some news

blogging, Portland, sad No Comments »

A thought occurred to me last night; while it’s true that I’ve been good about keeping up my blog lately, it would be nice if I had some help.  That thought led to, What if I recruited some of my friends, all of whom are creative and intelligent in their own right, to contribute a story every once in a while?  Brilliant.  A bunch of new and (hopefully, ha ha) compelling content for BFS&T, and my friends get to have an occasional outlet that most of them don’t normally have.  Not to mention the fact that I get to find out something new about each of my friends who contributes.  Everybody wins.  So don’t be too surprised (or do, if you want) if some guest bloggers appear from time to time.

On the home front, times are still really tough.  I’ve applied for about a million jobs (okay, a few hundred), which have led to exactly one interview and not an ounce of success.  The problem is that I have plenty of skills in music, but precious little going for me outside of that.  The types of jobs that I’ve gone to in the past have evaporated in this slowly-improving-but-still-crappy economy, and by the colossal number of un- or underemployed people here in MyFairCity.  To add insult to injury, quite a few gigs have cancelled in the last month or so (due to ‘lack of budget’), which has left me with essentially zero income.  If not for my family’s intervention, I would be on the street, in my car, or in any number of other untenable situations.  I was struck down the other night by feelings of utter hopelessness, which is a new and unpleasant trend lately.  I could use some good thoughts, or advice, or prayers, or whatever parlance of your choice.

I’m trying desperately to maintain my famously indomitable spirit, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult in the face of the constant and crushing feeling that my life is careening out of control, and I’m going slowly crazy.  Suffice it to say that anxiety and depression are off the charts.  Creativity is practically nonexistent.

It seems to be a season for suffering.  A week before Sandy Hook, Portland had its own gunman shoot up Macy’s in the nearby Clackamas Town Center mall, which traumatized the city.  A couple of weeks later, one of my bandmates and her wheelchair-bound significant other were struck by a car that blew through a stop sign and blindsided them in a left turn as they walked across the crosswalk.  They were only slightly injured, thankfully, but it’s now been quite a few weeks since the accident, and they’re still dealing with the physical ramifications, the emotional frustrations, and the insurance issues.  A very well-known musician friend has been recently diagnosed with cancer.  Particularly cruel is the fact that it manifested itself in his neck, and he’s a singer.   The support shown by the community has been absolutely astounding, but he’s far from being out of the woods yet.  Here’s a link to his story, and how to do what you can to help.

Be all that as it may, this was not intended to be a pity party, I just felt I should let you in on the magnitude and severity of the things I (and others, whose issues definitely put my own in perspective) have been dealing with lately.  But it ain’t all gloom around here.  More frequent breaks in the weather—as well as the longer hours of sunlight—are proving to be worth their weight in gold (Can time and light be worth their weight in gold?  ANYWAY.  Moving on.), and I’ve been going for long walks almost every day.  I do have a couple or three music production projects scheduled for to begin in the near future, and that’s the best way I know of to improve my spirits and slough off the yoke of dark thoughts.

So that’s the news at this point.  I appreciate your continued support and good ‘parlance’ in these stressful and difficult times.  Here’s hoping they’re over soon, and dare I say it (albeit in a Tiny Tim falsetto voice), may God bless us, every one.



Portland, sad 1 Comment »

Wanted to contact you to let you know we’ve gone with another candidate for the [job title] position.  I really appreciate you taking the time to come in and interview and you were a top candidate (out of 300 resumes and 12 interviewees).  If you don’t mind I’ll keep your resume on hand and if anything opens up in the future I’ll certainly contact you.  Otherwise, wish you good success in the future and hope 2013 is a great year for you.

Thanks again and best wishes,


Vinnie Vincent, part two

blogging, funny, music, pictures, sad, true 1 Comment »

When I left you hanging at the edge of the cliff with Vinnie’s story, I didn’t realize that it would take A MONTH AND A HALF to get back to the story. Huge apologies for that.

When we left off, Vinnie had disbanded his Invasion band (truth be told, the singer and bassist quit and formed the band Slaughter, which was much more successful, and still exists today), and the so-called ‘grunge’ of Seattle made 80’s metal obsolete. The guys from Kiss are pretty tight-lipped about their dealings with Vinnie, but Gene Simmons famously called him “the most self-destructive person I’ve ever met.” Vinnie also apparently reneged on contracts with Kiss, or failed to sign them completely, and even ended up suing the band—twice!—for songwriting royalties he felt he was owed. Apparently the courts didn’t agree, since he lost both of the lawsuits.

