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life after the sonnet

We will not be celebrating today. Never have. Never will. Don't feel bad, it's certainly not because we don't like each other anymore. I suppose it's because we choose our silly and meaningless traditions a little more selectively than most people. Please don't take offense, if you are into it, that's great. All I am saying is that you will not catch us running out at the last minute to pick up a heart shaped box of tasteless chocolates to compliment the over priced card we already purchased. You know the ones, emblazoned with the most saccharine sweet lines of generic prose you can get your mitts on! Nope, not gonna do it. Call me an asshole if you want. Call me a party pooper. Or better yet, tell me it doesn't have to be generic. Tell me to be creative; do something different. Something from the heart. Sorry, I still say no way. I call bullshit on the whoooole thing.

Before we go any further I think I should make it clear, I do not fault anyone for wanting to make a big deal about how much they love someone. However, I personally cannot subscribe to this totally untruthful version of it. Unfortunately for me, I am the minority. I should probably shut the hell up, put on my happy face and buy that fucking hot pink teddy bear already.


I have to believe there is some underlying reason why people feel they need to act as though love only comes from some syrup factory in lala land. But who is to blame? I suppose blaming media is the easy way out. Not to mention, it is probably exactly what you would expect from someone rambling on about not buying into the commercialization of love. So, even at the risk of sounding cliche, I am gonna do it. I am going to point the finger, because I am fairly certain I have found the culprit. The root of all this nonsense!

 So I blame you, fictitious English gentleman. It has to be you. You and your PBS good looks (whatever that means). So dapper. Sooooo charming! You, with your impeccable grammar, spewing out old world poetry so effortlessly; and totally from memory. Ugh. Living all cozy in your Edwardian manor! Damn you! Or what if you are not a gentleman at all? Maybe came from the total boot end of the social hierarchy. Perhaps you are a servant, or just a nobody peasant (but with charisma and dashing good looks, obviously). You always start as a victim of circumstance, only to find yourself in the throes of passion with the most improbable lover. I really don't know how you do it! Even I want to love you! But I can't, you won't let me! No matter what end of the scale you are on, it always ends the same. Everyone is wildly in love. But, you always leave before we can truly be together. You always have to go and get cholera, or sink to the depths on a doomed ship headed for the new world. Or you head off to war, and you have the nerve to not return. Well, it needs to stop!

You sir(s) are really screwing things up. People are crazy for your stories. But, they are only getting half of it. These far fetched tales of the fiery, wild eyed love are useless if you never get to see it through. I wish for once you would come back from the great beyond to finish what you started. I need you to finish the story.

I need you to come back and make a few more episodes, maybe write another chapter. I need to know about the first time you see Milady workin' some sort of undergarment that looks as though, it too, died in the war. I need to know about her reaction to the first time she experiences the aftermath of you over indulging at the Fancy Pants ball. Does she clean you up, and take you home? Do you run out of things to gush over? What happens after all the newness wears off? I am asking, because you never quite get there.

I can't really blame anyone. People love to parade around with pretty ideas, myself included. At times, it certainly can seem more romantic to leave out the grittier parts, and just believe half the story. This is where my problem lies. Those times in a relationship are great. So new and passionate. But don't so may relationships start that way? Just try and tell me that you can't think of at least one person who you wouldn't feel too bad about never seeing again, with whom you spent some really good times with. Just think about that for a minute. Would it still make for a good story? I say no! Good god, no!

 It doesn't have to be this way. There has to be a way we can all express how we feel without selling ourselves short. I believe you should show your love everyday. I could probably even get behind the idea of Valentines day, as long as we all agreed to be a little more honest about it from here on out.

So, to get the ball rolling, I have come up with some ideas for the aforementioned cards that are a little more honest.

I like your sweatpants, Valentine!

Thanks for loving me, even after that one thing.

Wake up, Valentine!

I picked you up some of beef jerky, Sweetheart!

I'm sweet on you, because you remembered to brush!

Life after the sonnet. Love that will last, despite the grit. Now that, I will celebrate.



little spade on the prairie.

 You ever find yourself sitting on the couch all alone, late at night, watching Frontier House while saying to yourself, "Yes, this! This, is the answer"? That's a stupid question, of course you do. It's o.k, don't feel dumb, I totally do it too. Really, how you could not want to? It is seriously difficult to not fantasize about the idea of living in that beautiful microcosm of work, life and community. They blend so seamlessly into one tight little package. So simple, and perfect. I suppose that is why it makes for good television. It's right there in front of you, yet totally unattainable.

I  imagine it should not bother me too much that living in the past is not an option. I really do appreciate the luxuries of refrigeration and running water. Not to mention dysentery! God, I hate dysentery! The more I think about it, the more I think the past is a really dangerous place to live. Damn, It seemed so nice.

My mind has been living in the past a lot lately; specifically in regards to community. I have spent so much time mourning the ones I used to know that I have failed to make room for anything else to move in. I've gone from active musician, fun time connoisseur,  and general supporter of random goodness, to  a sleep deprived busy dad,  and generally grouchy old guy who randomly goes to shows and leaves before your band plays. Needless to say, this has been a really tough pill to swallow. So, I ask you. Is there life after Rock and Roll?

Well, not really after Rock and Roll. There really is no such thing. But there has to be some sort of happy medium. The perfect storm is what I am after. Equal parts Charles Ingalls and Lemmy Kilmister. Well, minus the church on Sundays, and the gnarly cocoa puff facial growths, but everything else. I can see it now, "Overkill Acres" or perhaps "Fast and Loose Farm"! Just tell me you wouldn't  want to come and hang out with me there!

And I really hope you will. Because, this is an invitation.

I know I am not the only one out there feeling as though I have been ostracized from what I love, while at the same time thinking perhaps my isolation was a voluntary act of the subconscious. For the sake of progress, of course. Maybe I am reading to far into it. All I know is that living as though I am still a pillar of youth and rebellion is not suiting me so well. I'm finally going to have to pass that torch.

This is certainly not to say that I am throwing in the towel. Not at all. I like to think of it as the next logical step for people like us. Just not exactly sure what that means yet. All I know is that right now, a little sunshine, my boys and the thought of our little plot getting closer every day makes me happy, and right now that's all I need. So, I may not know where we are going, but when we get there, I want you to know you are welcome any time.

                                       - J