Month: January 2014

Ten Songs That Rock (But You Probably Will Not Admit That They Do…)

Time for a change of pace. My last few entries have been “down” rather than dark. In fact, this guy told me that I needed to get back to what I do best: sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Well, I am not much of a rocker (although, I do “like my coffee like I like my metal“), I am more of the twisted bastard child derived from an orgy of New Wave, Goth, Industrial, and Thrash. Face it, I am a child of the Eighties… Anyhoo, I decided to take his advice; I grabbed some drugs, squeezed out a few knuckle children on a lovely couple’s heads, and now make a return to my Darkside Radio days to hit yo’ azz with a bit of Ye Olde DJ Xavier-ness. I will even try to rock and roll, if you will.

Music is a funny thing. We all like some, we all hate some. Hell, I have even met people who claim to hate all music. These people are a dangerous, soulless threat to humanity. Even birds sing songs to lure you outdoors so that you can throw rocks at them, or shoot at them with the weapon of your choice.  Beware and pity the fool who says he hates music! If you are a music hater, leave now. The rest of this blog is not for you. Those of you that like/love/fuck-daily-with-no-abandon music stay and read on. However, realize this: to thine ownself be true. What follows will require you to make an admission that you may not want to make. You may have to delve into parts of your soul that you do not want to acknowledge exists to others.

Lying about music sends you here, only you will be tortured by Justin Bieber and Kenny G.

What I am talking about are those songs that most of us claim not to like/know/love. You know, the songs that we turn our noses up to, or ridicule when we here them. We mock these songs sometimes so that we can hide the truth: that we do like, maybe even love, these songs. If we could, we would grab these songs by the pony tails and ride them into the sunset. Truthfully, some of you may truly hate some of these songs. I will concede that may be the case. Yet, where I am going is not to whether you like these songs or not. No, this is far more sinister. These songs are those that may get stuck in your head. They may make you say to yourself: “Why do I know the words to this shit?!” You may like them and refuse to admit it, and will carry that secret to your grave. You will then deny it to Saint Peter, or whomever guards your respective entrance to your respective after-life paradise. Then you will be sent to the respective place of torment for your respective after-life. There you will listen to these songs for an eternity. Do not feel bad, at least you will be listening to things that you “love.”

So, without further ado:

Ten Songs That Rock (But You Probably Will Not Admit That They Do…) 

10) “Let’s Dance,” David Bowie

Three words: Stevie Ray Vaughn. If you are a fan of SRV, and you crawled out of the depths to hear this song for the first time, you may ask: “Who is the dude singing Stevie’s song?” I like David Bowie. I like him enough to even look past that horrible cover of “Dancin’ in the Streets” that he did with Mick Jagger. I like him enough to even look past that video he and Jagger put out for that bit of scary. I like him enough to admit that this song is on here because I actually believe that it is a great song. There, I said it. You can talk shit when you marry a supermodel and get a guitar monster to play on some of your tracks. Stevie’s guitar was so awesome on this track that it just fades out with him playing an extended solo over the rest of the band.

9) “Beat It,” Michael Jackson

You do not want to admit it, but this could be you when you think no one is watching. True dat, homie.

Before there were questions about his, well, everything, Michael Jackson dropped that “Thriller” album on our asses. Okay, this is when he started to get strange, but that is not the point. The point, is that MJ released this album, and Eddie Van Halen became known to black folks all over the United States. Proving to the world that his producer balls had more jizz than a Clydesdale, Quincy Jones made this record into a R&B/Rock mulatto that had people wearing weird, red, zippered clothing and trying to figure out how to do a backspin to electric guitar accompanied by an elf screaming about your funky fight. This song simultaneously combined rock, R&B, and West Side story, and subsequently created the The King of Pop. Laugh if you want, someone in your immediate family probably owns the “Thriller” album…and you have probably listened to the whole thing. You may even be thinking of songs from that album that you believe should be here instead of this one.

