I'm a bad person

Legally, my last name is "Steeves", because my mother was not married when I was born (gasp!). So, for all legal purposes, I go by "David Steeves". However, outside of legalities, I use my step father's last name, Percival.

This is quite often a pain in the ass, because I have some older documents under that name, and others under my legal name. However, sometimes it works in my favour.

A few months ago, I worked with my mother at H&R Block. She was, in fact, my supervisor.

On a whim, while dropping off resumes, I put down "Sally Percival" as a reference. After all, anyone who hired me would see my name as "David Steeves", and would have no idea that the person who was giving me such a glowing recommendation was, in fact, my mother.

I feel almost guilty. Almost.

weekly haiku #57 - my neighbours

crank up the music

hope your neighbours don't hear you

drown out your own doubts

Some Texts:

I actually feel like sharing these texts I got from a friend, during my sister's wedding. It'll give you an idea of who she is. Because, well, she's a terrible, TERRIBLE person. I need to figure out a nickname for her on this blog, ha. For now, she'll just be "D"

Me: Oh God Help me, I'm in SOOKE.
D: Yes but at least your sister gets to have an amazing wedding night!
D: S E X
Me: Quiet you. Youre a bad person.
D: Hey, I'm not sleeping with her!
Me: You're a terrible person. I'm telling my sister you said that. I'll read these out at her reception.
D: I think she knows she's sexually active. But I could be wrong.

I got these texts, by the way, while talking to my aunt and uncle. I kept laughing, and they wanted to see what I was reading. Luckily, I kept my phone out of reach. Fun times.

Scenes from a wedding:

It was my sister's wedding on saturday, and there were a lot of great moments. I mean, there was the wedding itself, of course. But there were so many others that I want to record for posterity's sake. Some of them are funny, some are just cute, and some are "oh, Dave".

  • My dad, popping open the bottle of Pusser Rum he bought almost two decades ago, saved explicitly for "the day my daughter gets married". Us menfolk drank and shared stories. It was a really cool occasion... and no, I'm not going to share the stories here.

  • Me, wearing a suit, and carrying around my half-sister's two year old. He's one of those kids who just naturally frown. So I'd frown right back at him. Which was cute as hell. We both wore suits. His looked better.

  • Taking "Jackson", my five year old nephew from my half brother, to the dessert bar at the pre-reception. He grabbed some chocolate thing, and we sat on the coffee table and talked. At one point, he said "is there red dye in this?" I told him I didn't know. "I'm allergic to red dye". Cue yours truly, rushing around, trying to find his dad. Turns out "nah, he's not allergic to red dye. He just likes saying he is to see people freak out." I have never wanted to hurt a five year old more.... while at the same time laughing my ass off.

  • Getting texted by a friend a bajillion times during the vows. It was her hope that I hadn't turned off my cell phone, and was now super embarrassed. But I had turned off the phone, so egg was on HER face. Or something. They were really funny texts, though.

  • There were three tables at the reception... the bride's family, the groom's family, and "other". The bride's family table was about half the size of the groom's family... and we wound up buying more alcohol tickets than the other two tables combined. We were proud of this fact. Because we're awesome.

  • Giving a speech during the reception (similar to my post a few days back). My hands shook for some reason, and both the bride and the groom went deep red in embarrassment. However, people kept coming up to me and saying how nice my speech was, so I guess it went alright. We'll see.

  • Someone stole my sister's cane. At her wedding. Savages! I'm going to assume it was done accidentally, and not out of malice.

  • Awkward end cap of the night: yours truly on the two hour commute back to Victoria from Sooke. I was still just a little drunk (buzzed, more like), and on the front seats of the double decker. Trying to impress the sorta cute girl in the aisle across. Not for any real reason... just because I figured I was wearing a suit and wanted to impress someone. This is how my mind works. I have no idea what I'd have done if she actually wanted to start up a (gasp) conversation! Probably turn on my ipod and hide.

The Dream Band:

Since I've been about twenty, I've daydreamed on and off about my dream band. Depending on what sort of musical mood I'm in at the time, the band changes. Sometimes, I'm the frontman (and have coincidentally learned how to sing). Other times, I'm a rhythm guitarist. Or a lead guitarist. Or a drummer.

Occasionally, I'm even the friggin' bassist. Though when that happens, it's in a Paul McCartney "holy crap I'm awesome" sort of way, and not in a Chas Chandler "I'm only cool because I discovered Jimi Hendrix" sort of way.

This band has been an alternative rock band. It's been pure acoustic music. It's been bluesy rock, ambient electronic, and folksy metal. For about three weeks, this dream band did nothing but make bluegrass covers of old metal songs such as Pantera's "Cemetary Gates" and Motorhead's "Ace of Spades".

Lately, the dream has been about a three piece unit, with yours truly playing acoustic guitar. The vocalist, a woman with a voice not unlike Molly Guldemond (of Mother Mother), also plays keyboards to fill out the basslines. And our drummer has a stripped down kit. But really, the daydream isn't really that specific. I just imagine a small, three piece band with a very tight sound built around acoustic guitar lines.

What's unusual about this particular daydream, however, is that rather than having this daydream band playing songs that are very similar to the music I'm currently infatuated with, it's actually playing music I've been playing.

It's strange, but lately, when I play my guitar, I can hear someone else singing the lyrics. And hear that phantasmal drummer playing his own rhythm. I'm writing songs, and finding myself wanting to play them in front of others. I know it sounds egotistical and stupid, but I want to "share my music".

I've been saying it since September of last year, when I watched The Zolas play awfully and still get the girls, but I really need to get into a band.


Recently, I've been thinking about my youth. And more specifically, my youthful drinking stories. Unfortunately, I have a few. Some of them are very, very long. But don't worry, this one is short.

Put simply, there was a weekend where we went on a bit of a bender.

The first night, I drank so much that I could only remember the first half of the night. Try as I might, I couldn't remember any details about the last half of the night.

The second night, I drank so much that I could only remember the second half of the night. For some reason, the first half of the night was completely blank to me.

I thought this for years, until I was around twenty three and discussing it with a friend who'd been there that weekend. It turns out, we only drank one night, and that the events I remembered all happened on the same day. In other words, I remembered the night in its entirety. Also, I'd only had one drink, and spent much of the night entirely sober.

True story. Wonder what it says about me, though.

June 25th, 2011

I was seven years old when my sister was born, meaning I was old enough to consciously reflect on the fact that a new human being had entered my life. I was almost ten when she first started talking and walking, and twelve when she was old enough to form coherent sentences.

I've always been something of a protective older brother. But that didn't stop me from teasing the hell out of her. Because in my family, that's what we do.

I remember when she was around four or five, and the whole family was in a rush to get to a dinner party or something. My mom told my sister to get dressed, and my sister threw a fit. She didn't want to wear her "purple pants". My mom was shouting at her (and laughing at the same time) to put on the damned pants, while my sister was bright red in the face, throwing the world's biggest temper tantrum.

Over purple pants. She didn't wear them that day, because in the end, my sister knows what she wants, and always has.

She got engaged last fall, and while it was weird to see my little sister engaged, everyone knew it was to a great guy. In fact, on a late october night, my brother and I took him out on the town to "welcome him to the family".

Naturally, we tortured him.

"Guys, I'll drink anything, except ouzo. I hate ouzo," he said to us. Prompting my brother and I to exchange conspiratorial glances. Within minutes, my future brother in law was gagging from a shot of Ouzo and running to the bathroom, while my brother and I fell out of our chairs, laughing.

