Tuesday, October 27, 2015

THE BEST FUCKING BICYCLE RACER EVER told me: "call me Eddy"


This is Eddy Merckx. He is Belgian.  He is the best bicycle racer who has ever lived. No one will ever surpass his palmares.  He won 11 Grand Tours (five of those were the Tour de France, five were the Giro d'Italia and so as not to leave the Spaniards out of his conquests, he won the Vuelta once). He was world champion three times. He won 28 classics (brutal single day races like Flanders and Roubaix). He won 17 six day races (grueling endurance races held in smoky European velodromes). His hour record stood for 28 motherfucking years. Of the 1800 races he entered, he won 525 of them. Its no wonder he became known as "The Cannibal". When he got the bit in his teeth, he did not give up, he took no prisoners, often going on the attack in a Grand Tour even though there was not a chance in hell of anyone catching take more stage wins (he has a total of 34 Tour de France stage wins: mountain stages, sprint stages, breakaways...no matter, he went after all of them) He did all this from 1965 to 1978 when he retired at the age of 32. He competed year round, no breaks (a lot of cyclists did back then but Eddy even raced on the track after the road season was over, few did that). 



In 1969, at a Derny (a small motorbike that was ridden in front of the cyclist) paced race shortly after the Tour de France, Eddy and his Derny rider, Fernand Wembst, crashed on the concrete velodrome in Blois, France.  Wembst died; Eddy ended up flat on is back for six weeks with a twisted pelvis and massive head injuries.  He came back to win the Tour again in 1970. Nothing, I mean nothing, keeps Eddy down.   In the 1975 Tour, a spectator punched him in the stomach (he was riding in the lead up a mountain side, spectators, then, as now line the slopes right next to the riders.  Two days later, he crashed and broke his cheek bone and had trouble eating throughout the rest of the race. To insure the his teammates would not lose a payday (the winner gives all of his race winnings to his teammates, once again, still done to this day), he opted to not drop out of the race, ultimately finishing second.


So; anyone still reading this is probably starting to wonder why I am writing all this? Damn good question to which I do not really have a damn good answer for. Just because will have to do.  I fucking love professional cycling. Ok, well. I used to love professional cycling. Lets just say that a certain lying fuck face dickhead with a name that rhymes with Lance "shit for brains" Armstrong kind of put a damper on my love of the sport. I still follow the races. I still ride my single speed bike around some. Cycling is definitely cleaning its act up after years of EPO and blood doping almost put the sport in the graveyard for good. Eddy comes from a simpler time. Was there doping? Of course there was, but it was not at the crazy scientific, doctor led levels it got to recently. Races were harder to read, riders did not follow safe plans to minimize losses, they fucking went balls out and tried to fucking win.

Several years ago, I headed to Las Vegas for a conference related to my then career in EMS. I normally avoided conferences related to EMS like the plague. I did not want to hang out with a bunch of other medics talking about medic shit. However, on this particular year: Interbike, a splendiferous celebration of all things cycling was being held at the same time as the EMS jack off fest was going on. So I jumped at the chance to get a free trip to Vegas (another place I avoid like my life depended on it) so i could go to Interbike . A friend of mine from the cycling world was going as well and had snagged me a conference pass through his job. I did what I needed to do to meet my obligations on the EMS side of things and then promptly would high tale it to Interbike.

I land in Vegas. I get off the plane and head to the luggage area to pick up my bag.  There is a man standing in front of me. I am looking at the back of his head. I'm thinking, huh, this guy looks really familiar. He reaches forward to get a bag going by on the belt and turns slightly to his left. Time stopped, the air thickened, a pale yellow light enveloped everything. Luckily, I had just gone to the bathroom or I would have pissed myself. Eddy Merckx was standing in front of me, retrieving his bag from the conveyor belt. This is fucking ridiculous. Eddy Merckx should have some sycophant doing this for him. As I am thinking this, he fumbles the bag and it falls off of the conveyor to the floor, landing on its side. I immediately go for the bag, righting it, saying: "let me get that for you Mr. Merckx!" (I think thats what I said anyway, its what was in my head, but I was so flustered to have THE GOD DAMN MOTHER FUCKING BEST FUCKING CYCLIST WHO EVER LIVED...THE FUCKING CANNIBAL HIMSELF...EDOUARD LOUIS JOSEPH MERCKX....EDDY WHOLLY SHIT MERCKX...standing in front of me in the Las Vegas airport baggage claim area, that its amazing any words came out at all).  He thanked me (EDDY MERCKX THANKED ME...fuckity fuckity fuck fuck). I then said something along the lines of what a great thrill it was to meet him (who fucking knows what I said, it was a long time ago and my memory sucks) But I do remember what he said: "Call me Eddy (I think I had said Mr. Merckx about thirty seven times by this point in our brief conversation), thanks for catching my bag." Then he asked if I was in Vegas for Interbike, to which I said yes. Then he said: "Good, I will see you later then." My fanboy brain basically collapsed in on itself like some kind of higgs boson black hole, grinding noises filled the void in my empty head. Eddy (he told me to call him Eddy) then turned and walked away with his bag in tow.  

I, of course, did not run into Eddy(he told me to call him that) again. However, I handled this luggage for him. And that was pretty fucking cool. And he told me to call him Eddy (I don't think I ever did though).

What song for this you ask? Hmmm.....well instead of music, lets go with this Monty Python clip for Bicycle Repairman:









Thursday, September 24, 2015

Little Black Book

I carry a little black book (I call her Fallacy, Fal for short) in the back left pocket of my jeans a great majority of the time. It sits back there with a Pilot G-2 07,
this world renowned gel pen clips into my pocket on the left side, snug against Fal. This has been going on, the carrying part ever since I got out of the 5 month inpatient program I was in for my crazy/drunkard issues.  Fal has actually been in my possession since January of this year, which means she was with me for the last couple of months of said stay. I assume I carried her around during that time period as well, just don't remember. I'm assuming it was in the pocket on the scrub type tops we wore.

Anyhoo...she is chock full of notes, names, addresses, dates, appointments, random thoughts, references, snippets of bullshit, pictures both drawn and taken, cartoons...what have you...

A black and white version of this comic strip has been cut out and taped into the back.
I would tell you the creator but cut the name of the funnies (my grandmother's term for the comics in the newspaper) off and when I googled "alligator playing a trombone", the guy that posted the above pic did the same thing. Anyway, the premise is brilliant.

Fal is pretty beat up, there is lots of tape holding together, I have to retie the elastic holding her together a couple of times so that she is now bowed and  even when the elastic is undone, she will not lie flat. There are bits of paper and folded up napkins stuck inside. One piece of paper has a bunch of random movie titles written on it... 

