An All Hallows Flashback: 2 Years, 19 Weeks and 5 Days.

I was going through some stuff and found an old rant I had written after a Broadways show.  To me, it was a great reminder. Many who hear the music I create ask about my “punk” background.  I don’t consider myself a punk, though I did grow up listening to it (amongst oldies and 80’s.)   However, this piece is testament to what punk bands can do to a group of strangers and friends.  Speaking of friends I hope you all are reading the brilliant posts that Ace is throwing up.  Especially this one.

To me the “manosphere“, goddamn that fucking word, the fucking underground Man Movement, found on the internet, is a lot like punk rock.  It takes the fringe and brings it to the center, it makes known what many deeply feel inside though they cannot consciously acknowledge.  Most visitors to this side of the internet can recognize the insidiousness that denial of years and years of lies and misinformation force fed to males can do to societal masculinity.  It’s the same as a punk speaking against the PMRC (link barely touches on the DK tribulations with Tipper Whore. This video is somewhat better.)  Much like the MM, punk rock educates, unifies, and inspires.

With that said here is my flashback post.  This is probably right around one year before the time I began to ingest the red pill.  I have added videos for the songs mention in the piece.  I hope you enjoy.

The totality of today

June 18, 2011, 1:01am

Today I woke up and was down to Healdsburg by 9:30 to meet up with my old friend Dave. We listened to Broken Van all the way down.  We hopped in my ride and rolled on down to San Francisco, met up with Nazro and waltzed down to the Bottom of the Hill.  Being early we hit up the Peruvian taco truck next to Thee Parkside. Then it was time to hit the show.

Midday matinee.

The group that I made the trek to see was The Broadways.

I started listening to this group in 1998.  They had a huge impact on me, both lyrically and musically.  They have frequented my playlist to this day. Their jams have stood up to the test of time.  Their lyrics still carry weight to this day.

My brain is still reeling from the fact that today I saw a band that I believed I would never get to see.  Mike Park made this happen.  The guy is a ruler.

I have so much connected to their music.  Driving down listening to 2nd Grade Cells, I got all misty eyed.  The experiences I have had whilst listening to their music are plentiful.  Even in isolation, I don’t feel as alone with these songs on.  They speak to me, they inspire me, they drive me.

Meeting up at the show with two of my old homies, who share the same sentiments about the music just made the whole thing click.  The band started up, the crowd surged.  I danced my pants off.  Later in the set I turn, and it’s my buddy Dave, we embrace and continue singing.  Again I turn, and it’s Cory, yet another embrace and sing along.  I haven’t had so much fun in the audience of a show, in a long ass time.  The set ended in a triumphant climax with the band playing 15 Minutes as their encore.

I’m not writing this to review the show, or to be like, these guys are gods.  The cats in The Broadways are  people.  They are not superhuman.  However the inspiration that comes from the music is beyond human.  This is what I want to touch on, the feeling of unity that comes with this kind of thing.

There are groups that touch our hearts and souls through the music they play.  These groups vary from person to person.  The common thread is the feeling inside when the music plays, the feeling inside when in the middle of a crowd rocking to the music.  It is so good.  Today I was reminded of all those who have shaped my view and take on music.  All those who have opened my heart to new things.  Today I was reminded of the connectedness punk rock brings to the people it touches.

You cats know what I am talking about.  I’m still reeling.  It was unreal standing outside the venue hearing The Broadways warm up.  It was like, oh shit, this is for real.  I just want to say thank you to Mike Park, Asian Man Records, The Broadways, all the other bands that played today, and everyone who has had a part in my musical evolution.  Thank you.  I don’t know what else to say.

Work Related and the End of a Hiatus

Howdy Y’all.  It’s been a spell since I last chimed in here.  I tweeted that I was shutting down the blog and twitter:

There was a reason for this lockdown, which was removed recently:  I was fired.  My work also discovered my blog the Monday after my termination as my Work Related series was by far the most popular of my posts that week and I had a copious amount of traffic.  Thanks guys!  I had filed for unemployment and locked everything down thinking that they would try to use my writing against me.  I wasn’t too far off base.

I had a phone interview first.  The state worker was inherently hostile towards me and I knew from the get-go that I was to be determined at fault for being fired.  One is eligible for benefits if his or her dismissal is at no fault of there own.  Since I had been fired, I had to participate in a phone interview. This, of course, took over a month to arrange, even though I applied immediately.   The state workers decision arrived mid August, and as I predicted, my application was rejected.  Their reason?  Excess absenteeism.

Bullshit.

Promptly filing my appeal, I had to wait until early September for my hearing.  Now here is where the shit starts to show.  My hope, and a reasonable one, is that no one from my former employer will show up due to the money they would be wasting to fight my measly wage.  When reviewing my file, about 5 minutes before my hearing, I was shocked as I read inside the first page that the employer had requested to participate via phone due to “claimant had made physical threats to two employees and former employer has a restraining order against claimant.”  Some judge approved that request.  But it was merely a ploy by my former employer so that their Chief Financial Officer, Chief Information Office, and Chief Executive Officer would not have to leave their desks for a few hours to come take me on.  I was pissed.

*Please note:  I did not threaten anyone nor did I plan some sort of revenge against my former employer.  Also, if I was going to to do something like that, I would not give preemptive warning to the future victims of my wrath.

At any rate, I went on record saying that claim is bullshit, the judge deciding to allow them to participate due to another judge allowing the order.  They tried to prove excessive absenteeism, but there were two tardy days on record in TWO YEARS.  Even though they participated, I felt pretty good about the hearing.  Still I was anxious and fairly depressed, though I couldn’t admit it.

“How you doin Rojo?”

“Oh! I’m fantastic!”

Lies

No matter how sure I was that I was in the right, and that my employer was trying to fuck me over, there was still that lingering feeling, that negative self talk saying “Nah Rojo,  you fucked up, this is your fault.”

So late September / early October I found out that the judge reversed the previous decision.  Immediately a weight was lifted off my shoulders.  I was vindicated, to say the least.

Here’s how to tell you are being primed for a discharge from employment:

  • Project information is being withheld from you when it was once readily available.
  • Every little mistake or mishap is scrutinized.  (I worked in IT and shit happens, regularly.)
  • You start getting written up for petty crap.
  • Your supervisor over blows on previous conversations and starts calling them disciplinary meetings.
  • You start getting told you didn’t do something that wasn’t assigned to you.
  • You notice that it seems nothing you do is correct, and slowly it feels like you are being ostracized and a case being built against you.

Listen to your gut.  I knew it was coming, but didn’t act because I wasn’t fucking up my job.   I could tell back in January that I was on the wrong end of the totem pole.  Also, I thought it possible to work with a friend above me. We had talked about it at length prior to my moving for the job, but alas, the power went to his head, he dropped out of our personal pursuits outside of work, and his communication with me became, at best, a sentence a day.  Live and learn my good comrades.  That’s the only way.

I’m back and plan on writing more.   There’s a fair amount of free time on my hands as I have yet to find another job.  Though, at the moment, It’s not my top priority.

You can read more by clicking the “work” category on the right side or clicking here, here, here, and here.