8) “Smooth,” Santana

One day, guitar god Carlos Santana said to himself: “I am so badass with this guitar, that I can make a douchebag sound awesome.” And then he wrote this song. Sure, people knew the lyrics, and Rob Thomas does a more than decent singing while Santana’s guitar is as damn good as Norma’s coffee from the Double R Diner. Uncle Carlos had virtually disappeared from the music scene; he was living atop a mountain in the Andes being worshipped by a tribe of sexy, nude, vixens (this may or may not be true, let us just enjoy the image and say it is). Then he came down from the mountain top carrying his guitar and an amp like he was bringing the commandments to the world. He pointed to Thomas and said: “Verily, I seeth thou us possessed of the soul of the douche; yet thou shalt singeth, I shalt rocketh. Thus spake the Santana!” And it was good.

7) “Walk This Way,” Run-D.M.C. and Aerosmith

So it is written, so shall it be done.

So it is written, so shall it be done.

Granted this is a cover. A cover of an Aerosmith song. A cover of an Aerosmith song by some cats who had no idea who Aerosmith was at the time. They took this song, took rap into the suburbs, and millions of teenage white boys became what eventually turned into the closest thing the Eighties had to an army of Eminems. Sure, the Beastie Boys were kicking beastie ass back then, but Run-D.M.C. was “hard.” They owned this song, thought rock and rap went together better than peanut butter and chocolate, and declared themselves the King of Rock. Not many argued. Run-D.M.C. rocked a lot. There was this song. There was “Rock Box.” There was “Christmas in Hollis” (I think that was the name). Whatever the case, until those crazy West Coast rappers started gangbanging everything in site and shooting cops, Run-D.M.C. was the epitome of badassery when it came to the sound of the streets. They were, and probably are still tougher than leather. Knock that battery off of their shoulder, I dare you.

6) “Bring the Noise,” Public Enemy with Anthrax

This song really did rock. Totally. You better ask somebody, bee-yotch. Seriously, however. This song is one of the most awesome things that I had heard when it came out. A lot of musicians tried to combine New York rap with rock. Some were decent. Some sucked. Some are buried in my orchard because there attempt was so great an affront to music that those fuckers had to be put down hard. That very thing was done with this song for the soundtrack of the event. What is there not to love about this? I mean, Chuck D, Flava, Anthrax…it is like rap and metal fucked and this is the mystical spooge that turned us all into musical bukkake fetishists. Add Terminator X to the mix, and music history has been made. I know this, you know this. Public Enemy and Anthrax know this, how many times has this cut been redone in the last what, twenty years? Think about it.

5) “Rockin’ in the Free World,” Neil Young and Pearl Jam

After we finish up here, Vedder, you can wash my jeans and return my flannels,

I love Neil Young. How can I not like a guy who was sued by his record label for intentionally making a non-commercial album? Neil destroys acoustic. Neil destroys electric. Neil re-does his own song with Pearl Jam and it still kicks colossal ass. Have you ever seen Mr. Young in concert? He is a real treat to watch. I mean, the stuff where he is wearing that harmonica and just going acoustic is interesting, but to get a real appreciation for what this man does when he performs you have to watch him when he is standing and full on electric. I have a Neil Young box set that I bought years back. It is from the “Weld” tour. The version I bought has a third disc that is all distortion fuckery and it is great to listen to at the beginning of a mushroom trip (yes, I did go to college in Michigan, do not judge). But I digress. Sometimes when an artist of yore performs with young whipper snappers, they end up looking like a Model T on the Autobahn. This does not happen with Neil. He keeps Pearl Jam firmly in place and shows how he still owns, well, them.

4) “Come With Me,” Puff Daddy

When you hear this song, you may get the urge to find Puffles and beat him down for sampling Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir.” However, your urge desists when you realize that none other than Jimmy Page is tearing shit up personally on this track. Sure, P. Diddy (that is who he is now, right?) could have paid a label and used a sample from the song. However, knowing Page’s ability to control the Earth through mystic signals is as legendary as his guitar-sex, he chose the wise man’s route. Instead of “borrowing” a cup of Zeppelin-sugar, he burnt a lamb offering on the alter of Gibson and was granted the gift of a guest appearance by J.P. in the flesh. Instead of selling his soul at the crossroads, he choose to barter with ZOSO.

3) “Bust a Move,” Young M.C.

