For those keeping up with the never ending saga that is my dad's health and my current family situation here is the latest...
He had finished treatments for throat cancer back in October. Yesterday, we went to have some scans done on my dad's lungs for a spot that noticed back in January. The nurse practitioner came in and went over the scans with us and told us probably 10-15 times that everything looked good and that she wasn't seeing anything worth worrying about. We were elated and relieved.
10 minutes later, she comes back in the room and tells us that she was completely wrong and that there is in fact something developing on my dad's left lung. I never wanted to yell and attack someone more than that fucking nurse. Who the fuck does that? That shit only happens in terrible movies.
So, now we have to schedule another PET scan and have a biopsy done on his lung to see if it's cancer.
Yesterday was awful. Hearing my dad say, "I'm going to die. I just want to see my grand kids grow up," was probably the worst moment of my life. His attitude and outlook did improve once we met with the actual radiation doctor and he's ready to fight cancer again for the 3rd time.
Fuck. Positive thoughts, vibes and prayers are welcomed.
Hello, fellow GDCers. Thanks for all of the well wishes through all of this craziness with my dad.
The latest on my dad is that he will have to go through chemo and radiation starting on September 11th. Surgery was unable to remove all of the cancer, so the doctors now want to do radiation to remove the last of it which they believe they can do. They had to remove one of his jugular veins during the surgery as well as a muscle from his neck to his shoulder that has now limited the ability of him to raise his arm above his head.
Swallowing is an issue for him at the moment and he's on a liquid diet until he can get his swallowing under control.
So, today...my mom called to tell me that she has a tumor on her throat and that she will need a biopsy to see if it's cancerous.
I honestly don't even know how to process all of this. Between my dad's cancer, his confession of an affair 15 years ago and now my mom maybe having cancer? In a dark way, it's almost become comical. Nothing fazes me anymore and I just laugh at awful news now because it's become so ridiculous.
Anyhey. Life is swell and I can't wait to see Green Day in 12 more days.
Hey, everyone. Here's the latest with my dad and it's a very, very complicated situation.
My dad's cancer is just in the lymph nodes in his neck. He will be having surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Monday morning and the hope is to remove all of the cancer through surgery.
However, here's where our lives get really fucked up.
The latest biopsy confirmed that my dad's cancer was caused by HPV to which my dad dropped the bombshell on our family by confessing that he had an affair 17 years ago. My parents have been married for 37 years and this has absolutely destroyed my mother. She kicked him out of the house for the time being and he's currently staying with my sister. My mom might not even go to his surgery.
I don't even know how to process this. In the brink of having a major surgery done and all the rallying and supporting we've given him this has taken the wind out of my sails. I'm furious at him and told him so. I had to go home Monday night when the news broke and try and console my mother which was an impossible task. I've never heard her cry like that. I had no answers or words of comfort. It was the worst night of my life.
Everything I based off of marriage and love was based on my parents relationship and now that's shattered.
But, he's still my father. He's having a major surgery done Monday and I guess I have to get back in his corner for the time being and then he has some questions to answer when he's healthy.
I just...this is the worst fucking situation any of us could be in and I feel so, so bad for my mom. She's the nicest person out there and my father was the world to her. Now, my mom is just a mess and it's heartbreaking. Seeing my mom take their wedding photo off the wall will always be cemented in my brain.
Thanks for everyone's thoughts and prayers through all of this. We could all obviously still use them (for various reasons now), but in no way do I want my dad to die or anything like that Monday. This is just a very trying time on all of us and I needed a place to express my thoughts.
As always, Rage and Love to my Green Day Family.
Hey, everyone. Just wanted to provide those of you who were reaching out to me and my family an update on my dad's health.
We learned today that he does in fact have cancer again even after being labeled "cured". Where the cancer is in we don't know yet until a PET scan is done sometime here soon (date TBA).
The hope is that this cancer is just at his one lymph node and they can remove it surgically. The surgery will be done at the Cleveland Clinic where both my sister and brother-in-law work, so we're feeling confident about the surgery being done there.
Family mood is decent. We're staying hopeful and positive. What we're banking on is that the cancer hasn't spread anywhere else, the surgery will be a success and then he can start recovering.
Thanks everyone for your thoughts, prayers, concerns, etc. It means and a lot and has helped me personally feel better. My dad says he wants a joint right now Told him he needs to come see Green Day again in August and we can take care of that
-Rage and Love-
Five years ago, my dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 throat cancer after never smoking a single cigarette in his life. The cancer was treatable and he came out on top of it after a few months of chemo and radiation.
Ever since then he's regularly been checked for cancer and everything's been clean for years. They labeled him cured.
Well, after having a sore neck for about a month or so, my dad went to have a biopsy done today and the initial diagnosis is cancer. Fuck. Why? What the fuck? Where did this come from? I guess we find out more Friday, but today's been really tough.
Oh, today's my mom and dad's 37th wedding anniversary, so fuck you universe, God, whatever.
Please keep my dad in your thoughts and prayers. Let's hope the news Friday gives us a clearer game plan as we go forward beating the shit out of cancer again.
It’s a question that’s plagued me since I became a fan back in 2004.
People ask me all the time and my answer fluctuates as I continue to grow. As I begin to pack for a weekend filled with fellow Idiots, I decided to attempt to tackle this question and finally pinpoint my answer.
For starters, my jump into fandom was a canon ball from the high dive. There was no dipping of my foot to check the water temperature. I plunged into this. For my 15th birthday, my parents bought me their entire catalogue so it makes it difficult to differentiate which songs were with me at a pivotal time in my life because I got them all at once! Side note, my parents will be punk rockers Monday in Detroit as they attend their first Green Day concert and I can’t wait to see and hear what they think.
Enough babbling, let’s try and answer this question.
Welcome To Paradise was the song that sold me on them.
Jesus of Suburbia was the song that really grasped my attention.
