Monday, July 31, 2006

Comfortably Dumb

Sage's posts lately got me thinking a little bit about high school, which is something I really hate doing. Thanks a bunch, Sage. Anyway, I really don't look back on it with much fondness. The experience was awkward...I'm sure most of you can relate...and I really didn't end up with a lot of life-long friends from high school. A particular event occured post-high school involving a gaggle of my high school friends which resulted in a massive schism that pretty much left me, by myself, on one side. In retrospect, it's fine. I'm better off for it. They were assholes. I rule. You know the drill. I did reconnect a few years ago with a high school buddy (who had nothing to do with the whole thing), and that has been really great.

OK, enough with that crap. Basically, I wanted to talk about one particularly vivid memory from my high school that I alluded to in this post.

First and foremost, it should be noted that I went to a Catholic high school. Second, it should be noted that I was a pretty smart kid (if I do say so myself) and also, a wise-ass. Those three things are a recipe for disaster in Catholic high school. I'd get sent home for having hair that went beyond my shirt collar, or a couple days' worth of teenage stubble on the face. Writing "And now...#1...the Larch" on my Pre-Calc's teacher's chalkboard before class and having her stare quizzically at it for like 30 seconds before erasing it. That sort of thing.

Also, remember that this was the mid-to-late 80s, so fashion was in a transition. And by "transition", I mean it was God-bloody-awful. Those paper-light Don Johnson in Miami Vice double-breasted white blazers were in style, as were ultra-skinny neckties, those knit neckties that were squared off at the bottom, and wearing white suspendered pants well after Labor Day. What the fuck, I was 17 and "What Not to Wear" wasn't on TV yet. Besides, the only place we could really shop for these things were like Tello's and Chess King. Which is why I ended up with a pink tuxedo shirt for the semi-formal I was guilted into going to (to be the date for the only girl in the senior class who didn't have one). Did I mention the shirt was pink? Pink.

Anyway, the boys had a dress code, consisting of pretty much dress shoes, dress socks, dress pants, dress shirt, tie, and jacket. It wasn't a uniform per se, as we all didn't wear the same exact thing, but I certainly did test the boundaries of the code (hello, fish necktie and tuxedo shirt [with the ruffles]). The girls had it worse. They had to wear the requisite school-issued plaid skirt, white blouse, and green jacket. It's a cruel irony that then, I couldn't think of anything less attractive for a girl to wear and now that it's way too late, I think that outfit is absolutely friggin awesome. Figures.

Anyway, I got in a fair amount of trouble in high school, but nothing really compares to this one event. Since my real punishment is probably still yet to come.

You see, like most high schools, we had a bunch of kids (me included) who thought we were musicians and would get together in our parents' basements and sound like shit (Hey, it's tough playing "Pour Some Sugar on Me" when you don't have a decent PA, frosted hair, and ripped-to-shreds jeans). Well, the self-proclaimed "music minister" at the school got wind of our musical debauchery and decided to approach us with an idea. You see, kids aged 15-18 generally hate going to school. And the only thing they hate more than school, is going to Mass. At Catholic high school, you get those two things rolled into one. A sort of anti-Reeses Peanut Butter Cup, if you will.

So, the music minister could sense that he was really losing his target audience in the Mass. There would be no participation and we would all systematically get up, sit down, spout the prayers with all the feeling of Twiki from Buck Rodgers, and mumble the words to all the hymns. The piano player, a nice, but way too smart for her own good student named Mary, wasn't exactly captivating the crowd. Put it this way, we didn't sit at the bar, put bread in her jar, and say, "Mary, what are you doing here?"

Side note about Mary. As I said, she was nice. One of the nicest people I encountered in high school. But I hated her. Mary was the Grade Killer for my Calculus class. You see, NONE of us got Calculus. None. I avoided taking the class, to no avail, because I knew I would bomb it. It's not math. It's not algebra. It's not geometry. It's not trig. I got all that shit. But Calculus was a different beast all-together; we all tanked it. All except Mary. She was Miss Bell Curve 1989. I should have gotten a B in that class (with a 38 test average!), but Mary's constant 95s meant that Dim ended up with a C- (with a 38 test average!). In retrospect, I shouldn't be complaining about that, or Mary, especially since she was the type of girl who would go to MIT and have a nervous breakdown three weeks into freshman year, because she could only memorize pi out to 58 decimal points, drop out, move to Colorado, neglect personal hygeine (especially shaving the underarms and legs) and follow String Cheese Incident around the country. To each their own. Instead, I tanked Calculus, didn't learn my lesson and went to a Catholic college, grew my hair long, and still listen to Iron Maiden. I guess that's a push.

