The Devil Isn’t the Problem

It’s hard to ignore a red flag such as giant bat wings

-I found this in my drafts folder. I don’t know where I was going with it but it’s kind of awesome. Enjoy-

Here’s the thing that pisses me off.

Jeez, I’ll amend that.

Here’s one of the myriad things that piss me off.

It seems that we as people are expected to weather everything with courage, grace, control with manners or we face the wrath of everyone around us for over-reacting or reacting badly regardless of the crimes against us.

Recently, I was reminded of a group of friends with whom I’m still in contact but not so often, and some more or less than others. There hasn’t been a real break of this 30+ year friendship but a definite distance as such, but I have felt, and possibly been decidedly so from some, abandoned by. Because of circumstances at the time resulting from a) my unawareness of and therefore inability to navigate my soul-crushing, untreatable, incurable hormonal problem that has ruined my life and b) the closest people in my life conspiring behind my back with no consideration for my feelings and then c) was told to “suck it up”, I “am overreacting” and “if I weren’t such a bitch in the first place…”

It’s that last part that gets to me. I can take accountability for a lot of the things I did carelessly, deliberately hurtfully, callously. I cannot take responsibility for having reactions to things that are reactionary.

The most hypocritical thing a person can do is be upset over another person reacting to that person upsetting them. Got it?

Let’s quiz. Who is the worst human in this scenario?

Random human I: I slept with your wife.

Random Human II: Omg! F**$%&% Y*$!, you mother f&*%*%!!!! You ruined my life!

Random Human I: You are abusing me verbally. I refuse to allow this kind of treatment in my holier-than-thou life despite my ruining your family.

Random Humans 3-100+: Yeah, Human II is scary and violent. Stay away from that jerk. Shun him!


If you chose Random Humans 3-100, you are correct.


“But, wait! There’s no way anyone would act that way,” says appalled reader. “Human I cheated with Human II’s wife! No one would be on Human I’s side!”

But I can tell you 99% of humans side against the person with the louder voice.

Institute of Mo, Bullshit expert

Humans are social animals who strive to be part of the herd regardless of how much they say they don’t.

Granted I’ve known a lot of shady people but it has never been the conventionally shady people who have picked my wallet while twisting the knife in my back. No, that privilege has always been reserved for those who had really no excuse and should’ve had my best interest at heart.

Yet, those closest to me with cramped, knife-twisting fingers, I’ve been able to forgive.

Cuz, fuck, if we haven’t all made mistakes. We deserve the punishments we’ve gotten and can forgive the oversights of others because of it. I think there’s some kind of prayer like that.

I don’t care whatever crazy shit you believe, hearing Darth Vader read anything is awesome! Almost makes me a believer.

But, again, I’m only a Christian as long as I’m listening to Mr. Vader actually read the Bible, otherwise, nada.

Anywho, I believe in the sentiment of the Lord’s prayer as much as I believe in the solid foundation of the Golden rule; another oft-quoted-yet-never-followed basic decency. In summary, forgive people for their general misdeeds because you’ve made them, too. And with that, treat them as you would like to be treated.

Good, basic standards for not being a hypocritical dick. You’d think, anyway.

Don’t worry, Freud is also flailing his dead arms in frustration.

Shut up, I’m not done yet.

I’m not going to blame every single thing I’ve done on my crippling, life-threatening, horrific, life-ruining hormonal condition that has gone undiagnosed, misdosed and disregarded for 37 years for everything I’ve done because sometimes I am a fucking asshole. No bones about it. Sometimes, I am a heartless, cruel motherfucker. But not nearly as often as you think.

Which brings me back to Random Humans 3-100+ and a shit-ton of mixed metaphors.

It’s been my experience that humans, in their social ways, would rather throw a squeaky wheel under the bus in order to smooth their collective fur.

There is only every cult, Nazi youth, or horrendous mob-mentality and war example throughout ancient and modern history and current events to prove my point. People would rather hear what they want to hear, continue how they’d prefer to continue, rather than stand up.

I truly believe most people are cowards. I think they’d rather shut your mouth than listen to your truth. Because you’re loud and Wheel is on.

