1. Monday, April 24, 2006

    the problem with my storytelling abilities 

    is that i dont always tell the stories that i should. either im too busy drinking new blends of alcohol or im dancing with the wrong girls or im busying myself with fantasy baseball or alternative music or politics or food.

    and when i dont tell the stories that need to be told, other people chime in with their own tales based on a photograph from a cell phone in the shadows after a long a week.

    but we all know that little slivers of time dont always tell the whole tale, so let me fill in the blanks of the love story of dan and ks, particularily for those who dont know.

    once upon a time there was a newspaper in santa barbara called the daily nexus. the Lord named it that as a hint to all those who would earn a paycheck there. “all roads lead here and all roads will lead out,” was His hint.

    nex·us (nĕk’səs) – A means of connection; a link or tie; A connected series or group; The core or center; Latin, from, past participle of nectere, to bind

    dan worked at the nexus right when matt welch and amy langfield and jeff n pat whalen and os tyler and genevive field and stacy sullivan and jeanine natalie and chris scheer and todd francis and jeff solomon and joel brand and chris ziegler and dougie gyro and ben sullivan and jen adams and so many others were graduating, including myself.

    dan was part of the second wave that followed our footsteps beautifully. this included bonnie bills and charlie hornberger and jason ross and brian banks and william torren and scott mcphereson and denis faye and sandra brilliant and don frances and many many more.

    for the exception of jason who went on to write on the daily show the second wave were sweeter and cleaner and more polished and less rough around the edges. oh they had their own ways of being punk rock, but they did it in cuter ways.

    dan smoked in the editorial office but in a different way than adam leibowitz and jeff whalen did. his butts didnt fill ancient mugs with lukewarm coffee. he wore dress shirts and belts. they werent clean but they werent alive either. he never showed up in lipstick. he never showed up with mushrooms. he never was caught in a three way kiss with two punk rock girls in a shower fully dressed.

    none of them did. and if they did it was because one of us gave them the drugs, or dared them to put on the lipstick or suckered the twins to make out with them.

    as time went on many of them moved to prague and then they moved to san francisco and then i moved to san francisco. first i lived with todd where i had a nympho chinese girlfriend then i moved in a huge one bedroom apartment in 24th street with a balcony and a washer dryer in my bathroom and a dishwasher and a fireplace and i was oh so happy. until dans best friend don asked me if i would be interested in moving into a huger victorian on haight street with himself and charlie and ken layne and my hippie buddy mike and dan.

    i said no. no thank you. you all smoke. you all stay up too late. youre all far too into politics. youre all drunkards even by my standards. plus i have all the electronics and theyd all get broken.

    a week later we all lived together at 591 haight street. next to steiner. above a techno record store called tweeker records. and despite that last fact, it was pure heaven.

    dan at the time was dating the lovely laura crane. charlie was sorta with bonnie but not really. ken was single. mike was single. i was single. another gaucho named chris needed somewhere to stay so she and her best friend shira were allowed our little tiny half bedrom to crash in as they looked for an apartment.

    chris would end up being my girlfriend for the better part of five years.

    but before that happened dan soon broke up with laura and ken started having these curious coffees with her. he also started one of the first good websites with charlie, a funny news site called tabliod. the year was 1996 and there was very little on the web, especially daily updated news with a twist. no one knew about the taliban back then and their crazy ways, but 15 feet from my sinful bedroom ken and charlie were up all night telling those tales years before it would make it on the front page of the mainstream media.

    dan and i went out and met girls which wasnt hard since half the dudes in frisco were gay and the other half were working too hard. we had parties at our house and met girls. we went to shows and met girls. and for a little while we thought we would be the happiest bachelors in the world. we were young, i had a company car, we had this great apartment that was impossible to clean, it had just one bathroom, but somehow it was perfect.

    until my true love became my true love and suddenly the party was over for me. that party, at least. but soon dan was introduced to a recent harvard graduate named ks. and when he met her and when i met her and when we all met her we said dan if you fuck this up, well, just dont fuck this up.

    and one day greg and molli got married up in san francisco and i was living in los angeles and i came up to stand up in the wedding and i got to have a nice long talk with ks and she looked like someone from another time. we all did because greg wanted all his groomsmen to dress in country western shirts with col sanders bow ties and my truest wore something from the 20s and ks wore something from the 20s too and os sang beautifully and dan sang beautifully and red meat played country and ks told me about the east coast and i thought to myself, now this isnt a girl who ever showed up with a bag of mushrooms or walked into a newspaper with runny lipstick and look her clothes seem clean too. and look she polished off that bottle of wine with a smile and a wink.