After that, as far as we were concerned, he was part of the family.

Today, it's official. My sister and her fiance are getting married. As you read this, I am in Sooke, British Columbia, watching the two tie the knot. Part of me, I'm sure, will be thinking of purple pants, and Ouzo. But a bigger part of me will be thinking of the future, and all the good things I'm sure lie ahead.

Congrats, you two. Here's to the bright future that lies ahead.

Inspired by real events:

"Who's your hero?"


"Your hero. Who is your hero?"

"Uh. Spider Man, I guess."

"Come on, be serious."

"I thought I was...."

"Who is your hero?"

"Uh.... Malcolm Reynolds?"

"Who's he?"

"He's the captain of Serenity, from Firefly."

"Stop it! Be serious, please. I want to know who your hero is."

"I am being serious. What's wrong with Mal?"

"Well, he's not real."

"Oh! Okay. Um, I guess my hero would be Nick Hornby."

"Who's he?"

"He wrote High Fidelity and About a Boy."

"Fine. If you're not going to be serious, let's just drop it."

"Drop What!?"

I don't really mind

I have a tendency to say awkward crap. Often, I mean to say one thing, and wind up saying something else entirely. This is stuff that most people do, but I have a knack for taking those moments and turning them into delightfully embarrassing social gaffes that inevitably become the stuff of legend.

So, true story.

Earlier this month, my french nextdoor neighbours got into a fight that may or may not have turned violent. I didn't call the police, because I didn't have any evidence, but I did write an email to my landlord the next morning asking him what I should do if this occurs again.

He wound up calling me, and told me to call the police if it happens again, et cetera et cetera. We then proceeded to kind of gossip about my french neighbours.

First, I said "look, I don't mind that they're loud, or that they fight. That's just natural stuff, and it's not a big deal. I can deal with the noise. But when it gets violent..."

and the landlord understood. But then he'd talk about the loud screaming in french, to which I'd once again pipe up "and I really don't mind that."

And then he'd mention her slamming her hands against the wall. Again, I said "it can be annoying, yeah, but it's okay, I don't mind that..."

And then he said "And they fuck really loud, too. I've walked by and heard them just going at it, and she'll be screaming out her lungs. I guess you know, because your bedroom is right next to theirs."

And I nodded, and (of course) repeated my mantra, "Well, I don't really mind that...."

Not. What. I. Meant.

But it was too late. I have never heard someone laugh so hard on the phone in my life. My face went so red you could see it from space.

More Journal Recollections:

There's something really nice about finding an old journal - you get to remember things you had completely forgotten. Some of them are not nice memories, but a lot of them are just pleasant things you should keep with you, but somehow never seem to.

For example, I wrote an entry about my old dog, Bear. She had six puppies, three male, and three female (though all the females died). We kept one of the puppies, and gave away the other two. This I remembered. I did NOT remember a year later, when we threw a "doggie reunion" and had all three puppies reunited for their birthday. And I have absolutely no recollection of being the guy that cooked the steak dinners while everyone talked about the second world war, but apparently, it happened.

I remember being in school play's, but I had completely forgotten saying "macbeth macbeth macbeth!" just before the curtains went up as a joke... and then laughing at everyone who got all superstitious. Of course, in that play's run, four different people got hurt (sprained ankles, cuts, etc), and everyone treating me like some sort of pariah.

My favourite entry so far, though, is easter day, when my dad bought all the men of the house squirt guns. I had completely forgotten this, but the second I read the two-line entry in the journal, it all came back to me. Dad bought my brother (who was probably eleven or twelve at the time) a huge machine-gun style super soaker. He bought himself a decent mid-sized gun. And he bought me one of those tiny little plastic things that have an effective range of about two feet. I remember getting absolutely drenched while my brother and father chased me around the yard, my dogs barking and chasing us.

Good times. I mean, I'm shaking my head in shock at some of the things I'd say, but all in all? Good times.

January 8th, 2001:

(while moving stuff, I found my old journal I kept through most of high school. I opened it to a random page, and this is what I found. Names have been deleted, but beyond that, this is a verbatim repeat of what I wrote. I was, for those who are curious, seventeen years old. And yes, I realize I'm kind of a dick here. I'm actually kind of embarrassed, but it's enlightening to look into the mind of a seventeen year old, eh? Also, I changed the names to protect the innocent, blah blah blah)

January 8th

It's been a long couple of days, but here I trying to keep you informed:

Saturday (today being monday), I was woken up by a Kathy at my door. Me, in only my boxers, sheepishly opened the door and let her in. "Sorry I'm early" she said "But the bitch was nagging at me, so I left as soon as possible"

Throwing on some pants and the gray sweater I got for Christmas, I told her that I was already up, and just lying in bed. And it was the truth. So the two of us talked, until Ryan showed up to lend me some money. All the while Kathy was on my lap, as we had a pseudo-relationship going on (or so I thought). Anyways, Ryan, with nothing better to do on his saturday, asks if he can tag along. Dwight eventually showed up, so we drove (in Kathy's death-trap truck) to Victoria, taking Kathy's "shortcut" that added 15 minutes to the trip (you don't need to go through Esquimalt to get to Victoria!) The four of us saw, much to my dismay, Dude Where's My Car? though it actually turned out to be kind of funny. When we got back to my place, we talked and talked, all the while me being attached to Kathy.

And then it happened.

I got up to to go to the bathroom, and when I got back, Kathy was with Ryan, doing all the things that she had been doing with me only a minute - A FUCKING MINUTE - ago! How dirty is that? And that went on for eight hours, I shit you not - until 2:30 am, and then only because Ryan's mom called in tears, because she didn't know where Ryan was. The dumbfuck hadn't called home.

What strikes me as strange is that this girl can be so dirty, and not even realize. Are all foreigners whores, or just the ones I seem to meet?

(note: yeah, I said that. I take it back now. In my defence, I was young and angry. But still. Harsh).

Anyways, on to other news...

I couldn't get any sleep last night, and was tossing and turning for hours (four or fice). At one point I tried sleeping on the floor - didn't work- and tried to put myself to sleep by reading The Prince, but damn, I found it interesting. And for once, the morals didn't bother me. I finally got to sleep around 3:45 or so, only to get up at 6:30. Surprisingly, I functioned 150% today, better than usual - maybe I'm a superhuman who only needs 2 hours sleep, eh?

Today being the first day back at school, I mistakenly thought it would be lax. No such luck. An English practice exam - oh joy. On the plus side, I understood my math, and was actually working faster than Carole - I think she has the hots for me, though how I am, I don't know.

(note: I have to cut this part out of the narrative, as it relates to someone in a way that I can't really protect their identity. It's nothing super secret, or anything, but it's just not my place to talk about it)

And, finally, I may be taking a course to become a guitar/studio tech, though I have very little info so far, and won't go into the details.

I feel like I've changed in the past three weeks, like I'm alive for the first time. Or is it just I feel as if I AM different, and now just couldn't care less? Whatever it is, I'm genuinely happy. I even started writing short stories again (as you can see by my intro today, everything is being told as a tale). I'm breaking musical barriers and I'm thinking in a way I've never thought. I'm actually decent at chess now, where before I was hopeless.

(note: I LOL'd reading this. It's kind of melodramatic, eh? But then... high school).

I have one goal right now. When we were driving home from Kathy's on New Year's Eve, I saw a shooting star and made a wish. My goal is to make my wish come true. While it's very self-centred, whatcha gonna do? My wish - to have a girlfriend that lasts more than a month.

