A Clusterfuck..

As a child, we frequently sat in the basement of my grandparent’s house and watched slide shows. My father and my grandparents would tell me stories about random vacations, funny anectdotes, etc. In those slides, my father would show his slides of concerts he went to. Alice Cooper’s ‘Welcome to My Nightmare’ tour and KISS and things like that. I was immediately intrigued by the theatrics and the gimmick.

A few years ago, while flipping through J’s Terrorizer magazine, I see this piece about a band from Sweden. There stood a man with a ghastly face, dressed as a black pope, surrounded by five hooded figures. “Who the fuck is this band?” I asked.

“That’s Ghost,” I am told. “I hear good things, but I haven’t actually listened yet. They’re totally on the list.”

A week later, we lose power in the middle of cooking dinner. So we venture outward. On the radio, some lady interviews ‘A Nameless Ghoul’ and then ‘Year Zero’ comes on. Instant cartoon hearts. A male chorus kicks in with “Belial, Behemoth, Beelzebub / Asmodeus, Satanas, Lucifer…” a pause and then boom! It was dramatic. It was dark and yet not what I was expecting. Not in the least.

I was excited about music for the first time in a very long time. There were bands that I had discovered and enjoyed thoroughly and it kills me to say this, truly, but they didn’t have the same effect on me that Ghost did. It’s kind of like when you fall in love: your heart beats a little faster when you see that person, your stomach prepares for Olympic Gymnastic tryouts, everything feels electric, your knees turn to pudding and you melt into a pile of goop.

I was in love with Ghost.

I loved what Ghost represented. There was mystery. There was a solid concept. There was a demonstration of thought and care that had gone into the formation, which isn’t really seen that much these days. When I saw Ghost for the first time, I pondered what it was like for my dad to see KISS or Alice Cooper for the first time. Though he’s been gone for (holy fuck!) almost six years, I felt connected to him again. Would I have been able to, despite the imagery and lyrics, sway him over to Ghost? I really wish I had had the chance. The madid love rock ‘n’ roll.

We saw them live.  It was October 2015. We saw them at the Roseland Theater.  Between watching each Ghoul play, each with his own mannerisms, body language and flourishes and watching Papa Emeritus captivate an entire audience was somehow otherworldly. Their performance was tight. It was flawless.

We traveled to Vegas (in which I learned that there is a clinic in the McCarran airport if you need antibiotics and shit, which is very, very helpful.   Also, don’t go to Vegas if you have Bronchitis. I digress.)

What was most amazing, though, about this band was how wonderful their fans were.  In L.A., I was shocked at how kind their fans were.  People saved our spot when we had to step away. We returned the favor. I’ve met some amazing people in the Ghost fan groups and am very thankful for the friendships/acquaintances that I’ve met.

In recent months, there have been rumors that Papa Emeritus (I,II,III) had fired the Nameless Ghouls and replaced them with other musicians.  As fans, we agonized over whether or not the rumors were true.  Sure, the ghouls were ‘nameless’ but had been given names (Alpha, Omega, Air, Earth, Water, Aether).  Beneath their masks and costumes, we connected with them. We adored them.    As it turns out, the rumors were true.

Most can go on loving the band without issue.

“I’m with papa!”

“I’ll support papa!”

#StandwithHim

#ZOMGPapa

I am..heartbroken. I am conflicted.

As a person who doesn’t see things in black and white, as a person with enough empathy for everyone, I’m struggling with this.  I still love the music.  But humans are fallible and let things like greed and egos get in the way of truly being great.

My opinion means precisely jack and shit, I recognize.  I wanted Ghost to be better, above the petty drama and the bullshit. It was, to me, something else entirely. The way Bowie was. The way Trent Reznor was to me. Ghost was, as ridiculous as it may sound, a tiny spot of light in a very dark world. I desperately hoped they wouldn’t follow the likes of KISS, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Van Halen, Queensryche, and so on and so forth (there are countless examples out there). Here we are, though.

Not being involved, I’m not sure who is right or wrong or if both sides are wrong.  What I do know is that the mystique is gone.  I don’t really care about the identities. We all knew there were people under the masks and they, in reality, had names beyond ‘Nameless Ghoul’ or their designated element. These are human beings, of course.  For me, the heartbreak comes with the idea that these individuals have a personal and professional relationship and that this bond is so easily discarded.  If this was truly a partnership, the band’s direction should have been discussed openly.

Look, I’m not in a band, nor will I ever be.  But I’ve dealt with a lot of people in my lifetime. Not always a pleasant experience, but you do what you can. It’s not always rainbows and kittens.  Sometimes it’s a motherfucker of a shit sandwich that you have to smother in ranch dressing just to make it edible. Sometimes you have to put your ego aside. Sometimes you have to be willing to be flexible and willing to compromise. But fuck, what do I know? Social interactions are weird for me.

I suspect that all parties will end up having regrets one day. Papa will maybe regret how things were handled and alienating his band.  Perhaps the ghouls will also regret how things were handled. I am saddened at the possibility that there was some sort of disrespect or lack of consideration for this group of men with this personal/professional relationship. 

On a bright note, though, there are new music projects to listen to. Priest and Magna Carta Cartel are very promising.  There are other side projects.  New music. I’m a sucker for new music.

While I still love Ghost’s music, even with the best possible outcome of this drama,  I will never view them the same.  Dammit.

