Friday, July 09, 2004

Current song: "Wedding Day" by Rosie Thomas. (I'm virtually always a sucker for the female singer/songwriter... can't help it!!)

Sitting in one of my favorite squats in GR: Kava House. I'm becoming more and more passionate about local businesses and my desire to avoid all things franchised. Until recently, I was convincing myself that those thoughts were generally good in nature--along with my shopping almost exclusively at thrift stores and resale shops. But I'm afraid it's all rooted, like too much of my life, in narcissism. I wish it wasn't so, but... I'm as vain as anyone I know. I've started to share this idea with a few of my co-workers and have been sort of discouraged to find how un-surprised they all seem to be. It's as though they were already aware of something I have just begun to wrap my head around.

I suppose self-realization really is better late than never.

Current song: "Tiny Vessels" by Death Cab For Cutie.

Recently finished a very captivating and challenging book. Consuming Faith both confirmed a lot of what I believe and pushed my beliefs into new directions and territories. I'm more and more convinced that I want to make sure the things I buy line up with the things that I believe. AND what I choose NOT to buy--like my thrift store/local businesses thing. That has less to do with my beliefs and as much to do with image and "brands" as someone who shops at Abercrombie, I'm afraid.

These are big questions for me these days. I'm not in a stage of life where I am questioning what I believe--I'm in a place where I'm trying to figure out how what I believe affects my life. If I can't find enough proof that my beliefs are impacting my everyday living, I can't see why I would continue to fight to hold onto those beliefs. And I don't want to continue to perpetuate the often well-deserved criticisms of Christians--all belief, no action. I can't imagine I would throw away all that I believe--but I do expect I will be changing some things about my life.

Current song: "Open" by Bruce Cockburn.

The letter "M" is half-missing on my keyboard. Which is strange because I don't think I use that particular letter very much... How does that happen?? I expect in the next 8-12 months, I will have to get another computer. I've grown to love this machine and I think I will probably go after another PowerBook. Better start saving up I guess.

(FYI: I used the letter "M" seven times in that last sentence.)

Current song: "Set Me Free" by Velvet Revolver.

Which reminds me: did you see that Scott Weiland has been sent to rehab AGAIN!?!? I can't believe how self-destructive that guy is. One of my favorite rock voices of all time and he cannot get his substance abuse problems under control. Evidently he was drunk and rammed into the back of a parked car.

The Velvet Revolver stuff isn't anything to write home about. As much as I liked GNR, I don't like the guitar playing of Slash nearly as much as I like the DeLeo brothers of STP!!

OK--more coffee needs to find its way inside me.


Monday, July 05, 2004

One more thing--forgot that I updated my music suggestion for the week.

The Golden Sounds. Some great friends of mine were in a relatively "famous" band for a couple years before the music "machine" wore them out and pushed them back to the coffee shops and classrooms that we musicians retreat to when we aren't sure what to do with our lives. Not long ago, I heard about the lead singer of that band again and his newest project. It's different and, like most of what I listen to, up for discussion whether it's "good" or not. Regardless, there are four mp3s available at their site (see links to the right) that will allow you to judge for yourself.

I'm still undecided.


Spent about 5 hours today working on a recording. We are starting a Christmas CD to raise money for a local ministry to under-privileged urban kids here in GR: kids who have never seen the lake, even though they live under an hour away from it. It's a great opportunity that seems to be gaining a lot of momentum and excitement.

I was recording vocals for a version of "Hark! The Herald" most of the afternoon. It's an homage to Postal Service--that's the best way I can describe it. Definitely doesn't have your typical Christmas Eve service vibe. And I actually just finished a song that I hope makes it on the record. Wanted to write a simple "sing-along." We were thinking about getting the rights to do "Happy Christmas (The War Is Over)," but we're not feeling very optimistic about it. So I wanted to create something in its stead. This feels sort of like The Polyphonic Spree meets Arab Strap. Maybe it will happen....

I also think I have finished mapping out "A Major Record." I've decided to keep all 5 songs as one track--so when you put the CD into your player of choice (or iPod I suppose), it will only show one track that lasts about 29 minutes. Silly idea probably, but it's going to challenge me. That's what I'm looking for.