STUNT ROCK
2019: AFTER THE FALL OF NEW YORK
DEAD END DRIVE IN
NEW BARBARIANS
NEVER TOO YOUNG TO DIE

...the other side of that same bit of scratch are instructions on how to lead a Dharma Punx session.
I don't remember writing either one of these notes. I chaired the Dharma Punx meetings in August, so that is an easy one to figure out. I finally
 figured out that it is probably an order ticket from The Alamo Drafthouse so I must have been writing down stuff from the previews before the previews that show at the Alamo. All of those movies are very obscure trash 'em bash 'em types that came out post the first Mad Max.  Hence, it was probably one of the many times I went to see by far the best god damn movie that has come out this year, Mad Max: FURY ROAD...



...ok...back to Fal...

Fal's front has a picture of my dear friend D holding what appears to be a psychotic cat (aren't they all?).  At the bottom are taped the following phrases: "it happened" and "to remember", there is also a little heart taped there. D is one of the people I will be attempting to write about in more detail later. She killed herself in the hovel (my apartment) where she was holding down the fort while I was inpatient. She is one of the ghosts who haunts me. But really, she can haunt all she wants, she is a benevolent ghost...we love you D.

at the other end is the trumpet playing alligator comic and a small pic of K with the same phrases that the pic of D have. K is another ghost, we love you too K...there is also a promise that I made to one of my counselors that says I will not kill my self, no matter what for the duration that I have some kind of coverage through the facility I was in. (this is an ongoing pact I have with the Gnome)

There is also a quote from Euripides:

"When good people die, good people suffer with them."

also, this quote from Edith Perlman:

"What counts is how you behaved while Death let you live, and how you met Death when life released you."

hmmm...little deathy in there...

elsewhere in the book are lists...one has about 30 different meds that I have been on over the years. Another has a list of suicide attempts: slit wrists, couple of strangulation/hangings, multiple overdoses (intentional and otherwise: as in, it would be absolutely fine if I just don't wake up) and the last most serious involving lots to ETOH, medications, and carbon monoxide. There is another quote that says:

 "I want to drift away in my sleep and wake up in another world, as long as it is not this one"...

I googled it and it did not come up attributed to anyone, which means there is a high probability that it came out of my head which makes sense as it is fairly redundant.

There are lists of books, movies and music I want to follow up on.

There are several pages of names and phone numbers.  A good majority of them, I have no clue who the fuck they are.  I met them in the last year obviously, but the permanent ECT fog has obliterated their identities.

There is another list of ghosts from my days at EMS. I guess some may not be ghosts as theoretically they could still be alive. Most however, are people who were already dead when I got there and there was absolutely no way there was I anything I could do to mitigate their particular disasters. An interesting aspect of EMS work in Austin is that Medics are called in to get pronouncements on obviously dead people. Thats a topic for another discussion....back to Fal...

Fal is also a date book so there are a bunch of appointments written down in her. ECT, Aftercare, psychiatrists, doctors...mundane shit that make up chunks of existence. 

There are little snippets on days that say things like: "fucking shit day"..."argument with fat fuck"...

I get surprised, sometimes informative, sometimes joyfully, often perplexingly. I have dug into her many times to try and jog my memory or just to find something out that I then have to contact someone to see what a particular note means.  An example: all my ECT sessions are catalogued so I know when I went. But...I did not write down who took me and I know for sure that there is one person who helped that I have lost contact with but I don't know who it is. I have a nickname but since my old phone took a giant shit on my psyche and I lost a boatload of contacts, I have not been able to figure out who it is.  It'll happen eventually...

Fal is not the only notebook I have, she is just the smallest and the one I have at my fingertips most of the time. I am so used to having her in my pocket that when I reach for her and she is not there, panic sets in. Thank the powers that be she has never been lost for any significant length of time.

Will be looking for her replacement soon so I can start 2016 "fresh"...

So, what piece of music best plays into and supports all of this bullshit?

Well, when in doubt...Nick comes to the rescue.

Higgs Boson Blues....the very first line of lyric goes thusly:  "can't remember anything at all"..



...till next time my gang o' pals












Saturday, September 19, 2015

Consistency is obviously not my strong suit...

Ok...I keep posting cryptic silliness and not following up...I know..for the handful of people who actually read this silly bullshit, it can be frustrating.

I have been on a listless, just need to get through the day routine for several months now.

So...in an effort to hold myself accountable, here is what I need to get done within the next week:

Get June Carter (my Triumph Thruxton) registered, running right, legal etc...
Get over to Communities For Recovery to follow up on my volunteer paperwork
Finish cleaning up the hovel
Make another attempt at getting the lathes to work


This is a really boring post, sorry....

I'm not going to make any pledges about consistent posts or anything like that just yet but hopefully that will be coming.

Here is where I am on FaceBook

Jason

DAM DogRanch Artworks

Some hopeful messages about Depression possibly:

Depression: We Gotta Break Free

This is Luna's FaceBook Page:

Luna


More later this week...I promise...



Friday, September 4, 2015

Tear Down The Walls...

OK...no suicide talk just yet.

I have been in a class all week. The class I am in is a Peer Coaching Class. I am learning how to maybe, possibly help other people with similar diagnoses to my own substance abuse and mental health issues to navigate the treacherous waters towards the shore.

Whats on the shore, you  may ask?. Well, after fighting off the sharks, jellyfish, piranhas and those little tiny creatures that swim into the opening at the end of one's penis, you have to get all of the gummy oil scrubbed off your skin, the plastic six pack ring cut off from around your neck, and then escape all the self righteous, smelly hippies hovering over you....

The class is great, intense, depressing, boring, weird, enlightening, cringe inducing, amusing, pissy, annoying...sometimes all of these things in the same ten minute time period.

Heres the key:

Learn from the person you are trying to help, use your own experience but do not work under the assumption that everybody is going to take the same path that you are on...





Friday, August 28, 2015

When You Are Sad and When You are Lonely...

I have not written much about my mental health journeys lately. I both have wanted to and not wanted to.

Writing about the battles going on in my noggin that attempt to belittle my soul; well, it helps a great deal. The problem is that it forces me to think and process all the shenanigans going on in my little shriveled pea brain in much greater detail. This is painful on a molecular level; so much so at times that I do everything possible to avoid it.

Recently though, doing everything to avoid it has turned into basically nothing. Whereas I should be working on various artistic and creative endeavors that would bring myself and possibly others some semblance of joy, I do as close to nothing as I can.

In trying to not process what is going on in my head, I just end up obsessing over it all more and in increasingly excruciating detail.