It seems like everyone knows this one, and I really do mean everyone. Even more than know “Baby Got Back.” Every (white) frat party that occurred at Michigan State when I was in attendance would play this album when black people showed up to prove that they were hip, not racist, and knew all about throwing out funky fresh beats. Poor, poor preps. At the time, they pretended this was the ultimate party music. If there

My bass is my side penis.

My bass is my side penis.

was dancing at a club, this was the artist that played between the numerous Milli Vanilli songs that made drunk chicks make out on the dance floor. Now, people pretend like they did not own this cassette and still secretly want to do the wave or worm when they hear it at the bar. Some people turn up in the strangest places. This song is one of them. The force behind the bass on this cut is that stuffed-animal-heads-on-the-pants virtuoso: the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea. If you ask me, Flea makes everything good, like cheese. The world of music knows this, he turns up on so many artists’ recordings that it is hard to keep track, maybe wearing pants. Probably not wearing a shirt. He may show up only wearing a sctrategically placed sock. The point is he shows up everywhere. This is one of those songs that turns up every where.What made this song rock? Flea. Since this has been more about Flea than Young M.C. (I am unapologetic about that), take a gander at this list of people that had to have some Flea:

Alanis Morrissette (“You Oughta Know” with Dave Navarro)
The Mars Volta
L.L. Cool J
Patti Smith
Johnny Cash
Tom Waites
Warren Zevon

And that is just to name a few.

2) “Rockin’ Daddy,” Howlin’ Wolf

You wish you were part of this much awesome. Except for Winwood. He is not that awesome.

This is a whole lot of awesome. Except for Winwood. He is not that awesome.

Aside from telling you firsthand that he rocked in the title of the song, Chester Burnett (a.k.a. Howlin’ Wolf), slapped you for not paying attention the first time. Moving from Mississippi to Chicago and making the blues his bitch, he and his rival proceeded to lay down the foundation for what we know as rock, and metal, and pretty much everything else involving an electric guitar. The real shame here is that we in the U.S. did not appreciate this black bluesman in the nineteen fifties. You know who did? The fucking Brits, that is who. From Clapton to Zeppelin, those white boys from Britain discovered the Mississippi delta and Chicago and the sounds coming out of those places, and rock…then metal…was born. Black Sabbath, Clapton, The Who, and even those bobble-head Beatles had to admit that they learned how to rock from those old blues cats. For this particular version of The Wolf’s tunage, I turned to “The London Howlin’ Wolf Sessios.” I could have picked any track off of this piece, but I chose this one because it is the first track, and Wolf starts it by telling you that he is your daddy, your rockin’ daddy. The rest of the album is giving you that slap that I mentioned a little while ago. The list of musicians on this album itself reads like a “Who’s Who in British Rock”: Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Bill Wyman, and Charlie Watts.

1) “Back in Black” and “You Shook Me All Night Long,” AC/DC

“She was a fast machine…” And you know you finished that sentence, and maybe the rest of the verse, of that song. Some of you are still singing it. Just admit it. Every motherfucker in the world knows these two songs, nearly every motherfucker in the world loves these songs, and very few will admit it. Sure, we see a guy in an AC/DC t-shirt and we immediately start with the Beavis and Butthead jokes. But we know the truth: these songs will be heard at weddings, your drunk asses will sing and dance horribly to them. These songs are in every jukebox in the world, your drunk asses will sing and dance horribly to them. Just admit they rock and sit your drunk ass down. Yeah, I called you out. Sometimes it be’s like that. The release of the album: “Back in Black” flew out of Australia and fucked the world with a dick so huge that it was barely tight enough to get pleasure from Men at Work, INXS, or Olivia Newton John. The fact that this recording made such an impact on rock music almost makes up for “Crocodile Dundee.” Almost.

Honorable mentions

There are a few songs that I struggled with adding them to the list or not. Part of me was being lazy. The rest of me was fighting the demands of my OCD to have only seven, or to increase the number of songs to fourteen. Or twenty-one. I successfully fought the urge and managed to stick with ten. However, I did feel the need to share the songs that were “rocking” enough to warrant an honorable mention. Discuss amongst yourselves.

