Awakening to the World... Insanity is all around us.

So this weekend... apart from having been what I consider to be the best weekend on ledger to date (no offence various retreat weekends upon which this weekend was modelled)... was a mind-blowing awakening to the world, the likes of which I'd thought I'd experienced by now, but it seems that the world is a constantly unraveling conch shell of blessings and madness, like a spiral blossoming in the springtime of all that can be percieved by humankind. When I try to explain the insanity of what I saw this weekend, I will fall terribly short, and you will be unentertained and bored in this latest attempt for me to share the awesome effects that my mind feels when impressed upon by pretty much everything in this world, especially the subtle; especially the outrageous. I will basically lay out what happened over the weekend and you can mentally take the journey if you choose. The real insanity didn't occure until sunday afternoon and night...

Friday night (St. Patty's day) we gathered at my place and went to see the midnight showing of Donnie Darko on the big screen. It was rather late in life for my first time sneaking a bottle of Jameson into the movies... ESPECIALLY when you consider the other things I've snuck in (i.e. full platters of Chinese takeout). Anyway that was fun, Danno of course got wrapped up in flirting with/borderline harassing the hostess as a means to securing free popcorn refills end (we can't take him anywhere.... not on my watch...). So that was all standard fun st. patty's day stuff especially when I woke up at like 5 am to an unbeknownst to me intoxicated Jeanne trying to make out with me which was sorta funny and awkward because I think other people were right there in the room but I barely had any clue where I was...

Saturday was fun, with out Apples to Apples gambling tournament, we stretched the boundaries of regular gaming, as is becoming the norm... although when we see what we can accomplish when we just put our minds to it and use our imagination it really makes regular activities like poker and alot of new video games seem very not worth even the time that we could spend creating.

Danno left in the afternoon to set up for the Stereoagency show and at around 8 Simon and I drove up. Thus began the first part of a 2 hour meandering conversation with Simon about philosophy, death, hallucinogenic drugs, religion, music theory, and all the other stuff I regularly rant about on here ad-nauseum and fill my mind with whenever I'm conscious or unconscious... We got there, and in a Goldeneye mission of stealth and subterfuge, we snuck Simon into the 21+ Stereoagency show at the notoriously strict Funhouse Bar in Bethlehem PA. After the show the usual fight with Chris Lobstergram about his ridiculous musical criticisms and some unexpected hitchiker activity ensued. We got to Brad Murray's house and Audrey was so excited to see me that she nated on the couch (as many small breeds tend to do when they see me). Brad got a call saying that someone or other was back in town having a get together, so we drove about 2 minutes (I love Bethlehem!) to this townhouse that turned out to be holding some sort of bizarre Reggae kegger, where all the heads in B-Town were milling about recognizing each other as being in different local bands (I actually recognized the moog player from the Bethlehem based funk group KEF, which was a pretty rediculous occurance in itself). At around taint in the morning, I had slowly drank myself into concern for the next day's activities, and Danno swung by the upstairs room I was sitting in and pitched a diner breakfast run... The highschooler-college sophomore in me lit up like a dynamite stick filled with supercool as Danno administered one of the two strongest cure-alls in all of medical history--the local diner breakfast (the other of course being the fetal position). Sunday we woke up and had brunch at the Wegman's Wokery (simon's first) and chatted the entire time about 8-bit videogame theory. Simon and I hit the road, and that's when the REAL MADNESS began...

We went to Q-mart, which is another MEGA-indoor flea market, similar to the Pensauken mart or the Collumbus FleaMarket which I ranted about in the blog entry exactly prior to this one... We wandered around seeing the usual bazaar of nut-meggery and stores that just sell random goods with no common theme like fifty little indoor garage sales. I managed to haggle ten bucks down on a guitar effects processor that is turning out to be really effin sweet and definitely not helping me finish my long over due book (heh, like THIS is)... But I saw an item or two at this place that definitely changed my life in frightening ways. Just the visual evidence that items like this EXIST is enough to drive a man like me who is constantly on the brink of madness anyway far past the point of no return. After I saw this thing I got swept up in the ending sequence of 2001: A Space Oddysse, where my face was sucked through space in a haze of colors, and Pink Floyd's Echoes played as I watched myself age into an old man and then a fetus in a wierd spacial hotel room. And when I describe the item to you, there's no way you're going to think it was anywhere near this kind of set up. You probably won't even think it's interesting. But it may have changed my life forever, just seeing it... Let me describe it...

The store I wandered into was a framed picture and poster store... Many of you know I've been redecorating my central office here and I recently sprung for the Genesis poster I've loved for so many years, but I still have some bare wall space. Dogs playing poker as well as all my other posters from college are of course nowhere to be found, so I thought I'd take a look to see if anything struck my fancy. Many of the picture were electronic, they plugged in the wall, and (for instance the NYC skyscrapers) parts of them would light up. They were all pretty expensive and generally serious art... But one of the pictures I saw... Oh man and then another one... And then another one similar... Please, let me just describe it already...