Holiday was the song I loved to blare from my Mustang convertible speakers on the drive to school.
Minority was the song that made it fun to yell, “Fuck them all” while also flipping off the sky.
When I Come Around was the song I drunkenly stumbled over to the jukebox and played on my 21st birthday, so subconsciously this song clearly means something to me.
Bang Bang was the song that blew me away and Still Breathing was the song that brought me to my knees.
But still these gems don’t take the cake as my favorite song.
Tired of waiting to hear my answer?
Waiting. Waiting is the song that I think goes down as my favorite Green Day song. There’s something really special about that song and Warning as a whole in general to me.
I know, I know you probably think it’s a weak, or surprising choice.
I don’t care if it’s an updated version of Petula Clark’s “Downtown” this song gets me every time. There’s something about it I can’t describe. When I hear it I’m immediately filled with some crazy amount of joy and nostalgia. I love that song for what it represents. It’s kind of the last song of the “old Green Day era” which I was never really a part of. Sort of like the Old Testament if you will.
Waiting live is one of my favorite things to experience. It’s a crowd sing-along that you can’t help but get all the feels for. I remember my brother telling me after The Newport show that the look of joy on my face when they started playing Waiting was priceless. I can’t wait to hopefully hear it twice in 72 hours as it seems to be back on the setlist which is a beautiful thing.
It’s a song that gives me hope. Hope about my future career and relationship choices. “I’m destined for anything at all”
So, I think I’ve finally answered this question...for now.
Waiting is nothing but a lovely 3:14 of punk-pop joy for me. It’s infectious and catchy as hell.
It came on the radio the other day and it hit me then that this song is the one I hold close to the heart.
Rage and Love, Idiots
I've been waiting a long time For this moment to come I'm destined For anything...at all Downtown lights will be shining On me like a new diamond Ring out under the midnight hour No one can touch me now And I can't turn my back It's too late ready or not at all
Well, I'm so much closer than I have ever known... Wake up
Dawning of a new era Calling...don't let it catch you falling Ready or not at all So close enough to taste it Almost...I can embrace this Feeling....on the tip of my tongue
Well, I'm so much closer than I have ever known... Wake up Better thank your lucky stars.... (Shey hey hey)
I've been waiting for a life time For this moment to come I'm destined for anything at all
Dumbstruck Colour me stupid Good luck You're gonna need it Where I'm going if I get there... At all....
Wake up Better thank your lucky stars....
I was all set to write this. I had the general flow of everything in my head and was ready to tackle this recap of my amazing weekend. And then Billie posted this message to Instagram.
I can't express enough how much love is in my heart for all of you in our green day community.
for me to try to put it into words almost feels awkward. sometimes I don't always like to use the word "fan". I think I can speak on behalf of me mike and Tre when I call you family or community. Because you all truly grew up together with us and shared this journey together.
this is more than an award. it's the privilege to play music, write songs and follow this psychotic passion called rock n roll.
and We share this honor together. because honestly YOU ARE our rock n roll hall of fame. idiot nation forever
rage and love
ALL. THE. FEELS.
I can't stress how much I love that man and his band. You could tell from his Induction speech that he was truly humbled by everything that was happening. It was beautiful. But we will get to that later. Now that my eyes have dried from his message let's try and recap the weekend from heaven.
Thursday, April 16th:
I arrived at House of Blues around 7:30 AM and there was a line of about 50 people in front of me. Not too shabby. People had camped out overnight and I considered it, but decided to sleep in my own bed and get there early in the morning. I brought my iPod for the long day ahead of me to keep me occupied as I was the only one going to the show and wasn't sure how the people around me in line would be. What a delightful surprise my fellow Green Day fanatics were. I quickly became friends with the others around me. The two girls immediately in front of me were in from New York City and were fascinated by how cheap everything was in Cleveland. It was hilarious and they were both really cool. Another kid named Ryan was in from West Virginia and was also there by himself. The girls behind me, Shannon and Becky, were in from Pennsylvania and were wonderful as they let me use their blanket and jacket throughout the day to survive the brutal winds we endured. We've since become Facebook friends.
This to me was one of the most incredible things of the whole weekend. I became friends with complete strangers. That's sort of the reason you get into music, religion, sports, etc. It's that sense of community. We were all here together to celebrate our favorite band going down in rock 'n' roll history. I was blown away by the immediate connection I had with strangers who quickly became friends. People had flown in from all over. Seattle, London, Los Angeles, etc.
House of Blues handed out lanyards to the first 36 or so ticket holders in line (I was number 32) around 9-9:30. These lanyards allowed us to leave the line to use the restrooms, grab food, or whatever. It also cut down on any chance of people cutting in line. It's a neat policy and something that needs to be implemented more to reward the fans that are there all day.
Let's jump to the actual show shall we?
There were rumors all day that the original drummer, John Kiffmeyer, would be playing with Green Day at the show. I couldn't process that. Sure enough when the show started and the PA speakers announced the lineup they said Sweet Children would be opening for Green Day. WHAT. I realized I was going to hear songs that hadn't been played live since the early 90s. I was freaking out.
John was hysterical. Him and Billie had some good banter between songs and the whole set was surreal. Here's what made it really surreal. My sort of ex-girlfriend? (I really don't know how to refer to her as we never actually dated, but we were friends for years, threw around the word love, etc) was at the show with her boyfriend. Well wouldn't you know it in a venue of 1,200 people essentially on top of each other, she ended up right next to me for the Sweet Children set. How does that happen? How did the crowd move in such a way that she ended up right beside me? All those early Green Day songs are about a lost love and yearning for a relationship. The set opened with "Don't Leave Me" for God's sakes!
After things didn't work out, I fell back on 39 Smooth to feel some sort of connection with someone that was going through the same thing. Billie's heartbreaking lyrics were dead on. To hear those songs live with her right next to me was...I don't know. For those 45 minutes that they were playing my heartbreaking soundtrack I was really happy she was next to me for some odd reason. Despite everything that happened I was glad to experience that set with her.
