Extended Deadline

2015.11.03

I had a brief exchange with a friend on facebook about how she would use his full name and I tell her how he used to be annoyed when I used the full middle name (“Armando”), and she says she always thought it was sexy. So there you go, Mo, one last time to be a sexy beast.

Here’s music that reminds me of Mo.

Here’s a song where I sampled his voice from a voicemail he left me — at 2’58”, that’s Mo saying “I’m a sick boy, I need my medicine”: https://soundcloud.com/yukbon/someone-has-my-key

vignettes, featuring mo:

  • I had a car before he did, so I’d usually be the one to drive us around; it only had an FM radio so we were sort of stuck with whatever was on air. He would usually sing the lead because I sang poorly, although I did get better by singing along to weezer and toadies. For entertainment we’d translate the songs into spanish as we went, along to the radio (that’s a lot harder than it sounds, try it). One time, I think it was because Guitar Center had just opened and they had an opening day 10-drumsticks-for-ten-bucks deal, I had drumsticks in the car. So we both started pounding on the dash along to whatever was playing. Remember, POS car, so no A/C, so he’s slapping his hand on the roof for the bass drum. The couple in the lane next to us on the way to Westland mall just stared at us like we were insane.

 

  • When he got his first piece-of-shit car — I forget what it was, but he nicknamed it “Sharky”, I think inspired at least in part because I’d nicknamed my car “Frankenstein” (because it was mostly a white Ford Escort, except for the baby blue driver’s door and fender) — but it had those headlights that flip up, except one would not flip so it sort of looked like one of those puppies with the floppy ear and he was driving with both feet and he’d go straight from foot-on-the-gas to foot-on-the-brake, which was jarring as fuck. I think when I showed him to use one foot and to let the car coast a bit before braking, we both had a little regretful reflective moment that he didn’t have some family member to teach him. Which is not a knock on his family; he was the youngest — a fact his father told him was because he was an unwanted accident — and his older siblings had left the house way earlier.

 

  • When I was 19 or 20, I’d gotten into a huge blow up with my dad and I called Mo, just crying, a fucking wreck, I couldn’t even tell him the whole fucking thing because it was too long, I just asked him if he’d play Daniel Johnston’s “happy time” over the phone for me. He did it without asking and I said thank you and hung up and we talked about it later. We talked seriously about moving out, getting the fuck out of Miami. He was pushing for Dallas, but I was thinking Panama City where a mutual friend had moved and recommended to us. In the end, I was too scared to go and our plans fizzled.

 

  • We had a running joke, that any dream’s hidden meaning was that you were gay. (“I dreamt I was driving my old car” “You know what that means?” “No” “That means you’re gay”). No homophobia meant; one of his brothers was gay and I know that he had many gay friends that he loved and respected (even in high school; I was such a naif that when he told me there were lots of gay or bi kids in our friends group, my reaction was an incredulous “really?!”). I say “our friends group,” but the reality is that most were friends with Mo, although he’d probably deny it, he was certainly charming and charismatic and inspired a sincere confidence in friendships.

 

  • Mo’d had long hair in Jr high and high school, a sort of mushroom cut kind of thing, but he had a harsh receding hairline and after highschool when he started to work he started shaving his head. I had long hair, like, down to my nipples long. Capt. and I were over at Mo’s place on Sunset and Capt went out to get a drink or gas or something and while he was gone I got a wild hair up my ass and asked Mo to shave my head. Mike left and I had long hair and when he got back, poof, gone. Mo’s first words when he did it were “You know, I think you should dye it blond.”

 

  • Eden was art director at this gallery downtown, the wallflower gallery, and Mo was tending bar as a favor (and for tips) and Ron his roommate thought someone was starting some shit with him and he came running down the stairs, “Nobody lays a hand on my roommate!” It was sweet but hilarious.

