You Oughta Know; Why The 20th Anniversary Of Jagged Little Pill Matters

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One of music’s many powers is provoking decades-old memories from even the most forgetful people, like me. Most of the time I can’t remember my¬†daughters’ names or what I had for breakfast, but a lyric, a guitar riff or even feedback as a song changes from soft to hard can take me back twenty years and recall almost every moment.

Alanis Morissette’s¬†breathy, staccato vocal in the opening line, “I want you to know, that I’m happy for you, I wish nothing but the best for you both” bounced off my car dashboard. I knew it was a loaded line, probably a lie, and what was about to happen next was going to be memorable. As the¬†power chord rolled¬†and the unforgettable piece of¬†naughty poetry occurred, “an older version of me, is she perverted like me, would she go down on you in a theatre” I knew I was listening to my generation’s “Go Your Own Way”, but much angrier, and it was fantastic. Kurt Cobain had been dead just over a year but there seemed to be an torch-bearer, literally and figuratively, to his honesty and rawness.

Twenty years ago today, June 13, 1995, Jagged Little Pill, the American debut album of Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette¬†on Madonna’s fledgling record label, Maverick, was released. Sales were slow at first and it would take over three months for the first single, You Oughta Know, to rule the music world. Morissette’s Canadian invasion of the U.S. pop charts was unique. It would fully usher in an era of dominant popular female artists like Sheryl Crow, Sarah MacLachlan, Jewel, Liz Phair, and many others that would have their own festival tour, Lilith Fair, and break the¬†ridiculous radio taboo of “too many women on the air”. Jagged Little Pill screamed its way into people’s hearts and minds and showed that female entertainers could not only sell millions of records but also fill stadiums.

Just after my July 4th weekend¬†of 1995, I quit my radio job for a local Atlanta radio station, ending seven years in the field. The band I was managing part-time broke up shortly thereafter. While on my way home from one of their bar gigs, I turned on then Atlanta powerhouse radio station 99x, which played alternative and other new forms of music. Alanis Morissette’s You Oughta Know punched me in the gut and it felt brilliant. She was pissed off and wasn’t relying on flowery metaphors to convey her frustration. It was a well-crafted pop rock song. A waft of stale beer settled under my nose as I arrived home. I called a radio DJ friend of mine to ask him what he knew of this Alanis Morissette person. He reminded me of her appearances on the Canadian comedy show You Can’t Do That On Television, which we both saw as teenagers. I was a few months shy of turning¬†25 in July, 1995, but I was buoyed by a lack of cynicism over a new artist.

You Oughta Know became one of those touchstone songs. People of both sexes identified with it and the speculation over who it was about flourished for years. After many coy interviews, Full House actor Dave Coulier aka Uncle Joey, denied being “Mr. Duplicity” in 2014. Morissette has kept her secret even better than Carly Simon did with her subject of You’re So Vain. Former boyfriends including ex-New Jersey Devils hockey player Mike Peluso, Friends actor Matt Leblanc (who appear in a Canadian video of Alanis’ in 1991) and Leslie Howe, the producer of Alanis’ first two Canadian albums in the early 1990s are also likely culprits. Mostly people just plug into the rage and brutal honesty of being rejected or mistreated or forgotten by a former lover.

Jagged Little Pill was more than one amazing song. It was a 2-year chart phenomenon. Seven cuts from the record were released as singles including mega hits, You Learn, Hand In My Pocket, Head Over Feet, Ironic, and my personal favorite from the album, All I Really Want. Ironic became famous for not being Ironic. Many stand up comedians performed bits over how the lyrical content was simply a collection of bummers rather the definition of Ironic. Jagged Little Pill’s plug into the culture made it a global success, topping charts in ten countries. It was number one in Morissette’s native Canada for almost 6 months. It hit the top spot in the U.S. for 12 non-consecutive weeks. In 2010, its sales topped 33 million copies worldwide.¬†Billboard ranked the album as the number one Best Selling Pop album for the 1990s decade.

Jagged Little Pill ages well. As the father of a teenage daughter, I recognize the sentiments of the album in her life. But how the record was so well-written and produced by Glen Ballard and Alanis Morissette speaks to its power. You Oughta Know still gets the same reaction from me and many others when it comes on the radio.

Twenty years is a long time for anything. But the memories of what Alanis Morissette was able to accomplish with raw emotion are impressive. She oughta know how much people love that record.

Tell me why you like Jagged Little Pill and your favorite track in the comments.

