ManicRobThrill

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Reboot

Usually, I would have posted on the December anniversary of this blog, but I neglected to do so.  I've had a wonderful two-plus weeks at home and was deliciously lazy for the first time - made few plans, did what I wanted, relaxed, rested and cleared pretty much the clutter in my head.  And so here we are, a full twelve years after I started this.  Blogging is already a forgotten commodity, but I don't care.  It's helpful and healthy for me and it's the one way I can re-steer myself towards focused writing - like with Popdose or Rock NYC or lyrics.  This is the outlet of cleansing, so to speak.

And we begin on a beautiful, crisp, Sunday morning - oddly, New Year's Day.  A day that always equals "starting over".  I know this much:  I've let the hangover of the election go.  There is no point to continue making myself ill over this - I'm not giving sway to the notion of "normalizing" what isn't normal, ethical or legal (it's obvious - Trump committed treason by having the Russians hack into the DNC computers and tamper with the election; it's as clear as a blue sky on a sunny day), but I have to resume a complete sense of focus and control over the things I can.  Namely, my life and my being as a whole.  So that's one New Year's hope and aspiration realized, with certain clarity.  Another is the plausibility of an actual reunion of The Punch Line.  Not as a going concern, but the fact is 2017 is the 30th anniversary of our first single being recorded and that (to me) is a reason for celebration and acknowledgment.  The plausibility is the question; I know what many others want and how they feel - and I am truly appreciative and moved by their desire and encouragement to see this happen.  But I always wind up ambivalent if not uncomfortable with it.  So I'm trying this approach - creatively visualize what it could be like and if that mental picture seems feasible and not unnerving, I will proceed in making the contacts necessary.  What's the worst that can happen?  They say no.  Okay.  At least it was given a fair, thought out chance.

The other things - the gym, recording, writing - all of it will continue.  A little less bluster ("oh, I'm going to do this, this and this...") and more of the reality that what time will allow, I will take.  And the same applies to personal relationships.  What you give is what you get, obviously, and if efforts aren't mutual, then people will simply be quietly jettisoned.  It isn't all that important.

So waking up on this quietest of New Year's Day/Sunday mornings makes me glad to be around for my 52nd trip around the sun...

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Wrap this up

I think I finally reached the saturation point of disgust as so many others I know have - I wish 2016 would come to an end.  I'm not a big believer in the notion that a numerical year is "bad", per se, but this has, without question, been a year of great tragedies, loss and sadness for so many.  In truth, on a personal level, it hasn't affected me directly - I'm grateful that no one passed in my personal life; I haven't been ill and things have been good and solid on an emotional, financial and spiritual level.

But I do see the overall scope; I see the state of this country and I can't help but feel both empty and more than concerned.  Physically, I need to re-tone my being to the degree I had a few short years ago - constant exercise, both body and mind-wise will help.  And I need to re-gain the passion I'd had for most of my life for playing guitar and making music.  Somehow, I let that slip away to a degree of almost criminal non-chalantness.

Can I make a prediction for the oncoming year?  No.  It would be foolish of me because I don't know what will happen next but I can say this:  for the here and now, it's time to stop talking and start acting.  Gym - guitar - focus on the songs; read the books and magazines I have surrounding me.  Clear out the cobwebs.  Next week begins my winter break from work; it starts there and then.  First day is Friday - go to the gym in the morning, come home and do the "winter purge" of clothes and excess I see around me.  Then pick up my guitar and play.  Just like yesterday...

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Darker days

I did not think it was possible; it was inconceivable.  HOW?  How could this man - who essentially handed this election to Hillary Clinton with all his insanity, there for the whole world to see - be elected President of the United States?

Because misogyny still rules.  Because people are willful and ignorant.  Because people are spiteful.  It's not just the silent minority of white men and white women.  It's not just the psychotic and fascist loving "alt-right".  It's the alt-left.  Those precious petals who collectively kissed Bernie Sanders' ass and worshiped at his feet and once he was soundly beaten in the primaries, they became enraged and voted for a different sociopath, Jill Stein.  They even told St. Bernard to go fuck himself when he told his loyal minions to vote for Hillary Clinton.  They and their conscience voting can fuck off.  When President Trump comes rolling along, their protests will be silenced VERY QUICKLY.  That's what entitlement gets you.  That's a great deal of solace to me.

I am a patriot.  I love everything that America has been based on.  I wear and wave the flag proudly.  I love and respect and honor our soldiers and our police; I revere our traditions.  But Tuesday night, I have never been more ashamed to be an American.  For the first time, I could see how the rest of the world views us and hates us.  And I resented it.  And because of the way people voted in THIS election, I will not forgive it.

My beloved homeland, what have you done?  I love you, United States of America but you have FUCKED UP but good.  And you should collectively be damned for your willful ignorance, your racism and your misogyny because that's what you framed this new President-elect around.  And you did it with large numbers.

I wept.  No other way to say it.  And I am heartbroken.  You've just entered Nazi Germany 1933 except it's now a bigger, richer, more populated land of social psychosis.  And this isn't Germany.  It's Nazi America.  And if you think that's over-dramatic, you're sorely mistaken.  I'm understating it.  This is, as Mark Halperin, put it "a cataclysmic event".