Click here to read about the Ghost Lawsuit (Identities revealed).

Well, Shit.

I’ve been tasked with writing something positive about myself daily.  At least, I think that’s what my counselor wants me to do.  But I’m stubborn. When you’ve quite figuratively been raised to think you are less than scum, not worthy of the attention/affection/time of other people, it’s hard to suddenly have to see yourself positively.   I’m struggling with it, but I’m trying.

 

Fuck.

Fuck.

Goddamn it.

Fine. Here goes nothing.

 

 

I have an incredible work ethic.

 

 
There you go. Something positive.

Frustration. Anguish. A Wake Up Call?

Well, it’s official. I’m diabetic. When my father passed away, I said to myself: I’m not going down that road.  And here I am.  Just shy of four years later (has it been that long already? Fucking hell!) and SURPRISE! I’m walking down that fucking path. I am ridiculously fat and am now face with high blood pressure and the ‘betes.  I’m trying very hard not to kick myself (always easier said than done.)  I’ve gone through anger and denial and I think I’ve arrived at some sort of acceptance.

When I look at how much I weigh, it’s like standing in front of Mt. Everest with no friendly guides, no gear and saying, “Welp, Mountain, it’s just you and me. Holy. Fucking. Shit.”  But I’m learning that I can’t focus on that mountain.  If I want to have any success with taking off this weight and getting myself healthy, I’m going to need to start small.  I’m starting with baby steps. Step 1: reducing soda consumption.  This is huge for me. Soda was something that was always around at my house. My grandmother always kept it around.  (Alcoholics like to have mixers handy, you know.) So, yeah. I’ve consumed my fair share of soda.  In the past couple of weeks, however, I’ve significantly reduced my intake.  That leads to my next step.

Step 1b:  Eliminating soda altogether.  Eliminating junk food.  I love these things. This is hard.  It’s hard to get rid of 30+ years of bad behavior.  It’s hard to get rid of habits you’ve had since you were a child.   Goddamn.

Step 1c: Utilizing other sources of sugar (i.e. replacing candy with fruit, etc.)

Step 2: Finding activities that I enjoy and incorporating them. I took one Belly Dancing class, and it was a lot of fun (despite me being uncoordinated and feeling just a bit foolish), I would consider going back.  Also on my list: ballet, tap.  I loved those classes as a kid. Of course I was smaller and not so old. But they could be fun, right?  Ultimately, however, I’d love to get back to kickboxing.  The bootcamp was very challenging, but I also felt amazing (and oh the stress relief!  Being able to imagine the faces of those who cause chaos in your life on a bag and then punching that bag as hard and fast as you can?  Cartoon hearts.)  Additionally, there are a lot of trails near my house. We’ve been here for 4 years or so and I haven’t checked them out yet.  I think it’s about time I did.

My focus isn’t on losing weight. My focus is on developing healthy habits. My focus is on being mindful of how I feel. I’m going to have days where I eat like shit. I’ll have days where I won’t. I’m not going to worry about it.

A Lesson.

Take it from your pal, Nic. Don’t ever look for advice on the internet. Especially medical advice.  It’ll always end badly. ALWAYS.

Some additional food for thought: when the pharmacist hands you that sheet of literature for the pills you’re prescribed? Skim them, but don’t read them. You’ll end up with more questions and concerns and yadda yadda yadda.

That is all.

A Tale

I was eighteen, staring at the vast options in the ‘New Releases’ section of our neighborhood Blockbuster. It was a blustery Saturday night and I was decked out in the black trench coat my grandparents had given me for my birthday. I was in the middle of a ‘goth’ phase. I had been for awhile. I pieced my lip. Wore a lot of black. Dyed my hair blue-black (Clairol Nice and Easy  #124). Oh, yeah. I was overweight. I was the fat, pasty goth girl with the bad bottle job.  But, at the very least, I was semi-comfortable with myself. Or so I thought.

Would I rent a horror film? Would I rent a bad comedy, a guilty pleasure of sorts? I was deep in thought as I perused the shelf. I hadn’t seen the couple next to me. I happened to glance over at the man. He was orange, with a large nose, and he donned a Cosby sweater on PCP. He made eye contact, and nudged his girlfriend. “Hey, who the fuck let Uncle Fester spawn?”  He gestured at me.  His girlfriend let out a quiet giggle and gave him a quick ‘shush’.

In high school, a guy and his friends referred to me as ‘The Beast’.  My senior year, another random jackhole and his friends were laughing at my double chin. One would think that I would be used to the cruelty expressed by others.  It was the first time a stranger had ever been needlessly cruel. I called him a moron, but I wish I’d had a witty retort. I wish I’d had the courage to say something or call him out on his cruelty.

This was fourteen years ago. Though these wounds still hurt, they don’t hurt as bad. Things are getting better. They do get better.

 

Where to start?

It seems that I created this blog awhile ago and I let this slip by the wayside. I believe I had created this blog for my writing. I think I was going to use prompts to write stories at least once a day and maybe talk about other things. Since my father passed away in September, I’ve been shoved face first into a river of change. I’ve been evaluating many aspects of my life: health, education, career, etc. I was tested for food allergies and have since eliminated gluten, dairy and sugar from my diet. I’ve started kickboxing. I’ve also learned Transcendental Mediation.  I’m even going back to school this winter.

All that aside, I need to sit down and focus on writing. Please be patient with me as I figure out what/how I want to use this.