Oh. Mom started doing all her work at home, so tomorrow, I have to walk to school. Crap.

Jeez, three and a half pages. An all time record so far, wouldn't you say? Of course, it's 1:00 now, so I really better be going to bed. After all, I only have 5 and a half hours before I have to get up again. So, g'night.

January 14th

Lately I've been an internet junky. >>old screen name<< has been posting messages on message boards (mostly Dungeons and Dragons sites) and bogging up chat.

However, I've really been big on this fantasy-art page that is just amazing. There are so many great artists in our world!

And now, I must sleep. (1:00 again. I'm slowly becoming nocturnal)


one week later...

I've been writing quite a bit, lately, from "Bridget and the Toad" - a happy romance story I dedicated to Lisa for her birthday, to "Hands", a Sixth Sense style ghost story.

A lot has been going on, lately, but I"m almost afraid to write in a journal. It's really too bad.

I've got a practice tomorrow, and a Fame rehearsal (rehearsals began last week) in a day or two. I don't have a whole lotta lines, but no one does - that's the beauaty (sic) of it.

Ugh. The radio's playing "Swallowed" by Bush. Yuk.

Hasta Lavista

(And it goes on, and on. It's kind of fun looking back on old stuff, and names and events I only half remember. I kind of want to post some other, older entries, now that I'm flipping through it. Because not all of them are as pathetic as this one, ha).

Weekly Haiku #56 - texts

scattered cellphone logs

schizophrenic tales, half told

truth in the diodes

The Crown Royale Incident

(I don't remember if I've told this story on the blog before. If I have, I apologize. In any case, it's very much a story that will get tagged as "ugly", by me as well as everyone else. It's sort of funny, but mostly just gross and a little sad.)

First, let me start this story with a preface: this is not a good story. It's about a time when I was younger, and I did a lot of stupid things. I don't condone my behaviour in it, and I realize there's some fucked up shit involved. With hindsight, I do think part of the story if funny enough to warrant a blog post. But some of you may not, and that's okay, too.

This is a story of a camping trip that went horribly, horribly wrong. It is also a story about Newt doing something insanely stupid, and surviving only because God likes to protect idiots and drunks, and occasionally both.

It's also kind of incredibly long. So go make some popcorn and a sammich, and sit down for a tale fit for the ages.

It all began in the distant days of 2002. The United States had just begun its love affair with paranoia. The U.K. had just begun its love affair with the United States. And Canada had just begun its love affair with wildfires, which were busy turning vast tracts of forest into swaths of fiery destruction. The Americans, naturally, assumed this was a terrorist plot.

I was nineteen years old, at that tender young age where I was just old enough to buy alcohol, and yet still young enough to think that being able to legally buy alcohol made me anything closely resembling an "adult". I was sure that my opinions mattered, that I had a firm grasp on the way the world worked, and that I was a role model to those "kids" still in high school.

My buddy, Squee, had started dating his girlfriend 3P about six months earlier. I had thrown a large party for New Year's Even, and Squee and 3P wound up on a bed somewhere in my house and decided they shared a common interest - namely, Squee's penis. I remember, a few weeks into 2002, saying something to the effect of "it'll only last a few months". It's 2011, and it turns out that Squee and 3P share all sorts of interest, so in hindsight, I was full of shit.

It happens. Quite a lot with me, actually.

3P and I didn't exactly get along right away. I would like to say this was due to personality defects on her end, but this was unfortunately not the case. You see, I was something of a jerk back then.

I took pleasure in attacking people's weak points, showcasing what I figured at the time was my substantial wit. Mostly, I just bullied people. And 3P had South African ancestry, so I would often poke at that. I told her that Nelson Mandela hated her. I told her that she was no doubt going to start making everyone with skin even slightly darker than hers into slaves. I may have even referred to her as "Yoko" once or twice, because I thought it was funny.

But everyone assured her that this was just the way I was, that I didn't mean anything by it (I really didn't, I was just abrasive), and that once you got to know me, I was actually pretty nice. This was, for the most part, true, and I think 3P saw that. After awhile, we began to genuinely like each other, and by the time of the "Crown Royale Incident" were on pretty good terms.

We were on such good terms that 3P had begun to do what she did with all her single male friends. She tried to hook them up with her single female friends.

I was perpetually single in those days. I would meet a girl, pine over her for a while, and then date her polar opposite for a few weeks. This would alienate the first girl (who usually liked me back just as much as I liked her), and then I would realize I had no interest in the second girl, and dump her like a bag of rocks. I groped and made out with too many of the wrong women, because somewhere in my head I was convinced I didn't deserve a good one.

3P would try and set me up with girls, but her philosophy was just as bad - "She looks good, date her", as if appearance really matters much. To my eternal credit, I didn't believe that then, and I still don't. But after a few misses with 3P, I backed off and asked her to leave me alone, that I could find my own women thankyouverymuch.

And she did. For the most part.

Flash forward to the summer of 2002, when Squee and I planned what was going to be "the best camping trip ever". We bought a campground in the Sooke Potholes, because we had yet to learn that paying money for a campsite on a campground in a place like British Columbia is, well, retarded. But, we pitched our tents, surveyed our chosen 20' by 20' site with pride, and looked dotingly upon our "provisions".

I had brought a two-six of Crown Royale, a four pack of Smirnoff Ice, and a bunch of Vodka. This was my alcohol for two nights of camping. And others had brought even more. In those days, I could drink a two-six of crown in one night, and not even get that drunk. One time, my buddy Blowcock and I each drank a two-six of whiskey over an hour and half, and neither us got buzzed in the slightest.

People started arriving at our site, pitching second hand tents and having small talk, when 3P came up to me. "My friend Jen* is coming, but doesn't have a tent. Can she use yours?" she asked coyly.

I shrugged, thinking nothing of it. I had only met Jen once, but no matter. "Sure, why not?"

3P was up to her old games. For some reason, she felt Jen and I would be a good match, that we'd hit it off, and everything would go from there. I sometimes think 3P was looking for another couple to hang out. Maybe she wanted someone to play bridge with? I don't know.

3P smiled. And then said "Jen is nice. And if you play your cards right, you might get laid tonight."

Remember what I said about being just old enough to think you're an adult when you're clearly not? This was an extension of that. We figured since we were old enough to talk about sex, we were old enough to be promiscuous. The funny thing is, while I was excited about the idea of getting laid just because I had spare room in my tent, I didn't think there was anything odd about it. It felt perfectly natural, and I just took it as a given. Earlier that year, I had slept with a girl simply because we liked the same band. So it seemed perfectly normal.

That would never happen these days. This is probably a good thing, but sometimes I yearn for the simpler times. As a male is wont to do.

I was cooking some grilled cheese sandwiches when she arrived, "refining my technique" by throwing the burned out bread slices into the bush absently, hoping I would eventually brown the bread before blackening it and not realizing that my coleman stove had a volume setting lower than "max".

Jen sat down next to me, introduced herself, and set up her blankets in my tent. We talked for a bit, and in a very strange manner, we both knew that, after we got our drink on, the two of us were going to bump uglies. There was no real attraction or instant spark; part of it I think was because neither of us wanted to offend 3P. Which is an awful thing to say about, well, everybody involved. But there it is.

As the sun began to sink lower, we all started drinking. I had a few shots of vodka, but hadn't cracked open my two-six of Crown. Jen and I seperated from the group, and began to talk about random stuff. And wouldn't you know it? I actually found her interesting.