Scar Tissue ; A Year Of Hurting Myself With Crossfit

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Vanity is a snarling, relentless beast that feeds on weakness and insecurity. It attacked thirteen months ago, during a rush out of the house to take my kids to school, I posted a picture of my oldest daughter on her last day of high school. In the background, a reflection of bloated and shirtless me circulated around social media and the comments, while funny, were devastating. I was overweight, to go along with middle-aged.

The weird thing is, I knew it and had begun to try to improve my looks and health. Two weeks earlier my wife had given me a groupon for Crossfit. Since my savings obsessed bride believes the world can only be made better through groupons, I had to use it.

For the past year and one month I’ve been part of what many people think is an exercise cult. Gyms are boxes, sweaty people are athletes, and workouts are WODs. The axiom is, the first rule of Crossfit club is you have to talk about Crossfit club. But I kept it to myself for months.

I’m a little over a week into a self-imposed one month rest period. My knees are garbage, the right one has a bruised ligament, and my back isn’t much better. I did these things to myself through bad form and working through injuries. Despite what your Facebook friends may tell you, Crossfit doesn’t kill people, people do. You know, like guns? Except you don’t really die from counting box jumps and deadlifts while easily bought pistols will end your day in a hurry.

Instead of defending Crossfit and posting after pictures which will underwhelm you since I dieted like a college fraternity pledge through the process, I’ll just say, I’ve never felt better. I’m twenty pounds lighter, with four pounds of muscle added back. At 5’8″ and around 178lbs, my BMI says I won’t die tomorrow, maybe. I’ve improved my mile run times by over fifty seconds and I’m lifting weight unseen since my high school football days. I’m in shape. Maybe I’m not underwear model shape, because I’m almost 45-years-old, I have a wife, ¬†three daughters, and a¬†day job. but I’m doing things physically I never imagined, like participating in a Crossfit competition.

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I did spend a year hurting myself, mostly because I didn’t listen to my body telling me what my age is, how tired I always am, and the limits it arbitrarily places on me. So, I rest for the next month.

You can find blog posts all over the internet about Crossfit being the worst thing in the world and the best. It’s neither, for me. But it is the best workout I’ve done next to boxing. My wife and kids nixed me getting hit in the face years ago.

I’ve made some pretty good friend friends over the past year. They’re fairly normal people. Okay, they hang out with me and they do Crossfit, maybe not that normal. I don’t know anybody with abs and there was no evidence of¬†folks oiling up or experiencing organ failure. My box, gym, whatever, is family friendly, easy to get to, and everyone knows my name without me having to be an alcoholic.

I’m weaning myself off ibuprofen, getting back into blogging, finishing my books (the sequel to The Ballad Of Helene Troy is in editing),¬†preparing to make my open mic comedy debut at the end of the month and learning how to pay attention to my body. When I return to Crossfit in a few weeks, I’ll be smarter. If anything, my scar tissue is mental.