I used to dream about her a lot after we stopped hanging out and I remember one dream in particular where we were at a crowded venue and our eyes locked from across the floor and we smiled at one another. That dream became a reality Thursday night. We would keep glancing at one another and she was never more beautiful than she was that night as a sweaty mess singing along to our favorite band. I miss her every day and I still love her. Her boyfriend's a lucky guy. "What is it about you that I adore?"
The Sweet Children was so surreal. I was seeing the original Green Day trio in a club venue. It's the closest thing I'll ever get to experiencing them playing at 924 Gilman Street. It was amazing and almost as good as the actual Green Day set. To hear stories about how they started and where the songs were written was such a treat. During the set, some sort of fight broke out and in classic Green Day fashion, they stopped playing to sort everything out and make sure everyone was OK. I think at one point Billie told the guy to go grab a Pepsi and rub one out in the back.
By the time the Sweet Children set was done I was a sweaty, dehydrated disaster. The floor at House of Blues fits maybe 400 people and there were probably 700 people jammed in there. I couldn't move. The ushers would bring water bottles out and squirt water to people in the first few rows, but I was always just one person shy of getting the water on several occasions.
Green Day's set was incredible. Never have I seen the band play as tight as they did that night. I spotted Adrienne and Joey off stage and waved to both of them and they waved back which made my night. The most touching moment of the night was right when Green Day started playing I saw Adrienne get this big smile on her face and she started to cry. It was so beautiful. The whole night felt like so much more than just a show.
Billie owned the stage as normal. 99 Revolutions will always be a favorite of mine and it kicked the set off with such energy. I knew we were in for rarities with the type of show this was and I was not disappointed. One For The Razorbacks, Private Ale, Stuart and the Ave., Knowledge (with Tim Armstrong of Operation Ivy/Rancid on guitar), Are We The Waiting and Waiting. I was blown away. There were several times throughout the night that I just started crying. The whole weekend was a celebration of this wonderful band and there were all sorts of emotions going through my head and my heart. I'll never forget this night. Side note: Holiday was incredible. That song doesn't get old and to hear it in that venue was really special.
By the time King For A Day rolled around I thought I was going to pass out/die. I was exhausted. I couldn't even bring myself to sing along. I needed water. I stumbled out of the pit and made my way to the bar where I chugged a glass of water. Big mistake, and this is where I realized I was suffering from some serious dehydration. Right after I had finished chugging the water I had to vomit. I ran into the bathroom and threw up in a stall. After I got myself back together, I went back to the bar, took my hat off, grabbed another water, poured it in my hat and put my hat back on to cool off. Once Green Day started playing Waiting (one of my all-time favorites) I had to be back on the floor for it. Green Day closed the show with Jesus of Suburbia and they totally killed it. The highlight of the night was arguably St. Jimmy, though, as Billie got into character and brought Broadway to the House of Blues. He was amazing.
After the show ended and we were filing out of the venue I realized again that I was not doing well. Spending four-plus hours crammed against people and jumping and screaming and pushing was a bit of a task that night. I wasn't able to wait in the long line at the merch table because I was feeling sick again. As soon as I got outside, I ran into an alley and threw up again. Ugh. On my drive back home I pulled over and threw up again right in front of a police station. Thank God nobody saw me or that may have thought I was drinking or on something! I got home, fell on my bed and passed out. I woke up around 5:30 in the morning still wearing my disgusting, sweaty clothes and all the lights were still on at my place. I gave it my all at the show!
What a night, though! I'll never forget what I witnessed and experienced at the House of Blues. After years of watching Green Day play small shows all over the country it finally happened in my backyard at the venue I regularly attend. This show was a celebration of the band that has been there for me through everything over the last 11 years. It's going to be weird seeing shows at House of Blues from this point on. I'd always wondered what it would be like to see Green Day play there. Now I know. It's fucking amazing.
Friday, April 17th:
Friday was the awkward off-day between the show and the Inductions. It was a day to recover. I planned on sleeping all day, but I was still riding the high from the concert and looking forward to the Inductions so I stumbled over to the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. I hadn't seen the new inductees exhibit yet, so I figured why not? When I got in to the exhibit there was some sort of ribbon-cutting ceremony going on and the whole thing was roped off. I decided to go check out the rest of the museum while this wrapped up. I wanted to go see the band's signatures. Poor Jason White. He didn't get to sign They added Green Day to the jukebox and you can listen to all of their tunes minus anything from 39 Smooth which was odd.
After that I stumbled back downstairs to the exhibit and ran into Ryan from the show and some other fans. It was so cool to recognize other fans and this again goes back to that feeling of community. Turns out Ryan is also studying broadcast journalism and wants to go down the same career path as me which was pretty neat.
While I was walking over to the Green Day exhibit, Bill Withers scooted past me which was pretty neat.
The Green Day stuff is awesome. Billie's homework assignment from 3rd grade was just adorable.
I spent the rest of Friday trying to run into the band somewhere downtown and wondered out the streets of Cleveland for a few hours, but had no luck.
Saturday, April 18th:
I'll just jump right to the Inductions. When Joan Jett almost cried during her speech I almost lost it. I knew I'd be a fucking disaster for Green Day. I can't even begin to explain my emotional state during the whole ceremony. I spotted Green Day's table early on and fixed my eyes on them for most of the night. Mike and Brittney looked they were have the greatest night of their lives and it was very moving to see them so happy after what was undoubtedly a miserable year with cancer. My dad went through it and that whole time of my life is an ugly blur. Mike was rocking out to "Lean On Me" when Bill Withers was performing and it was so touching for some reason.
Fall Out Boy actually gave a solid speech but it paled in comparison to Billie's humble speech. He looked so awestruck by everything that was happening. When Tre and Mike were talking, I could see Billie muttering to himself. I could tell he was nervous. I lost it when he choked up telling Adrienne how much he loved her. They're such a beautiful couple and I hope to be in a relationship like theirs someday.
