Day 21: Build On Your New-To-You Format Post, and Let the World Know

Last week I posted a video of me covering “Failure By Design” by Brand New.

With that said, I’d like to tell you about a dream I recently had. The dream itself is not so much “inspired” by the above post but is connected to Brand New, however small that connection is. Plus, it’s slightly hilarious and I really wanna share it with you.

Two nights ago at about 5 am, I practically bolted out of bed with really bad cramps. You know that subconscious state you’re half in, half out of when it’s late at night and you’re in pain? You toss and turn and debate with yourself whether or not to fully take off the covers and get up, or if you can away with forcing yourself to fall back asleep? Well, I was in one of those states.

After taking pills and grabbing a hot water bottle I did my best to soothe myself back to sleep but just couldn’t do it. I was wired, but still had a shroud of dream-vision around me. I’m closing my eyes, trying to find a comfortable position, and now my mind is racing. I couldn’t tell you why it was. I’m not undergoing any unusual amount of stress, but this has happened to me before – My racing mind won’t stop and I begin to formulate a meaningless scenario in my head that is preposterous and unlikely in its own right, but I stress about as though it is a real-life, conscious event that I need to make an immediate decision about.

Before I went to bed I watched a few episodes of Frasier. I TiVo it on the regular. It’s one of my favorite shows of all time. The writing is so genius and the acting so fantastic, each episode is real treat. After finishing up 3 or 4 of them, I went upstairs and continued to listen to Brand New’s Your Favorite Weapon. I had started listening to the album that afternoon and wanted to finish it up before I went to bed. And so I did.

My stress/anxiety/mind-racing dream consisted of me having to make a pertinent decision: I had to incorporate Brand New frontman, Jesse Lacey into an episode of Frasier. I’m embarrassed to say I must’ve spent at least 45 minutes freaking out about it in my subconscious state. I could see the set of Frasier’s apartment and Jesse Lacey standing near the piano a grey/beige long-sleeved shirt – and I had to figure out what to do with him! What would he do? What would he say for his special guest appearance?!

This quasi-lucid dream drove me out of my mind, nevermind the fact I was seriously trying to pair these two unlikely people together (Jesse+Frasier BFF 4E). And it was slightly lucid because I knew I was dreaming! I knew I was in control, but the lines between dream and reality were so blurred because I was so stressed. And instead of changing the scenario and choosing to dream something else, I stayed with it and participated in a hellish perpetual loop. The day before, I had read an article on lucid dreaming in The Atlantic, which no doubt contributed to this strange occurrence.

I actually completely forgot I had this dream until yesterday evening when I went for a walk; It popped back into my head and everything came flooding back.

I have a strange mind, I know this. It’s just all so funny to me. Why does this sort of thing happen? Sleep is supposed to be peaceful and regenerative. Why do our minds create absurdity and why do we allow ourselves to become overly anxious about it? One response could be I have difficulty with decision making (which I admit I do) and so my psyche is attempting to resolve that difficulty to get past that paralysis. Another could be the lack of decisions I’ve had to make in the waking world, so my mind is creating it’s own scenarios in which I must play a role in determining their outcomes. I could go on.

Has anyone else had a half-conscious stress dream like this? Please share in the comments below! I’d love to hear! 🙂

Jesse Lacey
Brand New frontman, Jesse Lacey
Frasier
Dr. Frasier Crane

Day 19: Publish A Post In A New-To-You-Format

So I’m super-bummed I won’t be able to bear witness to this awesome Brand New/Saves The Day/The Front Bottoms UK Tour coming up soon.

So today I’m posting a Brand New cover I did a few months ago.

I don’t usually post videos, so I hope you enjoy.

This is “Failure By Design”.

A Regrettable Vent: Typical Diary of an American 21st Century 20-something

I’m spiraling to nowhere.

Everything I get involved in seems like a half-assed attempt at trying to achieve something that never really goes anywhere.

My horoscope has been cryptic as fuck or just super vague, and I’m starting to realize maybe I’ve grown too dependent on it. I’ve grown too dependent on a lot of things.

I feel like everywhere I turn vines jump out and tie me down. Some of them come out of myself, others come from the outside.

I don’t know what I’m interested anymore. Don’t know what I want, what’s best. No one fucking understands what’s happening to me, what I’m going through. I’ve heard the same shit over and over. But it’s different from what you went through. Drowning you out and I don’t care anymore. Watching your hand gestures from my peripheral and I could care less. I feel like I need to move away and I don’t care how I get there. The world’s a different place now. And if you’re not Business, you’re not wanted. You’re voided out. To be trapped within your own mind is one of the worst things. It doesn’t physically hurt but just feels so damn suffocating and paralyzing. How can I possibly move?

Was I trying to take some easy way out? Is that why I’m in such a tortuous state? And I just too scared or something? Make a move! But where?

I’ve used all my lifelines, I’ve tried to be positive, but there are just some nights you want to cry yourself to sleep and realize you can’t because you’re too damn angry at everything and anxious about the future and that keeps you awake for hours.

Drinking gives a false, elevated sense of self and is never worth the repercussions. I feel like I can’t breathe. I feel awkward and unwanted and lost.

I have nothing to talk about anymore and it’s fucking killing me. I can write all I want and it gets me nowhere. I don’t fit the format, don’t fit the clothes, the schematic. I’m something other than what the blueprint suggested. There are changing landscapes now. I don’t know what to do with myself anymore.

