December 31, 2008

I'm Going To Disneyland!

And wrecking some shit....because I can.

Yeah, this is old stuff and has been done before, but damnit, I think it still has flair. Especially with my fine name attached to it.

Special thanks to Cuppy for sending this my way.

December 20, 2008

One Year Anniversary of TBMS

Boogie doesn't do weekends. Never has, and barring some huge degree of profit from writing this shit, probably never will. However, I decided to "come into the office" today, because today happens to be a little bit special.

Today marks the one year anniversary of The Boogie Man Speaks. That's right, one year ago today, this humble little page went online and began the slow gradual destruction of the internet as we know it today.

Seriously, who would have ever thought that a failed musician/raving psychotic would have so much to say? Not me, that's for sure. What started as a background page for the occasional goofy thought has morphed into a regularly updated, issue themed...... something. Not quite sure what it is, but it's definitely something.

Clearly, I have no signs of stopping. Even duct taped to a water heater in a basement, I don't know how to shut up. So, if you're actually excited to know that more of this sort of thing is going to be happening, (and if you are, what the hell is wrong with you?) then your prayers have been answered. They may even be expanded upon at some point.

What does the future hold? At this point in the game, it's safe to say that the sky is indeed the limit. Chances are good that people will continue to be dumb, celebrities will continue to be childish, music that sells will still suck, and the government will continue to jerk people off. Having this arsenal at my disposal means I can pretty much do this forever.

Still, I am on the hunt for innovation. Clearly there are many more ways to be snarky and cynical. And it is my job to exploit the living hell out of them.

One thing that has seriously crossed my noodle is a podcast. I mean hell, one of my best attributes is the deep, sex-inducing voice I happen to be stuck with, so I might as well use it. While I have finalized nothing, the basic idea I'm rolling with is to bring up regular news, bitching, and the occasional song from artists I dig upon, just to fill up space. I'd be down for doing readings of any post I've thrown up here, depending on interest. Interviews would, of course be very cool, but there are no guarantees that anyone would actually talk with a beast like me. So, we won't get our hopes up there. There's also the possibility of doing a few skits and/or segments, like I used to do over at Cinema Sound Lounge, or with my regular "Talks With Boogie Man" series on the BGO sites that have become so popular. But again, I haven't settled on anything. It's all just speculation at this point. And it's speculation that I'm gonna leave in your hands.

So tell me loyal readers, what do you think? Would you even be remotely interested in an audio version of your favorite freak? Or is that just pushing the comfort level too much? I've thrown one of them nifty Blogger makeshift polls in the sidebar, so vote at your discretion. Let me know if it is, or isn't, worth the time.

Well, that's that. Thanks to you chosen few who keep coming back to this deathtrap and giving ol 'Boogie a read. Now, I don't know about you, but I've got an anniversary on my hands here. I should probably go make something special out of it. Some cake, flatulence, hooch, gratuitous violence.......should be fun.

December 19, 2008

Rambling From Olive Garden

I am currently typing this in a highly inebriated state in the southwest corner if the local Olive Garden. Outside, a fair strong snow falls across my fair bastard state, creating the perennial "White Christmas." The booze is slowly insuring that it's a happy one. I am in a desperate attempt to try and keep my neck still, because anytime the muscles flex, my brain functions go haywire. I'm fighting with every weakened fiber of my being to try and maintain some degree of composure here. People in this "America's excuse for Italian" are routinely squeezed into the building like sardines. And on a holiday during lunchtime, it only makes this fact more apparent. Being this close to perfectly sensible strangers makes one's descent into drunkenness much harder to disguise. Of course, since we were the only two lunatics in this place to order pomegranate flavored margaritas at one in the afternoon, we had already started this little trip into madness at
a disadvantage. Any second now, these people are going to see the obvious signs, the gradual slur of the voice, the glazed over staring into space, the desperate need to point aimlessly while talking, and when they do, all hell will break loose.

I'm glancing around nervously, trying to get a feel of the room. Trying to figure out which of these overpriced furry boot wearing white collars is going to rush me first. This is Olive Garden for fucks sake, during lunch time no less. Seating in here at this time is quite the hot ticket. Many folks were being turned away with hour long waits in uncomfortable waiting rooms, just to have a taste of safe elegance. There's no limit what they could have done just to get my seat. It matters not that I paid for soup, breadsticks, and stucco atmospherics just like everyone else. This is the place to be.

Soup's good today. Of course, the soup is always good. Breadsticks too. This is truly miracle bread we're dealing with. Always hot and perfect. We are dealing guaranteed satisfaction here. The fact is, walk into any Olive Garden, and you'll be eating pretty much the same degree of well. This is the stuff people eat when they want to feel like they're eating gourmet, but not take any actual risks. Independent resteraunts try new things with varied ingredients, done in different fashions. It can be touch or go for any person who wants to appear wealthy, since they may pay top dollar and look reputable for food that tastes funny. Not the O.G. There's an Olive Guarden in just about every city nowadays. They're not gonna risk the chain by serving crap. I vaguely remeber that this is what McDonalds used to be before everyone realized they were trying to kill us.

The vibe in Olive Garden is definitely changing. Men and women with dirt on their clothes and the sweat of hard work occupy much of this space. Tattoed and fuzzy faced patrons fill the seats to my north, looking nothing like the happy faced middle-classmen in all those commercials. Olive Garden's changed man. What used to be the height of commercialized snobbery has slowly been taken over by the everyman. Normally, I consider these my people. Brothers in arms with strong alliances. But I am in no condition to wage war today. I'm not even sure I can stand up at this point.

Frank Sinatra's voice keeps coming over the speakers.....or at least I think it does. After all, it's not like I haven't channelled Ol' Blue Eyes in altered states before. The Chairman and I are old friends when it comes to staggering craziness. Something I find myself in a lot of. The waitress is looking at us funny now. it's clear we're past any capacity for appearing rational. I let my thoughts drift to the snow falling outside. Damn, it's coming down. But, 'tis the season I suppose. As I suckle on my cheap chocolate after dinner mints that are apparently wishing me a "Happy Holidays," one thought crosses my mind:

How in the hell am I going to get home?

December 17, 2008

Dear Utah Board Of Education: WTF?

The state of Utah's Board of Education has unanimously decided to put $20 million in merit pay for Utah teachers, on hold. Citing economic downturn, the teachers would be denied merit pay for the last year, money that was supposed to be distributed on December 1st. One board member mentioned her concerns that the school districts and teachers will be upset if they don't get the bonus.

Gee, you think?

For those of you who don't live in my fair bastard state, let me inform you of something I've come to know: Teachers in Utah are treated like one-eyed stepchildren by local government. Walking into the education field here in Utah is a complete and total act of love, because you are not getting compensated for shit. Pay levels are abysmal, benefits packages are minute, and as for public appreciation? Well let's face it, teachers don't get appreciated in any state.

And our legislature has made it near impossible for any educator to get any degree of fair compensation. I have routinely made bigger paychecks than most teachers, who happen to possess a Bachelor's, a Master's, and several years of experience. However, the legislature has had no problem forking out thousands of buckaroos to build new school buildings. Not that there were anything wrong with the old facilities, but the new buildings look so much cooler, or something to that effect.

And now, after a year of very hard work, they don't even get a bonus.

Explain this logic to me people. They are, for the most part, government employees. They need special licenses and years of study just to do what they do. Day in and day out, they do a very difficult job for very little pay. But somehow, the economic downturn means that money should have gone justifiably, to the teachers, is being saved?

Saved for what? Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't having teachers in the classroom what makes a school? Oh sure, you can have a nice building, maybe even a playground in back. Hell, you can have school books, but it's not technically a school until there is someone in every classroom doing actual teaching. You can't have a restaurant without cooks, so how are you going to have a school without teachers? So, if they're not getting compensated, then what is this money going to exactly?

More prepackaged food items that are slowly converting our children into corn syrup junkies? Maintenance on outdated school buses that are falling apart at the seams? Shinier and prettier buildings that have no effect on what a child learns? Tell me oh great Board of Education, because I am damned curious.

Hitler's Birthday

Stumbled across this on the interweb, and felt compelled to say a few things.

So, here's the scoop: Heath and Deborah Campbell, a couple from New Jersey, saw fit to name their little boy Adolf Hitler Campbell who just turned three this week. And apparently, in the process of trying to order a birthday cake for their little son through a local baker, were flat out denied. The bakers refused to put the child's name on the cake, citing that they, "reserve the right to refuse printing anything on a cake they deem inappropriate."

Both parents are of course, outraged, commenting that the toddler has friends who are black. Heath was reported to have said, "If we’re so racist, then why would I have them come into my home?"

These are the facts, now here's my take on the matter:


You've got people who willingly, and without contrived force, name their child after one of the most infamous people in history, and then expect the world to be cool about it? I don't care what side of the fence you sit on, you can't argue that Adolf Hitler (the first one) killed a whole lot of people. That's not rumor or perspective, that's good old fashioned fact. And it's a pretty safe bet that the world at large feels a mite uncomfortable with ol' Adolf (again, the first one.) The man built up a hell of a bad reputation after all. Now you've got some crazy family who sees no problem in naming their child after the man, and then is surprised when people get squeamish? Ye gods, how does that work?

And let's face it, naming their child after Hitler was a choice. It's not like the kids last name was Hitler, and that the family was stuck with the stigma of having a name that transcended time. Kid's last name is Campbell. Lots of names could be applied to Campbell and still not carry any bad history with it. No, the fact is that this family CHOSE to name their son Adolf Hitler Campbell. It means that after lil' Adolf (the second one) was born, the two parents sat down, thought long and hard, and under no duress or pressure from anyone, decided to name their child this.