“Love Song,” Tesla
“Poker Face,” as performed by Eric Cartman
Timmy and the Lords of the Underworld
“Shout at the Devil,” Mötley Crüe
“Welcome to the Jungle,” Guns N’ Roses (substitute “November Rain,” “Civil War,” or “Sweet Child O’ Mine”)
“Sexy Back,” Justin Timberlake
“Separate Ways (Worlds Apart),” Journey
“One,” Metallica (People went obscenely cray-cray over this song.)
“Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Nirvana
“Whip It,” Devo
“Mr. Roboto,” Styx

Bonus Track: “Pony,” Far

I love this song. Personally, I would say they do Ginuine better than Ginuine. Enjoy this video, it makes the song naughtier somehow. I am not sure why. In any case, it actually rocks. That is all.

What I Learned About Expecting and Resenting

If you have read my last few posts, they have been a little “off” from what I normally prattle on about. Instead of misanthropic hackery, violence, drinking, or random sex bits (talk, not the actual bits), the darkness of my words have been coming from a different font of creativity. One that is totally familiar and alien at the same time. While I have been finding it difficult to get into the swing of things, I do follow other blogs; many of them are similar to what used to come from my twisted brain. Sometimes, amidst the words of others, I find the strangest wisdom, from the most unexpected places.

Good for killing things needing killing, not so good for handling resentment?

Good for killing things needing killing, not so good for handling resentment?

A couple of days ago, I came to an understanding. At first, I have to admit, that I was a bit dismayed by my new appreciation for things. Then I was afraid for a day. Really afraid. There are things that a Sig Sauer cannot touch; there are things that jujitsu cannot bend, break, twist. It is one of these things that has brought me to where I am. It is one of these things that has walked into my office wearing a propeller beanie, striped shirt, and sandals and happily asked where I store my bacon. Sometimes, reality sets in and it is a real kick in the juevos. Did I spell that correctly? I have no idea, the Spanish I know is not Spanish at all.

I was reading a fellow writer’s blog last night. This particular entry had a sentence that has stuck with me. It was with me when I went to bed last night. It is still ringing in my head. It helped me move from the sense of impending doom that I have been feeling for the last week, and into a sense of sadness. Now, I am used to depression. Anyone with OCD can tell you how neglecting avoiding obsessions and compulsions can put you into a serious rage, or a equally serious fit of depression. But this is new. You see, instead of feeling like the world is coming to an end, this is more like coming out of the bomb shelter to view the post-apocalyptic world for the first time. Not unlike the C.H.U.D.s, I am blinking in the hazy sun, and looking for flesh to eat. Only I am not eating flesh, or going to eat flesh; I am wondering what is next for the world. You know, what to expect.

I had not realized this until I read that blog entry last night and saw this sentence: “Expectations are just resentments under construction.” Wow. What? Damn. After I read that, the sadness set in. Now, do not take me the wrong way. The snarky chica that put that phrase on the interwebs for all to see is not causing me sadness. The post that the quote I stole came from was actually pretty humorous. It was the realization of my own state of being/thinking/existing that has driven me to the brink of crying like a bitch-baby with a diaper rash made of glass.

We're all stars now, in the C.H.U.D. show....

We’re all stars now, in the C.H.U.D. show….

I have been existing with my own expectations of things to come. Are my expectations truly the beginning of resentment? I find myself having to chuck aside the fears that I had about my future; fears that turned to foreboding that turned to anxiety that turned to expectations. Now it would seem that they may be turning into resentment. Or at least destined to turn into resentment. While I do see a bit of cynicism in the statement, well, a lot of cynicism actually (sorry, snark! I mean no offense). Why? Because it appears that the statement is saying that if one holds expectations, then one should expect that these expectations will not be met. Since they will not be met, then resentment will set in to replace the failed expectations.

As a reformed optimist (I kicked the habit last week), I always thought that it was always a good practice to expect the best, highest outcome. That optimism turned into cynicism. Why did that happen? How did my waiting for the best turn to waiting for the worst? I have an idea, but I choose to ignore that idea. After reading that blog, and letting that post run through my head like a mantra or some wacky self-affirmation, I came to see that what had happened is that I began to expect the worst. And then it hit me again.

