Monday, January 9, 2012

Not Quite Cancer, But Close Enough... some may know, the title of this blog came from being young, dumb, and very much involved in the "party scene." When I say "party scene," I mean drinking excessively, smoking packs and packs of cigarettes, making dumb decisions that could lead to your own or someone else's demise...basically about being in your twenties. Well, well, it seems that a very passionate party girl, yours truly, has had to cut the partying out as of two weeks ago. No, no, I don't have cancer, but it's close enough.

I went to the doctor to have a check up. Basically I had a sensation of something being stuck in my throat. I also had abdominal pain that became worse with drinking soda or alcohol. After running a few tests, my doctor informed me that not only do I have a peptic ulcer, but I also have nodules on my vocal chords. That's right. Nodules on my vocal chords caused by...vocal abuse. If you're not sure what that means, it's basically from being a loud mouth and smoking like a chimney. Because of this, I've had to quit drinking alcohol and soda, quit smoking (easier said than done,) and change my diet drastically all while taking medication to cure the ulcer.

My nodules? Well, I guess I was doomed at birth. All the women in my family are extremely loud, and for some reason, a good majority smoke. But I'm the only one with fucking nodules. Anyway, my doc said that if behavioral intervention doesn't work then I'll have to have surgery to remove the nodules. Which it's looking like the latter since I haven't had any relief.

So there you have it. 23 years old living life how I want to, and I have an ulcer and nodules. Next thing you know, it will be cancer. You see where I'm going with this?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Jamie Lee

I love posting samples of my writing online, so where better to do it than my own blog? Here is a sample of a story/screenplay I submitted to the New York Film Academy during my application process. This story, labeled Jamie Lee, and along with others was part of my creative portfolio. Since my acceptance to the filmmaking program, I've decided that out of all my stories and screenplay ideas, this is the one that has gathered most of my attention. I hope you like what you read. You might be seeing it in theaters one day!

