ManicRobThrill

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Freedom of choice

It's a quiet day; having had yesterday off as well has been incredibly relaxing and wonderful.

I do not hide the fact that I am a very patriotic American; I am proud of this country; proud to have been born and raised here - proud and fortunate.  So when I hear people - friends, especially - disparage the country overall, it angers me.  "Privilege" has become a word quite often mis-assigned and yet the hypocrisy of many is just that.  Those who fling accusations of "privilege" on certain groups or individuals are usually those who come from such a background.  It's become one of the focal buzzwords of the political forum, along with "Nazi" (completely misappropriated because it's easy to toss out via laziness), etc.  Privilege very often is equated with arrogance - and there is no doubt in my mind that those who spew the word are as arrogant, self-serving and smugly self-righteous as they are affluent.  These are people who can sit upon their hilltop homes and pretend to "care" about "others" while keeping a very safe distance from reality and it's become tiresome bullshit, frankly.  So I look in the mirror and I don't - won't - pretend; I am a proud American patriot who doesn't disparage, but rather embraces the privilege of what being an American means.

From the time I was able to vote at the age of 18, which is now 35 years ago, I had been a card-carrying, dyed-in-the-wool Democrat.  I believed in what the party platform stood for and although I had never been a "cheerleader", I was always quietly active in whatever way I could be.  No more.  After seeing what the Party itself has either splintered into or kowtowed to, with this perverse, near-sociopathic new "alt-left", I finally went to the New York City Board of Elections and re-worked my registration so that I no longer have a party affiliation.  When you allow platforms that single out specific groups or religions as targets of their very focused ire but push agendas that don't have any place in general society - since it's on behalf of a very small special interest group - you've worn out your welcome to me.  But yet, I celebrate that notion because, as an American, I have the freedom and birthright of that choice.  And I vote, regardless.  I have never, from the first time I could vote, shirked my responsibility in doing my job as an American citizen; I am at the polling station as early as possible.  Yet, those who couldn't even be bothered to vote, either physically or by mail, are trying to dictate and force policy to shape the future direction of this nation?  I don't think so.

So on this magnificent holiday, Independence Day, I will, indeed, raise a glass to honor our flag; toast our incredible soldiers who deserve more respect than anyone ever seems to give them, as well as our police forces, who do a thankless job and keep us safe and say "thank God I am an American". 

Celebrate the easiest thing of all - being who we are and where we are.  God bless America.  Yes.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Illumination

Life, more often than not, seems to go through these ebbs and flows - when the wave crests and reaches a sweltering height and then flattens into stillness.  That's how things seem to be right now; a holding pattern of calm.  There are certain things that as a 53-year-old very grounded individual, I am naturally concerned about, but for the first time in quite a while, I tend to breathe with ease and sleep soundly.  All my concerns are real/physical world, tangible things and none of them are deep or insurmountable - they're not even major issues directly affecting me, per se,  but rather those around me.

At the same time, the people who are closest to me; the ones I love most I can't help but be worried and concerned about - I've watched several of them unraveling around me; watched their lives start to come apart (sometimes through no fault of their own) and it's hard.  You want to help; be useful - brace their fall but you know you can't because they need to get from this negative moment to work into positivity.  What I've been trying my best to do is proffer advice when asked and to listen without prejudice or interruption.  

All this is to say, I know at the moment, I need to rearrange a few things in my life; my schedule - the not-too-distant future.  I'm beginning to strongly feel the economics of a trip to Memphis may be too difficult; too taxing.  There's also a persistent (dare I say "nagging"?) vibe that tells me this is not the time; not the moment to make a trip that I've (creatively) visualized for the last three years.  My intuitive sense is telling me this trip would be a disappointment; that what I want it to be, it won't be - in fact, the opposite and I don't want that to happen.  So patience must be deployed and assessing the bigger picture aligned with Memphis is of paramount importance.

Time and patience...  time and temperance.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

First of May

Kind of misleading, I know, but this is the first posting of my favorite month.  The weather is behaving nicely - even when it rains, it's still warm and comfortable and seeing things like the cherry blossom outside my apartment in complete bloom makes me feel good.  A balmy Saturday morning in my neighborhood, equals the wonderful smell of freshly mowed grass and the foods coming from the adjoining farmer's market next door.

