Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Shan Man's Best of 2009 (Final Installment)

Shan Man's Best of 2009 (Final Installment)
Girls, Girls, Girls: Girly Songs, Girly Lips, Girly TV Shows, Crazy Girls, and Girls with Mustaches

In this final installment of the Best of 2009, I'm not really going to check for grammatical or spelling errors because I have worked on it far too long. But I hope you get a kick out of a few stories. Remember, each story is to the best of my knowledge and is as accurate as I can remember.

Best Cheap Ride:
Light Rail

Other than using your friends to take you everywhere, the Metro Light Rail proved to be a worthy mode of transportation for me this year. Since its inaugural run in January, I was finally able to get on the train and take it from Mesa all the way to 19th Ave. and Indian School. Why? Why not! In fact, I liked the idea that I didn't have to hunt for parking when I went to a baseball game or find a cab to take me from the ballpark to Camelback and Central. As for price was concerned, I believe a day pass cost about $2.00, but I have heard prices have gone up and I haven't ridden the rail since I read that some homeless man shit inside one of the cars and smeared the walls with himself. So, if the threat of a shit-smearing homeless man scares you, don't take the rail. If you could care less, the Light Rail is now open on the weekends until 2AM (I beleive) and you can drown your troubles away with all the bars along the route from Downtown Phoenix to Downtown Tempe without !

Most Practiced Song on the Guitar:
"She Is Love" - Parachute

After U-Fest 09, I met a new friend that many people saw in the Summer of '09. I know her as Jackie, but you know her as JRC from the Twitpic photos I took of her. Still lost? When that horrible pile of fuck movie--Transformers 2--was released in the summer, a lot of my friends were so infatuated with Jackie because she looked a little like Megan Fox. Was I hanging out with Jackie because she looked like Megan Fox? No, but it was pretty cool to look at Jackie and think that Megan was hanging out with me! Jackie is much cooler.

What does Jackie have to do with the Most Practiced Song on the Guitar of '09? Given that my friendship with Jackie blossomed pretty quickly, I soon came to find out that Jackie and I had a lot of the same tastes in music. The summer allowed us to trade music back and forth via CDs and MySpace pages, but when I saw that she had posted Parachute's "She Is Love" on her profile page, I was drawn to the song instantly because of its simplicity: and acoustic guitar and a vocalist. That's it. Would I listen to the band.

In a year where I had been hashing out acoustic Alice in Chains songs on the guitar, "She Is Love" was a song that was completely out of character for me and I was willing to learn the song on my own. What would people think if I learned a song that wasn't a driving and distorted mess? I really could have cared less when it came to learning a love song. I had always been brought up to try something once before determining its future. I would soon buy the song on iTunes and start figuring out how to play the song on my own. After a few days of practicing, I had given up due to whatever was happening in my life at the time. But, one thing was for certain: that song would not be out of my life for the remainder of the year.

Earlier in the year, my sister announced that she would be getting married on Halloween. She had asked me if I could play a song during the ceremony and I had agreed. Her first suggestion was the Beatles' song "Here Comes the Sun" which is a good song, but I felt that "She Is Love" was a far better fit for a wedding. It wasn't that I didn't want to learn her suggested song, but the overall feel of "She Is Love" would fit a wedding ceremony than the one she suggested.

As a the true procrastinator that I am, I figured I wouldn't practice the song until late Septemeber or Mid-October. Each month leading up to the wedding, my sister continuously asked, "Have you been practicing your song?" My only reply would be "No." Why lie? I think she thought I was joke, but I really hadn't been practicing shit as the summer days had me in a funk (see Best of 2009--Part 2--Album of the Year). Nevertheless, October approached and was finally staring in front of me. For 3 weeks straight, I sat in my home office hashing out "She Is Love" and developed the most awesome calloused fingers since I was 16 years old.

Halloween would approach and I would be more nervous to perform this song in front of a very small group of my sister and brother-in-law's friends. I have stood in front of thousands of fans of Slipknot, Disturbed, Machine Head, Five Finger Death Punch, Alice in Chains, and Ozzy and each one of those experiences don't even come close to the amount of fear I had for performing this song in front of my family and my sister's friends. To say the least, all those times standing on stage to introduce a band paid off because even though I messed up in one part of the song, no one noticed and I found it strange that compliments surrounded what I had played and sang. In all honesty, I thought it was OK and I broke a leg for my good 'ol sis.

When all was said and done, someone asked me if I had one of my CDs for sale. WTF?

