blog-0-tron9000 v2.0

peace out, homie
26 June, 2009: [176/365], 07:17.45 [Friday]
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I’m done blogging here, indefinitely. I started my own website. It also has a blog, but no comments (can’t enable them for some reason). So to all two of my readers, um, thanks?


the reunion, pt. II
05 June, 2009: [155/365], 18:25.36 [Friday]
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A hauntingly familiar screech of feedback streaked through the air, followed by more electrical squealing and buzzing, though less intense, as the speakers from which they were born had seen better days—back in the era of disco. The sound tech hobbled onstage to test the lone mic, whose cord was frayed and just another element of the elaborate fire hazard in which we’d be trapped this evening. “Uhnng, ch-check, check one, chehhhhhh…” The poor sap couldn’t even finish the sound check before passing out. His eyes were black from burst vessels and crusts of dried blood could be found under his nose and on his upper lip. This, I thought to myself, could either be the greatest show I’d ever seen in my life, or the one that would finally put Skid Viscous in a federal prison. I was betting on the latter, of course.

Unfortunately, if there was going to be a pyrotechnic disaster (which, by this point, was simply an inevitability), I would have a great deal of difficulty escaping for my life. The foundry was packed well beyond capacity, and on top of that, many of the windows and doors were barricaded shut. How Vert12 managed to snag a permit to play at a condemned building was far beyond my investigative grasp. Also unfortunate was the realization that I was most likely the only one to notice this.

It wasn’t an earth-shaking revelation, since the vast majority of the crowd was made up of shiftless young adults freshly dropped out of their unaccredited technical schools, VCR repair too advanced for them to understand. Many of these guys appeared to be part of an honest-to-god movement to revive the mullet as an unironic, legitimate hairstyle for the masses; other demographics were represented, if marginally: bros, stoners, and the “trenchcoat” crowd which I’d believed to have gone extinct six years ago. Among them was the occasional spineless, irresponsible mother or father who had been coerced into providing a ride. Noticeably absent was the untapped demographic of women aged 18 to 36. Noticeable, but not shocking.

Finally, another forty-five minutes after the sound tech was dragged offstage by Okemah paramedics, a lanky man appearing to be in his late thirties emerged. He was disturbingly thin, and his embarrassing make-up clown mask couldn’t hide the sagging skin, wrinkles, and pock marks marring his face. Despite his visible ribs, he carried a worrisome gut, indicating a heart condition just waiting to manifest at the most inopportune time. It was when he introduced himself as “Skidzz tha MurdaMasta” that I finally recognized him as Skid Viscous, and my stomach turned at the sight of him. He had aged sixteen years in only four.

My stomach turned again when it came to me what Skidzz was trying to offer. Vertigo12, while completely forgettable in their previous incarnation as a scum-metal band, was announcing its new packaging as a gangsta-punk-masked metal clowncore outfit, resembling a certain greasepainted duo from Detroit.

To be continued.

ebb and flow
03 June, 2009: [153/365], 19:25.04 [Wednesday]
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I still battle with my social ambivalence and misanthropic tendencies. Does everyone repulse me, or do I care deeply for my friends? Actually, do I even really care in the first place?

While I have made a great deal of progress in dealing with my neuroses, I still occasionally go through periods of time during which I am rather unsociable and feeling unfriendly. For no rational reason, I come to some weird conclusion that everyone can go screw themselves and I’m better off without them. This is one of those times, right now.

I start off feeling almost happy, like I actually have friends and can be comfortable and comforted during rough or tedious times, but then that nearly joyous, “positive” neutrality turns into apathy. Then it all just goes downhill from there. My die-hard, steadfast cynicism ultimately gets the best of me, and I start to turn against everybody, believing that they all have some sort of ulterior motive behind keeping my friendship. This is not to say that I am writing everyone off, I know who my true friends are; but on the other hand, I hate to say that too, because I feel awful for being so skeptical toward everyone else over what is likely nothing.

This is a cyclical phenomenon for me, and I can’t really control that feature of my psyche. And it’s not that I’m feeling depressed, I’m just feeling profoundly empty. All I can do is force myself to communicate with others, no matter how much I don’t want to do it.

internal echoes
29 May, 2009: [148/365], 21:18.09 [Friday]
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Lately, I’ve been having these odd, inexplicable flashbacks to the early-to-mid-’90s. Nothing tangible, but rather something deep and visceral surges through me, and I’m left feeling like I did during that period of time.

I was a young adolescent at the time, ending my elementary education, entering middle school. It should have been an exciting time, when a boy begins to grow up and notice the world around him, to branch out and explore all the possibilities of an opening social life. It’s supposed to be a time when a bridge forms between the carefree, magical inquisition and imagination of youth, and the responsibilities and privileges built-in with coming of age.

But it didn’t work out that way for me. I never felt like I fit in with anyone, and it was more than just the everyday awkwardness that all teenagers experience. I was lonely, even when surrounded by my peers: I had only one or two friends. And in all honesty, I didn’t even feel right around them. I was so messed up inside that I didn’t like to share the deeper, darker side of my imagination. On the other side of it, I never felt anyone believed I could hack it in the maturity aspect of growing up. It always seemed as though I needed to be protected from something, as though I had to remain a child in a growing body, but with none of the novelty, wonder, or joy.

