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Hey Ho, Rock ‘N Roll!

Right up front with the Old 97's!

Right up front with the Old 97’s!

3/24/17

I saw one of my favorite rock bands this week. It took some sacrifice to do it, too. I am here to say, though: Totally worth it.

Worth the drive there after school.

Worth the just okay opening act.

Worth the drive back in dark, animal infested Montana roads.

Worth the severe lack of sleep the next school day (also concert day).

Worth the money.

Worth the hassle.

Worth it.

Got to see some friends and watch them discover a great band from the front row.

Got to feel some bass and kick drum on and in my chest.

Got to watch a crowd sing along to something not played on mainstream radio.

Got to watch a motherscratching rock show!

Got to feel alive, ’cause it can take a kick start.

Got to know that art is Worth It.

So, back to the drawing board.

‘Cause I am going to add some rock, too.

Adrift

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3/20/17

I guess it’s time to come clean. I have been having a rough go for a bit. I have been trying to feel more grounded while many things in my life seem unsure.

I lost Stu.

I wasn’t sure where I was going to be working.

My folks got into a fender bender.

Lent, as always, is killing me.

I know. I know…

These are minor league gripes. First world problems. Well, they’re what I’ve got.

My students seem uninterested at best. Putting out my best self and energy to be met with this seeming non-interest or worst is soul sucking.

The worst? I am going through a period of not liking any of my work. These things that I have poured years into are eliciting a shrug of the shoulders from within me. That’s never a good feeling.

This happens in artistic living. That’s what I am telling myself.

It’s happened before.

It’ll happen again.

I will anchor again soon.

I will move forward.

For now, I drift.

Discerning

3/13/2017

This is probably the longest I have gone without the blog. I am sure that this is indicative of something, but I am not sure what.

Is it intense busyness?

Or a sinking, crushing depression?

Am I just having too much fun to comment?

I don’t think so.

But I don’t really have an answer.

I can say what I’ve been up to.

I played a couple gigs.

I recorded some podcasts.

I have been preparing classes for a concert and district music festival.

I pitched a couple ideas to some filmmakers.

I finished a first draft.

I bought some recording equipment.

I hung out with the bride and the boy.

I tried to figure out why some pics on this website go sideways on handheld devices.

I don’t know. I did a lot.

And, for a while, I thought, maybe, that I didn’t really want to talk about it.

So, here I am talking about it now.

Is going quiet a bad thing? I hope not. Because, if I am being completely honest, it’ll definitely happen again.

Spiritual Guide

Night driving back from Missoula.

Night driving back from Missoula.

IMG_2371

2/26/2017

The last couple weeks have been a blur of buses. We had two different trips for choir- one to Missoula and one to Seattle. I had one full day, Valentine’s Day, to check in with my family, wash clothes, and get ready to head out again. I have been back almost a week and finally feel near normal again. As normal as I get.

Performance at a high school along the way.

Performance at a high school along the way.

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I received word that my confirmation sponsor, Dale Stewart, or Stu as I knew him, had died. Whenever I saw him, he would insult me and I would threaten to haul him across the bar. I did it once for real, but it’s funnier as a threat. He’d tell me to get more singing lessons. The last time I saw him he told me I could part The Red Sea by jumping in it. This act has been going on almost thirty years, when I was a junior in high school and needed someone to stand up and say I was worthy of being part of the Catholic Church.

He was my spiritual guide, residing on a bar stool on the Wine Mill side of the East Side Howard’s Pizza, where I would vist from the restaurant side to deliver pizzas and trade insults and abuse.

It was great.

Stu was great.

I will miss him because there aren’t a lot of people that can bust me down with truth and caring. It’s a tough mix. I knew he was there for me, even all these years later. I hope he knew the same of me.

Rest in peace, Stu. Save me a place at the bar.

Update:

3/18

Stu's chariot.

Stu’s chariot.

Some beautiful cars...

Some beautiful cars…

More beautiful cars...wait a minute...