First, I was expecting something good. Second, I began to expect something terrible. That second expectation in itself was sufficient to cause me some resentment. Really, what else would come of a dream suddenly becoming a nightmare? Resentment. I resented that whole turning to begin with. Then I noticed that it was possible that the resentment was still building; it may only be the part of the iceberg that is seen from the Crow’s Nest. But what is the resentment directed towards? After thinking about it, I have no one to resent but myself.

You mean that nigga is talking about my dick AND stealing my image?!

You mean that nigga is talking about my dick AND stealing my image?!

And at that, I am the consummate professional. I can elevate self-hate to a level that rivals the ingenuity that was required to build the pyramids. Most people that know me, know that I am a hater. A damn good hater. If you manage to get on my bad side (which is really easy to do, do not test me), there usually is no good side to get back on. I carry a grudge like Shorty Mac carries around his massive cock: in my pants and ready to thwap a mushroom stamp on a bitch’s head at a moment’s notice. But resentment? That is something I have never really considered when it comes to myself. Even less so when it comes to things that I hold close to the fiber of my being. Now, I am dripping with the stuff. It is hanging around my neck like and albatross (what in seven fucks does that mean, anyway?) or like St. Anger (I wish it were just anger, I could roll or role with that).


Just One of Those Days?

Today is one of those days where I woke up and had so much to say and nothing to say at all. Confusing? Certainly. Annoying? Definitely. The actuality is not that I have nothing to say, rather the reality is that I am tired of shouting at the wind.

We all do that from time-to-time. Maybe that is a bit too general and assuming. That may even be a bit arrogant – assuming that I know that everyone spends time talking/shouting/yelling at the invisible energy that gently pushes the leaves and petals and plants or tears apart life in a dynamic show of Earth rage. I can afford that arrogance. Not only is the Foundation loaded like the diaper on a over-eating baby with diarrhea, but I am a narcissist (I think I may have said this a couple of times).

I had the dream again last night. The empty dream. My dreams typically start the same: a small figure in a blue dress with no facial features except for black eyes (yes, the iris and the sclera for you anatomy freaks) appearing on the silent, mouthless visage.  The figure dances and points to a hallway: a two-story, wide-fucking hallway that is lined with several doors. Some are simple wooden doors. Some are futuristic doors like those on the Enterprise (1701-D or E). Still others are secure, metal doors like bank vault doors or dungeon doors. Some are old-timey. This is what occurs in the beginning of the normal dreams. She points to the hallway, points to a door, and I go through the specified door and the night thoughts begin.

That is the norm for my nights. But not last night. Last night, the hallway was black. A faint, white light illuminated a single chair in the center of the hallway. A disembodied voice told me to sit. So, I sat. I sat in this chair under the white light like I was about to be interrogated by fiends while other fiends watched from the darkened perimeter (I could see no further than the circle of light illuminating the seat and myself). There was no music. The funny thing is that I did not notice that the music was missing right away, it was after I had been sitting and waiting in that chair for some time. So, I guess I really should say that I cannot remember whether there was music the whole time, music that stopped when I noticed there was no music, or if there was never any playing at all.

"I hear that song, too! I am in the darkness..."

“I hear that song, too! I am in the darkness…”

I sat. I sat. I sat some more. After a while, it seemed like I could hear murmurs coming from the dark surrounding my little light-patch. I yelled at the murmurs: “I can hear you out there!” No reply. I got angry. No, I got pissed. I started to walk to the darkness, but the light and the chair followed me, but not really followed me. I would say the experience was more like walking on a “moving sidewalk” in a direction opposite of that in which the sidewalk was moving. I walked, but got absolutely no where. Eventually, I decided that I had not been hearing anything and sat back down. All of that walking made my legs very tired. Painfully tired.

I sat. I sat. I sat some more. And this time, while I sat, I waited. I waited for quite some time before I stood up, announced that I was leaving, and started to head, well, I do not know where I was going to head. There were no doors. There was no light beyond the perimeter. The voice that told me to sit then asked me where I would go. The voice reminded me that all there was for me there was that circle, that chair, that darkness…the voice wanted to know where I thought I could go. I yelled that I did not know, and demanded to be let out of this dark, and increasingly foreboding place.

“For you, there is this circle. For you, there is this chair. Good luck finding a door…there is no more for you.”

