Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy 29th Birthday, Jeff

Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio, a fellow of
infinite jest, of most
excellent fancy; he hath borne me on his back a
thousand times.

~Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act V, scene I, lines 160-162

October 29, 1996:
Hello all:

I just got back from the Al Gore rally and I wanted to tell you all about it. But since I am such a lazy ass, I am just sending this to all of you at once. Hey Cort, how are you. Go run. Anyway, time for politics.

I got to Mac Court and waited outside for about one and a half hours. And it was cold! I was one of the first twenty in however, so it was worth it. When I got in, I found that they were playing loud techno/dance music. This only lasted for about thirty minutes. Then the live band started to play. As the mosh pit (yes, there was a mosh pit) filled up, people all over the place started to dance. The Oregon duck mascot was there and he inspired much movement among the masses. The best part was watching the secret service people dance. Those guys that have not blinked in 15 years and still have the cardboard in their shirts would all of a sudden bust a move, and then look around making sure no one saw.

After two hours of live music, the techno was back on and Clinton/Gore signs appeared from nowhere. As the signs spread throughout the crowd, people started throwing little flags around. Then the duck mascot started to dance on the stage. Did I mention the 6 ft. cat walking around in a suit and tie? Then Defazzio, the local congressman, started talking and did some serious Newt bashing. It was very entertaining. Then the governor spoke for a few minutes, and then the student head of the democratic student body spoke for a few minutes and then she introduced Gore.
All I have to say is that Gore should quit politics and go into stand up comedy. He made stiff jokes about himself for about 15 minutes. "If you look at Al Gore in a strobe light, it looks like he is moving. You can always tell Al Gore from the secret service because Gore is the stiff one." He said when ever he hears a new Gore joke, he always responds, "Thanks Tipper." Then Gore got down to business by talking about his reputation. As a dancer that is. Then he started to talk politics.
He spent much of his time talking about economics. He spend a lot of time on how women owned businesses are increasing, and producing more than the total gross national product of Canada, Great Britain, and Australia combined. Then he talked about the Clinton/Gore promise to increase financial aid and lower tuition. In the meantime he did some serious Dole/Newt bashing. He made mention of the Contract with America several times and cited Clinton's leadership, etc. It was really good.

A few people got arrested by the secret service because they were yelling and holding up some banner. I could not see what it said, but they started when Gore was talking about protecting the environment. The people really liked Gore, and many had Gore 2000 signs. Anyway, it was really fun. Talk to you all soon.


I love you Jeff. Happy Birthday.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Girls with tattoos like authority less.

Okay, it is way too late at night for me to be blogging, but I just feel like it. Due to my problems with insomnia, I'm not supposed to be doing anything stimulating at night, but this week has been verrry stimulating.

Monday was Christmas of course, and Tuesday I saw my psychologist for my PTSD treatment. We've made a list of flashbacks that I regularly have, and we're going through them, from the least intense to the most. (I would have preferred to go from the most intense to the least, but I'm impatient that way.) I do some deep breathing to activate my parasympathetic nervous system (as opposed to the sympathetic nervous system where PTSD lives). I close my eyes, and describe everything I can about being in the flashback- where I am, what I see, what I’m like (age, what I’m wearing, what I’m experiencing), and even what it smells like. I talk about how I feel, and (we're getting into therapy-speak) what I needed in that situation that I didn’t get. Then I imagine myself walking in, picking myself (in the flashback) up, and carrying me out of the situation, i.e. rescuing myself. Then I imagine looking back as the place becomes dark and fades away.

This probably sounds a little wonky, at least it did to me at first, but it works. I feel rescued. I don't feel trapped in the little kid who was trapped in the situation. I feel like an adult who can save myself. I'm turning 35 next month, and I feel 35, not 8, or 17, or 25. (I don't feel like my brother would be turning 29 on Sunday if he was alive, but that's another story.)

On Wednesday we started a new flashback, and it was difficult. They take 2 or 3 sessions to work through, and that's just with the milder flashbacks I've done so far. After we went through the scene, I realized it really brought up a lot of feelings about my mom- confusion, anger, resentment, and frustration with how disconnected and absent she was as a mother. I left my psychologist's in somewhat of an emotional turmoil. That night, I was meeting an old school friend, Mariya. (If you hate me using your real name, honey bear, let me know.) We went to high school and college together in Seattle, and had been good friends but in the last 10 years had only seen each other once (when we ran into each other at a brew pub). We kept in touch through MySpace since then. She lives in Alabama but grew up in Seattle, so she was in town for Christmas.

