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Do You Think You’re Better Off Alone?

About 18 years ago I first heard this song called “Better Off Alone” by Alice Deejay. I remember hearing it in a club, in Atlantic City, high af, and you could say it came into my life at a time when I questioned the exact title to the song. At that point I had had enough of living in NJ, not knowing who my friends really were, and I didn’t feel like there was anything left there for me. In some ways, I felt like I was better off alone.  So I chose to be alone, and I left the East coast for good.

I moved to Seattle in July of 2000. I was barely 24 and I wasn’t there more than twenty five minutes when my friend picked me up from the airport, got me stoned, and played a version of Better Off Alone I had never heard before. I remember being driven back to his parents house slightly nauseated from the night before and incredibly inspired knowing that I made the right decision in life because that song found a way to follow me to my new place. I might have thrown up in the toilet downstairs the fist day I moved to Seattle, but I was fucking ready for my next adventure, and for the time being, I was better off alone.

I lived the next 18 months of my life impulsively, purposefully, and spiritually. I came to the point where I fell in love for the first time again, and I experienced all these emotions and drug fueled responses to the idea that maybe, I wasn’t better off alone and perhaps having someone in my life to love and to trust was becoming a better option. I found someone who would listen, and someone who would talk to me, unafraid of becoming too exposed to the hard truth of being honest.

For one reason or another that time didn’t last forever, and as I was packing up my Mitsubishi Eclipse on a warm rainy day in March of 2002, I again thought to myself, I know I made the right decision. Perhaps I AM better off alone, and I knew I was. It was the only way for me to protect my heart and my feelings and not allow them to be broken or distorted again. I got really good at just moving on in life and only relying on myself and being ok being alone.  In some ways I am really proud of that independence, but in other ways, it made me so jaded and lovesick for years that it’s hard to see how it did me any good.

Years would go by and I would move to southern California and I would forget all about this song. I would get so wrapped up in the idea of living in Hollywood and pursuing my dream that I wouldn’t have time to question it, reflect on it, or even think about the fact that maybe I was wrong. Was I better off alone?  I didn’t really care at that point because I was surrounded by other people doing the same thing.

It’s such an empowering and extremely lonely thought at the same time. Am I better off alone? I don’t know. The parameters of deciding whether or not I was have changed so many times in my life. Now it had been 7 years since I heard that song and one drunken night in the summer of 2008 I started listening to electronic music again and thinking back to those times almost a decade ago.  I needed a reason for every action, a cause to fight for, and I questioned everything in life as I  wondered, Am I?

Now it’s 2017, and life has reached it’s point on the circle where it becomes full like the moon. Here I am again  in the living room of  my apartment in North Seattle, questioning the answers and provoking my thoughts yet again.

Am I better off alone?

That’s the question right? For years it has been Yes, then No, then Yes again,  but I can assure you that I have felt nothing but the epitome of aloneness these last few months and it fucking sucks. I’m tired of being alone.  I’m tired of being so far away from my friends and my family. Sure, it’s been wonderful to have experienced all the things in life I have had the chance to experience, but for the first time in 17 years I’m thinking that no, I am NOT better off alone. I want someone to share these experiences with. I desire the familiarity of a place I know like the back of my hand and as much as I love the Pacific Northwest…it ain’t gonna happen here. I’m not better off this way, and finally I know now that it’s time to come home.

I will always love this song, no matter what remix I hear. I will always remember how instrumental the lyrics are for me even though they haven’t changed.  They remind where I’ve been, and where I came from. They remind me to always take stock in the fact that even though I’m independent, I still have the desire and the need to have people around me to love and keep me inspired.

This song gave me the mindset and the strength it took to leave New Jersey in 2000, and the wisdom and knowledge to know that it’s time to return in 2017. I can’t think of a better example of  life coming full circle than that.

Do you think you’re better off alone?

Not anymore.

 

Signum remix:

original mix

dash berlin remix

heavy trance remix

 

 

 

bang

Let’s Start With a Bang

Lately, I’ve been singing to myself…
I  d o n’t  w a n n a   be here no  more.”

October is over, a month that made me wax and wain with a purpose. A purpose I’m still trying to figure out as there is a goofy sideshow election going on that perfectly represents what this country, like myself have become. Divided.

I’m divided in half like a bi-polar nightmare and I don’t know if I keep challenging myself to see how far I can go, or if I keep making the same mistakes because I know it’s a challenge I can win. I started with a bang seven months ago and blew up my world by moving to a city I haven’t lived in since fucking George W. Bush stole the election in 2000.

I got a job that pays me well, and pays me benefits. I found a great apartment, some cool friends and a pretty girl and I loved that I loved everything in my life until it all stopped reciprocating that love to me right before the short lived summer of Seattle, 2016.

It makes me wonder… was it really love at all?

Maybe it was infatuation that changed my world and turned me upside down. Maybe it was the start of something new, and the journey to get to the destination that once I got to, I subtly started questioning if I really wanted to be there. It was obvious by my actions, so naturally those actions have caused me to question the reaction I’ve been having to my troubled, self inflicted life. Maybe I don’t know what I want, and maybe that’s ok.