Now shit got really creepy. For a moment, I could see everything. The doors, the hallway, the figure – everything. The figure usually danced, she was still and lying on the ground in the darkened circle. I called to her. She turned over and faced me. Her black eyes pits of nothing focussed on whatever and however they managed to focus on something. For a second, a black tear fell down her cheek. Then everything was gone. Except for the chair, the circle of light, and the blackness.

Since she is not on this iPad, here is what she would look like as me.

Since she is not on this iPad, here is what she would look like as me.

Since I knew there was something there, I ran for the darkness. Surely I could outrun this circle and chair and find my way out, or at least through a door with something behind it. Fuck me with a seven iron I would even settle for a nightmare that ended with me dying in the dream, and waking up dead in the morning. Okay, so I would not wake up dead, but you get what I am saying. I headed full-sprint toward the darkness and crashed into something. A wall, a barrier, a force field…a giant tree? I have no idea. But it hurt. Blood ran from my face and down my shirt. My nose was broken, teeth were smashed. It all healed as quickly as it began; the blood and mess of my clothes vanished.

Frustrated. Enraged. I sat down and put my head between my knees and tried to think. No thoughts would come. I looked up periodically to see if my Hell was gone. It was not over. It was only just beginning. Soon, many faces began to appear. All of them filled with hate and venom. All of them focusing hate and venom. Some of it at me, some of it at the circle, some of it at the darkness. All of it intense…and red.

Red! Something new (well, besides those horrid faces) and it was welcome. I began to feel a little less anxious, and then, just a quickly as it all appeared. It was all gone. I was standing in the white circle again. The chair was gone. There was only the light. A door appeared. Slap my ass and call me “French Patio,” there was a god damned door. I started toward the door. The voice spoke again, only it was from behind me:

“Through there is what is to come.”

I turned to the voice and saw that it was the figure speaking. Speaking through her no-mouth. I do not remember hearing her speak before. She did not dance. She turned and walked and sat in the chair. She and her chair and her circle of light vanished. I was left with the door. I opened the door and was greeted by nothing. More darkness. I entered the darkness and opened my eyes. I was now looking at the ceiling in my darkened bedroom, my alarm ringing in my ears.

I got out of bed and headed down for a smoke and some coffee (I did remember to set the auto-brew before I turned in last night). I walked to the window. The dark Samurai City morning peppered with cold air and snow flurries. It is still snowing. It will keep snowing. I noticed that I had not turned on the lights. I was standing and looking out into the pepper-colored morning and sipped my coffee. I heard the voice in the back of my head; so loud that it felt like it was in the room with me. I turned and saw no one. The voice was there and clear as water:

“…there is no more for you.”

Always Stay in Character. Metagamers Need Not Apply

Unless WordPress is up to shenanigans, there are a lot more people who follow this blog that I suspected. At first, I assumed that there were only two or three of you checking out what is going on around here. It appears that there are billions of you. Okay, not billions, maybe a thousand. Now, while I may have this “following,” I have to say that only a few of you read this damn thing. Like, what? Maybe six of you. Who knows? In any case, I feel the need to celebrate! I will do this by offering you dear souls a full disclosure: I have been lying to all of you.

I bitch and bitch about never writing, or never being able to write, or yadda-fucking-yadda. The whole story is I write a bit more than I let on; I save a lot of drafts. I just never go back to them, or save them as “journal entries” because I think having a diary entry looks a little strange. Other people see a nifty title, I mean a title that makes you want to grab your schmeckel and prepare to let loose the hounds of spooge while you read this salacious bit, and then click on said title and having nothing to read because it is private. And then you lose your reader’s boner and return to Facebook. Or porn. It is like walking around a bunch of kindergarteners and saying: “I have got a secret!” and taunting the double Hell out of the poor little wretches.

But I digress. I was not even meaning to talk about that random crap up there. Since I bothered to do write all of that, I am sure it is relevant somehow. More than likely it is obvious only to myself. I really do not care if that is the case. I am a narcissist, you know. Now where was I..? Oh yes, my title. If you got what that meant, give yourself a pat on the back, fifty experience points, and fifty geek cred status points (or whatever geeks give out like victorious jocks doling high fives in a sweaty locker room). Be on the lookout for more point opportunities, give yourself what you think you deserve, I am a lenient, if not all power storyteller/dungeon master. If you did not get it, feel free to Google it while the rest of us wait. Do not pretend like some of you did not do just that already (we all know that some of you refuse to admit not-knowing anything about everything and Google shit before posting to message boards so just stop with it already). Is everyone back with the group? Good let us continue.