Anyway, long story longer, the music minister approached us (me, another guitar player, a bass player, and my buddy Rob, the keyboardist) about possibly playing the music for the mass in an effort to get the rest of the student body more involved. We reluctantly agreed, mostly because it would allow us to occasionally get out of class to practice our tunes in the chapel. Some advice. If you are a wise-ass punk Catholic high school kid who thinks it might be cool to push the spiritual envelope and play the opening to Maiden's "Number of the Beast" while in the chapel, think again. I tried it and mysteriously got second degree burns on my fingertips.
Anywho, we did this gig for awhile, but it really didn't work at all. I mean, church music is really designed for like organs and flutes and piccolos and violas. I physically could not groove to "How Great Thou Art." We were miserable and the rest of the student body couldn't have been more disinterested than if we were playing Air Supply on kazoo.

We had a band meeting and then met with the music minister and told him our idea: Howsabout we take comtemporary tunes, strip them down, and do complete instrumental versions for the musical breaks in the Mass? Every song would have to pass his muster first, so we couldn't slip in Ozzy's "Mr. Crowley" or something like that, but, we argued, this would pique the student body's interest and maybe cause them to be more involved. Of course, we couldn't have given a shit less about that...we just didn't want to play "Ave Maria" anymore.

The music guy actually agreed with our request and the first song we did was called "The Tale That Wasn't Right", a ballad by a band called, get this, Helloween, a German speed/thrash metal band. I played with my back to the crowd like Eddie Van Halen used to do. Not because I didn't want other musicians to steal my tasty licks. Because I didn't want them see me in full flop-sweat mode a la Albert Brooks in Broadcast News.

That tune went over well. Hardly anyone really knew it, but it wasn't "church music", so people dug it. So, we did what anyone else would have done. We passed it off as an original.

Next time, we did "Holiday" by the Scorpions. Again, no vocals (which is good because I had not yet mastered my Klaus Meine impression) and it also went over really well. It was mellow. The priest, principal, and music minister were happy. We were happy. The rest of the students seemed less unhappy. Hey, isn't that what Mass is supposed to be about? Apparently not, because the next (and last) time we played, we did:

Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd

Now, we ran this one by the music minister, I swear. It's not my fault he didn't know about The Wall and I sure as hell wasn't going to be the one to tell him that if he didn't eat his meat, he couldn't have any pudding. He was gonna have to figure that out on his own.

So, we did this tune while the entire student body received Communion.

"One, two, three, four..."

And then the simltaneous thud of a B-minor being played by me and the bass player. The keyboard player layered a macabre veil of sound during the verses, waiting for his main part that came during the chorus. The other guitar player, much more accomplished than I, played Roger Waters' eerie vocal line and then switched over to Gilmour's soothing part when the keyboards really kicked in. I'm there, in my Sonny Crocket jacket and skinny tie, eyes closed, praying we don't screw up.

Then, something odd happened.

No, the Grinch's heart didn't grow three sizes that day. But I noticed that there was a hum over the crowd that was indiscernable at first. But it grew louder and more pronounced. And then, I figured out what it was. The entire student body (even Mary) was SINGING "Comfortably Numb". During Communion. I looked at Rob, the keyboard player, and mouthed "We're fucked". During Communion.

So, instead of thinking about their innumerable sins and the Body of Christ, they were thinking about getting wrecked on Heffenreffer and Bob Geldof shaving off his eyebrows. This is just great. As if I'm not in enough trouble for the whole Nine-Fingered Nun thing, I'm adding this to my eternal damnation resume.

For some reason that day, there were more people receiving communion than in the Vatican, because we finished the tune and there were still long lines of people. Our music minister told us to keep going. So we did. Including a seven minute outro solo. In between clearing my brow from the continuous flop sweat that came from basically sealing my place in hell, I looked up at the priest who was celebrating Mass and he looked at me with an evil glare that I had never seen before or since. And I swear me mouthed "You're fucked" to me. During Communion.

We weren't THAT fucked really. We got some notoriety for the stunt and we weren't asked to ever play again until class night, when we did a 15 minute long version of "Hotel California" that culminated with me sticking out my tongue, giving the "horns up" sign to everyone, and flicking my guitar picks in the audience. Thus ended my high school music career.

