Sunday, October 12, 2008

Why researching a family background is important before impregnating a woman

This whole year has been pure hell. In this case, I am not speaking on a global scale but a personal one. A couple of years ago I did what I swore I would never do. Get a girl pregnant. These things happen and I've taken full responsibility for my actions, and I got a great little girl out of the whole ordeal so I'm not complaining. At least I'm not complaining about the kid. In fact, she is basically everything I could ever want out of life neatly wrapped up in a diaper. No, the problem lies with the family. For the past 6 months I have been denied access to seeing my little girl. I had spent most of my days off this year at this families home visiting my kid and, for the most part, things went smoothly, though it was always somewhat tense. The woman I impregnated lived with her mother and father (whom I just discovered have been divorced for 4 years!) along with her son and my daughter. Several months ago, much to my relief and overwhelming approval, this woman started dating a guy who began living there as well. Mental problems in this family are as common as arguing over who should do the dishes in most functional homes. The father is a diagnosed psychotic, the mother an overbearing bully, and my baby mama has more skeletons in her closet than O.J. Simpson. Out of the blue, and for no reason, I was told not to come back until "they say it is okay". When a few months passed and I had heard NOTHING from any of these people I hired a lawyer to acquire basic visitation rights for my daughter. Then, within a couple of months time, all hell broke loose. Fighting within that household apparently reached epic levels and my daughter was carted off to Florida with her mom and her mom's boyfriend. This was not with my blessing, and with a pending court date, therefor it was against the law. Now I am caught between a fight I had nothing to do with, both parties trying to win my alliance. The problem is, both parties are LYING to me about numerous things. Therefor I am faced with a serious I make enemies with the whole family or just half of it? All I want is to see my little girl again. I got to see her briefly last week when her mother and her bf tried to win me over on them going to Florida. I told them to wait until we could discuss our arrangements with my lawyer and they did not. Add onto this death threats from the father of the household, who does like his guns, and my level of anxiety is reaching dangerous highs. In the middle of it all, though, are two young impressionable children who deserve the best life can give them, yet have had their worlds thrown into turmoil by a family dispute.

I grew up in a fairly well established and functional middle class family. We were not without our issues and occasional dysfunctional hiccups, but we were raised right and our current lives reflect that. To be dealing with this level of insanity, which I am actually playing down in this blog, is a staggering blow to my world view. I cannot believe that people would think of themselves more than the children they are raising. I would give my life for my daughter, and would not deny her my best at providing a stable household. These people seem to feed off of negativity and violent arguments. Everybody wants it THEIR WAY and nobody is willing to compromise. I have tried to provide a voice of reason to this family and it is always met with strife. Ultimately, I may very well end up with more than basic visitation rights. Each side is going to smear each other in court until the judge sees neither party fit to raise a child. I worry about her son, since he doesn't have a father to go to. I was told his father was abusive but I have a feeling he just ran off one day when he realized that he would have to deal with these crazy fucking people. I'm not going to go down so easily. My daughter is my world and I'll be damned if I will let these people fuck with my world. So I may be making some enemies in the coming weeks, what with the hearing date quickly approaching and all, but with the right kind of luck, I'll get to be the most prominent influence on my daughters life. God help her if I'm not.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hurricanes in Ohio? You gotta be fucking KIDDING me!