In the late 80’s, he also dabbled in songwriting for other people, including—somewhat surprisingly—The Bangles.

Color me surprised, then, when in 1992, Vinnie got called to write songs with Kiss again for their Revenge record. Most people didn’t see that one coming, but apparently he swore up and down to Gene and Paul that he was sorry for all the shenanigans he’d pulled, and that he wanted to make a fresh start with the group. They agreed, but it soon became obvious that Vinnie was still Vinnie, and that it wasn’t going to work out.

Vinnie has spent the intervening years as a recluse, turning up at occasional Kiss conventions, and even awkwardly sitting in with a tribute band in Sweden called Kiss This. Watching Vinnie fake his way through these songs is hilarious and priceless, since he clearly doesn’t know them. The guitar solos you hear in the video aren’t played by Vinnie, they’re played by the band’s usual guitarist. I suspect that Vinnie’s guitar isn’t even plugged in. See what you think.

These days, Vinnie seems to have become obsessed with embellishing his reputation. In 2011, he was offering an online chat session on his web site for the admission price of five hundred dollars. He sells his own brand of V-shaped guitars for the astronomical price of nine thousand dollars, unless you want the gold-plated one, which boosts the price to well over twelve thousand dollars. Good luck with that, Vinnie. And his questionable reputation still lives on. The guy who wrote the following piece (in 2011!) is a guitar maker who used to do some work for Vinnie, and who also currently sells his own V-shaped guitars.

“In my past experiences with Vinnie I am aware of certain issues that will likely trainwreck this instrument. If you want details contact the Jackson Custom Shop, they will tell you why they discontinued the original model. In the case of many multitalented individuals there are certain eccentricities that cause them to become their own worst enemies. I am and always will be a fan of Vinnie’s work but working with Vinnie was very unproductive for us.”

Six months before the online chat thing happened, however, he had a bit of a kerfuffle with his wife, allegedly punching her in the face and dragging her through broken glass, before she drove herself to the police station in Nashville, where the couple live today. Also, the police found a bunch of dead dogs, who had apparently been killed by their ‘aggressive’ dog, on their property. Here’s the news story from the incident.

The picture I posted at the end of my previous blog entry was his mug shot from that night.

It would be unacceptable not to let Vinnie speak for himself, regarding all the things I’ve posted here so far. I came across this rebuttal on another web site:

There is much to say to all of you but the most important thing for me to let you know is that what you have been reading is not true. Irresponsible reporting and fabrication of events that never happened destroys people’s lives, and that is exactly what has happened.

It’s very unfortunate we live in times where you’re guilty even if you’re innocent, but it’s the way of the world now. It’s also sad to me that not only do the media get away with publishing unsubstantiated sensationalized reports that are then taken as ‘the truth’, but people now routinely hide behind their computers and usernames to intentionally inflict enormous damage without consequence, all for their own amusement. What they don’t know is the pain they cause will always be greater than their fabrication or exaggeration.

About my precious dogs: My dogs and cat have been, are, and will always be the most important thing in my whole life. I love them more than my words can say. I look at dogs and cats as ‘perfect little people’ with loving and unconditional hearts that I believe God gifted to us to help comfort us through our lives, which always seems to be filled with pain in one way or another.

I have 20 dogs that were rescued since 1999 from unspeakable and horrible abuse. I never turned my back or said no if a dog or cat needed a loving home. Each one of them is spoiled rotten; great food, love, comfort, care and shelter. They never leave my side and sit with me when I watch videos or when I play my guitar, the sound of which seems to fascinate them.

Out of my twenty dogs, half of them are big dogs and the others are small. Fencing was put up to separate the big dogs from the little ones who could roam without any problem. One day, without my knowing, some of the big dogs accidentally got loose somehow and killed three of my babies. When I found out, it was too late. I was shattered and just too devastated for words. I still am and always will be. I will never get over it and I will always live with a pain greater than that of anything I had ever known or ever will know. I wrapped them each in blankets and laid them to rest in ‘caskets’ where I made a cross and wrote the words to ‘Danny Boy’ on their casket.

The weather had been pretty bad here for awhile and an excavator was planned to come the property to dig up the ground so I could give them a proper burial when this terrible thing happened.

