"I have many broken dreams, but like broken hearts they seem to mend with ease.
And I've traversed the open sea with a grain of guts and a gallon of need."
Bella - ca. 2000 - April 1, 2014
I told a family member the other night that I often wonder why mankind evolved to walk upright. If we were not typically predators in the beginning, then we would probably have been prey; so it is odd that we took on such an awkward stance.
When I think of fast-moving mammals who were prey like deer, gazelle, or horses, it seems like it would have helped our distant ancestors to run on all fours rather than stand upright and off-balance. And yet, we all walk upright. Even if an upright stance would have helped us escape up a tree, any cat owner can tell you that it would not have likely saved us from a jaguar, for example. We acted as though we were at the top of the food chain before such a claim could even be argued - we pretended to be the alpha species with no predators above us, almost disregarding facts. Weird.
My father has been sick and in the hospital for a few months. He went in for a heart valve replacement, but experienced complications that left him close to dead. I go see him each day, but the recovery has been a long road. Despite what seem like overwhelming odds stacked against him, he has made so much progress and continues to improve. I am lucky that he survived, and I am indescribably grateful for that much.
For a long time, I felt that I had lost the will to live. I did not really understand how people had that will until these past few months of watching my dad. It had been so long since I had even entertained the idea of wanting to be alive that the notion seemed almost entirely foreign to me. But now that I have seen my pops fight back and struggle against nearly insurmountable challenges to overcome so much, I understand why I too would want to live.
If for nothing else, it is in defiance to circumstance, fate, and whatever else may place itself in our path. If our inevitable outcome is to be six feet under, then as long as we are alive, it is an affront to destiny, a grand scheme, or even the gods themselves that we push on.
Like monkeys standing up against what makes sense, we live.
My favorite album that came out this year was AFI - Burials.
I know how absurd that must sound, and I’m not the type of person to have guilty pleasures, so maybe I should explain.
In a year when a Bowie album came out, it would be rather unreasonable to argue that anything better was released. If this were an objective question, then obviously the Bowie record would get it. But there’s something extra for me about AFI.
When I was a kid, AFI was one of the first punk bands I got into. A friend of mine even recently shared picture of me from back then at a show in a shitty club in West Palm, screaming into the mic with Davey. They grew in intensity with each record, becoming more creative and abrasive and following the same trajectory of my interests at the time. When they hit critical mass, they signed to a major label.
Then I watched them change. They changed into something ridiculous - a laughable, melodramatic parody of themselves and the scene from which they grew. They went through hilarious haircuts and Twilight-inspired melodrama while becoming the poster boys for the tween, Hot Topic, mall-goth-emo-dork demographic.
They put out some shit albums, made some pretty cheesy videos, and it seemed like the band I had enjoyed on albums like “Black Sails in the Sunset” had all but vanished. I gave up on them.
A few years later, I found some of their albums in my brother’s stuff. I decided to give it another shot, but now with an ear that did not expect the former glory that I had seen in them.
To my surprise, whether it was because of the changes in my taste or the maturation of their sound, I understood it. I didn’t understand it as the hardcore or punk band that I remembered, but something different and new - possibly with the potential to be even better in the long run,
It strikes me that they’ve been trying to create something greater than themselves in these past two albums. They’re aspiring to establish themselves as something bigger than a seminal 90’s punk band, bigger than pop-emo cash-whores, and maybe something that would stand the test of time. In other words, something more like Bowie.
Or like I joked with a friend, maybe it just sounds like Danzig doing NoFX covers.
Christmas breakfast, boyeeee. Animal-free, too.
I made this yesterday, but it’s not done yet. If it doesn’t work, you might have to view it with Internet Explorer. I don’t know why.
She caught a moth in the jungle in Mexico.
Here’s a beach.
I made this with a program on my phone.
Fear and Trembling by Søren Kierkegaard