I couldn't process what was happening. I was sitting in a room just listening to Green Day talk and give their thanks. That will never happen again. They were all so humble that it was truly amazing. My eyes were watery and it was just such a beautiful night.
Then they played. And it was incredible. American Idiot. When I Come Around. Basket Case. I didn't expect When I Come Around and that might be my favorite Green Day song. The crowd ate it up. That's a timeless song and even if you don't like Green Day you like that song. While Green Day was playing their backdrop featured pictures of the band throughout the years along with album artwork, lyrics, etc. It made it even more emotional to me. To hear a song like When I Come Around and to see pictures of them as young dudes...I can't describe it. They've been the soundtrack to my life and I can't thank them enough for that.
What made the night even more incredible was I saw two of The Beatles perform together. That may never happen again! It was so awesome to see Ringo and Paul together. And then to see Ringo play with Green Day? Unreal.
I got home shortly after 1:30 in the morning and simply could not believe what I had just witnessed. After all the build up and anticipation it was over. Post concert depression is a real thing and it was hitting me hard. I felt like all of my friends came to Cleveland to throw this big celebration and then they all left except for me. Now I'm just kind of still here while everyone is gone and back to getting on with their lives. I'm in a weird rut right now.
I hope I've been able to process my thoughts appropriately and accurately on this post. I fucking love this band and can't believe I got to witness them at House of Blues and at the Inductions. They're incredible guys and they mean the world to me. I will always and forever be a Green Day fan and I'm so grateful for everything they've done in my life. I don't really know what's next in store for the guys, but I can't wait to see what it is. The whole weekend was a surreal experience, but I'll have those memories forever. I'll close with words from Billie's Induction speech that sum up my feelings as well.
"You know, I've always loved rock & roll music. I always have. Soon as I opened my eyes and took my first breath, I'm a fan. And that's the one thing that I'm going to close with is that I love rock & roll."
Wednesday morning, I got out of the shower and had two missed calls and a voicemail from my brother. What in the hell could I have possibly missed in the 15 minutes I was in the shower that warranted a voicemail? I picked up my phone to listen.
"ARE YOU FREAKING OUT? DON'T FREAK OUT. YOU'RE PROBABLY FREAKING OUT. ARE YOU FREAKING OUT?"
What in the hell could he be talking about? I figured it had to be Green Day related. I called him back while getting on my laptop and that's when I saw the posters and tweets.
"Green Day performing at House of Blues in Cleveland on 4/16. Tickets on sale Friday. This is not an April Fools' Day joke."
As my brother picked up the phone I couldn't stop screaming. I was smiling from ear-to-ear. This incredible amount of joy I was feeling was overwhelming. I couldn't stop screaming. I hadn't had that kind of reaction/feeling since being there in person for Jason Giambi's walkoff 2-run HR against the Chicago White Sox on September 24, 2013 essentially put the Indians in the playoffs.
Finally, after years of watching Green Day play small, intimate, secret shows in every part of the country I couldn't attend (Los Angeles, Austin, New York City, Oakland, etc) they were coming to my city. My town. The town that I work in. The town that I basically (currently reside in Lakewood) live in. The town I've grown up idolizing and rooting for all of it's heartbreaking teams. At the House of Blues which is my favorite venue in Cleveland. I've always dreamed (I kid you not, actual dreams. I know, I'm insane) of seeing Green Day play a show here. The intimacy of that venue with all of its religious symbols overlooking the stage to embrace coexisting with one another. That tiny floor that would no doubt serve up a good pit for my punk rock, nay, life idols. After all of these years of wishing I lived anywhere else in the country so that I could attend one of these intimate Green Day shows they were coming to my stomping grounds.
I threw on one of my 15 Green Day shirts and grabbed my old pair of Green Day boxers for good luck.
Somehow I had to go into work still. I grabbed my copy of American Idiot and drove off to work blaring my favorite CD. I couldn't sit still at work. I just kept getting up and pacing with excitement. I renewed my Idiot Club membership to have early access to tickets. I anxiously waited for Thursday morning to purchase my tickets to what felt like was a destiny in the making.
I prayed for the first time in months for something that I admittedly told God was so selfish and that I didn't deserve because I haven't been the best Christian lately. God and I haven't talked in awhile and I felt so selfish for asking for fucking tickets when other people are starving, dying or being discriminated against. But, that's how much I wanted these tickets.
I tossed and turned all night Wednesday fearing I may oversleep my 8:00 AM alarm which was set to the tune of 99 Revolutions. At 7:20 I called it quits and just woke up. I went into work early to buy my tickets because the Internet connection is much better there than it is at my apartment. At 9:15 AM I had the computer waiting on Ticketmaster's site anxiously watching the clock tick down. To pass the time I chatted with other Green Day geeks on the fan forums and we were all so nervous and excited.
10:00 AM rolls around and my page refreshes to begin purchasing tickets. I select two and enter my security phrase. I'm greeted with a message that I cannot purchase tickets because there aren't any available. OK, this sometimes happens so I keep trying. I refreshed that God damned site for a half hour trying to get tickets. No luck. Fuck.
The rest of the day was a struggle. How in the hell could this happen? Surely after years of dreaming, wishing and hoping I would be able to go to this concert when Green Day actually did come to town?
Which brings me to this moment right now. The public sale is tomorrow at 10 AM and I fear that I may not get a ticket. I'll be driving into work tomorrow again (on an off-day) to try and get a ticket. Just one. If that fails, I'm walking (yes, walking, that's how close I work to HoB) to House of Blues to plead my case. I'm a tall, thin dude and I don't take up much space. What kills me is that I may not get a ticket to what will no doubt be the best show of my life. In my city. People from across the country will get tickets and, it's selfish, but I'm angry they can make it hundreds of miles while someone like myself can't go.