We met at Liberty, a bar with sushi on 15th. They are supposed to have espresso, too (so Seattle) but don't have hot water (? I'm still confused about that) and I wanted tea, so after a drink we walked down the street to a very hip Seattle cafe. We were kind of making fun of Seattle's sushi and espresso on demand culture, girls with ridiculous hats, and sensitive Seattleites who are full of themselves, but then we got into a discussion about the book I'm reading, and other family/abuse dynamics. It was perfect- we talked about the yucky stuff and I got to get what I was feeling off my chest without it dominating the evening. When we decided to go back to Liberty for sushi we realized that we were having a very Seattle evening even though we had poked fun of that same lifestyle earlier.

We had a fabulous time at Liberty. We sat at the bar and made friends with the bartender and owner, or owners, or something. They took good care of us, and the sushi was divine. Mariya and I reminisced, laughed about our inside jokes from 10 years ago, talked about boys and girlfriends, and chatted with our new friends about religion and music. We closed the place out. It pains me to leave when the party is still going on, so I was lucky I had the whole week off from work. I was really happy with our full night of drinks, food, and conversation.

The next day I had another appointment with my psychologist. Everything came out- my worst fears about how my parents had screwed me up, that I was damaged, and that I might always be messed up. All this bitter cynicism about my life and myself. I've really been struggling with resentment lately- the holidays brings up a lot and I miss my brother so intensely right now. I learned with my grief work that if I don't let myself feel these negative emotions they will never get worked out and, most importantly, go away. I wasn't sure if this would work with resentment, but I was giving it a try.

My goal with Christmas this year was to really feel the sadness and not numb myself out, so I figured I should do the same with other emotions. Resentment and bitterness are the hardest for me, though. They are so counter to the way I see myself. I don't want to blame other people for my problems; I don't want to seethe with anger at people who aren't even part of my life anymore, and I especially don't want to see myself as a victim. That's how I got through my childhood- by not allowing myself to feel victimized. I believed I was strong, smart, and could take care of myself. Bitterness didn't help me. Anger is motivating, but resentment just eats away at you. It's not who I am.

I just unloaded to my psychologist, though, and did that really hardcore crying where my eyes puffed up and turned red and my nose was so stuffed up I could barely breathe. Afterwards, I realized a major change had taken place. I used to feel ashamed after I cried like that- weak and pathetic. But I didn't feel that way. I felt relief. I felt release.

I met up with 2 other old friends who were in town that night, Bengt and Marc, and Marc’s sister Nicki (spelling? Sorry if I got it wrong). We caught up, laughed about our screwed up childhoods, and went dancing at Neighbors. They played eighties music, very eighties music- Walk Like an Egyptian, Love Shack, Relax (Don't Do it), Come On Eileen, Pleasure Little Treasure, Boys Don't Cry, Bananarama, Erasure, Duran Duran, Dead or Alive, New Order... They played a Cure song that Bengt loves so much he got goose bumps, and then they played a Joy Division song that gave me goose bumps. We sang along, tried to imitate the dances from the videos, pantomimed the lyrics, laughed at the other people who were dancing crazy, falling down drunk, and dry (or not so dry) humping each other.

I got into a shoving match with a guy who smacked my friends and me on the head (and messed up my hair. Unacceptable!) He called me a little bitch, much to our amusement. We moved to another area on the dance floor where the gay guys were more interested in each other than me, and a sexy woman salsa danced with me and felt me up. Just when I was speculating as to whether I could switch sides, her boyfriend took her away from me. We laughed hysterically at a guy who sang along to Gloria at the top of his lungs, collapsed to the ground when a song told us to, invented a new dance to break these chains of love (don't give up), and danced for 3 1/2 hours straight (until 3 am), but the most memorable part of the night was when I realized that I don't feel bitter or resentful anymore. It wasn't like I was on a dancing induced ecstasy trip where I loved everyone (I was totally sober too), but everything felt right to me. I felt right with myself and right with the world. It wasn't a temporary feeling either. I've felt that way since. I've been liberated.

