Friday, July 31, 2009

My life as a loner, the finale.

I had a real hard time getting along when I was a kid. I was pretty much always a loner. I wasn't like the other kids I grew up with. I didn't think like them, I didn't dress like them, I didn't belong to the clubs and cliques that they did. I wasn't rich. I wasn't part of their parents social gatherings.

I was that weird dirty kid in your 6th grade English class who never read the assignments or did his homework. I came to school with black eyes, or wearing sling on my arm. I stole a knife from my neighbors garage and carried it around with me at all times. I kicked the windows out of Mr. Macks classroom because he said I'd never amount to anything (then he got a brain tumor, ha).

My home life was a wreck. My mom was out of control, a raging alcoholic and whatever else she was, and my dad was just a mean bastard. I dealt with abuse, both physical and mental, at the hands of both of my parents. As a result, all these years later I still grind my teeth in my sleep and require an acrylic night guard so I don't cause anymore damage to my teeth.

I missed out on the fundamental teachings that are passed from parent to child. I didn't learn sports. I didn't learn how to shave. I didn't learn to clean or cook or take care of myself. I learned violence. I learned how to lie. I learned how to put my conscience aside in any situation. This was my eduction.

I took my teachings and went off into the world, ready to show anyone and everyone what I had learned. By the time I was 22 years old, I was covered in gang tattoos, sitting in a maximum security jail cell facing a max sentence on 3 felony charges. The thing of it was, after blowing my savings on a lawyer and beating those charges, I still hadn't learned my lesson. I went back out into the thick of it, right back into the line of fire. The damage was done, and it took me a long time to unlearn what was so deeply ingrained in me.

Somehow I survived, and a few years later I would meet the Sainted Newbold family. This is the point where my life would completely turn around. They didn't look past my problems and issues, but rather looked inside of me to see what was causing me to act the way that I was, and offered a solution. Really, they were the first people who truly cared about me and my well being. (I know all along that my friends who I came up with cared about me, but not one of them was making an attempt to stop me from doing the things I was doing, probably because we were all cut from the same cloth.)

The Newbolds became my family. My mother, father, brothers, sister, and my friends. I owe a lot to them. They taught me how to treat other human beings, regardless of what they had done to me or what they thought of me. I think the most important thing I learned was that I was still able to be myself, keep my anger and my frustrations, but turn them into something other than violence. People will always judge me for what I've done, but I can accept that, as I've become accepting of myself.

This weekend, I again took my new teachings into the world, and I put all the loneliness and hurt behind me. I met the one. The girl that I get along with 100% comfortably. I met her and I fell in love and we got married. With her, I don't have to worry about what she might say or think when I tell her something about my past. She loves me unconditionally. It really puts me at ease knowing that. Knowing that I don't have to hide my feelings or my anger. I don't have to hide who I really am. I am sad to leave my friends and family in Philadelphia as I embark on my new journey/life in Chicago, but I know that they will always love and be there for me.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Right now I'm sitting on an airplane headed for Chicago, listening to my favorite Piebald record, reading a book, very relaxed, and totally in love. Big weekend. I'm ready to never walk alone again. <3

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Good Enough (?)

I'm sure at some point in everyone's existence, they sit back and think about their lives... "What am I doing?", "where am I going?", "what have I done with my life?", "Am I making a difference in anyone's lives?", etc etc. It's probably natural, its like an assessment of self worth. Probably for most people my age its "Did I make the right choice in college?", "Did I marry the right person?", "Do I really like what I'm doing for work?", and so on.

For me right now, it's "What am I good at?". Sounds like something that would be easy to answer. Like, everyone has to be good at something right? Fishing or working or painting or whatever. I don't really think I'm particularly good at any one thing. I can't play sports. I can't draw. I can't really play an instrument (fake big). I sucked at school (which really sucks, because I def want to try out this whole "higher education" thing, but I'm nervous about it)

I guess I was good at fighting at one point, but really, what does that amount to? Bloody clothing and hefty lawyer fees. I didn't care enough to train and take it to a professional level, and I liked hitting people in the head with inanimate objects a little too much, which professional fighting circuits probably really frown upon.

I'm also really good at sleeping. That's gotta count somewhere. Probably to someone with insomnia I'd reckon.

Ok, so here's where I'm at in my assessment: I don't really love my job. I wish I went to college. I wish I was closer with my family. I wish I had a hobby.

Let's see if I can work on any one of those things. I'm sure I could fix at least 1/4 of them.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A thank you note from a friend

I just found this thank you note from my friend and I thought I would share it with you. But first, here is the back story. Enjoy.

Rewind to early April, this lady thought it would be a good idea to jump into a polar bear habitat at a zoo in Germany and swim around with them.
(actual photo of the lady, photo credit to Jesus Christ)

I mean, on one hand, I get it. A) Swimming rules. B) Polar bears are cute.
But, on the other hand, A) WHAT THE FUCK? B) THEY'RE POLAR BEARS.

