I'll sleep when I'm Dead...

I'll sleep when I'm dead... my credo... my motto... my downfall

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Stripping Rule #1 - Stretching is NOT optional

In 1996, a good friend got married. Me, being the best man, was entitled to throw a Bachelor Party. I’ve been the best man six times since this wedding so throwing a Bachelor Party is kind of a no-brainer. Now. Back then, not so much.

There were 12 of us. Some under 21, some over 30. This is where the problems started. What do you do where the underaged can have as much fun as the middle aged? Going to a dry, 18 and up topless bar is not the answer. After 2 hours and untold amounts of singles given watching backwoods midwestern girls spin their pasties, we decided to look for greener pastures.

The obvious choice was to hire a stripper.

A little background is needed here. In 1996, the internet was around, but it was basically AOL, dial up and chat rooms. You still had phonebooks and cell phones were of the 2 lb flip variety. In order to hire a stripper, we had to drive 40 miles to my empty house and start perusing the phone book. Strippers, under “S” right?

The drunken late night phone conversations that followed in an attempt to hire a stripper were hilarious in and of themselves. Who knew finding a stripper would be so difficult. Hair color, eye color, race, age, 1 girl or 2, do you want them to “entertain themselves” why we watch, etc, etc, etc… We ended up settling for “We’ve got just the girl for you. She’s blonde, young and ready to party.”

From here, the party split, half cleaning the house, half making a liquor run. After about an hour, the liquor search party stomps back in with, no lie, “someone in your neighborhood is dating a hooker…” What? Just then there’s a knock at the door.

What my friend mistook for a hooker walking down our sidewalk was in fact, our stripper… accompanied by the biggest, baddest, blackest bouncer I’ve ever seen. Think Grape Ape but not purple. And instead of being on top of a van he was in my doorway, towering over a tiny blonde holding a boombox, asking “did you order a girl?”

Yes, sir, we most certainly did.

We had cleared my living room out so that there were seats around the perimeter and an area suitable for whatever she was planning on doing. Also, I need to point out that not a single one of us had ever seen a stripper. We were basing everything solely on the movies we’d seen involving this scenario and the many many “Dear Penthouse, you’re not gonna believe this…” letters we’d read over our misspent youths. The girl introduced herself as Annie and she directed us to take our seats, she’d take care of the rest. She pointed to Grape Ape and told us to say hi to Cocoa.

“K. O. K. O. like the gorilla,” he said. Apparently there was going to be a spelling exam later in the evening. (Grape Ape doesn’t sound so racist now, does it?).

“Hi Koko.”

Annie, turned on her tape deck to Motley Crue’s “Smokin’ in the Boys Room” and she went right into her dance in the middle of the room. Before the end of the song, it became obvious she should have limbered up. Whenever she twisted sexily or bent over, her joints sounded like they were filled with bubble wrap. It was so bad, I was getting concerned.

Finally she starts to make her way toward me because I’m the only one holding any cash.

Let me pause and explain a little further. It was decided that instead of all of us spending our dollars on this girl, we’d pool all of our cash and just give it to her when she got there and just let her have fun and do her thing. We thought that was the honorable thing to do. Annie wasn’t having it. She took her agreed upon fee then told us we were to only give her tips if she deserved it. I was left holding the wad of $300 - $400 in 5’s and 1’s. What we ended up doing was just passing the wad around, Annie following it like a puppy after a laser pointer. Dance, Dance, Pass.

Anyway, here comes Annie with a lapdance. We’re a very tame crew so it was nearly silent at this point. A few giggles and cat calls for the lap dancee’s benefit, but for the most part, we were being very well behaved. This was obviously what prompted Annie’s next move.

She leans into my ear and whispers in a sexy raspy voice, “I want you to go get me a glass of water, sugar. And take Koko with you. Make him stay in the kitchen. I want some alone time with you boys.”

Up I go, heading to the kitchen, taking a detour in Koko’s direction. “Mr Koko, Annie said to ask you to go to the kitchen.” If I remember correctly, I had to look up at Koko to give this request, regardless of the fact that he was sitting in a folding chair.

Koko follows me to the kitchen where he takes a seat at the kitchen table and pulls a book out of his back pocket. “No worries. That just means she feels safe with you guys.” Koko could apparently read my apprehension to asking him to stay in the kitchen.