So Sunday was different. After finishing up at my parents house Sunday morning (I go there after I get off of work to...basically dick around online) I headed home on what seemed to be your average afternoon. It was cloudy, but rain wasn't expected until later in the evening. I got ready for bed, making sure to take an extra shot of Nyquil since I STILL have fucking bronchitis, and threw in a cd some kid gave me at work. As I felt my self drifting off to the soothing sounds of brutal death metal, the power suddenly went out. Damn, I thought, this cd must be cursed. Then I heard a sound outside of my window akin to someone throwing a bag of nails against the house. Seconds later the power was back on so I re-set my clock and began to drift off again. That is when I heard the winds. They were noticeably more fierce than what I am used to, but the Nyquil was kicking in and there was no turning back. Upon waking from what may have been the best sleep I've had in six months, my roommate asked me if I was home when the storm began. I told him I was but just caught the beginning of it as I went to sleep. "Did we get a lot of rain?" I asked completely oblivious to what went on that afternoon. He just laughed and said no. Then he told me to look outside. What I saw stopped me in my tracks. My nice little suburban neighborhood had been reduced to a mess of uprooted trees, damaged homes, and darkness. My house, as well as a couple of houses next to mine, were the only ones with power. All street lights were out except the one directly adjacent to our yard. Since I was still awakening from my drug induced slumber, my only thought was "shit...stormed like a motherfucker."

On my way to work, the full extent of the days insanity began to ring clear. Town was GONE! Basically the entirety of the city was left in darkness. Including my work. My boss flagged me down with a flashlight and basically told me to hold down the fort until the power came back on. It wasn't long before all the businesses around me had power. Before that, the only light I saw were the flashing red and blues of police cruisers and the headlights of other motorists. Nothing around me was visibly damaged, but trees were basically torn apart and limps, branches, and sometimes entire trees were scattered about throughout town. A few hours after my arrival at work, the lights finally came back on. Soon after that my registers were up and running so customers swarmed the store. To say it was my busiest night at work ever is an understatement. People were coming from an hour and a half away just to get ice, as we were the first town off of the highway that had electricity. It was the customers who told me exactly what went down, since I managed to sleep through the entire thing. Hurricane Ike had ravaged most of Ohio. The majority of people from Columbus to Cincinnati had no power at all.

Typically, when a hurricane makes its way inland, it loses most of its power and becomes a storm cell much like your typical spring thunderstorm. Sometimes it is accompanied by heavy rains, and even tornado like weather. What it hardly ever does is STAYS a fucking hurricane. Well, in many areas, category 1 winds swept across the lands and just fucked shit up. Nobody was prepared, including the news stations as some of them lost power. Many people, as of this writing still do not have power. The electric companies are telling them they may not have any for the rest of the week. Therefor, I am getting my ass handed to me in a plastic bag at work. Most of what I am selling is coffee. I have never worked so hard these past two days as I have just trying to keep the coffee pots full. If this isn't a sign of the oncoming zombie apocalypse...what is??? Fucking HURRICANES! IN OHIO!! Thankfully, the death toll was very low. The only ones who died were crushed by falling trees...which is something I can only imagine witnessing in person. It just goes to show, you can never be fully prepared for everything this world can throw at you.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The People of this Country.....

Last week, John McCain announced Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska, as his choice for a running mate in the upcoming election. The decision was a clear ploy to take votes away from Barrack Obama, who has been faltering a bit with women voters. Many voters in this country had hopes for Hillary Clinton, much of them women, so when McCain announced a woman as his choice for VP it seemed to me as an insult to the intelligence of the women of this country. Evidently, if the AP is to be believed, I was wrong. Many women are indeed planning on voting for McCain because he chose Palin. It has come to light that Ms. Palin has some skeletons in her closet, though I must admit that calling her out on these issues should not be the focus. No, what SHOULD be the issue here is noting certain facts about the actual choice McCain made. He wanted Leibermann or Romney, but the delegates wouldn't let him pick either, so he chose someone who has been in politics for less than two years. A Fox News analyst, always a beacon for intelligence, noted that she has more experience in foreign policy than Obama since she lives in Alaska which is "right up there next to Russia". As a fairly lax democrat myself, who does agree with the republican party on a few issues, watching these events unfold is akin to watching a train wreck from afar. When I read that women voters are now flocking to McCain, I began to ponder whether or not the women of this country are even using their brains anymore. I know, that sounds like a sexist statement. Well, there is almost no other way to put it. I refuse to believe this news. John McCain is 77 years old. He could drop dead at any time and we would be left with Ms. Palin as our president. Do you really want a woman with less than two years in politics as a possible president of this country? A woman who, on a national news station, stated that she is still waiting for "someone to tell her what it is a Vice President does"? This is a very important election for this country. We are coming off the heals of what has been the biggest disaster in presidential history, and people are going to vote for a man who agrees with said disastrous president on almost every issue simply because he chose a female running mate. Honestly, if this cheap and insulting political ploy actually fools the voters of this country, I am moving the fuck out. I am living on what most would consider the poverty level here in America. Never in my life have I struggled to survive more than I have these last eight years. Change? You bet your fucking ass I want change.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