I couldn’t be myself around anyone, even with the people closest to me, and I was like that even up to recent years. I never got the chance to learn what I was, because I tried so hard to be anything and everything that I wasn’t. The girls never noticed me (or were repulsed by me, who knows–or cares), the other boys were in an animalistic territorial mode, singling out the weak to make them appear even weaker and more unappealing. I second-guessed myself every second of every day and knew nothing but self doubt. This lack of self-confidence helped me to become a blacker sheep than I already was, alienating everyone I knew, or at least that’s what I perceived.

It was the worst, loneliest period of time in my life, the entirety of the 1990s. Even the wave of depression I’ve recently been beating back has nothing on that time, as it was a beast of a different nature. I truly felt unloved, at best, by virtually everyone with whom I’d crossed paths.

Anyway, I don’t want to dwell on that anymore. The point is, I’m coming so far along with repairing the wreckage that is my personality, that these sensations I get are so nerve-rattling and it really weirds me out. I really do feel that I’ve got so much to look forward to, and that I’m not the failure I led myself to believe I was, but these flashbacks give me these surges of loneliness and vulnerability that aren’t really there, but they feel all too real.

Perhaps I should revisit various aspects of that time of my life, and show myself that I’m above all that; that it’s not that I didn’t fit in because I was weak, but because I was never on the same plane as the others. After all, I couldn’t care less what others think of me now, why should I still be hung up on what I thought people thought of me back then, especially when most of that was a bunch of trivial nonsense, amplified by my own stupid neurotic quirks.

Just had to get that out there, I guess.

the reunion, pt. I
29 May, 2009: [148/365], 14:50.27 [Friday]
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The crowd for the Vertigo12 reunion concert was surprisingly large, given the event’s content. The eastern Oklahoma trashcore band was never really known for their, well, they weren’t really known, period. And the majority of those who were aware of their existence weren’t really all that enthusiastic about the music anyway. I was one of the many people holding that opinion when I attended a show of theirs back in 2005, as a music critic in my high school’s newspaper.

The concert turned out to be one of their last, as bassist Jimmy Hotpack left amidst a [relatively] highly publicized feud over songwriting credits. Hotpack went solo shortly afterward, and bumrushed the Midwest in a rather successful tour in late 2006. Lead vocalist Skid Viscous caught wind of his former bandmate’s newfound glory, and decided to ride Hotpack’s coattails to his own brand of fame. This concert was the result.

Calling it a reunion was a bit disingenuous from the onset, as Viscous and Hotpack were the only original members present. Turntable artist Brutus J. Roadkill reverted to his given name of Roderick J. Bruté and officially quit to join the seminary in May last year. The morbidly obese human beatbox Donny “Mexico” Jackson fell into a diabetic coma shortly after the ill-fated 2005 concert. He was revived in the late spring of 2006; Jackson consequently lost his left leg, and has been in rehabilitation since. The rest of the tenuous lineup was killed in the Molotov cocktail-fuelled “Oklahoma Fishstick Riot” of 2005, so their return was obviously a foregone conclusion.

The concert was to be held at Carl Weathers High School, where three of the members sporadically attended (none graduated). However, there was a restraining order issued on Skid Viscous last year after a stalking incident, so the show was held in the town of Okemah, where Viscous’s child-support lawsuit is still proceeding.

I arrived at the venue, an abandoned loading dock in a foundry next door to the Okfuskee County Courthouse, where Viscous’s trial is being held. It was late, but it occurred to me that no one in the band knew how to tell time, so I was okay. I was reminded of the atmosphere of the church where the last concert I attended was held. The air was humid, stale, and hazy; I could hardly breathe for the noxious cigarette smoke burning my lungs. Oddly enough, the scent of marijuana was noticeably absent, though the stench of alcoholic vomit more than made up for it.

To be continued.

thoughts for 28th may
28 May, 2009: [147/365], 20:15.05 [Thursday]
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So, trying to figure out where to go to school is more difficult than I thought it would be. Turns out my research interests are sort of all over the place. I want to study psychopathology, but I don’t want to be in a clinical program. I want to study the physiological foundations of psychopathology, but everyone’s looking at other neuropsychological stuff. I’m looking at the psychology grad programs at KSU for examples, and it seems like I could consider that school (though I’m not, actually) if there was a bridge between their clinical and experimental programs, as well as a joint program with the biology department. I still need to talk to various members of the faculty. Dammit.

In other news, I suck at running. I’ve been trying to get back into it after a long slump, and putting it mildly, I won’t be doing a 5K anytime soon. Maybe by late summer, but right now? Ggggh. No. But I have to keep doing this, or I’ll never improve. At least I’m slowly getting better with weight training. Slowly. Having no patience isn’t very helpful, by the way.

28 May, 2009: [147/365], 19:49.31 [Thursday]
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post this when dumb shit