"I'm too sexy for this square."

“I’m too sexy for this square.”

Another confession: there was a time when I was an avid LARPer. I really, really want to spell that out but that just seems plain wrong on several levels. Levels that I cannot get into right now. A damn I used to run around in makeshift costumes and pretend to be a vampire. Typically, I chose to be Brujah or Ventrue…whatever. No, not whatever. I chose those two clans because I could always be pretty. There. I said. I am totally geeking out, so I need to refocus. Anyway, I was a LARPer. A damn good one, as well, apparently. Why? Because I participated in a LARP at GenCon one year and won “Best Role Player.” That is fucking why. I was a LARPing badass.

You know, there is a lot more to LARPing than people let on (those of you courageous to admit that the title up there totally befuddled you and chose to read on rather than be a Googling know-it-all will get to understand said title now…somewhat). It takes a lot of work running around pretending that you are some undead thing that you are really not. The key is to always stay in character.

A segue: I am phobic of caterpillars. I do not know the name of the phobia, but I am deathly afraid of caterpillars. It has to do with tent worms. To this day, I will burn a whole section of apple trees to rid the orchard of one tent worm. Caterpillars scare the shit out of me. If you taunt my fear and provoke me with caterpillar(s), I will probably do very, very bad things to you. Horrible things. Painful butt things. Never fuck with a man’s fears, home-slice.

Now, when you create your character, there are built in flaws and advantages. Letting others know these things can be positive or negative. Usually negative if it is a flaw. Every damn vampire I created was afraid of caterpillars. Every LARP session, I did something to flee a caterpillar. No one ever picked up that I had this issue except for one person during that GenCon. And she was one of the non-player, storyteller characters. She watched what I was doing, and at one point called me on it secretly. We played a wonderful scene. She made motions to go “out of game” (geek points!) to discuss the issue, and I refused. We had to play out the scene. Assuming she wanted to know what the score was, the scene worked in my favor.

No. I am not a vampire. I just like cemeteries. Really.

No. I am not a vampire. I just like cemeteries. Really.

After the LARP, she asked me about the caterpillars (see, in the scene I was spoked by a caterpillar on a flower). I told her I always had that fear in my characters. She pointed out that it was not on my sheet. I responded, no, but I would have treated it like any other phobia if called on it. If someone caught me acting and gambled, then it was all good. That is kind of how life works, no? She asked if anyone ever caught it, and I said no because most LARPers are so caught up in the “story” to add nuance and curiosity. I told her that I did not want to go out-of-game because one should always stay in character. She liked my bit.

Staying in character keeps the metagamers at bay. Every game has people who know so much about the game that once they find out a small detail out about you, they exploit that to there advantage. It is like playing “Street Fighter” with some asshole who traps you in the corner and abuses you with Chun Li’s lightning leg, or some ten-year-old who only knows how to jump kick, and has to actually jump when the fighter on the screen does. You people who remember arcades know what I am talking about. Metagamers love “out-of-game.” Somehow secret details from the break area enter the game; you can call foul, but you cannot unring a bell. So, always stay in character and you can avoid the metagamers. Damn. That was anticlimactic, even by my hack standards.

Another thing, and perhaps the most important thing that metagamers miss, is the very thing that they not only seek out, but proves to be their very undoing. They look for the endgame, know what it is, plan for it, and wait. They are always successful…at least in that perspective. However, since they know that, they tend to avoid the rest of the game; they miss subtle changes that show that endgame is not coming. No, for them, that has played out already and they are now simply waiting for the deathblow which has ended the game for that LARPer.

It is strange to admit that I find myself currently a metagamer instead of the consummate Ventrue who totally dominated the “Masquerade” at GenCon years ago (2d20 experience points if you get that first reference, major geek points if you get all of this). I have been waiting for an endgame scenario. I waited too long and missed it.