I only hope someday we’ll be together and I can watch them once again run in the meadows under the deep blue skies.

As for the despicable reports regarding my beloved dogs, those who know me know I would never harm any animal as they are God’s most beautiful and innocent of creations. I’m a vegetarian because of my respect for all animals.

For those of you who wrongfully accused and judged me based on these ‘stories, I understand because I would feel the same way if it was the truth. But it’s not the truth. So, to all who perpetuated these cruel and vicious lies, may the truth bring you to your senses so you can stop these terrible and unfounded accusations.

About the domestic situation: As you must know, this is a private matter that I cannot comment on at this time. Please don’t believe everything you read. I would never hurt anyone – ever. What has been reported is an absolutely inaccurate depiction of the events that occurred that evening. When it’s time, the truth will be known.

In all, God gave me a silver lining to this terrible time by putting a long-lost family back together through this tragedy and for that, it was worth what I am going through. Unfortunately, this ‘incident’ caused my loved ones, who suffered through another emotionally devastating experience, to suffer a new burden they didn’t need to bear. As much as they are hurting for me and from this, they’re still there for me. I am a lucky person.

I’m an immensely private person and these events have caused me great pain and emotional anguish.

I am requesting that you respect my privacy and that of my family during this difficult time and not engage in harmful useless gossip posted on blogs and forums.

My music: It has been my greatest desire to put out my new music, including remixed/remastered tracks that I am very proud of which many of you seem to enjoy, but I have experienced setbacks that hindered and delayed my plans. I am hoping to work through it all and get back on track. I would appreciate it if you could please bear with me.

About the Vinnie Vincent model guitar: My website is in the process of being constructed. Keep watching YouTube for the link to the site and for the video catalog. The Vinnie website will be a fun place to visit with everything Vinnie Vincent: music, photos, and the Vinnie Vincent guitar in all its glory.

After all this research and writing, I have to admit that feel bad for Vinnie. His rags-to-riches-and-back-to-rags story is a fairly tragic one, and I would hate to see him become just another rock and roll casualty, but I fear the worst. I learned to play guitar to many of the songs that he wrote, and his guitar playing is part of my musical DNA. I have both of his albums, and I still listen to them much more often than you might think I would. My intention with this two-part story was to provide a sort of tribute to Vinnie, but his story, compelling though it may be, is a troubling one. It seems to me that his woes are self-inflicted. He’s made some bad decisions, and burned some bridges that he shouldn’t have burned. That being said, I’m still a fan of his, somewhere deep down in my heart of hearts, but I’m also an adult and a professional musician in my own right—on a much smaller scale, admittedly—who’s had to deal with the slings and arrows of not-so-outrageous fortune in my own ways.

If these stories have compelled you to explore Vinnie’s musical career further, I recommend that you check out his iTunes page, as well as the Kiss albums Creatures of the Night (my personal favorite) and Lick It Up. And, as always, thank you for reading all of this.

We now return you to BFS&T’s regularly scheduled programming (whatever that is!), already in progress.

Vinnie Vincent, part one

funny, music, pictures, sad, true, Yakima 2 Comments »

If you’ve spent any significant amount of time around this blog, you know that occasionally I get too busy to write, but then I rebound with a huge entry, often about either musicology or childhood.  This entry manages to include both, which means—naturally—that it will be a very long entry.  Don’t let that deter you, though; you also know by now that I would never steer you wrong or share things with you that I didn’t think were important or interesting enough to share.

I recently started reading Chuck Klosterman’s book Fargo Rock City, about heavy metal from the 1980’s, to which time has not been kind. He takes the position that while it may look a little strange from the outside, particularly with almost thirty years of hindsight, those who loved that music—including Chuck and myself—feel that it did a lot for us back then, but that it hasn’t received the respect that it deserves. The book is also autobiographical, about a disaffected kid growing up in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere, who connected deeply with a style of music that offered glimpses of a strange new world and a completely different lifestyle. I can definitely relate.

Klosterman’s obsessive knowledge of the bands has made me nostalgic for that music, and I’ve gone back recently and reconnected with some of the stuff I used to love. My personal favorites were Kiss, Dokken, Ratt, Triumph, Dio, and Ozzy Osbourne. I should admit that some of them have held up better over time than others have. The first cassette I bought was Shout at the Devil by Mötley Crüe (umlauts intentional) in 1983, and the last was All Systems Go by Vinnie Vincent in 1989. Much has been written about Mötley Crüe, but precious little has been written about Vinnie Vincent, whose story is extremely interesting, even if (and possibly especially if) you know absolutely nothing about either him or heavy metal.

