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It wasn't a bad Sunday at work. The weather was amiable but it was still too windy for much of anyone to want to sit outside. The band played inside, it was 'the Good Guys Duo', they've played there before several times. Lots of Clapton, Petty, Beatles tunes, you know.
I requested that they do a song by 'The Band' and they did 'The Weight' (big surprise), I was still pleased although I may have been more content with 'Endless Highway' or even 'The Night they drove ol' Dixie Down'. Tina, who works behind the bar at the winery, had recently been cut from work and was listening to 'The Good Guys Duo', drinking some wine and enjoying herself. She insisted that the band have me come up and sing a tune.
I realized that I was at work, but when the band asked if I wanted to do a tune, I couldn't turn down the challenge. I figured, I've played with duos like this in the past, so I asked them if they knew any of my regular tunes, "You Can't Always Get What You Want" is the one I normally do. They didn't know it, but then immediately broke out into the "Jumping Jack Flash" riff. I simply nodded my head and grabbed the microphone.
Not to blow smoke up my ass or anything, but I would have to say that I lit that place on fire. "I'm a damn good front man" I thought to myself afterward. I exuded so much energy in that place, it was night and day in comparison to the songs they had been playing before. Not that the guys in the duo are bad singers, they aren't. They just didn't seem to have as much feeling. Passion I suppose.

Some of the tables I was waiting on could see me from up on the balcony, even the old folks were impressed and I was really starting to rake in the tips.  From that point on through the evening, my tips were 25% or higher. Considering it was Sunday and I didn't have to tip anyone out for busing or food running services, I actually made more money that I did on Saturday, in less hours too.

I clocked out from work, I was getting a bit thirsty and I decided to stop into the corner bar before I went home. I was by myself but I didn't care I went in for two drinks. I finally started to get on some of the locals' good sides. There is this one guy who's in there all the time, I call him, "The Hockey Snob". He's always watching, and talking hockey. He knows all the players, what positions they play, and not just for Pittsburgh, but the vast majority of the NHL. I talked to him about being born outside Buffalo.

"I'm sorry," he said.
"Not as sorry as I am," I replied.
He laughed. "I think the Sabres/Flyers is going to be a seven game series."
I agreed and simply nodded my head.

Yes, I only went in for two drinks, but five drinks and a six pack to go later, I finally headed home. It was a strange day, not bad, not good, just strange. A bit of a lonesome day actually, just one of those days when you feel completely alone in the world. You see people all day going about their business, but it's almost as if you see them through glass, like your at the zoo.

Needless to say, it felt good to be home. My mom seemed happy to see me, although she knew I was a bit drunk. She made a Gary Busey joke in my direction, I just grinned, and tried not to feel like a madman. She had made pot roast and mashed potatoes with corn for dinner. My favorite. Just the comfort I needed after such a peculiar day.

Painter's Rant

Scrape some paint,

scrape some paint,

paint it down,

another coat'll do it,

Ah, Scrape the paint.

 

One step forward,

two steps back,

there ain't nothin'

that I lack.

 

Scrape some paint,

scrape some paint,

slather it on,

another coat'll do it,

nah, scrape the paint.

 

Latex paint,

blistered and cracked,

like my soul,

just like my soul

 

Drippin' Lead,

wish I was dead,

in the ground,

right in the ground.

 

Rest for the wicked,

there is none,

find myself,

at square one.

 

Scrape some paint,

scrape some paint,

'bout another coat?

just one more coat,

then scrape the paint.

 

Sun beats down,

pourin' sweat,

what I've found,

I can't get.

 

Scrape some paint,

just scrape the paint.

My Monday off: April 11th 2011

I had had a really nice day. I had woken up really early, around 7:30. My brother and I went to the diner to get a decent breakfast, always a good start to the day. I had coffee, French toast, eggs and bacon, Jack (my brother) got classic eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast.
On the way home I realized my friend Cassie had told me at the corner bar the night before that there would be an 80% chance of rain today. Knowing this and realizing how beautiful it was outside at the time, I figured I ought to take it all in while I still can. My brother and I had been putting off doing any laundry for the last two weeks or so, and we had quite a mountain piling up. I spent most of the morning down in the garage with the door open, doing laundry, getting drunk and listening to Bob Dylan "Blonde on Blonde", just enjoying the good weather. I was very attentive to the laundry and eventually Jack (my brother) came down to see what I was doing. He said it was so nice out today he wanted to go and get his haircut before work.  Being 3 beers in at the time I told him I would see him when he came back.