Best Rockstars to Meet:
Ivan Moody - Five Finger Death Punch
Corey Taylor - Slipknot/Stone Sour
Spider Zombie - Powerman 5000
Otep Shamaya - Otep
Benji - Skindred

Best Friend to Pick Up Where We Left Off:
Mullet(less) Mike

Mike returned back into my life in the earlier part of 2009--in the middle of my own personal hell. For whatever the reason, Mike entered back into my life to be that ear to bend when things were the toughest for me. I should just call him the Friend of the Year because while I was going through my own bullshit, Mike was dealing with looking for a new job for a good part of the year. How could I be depressed when my poor friend was jobless and listening to this poor sap lay out his laundry every night over the phone or at the George and Dragon? The cool thing about Mike is that no matter how tough the situation is, he makes light of it and doesn't sweat a lot.

After all the non-metal moments with Mike, we were able to reconnect and find a hobby to participate in other than anal fisting--BRET VESELY MOVIES! The initial idea for these Bret Vesely videos came from the genius minds of Dino Demilio and Russ Cundiff of the Divide Social Club, so it was my goal to get Mike on board with the idea. For a good part of the summer, Mike and I worked on different videos about Bret and even shared creative ideas with each other on how we could turn bret into something spectacular.

Well, as life worked out for Mike, he finally found a job and it was the end of movie-making business with him. Even though our rekindled friendship was short-lived, I must give credit to Mike for keeping me occupied and working toward branching out creatively. You'll be happy to know that Mike's new job is paying him millions of dollars a day and he's found a special someone in his life who makes him happy--other than me. The great thing about this is that when I reconnect with him in the future, it will be like we never stopped the conversation.

Best Trend that Never Caught On:
Fake Mustache Friday aka FSF

"I think we should do a thing where people take pictures of themselves wearing fake mustaches and they post the picture to Twitter and Facebook!" exclaimed Dream Palace Jimmy. "In fact, I'm ordering a box full of them right now and you can sell them for a buck!"

"Yeah that's great," thinking that Jimmy's tone was more snarky than serious.

"OK, they're ordered and I'll have them in three days! I'm going to give them to you, OK?"

"You were serious about that?"

After Jimmy was getting the handle of the trends of #musicmonday and #followfriday on Twitter, I would have to say that Jimmy buying a box of 300 fake mustaches and putting them in my hands to sell would be the single funniest moment of 2009 for me. Jimmy sold me on the idea and soon Fake Stache Friday would be born! What became a conversation became a trend for about a month (with the help of our favorite schmoozer, Corbin) spawned some pretty great pictures from people in Oregon, California, and Northern Arizona. It's my goal in 2010 to get a handle on this trend and make it a regular tradition!

Best Landing of the Year:
Outside the Apartment

If you thought The Sullenberger plane landing was pretty sweet into the Hudson, I have one even better...

Right after Homeless for the Holidays, I was unloading my trunk with all the equipment I used when playing at the Tempe Marketplace. My arms were filled with music stands, guitar cases, lyric notebooks, etc. Imagine me walking up to my apartment and taking the first step from the parking lot to the sidewalk--and missing the sidewalk entirely! An array of every piece of equipment fell from my limbs and made for the the most awesome faceplant onto the sidewalk known to man. I'm not lying, I really did fall on my face. This fall hurt like a motherfucker, but the sad part is that there was no one around to witness it. After I brushed myself off, I had only wished I had a camera filming the entire thing because I would have probably laughed at myself for hours.

Best TV Show to Watch on a Saturday Night:
Lone Butte: Lucky Break on Channel 5

Saturday nights were usually the time when I would troll with Corbin to a few bars around town, but it soon ended when I was introduced to Lone Butte: Lucky Break by John Holmberg. I really didn't understand why Holmberg enjoyed watching the show, but after watching a wannabe hybrid of American Idol and really shitty bar singing, I couldn't pass up staying in on Saturday night to watch some of the most horrific singers the Valley has to offer.

The mechanics of this show mirrors a lot of what American Idol gives people except these people are local. Shitty singing, shitty judges, and on occasion you can find Cell Block 3 from Florence Correctional Facility sitting in the audience. But it's not the mechanics of the show that has interested the group of people that watch this show with Holmberg on Saturday nights. You can make fun of just about everything on the show and the goal is to see who (me, Holmberg, Vesely, Dick Toledo, etc) can send a text message zinger faster than the other person. Everyone on that show is fair game to be ripped apart by the 98 KUPD staff via text message from the rotund English bitch to Stifler's Mom Look-alikes! So if you happen to catch the show, please know that there are about 10 people all text messaging each other back and forth some of the best cut-downs you will never hear on the radio.

Best Tonsil Swap:
Laurissa and Brianna

2009 was GOOD TO ME when it came to making out with chicks. I can't quite remember how many chicks I slutted my lips to, but I am certainly not complaining considering I didn't have to answer to anyone other than my work wife, Bret Vesely. However, there were two REALLY GOOD kissers this year that deserve some serious notoriety.