Vinnie became an instant celebrity when he replaced Kiss’s original and longtime lead guitarist, but I think a little bit of context is in order. Kiss was in trouble in 1982. They had sold millions of records throughout the 1970’s, but times—as well as musical tastes—were changing. Kiss had also jumped the shark with a couple of strange (pronounced “crappy”) albums in a row; a disco one and their famous flop Music From “The Elder,” which is a bizarre cross between Pete Townshend, David Bowie, and a Broadway musical. It was seriously weird, and their fans didn’t know what to do with it, but they DID know not to buy it.  The band needed to find their way back, and in doing so, a couple of painful changes were necessary.

The original drummer, Peter Criss, was the first to go. He had been suffering from the excesses of the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle for quite some time, and was injured in a car crash which left him out of commission for a while. The band had to postpone or cancel much of their subsequent tour, and Peter’s drinking and drug use had become a problem, so he was fired on May 18, 1980. I had to look up that date, but you can understand why I might have overlooked that tidbit in the news of the day, because I was too busy paying attention to Mount St. Helens, which erupted early that morning and buried Yakima (the town in which I grew up, and the nearest big town in the path of the eruption) under an inch or two of ash. So we had bigger things to deal with than some drummer being fired in New York City.

But I digress.

Next to be handed his walking papers was the original guitarist, Ace Frehley. He, like Peter Criss, had spent many years drinking heavily, even going so far as to bring cases of Dom Perignon champagne with him when he was on tour.  He was constantly drunk onstage and in interviews, and the other band members had had enough. Ace, like the public, was also frustrated with the musical direction the band had taken, and was tired of always being outvoted by the band’s leaders, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons.

The firing of Ace Frehley was undoubtedly a great opportunity for any guitarist.  Kiss knew they had to deliver the goods as they finished their next record, Creatures of the Night, and they spent months auditioning players. Ace was pictured on the cover of Creatures, but he only played on a couple of the songs. Rick Derringer (you may know him from this song) supposedly played on one, as well as the guitarist from Mister Mister (you may know them from this song), but Paul and Gene wanted someone who could write songs as well, and they gave the nod to Vincent Cusano, who had been a studio guitarist and songwriter kicking around the New York scene of the 1970’s.  Gene Simmons rechristened him Vinnie Vincent, and his place in rock history was secured.  He’s third from left in this picture:

Vinnie landed one of the biggest gigs in rock and roll. The album was the strongest Kiss had created in quite a few years (it remains my favorite of their albums), and it even spawned a couple of hits on the then-fledgling MTV.  The band was back on top, with a great new drummer and a fiery lead guitarist. But Vinnie was a tough sell for the fans. Replacing an original band member is no easy task, and Vinnie never felt like a ‘true’ member of Kiss.  Even his stage persona, the Ankh Warrior, didn’t quite rise to the mythological status of Gene’s Demon or Paul’s Star Child, and Vinnie seemed a bit amorphous or strange compared to them.

His playing, however, was stellar, and he also brought tremendous songwriting skills to the band. After the success of the Creatures album and tour, the band decided it was time for another big change, and decided to appear without their makeup for the first time. The album Lick It Up was a huge and instant success, thanks in no small part to Vinnie’s contributions.  The band went on an extensive world tour and prepared for their next steps. Vinnie’s on the left in this picture:

But by this time—1984—the cracks were beginning to show. Vinnie didn’t fit in with the other guys, and they weren’t getting along very well. He also didn’t feel that he was being fairly compensated for his songwriting. The royalties for some of their biggest hits of the time went to Gene and Paul, who kept Vinnie and drummer Eric Carr on salary as ‘for hire’ sidemen, rather than full-fledged band members. This rubbed Vinnie the wrong way, because he felt he had contributed much more than the somewhat low status of a sideman would take into account.  It was decided that he should leave the band. He sued Kiss for royalties, but was unsuccessful.

