Category Archives: hope

Visiting Home After Being Gone a While

ohio

So, I’m back in Ohio right now visiting home, and it’s been very pleasant. The memories of how people treated me here are finally fading away as I get older, and I have to admit…I think that now that I finally feel successful…whatever anyone here thinks of me no longer matters.

For example- If someone here wants to hate me for being gay, well… I get paid to travel the world and write stories about it… Tell me Mr. white trash Ohioan, what do you do? Now that I’m happy and now that I feel worthwhile, ignorant trash suddenly seems like nothing more than, well, ignorant trash.

 

Dolly Parton has a song called Home (a very good song in fact)

 

And so much of it makes sense now. There really is no place like home. For better or for worse, there is only town where you grow up (unless you move). But for most of us, there’s only one town where you experience grade school and high school, and all the crap that comes along with it. And whether your experience sucked like mine, or was great like the some prom queen, it leaves a mark inside of you that shapes who you are.

There’s always something powerful about coming back. For me, it’s two-fold. Part of it makes me remember why I ran so far away. This town just isn’t me. It never was. I always wanted the world, I wanted to devote my life to a passion. And that just isn’t how most Ohioans feel. But at the same time, I also appreciate the things here that I can’t have in Manhattan. I love all the tree-lined streets, the quiet nights, the fireflies, the large nearby parks with wandering riverbeds and deers and foxes and squirrels and frogs. I love nature. And that love of nature is a big part of what spurred my love of travel. Coming home is always nice because it refuels my natural side. The side I lose in New York.

In a few weeks I take my next trip for work. I’m off to London!

london

 

I’m very excited! But London is big and sprawling and crowded. It’s the opposite of my hometown (and that will partly make me love it) But, it’s also encouraging me to suck up as much Ohio as I can right now.

I’m going to walk the family dog, ride my bike, sleep with my windows open, and embrace everything Ohio is. Everything I left behind.  Everything I hate. And Everything I still love.

 

~ The Dark Horse

(This was… 60% proofread?)

 

 

 

Spring Playlist to Destroy the Winter Blues

pink

 

So, if you’re like me, then winter brings you down… a lot.  I have depression and anxiety, and I always have to work on on keeping myself mentally healthy. And winter is always the fucking hardest.

I love Christmas. The lights, the music, the food, how busy the world is… but then suddenly comes January and February.

No sun.

It’s freezing.

No holidays in sight.

Everyone is sick.

FUCK WINTER. 

FUCK IT INTO THE FUCKING GROUND.

But now, it’s spring. We are above freezing (sometimes only by a few degrees, but IT’S PROGRESS PEOPLE, COME ON!) And I’m getting myself all worked up for better weather, longer days, and the adventure that fills the sir of spring and summer.

I’ve crafted a kick-ass playlist that makes me smile, makes me happy, and gives me energy. This playlist screams SPRING IS HERE! 

If you’re looking for some good tunes to help bring you out of your winter hole, give these tunes a spin!

 

18 WHEELER

P!nk

When you need to just really kick some fuckin ass in the shower, turn on Pink’s 18 Wheeler. I’m lucky to have a window in my bathroom.  With this song, on weekend mornings, I like to hop in the shower after my morning tea and roll up the blinds so the morning sun has illuminated my bathroom, and THEN I BLAST THIS SHIT TILL THE BASS FALLS OUT. Nobody brings out your inner-rebellious teenager like pink.

 

NTH DEGREE

Morningwood

This is one of those songs that’s so great because it’s totally inappropriate. Just remember…

M O

M O R

M O R N I N G

M O – M O R- M O R N I N G W O O D TO THE NTH DEGREE!!!!!!

 

PORTLAND, OREGON

Jack White and Loretta Lynn

I hate that Loretta Lynn is a Trump supporter. But, you gotta give her credit for being 86 years old and still crankin’ out records and touring.  Also, this song is so good because it feels just like spring. The song starts of slow, and then builds and builds into the honkey tonk-infused tune that always gets me singing along.