So as this lady swims on, getting closer to this curious looking thing, it probably registers her somewhere between intruder and giant seal looking meal.

And then...

wait for it...

waaaaait for it...



Anyway, thanks to the newsies (read: jobless college kids and reject 4channers) who post over at, my most reliable and up to the minute news source, I found this story and immediately brought it to the attention of my non-B9er friends.

My friend Chris was so grateful that I brought this gem into his life that he made me this little thank you note:

Here is a link to the article

Listening to: Johnny Thunders - Seven Day Weekend
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A few things that make me happy...

Photo credit: Danielle Ramirez

In no particular order (but read from the bottom up):

Perfect weather
Fred Perry shirts
Popcorn from Garrett's
Spending time with Danielle

Listening to: Noel Gallagher - Talk Tonight
via FoxyTunes

Its Official! (aka Look at what Danielle made for me!)

You'll be seeing this every time you look at my blog... that is, if you look at my blog.

Listening to: No Hope For The Kids - Cold Touch of Death
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, July 11, 2009

My 4 July 2009 (Bon Anniversaire, America)

My 4th of July was crazy. It was a last minute travel decision that was definitely fun and worth it. While at the ECE championship thing with Danielle and her team (who won both of their bouts, but what else do you expect from the #2 ranked team in the country?), I was asked if I'd like to attend the wedding of one of her teammates in Chicago the following weekend. I knew it was going to be $$$ to travel that last minute, especially on a holiday, but any chance to see Danielle, fine with me. I bought tickets on Tuesday to fly out Friday morning.

The wedding was in a Lutheran church, which I guess is like Catholic or something. They did all that shit where the preacher man says something and then the congregation says something back. It's like a call and response. Or a civil sing along at a Hardcore show.

Whenever I'm in a situation like that I always look around to see who else doesn't know the stuff you're supposed to say so I don't feel so bad for not knowing it. Of course Danielle is some sorta good Catholic and knows all that shit. At least she didn't look at me funny for not knowing it. One time I went to a Catholic church with this Spanish chick I was dating for a Christmas service and I didn't know the religious sigh language stuff or the stand-up, sit-down, kneel-and-pray business and her family looked at me like I was the first born son of Satan himself (probably closer to the truth than I make it out to be).

The after party ("reception" is the standard, old fashioned term, me thinks) was nice. Some large banquet hall in the suburbs of Chicago. Our table was right next to the cake, so naturally they took a ton of pix of the bride and groom in front of it. Yeah, so I'm probably going to ruin the majority of them. Sorry guys. Don't invite me to the next one I guess.
I actually danced! That's right. Me. I slow danced with a girl for the first time since probably 1992 or 1993. That was the last time I went to a middle school dance. (well, I went to 1 high school dance, but that was to fight a few kids along with Chr*s M*tch*ll and "Scary" L*rry N*sky [names edited to protect the not-so-innocent, errr something]. I don't remember why, but it was around the time M*tch*ll broke into some kids house and stole all his dads guns, so it could have had something to do with that). Danielle also tried to teach me how to dance to some pop song. That didn't work so well. "You have to PICK your feet up! You're hopeless"

The rest of the weekend was just spent smiling, giggling, watching movies, fooling around, eating food, walking around holding hands, daydreaming, plotting, planning, and you know, basically acting like teenagers in love. I think we gross out Danielle's friends from time to time with our cuteness. SOZ everyone. SOZ.

Shout outs to:
Kara Bort for driving me to the airport at like 5something AM.
Chicago for having like, no humidity compared to Philadelphia.
Chicago for having bomb ass Mexican food, and selling it at 2AM.
My iPod for ruling a lot.
Confessions of a 2nd Story Man (my current read, started it in 2005 and forgot about it)

Random thoughts: I've traveled a lot, but this is the first time I've had to bring a suit. I had to borrow a suit bag because I don't own one. That thing worked pretty well, hardly a wrinkle to the shirt, pants or jacket. I'd buy one based on that alone, but I don't know if I'll ever need it haha.

Oh, and don't trust the "expert travelers line" at Chicago Midway. What a crock of shit! I think all the expert travelers know that all the intermediate jackass travelers try and up their travel stature rankings by hitting up this line, so all the real experts take the moderate traveler lines. Smart business.

Listening to: The Germs - Richie Dagger's Crime
via FoxyTunes

Friday, July 10, 2009

Socially network with me (aka too much technology)

Here is my Facebook (you know you want to)
Follow me on Twitter (keep tabs on me...)
And my thing (See the music that fuels my life)
And umm my Myspace is (wait, do people still use this?)