I reached into the sink and grabbed a cup. Not a normal cup, mind you, because I’m a jackass. No, I grabbed a plastic Kool-Aid Man cup received as a prize for collecting Kool-Aid points throughout college. It was the only clean cup in the strainer. Don’t judge me. Thinking Annie wanted the water to hydrate, I grabbed ice water from the fridge and filled it up.

Back in the living room, Annie was completely naked at this point with one foot on top of the back of my couch and the other on the arm, her hands on the head of the best man… grinding herself as close to his face as possible. Everyone else is in total silence. Not a word spoken or uttered. It was surreal to say the least. Annie sees me approaching and hops down. Snap, crackle, pop.

“Do you need to stretch out or something?”

“Thanks for the water, now sit back down and relax”… Annie stands up on my coffee table and slowly begins to pour the ice water down her chest. The sheer shock of the subzero beverage coupled with her overactive synovial fluid sends her foot off the coffee table, falling face first into the crotch of one of my friends who jumps up quickly, grabbing his balls, in turn sending Annie flipping over again, spilling the remainder of the cup’s contents all over herself and the best man.

The book must have had Koko’s full attention because the chaos only prompted a “You okay?” from his direction.

“Yep, I meant to do that.” And with that she was up and continued with her lapdance.

After a while, Annie suggests that we take turns laying on our backs with a bill over our face which she’ll pick up strategically, hands free. Ok? I’m confused at this point. (It was 1996 and we were young remember).

My brother sits on the ground in front of me, $20 on his face from chin to forehead. Here comes Annie, eyes locked on me, straddling my brother. She starts to squat over his face,… the snapping, crackling and popping get louder. And louder. Slowly she sways her ass from side to side as enticingly as possible…. until…. her fucking knee gives out. She goes to grab for me to steady herself, but seeing her hand coming at my junk, I jump back and out of the way (damn relfexes). Nothing to steady herself on, Annie crumples like a beer can at a frat party, planting her lady parts square on my brother’s face.

Annie’s legs are at odd angles so as she struggles to get up, she’s pulling herself back and forth, burying herself deeper on his face. Finally, she falls forward, completely nude save the $20 bill sticking out of her ass. My brother jumps up and runs to the bathroom.

Dead silence.

Annie rolls over and goes, “Fuck, you guys know how to party!”

From here, Annie did a few more dances, then ended up hanging out with us for about 3 hours while we just shot the shit and finished the beer and liquor. Even Koko came out of the kitchen and had a few. All in all, the Bachelor Party was a success.

EPILOGUE: My brother finally came out of the bathroom with the story that he was scrubbing his face just in case he got home and his wife could smell stripper on his breath. About a year later, I ran into “Annie” (it was not her real name I came to find out) at the University of Cincinnati in an Art History lecture class of 500+ people. I recognized her, but assumed she had no clue who I was. Leaving the class one day, we walked out together by coincidence. I said hi, she said hi. Ten steps into the courtyard, she turns to me and says, “Kool-Aid cup? Really?” laughed and walked away.

BASEBALL RULES - according to the Glossary of Perversion

I hate baseball. These are the rules of baseball as it pertains to sex and dating…

Baseball Rules - Dating status of (by popular recognition) a couple where their level of success on each date is based on Baseball’s succession of the bases. The rules are as follows:
1) First Base - The couple have partaken in making out, and possibly light petting. In some areas, visual confirmation of boobs is also included in a single to “First Base”.
2) Second Base - The couple have partaken in making out, playing with boobs and heavy petting including but not limited to fingering the girl, and stroking the guy. No orgasms generally happen at “Second Base”.
3) Leading Off Second - The couple have partaken in making out, playing with boobs and heavy petting including but not limited to fingering the girl, and stroking the guy. One (or both) of the couple have reached orgasm directly due to the heavy petting of “Second Base”.
4) Third Base - The couple have partaken in making out, playing with boobs, heavy petting including but not limited to fingering of the girl, and the stroking of the guy, and oral stimulation of one or both of the couple. No orgasms generally occur because of the activity occurring at “Third Base”.
5) Rounding Third - The couple have partaken in making out, playing with boobs, heavy petting including but not limited to fingering of the girl, and the stroking of the guy, and oral stimulation of one or both of the couple. One (or both) of the couple have reached orgasm directly due to the Oral Sex of “Third Base”.
6) Reaching Home - The couple have partaken in making out, playing with boobs, heavy petting including but not limited to fingering of the girl & the stroking of the guy, Oral stimulation of one or both of the couple (orgasm optional), and penetration. In other words, they did it all, ending in sex. All acts have to take place in the same date for it to be considered “Reaching Home”.
7) Home Run - The couple have partaken in fucking without effort (without foreplay) on a date. This is considered a “Home Run” because they didn’t have to worry about getting from “First Base” to “Second” and from “Second” to “Third” and so on. They stepped to the plate and pretty much scored.