We wound up stumbling into someone else's camping lot, and found a bunch of guys that were our age, also drinking. We grabbed an empty log, sat beside them, and chatted. I was struck by just how cool these guys were. And how cool Jen seemed to be. And how cool I was, at least at the moment.

They noticed my unopened bottle of Crown Royale.

"You drink that shit? Do you have a mixer?"

"Nah. I drink it straight." Which I did. And still do.

"You drink rye straight!? That's hardcore!" One of them said. I felt like a goddamn hero.

But one guy didn't believe me. So I took a long pull of the bottle, to prove him wrong. The boys around me applauded, thoroughly impressed. Jen also seemed impressed, and maybe even turned on a little bit. After all, this guy she'd be sleeping with in a few hours was cool enough to talk to random strangers, and tough enough to slam hard alcohol as if it were water.

Had I been a little bit older, I would have stopped there. But I was young. And dumb. And convinced I was invulnerable. Despite being a five eight, 150 pound diabetic ginger kid who listened to angry music to cover up his own insecurities.

I took my newly opened two-six, and slammed it back. Animal House style. I literally chugged the hard alcohol, and it had absolutely no burn whatsoever. I watched as the bottle emptied itself, and felt like a man as the puny little boys around me cheered in disbelief.

I watched as the last few drops emptied out of the bottle, and remember thinking "Maybe I just made a mistake..."

That was my last clear memory. Everything kind of got hazy after that. It's like in those old movies, where a panel will pop up and say "Scene Missing". There were a lot of scenes missing. I mostly just remember little vignettes.

I remember collapsing over a pile of logs and throwing up into a bush. I remember Jen having to go get my friends, and Squee and a few other people picking me up and dragging me back to my tent as vomit dripped down my chin. I remember drunkenly telling Squee to "punch me in the face" because I didn't want to pass out. And I remember being tossed into my tent and putting my head outside, with puke coming out of my mouth and nose. I was unable to move. I'm lucky I didn't aspirate or anything.

Jen, by the way, shouldn't be let entirely off the hook. Because that very night, she said to 3P "do I still have to sleep in that tent?" despite the fact that I was so thoroughly disgusting that no one should have been within the same time zone as me. And she also (apparently) said the next morning "Maybe I'll sleep with him tonight, if he's less drunk."

Or something to that effect. It's been ten years, I don't remember all the details. But really, she should have been running for the hills. I was an absolute wreck. What did it say about her that she hadn't entirely written me off? It bums me when I stop to think about it.

I'd had bad drinking moments before, which I guess are a part of being a young male idiot in this great country of ours. But none of them were as bad as that night. I have never vomited through my nose before or after that night. And I've never been so drunk that I needed my friends to carry me.

The next morning, I awoke alone in my tent. I was still drunk, but not in a pleasant sense. Every motion made my body ill, and I felt as if my body were sinking into the ground. Literally, I felt as if the world were swallowing me up. I remember spreading my body out, as if I were doing the dead man's float, trying to stay above the cracked and hard earth. I was like a cat burglar trying not to trigger a trap. "Steady.... steady...."

Eventually, I staggered outside, and everyone laughed. There were chunks in my hair. My hoodie was torn and backwards. I was covered in mud and brambles. My eyes were red, my jaw slack, and the world kept trying to spin in a clockwise fashion. Jen took one look at me, yelped, and drove off.

"You fucked that one up, man," Squee said, while I dug out some cereal and focused on swallowing food. I grunted in response, and then stumbled back to my tent.

I would like to say this was the moment I went from being a boy to being a man. I'd like to say I matured a bit, right then and there, and that I vowed something to effect of "I'll never be that stupid again." But life isn't like that.

Because that very night, despite still being sick from the night before, I drank again. Like I said, god protects idiots and drunks. And sometimes both.

* Not her real name

Best Canadian Albums?

Just a random question for you music fans out there. What are some of the best Canadian albums that have been released in the past few years? I'm talking about 2008 onwards, here.

Just let me know of any good Canadian music out there, whether it be indie, mainstream, rock, pop, rap, whatever.

I'm just kind of curious, and any suggestions will be given a listen to, at the very least. And may wind up getting featured in some upcoming blog posts next month. So if you've got an album you wanna share with some friends, please let me know.

Happy Apple Birthday

Today, my friends, is a very important day. It is, you see, the birthday of my good friend, Happy Apple. She turns... well, she gets even older today.

I haven't really talked to her in the past few weeks, and it might be a little bit longer before we get to have time to really hang out again in the near future. It does bum me that I can't embarrass her by singing 'Happy Apple Birthday' at the top of my lungs for her today, in person, but, you know, job. So I'll have to belt it out some other time.

So, Apple, as the Beatles once said, "today it's your birthday". Here's to a bajillion more, and I hope you get everything you wished for. Including that fire-breathing robot intent on killing all humans. Also, socks.

To everyone that's not named Happy Apple, go over and check out her blog. Laugh your asses off, and get to know one of the coolest people on the entire interwebz.


Oh, God, do I love ginger girls.

I mean, I love most pretty girls of all races and hair colours. I'm not really that picky - I've dated plenty of brunettes and blondes in my lifetime. Hair colour is a very minor thing, and I am fully aware of this. When I think of "Dream girls", hair colour is very low on that priority list.

Be that as it may, I do find myself distracted by ginger girls. Oh god, do I get distracted. I really cease to be myself, and instead turn into an even more awkward lad. It's terrible, it really is.

Thursday, for example. I was walking down Government street, threading my way through the throngs of tourists and avoiding the outstretched hands of street people. I was crossing the street near the Empress hotel when out of the corner of my eye I saw a twenty-something ginger girl talking to her grandmother or something. They were sitting at a table outside a coffee shop, within a few feet of a beautiful kilted blonde fiddler.

Most guys passing by were enamoured by the fiddler. I had my music on, so I don't know how good her playing was, but I have a sneaky suspicion people weren't so interested in her playing. Blonde hair, low-cut shirt, great boobs, short skirt, beautiful legs. I don't blame any of them But I barely gave her a second glance. Because I had my eyes on one of the most beautiful people I've seen in months.

Light red hair, the kind that has wisps of blonde in it but isn't quite "strawberry blonde". A face covered in freckles. Glasses. Small frame, no-nonsense capri jeans, and a plaid blouse. Earbuds around her neck.

Animals have a "flight or fight" reaction in stressful situations. It's how they instinctively respond in times of panic. For human males, in what could be termed "cross-gender social interactions", they have what could be called a "Game or Lame" reaction.

In short, do they swallow their nervousness, man up, and bring their "game"? Or do they shrivel up like a little girl and wind up being "Lame"?

I wish, wish, wish I went with "Game". Although, I suppose if I had, I wouldn't have any blog material. But that would be a problem I wouldn't mind having.

Unfortunately, I went with "lame". And I went with "Lame" with the exuberance and passion of a hipster trying to find a new band ("I listened to that band before their lead singer was even born, man. Their In Utero album is fucking intense").

I just stood there, in the middle of the street, with my jaw agape. I looked her up, and then down. And then up again. I even looked sideways, once or twice. Passers-by had to detour around me, with more than a few looking at me to make sure I wasn't on drugs, or having some sort of epileptic episode.

While ginger girl was oblivious to all of this ogling, her grandmother (unfortunately) was not. She thought it was funny as hell, and kept smiling at me. It was, however, an encouraging smile, and this broke my trance. After all, if the girl's grandmother liked me, maybe I had a shot? I had to think of an approach. Maybe I should grab a flower, and tell her it was for the most beautiful girl on the island? Or ask to buy her coffee? Or-

I got pushed out of the way by some burly dude with a Canucks jersey. I stumbled off the curb like some guy getting pushed around on the beach in those old Charles Atlas comics. As I stumbled, my ipod flew out of my hand and skittered across the cobblestones, and as I dove to grab it, my cell phone, keys, and change spilled out of the pockets of my hoodie.