“…to survive the tide…”

Oy. It has been one of those days/years/decades. I have no idea where to begin or where to go with this; I seem to be having that problem rather often when it comes to writing in this blog. No, extend that. It goes way beyond this blog.

You never know how much you will miss a place until you are actually faced with leaving it. You know? That trip to Disney or Cedar Point lasts forever while you are in the lines or taking pictures with a gigantic anthropomorphic mouse. Then you head for the gates to return to your car, or bus, or motorcycle, or long-distance walking shoes and are faced with the prospect of leaving. The difference is most of us return home, or to something like a home. Which leads me to the following question: would you miss a place more if you were not so sure that you had a place to return?

Yeah, yeah, yeah…

I fucking hate January.

I tend to appreciate duality. However, Janus and your namesake month have never been anything but a source of ill for me. I have been listening to the same song on my iPhone when I am in transit places since September. Maybe even before that. Maybe it was the mantra the song had become. Maybe the universe was trying to tell me something. Maybe I should have listened.

It is taking every ounce of strength I can muster today to stay here at the Foundation and manage daily affairs. I came in to an empty desk. I have piled that desk with work to accomplish. This work will never be accomplished. This desk will never be clear. I sit and look at it, and realize that it will never be clear. I have come to realize that eventually, I will have to sit at the desk…

Even with the chatter of the Board of Directors earlier, the Boardroom was empty. Many of us know a person that walks into a room and has that sort of personality that fills the room. Sometimes the person is smothering; sometimes we would prefer that the person vacate so that the rest of the people in the room can move/breathe/walk/talk freely. Other times…other times the person contributes such an air that others suffocate as soon as that particular air leaves. The Boardroom was very empty. I twirled my pen and sat and stared at the emptiness. Thankfully, the Board Secretary takes excellent notes; I have no idea what happened during the meeting. I was absent in the empty. I am pretty sure that the Veep took over presiding the meeting at some point. I remember him calling votes and asking for seconds…on votes as well as danishes.

Now, back in my office. I just want to burn the place. Not my office…not just the office…the whole place. Like cleaning out the old dead growth in the orchards. Last night, I went out to set some of the old growth to flame. I figured I would get a start early so that planting in the Spring of the new trees could start sooner that usual. Whatever. Any excuse to burn things, right?

Orchard Hand: “Mr. Sir. X, this is not the best time to try burning the orchard. Really, it is never a good time, but now is really not. Too much snow.”

Me: “When did I start paying you to question my burning needs? Look, this fire is going well.”

OH: “Yes, sir. That it is. Starting to go pretty good. However, soon this shed will be engulfed. The snow will put out the fire. However, we’ll be burnt up before that happens…the smoke will get us before that.”

Me: “Oh. Yes. That. You may go for the day. Take your son to shoot some dangerous or delicious animal.”

OH: “After we leave together. By force if necessary.”

Me: “Fine. I am going to fire you as soon as we get up to the estate.”

OH: “Sure you are. Just like always. Now come on, I’m starting to smell like burnt apple-cherry crisp.”

“…you’ll never walk alone…”

No, this is not about Dionne Warwick or whomever may have sang the song with the title that consists of the same words of the italics above. This is my way of saying some things that maybe need to be said. Maybe they are better unsaid. Maybe they are better off forgotten and ignored. Who knows? I certainly do not. What I do know is that I have to get out of this office before I have legal issues surrounding arson, insurance fraud, and a lot of disappointed community members without a place to freeload off of the largesse of the Thunderdome. They come in daily. They tour the grounds. They enjoy the free food court. They swim in the pool, enjoy the arboretum and dodge the koalas and cybergators. Yet when they leave, they pause and look at the statue commemorating a loving and valiant Lord or Lady Phant (really, I cannot even think about that now). That statue was supposed to be a shrine, now it only serves to remind visitors of that tragedy. And that is what the Foundation has become, that is what has become the Rothechilde legacy.

Looking at the clock I find myself wondering if it is ethical for me to leave early for the day? I mean, there is an answering machine. Also, this place has gone on for months at a stretch…even with the ineptitude of Smeagol trying to run this place. So, yes. I think I can go now. No one is even going to notice that I have gone.