 

  • He tried not to curse, he’d call you a jerkmuffin pretty easily though. Maybe that was just me, though. He was definitely an Elvis man, and his two favorite football teams were the Cowboys (because he’d romanticized the city he was born in, Dallas,) and whoever was playing the Dolphins.

 

I’m sad he’s gone, and I sort of can’t believe it. Like….really? He actually did it? That’s not supposed to happen. He’s supposed to have a close call and then get better. It still feels like a shitty joke. It really feels like any second he’s going to go naaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh and say “I was just joshin’ you, I’m a josher”.

 

I’m not grieving his loss — I lost my best friend Mo years and years ago and I did my grieving then. I remember Eden laughing at me when all that shit went down, “You still believe in best friends?” Mo was the last one of that ilk for me. About 2009 or 2010, Eden called me — he’d been living in the same city as Mo and had spent time with him — and asked if I’d still be willing or interested in talking with Mo or being his friend again. I said no, I didn’t think we had anything to talk about. I’d stopped hating him and moved on, and I can only assume that he did as well. Our time as best friends had come to it’s end and we’d gone our separate ways and had had lives and experiences apart. I only briefly met his wife once while they were married (and a few times before they were married). He was, if not devout all the time, certainly a committed Christian, and largely responsible for my own interest in Christianity when we were playing music together. I was around when he moved from administration to bartending, but I don’t know anything about his transition from bartender to the hotel business. I don’t know anything about his divorce or his move to California and likewise he knew little or nothing of my life after we parted ways. But even now at this far remove, he’s part of my life. That spark you get when you recognize something of yourself in another person and you instant know This Person Is One Of Mine. He had that, for a lot of people.

 

I had that fleeting thought: what if I’d said yes? What if we were friends? Would he have called me up? Would I have known to stop him? Could I have talked him down? He always did have his depressive episodes, and honestly it was something that we bonded over — not just he and I but certainly that too. There’s something about meeting someone who knows, if not your own pain, what that type of pain is like. His last note alluded to a triggering event, and I know I’m not alone in wishing he’d just fucking found a different way to deal with it, whatever it was. It’s tempting to be angry, to vent that anger and frustration, that feeling of impotence and perhaps blame the victim. To call them selfish. To call them cowardly. It’s unjust and it’s a painful reflex reaction. He could get low, really low. And not having been in his shoes and felt his pain directly, to judge his exit harshly is — while understandable — unkind.

 

The truly terrible thing about that type of mental anguish is how alone you feel and, from the outside, how difficult it is to reach someone who is feeling like that. Even if every single one of the people mourning him now had told him how much he meant to them, how much joy he’d added to their lives and how much they appreciated him and his presence in their lives, would it have gotten through? I hope so. But now all we have is his admonition to reach out to people who suffer from depression and share our love with them and not let them feel alone.

2012.01.06

Categories : vignette

The music I hate and why I love it.

2010.01.26

I used to be strictly a metalhead. All about pounding drums and searing guitars. I remember when Saladbar in 10th grade gushed about the cure and I mocked her for it (admittedly we’d disliked each other since, uh, 6th grade or so). Or when Eden first played Kraftwerk for me and I was practically physically ill and demanded he remove that sound from the fucking air. I think I did the same thing with My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, although we were on our way to the Kitchen Club (back in Teh Day) with Nelly and this was during my deepest darkest depression and anxiety attacks, when I’d quit smoking and my friendship with ‘mo ended. I’d quit smoking a while by then, but was still getting horrible anxiety attacks and acid reflux. This was when prilosec was still prescription before they made a low-dose OTC and I was taking that and it was just Not Helping Very Much. Anyway, my point is, MLWTKK came on the radio (how I’ll never fucking know, a pirate station, I imagine, cos who the fuck would play that on broadcast radio is beyond me. Kudos if it was, their shit must fucking spark together when they walk down the street.) and it was just grating, annoying nonsense. I couldn’t even recognize it as music. I don’t know if that makes any sense. It’s like when you’re looking at a picture or something and you can’t see what it is of, but you can see that it has a shape, it’s just…you can’t make the connection. It took Bert and Lis playing Orbital’s “The Box” for me in the car, smoked up and on the way to Subrageous or Taco Bell or something. God, has it really been 10 years? The creaking door sound when it turns dark ambient is still fucking awesome.

