Tags, Peace & Love

There are certain bloggers who are above playing along with the “tag, your it” posts.

I am not one of these.

Well, not this time at any rate, because this time I was tagged by one of my favorite writers out here, Nowan Zen from I’m Not Lost, Just Weird.

And just as I was beginning to compile the reams of documentation required for these types of posts, who should drop in, but Shannon from The Squeaky Wheel Blog, who also asked if she could tag me (that’s right Nowan, Shannon asked…)

So what will follow will be a Frankensteining of sorts, between the (2) tags, and since both require that additional people are then – well – tagged in a “play it forward” fashion, I am simply saying screw it, and throwing this right back onto the two who first nabbed me, with each being tasked to figure out just what parts pertain to them (if you’d like to be tagged as well, start gathering your paperwork, and just let me know).

OK, ready?

Both require a picture. Both will receive the same one. This is me and my boys at Pride 2013. Simon is an agnostic who believes in Jesus more than a lot of Christians do, and he wanted to express the idea that J.C. was all about love and inclusion, versus hate and exclusion. Hence his marching the parade (as he came be known by the crowd) as “Rainbow Jesus.” I’m the lumpy old guy in the middle.

Rainbow Jesus

Both require 11 random facts. Why is it always 11, and why must they always be random? Never the mind, here goes:

1. Technically, I suppose the “lumpy” bit could count as number 1.

2. Simon caught a lot of flak from his mother and her family for his decision. He stuck to his guns anyway. Fine, not actually a random fact about me, but I’m proud of him regardless.

3. Yes, our t-shirts say “Jesus Is Not A Homophobe.”

4. “Homophobe” refers to a person who is hateful of Gay and Lesbian people. Apparently scared that this sort of thing is contagious…?

5. Yes, we’ll get off the subject of the damned photo already.

6. Random fact # 7 actually comes in at # 6.

7. See above

8. Sorry – just one more thing. Ian is going next year in full drag.

9. I’m damned proud of him as well.

10. Lookie here, we’re already at the second-to last one!

11. When I was young, I used to suck my thumb. It soothed me greatly. I recently tried it again, but it just didn’t have the same affect. Damned thumb.

Both have a bunch of questions. Some I will answer honestly, others I will simply bullshit my way through, and for none of them will I actually be funny, insightful or in any way engaging…

Nowen asks:

  1. What is your quest? To dream the impossible dream, of course. Duh!
  2. If you could select any character from the Big Bang Theory to describe yourself, which one would you select and why? (Losing Nerd cred), I’ve never watched the show, but (gaining Nerd cred), if this were about Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy, I would be the lorry driver who doesn’t realize that he is actually the God of Rain.
  3. When was the last time you laughed hard enough to snort (aka Donkey Honk) and what was so funny? The last time was when Ian (pictured above as not Jesus) came up to me and asked if he could go to Target.com to “buy a set.” Turns out, he was actually talking about legos.
  4. If you could travel anywhere and live all expenses paid for a year, where would that be? (No you may not select Uranus. Stop giggling!) The sky. No lie. Just up there in the blue. Not to get away from it all, but rather, above it. Incidentally, and since neither asked, flying is also my superpower of choice.
  5. What was the last book you read that you actually enjoyed and why would you recommend it? Andrew Davidson’s, The Gargoyle. Because it was creepy, sexual, inspiring and scary. Long before my divorce ever came down, this book showed me that True Love was not what I had. That and it made me cry. Oh, it’s also a nice weight and size to place in the small of your back, should it be aching in the middle of the night.
  6. What is your motto or mantra for your life? To dream the impossible dream, of course. Duh!
  7. You have one chance to witness first hand any event, you cannot alter it only witness it, what would it be? In all seriousness, I would like to be there on Easter morning. Not to prove to myself that it actually happened, but just to be able to give Him a hug and say thank you.
  8.  A book is being written about your life by an observer, what would the title be? Wonder How Many People Are Actually Gonna Buy This Book?
  9. What would creep you out the most? (seeing me naked is NOT an acceptable answer!) The very thing that I most desire – an actual visit from an angel. I’ve known a few who have told me of this experience, and I chose to believe them all. It’s the one thing I’ve always longed for to happen, but it would also creep me right out of my skin if it ever did.
  10. You have a friend who really needs a laugh, how do you get them to laugh? (dress in a hamster suit and dance the Macarena is funny) Depends on the person, but I can usually get people laughing just by walking into a room…
  11. What is the worst pick-up line you have heard used that worked? My little brother used to use it to great success and often, and it really can say a lot about certain members of the female of the species. He would say simply, “Get Away From Me.”

