mandysee_mandydo: (Default)

thank you for
helping me find my strength
adding to my resilience and resolve
now i can see it
knowledge comes with distance and time



you tried to burn me
only to see me rise from the ashes
up to my better self

( Dedicated to all of my bullies and abusers through the years. I wouldn't be the person I am today without you.)

mandysee_mandydo: (Paz)
Last night I was YouTube-ing and started listening to some Flight of the Conchords, which is one of my recent musical discoveries. Then I sort of randomly decided I wanted to listen to some young Springsteen (you know, back when he had skinny arms and was still kinda hot). I listened to "Born To Run," and thought that it had the same sort of energy as John Cougar Mellencamp's "I Need A Lover," so I listened to that. Then I ended up thinking about how much I used to love Pat Benetar and especially the sad song "Hell Is For Children," so I listened to that. That got me so hooked back on listening to her that I had to dig out a Pat Benetar CD today and listen. I missed her music more than I realized! Then I decided I would find the video for Dream Theater's "Pull Me Under." While watching the video, I noticed singer James Labrie was wearing a Napalm Death shirt and I was just totally geeking out over that. I never realized he was into death metal, and here was a reminder of the music that I clung to so much in my adolescence and into nearly my early adulthood: thrash and death metal! I remembered listening to bands like the obvious thrash icons like Metallica (pre-sucky-black-album days) and Megadeth, but also Anthrax, Suicidal Tendencies, Mortal Sin, Slayer and Testament. Also Sepultura, though they started out more death metal. And of course death metal bands like Napalm Death, Obituary, Morbid Angel and Cannibal Corpse. So of course I YouTubed some Napalm Death and was happy until I had to shut down the computer.

A few years ago I started getting back into death metal a little more and discovered Dying Fetus, My Dying Bride, and especially Resistant Culture (which I have to say is probably my second most favorite death metal band now for their excellent blending of traditional Native American music with metal) but it wasn't quite as fanatical as the youger days when Jaegan and I would "mosh" in his living room. I've been listening to Dethklok and watching Metalocalypse a lot lately and that's reawakened my interest in thrash and death metal. It's kind of funny because the younger Gaming Club crowd have caught glimpses of my earlier metal days through Facebook or just comments I've made at club and they have remarked how they couldn't imagine me being metal and are thoroughly amused. Which of course makes me feel a bit old because I remember thrash and death metal and metal in general when it was still young (in the case of thrash and death metal more like in its infancy and it being ostracized as devil-worshipping music by politicians and televangelists). Hell, I remember when Metallica was banned from performing in Manchester, NH, because someone in the city thought the song "One" advocated suicide and God-hating! Even still, I admit it's kind of amusing to me, too, that they find my old metal self so fascinating. To me it's just part of who I am and was and is nothing all that exciting. Yeah, I headbanged. I used to bemoan not hearing thrash and death metal on the radio (except in the early days of WAAF when they were refering to themselves as untamed radio and pirate radio). Meh. It was fun when I was young. :P

I think part of why I'm just not so metal as I used to be is that I'm also just not as angry and feeling opressed as I was back then. I mean, seriously. I was obsessed with Metallica's "Dyers Eve" and regarded it as an anthem for my life at the time. It's nice to listen to
mandysee_mandydo: (Mrs. Peel Tunnel)
uesday I had to go to Merrimack for an NHCCM meeting. I spent a lot of my childhood in Merrimack. Even though I didn't much care for football, I first learned to throw a football on the lawn of my parents' friends' house on Depot Street, off US-3. I remember when that (the Reeds Ferry area) was mostly woods and houses. Now it's Walgreens and Shaws and 7-Eleven and stores and all kinds of development. At least Tortilla Flat is still there. A sad reminder of childhood's end: Good Times, the skating rink my Mom used to bring me to as a really yound child (we're talking late 70s, early 80s) is closed and up for sale. I miss going there. I miss roller skating, even if I was horrible at it and never really did get the hang of it until it was too late and my Mom stopped skating and taking me there. It's sad to see an icon from my childhood closed up and for sale. Overall it was just weird to see Merrimack so developed all the way up US-3 now. That used to be the sticks. Now it's pretty much urban or suburban sprawl all the way up past Manchester.