Green Day has been a part of my life for over a decade now. Some of my most intimate and cherished moments/memories have been associated with these punks. They've been the soundtrack to my life. One of the best things anyone has ever said to me is, "I'm so thankful for knowing you. If not for three punk-ass stoners, I never would have had the chance to get to know you, Andrew Paul Jardy."
To think I may not be able to see this show...it tears me up inside.
I can't stress how much I need to be at this show. I've yet to see Green Day play in Ohio (I will be at the Inductions which is going to be incredible) and I've been with them since 2004. All those other cities I saw Green Day play in and Billie Joe would yell out the city to the crowd every 15 seconds meant nothing to me. But hearing him yell, "Cleveland!" will mean everything. Cleveland's my home. Cleveland's in my blood. And I want to share this home and experience with my idol.
Rage and Love
Dear Kayla Marie,
This is a letter I’ve been thinking about writing for a few months now and it’s certainly the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write.
From the very first day we met in class a few years ago I began to fall in love with you. When I found out you had a boyfriend, I did the only thing I’ve known how to do when it comes to women in my life…wait. By waiting, I got to learn so much about you. We didn’t rush into anything, we didn’t have a mistake one night and we didn’t do anything but continue to see our friendship grow.
From the beginnings of bonding over Green Day, you were the “Green Day Girl” that everyone said I would meet one day. I was absolutely head over heels for you, but continued to wait.
Our timing never came to fruition. I moved out of Kent and began my big-kid life. Not long afterwards you messaged me to let me know that you missed me. You made a point to see me when I returned to Kent one weekend for some drinks. You made a point to be all over me in front of your boyfriend. You made a point to text me later that night and tell me you, “Had liked me for years and didn’t know what to do about it.”
I’ll never forget that phone call we had the next day where I confessed how much I liked you. You see this wasn’t some sort of fling or false love on my part. This was a friendship that had been bubbling towards this exact moment for several years now. I didn’t anticipate that bubble would burst so shortly after we started seeing each other.
All the things you put me through, all the pain I had to see you go through…things I’ll never be able to erase from my memory. You thanked me so much for my patience and assured me I was one of the greatest guys you’d ever been with. So many times you told me I was so fucking awesome and that I was your escape from all of the drama in your life. For the first time in my life everything made a lot of sense. I became a better person when I was with you. You opened my eyes to a lot of things I was unaware of. I felt like I could take on any task that was thrown at me because I knew you supported me.
You took my virginity and you made me the man I am today. I’ll never forget you. I’ll never forget how we used to lie together in bed and just stare into each other’s eyes. You said you loved that we could do that. I’ll never forget how you would reach over and pull me in tighter at night. There are so many things I’ll never forget about you, Kayla Marie.
The one thing I’ll always remember is when things were coming to an end and the tears were falling down my face. You put my head in your hands and said you could see a future with me. In my moment of despair, when my mind was fully aware that things were over, you threw one last piece of bait and my heart gobbled it up.
When you left me, it was the darkest time of my life. Living out every day remembering all the wonderful things you said to me and having to go on knowing I couldn’t see you. It was hell. It was torture. I hated everything. The winter was ridiculously cold and I just sat in my room staring blankly. I'd wander the aisles at Target not even shopping for anything. I just wondered around like the random particles I'm made of. How you could so quickly disregard our friendship continues to blow my mind.
I’m writing to tell you that I miss you so much. I’ll never understand why things had to end with us. The boy you left me for isn’t even the boy you are with now and I think that’s what hurts the most.
I’ll always love you, Kayla Marie. You are someone I’ll always look back on and smile. I’ll continue counting down the days until maybe we can run into each other again. Share a few laughs. Tell each other about our lives. Maybe it will be a few months, years, decades, who knows? If it happens in our 80s and I have to wheel my body over to your rocking chair and kiss your wrinkled hand with my dry, crusty lips then so be it. Because this love I have for you is undying. I can’t put out the flames that you lit in my soul. I can’t get you out of my dreams and I can’t stay in the state I’m currently in.
I’m trying to move on because you so clearly have. People tell you that they “love you to the moon and back.” Well, I don’t think the moon is far enough for how much I love you. I love you to where we can’t even fathom life exists. I love you to where the stars haven’t even been discovered yet. I love you to the ends of the galaxy.
I will say this and it's not easy to say, but I am really happy to see you happy. There were many a nights where you were so angry with the world and I'd wipe the tears away from your beautiful brown eyes. I probably saw you at some of your darkest moments and I'm sorry that I couldn't be the person to bring you nothing but happiness. I'm not exactly sure what I ever was to you, but you were everything to me. In the coldest of the winter nights, the only thing that kept me warm was the thought of getting to see you. To listen to music with you. To laugh with you. To talk about life and death with you. To hold you hand. To kiss you and to comfort you. I miss our conversations and I miss the way you made me feel like the greatest person on this doomed planet. I hope the boy you are with now makes you the happiest person in the world because that's what you deserve.
I often wonder if you ever think of me. As you can tell I think of you everyday. Just the mention of your name or a text message from you makes my heart flutter. I constantly try to come up with the right combination of words to tell you how much I feel for you, but it's ever so difficult. I fail to accept the fact that there is no combination. I'll figure it out someday.
There is one constellation in my head and you are the brightest star that lights up the darkness in my head. There will come a day when you realize it’s me you’ve always wanted. And when that day comes, I hope I haven’t fallen for someone else. I can’t imagine falling for anyone else, but you. But, I can’t imagine living my life without you and yet here we are. I’ll leave you with this poem, Kayla Marie. Rage and Love from the bottom of my heart to your wild one.
I wish I could pick you up for a drive in my car
I don’t care where we go, as long as it’s far
The whole ride there hearing you sing
Your beautiful voice taking me away on your wings
You will always be the most beautiful woman to me
A chance for our love to start over free
Take care, Kayla Marie
Prettiest girl I’ve ever seen
You want to know the moment where I really fell for you?