And bear in mind Adolf isn't the lone child in this equation. He has two younger sisters named Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie (which may be a tribute to Heinrich Himmler) and JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell. Apparently, the family is trying to build a little theme here.

So, it's pretty darn clear that I have a different personal politic than the Campbells. I'm pretty sure that if I were to sit down and talk with these folks, I wouldn't be much of a fan of who they are or what they believe. But, I'm not going to argue their right to do what they're doing. Mr. and Mrs Campbell, if you really wanna name your kid Adolf Hitler, well that is your right and I cannot stop you.


Did you really think that the world at large wouldn't freak out by this? That the idea of willfully naming children after murderers and extremists wouldn't go unnoticed? In what part of your brain did you really figure that a cake baking company would be okay with this? Hell, according to the article, you tried this very same thing two years ago. Apparently, they weren't willing to draw swastikas on a cake for some family function of yours. You'd figure by this point in the game, you'd take the hint. They're not down with your sense of style, or your ironic means of naming children.

And if I were you, Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, I'd start getting used to this. If you think getting a goddamn cake is hard, imagine the cold shock and discomfort of this kid going to school. You don't think there aren't going to be a few black eyes? Or how about when he's old enough to get a job? You think those employers are really gonna pounce on a kid named after Adolf Hitler? You have just made this poor kid's life real goddamn hard. And I'm not even sure why. Either you are real impressed and proud with Adolf Hitler's "achievements" or you just wanted to shock the world with your knowledge of sick history. Regardless, it's a little fucked up to use your kids as your own personal social statement.

I could go on for great lengths on this tangent, but I'm not going to. Instead, I'm going to offer one solid suggestion to help smooth the friction:

Go to the fucking store, buy a fucking cookbook, and learn how to bake your own fucking cakes!

December 15, 2008

Tom Cruise Apologizes For Being A Douche

Well, it took a few years, and the development of a reputation as a mister crazy pants, but Tom Cruise has finally acknowledged that he may have overreacted during his 2005 interview with Matt Lauer. While doing the rounds for his latest pile of steaming crap "Valkyrie," Cruise admitted that he was regretful of his behavior during that interview, where a confrontation erupted between Cruise and Lauer over Brook Shield's use of antidpressants for post-partum depression. Cruise believes he appears arrogant and that "he did not communicate it in the way he wanted to communicate it."

Well shiver me timbers, I never thought I'd see the day. Granted, this isn't really much of an apology, but it's more than I ever expected to see. A stubborn idiot with too much glory tied to his name, admitting to the world that he may not have handled a situation well. And all it took was a few years, and the constant disgust and mocking from the world at large to make him see the light.

Now if only we could get these sorts of feel goods from the government, well then life would be pretty darn sweet my friends.

Hardcore Eats

I'm a fan of the hardcore. Those tough and dedicated individuals who bust serious ass at the threat of life and limb to do what they do. I never cease to be impressed by these near-mystical, stone faced people who are committed to their craft and tend to it unflinching. This is my personal notion of superhuman. You can have your big breasted, steroid freaks who stand around in spandex and baby oil if you like, I'll stick to the heavily calloused, sleepless masses who do their thing rough, gritty, and well.

I drove into the heart of downtown SLC this past weekend, while on a mission for high-grade comfort food. It had been a long day, and long days always call for decadent flavorings that remind one of home. It was around 25 degrees outside, and a substantial amount of snow had just graced my fair bastard city. This was, for all intensive purposes, a miserable fucking day. The kind of day where mortals lock themselves up in their houses, homes, apartments, and scullery basements and spend their day watching bad TV and eating easily accessible crap. And I don't fault them for it. When I stepped outside and found snow on my street, snow on my vehicle, and the bite of cold making my cheeks hurt, suddenly eating potato chips and watching Sex In The City reruns didn't seem like such a bad idea. And it took and extreme amount of effort and dedication just to get me out the door, and into a cold truck just to get some decent vittles. Still, I prevailed. And after five minutes of waiting for things to warm up enough in the vehicle, I was happy to be doing it.

And as I pulled off the interstate and into the heart of downtown SLC, I saw some of the roughest and toughest people I have ever seen in my life. Through the glaze of unmelted ice on a slightly foggy windshield, there they were. Their shops set up in the parking lot of a department store, the traces of steam coming off their carts as they stood in bitter fucking cold making tacos for seventy five cents a pop. On one of the coldest days of the year, the people manning the taco stands were standing there, stoic as ever, flipping corn tortillas and chopping vegetables.

Now I'm a big fan of my local taco stands. Some of the best food I've ever stuffed into my face has come from these arenas of culinary utopia. This is food done simple, and done right. And while the taco stands have had many detractors over the years, dropping nonsense of everything from lack of cleanliness to secretly serving you dog, I for one could die a happy man having nothing but a plate of street tacos before I go into the light.

The taco stand experience is not just about the excellent food, but also the people making it. Every stand I've been to has always had very warm and welcoming individuals, who have their own little stockpile of regular visitors coming for their own private taste of perfection. A good taco stand brings in people from a variety of races, creeds, and classes to sample the wares. It makes for a very social experience. But, for eyes like mine, looking past the succulence and courtesy, reveals a layer of true grit unheard of.

Taco stand cooks always seem to have grizzled, weather-beaten hands, awash with multitudes of cuts, scrapes, and burns. These hands have been serving tacos for so long, that they can take your order, plate, and serve you in under a minute flat. All without their eyes leaving the grill. The faces, although kind and friendly, have a worn quality to them. As though they've been tired for so long, they don't even feel it anymore. And I can imagine that exhaustion is a requisite for the job. Most taco stands keep near ridiculous hours. Ranging anywhere from 7am to midnight and beyond. All the while, searing the same cuts of meat over high heat while standing on hard concrete. There should be no question in anyone's mind that these people can outlast any of us in an endurance match.

And apparently, they can withstand sub 30 degree weather as well.

On a day when most normal rational mortals barricade themselves in their homes underneath blankets and a thin veil of burnt propane, these people were out there. Standing in bitter cold in someone else's parking lot. Parking lots with no trees, no way to retain heat, and no way to keep the cold breeze from sneaking into your nether regions and playing with your unmentionables. And they weren't there in hefty parkas and thick coats, oh no. From the road, you can see them in the white, stained uniform of a cook. No gloves and no hats either. They have the same dedicated look and drive to them on this cold ass day that they would on any other. And I have no doubt that when I got home, and slapped on warm snuggly comfort clothes and cranked up the heat, they were still out there selling tacos.

It doesn't get much tougher than this people.

December 11, 2008

Burger King Feeds The World

Burger King has launched a multi-million dollar ad campaign that has brought their signature burger, The Whopper, into the hands of people who have never had the opportunity to try one. The company is traveling to all corners of the world, stopping in foreign lands and third world nations, bringing the sandwich to "Whopper Virgins" to perform a taste test between the Whopper and McDonald's Big Mac, in an effort to prove that the Whopper is a superior burger.

Let me see if I have the mentality right here. You're going to go to foreign lands, where people who don't make a lot of money and basically survive on subsistence and agriculture, and feed them Whoppers? People who pretty much live off of things like rice, potatoes, and other starches, you're going to stick a ridiculously fatty, over processed and preserved piece of once-meat in their hands? And all because you want to prove to someone that your burger tastes a little better?

How fucking ridiculous can you get?

You do realize, that despite working hard in farm fields and hunting/gathering, these people are probably ten times healthier than us right? Every day of their lives, they spend eating natural ingredients that haven't been dipped in high quantities of burning peanut oil, then stuck in a freezer for two years. Food that is joyfully lacking in bad chemistry. And while they may not have a lot of eats to go around, clearly they've managed to make it work for them. So what does BK do? Well it hands them a sandwich that is notoriously deadly on arteries and heart functions, and says, "Here, chow down!" There's a reason people in these parts of the world don't look like overstuffed cows in tight jeans, like they tend to do in these parts. They've got a good thing going for them, don't mess with it.

And, if you are going to get involved and meddle in these people's lives, why don't you.....gee, I don't know......GIVE THEM SOME REAL FUCKING FOOD DAMNIT! You do realize that the millions you spent to get a few commercials out of innocent people, could have probably been made into a nice healthy donation to charities? People who actually want to feed these people healthy shit? Hell, you could even get in on the act yourself. Leave the Whoppers at home, and buy a few bags of rice for these folks. Hell, just hand them some local currency so they could go to their local market and let them buy some fish or swine for a change. Goddamn, that seems like a way better idea than handing them a fucking Whopper, making them smile in front of a camera, and then leaving them with two days worth of diarrhea because you made them eat some shit their body wasn't used to. Have some common sense BK!

I'm at a complete and total loss here people.

December 10, 2008

Blackbird Web Browser: Ambassador For Race Relations

40A, a software development company, released a new browser called Blackbird into beta on Sunday. Blackbird is a web browser that is designed to better fit the needs of the African American Community. While the program is just a customized version of Firefox, Blackbird brings a unique black theme that changes the appearance of the browser, and integrates a series of bookmarks, links, news feeds, and social networking applications that are custom tailored for African Americans. Ed Young, CEO of 40A believes that Blackbird will, "broaden the Internet experience for African Americans. We want to offer a tool that makes it easier for this community to find resources that are geared more towards them."

Is it just me, or does this seem a tad bit racist?