As people walked by, I scrambled to pick up all my stuff, awkwardly looking over at ginger girl. Who had, by this point, noticed me. And was giving me an "aw, you poor thing" smile of sympathy.

I knew at this point it was probably not going to work out. No "How I met your mother" story begins with "well, she felt so sorry for me, looking like a fool on the curb, that she gave me her number".

I awkwardly scooped everything up, giving her an embarrassed glance and a nervous shrug. I caught the eye of the grandmother, who was laughing quietly under her breath. As my music had stopped playing (I had dropped the ipod), I now realized the fiddling had ended - the fiddler had stopped playing and was watching me. This, somehow, made it all worse.

I blushed beat red, and decided "flight" was the best option. I power-walked away like a friggin' Gazelle, man.

I Need To Shut My Mouth:

I did something stupid the other day.

I was on the phone with my mother, doing my usual good-sonly duties by nodding my head and saying "uh huh?" and "yeah" like I was P-Diddy or something. As she went on (and on), updating me on the minutiae of her life (I kid, I kid! I love my mom!), I looked out at Swan Lake and kind of glazed over. A duck swam by, his quacks echoing over the water, as if to say "fuck you, urban legend!"

Then my mother started talking about serious stuff, about how someone in my extended family had a so-called "cancer scare". Suddenly, I wasn't idly thinking about herons and the idle lives they live. I was instead in "how the hell did it take my mom twenty minutes to get to this point in the conversation!?" mode. Which happens fairly often. Rambling seems to be a family trait.

Anyways, this particular person, who shall remain nameless, has a history of trying to drum up drama to scam family members out of money. She's done it before, and it seems she may be doing it again... though my mom does hate this person, so maybe I don't know the full story. Fair enough. But I do know, while listening to my mom describe what was going on, and how this person said the doctors absolutely told her she had cancer, I spoke without thinking.

"That's not how doctors go about it, mom. Trust me, I know. I've been through it."

For those at home keeping score, this is always a dumb thing to say to your mom. If you've had a cancer scare yourself, but wound up being alright, you probably shouldn't tell your mother about it. Ever. Trust me on this.

I spent the next few minutes filling her in, telling her that no, I don't have cancer, but yes, I was afraid for awhile I did. She was anxious, her pitch slowly rising over the cell phone until I could dogs in the distance howling. I had to explain to her that, for about a month, I had to wait to see a specialist to confirm that the cancer-like symptoms I had were, in fact, benign.

And had to gently explain to her that she is an awful person to go to during medical scares. Because she freaks out, gets super stressed, and makes things more stressful for everyone else. I had to explain this to her as gently as possible, but it didn't go well. As I sat on the pier, talking to her on my cell, a duck swam up to me and quacked loudly, as if to say, "You're a moron, Dave."

I'm inclined to agree.

Anyways, yeah, it turns out I'm fine, and that the minor symptoms that are problematic are, in fact, being fixed in early August as part of an outpatient procedure. But that's not really the point of this little rant of mine.

The point is, I need to learn to shut my mouth sometimes. I far too often think without speaking, and it commonly winds up biting me in the ass. Future linguists will refer to self-inflicted verbal manglings as "The Dave Effect".

I have called girlfriends fat without thinking (though really, what guy hasn't?). I have said awful things to friends because I didn't process what went from my brain to my mouth. I have alienated dates ("people that like horses are retards"). I have flubbed job interviews ("That job was just a paycheque to me - I broke the rules whenever I could"). And I have said things my parents are better off not knowing ("Yeah, I went through a cancer scare two months ago" or "so, mom, I heard my next door neighbours having a threesome last night").

For what it's worth, I'm also fairly sure this trait of mine is what helps generate a lot of funny blog content. So I guess there's that.

Ten Things You (probably) Didn't Know About Me

Because I love lists.

  1. I came to music late. I never really listened to music growing up, except for whatever my mother had playing during car rides. I never started listening to music until a trip to New Brunswick to visit my grandparents, when I was in the eighth grade. Due to the extreme boring nature of the place, and feeling kind of down for a couple of reasons, I wound up spending a good two weeks in my room there, watching Much Music. I came back, bought a couple of CDs (Our Lady Peace's Clumsy and the Offspring's Smash, for those at home keeping score), and went from there.

  2. I love post-apocalyptic fiction. Basically, any movie, TV show, or book set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland is one that will instantly grab my attention. I find the melodramatic storylines set amidst the ruins of man's hubris to be perfectly suited to my growing sense of cynicism. Also, they're like sci-fi westerns. And those are always cool.

  3. I become a different person in stressful situations. Normally, I'm always cutting jokes and following the group, but when something bad happens, I take charge and become very much no-nonsense. A few years ago, my mom had a heart attack, and I basically stepped in and did all the things I needed to do. I kind of enjoy being that person, but I wouldn't want to always be him. Maybe just be him from 9 to 5 or something.

  4. I love to bake, but I suck at it. Also, as a diabetic, I really shouldn't eat what I make. My cupcakes always look terrible, my cookies are almost always partially burned, and the few times I've made bread have all ended in disaster.

  5. I cannot say the word "Enchilada". Seriously. I can spell it, but every time I try to pronounce it, I stutter like you wouldn't believe.

  6. I was in sign language immersion. In my old school in Toronto, all kids had to be enrolled in an "immersion" class. My parents didn't really care, so I was put into Sign Language Immersion. These days, I only know a few words, but every now and then I consider enrolling in a class to learn the language. It'd be a good skill to have.

  7. My grandfather was a war hero. He was one of the few canadians to fight (and survive) both Dieppe and Juno Beach. He fought in Italy and North Africa. While he died well before I was born, I know quite a bit about him through my father, and use him as a yardstick for strength of character. I always want to write about him, but rarely do on this blog. Even though some of the stories are pretty funny.

  8. I have two brothers named Michael. And a brother in law named Michael, too. See, my mother left my biological father (cut contact entirely) when I was young, and I guess they both liked the name Michael, because they each later had a son with that name. And my (half) sister on my biological dad's side wound up marrying a guy named Michael. It's kind of confusing, ha. Interestingly, my (technically "step", but whatever) father's middle name is "David".

  9. I once broke my best friend's arm. Well, technically I sprained it. I lost my temper, and I pushed him out of a window when we were around twelve. I felt incredibly bad about it, and vowed to control my temper then and there. I am pretty calm and cool - I very rarely let my temper get loose.

  10. I am fascinated by the civil rights movements of the past century. I got a history degree largely because I was so interested in the black civil rights movement. Since then, I've developed a love for the Gay Rights Movement (it's fascinating, read about it), and the Women's Rights movement. I've always wanted to write a book about a black lesbian woman in the 1960s trying to figure out which rights were more important to her.

An Education

When I was a kid, computers were kind of the "next big thing". They had awful 16 bit graphics (if you were lucky), and were not exactly the most powerful tools in the world. However, educators knew that they were the way of the future, and saw fit to drum their usage into tiny little sponge brains. This was, of course, a very good idea. No one would argue that.

A not so good idea? Educational games. They rarely worked.

For example, the Oregon Trail.

