Month: November 2011

Country Strife.

I never thought this would happen to me. It’s like I’ve been bitten by a radioactive spider, except there are no cool superpower side effects, but instead, I’m just tortured by longing for something I’ve spent most of my life hating. I hate to say it, and really I am so embarrassed to do so, but I think I may love country music.

I know, I know. It’s awful! Of all ailments to take me over this early in life, this one is definitely at the bottom of my list. I cannot believe this is actually happening to me.

I think my disdain for country music stems from a long childhood full of it. Most of my memories as a youngin’ are accompanied by a little country twang singing in the background. My step-dad was an avid country fan and there wasn’t anything any of us kids could do to escape it. Every time we got in the car it was his favorite country CD or his favorite county station. When we would try to protest he would look at us and smile, “My car, my rules. When you get old enough to drive and you have your own car, you can choose what we listen to.”

That smile said it all. It was the smile of a deranged kidnapper who knew every move he made would only torture our souls even more. The pain! The agony!

My mom did everything she could to counteract this deep exposure to country music. She took her parenting very seriously when inundating us with the usual classic rock figureheads. She even created a game we would all play when we got in the car with her. She’d flip on the classic rock radio station and the first person to shout out the name of the artist got a point. Long car rides up the coast turned into battlefields with “the game”. My mom and older brother ruled at it. They even passed on the good game-playing skills to my little sister. It skipped me. I was too busy in the back seat listening to The Backstreet Boys on my CD player.

Between the over-exposure to classic rock and the hammering of old country dudes like John Hiatt and Hal Ketchum in my head, I was adamant about liking crappy tween pop. N*Sync, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, 98 Degrees… I had it all. Not only was I hell-bent on listening to over-produced and over-synthed late 90s pop, I vehemently detested the genres pushed on me as a child.

I have spent 75% of my life cursing the very foundation of every country song I have ever heard. No, I don’t care about the barbecue stain on your white t-shirt or how some girl is “killing you” in a mini-skirt. I don’t wanna hear about your Nascar races, I don’t care about your farm your parents own or the old dirt road you drive down in your rusted Chevrolet while you drink beer (which is illegal to do while driving, don’t forget that) and chew on a long piece of straw. Your ten-gallon hat is not cute, I don’t like your boots and your tobacco chew is grossing me out.

I’ve been singing that tune for a long time.

I am very serious about my distaste for this kind of music. When I visit my aunt and uncle in Texas, I do everything I can to avoid any exposure to it. My uncle loves to blast country tunes on the radio while he does yard work and when he’s inside, the CMT countdown is playing in the middle of the living room for all to hear.  I’d grit my teeth and get by, being thankful they open their home to me while I visit and knowing I have no place to dictate what plays on the radio.

This past summer, however, something strange happened. My uncle Billy and I were lazily lounging on the couch watching the CMT countdown when “Homeboy” by Eric Church came on. I found myself, dare I say it, enjoying the music. And if that wasn’t enough, even worse, and I can barely bring myself to even write the words, I found myself logging onto YouTube later that night to hear the song again… and again. I couldn’t believe myself. Something was coming over me.

The next thing I knew it, I was home in my apartment downloading my favorite country songs I heard while I was spending my week in Texas. I couldn’t believe myself but there was no denying it: I was starting to like country music.

It was all downhill from there.

I saw the movie “Country Strong” and not only did I love it, I downloaded the soundtrack and listened to it on repeat for a week. When it came out on DVD I ran to Target and bought it. The last time I bought a DVD was 2007.

The day after I turned 21, the first place I wanted to go was In Cahoots. I found myself digging through my closet looking for my “most country” outfit and pulling up to the bar at 6 p.m. to make sure I was there early enough for the free line dancing lessons.

I am longing for a pair of cowboy boots. I drove all the way to Temecula just for more line dancing and I even had my friend make me a 50 song playlist with her favorite country jams on it.

It’s not enough that I’m letting country music and line dancing take over my life, it’s the fact that when I listen to country music, or when I’m line dancing, I feel like I’ve been transported into a world of pure bliss. I’m not sure if it’s because it reminds me of my Texas family who I love so much, or what but I can’t kick this country habit.

I’m like a junkie.

Who am I? What have I become?

I don’t know how this happened to be. I don’t know why this is happening. I don’t know how to get rid of it from my brain. But I am embarrassed. I am confused. I am in a constant funk.

And the only thing that could fix this discomfort I’m feeling is a nice tall cold glass of beer, a slide guitar and some really cute boots I found at Boot Barn.


An open letter.

Dear Christmas,

Hey buddy. How are things? I wanted to write to you and find out why you’re trying to steal my thunder. Like, I get it. You’re the son of god’s birthday (which is totally bigger than P.Diddy’s white party) but I’m just asking for a little breathing room. Some time to shine. First of all, there are a bunch of problems with the way we celebrate you in the first place. A strange man shimmies down the world’s chimney, puts a bunch of presents under some pine-needly tree that really makes a total mess of any room they’re in, then peaces out but not until he’s eaten your food, left a bunch of sooty footprints on your carpet and made your dogs bark like he’s the postman walking a pack of German Shepherds. Someone needs to explain to me why the second Halloween wraps up, everyone gets a week to get over their sugar comas and then starts listening to “Jingle Bells” and “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” (which everyone fails to remember is about a sexual advance that is of questionable intent), drinking out of red Starbucks cups and decking out their patios with red and green icicle lights.

