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.

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...