Saturday, November 16, 2019

You Can't Escape It

I'm not racist, but...

Frankly, I love that prefix to a sentence. I get excited about what comes next.

... this is gonna be some racist shit and I am here for it!

I was walking down the stairs when I heard her say she could thrust (or squat, or bench, or lift, or whatever) three-hundred pounds. I caught sight of her and her fanboy entourage and was duly impressed.

I wish she had thrown out the, I'm not racist, but... so I could be prepared for the racist goodness 'rhoid girl was gonna throw out next. You know, so my Mexican ass could savor the fuck out of it instead of being disappointed by it happening even here on my punk rock cruise.

All these Mexican guys stand around and watch me.

In my head, why is their race a point of emphasis, I wonder. 

They all smell (apparently, they have a malodorous tinge that is unique to their race).

Misogyny sucks. A girl is just trying to work out without being ogled. I get that.

But at least white guy misogyny has the decency to smell good? Is that the takeaway? I dunno.

I stopped at whatever landing I was on as I watched her fanboys march on with her, giggling.

I didn't hear the rest. I didn't need to.

It's the same trope I've heard in different variations all my life. Along with being lazy while simultaneously stealing jobs, Mexicans smell.

Not gonna lie. I hope she fell off the boat. And drowned.

This Mexican would laugh his ass off.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Look At the Moon, He Said

I don't really know what to say that hasn't already been said.

There was a night when the moon was full. Its light danced with the water just so. I often message my best friend all the way in California when the moon is like that. This time I didn't have to because she was right there looking at the same moon. The beautiful noise of the punk rock cruise subsided. I put my arm under hers and put my head on her shoulder. We said nothing. We just stared out at the moon.

Yeah, I cried. I don't think she caught on that I was crying. I wasn't sad. I wanted time to stop. Just for a little while. I wanted to move around in that moment. Dance in it. Laugh in it.

Lean into it.

I thought about the year I'd had and the year she'd had and was glad each of us survived. Her year is her story to tell, but I can say that I got off a lot easier than her. I wanted my best friend to just be okay.

I cried because I am happy. Happy tears are the best kind of tears. I find that the moon has a habit of bringing them out.

Friday, November 8, 2019

This life full of beautiful miscreants

We're about to get on a boat with some beautiful miscreants and a live action soundtrack.

There will be hugs. There will be dancing. There will be that surprise of seeing someone you kind of know, but not really because you only became facebook friends through mutual facebook friends but never really met in the real world. There will be run on sentences.

At the end of it all those facebook friends will become real world friends. Friends you will miss when it's time to say goodbye. Friends you will cry for when they face tragedy. Friends you will celebrate with when they welcome new life into the world. Friends. The real kind.

It started last night, like so many of these things do, at a Frank Turner concert.

So many hugs.

So many apologies.

I'm sorry I'm so sweaty.

Shut up, as I squeeze even harder.

So many of these beautiful miscreants held us up over the last year, sending so much more than thoughts and prayers as we set about rebuilding our home.

And now we celebrate.

We celebrate the friends who are still here. We celebrate the lives of those gone. We live a little bit louder because of it.

I plan on taking all the selfies with all the beautiful miscreants this weekend. Probably more than a few with each of them.

Now excuse me. I need a shower. I sweat quite a lot last night.

Titty sprinkles!

Friday, November 1, 2019

Isn't it always?

You ever just want to blow it up and start all over again?

Almost every day of my life, actually. And after this past year where it feels like life has been on hold I keep thinking it may be time to hit the reset button on this site.

I know, the seven of you have missed me, and I am not closing the site, just... hitting reset.

I think.


I don't know.

I once had it in my head that I would put together a few of the favorites, package it in a book, then raze this bitch to the ground and start again from scratch.

Rinse, lather, repeat every few years.

Then the hurricane happened. Life got put on hold. I became an ant whose hill had been stomped on by some shitty kid named Michael, obsessed with the task of rebuilding my little hill.

But that shit year is over and I HAVE INTERNET AGAIN!

So... we'll see what I do here.

Titty sprinkles, or whatever.

Libary printer.

Friday, September 27, 2019

You're so angry

I hate Donald Trump.

That's not a secret.

I've pissed people off with my vitriol. I have been asked why the hate?

I don't think I have ever done an adequate job of explaining why I hate the man.

I don't think I can. I'm in my skin. You are not. Until you are, well, you just can't.