The Songs That Made Me – Midlife Mixtape Blog Hop

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For someone who is good at reading maps, has a keen sense of direction, and likes to stay on the move, I sure do get lost a lot in my own head. Perhaps, this is why I’ve been writing a bunch but posting less because I need a new compass and pay attention to certain signs. Music is like a neon billboard telling me, “over here, dummy!” My current pop culture addiction is the reality show The Amazing Race, where teams of two travel around the world and eventually win a million dollars. It’s all about teamwork, people skills, and the extreme sport of surviving airports. When my fellow music freak friend Nancy of¬† Midlife Mixtape¬†asked me to link a post of about ten “songs that made me the person I am” it was like getting an Amazing Race ticket and then I needed to pay attention to my map and partner; ¬†my writing. I’ve revealed a lot about myself over the past 5 years of this blog (My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog turns half a decade next week), through music. Each post is usually¬†a song¬†title and a Tube Of You video accompanies. Selecting only 10 songs was difficult. I didn’t list any songs by my favorite band, The Clash. Despite my love and admiration for female artists, there are no selections from Joni Mitchell, Patti Smith, Ani DiFranco. Liz Phair¬†or Lucinda Williams. Narrowing down only 1 Nirvana, 1 Radiohead, and 1 Verve choice was like picking my favorite daughter. So I chose ones that didn’t ask for money from me, today. This is linked to my friend Nancy’s blog. You will find some pretty kick ass, super smart, audiophiles over there. I implore you to read them all and them slink into a corner ashamed you don’t have our tastes in music. Here are the songs that made me….so far. Billy Joel – My Life and Elton John – Take Me To The Pilot. When I was very young, Billy Joel and Elton John were my classical music. I was born in 1970, so the first 10 years of my life saw the peaks of Billy¬†and Elton’s¬†careers. I lumped these two together because these days, they are joined at their old failing hips in¬†concerts and general consensus thinking.¬†The songs I picked¬†are angry, frustrated pieces of rebellion and acknowledgement that adulthood is grabbing them. As a kid, these guys were like cool Uncles to me. Billy Joel was my first concert in 1982, and My Life was his best song of the night. https://youtu.be/h3JFEfdK_Ls https://youtu.be/Fi0xN499IXE So Far Away – Carole King. I don’t care what anyone else thinks, the Tapestry album by Carole King is one of the¬†best records ever made. In 1971, a woman writing and producing her own¬†tunes was about as rebellious and controversial as you could get. So Far Away is that song, I, a young kid growing up in suburban Atlanta, Georgia would play to express my alienation of my surroundings and want to leave. It’s singer-songwriter perfection. https://youtu.be/1GAaWz4X4nU Like A Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan. Uncle Bob wrote music’s greatest composition and everyone else is playing for second. If you’re a writer and you don’t worship this tune, then you’re not a writer. Dylan made rock and roll¬†literate, pop culture matter, and set the template for what artists should be doing with their talent. “How does it feel,¬†to be without a home,¬†like a complete unknown?” If you can’t relate to that, I can’t help you. It’s six minutes that changed my life the first time I heard it as a little kid and it’s six minutes that changes my life every time I listen to it, now. And all those words, those beautiful damn words. https://youtu.be/syNLBJ_Lq9E “Ever Fallen In Love With Someone (You Shouldn’t’ve Fallen In Love With)?” The first few relationships I had were unrequited. I was always “the friend”, the one the girl came to bitch about their boyfriend, the guy she treated like a brother or whatever. What punk legends The Buzzcocks did in less than 3 minutes was enter my heart and mind, take out every word I’d ever thought or written down and then chainsaw truth. The opening lines of this song are “You spurn my natural emotions,¬†you make me feel I’m dirt, and I’m hurt¬†and if I start a commotion¬†I run the risk of losing you¬†and that’s worse”. They were dropping the mic a long time¬†before Chris Rock was taking a comedy stage. Don’t tell me punk rock can’t be brilliantly deep. https://youtu.be/51OB2YoC4sg Blank Generation – Richard Hell and the Voidoids. This should have been the rock anthem of all rock anthems but instead it’s an underrated piece of punk history and the ringtone on my phone. Richard Hell was way ahead of his time. As much as I love Kurt Cobain and the other grunge rock superstars of the early 1990s, Hell said it all first, 15 years earlier. This song got me through college and keeps me young today. I’m just now saving up money so I can do this – “I was sayin let me out of here before I was even born.” I may safety-pin my shirt together today just to keep myself on track. https://youtu.be/TP3x-VdOb44 High And Dry – Radiohead. Look, they’re my second favorite band after The Clash so every song by Radiohead made me the man I am, today. I picked High and Dry because it makes me happy and sad at the same time. I use it to remember those I’ve lost. I use it to appreciate those I have with me. Mostly, I just use it to hear my innermost thoughts conveyed by Thom Yorke’s gorgeous wail. https://youtu.be/BciOfJsqh7M One – U2. Before they started molesting my iphone, U2 did a lot of things right. I almost listed I Will Follow but One is like a religious hymn to me. It has the single greatest lyric I’ve ever heard, “Have you come here for forgiveness,¬†have you come to raise the dead,¬†have you come here to play Jesus,¬†to the lepers in your head?” I’m a Christian and mentally ill. This song means a lot to me. https://youtu.be/ftjEcrrf7r0 Strange Currencies – R.E.M. Growing up in Georgia, any R.E.M. song is eligible. Currencies didn’t come along until the neighborhood band from down the road from my house had become international rock stars. But the lyrics, it’s overall feel and message, and the way R.E.M. spoke to the freak in all of us, makes this song special. “You know with love come strange currencies,” is too incredible to ever expound upon. https://youtu.be/XMazs2N1CQ0 You Know You’re Right – Nirvana. This song wasn’t released until 8 years after Kurt died. But it crystallizes all of the things that made me relate to him and love his band. I listen to it almost every day and use it in many different ways. If anything, it helped me “get over” the 1990s and my youth and grow up a little bit. It also strengthens my resolve when people tell me I’m wrong and I know otherwise. https://youtu.be/qv96yJYhk3M Lucky Man – The Verve. Bittersweet Symphony is the ultimate Verve tune and the album Urban Hymns stays in my car and in my heart every day. But Lucky Man is the song that encapsulates my adulthood and the second life I received when I got remarried expanded my family to 3 daughters. I’m not the most positive person by nature but Lucky Man keeps me grounded and the lyrics are really everything I look forward to each and every day. https://youtu.be/MH6TJU0qWoY Here’s the other great posts.

