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Date: June 1, 2010

Hello, Invisible Oranges readers!

If you’re reading this, you’ve clicked the link on the post about me winning the Ryan Lipynsky Guitar World cover contest. Pretty sweet.

Here’s the winning entry for those of you who don’t read Invisible Oranges but have come here on your own.

I think my favorite part of the whole thing was picking the songs to be tabs. Regular readers will also recognize the claw I used as a bullet as the same from The Black Laser’s Seal of Approval. It’s my hand throwing what I call the metal claw, but which Cosmo Lee at Invisible Oranges called invisible oranges. Get it? I know you do.

Anyway, it was fun and I’m psyched to have won the record. The more metal, the better, I think.

And because harmonized growls WILL fuck your shit up, here’s an example of one of my favorites.

You’ll notice, too, that the tab for this song is included in my issue of Guitar World.

At The Gates’ “Blinded By Fear”

I’m posting this for no other reason than that it slays and I love it.

Introspection, is it for the birds?

With all this newly found free time I have, I’ve come to realize a few things about myself. Typically introspection is not my game. I prefer instead to blindly run through life without a clue about why I do things or why I am the way I am. I think it provides a more comfortable background for being the sort of absurd bastard that I am. Nevertheless, in the quiet moments, I have learned some things.

First, I am essentially an anxious person. If I have nothing to worry about—and often I don’t—I will manufacture something to be stressed out about, something the make me lose sleep. It’s like anxiety is the fuel for the engine of my life. It’s funny because I’s always thought of myself as sort of an easy going person, but the evidence does not lie. You’ll find plenty of examples of me bitching about being stressed out on this site. They’re everywhere.

Next, I am horrible at being alone. I spent a lot of time in my past relationship desperately seeking alone time, but now that all I have is alone time I don’t want it. I don’t want to go back to the intensely togetherness of living with someone, but I wish I had someone to play with basically all the time. If you’re reading this and in New York, you’ve gotten a call or text from me beseeching you to come and while away an afternoon with me. For example, I’ve been trying to get my friend Adam to hang out for weeks, but he is constantly scheduled and busy. I’ve been trying all sorts of peer pressure tactics—both vinegar and honey—but to no avail. If you’ve turned me down, I’m not mad.

Next, I am terrible at saying “no” to things. This ties in with the last bit of revelatory self awareness. If a friend calls me and asks me to go out and I’ve been out every night for three weeks and desperately need sleep and have work early the next day, I will say “yes” every time. The thought of saying “no” makes me anxious (see?) enough that I just don’t do it. Life is too short for “no”s and “later”s. Have fun and enjoy it. But once in a while, you probably need to sleep too. This is a lesson I am learning. Then again, as Stephin Merritt once sang, “There’ll be time enough for sleeping when we’re dead. You can have a velvet pillow for your head. But tonight I think I’d rather just go dancing.”

The real question is what to do with all this knowledge? What does a man do with awareness of self? Change? Understand? Regret? Enlighten? Do my motivations change by being understood? Or do I keep spinning the same wheel, a hamster perpetually running but making no process?