at a different market.

“Shit”, he said to himself. But nobody could hear him anymore.

This proved to be quite uncomfortable for me to write. Living a virtually molestation-free childhood (almost), I couldn’t relate to graphic depictions of male genitalia. I quickly moved on, as I hope that you will do.

Finally, I wanted to try my hand at a gritty, courtroom drama. With people like John Grisham and Tom Clancy ruling the bestseller lists, and television shows booming with true crime mysteries, I thought I could certainly cash in here. And if I was lucky, maybe I could sell a script as a pilot to CBS. Something like “Communist Dance Party Productions Presents: Detectives of Death!” I gave it a shot:

They were on to him. He could feel it. Sensations tingling up his neck and straight down his spine. He was being watched, and he didn’t like it.

“Did you steal the milk?” She said, stern and to the point.

“I did no such thing!” He fired back. “I never left the house that night! I have witnesses!”

“Really?” She replied coyly. “Well then, let’s just have a look at the surveillance tapes.”

And so on and so forth. Upon completion of this search for my niche, I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I couldn’t compromise my morals and ideals, and I couldn’t be someone I’m not. Unless it was for a reasonable amount of money, then I can write any way you want me to.

Hey, a butterfly!

Monday, March 15

Punching Out.

First and foremost, a thank you is in order. I've noticed that this page has been receiving about 15 hits a day, for an average visiting time of 5 minutes per hit. That means people are checking this page out, and they are taking the time to read it at a rate of twice as much as last month. Thanks for showing up, thanks for coming back, and thanks for telling people about it. As a reward, here's a picture of Dick Cheney clotheslining an aide:

Courtesy of the Onion. I hope you enjoy it.

Moving on, in keeping in the spirit of more pictures and less talk (I plan to convert to a 100% photo format by June), here are a few pictures of Celia's last day of work at the Department Of Revenue. Her last day was on Friday, and she now calls the Dane County Job Center her place of employment. Good for her.

Everyone seems happy and content at the DOR. And, hey, look at this!

I'm really glad that Jason Alexander found work after KFC fired him from their commercials. And he has chocolates.