Oh. Side note. Manchester has joined Boston on the list of places I hate to drive. US-3 just disappears if you're driving south on it. I never remembered it doing so before, but this time I got lost. Then again, I never really was all that fond of Manchvegas. :P

It was nice to get south in the state again, even if it was for work and I couldn't get to Nashua to visit family and friends, or stop in Concord to visit Pauly. A week from this Saturday we'll be going to Nashua for the weekend (provided my parents are around and okay with us staying there) to visit family and friends, and also to Milton for Liam's birthday party. The truck handled the trip down and back well enough that I think we'll be able to drive just fine, though I'm sure the gas bill will be outrageous. It might be the last time for a while because I think at this point round trip bus fare is almost cheaper than the gas, and most likely more eco-friendly since the bus makes the trip whether we're on it or not. I just wish Concord Trailways went all the way to Nashua. Good thing my parents are willing to drive to Manchvegas to pick us up.

When I was a child, Merrimack seemed so far away from Nashua. Now Merrimack seems so much further away in not only space but time. Nashua is just that place I go to visit people, though I still have plenty of memories. It's changed so much, too, but I've been back so often that I've seen it all along. Manchester? Meh. I still feel the same, which is to say I treat it with the same degree of fear and loathing. I've never felt safe there. Maybe that's why I hesitate to take the bus there?

My Pepere

Feb. 5th, 2008 12:19 am
mandysee_mandydo: (Mrs. Peel Tunnel)
Tonight I realized how much I miss my pepere. I also realized how much of a hero he was to me. For those who may not know, my pepere and all of his siblings had a rare disease called Pseudoxanthoma Elasticum. It caused them all (except for one) to go blind young, lose the elasticity in their skin, develop weak hearts (which caused him and two of his brothers to die around 60 from heart failure) and other problems. My pepere was declared legally blind right around the same age as I am now.

In spite of being blind, he was fiercely independent and very capable. He could still make a bed on which you could bounce a quarter. He did all of his own chores. He worked part time at the hospital and knew his way around it just fine.

In spite of all his medical hardships he could still laugh and never once to my knowledge bemoaned the fact he was so afflicted. To him it was just life and he went on living it, doing what he needed to do to get by. One of my fondest memories of our times together was when I visited with a whoopie cushion. I got him (and I'm sure he knew what I was up to even if he couldn't see) and he just cracked up and went with the joke and we had a wonderful time with it.

I remember when I was younger (and even into my teens and early adulthood) practicing walking around and doing things with my eyes closed just trying to imagine what it must be like for him to function blind. It was never easy to do, which only made me appreciate his ability to function blind so much more. There was often the fear that I could end up in the same predicament (because we didn't really fully understand PXE) and I just couldn't fathom how I would be able to live nearly as well or as independently as he did.

My pepere was in the Air Force. He really didn't talk about it, though he kept a model of a B-29 Superfortress in his bedroom. He served in the Korean War as a Senior Air Operations Specialist on a B-29 with the 24th Bomb Squadron, 6th Bombardment Wing out of Walker Air Force Base in Roswell, New Mexico. I remember him saying something about Okinawa but I can't find any information about it in his military record that I requested from the National Archive when I was in high school.

When I was real little, he and my gram (who lived across the hall from him and helped him with his medications) used to record me with him or her on her tape recorder. I actually have the tape recorder in storage still to this day. I have one tape of me and my pepere that he recorded about 30 years ago, only a couple of years this photo was taken, if that long.



EDIT: I never noted that this photo is a wallet-sized photo that my pepere used to carry in his wallet. When he passed away, it was given to me to keep as a memento.

Tonight I decided I really needed to capture the tape in digital format in the hopes of preserving it longer. It's filled with fantastic stories of my pepere having a basket full of snakes breathing fire and having a fire truck. It is insanely cute. I miss my pepere dearly. We were very close and I had been in the habit of spending almost every afternoon of the last year of his life with him afterschool. Even with all of my confusion over who I was and what I was feeling, I was overjoyed to spend so much time with him. I hope I never forget him.

My sister Cat really didn't know pepere. He died when she was only four years old. I was thirteen at the time. Jess was nine. I wonder if Jess remembers him. I know Cat has said she doesn't really remember him.

I'll post the mp3 of pepere and me when I get into Plymouth tomorrow. It's really big and would take far too long to upload here from home.

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Jamie Amana Capach

September 2016

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