So, I wrote this blog yesterday about people stealing my stuff and just the whole topic of stealing in general. So today I got a message on myspace from my friend Leah who spent the night at my house this weekend:
Date: Jan 5, 2009 5:52 PM
I really hope you don't think that it was me that stole your Pixies CD. First of all, I have my own copy of Doolittle! But, since I was over at your house last week, I thought that maybe you thought it was me.
Trust me... I do not steal! I went to jail for stealing when I was 18. The only thing I stole when I was at your house was a bit of lotion to remove my make-up, and I didn't ask because it was the middle of the night and my mascara was really bothering me.
That being said, I'm sick of you getting fucked over by so many people... people who you thought were your friends. Laura told me about what **** did, and what **** did to you was awful, not to mention your other former best friend. It's not fair that a good guy, who actually has the balls to admit to being a Christian in this society gets shit on time and time again.
Now I feel really bad about the stupid girl at McDonalds giving us too much change. :(
I really hope you don't think I took yr CD, and I hope that it pops up somewhere.
Now I know that Leah would never steal anything from me. She's one of the nicest people I know and I'm sure just by reading her message to me that she's a really good friend. But now I felt bad because I didn't even think about how she had stayed over a few days ago and that she might think I was talking about her. The fact is that the CD was missing for quite a while and the reason I went through them was because I had noticed a while ago that the stack was shorter and I didn't have time to check it out. So I wrote her back this message:
"I already know who took my CD and I wouldn't ever worry about you stealing anything from me. And about the whole McDonalds thing, I totally forgot about it until you mentioned it again. I hope I didn't spaz out too much. I get a little carried away sometimes. You should ask Laura about the time I flipped out at Perkins. We were there with my sister Cathy and all the kids and while Laura was paying Cathy noticed that one of the vending machines in the lobby was broken open. So she told my kids and her son Evan to grab as many of the little toys as they could. When we got out to the parking lot the kids started pulling all the toys out of their pockets and when I saw that I went crazy and started yelling at all the kids to take them back inside and return them. Then Laura and Cathy told the kids it was O.K. and just to ignore me and get in the car. I ended up being a complete asshole and bitching everyone out and almost made my sister cry. Then I had to feel bad about being such a hard-ass on everybody.
I can't expect everyone else to be like me. God knows I've done some horrible shit in my past. But what I can do is try to be a good example to others and forgive people. Sometimes I wonder if the rotten things that happen to me sometimes are my bad karma from things I've done in the past. By the time you get to be our age you just have to have a firm opinion about things because we've been through enough mistakes to learn our lessons by now. It's called self-actualization.
For example, an old friend of ours sent me a huge list of racist jokes on myspace the other day. As soon as I started reading it I recognized tons of the jokes were ones I told him back in the day. At that time my opinion was that even though I'm not racist the jokes were funny and as long as I was keeping them between us no one would be offended. What I didn't realize back then was that it wasn't a matter of who I was sharing the jokes with but that I was repeating them at all. I have this book that has a quote that says, "A good way to judge a man is by looking at where he sees humor."
So I'd like to think that I'm mature enough now that I know where I stand on issues. If I see or hear something I don't agree with I can be confident in speaking up and not just sit there and be frightened to have an opinion.
One of the reasons why I like you so much is that you are the same way. I've seen you stand your ground on issues quite a few times. But you are also accepting of others which is also important.
Anyway, I apologize for being so windy but I'm up with insomnia again.
I actually don't really mind too much that my CD got stolen. At least they stole a damn good CD and maybe they are grooving out to it as I speak."
There are two times that come to mind when I was a complete asshole and stole CDs/DVDs from people and I still feel rotten about it every time I think about it. And now I'm going to confess on my blog.
Once apon a time, a long fucking time ago... my friend Tony brought me over a cassette tape of him singing songs. Back in High School Tony would record these tapes of himself singing these ridiculous songs and screaming. He would record them on his tape recorder when his parents would be out of the house. He brought some of them to school and eventually other people would listen to them on his Walkman. They were so hilarious that I had him dub me off a few of them and he would just record them on random tapes he had laying around his room.