    and she was so smart. not just show off smart but like so many of my friends – cant help it smart. the shit just sticks in there and turns into something better when it spurts out smart. and later that night my truest and i would eat ecstasy and dance next to one of those victorian windows in the wee hours as the hardwood creeked below us and we both said if dan fucks this up, some asshole is gonna get ks and that just wouldnt be right.

    now sometimes things go well and then the lord wants to give you a pop quiz to see how youre doing. and dan wasnt fucking up infact he had a really good job across the bay but then ks got accepted to the best writing program in the southwest. and i believe a scholarship was part of the deal. so dan had to figure out how he was gonna keep this girl, let her go to school, and keep his job.

    so lets pretend that i know the details. lets pretend that i know that he marched into his boss’s office and told him about ks and lets pretend that the boss was all dude if you fuck that shit up… and lets pretend that dan said trust me i dont want to fuck it up infact i want to see how i can move out to austin with her And keep this sweet job i have. and then lets pretend that the boss totally understood and told dan that if he could hold tight for a few months maybe he could work something out.

    but ks didnt have months she had uh month, and dan said go, follow your dream, im gonna make this thing work out, and she went out there alone and dan called her every day and she came back to frisco a lot and after a few months the boss got needled a few more times by dan and after what seemed like forever dan was in charge of a new office that probably wouldnt have existed if ks hadnt been the kickass writer that she is and ended up in austin.

    they moved into a house. they discovered texas sized bugs, a cat named after a junk food, they drove station wagons, they drank hard booze and listened to npr and went to punk rock shows. and don married the girl that he was in love with at the haight house, as did charlie, and ken married laura who he was drinking those coffees with away from the haight house, and my truest and i ended up in LA together. which sorta made that haight house a nexus of sorts. and yes, the original incarnation of tsar, the royal supremes played in our living room, as did chopper one, as did several bands.

    and yes that was the house that i was looking for dan in, during a party, and there were three young ladies with their tops off, and i said oh excuse me, and they said no come on in, and i said first let me get dan, and i couldnt find dan so i had to go in there alone, well not completely alone since i had a shit eating grin to accompany me. so id call it a magical house, of course i would.

    two years ago if you remember i flew to austin to attend my first sxsw and be on my first blogging panel. i was to hang out with dan and ks then but dan was flown to australia on business so i had to hang out with ks for a week. it was clear how in love she was with the old man. the big lug. the happy jack. i told her that there were very few nexites who werent spectacular. or who couldnt write me under a table. and she said one of the nicest compliments id ever heard, she said the nexus could hold its own easilly with the harvard folk. and i put down my joint and said well duh. and we clinked our rums.

    one reason our friends are as close as they are, i believe, is we dont ask each other the tough questions. people dont ask me if i want kids one day, and i dont ask them if theyre ever gonna marry the people theyve been dating for years. several months ago i got a phonecall from dan, which was odd because people email me since i have a habit of throwing the phone at lowriders with bad music booming out of their trunks.

    but dan wanted to tell me the good news. that he hadnt fucked up. that he had done well. that he had asked one of the coolest chicks ever to marry him and she said yes. and id heard him in happy spirits before but it was as if hed just won the lottery, which he had just done, of course. he sounded so happy it was as if he was gonna bust a gut.

    which he did two days before his wedding this sunday. and thats also an interesting tale. see dan smoked. like many of our friends. and about six months ago he was giving blood and the nurse said holy crap your blood pressure is like a thousand over a thousand and dan figured well its gotta be all that smoking and drinking i do, but since drinking only tames the savage beast i better quit smoking. and he did and a few days before his wedding he couldnt sleep and he ended up in the emergency room and they took out his galbladder and the doc said ok your blood pressure is normal now, and dan said fuck so i quit smoking for nothing?

    and the doc said no no, you quit smoking and thats good, now heres a bunch of vicodin, i know youre getting married in a few days, try not to drink much. and dan danced and drank and smiled and that fucker was on his feet as long as i was which was all day and all night.

    which is possible when youre floating on air.

    and yes, chronic dislocator, sometimes the pasty boys get the girl, and sometimes even the losers get lucky sometimes, but sunday the right man got the right woman and the clouds blew the 100 degree temps away and the sun showed up and the little kids were there and merle haggard’s guitar player plucked the six string and tony pierce rocked the dance floor all night, because the best people dont always get to say i do to each other, but sometimes they do. and when the best people do, and when the judge says you may kiss the bride, the best people turn it into a makeout session, because theyre the best.

    and will live happilly ever after.

    charlie taming a butterfly at the wedding