What if instead of living a bi-polar life, I am living a world of multiplicity as I’m pushed and pulled into half a dozen different scenarios in my mind. Jesus Christ was NOT perfect, and neither am I, but I don’t think it’s wrong to be a saint and sinner simultaneously, just like him.

I came back to the west coast last week with the option to leave early, but since those first  72 hours have past me by, I’m starting to think that maybe I need to slow my roll and give it a chance. Maybe I need to stop trying to blow up my life and start trying to piece it together through finding out what I want, a little bit at a time through observation, and the patience to see it through to the end, or the beginning depending on how I look at it.

After all, I spent 13 years in that God awful place they call L.A. and I didn’t sell my soul for anything less than a million dollars of my own self worth that comes in the form of credit card which I don’t really care about anymore. It’s not real, it doesn’t really matter, and really the only thing that I can do is take a deep breath, maybe get a little artificial sunlight and go out there and live my life and discover what it is that comes next. I got to admit, It’s kind of exciting that I can still be this much of a free spirit in the summertime of my life.

For awhile I’ve been singing to myself
I  d o n’t  w a n n a   be  h e re  no  more”

…but I’ve been flowing like a samurai and stinging like a butterfly. Now I don’t feel the need to blow up my life again, but I do love the excitement, so for better or worse, let’s start with a bang.

 

 

nckilovegate

The Love & The Hate

Is it possible to love something so much but go through fleeting moments of hating it too? Like for example, I love my life, but I hate the fact that I’ve been so complacent about it recently. It’s like I know I can do better than working at a bar and writing an interesting blog, yet although I’m glad I’m writing again, I hate the fact that I am writing this blog about how I’ve resigned to feeling nonchalant about my life.

I got to be honest, I haven’t given it 110% in the writing part because all summer I worked like 40 hours a week at a hip (or sometimes very UN-hip) rooftop hotel high volume bar, and I’m 40 years old and been doing this for 16 years so in my eyes, 40 plus 40 plus 16 equals tired as fuck on your days off, and all I remember doing was drinking, eating and watching TV.  Thank God it was an Olympic year.

I was physically and mentally exhausted, but now I know that the physical demands of my job are slowing down as the bar does in the fall and winter, and my mental problems have gone away on a vacation for awhile. With this new found level of calm, my goal must be to kick the complacency, try something new, let go of the issues I had this summer, and not allow them to come back.

No more hate.  I want to fall in love with my life again.

On the other hand, I can love and hate things outside of my life to fill that void of feeling the desire to love and hate things.  For example I hate Nicki Minaj, but I LOVE this commercial she is in, and I also simultaneously hate the fact that I love it.

There’s something about her that annoys the shit out of me,  but maybe it’s because of the way she is portrayed in the media.  Plus, I know everyone raves about her ass, but  I think her butt is just not that attractive.  It’s too big for me anyway.   I don’t know.  I’m trying not to objectify and make light of her, but come on…it IS a little obscene don’t you think?

But wait. Before you judge me, here’s the point of me bringing up her ass and how it perfectly reflects my life right now.

MY ass has gotten too big from not doing anything constructive on my days off.  I mean figuratively, because my butt isn’t actually larger or anything like that.  In fact I’ve actually lost ten pounds this summer, so I can’t really complain, but what I’m getting at is although I have been ecstatic about cruising through my life and having the means to do extravagant things with extraordinary people, I hate how complacent I have become and how I have spent my free time not learning anything new, with the exception of how to relate the size of a pop star’s derriere to my current state of life affairs.

The bright side is through all the love and the hate I have learned how to protect my heart and I learned how to be alone, and now I have the understanding and mental capacity it takes to be ok with BEING alone for right now.  I suppose those are two important things to remember how to do, even if I’ve tried to do them before and failed like a champ. I think I’m ready to stop hating the down cycle, and start living for the upswing.

So what’s the upswing?

I’m still in debt, and I  need to work five days a week to pay all my bills and get ahead of it, but I think what it comes down to is I’ve been missing that connection with something outside of love and hate. I want the passion back, the passion that comes with admiring who you are and what you do in spite of the fleeting moments of indifference.  Some days I’m really proud of myself, and other days I know I could do better than me.

For now, every time I see that Nicki Minaj commercial, maybe I will have to cause it to remind me to be a little more proactive in my life and stop hating the fact that I have been kind of lackadaisical. But what if it was necessary?  Maybe I needed it. Maybe it was therapeutic.  Maybe it was the next step, like a purging of old ideas but maybe enough is enough and now it served it’s purpose.

I should pat myself on the back for escaping from the drama pretty much unscathed, but not too confidently as to cause me to be cocky. In the most sincere and humbling way possible, I’m ready for the next phase of my life, whatever that is.

I’ll tell you…sometimes I hate trying to figure out my life at 40, but I love the fact that at least I still have a life to figure out.

uninspiredfinger

The New Inspiration

I have a dilemma going on in my life and the problem is that lately I haven’t found anything inspiring to write about. Scratch that. I have plenty to write about, but I feel like I need to be a little more cautious and use a new level of discretion when I choose to write about the things that I write about. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not uninspired, but recently I realized that when I write about my personal life I’m at my best, regardless as to what’s going on or going wrong in it.