 It was starting to rain a little bit, I knew it would, but it was off and on. He returned in about an hour or so and I was about 6-7 beers in at that point, I had lost count. I was enjoying myself down in the garage but it was nice to see Jack come home, he decided to hang out in the garage with me for a while. I chain smoking and drinking, talking to him about, well a little of this and a little of that. He had found his paintball gear on one of the shelves in the garage, he got them down, started blowing some of the dust and the cobwebs off of them. He was sitting in the lawn chair cleaning his gun, and I thought to myself, "yeah, I'd love to see my uptight neighbors try and give me the stink eye right about now." They wouldn't dare, at that distance they wouldn't be able to tell that it was a paint gun, it kind of looked like an MP40 to me.

Jack was done fooling around with the paintball gun, putting it back up on the shelf he found an old kite, that our Grandpa Burt got for him during the Balloon Festival that was an annual tradition back in my Grandfather's hometown. It was starting to get a bit windy so we decided to take it out. Here I was, a 28 year old man, dressed like a complete burnout, trying to get a multi-colored children's kite up in the air, on a Monday afternoon in Seven Fields, eh, what the hell, it was something to do. Well, I couldn't get it in the air, maybe there wasn't enough rain, or perhaps I wasn't running fast enough, because I wasn't wearing a belt, and my pants kept falling down, either way I eventually gave up. By this time, I was pretty drunk and tired. I found some old bar food in the fridge from the night before, ate it down and took a nap.

I woke up around 5 and then proceeded to Pizza Hut, to pick up more beer. It was beginning to rain, but it was warm and felt good. The sun was still shining, hell. Realizing I only had one cigarette left, I decided to walk over to Walgreens and pick up some smokes. I figured, well, I'm gonna have a few beers might as well pick up an impulse buy. On the way home, there I was, walking back from the parking lot, a six pack of Sierra Nevada in one hand, hugging a large tub of Utz's Cheeseballs in the other and a cig in my mouth. I was wearing my patchwork pants, moccasins and my read hoodie with the face of Jimi Hendrix peeping out of the zipper. Struttin' across Castle Creek Drive I thought to myself, "Damn! I'm the classiest honky in Seven Fields."
It was a great day to be alive, I thought to myself, as I jumped in my beat to shit car and headed south. Nowhere in particular, just south. "Perhaps I'll head home for a while," I thought as I merged onto I-79 without a care in the world other than the fact that I only had about fifty-eight dollars to my name. "I don't know, home can be depressing and a little bit boring." The last time I had headed home, the town had grown, my friends had grown, grown and moved away, much like me, yet they started families, decided to stick with that 9-5. It's hard to be envious of them, when you really take a step back and realize all of the pointless errands, menial tasks, and utter shit that they must go through on a daily basis...

Not me though, not today anyway. It WAS a great day to be alive, just me and the open road. I've never been a religious man, I've always kind of found religion (especially any form of monotheism) hard to believe. One god, overseeing everything. "He works in mysterious ways," they say, yeah, that's one way of putting it, I suppose. Being on the road can have a very spiritual effect on one's soul. Ultimate freedom, the ability to grow, and to be at peace at the same time. On a sunny day too! Now that's livin', friend.

Random Drunkard Babblings- Pilot Ha!

I'm starting to believe more and more that happiness is all about perspective. It's easy to point out all of the things that piss you off, or iritate you. Yeah you might not be in the MOST desired situation possible, but I feel it important to take a step back, and really take it all in. I can't speak for everyone, but in my life I must say that there have been plenty of times that I've used the phrase, "Hey, It could be worse." In my case it's always been true.

I've been pretty damn lazy the last few years. Direction, Motivation, what have you.

Easter makes me think about the loss of God, and how I wish Jesus WOULD come back, and smite ALL these bitches. Then again, if born in the same area as he was from then, he would probably be on our "no fly list" one way or another because let's face it, we are the Roman empire. The New Roman empire I assume.

Now don't tell me I'm unpatriotic, because I'm not, We are Like the Romans, but I suppose we have some distinctive characteristics. I wish I could explore more of the country. I'm working on it. Always trying to plan a roadtrip. Especially a place where I haven't been before. I am currently planning a trip to Bonnarroo, I've never been there, and I feel like I'm starting to get old, I'm ready to "go explorin'". If I don't do it soon, I may not get many more chances. The last 2-4 late summers/early springs I've been going through this, not mid-life crisis, but just plain crisis, if you will. Last year I had this sweet trip planned.
I was going to head out to Colorado and chill with one of my buddies out there, check out the scene and do some follow ups on some of the resume's I've submitted out there. I must say, as bad as the Journalism scene is right now, it could always be worse somewhere other than Colorado. Out of all the resumes I've sent out over the internet, most of the replies I get are from Colorado. I don't know much about their writing scene out there, but I know Hunter Thompson must have liked it there, he spent a good bit of time there.