It was a picture with a metallic mirror-y frame that had flashing lights moving clockwise around it, like a vegas cereal bar or used car-lot might have. Inside the picture were Lite-Brite-esque dots of colored light moving in a pattern. But the disturbing thing is what the picture depicted. Inside this tacky Broadway hooker of a picture was depicted a solemn, genteel portrait of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Similar to one you might find in a kindly old lady's house who goes to mass every morning and volunteers at the soup-kitchen. Only this one was inside the aforementioned frame and lit up like a lamp shaped like a lady's leg. I scoured the internet for about an hour trying to find a picture of one of these on the internet and on Ebay (which is also on the internet) but I just couldn't. You'll have to take my word for it that it was the most unbelieveable creation I'd ever seen. And there were others... The most disturbing one was a scene of the Last Supper, in the same kind of bright, Donald Trump with braces, videogame/furniture-store going-out-of-business extravaganza lazer light show of a frame, and the most solemn, holy rendition of the last supper inside, with blinking lights radiating in a pattern around Jesus' head. It literally looked like a Lite-Brite had eaten God. Dumbfounded, I asked the clerk where he got these, (it wasn't a used store, these were all new products), and he said they come from China. That began to explain things at least a little due to the cultural differences, the Chinese may not know that religious relics generally aren't combined with flashy, tacky Windows-Media visualizations. But still. The fact that this store had a somewhat decent supply of religious pictures of this kind made me realize that somewhere along the line, at some point.... SOMEBODY must have purchased at least one of these. Either here or somewhere else... ...but who? Who would want to decorate their house with a monstrosity of this kind? The only thing I could think of would be college goofballs who enjoy clowning up their dorms with goofy shit, but most of those people don't have forty dollars. Who could have ever possibly purhcased these in the past? Who would want to celebrate their faith with heartfelt, holy drawing of their lord and savior surrounded by shiny glowing flashy tacky silver-bullet, thank you for riding Batman: The Ride kind of frame and riddled with neon lights like it's open till 3-am? a I'll tell you who... ...an insane person. Let me be more specific. Someone who owns a home... has been a working member of society probably for many years... and someone whom if one day God whispered in their ear, "I want you to go blow yourself up inside the Trader Joe's", they would be like, "FINALLY!". These are regular pickett fencers with a family, or probably more likely living alone because not only has intense religion fucked up their sexuality but they can't find a woman willing to drink their KoolAide--also they probably talk a bit funny--who votes every chance they get, and I mean even in the smallest municipality for director of 7th grade geometry. If you ever find yourself in a house and you see one of these up on the wall, and it's not some millionaire with a whacky sense of humor, you better run, although it's probably too late already because this would be in their inner lair where the sandworms already await you. If you can't feel the nets, the poison darts are taking effect. Don't look inside the crates marked, "Bobby", but if you do, don't look away... You might see history reverse itself.

For the next few hours I drove home with Simon and we got right back into our intense discussion about philosophy, death, hallucinogenic drugs, religion, music theory, and tanks, and after an hour and a half of mostly me going on tangents and trying to explain things that Simon didn't ask me to explain that are going on inside my head with very little overall success translating my thoughts into cogent statements, something occurred to me... I am VERY annoying. I never really realized this until now, I mean I know I've always had an annoying loud voice and I talk alot, but when you combine those things with my tangential tendencies and unsolicited explaining of things... I wouldn't be able to STAND me... Simon was a good sport at least, Jeanne tried to give me the, "you're not annoying" which is clearly not true (she only says that cuz she wants to bang me... and that's only cuz she's also insane) but Simon he didn't bullshit me, he said, he was used to it, and said "it's allways been like that" which is true but this was the very first time I realized just how annoying I am. While I'm upset that I've been burdoning everybody with my annoyance, I'm at least glad I caught it now becuase I can work towards improvement. Many people spend they're entire lives being unbearable and they're friends are just too polite to ignore their phone calls. The only reason I don't feel guilty about this blog is because I know nobody's still reading this. So I will continue unabashed...

Our discussion got interrupted when I checked my messages, and Frank said that if I wanted his Matisyahu ticket for THAT VERY NIGHT (which I had forgotten all about because it sold out SO LONG ago) that I could give him a call and go in his place. This was like the shot in the arm that my already best weekend ever needed in order to maintain immortality... Is there anything more fun or spiritually rewarding than a Matisyahu show? Only one or two things, namely a Pearl Jam Show and a Tragically Hip show... anyway it's getting late so I'll cut to the most insane part of the weekend that has yet to happen.