It was when we were first lying in bed at your apartment
And we locked onto each other’s eyes
And held that look for what felt like hours
Every defense in my body began to melt
And love began to seep through my skin
Until the feelings spread quicker than a virus
And I was totally smitten
What I wouldn’t give to give you one more kiss
Right on your forehead
It’s happened in my dreams for months now
Where you lean in and plant one on my forehead
I wake up thinking you are going to be there
But it’s always just me
And I check my phone but it’s just work emails
Falling asleep is then not an option
So I lie there and think of you
Wonder what you are up to
And maybe that makes me some kind of freak
I’m not really sure
These feelings I have for you are so incredibly strong
You’re the only one I’ve ever wanted
That’s the honest to God truth
I fucking love you
I think you’re the greatest
Your punk rock spirit
I waited for years for the opportunity
And when that opportunity came it was great
And I’m trying to figure out what went wrong
I guess I just thought we had something more
Because that’s what I’ve always wanted
And you were upfront about not wanting a relationship
But that never changed how I felt about you
It only made things stronger
I tend to overthink things
I guess I overthought what we had
And I’m sorry for that
I really hope I didn’t hurt you in any way
I will always carry a part of you with me
Whenever I hear a punk song
I think of how you’d sing and react to it
Maybe I’m a little bit insane
I think I’m just in love
With the coolest chick this world has to offer
And should you ever decide to want a relationship
I will do my best to make you the happiest fucking girl out there
Because I so desperately want the world to be kind to you
It’s shit enough on you for one lifetime
And I’ll fight whatever comes your way
With all of my Rage and Love
Because you are the brightest star
In the constellation in my head
And I’ll hear the chords of Billie’s guitar
And think of all the things you’ve ever said
And wherever you decide to go
Whatever you decide to do
With or without me
I send you my best intentions and love
Because I will always love you, Kayla Marie
The cutest, most fucking awesome person
That this doomed planet has to offer
“All my thoughts are only of you”
I can't explain why
But it's worth a try
The thoughts that go on behind my eyes
Emotions so deep they make me want to cry
You are the only one I've ever cared for
You've stripped me down all the way to my core
Your beautiful, brown eyes pierced my every pore
All these feelings inside of me are waging a war
Between my heart and my mind
I guess it's true that love is blind
And now I'm stuck in this bind
There's no way out if I have to leave you behind
I love your soul
Getting it in my grasp my only goal
I've never been cast for life's various roles
The only part I could play is the one where we become whole
And all these feelings come flowing from my fingertips
The feelings that never seem to come out right from my lips
I wish there were some kind of scripts to follow
But they'd just be empty words, nothing but hollow
So I speak from the heart
It hurts for us to be apart
Instead of hitting the power switch, push restart
Don't make me just another spare part
The way that you can sing
Take me away on your wings
Every beautiful note like a burst of spring air
You are so incredibly rare
When the sun rises you're my first thought
Love, romance, joy all things that you taught
And when the sun sets and I go to bed
You are the last thought in my head
I'm trying to write it all down
"You're a princess and I'm a fucking clown"
I hope that your heart will find its way around
To the deserted town that mine is in
I love you, Kayla Marie
Prettiest girl I've ever seen
I'll sit here and beg and plea
Until you realize it's me you've been wanting to see
So, now I'm 23. And it will be 10 years this September since the album's release. Over the past decade the album continues to grow on me on much more personal levels. When I first heard it I just thought it was cool to hate George W. Bush, but without any real reason to. American Idiot opened me up to the wrongdoings of American politics and not just one party specifically. It made me question what was going on or at least pay attention to what was happening around me.
Musically, American Idiot opened the doors up to the music world for me. It opened up the punk, rock, alternative world to me. Shortly after Green Day, I got into The Offspring, Weezer, Muse and Flogging Molly. Even to this day, I am reading into groups that influenced Billie Joe and Green Day. Just recently I've purchased stuff from The Ramones and The Replacements and I love them both. I listen to The Clash and hear things that are similar in Green Day's music. I became a DJ in college because I wanted to play Green Day songs on the radio. I was able to host Green Day-themed shows that reached listeners all over the world. That was one of the coolest experiences in my life. I bought a keyboard recently because I want to play Whatsername.
I presented many a projects and wrote quite a few papers on the album in college, so, in a way Green Day helped me get through college. Which brings us to the next, and perhaps, most critical part of how this album has been pivotal in my life. Meeting someone of the opposite sex that shares these same feelings and values for the album. Meeting your "Green Day Girl."
Everyone always told me that when I'd go to college I would meet someone who was just as passionate about Green Day and that we would get married and live happily ever after. It always seemed like a ridiculous idea. Well, my junior year of college I met someone who acknowledged the fact I was wearing a Green Day shirt in class one day.
"Oh, you like Green Day? Me too!" she said.
We then discussed our love of the band and how we had seen the musical on Broadway when Billie was in it and the friendship had its roots firmly planted in the ground. Time would pass and we would chat here and there. She'd come over to watch Cuatro and listen to Green Day and my roommates would always jest, "Oh, you and Green Day Girl? Hehe, you guys always seem to get along." We had a natural friendship and I owe it all to American Idiot. Without that album we never would have had that immediate common interest.
I graduated college and moved to Cleveland. This past fall we started to hang out more and things seemed pretty serious even though she wasn't looking for anything serious. Driving around or lying in bed and listening to these songs...I've never experienced that kind of joy before. The way that she could sing-along was always a treat. She is an Extraordinary Girl and She's A Rebel.