     There was a suspect, two detectives, a nurse and a doctor inside the interrogation room. On the other side of the one-way mirror, there were two police officers and a video camera to record the interrogation. Along the table inside of the interrogation room were pictures of murdered victims. A man and a woman had been killed. Sitting across from the detectives was a man. The suspect in the murder case. The man remained sitting completely still. He didn’t look to the photos on the table. He didn’t look at the detectives or the nurse and doctor. He only looked straight ahead at the one-way mirror. He didn’t have to be a cop to know that they were recording him.
Smoke filled the room from a half smoked cigarette sitting in the ashtray on the table. When the smoke reached the suspects nose, he glanced at the ashtray.
“Would you like one?” Detective Foreman asked the suspect.
He said nothing. As much as he wanted a cigarette, he wouldn’t ask for one. He looked back to the one-way mirror. The detectives studied him for a moment and then exchanged glances with the doctor. The man’s face was battered. A welt was above his right eye. His lip was cut, along with the side of his face. He’d needed stitches just to stop the bleeding. Scratches were along his neck. They’d been cleaned with antiseptic to avoid infection. Human fingernails contained so many different types of bacteria, the doctor had told him while cleaning his wounds.
“Billy…” Detective Gordon said while outstretching his hand to the suspect. “Where is Jamie Lee Preston?”
Billy’s eyes fluttered for a moment. He looked away from the one-way mirror and looked at Detective Gordon. “Jamie Lee?” Billy asked. 
The detectives became tense. They exchanged eager glances and moved closer to the table. It was the first time he’d spoken since being taken into custody. When he smiled slightly and even chuckled, the detectives became unnerved.
“Jamie’s at the hospital,” Billy said. “Or maybe at the bar. It’s hard to tell with Jamie…what she’s doing.”
Detective Foreman grabbed his half smoked cigarette from the ashtray and tapped the filter a bit before bringing it to his lips. He took a long drag and grabbed a photo of a brutally murdered man from the table. After a few moments of studying the picture, he turned it so Billy could see.
“Do you know this man, Billy?” Detective Foreman asked.
Billy’s eyes drifted from the one-mirror once more and scanned the photo. After a few moments, he sighed and shut his eyes. “Yes.”
“Who is he?” Detective Foreman asked.
“That’s Doctor Townsend,” Billy said after a few moments of staring at the detective. It was as if it hurt him to release the identity of the man in the picture.
Detective Foreman nodded and set the photo back onto the table. “He was found in a ditch on the side of the road. His neck was broken and his throat was cut open,” the detective said.
“What would be the purpose in that?” Billy asked.
Detective Foreman took another drag of his cigarette but never took his eyes from Billy. After a couple of moments, Detective Gordon scooted a photo of the murdered woman closer to Billy.
“Do you know this woman?” Detective Gordon asked.
Billy’s eyes fell to the photo in front of him. It was difficult to identify people when they were dead. They didn’t look like regular people. Their skin was blue, and their eyes were vacant. They reminded him of mannequin’s. Billy swallowed hard and looked back at the detective. He was sick of looking at dead people. “No,” Billy said. “I’ve never seen her before.”
“So you’re not aware of the connection between the victims?” Detective Gordon asked.
Billy opened his mouth to speak but he hesitated. When he looked back to the table, Detective Gordon leaned further up in his seat. He knew something, the detective could tell. 
“Do you have something you should be telling us?” Detective Gordon asked.
“I’ve…never seen that woman before, but…I know who she is,” Billy said. He looked back at the detectives. “That’s Doctor Townsend’s fiancĂ©e.”
“If you’ve never seen her before then how do you know who she is?” Detective Foreman asked while putting his cigarette out in the ashtray completely.
“Jamie told me about her. It…only makes sense that it would be her,” Billy said. He looked at the detectives once more. His eyes were glossy, as if he were going to cry. “Jamie’s not a bad person,” he said. “She’s just…lost right now, and…she needs help. She’s…she’s had a hard life.”
Detective Gordon grabbed a file from his briefcase and leaned further back in his chair. He opened the file and started reading through the papers, flipping through the pages while he did. “You’re from New Jersey, right, Billy?” Detective Gordon asked.
Billy paused. He didn’t see how it was relevant. “Yes.”
“How do you know Jamie Preston?” Detective Gordon asked.
Billy’s eyes drifted away from the detective and back to the table in front of him. He sighed. “We’re childhood friends. I’ve known Jamie for…fifteen years. She’s my best friend.”
“How did the two of you meet?” Detective Gordon asked.
“She moved in down the street from me when we were ten. There weren’t many kids on our block so she and I got really close,” Billy said. “We’ve been through everything together, but she…really had a tough life.”
“What do you mean?” Detective Foreman asked.
Billy winced while a tear fell from his eye and streaked down his cheek. It was painful to think about the past. “Her father was a drunk. He’d come home from the bar and…beat up on Jamie and her mom. Jamie, he’d…he’d do worse things to Jamie.”
“Worse things?” Detective Gordon asked. “What kinds of things?”
“Like have a little too much fun during bath time kinds of things,” Billy said.
“Did she ever call the police or…tell her mother?” Detective Gordon asked.
Billy nodded. “Her mother knew,” he said. “She wouldn’t call the cops though. She was afraid of what her father would do to her.”
“And she told you these things?” Detective Foreman asked. “The things her father did to her?”
Billy nodded. Another tear fell from his eye and onto the table.
“Why didn’t you call the police?” Detective Foreman asked.
“She made me promise I wouldn’t. So I didn’t. All I could do was…be a friend to her,” he said. “She used to…sneak over to my house late at night after it happened. And…I’d be a friend to her,” Billy said.
“What do you mean?” Detective Foreman asked.
Billy studied the man for a bit. After a couple moments, his eyes narrowed. “We were kids, Detective, nothing happened. She would just sleep next to me.” Billy looked away from the detective and glanced at the photos of the dead bodies on the table. He swallowed hard. “She used to tell me that…she only felt safe in my arms.”
“The two of you were pretty close then, weren’t you?” Detective Gordon asked.
“Are,” Billy said. “We are close. I know she…kind of snapped, but…who wouldn’t?” Billy asked. “After what she’s seen.”
“You mean her father being killed?” Detective Gordon asked.
