I remember reading a short story in hight school english. For some reason i'm thinking it was in either andy rooney's book or a chapter in one of the chicken soup for the soul books... If it sounds familiar, please let me know so I can update this.
The story sort of went like this. A middle aged guy who was thought it would be really cool if our culture had a right of passage tradition. Something Similar to the Aboriginies' walkabout or some type of tribal scarification that may or may not take place in some jungle where the participants may or may not have bones sticking through their lip.
Anyway, his point was he wished he had to go through a right of passage. He had it all planned out. The elders would send him into the woods alone. He would not be allowed to return until he completed one very important task. A task that was completed by his father, his father's father, even his creepy uncle Tony. The ritual was old and revered by all.
It was simple. He would be sent into the woods on a nice weekend with plenty of food, water, supplies, and a stick. His task? Sit in the woods and polish the stick. That's it. He'd shine the stick. And, after a night or two, when he emerged from the woods everyone would celebrate the polished stick. Old women would admire it. Young women would swoon and the young men of the area would hoist him in the air and carry him around like he just scored the winning goal at the world cup.
Now, I'm sure there is more to the story and it has some greater meaning... I was in high school and was forced to read the story probably because we had a substitute teacher and there wasn't anything good to do.. Who knows. I do remember thinking the story was pointless and trivial... and lame. I mean, who would _want_ a right of passage ritual to be so weak. If you're going to do something that is meaningful, why not put yourself out there a bit. Do something useful, or cool, or dangerous... What a pussy.
Today I spent the day mowing, trimming, weeding, picking up dog poop. In fact, I've spent the better part of the last two years working on my homes. They started out in pretty good shape. The roofs didn't leak, heating and ac were fine, I could sleep, eat, poop with no problems. But, for some reason there was always something to do. Let's landscape the front yard. Let's make the back yard look like the san diego zoo. Let's paint the living room. There's a bare spot in the grass. ooh, i don't like that color in the living room any more, let's change it.
I haven't just been working on the house. Nope, we've been buying furniture, too. Decorating, watching shows about decorating, installing bamboo, tastefully appointing every room with the trendiest of items. It's been fun. It's been expensive. I work very hard during the day and the occasional late night in a Business Casual cubicle. I mean, we have to have extra money for the little things. The house is beautiful.
Today, as I'm picking up the poop of our two uber stylish dachunds I think to myself, Why does it have to be so beautiful? I mean, i like to go to the art museum as much as the next guy, but why must we spend so much time making our domain so perfect? It's a lot of work. So much I've noticed I don't have friends anymore. It doesn't matter, I wouldn't have time for them if I did.
I didn't have much time to ponder. There was lots to do. Cleaning, mopping, dusting, and I _have_ to finish sealing the italian tile. After all, We have house guests this weekend.
After four days of frantic preparation, they walk in the door. Ooooh, ahhh, I love what you've done here, and that marble is beautiful, where did you get that painting?
Behold! My shiny stick.
“This is utter bullshit," she said.
“You mean cow udders, or, maybe figuratively?" I said.
“Fuck you. That doesn't even make sense."
“Right," I said, “sorry."
She looked me up and down and smiled. It was always like this - wound tight and a little drunk. a cloudy forecast that never comes to fruition hiding in the prediction of thunder and lightning with some [unreadable] of high winds to clear the air or blow everything to bits. This idea of going on w/o a plan or [illegible] a glimmer of an idea puts us on edge. That, and the mochas. We'll always [turn page] have the mochas. Hot. Frozen. 140° low-fat, no whip. All fat, extra whip. whatever Low Cal. Wilford Brimley's night terror. We had them all and wanted more. Always hiding in our poor grammar, oversized headphones & loud devices with nothing to say, of significance, of course, back pedaling through our days, doing well by not really doing, but Hiding. Hiding was something we were good at. We loved that feeling of nearly getting caught but not being seen. The idea that you can be there. Be Right There for all the world to see but still be invisible. We were nothing special. Tall but not pretty. Thin but not toned, not strangely beautiful, but we were there, Always. Taking it in with little comment except within ourselves. Long-winded commentaries on the world's actors and bullshit around us. I latched onto her phrase, Udder Bullshit. What does that really mean? Bulls don't have udders. I've never seen a bull Hell, how would I even know? I cursive I have never seen a bull up close, let alone inspected its underside. For all I know, they do have udders, and Hell this shat bay maybe they shit out of them, maybe that's where we get our mocha. It's not cocoa in espresso. It doesn't come from a chocolate cow. It is just udder bullshit. You know what? I'll take it… That extra shot of expresso, please. Yes, I said expresso. One of the many things I get wrong just to annoy her. Ranking Neat Things That I Like is not up top of my list of Neat Things That I Like, but annoying her is right there near the top. Her pursed lips. The upskir wrinkle between her brow. The way she pulls and twists her hair. It is precious and beautiful, but not anything like her crying. God, I love that. Especially when it is my fault. (#1)
I was thinking today - I have a fancy phone, internet, messaging, all that. I [illegible] feel lost without it; cut-off from everything I deem important like knowing the time. Which is interesting and trite because there are, at this very moment (both as i write and years down the later as you read) there are a good # of people who have problems. Real problems & who are, not, or maybe by choice, so cut-off that they don't know what day it is, let alone time. Right now there is a baby being born to a mother who has a hell of a lot more to worry about than the date. That baby will never [turn page] have a birthday. And, will likely have enough Real problems that the lack of a birthday will not be much of a concern. And, here I am, worried if my phone has enough juice to last until I get home.