For those that don't remember it, the point of The Oregon Trail was to get your wagon of settlers to Oregon (or to get them out of Oregon, because it was flooded with Pavement-listening Hipsters? I was never sure). You stocked up on supplies, and then went out into the wilderness.

I don't think any kid every actually beat the game. It was hard, and there was a lot of reading to be done that was boring as balls. Instead, we'd just stock up on bullets and go hunting.

Hunting was this great little mini-game where you were supposed to kill the occasional buffalo to get spare meat for your journey. However, the game was definitely more fun than the rest of it (at least, it was more fun from a kid's point of view), so this was where the majority of the game was spent. Killing the buffalo with an intensity that is usually only found in warfare.

For most everyone I knew, killing stuff became the game. We'd just go up in the brush, with a South Park-style mentality.

"He's coming right for us!"

"Ha ha, I shot him in the eye."

None of us ever learned that maybe trying to get to Oregon in the olden days was hard. Or that a lot of people died on the journey. Not a single kid ever realized we were supposed to be learning history. I don't think any of us even knew that there was a place called Oregon. We thought it was made up, like Barsoom, Narnia, or the Neverland Ranch. What we learned was that it was fun to kill buffalo, but rabbits were even more fun, because they were harder to hit.

We also learned how to criticize.

"Rabbits should be worth more meat, because they're smaller and harder to hit. It's not as realistic that Buffalo are easier to kill."

"Bankers shouldn't start with more money, because that means Bankers get more bullets. There should be a Marine occupation, and he gets to start with more bullets. And a combat knife."

"This game needs a machine gun. It'd be more fun with a machine gun. Oregon Trail 2 should have a Machine Gun."

I'm pretty sure those game developers have a lot to answer for.

Weekly Haiku #55 - the trail

walk the summer trail

no end, just battle with time

stride against yourself

Day As Night #20: Happy

(as usual, click to expand)

The Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues (2011)

There will always be a special place in my heart for the Fleet Foxes. Or, more particularly, their 2008 self-titled debut album. But that special place has maybe less to do with the album itself, and more to do with the memories tied into it.

I'm sure everyone has albums like that - pieces of music that are tied to particular moments in time. I know whenever I hear B.B. King's "Hummingbird" I recall perfect memories involving lying naked in bed with a beautiful brunette; and whenever I hear David Bowie's "Space Oddity" I usually recall wandering the streets of Victoria at one in the morning, lost in thoughts of abandonment and wondering why my beautiful brunette decided to walk away.

The Fleet Foxes' debut album was a collection of music that was tied entirely to a very good moment in my life, and one I am incredibly grateful for experiencing. But I've never been sure if I actually would like the album were it not for those experiences.

The story, in brief, is as follows.

I went on a first date with a girl who will remain nameless in this blog. She knows who she is, and that's enough. Because really, this post isn't about her.

When we first met, I gave her a mixed CD and a bouquet of flowers. She gave me a mixed CD as well, and we laughed at the unplanned gestures syncing up. "We're so alike!" and all that jazz.

Later, we listened to her CD and sat on my couch, and that was when I first heard the Foxes' "White Winter Hymnal". I remember we were talking, and I went quiet midsentence as the song played. She told me the band name, described them as "medieval hippies" (which is as good a description as any, and it's actually pretty apt) and we sat in silence and let the music wash over us.

I don't know how many times we listened to her CD as we talked long into the night, but I do know our first kiss was during that song.

Anyways. I bought the album a few weeks later, and since then, I've associated it with the sixth months we were together. It was a long distance relationship, and much of the album just seems, for me, inextricably tied into the good side of all that. I listened to it while waiting for a delayed flight in Vancouver. It was playing during a bus ride across the province - I remember listening to "Oliver James" and being excited to see her. And it played countless times in the background as we talked over the phone well into the night.

This isn't a wistful post about the past, or anything. The relationship ended on good terms, and I'm glad it ended the way it did. The reason I bring it up is, I'm well aware that my strong feelings for the first Fleet Foxes album aren't just related to the music.

I can objectively say it's a great album, but I have to admit a good chunk of my love for it is entirely subjective and could just as easily been to some other album (Mother Mother's O My Heart, for example, or The New Pornographers' Mass Romantic. Both were albums I was listening to fairly heavily at that time, but for some reason don't really connect to that time in the same way I do with the Fleet Foxes).

So part of me cannot look at the Fleet Foxes objectively, and I've always wondered how I would feel about the follow-up without those happy times to connect to it.


The Fleet Foxes released their much anticipated follow-up album (titled Helplessness Blues) last month, and I've been busy absorbing it. There's nothing going on in my life right now that is nearly as exciting as what is going on during the last time I listened to the Foxes, and I admit I was a little hesitant that this might somehow break the spell.

I shouldn't have worried. The album is amazing, and after five or six repeated listens, I'm pretty confident in saying it's easily the equal to their first release.

It's perhaps a bit more dense, with a wider range of instruments this time around. Many of them are traditional and perhaps unusual for modern music fans - several songs reminded me of the old Conan the Barbarian soundtrack in fact, simply because the same instruments and time signatures were used.

But the Foxes use the instruments in their own unique way. Often, the electric guitars (which are definitely more in the mix this time around) would be used as time-keeping rhythm instruments, with acoustics coming in later in the song - sort of a "reverse stairway to heaven" treatment that I found myself getting very excited about.

The opening "Montezuma" has choral and pleasant qualities and a rhythmic repeated chorus, with the song slowly adding layers of acoustic and stringed instruments without ever becoming tense or violent. "Bedouin Dress", my favourite track, is almost Beatles-esque and reminds me for some reason of "Here Comes the Sun". "Helplessness Blues" has a strong celtic influence in the layered guitars before switching in the second half into melodic vocal instrospection. "Lorelai" has a great drum beat and a classical guitar arpeggio that is at once familiar and new.

I loved the band as much for the old memories as for the sound. This time around, it's just about the recording, and there's something amazing about that. Because now, I get a chance to discover the band on their own merits. And I have to say, I'm looking forward to it.

Blast From the Past:

As a pseudo-hipster, I find myself quite interested in vinyl. I like the sound of it, and I like the tactile feel of actually putting on a record, as opposed to just loading up a playlist on my computer. But I believe I've mentioned this before.

I think what I love the most, though, is the collecting part of the equation - particularly browsing through old thrift stores that smell like mothballs and people of wal-mart, searching for fifty-cent albums worth listening to. While I love picking up albums I love (such as Steely Dan or Three Dog Night), I also love picking up albums that I would never normally buy. But pick up anyway, because "hey, fifty cents".

Because of this, I now own albums by ABBA, KC and the Sunshine Band, even goddamn Billy Joel. Either this incredibly tacky and awful collection of bad music makes me less of a music nerd... or more of one. I'm not entirely sure which.

I am sure, on the other hand, that my tastes have done a complete one eighty since my younger days, when I was an angry little metalhead. I have a strong feeling that if teenage Dave saw his future self in possession of Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell, he would have exploded. There's about a thirty eight percent chance* that the explosion would kill us all.

Anyways, I was listening to some of the spur of the moment purchases, and really giving some of the terrible ones the Mystery Science Theatre treatment. "Who in the hell finds Cheech and Chong funny!? Oh, yeah, right... Stoners."

Then I threw on Joni Mitchell's Clouds, and found myself transfixed by calm acoustic lines and a folksy melodic voice. It was an album I'd never heard before, and within minutes, I was hypnotized by the whole thing.

I snapped out of it when my living room filled with the smell of brimstone. Next thing I knew, there was an angry ginger Devil sitting on my couch. His arms were crossed, and he was pissed. It took me a minute to realize that I was actually staring at myself - from the past!