And I have a friendster (lol) account somewhere that I haven't updated since 2003, but you know, if you're feeling ambitious...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Life update, and other sorts of things (aka Long time no see)

Soooooo yeah. Life update. Not much different from last year, except the girl I spoke of in the previous post (which rules yo)

Early 2009 - Start seeing a girl that I've liked for a while. It was cool, except for the whole her not being into me thing. Kinda got my feelings hurt badly (wah). It was the first time I put myself out there for anyone since I was dating Jules. Not a good feeling, left me depressed and whatnot. Thank Jah for friends, early Oasis records, the ocean, Alkaline Trio and the Movielife discographies, Gorilla Biscuits - Start Today, Blitz, my bandmates, and Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers. No thanks to Elliot Smith, Tom Waits, Bright Eyes, The Jealous Sound, Texas is the Reason, The Promise Ring, The Jazz June, Blood For Blood, The Smiths (esp I Know Its Over), select Morrissey and Rocky Votolato tracks, and whatever other sad bastard music I listen to that makes a person want to knot up the 13 and kick the chair out from under themselves.

Other than that, nothing new. Mom calls me for money, dad still doesn't call me, although I did see him in November of last year on his way through town headed elsewhere. That was nice. I left work early, showed him and Linda around Olde City and took them to lunch. We didn't talk much, but, heh, I knew that would happen anyway. Then he went on his way a few hours later. It was weird to see him in his current state, he was kinda withered down and very slow, but I guess that is to be expected with his disease and the medication and all. It was strange though, because my last real memories of him were from when I was about 12-13, he was in good physical shape, and just a maniac in general.

April 30 -
Chicago bound! Donny comes to my house in a rented SUV (PARTY VAN!) with a full tank of gas, a couple dozen packages of Oreos, and a bunch of friends lining the seats. We immediately throw on the Bouncing Souls, buckle our safeties, point the GPS westerly, and put the hammer to the floor. I had tickets to see Alkaline Trio at the Troc that night, but I gave them to Jules and her BF, who didn't end up going anyway. Oh well. We jammed Alk3 in the PARTY VAN! and had massive sing alongs anyway.

May 1st - On the road to Chicago, as the sun comes up over Cleveland, Ohio, we stop off for some eats. I see a little white rabbit sitting on the front lawn of someones house. Since it was the first of the month, and is traditional to say "rabbit rabbit" for good luck [or jinx removal ;)...] I saw it as a sign and uttered the words right away. A mere 6 hours later, I would meet a girl in Chicago who would leave me stunned right from the get go... First impressions: shes cute, neatly dressed, and very nice (She was letting a total stranger with a pretty bad rep sleep on her couch). The first thing I asked her was a question about Youth Of Today, which was spilled over from an argument in the PARTY VAN!, to which she responded favorably, giving me a serious case of the heart eyes.

The weekend was great, I ran into a lot of old friends, ate some great food, had a comfortable place to stay, watched Temple of Doom and Lost Boys with our host (shes that good), saw some great bands, saw some other not so great bands (that reminded me of why I hated a lot of mid-90s Hardcore), turned 29, and, well, met Danielle. We talked a lot in the days following, and good, good things came from that.

May 9th - Evan, Rory, Connor, Todd, and White Brian came up for the weekend for the annual Boston vs Philadelphia Dan "Stoney" Stone (RIP) memorial soccer tourney. Danielle also came for the weekend, and right away met my friends and probably got a good idea of why I act the way I do. Heh.

So, more on the girlie... She's got an amazing smile, beautiful eyes, a kind heart, curly brown hair, dark skin, the cutest little giggle, a curious nature, and she seems pretty much up for anything. Oh, and she's got Bad Brains, Naked Raygun, and Turning Point tattoos... and... she's Straight Edge! And she's into bikes! and she hates olives! And, and, and, and, and! WTF right? Where has the cruel world been hiding this one from me? Nice to know there was someone out there for me this whole time and I've just been quietly wasting away for all these years...

But as luck would have it, she lives 760 miles away from me. Can anything ever be easy for me? Happiness comes and goes in the form of $200-300 round trip airline tickets from Philadelphia to O'Hare. Pretty soon my bosses are going to wonder why I'm taking all my vacation days one Friday at a time (I need a 7 day weekend, right Waldo?).

I like Chicago, its a really nice city, and as you can tell, I've been spending a bit of time there recently. It's a lot bigger than Philadelphia, and there are TONS of Mexican food restaurants there. I mean, everything I've eaten in that city has pretty much ruled, but I love Mexican food, so yeah.

So, shes great. She seems to like me OK. She's been to Phila a few times and claims to like it here. I think she's just being nice. Ha! She was supposed to move here for school, but she digs this place in Chicago a lot more, so that really sucks for me. Long distance is sooooooo AIDS. But, shes super cool and worth it.

Other stuff... I started a band sometime last year with Donny Mutt, Colby Black, Mark Antonio and James Tussey. We had a slow start, due in part to us always waiting around for Colby to make practices, which rarely happened. Finally we parted ways with him and Donny has taken over the song writing duties. We recorded a demo a couple weeks ago with Will Yip in the world famous Studio 4 recording studio. It's kinda funny that we're goofing off in the same studio that Bob Dylan and Billy Joel recorded some serious music in. Ha. Here is our myspace ... there should be some recordings up soon

Anyway. More soon. I kinda like this again.