 

BREAKFAST

Kelis

I’ll be honest with everyone, I didn’t like Kelis very much. I thought she was kinda trashy. But then her album Food came out, and I was blown away.  Here, she removes all that synth-hip-hop shit and just sings. And it’s beautiful.  The culmination of the song comes when she sings the line “Maybe we’ll make it to breakfast.” And I’m just like, YESSSSSSSS!  Maybe she’ll make it to breakfast, and maybe we’ll make it to spring!

 

1979

Smashing Pumpkins

This song brings back memories of warmer months as a kid in the 90’s. And it’s funny because 1979 is Billy Corgan singing about the dog days of his childhood, and this song came out in my childhood…so, it’s like…the circle of life or some shit like that.

Point is, the song envois images of youth, and hope for the future. Prefect for spring!

 

Storms in Africa Parts 1 & 2

Enya

I listen to these songs every single spring, and have ever since I was 15. The songs are about the African rainy season, when torrential thunderstorms bring water and life back to a parched region. This song always reminds me of spring rains. April showers do bring May flowers after all. I always love the energy of a spring storm. It’s like mother nature defibrillating herself back to life.

BETTER LIFE

Keith Urban

For anyone who has read this blog, you know I love running away/  And this song always inspire me to run again. The purity, the energy, and the hope of being young. The idea that adventure is everywhere. The belief that life is fun.

What can be more spring-like than that?

The Macarena: The Most Diverse Music Video Ever

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Step aside all you obnoxious millennials who think you invented diversity. If you’re looking for the true trailblazer, you’ll need to go back… back to the 90’s. 

It was the summer of 1996. Independence Day was booming in the box office, The Craft had just been released that May, and Neve Campbell was about to be launched into an even further fame that December with Scream.

It was then, that an unsuspecting nation was introduced to the Macarena. Macarena fever hit hard. So hard in fact that even the DNC of that year was hit a Macarena outbreak.

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Since then, and this is embracing to admit…actually no it’s not, fuck all of you – I love the Macarena! It’s so damn catchy and so damn 90’s, it’s fuckin amazing.

So the other day, I was rewatching the Macarena music video (because yes, I do that. Got a problem? Call my agent!) and I was totally blown away.  I was like…

THIS WAS MADE IN THE 90s?

 

This music video is the very definition of diversity. And all of you 2019-ers should be ashamed of yourselves for not knowing about this important moment in music history.

Let’s meet our diverse cast:

 

The Singers

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The song is sung by Los Del Rio, a duo from Spain.  But look at this – How many hit music videos can you think of by men in their 50’s or 60’s dominating the charts? The Macarena directly combats agism!

 

The Brunette 

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Sure, blondes have more fun…but according to blondes! No matter what your hair color (or horrendous wardrobe choices…) all are welcomed to dance the Macarena!

 

The Indian Girl

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A study by PBS found that out of all the actors in Hollywood, only 4.2% are “Other”….yeah, that’s how disproportionate the number of Indian actors in Hollywood are. They’re categorized under “Other”, which would combine them with various Arab/Desi/Pacific Islanders/Indigenous peoples/and so forth…all to make up less than 5%.

pbs

So the true numbers of Indian actors will never be known.  What we do know that is that being Indian in the entertainment business can’t be easy. And being a woman in any job isn’t easy, so for an Indian woman to be featured in such a high-profile music video is huge!

This Girl… 

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I don’t what she is, or what the story behind the hair, the lips, and the outfit are…but here’s how I’m taking it – It’s all about being yourself.  She is the embodiment of body positivity, dressing how you want, and not giving a fuck.  Let’s all raise a glass and have a cheers to that cotton-candy wig!

The Latina

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Rocking out a satin pantsuit. That’s right – SATIN PANTSUIT –  A pantsuit so elegant, I can only imagine it would make Diane Keaton jealous. Our Latina (or Latinx, because I’m not here to assume genders) is surely ready for her night at the club where she will cheat on her boyfriend… you know… he one who’s name is Victorino.

But don’t worry,

She didn’t want him

She couldn’t stand him

He was no good so….