Be afraid.  Be very afraid.  Seriously.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Counting down...

Tomorrow is the end of the nightmare that began over a year ago when Donald Trump announced his candidacy for President.  The Republican Party sent out the bottom of the barrel to run against him and the media helped build up to tear down the single worst candidate I've ever seen in my 51 years to run for President.  Donald Trump has brought the worst elements of our society into the sunlight and created the most repulsive campaign - quite possibly - in the history of our nation.  If there truly is a God and we are one nation, under that God, I pray that tomorrow, he will be slaughtered in the voting booths and Hillary Clinton will become our next President - the exact opposite of Trump.  The man has no knowledge of ANYTHING that has to do with governing; he's been a shitty businessman, a horrific excuse of a human being and a charlatan who preys and plays upon the fear and ignorance of those who don't have much of a scope to the world around them. 

Mrs. Clinton is more qualified than any other Presidential candidate I can think of - not Obama, certainly not Bush - hell, not even her own husband who by my account, was the best President in my lifetime.  I think she would be a magnificent leader and someone who simply can get the job done.  I said so when she announced she would be running and I have stood by her, even when people were being taken for a ride by that Johnny-come-lately to the Democratic Party, Bernie Sanders.

Trump and his band of thugs running his campaign are reminiscent - without overdramatics - of Hitler and his Nazi party.  His racist/homophobic/anti-Semitic/misogynistic/xenophobic bullshit and scare tactics, let alone their TREASONOUS actions towards trying to manipulate the election with the outside help of espionage from Julian Assange and the Russian government leads me to hope that the reprisals for their actions will come hard and fast.  They must pay for their crimes against the United States - these people are as unpatriotic as the day is long.

So my first action tomorrow morning will be to get to the polling place by my home as early as possible and VOTE.  Doing my job, taking my responsibility as an American citizen and as a patriot who loves this country and doesn't want to see it tarnished any further by scum.  The world outside is bad enough; every country on the planet is watching.  Let's not give them any more cause to despise us.  Donald Trump is the embodiment of everything the world hates about America and it fills me with rage. 

I'm with her.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Autumn stone redux

Well, the cooler weather as left its mark already - on me.  Tried as I did to stave off the malady that's been befalling everyone around me, I'm now sick.  Although I'm sure sitting in the cold and wind for two-plus hours on Sunday night at the Van Morrison concert helped speed things along...!  I'll say this much - if you're going to get a cold, that's a good way - and I mean it by virtue of how good the show was and how much I enjoyed the company I was with.

But now it is the fall - my own tension is mounting because of the ugliness with the upcoming Presidential elections and it's impossible to shake off the negative vibe.  Not surprisingly, I knew from the moment the candidates were announced I would be supporting Hillary Clinton 100% and I haven't wavered in the least.  And it didn't feel great to see my beloved New York Mets go down in defeat last week in the wild card playoff game.  I'm proud that they got there, after all they'd been through, but it would have been nice to see them take it further, surprise people and turn some heads.

The chill is all around - physically and at moments, spiritually.  Ironic, since today is Yom Kippur, the day of atonement and I don't feel I have anything to atone for.  I don't think that's arrogance or bravado talking - I just don't have any negative vibes that have hung over my head.  Which is a good thing and a comforting feeling.  So today, this day off and alone, will be put to good use by writing and playing guitar for the sake of necessity/exercise.  And if anything, that puts the warmth right back into me.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Sundown on summer

Wow.  Just like that - a boiling hot but fun summer is over in the blink of an eye yet again.  I have to admit, I really don't care for the way time speeds right past you as you get older.  You don't get the opportunity to savor certain moments because it comes and goes so quickly.  Nevertheless, this was another great few months - hot, but joyful and fulfilling.

It has to be said that even though I'm now 51, there are times that I do get a certain twinge in September - it was the time of youth (the biggest part, actually) when school was beginning again and it meant another year of learning and growth.  I tend to remember the days of college, when the Fall semester would begin and it was exciting and vibrant.  My university days weren't spent in drunkenness and fraternity nonsense (I did my drinking on weekends and I never joined a frat); I hungered to know and grow and think and open up - as I still do.  You should never want to stop expanding - I don't.  But this particular time of year does conjure up those memories and feelings.  It was also about creating friendships; solidifying relationships and always looking towards the future.  Of course, it never turns out the way you imagine it then, but still...

So another season changes; things start to wither and fade and I start to mentally prepare for the darker moments of winter.  But until the time actually comes, I'm going to savor the deliciousness of these comfortable, sun-filled days.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Hot as sun...

The powerful Texas heat - 100 degrees everyday - was far more palatable than what's happening now and I am drained.  Good thing the office is closed for our annual August break; no need to head into Manhattan for a week!

The vacation in Austin did me a world of good - a relaxing and comfortable flight (there and back); a stellar hotel - seeing something different and experiencing new places, sights, tastes and sounds is a refresher and a joy.  Being that I don't usually imbibe alcohol, I took advantage of the time off and away and had many a relaxing drink, which made the evenings even more relaxed.

So now the focus for this week is simple - gym in the morning, see friends at least twice and in the afternoons, try to focus on and record music.  No pressure nor aggravation - just see what can be accomplished.  Not too lofty and not too pushy.  Just chilled - which is how any vacation time should be.