When I think back to high school, I don't think about dances or girlfriends, or getting drunk by the water towers, or even the people I encountered there. I think about this torturously long and uninteresting story. Why, you ask? Maybe it was the only time I made my mark among my peers. Maybe it's because we set out to do something we wanted to do and we kicked its ass. Maybe it's because it really is the one good memory of high school that outshines the crap I went through. But I don't really think so. I think I remember it most because every time I hear "Comfortably Numb" now, I get stigmata-like second degree burns on my fingertips. Which might be God's way of telling me I'm fucked. I figured as much. He seems like a "Pigs On The Wing" kind of guy.

There is no pain, I am receding,

- Dim.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

New Blog

As if I don't have enough trouble updating this blog regularly enough for my liking, I have created a "new" blog here.

I decided I wanted to have an outlet for some of my old (and I mean OLD) poetry when the mood strikes me (or when I've had too much to drink).

I haven't written poetry regularly in probably six years. Most of the things I will post here are between eight and twelve years old. Most of the things will be on the depressing side. Think of it like this...Morrissey would read this stuff to make him feel better about himself.

If you promise to stay away from razor blades and bathtubs while reading, I promise to throw an old poem up here every week or so.

If you like the poem, or if it speaks to you, the comment section is always open. If you think the poem sucks...well, keep that shit to yourself. I was 20-something and probably heartbroken when I wrote it and I certainly don't need you piling on.

The first one is called Wander. It's not really depressing. But buckle yourself in,'s a bumpy ride from now on. Well, except for the children's book I am going to start writing tomorrow. That won't be depressing...hopefully.

Oh, and I'll keep trying to update Dim City as much as I can, but the City is experiencing a bit of a drought right now.

Praying for inspiration,

- Dim.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Side Effects

So, I went to the doctor today because lately, I've kinda feel like I have a lump in my throat. And no, I haven't been watching the Brian's Song marathon on Bravo. The doctor comes in, asks me a few questions, and then prescribes me a nasal spray. For a lump in my throat.

I ask, "Do I shoot this down my throat?"

And he replied, "No, dum dum, you put it up your nose."

I gazed at him with a look reminiscent of when your schnauzer hears a Yoko Ono record.

He proceeded to tell me, regrettably without the use of crude drawings or five-cent words, about how various and sundry cavities and tubes are all interconnected in my noggin, thus necessitating me shoving something up my nose to not make the thing in my throat seem so aggravating.

I figure, what the fuck? I'm only a Doctor of Love. I don't know nothing about what's going on in my schnoz, so I get the prescription filled. I then notice on the little cover-their-ass printout they give you what they call "less serious" side effects of taking this nasal spray:
  • Headaches
  • Sneezing
  • An unpleasant taste or smell (Dim's note: Subjective. Not to mention that one person's unpleasant odor is another's perfume, but I'm always around an unpleasant smell, because SOMEONE at work always gets the fucking fish for lunch and leaves their earth-menacing styrofoam container in their desk trash)
  • Minor nose bleeds (Dim's note: Again, subjective. You ever see Monty Python's Sam Peckinpah spoof sketch, "Salad Days"? Well, some twisted bloodlusters might consider that a minor nose bleed)

and then the final "minor" side effect struck me:

  • Dryness and irritation of the nose and throat

This got me thinking that my doc ain't the quack I thought he was. Apparently, my throat and my nose are one in the same and this thing might work wonders after all. But then it also got me thinking, "What the fuck? I already have this side effect. It's what I am trying to get rid of!"

Then, I kept reading for the more "get thee to an emergency room" side effects:

  • sudden swelling of the face or tongue, a rash, wheezing or feeling faint

Well, all of that sounds like a party in a spray bottle.

And then it concluded with the obligatory, ultra-subjective "major" nose bleeds. So, this either won't work, it will work and I will be fine, or it will work too well and I'll end up looking like an asthmatic Rocky Dennis.

All this called to mind a commercial that Xteen and I saw the other night. It was for some sleep aid medicine. And the soothing, womanly voice that seductively told you of all of the benefits also warned that one of the many side effects of this sleep aid is...get this...


I bloody hope so! That's the whole point of taking the friggin stuff to begin with. I WANT to be drowsy. That's not a side effect. It's the main effect! It's like taking a laxative and having them say "side effects include shitting your brains out. Well, not literally your 'brains', but you know what we mean...". No crap (pun intended)...that's what I am taking that stuff for!

And you know that every fuckhead that had even the craziest reaction to taking the drug, regardless of whatever else they were on at the time or how utterly stupid they were, has to be included in their warning.