Source: GlossaryOfPerversion.com

Our version of the "Flash Mob", the "Flashing Mob"

After having a little one-on-one with @OMGnakie tonight in regards to a stunt I’ve wanted to pull off for about 10 years, I think now is the time to make this happen.

Among my friends, there has been a long standing joke about how we want to hire a few strippers willing to do a public striptease in an inopportune place at an inopportune time.

Here is what I am proposing: 3-5 experienced and willing strippers (age, race, hair color non-specific), ready to strip down to the barest of legal attire (ie. bikini bottoms and duct tape ala Maya Von Doll), one portable radio with a copy of Motley Crue’s “Girls Girls Girls” (I know this is beyond cheesey, but that’s kind of the point), a covert camera operator to catch it on film, a spotter (ready to press play on the stereo), a getaway vehicle with a skilled wheel man and a location sure to bring about chaos and mayhem.

I should also point out that being arrested is a total possibility if the proper precautions and necessary escape routes aren’t in place. Being privy to Base jumping in Cincy, Ohio an escape plan is doable and executable. Avoiding arrest shouldn’t be hard if properly planned ahead of time taking into consideration the allotted time for police to arrive and an escape vehicle waiting, out of sight, but in the wings.

As far as a proper (improper) place for this “Flashing Dance”, we’ve considered everything from Best Buy the day after Christmas to The Creation Museum in Northern Kentucky. A few other possibilities are Bob Evans on a Sunday morning at 10:00am, Labor Day sale at Bed Bath & Beyond and in line the night of the sneak peak for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”.

The key to making this work is the crowd and speed. Getting the stripping going and done before the song ends and the cops arrive is monumental.

I am completely willing to help fund the first “Flash Dance” as long as GetOffended.com gets credit when the video goes viral. And believe me, it fucking will.

Assholes to Assholes

This is why I should never be allowed to make a present for anyone… With GetOffended.com, I have various resources at hand as well as the lack of cooth necessary to take a child’s game and have an entirely new experience created. What you see is “Assholes to Assholes”, the X-Rated adult version of ”Apples to Apples”, made primarily to enhance an evening of alcohol consumption between friends with a complete disregard for good taste.

Before you ask, yes, every card is real. Hundreds of cards… all sick, all twisted. No, the game is not for sale. Although I’d love to offer it mass retail, even I know when taking something to the lawyer is gonna be a waste of the $200/hour consultation to hear, “are you fucking kidding me?”

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Misery loves company

I wear many different hats. I put them on and take them off so frequently and with such smooth transitions that, at times, I don't know which hat I have on. I have the boss hat, the parent hat, the coach hat. There's the husband, son, the brother, the lover, the fighter, mentor, friend and drunk. Plus I can't forget the insomniac, the clown, the director, writer or the artist either. So many hats.

Of all the hats, there's one that I wish I wore more. Once upon a time, I was an artist. No, really. I was a commissioned, payed to create, professional artist. I have the college degree to prove it (or disprove it depending on your stance). Somewhere along the way, I went from the artist, to the teacher, then to The Man. I still work in a creative capacity, but I spend more time directing people to create for me than I do involved in the process myself. I went to college to be a fine artist and a fiction writer. After 7 years, I graduated at age 23 with the degree I now use, a BSA in Industrial Design. Basically I became an inventor.

I like what I do, and being an insomniac and a workaholic I get my hands in nearly everything, but it's unsatisfying at times. Watching someone else create something based on your idea and concept blurs the line of who the outcome belongs to intellectually. Is it mine because I had the vision and approved the result or is it the artist who brought the creation to fruition? I tend to give all the credit to the artist.