So here’s to music I’ve hated but now insist that is fucking JAWSOME

signifiers

2009.03.09

I was on a date, a long time ago, with this woman. Well spoken, articulate, beautiful, a bit awkward in that way people are on dates. We went to Versailles, this cuban restaurant — it was late and it was the only place open that wasn’t fast food bullshit and she wasn’t familiar with real cuban food, so why not? — and we order and eat, and I finished before she did so I ordered coffee while she finished. The waiter came to take my plates away and mistakenly reached for hers and she snapped at him. I should have known then it was fucked, and in retrospect I can pinpoint that as the moment I Should Have Known Better. Not so much because she treated the waiter poorly, although I suppose that’s a signifier as well, but the look on her face was…I don’t know, rage. Almost a comtemptous snarl.

I don’t know why this came to mind recently; a je ne sais quoi of regret?  My subconscious reminding me that I am a bad judge of people that I’m fond of? Time will tell.

edit 5/5/09; commenting disabled on this post because of spam.

Guess who’s back? Tell a friend, tell a friend, tell a friend

2009.02.26

It’s the return of the giant link-list email newsletter thing, now consolidated into a blog post for yourmy convenience. Would anyone be interested in an occasional mix-CD?

Bacon. A food so delicious that the bible forbids it. Sin with me: bacon cupcakes, Mike Nelson of Mystery Science Theater 3000 commits suicide by bacon, bacon explosion, get that bacon out of your teeth with bacon floss, chocolate bacon and the coup de bacon, candied bacon ice cream

File under “and people say I’m hard to shop for”: happy vagina t-shirts, aquarium toilet, check out the speakers on her, vagina perfume

File under “like goldy, but with iron”: Catholic church needs to read the bible more, apparently

Questions are a burden to others, answers a prison for oneself: http://www.cliqueclack.com/tv/2009/01/07/the-prisoner-is-free-and-online/

Science! It works, bitches! : Tattoo changes color with glucose levels.

Rob wants to give you a high five!

So…about that salmonella peanut butter: bird shit.

Freebase caffeine

There are no words for Starfish hitler

Science makes a mermaid.

memories can’t wait.

2008.10.28

Erasing selective memories coming closer

One day it’ll be a choice. I don’t like it. I mean, the flexibility is nice to have — especially for something traumatic that you just want to get rid of; war, rape etc etc. But part of your job in existence is to be witness and to work through your pain and evolve yourself. And I can see this being used nefariously — and not just in a paranoid Phillip K. Dick dystopian future kind of way, either.

I had (or have? I dunno. We’re still “friends” on facebook) a friend who called me up. Let us call her Agnes. She had broken up with the love of her life because shit happened and anyway, time heals wounds etc etc and several years and a marriage later she gets an email from him out of the blue “i fucked up, you were great, if you’re still angry I don’t blame you but i just wanted to tell you i know you were great” etc. Long story short, they got back together (and are still,) and as far as I know are deliriously happy together. Which is all well and good — forgiveness is a nice thing, after all, and happiness is a bitch to find, so you gotta work for it. Except about two months into their newfound love she calls me out of the blue saying “hey how do you permanently delete files from a Mac?”. I tell her and hang up and then go “Wait. She doesn’t have a Mac.” But I know my friend, and on a hunch (I’m usually really good at these) I call back and tell her off for deleting his pictures of his ex from his computer. Quite frankly, I feel a bit used and dirty and I am Seriously Unhappy about this, so perhaps I am less than nice. She gets mad, tells me he’s backing up the pictures later (…but she’s deleting them now…? just distraction BS…) and anyway I don’t know the situation. I tell her that it’s hardly fair for her to decide what memories he gets to keep, because they’re his memories, after all. She gets mad and repeats that I do not know the circumstances, and I say she’s right, mea culpa, if I’m wrong, please forgive me. She says nevermind and it’s ok, don’t worry about it and since then we haven’t spoken. Which leads me to believe that I was right. But enough about that.