Say you haven't slept in about three days. You are a zombie, craving even 15 minutes of sleep. On top of being utterly exhausted, you just popped a couple of sleeping pills in the hopes that it knocks you completely out and you wake up sometime in the middle of football season. Now, who in their right mind would say to themselves after all that, "Hey, this seems like a great time to go fuck around with the wood chipper!"

Someone had to. Or they wouldn't have to tell you not to operate heavy machinery. You know some idiot took a couple of sleeping pills and fell asleep, face-first, into a combine engine. So now, they have to tell you not to do such foolishness.

My favorite is obviously the side effect for the little blue pill. Sorry, but if I am a 60-something dude who hasn't been able to sport a tall boy longer than a Ramones song since the Carter administration and I get an erection that lasts more than three hours, the last thing I am doing is calling a doctor. The absolute first thing I'm doing is finding the nearest college and watching cheerleading practice.

But like I said, then there are side effects that seem a little severe for the kind of medicine you are taking, so you really have to weigh the benefits with the risk. But someone had to have experienced them at some point, or they wouldn't be on the bottle. Ahh...let's's the stool softener. Hmmm...side effects include soft stools (duh), mild abdominal discomfort, loss of appetite, kidney failure, vomiting out your spleen, death, and your left eye might fall out.

WHAT? I'm just trying to have a healthy crap! I don't want to end up a dead cyclops on dialysis!

Side effects. Gotta love 'em. I'll let you know how things turn out. In the meantime, if the next picture of me that I post has me wearing an eye patch, you'll know what I've been taking.

Reading the bottle,

- Dim.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I (Heart) Irony II

It's been far too long between installments of I (Heart) Irony, but wait no longer thanks to some dipshit outside of the post office I went to after work today.

So, I am coming out of the post office this afternoon and, on the street that the post office is on, there is a car that is absolutely BLARING music out of it. And when I say "blaring", I mean that Marlee Matlin would have been able to hear it.

I was immediately struck by the noticeable lack of thumping bass and gullet-decimating kick drum.

I was also immediately struck by the noticeable lack of Kanye West, 50 Cent, or Slayer that usually goes hand-in-hand with dipshits blaring their music outside a post office.

So, what do you think was playing?

Remember this is called, "I (Heart) Irony"...

Give up?

OK, this person was blasting "The Sound of Silence" by Simon and friggin-ass Garfunkel. Sound. Silence. Blasting.

What? Was the CD changer still loading Dan Fogelberg and Bread? I can understand blowing out your trunk speakers to Terry Jacks' "Season in the Sun" or "Henry VIII" by Herman's Hermits, but "The Sound of fucking Silence"?!

That's like putting on KISS's "I Love It Loud" and then immediately lowering the volume to 1.

I should have seen it coming though. They had a bumper sticker on the car that read "If the Prius is a-rocking, it's probably because I am wretching and sobbing uncontrollably over the thought of the existence of non-dolphin-safe tuna".

Fuck off. Priuses have long bumpers.

California dreamin',

- Dim.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Physical Fatness

I know I have written about this before here and here, but my efforts to maintain some sort of non-blobiness continues and I feel compelled to write about it yet again.

It seems like everything I eat, drink, breathe, and think about seems to find its way to my torso. And when I say torso, I mean my Robert Paulson-esque man-boobs and my starving Rwandan's engorged belly.

I'm really trying to cut back on the carbs. Not cut out. I am Italian and love my pasta, but I'm very much trying to keep that, as well as potatoes and rice, under control. We eat a lot of salad, drink a lot of water, have a lot of veggies. I happen to also drink a lot of beer. Fuck off, I get thirsty. If I gasp, will you deny me air too, you heartless bastards?

Sorry, I just ran, so I'm cranky.

Anyway, despite you all fawning all over my K-Fed pic, I've been having some self-image issues and really want to make a concerted effort to slim down some. So, after having Chinese buffet lunch a few Mondays ago (fuck off, I get hungry. If my hair frizzes, will you deny my mousse too, you assholes?), Xteen and I decided to go bowling. Because, you know, that's exercise.

I rolled pretty well and Xteen actually got a strike and we had a blast during our four strings of exertainment. I felt pretty good. I worked up a bit of a sweat and, other than a slight tingling in the tip of my right ringfinger (the point of ball-release), I felt great.

I went home and stretched out on the rug (it really ties the room together) for a little while.

When I finally got up, my finger was red and throbbing like when Wile E. Coyote hits his hand with a hammer. Oh, and muscles called my "quads" hurt like the dickens. I always thought quads were the places I hung out in while at college instead of going to class. Apparently, there are muscles there. So, for the next two days, I walked like a 90-year-old man, grimmaced when climbing even the most modest stair, and extended my right ringfinger out at all times, so it looked like I was holding an invisible Tom Collins.