But some of the characters in my blog are also the friends and people that are reading my blog, which means we’re in the middle of a conflict of interest, a sometimes double entendre, and the reality that they may or may not end up as a character in it. I once wrote that I couldn’t do this blog without my supporting cast so I guess all I can say is, I told you so.

But let’s be honest, not EVERYTHING in my life is “blogable” just because this blog exists. Some things I try to keep private as I attempt to follow a level of ethics that I live and write by. For instance…

I want to to write about my ex girlfriend of mine who puts headphones in her ears at night and lulls herself to sleep by listening to the soothing sounds of white noise, but I know people will gossip the fuck out of it if I did.

I want to write about the PYT from the 90s that is flakey as fuck, but loves the movie Heathers as much as I do, but again, it’ll all turn into talk, talk, talk, and at some point I want to at least try to protect her anonymity.

Then there’s the wide eyed, congenial lawyer I had many wines with, and how half of a glass ended up on my knee at a baseball game, but even though she doesn’t read my blog, there’s always the possibility that she might one day read my blog… just because it’s out there.

However, certain things that affect my everyday life NEED to be written about which is why I have no qualms to mention the Bumble girl I dated for a minute who read through this website and then psycho-analyzed me on dates number two and three. It never got past that night when I accepted an invitation to go to a wedding with her, then rescinded that invitation three hours later, and haven’t seen her since.

It was my call, obviously. Reading my blog and then trying to figure me out by getting drunk and calling me out on stuff I wrote about is reminiscent of people who go out to Irish bars on St. Patrick’s Day and drink themselves stupid. Fucking amateur hour. I just wish she would have taken this for what it is….a moment in time I document about my life, which she is no longer in anymore.

Maybe I was being too harsh, but a part of me was pissed that night. Who does that shit? I mean, it’s not really fair to me is it? Anyone who dates me, or knows me, or is in my circle of friends knows I write this blog and it’s pretty goddamn personal. Am I unable to be brutally honest? Do I have to censor myself now? My life is basically out there for people to read and come to think of it, I should have everyone I meet sign a non disclosure agreement stating that they won’t use the information in this blog against me, or like the Bumble girl. Please don’t drink hella tequila and start verbally attacking me, repeating the phrase “I don’t give two shits.” seventeen times in eight minutes, then regurgitating some line about how you know all this stuff about me like I’m bad in relationships and a “hopeless romantic”

No shit I’m a hopeless romantic….you read that about me on the first page of this website. I should probably update that because come to think of it… I’m definitely NOT hopeless.

I guess for now, I can try to filter the truth through strategically playing the right pawns and rooks, but you might suggest that I have to come up with more creative ideas than writing about my three muses because lately it’s been all work, wine and women. I need to get back to having an experience outside of all three of them.

But ultimately, if you give me a reason to write about you, I’m going to write about you. Just don’t do anything stupid and please don’t get offended. This blog is half satire, and that should be taken with a grain of salt, or an entire shaker for those of you who know me.

However, if you do choose to get offended, remember that it’s your choice to feel that way, and it’s my choice to not feel the need to apologize for any of it because this is MY story. I shouldn’t have to censor myself or say I’m sorry for the things that someone else did to me. I’ve got to tell my story in the most sarcastic, ironic, bitingly funny and dreadfully dramatic way possible, without cause for concern about who may or may not get butt hurt along the way. And that will have to be my new inspiration.

Palmtreesun

Four Days in L.A. (Part 3)

I wake up on Shaun and Adam’s couch at about 7 in the morning. Truth is, I didn’t really sleep well and it was kind of hot all night and I was still wearing the same clothes from the day before when I got off the plane. I try to think about what happened after dinner last night, and then it all kind of comes back to me.

I remember going to Magnolia with Tasha, meeting up with Shaun and Adam, and having some more drinks before we headed over to The Well. Across the street from that bar is the Hollywood Palladium where I worked on and off for 8 years, and as I looked at it now on a dark night it seems so peaceful and quiet, unlike the last two years of my life when I worked there.

That place was always a shit show, which I assume must be a trend in my life because the place in Seattle that I currently work certainly has the same qualities of shit I used to endure on a daily basis, only worse.  The only thing that is missing are the bands and the intermissions where I would be able to get a half hour break from bartending. A break now? What the hell is that? I make drinks for 8 hours straight and probably haven’t taken more than an seven minute break since I’ve been hired.

“Do you live in the city of Seattle?” Adam asks.

“I live like six miles north of the city, but it’s still Seattle proper.” I replied.

“Seattle Proper!!” Tasha mocks

Has no one ever heard of that saying?  But, that’s pretty much the epitome of what my friends and I do. We talk about shit in our lives, bust each other’s balls, then do it all over again. Adam I leave the small group to have a smoke outside and we start talking about the last six months. It’s great to see him again. Adam and I are a lot alike in the sense that we’re both really good guys who never seem to get a break when it comes to relationships. I guess you could say we are handicapped in some way. He tells me about a girl at work he had been into that didn’t work out, and I tell him about the girl at work I had been into that didn’t work out.  There is this humbling connection he and I have when it comes to talking about failing in love, and yes you read that right.  I did not type the word “falling” because the former seems to happen more than the latter.