I've been using the interweb for quite some time now, and in my searches for hilarity on Youtube, business on Myspace, and randomness everywhere else, I have bumped shoulders with people from a variety of backgrounds, races, and belief systems. And I couldn'be be happier. Getting to interact with unique folks, even if it is just through text and pixilated pictures, is pretty darn cool. In fact, I think that was the whole point of the net, wasn't it? To meet folks, learn things, and be better, if not slightly more pudgy, people.

And I know there is software out there that only caters to a small amount of the population, but Blackbird seems to be a bit more so. And it's not because of technological restrictions, or based on the limits of accessiblity, but more on some social border that appears to state, "This is african american, and that is not."

And I know that the African American community does and has things that only cater to them. Seriously, what community doesn't? Musical styles, language, traditions, these are all things that make up a population, and I wouldn't expect them to become universal. In fact, in the case of things like the word "shizzle," I think that should've probably stayed with them instead of becoming utilized by the world at large. People living in the suburbs should not be allowed to use the word "shizzle" damnit! So if the African American community wants a series of resources to help them navigate the interweb better, so be it.

However, this is not just a resource for african americans, it's a statement. Look at the deep black theme of Blackbird. The color is so dark, that it actually makes things kind of hard to read. But that's not the point is it? No, the point is to tell people who look at your computer that you are a proud African American individual who is using a proud web broswer. What if you are someone who is not African American? Does that mean you shouldn't use Blackbird? Or does that mean if you do decide to use it, that you need to do it secretly like something out of Office Space?

And what about those fabled resources? Are these things that the African American community at large uses on a regular basis, or is this also a statement about what it is to fit in this culture? I noticed BET was on the bookmarks list. And I know first hand that there are plenty of members of the African American community who absolutely cannot stand BET. People who pillars of the community, and are proud of their culture and heritage, and tend to get a little queasy at the thought of an overcommercialized television station. Would their disapproval of this make these people less of an African American? I should hope not.

And I admit that, perhaps I'm looking a little too much into this. Clearly this is designed to be a positive resource, enabling a group to have access to a variety of things from one convenient place. I know the purpose as a whole, was designed to be a good thing. But it just feels a little dirty, that's all. In darker times, many communities of various ethnic ilk set up socio-cultural borders that clearly defined what the community was, and what it wasn't. I'm a dark skinned man who, despite my upbringing and heritage, was not welcome in his socio-cultural community because I "didn't meet the qualifications." My inability to speak Spanish and dance with any degree of compentency was something that kept me out of certain social circles. And while I'm not bitter or angry, it is something that I have walked away from and left behind.

If Blackbird turns out to be a positive thing, getting more people on the net and interacting with the world, then cool. I'll withdraw my concerns and return my attention back to making fun of celebrities. In fact, I would welcome it if Blackbird ended up doing this. Just don't let it become another border. Another open device that is accessible to all, but guarded by the few. In this day and age, the last thing we need are more lines.

The Golden Sound

Musical instruments are fickle business. The baggage that can come attached to the bits of magnet, copper wire and sub-par wood are astronomical. Musical types gotta have a voice, and that voice must be distinctive from every other voice out there. We need to sound different, sonic independence is thick in our DNA. And if we wake up one morning and find that our cultivated tone, spawned from thousands of dollars worth if equipment and hours spent bending our spines tweaking dials, sounds too much or not nearly enough (depending on what side of the fence you sit on,) like the tone of our musical heroes, well things turn to suck quicker than Britney trying to restart her career. Otherwise rational musicians become paranoid, obsessive beings, who are quick to spend even more time and money to get back the "Golden Sound."
The mark of tone excellence that we believe instantly qualifies us to do this stuff. At least half of a musician's career is spent trying to attain the Golden Sound. And one's instrument plays a pivotal role in the journey. Talk to any musical type, and you are bound to hear them stress the importance of the minute details. The advantages of one wood over another, why one company's electronics are vastly superior, why certain metals from certain places help define "their sound." We've all done it, and many will continue to do it until the end of time.

This mentality gets particularly interesting when you're absolutely committed to sounding original. If you are like me, and are genetically required to having a musical style and tone that sounds like nothing that came before, then be prepared to lose some sleep. Because every element in your arsenal has to be entirely unique from the musical status quo. Fenders, Marshalls, and Ampegs are just not gonna cut it for us visionaries. Nope, we're gonna need stranger stuff.

And I was no exception. I was thoroughly convinced that if I did not have a bass equipped with a swamp ash body, slim rosewood neck, big 'buckler in the bridge position, and passive electronics, that I could not be the great and legendary artist I was destined to be. It was just not possible without this instrument, this Excalibur of wood and string. And the longer I went without this instrument in my possession, the longer the world would be denied my visionary greatness.

Needless to say, finding such an instrument is difficult. Wait........scratch that. Finding such an instrument.......within the budget of a pauper, is difficult. There were a handful of girls that fit the bill, but well out of range for someone pulling piss-ass, part time pay while going to college. And finally, after a couple years of trying and failing, I ended up with my current main squeeze. A pretty, but predictable jazz bass clone, that managed to deliver the sonic feel goods I was looking for.

Flash forward to today......a day that I will remember as being one of the most infuriating days of my life. A day where, years after giving up the quest of finding that perfect instrument, I found no less than three of them on the racks at my local Guitar Center.

Today, Guitar Center employee and shopper alike were present to hear a loud and robust "FUCK!!" from the hallowed halls of the bass room. I couldn't believe it. I had been longing for instruments just like these, and couldn't get my hands on a single one. These were the instruments I needed for success. And now, years later when I have no interest in adding to my collection of oversized instruments, they magically turn up.

And what's worse, is that these things are useless to me now. Oh I tried them, believe me I did. I plugged them into a variety of amps and had my way with the things. And while they were all fine sounding beasts, none of them had the spark. Apparently, in all my time with the main squeeze, my ideal tone had changed. And none of the instruments that I had spent so much time lusting after could do the job anymore. The sauce had gone weak my friends. And now, an instrument that I had purchased because it was ultra cheap, on sale, and easily customizable, had managed to make the Golden Sound, than the very instrument I had researched, studied, and assembled from my soul.

The moral of the story? I guess keep dreaming. But remember not to dream so big, that you forget to adapt. And if you can't make the shit you own sound good, well that dream instrument won't do jack for you. Remember to play people, make some noise and make some mistakes. And hopefully, that dream rig will do more for you than it will ever do for me.

December 9, 2008

Satraini vs. Coldplay

Tonight, I've had to defend the enemy.

While sitting in the re-beautified Mello-Drama studios, I was informed via the interweb about a recent controversy between Joe Satriani and the band Coldplay. Apparently, Joe feels that the ridiculously popular Coldplay song, "Viva La Vida" from the album of the same name, is strikingly similar to his 2004 track "If I Could Fly." After numerous attempts to get in contact with the members of Coldplay, with no success, Mr. Satriani has filed a copyright infringement suit against the band.

Sadly, I had been out of the loop lately, and was just barely made aware of this controversy. So, I read up on the facts, gave both pieces of music a few hard, repeated listens, and thought a great deal about this grievous matter.

Bear in mind, I am no fan of Coldplay. From the day they set foot on my music television, I have dispised the band. The whiny, generic song progressions sung in the flimsiest voice imaginable just drives me up the wall. Chris Martin has made a trademark sound out of weak, squeaky singing. A type of vocalization that is remarkably similar to a drunk person trying to sound passionate while taking a piss in a back alley. Admit it, if the man went accapella, you'd be handing him spare change and the address to the nearest homeless shelter. This is crap music, done crapfully. And the only reason I am convinced that it has had any success whatsoever, is because it is boring enough to not be offensive when played in elevators.

And also bear in mind that as a burgeoning young guitarist, Joe Satriani was someone I looked up to. I owned a couple of the man's albums and considered him an integral part of my training . I had no aspirations to play like Joe, but I respected the man's abilities and learned what I could from him. And while he is no longer an artist I turn to for inspiration, he is a dedicated disciple of six strings, and has earned my respect.

So knowing this information, you can see where my bias lies. And you can probably imagine how hard it is for me to look at the facts, hear both pieces of music, and have to grudgingly admit that..........I have to give it to Coldplay on this one.

Yeah yeah yeah, I'm a traitor. A Benedict Arnold, a smelly stinky pants, call it what you will. I still have to hold on to what little integrity I have left people. And I don't think Coldplay is in the wrong on this one. Sorry Satriani worshipers, musicians worldwide, and dedicated readers of this blog, I just don't see any way around it.

And believe me, I tried. I fought desperately while listening to both songs, trying to find a way where Chris Martin and his boys could have pulled some backhanded shit. I wanted them to be wrong, I swear I did. I was even preparing a warcry to rally all you reader and Satriani devout to arms. I hadn't finished it, but it went something along the lines of:

Coldplay has stolen our radios! They've stolen our music television! They've even stolen the few minutes of peace we find in the public restrooms of malls and shopping centers! But never, never could I have imagined, that they would steal legitamate art. The work of a soilder, a man of great dedication. They have lifted his body of work, and ruined it for us. Taken impassioned notes played across a fretboard, and reduced it to dribble! Well no more! We will rise against Coldplay, charge against them with the speed of sound. We will break down their doors in a righteous mob, violating each of the band members with Ibanez guitars until things do indeed turn Yellow! Who is with me?!!!

Alas, it was not to be. Fact of the matter is, while both tunes have some similar qualities to them, I can't in good conscious say that Coldplay plucked this song from the bosom of Satriani's soul, and threw it upon an unsuspecting world.