**Please note that the names used in this section have been changed to protect the anonymity of the participants**

1.) Laurissa:
What can I say about Laurissa other than the fact that she was hot, blonde, great body, and willing? I had met her at U-Fest back in April and all day we had been eye-fucking each other HEAVILY. It wouldn't be soon after I was finished broadcasting that I would get plenty of beer in my body to dominantly reel her in backstage just make out with her without saying a word to her about WHAT we were going to do. I'm pretty sure we made out during the entire Drowning Pool set and part of Chevelle. As far as making out goes, things got so incredibly hot and heavy that the guys from Skindred saw what I was doing and they all cheered for both of us to go further! Hah! At some point I had to sober up in case I had to drive somewhere to seal the deal, but you have to figure that I had so many Blue Moons that day I couldn't remember why I was at The Farm and I completely forgot about her at the end of the night. I really didn't consider it a loss for me because I had other fish to fry that night. I think the the best part of all of that making out with Laurissa was that I didn't have to hear from her again! I'm still a homo for not sealing the deal though...

2.) Brianna
I'd have to say that the kiss with Brianna was, by far, the most romantic I had ever had. Brianna was about 5'5", brunette, had a great body that was in shape, cat-like eyes, and very luscious lips. She and I had reconnected--after about two years of losing each other--back in the earlier part of the summer at some bar in Downtown Phoenix. Things between us really started out as friends who could go out and have a few beers and just talk the night away. I really enjoyed her company and she made me want to hang out with her more. The only tough part was that getting her to commit to a schedule with me. That was the most difficult part as she was the busiest person I had learned know.

Just as I enjoyed her company, she seemed to enjoy mine just as much, but there was something strange that was between us. I couldn't explain it, but it was as if she couldn't figure out if she wanted to like me more or if she should just step away. So, I didn't want to push anything harder. I gave her the space she needed, but was still willing to try and make an effort to have a great time with her whenever she would be willing to give me the time. Summertime would pass and the frequency of our visits would dwindle and I'm pretty sure that I was getting blown off by her. Whether she had met someone else or just didn't want to talk with me, I was hoping she would just tell me something instead of leaving me in the dark. But as they say, when you start feeling left in the dark, it should be your first sign indicator that there is no interest.

Not conceding to the fact she was losing interest in me, I sent her a text on a Saturday night in the early part of autumn that read, "What is it going to take to hang out with you again?" Thinking that I wouldn't get a response back, I got an response back nearly 30 seconds later that read, "Nothing! How about now!?" Of course I was going to jump at this opportunity and would make the trip to whichever bar she was hanging out at.

Upon arriving to the bar, I could tell that she was already a little buzzed from the wine she was drinking, but still sober enough to hold a decent conversation with me. Like clockwork, we started laughing, toasting to inane things, and eventually found ourselves a little buzzed. She told me she wanted to go home and relax out on her deck so that she could pass out quickly. I was cool with this, but she extended the invitation off to me and wanted me to drive her car back to her place--which was only 3 minutes from the bar. Why not? We'd make a quick pit stop to the grocery store for some Stella and then head off to her house.

By the time we go to her house, she was ready to just relax and I had no complaints about this. Besides, if I was going to drink anymore than what already had, I would have to slow it down and just enjoy the good company. We made our way to her deck that overlooked the entire city of Phoenix and started listening to music from the iTunes deck on the table--completely content and laughing about whatever came to mind. Soon I would find myself far from buzzed and had enough liquid courage in my system to start interrogating her on why she had been avoiding me amongst other courageous questions. Since we were both pretty drunk, she started giving the dirt about how she thought I was great and how her friends and family think that we would be a great couple. When I asked her why she was holding back, she couldn't give me the answer. Of course, in my drunken state, I couldn't decipher body language or the deliverance of her connotations, but I just let it roll off my back.

The time frame of talking to her about "us" seemed to last an eternity, but was really only a few minutes because I can remember that the same song was playing when the conversation ended. Once that conversation DID end, I had realized that she had her legs kicked up onto my lap, and I was leaned toward her holding her hands and arms. I stared at her for a brief moment and before I knew it, we were kissing. The kiss lasted for quite some time and in true romantic style, Brianna graduated quickly to THE BEST KISS of ALL TIME. Sure, the situation lent itself to the ultimate romantic kiss--city lights, perfect song, perfect evening weather--but the kiss was like nothing I had ever had before. This chick KNEW what she was doing and KNEW how to kiss. Everything from how to tilt her head, to the soft nibbles of the lips, to holding the kiss for the perfect amount of time--Brianna had it down. For the first time in my life I was able to really say, "How the fuck does this happen?" I was in complete and utter awe.

When the kiss finished, we looked at each other, held each other for a minute or two and that's where this part of the story ends.