Billy nodded. “When we were thirteen. I remember that day so well because…we were riding our bikes near the train tracks. Jamie hurried to leave the neighborhood because her father would be home soon.” Billy shook his head. “We never expected to see him coming as we were leaving, but…that drunk fuck smashed head on into another car and…flames…” Billy swallowed hard. “I felt like I was burning alive, that’s how hot it was.”
“So her father was killed in the crash?” Detective Gordon asked.
Billy shrugged. “You could say that. The fire’s what got him. I remember him reaching for us, yelling for us to get help, but…Jamie never moved. I kept looking back and forth between her and the fire, but she…never looked away from the fire. She sat on her bike and watched her father burn to death that day. Not once did she cry.”
“That’s pretty traumatizing for two thirteen year olds to witness,” Detective Gordon said.
“Tell me about it,” Billy said. “I had nightmares for weeks after that.” Billy snickered. “But even though it was traumatizing, it was probably…the best thing that happened to Jamie.”
“I would say so,” Detective Forman said.
“So things got better for her after he father died,” Detective Gordon said.
“Not right after, but eventually,” Billy said. “About a month after the wreck, her mother killed herself. It happened one night when Jamie was over at my house. When she went home the next morning, her mom was hanging from the second floor balcony.”
“What happened to Jamie after that?” Detective Gordon asked.
Billy sighed. He thought for a moment. As if the thought of a teenage Jamie brightened his day, he smiled. “She was…in and out of foster homes for awhile, but…she ran away from them a lot.”
“Where’d she go?” Detective Gordon asked.
“My house,” Billy said. “My parents never saw her, they would have called the police. It got to the point where…Jamie would disappear and the cops would just show up at my house because they knew she’d be there.”
“Why’d she keep going back if she knew she’d be caught?” Detective Gordon asked.
Billy shook his head. “It wasn’t about getting away. She wanted to see me, and…I wanted to see her.”
“Then what happened?” Detective Foreman asked while lighting another cigarette. When the match went out, he threw it in the ashtray and took a long drag. “The two of you have managed to stay close throughout the years. How old are you?” he asked with smoke bellowing out of his mouth.
“Twenty-five,” Billy said.
“Did she stay around?” Detective Foreman asked.
Billy nodded. “After a few years of bouncing around in foster care, yeah, she stayed around. A family out in Camden adopted her.”
“So she would come and visit you?” Detective Gordon asked.
Billy nodded. “Only when we graduated high school did we grow apart,” he said. “I mean, I got into art school and…she applied to nursing school.”
“How were things in high school?” Detective Gordon asked.
Billy shrugged. “I don’t know, we didn’t go to the same school, and she rarely wanted to talk about it. Every once and awhile she’d tell me about some asshole who she’d slept with, but it never lasted for long.”
“Why’s that?” Detective Foreman asked.
“Because Jamie is a different brand of female,” Billy said. “You have to be a certain type of guy to appreciate her and to understand…why she is the way she is.”
“How is she?” Detective Gordon asked.
“Different. She’s a loner. She doesn’t care for getting dressed up and going out on the town,” Billy said. “She’s not like other girls.”
Detective Gordon glanced at his partner. The small interrogation room was filling with cigarette smoke from the amount of cigarettes that had been smoked in the short amount of time.
“Billy,” Detective Gordon spoke calmly while placing his hand on the table as if reaching out to the suspect. “Have you and Jamie Lee Preston ever had…carnal relations?”
Billy was quiet for a moment. After a couple of seconds, he smirked. “If you ask her, she’d say no.”
“What do you say?” Detective Foreman asked.
“Yes,” he said while focusing on the Detective. “Yes we have. It wasn’t until recently, but…after the first time…I couldn’t…” he shook his head. His eyes were watering more noticeably.
“You couldn’t what?” Detective Gordon asked calmly.
Billy let out a quivering breath. “I love Jamie, but she…she was different. Something was wrong with her, and…she wouldn’t listen to me. She has this…personality that takes over, you know? These…moods where she’s a completely different person. She becomes…reckless and dangerous.”
“Dangerous?” Detective Gordon asked.
“It never used to happen before,” Billy said. “I don’t know what triggered it, but…she was going to get herself into trouble.”
Detective Gordon scooted his chair closer to the table and took a pen out from inside his jacket pocket. He pulled a yellow pad of paper out of his briefcase and started writing something at the top. It was something that Billy wasn’t concerned with. “Okay, Billy,” the detective spoke, catching his attention once more. “Why don’t you tell us what happened. Start from the beginning and end with yesterday afternoon.”
“You want the whole story or just…Jamie’s relationship with the doc?” Billy asked. “The whole story might take awhile.”
“Just tell us the whole story from your perspective,” Detective Gordon said.
Billy glanced to the pack of cigarettes on the table once more. Detective Foreman watched Billy eyeing the cigarettes, licking his lips while he did.
“Would you like one now?” Detective Foreman asked.
Billy glanced at him. When Detective Foreman pushed them across the table to where Billy could reach, he raised his cuffed hand to the pack. Detective Gordon waited patiently for his partner to reach across the table and light the cigarette for Billy. After the first drag, Billy removed the cigarette from his mouth, exhaled, and chuckled while studying the cigarette.
“You know, you’re probably the second person I’ve ever met in this world who smokes American Spirits,” he said.
“Who’s the first?” Detective Foreman asked while lowering himself back into his chair.
“Me,” Billy said after taking another drag.
“Billy, go ahead and start from the beginning,” Detective Gordon said.
“The beginning?” Billy asked. “It’s kind of hard to think of when the beginning was.”
“When did you notice things were different in your mind?” Detective Gordon asked.
Billy thought for a moment. “It was…two months ago. Jamie was spending most of her time working at the hospital as a med tech, and the rest of her time was spent doing nursing school in New Jersey. I was working at a music store in downtown Newark. The art school thing was a bust from the beginning. Jamie and I, we sort of fell into a routine. She’d work, go to school. I’d work, go party, and then go pass out at her house. Things played out like that for a while. 
She always asked me why I’d crash at her house when my apartment was so much closer to the bars. To be honest, it was because I didn’t like the idea of her living in that part of town by herself. Within a month of her living in that shitty ass townhouse, she was robbed. Since then, me and my friends would hang out over there a lot. Even when she was at work or at class. Just to make sure nothing happened while she was gone.”