Here's where I am going to start rambling…

Doing what I do, I end up surrounded by artists. Both in my professional life and in my personal life. If you are truly surrounded by artists you'll understand this. If not, I'm going to lose you. Also, friends that play musical instruments, graphic artists and the friend who makes jewelry are not necessarily artists. They CAN be, but not necessarily and definitely not usually. The artist is the person whose life revolves around their creativity. Every moment of every day is leading toward their next moment of creative genius. They are usually single, because no one can put up with them and their obsession. They are usually addicted to multiple things which may or may not include drugs, alcohol and sex. They usually have obsessive personalities and a total disregard for anything, everything and everyone besides their own passions. Many are black holes of despair and self destruction, one bad night away from death or rock bottom. But they can all do beautiful things.

Suicide is also a likely outcome when someone lives for their own creativity. I've seen more death and suicide than I care to talk about. Everything from self inflicted gunshots to driving their car at top speed into the propane tank on the back of the movie theater we all used to work at. I've seen overdoses and car crashes and even an alcohol induced coma. But they all did beautiful things.

Recently I had a very close friend experience rock bottom. I unfortunately laid witness to her collapse as she fell from the top branch of her tree, limb by limb, to the rocky ground below. The fall took years, and she would fall 2 branches, climb up 1, fall 3, climb up 2, over and over until she was finally standing on the lowest branch. She asked for support in all directions, but by then there was none to give. She had to fall. It was inevitable. I know this now, but coming to this conclusion has been very difficult to say the least. I've seen her do beautiful things.

Surrounding yourself with these kinds of people can be wonderful and horrible all at the same time. Having that artist hat in my closet, I have more sympathy and understanding for their plights than most. When I'm at my lowest, my creativity is at it's highest. Feeling the pain of life lets you tap into the raw root of everything that is holy to the creative soul. Happiness begets greeting cards. Despair opens doors to the art the world will remember centuries from now.

I personally hate watching someone fail, but I'm also the guy who gets more entertainment from the human condition than most. That includes people's failures and successes. For some reason though, the failures are more intriguing. Especially when you get to witness the recovery as well. Think about your favorite movie or book. I can almost guarantee there is a point in there where the main character feels a crushing blow, devastating destruction or loss... Now, what's your favorite part? Is it the falling down or the getting back up? Or both?

Misery loves company, happiness is infectious and the world would be a boring fucking place without beautiful things.

For Kay.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Gather round for an epic campfire story....

The following was originally posted in several parts on Twitter. Because it seemed to be enjoyed, I'm reposting here. It's gathered in 140 character tweets so just excuse the format....

By request, and because @getoffendedcom isn't around today, I'm about to post an epic story for twitter which is 100% true. I'll change

some of the names to protect the innocent, but other than that I'll depict it in it's glorious fashion.

Circa 1994, Country Concert in Ohio. Kinda like Coachella for drunken inbred rednecks. Those that know me, know I have only 2 allergies...

Penicillin and Country music... but since Country Concert is a weekend excuse for alcohol & sex away from home, it's a big summer thing even

for those not going for the music. A group of bout 20 of us from our HS went up for 4th of July weekend. Day one was normal, drinking galore

and the promise of a few precursory hook ups for Saturday night. Everyone woke up Saturday morning in the heat & started pounding beer early

too early. Way too early. Being 16, 17 & 18, those kinds of decisions aren't made with the clarity of past experience. By mid afternoon...

people were already hurling behind trailers and sleeping it off in tents. Things turned from alcohol to liquor late in the afternoon when...

the girls started to put their whore hats on and began suggesting moonlight rendezvous with their guy(s) (or girl) of choice. With alcohol

in the air and the sun going down, things started to take a twist for the worst. One chick in particular started to make her rounds. First

with one guy, then about an hour later with a second, then a third... she was out of hand. I also need to point out that her hame was "Tera"

This will come into play a little later. At this point, the music is done and things are in full party mode among all the campsites. Tera...

makes her way over to my campfire and in a drunken slur asks who is next. One of my friends jumps up and grabs her by the hand to lead her

into his tent much to the dismay of the rest of us. Sloppy 4ths at this point (or so our drunken logic had surmised) wasn't the most...

appealing to say the least, but "C" (we'll just call him C) took her up on her offer anyway. After 5 minutes we hear screaming coming from

the tent. Then a series of "what the fucks" and "are you fucking kidding me?" then shrieking. The tent is going apeshit at this point...

pulling the stakes out of the ground and making it's way toward the creek. We all jump up to see what the fuck is going down when C crawls

out from one side of the tent in his boxers and Tera rolls out from the other side with her shirt in her hands and runs off between the

other tents. C just stands there panting, then turns to us before he starts laughing his ass off screaming "holy fucking shit! You're never

gonna believe this!" He sits back down at the fire, putting his jeans back on and this is the story he told...