So, now fast forward to this past Wednesday and I decide I am going to play company softball. I'm sufficiently healed from my finger and college hangout area injuries, so I figure what the hell?

Those unfamiliar with work-related sports might not know it is a giant boozefest. At least it is on the team I play on. So, I'm sitting there downing light beer (fuck off, I get...uhhh...oh, just forget it) and getting ready to pitch. I pitch because a) it involves the least amount of effort and b) no one else wants to because 1) the ball comes back at you at speeds exceeding 5 miles an hour and 2) the pitcher stands pretty close so, 3) you tend to get hit a lot and 4) I have pretty decent reflexes for an out of shape guy because 5) I played goalie in hockey even though A1) my right shin might tend to disagree with that because A2) it still hurts and predicts rain after I got hit there three years ago because my reflexes weren't up to speed after B1) drinking too many beers and while we are at it: B2) You sank my battleship.

So, we are playing and winning and I am feeling pretty good. Despite not playing softball for a few months, I pitched well, got a couple of hits, and basically didn't embarrass myself out there. Mission accomplished.

I wake up the next morning and my right arm is completely immobile. My pre-game "airing out of the arm" resulted in the entire arm, muscle, bone, tendons, ligaments all turning to concrete. And any effort to move it from whatever position resulted in what my limited medical knowledge referred to as "a fuckload of pain". This really sucks because now I have learn to hold the beer can in my left hand. I feel like Harrison Ford in Regarding Henry. Not good times.

Oh, and on top of it all, the muscles in my upper leg feel like they have been put through a cheese grater. From fucking SOFTBALL!!!

Anyway, I rest up from that debacle and decide to go running this morning. The horrible spate of rain we have seen in these parts, coupled with a nagging cold I have had, made it difficult for me to go bouncing up and down (with very little forward movement). But I decide to do it today. Oh, let me mention that it friggin HOT out there. You know that sketch on Saturday Night Live where a senile Harry Caray (played by Will Ferrell, whom I allegedly look like) says, "Have you ever been to the sun?" Well, yeah, I have...I ran on it today.

I strap on my armband radio and switch it from the AM sports radio talk show I usually listen to because I don't want to hear them slamming my favorite Sox pitcher because he got rocked last night. The first FM station I can find that comes in is a classic rock station that is playing Hendrix's "Foxey Lady". I can jog to Hendrix, so I leave it on and start going.

Next song is completely putrid: Aerosmith's "Living on the Edge". And like an idiot, I start running faster, thinking I can outrun its suckiness. No luck. Around this time, I notice that it is REALLY hot out and my legs are hurting from lack of conditioning and my lungs are burning from my asthma, but I persevere. Along the way I encounter people walking who look at my face, crimson, with spittle flying out of my mouth trying to breathe and a grimace on my face like I am getting a prostate exam from Edward Scissorhands. They reach for their cell phone and I see them dial 9-1...and their other finger is hovered over the 1 in case I keel over before they pass me.

I keep going and I am seriously running out of gas. I know this because I run past one of the many bunnies that populate our apartment complex. I see it and I know it sees me, because it stops what it is doing and gives me a disrespectful smirk. Now, when I am walking to the apartment from my car, bunnies scamper in fear because of the speed and stealthiness of my gait. I'm fucking JOGGING and this bunny doesn't move a muscle. In fact, I am so unthreatening to him, he stops eating grass, pleasures himself to what was undoubtedly a mental image of Jessica Rabbit (or Kate Beckinsale) and takes a looong time to finish. He then busts out a cigarette. I think it was an Eve Light 120 because he wanted a longer smoke and, upon finishing his last puff, he blew two and a half smoke rings and he then sang the entire song "Freebird", including verbalizing the dual, infinite guitar solo, and completed the insult by doing two Suduko puzzles. This was all before I could even reach him. He fell asleep in orgasmic and nicotine-inspired slumber and dreamed of carrots of unusual size and girth as I plodded right by.

So, here I sit, in a puddle of sweat, muscles burning, trying to figure out how to get fit enough to make a bunny scared of me.

But I think I'll take a break. My fried mozzarella, onion rings, and Guinness lunch is ready.

Working on it,

- Dim.