Time to get some of this shit out so that I can hopefully get something productive and positive done.

I recently finished an 11 month program to help with my various issues.  It was five months inpatient and 6 months outpatient; a long slog for sure but valuable and useful, at least for me. This was court mandated, just in case anyone thinks that I was smart enough to get help on my own; well, you would be very dead wrong. I am definitely not that smart. I will write about this program and its champions in the future. I have written about them some but The Gnome, Honey Badger, The Fixer, Boy Scout and the others involved in running that program deserve some more ink...

What I want to write about now, is what has been bubbling under the surface for a while now. I probably have already written about this part of my psyche but this will probably be in a fair amount of more detail.

I have a lot of ghosts that rattle around in my skull. They are all people I met, a good portion of them from my years as a Paramedic at Austin/Travis County EMS, who are all dead, some from just before I got there to the scene, some shortly after.  Yeah, real life in EMS is not like Rescue 911, a lot of people die.

In addition to those brief acquaintances, I have some more folks taking up space in my synapses who I am much closer to on a spiritual level. They are three people I was/am close to. People I talk to on a fairly regular basis.

1. M-My cousin who died when she was 15. This was many years ago.
2. K-My friend who died when he was 47 (or so). This was a couple of years ago.
3. D-My friend who died when she was 28 (I think, somewhere around there). This was last year.

The common denominator  all three of these fine folks who I love dearly and would give anything for them to still be around alive and kicking is that they all killed themselves.

I am going to write about them in turn and won't be going into great detail in this missive. This is an introduction. If I write it down, I have to follow up.

I know it will help me, maybe it might help others with similar thoughts and issues; so it has to be done.

M will be the first. My dear, sweet, beautiful cousin took a violent leap off of this mortal coil when she was 15 years old. This was over 25 years ago but on some days and in my dreams, it feels like it was ten minutes ago.

Ok...thats all I can do for now. Now that I have started, it should come flowing fairly soon. Yes, these are going to be some dour posts for the next few times. But they should be also chock full of joy as we are all better off for the variable brief times that these three folks inhabited the living world.

To end this, I am going  to post, once again, this video from Nick Cave and various cohorts performing Bob Dylan's "Death is Not the End"...


Sunday, August 2, 2015

Looking Backwards Towards Sonic Retribution

Ok- I am 50 years old. I was born exactly one year after one of my favorite movies, "The Haunting" (it is a profoundly fucking frightening movie to this day) was released.

I still consider myself a punk (rocker). Whatever...Fuck it...

I have written about my primary favorite bands quite a bit, now its time to look at some of the others that have shaped my existence....

Here is a list of some seminal motherfuckers that I still crawl back to...I promise (sort of) to write more about each of these in the future...in no particular order (really, no order, just entering them as they come out of my jumbled brain):

Husker Du
Tales of Terror
Scratch Acid
Micronautz
Fang
Orange Donuts
Marching Plague
Undertones
U-Men
Naked Raygun
Minutemen
Hickoids
Poison 13
Meat Puppets

more when i think of them.....see ya later fucktards


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Semicolon Project Re-Examined...DAM DogRanch says No Bueno...Say Hello To THE ELLIPSIS PROJECT...LIFE MOVES ON...WHAT'S NEXT?

I ended my last post with this:

SemiColons?

Huh?  If you look upwards at this missive (assuming you actually made it this far down), there is an ass load of semicolons up there. I got this from The SemiColon Project. Basically don't stop with a period, put a SemiColon in there and keep going. A lot of people are getting the SemiColon tattooed on them (I and the GF are going to see Mig at Electric 13 on Sunday to get them) You of course can draw them on yourself or even just read about the project.

N and I had decided to show our allegiance to the project by going to get tattooed with some form of the semicolon. Our experiences with our own mental health issues and those of our loved ones and many other people out there...we felt...deserved a visible mark

The piece I had seen on it and what I referred to was from a girl who was honoring her father who...who committed suicide. This morning...while waiting to go to Electric 13 to have my lifelong friend Mig tattoo us, we did some research and discovered that The Semicolon Project describes itself as a faith based orginization. That in and of itself is not neccessarily a problem...I mean...if it is helping people ok...but it has descriptions of alligning with christ that are problematic. The kicker is that one of the sponsors is an Evangelical organization that puts forth beliefs that The DAM DOG Ranch can absolutely NOT SUPPORT.

The link sends you to a sight that lays out their belif system as being strictly biblical...ie...recent Supreme Court rulings would not be supported by these people.

While the Semicolon Project said it welcomes all faiths, we here at the Dog Ranch have been exposed to a lot of that kind of approach in our youth. We cannot support it at all. Everyone needs to make their own decision and if anyone found out about the project through our postings here, make your own decisions.  We however will have nothing to do with it and regret that we did not do research and practice due diligence before chamfpioning the project.

N and I talked for a long time and consulted with Mig as well and we figured out that the ELLIPSIS (otherwise known as DOT...DOT...DOT) which you see all over  above in place of the semicolon has a special meaning as well... It means we are moving on, everything changes, we progress...LIFE MOVES ON...WHAT'S NEXT?  

Welcome to the beginning of THE ELLIPSIS PROJECT...LIFE MOVES ON...WHAT'S NEXT?...This is what the DogRanch supports.  These are the tattoos we got to start this...


WELCOME TO THE ELLIPSIS PROJECT...LIFE MOVES ON...WHAT'S NEXT?

as the ellipsis says...there is a lot more to come!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Traveling Down the Rabbit Hole and Back Out Again



I have written about this subject before. I had a fairly nasty trip about a week ago. It started sometime Wednesday during the day and got progressively worse as at the day progressed, peaking on Thursday. I went down the rabbit hole, passed the rabbits on my way down and started digging the hole deeper when I got to the bottom, sprlitting my finger nails, coating myself in rabbit shit and dirt. At some point, I quit digging and just curled up in a ball and laid there, feeling sorry for myself and began making horrid decisions about myself; but even more dangerous and in completely a giant cess pool of ignorance, stupidity and downright ridiculousness, I started making decisions for other people without them even knowing where I was or what the fuck rabbit shitedness was going on.

By the way, most of my many tattoos have some kind of some kind of inherent connection to my life and various shenanigans throughout my traipsing around on this mortal coil. This rabbit is out of the hole, jumping away with vigor from the ghost dog just below the ditch of my left elbow towards the the strange onward tattoo just below my left elbow.  The bunny of course symbolizes my trips digging down through the hole.