C got her in the tent and she pulled her skirt up and was ready, drunk but ready. He told her that after all the guys before him he wanted

her ass or she wasn't get anything. LOTS of alcohol on both their part at this point I have to add to be fair. She obliged and got up on all

fours... BY THE WAY... it's obviously gonna get pretty NSFW from here. Take action accordingly. yeah right.

C spits on her ass, but he's so cotton mouthed at this point, he can't spit, so he decides to take a drink of his beer and spit that on her

ass instead. She'll never know right? Well he proceeds to rub his dick in the PBR and then shove in as best as his alcohol filled dick will

allow. Which, I am assuming wasn't very much. Tera starts to get concerned at what is going on and according to C, she turns around over her

shoulder and says, "here let me help". Whatever drunken logic went through her head, who knows, but as best we can figure, she attempted to

"loosen her ass up" by relaxing to let him in. Unbeknownst to C, she had so much beer in her system and hadn't shit all day that this simple

act of relaxation "let open the cage door" for what she'd been holding all day.

At this point in C's story, the rest of us are literally rolling on the ground pissing ourselves laughing by firelight to the point we were

being told to keep it down by other campsites. Back to his story. C says at that moment, while he's pressing against her ass & she's trying

to let him in the backdoor, the dog snuck out.

And by "dog" I mean a turd about the size of a Robusto Cigar. This is when the screaming had started. Tera had no idea that she had even

done it, so as C yelled, she started yelling. When he showed her what she did, she thought it was a snake and tried to get out of the tent

C was yelling at her that she shit on him, then under flashlight inspection, confirming it was in fact feces and not a snake, Tera takes the

"high road" and starts the "that's not mine, it's yours" argument. In embarassment, she snuck out from under the tent and ran back to her

own campsite. At this point, the rest of us are picking up the tent, looking for the incredulous piece of excrement.

Upon finding said piece of poo, we laughed even harder. "SEE I FUCKING TOLD YOU!" was all C could repeat for the next 30 minutes.

A few of our group left to try to track down the missing people from our HS and to check on Tera to make sure she got back to her tent ok...

The rest is kind of a blur, but by the next morning, C was asleep face down next to the firepit, his tent in the creek, the turd gone...

along with Tera who had packed her shit up (all but the piece in C's tent...) and drove home, probably sobered from the experience, in the

middle of the night. Sunday was basically an excuse to tell the story over and over and over again. The rest of the summer the story had to

be repeated at least a dozen times by our group. The best part is, that at some point, Tera took on the nickname "Tera the Turd" which, to

this day, she is still referred to by our clique of friends. This took place July of 1994 right after we graduated from High School.

18 years later, and we're still telling the epic campfire tale of "Tera the Turd".

I am addicted to people

I am a chronic insomniac. It takes its toll, but I see it as glass half full, so you'll never hear me complain about not getting any or enough sleep. I generally enjoy life and relish spending 85% of it awake. I do not have OCD. I am not a hoarder. I am not manic and I don't suffer from depression. I do not have ADD or ADHD. I am pretty fucked up in other ways though, this I admit.

I collect. I collect a lot. It's not hoarding though because it's organized to a level of obsession. Take my DVD collection for example. I have at current count 11,571 DVDs. How do I know that? I keep them cataloged in spreadsheet format and cased into 31 DVD books each holding 200 or more DVDs plus stacks and stacks of spindles that have not yet found their way into a final resting place. I have more tupperware containers than I know what to do with containing t-shirts. This I have never organized so I can't begin to guess how many shirts I have. We won't even get into video games, comic books, books, music, photos, trading cards, movie scripts, posters, toys or shoes. Don't ask about the shoes. It's an addiction. Once I start collecting something, I just can't stop. I can't quit. Anything.

That gets me to my next issue. I can't quit anything. Something else has to step in and execute the execution of my involvement, for me, in order to quit. This goes hand in hand with the collecting, my sleep habits, my work habits and my friendships.

Friendships. This is where it gets difficult. I'm addicted to people. I fall head over heels in absolute love with people and all of their flaws and inconsistencies. Not run away to Cabo in love, but oh my god this is the best pizza I've ever had and I must eat it every day for the rest of my life in love with people. Couple that with my inability to quit and you end up with a group of friends that can make your day or rip your life to shreds.