They Came, They Saw, They Kicked Its Ass!

Normal people don't call professional ghost hunters to investigate their house. Even fewer normal people do the same to investigate their brother's house when their brother doesn't even believe in ghosts. I did. I am far from normal. This past Saturday, Midwest Paranormal Researchers showed up at my brothers house at roughly 8:45pm. Immediately exceeding my expectations, they showed up in a truck plastered with decals of their sponsors, and a whole slew of equipment. And then more vehicles showed up, with more investigators and equipment! These guys were the real deal. Immediately I thought I had made a mistake. Sure, I hear bumps in the night aplenty there, but what if they debunked all of my claims and made me look like an ass? Well, my fears were put to rest as soon as the team introduced themselves to me. Complete professionals and absolutely great people, these guys and gals give TAPS a run for their money. Even my brother, who visibly loathed the idea of sharing his Saturday night with a bunch of "ghost fuckers" was taken aback by the team. He was out there, along with his dogs and his girlfriend, fascinated by the whole scene. I gave them a brief tour of the house and recanted all of the unexplained instances to them. All of the equipment they set up is seen on the show Ghost Hunters on SciFi Network. Cameras were set up in all appropriate areas of the house and yard, and they broke up into teams to search various areas. Taking a non-evasive approach, my brother, his girlfriend, and I all sat in the living room and drank our beer undisturbed while we watched them work. Frequently we went outside to watch those teams and check out the monitors of the teams working in the house. It wasn't long before something happened. The two main investigators were in the basement asking questions to the "ghosts" and snapping pictures. On the monitor, I noticed them taking pictures of the same corner over and over. Then, without warning, one of them BOLTED up the stairs. They immediately showed us the pictures they took. Every other one, in spite of using flash, was blackened out. Only a vague image of the corner and what appeared to be a shape in the center could be seen. Then, one of the pictures had a bright light appear just left of center. They tried to debunk it and couldn't. There was nothing to reflect off of, and these cameras were not acting up. Something had manifested in the picture. The very moment it did, one of the investigators began to feel very uneasy. He dashed up the stairs, certain that he was being "chased". Meanwhile, out in the yard at the edge of my brothers remote property, another investigator saw a "large cat" like shadow dart up a tree. Looking up, it was gone. This went right along with my claims of seeing shadowy animals in the yard that vanish before my eyes. Another picture taken in the yard shows what looks like smoke appearing from thin air. No one was smoking and the investigator was alone. This I also see often in the yard. Some EMF spikes also occurred, as well as a few of the team members feeling generally uneasy at times. Unfortunately, the team had to be out of there much earlier than they normally would have so my brother could get to bed. The investigation lasted roughly 3 and a half hours and the team seemed to have a great time. The rest of us did too. You can see the many photos they took on their myspace profile, as well as read a blog on their side of the events. They have told me they want to come back and do a more thorough investigation so hopefully I can talk my brother into it, though it is doubtful. He is now afraid to go into his own basement thanks to me :)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Oh Metallica, How I Loath Thee