All The Good Times Give You Cancer

I feel somewhat obligated to explain the title of my blog. Since I started a few days ago and told many people about it, I've noticed I get the same reaction out of them. They look at me strangely, and some actually ask "what's with the name?" A very good question I think. I will take the time to explain the title of my blog. My sister first asked if it had anything to do with the fact that I think I have throat cancer. Surprisingly not, although now it's even more applicable to me than I noticed before. I've had a few other people ask if it's because I'm a hypochondriac. Again, not exactly. Have you ever heard the saying "all the good times give you cancer?" Well if you haven't, don't feel bad. A shocking amount of people haven't. Now, I understand that some people might get sensitive about the title. Some people might see it as being used in a callus sort of way. Sure, anyone is more than welcome to think that. I, however, disagree. We all know cancer is a nasty business, and the purpose of this blog isn't to make people feel uncomfortable or make me seem like a cold-hearted bitch. When I say that I truly believe all the good times give you cancer, I mean it. The name of the blog comes from a place where most twenty-two year olds have been. Most people in their twenties period. We as young adults party. Nowadays, most people in their early twenties will start smoking. Majority will quit at some point in his or her life, some won't. As young adults we binge drink practically every day. There are a lot who are smoking weed, doing drugs, getting tattoos, getting laid by anyone who will lay them! This is what's fun about being young. We can do these things without feeling any repercussions. To us, it's a blast. This is what being young is all about...

Do you see the point I'm making? If it weren't for the reckless behavior people my age participate in to have fun, well we would probably go on to live much longer, healthier lives. Don't get me wrong, I know not all twenty year olds are as reckless or hardcore as the people I prefer to surround myself with. This blog isn't about those people though. This blog is about my life, the people in my life, the lifestyles we lead and how we're all affected by it. Because to be honest, life just isn't as exciting without risk factors. Fuck what happens to us when we're old. Carpe diem, damn it; seize the day! What we're doing isn't bad. What we're doing makes good stories for the grandchildren or even the next party you're at. We want a life worth living. This right here? These are the moments we live for.

Passing Through

Location: Columbia, MO

Time: 2:45 p.m.
Listening to: Rolling In On A Burning Tire by The Dead Weather

My twenty-seventh day in Missouri. I woke up today feeling rather drained. It was the second night of binge drinking in a row, and even though I'm not hungover, I still feel as if the energy has been sucked out of me. It could possibly be all the alcohol I've consumed this past week, or maybe the packs upon packs of cigarettes I smoke. I guess the reasoning doesn't really matter. I've been awake for about an hour now. Other than taking my sister to her car and dropping my friend off at his house, I haven't done anything really exciting today. For the past twenty minutes, I've been listening to my sister talk about her life. I don't mind. I find it rather enjoyable. Since leaving Florida, I don't really have my own life here. It's not like I can talk about myself. Nothing happens to me here that people don't already know happened. Back to listening about my sister's life. I enjoy it because even compared to my life in Florida, hers is much more exciting. Her life is action packed drama, polluting her mind with assumptions, mistrust, and unshakable anxiety that someone close to her is plotting against her. A life such as this leaves people feeling vulnerable and angry. 

Maybe it's wrong of me to get such satisfaction out of all of it, but it's not just her this happens to. I've witnessed it in all our lives since living here. No, not OUR lives. THEIR lives. Then it occurred to me. I feel so privileged as to be left out of the "excitement" or "drama," but the reality is that I'm the unlucky one. For the first time ever, I feel as if I'm not longer the leading character in my own life. I'm passing through the lives of every person I've encountered, but it is THEIR life. I find it strange that I have the capability to realize that I'm no longer the main character. Most people are able to make their lives solely about them. Since I've lived here, I've been unable to do so. At this point, I'm not exactly sure if I like not being in the lead anymore. On one hand, it's a good break from my own life. I'm not living my own life, I'm a passenger in theirs. It feels good being able to do whatever I want, think what I want, be what I want without any repercussions. Well not any serious ones anyway. In a month and a half, I'll be out of here.

However, I find it rather annoying that all my efforts to matter in this town and to matter to the people I meet are useless. These aren't friends that I'm making for life. These are people who have befriended me for the time being. I digress. The point of this ramble is to explain how incredible it is when you realize you're not living your life anymore. When you realize you're a visitor in someone else's world. I feel as if I'm stuck in a limbo of sorts. I find it strange that my indifference about leaving Florida has yet to change. I find it strange that I moved so easily, started living someone else's life, and none of it bothers me. It's as if Kellie has fallen off the face of the earth. My life stopped abruptly the day I left Florida. I haven't started living it again. Not yet at least. So the question still remains. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Is not existing in your own world a terrible thing? Or is it simply the break that most people need from their own lives? An escape from reality possibly. Not that this isn't reality. It's just not my reality.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Memory Lane Cont.