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We chat for awhile and before I know it it’s close to one in the morning and it’s at this point when the memories start to get a little fuzzy. However, one of the last things I do is spot a sign on the door of the building next to the bar, and I laugh because I can’t believe we were just talking about this. I snap a picture and I show it to Tasha

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The next morning  the sun is shining through Shaun and Adam’s living room window and even the blanket that I draped over the curtains isn’t really doing any good keeping the light out. The fan is on full blast and it’s not long before Tasha comes to pick me up and we head over to our old apartment in Hollywood where I haven’t been for the last six months. It’s already approaching 88 degrees at ten am, and I can feel all the wine, bourbon, and beer seeping out of me as I sit on the porch and wait for Tasha to get there.

“I need a burger and a diet coke” I say to her as I get into the car.

She puts the air conditioning on blast and we drive over to Carlton Way to do the final walk through at the apartment. After we park I run into my old landlord and I wonder if he knows I haven’t lived in the place since January and I’ve been illegally subletting it to my bff. I tell him we’ll be ready in about 20 minutes for the walk though and I head up the stairs and walk into apartment #310 for the last time ever. It’s smaller than I remember, but it’s just as empty as the first day I moved in back in 2011, minus the bed and the two couches Tasha and I have to dispose of in the middle of the hottest part of the day after I’ve barely slept and I am still wearing the same clothes from the night before. This is going to be tough, not mentally, but physically, but maybe a little bit mentally too as I would come to find out.

As Tasha cleans up parts of the bedroom and the kitchen, I get to work moving the box spring and mattress down the flight of stairs and into the trash area. It looks like a furniture store down there as there are tables, chairs, a bed, and other stuff  and I assume someone just moved out until I notice a sign posted on the wall. The sign reads something like:

“Do not take any of the stuff in this area, it is infested with bed bugs.”

Gross. I throw Tasha’s old box spring down against the wall and I make sure not to touch ANY of the other items near the dumpster. I’m not surprised at all by the fact that there is a bed bug infestation going on at that apartment. Tasha and I went through the same thing back in 2012 when we had to get rid of my old bed and cover everything while they bombed the apartment. I remember her and I checked into a hotel room down the street that day and took the cat and the rabbit with us against the rules of the motel. That afternoon we got drunk on chardonnay and ate thai food until some time after the sun went down when we could move back into our apartment.

My sunglasses are slipping off of my face in the stifling California heat, so I head back up into the apartment, dragging my feet and desperately in need of food and water which will eventually come but not before I look around the apartment and reminisce a little bit.

5741 Carlton Way #310 represented a dream that Tasha and I had for years. A dream of being successful creators of our own TV show, and even though we didn’t carry out the couch ourselves, that couch was where it all began. I can’t put into words what we went through over those 3 and a half years, so instead let me post a picture of Tasha’s instagram that she uploaded shortly after we finished the walk through of the apartment that day which pretty much sums it up.

ript&tt

Trent & Tilly, the web series, and then the TV show was the lifeblood of me and Tasha’s career, even though we didn’t make a dime off of it. We made a bunch of webisodes and a half hour pilot episode, but you’ll probably never see them. We worked really hard, sacrificed a lot, and in fact, I went into debt thousands of dollars just trying to stay in Los Angeles another two years to see if there was a chance the show would actually turn into a reality.  It was such a good idea for a TV show, and it still is so I’m not going to give away any plot elements just in case.  We had celebrities in the pilot, agents to negotiate our deals, managers who wanted to rep us, people who wanted to work with us and people who we fired for being idiots.  But the real magic of it all was that Tasha and I had this obvious chemistry on screen that everyone could see, and sometimes was captured when we weren’t playing our parts, but instead, we were just playing ourselves. Here is an example from 2014 of what I mean:

I finally meet up with Alex, who also was the inspiration for a character in our show, and he walks me through the apartment making notes of what needs a touch up, the couches that need to be removed, and what needs to be fixed like the window in the kitchen that I broke last summer when I was frustrated as fuck.  I remember a wrote a blog about that day….

I Will Never Fail Drama

Alex speaks in a thick Russian accent and as we finish the walk through he has some very nice words to say about me and Tasha.

“You are good tenants.  So EEEF…you ever want to move back in, it will be ok no problem.”

This comes after he tells me that when they renovate the apartment they will probably charge $1600 a month for it.  As much as I appreciate how much he appreciated me as a tenant, there is no way I would ever move back into this apartment building and pay $500 more a month than what I was paying.  Besides, I don’t want to live in L.A. anymore but even if I did, you can’t go back.  You must go on.

I shake hands with Alex, he tells me that my security deposit refund should be in the mail within two weeks and I highly doubt I’m going to get anything back, so you could imagine how surprised I was the other day when I got a check in the mail for $600.  That pretty much paid for my trip and whatever expenses I incurred over the four days.