I hear that there are things you can see here (America), that can take your very breath away, landscapes that can make you feel so small, yet so significant at the same time, as your taking it all in right in front of you. Right before your eyes. It very well could be what it's all about.

Last time I checked, which was a while ago, scientist state that the average american male stops growing around the age 25. Now I don't know where I heard it, Or if it's true, but I can say this. The last 2 years or so, I have definitely felt the decline. It's sad, and it can get 28 year old (give or take) very depressed.
Last week I thought I was turning 29 this year. I felt like I was already 28, as if I had lost a whole year. Turns out I'm just terrible at math, heh, and I haven't always been that way. Math used to be one of my best subjects. Something happened somewhere along the way. It's so easy to blame it on drugs and alcohol, but it started to slip WAY before I started dabbling in any of that.

I could ramble on forever but I have to bring this thing to a close. Long story short, this has been another Easter come and gone. I think I'm a pretty damn good soul, yeah I drink a few beers and like to chill out every once in a while, I may use profanity here and there, alright a damn good bit, but regardless I feel as though I have a certain regard for man, at the same timeI feel there may be others that don't share this appreciation with me.

All the more reason to appreciate I have. I'm sure many of you can say the same.

You Just Can't Get There From Here

I've been talking to the volunteer coordinator for WYEP Pittsburgh, and yesterday I headed down to the southside to help them mail out some newsletters.
I live just north of Pittsburgh and let me tell you, it is almost impossible to get there from here. Once you get to the southside though, it isn't too bad because everything is grid.
I left Cranberry for the southside 2 hours early. I got to Pittsburgh in 20 minutes, but then I couldn't find my way to the southside! It sucked!

I had dressed up, and left early, trying to make a good impression, but by the time I found the WYEP community center, I was 45 minutes late, and sweating like,... well like something that sweats a lot. Though no one really sweats as much as I do. "So much for trying to make a good impression," I thought.

As I walked into the reception area, no one was inside. On the reception desk their was a phone, and a list of extentions. I looked up the volunteer coordinator and dialed her extention. She told me that the letters hadn't come in yet, and that the event had been reschedualed... UGH!

Though I guess it's better that way now, considering I was late, and all sweaty. Hopefully when I head down there next week I won't have so much trouble finding the place.

So I figured, "Well, I came all the way down here, why not check out some of the shops and bars?" I really needed a cold one. Went into Pipers Pub, down the street. I walked in and the first thing I said to the bartender was, "Ah, it feels good in here." It was really hot outside, Southside Pittsburgh in August, yeah. I mean, I lived down south for awhile, but I'm not used to this kind of heat anymore.
I went ahead and ordered the English Style Pale Ale, not my favorite on the list, but definitely perfect for such a hot day, very refreshing.

I met two locals sitting next to me, Jim and Bob. They were in their late 30's/ early 40's and said that they had known each other since the 7th grade. I told them about the kind of day I'd been having and that I wanted to check out the scene down here on the southside. I told them I had asked over 10 people today, for directions.
Jim said he had lived here his whole life, and doesn't have a problem getting around the city, but he can imagine how hard it would be for someone who is from out of town.

You can't smoke anywhere in Pittsburgh so I stepped outside to have one, and decided to call my friend Doug, who doesn't live too far away from there. He told me that the new hot spot down there was the HaufBrauHaus, so I told him I would go down and check it out.

I went back in to Pipers, finished my beer, paid my tab, and said "so long" to Jim and Bob.


To be continued.
    How about this David Carradine? Man! That stinks. He was one of my heroes. Who knew he was into all that? Eh,... Hollywood types.

   Last week sometime, I got up early before I had to be into work, and I decided to make some coffee and pull up a seat and watch some news. I was watching some daily footage from Iran. I think there must be something wrong with me, but there is something about watching people running around in the streets and setting fires that makes me think, "YES!!!..." So I got a little motivation, got my "mojo" working, if you will, and I was doing some things around the house. I'm looking through some old boxes of some of my things, ya know? What do I find, but an old Rage Against the Machine CD that I hadn't listened to in about 4 years. Still thinking about the whole Iran thing, mind you, I put it on and start listening to some of the old tracks. Then out of the blue, I decide to get a hair cut.

