1. I’m from California. The armpit area, or Bakersfield. When I mention to people that I’m from Cali, they usually smile and look at me with that wide-eyed, “Why the hell did you move from paradise?” look. Then I have to explain that I’m actually from Bakersfield, which is a shit-hole full of oil wells and dirty rednecks. The Utopian sunny paradise most people think of when you mention Califorrnia is on the coast and is generally full of plastic rich idiots, actors or people that run wineries. For the most part, California is insanely expensive (except in Redneck country), smoggy, and full of crazy.
2. I used to be pretty heavy into politics but the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve really not given a shit. Perhaps that’s just a bi-product of living in the Washington DC area or maybe I’m simply sick of the whole left/right thing that politics have become in this country. I really have no problem with the conservative idealism of fiscal responsibility, but when some Tea Party jack-ass starts talking about how abortion is evil, gay marriage is a sin, and it’s big brother’s job to stop people from taking drugs, I tune them the fuck out. Don’t wish for a smaller government and then advocate the same government sticking it’s fat nose in American’s personal lives. Fuck off.
The late George Carlin pretty much sums up my thoughts.
3. Since I brought up one of the things we aren’t ‘supposed’ to talk about, I’ll gladly fill you in on the other, which is RELIGION. First off, I was raised Assemblies of God and Southern Baptist. I was pretty hard core into the Christian scene up until my early 20’s. Me and Jesus were cool. Then, sometime during college, I took a comparative religions class that completely changed my perspective on religion in general. It opened me up to the possibility that there are hundreds, no, thousands of different faiths out there and we as humans have no idea which one (if any) is right. That being said, I would now define myself as agnostic. Perhaps there is a God. Perhaps he is a jolly, white bearded guy up in the clouds. Perhaps he is a floating toaster between the moon and mars. Perhaps he is Buddha. Or, perhaps God is more than we can ever comprehend and comprises every atom, quark and particle that exists in this universe. One thing I’m sure of though, is that no religion has a monopoly on God. One religion is not the only path to a next plane of existence. Personally, I have a theory that there is a spiritual universe where we all exist as God… like a giant ocean of life. This universe and that are incompatible. Our spirits, thus, are poured into physical carbon beings in this one – much like diving suits provide life support for humans under water. We live, we procreate, we die…and that life force goes back into the great ocean. This is how I see the cycle of the afterlife.
I’m okay, for the most part, with your religion, whatever it may be… as long as you keep it YOUR religion. The minute you start passing laws or attempt to press your moral judgement on me, you become the problem.
4. I like to curse. A lot. Like a fucking sailor. Hopefully, my parents won’t fucking read this or my ass is toast. I remember that cursing used to bother my mom so much that we weren’t allowed to watch PG13 movies growing up. A few fucks, shits and whatnot and she would make us turn it off. For me, I’ve always believed that a word is harmless without context, much the way a gun is just a gun unless it’s fired at someone. Then it is a weapon. Swearing is like adding a spice rub to your meat… it gives your words flavor.
5. I met my fiancee, Rochelle, on Facebook. For a long time, I was kind of embarrassed to tell the story of our meeting with people, mainly because it’s kind of geeky to meet on the Internets. But I have to credit Facebook and more importantly Pearl Jam, a grunge band from the 90’s who we both share a crazy love affair with, for intertwining our paths.
6. Speaking of Pearl Jam, I’ve seen them 19 times. My first PJ experience was in San Bernardino, CA in late 2000. I had crappy lawn seats and it was freezing. Still, I had a great time. The best show I’ve been to was this past October 19th in Brooklyn. Rochelle and I had rail in the GA section, right smack in front of Stone Gossard. Nothing rocks harder than seeing the band live from the pit.
A week later, we saw the band in Baltimore and met guitarist Mike McCready while wandering around in Fells Point. We talked for a while, got some picks, and were given VIP tickets for free to the band’s next show in Charlottesville. It was an amazing experience.
7. I have an 18 year old son who is working to finish his last year in high school. He lives with his mom in Cali, but will soon be living with us when he graduates. I love him to death but do not see him near enough. It’s so strange to look back at pictures of Chris when he was 7 and 8. He looks so different now. He’s a brilliant kid but doesn’t commit himself to his school work. That’s okay though. Things change.
8. I proposed to my fiancee, Rochelle, at a pre-party in Brooklyn… in front of some 500 people. I worked with the party organizers to make it happen at just the right time. I was called up to the front as a winner and provided with a poster tube. I quickly opened the tube, called Ro to the front, and took out the ring. After reading the lyrics to “Future Days”, I got down on one knee and did the deed. Yes, she said yes.
Rochelle is all I ever wanted in life. She is perfect for me. It may be corny but I’ve never felt like I really wanted to spend my life with someone else prior to meeting her. It sucks that we didn’t find each other prior to our 40’s, but we are both prepared to spend the rest of our lives together.
9. Southern Comfort is my alcohol of choice. SoCo with coke is even better. ScCo 100 is the best.
Dirty martinis are amazing as well.
10. For once in my life, I am excited and anxious to know what comes next. Life is good and I know it will only get better. I’m happy. I have a great family. I have a wonderful life. I have a rewarding job. For once, I believe in myself and am proud of what I’ve become.