We returned to Liberty tonight for more drinks and sushi, and closed the place out again. It's not a nightclub, it's a lounge, so act like it! It was Mariya’s last night in Seattle. She had a little too much, uh, seaweed. I can't remember the last time I felt so much like myself, only myself now is much more (therapy-speak) centered and happy than I've ever been. I can't help being a little sarcastic about all the self-help books, therapy, support groups, etc. that I've put myself through in the last year, but they've really helped. The last 4 days, though, have been the most fun part of my recovery so far, and I owe it all to laughing with my friends, dancing, and sushi. Seattle's not so bad after all.

How great is it that I'm going into the New Year feeling like this? New Year's Eve is my brother's birthday, I feel sad about it, but not angry. Tonight I’m picking up my amazing friend Michelle up from the airport. I missed her! She has a fabulous night planned for Sunday. 2007 is going to be a great year. I can feel it. Happy New Year everyone!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Crassmas

This X-mas I decided to do whatever I wanted. Right now I'm watching the Rick Steves' European Christmas special on PBS. (Note to PBS- could you please, for the love of god, find another version of the Nutcracker? You've played the same version every year since I was a kid, and it's soooo boring! There has got to be a better version out there.) It's pretty liberating to have the freedom to do what I feel like. So far, I've slept in, picked up my friend from the hospital (she had surgery last Friday), had lunch at a Mexican restaurant (it was the only one open we could find on Capitol Hill), walked around Broadway, watched an episode of "Six Feet Under", read, and watched "Business Week" and "The News Hour".

There were quite a few other people walking around on Broadway. People were extra cheery. Almost everyone I passed said, "Merry Christmas". That kind of friendliness is usually unheard of on Broadway. Although the best thing about today is not feeling obligated to attend any uncomfortable family gatherings.

Frankly, I don't understand why so many people spend the day with families they complain so much about. I blame television and movies. It used to be that everyone's family was assumed to follow the "Ozzie and Harriet" model. Now, everyone is assumed to have a dysfunctional family. This is probably an improvement- family portrayals do seem more realistic than they used to be. I did say more realistic, though, not realistic. Fictional dysfunctional families are wacky, funny, entertaining, loveable, and a vehicle of redemption. In a movie, all you have to do is make disparaging witty quips to your boyfriend/girlfriend about your family, roll your eyes a lot, keep your mouth shut when you are actually around your family or bicker about inconsequential things that are a diversion from any real problems, and some well-timed adventure will come along to try you family bonds, bring you together, and leave you with a new appreciation for your family relationships.

In real life, the grandfather who gooses female relatives and makes inappropriate sexual comments is horrifying, not funny. Verbally abusive parents aren't really sensitive, loving individuals who are hiding their true feelings behind a gruff exterior. Alcoholism is a lot scarier and more destructive than a red-faced giggling relative would have you believe. Most of all, real dysfunctional families aren't entertaining and fun. Accepting inappropriate behavior year after year is denial, not a normal part of family life. That's such a downer, I know, but I also know that I'm not the only one who thought for years that if I was patient my family would come to their senses and start acting like a real family, you know, like on TV. I finally let that fantasy go, realized that a family based on dishonesty would never be happy, and actually tried to do something about it. Now I'm enjoying freedom from disappointment and unmet expectations, at least. It's surprisingly liberating to not be afraid of the truth about your real dysfunctional family.

Speaking of which, the book I'm reading is Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft. The book seems like it was written specifically about my dad, and to a lesser extent, some of my ex-boyfriends. For a long time I thought abuse was just the most extreme things that my dad did to me- beatings and threats of violence. Now I've realized that emotional and verbal manipulation, controlling behavior, and talking to someone in disrespectful and degrading ways are also abuse, and just because someone isn't as bad as my dad doesn't mean the way they treat me is acceptable. Lundy Bancroft has counseled abusive men since 1987, but he is quick to point out that most abusive men do not change (my dad, for example) primarily because they don't want to. The book is for abused women, so they can understand the techniques, rationalizations, and thinking of abusive men, and use this insight to identify them, figure out how their manipulations work, and get out from under their power.

The way he talks about abusive men and the difficulties women face in getting away from them shows so much more sophistication and understanding than anything else I've read. In dealing with his clients, the abusers, he also talks to their partners and ex-partners so the book is not about how abusive men characterize themselves. He gets both sides of the story, and really understands how abusers manipulate the abused person AND everyone else- other family members, friends, police, the courts, and therapists. Their ability to pull the wool over people's eyes is the source of their power, so understanding how they operate helps you figure out how to deal with them.

