February - 2004

It’s 3:39 AM.

I am listening to "Sweet Jane" as covered by the cowboy junkies. They do a far better version than the Velvet Underground did. I have recently come to the conclusion that the Velvet Underground was very, very good at writing songs, but piss poor at performing or recording them. Strange thoughts one has at 3:39 AM…

For some reason, I find myself only able to write these things in the ungodly hours. Maybe there’s something to that, maybe not. Hard to say without a map or a diagram really…

They really should include those…

This month, I think I’m going to indulge myself. Usually I worry about writing something interesting. Not this month. This month is all for me. If you don’t like it, that’s OK, only about 40 people read this thing every month anyways…

So Hah.

My turn.

Finally one of the cool kids…

So a couple of weeks back, I’m out for Karaoke with the crew, and out of nowhere this woman who could have easily been a hooker walks up to me and goes, "Hey, I know you!"

Now, this was something of a concern for me for a couple of reasons…

First of all, I’m not a big fan of having whorish looking women come up to me and say in a loud voice, Hey I know you" when I don’t have the slightest clue who they are.

Second of all, I’m really not a fan of having whorish looking women come up to me and say "Hey, I know you!" when I’m out with my significant other. That usually never adds up to any good.

From my bewildered look, she must have figured out that I didn’t have clue one what she was talking about. Couldn’t have been that hard really. So she quickly came back with, "Don’t you remember me? We went to High School together!"

Now those that know me know that I look at high school as, at best, a necessary evil. It was without a doubt in my mind, three of the worst years of my life. People like to talk about the whole socialization aspect of high school. How it’s important.

Great theory. So was communism. And democracy for that matter.

Only one flaw.

If you fall outside that little circle of cool, you don’t get socialized, you get ostracized, and there is, to be sure, a whole world of difference. The first leaves you feeling like you belong for three years, and the other leaves you feeling like you anything but belong.

Which is, in many ways, a good thing I think. My closest friends were all losers in high school. God knows I was. I was the kid that had the shit kicked out of him on a near daily basis. I was the kid that everyone else picked on to make themselves feel better.

Like I said, in hindsight, I’m glad I had that, because it taught me that there is a hell of a lot more to life than simple social standing, and in the long run, it really doesn’t matter what anyone other than the people that you actually care about think of you.

So anyways, back to the girl from high school.

She looked at me with the sort of surprised "omigod, I can’t believe you don’t remember me" look people get when they have an over inflated sense of self worth.

"It’s me, it’s (and I honestly can’t really remember her name right now, but it was one of those cookie cutter mould names that yuppies give their children… something like Laurie, so we’ll go with that) Laurie!"

The best I could muster was an "Um, OK, and?"

She then went into the standard run of the mill, "omigodhowhaveyoubeenItalkwaytofasttoreallybeunderstoodbutthatsokcausereallyI’monlytalkingtohearmyselftalkandintheendbeseenandnotreallyheardafterall".

She tried introducing me to a couple of her friends that I supposedly knew back then, but let’s get something straight here.

It’s been 10 years people. I only really remember the people that I liked. Anyone else has been systematically purged from my memory, and with what I like to think is very good reason.

So she kept at it for a while, and eventually, I was able to place her a little.

Laurie (?) was one of those middle grounders. In high school (at least from what I remember, there were three basic classes of people. The cool people, the people who wanted to be cool, but just couldn’t pull it off, and the people who were incapable or too disinterested to fit in, and as such they more or less only wanted to do their time and get the hell out of Dodge.

Laurie was one of those that wanted to be cool. I could vaguely remember her trying to wear the clothes that showed skin, but she just could never really pull it off. I could vaguely remember her in a loose orbit around the cool people, but never in the same solar system.

Eventually I think she sensed either that I wasn’t about to hit on her, or that I had no interest in reminiscing about memories that were never really there. The, "I dated the captain of the football team" (and yes, she really did say that) line was really what did me in.

She joined her table and left ours.

But I couldn’t help but watch her.

The girl couldn’t have been more textbook if she had tried. She flirted with every guy she could, and when they didn’t show any interest, she did the pseudo-lesbian bit with her friend to try and stir some interest from them. Didn’t work that night, but I’m sure it did others.

Eventually, she did the 20 minute say goodbye to anyone she remotely knew, mostly so people could see how many people she knew bit, and wandered out the door, and as she did, I realized two things.

First of all, it hit me that although it had taken her the better part of 10 years, she was finally "one of the cool kids". She was finally cool enough for High School. She had the clothes, the attitude and the look that was all high school.

Now I was never cool, and I sincerely hope that I never will be, and my second realization was exactly that. I may be an independent musician that a very short list of people have heard of, but I made that from being who I am, not trying to be anyone else. If nothing else, at the end of the day, I’m not trying to be what anyone other than me thinks I should be. I may not ever have the money or the comfort or the mansion on the hill (odds are I won’t actually), but what I do have, I have earned on my name. I didn’t model myself after the name that was given to me by TV commercials, magazines, MTV or the expected idea of what I should be.

And I kinda like that.

Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Flattery…

Irony is fun.

After writing the above bit, I found that more than a couple of my ideas have been "borrowed" without the dignity of having been given credit for cooking them up in the first place. It seems while I’m not cool, I am, by and large cool enough to be ripped off.

So let’s just clear something up here. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…

Now…

Taking an idea that someone else came up with and then using it while taking all the credit for yourself is decidedly not flattery.

That’s buggery.

And to be clear on that:

bug·ger·y (bg-r, bg-) n. Vulgar –\Bug"ger*y\, n. a) Unnatural sexual intercourse; sodomy.b) Anal intercourse committed by a man with a man or woman

(Huge thanks to the good people at Dictionary.com for the help there)

Which, to be perfectly clear, means fucking someone up the ass.

Which, I am told, is by and large a rather unpleasant experience.

Have I made myself clear?

Projectile Vomiting And Other Hobbies…

So last night after getting home from the studio, my stomach decided that it no longer wanted to be a part of my digestive process.

My stomach and I rarely get along well together on a good day, but yesterday was a domestic dispute between it and I that could have been featured on COPS. Those who know me, know that it takes me just over a week to go through a jumbo sized economy bottle of Assorted Berry Tums from start to finish. It seems that the Tums have stopped appeasing my stomach because last night it walked off the line and went on strike.

It’s been a while since my stomach decided to go on strike. I had forgotten how bad that could be.

Needles to say after about hour 4 of dashing from my bedroom to the toilet, I put 2 and 2 together.

At a certain point you just can’t avoid the conclusion that some form of the flu had convinced my stomach that it had worked very hard of late and that a vacation was in order.

And a very convincing flu virus it must have been, because my stomach still seems bound and determined that its vacation time is not yet used in full.

The weather has been bad of late, so I can understand the need to get to more sunny climes, but at the same time, I would like to be able to eat again without going through the motions of a supermodel prepping for that next big photo shoot.

I mean, at least they get to look pretty while enjoying the taste of bile in their mouth.

I just get the bile.

I hope it at least sends me a postcard…

In summation…

In handy point form no less…

Oh yeah, and happy Valentines Day.

As always, You know where to find me - Nate@natepike.com