As always I'm moving forward with trying to shift and balance the creative fulcrum; I've decided to draw back a bit from the writing for Popdose; while "Radio City..." is still an endless source of joy and quality thinking, I'm going to focus on the music again - the stockpile of songs written and aching to be recorded, heard.  So many of my friends can't be wrong:  "you need to finish this album" and "when are you going to get on a stage again?  I want to see you play live" are the most-often repeated questions.  And for that, I'm grateful and inspired.  So why not?  There's no emotional conundrum here; I've just been criminally lazy and negligent.  So I have to stop it and get on my horse.  It's that simple.

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't make note that today is 32 years since the moment that changed the course of my life forever and for the better.  The night I met that wonderful girl who made me happy for so long.  While whatever I can remember with clarity of that night brings me nothing but joy of the memory, I am still very sad and somewhat angry that she's no longer alive.  I don't know if that's childish or selfish, but this day will always mean something very deep and powerful for me.

Friday, April 13, 2018

April rains (and snows...)

It's gone from cold and grey, when I simply can't stand it to being insanely warm - which, even though I overdressed a bit, I'll take.  It's spring and it's now time for my denim jacket, not my parka, scarf, gloves and snow boots.  Ridiculous!  But thankfully, we may finally be away from the coats and sweaters...  I hope!

Nonetheless, I'm feeling pretty good; pretty sharp and as per usual, cautiously optimistic.  While there are a lot of things happening around me, my own take is that with time and temperance, my own spin is going just fine.  And spring always signifies something good, positive and constructive.  Granted, I've often been lax about doing the things I say I'm going to - especially as time passes and I get older and more tired - but I've actually been doing, instead of thinking or talking about.

So the warmth has melted my frozen mental state (!) and reawakened my drive and motivation.  And I can't ask for more, can I?  I mean, I could, but what's the point.  When it's good, why push when you don't need to...

Friday, March 09, 2018

Marching into all that is good

At the tail end of the season I despise, the last week or so has seen greater physical warmth.  Excepting today, naturally, as I write this - another nor'easter is supposed to be hitting New York tomorrow.  It's March; when things start to become good, right again.  The hat and gloves are in the closet and spring training baseball is on the air; the taxes are being done and loose ends are being tied up in the fashion I prefer.

I enjoy getting up in the morning and going to work; this job is fulfilling and rewarding and the people I work with are good, kind and interesting individuals.  I like going out for drinks with them after hours and getting to know them.  I feel a part of something, which I haven't felt in a very long time - for which, I'm both glad and grateful.

I've said this before but I used to be the "glass half empty" guy - now I'm the "glass half full" guy.  It's a better way to view life.

Friday, February 09, 2018

Back in the game

So after a year of life having been turned upside down, all the nightmares and headaches are over.  My world is now balanced and coasting on resumed normalcy; I can breathe easy and look toward everything again with a clear vision of what may be ahead - and right now, all I see is good and positive.

I know - and have always believed - that change is good.  I'm not one who fears or is resistant to change; I embrace it.  But it's usually under the guise of initiating and making the changes myself, not having them made arbitrarily for me.  I'm too old to have to just take it on the chin and be a good sport.  However, at this age, I look at the new experiences as having been necessary - and in so many ways, a very long time coming; I just didn't enjoy the way I road I had to take to get here.

Nonetheless, while it's damn cold out and biting, it's warm in my little orbit.  So off I go into the wild blue yonder with a grin and a thumbs up.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Watch the sunrise

Another double-entendre, since yes, it's a Big Star song and it IS 5:20 a.m.  Couldn't sleep anymore, considering I went to bed after midnight, which isn't my usual thing.  At the same time, the hoped-for conclusion to a very unhappy chapter did occur happily two days ago, so there's yet again a reason to absorb the metaphoric brightness of a new day after walking through a long, dark nightmare.  Starting today, I finally do get to begin living in full again.

That pre-birthday celebartion from last week will now be a post-birthday dinner tonight, thanks to an over-hyped snowstorm - and I'm glad because this way, we can spend more time together in the evening, rather than rushing on a weeknight; next week, The Posies...  and so many wonderful things now planned and confirmed - yes, you do get a second chance to breathe, sometimes.

So for an early Saturday morning - and feeling energetic before I've even had my coffee, it's time to start getting the day in order, which includes the wonderfully mundane like scooping the catboxes now and then grocery shopping before the usual weekend deluge.  Except, I'll savor it today.