He lists 17 myths about why abusers are abusive, and explains why they are myths and how abusers use these myths to justify their behavior. I was blown away by this section of the book- my dad and mom have used many of these myths as excuses for my dad's abuse throughout my life, and I have used some of them to try to understand both my dad and some of my ex-boyfriends' behavior. These (incorrect) explanations have also been alluded to in many of the books I've read about abuse, and I've used some of them in previous posts. The thing was, these explanations didn’t really make sense or truly explain why my dad is the way he is, so the arguments in this book for why these ideas are myths, perpetrated by the abuser for his own purposes, make much more sense.

For example, Myth #1: he was abused as a child. My grandfather abused my dad, according him, and I know from my own observation that his dad was abusive to my grandmother. Why would that make my dad violent and manipulative towards women? According to "Why Does He Do That?" there is not a strong link between abusive men and childhood abuse. Similarly, the most frequent excuse I heard growing up for my dad's abuse was I reminded him of his sister whom the family supposedly abused less than my dad. That didn't make sense because I've seen my dad with his sister countless times, and he's never shown any animosity towards her in front of me. In fact, he regularly defers to her. She made practically all the decisions about my brother's burial.

Myth #9: he hates women. In fact, most abusers don't hate women, although disrespect for women is common. Why would my dad hate women because his dad was abusive? I would think he should have bonded with his mom, who was probably abused more than anyone in the family. In fact, he seemed deferential towards his mom too, and was devastated when she died (or at least he acted that way). The only women I've witness my dad showing hatred for are my mom and I. He's been abusive to my brother and stepbrother, who are obviously not women.

A handful of myths paint a picture of an abuser as someone who holds his feelings in until they erupt, has poor anger management skills, and loses control of himself. If you've ever lived with an abuser you may have experienced, as I have, an abuser who didn't seem to have any problem expressing his feelings all the time, expecting you to always be attentive to them at the expense of your own, and regularly demonstrated the high degree of control necessary to manipulate and control those around him. Abusers know exactly when they can get away with expressing anger and when they cannot. If an abuser can control his anger towards his boss, his family of origin, and strangers, why does he blow up at his partner or child? Because he can, of course. He has a lot of control.

My mom is fond of Myth #8: he is mentally ill. There is no particular mental illness that is typical of abusers, and my theory that my dad is anti-social or a psycho doesn't explain his behavior because he's only cruel and abusive to his family. Real psychos are like that with everyone. I've never seen my dad depressed, or any of my abusive ex's. Most of the depressed people in my life were abused, not abusers. And finally, there are the myths that abusers have low self-esteem, and/or are afraid of intimacy and abandonment. In fact, in my experience abusers are very arrogant and self-centered. You could argue that their arrogance is in reaction to low self-esteem, but it's not the kind of low self-esteem that responds to loving support and reassurance. Abusers want loving support and reassurance, but getting it doesn't stop the abuse. It usually makes it worse. It's not that they fear abandonment- but abandonment takes away their control and that's what they’re trying to avoid.

So why do abusers abuse? According to the book, it's because of how they think. Specifically, abusers consider themselves to be superior and entitled, expecting others to cater to them. Other peoples’ inability to fulfill their fantasy of what they think they deserve justifies (in their mind) disrespect, manipulation, control, and insults. They objectify and think they own the person. When I was a child, it was easy for my dad to treat me as inferior. I was his daughter, to treat as he pleased. As an adult, I can't tell you how many guys have taken a savior attitude towards me- I am so screwed up, but he'll help me because he loves me so much. I should be grateful that he’s even with me, so how dare I question the way he’s treating me. It's just my lack of trust that is clouding my perception of what a great, caring guy he is. I should be thanking him for all he’s done for me, not complaining that he doesn't listen and I'm not happy. Yeah, I'm taking a break from dating.

There's a plethora of warning signs for controlling, manipulative men, so when I do date again, I'll be prepared. I love this book! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Year 2, My Funny Valentine

You are an insomniac who has gone to bed on an ordinary August night. -Carolyn Forché

November 29th was the 1-year anniversary of my blog. I was busy in the last year- I wrote, went to therapy, confronted my parents, changed jobs, volunteered, read, watched movies, and ended another debacle of a relationship. I have a 100+ page Word document to show for it, and a lot of changes in life and the way I think about it.