When I got home from school one day I stuck one of the tapes in to listen to it and I accidentally put it in on the wrong side. It was just music that he hadn't recorded over. I was going to take it out but then the music caught my attention and I was like, "What the hell is this?" It was the best fucking band I had ever heard. I ended up listening to the whole tape over and over for the rest of the day. I tried to pick at the sticker on the tape to see who the band was but all that was left of the name was the letters "PIX". The next day at school I asked Tony about it and he said it was one of his cousin Shawn's old cassettes. So I went to the music store at the mall to look for the band. The only two bands that started with "PIX" were Pixicatto Five, and Pixies so I bought them both. The Pixies album I bought was the album "Surfer Rosa" which had this toppless flamenco dancer on the cover. I was worried that my mom would throw a fit if she saw it because she already complained about my Jane's Addiction- Nothing Shocking tape cover and Blood Sugar Sex Magik. I wonder what kind of fucked up music she thought I was listening to. I remember my parents just got divorced and I was staying at my dad's house that weekend so I rushed over there with the tapes and couldn't wait to see if I had found the right band. The first thing I did when I got inside his house was put in the Surfer Rosa tape and after the first few notes of the song "Bone Machine" I was a fucking junkie.
I think when I heard the song "Where is my Mind?" that I actually lost mine for good. Before that I actually thought Bill & Ted were going to write the music that brought harmony to the world. I was sure that it would never get any better than that.
I was determined to get my hands on as much Pixies music as I could. There was only one other Pixies album at the music store in the mall and it was on CD. It was their brand new album Trompe Le Monde. At that time the CD section was pretty small and I didn't even own a CD player yet but I bought it anyway. At that time CDs came in these ridiculous packages that were like two feet long and I felt like an idiot the first time I bought one. My girlfriend had a CD player so I went over to her place to listen to it. I can still remember laying on the carpet floor in her room listening to that with her. That was in 1992 and it's funny that I found two of my greatest loves way back then, the Pixies and my wife.
I ordered what I could get from the music store at the mall, I bought everything I could on cassette, and that Christmas I got my first CD player. Eventually the guys at the mall got sick of me trying to order stuff and told me to go to the record store on the College Hill.
The first time I went to Coop Records on the College Hill I met Scott the owner. The first thing he would always say the instant you walked in the door was, "What can I get for you today?".
It didn't matter if he was in mid-conversation with someone else, or if he was way at the back end of the store. The moment your nose entered the store he was on you.
Up until that point I thought that once you bought all of an artist's albums it was all over, but as soon as I got over to the "P" section and found the marker with the word Pixies on it I was born into a brand new world of singles, EPs, bootlegs, and compilations. I wanted them all. There were singles with B-Sides! Songs I'd never heard before. There were Live albums with neat covers. The first time I went to Coop I bought a $50.00 2-disc live Pixies bootleg called "Planet of Sound" and when I brought it to the counter Scott's eyes lit up. He could tell I was going to be a frequent customer.
I ended up buying everything by the Pixies that I could get. It took a bit but I had a paper route and I had money to keep ordering what they could get me. The music of the Pixies was like a soundtrack to my life. I always had it playing in my room, my car, and in my head.
One day when I went into Coop Scott said he had gotten something I should see. He put a video cassette into the VCR and they had a TV mounted up near the ceiling. I can still remember that he turned to a customer and said, "Hey, watch this kid freak out." Suddenly I saw on the monitor this chubby sweat-drenched guy in a flannel shirt and jeans contorting and screaming into a microphone. Up until that point I had only seen the Pixies in album photos. It took my mind a moment to realize that I was looking at Black Francis in action. It was like watching your first porno. That was the first time I saw Black Francis, Joey Santiago, David Lovering, and Mrs, John Murphy (Kim Deal) ripping it up on stage. I saw a sea of fans gyrating and hopping wildly, chanting along with the song. It was indescribable.
For some reason Scott shut it off and I was still in a daze from what I'd just seen. I'm never understood why he stopped the tape after so quickly but now I'm thinking that it must have been some sort of look in my eyes.