Shannon asks:

1. What smell instantly takes you back to a moment from your childhood?

Sixlets. When we were little, every year Christmas morn found us craddling hollow tube candy canes, packed to the brim with m&m’s. But these m&m’s smelled different. Tasted better. Ma n’ Pa said it was because they were Christmas m&m’s delivered by Santa, but they lied. Not too sure about the Santa part, but definitely about their being m&m’s. They were not, they were sixlets. I still like them better than m&m’s, and I still get mentally thrown back to Christmas 1970-something every time I open a bag. (Incidentally, this simutanlously makes me miss terribly the Godzilla Shogun Warrior I also had from around the same time – yeah, the one with the launching fist.)

2. What song will make you headbang/car dance/waltz around your living room no matter what kind of a shitty mood you’re in?

There is only ONE song that needs be played for this. “Jesus Built My Hot Rod,” by Ministry of course.

Or, “Got Some” by Pearl Jam I suppose.

And again, there’s also “Dont Fuck Me Up” by Cracker. And you can’t forget “Going Nowhere” by Therapy?, and I suppose I would have to mention my quizzer’s son’s near-namesake, The Exploited’s “Daily News.” And, well, I guess there’s at least a couple that trip my anger trigger.

Oops! Almost forgot “Hell Bent For Leather” by Judas Priest!

3. If you had to pick having to smell roses everywhere you went all the time or never being able to see the color blue, which would you choose?

I hate roses. And no, not because they “really smell like poo, poo-poo.” I hate them because they are so widely regarded as beautiful, with little or no actual reasoning behind this assessment. And in my experience, anything – or one – who is looked upon like this, can quite often have a deep inner ugliness that, when stumbled upon, destroys any semblance of the previously held viewpoint. That being said, if I chose the latter over the former, I would never again be able to look up into the deep azure sky, and long for the day that I will be able fly up there, unaided by man-made plane, controlled by heaven-made pilot. So I will simply have to resign myself to smelling those fucking roses all the time instead.

4. Would you be more afraid of a rhinoceros charging at you or a hippopotamus?

I would be more afraid if neither was charging me in fact. I mean, how could they not? Look at me, I’m freakin’ delicious.

5. Which, to you, would be the most flattering way to finish this sentence: Your writing really reminds me of _______.

The love-child of Douglas Adams and C.S. Lewis. With the full understanding that Mr. Lewis couldn’t actually bear Mr. Adams a child, resulting from his religious convictions.

6. Is it hard for you to stay on task from beginning to end, or do you jump around and do a little of this and a little of that and eventually cross the finish line?

Wait! There’s a finish line???

7. What is your biggest pet peeve about yourself?

43 years later, I still fall into that old trap of believing that my best will never be good enough. “Never,” as in the deepest, bleakest, most worthless never ever.

8. Do you plan to write your own epitaph or let someone else do it? Or, I guess conversely, cremation or burial would need to be answered first. TWO-PARTER! So that’s 8 & 9, because I multi-task like a motherfucker!

I’m going to answer this as a politician would. Which bascially means the answer will have nothing to do with the question. I’ve told my kids I want exactly (3) things for my funeral, and they can do whatever else they want with the rest of the service. 1) no wake. NO. WAKE. I’ve been to many, they’re all creepy, and not a damned one has actually worked. No wake. 2) bury me in pajamas (or if I die in the summer, nude is fine). Seriously, a liftime of corporate strangulation, and then you get stuck in a suit and tie for the big sleep? No thank you! 3) Bobby Darin MUST be played at the funeral. “Artificial Flowers,” to be exact. Don’t ask why.

10. All time favorite curse word, either one you’ve heard or one you’ve made up in the heat of the moment?

Douchery, fuckery, jack-assery. Catching a theme here? Basically, you can take any swear word, simply place a “ery” at the end, and it instantly becomes cool. Now, lets stop dicking around, and move on.

Incidentally “dicking around” could possibly the coolest, most nebulous swears ever. Use it often. People will think you’re smart if you do.

11. What vanity license plate would put “YOU” out there for all other driver’s to know?

“Can you believe that this cat actually thinks it’s cool to say ‘fuckery’?”