The Black Girl

(Can I still say ‘black’? I don’t want to say African American, because what if she isn’t from America?)

mac7 copy

Regardless of whatever the PC term is, one thing is for sure, I love this girl . That 90’s outfit, that Amazing 90’s hair. Everything. Pure perfection. Also, in the music video she competes to be the lead. Going head-to-head with…

 

The Asian Girl

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That shirt. That hair. That everything.  Oh man, 90’s perfection. This image isn’t too clear, but she’s also got on purple lipstick.  Daring and bold makeup choices…. UGHHHHHH THE 90s!!!! COME BACK!!!!!

 

The White Blonde Girl

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I know, I can hear you groaning. You’re probably saying something like #OscarsSoWhite, and then I’ll be like, that Oscars hashtag is from 2015. OMG get with it!  But in reality, diversity and inclusion means everyone…even white blonde women

(at least she’s not a man…am I right, ladies?????…crickets.)

Will that fabulous feather jacket help make it better?  Fit for a hooker, I say!

 

The Mom From ‘Blackish’

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The mom from Blackish denies being in the music video (yes, this got widespread enough  to where she had to respond) But, Macarena conspiracy theorists continue to insist that it’s her. And how could you not believe Macarena conspiracy theorists??????

The Scandinavian

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Had ABBA gotten famous in the 90’s they would have looked just like our Swedish girl in the music video. Plastic pants. Plastic shirt. And a plastic winter hat.  I have a feeling this was surely the most uncomfortbale outfit in the entire music video. But pain is beauty! 

 

The Jan

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Yes, that’s right. This music video is so diverse that it even has the forgotten middle child. Jan is so forgotten that I couldn’t even find a good image of this girl.  She’s literally hidden in ever single frame!

See, look!

mac20

 

Let’s try again….

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Poor Jan. We can’t all be center stage though, I suppose.  I’m sure she has a great personality and is probably very smart.  Maybe she’s a lawyer now and making more than anyone else in the music video?

 

There you have it! The most diverse music video in the world! Now, put that song, and blast it loud!!! HEY MACARENA!!!!!

mac35

 

 

Dance on my friends! Dance on!

 

~ The Dark Horse

Dispatches From The Far North

nwt

 

Have I ever mentioned that after college I ran away into the woods?

 

LA had worn me down and beaten me to the ground. I was so depressed I could barely stand up most of the time. And then that’s when I discovered American Transcendentalism, and the ideals of running away and escaping capitalist society.

I took Thoreau for his word and ran away.  And now that I’m older and read Thoreau more clearly, I’m pretty fuckin annoyed… because he never actually ran away. He lived on a lake only a few miles from town. He literally would walk home and eat with his family and shit… what a twat.

I on the other hand, during my period of total infatuation with his ideas, really did run away into the middle of nowhere. Where there were no roads. No phones. No sewage systems…

I went to the Northwest Territories, a little north of the Great Slave Lake.

There, I lived in a “cabin” which was really just a plywood box that was covered in arctic tarp. Recently, I found the pictures I took of inside my cabin.

Whenever I’m feeling down, writing and art has always saved me. And so, being up there was no different.  Armed with nothing but sidewalk chalk (why was there sidewalk chalk? I have no idea…) Anyways, armed with sidewalk chalk and bare plywood walls, I got to work.

Here are a few of my derelict masterpieces:

 

cabin1

Here, with CHERRY BOOM, I needed color, and I need fun. I went for a retro-Pac Man thing because it was exciting.  It was something that made me feel like I wasn’t completely lost from society. A memento that there was a world full of video games, ice tea, and mattresses that I could return to at some point.

 

 

cabin2

This was my manifesto to the world. I wrote this, and then read this to myself every night before going to sleep. It was a way for me to tell myself that I’m not done. I went to the woods to find myself, but the woods wouldn’t be my final resting place.

 

 

cabin3

My absolute favorite.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written these words in my journal, or said this under my breath as I’m about to take on a challenging day. The albatross has always been my spirit animal. They’re so large, so misunderstood, and so solitary, that it’s hard to imagine how they survive. But, against the odds, and against the elements, these birds flourish, even though they can spend months over the open ocean without ever even seeing land. They’re stronger than you’d ever believe. And so, I look to the albatross, flying high, for inspiration.

 

Eye to the sky!