All of these tattoos were done at Electric 13 in Central Austin on Guadalupe by Mig Kokinda, Jarret
Crossan, and Gabe Cancino.  Paco Cendon is the head Guapo there. I have not gotten a tat from him as of yet but his work is righteous.  You could do a lot fucking worse by going someplace else. These guys are friendly, have a great sense of humor and will work with you to get some magical art on your skin.

Ok, back to the rabbit hole adventure. Why do I call it going down the rabbit hole?  Not really sure. How about when I'm massively depressed and fucking insurmountably (is that a word? fuck it, it is now) sad with an unhealthy dose of suicidal ideation, I feel a little safer cavorting somewhat with some furry creatures who have some fairly distinct and valuable survival skills. (by the way, it is a word, there; a lesson in vocabulary, something actually useful from this depressing blog entry).

So why did it take a week for me to write about this?  We will go by the numbers:

1-I did not want to write it
2-I did not want to think about it
3-I did not want to relive it
4-See numbers 1-3

My friend The Benevolent Gnome suggested that it might be useful to write about as it might help for future trips and maybe, just maybe, someone else might get some use out of reading about if they have similar experiences. Within the last year I am attempting to be honest, do whatever is neccessary to stay alive and  to possibly help others; not to mention stop wishing for sweet peaceful death for myself anymore (or at least a lot less).




The Gnome sent me a few questions to help me get through the process so I'm just gonna use most of those queries because it's less work for me.

What was going on before it hit? not completely sure. A combination of things for sure. I had been spending a significant amount of time with my girlfriend but her teenage kids were coming back from her ex so as we are not ready to have me spending the night over there, Luna and I were heading back to the hovel This was actually supposed to be a positive event as we should not be relying on each other for our abject happiness and we each need to get shit done. I have projects I need to work on and am behind on my personal time table.  I had been dour and anxious all day long on Wednesday. We went to see Jon Dee Graham and the Fighting Cocks play at the Continental Club so I could record some for one of those said projects. I got home late after GF dropped me off. I took my sleepy meds, read my John Wayne biography for a bit and then hunkered down with my best friend Luna 


for nocturnal siesta time and Bob (my fucked up companion in my brain ) decided to kick in and not let me sleep in spite of my meds.  I swirled death and destruction around for a while and finally fell asleep. I subsequently had a bunch of nightmares that included conversations with dead friends and relatives (there are primarily three ghosts, all whom died by their own hand: a gunshot,  hanging, and suffocation) and also some other ghosts of dead people (a fair amount of them dead by their own hand as well) who I became acquainted with while at my 18 year long travels through attempting to care for the sick and injured of Travis County.

Ok- enough of that:

How did I keep myself safe?
Partly do to a mantra I use for a lot of things. Its called No Matter What: Don't kill yourself, no matter what, Don't drink no matter what, Communicate with some people Motherfucker, Meditate(even if only for a few minutes), Eat, Drink water...shit like that...I am not always successful at all of them, especially the communication, eating and drinking fluids and meditation....so basically I end up concentrating on the Don't off myself and Don't drink no matter what.

How did I keep from going backwards further even though I could not go forwards?
The rabbits get pissed at me when I go down the hole, especially when I dig down past them and make the hole deeper. I have hit the water table a couple of times and flooded the hole, causing the bunnies to have to vacate or do major construction repair. They don't mind me coming down for a brief hello but they don't want me modifying their living quarters. So I listen to the rabbits (yeah, I talk to them) and I talk to my main free ghosts and tell them I really fucking miss them but I really cannot join them just yet.

Any dark thoughts or screwy decisions?
Well, obviously of course.  At one point I was in my closet thinking I should hang myself with a work light cord but the No Matter What, the rabbits, my 3 ghosts, and Luna all weighed in pretty quickly and that thought got a lot smaller. I also decided that I was gonna break up with my GF as it was not fair for me to drag her into the maelstrom that Bob spins around in my head at varying levels of destructiveness (anywhere from minor "you are a useless piece of shit" to "this is never going to fucking end, so give in".

How did I pull myself out?
This is a big mix as well. I was in communication with the gnome and my GF to varying degrees and the Gnome reminded me that it was pretty ridiculous to make decisions for other people and that I knew that this shit storm was going to transition to a light sprinkle, just like it always does. My GF kept checking in to see If I needed anything. I did not tell her a lot but she knew I was not feeling good. I just realized the Gnome was right and I would talk to GF when I came out of this (I had convinced myself that it would end by this point, just wasn't sure when). I made a promise to her when we first got together that I would be honest with her all the time and tell her as much as I possibly could about what is going on. She is a 5 year breast cancer survivor, she knows about pain and loss. When I told her about my plan to break up with her to spare her my grief, she just laughed at me. it was actually pretty funny.

What actions did I take?
There was the stuff that was going on above and I decided to write a letter to my Cousin Melissa. Melissa shot herself in the head many years ago when she was 15 years old. She is of course, one of the three primary ghosts. I have done this type of activity before and it is extremely horrible in the middle of the process but at the end, it suddenly feels like I got something done. When I write these letters, I fill whoever it is on what has been going on recently. This practice seems to me to allow that although the ghosts are indeed dead, they might still want to keep up with current affairs.

I also was tapping like a crazy man (no surprise there, when the foo shits, wear it, I am a crazy man)
This is tapping:




This lady is really cool; there are a million videos on You Tube, there are a lot that seem to have some kind of ulterior motive attached to them but this one is a straight demonstration. I tap my fingertips a lot in addition to this, it requires a certain amount of concentration that can dull down Bob's roar.

I also was able to start listening to music (the place had been silent for many hours at this point). I usually start with Nick Cave which of course is fairly dour sometimes but he also writes some amazing love and loss songs. I won't list them here because then I will never finish this missive. But take a look at this video:

There is a short Chilis add that starts the video....just ignore that, and don't, whatever you do,  ever ever eat there. That is the blandest bunch of fajitas I have ever seen, that guacamole has been sitting out in the heat of their shitty kitchens for hours creating a fly infested puddle of listeria...you will soon be laying in a pool of your own sick.




When did I start to pull myself out?
I can't say an exact time here. At some point I fell asleep on Thursday during the day, getting a much needed nap. Luna loves that because she is the Dog Champion of napping. Luna also helps in that she forces me to go outside because she periodically wants and needs to go outside to relieve herself and bark at the people who dare to walk by the fence in front of our tiny complex where we live. Fuckers, how dare they walk across her domain without asking first. So having a furry four legged creature who loves you, sleeps next you, requires you to periodically quit thinking about your sorry, selfish self is a massive help.

