ManicRobThrill

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...

Friday, January 01, 2016

And we go ever onward...

The first day of 2016 - my one last day to be frivolous and celebratory.  Granted, I'm not hungover from last night - I don't drink alcohol and didn't imbibe any for the New Year's Eve celebration.  No, since today is the last day of my vacation from work and the final day to be sloth-like and non-productive, I want to take full advantage of it!  As it already stands, my dance card is slowly starting to fill with events/projects upcoming and I don't want time to slip right past me.

In less than a week, I'll turn 51 - certainly, while there's no great waving my arms about in anticipation (unlike the milestone of 50), I do feel a certain sense - already - that I have a greater determination to get things done, completed, achieved this year - more of the ongoing "you got it done last year, now keep on keepin' on" motivation.

So with that said, I think that's a very good way to walk into the New Year.  All is new; all is now.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmastime is here again...

And I've officially reached eleven years with this blog...  Unbelievable.  But glad to still be here.

A few days - honestly - wasted during this vacation, due to the bad weather.  Especially the fog.  I have to go out in this kind of atmosphere and wind up having a car accident, all in the name of an oil change.  At least the "seasonal purge" is done; got the haircut and started working on music - THAT is a momentous thing.  But yes; the title cut, "The Next Sometime Soon" is tight and ready to be recorded.  Finally.

The summer trip is also booked - this year, Austin is the destination.  It's been really wonderful that over the last four years, I've managed to get myself to actually get on a plane and travel to new and different places.  Of course, that being said, I can't wait to get back to Memphis!

All that's left to be said for the moment is simply Merry Christmas to all - may it be filled with love and warmth.

Friday, December 18, 2015

'Tis the season to enjoy quiet...

Nothing like having time off until the 4th of January.  My plans aren't all that lofty - some basic utilitarian necessities around the house and such; start hitting the gym in the mornings and working on/recording music in the afternoons; get my new tattoo done.  I have a few books to read; some albums to listen to - all for review but I can divide my time accordingly and I think balance it all just right.

I've never been keen on Xmas as it is; it's never been on my emotional radar so I'm pretty much indifferent to it all.  Plus, I only have to get a few little gifts for a few people and that's already been taken care of, so I'm free from the madness. 

It's been a pretty good year, all in all.  The one thing I always tend to do is get a little reflective around this time - I think it's been like this since '84 - and it's nice to stop and think of all the good things that occurred.  I can only identify one genuine tragedy in my life - the death of my ex-girlfriend - but all in all, I've been very fortunate and I regularly count my blessings.  And that's what this period is supposed to be all about.  I have a nice home, a loving relationship; good friends, music and things that give me joy; savings, a job and my health (so far).  All that anyone needs.

And in reality, instead of wanting, I'm able to just revel in what I have.