 

~ The Dark Horse

Pictures That Give Me Energy

david

 

Have any of you ever heard of the photographer David LaChapelle? I love his photography because it always makes me so happy. His photos are so full of color and movement and shine and light. I love it. It’s the perfect cure for when I’m feeling down.

 

dave

 

I feel like these days everyone is really into that gritty-miserable shit. Everyone is like, “Oooohhh I just love it when characters are complex and nobody in a story is really the good guy. Everyone’s just bad in different ways.”  Or they want shows about drugs, like Narcos and Breaking Bad. Or movies about post-apocalyptic bullshit.

Everyone loves misery these days?  WHY IS THAT? 

The world is miserable enough! Why do people want more misery?

I want to be inspired. I want to feel like I can take on the world. I want a world where the sun is shining and I have a reason to get out of bed! And I feel like LaChapelle’s photos always have that.

dave1

 

So, my tip for everyone today is: If you’re feeling down, just go do a Google Images search on David LaChapelle. You will be blown away with beauty and color.

 

dave3

 

Because let’s all be real here. We need more light in our lives. We need more color. We need more fun. We need more beauty.

 

dave4

 

Keep looking for the light in the world,

~ The Dark Horse

Anyone Else Going To Be Alone On Thanksgiving?

FUCKTHANKSGIVING

Ah yes, it’s that time of year again! The leaves are almost gone, the first hints of Christmas pepper the atmosphere with a hint of glee, the rouge cranberries can be seen in even the most forgotten of grocery store aisles. This can mean only one thing, It’s almost Thanksgiving!

And, thanks to a country with INSANE flight prices (Dear America, do you know how cheap it is to fly in Europe?) I’ll be stuck in Boston for Thanksgiving… yay. 😦

However, I’m trying to make the best of this. Obviously, when you’re a depressed person, being alone over the holidays is horrible. In fact suicide rates actually INCREASE during the holidays. So, in order to not be sad, I’m compiling a list of:

 

Why I’m grateful to not be going home this Thanksgiving: 

 

1.) My mother can’t cook anyways. Look, my mother is a saint, salt of the Earth that one…. but as a cook? … Well, I mean, let’s just say this. Thanksgiving for us always consisted of overly-dry turkey. Green beans from a can, jello-d cranberry sauce from a can, gravy from a dry-packet mix, corn from a can, bread from the store, pumpkin pie from the store, and “mashed potatoes” if you can call them that. It was basically potatoes boiled down so much that they had lost all structural integrity. It was like picking up a spoonful of flavorless foam. This Thanksgiving, perhaps I can make myself good food now?

turkey

 

 

2.) I’m in Boston. Surely the Black Friday shopping here will be much better than it would have been in Ohio.  I mean, Walmart and Best Buy? Oh, please, let the trailer trash have their fun. I’m going to go stalk the sales at Gucci and Canada Goose. Get some real deals from real stores. PS- I literally don’t have the money to shop anyways, and I’m sure Gucci doesn’t do Black Friday deals anyways… but at least I can window shop for deals at the fanciest of places I can’t afford right? Perhaps I’ll buy a pair of socks.

tif

 

3.) Can you imagine what the airports will look like anyways? Do I really want to be crammed in a flight full TOC people? (TOC is Thanksgiving Or Christmas, they’re the people who only fly once a year at most, either for T or C. And Therefore they’re completely lost in the process; move slow, breathe through their mouths, trip, bump into walls, fart constantly, and so forth…) Then the plane will be filled with screaming babies, and people with their Panda Express smelling up the whole plane.

No thanks!

flight

 

4.) I’m literally going home for Christmas in a little over a month anyways. Sure, this will be a super lonely week, but you know what, I’m going to get to experience all the fun and joy of hectic holiday travel in one month. I CAN DO THIS! ONE MONTH.

just say it.

ONE MONTH

ONE MONTH

ONE MONTH!

HomeAloneAirport

 

 

5.) Thanksgiving is deadly anyways! Have you ever heard of a movie called Thankskilling?

kill1

Why, Thanksgiving is downright dangerous! I should be thankful I’m not able to go home and experience the atrocities that await.

killing1

 

Now that’s what I call Murder Most Foul  (Rimshot please!)

 

~ The Dark Horse