View from near the bar

All good things must come to an end, and the show did shortly after we moved forward in the crowd. As sad as it was to leave The House of Blues, we were all smiles and talking about how amazing the show was. Outside was pure chaos. Everyone was shoving each other out of the way to clear the walkway as soon as possible. Police officers were blocking off all other exits but one. We were losing track of each other. Gaby tried to break through the barricade the cops had set up. Her drunk ass. "Gaby!" I yelled to her, "I am not going to jail for you!" I turned around as soon as I yelled it to find Amanda. Not exactly sure what happened, but I remember some big girl shoving little Amanda out of the way and saying something along the lines of "That means move, bitch!" Now, she might be small, but Amanda's got a bite on her. As soon as it happened, Amanda turned and punched the girl in the back, yelling something back to her. Before the two looked like they were going to fight, the crowd of people kept pushing us along. We grabbed Gaby and made our way to the lower level of the walkway, thinking that would be it. Our moods were heightened once again. While the crowd of fans were taking their time going down the escalator, I thought it would be a good idea to try and run down the UP escalator. Yeah, not happening. I was a little tipsy, and that fucker was moving fast. Also because of my "ingenious" idea, I had to wait until someone would let me back in line. Finally, we made it back down to the streets of Houston. We weren't exactly sure where we were going, but we were following the crowd. Surely one of those people had the inside scoop of where we could see the band. Someone had mentioned that if we go wait by the tour buses, the band members usually sign autographs. I was down. So we made a b-line toward the tour buses. Gaby was on the phone with her boyfriend, so was Amanda, and I was following behind with a huge smirk on my face. The tour buses were in sight and so was a big group of screaming fans.

Of course at this moment you would expect something to go horribly wrong. Yep, you're right. It seemed like everything was in slow motion. Voices were low, people were moving slow, and so was I. "Hey...there's that bitch that punched me in line..."
Immediately, me and Amanda locked eyes. We turned to see the big girl coming straight for us with two of her friends following behind. Shit, I thought. Here it goes. Amanda, still holding her phone to her ear whipped around, and I followed her lead. I forget exactly what was said. Something along the lines of "You hit me first," and I'm pretty sure "fat bitch" was thrown in there somewhere. The big girl was gaining on Amanda, and I was worried for my friend. So what did I do? I yelled for Gaby of course. Now, you might think it's petty for me to call my other friend in for backup, but get this. The girl who was preparing for attack was a lot bigger than all three of us, especially Amanda. Gaby so happens to be a third degree black belt. I don't care if she's drunk as fuck. Gaby fighting drunk is like anyone else fighting sober. "Gaby!" I yelled, catching her attention immediately. Before the two of us turned to look at Amanda and the big girl, Amanda was being shoved into the wall of the building. Before Gaby could close in, Amanda landed one good hit in the girl's face before the girl backed away. It was an all out street fight now. A rumble, a brawl! I silently cheered in my head, then Gaby took control. One hit to Gaby, one hit and a high kick to the girl. I'm pretty sure that it was after that kick, her and her friends realized that we weren't ones to be messed with. And by we, I mean Gaby.

The big girl started backing away. "Oh, three against one?! That's real fair!" she yelled, and my aggressive side stepped up. "You started it, you stupid bitch!" or was it "you stupid, fat bitch?" I'm not exactly sure. All I knew is she threw something at me, and I panicked. "Ah! Attack of the...fliers? What is this, death by paper cut?" Really, who throws fliers during a fight? Her friends started grabbing her as the three of us closed in on her. They started backing away, and we started yelling after them. Now, I'm not typically one to make fun of someone's personal appearance like if someone is overweight, underweight, whatever. But...if you attack me or my friends, I lose all control. I go straight for the throat, verbally. I think I get that from my sister. Thanks to Gaby's karate skills, Amanda's good punch, and my mouth, the big girl retreated. We'd gathered up quite a crowd during the whole spectacle. I immediately looked to the tour buses. Hopefully we hadn't missed the band through all that. The short wait for the heros of the night began. We stood in line, basking in the ambiance of our victory. Soon enough the band's equipment was being brought out of The House of Blues. Security kept yelling that no one from the band would be coming out before 2 a.m., and it was only midnight. I didn't care. I was willing to wait all night. Now, once again, remember how I said we make friends with all the right people? Well it just so happens the manager of The House of Blues saw us waiting. He pulled Gaby aside and gave her a bit of very, very important information. His words? "Gerard Way has already been escorted to the tour bus in disguise. The best way of meeting the bands is to head across the street to The Dirt Bar. They have tables reserved there."
He spoke quietly so no one else could hear. Not like it would have mattered. You have to be twenty-one to get into that bar, and sadly enough, most MCR's demographic is teenagers. Awesome, we thought. This is perfect. We can chill inside a nice, cool bar, order drinks, and wait for the bands. It sounded like a bullet proof plan. So off to The Dirt Bar we went.

