Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Stairway to Failuredom


A conversation about things from the 80's sparked my interest this afternoon. While speaking with a friend as she cut my hair, we discussed different ideas for an 80's party that is coming up in a few weeks.

Let it be known that I'm watching "The Song Remains the Same" while I write. It's a movie chock-full of Led Zeppelin doing what they do best: blowing peoples' minds. Page is strutting around in huge lifted shoes as Plant jiggles by himself off to the side. It's awe-inspiring. Between just the two of them, there's enough chest and head hair to choke a horse.

                              "Do you feel a draft, James?"

While the Zep isn't permissible for an 80's gig, plenty of other things are still open for use. But this is not what is consuming my brainpower for the afternoon. Instead, I was trying to remember some of my earliest memories from the (gasp) 80's. As strange as it might sound, some of the easiest memories that I could dust off involved regrettable actions on my part. I'm not overwhelmed by the fact that I can't let these things go. I mean, there's little I can do now to change them at this point in time. For some reason or another, I'll share with you all some of my saddest, most embarrassing moments. Bon appetit!

*Side note*
The camera just panned to the audience during Page's solo in "Since I've Been Loving You." Every person had a blank stare and a jaw scraping the floor. It might be the drugs.

1) Psychological Warfare
Growing up with two other brothers, people always ask me if we fought often. The answer: No, not really. However, when my older brother would, inevitably, beat me in a game of knock-out or let's-kick-a-ball-real-far, instead of shaking his hand and commending his brilliant efforts, I'd slink off towards his room. Once there, all blurry-eyed and full of 5-year-old Hulkrage, I'd mess up his bed, drop clothes on the floor, and kick stuff over. Rage subsided, I'd nonchalantly stroll off with a winning grin on my face.
When I spoke to Ben about this, he calmly replied that he never once noticed that I had ever done that. Hmph. I'm just going to have to step it up a notch next time...

2) Dearest Friend, Under the Bus You Go
Each summer, I would get to spend one bliss-filled week at church camp. The week would be filled with chewy, mass-produced meals, awkward "Oh, look a girl! Let's get her to like us by pretending she doesn't exist" tactics, and card games. Lots and lots of card games. One afternoon during recreational time, I was learning how to play Euchre with my friends in our cabin when I noticed some strange kids about to enter the adjacent hallway. From what I recall, these kids were slightly older than us, and being so, were subject to our scorn. While they passed by our open doorway, I spoke a little too loudly to my friend that those kids were "gay (or whatever classy 90's word kids were using back then)." The kids stopped, backed up, and came into the room while asking who had said that. There sat brave little me on the floor, straight-faced and sober, as I slowly raised my finger to point at my friend, Brian. Nothing happened after that, but I still feel shameful for being such a coward. I brought this moment up to Brian a few years back who mentioned that he, too, didn't remember such an event. He is a greater man that I. God Bless you, Sir Brian.

*There was just a backstage moment where some policemen kindly let in a few teenagers through the back door so that they could enjoy the concert. Completely astonished, the kids thank the officers and skip towards the show. That's how legends are made.

3) Open Mouth, Insert Foot
This last one takes place a little more recently than the others. Fresh out of college, I was working nights as a security guard around Omaha. Oh, it was glamorous. I was armed to the teeth with a company Jeep, a shiv-proof vest, and a book of Sudoku puzzles. I was also dating a wonderfully perfect gal at the time. It was a summer filled with moonlit walks, conversations over coffee, outdoors plays, and Chinese food. It was heavenly. There was one downside, however, and that took form as a large and unavoidable crossroad towards mid-August: she went to school in New York. One evening, she carefully trekked into this as-yet-unmentioned territory. My response? Something to the effect of, "Oh, yeah. I'll still write you from time to time and you can be my go-to-gal whenever I'm failing to understand future girlfriends." Single-handedly the dumbest, most asinine thing someone could say in response to that question. A Romeo, I am not.

Geez. This is getting long. Apologies.

Have I learned from my past? I'd like to think so.
Are there more stories of stupid things I've done? But of course.
But that's for future posts.

Go out and do some good, peeps!


I rediscovered a Mp3 disc that I had made back in 2005 recently. It's packed with Blindside, Jimmy Eat World, Thrice (naturally), Hoobastank, Foo Fighters, Metallica, 311...and some other bands of which I'm not too proud of. Needless to say, I found myself driving the long way home so that I could listen to a few extra songs. Yay!

Less Than Zero - Bret Easton Ellis
I tore through this in a matter of hours. It comes recommended, but it can be demoralizing. Picture Catcher in the Rye mixed with Californication.

The Templar Knight - Jan Guillou
Meh. It was a Border's-going-outta-business sale. It'll be a nice little break from anything too heavy.

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