24 February 2010

Happy By Nature And Made Happy By Nature

The ink is black, the page is white
Together we learn to read and write

When I was growing up on my family's farm in the 1970's we listened to the radio alot. When I heard Three Dog Night sing the lyrics of Black and White, I thought it meant that black people and white people need each other to learn. When I heard Ricky Nelson singing "It's alright now, I've learned my lesson well: you can't please everyone so you've go to please yourself," that made sense to me. Your opinion of yourself should matter more than anyone else's. Sly and the Family Stone sang of how silly it was that "there is a yellow one that won't accept the black one that won't accept the red one that won't accept the white one." How silly is racism? As silly as so on and so on and scooby dooby dooby. Pure silliness. What makes us the kind of people that we are? Why are some people conservative and others liberal, some frugal and others generous, some trustworthy and others suspicious? I am liberal more than conservative, generous more than frugal and trustworthy more than suspicious. I'm happy to say that I inherited my views on race from Three Dog Night, Sly and the Family Stone, and a children's book about Abe Lincoln that my mom gave me on my eighth birthday. My politics are rooted in the overthrow of the British Empire by the American Revolution and Ricky Nelson, who would rather drive a truck if memories were all he had to sing about. When I was a kid I dreamed that a train drove by at night in the field across from my house, which is funny becauseI grew up in the sticks and there was no train . In my dream I would be in my room, and it would be night, and I would be considering crawling out the window, climbing down from the roof, and chasing that train across the field until I caught it going somewhere else. Like "Proud Mary" I always wanted to leave a good job in the city working for the man and hitch a ride on the riverboat Queen, washing dishes to get by. I always wished there was a river like the Mississippi nearby and I could just hop a steamboat or raft and head down the river to somewhere else. When I got a little older I read ON THE ROAD and after that I did find my car replaced the river and the train and I found a place to go. I'd get out of work as early as I could and drive three hours to see DJ and George and Eric. There was no place else I'd rather be and I was always three days late trying to make it back home. There is no common thread here other than the power of the forces that make us who we are. Whether it's running barefoot or listening to music or meeting your best friends, the forces are out there, and together we learn what life is.

20 February 2010

I'm telling Jesus that you weren't any help

How is that not funny? That is why I watch King of the Hill. Trying to find something decent on tv puts me in a bad mood sometimes. But I know that KofH is coming on at ten and I just have to wait it out. I've been watching it for six or seven years now. There is something comforting about Hank Hill. He is the ultraconservative that I wish I had more in common with. And then Luanne, his niece, says things like "I'm telling Jesus you weren't any help" and my bad mood melts away. I like disliking Peggy and her self-importance. I like to think there are people like Hank and Luanne and even Peggy.

19 February 2010

How much do I hate technology...let me count the ways

My phone sits in front of me. I do nothing with it. Then the red light starts flashing. I've missed a phone call. How does this happen? The phone is just sitting there. It didn't ring. I pick it up and the dial meaning it's busy starts to spin. I click the red button to stop it and it keeps on spinning. What is it busy doing? I am the human. Why should I have to wait for the technology. It should be waiting for me. I put the digital copy of The Dark Knight into my laptop. The jacket of the dvd says "Insert disk. Enter authorization code. Follow directions." I do this. It takes me somewhere else because I need to download something to assist the first download. I do all of this and then the program just stalls and ceases. I have no idea what it's doing and I wait and then I wait and I get nothing. I try to download it again and it tells me I have already downloaded it although it is not there. I search the piece-of-crap Windows Vista search and it cannot find it. In fact, it cannot find anything called "dvd". I go to Microsoft Help and the site instructs me to download Updates. That is the only advice it gives me. I try to do this but it tells me, since I have Windows Vista, these updates are not applicable. If I was as rich as Elvis I'd go through as many smartphones and laptops as I would 12 gauge shells because I would be blowing that shit away. Ah, this show ain't no good!