MCR's gear

Gaby and the manager of The House Of Blues

Amanda and the manager

The Dirt Bar is this badass little hole in the wall bar located right across the street from The House Of Blues. It's like partying in a miniature warehouse. We immediately saw two tables that had reserved signs on them. Right next to those tables were three barstools calling out to the three of us. We ran for them before anyone could steal them away. Any moment, a band member would be walking through the door. We knew it. We started drinking some more, and slowly The Dirt Bar started filling up with more and more people. People we'd made friends with during the concert kept coming up to us, telling us that MCR and The Architects would be making their way to the bar soon. We were so excited. I was so excited I started feeling sick. So I started drinking more. Gaby got her drunk back pretty quick. I was slowly working my way to mine. I didn't want to be shit-faced the first time I met MCR. We all kind of started doing our own thing. Amanda stayed at the bar and talked to a bunch of different people. Gaby stayed in the smoking room and talked to a bunch of people, and I went back and forth. After about an hour, I started getting discouraged. I'd heard from one of Mikey Way's (bassist for MCR) guitar techs that they were leaving for Dallas that night. My mood dropped. I walked back inside to greet Amanda and tell her the news. Before I could say anything, Amanda tells me that the guy she'd been talking to was the guitarist for The Architects. I was pretty excited. The band was awesome. I talked to him for a bit. He was cool. I bought him and myself a shot. We got to talking. I realized while talking to him that even though not meeting MCR was a disappointment, I was meeting a member of a badass band anyway. On top of that, the bar was filled with guitar techs and sound people for My Chemical Romance. I'd decided to turn this situation around. Instead of reserving my t-shirt for MCR autographs, I started asking the band members of The Architects for their autographs. The lead singer was first, followed by the guitarist, the bassist, and then the drummer. They were all really cool, and we took pictures with all of them. I started getting excited. 

In the midst of my high, I started conversing with Frank Iero's (rhythm guitarist for MCR) guitar tech. I started asking him about Frank Iero's side project, Leathermouth, who I'm a huge fan of. I saw them live in Orlando in 2008, and I've loved them ever since. They hadn't released a new album in a while though. Upon inquiring about Leathermouth to the guitar tech, I was given the most exciting news of the night. The guitar tech who'd bought me a beer and who had given me MCR's setlist and Mikey Way's guitar pick was also the LEAD GUITARIST OF LEATHERMOUTH!!!! I almost died. I started gushing. I started screaming. He signed my t-shirt for me. Afterward, I noticed his hat was the same one I owned by this company Frank Iero started called Skeleton Crew. It was a record label, clothing line, and publishing house. I pointed to his hat and said, "Hey, I have that same hat. Along with tons of other Skeleton Crew stuff." He replied with..."You know Skeleton Crew?" Of course I did. I loved it. He seemed stunned. Well soon after it was my turn. "I own Skeleton Crew now," he said so cavalier. I started gushing once more. Screw not getting to meet MCR, I had just meet the lead guitarist of Leathermouth and the owner of Skeleton Crew. Yeah, my mood was definitely much, much better.

The rest of the night played out with us hanging out with the Architects at The Dirt Bar and chit chatting with the music techs for MCR. Despite the fact that MCR never showed, I had the time of my life. We also had the honor of meeting the tour manager, but he left before I could get his autograph. Two a.m. rolled around, and the bar started closing. We said goodbye to our new friends. They had to get back to their tour buses and make their way to Dallas, and we had a long day of driving ahead of us. The trip to Houston was one of the best times of my life and definitely the best trip to take as a going away trip. The next weekend my apartment was packed up, and I made the torturous 15 hour drive to Columbia, Missouri. Even though nothing really exciting has happened since that trip, I'm still grinning about it. I'm hoping that my next MCR concert will lead to actually meeting the band. If not, oh well. It'll be hard to top Houston.

Amanda getting her shirt signed by the lead singer of The Architects

Me and the lead singer of The Architects

Me and the bassist of The Architects

Me and the guitarist of Leathermouth/owner of Skeleton Crew

Me and the drummer of The Architects

Gaby, drunk as fuck at The Dirt Bar

Gaby getting her shirt signed by the lead singer of The Architects

MCR's setlist given to me by Mikey Way's guitar tech

Mikey Way's guitar pick

Memory Lane

Listening to: Scarecrow by My Chemical Romance

Taking a trip down memory lane here and sharing one of my favorite memories ever. This only happened three weeks ago, but it is definitely one for the books. Also, I'm kind if in a creative frenzy, and the idea of writing as many stories as possible sounds absolutely amazing. Especially since my insomnia is really a killer today. 20 May 2011, me, my friend Gaby, and my friend Amanda made the long nine hour trip to Houston, Texas to see my favorite band, My Chemical Romance in concert. This was the weekend before I moved to the middle of nowhere Missouri. We left Florida entirely too late in the day. At around eight p.m., I think. We decided to stop off in Biloxi Mississippi where Gaby's friend was going to let us crash for the night. Biloxi was three hours from Fort Walton Beach, where I used to live in Florida. We'd decided that once we got to Biloxi, we were going to hit up the Beau Rivage Casino. Earlier this year, I'd taught Gaby how to play craps at Harrah's in New Orleans. She became addicted just like I had. By the time the three of us made it to Biloxi, we were exhausted. Still, we were set on the idea of winning thousands of dollars on the craps table to pay for our trip to Houston. Within an hour of arriving at Gaby's friend's house, we were back out the door and headed downtown to the casino. While walking through the lobby, I couldn't stop looking around. This casino wasn't nearly as nice as the ones I'd spent time in in Vegas for Christmas. Still, I was excited to drink for free and win some money. We withdrew $40 each from the ATM and began the long night. Immediately, we found a craps table with a ten dollar buy in. My tactics for playing craps is bet small, win small. But win a lot. Now, it's not hard to find a spot at a craps table...especially if you're a twenty-two year old woman with two other hot twenty-two year old women by your side. Almost as soon as we started playing, the chips started rolling in. Gaby was lady luck this night. I swear, every time she rolled it was a seven or eleven. Needless to say, we walked away with a couple hundred in our pockets. It was a successful night, and for Amanda, she was content with walking away. Gaby and I have played craps before though, and everyone who has played craps knows it's nearly impossible to leave the casino when you've been winning constantly. I don't know exactly how we convinced Amanda to stay, but after a few beers and a few vegas bombs, we were back on the craps table. Now, my friend Amanda has a gift. It's called the gift of manipulation. Particularly in the opposite sex. All I know is the three of us were close to cashing out, and then out of nowhere this old man Amanda had been chatting up threw a $100 BILL on the craps table. He gave the three of us all his chips to continue playing. So we did. We had a separate pile of chips we were going to keep and a pile to gamble with. Whenever the gambling pile would get low, the man would throw another hundred on the table for us to gamble with.