What else is useful to know?
I'm no expert but realize it's going to stop at some point. It is not going to last forever, I promise. Do things when you are not down your personal rabbit hole or weasel warren or wherever it is that you go so you can remember them when you are there. They also might keep you from going so incredibly deep that you think that you can't crawl out. This where the tapping, meditation, etc. that I do on a mostly daily basis comes into play.

This is kind of the deal capper: Can I accept the fact that is most assuredly going to happen again?
This key for me. This crapola has been going on for so long for me, I absolutely know it is going to happen again; in fact, I went over to the rabbit's hole last night and sat next to it, then briefly stuck my head in and the chief rabbit told me to fuck off, they did not need my presence as I had just been wallowing around, fucking up their hole fairly recently and they were not finished repairing it yet.

I also got up and did something, I worked on my record lathes for a bit, then the sleepy meds kicked in and I went back to bed, got up in the AM and came to the coffee shop to write this mess.

SemiColons?

Huh?  If you look upwards at this missive (assuming you actually made it this far down), there is an ass load of semicolons up there. I got this from The SemiColon Project. Basically don't stop with a period, put a SemiColon in there and keep going. A lot of people are getting the SemiColon tattooed on them (I and the GF are going to see Mig at Electric 13 on Sunday to get them) You of course can draw them on yourself or even just read about the project.

Ok...that it for now. Remember to take care of yourselves. Seek professional help if and when you need to. Take a look at the Facebook page Depression: We Gotta Break Free. It is dedicated to cost free ways to fight the demons of depression and other maladies related to our brains and dark black soul's attempts to keep us miserable and un-useful to those around us.


Which brings up my last tool to find your way out of the hole
Help someone else. Do something kind for someone else. Think about those around you.Volunteer somewhere. Call a loved one. Say howdy to a complete stranger and maybe buy them a taco.

Gonna end this with a joke.

Guy walks into a convenience store. He buys a single service microwave meal, a single service Ice Cream, and one can of Beer.

The clerk says : "You must be single."
The guy looks back at her and says with a smirk : "Oh yeah, how did you figure that out?"
The clerk replies: "Because you are fucking ugly."

Until next time....
keep yourself safe, try to be productive, help someone else,do something nice for yourself (ice cream, Cheetos, and orange soda are particularly helpful to me).





Monday, June 29, 2015

FaceBook Is Not Always Our Enemy (and a public service announcement from BLACK FLAG)

Yes, I am on FaceBook.  Yes I have multiple pages and belong to a bunch of groups, like a lotta stuff my "friends" post up, etc...etc...I am annoyed at it most of the time. But it really is not as Evil as I would make it out to be and in spite of it's seemingly random posting rules, I do get some use out of it and it does spread the word pretty well....

There is this page: Depression: We Gotta Break Free

The DogRanch started this page as a way for people to share with each other how they get through the day while suffering from Depression, Anxiety, BiPolar, SUD....etc...etc....

Hit the link and go take a gander....


DEPRESSION:We Gotta Break Free


And once again: BLACK FLAG lays out on the line and stomps on it....play it loud, jump around wherever you are and sing along, the lyrics are right there!


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Mr. Motherfucker, You Know Who I Am...

(Luna does her best Nick Cave Impression)


Here is some more news from nowhere...nothing too serious..nothing about being depressed or batshit crazy...at least not my batshit craziness or depression or no one else I know...

One of my favorite artistes/musicians/songwriters/screenwriters/writers/whatever the fucks is Nick Cave. I have been listening to and following his career since the first Ex Mrs. Martin (and the wonderful mother of my beautiful progeny, Cydney...more on that later_) turned me on to him, staring with his first most well known band, The Birthday Party. Actually, the first band was The Boys Next Door  but is just semantics more or less so lets not get fucking bogged down, shall we not?
Ok, moving on, I am fucking tired, so gonna make this easy on myself...here are some of my favorite Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds (originally known as Nick Cave and the Cavemen, but once again, semantics and we already said we were not really gonna go there so don't fucking hassle me about in the comments) videos.

This first one was directed by John Hillcoat who Cave would work on with movies as a screenwriter and soundtrack bedeviler.  Its called Bring it On and comes from what is universally considered to be Nick's worst album, Nocturama. I'm not sure I agree but that is not the point right now....
This video is way silly and got many negative reviews as being sexist , misogynistic, etc... all of which it is. However, if you cannot see the tongue in cheek, smart ass aspect of this and realize they were pulling the mickey, well, you just take yourself to god damn serious:

Here the boys are along with Chris Bailey of Australian power pop/punk trouble makers The Saints.



Ok...now how about this one? Nature Boy is from Abbatoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus, a pretty spectacular in double albums. I really like this song a lot and the video is brilliant if for nothing more than Nick is wearing a brown suit and his hair is not swept straight back:


Next up is Stagger Lee from The Murder Ballads, probably Nick's most successful and revered album. For this one, we are gonna watch it live from Nick's show at Austin City Limits...it's a long one but hang in there, it's worth the journey Mr. Motherfucker:


OK...just one more, cuz I need a motherfuckin' nap.  This is quite possibly my very favorite song that Nick and his wily cohorts have ever done.  This is a Bob Dylan song off of Down in the Groove which is considered to be Bob's absolute worst album ever. I really do not listen to or follow Bob that much (could be that he has the same name as the self destructive voice in my head, or I am not a Bob Dylan fan...most likely a combination of the two). Nick's version is on Murder Ballads and has Kyley Minogue, Shane McGowan and Blixa Bargeld singing verses. I really cannot tell you why I like this song so much (well, I could but then somebody would call the guys with the big butterfly nets to come commit me again). Jive on Nick:


okey dokey, that's it for now..hope ya'll enjoyed (or not, no skin off my nose)...more later...


Friday, June 12, 2015

Fight it Like You Stole it....

Hey Gang o' Pals...first off, the soundtrack for this post is "Baby Blue" by Badfinger.  This was the song that played in the last episode of Breaking Bad as Walter White dies in the Nazi's Speed Lab after he has taken every one else out and Jesse has escaped.  This post is dedicated to my friend Keith who loved that show. We would always compare notes post episode.  He missed the last half season of so because he could no longer take the day to day struggle of of keeping his head up any more so he hung himself.  It was difficult to watch the rest of that final season and after every episode I wrote a little note to Keith to let him know how the season was winding down.  This is an insanely fucked up thing to say but I was mainly angry at Keith not because he killed himself but because I knew that I was gonna have to wait a long time before I got to do myself in, cuz the impact on our group of friends and family would just be too much.  I love you Keith, Luna and I think about you a lot and we really miss you, take care. We know you found Moby to hang out with....(there is supposed to be a picture of Keith and Moby here but this laptop which has actually given me many years of pretty decent usage is now attempting to commit electronic hari kari, it's all good, I need to write more about Uncle Keith more anyway at a later date)

This post is gonna be the last god damn piece I write about my experience with Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT).  Originally it was gonna be a free form tirade about my negative experiences and the side effects that I am still trying to recover from (some that are never going away) 3 weeks out from the last electrically induced seizure. Instead, I'm just gonna let you know what happened.  This is strictly my opinion and what I know from personal experience and my own research. I'm not gonna back this up with a bunch of links and posts from psychiatrists arguing the merits. It just is what it fucking is.