It did, even though I was later than usual. After plugging it in, I looked through the sliding glass door to the backyard. She was sitting, head thrown back, facing west[photo]. Her long hair up and messy. I waved. She shrugged and squinted. Barefoot with legs crossed at the calf. Her toes tapping to whatever was playing. Faded black sharpie on the bottom of her dirty left foot -
I am the boy
who can enjoy
The pool hadn't been touched since the day they found her mother at the bottom of it. The water was low with three years of tannic leaves at the bottom, strains of algae growing up the side and streaks of rust running off the ladder. The grass was dead or dying and choked with weeds and gumballs dropped by the American Sweetgum trees (liquidambar styraciflua) that dominated the subdivision.
“What's going on with you?" She asked as I stepped outside.
“I don't know what we accomplished, but I laughed so hard I fell down." I said, “So, there's that, I guess."
we are: tall thin not beautiful we are introverted we consume we think we produce nothing we are invisible
Evlyn (eavie) Rhehn
pretty, young women who go against the system in their own way. but what would matt's girlfriend, jen, say?
Daisy (the weenur dog) and I were watching the History Channel and having some breakfast this morning. Some show about fighter jets and famous dog fights was on. I love that shit. At one point, the narrator said, "Modern weapon systems can move from missiles to guns with a flip of a switch."
Daisy looks at me and says, "Yeah, I've been in a lot of dog fights. Check this out."
She jumps off the couch, trots to the middle of the room and clears her throat.
"GOOSE! I'm switching to my GUNS!"
She flexes her tiny little biceps and starts bobbing and weaving around the living room like a cracked out Mike Tyson.
"What's that sound? You hear it? It's a funny squeaky sound."
- Aunt Bethany Griswold 1908-1998
Seriously, what is that squeeky sound on some versions of "Guilty" by Gravity Kills?
Spring, 1995. I'm driving down the road in my second 924 (see Porsches ) when "Guilty" comes on the radio. It was brand new then (only released on Point Essential Vol. 1) so I turn it up and commence rocking.
That's when I hear it... The squeak. I start beating on the dashboard because it sounded just like my car's squeaky blower motor. Trick is, that was in my old car (again, see Porsches ) The new car didn't have any problems.
I'm like, "wtf? is this blower screwed up, too?" I turn the radio down. No squeak. Turn radio up, "squeak... squeak. squeak squeak... squeak."
HA! It's on the song. Those clever guys put a random squeak in to be cool.
Every time I heard the song from there on out I was completely distracted by the squeak. I was really glad to hear they left it out of the album version...
I get in my car and "Guilty" was on the radio. I turn it up to see which version they're playing.
Sure 'nuff. The squeak is there. It's the Point Essential Vol. 1 version. Good times.
Here's my question. What the fuck is that squeak? It's so bad and so random it has to be a mistake. Yet, it is so clear and out there it had to come from a good mic... Kind of like the singer was sitting on a squeaky chair while recording his tracks. But, it can't be that. The sound is distinct, panned right down the center, and doesn't appear to have any effects. So, maybe it was something picked up by the drum overheads? I might be imagining it, but the sound seems to go away when the real drums drop out. Squeaky drum throne that disappears when the gates close?
If you happen to be in Gravity Kills or were around during the first recording, please let me know via the contact page. thanks.
Turns out I'm good friends with someone who works with one of the Gravity Kills guys. He said:
"I talked to XXXXX about the squeak. It was a kick pedal. They didn't notice it until after the whole thing was mastered so there wasn't much they could do. The re-recorded it minus the squeak for their album.