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.

Friday, July 15, 2016

You bring the summer...

Summers come hard and fast but man, they go as quickly as they arrive.  It's now two weeks until vacation and I can remember last year's trip to New Orleans as clearly as if it were yesterday or last week.  And now it's time for the final preparations before heading to Austin.

The time just keeps going at a blazing rate - I don't know if that's good or bad but I do know this:  I can feel - acutely - that I need to make some changes; major changes.  For my own good; my own peace of mind.  Nothing on the emotional front, but more on the creative/professional/physical side of things.  While I feel okay, I could be in a better frame, physically.  I could be a bit more fulfilled on a daily basis and I should be doing what I'm supposed to be doing with more focus and intensity instead of being (admittedly) laissez-faire.  This isn't a gripe; it's just an annoying fact.

But for this moment, I'll smile, exhale and look forward to seeing someplace new - again - and think about things while I'm not in my usual safety zone.  The power of a hot, Texas sun may do me some good.

Monday, June 13, 2016


I usually wouldn't even think to get on here and be remotely political (or whatever), but after yesterday's latest massacre, I'm fed up with the posturing.  The hand wringing; the "thoughts and prayers", the moments of silence, changing your photo on Facebook for solidarity - enough.  This country has to do two things - it has to, once and for all, put a Constitutional ban on assault weapons for the general public - law enforcement and the armed services are the exception.  There needs to be the proverbial showdown with the NRA and put them in their place - finally.  And we have to, unfortunately, start delving deeper into the lives of even-slightly suspected persons of interest as per the "terror watch".  It has to be that way for the safety of all our citizens.  Vigilance and wisdom may see us through (and that may be a little too hopeful).  It's a harsh new world and people can no longer live with the true sense of freedom a good portion of us were brought up with. 

In the meantime, I'm still trying to come back down to Earth from the news.  Life has to go on - but for some, it won't.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Yesterday, today and tomorrow

I'm not big on nostalgia, as everyone knows; I don't get weepy or wax poetic and yearn.  But these few days - in the here and now - made me stop and think as they are very poignant days in my life and history.

It was 30 years ago yesterday - a Friday - that I met a young woman who would go on to be my partner for the following seven-plus years.  That we went our separate ways 22 years ago isn't the point; that she left this world a little over a year ago is.  In a word, I wish she was still here.  She had so much more to do.  But oddly enough, I can remember most of that day and night with some sense of clarity.  I was 21; she was on the cusp of 18 - we talked about possibly seeing The Monkees together on their 20th Anniversary tour (!); we had a great deal in common and it was clear there was a strong connection.  Plus, it seemed we were fated to meet as she was the younger sister of a friend of mine and we'd talked before when I would call their house.  Nonetheless, that night changed my life completely.  It was a time of youthful joy and learning an infinite amount of lessons - both as a couple and as individuals.  I will never forget her nor that moment and 30 years later, it's still just as fresh - though no longer a painful memory - in my mind.

It was 30 years ago tomorrow that by sheer fate or I-don't-know-what that I was inspired to give the band their name, The Punch Line.  It goes something like this:  the new girlfriend called; as we were talking, she asked me if I'd come up with a name for the band yet.  As I was about to answer, I turned my head to sneeze and when I opened my eyes, I glanced at my parents' dining table, which had a pile of my albums on it and atop that pile was the debut album by The Minutemen - "The Punch Line".  So I answered Sue - "yeah, I did.  The Punch Line".  She said "that's great" - and I said "I know.  I have to call Marc."  To which I did - saying "it's The Punch Line".  A very easy thing, really but that was an another major event in a weekend of life changers.

Bittersweet - joyful - sad - wonderful - call them any number of mixed emotions.  How I feel right now at 51 doesn't change the beauty of the reality in those moments, at that time.  It was one of the greatest times of my life and I'll always hold those particulars sacred.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sunday, Sunday

Weekends recently have just gone by too quickly. Truth be told, I could use a few days of peace and quiet.  Thankfully, this weekend, as brief as it's been, has - at the least - been quiet and fairly relaxing.  Doing the laundry on Friday was a huge relief, as was the early grocery shop yesterday.  Today is just a little bit of writing and resting.

I've been doing a great deal of thinking lately and I'm beginnng to seriously envision making some major changes.  Nothing ridiculous, but certainly in a positive, more life-affirming and healthier direction.  I just need to make changes.  And I've always preached that change is a good thing.

For the immediate future, however - not the long-term - I see time in the gym next week and time with the guitar nightly, after the writing is done (and this week will only really require one more piece for Thursday).  Too often, things beyond my own control have interferred with me re-establishing what I've enjoyed so much about my life for the last few years.  I want it to stop; my life is mine and not to be spent resting for a whole day because the previous week has been so taxing.

Change begins here...

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Spring re-awakening

Something of a misleading posting title - whatever that has been going around for the span of this month is still wreaking havoc on my system.  I really don't want to push myself into seeing a doctor but if it continues into next week, I'm afraid I have no alternative.  The lingering traces of a cough; the discomforts - just a really ecch feeling.

Nevertheless, there is so much to look forward to coming up immediately - the David Bowie tribute next week; the last Rangers game at home; Opening Day at Citi Field, Bob Mould...  Plus, all the other really great things.  This has been a time that, while marred by being constantly sick and listening to the depressing political news, has been nothing less than joyful and invigorating - save for this damn virus (or whatever it is).

It's also been a good time, creatively speaking.  With all the new music and books I've been absorbing, it's elevated my writing to greater levels on a consistent basis.  And that's led me to trying to create new structures in the songs as well.

As clich├ęd as it may be, spring does bring out the best in everything.  It certainly does for me.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

February's quiet

Extra points to anyone who gets the reference...  duh!

Jesus, it's been a fast month-plus since my last entry.  The day job has been busy (which, of course, is good).  This summer's vacation is already booked, with all the details taken care of; the writing is now ahead of schedule, so to speak as the weekly show is always a great thing.  Seeing dear friends tomorrow morning for brunch and pulling the rest together.  At 51 (now), I feel a greater sense of energy - not urgency - to continue to do things and get them completed/accomplished.

Even though the two main focuses - recording and going to the gym daily - have become lax, I don't feel the tension (self-induced) or stress about "oh, shit - got to do it right now" because sometimes, there truly aren't enough hours in the day to do everything.  I'm remedying both situations because I was able to find a way to apportion the time to write and plan for the radio show.  And I don't know when the podcast will begin (I'm still not even sure what to call it yet) but that, too, is on the docket.

If there's one great thing I can say since 2016 began, it's that for once - at least in the last few years - the winter doldrums haven't crept in.  I feel good, inspired, driven and not mired by cold (since it hasn't been all too bad) or anything negative. 

So all I intend to is climb aboard and take it easy...