Before we break out the tar and feathers, let me drop a little musician's perspective on the matter. I will admit, the chord progressions are similar. Not exact, but similar. If you want to get technical, Joe's up a whole step and a half at E, while Coldplay is digging around D flat. And on the second chord of the chorus, when Joe stretches up a 5th, Coldplay moves up a step to E flat. Different, if you care about musician math.....which most of the population regrettably doesn't. For the average ear unconcerned about nuance, they sound damned close. Almost uncomfortably close. Especially when you get into that main melody. Coldplay fucking beats the chord progression into the ground while Satch uses it for a chorus. In fact, Satch only uses it for about 10 seconds out of the whole song. But, whatever right? They both do something damned similar in a progression that's equally similar, shit should rightfully hit the fan.

Bear in mind that musicians are a group of creative individuals who have a very limited palette to work with. Music only has twelve keys. Twelve people! The rest are just octaves. This means that no matter how many chords you use in a song, once you've reached twelve, that's it. There will be no more. And considering how long we've had composed music around, you can imagine that we're pushing the limits of versatility with those twelve keys. There are very few things out there that haven't been done before. And unless you're a musician heavy into jazz or one of those morbid looking indie musicians, you're really not looking for new ways to make chords sound different. Let's face it, most of the old tricks still sound pretty damn good. And though Ozzy's used the same progressions in several different songs with several different hairstyles, and Nickelback seems to have made a career out of using the same stuff over and over again, we're all pretty accepting of it (probably a little too much so in the instance of Nickelback if you ask me.) So, I'm not too surprised when two different musicians occupying two different genres happen to make some shit that sounds similar.

And if I recommend we lock up Coldplay, well I'm going to have to go right into the cell with them. Because the sad fact is that in all my compositions over thirteen years of writing goofy tunes, I have used ideas that I know I have heard somewhere else. Yep, ol' Boogie's dabbled in someone else's pot. Sometimes, a single tune of mine will have ideas from three or four other artists in it. And I have finished a body of work and submitted it for copyright as my own. Frankly, some days I'm amazed I didn't have my stuff rejected and have people laughing in my face for even trying. A lot of the stuff I borrowed is subtle, but some of that shit was downright blatant.

So I've done it, and I know a lot of other artists have done it too. On a day to day basis, we can all hear songs that we know are in some bastard form, related to the songs of others. Be it a drum beat here, or a vocal medley there, it's all connected. And that's kind of what makes music what it is, isn't it? I know that, at least for myself, I wasn't doing it to try and purposely tarnish someone else's musical vision. It's just that they did something that sounded pretty good, and it was something I needed to use to make my vision sound complete. There's not much ground to tread that hasn't been dug in before, I know it and make the best with what I have available. And my instinct tells me that Coldplay, while generic, misery-inducing, and having a body of work that is the peak of annoyance, did not purposely swipe something from the great Joe Satriani.

But don't think this gets you off the hook Coldplay. You're on thin ice here, and at it won't take much more to get me lubing up guitar necks and contemplating some real sick shit. I'll be watching.

December 1, 2008

Twilight: Boogie's Take



Twilight is not a film I've been exactly looking forward to. And this may surprise several of you, since it's a well established fact that Stephanie Meyer, the author of Twilight, is an alumni of Utah. Well, I've never been one to support the hometown heroes, and less so when it comes to my favorite supernatural escapes.

I like vampires, I admit it. Granted, I don't invest a lot my time dressing up in frilly garb, painting my face white, and shucking around folks with fake, oversized incisors, but as a form of entertainment, vampires are great. The Lost Boys was practically life changing when I was a kid, and Bram Stoker's Dracula probably forever screwed my noodle by the time pre-adolescence came around. I cannot even begin to express the amount of joy the series True Blood has given me these past few months. So yeah, Boogie likes him some vampires.

That said, I was fully prepared to be disappointed by Twilight. Now, I have never read the series, nor had I taken much time to find out what the whole thing was really about. My first real glimpse into the film was from the numerous posters that were being sold at bookstores and Wal Marts across the globe. Just seeing these things made me uncomfortable.

All the male vampires were too pretty. And I know, vampires are supposed to be all gorgeous and androgynous, pushing the limits of man-pretty, but this was too much. These posters were uncomfortably pretty, cringe-worthy even. It was like every teenage girl's hot, but slightly affeminate dream guy, painted up in glitter. Not really how I take my vampires.

So, I was already grouchy when I got to the theater. Overly pretty men creatures, all created in the mind of someone who practices a religion I'm not super fond of. And add to this bitter stew the fact that the first season of True Blood had just ended, which set the bar high for any vampire entertainment that was coming down the road. My expectations were rock-bottom by the time I took my seat and watched previews.

So, now with the film behind me, I can finally think about it and the mild phenomenon that it has caused. And there's one thought that keeps coming back to me. One element of this whole storyline that I can't seem to get past, no matter how hard I try:

Damn, Bella's a complete and total bitch!

Seriously, is there anyone in that goddamn movie she's nice to? She pisses on her mom and step-boyfriend guy to run away to daddy's house. She walks all over daddy like he's nothing, simply because the man is too hurt and fragile to talk. And as for all those high school buddies of hers? Despite the fact that they were nice, kind, and overly (in my opinion) enthusiastic about the stupidest shit, she still paraded this whole "you're too dumb for me" attitude for the duration of the film. I mean seriously who in the hell would want to be immortal with that shallow piece of crap? I sure as hell wouldn't.

And once that became my focal point, the rest of the film went straight downhill. Edward goes on talking about how he can read every one's mind except hers, and I'm sitting here thinking, "Well gee, maybe that's because too goddamn shallow to have actual comprehensible thoughts?" And then there was Edward going back and forth between wanting to be with her, and needing to be away with her. How does she react? Mostly, by looking dumbfounded no matter what happens. In fact, the whole film is her looking varying degrees of dumbfounded.

I think the true stupidity of this film came right around midpoint, when Edward finally revealed that he was among the undead. They were standing on a well lit mountaintop, and Ed was telling her all his baggage. The boy was literally confessing all his vulnerabilities to her, openly admitting that she was the most tasty-looking, desirable human he had ever encountered, and that he was having a hard time controlling himself from digging teeth into neck and ravaging her dry. And what does she do? She continually walks up right into his face, and tells him, "It's okay you feel that way, I trust you."

What the hell? Normal people don't do this shit. We don't jump into lion cages and tell the zookeepers, "No no no, don't feed the lions today. I trust them not to eat me." I don't care how man-pretty the predator is, this just goes against common-fucking-sense. I mean, at the very least we process the information handed to us, we take a few minutes to contemplate our options, but we don't just run willy nilly into something so left field like that. Well, normal people don't I guess. Bella the dipshit does.

And the whole time I'm watching this scene, I could literally see Bella dancing in front of vampire Edward and singing in a operatic soprano voice, "I'm a steak, I'm a steak. I'm a tasty tasty steak. Eat me, I'm a steak, There's no witnesseses, have a steak......" So much so, that I'm literally singing this in the theater, ruining the movie for a bunch of people who are actually impassioned by this whole bit of nonsense.

So, Bella pretty much sunk a barely passable vampire flick. The vamps weren't any cooler than they've been in past incarnations. In fact every vamp had this uppity, wheatgrass drinking, tennis playing elitest thing about them. And it's hard to be intrigued by that. These are people you hate in the modern day world, it seems like making them immortal would only make you hate them worse. As for the bad guy vamps, they all looked like has been celebrities from the 80's that were on some VH1 "Where Are They Now?" marathon. Try looking at them and not seeing Axl Rose, Vernon Reid, and Molly Ringwald respectively. You can't do it can you? The one saving grace from the whole mess was this: Alice Cullen was pretty hot.

So if you are readers of this blog, or fans of the vampire genre, I cannot recommend this movie to you. It's bad, and not even laughably bad. This is no horror film that is so cheesy, that you can't help but laugh at it. No, this a test of one's frustration levels. Love and lust between a mortal and an immortal has been done tons of times before, but the level of chaste and boredom that accompanies this is enough to make you want to hit the person sitting next to you repeatedly. So for your own sake, and the sake of those you share your theaters with, walk away from the ticket booth, go home, put some popcorn in the microwave, and put the Lost Boys in your DVD player. You'll thank me for it later.

November 27, 2008


As we all know, the Boogie Man is a fan of good food and copious libation. Both things that can be facilitated at one's friendly liquor store. And seeing as Thanksgiving is at the backdoor, and knowing I would be needing a bit of bourbon to spice up the T-Day ham and a bit of some other stuff to keep me in a tolerable mood. A trip there was very much in order.

I am a T-Day eve shopper. I run to the stores to pick up most, if not all, my ingredients on the day before the holiday. I've done it every year since I took over feast duties in my home, so I guess it's technically a tradition. Mostly, it's procrastination. Not a big deal, since my needs are few. And clearly, it's not an uncommon thing.

I'm sure we're all familiar with the mad rush that brings otherwise rational people into our nation's grocery stores, and has them run around like crazed lunatics. People trying very hard to be composed as they walk down every aisle, and yet are fully prepared to rip the arms off of any passerby who might dare take that last package of marshmallows. Grocery stores pre T-Day are kind of like walking into a den of sleeping lions. No matter how light you tread, your ass is going to be gnawed upon.

I have done this Thanksgiving ceremony thing long enough to expect this sort of behavior. It's all part of the ritual, we fight long and hard getting those last bits of edibles, and then stuff ourselves sick the next day. So, none of this was surprising. At least not until I got to the liquor store.