This was a hard day in L.A. Not only was it hot and I was tired and suffering from Hollywood allergies, but I had to say goodbye to a time and a place in my life…again. Six months ago I blogged about how in the last few minutes before I left for Seattle, I took a last look around the apartment as Tasha asked me if I wanted to take a picture. When I heard her say that, I got a little choked up and I said “No, I just need to go.” This time tough, I indulged in that opportunity.

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Thirty minutes later, Tasha and I find ourselves exhausted, sitting in a Carl’s Jr. on Pico and San Vincente eating cheeseburgers, fries, and drinking diet cokes. I miss Carl’s Jr. a lot.  It was probably one of the most rewarding fast food meals I have had in decades. We sit there chowing down our first bit of food since the day before reflecting on the afternoon, emotionally and physically drained from the last 24 hours. There is really only one thing left to say.

“I need a nap.”  I say to her.

“Me too.” She replies.

 

 

 

micke (dragged)

Fuck This Fucking Desk

Never in my life has assembling a piece of IKEA furniture been more frustrating than when I tried and failed at putting together this desk last week. It got so bad that at one point I was cursing and stabbing an inanimate object while screaming “Why are you being such a little bitch?” Furniture should never be this difficult to put together, which is why I eventually said “Fuck off” to this fucking desk. But before I got extremely aggravated throughout the whole process, for a few fleeting moments, I was actually looking forward to go furniture shopping.

A few weeks ago I visited my local IKEA and picked out a computer desk and matching drawer unit for the low low price of $149.99. Of course, since I drive a small two door sports car, neither the desk nor the drawer unit would fit into my vehicle.  That problem was easily fixed by simply ordering the two units online and then paying a small amount of $39 for delivery.  Not a wasted trip to Tukwila, Washington at all I reluctantly thought.

When the desk and drawer unit arrived a week later, I was ecstatic. I lugged both boxes up two flight of stairs to my apartment, went to work at the bar, and then was even more ecstatic when I was cut early from my shift at 7:30 that night that. I caught my bus home, picked up a bottle of chardonnay, and went to town putting together the future platform where I would sit and write blogs and stories for all of you to read.

The first mistake I made was consuming alcohol while trying to read those 20-30 page pamphlets that pass as instruction manuals, as if white wine was going to make me the whole process easier. First of all, they don’t write any actual words down on the pages. My guess is that way, they can use them as universal instructions and just put the same insert in every flat packed box of furniture. Even if I wasn’t drinking alcohol while putting this desk together, the instructions are so difficult to decipher, they might have well been written in hieroglyphics, which is pretty much what it looks like to me, regardless of my level of sobriety.

micke (dragged)3wtf  is with that severed hand?

 

At least I was able to assemble the drawers for underneath the desktop, so then I put those aside and started to work on the actual desk itself per the instructions. This is where things got a little bit….unnerving.

I had to put the desktop together upside down while sitting on the floor of my apartment.  I recently re-injured my MCL which if any of you are curious as to what that is, it’s the inside ligament that connects your knee to your shin bone which regulates movement and pivoting, two things that we should never take for granted. Needless to say, moving around with a torn MCL is extremely painful, especially when you are forced to sit on the ground and crawl around like a baby looking for one of the hundred pieces of hardware used to fasten part number 0112345 to part number 0112234. I wonder why IKEA comes up with funny and entertaining names for their furniture like the Poang chair, but then just gives up and assigns a barcode like number to every other piece of hardware to put that Poang chair together.

I was figuratively and literally not in my comfort zone at this point, though I was carefully “reading” the instructions and trying to make sure every calculated move was correct. After another fifteen to twenty minutes of dowel inserting and screw tightening, I could see the finish line in the distance. All I needed to do was attach the desktop to the bottom frame I just built, screw some more shit in, add in some more wooden dowels and it would pretty much be done, although to this day I still don’t understand how fat wood toothpicks hold ANYTHING that big together.

However, thanks to my shoddy knee and the uncomfortable position I was sitting in on the floor, when I went to pick up the bottom frame and attach it to the desk top, I somehow pivoted incorrectly which then made me scream in pain, which then caused the desk top to slip out of my hand and fall over backside onto the floor ripping out one of the important connector pieces, splintering the cheap wood, and creating a gaping hole where a gaping hole should not have been.

I screamed at “Fuck you” and other expletives at the desk, took another swig of my wine, but then was somehow able to jimmy rig the two pieces together for lack of a better term. It was at this point that I had to refer to the instruction manual to make sure I grabbed the correct four round “screw keys” or whatever the fuck they call them that I would then insert into the pre-drilled holes in the desk for everything to be held together tightly and securely. Of course, the instruction manual only slightly informs you that there are other screw keys that are smaller and look almost exactly like the ones you’re supposed use at this point in the installation, and even that attempt to inform me is slight indiscernible.

 

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Needless to say, I put the wrong size screw keys in the hole, and when I finally realized this, I was unable to get them out of the hole. I tried really hard too.  I used a needle nose pliers to attempt to remove them, but all I ended up doing was basically making the hole bigger than it needed to be, while little pieces of chipboard were being flung all over my living room carpet.  Then, I fucking lost it.