I know, every single person who’s aged through year 20 has repeated this same rant all the way back to the ass-whooping Aristotle got from Plato because of the same annoyed whoopin’ Plato got from Socrates.

It doesn’t make the cause any less true. We rant about it because nothing changes. Because 99% of us would rather watch Wheel.

I had a point. If anyone can figure that out, let me know.

Thanks.

-NTZ

There was this time…(pt. 9)

Loggins and Messina, 1974

This story is a little…circuitous. But seeing as my rapidly increasing fan base has reached almost 9, I’m feeling a bit cocky.

One of the jobs I had while living in Santa Barbara was working as personal assistant to Kenny Loggins and his family, thanks to my friend, Melinda. In fact, if you’re an ardent reader of this fabulous blog, you’ll know as the friend who also got into the wrong green Saab after a long lunch one day.

That green Saab was formerly Kenny Loggins’ from back in the Footloose days. He eventually sold it to his business manager, who was, you guessed it, Melinda.

As things got tough for Kenny’s life at the time, during my tenure with him they got tough for me. I quit in a huff, quite unprofessionally, but it is what is what I did was it. Or whatever the kids say.

Fast forward 6 months and I’m happily entrenched in my new job with the greatest family ever, the Beaches, and working as office manager for Patrick Beach’s business, La Playa Properties. We were housed in a stunningly beautiful building owned by the one and only, Chris Edgecomb. (There are stories to come about that guy, may he rest in peace.)

Chris was a huge fan of music. That meant when Chris got wind that Kenny Loggins was to reunite with Jimmy Messina for a tour for the first time in 30 years, Chris jumped at the opportunity to host their rehearsals.

Which meant immediately next door to my new work home.

This was fine with my boss, Pat Beach, because he also loved music and was usually traveling anyway.

I did not know any of this was happening.

One day, I look up from my desk to see Kenny and Melinda walking down our walk, take a sharp turn right, and disappear into the cavernous office next door.

I watch as semis pull up and 30 people carry guitar cases, black wheeled boxes, mic stands, scaffolding into the same door.

I’m confused but it’s a small town so it’s not that weird that I would see my former employers walk by. It’s a small, wealthy, celebrity-ridden town, so it’s not that weird that I’d see famous people walk by.

It’s a small town but big enough that I’d never seen the elusive Jimmy Messina, who I’d heard lived there and who was notoriously…self-contained in his private retirement, but was now trailing the parade down the walk of my office building.

I’m assuming they’d set up enough to start tinkering and playing music loud enough to make our teeth rattle came blasting through our artificial adobe. The Mexican tile vibrated. But we got used to it.

A couple days later, I see Kenny standing at the door to my office.

He nods hello at me and sits down on my guest chair…then immediately falls asleep.

My boss comes in about an hour later.

He looks right then left, then back at Kenny, and asks, “Is that Kenny Loggins and why is he sleeping in my chair?”

I had no answers. I let him sleep. Kenny awakens, stands up, says nothing to me and walks out. I expected nothing less.

As far as Melinda and I could figure was that seeing me, his former assistant at a desk where he was rehearsing, Kenny had assumed that I was paid to sit there for him. Doing what, I have no idea. It’s actually pretty logical but kind of hilarious when the opposite is true.

We eventually had to cut Loggins and Messina off from “using” our office for their whims when they used our back patio for a meeting they chased me out of for being “private.” It makes me wonder if Kenny thought his assistant was getting uppity.

All of it was funny for entertainment’s sake but that paled in comparison the phenomenal treat that it turned into.

For days, I got to listen to one of my favorite songs, one I actually didn’t even know was a Loggins and Messina song before, get tighter and stronger and better as one of the best musicians in the industry continued his mentorship of one of the most iconic. Every day the music got better. Each evening, I would hang out with the roadies, sharing stories and beers.

Santa Barbara Bowl, 2012 (The first and better concert I went to was 2006: same venue, though.)

All of the effort turned into one of the best concerts I’d ever seen.

And with all those roadies around…

Gross! this isn’t porn. I’m taking that to my grave.