blog-0-tron9000 v2.0

internal echoes
29 May, 2009: [148/365], 21:18.09 [Friday]
Filed under: Uncategorized

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]
Filed under: Uncategorized

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]
Filed under: Uncategorized

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]
Filed under: Uncategorized

post this when dumb shit

18 May, 2009: [137/365], 16:21.56 [Monday]
Filed under: Microfiction

I wrote this in 2005. It’s a review of a concert written in the perspective of a high school student. I’ve been writing a follow-up of it that I’ll post later.

Bright, migraine-inducing purple ultraviolet lights flooded the abandoned church. An even harsher feedback noise cut through the hot, stale air, bringing three hundred forty-six people to their knees simultaneously. Their startled, exasperated gasps drowned out the feedback, and a hoarse voice apologized for the horrible noise. All but thirteen of the people got back on their feet, the rest were either out cold, or dead, crushed under the weight of the crowd. The building was filled well over capacity (about one hundred fifty), but a payoff to the zoning department made them look the other way.

The church, which was normally the local bingo hall/fish fry hall/fallout shelter, was converted to a veritable rock n’ roll machine, for tonight, the tri-county winner of the battle of the bands contest—three times running—was playing. Vertigo12 was the biggest thing to hit the small town of Tobacco Spit, Oklahoma, since Alan Jackson’s tour bus broke down in nearby Wet Hole, the next town over (Jackson’s publicist still insists it was sabotage). Dozens of disenchanted teenagers lolled their way into the decrepit former house of worship, as dozens of concerned parents picketed outside. The county sheriff insisted it was okay, since “those damn kids won’t be messin’ up our water tower, whut with their spray paint and eggs. Damn hooligans.”

The tortured screeches of distorted guitar ripped through the smoky atmosphere, as Vertigo12’s turntable player, Brutus J. Roadkill, cut some phat beats. The band’s lead grunter and its three backup screamers stepped to the front of the altar. Skid Viscous, the band’s decidedly unoriginal frontman, coughed violently into the mic. “ARE YOU READY TO—krff-blak-khurl—um, rock (harfharf)?”

Several spiky haired fourteen-year-olds, in their most aggressive growls they could produce with their neo-pubescent larynges, yelled “I guess,” but went mostly unheard over the din of the guitar tech clumsily knocking over and destroying about six hundred dollars worth of second-hand equipment. One of the lights overhead exploded, causing all but one of the three hundred thirty-three members of the crowd to drop to the floor again.

The remaining person was one 73-year-old Bernice Johnson, who realized that Tuesday was Bingo Night, not Saturday. The explosion didn’t bother her, as the battery in her hearing aid had been exhausted for a week, and the attendants at the senior care facility failed to notice. They would no longer need to notice, however, as Mexico Jackson, the six-hundred-pound human beatbox, jumped in front of the frail old woman, inducing a fatal heart attack.

The show finally went on, as the other twelve members of the group sauntered onstage, fashionably late by about ninety minutes, and hurtled into a menacing rap-metal rendition of Lee Dorsey’s “Workin’ in a Coal Mine”. Jimmy Hotpack, the bass player, looked up at the crowd—completely out of character, as he was “the catatonic one”—and vomited all over the front row of the crowd, who hadn’t noticed as they were engaged in a particularly violent mosh fight. In fact, nobody had noticed, because this was normally part of the show; afterwards, Vertigo12’s three drummers, the Beef Sisters, would launch a keg off the stage, so the crowd could join in on the puke party. This time was different, however, as former Motown superstar Lee Dorsey, who was touring with them, rushed up to the mic, announcing that some members of the band had eaten some bad fishsticks the night before, and would have to cut the show short.

The crowd appeared to be none too pleased, as they started throwing Molotov cocktails at the stage. However, according to one of the twenty-seven survivors of the resulting fire, there were already plans to burn the church down during the concert, and that the fishstick incident was merely coincidental.

Overall, it was a pretty good show by Vertigo12 standards. The show actually lasted longer than five minutes, and they only lost eight of their bandmates this time. This was probably their best since they played at Carl Weathers High School in their hometown of Dry Hump, Oklahoma.