Shocking, right? I'm not making this shit up. I don't know what the man's intentions were. Surely he knew that none of us would sleep with him. Still, the hundreds kept coming, Gaby kept rolling sevens and elevens, and Amanda kept batting her eyes for more money. Me? Well, I just made moves and drank. By the time we decided to cash out, we'd made $1,000 between the three of us. Our trip had been won in one night. Epic, I know.

The next day we left Biloxi at around eleven in the morning. The rest of the trip to Houston was pretty hellacious. We'd stayed up till six in the morning gambling, and Gaby and myself had gotten pretty wasted. Not smart to get wasted the day before a long road trip. The good news is I knew I would be seeing my favorite band the very next day at The House Of Blues in Houston. Nothing could bring my mood down. We arrived in Houston later that evening and stayed the night at Gaby's sister's house. The next day was concert day. We left Gaby's sister's at around two p.m. and made it to our hotel in downtown Houston at around three. We do it big, by the way. Me and Gaby have very...expensive taste. I'm pretty sure we stayed at the Hilton, or maybe it was the Marriott. Whichever one, we had a skyline view of Houston overlooking the House of Blues and the tour buses for the bands. My excitement was undeniable. While Amanda started getting ready for the show, Gaby and I decided to go up to the top floor patio to smoke and admire the tour buses from afar. While doing so, a security guard came outside to bullshit with us. I don't know what it is about the three of us, but we have a tendency to make all the right friends. Maybe we're just friendly. The security guard had divulged some life-altering information. That My Chemical Romance was staying in the same hotel as us...excited yet? I was. Picture your favorite band, no...not band...musician, artist, biggest idol in the world, love of your life was staying in the same hotel as you. For the rest of the time getting ready in the hotel room, we couldn't contain our excitement.

Me and Amanda

 Me and Gaby

The time to leave the hotel and head to The House of Blues was approaching. We were putting the finishing touches on our outfits. We'd made our own shirts, had our own rocker styles. We classified it this way...Amanda was punk, I was grunge, and Gaby was...well Gaby was Gaby. While walking to the elevator, we were snapping pics, taking videos on the walk to the House of Blues. It was scorching outside, and it seemed that from every direction some new MCR fan was emerging from the corners and streets of Houston. We didn't care. We were too excited, and we'd recently found out that there was going to be a bar serving alcohol. That's enough to and Gaby excited at least. Now, if you've ever been to a really big show like MCR, then you already know you have to be there a few hours before the show starts. Yeah, we did that, and we were still pretty far down the line. It didn't matter. For some reason we were all in the best mood ever. It's weird for me. I usually get really stressed in situations like these, but...nothing could ruin my mood. When we found our place in line, the best thing that could have happened at that moment happened. We'd been standing by the corner of the hall. The security didn't want anyone standing beyond the corner. So the three of us took it upon ourselves to direct the rest of the fans to the back of the line. From what I hear it went pretty far back. At least we were under an overhang and not being crowded by a bunch of fucking teenagers. It seemed every time we told another set of fans to keep moving down the line though, they got mad at us. Oh well, you're not supposed to stand behind the three of us. The security guards loved us for doing their job so well. "End of the line!" we'd yell to everyone who walked up behind us. I guess we captured the attention of The House Of Blues manager because he came up and conversed with us for a bit. Remember how I said we're really good at making friends with all the right people? Keep on remembering that.