Friday, July 07, 2006

"Woe to you, Oh Earth and Sea, for the Devil sends the beast with wrath, because he knows the time is short...Let him who hath understanding reckon the website of the beast for it is a human-made website, its URL is"

- Gospel According to Dim

What the flying fuck is up with My Space? I can't believe how much it has exploded in much so that when someone does something dumb and it's reported on the news, these reporters and the police scour the perp's My Space page for clues! Before we had McGruff. Now we have friggin My Space. You've got to be kidding me.

Even moreso than blogs, My Space is a masturbatory wankfest of the highest degree. Nothing screams, "I didn't get enough attention from my parents" more than a My Space page. Look. I really don't give a shit what your favorite color is. I don't care what bands you like. I find it significantly less-than-interesting that you refer to yourself as "Escalor the Great" and quite a bit more disturbing that strangers call you that even though it's a completely retarded name. I really couldn't give a crapping ass what you look like and I couldn't be bothered to look all the virtual "friends" you have. I have friends too. Difference is, I have beers with them. I don't post their fake pictures on the internet and then go "chat" with them about how much my Dungeons and Dragons character kicks amazing amounts of troll ass.

First of all, my problem with My Space is that is complete and utter sensory overload. You go on someone's page and you are immediately greeted by scrolling or blinking text THIS BIG. Music immediately starts blaring with no warning at all and it ALWAYS sucks. Always.

There's text to the left, text in the middle, test to the right. Photos galore. Pulsating shit here, animated dancing fucking bananas there. I immediately have a seizure. I don't count having tiny brain hemmorhages among my most pleasant website-visiting experiences.

Then, you have the usual wackos that have My Space pages. Not everyone who has a My Space page is a wacko mind you, so if you don't think you are a wacko, don't get your knickers in a twist over this. But without further delay, here are the wackos:

The first is the poor, young, naive kid. This kid is just looking for someone else who still likes *NSYNC, unicorns, and Rainbow Brite. Favorite colors always include deep cuts from the Crayola box of 64, like "magenta", "periwinkle", and, of course, "turquoise". They tend to pepper their bio with a lot of LOLs. Like "Last summer, my family vacationed in San Francisco. LOL." Because we all know that vacationing in Cali induces maniacal and spontaneous laughter at oneself.

Among their friends are a bunch of similarly-named other kids like "Ashley" and "Josh". Oh, and Gary Glitter too.

Their naivite really shines through in their photo, though. They are not yet of the age to realize what real artsy photography is. That is, they don't experiment with sepia or purposefully blurry shots. Their shots are blurry because they don't know how to use the camera. And they actually face the camera and smile. In fact, it looks like they are incredibly excited to take their picture! They look like this...only they usually have braces.

Next up are the musicians and shit be damned, there are a TON of them.

They don't bother listing favorite colors because their list of their favorite bands (with their band name listed first, natch) takes up the entire left side of the page and contains musical acts that you have never heard of before. All of whom are listed as "influences", yet this person claims to have a sound all their own. When you reach the My Space page of a musician, you are rudely greeted by a sonic blast of their "original" garbage. This, without fail, sounds like shit. Crappily recorded, crappily produced, crappily played, crappily sung (or growled, if it is hardcore).

At the top of a page is a missive about how the only important thing is for them to "play what they feel" and "what is in their heart" and "to be true to the music" and "to respect the muse" while "parlaying my love of the mixolydian scale."

Yet, the sound blaring from your computer sounds like it was bleated through every orifice of Jabba the Hutt. No melody. No harmony. Lyrics suck. Music sucks. Good job, there, Rock Star.

They are usually well coiffed, yet insist on cultivating facial hair that went out of style around the same time as the last good Pearl Jam disc. Their photo is an attempt at showing how dangerous a musical force they are while still having the sensitivity to hug their instrument:

Their friends, amazingly, are all of their favorite bands that you have never heard of as well as other solo musicians with pictures of them humping their various instruments: guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, mike stands, piccolos...

Then you have the goths. There are two kinds. The non-threatening depressing goths and the punk goths who would like nothing better than to shove their jackboot up your ass.

The depressing goths list their favorites bands as:


Even though nobody listens to Bauhaus anymore.

Their favorite color is either "black" or "none".

They have a lot of piercings and have skin tone that suggests that their life's blood has been eaten by Vlad the Impaler. The music that plays on their page is Bauhaus, of course, and they themselves list as hobbies, "staring at my shoes" and "wondering why the world is a terrible place". They post really bad Morrissey-esque poetry, too.