Where’s my recognition? I’m the one day of the year where it is not only socially acceptable, but also encouraged, to binge eat and then pass out on the couch and watch football. Like seriously, I am every man’s fantasy. Forget busty women in a bikini, I’m the one who’s letting you eat till you can’t breathe and then watch sports for the rest of the evening while your wives and girlfriends clean up your mess. I mean, hello? What more do I have to do to get a little respect?

It’s not enough that I feel totally unappreciated at the beginning of November, when it’s finally my month, but imagine if it was you, and I remembered your birthday a week before. I forgot to throw anything together because I was too focused on my other friend’s birthday (we’ll call him Jesus) and instead, just called up Honeybaked Ham, asked them to throw together a nice muffin basket and just sent it on over. Then, a month later, you saw me throw together the most show-stoppingly awesome party of all time and you feel horribly left out and you sit and wonder why your friend Jesus got such an awesome party when all you got was a measly muffin basket. Well I’ve had it.

I get it; a lot of people may debate my legitimacy. Sure, my roots may have been founded on being an unwelcomed guest to a party, taking the credit for a giant meal that wasn’t even cooked by my people but tradition is tradition, man. A guy can only feel so helpless. I can’t help the way I was created. I can’t help if you disagree. I am a product of my circumstances. People wore hats with buckles back then. Everyone was dying of smallpox. Shit was crazy. Like Mama Monster said: I’m on the right track, baby, I was born this way.

I even tried to spice it up by arranging this giant parade in New York City. What could be better than 50-foot balloons in the shape of your favorite characters floating down 7th Avenue? Yeah, the road closures are kind of a bitch but I’m doing the best I can here. I can’t really fix all the world’s problems like that guy in the red suit claims he can. Plus, you get to see Al Roker in mittens and a fedora and honestly, what’s more adorable than that? The Thanksgiving Day parade is one of the best standing traditions to ever exist. And no, don’t tell me the Rose Parade is better because it’s not. Floats made of flowers? Whatever. You don’t have Kanye West rapping on a Build-A-Bear Workshop float riding down the middle of the street while grown men in animal suits holding ribbon wands prance in circles and throw glitter at the people that have woken up and stood outside to watch at least four days in advance. As far as parades go, I’ve got this one on lock.

Give me a little credit, okay? I deserve more excitement than just a week’s notice. Quit arguing over where I’m gonna be celebrated, only invite over the people you know will bring those incredible sweet potatoes with brown sugar on top (non of that marshmallow shut, we’re not communists) and sit back, eat until you can’t think straight, get all loopy on tryptophan and remember how great I am.

I can tell you what’s not great: having to explain to your five year old why dad’s handwriting look’s a lot like “Santa’s”, telling your kids to bake cookies to leave out when you’re just going to eat them yourself (only proliferating this grand illusion) and having to lug out that bushy tree before you start bleeding over onto Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.

Can we just relax for a minute? Can we show my boy Squanto some love? (you know Jacob from “Twilight”? He’s like that guy only like, fifty times hotter. Trust me. We hang out). I mean, the nation has even done me a favor and waited until the day after to start officially shopping for you (except damn, this year some stores are really pushing it and opening the doors at midnight. It’s like, come on, give me a break) so can you at least wait until then to start decorating and selling things at an unreasonably low price?

In closing, all I’m asking for is a little credit. You’re like the Michael Jordan of holidays. You’re everyone’s favorite. Even the non-Christians (shout out to Diwali). Don’t shove yourself down our throats. We like you, just let some of us other holidays get some. I heard Veteran’s Day has been in counseling for like four score and seven years. Can you just wait to put out your decorations up until I’ve had my time in the spotlight?

Gobble gobble, bitches. Pilgrim out.

The dawn of a new era.

I’ve had blogs before. I’ve had Myspace, AIM (including an embarrassing Buddy Profile in which there was a tab in there where I simply LISTED MY FRIENDS [and by friends I mean every person I could think of when I was a 12 year old sitting at my computer] because I thought it was important to have one single column of names to show everyone who looked how many friends I had), Xanga (omg, remember that?!), Blogspot, Tumblr, Facebook, you name it. I am a social media whore.

But now it’s time to get serious.

As serious as a sassy southern California beezy can be, that is.

Some people go to medical school, trade school or even clown school to find their niche in the world, but at 21 years old, I’m pretty sure this is my end-game. And I’m totally okay with it. Because what better way to get away with bitching and complaining in fragmented-yet-totally-sensical (is that even a word? who cares. this is my post and I’ll do what I want)-and-hilarious sentences than on a blog?

Let me first say, before you roll your eyes, which I’m pretty sure you’re in the midst of doing (unless you’re like me and have perfected the fasted-eye-roll-in-the-west eye-roll like me. It’s like, one of my greatest specialties), that I know you don’t care about my blog. I’m not one of those pretentious assholes that thinks what I have to say is the greatest thing since Mama Monster’s latest rant about gay marriage and being “born this way”. All I’m saying is that sometimes the world can be mean, cruel and utterly and irreverently hilarious and if we can’t whine about the it, then we have to just deal with living in it. And there’s NOTHING funny about that.

So come along for the ride. I promise you won’t be disappointed.