Me directing traffic in line

Me and Gaby with our game faces on

Gaby, Amanda, and me waiting in line

Me and Amanda

So after waiting in line for two and a half hours, the line finally started moving. I was so relieved because at that point I felt like I was going to pass out. For some reason on that trip, my food hadn't been sitting well in my stomach. To top it off we were parched and burning up in the Texas summer heat. I remember my first thought after walking through the threshold of The House of Blues. Thank God it's air conditioned in here! Immediately, we headed for the bar. Amanda needed a redbull, Gaby needed a vodka redbull, and I needed a beer. While leaning on the bar waiting for my drink, I took a peek around. It was a pretty awesome venue. Not too big. I also noticed that from the bar you could see the stage awesomely. Yep, I'd found my post. I remembered doing the same thing at The Used concert a year before, and I'd gotten wasted. While more fans piled in, Gaby, Amanda, and I talked and bullshitted with the bartenders. We asked them if they got to meet the bands that performed, if they enjoyed their jobs...lots of stuff, really. 

We sparked the interest of one bartender in particular. Before we knew it, he was giving us cups of olives to eat. That turned into giving Amanda free redbulls, giving Gaby free redbull vodkas, and me free beer! Again, I'm not making this up. Before the opening bands even started, Gaby was drunk, Amanda was wired, and I was burping like crazy. I was happy to know that even when the opening band started playing the venue wasn't too packed. I could still see the stage perfectly. The first band was this band called The Architects. I immediately fell in love with them. It's always fun when the opening bands are bands worth listening to. The next band to come up was Circa Survive. Eh, not so great. Perfect time to go smoke a few cigarettes. Throughout their entire set, Gaby, Amanda, and I were making some pretty cool but...strange...friends. I've always wondered if my group of friends are the only normal ones at concerts. Oh, and apparently you're not supposed to wear the band t-shirt of the band you're going to see in concert. Make sense to anyone? Not me. Fuck it. I'll wear what I want. By the end of Circa Survive, I was dying. My anticipation was killing me. I didn't want another beer for fear I'd get too drunk to remember the show. Apparently Gaby didn't care. She was already drunk as fuck. Perfectly fine with me. She's fun as hell when she's drunk. Suddenly, the lights went dim. The crowd started screaming. I was too excited to make noise, but when the beginning to Na Na Na came on, I went crazy.

You must remember, MCR is my ultimate favorite band and they have been for a really long time. I love all FOUR of their albums, especially the new one that they were on tour for. As excited as I was, I was still able to maintain my situational awareness. It was quite amazing how packed the venue got right when MCR started performing. I remember the show like it was yesterday. I was the only one out of the three of us who never left her spot. Amanda would go to the bathroom, Gaby would go smoke, and I would stand right exactly where I was,, not singing. I was screaming every song that they performed. I was jumping up and down, surrounded by a sea of screaming, adolescent MCR fans. I remember Gaby yelling in my ear "I'm sweating like a whore in church," and she was right. We all were. I didn't care. I was having too much fun. The band played for about two and half hours before disappearing off stage. Soon after, the crowd started to clear the venue. The three of us knew better. We took that opportunity to move forward in the crowd. Just as we'd suspected, MCR came out for an encore, and our spots were incredible. Thanks all you crazy fans who thought the show was over!

The Endless Summer

Listening to: Crazy Little Thing Called Love...over, and over, and over again.
Date: 23 June 2011
Time: 9:41 am
Location: Columbia, MO...My sister's couch to be exact.

I've been awake since midnight. Since moving to Missouri, I've been suffering from insomnia. It's strange considering the fact that I used to never have problems sleeping. I could sleep anywhere, anytime, for however long I wanted to. I once slept for twenty hours straight. Since moving to Missouri nearly a month ago, my sleep cycle has been ass backwards and almost non-existent. I blamed the alcohol for my insomnia. Most people sleep like the dead when they're drunk. Not I. It's nearly impossible for me to sleep when I'm drunk. Since moving to Columbia, my alcohol intake has increased drastically. Why wouldn't it? I moved from Florida to Missouri. And I don't just blame that. For anyone who doesn't know, Columbia is a college town. These people are on a whole different level of partying. Anyway, three days ago, I cut alcohol out of my diet in an attempt to regulate my sleep schedule, and it worked day. Soon after, I was prescribed prednisone and a z pack for this ongoing problem with my throat. For the past two months, I've felt something lodged in my throat making it hard for me to swallow. I'm convince it's throat cancer, but the doctor wants to rule out infection. Yeah, doc, I've had a bacterial infection for two months straight without any other symptoms. Go blow yourself. Whatever, I'll be the guinea pig. I just hope that no one finds it inappropriate for the words "I Told You I Was Sick" to be posted on my gravestone. Anyway, I'm on this medication that makes me UNNATURALLY tired, so of course, my sleep schedule is fucked once more. So on top of dying from throat cancer, battling insomnia, then battling these bullshit meds to try and stay awake, attempting to earn money as a waitress who only gets two shifts a week...blah, blah, blah...this is going to be a long summer.

I'm starting this blog to write about my experience in Columbia, Missouri for the summer. So far, not a lot has happened. That's why I'm writing this blog. So I don't lose my FUCKING MIND!!! Also, not only will I be posting my experience with a whole new breed of human being, I will be posting short stories I've written, articles I find interesting, fuming about the world. Sounds like fun, right? No, not really for you. For me, it's how I'm going to survive the summer.