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vertigo12
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.



catching up
15 May, 2009: [134/365], 08:50.10 [Friday]
Filed under: Uncategorized

So where was I? Oh, right…

Yeah, I had a crazy schedule this semester. And now it’s over. Today. Well, not exactly, I have one more exam to do in about three hours. Woop woop.

Things are looking up quite a bit. I’ve finished therapy a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve become a stronger person in the last three years. I have a better idea of who I am and what I want in my life. I’ve discovered more of my interests, which means I now have a hobby.

And soon, in about four more months, I’ll be finished here at KSU. I just have one more course to take, and that’s an intermediate level German class. Seriously, this is how I’m finishing my undergrad work. Anticlimactic, eh?

Starting at some point this summer, I will be working in the neuroscience lab where I’ve been studying for the last two semesters, only this time as an actual technician. It’s part time for now, which is fine, it’s better than nothing. I’m actually pretty psyched about it, because I’ll finally have more time to get down and perform some more complex procedures and learn quite a bit more.

I’m assisting with Dr. Johnson of the biology department in a joint project with Dr. Hughes of the psychology department, in a study of baroreceptor sensitivity in depressed versus normative subjects. Basically, we’re monitoring blood pressure in rats to observe whether or not depressed rats have decreased baroreceptor sensitivity (that is, do they detect blood pressure as readily and effectively as do non-depressed rats). I’m actually going to be performing some crazy surgeries, implanting blood pressure sensors into rats’ blood vessels. Yow. Can’t wait!

This summer, I plan on spending the slight bit of extra time I have going out and exploring, as I’ve mentioned a couple of posts down. I think the first on my list will be Chippewa Lake Park in Medina county; it’s an amusement park abandoned around 35 years ago. I just hope it’s not disappointing like some of my recent ventures (Hell Town? It’s not even Heck Town).

Welp, to sum it up, I have quite a bit planned for once in my life. This summer should actually be good. I can’t believe I’m being optimistic about something. What the hell…?



reboot!
15 May, 2009: [134/365], 08:34.01 [Friday]
Filed under: Uncategorized

Okay, so I haven’t done this in a while. Like I care. I’ve been busy. None of you read this thing anyway.

Anyway, I’m retooling this blog [again] to reflect a less grim and blah outlook on things because, really, that’s pretty depressing. I’m getting over all that crap. The look is a little different, and hopefully the content should be, as well.



wanna go exploring?
08 March, 2009: [66/365], 21:29.31 [Sunday]
Filed under: Uncategorized

After about a week in preparation, I have finished the initial stages of a new blog, urban archaeology. It’s still under some construction, but I’m content enough with it to let it go live.

Read up on it, and if anyone is interested, you’re welcome to ask me for more information. I’d like to make this into a sort of a group effort in the future.
To check it out, click the title heading below:
urb_arch_1



back to school
20 January, 2009: [19/365], 12:26.07 [Tuesday]
Filed under: Uncategorized

Actually, I don’t have to write anything for this update, because the title says it all. Classes start today, and it’s the home stretch for me here at KSU. Technically, next semester will be my last, but I’m only going to be enrolled in a single course (damn foreign language requirements). Both of my majors will be complete come this May.

It’s not going to be easy, though. I’m taking eighteen credit hours, consisting of a microbiology lab, an individual investigation lab, two writing-intensive courses (three, if you count individual investigation), and an intermediate German language course. And after last semester, I’m beat. I don’t know how I’m going to perform.

But I just have to see the goal ahead of me and march forward, as I always do.