The Songs That Made Us:

Smacksy

Arnebya

The Flying Chalupa

Elizabeth McGuire

Elleroy Was Here

Midlife Mixtape

Up Popped a Fox

When Did I Get Like This?

I Miss You When I Blink

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

Butterfly Confessions

Good Day, Regular People

Dumb – Lessons Learned From Montage Of Heck

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These days, intense emotional reactions followed by brutally honest self-analysis seem to be the only way people know how to tell the truth and in return, you believe in anything they say. Ninety minutes or so into the new documentary about the last famous person I ever related to or cared about, Kurt Cobain: Montage Of Heck, home movie footage shows “the voice of a generation” hold his infant daughter as she’s getting a haircut. At first it seems to be this sweet moment¬†but when¬†the definitely tired, possibly drug-addled, and likely disconnected Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain nods off and his baby begins to cry you realize all is lost.

Four times during the look into the driving force of one of my favorite bands, I turned it off¬†and wept. The visceral way I watched Montage Of Heck speaks to not only the impact of Kurt’s art but also the nasty truths behind his life and death by suicide in April, 1994.

No one was ever there for him and he just gave up.

The top search term for this blog is “Kurt Cobain Sychophant”. There’s no need for me to sell you on the greatness of him as an artist or the deep way I felt related to him as a mentally ill person,¬†and fellow “small, moody, and weird reject”. What Montage Of Heck does is slay every myth about Kurt Cobain and painfully reveal that despite years of red flags and cries for help, Kurt died alone and it seemed to be his destiny from a very early age.

The first half of the film shows his childhood. A lot of time is devoted to his diaries, journals, notebooks, drawings, and personal voice recordings beginning during his pre-teen and teen years.

I took away some stuff, a lot of it I already knew, but given new context, from the documentary.

1) Kurt needed therapy as early as age 9. His parents divorced in the mid 1970s. He acted out as a result, bouncing between equally clueless and selfish mother and father as they embarked on new lives with new spouses and new children. He had almost no family structure between the ages of 11 and 19.

2) Bullying and humiliation drove every single artistic thing he ever did. The next time someone tells you ridicule and boys being boys is just a part of life, show them Montage Of Heck. From his first sexual experience to his first bout of drugs and alcohol to his failures in school, it all stemmed from his inability to deal with peer pressure and relating to kids his own age.

3) His slacker image and anti-fame reputation were lies. Even though he had trouble keeping a job pre-Nirvana, when his girlfriend Tracy would go to work, he’d strum guitars for hours while watching television and write or draw in his notebooks all day. This was part of his “10,000 hours” of practice. Also, he was more ambitious than given credit because he knew the names and addresses of almost every independent record label in existence during the late 1980s before convincing Sub Pop to release Nirvana’s first album in 1989.

4) Drugs were in his life early and he used them for different reasons than “rock star lifestyle”. He did heroin for the first time in the mid 1980s, years before he was famous and or married Courtney Love. He wrote about drugs as early as 1984.¬†A still mysterious stomach ailment led to him using opiates. Like a cancer patient using pot for pain, he used narcotics to stave off serious abdominal pain well before he ever released a record.

5)¬†Courtney Love didn’t kill him any more than Yoko Ono broke up the Beatles. Giving Courtney credit for anything about Kurt’s death is feeding the teeming narcissist what she wants, attention. The two of them were quite screwed up before they met. While Kurt’s drug use escalated¬†after their¬†marriage, it was tied more into his mental illness and his failure to deal with his life than anything to do with his choice of spouse. Kurt was alone, no one helped him, not once.

For die-hards like me, there wasn’t a lot of new information, but filmmaker Brett Morgen¬†animated Kurt’s journals and audio recordings to present everything in a clear, creative but very disturbing¬†fashion. Montage of Heck is brilliantly made. It’s worth the two hours of time but it’s a chore to watch if you care anything about Kurt and or Nirvana. It took days for me to just get a hold of my own emotions.