I always wanted something more. I had waited for this moment for a few years now. "She's holding on my heart like a hand grenade." Eventually the pin was pulled and my heart exploded. "She went away and then I took a different path." The fallout for me was ugly. I suddenly hated everything. I didn't enjoy my job, my home, my friends, my life. This past winter was hell. It was constant polar vortex temperatures and inches and inches of snow. There was no sunshine. It was awful. It was cold and dark. Driving back from seeing her one time after things had come to an end I was listening to Whatsername and I couldn't even make it through the song. The lyric, "Did she ever marry old what's his face?" seemed incredibly relevant.
Time has passed since then and we've been able to have a few conversations here and there, which I am thankful for. I'm better now and I don't have any ill-intentions. I still do love her and want what's best for her. I actually bought her tickets for the American Idiot Musical this weekend as a way of saying, "Hey, shit happened, but I still like you and this group brought us together." The trilogy in particular is a great snapshot of what my life was like these past few months. Uno: The falling in love Dos: The out-of-control love and Tre: The fallout and trying to put it all back together.
But American Idiot is still that driving force for me. That album gave me an identity 10 years ago, it opened me up to the music world, it gave me the opportunity to fall in love with someone that shared those punk values and it gave me the chance to heal from that heartbreak. Every single day I wear my Rage and Love wristbands that I bought from the Green Day Authority (which is something else I am incredibly grateful for) because I hope someday that someone will notice them and a conversation will start up.
It's more than 13 songs for me. I hear that album and it's me. I wanted to get away from my hometown, fall in love and be somebody. Those three things have happened. But I'm still searching for that other half of me that at the end of the day will, "Give me a long kiss goodnight and everything will be alright."
August 31st, 2004. Green Day debuts the first single from its new rock-opera American Idiot. The title-track to the massive album will change Green Day's career for the second time in the band's history. It made an impact to millions of listeners including one 13-year-old boy who was searching for an identity in those horrible pubescent, adolescent years.
Remember when VH1 and MTV showed music videos? Every morning before I would leave for school I'd watch these two channels for my latest music fix. I remember seeing the American Idiot music video several times while eating breakfast. Something about this video fascinated me, but at the same time I had my reservations. Would my parents let me listen to a group that was saying, "Fuck America?" Would my fellow peers mock my choice of music because these dudes were wearing eyeliner? I accepted the fact that I couldn't get into this band. Too much baggage. I "hated" Green Day. I chose those catchy Scots, Franz Ferdinand, and their smash hit Take Me Out as well as The Killers and Somebody Told Me. Jet was also a staple to my early music interests. 2004 was a great year for music.
Green Day didn't go away, though. My friend, Adam Lompis, asked if I liked the group. I told him I wasn't a fan. He told me I should give them more of a listen. At this point the album had come out and Boulevard of Broken Dreams was on every radio station every five seconds. I remember hearing Holiday in the car with my parents one night and my mom commenting on the fact that she found the song catchy. I agreed with her. Holiday was the turning point. I started to became mildly obsessed with the group. The fact that the album was telling a story intrigued me. The way Holiday led into Boulevard of Broken Dreams excited me for some odd reason. The songs were demanding my attention. I would later hear Welcome To Paradise on 89X and I officially bought into the Bay Area punks.
There was one problem. How would I get an album that was labeled with that damn "Parental Advisory" sticker? I had already been denied the second Gorillaz release because it had that stupid-ass sticker on it. Would things be different this time around?
This is the part where my brother, Adam Jardy, comes into play. One morning as I was packing my things into my book bag for school I noticed a burned CD in there. It was American Idiot. There was a note saying, "Don't tell mom and dad." I immediately put the album in my Sony Walkman CD player and listened to it on my way to school. Wow. I was in love. Jesus of Suburbia blew me away. Are We The Waiting was captivating. St. Jimmy was the kind of song I knew I couldn't play around my parents. Wake Me Up When September Ends and Whatsername were both beautiful songs. I was obsessed. Couldn't stop listening to this album. I'd listen to it in the car with my headphones on and my mom would ask what I was listening to. I'd lie and tell her it was Jet. This was my rebellion as an adolescent. Secretly listening to an album that was challenging my thoughts and beliefs on what America was. I loved everything about it.
Eventually I just told my parents that I listened to Green Day. They didn't seem to have any objection. All that secret listening wasn't that big of a deal. My 14th birthday was the best birthday ever. My parents bought me their entire catalog (I even got a copy of Dookie with Ernie still on the back!) and I became a fan-boy. I loved it all. Insomniac was the first record I really listened to a lot and the snarling and fast-pace of the music was captivating. Pretty soon my iPod was just Green Day's discography and Franz' debut album and The Killers' Hot Fuss album.
I had my identity. While all of my friends were listening to crap rap, pop bull-shit, I was with a select few that had bought into the punks. I annoyed the hell out of my friends by trying to force Green Day down their throats. My mom surprised me on a regular basis with Green Day shirts and I wore every single one of them with pride. In the weight room (*shudders* the weight room) I would throw "Hitchin' A Ride" on the stereo and everyone would yell, "What the fuck is this shit?" and immediately change it to 50 Cent, Rihanna, Lil' Jon, etc.
The best was when my mom bought me their live album/DVD Bullet In A Bible. This took my fandom to a whole new level. The way that these guys performed...I was blown away. The way that Billie controlled a crowd...the way he masturbated on stage (yes, my mom bought me this) was just compelling? Intriguing? I began taking Bullet In A Bible over to all of my friends houses and telling them they needed to watch this. This was music that demanded to be listened to. Naturally, they were all disgusted and said it was crap. I'd find a CD player at their house and pop the disc in. All the fucks that were coming from those speakers probably raised a few eyebrows, but I didn't care.
From that point on, though, I was the "Green Day Guy." That hand grenade from the cover was my symbol and if I ever get a tattoo it will be of that. People knew something about me. I stood out by choice of music. And it was a great feeling.
Little did I know it would continue to shape my life down the road.
To be continued...
Brittany, you asked for a pep talk for Baby J, so here it goes.