Both require a litany of new questions be generated and parceled out. But I’ve only one. Well, more like 2 – 3 in one.

If this is all that there is, and there is nothing else, either after or before, are you happy? I mean, truly happy? If “no,” then what can you do to turn that? And if “yes,” then where can I get what you’re having?

So there we go.

Shannon, Nowen, swap questions and get back to me, ya hear? Oh, and I’m also tagging Twin Daddy because I really respect his writing (though he has no idea I exist), and because He was the one that got me into this mess with Shannon in the first place.

So there.

If you’ve read this far, you deserve a little treat. So here, have a Cracker…

For 3 Reasons…

This coming Sunday through Wednesday I will once again be dragging my feet (not to mention my solitary “if you can’t take it on your back, then don’t take it all” backpack) to Las Vegas, and I am telling you this for – as the post title implies – 3 reasons.

flamingo_hotel_las_vegas_NV

• First off, if you should happen to be in the area at the same time, let’s grab a drink, shall we? Drop me a line if you’d like to meet the t behind the “t.”

• Secondly, should my near-future posts appear to be erratic and/or wholly absent, this trip is the reason why. No, I’ll not be dead yet. Or at least we’ll just assume that to be true, until such time as the week following comes round, and you still haven’t heard from me.

• Thirdly and most importantly, I’m telling you this sort of as a promise to NOT get all weepy like I did last year, and post an overly mopey and generally pissy rant about the people who populate, if only for awhile, this fair(ish) city. OK, well at least I will try very hard not to. What? I’m an emotional guy. I can’t always help it.

Now, those of you who know me well may very well believe that the song included today is actually a thinly veiled, “secret” reason #4 behind today’s post. And as always, those of you who know me well, would be absolutely correct in your beliefs. So let’s get crackin’!

• Oh, also, if any of you happen to know where is the best place to catch a good Drag Queen show out Vegas-way, I’d be forever grateful for your two cents!

Daily News

As the song pumps through the air, my body once again aches. But not with the same ache as last time.

No, last time it ached pleasantly as I traversed the ever-tightening circle of sweaty bodies and hair dye. Swerving through the crowd, I rode the various waves of mutilation, as the tune thumped through the overhead speakers of the dingy club. A club that could have very well been called “Club Whatever You Do, Do NOT Use The Restroom Here.” Regardless, much like “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” it wasn’t the actual art that was the thing; so much as it was the community exercise that built up around its existence.

We were a family of people, all who had no family – or at least family who truly “got” us. We were Tribe. Brothers and sisters, many of whom shared benefits – often times out of convenience, and other times due to sheer lust-love. I can’t think of too many people who would turn down a beautiful, slightly overweight, shapely Goth chick with crazy “Robert Smith” hair and a smile to die for. One who was a wonderful kisser, and down for just about anything under the sun. Well, the moon would be more appropriate, I suppose. I mean, she was a Goth, after all. We were stupid, brash, brazen and accidentally beautiful, and we were going to change the world whether it knew it or not. Not by jumping into The Game and becoming The Man either, no sir. Rather, we were going to make The Man come to us.

Bow yer head, Bitch. We HAVE arrived!

I think of all this as the song plays again, years later, from my tinny little iPod. No “Man” is at my feet however, and no Brave New World awaits me as I listen. Nope, it’s just me. Speed walking on my mother-in-law’s treadmill. In my basement. The basement of the house that sits just on the outskirts of Suburbia. A suburbia that sits just on the outskirts of “Where The Rich People Dwell.” The pain this time isn’t resulting from joy of camaraderie either. No, the pain this time is of a mortal who is one year past being The Answer To Life, The Universe And Everything. A mere mortal who needs to get his non-punk rockian weight back down to a reasonable number, so that his wife might again find him attractive. Or barring that, at least allow him the good health as to live long enough to see his grandkids get married. I mean, he’s got to have at least one, right?

Picture 1

The Tribe is long gone, as I walk in my basement briskly to nowhere, staying in the same exact spot, regardless of how many miles I tack on. Don’t worry; it’s a life analogy that I am painfully aware of as I write this, just one that I don’t want to address here. You know, to help me avoid breaking into tears, much like a two year old who’s just been found with a soiled pull-up, and no one to blame but herself.