I live in Brown skin. I have a Spanish surname. I cannot speak Spanish. I've been called wetback and worse by white people. I've been called pocho and worse by other chicanos.

It is what it is. It's my life.

I have watched people I know and love hate their Brown skin. I sometimes hated the skin I was in.

And I've grown and learned to love the skin I'm in. I also know my skin is the first thing you see when you meet me. I know that there will always be people who measure me first, last, always by my Brown skin.

So when I see the leader of the free world on television state that a man - an American (like me) - born, raised, educated in this country (like me) - is not qualified to do a job because he is of Mexican decent (like me)...

I've been told to go back where I came from three times in my life. I promise, the people telling me to go back did not mean go back to California.

So when I see the President of the United States tweet that four brown skinned women should go back where they come from...

I am in my skin and I watch Brown people caged like animals, kids left in their own mess forced to represent themselves in court.

I am in my skin watching people laugh, seeing people post memes, saying stupid shit about a father and daughter dead in the water - as though their Brown skin discounts their value as humans.

I see all of the above in my Brown skin while our president celebrates it all.

He is vile.

I am sitting here typing this in my skin... using words that fall short because the words I want, I need, do not exist.

So let's say I am angry.

Not just with him. With those responsible for him.

And heartbroken.

Titty sprinkles.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Fucking Hell I Hate That I Have To Do This

More than a few times I've written about finding the funny in dark places. I've made jokes about my wife's cancer, my dad's death, being molested.

Nothing is not funny if you look for it.

Nothing is off limits.


Because finding the funny in the darkest of places in your life is always a win against whatever trial it is that has you in that dark place.

But just because I find the funny in the midst of pain doesn't mean I want to explain the part of it that hurts.

That's the damndest thing about jokes - if you have to explain them, they stop being funny.

So when I put Lucy Liu down I didn't want to talk about it with the fucking world. I told people I knew would be affected and a few close friends.

It's my story, I can tell it to whomever the fuck I want and I owe no one else any part of it.

So I told a joke. A stupid, cringeworthy fucking pun of a shit joke. It made me laugh. It helped.

Just a fucking joke.

I shared the joke and someone else decided to tell my story.

So here we are.

Now I have people commenting and whining about my fucking joke.

So yes, Lucy Liu is dead. I had her put down after she attacked Dexter and put him in the doggy ER.

No, I do not have a single fuck to give about your opinion on the matter regarding my options of rehoming her, finding a no death shelter, blah, blah, fucking blah.

She damn near killed a member of my family. She is lucky I did not slit her fucking throat myself.

That said, I bawled my fucking eyes out at animal control.

She was my favorite dog in a lifetime of dog ownership.

She had one fucking job: DO NOT HURT DEXTER.

Five fucking times she did.

The last time snap a bone clean in half and put more holes in him than Bonnie and Clyde's car.

So this fucking thing has sucked and I had no desire to blast it on social media.

The joke was fucking perfect. It was horrible. It made you cringe, then left you relieved. It got out my frustration.

Remember boys and girls, it is never your place to tell anyone else's story.


God I am fucking annoyed.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Red Puffy Jacket

Being back home I find my brain taking me back to little moments on our recent trip. TGB's retirement tour 2019. The boy on a field trip with his class who held his hand out for a proper handshake, everyone walking by until I came across him and looked him in the eye, took his small hand and shook. He smiled, met my eyes and, nodded. His face glistened with little boy sweat, his cheeks rosy from the sun, his black hair slightly disheveled on purpose.

The busker in Marseilles with his dog who would sing along. God, we loved that fucking dog.

The food. Jesus fuck, the food. The Ibiza chorizo, the Venetian tiramisu, the cheese. So. Much. Cheese. 

But mostly, I spend a lot of time thinking about a girl I saw on the beach that day in Spain.

On the boat portion of the trip we had a habit of getting off at most ports, wandering, parking ourselves at a sidewalk cafe and just being. We spent a lot of days in different ports of Spain. On this particular day we were in Malaga. We walked a mile or two to get away from the boat crowd and found ourselves in a little cafe. Alone.

I don't remember our breakfast. I do remember coffee, always coffee. I remember a handsome young server in a blue shirt.

And I will never forget a little girl.

As we sat facing the Alboran Sea, she came into view from the west, ever so slowly. Her father walked with her, his hands behind his back in that very European sort of way. He talked and she seemed not to listen. Her purpose, not clear to me at first, seemed to occupy the whole of her. In her right hand, attached to her forearm up to her elbow, was a crutch. As she turned ever so slightly in my direction I could see that the right side of her face was covered in a bandage, in part, securing something attached to her nose. She had the beginnings of a growth of hair just starting to peak out of the top of her head.