Still very much in the limelight, he took some time to write more songs and put together his own band, called the Vinnie Vincent Invasion, the intent of which was to be bigger-than-life in every way.  I couldn’t wait to hear it. I eagerly awaited its arrival in the record store, and bought it before I’d ever heard a note of it. I’d been reading in the magazines like Circus and Hit Parader that he used a gigantic number of amps on stage, he dressed more flashily, and could shred like nobody else. The drummer played crazy fills, and the singer sang higher than anyone else. It was completely over the top.  Here’s their biggest hit song, “Boyz Are Gonna Rock.”

I’m not gonna lie; this song is dumb.  I thought so when the fifteen-year-old version of me first bought the tape, and I still think so today.  The first time I saw the video, I probably thought—in my addled teenage way—something eloquent like, “What the fuck was that?” They all looked ridiculously feminine, even in comparison to the other bands at the time, which is serious competition indeed.  To wit:

Cinderella. . .

. . .and Vinnie Vincent Invasion:

See what I mean?  He and the band just seemed like used-up gay prostitutes compared to other bands, which didn’t match the aggressiveness of the music. People didn’t know what to make of Vinnie.  He did have some great songs on that first album, but it didn’t sell particularly well, and the over-the-top nature of his guitar playing left a bit to be desired. Even on a slow, bluesy song, he tried to cram as many notes as possible into the guitar solo, with hilarious results.

Great riff, great song, horrendous guitar solo.  Even as a kid, when I was learning to play the guitar, I felt like if he could just settle down for thirty seconds and play tastefully—the way he did in Kiss—he’d really be onto something.

He seemed to have read my mind with his second and final album, All Systems Go. The songs were better, the sound quality of the album was better, and he played much more tastefully.  One of the songs, Love Kills, was written for one of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, and he had a couple of other hits from the album as well.  My favorite song of his, “That Time of Year,” is on this album.

But if Vinnie was a hard sell for metal fans, he was an even more difficult one for the general public, whose metal tastes could only allow enough room for the likes of Def Leppard.  People couldn’t really get past his strange looks and over-the-top style. Add all that to the fact that by 1990, metal was on its way out.  Nirvana would put the final nail in its coffin in less than a year, and Vinnie and his compatriots would be relegated to the bargain bins of the record stores.

Like I said before, time has not been kind to 80’s metal, and Vinnie has become one of the de facto elder statesmen of the genre.  But his story is far from over, and it gets super weird, so this seems like a good place for a cliffhanger.

To be continued. . .


music, sad, true, Yakima No Comments »

I had a strange memory the other day, which prompted me to tell this entire long story to a friend. It’s complicated, and a bit sad (not a bit beautiful or funny, but at least it’s true), but it’s important enough that I feel it bears repeating here.

The incident in question happened when I was twelve years old, in seventh grade. I was a band geek even back then, and I’m happy to report that that hasn’t changed one bit. I was an extremely shy person, and on the rare occasions that anyone noticed me, it was usually to make fun of me, so I learned very quickly how to fly low, under everyone’s radar. That’s not a skill one tends to forget, and I still find myself using it to this day. I’m extremely good at not being seen.

Seventh grade is when a lot of changes occur at the same time, the most notable of which is puberty. Suddenly, things that used to be no big deal become overburdened with melodrama. As it happens, there was a girl who had a bit of a crush on me, and she made her intentions known on a band trip. This is not a “one time, at band camp” story, as you’ll see soon enough, but the fact that it happened on a trip is significant, since when people travel, the usual social rules are loosened a bit, and we’re more open to new experiences, which is what makes traveling so much fun. We’re freed of other peoples’ notions and stigmas, and we’re free to reinvent ourselves or try out new personas, if only temporarily. It can be very liberating.

So anyway, back to the girl, who I’ll call ‘Z’ for the purposes of this story. She invited me to sit next to her on the bus, which is the middle-school equivalent of someone sidling up and buying you a drink at a bar when you’re an adult. I’m not stupid; I jumped at the chance and plopped myself down next to her. If memory serves (and occasionally it does), the trip was between Yakima and Seattle, which is three hours if done by normal modes of transportation, but it’s more like four if it’s done by school bus. We settled in and started talking.

My friend Dave, a trumpet player, sat in the seat ahead of ours and turned around the entire time to talk to me and keep an eye on the situation he thought might develop in front of him. He wasn’t going to miss an opportunity for juicy gossip. Since it was early evening when we left Yakima, it was getting a bit late, and Z started to get a bit sleepy, so she nodded off. It was probably around ten o’clock at this point, and we were still a fair distance from Seattle. The fact that Z fell asleep with her head on my shoulder did not go unnoticed by Dave.