More beautiful cars…wait a minute…

The pictures above are from the parking lot outside of Stu’s funeral. There was a car show that Stu started years ago called Stu’s Cruise and many of those folks showed up. I made sure to park my filthy Element among these beautiful cars. I also revved my engine a bit- all for Stu.

He gave away his beautiful car. He donated tens of thousands to charity. He filled the church with mourners. What a guy.

All Systems are Goofy

It’s going all right. The getting up early and taking care of myself a bit is good. I had a sickness that knocked me off course for a couple days, but I am right back. So, it’s going well.

The list is long. I have a lot in the pipeline and it’s ckoking up on the back end- the editing. There have been some interesting snafus and personnel changes, but there is one constant- me showing up to the work. I feel that I am only getting better at that.

So, the website store is opening soon.

The Questioning Catholic podcast has two shows in the can. We are looking at starting another website (don’t worry, the hub will always be here) and a delivery system for that.

Better Than That has a new editor.

TV show has 2 editors.

Follow up movie is half written.

Play is 3/4 written.

New songs are happening.

I am playing live this Friday.

Let’s call that it for now. It isn’t all, but the rest has to materialize more.

I’m Trying Some Things

I'm doing great. How are you?

I’m doing great. How are you?

I wait for change. I think a lot of us do. I have to build up and get my mind right before getting to it.

My broken toe this last July was an annoying and sobering incident. But let’s go back a bit more…

In April of last year,  I somehow herniated my L4. In the short, eternal week that followed, I went from asking for the least amount of pain medication available and, you know, maybe just a muscle relaxant to a visit to the emergency room where the only relief to be had was a shot of morphine. That changed my perspective. I will say that the walk from the house to the car, and the car ride to the hospital…well, that’s the most painful trip I can remember taking. I have a great doctor that helped me get my back into some form of human shape. I avoided surgery and dodged a bullet. My doctor said it’s now. There wouldn’t be a later if I wanted to keep walking. I vowed that change was coming. As soon as I was cleared for the gym, I was ready.

I adopted a new eating plan and a workout routine. The results were pretty swift. Within five weeks, I lost twelve pounds, but more important, I shed inches in important places and gained them in other important spots. It was awesome. I was on my way.

I should mention that part of the lasting symptoms or side effects of the nerve damage from the L4 were shooting pains in two specific body parts. The first spot was my left testicle. I am certain that my doubling over in pain while conducting one of my high school choirs was hilarious. On this end, I was suffering for those laughs like a good clown. Thankfully, blessedly, this pain subsided after a couple of months.

The other spot, my big left toe, has not gone felt the same relief. It was brutal. Just pure, crippling, electrical shock from time to time. If anyone touched it, I wold just howl. It was ridiculous.

Even more ridiculous is that is the idea of dropping a forty-five pound weight on the toe, and only that toe. It ended my awesome reign in the gym. The pain of the drop, while horrible, was brief. I finished my work out because I didn’t imagine my toe was broken. I’d never broken anything before. Long story a bit shorter, the toe was indeed broken and it hobbled me for an embarrassing amount of time for such a little appendage. It made the twelve hour car ride to Boise the next day really interesting. There was concern that I would need surgery on the toe. Luckily, it smashed pretty cleanly.

The only picture that is safe for the squeamish.

The only picture that is safe for the squeamish.

Sorry, this is all over the map.

I kept going to work on that toe, but not working out. I kept writing. We filmed the tv pilot on that toe. The work kept me sane, but I was flirting with depression after making those physical strides.

Anyway…

I’m back to it. Finally.

Eating plan.

Yoga every morning.

Meditation every morning (151 days running).

Gym after school every day.

This isn’t a scheme. It can’t be.

I can’t afford schemes.

I can only have this be how I live now.

I am excited because I am walking around with this secret. I know what I am doing what I need to do. I know that it may not show now or in the near future, but it is bound to down the road. There will only be more strength and flexibility and hope and life.

More to come.

Much more.

 

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