You see, I've never had to stop by the ol' booze market on pre T-Day. That's one of the few things I typically keep well stocked for months in advance. But, on this auspicious year, I neglected my escapes. And as such, I was going to have to tackle the crowds that were, like me, preparing to give thanks in an altered state.

I pulled up to the store, fully expecting to see a packed parking lot and rushed individuals with brown baggies. And in this I was not disappointed. However, I was quite surprised with what I saw once I got into the store.

There were lots of people, no question. And they were, of course, hurredly rushing through the store buying large amounts of high proof alcohol. But the vibe was different. Here, there was a sense of.....dare I say it.............courtesy.

People made their selections, and quickly moved out of the way of others. Everyone stayed very close to the edge of the aisle, leaving ample room for others to negotiate through. And when I stood in front of a shelf considering my options, the people who walked passed me, did so with great haste, and all uttered a hushed and very polite "excuse me." And it wasn't like they were taking up huge amounts of space in those aisles, nor did they stand and linger in front of my field of vision. But because they instinctively knew that the decisions I made in front of these glass lined shelves, would completely affect the quality of my holiday. And they were giving me the wide berth so I could operate with the least amount of distractions.

Compared to the freakish insanity of the grocery store, getting booze was quite calm. Very pleasant. The people I was with weren't heavily tattooed ruffians, nor were they swaggering, slurring menaces who had already taken one too many hits off the sauce. These were regular folks, still dressed in classy clothing fresh out of their jobs. These were everyday people with husbands and children, who lived responsibly. One mother actually brought her sleeping child with her while she picked out a couple bottles of Chardonnay. And I couldn't fault her for it. Because I knew that, odd as this may have looked, this woman would most likely be stuck in the kitchen all day cooking up a huge meal, and trying to make nice with all the other moms that would be coming to her home. I knew what she was going through, and if she wanted to keep her child close while she picked up some incentives, so be it.

Once I had made my choices, I stood in line with my new friends. All of whom stared out the big bay windows of the liquor store and into the night with a glazed expression on their face. Every few seconds, they'd take a big breath and let out a quiet refrained sigh. They knew, just like I did, that everything from this point on would be hectic.

Now, I openly admit that the big T-Day isn't nearly that much of a strain on me. Oh sure, I get grouchy in the kitchen, and expect that everyone should be ready to eat the minute the bird is pulled out of the oven. But I don't have the stresses that many do. Others have to deal with more than food on this day. They have to deal with family. Strained relationships that people avoid like the plague, except for special days like today. Trying to make small talk and stay pleasant in small, overcrowded houses with people you're not especially comfortable around. All the while, screaming children run around you playing with your appliances and breaking shit. These are tough times, and for four or five hours out of the day, it's all you can do to not start strangling people and screaming, "Tell your kids to sit down, shut up, and behave already you vindictive, overly dramatic twat!" This is family, all at a family function, and such overly dramatic bursts of relief cannot happen. And this is why so many turn to the booze to lighten things up. A couple sips can, and often do, make things just bearable enough.

So I find myself in a new tradition now. Visiting the liquor store every pre T-Day, even if I don't need anything. Just to spend a little time with my overly stressed and exhausted companions in this wacky holiday. A holiday that should be far simpler than it is. Thanksgiving is supposed to be about eating, enjoying, and getting the hell on out. And yet, it's been blown into something overly dramatic. Something that people dread. And I don't like that. I'm here to eat well, have some laughs, then sit in a pile of fat and grease, slowly slipping into a endorphine-fueled coma. I don't need the stress of other people's emotions, or the need to make a moment of family magic on a day like today. Just let me enjoy myself, and try to enjoy it with me. Even if that means watching bad television half dazed on a couch, if you and I are having fun, then it's been a good day.

So, Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope you eat well and completely waste the day on laziness, sloth, and goofiness. May your families be not nearly as annoying today, may the children be a little more quiet. And may your newly purchased alcohol be used sparingly to fuel a good time, instead of liberally to escape a bad one.

All the best.

November 21, 2008

Gas And Memories At $1.81

This was an exciting day.

Today I stopped at the gas station to refuel my noble steed, Senior Truck. Now, I admit that refueling a vehicle by nature, isn't all that exciting. I don't encounter pulse-pounding situations or frisky women in tight clothes during my gas station stops any more than you do. In fact, much like you, the highlight of the whole thing is slipping in the credit card and pulling it out with great speed before the machine starts bitching.

Today was no different. I hit all the requisite buttons, washed the windshields like normal, and internalized the sense of throwing money at people who don't deserve it, just so I can get to work on time. However, it was after the whole ritual was done, that my day took a turn for the better.

For you see, when the gas nozzle clicked off after filling the tank, the numbers on the machine read: $19.81. That's right, Boogie filled up his vehicle for less than 20 bucks.

And you may be saying, "Yeah big whoop. Gas is cheap everywhere dumbass." I admit, lowered prices on the petrol is nothing new. Still, this is not something we've seen for a good long while. I remember on my escapes in Santa Fe, that I was getting excited for finding the stuff at $3.63 a gallon. And now here I am, topping off for less than a Jackson. Quite the change if you ask me.

And admittedly, it made me a little nostalgic.

I did what many of you probably did: I looked up to the sky and said to myself, "I can't even remember the last time gas was this low." And then, I kept thinking about it for the rest of my drive home. And I'll be damned if I didn't actually pull up some memories.

I remember the fella I used to be, back when gasoline costing $1.80 was considered high. A naive young man, not too far out of college who had a proper big boy job, and figured the world was going good. I paid precious little attention to politics, didn't know much about anything, and my only real presence on the interweb was hosted by Geocities. The dream was pretty much still a dream, and Fuzzy was a body of work that only existed in the imaginations of many, and my hard drive. I remember assuming in those days, that by the time I was near my third decade, that all the woes of my life would be long since gone. Bills would be paid, I would own my own home, and all the successses I had wished upon myself would come to pass.

I miss that guy, he was a lot of fun. Straight-faced and dedicated to the art of musicmanship on all levels. This is a man who truly believed that bludgeoning Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears with a heavy instrument would have solved all the world's woes. A man who never had to see the dark looming shadow of Hanna Montana. Who could never anticipate that there would one day be dog food with Rachael Ray's face on it.

Admittedly, there are things I don't miss about those days. For example, the hair. Believe it or not, losing the pony tail has been more liberating than anything. I certainly enjoy some of the new endeavors I've pursued lately. I definitely know more shit. I can talk entomology, literature, and culinary stuffs with folks now. Something that young buck a few years ago could've never done. And surprisingly, I piss less people off. That's kind of pleasant.

But I certainly have lost some of the daydreaming through these gas price fluxuations. I don't really see the world as my oyster anymore. These days, it feels like this planet and the people in it, are something I have to overcome more than inspire. I definitely worry a lot more and sleep a lot less than I used to.

Seeing these gas prices fall back to old levels has revealed the older, wiser Boogie to the young punk. A prococious little scamp filled with piss and adrenaline grew to an equally cynical bastard with a broader vocabulary and more acceptable social skills. Sure I still bitch and moan, but I'm more sophisticated when I do least compared to those days. It's been a hell of a ride to get to the point where twenty bucks was enough to fill a truck with gas, but I can definitely say that it hasn't been boring.

It's amazing what gas can inspire isn't it?

November 17, 2008

Proposition 8 And The LDS Church

It has been a long and difficult week my friends. Loaded with trials, tribulations, and assorted gibberish that pushed the levels on mental exhaustion. As such, I couldn't think of anything to write, leaving the ol' blog dry and neglected for a whole week. This has been very frustrating, considering that there has been a great deal of things to write about lately. Interesting occurrences have been firing off all around me, just begging for my gentle sense of literary finesse.

Things like, oh gee, I don't all out assault on the Mormon church perhaps?

Apparently, LDS facilities have been the targets of vandalism, protests, and the occasional bomb threat. And all because of a little thing known as Proposition 8. A California supreme court ruling which had the power to reverse same sex marriages being accepted as legal. Imagine, a law two states away from my little corner of the world, has created hostility and a small amount of pandemonium. You see, the LDS church helped built support, and finance the campaign to have Proposition 8 approved. This has made them somewhat unpopular with those individuals who wanted nothing more than to see the continuation of legal same sex marriages.

This is my backyard people. The place where I work and live. I call Utah home, and the Mormons my neighbors. And to watch the assaults and the tensions rise between people, all because of something that is happening in another state? Well, it's something I can be silent about no longer.

So to those of you who have attacked the church. You individuals who have committed physical acts on the institutions of the religious majority in this state, those who have spoken with harsh tongue and harsher action on all that is LDS, I have but one thing to say to you.....

Have at 'em.

Go ahead and teach them a lesson. Show them how pissed off you are, I don't mind a bit.

Now, don't walk away from this thinking that I personally endorse property damage, or that I am a fan of frightening innocent people with violence, whether it be active or implied. Aside from my outspoken tendencies, I'm a big advocate of peaceful leaving. But, given the circumstances, and the clearly blunt statement that the LDS church has taken with regards to the legality of homosexual marriage, well I'm all in favor of the current spectacle.

For those who don't call Utah their homes, and really don't deal with the Mormon society on a day- to-day basis, let me explain a little something to you. The LDS community thrives on gossip, and the sticking of noses in other people's business. The religious docterine encourages the flock to meddle in the lives of one's friends and neighbors, in order to keep them on the right track. It is through fear of being discussed, that people lead more righeous and wholesome lives. And If you are caught doing something wrong, then it is a sure bet that everyone will learn about it. You would not be a good Mormon if you didn't tattle to everyone on the block.