The next day, we all piled into the bus to drive from our hotel to downtown Seattle. I seem to recall riding on one of the ferries, but I can’t remember why we would have done that (since all of Seattle’s ferries go between the surrounding islands, and I seem to recall that our destination was Seattle itself) or what the circumstances for that would have been. I also recall going to Pike Place Market on the trip, but that’s right near where the ferry terminal is, so that’s not a surprise, but the fact that we were on the bus again is important. I decided to sit next to Dave this time, but we sat in front of Z and both turned around to talk to her. At some point, she said something to me like, “Sorry I fell asleep, but I was SO tired. Did I have my head on your shoulder?”

Dave couldn’t help but interject, very loudly, so that everyone on the bus could hear him. “Yeah, you did, and as soon as you fell asleep, he had his hands running all up and down your body!” That didn’t happen; Dave said it as a joke to tease me. I was mortified, and gave him a look that I thought signified my shock and disbelief, but I also was so shy that I was unable to say that it was untrue, so everyone started clapping and cheering. I was stunned, and Z laughed nervously, but I had no idea how big the consequences of that one little statement would be. It seemed to take the wind out of Z’s sails a bit, and she kept her distance from me for the rest of the trip. I was too young and clueless to realize how much Dave’s comment had spooked her.

Fast forward five or six years, to when we were all juniors in high school. Dave and I weren’t close friends anymore, not because of the incident with Z, but because sometimes school friendships wax and wane, and ours had only lasted about a year before it waned. Each of us had gone our separate ways. I still considered Z a friend, though. We never dated or flirted or anything after the Seattle trip, but I still considered her a friend. I had no idea what she thought until one day when she pulled me aside.

“Hey, remember that trip to Seattle?”

“Errr, yeah.”

“Did that really happen? What Dave said?”

I knew it didn’t happen, and I was still too young to take a conversation like that seriously, so I kinda blew her off. “What do you think? Of course not.”

She wasn’t convinced. “Really?”

I kinda laughed. “Yeah, really. I mean, you and I are friends.

Z still seemed unconvinced but didn’t know what else to say, so she dropped the subject. That was the last time I heard of it, or even thought about it, for six or seven years. Fast forward again. I was working at a video store in Yakima, when suddenly one of my college friends walked in, and Z was with her. It was a pleasant surprise, since I hadn’t seen her since we graduated from high school. We hugged each other and caught up on the intervening years, and then she said, “Hey, can you come outside for a second?”


“Remember that time on the Seattle trip, on the bus?”

Here we go again, I thought. I can’t believe this is still coming up after all these years. “Yes, of course.”

“Did that happen?”

I was still, at the age of twenty-five, so clueless about these matters that I again blew her off. “No,” I smiled. “We’re friends.” I made a gesture with my hands, as if that was all the explanation that was necessary. “Did it happen?”

She was a bit dumbstruck by this turn of the conversation. “Uh. . .no—?”

“Okay, then,” I said, and we walked back into the video store.

To my eternal discredit, I didn’t have the ability to just say that it didn’t happen, that I would never do that (particularly to someone I considered a friend), and that I was twelve years old, so A) running my hands all over someone’s body while they slept wasn’t something that would have occurred—either then or now—to me, and B) I didn’t have the courage or the perspicacity at the time to refute Dave’s ridiculous comment. I just wanted the uncomfortable conversations with Z to be over, and I had no way of appreciating just how brave she was for stepping up and confronting me about it all. I responded dismissively to her, both times, in exactly the same ways that an actual abuser would have done. I didn’t intentionally do that, of course, but it must have seemed to her that I did. It’s a shame that she had to go through so many years thinking that such a horrible event really happened.

Why am I telling this story now?

I’m not sure, exactly. What I can say is that I remembered all of this the other day and shared it with my friend, who was saddened by it, which made me feel compelled to set the record straight with Z. I don’t know how to get in touch with her (or if I even should), or if we have any SocialNetwork friends in common or anything like that, but I want to apologize to her for my part in what amounts to a practical joke that Dave played on both of us. I want to tell Z that this incident REALLY never happened, and all the various reasons WHY it never happened, and that I wish I could give her back all of the time she’s had to spend thinking about it.

She handled all of it remarkably well. I did not, and there’s a part of me that will never quite be able to forgive myself for that.