The band you see to the left there is Metallica. They are the band that I grew up with, the sole human beings who opened my eyes to the world of heavy metal. Before Maiden, before In Flames, before all there was Metallica. No, I'm not saying they were before any metal band in existence, I'm talking on a small scale here. With my measly $10 I had saved up I went out and bought my first honest to god album at the tender age of 5 (and no, I'm not exaggerating...this is how it happened.) That album, fairly new at the time, was "Kill Em All". Then I discovered other metal bands, like Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies, and Anthrax. My brother was the Maiden fanatic. I preferred the heavier end back then, and Metallica were the epitome of heavy. When "Master of Puppets" came out, it seemed that perfection had been reached. Nobody thought that Metallica could top this masterpiece of metal. So, alas, Cliff Burton died and so did Metallica. They didn't top "Master of Puppets", and, after one acceptible album called "....And Justice For All" something horrible happened. Bob Rock entered the life of the four already seasoned metallers, and one of the most popular albums by any band of any genre was created. I fucking hated it. This was NOT thrash, it was NOT fucking Metallica! Who was this country singer on vocals? Where were the fast paced songs, the ripping guitar solos, and who gave Kirk a wah pedal? Many people think Metallica started with this "Black Album", as it came to be known. Those people should be punched repeatedly in the face. Okay, actually somebody just needs to play them "Puppets" or "Lighting" and show them what Metallica really sound like. Anyway, I'm getting a bit off track here. After "The Black Album" came "Load". At this point, I still considered Metallica to be my favorite band. I hated the "Black Album" but I refused to admit it. "Load" was the last straw. "The Memory Remains" was the first single and it made me want to vomit. It was like something off of the last album, only even WORSE! I tore down my Metallica posters and replaced them with Maiden posters. What had I been thinking? Metallica over Iron Fucking Maiden? I was shamed. "Re-Load" was, astonishingly, even worse than "Load". "S&M" was like a Spinal Tap parody of heavy metal, "Garage Inc." seemed like Metallica were actually making fun of themselves when they recorded "Garage Days re-visited" and lets not even get started on "St. Anger". At this point, the band were a joke to me. Selloutica was a popular phrase when speaking of Metallica. A couple years ago, it was rumored that the band was talking to Rick Rubin, super producer of bands like Slayer Cash. Rubin has credibility. He helped hone the sound of thrash as we know it with Slayer's album "Reign in Blood". Somewhere, deep deep inside of me, something stirred. At first I thought it was a tapeworm, or the onset of the green apple splatters, so I ignored it. Earlier this year, Metallica started talking about the new album. Word began to spread that this was a true return to form for the band. I wasn't buying it, because they said the same shit about "St. Anger" and that was the worst album of their carreer. Still, I felt that stirring again. Months passed, fake songs appeared, and then the clips began to pop up online. Little snippets of guitar solos, something completely absent from their last album, and thrashy riffs. The stirring grew stronger. It didn't matter. NO MORE would I let this band take my money, or hold my interest. Fuck Metallica. FUCK METALLICA! They were the greatest, and they took their fans money and wiped their asses with it. Last month, the band played Ozzfest and tried out one of the new songs to the crowd. It was called "Cyanide" and, though it had a couple of decent riffs and a nifty harmony, it was NOT a return to form. I smiled. And then, the completely unthinkable. Thursday night of this past week I jumped in my truck to go buy a six pack. A strange song began playing on a popular radio station as I made my trek. I knew immediately who it was. I don't know how, as it didn't really SOUND like them, but I knew it was Metallica. I couldn't get out of the truck. I sat in that fucker for almost 8 minutes in the parking lot of the gas station as I intently listened to this song. My jaw could not close. It started mellow, yet was completely listenable. James still sounded like a country singer, but the words he sang were actually sticking with me. Then, about half way through the song, it just BLEW THE FUCK UP!! Now THIS WAS FUCKING METALLICA!!! I couldn't help it. I sat there, in the parking lot of a Circle K, and headbanged my ass off. People stared, but I didn't give a shit. The song "The Day That Never Comes" knocked me flat on my ass. It sounded like nothing the band had done before, yet was a culmination of everything they had done. And it was perfection. Like finding God, I had come full circle and my love for the band that had defined my entire life was restored. Metallica is the Gold Standard. They are the essence of heavy metal and the power it has. Fuck. Looks like they are getting my money again. Behold. Metallica.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Metal in the Days of Yore