She wore a big, red, puffy jacket that seemed to swallow the whole of her.

I was entranced. I watched as she stopped every so often... to catch her breath? Her father would lean down to check on her and each time she would wave him off.

Then I saw where she was going. The beach had an assortment of equipment for exercise and for fun. She was headed towards the zipline. It wasn't particularly tall, maybe ten feet off the ground from its base. It didn't go particularly far, maybe twenty yards.

As she approached, her father put his hand on her back and said something to which she simply nodded. He walked to the end of the zipline and retrieved the seat.

She approached the ramp and laid her crutch down. I couldn't look away, but grabbing my camera seemed grotesque to me. I felt I would be stealing something precious that wasn't mine. 

So I watched as she tried to walk, then crawl up the ramp. Her father, slowly bringing the seat over to her. It took a minute or two where it would take anyone else but seconds to get to the top. In that minute or two I saw the kind of courage and determination that is unique to survivors of the worst in this life.

Whatever her affliction, it did not reach her soul. It did not defeat her.

When she got to the top she took some time to catch her breath, sit on the rope, adjust whatever it was that her red puffy jacket hid, and reassure her father that she was okay. When he seemed as sure as a father could be, he picked up her crutch then he walked back to the end from whence he came, and waited.

That little girl launched herself. Her expression never changed. There was no joyous shouts, no giggles, no big smiles. She got to her father, got off the seat, took her crutch and, walked back to the other side and did it again.

Same slow crawl up, same adjustments, same deep breaths. And she was off once again.

Twice she rode the zipline. Then it was time to go. This time her father's hand was on her shoulder. Just in case.

Maybe she did it because fuck you, I'm still a kid and you are not taking that from me. Or maybe she just likes ziplines.

But I know that I have been scared since then. And I know that I think about that kid's courage and I realize how lucky I am and, maybe, how silly I am being. Not that my fears are frivolous, just that, maybe I can be as brave as a little girl in a red puffy jacket.

I should at least try. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

I think music is in good hands

I got sick on a boat. Again. I blame sick people going out in public when they should have stayed home.

There is a special hell for people like that. One that burns a few degrees hotter than regular hell.

Suffice to say (suffice it is NOT a fucking thing, stop it you sound silly) I spent over half our cruise in bed and not in a fun way.

Now that I am a captain, you should buy me a boat. We can start a charter business. You can be the silent partner and I can drive. You're welcome for the sound investment advice.

A stupid person posted a link to one of those conspiracy theory sites yesterday that states climate change is crap. All the sited links went back to other articles on the same site. I found myself hoping he has children so they can inherit the broken world their daddy believes isn't broken.

Then I realized, my god, I am a terrible human being for thinking that way.

Then I sipped my coffee perfectly content with this self-knowledge.

I wrote a thing a few weeks back and I got a message from a dear friend telling me that I hurt them with my words.

I considered what I wrote, considered my friend's point of view and apologized. Not one of those, I'm sorry you took offense kind of shit apologies either. It was a legit, I hurt you, I fucked up, I am sorry apologies.

I tell you this to remind you that I am a better person than you even when I fuck up.

I tell myself that because I fuck up a lot more often than not and it keeps me from hating myself.

Have a day.

Postscript - I had no idea who H.E.R. was before the Grammy Awards. TGB tried telling me about her, but I was sick and couldn't hear out of that ear. Now? I am all in. This performance made me a fan.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

A bit of a rant on politics and that time Jason Momoa made me cry

So... where were we?

Our president is still a racist pile of shit, but at least he has a cool new nickname.

President Motherfucker.

He announces we are pulling out of Syria and his daddy says that's a great start, but what about Afghanistan? and seemingly twenty minutes later Motherfucker-in-Chief announces we're getting out of there as well.

Now end the shutdown you motherfucking shit gibbon.

We got a new Governor. A republican. In Florida. I am as surprised by that as you are.

DeSantis has actually surprised a lot of people in a short time. Science is like an actual thing to his administration. To that end he is going after the sugar companies to try to save our water from their dumping and the government officials that enabled them. So, fuck yeah!

Meanwhile, Rick Scotts, the political dogshit stuck on your shoe whose smell follows you everywhere, is now our Senator.