So now think of someone demanding this of you, literally of your memories. Or doing it against your will. Note that one of the reasons given for not freeing some of the Guantanamo Bay prisoners is not “they’re dangerous terrorists and we can’t let them go” but rather “they’re totally innocent but they know too much about our information extraction (viz, torture) methods to be let go”.

Here, have some sonic yoof “Nevermind (what was it anyway)”:

Sleep tight, kids.

Set Theory Primer

2008.05.04

I just stumbled on a site about Set Theory Primer as it relates to music theory. Which reminds me of my favorite story about music I wrote that no one ever heard.

Bunny called me up, “hey there’s a gallery opening, we’re doing a music/performance/installation — the theme of the gallery is Summerian/Babylonian art, they’re showing some pieces etc etc”

I dig Sumer, cradle of civilization etc etc and I’ve read through Snow Crash so I know just a bit more than nothing about their language construction (atonal glosolalia? or some shit. doesn’t matter, i’m not writing poetry). So I look up Summerian music. Turns out it uses a 60-tone scale. Because I am S-M-R-T smart, I figure OK, I can make music akin to atonal 12-tone theory pieces, but I have to use 1/2 and 1/4 microtones (ie, bends and half-bends) and viola, 12-tone automagically becomes 60-tone. So I write this long droning piece in an open D tuning and because it would be a bitch to be bending whole chords (although you get some really awesome dissonances, some sonic youth/glenn branca shit going on where the notes beat against each other in the air) I go and get me a slide. So it’s like this blues hawaiian indian drone monster thing. It’s made of pure, concentrated awesome.

And then the day of the show, come to find out they go on an hour before they said they would and also that the music has been relegated to the alley behind the gallery. Which is OK, since that’s where the party people’s at anyway. Ran into solo and other people from the wayback.

in which

2008.04.11

in which Sterling provides an apt summary:
“I consider it my personal Vietnam. If I had gone in and struck hard and fast and all in one go, none of that shit would have gone down. But because I didn’t, because I took it slow, I sabotaged myself. And I think it was because [removed].”
“…So you consider it all your fault?”
“Yes.”
“And none of it would have happened and [removed] would still be friends with [removed].”
“That’s what I’m saying.”
“Wow, that’s a lot of guilt.”

in which Laura considers the possibility that there may be a better way to handle situations
Laura: so, he is right. we do need more time. though i think he went about it totally wrong. but, i do realize he doesnt have the emotional capability/tact that i hhave 😛
(erm, maybe i dont always hav tact)
David: like when you laughed at [laura’s ex-boyfriend]’s naked erection?
Laura: yes 🙁
David: some people might say that was …. less than fully tactful


in which Little Trouble Girl summarizes her complex love life:

“So I’m going to see my husband in the hospital, but I stopped by to have lunch with my boyfriend — that I’m not having sex with because he’s married — to tell him about how I didn’t get laid last night with my coworker/crush because he couldn’t get it hard despite a long blowjob and to complain about how my fuckbuddy just left for [unnamed country] which is good because we might be developing feelings for each other. Which would be bad.”

in which i make an ass of myself at a party:
“dude i was in college when you were still sucking your momma’s dick!”
“you know my mom’s dead, right?”

I made mistakes in my life, all things go, all things go

2008.02.16

Today, I talked to a friend, didn’t get to finish my soup, got to listen to schlocky rock (or jazz? I don’t know, bruce hornsby is very jazz-lite, but then again he’s done rock too), went to miami beach despite boat show traffic, avoided getting scammed, walked on the beach and got new shoes wet in the surf, saw a wedding i was not a party to, made excellent falafel (hint: before you roll them into balls/patties, drop chopped cilantro/dill and a wee bit of hot sauce into the dough/mix. also, if you fry at medium-low heat they take longer but dry out less,) and had a heavier-than-i-would-have-liked mediterranean dinner (falafel, tzaziki, stuffed grape leaves, flatbread, kaseri cheese). finish the day off by noticing that i never filled out my valentine’s card i bought the mrs so spent 15 minutes on something that will make her smile in the morning.