In many circles around town, I am known as "Metal Dave". I would like everyone to believe this name derives from my having a metal plate in my head due to the shrapnel hit I took in the war, but this is not actually the case. Wars don't often come to Ohio, I've noticed. No, this is actually a name bestowed upon me by those who consider me their intellectual superior in the field of heavy metal knowledge. Many a metalhead would consider this a true virtue, but it is really just a reflection of my not having a life outside of my own direct interests.

I often have people come to me with questions about a particular band or genre. A couple weeks ago, a young kid of about 16 years asked me if I'd ever heard of Napalm Death. I actually laughed believing this child to be joking with me. He then revealed that he had bought one of their albums and thought it was really good. This young metal Jedi in training was birthed from the school of modern deathcore, a hybrid of death metal and hardcore, and had no idea that there are a number of bands who came before his who were direct influences. There would be no Suicide Silence, Job For a Cowboy, Annotations of an Autopsy, if there were not a Napalm Death, Cannibal Corpse, or Carcass. So I sat the lad down and schooled his ass on the forefathers of this music he holds so dear. We spoke of Death, Necrophagia, Morbid Angel, Cynic, and even Bathory. Of those bands, the kid had heard of Morbid Angel. He then geared the conversation towards Municipal Waste, a new band he thinks are pretty rad. I asked him if he ever listened to Exodus. His response was that he had never heard of them. So I told him of The Big Four (Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, and Slayer) and all of the smaller but equally influential bands that popped up in the early-late 80's. With the resurgence of gritty, old school thrash metal, it was a perfect time to introduce the child to Razor, Slaughter, DBC, Sepultura, Kreator, Sodom, and a number of other bands he may not have been familiar with. The kid had no idea that Sepultura were even a band in the 80's! So, with a list in his hand, I sent the young one home to scour Myspace for the bands I had told him of. A few hours later (and well past curfew) the kid showed back up enlightened. He now knew more about metal than any of the kids in his band (which, I might add, sound a hell of a lot like At The Gates...a band they had ALL heard of.)

So, to all the budding metalheads young and old, I plea for you to dig deep into the genre, and ye shall be enlightened to the fullest extent! For every kickass band you discover on Myspace, there is likely a band much like them who broke up twenty years ago! This is not a new movement, it is just one which never truly goes away.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ghost Hunters to Investigate my Brothers House!

Anybody who knows me is well aware that, since I was young, I have been interested in the paranormal. This interest was spawned by the certainty that the house I grew up in was haunted. This certainty was solidified once I moved into the basement of said house and experienced multiple episodes of unexplained phenomena. I won't go into the nut meat of that story here, but instead want to talk about the house that my brother moved into several years ago. The house is old. We don't know the year it was built, but it had to have been sometime during the close of the 19th century. The land it sits on was once a battleground between multiple native American tribes and General George Rogers Clark waaay back in...whenever the fuck that happened. Since he has moved in, friends and I have had personal experiences ranging from hearing footsteps up the stairs in the middle of the night to seeing lurking shadow people darting through the trees at the edge of his acre and a half yard. The experiences far outweigh the doubt in my mind as well as most of my friends who have stayed there with me. The only person not buying it is my brother, who I might add considers Men in Black to be the scariest movie ever made. Only once has he told me that I may be right, when he heard tapping on his window at three in the morning to find noone there. My brothers doubt is clearly caused by his unwillingness to accept the fact that ghosts might exist, and in his own house to boot. So, with his best interests in mind (hehehe) I contacted a prestigious group of paranormal researchers to investigate his house. They have set a date for late next month! My brother astonishingly agreed to let this happen so I will keep you all (ehm...I mean Rob) posted on what, if anything, they find! Watch this space!