....What in the world??

Hello Out There

Still alive, in case anyone was wondering. It has been 7 weeks since my last journal entry, I haven't much to say.

I won this award for one of my articles, I've got to start putting my resume back out there... It's been rough though, back in the service industry and all. I suppose the worst part about it, is how well it eats up your time. Eh, I guess that's work for everyone.

I started working in this kitchen, and they are starting up w/ a brand new staff. I was only the new guy there for 2 weeks. I've been getting a crap load of hours, yet somehow... all my money seems to disappear...
We'll see how these overtime hours will treat me this Friday. I'm sure I'll get the sh*t taxed out of it.

My birthday is coming up. I think this is the first birthday where I wish I could push the pause button :::::: Wait!!! I don't want to be 27! Who wants to be 27? Honestly? I guess I should just enjoy the "now" as much as possible.
I can tell I'm not as young as I used to be . I'm back in the service industry now, after a year of paper pushing. Now that I've seen the outside, going back to the kitchen feels different. I'm not struggling, it's just one of those feelings, i.e. "If I keep this up for another 6-7 years, or maybe even less, it's gonna start to hurt!" I love cooking, don't get me wrong, but these jobs are somewhat physically demanding. Not in the landscaping or construction sense, but, even still.

Growing old... with every breath...

However, I have been doing a pretty good job of keeping the summer interesting. I haven't been as timid to scribble in the 'request off' book from time-to-time... Last weekend I took off and went to Cleveland, ... on a whim. Over the years I've become more and more passionate about travel; I don't care where it is, if I haven't been there, I want to go there. If for anything else, just to say I've been there. Travel and experience, ya know?

We'll see what else the summer has in store for me. I've been keeping my eye out for shows up at Nelson's Ledges, OH. It's not far from here and I heard it's a really excellent venue. So, if any of my friends are interested, let me know.
It's been awhile since my last entry. I haven't been writing as much as I normally do, I have been in the transition of moving, and it has taken a toll on my creative entity.

Well, I moved back to Pittsburgh. It feels good to be back.
I picked up a job in the kitchen of a Mad Mex restaurant. It's not great job, but it's a job. It'll do for now.

I haven't worked service industry for about a year. I thought I was finally out, but I suppose not.

After the oil company laid me off, I tried applying for partial unemployment. Partial, because I was still working at the paper at the time. The state rejected my request. I was keeping my fingers crossed at the possibility of the newspaper putting me on full time. Anyone who has been keeping up with current events, knows that the newspaper industry hasn't been in such great shape recently either.

Somehow, even during this recession, Americans are still going out to eat. I'd like to call them all dumbasses, but I have no grounds to do so. I'm guilty of spending a pretty penny out and about, when I know I shouldn't, not to mention paying $6.50 for a pack of cigarettes.

I guess you can call it job security, but after working in the service industry for 10 years, it's a little depressing to be back. Especially working at a corporate restaurant, I forgot how tedious it can be.

But then hey, it could be worse, it could be retail... I'll never do that again.

I initially was applying to restaurants for a front of the house (FOH) position. Waiter, or preferably bartender. I actually wouldn't mind bartending again...
But after Mad Mex saw that I had prior kitchen experience (8 years), they picked me up and put me on right away.

I've found myself getting back into service industry mode. Back of the house (BOH) mode to be more exact. The people I work with probably think I have tourettes by now.  My hands haven't been used to the heat. Everytime I touch something hot, or drop something, it's "shit!" or "Fuck!". It seems to come out so instictional.

I have to make sure that I stay out of that mind set. No matter how shitty the job gets.

I can't get stuck in the S.I. rut again. I have to stay persistant. I have to stay motivated, and optimistic that I can still persuit my long term goals.

Wish me luck.
Well, for those who haven't already been informed: I was laid off from my day job on Friday.

They said they had to make some cut backs because the price of the barrel went down.
Eh...
I suppose it's no big deal. My heart wasn't really in it anyway.

Now I have a thousand options. My friend Rick, or as I call him, "The Ricker," called me up today. He's all gung-ho about this trip out west.

I've been planning this thing for 8 months, and I'll be damned if I'm gonna let this whole, getting laid off thing play a factor.

I'm thinking about just taking off. After this month, just leaving.