Not all of my friends fall into the rip my life to shreds category. I have a handful of close acquaintances that I've been friends with for nearly 3 decades. They are my rocks. Yes, there are a few that I have had to distance myself from in order to keep my own sanity, but in a pinch, I'm there if they truly need me.

Other friends are helpless black holes of despair and self destruction. I also collect these. I befriend them. I take them in. I hire them. I help them to the best of my ability get back on their feet if I can. Unfortunately, these are the same people who often end up taking advantage of me because that's what they do. That's what I do. I let them.

Before you ask, or accuse, I'm not an enabler. I'm not patronizing and I don't interfere. I just observe and suffer silently. Adults make their own decisions. You can't make them for them. You can't even really lead them in the right direction in my opinion. They need to make their own mistakes and learn from them. That's life. A series of decisions. You revel in the good and learn from the bad. Repeat as necessary. I just enjoy watching other people go through those choices. Life is my soap opera.

Twitter has quadrupled this by exposing me to new people, all with their own fucked up lives. From what I've discovered, twitter has an entire community of raging alcoholics, sex addicts and tragically single and depressed. It's no wonder it only took a couple months for me to get sucked in like a pedophile in a daycare. I should quit. I should pay someone to take over my account and promote our sites for me like I originally wanted. I should do a lot of things. I should quit it all, move into a shit hotel and finish my epic novel before I die. But no. I'm like a recovering heroin addict hanging out at the methadone clinic because I like the water cooler conversation. Not everyone on twitter is fucked up. I've made a lot of friends, some have even made my life better. I wouldn't change meeting any of them for the world. Even the fucked up ones.

But I digress.

Watching and observing without interfering has its perks but it also has it obvious drawbacks. Sometimes, I think if I interfered, things would be easier… for me at least. But, if you're going to believe in something (ie adults make their own decisions), you need to stick with it. I do not deviate. I prefer to suffer silently.

Well, not "silently" per say… there may be some intense eye rolling and "hmphs" and groans from the peanut gallery… maybe even throw in a look of disgust or two, but mostly silent. Mostly.

Every once in a while, witnessing this spiral into the abyss becomes too much for even me to bare. I lose my jovial good humor and lust for life in a cloud of what the fuck. I wish I could just rip em off like a band-aid but that's not me. What makes it worse is the guilt of feeling like I had a part in the spiral by watching and not stepping in. But, alas, I do not deviate. I prefer to suffer silently.


Monday, June 13, 2011

How long can I drag this death rattle out?

Imagine you have a friend who is a raging alcoholic. You invite them to parties and stuff because they're the fun drunk. This goes on for a few years, then one day, they do something that makes you realize under that alcoholic haze is a brilliant mind. You ignore it... go on like you didn't see it. Drunk drunk drunk, party party party... brilliant mind. Just for a second. Wait, did I just see that again? Drunk drunk drunk, party party party... brilliant mind. Can't ignore it at this point. Now the drunk drunk drunk, party party party is making me want to vomit. Like watching a sex tape with your sister on it. You just can't look away, but the thought of it makes you want to gouge your eyes out and put a .38 to your temple. How's your Monday going?

I fell in love with Elphaba Thropp

I fell in love with Elphaba Thropp. I didn't mean to or want to, it just happened.

About 10 years ago I was traveling for work and ran into a girl I had went to college with. She's a fellow Designer and we've always been really close, especially in taste. We had lunch and ended up discussing movies (always ends up there with me) and music, and eventually books. I read a lot. I'll read anything too. Everything from "Water for Elephants" to "World War Z" to H.P. Lovecraft to the Bible (I also watch Fox News… can't argue if you don't understand both sides of the argument right?). She had just finished "Wicked" by Gregory Maguire and was pretty adamant that I read it. In fact, she left lunch, bought a copy of the book and tracked me down to give it to me before I left town.

That was it, I was obligated to read it. I started the book on the plane, but it put me right to sleep. Slow as dirt and I just couldn't get into the characters. Anyone who knows me, knows I'm cursed with the inability to quit. Anything. I can't quit. Fucking anything. With that spelled out, I had to finish the book. After a week at home, I picked the book back up. I reluctantly finished it within the week.