I enter year 2 with an official diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I'm seeing a psychologist and finally getting treatment for it. It is a relief to understand that the memories that seem to come from nowhere, and leave me trembling and disoriented, my heart pounding, gasping for breath and feeling like a helpless doll, are flashbacks. I am reliving it, sometimes 3-4 times a day. I never talked about it with anyone before because I thought it was just another part of my crazy life I could do nothing about, like the fear, anxiety, depression, and feeling of disconnection from my life.

Year 1 was about dealing with the people in my life. Now it's year 2 and its time to deal with me. I'm scared. Part of my PTSD treatment plan is to explore my flashbacks- what they are about, the feelings I have, why these experiences, and what are they trying to tell me. Last week I described one of flashbacks to my psychologist, having to do with my great-uncle who sexually abused me. I had told my psychologist that I felt disconnected from the feelings I had when I was a child, and she was asking me questions about how I felt and what I needed in that situation that I couldn't get. I was trying to connect with what I was feeling that triggered this memory to keep coming back.

As I talked, I felt very small; my voice was timid. She asked me if I was afraid, and I tried to tell her how I was so scared that I couldn't stay in my body, and I would feel myself floating up and behind myself so I couldn't feel the terror gripping my throat and pressing down on my chest. I started to cry. No, actually, I was sobbing. She was asking me questions, but I couldn't understand her. Then the colors in the room became very bright, and my body felt far away. "Are you in the flashback? Are you disassociating?" she asked. "Yes, yes" I said, feeling panicked and confused. "Do your breathing exercise,” she said.

I closed my eyes and tried to breath deeply, calmly, but I was crying and gasping for breath. My arms and legs were tingling, and felt heavy. My head felt somewhere else, like it had floated away from my body. After a few minutes, she asked if I was back. I lied and said yes because I didn't feel like I was capable of coming back, not in that room, not as long as I was still talking about it. I had mostly stopped crying, and that was about the best I could do. She told me over arousal caused the bright colors, and the over arousal was caused by anxiety. She reminded me of the 3 types of PTSD symptoms- intrusive thoughts about the trauma (flashbacks, for example), psychic numbing (dissociation), and anxiety. She also said that I withdraw into myself when I'm upset because I'm the only person I feel safe with.

It was freaky, trying to stay with a flashback like that. Usually when I have them, I go numb so quickly I don't feel much, and just cry a little. It seems clear that something my body is still experiencing is so threatening to my brain that I just shut down. I don't totally understand what triggers it, but it seems to be fear.

I'm afraid of reliving the isolation I felt as I child, with no adults who would care for me, listen to me, or protect me. Luckily, I have some friends who are there for me. With most people, though, I fear even more what they might do if I let them in. I was vulnerable with my family- I had no choice because I was too young not to rely on them. Just look how that turned out, and how betrayed I feel to this day. Boyfriends have called me emotionally distant, defensive, and guarded. I don't have a sense of security or comfort in most relationships.

My great-uncle treated me like his personal plaything, reveling in my protests and attempts to get away, and my dad kept me in constant terror of what he might do to me. He made me stand, facing him, without flinching, while he screamed in my face threats like that he would punch me so hard my head would go through the wall, he would beat me with 2 by 4's (he explained what those were when I was 7), and that he would kill me. I can't fully describe how savagely he beat me when I was 17, but I thought I might die. My mom never protected me, and was either unavailable or belittling. I was under constant attack, verbally, physically, or sexually, for the first 18 years of my life. Living on the streets didn't improve my sense of security either.

If I could work out the fears I have and get over the PTSD, it would be a huge breakthrough in my life. It feels like such a monumental challenge, though. Of course, I know that my family can’t hurt me like that anymore, but psychologically, I'm trying to protect myself, as if I am still a helpless kid who lives at the whim of other people. I have to fight my own defenses to realize things are different now, but I have a lot of history to overcome. It's daunting. I still believe I can do this, but it will take all of my emotional resources (whatever that means). It requires a huge commitment to this whole recovery process, but I'm not willing to turn back now. And so begins year 2.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Some things never change

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, I saw one of my favorite groups, The Coup. Before they came on, there were just a handful of people milling around, watching the opening acts. Then Boots came on stage, and the whole place seemed to fill up. I still don't understand where everyone came from.