Baby J, it's time for you to come into this world now. Your mother has carried you in her for long enough and we are all eagerly awaiting your arrival. Unfortunately, your first few moments on this planet will be broadcast to the masses through social media. That's sort of the world we live in now. I'm sure you will have a Facebook page when you are three.
I'll say this. I can understand why you may want to stay in there...free food, drinks, shelter, etc. I admit it that this is an awfully scary world at times that may not be a whole lot of fun. Sometimes life is going to hand you a poop sandwich and you are going to have to eat it. (Side note: all the poopy diapers you are leaving for us only make it fair.)
But you are coming into a world with two of the most loving people you could ask for. You realize your father is going to be more of a wreck than your mother don't you? Your father will make sure the first chords you ever hear are from Wonderwall. Your mother will do her best to interject with T. Swift, but I don't see her winning this battle. Your mother will make sure you look your best (she encouraged my purchase of boat shoes years ago and it was a terrific choice. She "fixed" Adam's style. *shudders* Always seek her advice for fashion.)
I can't wait to be your uncle. I've been in a rut lately and your journey into my life will be just the spark I need. Amy can't wait to be your aunt. She's seriously giddy and is resorting to some unorthodox methods to get you here on a day that fits into her schedule. And my God your grandparents are going to be fantastic. For reals.
So, what are you waiting for? It's time to enter this crazy, messed-up world, that's full of joy and wonder where the good will eventually outweigh the bad. Your family eagerly awaits you!
As Gandalf the Grey put it, "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."
There are a few things I hope to teach you. Love everyone. You don't know what battles they are fighting. You don't know what demons they have. Get to know people. Forgive, but not forget. Have some blind faith in awhile. Question everything. Things will fall into place, some you can't control and some you can. If you have a crush on someone, for God's sake tell him or her! Love is the best thing this world has to offer. Don't abuse it. Don't let time grab you by the wrists and direct you where to go (I had to sneak a Green Day lyric in here somewhere.) Do what makes you happy and you will enjoy everything this world has to offer.
See you soon, Baby J!
A restful night of sleep is all I want
But then you show up in my dreams
And your kisses come to haunt
And I wake up tearing at the seams
My feelings for you grow like a cancer
I hate that we don’t even speak
There is no easy answer
The long days have turned to weeks
Wish I could go back and undo the act
The act that made you hate me
My actions made you feel like I attacked
I never wanted to flee
You still talk to my mom
Why can’t you talk to me?
Your actions turned me into a time bomb
And now I sit here and beg and plea
For you to pick up the phone
Give me a call and say, “I miss you”
Because I really can’t stand being alone
And I want us to break through
The mess that was created
Out of jealousy and fear
And even though we never dated
You made everything in my head clear
You thanked me for being so patient
But now that patience has ran thin
I don’t feel right in my own skin
I feel like every scenario is a no-win
I said I’d never leave
I wore your troubles on my sleeve
Carried the weight of your shit
All I did was crumble and we split
You held my face as I cried
Said, “you can’t even call me your girlfriend, but I can see a future with you”
And my watery eyes have dried
And I can picture you as my bride
Could you see me as your groom?
Carrying our child in your womb
Your life with me wouldn’t be doom and gloom
But you swept me aside with your broom
God, I want you back even as just a friend
I just want us to make amends
Go on without us hating each other
This feeling I wish I could just smother
Push it all the way below my feet
Walk away on the empty street
Move on with my life
Away from your words that stab like a knife
I was there
When you needed to escape the drama
I was there
When you were upset with your mama
I was there
When you thought about checking yourself in
I was there
When you needed someone to make you grin
I was there
When you slit your wrists
I was there
When you needed to know you deserve to exist
I was there
When you were at your worst
I was there
When all of your rage would burst
I was there
When you needed to be held tight
I was there
When everything would be OK just for the night
I was there
When you told me you had a disease
I was there
When I pulled you in for a tight squeeze
I was there
When you posted a photo of the two of you in bed
I was there
When I felt like my inside was dead
I was there
When you had withdrawn
I was there
And now I’m gone
You were someone that I loved
From the day we met
A girl that I’d always think of
The one I could talk to and not break a sweat
The way we used to gaze in each other’s eyes
How we could see into each other’s souls
Wipe away the sorrowful cries
I always hoped we’d come together whole
You knew how much I wanted you
Yet you still kept coming around
Needed to get in your daily screw
Brought me up just to let me down
I was in it for the long haul
You were just exploring
Threw my heart against the wall, watched it fall
All my love and blood outpouring
I had to walk away
How many times you told me that he wasn’t your kind of guy
All I can do now is pray
That you and I can one day can come back from this goodbye
Stuck in this stupid rut
All I look forward to is watching smut
I feel like a lost and wandering mutt
Walking around, just me and my strut
I think I have some issues going on in my head
Sometimes I wish I was dead
Others I wish you were here to occupy my bed
Even though you were the one that fled
So you posted a photo of your new guy
I'd love nothing more than for him to die
Then you could feel alone and ask why?
Or would you just sit around and get high?
I can't wait to see who you're with in a few months
Probably someone that rolls blunts
The only thing you're actually good at
Smoking pot and fucking Scott
I finally deleted you from this stupid site
Every new photo a Saber toothed bite
My heart used to be full of light
Until you left it in the dark
I wanted to save you
Take all the bad in your life and hit undo
But I was just someone for you to screw
And leave behind in the heartbroken queue
As a last act of help I messaged your mother
Remember how she had to bury your brother?
I couldn't risk her losing another
She shouldn't have to do that to her only other
So I said you were using
That you were abusing
Cruising for an early grave
You said it was a slap to the face
That you needed some space
That I was out of place
You were gone without a trace
I only did it because I care
That's the truth I swear
Your mom shouldn't have that to bear
You realize how much you are being unfair?
Yet, I still want to be your friend
All the way to the end
Can we try and make amends?
I never wanted to offend