I stood up, and in my drunken state of mind, I proceeded to destroy what was left of the desk. I kicked down the screws that I so carefully placed in the correct pre-drilled holes, I stabbed the desktop with the pliers making gashes in places where there shouldn’t be gashes, and I grabbed every part of that fucking piece of shit desk, stuffed it back into it’s packing container, dragged it downstairs like a dead body, and threw it in the garbage.

Then I sat there on the curb, just a deskless, frustrated, sweaty mess smoking a cigarette in total disbelief of the fact that I just wasted eighty bucks plus tax and shipping on one piece of furniture I no longer wanted, or was in any shape to be used for it’s intended purpose.

I was also in shock and awe at how angry I got at an inanimate object that basically was forty pounds of chipboard and screws that I fucked up. I went to bed that night drunk and disheartened.  The next morning I  woke up a little hungover, but I had come up with a devilishly genius plan that I put into action.

I called the IKEA customer service number at 8am. After being on hold for nearly 25 minutes, I finally got through to a human being. I thought to myself two things:

1. I couldn’t tell the truth or return the item in it’s current state because I had completely annihilated the desk the night before, and
2. I still had the separate drawer unit I had to put together which was fully intact in it’s original shipping container.

So I took a page out of the storyline of one of the characters from Orange Is The New Black. I told the customer service representative that I never received the desk. Can we say mail fraud?

Lying to get what you want is never a good idea and I don’t condone that type of behavior. But in this case, after going through what I went through the night before and the insurmountable pain and suffering that I endured, I felt like I had payed the price of admission so to speak, and besides, I knew that I could get away with it. First of all, the two items were just left on the stairs outside of my apartment building by FedEx. I didn’t sign for them, and one could say that because of that fact I could claim I “never received” one of them. Who could prove me wrong?

“I got home from work, and I saw the smaller package with the drawer unit on the porch, so I took it up to my apartment and just assumed that the desk would be coming in a separate shipment.” I said to the customer service rep.

“I guess people just steal things off porches here in Seattle. I just moved here by the way.” I said to her in my most helpless tone
I pleaded my case with absolute aloofness to the fact that perhaps someone stole the desk off the porch of my apartment. I even joked with her that if I was going to steal something, I would have taken the smaller, less heavy parcel. Maybe I was lathering it on too thick, but at this point, all I really wanted to do was to get a new desk and continue with the arduous process of putting it together so that it would match the drawer unit that I still had yet to put together.

Thank God I was an actor in Hollywood for 12 years prior to this event because I believe that experience gave me the wit, charm, and improv skills to talk my way into IKEA sending me a brand new Micke desk in a new shipment without me having to put out any more money.

“I understand.” The rep told me  “These things happen. I’ll have a new desk sent out to you and send you an email when it ships.

I thanked the customer service rep repeatedly, added a little more icing to the proverbial fraudulent cake that I baked that morning, and I proudly hung up and went ahead and started to put together the drawer unit, until once again it started to all fall apart right before the last step. How on Earth could this be happening two times in a row?!?!  Why does IKEA furniture seem to hate me all of a sudden?

Luckily, I had not destroyed THIS piece of furniture like I destroyed the desk, so when I got frustrated again in the final minutes before it was a usable drawer unit, I finally said “Fuck this shit” and I decided to take it back to the store, cancel the new desk, and just ask for a refund for both the desk and the drawer unit. Unfortunately, when I got to the IKEA I didn’t have the original credit card I used to purchase these items on me, so I was stuck with two options.

1. I drive back to my apartment to get the card which was 25 minutes each way, OR
2. I cancel the order completely and have them put the refund amount on a gift card to be used at a later date.

I went with option two, being as that allowed me to put out the least amount of energy to get what I wanted. Sure, now I was stuck with still having to put together a desk from IKEA which could go horribly wrong again, but I’m sure they have some other items that might be easier to assemble without the need for a 35 step instruction manual.  I picked out the most basic and easy to assemble desk table they had, making sure I looked up the instruction manual online before I committed to buying this item.

A week later, here I am awaiting the arrival of my new desk table which hopefully will not get stolen off my porch this time, because that’s EXACTLY what happened the last time, right?  Hopefully, it will come together quickly and efficiently without causing my head and body so much self inflicted torture.

I learned two very valuable lesson from all of this. First, don’t try to put a desk together when you have been drinking a bottle of wine. Secondly, if at first you don’t succeed at putting together a piece of IKEA furniture while sober, don’t destroy it. Just give the fuck up and return it to the store. Politely explain how confusing and frustrated you got while trying to put it together and then go out and buy something that is pre-assembled. That way you won’t end up like me, a frustrated, human being with anger management issues that is currently lacking a desk in his life.

But if all else fails, and you know you happen to hate an item you received for whatever reason and you know you didn’t sign for it when it was delivered, consider the option of just playing dumb and say you never got it.  Lying to get what you want is wrong, but based on my experiences, it will probably work that ONE time when you really need it to work.

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How Many Cardboard Boxes Does It Take? (Part 1)

If you had to pack all of your belongings into cardboard boxes, how many of them would it take?   Today, I began to find out.