The Tribe is gone, but the song remains. As do I. Life isn’t what I thought it would be. I’m sure you can say the same. Some of it is worse than I was hoping for, and there’s quite a bit that’s much better as well. I’m glad the song stuck around to remind me of a past that I enjoyed and a present that I know now I never will.

Such a power for one little song to have. And to think, all these years later, outside of the chorus, I’ve no earthly idea what Wattie and the boys are even talking about…

If.

If I had to do it all over again…

I would still be the same me. In the same time. Facing the same issues. With the same experience and knowledge. The same fears and shortcomings.

I would still see life as I do. I would still react as I’m currently prone to. I would still stumble/get back up/brush myself off/stumble again, in very much the same way as I do now.

So, if I had to do it all over again,

I would do it again, in exactly the same way that I did it the first time.

•••

21st Century Boy will not be heard today

While nobody said it publicly, I’m sure after reading last Monday’s post, you were all thinking, “But t, what about Tony?”

Yes, what about Tony? Tony James, the Yin to Billy Idol’s Yang (or vice versa. I’ve hardly the desire to put forth the effort figuring out which is supposed to be which in this instance) during his Generation X days. Well we all know that when Gen X went bust, and Billy stole “Dancing…” Tony was pretty much left without a pot to piss in, creatively speaking. So he decided to form a new band, with a new sound.

Now, Idol must have been a very taxing musician to work with, because when Tony started up his next venture, he hand-picked a band with very little prior musicianship, opting instead to choose individuals who “looked like rock stars” rather than actually being so. He went about it this way, because the whole idea to this new group was to be a total and one hundred percent sell-out, from top to bottom. The songs were constructed in such a fashion as to maximize their chart-ability, the wardrobes and hairstyles were created to garner attention – good or bad, it mattered not. The press – well, the press was almost ridiculous. I recall way back when listening to CFNY (the coolest New Wave radio station ever. Out of Canada, of course. The coolest New Wave nation ever) on my little radio; hearing that they even gone so far as to create a billboard wherein the lead singer was hanging from a cross, touting themselves as the “Second Coming of Rock & Roll” – pretty damned crass, right? But that was the whole point. Long before the world ever knew of Marilyn Manson, Tony James presumably tried to highlight mankind’s sheep like tendencies and gullibility in the knee-jerk reaction department, all while making a boatload of cash at the same time.

Quick side note – how is it, that every time we speak ill of our species, it’s OK to say “mankind,” but when we’re speaking highly of ourselves, we have to use the genderless “humankind?”

Anywho, where was I again? Oh yeah, Tony and the boys were attempting to show us all what sell-outs we were, by being sell-outs themselves (they even went so far as to sell commercial space in between the tracks on their debut album). The problem was, their plan didn’t work. Turns out, merely putting out lots of flash and thunder wasn’t enough to secure you a career. Turns out, we felt you needed some sort of talent as well (odd we felt that way then, when you consider all the talent-less and void “celebrities” we blatantly lust after today).

So in the final analysis, I feel that while Tony may have had a good idea, he applied a little bit too much shtick. The real DJ’s rebelled as a result (God bless you, Chris Sheppard!), and the resulting lack of airplay was deafening. Their second album was merely a plink in a pool already overflowing with 80’s style creativity. And while I believe Sigue Sigue Sputnik (did I even mention the band name yet?)  just recently got back together, the fact that I can’t even find the energy to verify that last tidbit of info, is telling as to how much long-term interest they’ve maintained.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like Mr. Idol faired much better. Why it was only a couple of years ago that he went so far as to release a Christmas album. CHRISTMAS! My brother burned me a copy, but I’ve yet worked up the courage to give it a listen. Hey, I need my ears for the rest of my life, I can’t risk them becoming damaged.

So, why won’t we be listening to “21st Century Boy” today? Well, for two reasons. First off, I can’t find the version I like on Youtube (did I forget to mention? They made – on average – seventeen hundred different mixes of each and every song they recorded). Secondly, as I’m assuming most-to all of you at one point in time have seen “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” the song I chose may be the only one you’ve ever heard from Tony and the boys.

Similar to “Dancing With Myself,” it’s still good for steering wheel beat-downs, just not nearly as heartfelt.

•••

Now, for a much more informed take on both the band and their first album, I would invite you to jump over to superstition is all we have left‘s bloggie (where I “fleeced” today’s picture from) – in the words of the best Doctor Who ever, Mr. David Tennant, their post on the subject is simply “Brilliant!”