Their friends look just like them. I mean, EXACTLY. And the depressed guy goths are out looking for chicks that look like the Suicide Girls. Come on, what fun-loving gal wouldn't want to go out with a guy who is afraid to look at a camera:

Now, the punk goths are a whole different animal and list their favorite bands as:

The Misfits

Even though no one listens to the Misfits anymore. They like leather, tattoos, and stomping on people.

Their friends all have tattooed bald heads, black eyes, unhealable physical scars (while the depressed goth's scars are all psychological) and other hematomas.

Their own picture shows that they actually want to eat the camera, and you, while they are at it:

Then, you have the guys who like Eminem, firing buckshot at squirrels, collecting non-functioning methods of transportation, particularly trucks and 4-wheelers, backyard wrestling, and drinking. They also think the Icy Hot Stuntaz weren't frontin',

Their favorite color is "huh?" and they seem to have trouble keeping steady employment.

They have no friends listed, because none of their friends can afford a computer.

They also bear a striking resemblance to Kevin Federline and like posing in unflattering attire while showing off some kind of bottle and giving "the finger":

Finally, you have the geeks. They tend to like Don Henley a lot. Despite what they say, they aren't just interested in finding other people who really like the Pythagorean Theorem. They are looking to get laid. If the girl happens to also like the Pythagorean Theorem, well...they just hit the lottery.

They also don't have any friends, because they are all too busy off playing Doom and watching Deep Space Nine to create a My Space page.

The geek's picture is pretty much what you would expect:

Which explains why he is so desperate to get laid. Maybe changing his My Space music from "Heart of the Matter" to something by Bauhaus might be a good way to start.

Do yourself a favor. Don't open a My Space page. Hell hounds are comin'...and that's the first place they're gonna look.

Oh, and special thanks to Xteen for her artistic direction, taking the photos, and, uh, applying my makeup.

- Dim.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Weird Dudes Want to Chill With Me

It's true.

I really don't know what it is. I'm really unfriendly, especially around people I don't know. It's exceptionally difficult to befriend people when you are as xenophobic and misanthropic as I am, yet I run into situations where weird dudes latch onto me and express to me the desire to "chill" in different ways.

There have been a slew of these instances and I don't like any of them, to tell you the truth. I enjoy my own very little circle of friends. I don't have any current openings nor am I interviewing, so if I go somewhere for a beer, or to a party, or to a store, I expect to be left the fuck alone. I don't invite people to engage me in conversion by rattling off such witty ice-breakers to strangers such as:

"How 'bout them Sox."

"Sick of the rain yet?"

and the ever-popular...

"Does this look infected?"

I'm really not a mean person. I just don't like talking to people I don't know. OK, I am a mean person. Big deal. Go frig.

One instance, a few years ago, my buddy Joe and I decided to go out for a few beers and we hit a few local bars. Our last stop was a place called the Busy Bee. Well known for pouring a good pint, having outstanding chicken wings, and featuring one specific roided up member of its clientele who poured his heart out to me and shed tears on my shoulder.

Look. I've been there. I know it sucks. I've even spouted off about women who broke my heart to people at a bar, but I KNEW them. I paid for their beers! This Hulkamaniac never met me before yet felt that I was a nurturing kind of guy and spilled his guts out to me. I'm not Dr. Phil. I have my own shit to deal with. That's what the bartender is for.

So, Joe and I are at the bar and this dude starts talking to us. You might ask me, "Dim, why didn't you ignore him?" Well, because the broken-hearted son of a bitch looked like this:

All of a sudden, I was more of a get-my-ass-kicked-aphobic than xenophobic, so I tried lending an ear. This guy went on and on and on and on and on and on about some chick to really stuck it to him. He really had a voice that sounded like Hulk Hogan's and spewed such rhetorical questions as "Have you ever had your heart stomped on?", "Have you ever loved a woman so much and she just totally fucked you over", "Does this look infected?", and "Who put the bomp in the bomp-sha-bomp-sha-bomp?"

Whaddaya want, the guy was friggin blotto!

Well, after a few minutes of soothing his ego by agreeing with him that this woman that he loved was a complete and total bitch (a slippery slope if there ever was one, because a drunked up WWE-wannabe can very easily turn on a dime and incredulously ask "Who are you calling a bitch? I LOVE her!!!" and the next thing you know, Dim is writhing in pain on the barroom floor having suffered a clothesline, 2 German suplexes, and a "sleeper hold"), he started tearing up.