Statistically, 85-90% of people who Ride the ECT Lightning show improvement and the abatement of depression symptoms and characteristics.  I am one of the 10-15%. Bottom line, it did not work. I am still depressed and have free floating suicidal ideation running rampant through my brain.  I got shocked three times a week for about two and a half months or so, evidently got turned into a mumbling goofball for that time period and completely eradicated some older memories from before the sessions started and did not allow memories to form (for the most part, I have some tiny pieces from that time that have no connection to anything) during the months of March through May. I went to movies, got tattoos, had dinner at my favorite restaurants with great friends and do not remember any of it. I had phone conversations, email exchanges, texts back and forth, Facebook posts and messages that I have no recollection of. I went to group and individual therapy, AA meetings, friend's country property and as far as my brain is concerned, none of it fucking happened. I know that people took me to and fro from my treatments but I don't really know who or when they did it.  Luckily, I was taking a shitload of notes as I tend to do so I have been able to backtrack and figure out what the fuck was going on.  I owe my life to my friends and family but I can't remember what they did for me or when.  My folks brought my sister who I have not seen in forever down to visit me, we went out to eat and well, you get the idea.  My biggest heartbreak over this period goes to the fact that my daughter Cydney brought her boyfriend down from Dallas to meet me and I DON'T FUCKING REMEMBER IT. IT'S LIKE IT NEVER HAPPENED, at least on my end.

It's taking some time for me to realize and be comfortable with the fact that it all happened and that I actually behaved in a kind and friendly manner. I am still figuring out through texts, etc...who helped me so I can properly thank them but I am pretty sure I won't get to everyone...there really are just too many....it's a good problem to have when you have a cabal of friends who watch over you and keep you safe when your brain is not firing on all cylinders.

My first fairly cognitive memories post ECT start on May 23 at the Hole In The Wall. Jeff Smith of the Hickoids/Gay Sportscasters/Saustex Records fame had set up a fundraiser for longtime Austin malcontent/ferociously good guitar player Davy Jones who is dieing of cancer.
Jeff asked me to stage manage the back stage as bands were playing the front and back stages alternately so there would be very little downtime.  I felt fucking awful but there was no way I was gonna turn down the opportunity to be a part of that maelstrom. I spent a few years as the Hickoids Road Mangler and traipsed across the country a few time with them. Davy and I even shared a couple of girlfriends (not at the same time). It really was not a Hickoids tour until either Jeff or I got in a fist fight with Davy, usually over the purchase of cigarettes or some other minor shenanigans.

I got to talk to a lot of people I have not seen in a long time and I got to feel like I was doing something productive for a change.  I drank a shit load of Topo Chico and herded band cats around. Actually, all the folks in the bands were complete badasses and no one (that I can remember, so who fucking knows)needed to be reminded of why they were there.  I was sort of back amongst the living.

So, since that time, I have been coming out of the haze and I recently went back to talk to the Chief Electrician at Shoal Creek, Dr. Garcia (who also is a big Clash fan, so I already trusted him to a certain extent before we even started this electro disco shock dance) to discuss how the ECT experiment was over.  He agreed with me that it did not work and that the main side effects (the memory issues)were too much for me and were making things worse.

So now we are back to medication discussions as the the modern stuff I am on is not really working either.  That discussion is for another blog in the future. My battery on the laptop that is going to be thrown in front of a Capitol Metro Bus in the near future won't charge anymore, so I gotta hurry the fuck up and finish this. Its probably a good thing actually, cuz it means I am not gonna meander on forever griping about my brain.

So, lets wind this fucker up....Here are 2 questions that pop up:

1-Am I upset that I tried it (ECT)?- For the most part, no. How in the fuck are you supposed to figure out if something works if you don't try it?  I mean, I would never know that I love sushi till I put thta first piece of dead fish in my mouth.

2-Would I recommend it to anyone else?- I would recommend that you have a serious discussion about the possibilities with your docs, do some more research on your own, consult with family and friends and make the best decision you can.  I mean it worked for Princess Leia and a lot of other folks so it cant be all bad.

This is one of those experiences that falls under "better to regret something you have done than something you havn't"

Onward through the fog folks. I am committed to keep fighting this plague of locusts that seem to be following me around....more soon...love y'all...jason

Monday, June 8, 2015

DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN?

Good Morning gang o' pals....three weeks post last ECT session and I am able to form memories again...figuring what happened during tha 3 minth time frame has been comical, challenging, and a little bit worrying. Luckily, I did not go on a homicidal rampage or walk naked down congress avenue on a first Thursday although I am not sure anyone would notice that anyway.

I still have a fuck load (that's a lot) of memory issues. I can't remember the names of people I have know for decades, restaurants I have eaten at numerous times, passwords (that is a fun problem to have, OK not really)...I cannot find a bunch of stuff that I put away during my ECT blackout (thats the only term that seems to fit)

Lots more later but wanted to get the basics up...got my John Doe summer haircut so at least  have gotten something productive done...

Monday, May 25, 2015

Vinyl Folks.....

Enough with the electricity for a while.  The Docs put me on a break for a couple of weeks, then I go in next week for a review to see what to do next.

Lets talk about vinyl today.  I am old enough to remember when Vinyl Recordings were the primary, best and coolest way to listen to music. There is a subset of people who still think that way. People still hunt for obscure copies of records that are floating around out there. I decided that here in Austin, we need a way to put some interesting stuff out.  So, I found this:

PRESTO Record Lathe
so that The DAM DOG RANCH can start putting out limited edition vinyl recordings. The idea is we will put a song or two on one side, then screen art on the other side. We will then have limited edition recordings with cool art...yeah, I'm repeating myself there but my memory is still fucking with me, so we get what we get here.

We have yet to record anything yet and I expect it's gonna take a couple of attempts to pull it off, luckily I have lots of guinea pigs willing to give it a shot. Attempt number one will be with Jon Dee Graham at the Continental Club. We are gonna record at least a couple of songs of "The Fighting Cocks" and a couple of songs of Will Graham's band "The Painted Redstarts" . Then we will see where it goes from there.  The first singles off of The DAM DOG RANCH will absolutely be of the Graham variety. They will be limited edition and pretty damn special if I do say so myself...