Those of us who live here have learned how to grudgingly adapt. This is a trying thing, particularly when you're as guarded with your personal life as I am. Every day, I step into an environment, where people want to know stuff. And they will take anything. How well I slept, what I really think of certain people, or what things make me weep into my wee little pillow at night. They'll take all of it, and eventually spread it around. It's how the circle works, and one learns how to protect their vital information while continuing their residence in this state.

It is this quirk of the Mormon church that has them in the pickle they're in right now. What goes on in California has precious little effect here. And yet, they decided to throw in their weight and money on an issue that is irrellevant in the lives of the average Utah person. And while I can accept that this kind of meddling is going to happen to me because I chose to live here, I think them Mormons may have gone a little too far.

First off, I'm of the thinking that I needn't give too much of a fuck about what gay people do. Homosexual men and women are going to be engaging the world and forming relationships, whether I leave the house or not. And unless I happen to know these people personally, and am actively involved in their lives, it doesn't seem to have any effect on me.

Does it bother me that a gay person can walk into a church with another gay person and marry them? Absolutely not. Because as far as I know, the whole purpose of a wedding ceremony is to tell God that, "I love this person, and I'm gonna be with them for the rest of my life." Thick or thin, better or worse, and all that jazz. And I'm pretty damn confident that a gay person takes their wedding vows just as seriously as a straight person. In fact, if I look at the statistics for divorce in this country, I would dare say that a gay person might take them even more seriously. So, if you're talking to the highest authority and saying you're gonna spend every day with the same person until you grow old and die, well shit. You've got my support.

Naturally, a better-than-thou religion like Mormonism doesn't have this philosophy. Fair enough, it's not for everyone I suppose. But there are things that they need to consider.

First, Utah isn't California, it's Utah. And as such, what goes on in California, really shouldn't be any of our fucking business. California runs on a level of ethnic diversity and socio-economics that we can't even begin to comprehend in this part of the world. Face it Utah, we're in a hick town. Oh sure, we've got culture, we've got some spunk, but we're still not much more than Wilford Brimley and Beef commercials. Perhaps if this tidbit of information was acknowledged, then maybe they would know better than to get involved in the matters of some state that is far grander, and more intense than us, simply because the black and white of things is not agreed with.

Secondly, Utah has a pretty healthy gay population of it's own. It's not discussed much, but we all know it's out there. And while I don't expect the church to be setting up social events inviting the homosexual world to come over for bland food and choruses of Cumbaya, I'd say that it needs to be acknowledged that they are out there. I acknowledge it daily, and you know what? I'm a happier person for it. At the very least, acknowledging that they exist might have kept this whole shit storm from happening.

So to you pissed off supporters of gay rights, I tell you to keep protesting. Continue to make noise, spray a little paint, and remind this state that you exist. As long as people aren't getting hurt, I'm all cool with it.

And yes, I said don't hurt people. Because while the believers and the supporters of the ideology that homosexuals do not deserve eternal matrimony are clearly in the wrong, they are still our neighbors. And when we start to wound and scar them, we only do that damage to ourselves. Windows can be replace, buildings can be repainted, but lives are not mended so easily. And the minute we start strongarming them, is the minute we lose our credibility.

So, rebels and supporters, go out there and vent some steam. Make your point, and then go home. Your voices are still needed, and the hard part is yet to come.

November 6, 2008


It was an interesting experience voting yesterday. The process was naturally the same, the venue of course ever-changing, but the people.....well that was something to behold.

In years gone by, I had gotten accustomed to sharing space with your regular breed of people. Hard working men and women who had families and managed to squeeze a few minutes out of adequately paying jobs to do their civic duty. And of course, there were the old and graying elders who were taking their time to vote, while manning the voting poll posts to keep the wheels of democracy spinning. These were the die hards, those who were committed to the electoral college and the system. And as much as I appreciated their resolve, I never managed to feel completely comfortable around this bunch. Between skin complexion, facial features, and my insistence on wearing all things black, I tended to stand out in the crowd. And while these folks were completely cool and generous, It was clear who the odd man out was.

However, yesterday's election was different. I saw people I never expected to ever see at a voting facility. I saw a young man with baggy pants, sideways baseball cat and requisite g'sta strut walk into my voting locale while his very young, extremely pregnant girlfriend waited in the car. I saw a husky unshaven man smelling of cheetos and pot smoke with an "I Voted" sticker on his flannel lapel. I saw loafers and ramblers, and people I wouldn't trust with my lunch, all lining up to vote.

This was a pretty trippy thing for me. To see people that many would have disregarded as being "unsavory" participating in this shin dig. Getting involved in a system that up until this point, most have probably ignored or neglected in the past. As though the forgotten and misspent decided this morning, "I have fucked up and pissed away a lot, but damnit, this is important. And I ain't letting this one get by me."

And I find that pretty hopeful. It makes me feel like a lot more things can happen better around this craphole. And yeah, I know, voting is a ten minute process that involves nothing more than pushing some buttons these days. But hey, these same folks could have just stayed in yesterday. Had a few triscuits, caught some Ninja Warrior on the tube. But they didn't, they thought and reasoned long enough to decide to get involved. I have no idea who these people voted for, and I don't want to know. They got involved, and that's plenty good for the likes of me. For the first time in my life, I was not the only black sheep outcast at the polls. I saw a new generation of strangers and weirdos get up and make a choice. And that, makes me feel pretty darn good.

Okay, so I admit I've generated two politically based posts now. Yeah, ol' Boogie's been out of character, I know. But don't worry, I'm done. Coming soon, more bitching about shitty bands and stupid celebrities.

November 5, 2008

The Choice For Our New President

I have greatly avoided making any kind of strong political stance on this blog. I didn't bring up the election, nor did have I ever made any particular stance on one particular party or candidate. It's not that I don't have my preferences, I do. But it seems wrong to use this space as a means of expressing those preferences. I can knock on celebrities and piss poor bands all I like, because they're public domain. But government isn't just me, or the handful that agree with me. It's all of us. And it's all of our responsibility to make sure it's doing the job we pay them to do.

Voting is a choice, one of the few we get. And it's a personal thing, something celebrities, musical types, or nutjobs like me shouldn't be influencing. Ben Affleck may get a vote just like the rest of us, but tossing around where he stands on things just doesn't sit well with me. I'm all about getting people involved. My sole interest is just to get you to vote. If you step into the polls and make a choice, even one that I don't agree with, then all is well. It's altogether possible that the rest of the country sees something in a particular candidate that I don't. Something that is truly better for this country. I'm biased, and I need to acknowledge that. I've got my choice in the matter, and everyone else has theirs. So long as they express that choice by voting, then I must be respectful of it and stay as neutral as possible

But, now that the polls are over and the country has made it's choice, I feel that I can safely say the following:


Things really do work around here, it's amazing! The system isn't flawed, the operation can actually work like it's supposed to, and people can recognize that there are problems going on. And goddamnit, they went out there and did something about it. Record numbers I hear, it's fucking fantastic!

The people I have to share this particular rock with went out and managed to look past the colors on a man's skin, the colors on his building, and actually listened to what he had to say! Then they voted for the man too! It's like people really do understand! I'm not alone in all this!

I know ol' Boogie has been a grouchy old coot. Pessimistic and cynical to no end. But I tell you good people, now that this is all over, I feel a little better. In fact, I feel positively giddy! Not because we got rid of an old system of malfunctioning baggage (although that's a pretty good feeling too,) but because a lot of people in this happen to agree with my assessment of this country and what's been wrong with it lately. I feel that despite my heated opinions of Shia or Miley, we can all agree on at least one thing. And that's a good feeling my friends. A warm fuzziness I wasn't sure I could even feel again. Life is almost, dare I say it, good again.

Anyhow, I'm off. Boogie is gonna sleep so good tonight.

November 4, 2008

Work, Costumes, and Comedy

You may have noticed that I tend to have a pretty dry sense of humor. My comedic qualities (or lack therof) are always pretty straightforward, overly verbose, with just a hint of violence attached. And I've made no apologies for it. I like my attitude, and get a certain satisfied grin to my face whenever I send one of these things out into the world. Like I've somehow made the world a truer, more real place. Granted, I don't really think anyone (or the legions of no one) who read this pulp really think these things, but I don't mind. At the very least, I'm amused by it.

Still, I suppose that I have to acknowledge that a good chunk of the world isn't familiar with this sort of humor, and damn sure don't read this blog. People with a more clearly outlined sense of comedy, and a more rational personal belief structure. People like.......oh I don't know, the folks I work with for example.

So, let me set the groundwork here. It was this last Friday, Halloween. I was scheduled to stay until 7pm that night, and naturally, was none too happy about it. So, I'm walking about my facility in my uniform (since, as I mentioned before, I'm not one to get into costume too often, and certainly not around people who drive me crazy,) simply trying to make the day go faster. I bump into a group of my colleagues who are dressed in your usual assortment of costumes: cats, princesses, you know the basics. One of them looks at me and says sarcastically, "Ooh! I know, what you're costume is! You're a worker!"

I respond in a fashion that is very typical of me. It wasn't overly rude, nor graphic, mean nor hostile. In a way, it was sort of generic. In fact, it's probably the kind of comment anyone in my position would have made (except, maybe not as poetic.)

All I said was: "Yes, I've dressed up as a disgruntled employee who has to close on Halloween night. If you wait until later, I'll show you the neat trick I do with a clock tower and a high-powered rifle."