Why I get writer's block

Writing can be so frustrating for me. Today is the second day I have worked on a blog entry titled "Your First History Lesson". I have written the first half twice so far and it is still not near being completed. I tend to edit as I write and the damn thing just gets longer and longer until I don't know which end of it is up. So instead of a piece about the history of the U.S. I am going to talk about Tiger Woods mixing martinis and vicodin. Tiger didn't mix the martinis and vicodin, I did. And I don't care what you think about it. Like my friend D.J. texted me this morning, "I wish Tiger would have come out and said "Oh,what do you think of me? F U! Any questions? I didn't think so." He doesn't owe me an apology any more than the guy across the street who cheated on his wife. It's not my business. I'm not married but if I was, even if it was to the girl of my dreams, and she does exist (hi!) I don't know how many times I could resist a gorgeous twenty-two year old throwing herself at me. And if she was going to bring her friend along? Forget about it! It's like math: two tens wouldn't add up to twenty, they would be squared and you'd get a hundred. In fact, maybe they oould help me get over my writer's block.

Now I got it...

I figured out how to change my blog title: Good For Me!! The new title is stolen from Abbie Hoffman's Steal This Book. I know it's weak. Like I've said before my imagination is limited. I was born in the 1960's, I grew up in the 1970's free and running around barefoot, and spent the 1980's running barefoot and free through my own life. The resurgence of the 1960's during this time led me to read On The Road and lots of Hunter Thompson. I understand where the 60's social movement was coming from but I never believed in the communal living and constant sharing of the hippies. I think they liked to share your stuff more than their own. Anyway, I liked the Fight the Power politics of the time. I also liked the newer stuff on the scene in the 80's like Public Enemy and Ice-T, stuff that questioned and challenged the Establishment: "Freedom of speech, that's the motherfuckin' bullshit. You say the wrong thing, they'll lock your ass up quick." I think Thomas Jefferson would have agreed. Fight the Power!

18 February 2010

Really, I've had sex....

In a way the moniker "40yoVirginBlogger" is accurate: I've never blogged before. However, I did not know this would be my official handle. I thought it was the title of my first blog! Now I don't know how to change it. So there it is: I have no idea how to manage this stuff.

I used to write all the time and when I did it was on a word processor with a flip down keyboard that had a yellowed illustration of Hunter S. Thompson scotchtaped to it. I would sit in my room at my parents house and stare out the window at the birds in the pine trees and dump out my thoughts (I need a dump truck baby to unload my head). Then I met a girl named Courtney with whom I had a weird kind of kismet connection with. She got in my head. We shared intimacies beyond words or sex. Sometimes when I was entering her I felt like I was fucking the universe. I knew the meaning of life before I met her, and she only helped affirm it, but it was no help to me when she left me one bleak Sunday night in December. The next day I put on a UPS uniform and had one of the worst days of my life. My life had led to this. I was a twenty-eight year old man who had become part of the Beast, the System, the Required Uniform Masses and the best I could do was a UPS helper. I spent the next few months in the leftover remains of our apartment, teaching myself guitar, feeding the cat I bought her, and drinking late into the night. My need to write was reinvigorated. But it turned out to be the sugar high before the crash: she had broke me. I left behind the need to write. I became acutely self-conscious that I was sitting over a yellow legal pad with a pen in my hand.

I've always wanted to be a writer, always identified with myself as a writer, but I knew that I had no fiction in me. Or not much. A weak story about a girl I liked, another about a dinosaur, and a poem about what is in the valley behind my house were the highlights. I liked a story I wrote about a night when I talked six girls into coming over to my studio aparment. We sat on the floor Indian style and drank shots of Wild Turkey until the bottle was gone. That was a good night. Of course that was before Courtney. I bounced around for awhile after that, working in restaurants and hotels, until one day I took an IQ test online. The next day I signed up for classes at MCC (everyone knows that's a Community College right?) as an English Lit major. After a year there I went to a four-year school where I jumped right into 300 level Lit classes that I hated and one introductory level History class that I loved. From that point until now History and Education have been the focus of my life. Well, what little focus I have. Which it turns out is not all that much. I finished my four-year degree in History but more importantly I rediscovered my love for writing. Not as a writer of fiction (from the movie Sideways: "Fiction doesn't seem to be that hard to write - it's just made up stuff") but as a writer of History. Now I have a notebook of ideas that I work and rework and explore and revisit over and over.

So that is my history as a writer. Now if I can only figure out how to shed this stupid blog title.