Judging by the torn System of a Down hoodie and the sony discman in his (my?) cargo shorts side pocket, it was Dave, circa 2000. He wore a necklace made of copper wire that I knew he had made in the back of his electronics class. His glasses were falling apart, and he had a perpetual sneer on his face.

"What the fuck is this shit!?" He said, angrily waving his arms in the air. As he did so, he spilled some diet coke absently. "I can't believe I'm going to grow up and start liking hippie music!"

I stared back at him, perplexed.

"And look at you! You're wearing plaid! And jeans - jeans, man! Like a fucking sellout! And a hockey hat? Since when did you become like everyone else and start liking hockey!? And the Sharks, at that! They're, like, a brand new team! I can't believe I grow up to be such a tool!"

He was furious. I was flat footed for a few seconds. And then I burst out laughing. "Whatever, dude. You listen to Slipknot. Therefore, you have no say in this."

And, just like that, my living room was empty once more. Joni Mitchell sang on, and all was well with the world.

* (only two people in the world get this reference. I hope the one that isn't me thinks the reference is as funny as I do)

Lyrical Snippet that I believe is fucking awesome (And I hope you agree)

there's a moment at the end of every song
waiting for the next one to start
in the silence the lingers between the sounds
i hear the beating of my own heart
and for just a second there, i'll remember
that for the moment i am still here
but then the next song begins and that moment ends
and i drift back down into the ether
there's a moment at the end of every song
when i remember i'm still a human being
and so i wait for the starting of the next track
i'll evade if i can that responsibility
it's easier to listen all alone
to let other people sing about what's going wrong
because it's too damn hard when you and try and live
in the silence that lingers between the songs.

National Music Archive

Here's a neat site. It's a national archive of old records that have since entered the public domain.

I kind of wish Canada would do something similar.

Proctor, revisited


That link talks about the life ahead of the two young men convicted of raping and murdering Kimberly Proctor. It's a pretty brutal description of life inside of Canadian Prisons, and the suffering ahead of these two men. There is a demand for blood in the city, and no one (not even the usually liberal Monday magazine, apparently) sees a problem with what lies ahead for them.

I talked a bit about the case last month, and let me just repeat, I fully endorse these men going into prison. What they did to Kimberley was awful, and inhuman.

However, I also believe that taking joy in another person's suffering, even a person as awful as Cameron Moffatt, just dehumanizes ourselves. Personally, I would rather these men are kept away from the public, but allowed to live meaningful, productive lives.

As I said before, we should be better than those who committed an act of brutal violence. Sinking to their low, base level does us absolutely no good at all.

Another Actual Conversation:

(Conversation is had over the phone)

DAVE: Hey mom. Guess what?
DAVE: I finally shaved off the beard. I can see my face again.
DAVE'S MOM: Why would you do something stupid like that?
DAVE: ...ow.
DAVE'S MOM: I mean, um... why would you, um, shave off your beard?
DAVE: Uh, I dunno. It was on a... whim?
DAVE'S MOM: Well, don't worry. It'll grow back.

Did you know....

...that Newt has a twitter?

It's true. I got a twitter about a week or so ago, and I've taken to it like a duck takes to water. Or a smackhead takes to smack. Or a member of Nickelback takes to leather pants. Or...

...nevermind. I could do this all day.

Anyways. Fun fact about twitter that everyone knows: it's addictive, and it fuels the narcissist in all of us. As someone who is already quite narcissistic, twitter was probably a bad idea. Because now I have a medium for 24/7 discussions about my favourite subject: ME!

If you're up for learning even more about what makes Crazy Newt tick, by all means subscribe @crazy_newt. And if you'd rather avoid me completely... what the hell are you doing reading this blog?

A Dilemna:

I live next to a mall. This mall loves to stage events to draw in patrons, which has given the mall a special place in my heart. Recently, they've taken to showing the Stanley Cup hockey games in a central area.

They have two flat screen TVs, back to back, and bleachers on either side. Patrons can just grab a seat and watch a Canucks games - it really does seem to draw people in. Often, you'll see shoppers walk by, get slowed down by the game, and then absently grab a seat... leaving in the intermissions to head to the food court.

I watched a game there last night, and really enjoyed the experience. There's something fun about watching a game with complete strangers and not having alcohol be a factor. I fully endorse the event, except for one problem that caused me no small amount of anxiety.

See, if you look past your TV, you can see the people on the opposite set of bleachers, staring at the other TV. This is all well and good. However, there are a few intertwined facts that the event planners probably didn't think about when they conceived the idea. Namely:

  1. A large number of the spectators are "typical" mall patrons - women from the age of 14 to 30.

  2. It's summer time.

  3. During the summer, many women like to wear skirts or dresses.

  4. Women these days often aren't as used to the rules of skirts or dresses as the women of previous generations.

Long story short, a lot of women were accidentally flashing me. And I can presume that the women on my end of the bleachers were accidentally flashing the people on the other end of the bleachers.

Here's the question that bugged me, and which I still have no answer to. What do you do?

Do you go over to the woman in question and gently inform her that everyone can see her cooter? Do you tell the people at the concierge desk that they need to rethink the arrangement? Do you feel dirty and guilty for even noticing in the first place? (I did). Or do you shut up and pretend you don't notice?

Jesus, even more lyrics

I've been playing around with lyrics lately. Every morning and every night, I'll have my guitar in my lap and start noodling around. I've been playing around with all sorts of different themes, and writing down snippets that occasionally get developed into longer songs.

It's weird, because most of the time when I write lyrics, I know what I'm writing before pencil really touches paper. But these days, it's all just freeform association, and building songs from unexamined snippets. I mean, every song is obviously "about" me or parts of my life, because that's the writing process, but a lot of it is vague and only tenuously connected. And that's kind of where I've been, music-wise, as of late.

Anyways. Last set of lyrics I'll post for a while.

Breakfast For Dinner
David S. Percival
June 7th, 2011.

they say the best part
about being depressed
is that at least you get your sleep
wait until noon
before I even get dressed
and wait even longer to eat
while the sun goes up
well, my heart sinks down
my good thoughts are swallowed by bad
breakfast for dinner
is all I'm allowed
it's tasteless but all that I have

time for breakfast for dinner again
cooking for one, rather cook for two
time for breakfast for dinner again
cooking for one, rather cook for you
force down breakfast for dinner again.

I remember happy
sunday morning food fights
more flour on us than on the pan
those smiley-faced pancakes
that you'd make just right
do you remember how hard we'd laugh?
made toast late last night
while I'm sure you ate well
did you think of me while you ate with him?
ate on the couch
and then wished you to hell
stuck eating breakfast for dinner again

time for breakfast for dinner again
cooking for one, rather cook for two
time for breakfast for dinner again
cooking for one, but what else can I do?
force down breakfast for dinner again.
breakfast for dinner again.

Newt and the Rebel Toe:

Every body in the world has strange little quirks to it, which makes sense. I mean, most cars have bits of individual 'character' ("It always hums a little when I shift gears", "It was created from cast-off parts of Hitler's car", "I swear it laughs every time we run over a squirrel"). And cars are factory-made... human bodies are only rarely made in factories. Though a lot of them do seem to be made in the third world...


My big bodily "quirk" is Diabetes, which is a pain in the ass that I have to deal with every day, usually with success (knock on wood). So when I look at my other "quirks", I barely notice them... and when they do materialize, I look at them with fondness and not annoyance, because hey, something minor is wrong with me that has nothing to do with Diabetes. Woot!