I am 23 years old, full of energetic promise and potential. Where did I go wrong? I feel tapped out, gipped out of something I thought I earned. No one takes chances anymore and I guess that means me too. What am I doing here? Does this end, because it feels like forever.

The things I thought to be honest and true are all flaking paint, including myself.

Our world naturally and idealistically is slowly morphing into wasteland and hell and my emotions are going along with it.

Everything revolves around money I don’t have, don’t want, yet weakly need. It seems so wrong. Everything seems so wrong. Everything seems to be so desperately wrong.

Cue Sound The Alarm. It’s really the only record I can listen to when I get like this anyway. That and Between The Concrete & Clouds seems to be really hitting the spot right now.

The Camry

A touch of bad news that I’m sure is happening for a reason I can’t see yet: The Camry has reached her last days.

I first got my 2000 Toyota Camry summer going into my senior year of high school.  It was a gift from my parents. They traded in their 1999 Ford Windstar (Embarrassingly enough, that was the car I learned how to drive with) for this old model Camry. She was dated but drove excellently. Of course there was a little repair to complete down the road, but it got me through my last year of high school, all through college, and then some – at least up to now.

One of the repairs that had to happen within a month or two of having the car was the alarm system. The Camry came with a very worn remote locking/alarm mechanism attached to the keychain. Though this was useful up to a point, the alarm system must’ve become worn with age and the remote was probably on its last leg of battery. I’ll never forget the day the alarm went off…and wouldn’t stop. It was high school, early fall – either September or October – and I though I can’t remember why, I got out of school later than usual. It was 4 or 4:30. All the after school traffic had dispersed and it as pretty quiet as I began the walk to where my car was parked – uphill on a side street, considered primo parking with the overwhelming demand for parking spots around the high school. I fished for my keys, hit unlock on my remote, and bam – The alarm began blaring full blast. I pressed unlock again, lock, unlock again. No use, alarm still going off. In a normally quiet residential area, people started to stare as it looked like I was breaking in to my own car! I took the key and unlocked the door. It opened. I slid inside, put the key in the ignition, and attempted to start it. No use. The alarm must’ve had a mechanism in place preventing the engine from starting when going off. Feeling helpless, I remember calling my mom in a panic. Eventually it stopped and I was able to start the car and drive away, attempting to hide my embarrassment. A similar alarm fiasco happened another time after this at home and then I demanded the system be taken out. I laugh about it now.

The Camry has a lot of memories associated with her because she was my first car. I only got into minor two accidents with her – The first, I was slightly sideswiped by my grandmother’s landscaper one evening coming home from work. Not my fault. I was making a left and he impatiently tried to go around me as I turned. The damage was only superficial. What was interesting about that (besides him being a total ass) was that I didn’t know it was my grandmother’s landscaper. It wasn’t until he came into her house to get paid a week or two after the accident that he saw my high school senior picture proudly displayed on her dining room table that he recognized me. Naturally, my grandmother informed us all and now we’ll never forget.

The second accident was partly my fault. Early morning on a double-laned street, I attempted to change lanes from right to left, going around a school bus. The left lane was empty, the light was red, and the three cars in front of me had just done the same thing. While straightening out, the light turned green and a Mercedes-Benz zoomed out of nowhere blaring its horn going about 50 mph in a 25-35 mph zone threatening to crash into me. I freaked, cut the wheel too hard, and my headlight hit the metal bumper of the school bus. I was mortified. The headlight took awhile to replace though as the tsunami/earthquake natural disaster had recently struck Japan. Thankfully insurance paid for everything.

In the Camry I drove carpools to shows, came to the rescue and picked up drunk friends, and shed many a tear in the midst of a deep conversation. I ventured to the shore, chatted with friends before their full year abroad, and blasted my fair share of Saves The Day, Kevin Devine, Into It. Over It., Elliott Smith, et al with the windows down and my sunroof open especially after a long day of school or work.

What I really loved about the Camry was the cassette player. About a year ago, I found out it couldn’t really play cassettes. It was pretty shot. But for a few good years I was able to use a cassette adapter to plug in my iPod and phone. It expanded so many listening possibilities. But like everything else I guess, it started to crap out within in the past two years making an annoying clicking noise, stopping, and spitting out the cassette. It was good while it lasted though.

What sealed the Camry’s fate was a rusty exhaust pipe and catalytic converter. The cost of replacement is almost what the car is worth. It’s not a problem I can ignore. It’s necessary equipment for the car to run. We’ve decided to sell it and maybe down the line buy or lease a new car, maybe one for my mom and I to share. Nothing’s definite though. Today I’m heading over to the garage to clean all my things out of it. I accept that it’s gone but I’m not used to the fact that I’ll have to rely on rides from others for a time. When I go to food shopping, the library, or the bank I’ll have to walk. I’m not used to that idea.

I was saying to my mom a few mornings ago as she was driving me to the train how the older I get and the more independent I try to be, the more I end up having to rely on others. It frustrates me. Because I  always thought in your twenties you were supposed to be someone and be yourself and make things happen to advance your life and “career” (whatever that means anymore). It’s like there’s a large rubber band around my waist and every time I run forward, I get snapped back. But sometimes we fight so hard that at times like these we must lay down the sword and accept what’s to come. What happened with my car was out of my hands and I cannot change it. I can only move on from this and hold on to the 5-6 years of memories that the Camry gave me. It’s the end of an era, but hopefully this will pave the road for better things ahead.