As a father, the scenes of Kurt with then baby Francis are hard to watch. If anything, Montage of Heck humanizes him even more and gets rid a lot of the rock star bull crap that never belonged with his legacy. I think the biggest lesson I learned from Montage of Heck was that Kurt Cobain ended up the way he should have, because of his lack of family¬†cohesiveness and his own failures. That lesson is hard to accept, but it gets me beyond fandom and makes me realize that adulthood, maturity, or whatever this is I’m going through at forty-something years old is okay after all. Kurt Cobain decided it wasn’t and his being gone is just dumb.

Rolling Stone Cold Crazy

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rollingtsonetrash Photo Michelle Jesipaz

Most of my days I can barely remember my kids’ names or what I ate for breakfast but reading about the journalism fiasco involving Rolling Stone magazine and a retracted gang rape story involving a University of Virginia fraternity a twenty-three-year-old memory waved over me and the details reminded of what I believe in to my core.

In early 1992, I was working as a news reporter and producer¬†for two Tuscaloosa radio stations. I was nearing the end of my undergraduate degree in Communications and starting my third year as a working journalist. A friend of a friend told me about a failed drug test of a University of Alabama (where I was enrolled) athlete and¬†it’s alleged cover-up by the school’s powerful athletic forces. My editor, a fellow reporter, and one of my station’s ombudsmen help me fact check and vet the sources. Three days later I had everything for a blockbuster¬†presentation that would have “made me” in the business at the young age of twenty-one. All I needed was one of the sources to go on record and¬†the actual dirty drug test. At the eleventh hour my star whistleblower got cold feet and my story was sunk. We had to kill it because the standards of the day dictated so and no one even thought about going forward.

What makes Rolling Stone’s admission that their reporters and editors didn’t fact check their tale or investigate their main source, an alleged sexual assault victim, so egregious is that in less than a generation, this is even possible. The usual hand-wringing¬†from media-haters make it sound like Rolling Stone’s yellow journalism is common.

It is not.

Seriously, put your faces close to the screen and get what I’m trying to convey to you.

It is not common. Rolling Stone’s bad journalism is not usual.

For over 15 years, on a full and or¬†part-time basis, I’ve worked around the media as reporter, producer, copy writer, blogger, web site owner, or freelance writer. I promise you what I went through in 1992 is the way journalism works and most people in the business are sickened by what’s happened with Rolling Stone. I never once saw someone fake a story or run with something they knew wasn’t true.

That incident from my college days was one of maybe a dozen stories that were dashed because of poor sourcing, lack of evidence or just not enough to run with. You dropped the chase, kept the names on your rolodex, then moved on to the next thing. The majority of reporters do this, most journalism works this way.

For all the sayers of nay out there who will tell you we are in a downward spiral concerning media, I counter with, oh shut up and pay attention.

Sure, opinion and arguing and bloggers who want click bait make the most noise but the maximum amount of information is well-researched, impeccably written, and gorgeously presented but because we want eye-candy gratification we don’t talk about it as much as the other.

Rolling Stone lowered themselves but journalism is fine. It’s still be practiced but you have to have the want to and the need to go find it. Everything else is stone cold crazy.

T.V. Party

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As I approach my 45th year on this planet, it occurred to me that my longest relationship was also my most dysfunctional. So when I ended it, or I guess I should say changed it, last fall, I never realized how much my life would be better. For over 44 years it raised me, made me laugh, cry, cheer, and provided me with more entertainment than my mind can even remember. Then I decided it was hurting me, so I said enough was enough and cut the cord to the direct cable television line coming into my house.

I wouldn’t say I was addicted to the tube of boob but I was negatively influenced. During the government shutdown in 2013, after countless hours of cable news and political programming, my wife woke me from a violent nightmare and¬†said “that’s it, you have to stop watching that crap.” My three daughters created stand up comedy acts and satirical skits imitating me screaming at the small screen when the New York Jets, Alabama Crimson Tide or Atlanta Falcons lost another football game. I can’t even bring myself to talk about what I did when LOST ran that ridiculous series finale a few years ago.

On October 1st, 2014, approaching six months ago, we decided to get rid of our live cable feed and depend solely on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon (Prime) to watch recorded shows. This means live sporting events, news programs, and basic cable no longer happen. Not only do we; me, my wife, and three daughters, aged 19, 11 and 10, not watch t.v. like our parents or grandparents did, but we don’t even view it like the majority of people our age. It’s changed our family dynamic.