I took a deep breath and a sip of my beer and turned around to Joe who was nowhere to be found. In fact, I think he left the bar all-together. After more ego soothing, I lyingly stated that I needed to go and started to leave. Roid Man gave me the ol' hand clasp and lovingly, in a not-knowing-his-own-strength kind of way, sort of hugged my neck, shooting a pain down my body which made me totally relate to Raymond Babbitt's "squeezed and pulled and hurt my neck in 1988" diary entry against his asshole brother Charlie.

With tears still welling in his sunken eyes, he bid be a fond farewell. I left the Busy Bee and called Joe names that would have made Andrew Dice Clay blush.

Fast forward a few years and we are at a cookout at my friend Muj's place. Muj is a pretty easy going guy, but his upstairs neighbors were considerably younger and equally irresponsible and threw loud parties featuring really horrible music at all times of the night. This not only interferes with Muj's beauty sleep (he hits the hay around the same time that Jeopardy! signs off), but also unfortunately exposes him to the latest Kid Rock, which undoubtedly sucks.

Muj had to take things up with the landlord, which didn't sit very well with the loud partiers, lovers of horrible music.

So, Muj decides to offer these idiots an olive branch and invite them to a very low-key 4th of July cookout that he was throwing. Not sure if they declined or accepted, but they were there at some point, giving Muj the business about throwing a party...basically shoving it back in his face and saying that his party (which involved wine coolers and listening to The Police) was disturbing them. Things got a little tense and then the head asshole comes up to me (I was sporting my long hair, drinking a beer) and says:

"Hey man. Want to go upstairs and burn?"


"Want to go upstairs and burn?"

Now, I'm not up on the latest reefer lingo, so I thought this degenerate was a friggin pyromaniac. Now, it's fun to sing about it, but not so cool to actually do it.

"Watch the night go up in smoke...rock on!"

Come to find out later, I guess "burn" is code for "Go upstairs and smoke marijuana cigarettes". They say "burn" in case there are any narcs at the cookout. They might like shitty music, but they sure do know how to run some interference.

Then today, Xteen and I are out running errands and we went to a CD store. She was interested in getting the latest Keane (thanks Road) and I was checking out a Johnny Cash CD I wanted as well as contemplating getting any Scorpions disc that has "No One Like You" on it. Hey...fuck off. You haven't rocked until you heard Klaus Meine scream, Schwartzenegger-esque, "Caleeeefornia!!!!!! There is no one like yeewwwwww!!!!!!" And trust me...I know how to rock.

Off in the distance, I heard some dude getting kinda loud, which automatically makes me nervous. Especially if we are in a place where it's a little out of place to be loud. I give up my quest for the Cash CD and, most regrettably, Der Scorpions, and find Xteen. Just when I do, the loud kid and a friend of his pass us by. He says "hi", presumably to us, but I ignore him, because I don't know him and, thus, he should not be saying such things to me.

But he persisted.


So, I swallowed hard and said:

"What's up man?"

He then went on this diatribe about how one of the clerks thinks he is harrassing people, blah, blah, blah.

It was about this time that I smelled a second friend of his that I couldn't see. His name is Herb. I think we went upstairs and burned him.

So, we decided to chat him up for a few minutes and basically get him out of trouble with the clerk (see? I'm not a TOTAL asshole).

He asked what we were looking for and Xteen showed him her shiny new Keane CD.

I don't think he was impressed.

She asked, "What are you looking for?"

To which he replied, "Conversation".

And then I said, "Go to a bar", which makes no fucking sense, because if this guy started talking to me in a bar, I would get the tab and just leave without saying a word.

Then, he said his favorite band was some band I have never heard before. I asked what they sounded like. His previous silent, visible friend, Teller, piped up, "they're hardcore".

Fucking great.

Whenever anyone describes their favorite band, which happens to be hardcore, it involves a growl eminating from their bowels which instantaneously changes to a bizarre operatic few syllables and closes with the disclaimer, "but they're melodic".

This conversation was no different. In fact, it was exactly the same.

Xteen, acknowledging the fact that I was starting the sweat profusely and breathe in a shallow manner, expressed to Reefer Madness and Teller that we had to go check out.

The chatty dude asked my name, which I stupidly told him and supplied his own name as "Uhhh...Dave....or Bill...or"...and he turned to Teller and asked if he was "Dave or Bill". All of a sudden I felt like the last single guy at Jake Ivory's at closing time who asks the last girl who isn't hooking up with someone what her number is. "Uhh...555-...."

What the fuck? I'm getting the runaround from a guy I don't even want to be talking to???

Yet, he closed the conversation with a compliment to me.

"Yeah, you remind of someone. I could chill with you..."

So I got that going for me.

Which is nice.

- D.

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