I hit up Box Bros for ten of them plus a roll of tape.  Of course as soon as I started “making” one of these boxes, I realized that without that handy tape dispenser that fits in your hand, EVERY TIME I cut the tape, I lose the end of it somewhere in the roll.  There is absolutely NO WAY I am going to continue like this.  I head to Home Depot, which I imagine will be my most frequented store over the next three weeks.

In front of the parking lot of course are the “day laborers” looking for a job.  I call them Mexicans.  Not because I am generalizing, but because that’s who stands outside of the Home Depot. Day laborers who are Mexican…ok fine, Latino.  Stop being so offended world, nothing about that screams racism.

I hit up aisle 39, then aisle 6, then BACK to 39 where I realize that the tape I came in looking for was actually sitting on an end cap in front of the paint section. Gorilla Tape. Fuck packing and duct tape, this stuff is like concrete strips in a convenient sized roll for under $10.

I leave the Depot, and stop and grab a bite, then I come back down my street and I look at the very unattractive and shady apartment building across from mine.  There are two black guys in suits, using the call box, and one of them looks like Johnnie Cochran if I hadn’t just googled him and found out he died 11 years ago.  There is also a sedan parked nose out onto my dead end street, and a giant black suburban with tinted windows is backing up to get a better view of the on coming traffic, but for once in L.A. there isn’t any.

Two things come to mind.  That is either a drug deal in the midst of happening, or it is a celebrity in the midst of a drug deal.  The one thing I know from living across the street from that apartment building for the last five years is that I 100% assure you, it has SOMETHING to do with drugs.

Now I’ve finished eating, and I am starting to pack my old journals and papers, and writings.  I read something I wrote from 10 years ago and it sounds like a bunch of confounded superficial dribble that makes no sense years later.

In the desolate air of the summer breeze, I find myself astounded that I made the choice I made today.”  

Wait, what the fuck was I talking about back then?

Regardless, I pack it because I’m probably going to want to read that again and laugh at myself with a glass of red wine in my hand, chuckling at the idea of how silly I was when I was 28.  Also as a writer, I don’t think you should ever throw away anything you’ve ever written, except death threats.  BURN them if you have them lying around.

I open the drawers to my coffee table and start to empty out the contents into my first cardboard box and suddenly the cat and the rabbit have to start investigating everything.  The rabbit is hopping to and from each item I put on the floor to eat it, and the cat is stretching where I spilled a little cat nip a few hours ago.

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I put the rest of the stuff on the couch to pack it up, and then I do something I don’t think I should have done.  I decided to dump the dirt from the drawer into a box while I’m standing over my coffee table covered with important stuff on top.

Of course, the drawer then slips out of my hand.

It falls onto my GLASS top coffee table which happens to have a lit foresty smelling candle on it.  It doesn’t shatter the glass thank God, but it does knock the candle over onto the table and splashes hot green balsam fir smelling wax all over the glass, the other couch, my work bag, and the carpet.

The animals go running in opposite directions and I start shouting expletives into the air like: “Fuck!” &  “Holy Fuck!” & “Of fucking course that fucking shit just fucking happened!”

I should have taken a picture of this calamity, but the LAST thing I was thinking when this happened was “I wonder if this spilled wax has enough artistic value to hold weight on Instagram? #accidentallyartisitc

I take a deep breath and exhale and then I look on the coffee table and I realize that the wax could have gone any place it wanted.  I had no control over that.  Sure, parts of the table were waxy, including the couch and whatever else it splattered onto, but you know what the wax missed?  My cell phone and my laptop which were just inches away from the candle.

“Holy fuck…. I’m a lucky duck.”

I scraped off the wax by using an old CD I was going to throw out anyway.  I guess the band Coldplay is good for something AND for nothing.

After this debacle, I decided it’s probably best to take the rest of the day off and come back to this project tomorrow.

Box count as of today:  1

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Sorry I Lied About My Therapy

I had my last therapy session yesterday. Now I know what you’re thinking… Christian, you said on your main page that you blog because you can’t afford therapy, so why did you lie to us?

Well, the truth is I CAN’T afford therapy…. but at one point in August of this year, things had gotten so bad that I couldn’t afford NOT to go to therapy.

Am I cured? Absolutely not. Was I sick in the head?  Probably, but then again if I wasn’t sick in the head or going through some sort of life changing event, I wouldn’t have anything to write about and this blog wouldn’t really exist, so here we are.

I enjoyed talking about my problems and my issues with someone in person outside of my inner circle. It helped to give me perspective on where I am going and what I am doing with my life, even if I had to drive 30 minutes to Pasadena to make that happen twice a month.

Since I’ve now gotten to the point where I’m ready to move on and start a new chapter in my life, I figured that my mental mission to fix my brain was accomplished and it was time to stop therapy, in addition to the fact that I have no health insurance and each session set me back sixty five dollars.

I’ve decided to leave Los Angeles for now and move back to Seattle in early 2016. I have to say that even before I knew what the outcome of all this was going to be, it had always been in the back of my mind for years.

For those of you who can read between the lines, L.A. has been detrimental to my confidence and my well being. I don’t feel I was ever rewarded for all the hard work I had done over the years, I feel as if there is nothing left here for me, and even though the sun shines down on my face 340 days a year, that warmth is fleeting and that sunshine is shallow, and seldom does it make me feel like I’m at home.