After getting through it, for some reason, I got a little depressed. I kept going back to specific parts of the book in my head. Trying to remember exactly what happened and why. I found myself asking people who had read it if they remembered, but no one could answer my specific inquiries. I couldn't let it rest, so I picked it back up and started reading it a second time.

This time I couldn't put it down. Could not. Would not.

I finished it a second time over the weekend. Insomnia has it's perks. This time, I read it thoroughly, paying attention to the characters, the nuances of the plot and the development of the story as it paralleled The Wizard of Oz.

And Elphaba.

Up until this point, I'd never been so invested in a single character in any book I'd ever read that I felt that if I read it again, maybe something would change. Maybe I missed something and there was a happy story there that I just wasn't able to pull out. Within 6 months, I ended up reading the entire book four full times. Each and every time, I fell a little more in love with Elphaba.

I'm drawn to tragic, fucked up souls. Broken, downtrodden, in need of fixing kind of people. The emotionally destroyed or handicapped… this is my crowd. I'm also an emotional sponge of sorts, sucking up their sorrow and eating it as if it's my own. It's taxing… it's exhausting, but it's what I am and at this point in my life, it's easier to run with it than it is to avoid it. Elphaba is the perfect metaphor for this attraction. A horribly disturbing childhood complete with a drug addicted adulteress mother who came from wealth only to end up in squalor. The father, blinded by religion and disgust for the daughter he feels is the manifestation of the punishment for all his sins as a man of faith. The siblings who she must both take care of and hide within their shadows. Oh, and she's fucking green.

The story takes her from birth through death and all the train wreck that lies between. Love, life and the complete disregard for her own happiness. Despite all this, I fell in love.

Skip to 2011, and I've read the book at least 15 times. At any given moment, about six months pass, and I'm like a secret CIA assassin reaching for his copy of "Catcher in the Rye". I'm a total fanboy. I've bought the book at least a dozen times for friends and relatives.

No one ever reads it on my recommendation.

My sister did get to see it in New York in the Musical form and she fell in love with it on the stage. She agreed to read the book if I went with her to see the play. I go to a reasonable amount of plays and musicals as well, so this wasn't out of the question. Last year, my sister seized the opportunity and took my mother and I to see "Wicked".

I was kind of excited. One of my favorite books in live form? Awesome right? Donna Vivino was playing Elphaba and from what I had read prior to the performance, she was stellar in her portrayal. Color me double pumped.

Finally, the day arrived. My excitement was at its peak... it was also short lived.

By the end of the first act, I was nauseous. It was NOT tragic. It was NOT heart breaking. It WAS fucking "Grease". I felt betrayed. I found myself sitting through intermission trying to pull myself together. It's just a musical. Get a grip.

By the beginning of the second act, I was full on crying. By the end of the performance, I felt like I was drawing a crowd. I'm a little bitch when it comes to stuff like this so fuck you for judging me. When I get involved in something, I give everything. I hold nothing back. If you're one of those people who suppress your emotions because you're afraid of what someone else might say or think, you're doing life wrong. Seriously. What's the point?

Back to my tears… I'm talking 5 year old girl watching her pet bunny get torn to shreds by the neighbor's Rottweiler crylng. Donna Vivino was amazing. Her vocal performance was breathtaking. I tried to enjoy it, I really did. I promise.

But alas, I'd rather've been ass-raped with a bowling pin, lube-free, than sit through the entire musical. Seeing as I was with my sister who really wanted me to see it and enjoy it as she had, I stomached the monstrosity to the best of my ability.

I left the theater physically ill. Physically fucking ill.

Total truth, sitting through that musical is one of the worst moments of my life. If I could take it back, I would. For three hours I watched an entire audience blindly enjoy my beloved Elphaba turned into a comedic circus monkey, organ grinder in hand, tipping her fez for treats, coming of age and cracking quips about being green. Fuck you. Fuck every single one of you who enjoyed that horrible piece of shit.


If I'd have known what they were doing to my Elphaba, I would have stayed home. I'd have kept my love affair tragic, dark and full of despair with a heavy dose of heartbreak.

I'd also like to point out this was the last Musical I have ever attended. Will ever attend. AND, given the opportunity, I'd unleash ebola on the set of "Glee" out of pure principle.

If you've seen the Musical "Wicked", but never read the book "Wicked", don't. And don't ever speak to me about it. Ever. Just don't.
If you've read the book, but never seen the Musical, DON'T YOU FUCKING DARE.