Kevin Worthington is the music editor of the Carl Weathers High School newspaper, The Weekly Hunt. He can be seen on Friday and Saturday nights at CWHS sporting events as a member of the Predators’ marching band.

Note: yes, I know, Lee Dorsey is dead, and has been for nearly twenty-three years. Like I care.

hip hip horrific
18 May, 2009: [137/365], 16:16.04 [Monday]
Filed under: Uncategorized

So begins my first day out of school for a couple of months. Now I have nothing in my schedule but my job, with nothing to get my brain working beforehand. And goddamn is it mind-bendingly monotonous. I had been fearing this for a while. Nothing to do around here, coupled with working with scores of people I can’t really talk to, makes this place the event horizon of a black hole of tedium.

This is part of a realization that had occurred to me on Saturday: what the hell am I going to do when I’m done with school altogether? I only have a couple of months. It’s not the difficulty of the real world that worries me, I’ve dealt with that in spades and have the scars to prove it. No, it’s the banality of the nine-to-five that utterly terrifies me. Since I’m going to grad school in the fall of ‘10, it’s not like I can pick up a job for a year and be all ‘hay guize thx for the job gotta go’, so if this grant that Dr. Johnson applied for doesn’t pan out, then I’m stuck with Toyota. I don’t have much patience for the joint as it is, but the prospect of staying there for another year makes the bitter taste in my mouth more akin to vomit.

In the past, I’d complain about the job because it sucked and the pay was bad. But now, all that is tolerable, but it’s becoming progressively more difficult to do it without lapsing into a coma. The lack of stimulation is what will kill me.

home stretch
16 May, 2009: [135/365], 16:18.33 [Saturday]
Filed under: Uncategorized

In yesterday’s update, I yammered on about all the supercool stuff I plan to do over the summer, but today I will illustrate that it’s not all fun n’ games or anything like that.

First off, I’ll be splitting my time between two jobs, the lab tech position I mentioned, and the crap photographer gig I have at Toyota of Bedford (I don’t talk about that one much, and for good reason). Basically, I will only have one day off per week, but I’m used to it, so it’s no big deal. Besides, others have it worse: Jen often has one- to two-week-long spans where she hasn’t a single day off, which is insane if you ask me, but money’s money, and we don’t have much.

I also have a lot of preparation to do for future academic endeavors. I’m taking the GRE in late July, so I need to get ready for that. I’m dreading it. I’m not worried one iota that I’ll do poorly on it, but I hate exams anyway. They’re so nerve-wracking, even if I were guaranteed to score perfectly on them, I’d still be keyed up over them.

Two days after that, I start on my Intermediate German II class. I’d prefer to keep in practice with the language, so I don’t get rusty. I feel bad about doing that with Spanish. I doubt I’ll ever be fluent, but I’d like to have decent working knowledge of reading and writing it. So I will try to study it using Rosetta Stone. I just hope it’s as good as they say it is.

After all that headache is over with, I move on to the biggest obstacle to getting into grad school: getting into grad school. I have to whittle down a huge list of schools into something I can work with, and go through the arduous application process from there. And then the rest is stupid hope. Ugh.

In the meantime, amidst all that stuff, I have a lot of catching up to do. The house is suffering from severe neglect, and I’m sure that eighty percent of the stuff I own has no use to me, so I need to chuck a bunch of it out. I guess I’ll be doing my spring cleaning a bit late. May as well pack some of my stuff up too, to get it out of the way before we move.

And then there’s the major thing I’ve been neglecting off and on for the last couple of years: my own body. I have been trying to lose weight for a while, and not really getting anywhere with it. There were times I was really doing well, so I know I can do it. Now I just have to seriously stick to it. I have to determine what works for me: when to work out, how, what to do, etc. I’ve been focusing on my mind for so long, I have to improve the rest of me.

So yeah, there’s a lot for me to do yet, no time to really relax. But it’s an improvement over the last four years, where my personal time was nonexistent.