We get to the 8th and market Patco stop about a half hour before doors open at the Electric Factory. Nick Purifico, MiniPanna and I are walking about a dozen blocks are so to get to the venue. About 2 blocks in, an African-american lady with a book bag emerges from a subway station and begins talking to us mid-conversation. And it was your sort of textbook street-schizophrenic, you know just talking alot and not really wanting us to talk but occasionally wanting indication that we knew what she was talking about--which we never did because it was amazing gibberish. But I didn't miss a beat, the entire time she was talking, I just kept on talking back to her, relating to her message without actually understanding it myself (you know mostly standard skitzo preachy shit about how you should run your life and trust god for certain things and not fret about being gay and always wash your neck) but everytime she offered an idea, I ran with it and twisted it into gibberish of my own, combining different elements of social satire, satire of the situation at hand, irony, absurdity, and any general catch phrases I've been known to use that I felt could benefit a fluent conversation with a street-maniac. Marvelously, she walked with us for almost the entire walk as if she had nowhere else to go but to lecture us, or I should say to try to lecture us over my nonsensical counter-lectures... Then it occured to me.. What this lady was doing was pretty much what I do all the time, and look how annoying she is! My new motto should be “Dr. Carey: Just as annoying as a schizophrenic!“ Man I must be a real pain in the ass, but at least I'm not crazy... And then I looked at the woman and saw in her eyes a picture of Jesus standing in a flashy used-car lot across the street from a bar open till 3AM. I began to realize that insanity is all around us at all times and that reality is just a coincidence created by people who agree upon their surroundings. I shuddered wondering if I was going to be the next young man to listen to the wrong album on the wrong day and go into a Denny's and blow my brains out all over the salad bar, or try experimenting with psychedelic drugs and then spend the rest of my life convinced that I can k1ll the pres1dent using nothing more than my own sinuses. I shuddered and realized that it's just like anything else... a combination of playing the cards you're dealt, and hoping for a good roll of the dice. I went on to the Matisyahu show and during moments of relative silence screaming out, "SEX!" or "Aduucan!" (a la streetfighter) or "I want you to control the media!". I thought that was cute... But clearly, I have problems...

Upon realizing that despite existential pratfalls, this was still the best weekend ever, I've decided I'm going to work towards making every weekend the best weekend ever. I'm going to make plans for every part of every day during every weekend which will be something to get excited about. I'm going to be visiting friends I haven't seen in a while, playing and beating whole video games while listening to the space-rock station on Last.FM, spending days writing and recording music, working on compilation mixes that will help awake myself and others to new ideas... I look forward to starting meditating so as to work towards achieving true nothingness, which will also help me to create without outside influences, which can be really tough in 2005. No more idling around on the weekends for me... There's too little time during the work week to get really excited about anything then. But while I'm making bills I'm going to be really having things to look forward to on the weekend. For the foreseeable future, every weekend will be a retreat weekend, and anybody who wishes to join would be more than welcomed to do so.

And for anybody that missed it... my St. Patty's Day toast for this year....

Today we lift our glasses to the sky as we sing songs of love and healing in celebration of the generosity of the dynamic human spirit that refuses to submit.

To Life, which I describe as being an interesting combination of letting things happen and forcing things to happen. And to creativity, with Rembrandt as my right hand and Solo as my pilot, may I more increasingly blow peoples' minds with awakenings to life and the different arbitrary textures that make up the universe; and may I continue to have my mind blown by my friends whose prowesses are potent and secretly stern. May an appreciation for those textures both subtle and overt continue to be a source of euphoria for all who wish to catch that light.

(added later: and here's hoping to be 20% less annoying during the next fiscal cycle. This blog: not a good start).

6 comments:

Steve said...

Well done, sir. A thoroughly enjoying read.

j. leo said...

Ah, come on, man. You're not annoying. You were my number one source of comedy for eight months. Annoying people don't make me laugh uproariously, unless that's their gig a la Ricky Gervais. Annnoying people are Krazy Mike and MadTV and Blue Collar Comics and Bill O'Reilly. You, sir, are not annoying.



As for your sanity...

(shrugging)

Face of Spades said...

I think you're terribly annoying. I have a problem listening to two sentences out of you without having to furtively punch myself in the testicles to keep myself from leaping over the [insert piece of furniture here] and strangling you to death on the spot. And this had better not change, ever. With the exception of yelling certain things into the Sweet Boom Microphone during Stagency shows which will be forgotten about until they broadcast over WLVR into every car and home in the Lehigh Valley, like for instance, "EVERYONE IN STEREO AGENCY IS GAY!!! YOU GUYS ARE HOMOS!!! HAHAHAHAHAAAAAAARAMINGOOOOOO"

GonzoMC said...

Everyone worth listening to is annoying at one time or another. The crux lies in making sure you can still create those moments such as the type mentioned above, like laughing and joyful ebullience at the wild ride that is being alive. Some of the statements you made lead me to recommend a book to you I just finished, called Yes Man by Danny Wallace. It's English, brilliantly funny and promotes saying Yes to life. I think you'd dig it. Also, in the interest of more effectively communicating these insane finds that make their way into your life via QMart (totally have been there, Quakertown is near Lansdale), may I suggest investing in and carrying a small digital camera or even a camera-phone? A pic of that Lite-Brite Jesus would be fodder for the ages. Keep on keeping on, kemosabe.

j. leo said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZxNeFLuY98


Sorry, I saw this and I couldn't resist. Will they take Jay Cutler next and watch Chadington get better?

d said...

i read this post and realized all the more why i miss being your neighbor.