Listened to a lot of Sufjan Stevens today — picked up The Avalanche on a whim at a used CD store (yeah, I still buy CDs, I’m all quaint) and was blown away. Bought Illinoise just for Casimir Pulaski Day but am enjoying other songs on there. The Avalanche CD is more enjoyable at the moment though; the three versions of Chicago, the supercomputer song, it’s all jawsome!great. I even went and learned me some guiterchords for ’em.

the same thing i would want today i will want again tomorrow

2008.01.27

I just heard, in quick succession:
Dylan trying to teach The Band “Po’ Lazarus” (it occured to me that po’ lazarus might be where part of the Stagolee mtyh gets it’s power),
the harry smith field recording of prisoners singing “po lazarus”,
dylan’s “goin’ to acapulco”
dylan’s “boots of spanish leather” (random cover from youtube: here…I have no idea who that is. actually, ignore that, here’s pix of dylan while the original plays: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTCFhS7IIgM)

I’m not – by any means – a huge dylan fanatic, but it occurs that the scorsese quote re: akira kurosawa about one being able to debate which works are Great and which are merely very very very good, would also apply to dylan’s songs.

I’m joining the RPM Challenge with Navel4Eve, here’s hoping it doesn’t suck. More info next month, wish me luck.

Yesterday, Vero called me up asking how I made my curry sauce (“uh, curry powder and sour cream. a little mayo if you want it tastier but that makes it fattier and greasier.”) and it reminded me that I have posted the recipe for my (world-famous) grilled cheese sammich before, but never here, so here it is:

get you:
3 cheeses — 2 slices of something white (say a meunster or swiss), 2 slices something yellow (cheddar or american) and about 3 spoonful’s worth of feta (bleu works too).
bread — sliced, i recommend rye.
1 tomato slice, 1/2″ thick (can be replaced by onion)
butter
1 clove garlic
2 spoon’s worth of olive oil
optional: bacon, olives, mushrooms.

butter a slice of bread, drop half a spoonful of butter in a pan with 1 spoonful of olive oil, coat the bottom of the pan and then put the bread in it. medium-low heat — you’re gonna be here a while. put the meunster on the bread. get your tomato slice and poke out the slimy shit in it (seeds pulp etc) so that you have a tomato-spoke. lay on the muenster cheese and fill the empty tomato spokes with the feta. put the slices of cheddar on top of that. lay the other slice of bread on top and butter it. to ensure the cooking side doesn’t stick, shake the pan and the weight of the sandwich should shift it. while you wait for it to brown, take your garlic and slice it thin like you’ve been watchin’ goodfellas too much. flip yr sammich and press some of the garlic slices into the bread. while the raw side cooks, wait. sing a song or something. when it’s done, flip (so the garlic on top caramelizes a bit) and press the garlic slices that are left into the bread. drizzle half a teaspoon of olive oil on top and flip again, drizzle the oil that remains and serve. wait at least a minute before cutting it or you’re gonna get cheese soup. Which is hard to eat inside a sandwich.

you can replace (or augment) the feta with olives (or olive tapenade,) mushrooms and/or bacon.

If you made it right, it’s about an inch and a half thick, and a fucking hearty brick to keep your gut happy.

you want the tomato slice to be thick — about 1/2″ or so — so that the tomato itself doesn’t get hot. the cheese next to the bread will melt the feta, but if the tomato’s thick, it won’t cook very much and you will therefore have an island of cool, refreshing vegetable in a sea of molten deliciousness.

Categories : music  recipe  vignette