A friend recently posted a list of his favorite shows that he has ever attended. I attempted 10 and came up with 15. So here they are in no specific order:
1. Insted and Face Value at Fotches. 1991.
2. Damnation AD and Lifetime at Fireside Bowl. 1995.
3. Bosstones and Murphy’s Law at Medusas. 1991.
4. Fall Out Boy at Arlington Heights VFW. Dead On Arrival video shoot. 2003.
5. Saves The Day. Get Up Kids. Dashboard Confessional at the Metro. 2001.
6. My Chemical Romance at the Fireside Bowl. 2003.
7. American Nightmare at original Bottom Lounge with different singers for each song. 2002.
8. Henry Rollins/Keith Morris Free the West Memphis Three playing the songs of Black Flag at the Vic. 2003.
9. AFI. Good Riddance. 88 Fingers Louie at the Fireside Bowl. 1996.
10. The Academy, Gym Class Heroes, Fall Out Boy at Soma SD, CA. 2004.
11. Strife, Earth Crisis, Snapcase on the stage of the Riv. 1994.
12. Naked Raygun record release show at the Riv. 1991.
13. Nerve Agents at the Fireside. 2001.
14. Ink and Dagger at the Fireside. 1999.
15. Path of Resistance first show at Hungry Charlie’s. Syracuse, NY. 1997.
Let me begin this by saying I do not believe in ghosts. I think the idea of a wayward spirit left behind in some sort of limbo to turn lights on and off and make creaking noises is beyond ridiculous. That being said, I have experienced a few things in my life that I simply can not explain. But simply because you can’t explain something doesn’t mean that the first logical thought would be that it is the spirit of a dead person.
My brother and I are very similar. Ethically, morally, politically, and (non)spiritually. The difference is, he is almost 50 and has two grown kids. He’s a very mature family man and is a well-respected professional real estate photographer.
Recently he told me the story about how his company notified him about a picture he had taken over the summer. He shot a house then sent the raw files to his company as he always did but months later he was contacted about one picture. Below is the picture in question.
There were no reflective surfaces and there weren’t any pictures hanging. Below on the left is the actual raw image with absolutely no retouching whatsoever. On the left is the area in question zoomed in.
"I can’t stand moral absolutism. You know, there’s always that guy who wants to point out that Martin Luther King cheated on his wife— as if he obviously couldn’t have been a great person if he did something like that. Or someone will bring out an inspirational quote, and get you to agree, and then inform you that Hitler said it. As if a good thought couldn’t come from Hitler. Moral absolutism keeps us from learning from the past. It’s easy to say: ‘Hitler was a demon. Nazis were all bad seeds.’ That’s simple. It’s much harder to say: ‘Is that humanity? Is that me?’"
NEVER MIND THE BAUBLES - XMAS 1977 with the SEX PISTOLS
Thank you so much everyone for the positive response to my first book. What started out as a collection of stories mainly intended for a blog turned into something much cooler and, I feel, far more interesting. I’ve said it a bunch of times before, but I’ll say it again now. I never considered…
She sat across the table from me and said, “Well you seem like you’re in a really good place.”
I wanted to respond like I usually do. Like I always have. The guilt, shame, and self-deprication runs almost four decades deep but instead I thought about it for a three count and said, “You know what, I am.”
It stood in stark contrast to my bank account. To my 350 square foot apartment. To the holes in my coat. But when I said it, a gentle and confident smile washed across my face because I meant what I said.
I looked at her and said something like, “There’s something to be said for exposing your pain to the world and I realize that now. I realize that until you take that pain and make it work for you instead of you being controlled by IT - well, you’ll always be a slave to those moments. The abuse. The neglect. The anger. The jealousy. They will own you and control you and you will die an unhappy person who never learns how to smile unless it’s at the expense of others of for what you posses. And there is a difference.”
Because at that table I realized the most deeply gratifying smile is the smile that comes from knowing you just are. That you’re just here. Alive. That through every moment we thought would kill us or grind us down didn’t have shit on the perseverance of our hearts and souls. A smile knowing that the abuse, pain, and anger no longer control the river I once floundered in to stay alive but they have become boat in which I command.
There have been some really tough days, weeks, years, in my past. Some of you have been around to see some of those low points. I just want you to know that I am in a good place and I’m happy to call you friends. And I’m smiling while I write this. Right now, alone in my drafty, dusty, and tiny little apartment I’m smiling because I know that so many of you have used your words to help patch some of these holes in my boat. Your email or your hug or your text really did make a difference. Because sometimes I needed a little boost. Sometimes I needed to sell just one more book so I could buy a frozen pizza. But most of the time I just needed to know there was someone else behind those words who still believed in me as an overgrown kid with a ridiculous dream.
I guess I just wanted to share this with you. That I’m in a good place now and I know it. And I’m smiling.