It seems like everyone complains about technology and so many are convinced society went to hell in knockoff handbag 30 years ago when MTV showed Madonna’s bottom in a wedding dress. I can’t name anyone who hasn’t whined about people being addicted to their “smart” phones and the ability to ruin someone’s existence with a naked picture in less than a second. But I contend the way we’ve watched regular television is every bit an issue and that even means Andy Griffith Show reruns on TV Land, which I can no longer view.

Since cutting cable, my family is tighter, more conversational, and kinder. Sure, we “binge-watch”, which wasn’t even a term until like a year ago, shows on the networks we still have in the home. But we watch together, hit pause or stop when someone wants to talk, make a meal or do an old bit about me screaming at the Jets’ Mark Sanchez throwing a pick six against the Patriots in ” the old days” when we had cable.

Tossing the main line has turned us into a bunch that hangs out together. My girls don’t lock themselves in their rooms to watch their tvs or phones. My wife and I only view television together, although Netflix adultery is a thing, I’m less inclined to commit it because I’ll reveal my indiscretion over social media because I still have a problem with that. There’s less complaining about people staring at their phones and computers.

I was all for cutting cable because it¬†dropped our entertainment budget by over sixty percent. I don’t miss sports or politics or live news because the internet, the media that are social, phone apps¬†and online newspapers provide me with what I need, but I want it all less than I did before¬†and I usually only view them while I’m in the same room with my wife and kids while they watch some show on the services we kept.

Television used to be the event where I separated myself from my family to escape, Now, tv has turned into a party, where all the attendees are focused on each other, unless something cool is happening on Twitter.

Everybody Knows That You’re Insane

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Ten years is a long time to do anything, but in terms of writing online, it deserves to be considered an eternity. I sat in bed last night listening to a blonde on my floor to my left, my golden retriever, and a blonde in bed next to me to my right, coo themselves into beautiful slumber while realizing an anniversary was happening. Sometime this week, this month, a decade ago, I began writing on the internet.

It’s a bizarre¬†“celebration” involving MySpace, a crumbling marriage to someone else and crippling loneliness. I can’t even tell you why I typed the first few words into cyber space (does anyone even use that term anymore?) but I think it was because I was looking for a connection.

The wheels had begun to turn that later became the machine of divorce, loss and a new way to become the writer I’d wanted to be for years but delayed out of fear and obligation.

I started a music blog to talk about the¬†music I loved, the¬†music I hated and the¬†music I wanted to discover. That led to¬†new friendships and a way out or in, I’m not real sure which, that later led to a completely different life. I eventually revealed a lot about who I was and wanted to be.

That blog lasted almost over a year, became a casualty of my broken firstmarriage, then I started another a year after that. This all snowballed, slowly, into what is now my existence as a published author of two books and active media that are social accounts that have seen me to travel and get my thoughts out to tens or hundreds or thousands, or well, more than a couple of people a day.

During my 25-year high school reunion two years ago, a long-time friend who knew me when, asked me a question that I couldn’t answer with a straight face.

What’s it all done for you?

I think I told her it had connected to me to like-minded people who’ve made me smarter, given me many laughs and taught me things I’d otherwise never known. That all may be true, but the harder perhaps colder truth, is the past 10 years have shown me that love is not inside a computer but in the hearts of people who are honest especially those I can touch.

I’ve been struggling in year ten of this adventure¬†to the center of the screen. I haven’t become as successful as I thought I would¬†be sharing my ideas. I’ve sold just enough books to say I’ve sold some books. I’ve garnered just enough fame on other sites to say I’m the guy to wrote that thing that ticked off some people. I’ve typed just enough to be able¬†to shout “present” when the internet Gods, if there are still any left, do a roll call.

In other words, writing online is just like life. Moderating your expectations and counting your blessings will classify you as a survivor.

This blog turns five-years-old in a¬†couple of months. It was inspired by the biggest change in my life over the past ten years, my second marriage. Shortly after we married in 2008, my wife said “you should blog all the time but do it right”. I don’t know if I accomplished the “right” part but having a place to show my general¬†insanity has been cathartic and I’ve met some amazing fellow¬†whack jobs while becoming a better person for my wife, kids and myself.

One of the first things I ever wrote online, back in 2005, was a CD review of the then new Queen Of The Stone Age disc, Lullabies To Paralyze. I gave it a B, I think, and it only took like maybe seven comments before someone called me an idiot preceded by an obscene action verb. Oh, internet, you’re so, well, whatever. I think they were right, it deserved a B+.

Here’s to 10 insane years.