Dear Democrats, stop shitting on AOC. Stop telling her that personality is not important. In my lifetime, you dumbasses lost three elections to two very beatable candidates (Bush II & President Motherfucker) because your alternatives to them all had the personality of fucking driftwood. And if you think personality doesn't matter your dumbasses did not pay attention to the last presidential election. You don't have to agree with her on every policy issue - hell, I don't - but for fuck sake, she is a refreshing change from so many crotchety, this is the way we've always done it, uninspiring old fucks like most of you in Congress.

Plus, she gets people engaged in the process! We NEED more of that shit!

Finally, I saw Aquaman. I like Jason Momoa. I think he has a cool little niche. But I was caught off guard by one scene where he calls his dad pops. Suddenly, I was in that moment when I got that call and I lost it for a bit. I let myself feel it, wiped my eyes, and carried on. It's been almost twelve years. I suspect it will creep up on me from time to time until I die. My point is simple, grief is not something to get over. It's a thing to carry and, sometimes, it has to come out and walk a bit with you. Let it. No matter how long it's been. You're not weird for it, you're not broken, you're not stupid.

You're human.

Let yourself be.

Have a day.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Six Years

I might finally have enough internet to get back to this regularly.

I have a lot of thoughts, but today I am fixated on the one thing: sobriety. Six years now.

But any alcoholic will tell you that it isn't one lump sum, it's a string of single days, hours, moments, even seconds that just happen to coalesce into a single unit of measure.

There was a moment a few months after day one when I walked onto a boat and was overcome with anxiety, salivating like a madman for a drink. My amazing wife stopped in the middle of this big ship and, knowing only that AA is something to do with a higher power, offered to pray with me if I needed it.

The courage it took to fight for my sobriety with me in that moment without hesitation. That is some badass shit.

I We made it through that moment.

I was driving to Cleveland from Chicago via a stop in Indiana to replace a bandwagon I had busted up. The entire drive I was white knuckling it, cranking Jason Isbell to repeat the mantras that might keep me clean for the day.

When I got to Cleveland I wanted to get to a bar and get blackout drunk.

My friends Todd and Keith were waiting upon our arrival.

I'm a hugger. A good one I have been told. But when I hugged Todd I was less hugging and more holding on for dear life. He didn't know then that he was holding me up when I wanted so very badly to collapse.

My friend Katie K, my best friend Kris, my brother Anthony, have all held me up when I thought I might otherwise fall; they were strong for me when I couldn't find the strength within myself.

I'm forgetting more than I remember, but I feel it is not hyperbole to say that you have probably held me up once or twice.

A stupid meme.

A card.

A Christmas ornament.

Little things that remind me of the beauty I would miss if I ever picked up again.

Don't tell TGB, but, the best of all of that is when I wake up and she's sleeping and I get to just look at her face. That fucking face. That's when I thank god for one more day sober. One more day alive. One more day with this person.

Have a day.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

I Guess I Was Off By One Day

Yesterday I posted that it was the four year anniversary of us closing on Chez Martinez - our home in Mexico Beach. Facebook just reminded me that today is the anniversary.

Four years ago our home was a beautiful place in a beautiful town.

Today is a wet mess in need of a new roof and some new walls.

Our town is much, much worse off.

My friend asked me to write an essay for his book detailing how I am handling the stress. I've written thousands of words and it always comes back to one simple sentence: I am faking it.

Not in a fake it til you make it sort of way. No. I am faking it because the alternative is to crumble.

Sometimes I crumble anyway.

And I find myself angry a lot more. Contractors, the city, insurance agencies... sometimes it feels like they're all conspiring to make recovery as difficult as possible. I may know better logically, but when you are taking three steps back for every step forward logic seems like a fickle bitch.

Although, between you and me, the city is being a bit of a twat. They sent out letters, with no documented proof, stating that our home was more than 50% damaged by the hurricane (it wasn't) and now I have to jump through hoops to disprove what they - wait for it - haven't actually sent proof of.

Don't pity me. I knew going into this that there was going to be fights. I may have been naive in expecting the city to be more of an ally than adversary, but here we are.

Like everyday over the last couple of months I will dust myself off, remember that I am a badass, and start over.

When it happens - and it will - that it all starts to feel a bit too much, I will lean into my wife, squeeze my dog, scream a few expletives, cry, and then get on with it.

Four years ago today we closed on our dream home.

Nothing is going to steal that away from us.

Have a day.