I haven't heard from Brianna much since that night as I think I scared her and she had found interest in someone else. It was cool because for the 2 hours I spent with her, I will remember the one kiss that shook my world. It was the one kiss that will always be remembered as "The Deck Incident".

Best Text Message Conversation:

About a month after "The Deck Incident", I was sitting at John Holmberg's back patio watching football with the boys. Like any other typical Sunday, text messages were not coming to my phone because everyone I did text with was sitting in front of me. By late afternoon I had received a text from a girl I had been wanting to get with for a few months. When I read the message, she was giving me full-opportunity to see her newly pierced nipples--which I was completely game for checking out.

Before the story progresses, you must get a little bit of background on this chick:

1. She had been trying to hook up with me for nearly 3 years, but would never come out an say it until the latter part of the summer.
2. She had recently gotten a tit job and kept telling me, "I want you to be the first to test drive these out of the lot."
3. She had a knack for always text messaging mundane and immature things to me that didn't require a response.
4. When I DID TEXT message her, I wouldn't get a response for another 4 hours or the next day.
5. The weekend I was at Holmberg's I told her to meet me at my place by 8PM and wanted to make sure it was cool with her.
6. Minutes after I had sent her that text to meet me at my place, more minutes blew by and I found out she was hanging out with another guy because she sent an update out on Twitter.
7. Sunday passed and I didn't hear from her until Wednesday of the next week.

As a lot of you know, I have no tolerance for stupidity and I surely wasn't going to give her the time of my day to foolishly waste on lying to me. What you are about to see is the text message exchange on that Wednesday night after she blew me off.

Mary: Mmmm. Tool.. You're awesome... :-)

Me: Hah.
Mary: Right when I turned my car on, it was the first thing playing... :-)
Me: I'm still not happy with you...
Mary: What? Why?
Me: You don't remember ditching me on Sunday, evidently

Mary:Oh I'm sorry...I didn't know we had for sure plans..I thought you were just throwing out ideas..Don't be mad at me for that...that's a lame reason...You know I want to hang with you again..

Me:I still have the text conversation. I asked you for 8PM and you never responded. It's cool...
Don't pull that with me

Mary: Are you seriously going to be like that??????
Mary: Don't pull what with you???? I'm not pulling shit..

(Nearly 3 minutes pass)

Mary: an have no right or reason to be pissed for something as stupid as that...but if you really need a reason to not talk to me-even though you're good enough at it already-then go for seem really good at pushing people away anyways, so fuck it..Send me a text when you're done being stupid, until then, fuck off...>:o

Me: Fuck this. When you admit to ignoring me on Sunday then things can go back to normal. Your last text just sealed your fate. In the Meantime, best of luck.

Mary: Sealed my fate?? Who the fuck are you???? Ya I'll admit I didn't liek the idea of Sunday, I'm not just going to be fuckint fit into somebody's schedule whenever it's fucking convenient for them..I like you Shannon, I always have..A lot..You're a good person and I care for you, butI don't deserve you being an asshole to me. i've made it clear that I like you, but you obviously are too blind to realize when someone is being real...I always was, I just don't want to play stupid I'm sorry you're mad, but seriously, don't be a jerk to's not you...or fuck, maybe it is which I guess is better for me to know now rather then later. So no Shannon, fuck your best of luck to me, and I wish best of luck to yourself instead.......

Mary: "Things can go back to normal.." Hah. Fuck you..Ya, I really like things the way they were...Random text messages to each other...sooooo exciting!!!

I'm so happy to have invited you into my life of crazy chicks who do this to me on a consistent basis. You would think I have learned my lesson, but the lesson is: There isn't a chick out there that ISN'T crazy. A lot of my friends know that I can tolerate a lot of things, but when it comes to someone lying to me, I have no toleration and move on.

Oh and if you're wondering, Mary sent me a text two weeks ago that said, "A Perfect Circle...mmm..." I never responded.

So that's my list of Best of 2009. It was tough to whittle down the events that went on in my life, but these were some of the more significant events of my life that mattered to me. I hope you enjoyed it and I'll see you in 2010! Just make sure you don't go batshit loco on me via text message. I keep all of that stuff!



  1. Dude, thats cool. I wasn't sure what to expect at first, but I am so glad that I did read it. I am a bit jealous that your able to remember allll that, I can't tell you what I had for dinner last night. The story about the text messages with your friend Mary was like a Deja Vu of a girl from my past. Good stuff bro. Dino would probably say FILE UNDER : GREAT READ.

  2. Chicks are so F'n nuts. I am glad I am a chick & straight. Becuase I am DAMN sure if I'd started life as a lesbian the chicks woulda driven me back to dicks.

  3. Looks like you had a busy year. That face plant sounds epic. I was carrying a base drum and the same thing happened to me. lol


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