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Way Back Machine...

The Davy Benefit last night was a spectacular success. Over 10,000 dollars was raised at at the door and another butt load at the silent auction. Davy was well enough to get up on stage to play a couple of times and the bands sounded great.

There were people I ran into that I had not seen in at least 25 years if not longer in some cases, reaching back to the Bone Club days. People that I met when I toured with the Hickoids eons ago as well.

Had lots of folks asking me about my electrical shocking issues from the last few weeks as well. That's on hold for right now, back there is several days to talk to the experts about how it has worked out (or not as the case may be) Not sure if its an operation next or we just give up.  It really has wreaked havoc with my memory.

Please cut me some slack if I forget something or even don't remember who you are....a big thanks to all the people who are driving me around, getting safely back and forth to my appointments to get zapped, I could not do it without y'all, that is for sure. Michael, Caitlin,Mookie, Mig and whomever I am forgetting.

The guys at Electric 13 Did a great job on my left wrist commemorating the electricity in my head:

OK Gang....I'm out of here for now....rest easy...









Thursday, May 21, 2015

PLAIDSTOCK : LETS HELP DAVY JONES

Long time punk rock guitar slinger Davy Jones will be out in multi-colored glory on Saturday night at Hole In The Wall. Folks are coming to pay homage to Davy and hopefully raise him some dollars to fight the Big C thats wreaking havoc in his chest cavity.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Belly on Up to the Bar...

What to do? I spoke with Vance on Friday morning and she is making time for me to talk to someon one on Monday morning before I get wackadooed.

I don't really feel any better than any given day. I guess I sort of feel better by just being knocked out to get electrocuted. I really enjoy talking to the folks that work in the clinic....

So, Monday morning, I get to talk with someone again to see If I keep doing this.....

Thursday, May 14, 2015

So, I'm getting whackadooed on both sides of my head now. A Doc starts an IV, I go to sleep, Then I get shocked. My friend Mookie took me today and I basically woke up in her car halfway home. Problem was, I forgot my phone, my knife, my wallet in the locker. This shit is really fucking with me and it is not changing anything cuz I am still fucking depressed, I really do not feel any better. I am not really sure what will happen next, surgery possible for an electrical implant. I'm game for whatever, hoping something works so I can pull my head out of the confusion and some kind of light comes on and I stop wanting to off myself....

Wanna learn something about mental health? Go here:  The Benevolent Gnome knows what the fuck she is talking about....

What else today? I can't remember a bunch of my passwords to get into bank sights etc...So I am in the process of trying to find them all. I thought I set them all the same but evidentley I didn't so I get to go through the process of trying to figure everything out.

I finallydid something enjoyable last night and went and ate at pretty much my favorite restaraunt in Austin, VESPAIO. My friend Mookie and her friend joined me and we had a nice meal at the bar.

We then walked over to THE CONTINENTAL CLUB to watch Jon Dee Graham and the Fighting Cocks as well as his son William's band, The Painted Redstarts. There was evidentley a Record Label Scout to see William's band which is incredibly cool as that shit just doesn't really happen anymore.

Jon Dee and I talked about the DAM Dog Ranch Record Projects coming soon.  I have a WW2 era Presto Record Lathe that we will be cutting records on.  A song one one side with art on the other, in Jon Dee's case it will most definitely be one of the bears he draws.  These will be a limited editon, most likely no more than 50, hopefully by the end of summer when I get some rewiring done on the ancient machine.

OK folks, this is a short entry, I need to get on the way to see the new Mad Max Fury Road.  George Miller got rid of Mel Gibson and fired Tina Turner's hair did, brought if Tom Hardy and a one armed Charlize Theron. The ToeCutter is back as well.

OK, hopefully something interesting in the next blog when I am not so fucking depressed and may be my brain is not bouncing around from getting zapped. Back to that again tomorrow.







Monday, April 27, 2015

Mr. Egyptian, You Are A GodDamn Liar

I have now finished 9 right unilateral brain scramblings courtesy of the fine folks at Seton Shoal Creek. Today was supposed to be bilateral but they did one last unilateral so wednesday will be the first double jolt I guess. There has been no discernable change in my mood as of yet. The biggest change is big chunks of memory gone, especially over this past weekend. I had to go back and piece together this past weekend through emails, texts and facebook posts.  There are chunks of shit just kind of floating around out there. My friend Mookie pretty much took care of me this past weekend. She took me to my appointment today so got to see my loopy ass post shock. She also came and got me and we went to see the latest Furious muscle head movie which really is the perfect movie to go to when your brains are scrambled because there really is not much worth remembering anyway.  Someone gets killed, revenge is sought, shit blows up, someone gets the shit kicked out of them, old action star has extended cameo, some more shit blows up, good guys win. Of course, one of the franchise stars literally ate a concrete post midway through filming and had to be cgied into finish the movie. The movie was basically just one long car chase with a fist fight thrown in from time to time. There was some fitting tribute for Paul Walker at the end. At least I think there was, The whole thing is kind of scrambled. I assume there will be a number 8. My mom is actually a big fan of these type of movies. She is particularly a fan of Jason Statham, Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson, and Vin Diesel. She does not miss anything with those guys in it, I think the Transporter movies are among her favorites of the genre.



I am a fan of that kind of stuff as well, not as much as her, but I can always count on a report/review of the latest cgi extravaganza. This is where I depart from the fanboy bit though. I will always prefer 70's style Frankenheimer, Ronin for example. And whenever Bullitt shows at the Paramount in Downtown Austin, I will generally go to it. Give me choreographed vehicular mayhem anytime over computer generated green screen flotsam.  That is why I will be seeing the new Mad Max Fury Road when it comes out in a couple of weeks as quickly as possible. Tom Hardy as Max, Charlize Theron in the tough girl role, and this guy:

Hugh Keays-Byrne:
he played the ToeCutter in the original Mad Max and as this is George Miller's re-visioning of his brain child, he's back. I am thinking that from seeing the previews, that George is paying more attention to The Road Warrior and not that goofy Thunderdome silliness staring Tina Turner's Hair Did. Anyway, this movie has been floating around out there for quite  while and I am going to go out on a limb and say its gonna be excellent.

OK-thats my tale of woe...chunks of disappeared memories...and Mad Max is coming....