One of my strange quirks is what I like to call "The rebel toe".

Basically, every now and then (usually when I've been exercising a lot and havent' stayed properly hydrated) the big toe on my left foot will bend downwards and try to hide under its neighbour, like some sort of cowardly frenchman. This is sort of painful for me, and to fix it, I have to grab the toe and pull it back into position - usually a few times before it gets the hint and stays there.

It first happened more than twenty years ago, when I was six. I was swimming when the toe first decided to make a break for it, and the sudden "intense" pain (I was young, every pain was "intense") shocked me enough that I stopped swimming and started doing that other thing. What's it called? Oh, right, sinking. I did that.

But don't worry. I got better.

I've had to deal with it over the years, usually with a laugh and a polite "excuse me". But there are times when it can get particularly funny.

For example, when I'm wearing shoes. If I can't immediately take off my shoe due to the "social constraints" (my second least favourite type of constraint!), it will just get progressively worse. Last year, it happened while I was at a Halloween dance. I wound up hobbling around the dance floor, kicking walls and tables hoping to knock my toe back into place.

I think everyone else just thought I was, like, really mad or something. I'm sure it gave me a certain mystique.

I only mention this because my toe's been going haywire today. Cheeky little bastard.

Weekly Haiku #54 - Sunset

sun sets late today

light joyous white clouds ablaze

burn away the night

What!? More Lyrics?

D.S. Percival
June 6th, 2011.

I once was told
that I'm responsible
for my own actions and those of no one else
I once was told
we just carry the bullet
for a short time when it's someone else's

I never pulled the trigger but I ate the bullet
I never pulled the trigger but I ate the bullet

I never fired
though I seldom flinched
I never cried and you never wept
I learned last year
we just carry the bullet
for a short time for somebody else

I never pulled the trigger but I ate the bullet
I never pulled the trigger but I ate the bullet

Newt's Beard: Dec 27th 2010 - June 5th, 2011.

I shaved it off, just a few hours ago. Felt like it was time for a change.

Well, it's a bit more complex than that.

The last few months, I've been incredibly anxious, depressed, and feeling completely helpless. I've been more than a little crazy, and dishing it out on my friends and family. This started in the tail end of 2010, and I've had enough of it.

The last few months, when I meet people, I say stuff like "you should have met me a year ago, I was a much more confident person" or something to that effect. Which is kind of a silly thing to say, eh?

Without going into particulars, because it's not my story to tell, I got a reminder that I am not myself, and that my friends are sick of it. So I just looked in the mirror, and decided it was time to lose the beard - and everything else that came with it over the last few months.

So I cut it off. And I'm hoping to cut all the other shit off, too.

In a much more concrete gesture, I'm also going to talk to my endocrinologist and see if there's a link between my fucked up moods and my blood sugars. Not that I really want to be one of those "blame it all on Diabetes" people, but I think it's something worth examining. And I need to keep working on some of the job stuff I started up on last week - and hope to God that bares fruit.

It's time to turn 2011 into a good year. I'm sick of shitty years.

For what it's worth, it's strange having a clean-shaven face after half a year of beard. My face looks thinner than I remember it. Sharper, more angular. And I definitely look more pissed off.

Time to work on that, too.

Written a few days ago while listening to said the whale...

as long as you've known me
well i've had empty pockets
you'd just smile and shrug
and pretend you didn't notice
well it's my turn to buy
us a fancy salad
got seven dollars and i hope
these coupons are still valid
you say it doesn't matter
since friends are seldom lovers
that money means nothing
and i just shouldn't bother
for all that you notice and for all you prepare
i don't see how you can't see just how much i fucking care

and i know one day i'm gonna be a big spender
gonna live free of all the consequences
i know one day i'm gonna show that i love you
and do all the things to show how it's true
i know one day and the sooner the better
i'm worth being loved damn the consequences
i know one day i will will show that i love you
i just one day you can love me too
doo da do da doo
love me too

(Quick P.S. I'm sure someone will try and suggest this is about me, or someone I know, or something silly like that. It's not. I was listening to Said the Whale and Elvis, and wanted to write a happy & sad love song. To the people who maybe look a bit too much into stuff I write... don't. Thank you.)

An entirely TRUE conversation:

"I love beer. Because beer never gets jealous or angry when you reach for another beer!"

"Fair enough. But who likes getting head from beer?"

Cold Turkey

Wednesday of last week, I quit. I went cold turkey.

For only the second time in my life, I have now gone more than a week without drinking a drop of diet coke. I've been addicted to the stuff since I was around thirteen and first diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

Naturally, I'm pretty proud of myself. I know it's silly - some people are proud that they quit smoking. Or heroin. Or twinkies. I'm proud that I quit drinking a freaking beverage. But I'm proud nonetheless.

In completely unrelated news, I'm finding I'm less dehydrated lately, have less of a sense of thirst, and I seem to have more change in my pocket.

Strange, that.

Domestic Violence:

I believe I've mentioned the french couple I share a wall with. Or, more specifically, the batshit crazy french woman who screams at her boyfriend every couple of, um, hours.

Well, they were at it again tonight. I was watching Futurama, with the volume fairly well turned up, and I could hear them clearly over Fry and Leela being all emo-y. Of course, being able to hear her shriek wasn't that interesting, because she's french and I have no idea what the fuck she's screaming. But I'm used to this, so I turned up the volume.

Then plates and glasses started breaking and her shrieking was louder. As in, my TV's volume was almost loud enough that I could get a noise complaint, and I could still hear her - clearly - over it. Accompanied with the sounds of breaking glasses and her slamming her fists against the wall (I know it was her because I could follow her voice and it always was beside the banging on the wall). She was banging hard enough that if I still had photos up, it'd likely knock them down.

But I've been through this before, and just said to myself "you're moving in a few weeks, fuck it. Don't rock the boat."

And then there was the sound of actual physical violence. I'm pretty sure she was beating the hell out of him, simply because of the way he was sounding (he wasn't making angry noises, it was more like grunts, accompanied with her psycho-bitch screaming). But it was the sound of flesh hitting flesh - loud thunks and the occasional slapping noise, but mostly just punches.

I kind of was stunned. I muted my show, and sat there wondering. What do I do? Do I call the cops? Do I even know for sure if there's a fight going on? What do you do in a situation like this?

To finish it all off, one of them left in a huff and drove away, peeling out of the driveway. I think I may have heard cops in the hallway, but I'm not sure. As I'm typing this, my landlord is talking to people on the floor and someone is cleaning up glass. And I'm still confused as hell, wondering exactly why I should be concerned over two people who have done nothing except cause me trouble... and yet still feeling concerned.

June Playlist:

And here's what I've been listening to, the last few weeks. It doesn't really take much of a genius to realize that most of my music these days has been acoustic, soft, and maybe just a bit thoughtful or instropective. I'm not sure why that it is, but I have a few theories I'm working on.

They all involve space goats.

  1. Aidan Knight, "Jasper"

  2. Avalanche City, "Love Love Love"

  3. The Out Crowd, "Little Elf"

  4. Said the Whale, "Goodnight Moon"

  5. Library Voices, "Drinking Games"

  6. David Myles, "I Will Love You"

  7. Seabear, "Arms"

  8. The Black Keys, "The Only One"

  9. David Bowie, "Life on Mars"

  10. The Fleet Foxes, "Your Protector"

Weekly Haiku #53 - change

homeless man and I

similar in just one way

we're both seeking change