My therapist agrees, and I don’t think he is lying to me because a therapist is supposed to challenge you and call you out on your shit, and he has done that in the past, but when I came back this week from my trip to the Pacific Northwest, there was something about me that neither he or I could deny.

I have evolved. I have a plan. I have graduated to a place where I know what’s best for me now, and I know that I need to leave something behind.

Obviously I am going to keep writing because it helps me, and I think I’m pretty good at it. I know this because it makes me feel better to get it out, people tell me that they can relate to what I’m writing, and even though I am hungry and I want to eat my breakfast right now, I choose to wait just a little bit longer until I finish writing this blog because I feel like at some point in the next few weeks, I am going to need to go back and read it again so that it reinforces what I felt when I woke up this morning.

I’ll probably go back to therapy in a few months when I have a new job that gives me the health benefits that we all so desperately need more than the right to own a gun. I know I’m closing the book on L.A. for now, but I’m keeping the page dog eared just in case I want to re visit it at some point.

However, I’m never going to to stop writing about the things that go on inside my head because as I said before, ultimately, THIS is my therapy.

Or at least it’s the closest and most cost effective clinic in town that doesn’t require me to have health insurance to join.  I love it here.

 

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An Open Letter to WordPress

I started this blog about 6 months ago as a way to write about my friends’ weddings and then post them on Facebook for all of them to read. I posted about 8 or 9 blogs over the course of three months, got some positive and some negative reactions, was praised for my work, and condemned for it at the same time. I gained some friends, and lost some old ones. Then I took a break for awhile.

When I returned from my sabbatical, I started blogging about personal issues, things I was currently going through or I had went through, and stuff that I wouldn’t even admit to some of my friends in real life. Then something strange started to happen….people on WordPress started to follow my blog. Then came the likes, and the comments and then I started thinking, maybe this is what I should be doing with my life.

I had been searching for something like this for a long time. What’s the word…. oh yeah, “recognition.”

I’ll admit it, I like it when people “like” my posts and I appreciate each comment and I do my best to comment back and to check out other people’s blogs. I’ve gotten to the point now that I feel compelled to write every week, because I know people are reading and part of that knowing keeps me going.

Is it a self fulfilling prophecy? Probably, but I’m not an ego-maniac, I just like to know that I’m not the only one who has had a shitty day, or a broken heart and I know now I’m not the only one who writes about it.

Recently I was nominated for “Performance of the Year” by ThePublicBlogger.com. I’ll save you the drama, I didn’t win. I didn’t even make it past the first round of voting because A. I didn’t know it came down to a public vote & B. I was asleep for 85% of the time the voting polls were open.

I worked every day last week until about 2 or 3 in the morning. Yesterday on my day off I took a xanax at 9pm after eating half a pepperoni pizza, and woke up a little before noon today. It felt fucking great to sleep, but it felt kind of like shit to wake up to 25 Facebook notifications basically saying that I wouldn’t be making it to the next round and that I was now a “falling star.” I just grabbed my coffee, deleted all those posts and said “Fuck that shit.” Winning anything doesn’t really matter to me anyway. It’s not why I do this.

The internet is weird. People on Twitter are passive aggressive assholes you don’t know, and people on Facebook are your old friends that post pictures that make you think their lives are perfect, when they’re really not. The poker sites are rigged, the sports blogs are biased, and there is so much celebrity bullshit going around, with  no way to prove any of it, but who fucking cares anyway?

Then there is WordPress, where people actually seem to care. For real. They read what I write and they sympathize, or they laugh out loud, or they just make me feel like someone is listening and basically, that’s all I’ve ever wanted.

So thank you for following me, and thank you for commenting on my posts. Thank you for the nomination, and thank you for paying attention to the one thing in my life that I feel I have absolute control over, and believe me, that level of confidence doesn’t come around very often for me.

I don’t know what happens from here. Sometimes I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life, or where I’m going to end up, but I know I’ll keep writing about it and I know you’ll be here to keep reading about it. Thanks for that.

Love & Regards,

Christian Marc

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Shameless Self Promotion

As much as I don’t like to solicit myself or my work….

I was nominated for Performance of the Year by thepublicblogger here on WordPress.  It’s really an honor just to be nominated for ANYTHING in life, but especially for my writing which is dear to me and obviously something I love and would like to think will eventually support me…monetarily.

I’ll get right to the point.  I would just like to ask that you click on this link

https://theneighborhoodlounge.wordpress.com/2015/09/26/2015-nominees-best-performance-of-the-year/

You will find out more about the show, the 10 other bloggers who were nominated, and the story within the story. Perhaps you might like what you see….perhaps you will discover something new. Or perhaps you’ll be so enthralled by all this information coming at you that you may even want to visit my Facebook page by clicking on

this link here —> https://www.facebook.com/christian.marc1

Take a look around, click on some shit, like some stuff off Facebook.  You can even friend me and I’ll happily accept and look forward to the time when I can be of help to you.

Please feel free to like this post, comment on it, or tell me to go fuck myself.  When it comes down to it, I write this blog for me, and I don’t need an award to know who I am.

But a little recognition is always good for the soul.

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