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Better Science Through Guessing

I don't even know what to write at the moment. I am 8 sessions in to ECT and have not had any measurable positive effect. All my sessions have been Right Unilateral so far. This means that they are shooting the electricity into the right side of my brain. They have done this 8 times now...a couple more like this and then then they start going through both sides of my brain, bilateral. I am just going to assume that is where we are heading as nothing seems to be catching on so far. Where is the science behind this? It really is just kind of a wild ass guess, it works, just not real sure how. The following is from The University of Michigan Health System:

MECHANISMS OF ECT
Electroconvulsive therapy involves applying a brief electrical pulse to the scalp while the patient is under anesthesia. This pulse excites the brain cells causing them to fire in unison and produces a seizure.

EEG Seizure Activity

EEG Seizure Termination
The specific reason for the positive action of ECT is unknown, but this treatment appears to have many effects. There are multiple theories to explain why ECT is effective. One theory suggests that the seizure activity itself causes an alteration of the chemical messengers in the brain known as neurotransmitters. Another theory proposes that ECT treatments adjust the stress hormone regulation in the brain, which may affect energy, sleep, appetite, and mood.

See, its PFM (Pure Fucking Magic). I personally really do not care how it works, just that it does. I am sick of being despondent and sad for most of my working hours. C'mon magical science. There is a ton of debate on either side of the shock/no shock equation, go figure.  A lot of folks think it is barbaric and should not ever be allowed.  I feel I should point out that I am a 100%  willing participant and gladly climb up on that table and get put under 3 times a week and have the electrodes scramble my brain.

Follow this link to hear from a guy who is anti ECT : ECT no bueno

I am generally fatigued and cranky and am still lining up a ride for tomorrow so I think I am going to shut this down for now, clean the hovel and take Luna out for a jaunt in the creek beds.

more to follow as the saying goes...

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Tripod and The Benevolent Gnome

These are comic book facsimiles of The Benevolent Gnome and her sidekick, Tripod, the Therapy Bear. They will be the first t-shirts offered by the DAM DogRanch Uniform works sometime in the future.

Monday, April 20, 2015

X Nausea

All This Electricity is Making me Nauseous...

One of the pleasant side effects (i.e: a shitty side effect I do not like at all) is the nausea that goes along with the knockout drugs they give me before they zap me. I wake up feeling dizzy and crappy. I then get wheeled  out to the parking lot by the young British kid who works there. My friend Michael gave me a ride today. So far, Michael, Mig and the Fixer have all given me a ride. The last couple of times I have been pretty loopy much to my friends joy. So, side effects are nausea and headache...since we have been on an X kick lately. here is vintage X doing Nausea.
OK-so far, I am not liking the shock treatments....I have had seven sessions so far. The Doc told me today they would be doing 4 more at this dosage which is maxed out for the unilateral treatment and then reassess.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

historia del la musica rock

OK-I am about 12 hours post ECT treatment #5. More on that tomorrow. Tonight, I plan on a stream of conscious load of batshit craziness. This will be fueled by Topo Chico and Peppered Beef Jerky that my folks brought me from Bucc-ees yesterday. They drove up San Antonio to have lunch with me and they also got to meet The Benevolent Gnome and the Fixer. I had not see my folks since before my most recent meltdown that landed me in the care of the Gnome, the Fixer, and the Honey Badger.
If you have never been to Bucc-ees, you should probably quit reading this and immediately drive there, get some jerky and a multi-flavored slurpee.
Bucc-ees is a ginormous truck stop made out of gummi bears, cheetos, bbq, breakfast tacos, crude oil and poor white trash sweat. It is against the law in Texas to not stop at Bucc-ees if it lies in betwixt where you is and where you is going.

Historia Dela Musica Rock is a series of records put out by Decca that would put a pic of a band like say, Procol Harum, who's biggest hit was "Whiter Shade of Pale" . They are also one of the progressive rock fore runners which makes them absolutely useless to me as I loathe prog rock with one minor caveat for a few select cuts by King Crimson. Decca put out 100 of the Historia records. You can find the complete list here.  No big surprises except for a couple of also rans....I will let you read through the list and decide for yourself. Pussy Galore put a record out to mock the series, or pay tribute as the case may be, they broke up soon after.
more tomorrow....

Saturday, April 11, 2015

TRUE LOVE IS THE DEVIL'S CROWBAR and don't throw beer on Billy's guitar!

Working from DogRanch Central today, so no mental health crap today. One of my all time favorite bands is playing at the Mohawk (assuming it does not get rained out).



X came out of Los Angeles, California in the late 70's/early 80's and their first 4 albums:

Los Angeles
Wild Gift
Under the Big Black Sun
More Fun in the New World

are pretty much fucking great. Under the Big Black Sun is on the turntable right now.Right now, this album is my favorite X album.

I saw X for the first time at a place called Clubfoot in Austin, Texas (1983 I think).  I was living in San Antonio at the time and my leg was in a cast secondary to a misunderstanding with a rather larger, drunk, pissed off bouncer from Raw Power and Light, a punk rock club on San Pedro Ave. in SA. In my fervent wish to get away from this guy, I kicked him flat footed in the thigh and broke my foot.

So I rode up to Austin with some other folks and hobbled my way up to the front of the club. I was struggling to get through the entrance (I remember it as a ramp but it could of been stairs, it was a fuck of a long time ago) when Exene Cervenka and Billy Zoom came up on either side of me and asked if I needed help. I was fairly dumbfounded and they helped me into the club and up to the stage and deposited me next to the band on the stage so I would not get trampled by the hoi poloi. Pretty fucking cool when you have your punk rock idols looking out for you.

The Big Boys, the kings of Austin's Punk Rock Scene opened up for X that night. I think this is the flyer though I could be wrong, like I said, it was a long time ago:

After the Big Boys finished, X came on stage and launched into their set. At some point, some idiot threw a beer on Billy Zoom.  Billy did not really care about the beer getting on him but to get beer on his precious '55 Gretsch Silverjet:


that is a fucking crime. Billy rested his guitar on his amp, jumped off the stage and took off after the beer thrower and chased him out of the club. Chris Gates of the Big Boys got on the mike and warned the crowd that any other similar shenanigans would end badly for the perpetrator. Chris is a big guy so I think everyone behaved after that.

A couple of years ago, in a chance meeting with John Doe, I asked him about that show. He remembered it well. He told me Billy only traveled with that one guitar and other than a time period when the guitar was stolen (it got returned), it is the only guitar he pretty much has ever played in his career with X.

So, X is one of my favorite musical acts of all time, I'm going to see them tonight and I will not be throwing a beer on Billy Zoom and I don't feel sorry for anyone who does cuz even though  Billy is 67 years old now, the odds are in his favor of kicking said thrower's ass.