Clearly, they don't get my sense of humor. They didn't say anything and kept a wide berth around me for the rest of the day. I think I'm beginning to understand why those family assistance brochures keep coming my way.

November 3, 2008


Ah, another Halloween come and gone.

As you may have guessed, Boogie's a big advocate of Halloween. The traditionalists and the hippies can have Christmas and Arbor day all they want. I'll stick to a holiday with a little hair on it's chest, thank you very much. And Halloween, of course, has all the elements that keep a guy like me smiling. Dark undertones mixed with the changing of the leaves, the unknowing sense of whether you will be treated with candy and high fives, or tricked with cruel pranks and harsh jokes that are funny for the rest of us. All of it set to a soundtrack that is both creepy and unnerving. This is a holiday for the kids and the kid in all of us that longs for just a few hours, to be the things we never get to be. Many slap on the pirate garb or those superhero outfits you just had to have when they showed up on eBay. Others wander the path of dementia with gory-looking latex and fake bloods. And an even rarer breed like to mix a little sexual connotation with their candy. These are the things that if you wore on any other day, you'd be locked up, laughed at or killed. But don these attires on Halloween, and you can be a legend.

I admit, I'm not actively in Halloween as much as I should be. I rarely am in the party scene and I almost never get into costume. Perhaps it stems from a childhood where Halloween was made more complicated than it needed to be, or a lack of comfort with my identity as a whole, or maybe it's the fact that I spend most of my days bouncing between my mild-mannered persona and this particular alter ego, that I have no need for a day of escapism. Either way, I don't participate in the craziness so much.

But that doesn't mean I'm not into it. There's nothing I enjoy more than to walk around on a Hallow's night watching perfectly normal people pretending to be stuff.

My favorite type of person in the world is the one who truly gets into their costume. And by get into it, I don't mean they spend a lot of time creating it or adding details to it (although this is admittedly very cool as well.) No, my interest lies in those people who truly believe in what they're wearing. For example, I stopped by my local media store and bumped into an individual who donned a white beard and horned rimmed glasses. He called himself the "Gaming Wizard" and I could tell by the tone of his voice that he meant it. He was so die hard in his dedication to this apparel, that I couldn't help but smile. If I had the sort of strength and determination about anything in my life as this guy had about his Halloween costume, I'd be near unstoppable.

Not long after that, while collecting some last minute Halloween grub, I met a woman at the checkout counter in a full body plush frog costume, complete with green face paint. She walked around that store with those oversized feet, back straight and head held high. Clearly, she had no shame in this. When I complimented her on her outfit, she simply nodded and said "I like green." Now that's resolve people!

I admire these folks, and anyone like them. It takes a certain, special kind of youthful optimism to let yourself play. And knowing that everyone else out there is living their fantasy for 24 hours, even if it is just tights and makeup, is a wonderful thing. And when I see these individuals, dedicated to their costumes and their persona's, part of me will always hope for them that at some point during their Halloween, that costume will truly let them escape, mind body and soul. That through customers, hassles, and the day to day grind they can let themselves go enough to be their costume, and maybe for one second out of the day, they can truly feel like Superman.

I hope you all had a happy one.

October 27, 2008

Boogie Visits Manti Utah II

When I wrote the original piece on Manti, I was pushing hard. I was already burnt out from the environment and the workload I was enduring while I was there. And since I wanted to make sure there was something here on TBMS to read on your blessed Friday, I forced the post.

Well, after careful review, I decided that a good chunk of the piece was a pile of garbage. Wandering dialogue, unnecessary jokes, and an excess of profanity. Granted I like profanity.... a lot. But dropping F-bombs in literature like this is something that must be done with a certain sense of class. We are intellectuals after all, are we not?

So, I did what any professional would do when glancing upon their own personally composed pile of filth: I fixed it.

So, the original post has been cleaned up and modified for a more uniform reading experience (since, that's really what it's about right?) And I thought I'd use the space today to list some of the other experiences I had in Manti that didn't fit in the overall work.


  • A pimply faced young man walked past me in that slouched and indifferent posture that screams to the world "I'm a virgin." He had on the standard issue CTR ring, as well as a black hoodie that had the word "LUST" on it in big white letters. Seemed ironic.

  • These kids here seem to have no way of venting the high amounts of teenage rebellion that exists in the young spirit. The typical escapes such as smoke, alcohol, angry music, and pitiful sex all appear to be forbidden. The streets are uncomfortably clean. Never does one hear the sounds of thumpy rap or aggressive rock eminating from the passing cars. In fact, you barely hear the cars at all. Like the car engines are legally required to be somber and polite, they almost seem to ride on a cushion of air. It's hard enough growing up in a small town with no stimuli, believe me. So I can only imagine the strain it puts on the adolescent mind when one must not only be young and bored, but also considerate and godly. However, there does seem to be one untapped form of rebellion that hasn't been squashed by the powers that be: Hair. And these youngsters take advantage of that form by utilizing the most ridiculous hairstyles you can imagine. It was almost as if early 80's MTV just barely started transmitting in Manti. The number of perms, poofs, and intentionally bad dye jobs was astronomical. Still, I can't fault them for it. If I had to operate under the kinds of regime these kids did, I'd have my hair three feet tall, flourescently colored in all varieties of the rainbow, and moosed up so thick, you could land a plane on it.

  • The rural world is typically a place where Apple computers still exist in high quantities in public schools. And it's not that anyone here subscribes to the whole persona of being a "Mac user," in fact I would dare say that no one in this part of the world even knows that such a persona exists. The abundance of such things is mostly due to the fact that Macs were once the most cheap and effective way to stock a school with computers. And while the rest of the world has come to acknowledge Apple has a premium (or at the very least, overpriced) brand, and stocked up on ultra economical Dells and the like, the country still houses the brightly colored Apple relics from another time. It's an interesting experience to wander through a school and see teachers toting Macbook Pros, and entire computer labs packed with shiny new iMacs. For some strange reason, you just feel like the kids are going to be better off. I'm sure a lot of it is my newfound bias, but I can't help but be swayed. Knowing that these youngsters are going to be utilizing a roomful of computers that cost anywhere from $1600 - $1800 dollars, you just figure the rewards of the experience are gonna pay off. Admit it, those low resoution screens with a wallpaper-less, pixelated version of XP filling our urban classrooms don't fill you with hope do they?

  • I passed by the smallest museum I've ever seen in my life today. It was an old stucco structure that was just a little bit bigger than a Tuff Shed. The inside couldn't have been much bigger than the average living room, I kid you not. I really wanted to go inside and see just what kind of exhibits they could possibly have. But I figured that would be reinforcing a bad habit and kept moving on.

  • I was sitting in a restaurant when I overheard a group of people talking. One of them used the sentence "you gotta work the shaft when you're hunched over like that." Nobody, not one person, cracked a smile. What the hell is wrong with this town?

October 24, 2008

Boogie Visits Manti Utah

Manti, Utah, is just not my kind of town. And I felt perfectly comfortable saying this without ever having been there before. I try to be open minded when I stop by new towns and places, and give everything it's fair shake, but there was just something about Manti that I knew I would dread. It could have been the location, far detached from the apex of urbanized life, or it could have been the reputation that a certain religious organization has in that town, but I had no interest at all in visiting. I felt quite confident that if I pissed away my entire life without setting foot in Manti, I wouldn't be too regretful.

But, powers beyond my control have guided me to this town, so I have gone along for the ride.

I began to suspect that my fears were well founded the night I pulled into town. It was 10:30, and pitch black outside. I was exhausted from a long day, and barely functional. Certainly in no condition for managing curvy country roads with nothing but headlights and a poorly scribed map to propel me.

So, imagine my surprise when in the distance, I see a bright radiating light. I've been in situations like this before, and am pretty comfortable in identifying light sources. And I can tell, that this is no mere street lamp or billboard. No, this is something far grander. And it's only growing in size as I get closer. After 3o minutes of driving towards this guiding light that is ever increasing in size, I finally reach the town limits where this spectacle that has caught my gaze is truly revealed. I have been lead here by the LDS Manti Utah Temple.

My god, it looks like fucking Disneyland.

Manti is the home to the traditional Mormon. Those who follow the code without too much interference from the outside world. And while Salt Lake has the reputation for being "The" place, and "The" heart of Mormonism, the truth is that it's mostly a draw for the tourists. If Salt Lake were Jerusalem, then Manti would probably best be compared to Bethlehem. And admittedly, there is a certain "Christ child in the manger" quality to this whole scene. I can see how devout followers of the faith can see themselves being guided here by a holy star or some nonsense like that. Since I am not of said faith, the whole imagery just fills me with dread.

But, I know I'm to be here for at least two more days, whether I want to or not. So, I try to stay positive about this. "Maybe I won't kill anybody" I think to myself.

I pull into the lot of my motel , which has the words C.T.R labeled in happy font under the tall sign in the parking lot. Anyone who knows this state knows full well what those letters stand for and what they imply. If you don't, well don't worry about it. You're better off, trust me.

I throw myself into my room, and immediately start to get comfortable. Shoes off, music on, and a cocktail mixed in a cheap motel plastic cup. For a second there, I start to feel like I can make this work. That is until, I open up the laptop, and flip on the complimentary internet connection. After a long day of travel, one needs something that is both intelligent, and vulgar. South Park, usually fits the bill just fine for me. So imagine my surprise when I go to South Park Studios, and find that it's been blocked.

Yes blocked. Cut off. The path has been impeded. Guarded by some nanny system that prohibits the viewing of Adult Content on the signal. Apparently, wholesome living and a positive attitude are very much required in the privacy of one's own motel room.