In the past couple of weeks, I've happened on a couple of blogs that I've really enjoyed reading--people from my past. In fact, two former roommates in college! Without sounding overly sentimental (or like a pansy--maybe that's really what I mean), I've found myself really wishing I hadn't lost my connection with these guys. As I've read what they are thinking about/experiencing, I've felt a serious regret for not fighting harder for my friendships. This is also coupled with a random email I got from a friend in high school via Classmates. One of the few people from my class of 71 (no there isn't a digit missing from that number) that I genuinely miss from time to time.

Anyway, if you get a chance and want to peek into the mind of a couple of my contemporaries (??), check out the new blogs I've added as links: Kelly, Andrew and John.


Had a bizarre conversation the day before July 4th. (Which, I'm sorry I forgot to post and call peoples' attention to, was Tom Cruise's birthday. Hope the Church Of Scientology sent a nice gift...)

I was standing my hallway talking to the "couple" who lives across the hall. Jenn and Jaime. He recently moved in with her because he lost his job and, it would appear, has not intentions or desire to find another. She works a crazy factory job, putting in 13-14 hour days. So I don't see her much, but he is around all the time. Most of the time, on the cell phone in his boxers. Sorry I don't have a picture to share.

anyway, the point is, I don't talk with her much. But a couple days ago, the three of us are standing in our doorways and talking about the 4th. They ask what I'm doing and I mention this small group of us that are thinking about watching the fireworks together. What I didn't mention was that we were debating checking them out from my roof. I live in one of the tallest houses in GR evidently--at least, on one of the tallest points. But I left that detail out. I asked them the same question and they began to look at each other and Jamie began to get physically uncomfortable. He shook his head and said "I'm not committed to anything!" Jenn started to laugh a little and pushed him in that playful couple way. (Which usually makes me want to turn around and walk away. I stayed this time though because I was curious what his reaction was about. But next time.....) Jenn then says "Oh come on--tell him!" Jamie says "No" and walks in the apartment yelling back "You tell him if you want to." Now it's just Jenn, who is shaking her head with a slight look of disgust, and me, with a look of wonder and suspicion.

Jenn looks straight at me and says "We're going to f*#@ on the roof."

I realized I had stayed in the doorway too long. Missed my exit.

Although, I thought later, I'm glad I found out. Few things would have been more embarrassing than to bring a quartet of friends up to the roof during that display!!

The GR fireworks were actually very good. Most of the people I spoke with told me they would be.

I had one of my least favorite encounters walking downtown last night. I was making my way through the crowd--quite a big one actually--and making eye contact here and there with people. I see some guy that looks kind of familiar, but I'm not sure I know. When I look back a couple seconds later, he has a smile on his face and is heading right towards me with his hand out and other arm posed, ready for the guy-shake-and-hug. You know the kind right? Now, I'm a consistent guy-hugger. It doesn't bother me. I've just learned who that's appropriate with and who to avoid touching in any endearing way. So that stuff doesn't bother me. The only problem last night was that I had no idea who this guy was!! I COULD NOT REMEMBER HIM! It wasn't like I didn't recall his name--I simply didn't remember ever seeing him before. So I'm flipping through my mental address book and photo album while we're in the middle of this guy-shake-and-hug, but I'm coming up with nothing. The small talk happens and I ask, "So who are you here with?" I was hoping he would mention someone who would trigger in my mind some kind of connection. Hoping he would mention a name and I would remember who he is and how we were so close to warrant this guy-shake-and-hug. He says, in passing, "Oh Chelsea and all those crazy girls."

Didn't help!

Later on, I see Chelsea and all those crazy girls and I do remember. I remember who he is--but don't remember when we crossed into the hugging stage. I don't even remember the last time I saw him and if we hugged then. I don't remember learning his name or one single detail about him.

My friend Joe asked later, "Why is it we are so bad in those kinds of situations?" And I thought it was just my social ineptitude. It has to be better, in those times, to be honest and say "I'm sorry--I can't remember your name" than to fake it the whole time isn't it? It's weird to think I have so far to grow socially. Most of that growth is supposed to be taking place as you are getting older--not once your category IS "old."

English muffin time.

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