I begged him for the tape but he told me that someone else had ordered it in and they would be picking it up later on that day. I asked him to order me a copy but he told me that one of his employees made out the order and he wasn't sure where it came from.
I came back the next day and the day after that and still I saw the tape sitting behind the counter with a post-it note stuck to it. From what I heard the guy that ordered it was a college student who was an even bigger Pixies freak than me. Eventually after nagging Scott for a few days he called the guy up and told him it was his last chance to come buy it or he was going to sell it to me. About fifteen minutes later the guy showed up. I ended up talking to him for a bit and found out he had quite a nice collection of Pixies CDs and had also seen them in concert a couple times. He was in College and I was still in High School. He invited me back to his dorm room to check out his collection.
Now here's where the stealing part comes in. As soon as we're hanging out at his place I realize that he's got a few discs that I had been looking for. After some convincing he agreed to let me "borrow" the ones I didn't have on the condition that I would return them within a week. To be completely honest I figured I would never see this guy again and after a semester or two he'd just disappear and return home like most of the college students did. I figured I'd cherish the CDs more than he ever would and that would be that. I would just steal them and avoid the College Hill for a few months. I was kind of a little prick.
About a month later I was parked on the College Hill and had the CDs in my car. Somebody stole a bunch of Cds out of my car which included the ones I had stolen from that guy. By now the guy had told the record store the whole story and I got bitched out by Scott and a bunch of other people for what I had done.
Wait, it gets worse. I don't know what that guy was going to college for but it must have been for a doctor or lawyer because I ended up running into him about half a dozen times over the next few years. What I should have done is confessed and found a way to replace the stolen discs but instead I just pussed out and told the guy I would return his CDs. Is this fucked up or what? I ended up joining a band around this time which made matters worse because on more than one occasion the guy would show up at one of my shows and give me the "evil-eye" from the crowd while I was on stage. I'd end up giving him a fake phone number or play dumb like I didn't remember him which really stinks because obviously he was a cool guy and dug the local music scene. After about five years he disappeared and I haven't seen him since.
After I got cancer in 1999 and found religion I made it a point to search out and apologize to people I had wronged including three guys I took part in bullying as a child, but unfortunately that theft was one thing I never got off my chest. Eventually I bought the CDs and Video that I so insistently had to have back then but every time I look at those particular discs it's another reminder of how much of a selfish ass I was back then. I still love the Pixies as much as I did 16 years ago but I wouldn't be tempted nowadays the least bit to steal anything no matter what it was.
I remember reading an article a few years ago in Rolling Stone about Black Francis getting a bunch of his guitars and stuff stolen from his tour bus while they were on tour. If I remember correctly he was pretty upset. I hope whoever took his shit feels like a fucking jackass.
The second thing I remember stealing was a while later when I went to pick up a friend of mine from a party. I'll leave her name out of it because we're still friends.
She was drunk and needed to be picked up from some frat house on the College Hill so I went to get her. When I finally found the place with her sloppy directions there was a bunch of people all hanging out in the front yard. After picking her out in the crowd she insisted that I stay there for a bit because they were "waiting for something". I don't even think she remembered calling for a ride. So I did my best to just chill and sat down on the couch inside talking to some stupid frat boys and watching them play drinking games. I must have been there for about a half an hour and I overheard people mumbling about how someone was coming over with some coke. After waiting for an eternity most of the crowd had left and there was only about twenty people still lingering around. I just wanted to go back home but my friend was stumbling around hanging all over these moron guys and I think she forgot I was even waiting there. Eventually the "Coke Guy" showed up and everybody went upstairs leaving me alone in the living room. After a while I got bored and started looking through the guys DVD collection and saw they had the movie "Return to Oz". Since I was already pissed off about the whole situation and figured the idiots deserved it I popped open the case, stole the disc, and put it back on the shelf. I ended up leaving with my friend and that was that.
I guess back in the day I targeted college students. Dumb.
Anyway Leah, if you ever visit my blog and read this you can see that I'm not such an innocent, kind, exceptional individual. At times I've been just as much of a scumbucket as anyone else. And I'm sure karma has something to do with the bad rap I get sometimes.