So, I start typing in the names of clearly vagrant sites into the ol' search engine just to see what happens. Violence, swearing, pornography, all of it blocked. Then at some point I started typing random curse words into the search engine. Not so much to see what was going to be or not be rejected anymore, as a means of venting frustration. The Manti safety net caught each and every single one.

Truly I'm in an evil place.

I understand the purpose for this, really I do. By ridding the free spirited internet waves of filth, the followers will not be led into temptation. Hard to fall into a bad thing you can't even access. But men like me need our vices. Smut, guts, and profanity. And one tends to get mighty ornery when they are denied. Thank god Strongbad hasn't been put on purity watch here in the heart of Utah, or there would be no place to tame my fury.

On the next evening in town, I start walking down main street Manti. It's 9:30 and all life here apparently stops right at 9. The place becomes a ghost town, where passing cars and teenagers walking the drag are nonexistent. Nothing is open here, not restaurants or gas stations, all is quiet. This is a place where Wal Mart still has working hours. It's a nervous thing to be walking these streets. The lack of life is almost unsettling. And the few vehicles that pass by stare curiously at your presence. As though people being conscious at this time of night is an unusual thing. I might as well have been chain smoking and shooting a firearm into the air while donning a Hell's Angel jacket and a bottle of whiskey. The attitude would have been the same.

The buildings here are eerily similar, one looking like the next, which looks like the one before it, and so on and so on. There's a certain Stepford quality to the whole town. There is no graffiti on the walls, no cigarette butts or trash littered about the streets. I can't even find an oil spot on the sidewalk. Not one. I walk past a home with a sign next to it that says "engine repair." The house has no garage. Nothing that indicates hands have ever gotten dirty in the pursuit of refurbished internal combustion repair. Everything is asleep, yet one always feels like they're being watched. I glance over my shoulder and see the towers of the Manti temple following me like the eye of Sauron.

God's definitely left his mark on the town. Religion is the only thing that seems to be well preserved here. I noticed a LDS church on my walk down main street that was seated right next to the city building. The church was cleaned and well maintained, clearly the product of recent renovation. The city building on the other hand, was wrought from architecture from the 80's. The fading brick, and falling window adornments a clear indication of what takes precedent.

Eateries stand out like a sore thumb in the sparkly Manti landscape. Greasy spoons all with dirty windows and the faint smell of burnt peanut oil. The decor in these places is very 50's. Not so much 50's retro as the 50's was the last time this stuff was renovated. With the small handful of meals I've had here, I can comfortably say that Manti is not the place to be if you're a food person. This is a burger and fry town, and not in a good way. Everything comes from a package, And nobody seems terribly interested in changing that. In my travels across this place, I saw five greasy burger stands, and six pizza joints. The one higher end meal I had was quite the disappointment. A fine piece of cow that was beaten on a grill, and thrust on a plate with stale pepper and an overcooked potato. A clear injustice to a mighty animal.

The one saving grace to places like this are that the people are kind. And the folks who live here did not let me down. Everyone I met was very decent. Granted, I could see the staleness in their smile when my usual swagger and attitude came out, but they tolerated me. I have yet to fear pitchforks and a stuffed effigy of myself being lit on fire. One of the saving graces of the mormon religion is that people may dispise you and everything about you, but they'll be civil to your face while they do it.

It's my last night in town now. I'm locked away in my motel room counting the hours. I can't wait to get out of here. This place was not built for people like me. There is a status quo that must be observed, whether you walk the streets or peruse the internet in your own private way. Things go according to plan. And since I'm not one to agree with plans, I have no place here. Not that it's all bad, I've gotten enough out of it to document this little trip away as an interesting side note, and nothing more. No, I don't figure I'll be back here again. Not force nor gainful employment could ever sway me into returning. Clearly, we are a pair not designed for each other. We are two creatures set in our ways, unchanging and unflinching with what the modern world does around us. Manti was a form of torture for me during my stay, but I would never ask it to change. Clearly, the people there have made a type of life that works well for them. And while I may not understand it, it is something that must be respected.

But only at a distance.

October 22, 2008

Employee Assistance (The Crazy Man)

My work thinks I'm crazy.

My job, like many other jobs, offers a free-0f-charge counseling service for its employees. It's called "employee assistance" which is just a dumbed- down, family-centric way of saying counseling and crisis resolution. It's the kind of place you go to discuss with professionals that stunted marriage, that pain in the ass co-worker, or that broken carburetor that's been bringing you down. By talking it out with smiling, well paid people in a plastic office, you're less likely to bring a chainsaw to work and start eviscerating the patrons. Win win for everyone involved.

When you start a job, you usually get a little brochure during your first week. This brochure informs you that such a program is available to you, and goes on to describes the types of services provided. Typically, they are colored in a non-threatening off-white and feature lots of pictures of happy smiling people and families surrounded by rounded and harmless Arial font. And the average person flips through it, considers the possibility of talking out some things, then gets involved in the day-to-day of the grind and completely forgets this service exists.

To date, I have received three of these brochures.

At three week intervals no less.

And I know I'm the only one who gets them. My inbox is in a stack with everyone else's inbox. I can plainly see what other people have received recently. And it's not like I have to snoop through the evaluation forms and time sheets of others or anything. It's a brochure for Christ's sake! They tend to stand out! This is all getting to be far past minor coincidence. Two of them I can see. Maybe they forgot to give me the first one, and they're handing me a second just to be safe. Perfectly reasonable. But three? No, that's a message.

I will admit, that I am not quite right in the head. I favor a lifestyle that is indeed uncommon, a bit strange to be sure. Perhaps, I'd even go so far as to call myself socially fucked. I don't play ball the way the rest of the mortals do. Call it a lifestyle choice or just sheer laziness, it is what it is.

And I'm okay with that. I enjoy being a bit off. It makes for an interesting life. I'm rarely bored when left to my own devices, and I almost always have a story to tell. But I do admit that with my particular zest for life, being part of the norm is tricky. Dealing with the regular masses of individuals who like being average, has lead to some mixed results. Disastrous even. It's made me the outcast in many circles. The weirdo, the bastard, that guy who brings unsettledness. I stick out in a big way.

But I'm not crazy. Granted, clock towers and heavy artillery have crossed the mind, but I've never actually done it. And yeah, the notion of slamming an annoying person's head into a table while singing Cumbaya has entered my thoughts on a bad day, but doesn't it to everyone? Temptations and frustrations aside, I still managed to stay ahead. I went to college, walked out with a degree. I've held respectable jobs. I haven't taken a bat to anyone's knees. This is socially acceptable. Even with the off tendencies, high levels of testosterone, and the vicious mean streak, I integrate well.

If there was a problem, it's that I'm expressive. I tend to say a lot of shit. I like to bitch and moan about things in the world as a form of therapeutic recuperation. Things like this blog are my zen baby. Burning calories into the nights trying to think up new and exciting ways of telling the stupid people of our time that they suck. It's what I do. But I'm smart enough to know when I can do it. And I know that when I walk into my profession, that needs to stay off. So, I stay in boyscout mode, talking proper, and focusing on what needs to be done. It's my job, so be it.

However, it tends to be a bit off-putting when I need to do this more than I should have to. When dealing with patrons and students, civility is part of the gig. But having to do it with colleagues and coworkers too? Then it gets to be a bit much. I can only sugarcoat so much before my teeth start hurting and I start getting mad. I have limits people, and the day gig tends to push on those limits like poking on a scab.

So, in an effort to try and retain the civility, I go quiet. Shut down and run silent. I've got nothing nice to say and I know it. So rather than blow up in some innocent being's face and tell them what I "really think" about their lame-brained ideas or their stupid optimism, I take a deep breath, swallow my natural tendencies, then walk away to go do some mindless repetitive task far far away. And typically this works, except when these same people start following me. Because, of course, they're caring and optimistic people. And people like this could never leave someone alone, that would just not be nice.

Even when that person is me.

So, I tend to start boiling Elmer Fudd style. Steam coming out of the ears, face turning red, all of that. And naturally I still can't say anything. So, I endure. And when my time is up, I race out the door, pushing people out of my way. I hastily climb into my vehicle and start swearing at traffic. Even if I'm not being cut off and getting all green lights, I'm still swearing. "Thank you very fucking much!" I'll growl. "Hey lady, you're a real nice fucking driver, you know that?" Expletive after expletive fire out of my jaws until I finally feel equalized.

My colleagues clearly can't understand this, so they keep slipping me one employee assistance brochure after another in the vain hopes that I'll take the hint and go help myself. Maybe I'll resolve my drinking excesses, or dabble in anger management, or finally cry to someone about how mommy was mean because she never bought me that G.I. Joe with the kung-fu grip. Whatever it is, I can go bang it out with people who care so I can come to work every day saying "Yay! Let's have fun!"

I don't know. I don't think I need counseling. Sure, there are things I wouldn't mind to get off my chest, and a neutral party is never a bad thing. But I'm not sure I'm doing it for the right reasons. If I'm doing it because I want to do it okay. But to feel pressured to do it so that strangers can feel like you're less of a shit to be around, well that's pushing it.

If there is any serious problem with my work ethic, it's this: I'm too nice. I'm too goddamned polite to the things that irritate me. Rather than tell someone they're a pain in the ass, I grimace then leave. Because despite being an idiot in my eyes, I acknowledge that these dumb fucks have feelings. And I try way too hard, at the expense of my own sanity, to protect those feelings. I'm too goddamn nice, that's my big issue here.

And you know what? It's making me crazy.