DJ Pam The Funkstress wasn't there (sad) so Boots Riley sang in front of a band. On their CD's it's just Boots and Pam (and rapper E-Roc on their first couple of albums), so it was a different experience with a band. I liked it, even though I was disappointed I didn't get the DJ Pam experience. Boots wore a suit, and moved around the stage like he was channeling 70's funk, accentuated by his signature afro. The man has Stage Presence.

After they played, my friend Dave and I noticed Boots in the crowd talking to his devoted fans, so we went over. Boots shook my hand! I was thrilled. I contemplated never washing it again. Then, when we left towards the end of Mr. Lif's set, Boots walked out after us, so again I pumped his hand and gushed my gratitude for his music and for coming to Seattle. *sigh* It was dreamy.

Seeing The Coup live and my encounter with Boots caused me to reminisce about some of the memorable experiences I've had at shows. As a huge music freak, probably 2/3 of my most cherished memories involve shows, dancing, or driving around listening to music. They are too numerous to mention all of them, but they include:

-Talking to Jello Biafra from the Dead Kennedys. I was just going to thank him for his music and express my admiration, but he started asking about my tattoos. I was thinking, "holy crap, Jello is making small talk with me. I can't deal!" I got so overwhelmed I walked away mid-conversation. My friend said he looked confused when I did that. He was so tall. He teased the guy before me about wanting him to sign his stomach by saying "if you were a girl you'd want me to sign your boobs." I was so nervous he would think I was some ridiculous groupie that I started the conversation by saying, "don't sign my boobs." (2005)

-Seeing Flipper play with the singer lying on the stage during most of the show because he was too drunk (and most likely high) to stand. People were throwing joints on stage, and a woman threw her underwear up there. I was flabbergasted. At a punk show? I seriously doubt he could even get it up. (1992)

-MDC serenading skinheads (who came to the show to pick fights) with their song S.K.I.N.H.E.A.D. "'S' is cause you're so stupid...” (1991)

-Captain Sensible from The Damned sticking a banana down his pants (front and back) and trying to get someone in the audience to eat it. (1996)

-A Subhumans show with more mohawks than I'd seen in a long time, maybe ever. A bouncer dragged a guy out by his mohawk, who was fighting with four of them trying to kick him out. It looked like it hurt. (2006)

-At Gas Huffer's final show, a bouncer stood next to me (arms crossed) during half the show to protect me from a big fat drunk guy who kept slamming into me and screaming in my ear (presumably to move me out of my place in front of the stage. I refused to back down. It was Gas Huffer's last show ever, after all.) (2006)

-Totally annoying a group of teenagers at a Circle Jerks show because I sang along to all the songs and tried to push in front of them, repeatedly. Keith Morris, Circle Jerks front man, original singer for Black Flag, and punk rock god, made fun of his age in between songs. He had dreadlocks down to his ass, and a little bald spot on the back of his head. I was in total awe of him. (2005)

-Mr. Chi Pig, Singer Man for SNFU, doing back flips off the drum riser during the WHOLE show. He had more energy than anyone I'd ever seen, ever. I believe he was in his 40's at the time, and had never done drugs. He also had dreadlocks down to his butt. (1993)

-The cops showing up at a Reason For Hate show at the Party Hall, and the drummer trying to pick up his entire drum kit and run out the back with it. (1991)

-Wandering into a venue at Bumbershoot and seeing Alice In Chains when they were still butt rockers. The entire audience and band had tight jeans and big hair. When I tried to get a closer look, I got hairspray in my eyes. The head banging made it fly everywhere. (1990)

-Hanging out with my friends in the alley behind the OK Hotel because we didn't have the money to get into a Poison Idea show. The band happened to come out to smoke and have some beers. They shared their beer with us (we were underage) and snuck us into the show. (1991)

-Chatting with Mike Palm from Agent Orange before the show. He agreed to play my favorite song, and I was in heaven. I got more bruises slam dancing in the pit at that show than any other, primarily because I was so excited and the stage was shin height. (1995)

-Running into an old friend in the bathroom at an Exploited show. I gave her my business card. It just compounded the irony I felt jumping in the pit while my friend from business school held my coat. (2003)

The Coup's discography:
1991- self-distributed LP
1993- Kill My Landlord
1994- Genocide & Juice
1998- Steal This Album
2001- Party Music
2006- Pick A Bigger Weapon