Saturday, January 29, 2005

There is no language in our lungs

An observation... the raping and pillaging of my beloved English language.

Ever notice the following:
a) Someone who glibly fancies themselves as "smart" or "learned", using words they don't really understand the meanings of OR the inability to phrase things in the proper context. Syntax discrepancies get on my nerves as much as "double speak". What are you talking about?

b) Using "big" words to sound like they're educated when they know fuck all. You've come across these types, I'm sure.

c) Repetition. Finding that one "big" word or phrase that they use over and over again, hammering home the tiresome point until you either acknowledge them (and pat them on the head for learning such a word) or justifiably end their wretched existence, thus doing a service for future generations. Lessens the possibility of "idiots breeding idiots". God help us.

What do they all have in common? That they're uneducated buffoons. In my day, they were commonly referred to as "morons". In our politically-correct world, I'm not sure what you call them. Probably this year's graduating class.

The point (or observation) I'm making is that instead of trying to impress people with speaking in a fancy manner, but being wrong, clumsy and ill-defined, it would suit these silly bastards (who I get irritatingly stuck with listening to) better to say what they mean PROPERLY. Oh, and get to the fucking point. The meandering drivel of the uneducated fascinates, amazes and nauseates me.

Am I a snob? Do I sound pious and self-righteous? Yes. And I refuse to apologize. I'm educated and damned proud of it. My parents, who had no money, raised me to have the best education I could have; achieve the highest grades I could muster and become the finest person I was capable of being. And I am. So if I sound like I'm on my moral high horse with this subject, fuck you; I'm not apologizing. No one has excuses for sounding like a fucking idiot.

And I (like so many of my counterparts) are dog-tired of hearing things said, spelled and written wrong.

So please--shut the fuck up. I beg you--on behalf of those of us who don't like it when you mangle English to make yourself sound knowledgeable. The truth is you speak like an asshole--no, really, you do.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Closer to fine

Quick entry--near normal health again. This virus (the only thing I can be as close to accurate in calling it) is just about out of my system. Two nights of decent (still not great or truly restful) sleep and I felt well enough to hit the gym tonight. The effects of a month of working out are showing themselves and I must admit, I'm really pleased. It only gets better.

Looking at houses. Only a year to go in the apartment (10 years in this building by the time the lease is up and 6 years in this particular unit) and I can't wait. I've seen some beautiful houses that with a loan and a 30-year mortgage could easily be Liz' and mine. So far, so good for the vision. Bills paid off and the album out by mid-year, then save for a house and car.

Whoever said the middle-class suburban lifestyle sucks was wrong. It's nice.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Still ill

More than a week and I still can't shake off this thing, whatever it is. Felt as close to normal on Monday, yet yesterday I felt the pangs of a dry/scratchy throat again and today, I still have that underwater feeling. Back on Airborne, Advil and Ricola. Liz has it as well, but I don't think she gave it back to me less than 24 hours of becoming ill herself. Damn and blast.

Not sleeping in a normal pattern hasn't helped the healing process any; being awakened on more than one occasion in the middle of the night Monday by trucks clearing what? There is no more snow in the street to be plowed. I didn't get much sleep during the weekend, either. On a 48-hour span, where I should have had some deep, restful slumbers, I wound up sleeping on the couch.

If this feeling continues/goes beyond this weekend, then I'm taking myself to the doctor. Hopefully it won't come to that, but I really see no point in prolonging it.

Went to the gym last night, exhausted and glassy-eyed (as stated by some of my co-workers and one of my neighbors), but managed to get in a full hour's workout. Admittedly, THAT helped put me in (at least) a good frame of mind. No energy whatsoever when I got home; felt so drained, I took the bus home from the ferry.

Was supposed to have dinner with Bob and Chris at Maxwell's tonight; had to postpone that as well, which pissed me off. I'd really like an evening with them as we do for laughs and relaxation. For once, it doesn't seem to center around a formal Punch Line meeting, either, so all the more reason to be irritated by the inconvenience of this malady. Nonetheless, as I stated in an earlier blog, time to shake off the illness and get back to more clear/focused thinking. The gym last night was the start. Let's see how quickly I can leap the next hurdle.

Monday, January 24, 2005

I don't love the '90's

Why is there still such a hangover, symptomatic of the '90's? Why are people still so fucking obnoxious at every turn? Why are they so boorish and incapable of conducting themselves like "civilized" human beings (insert tongue in cheek here)?

It seems to me, the '90's were the decade of spreading-like-a-plague ennui, contemptuousness, dumbing down, flying the flag of "white trash" with pride and just plain old arrogance from people who haven't the right to be so. Not to mention the pole-up-the-ass mentality of the "politically correct" and the opposite extreme of yobbism. Young people have become more lazy and rude, with a chip on their collective shoulders and the word "entitlement" constantly being spewed from their usually gaping maws; people of my age (40-somethings) act like they're still in adolescence and the generations just above us act like Nazis. Not a great surprise why I dislike 99% of the human race and cannot relate to "youth". Anytime I have to force a smile and be civil, it's an act. Don't believe it for a moment (although civility costs nothing).

Bullshit is bullshit; it just goes by different names--in the '90's, it was "grunge", "issues" and countless other fragments of hyperbole. And it still hangs over us like a cloud. A pox on it.

I NEVER thought I'd ever find myself longing for the simplicity of the '70's (never mind the glory of the '80's).

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Information libre

What to do on a Sunday morning when you're trapped in by the snow? Simple: sign up for The New York Times online and The Washington Post online. That's a perfect salve for not having the printed word at hand.

Go to:


It's free.

I'm almost hoping that the snow does continue so that work will be cancelled tomorrow. I could actually use another day to rest at home to continue fighting this crud that has yet to vacate my body. The great thing is there is nothing on the agenda, save for doing the laundry later today. Maybe, if I'm up to it, some time in Synchronic East.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Blanketed by inconvenience

So the snow finally hits... hard. Fucking great. I loathe the winter and nothing can irritate me more than a foot or two of snow... except a foot or two of snow while I'm ill. Which I am. This god-forsaken virus thing is still lingering around my office and worse, still lingering in my system. Fortunately, we were out the door at 8:30 this morning to do the run to Target in New Jersey and the groceries for my dad and for us. Made it home just as the snow started coming down. Thus, my mood remains cranky.

This gave me a laugh--

Go here:

Once again, those who currently "work" in the music industry remain as clueless as those who cost us our jobs (and are on the unemployment lines themselves for fucking it all up). It seems to those of us who are watching from the periphery can see that the "music industry"--the day of the traditional "record label"--is dead and there has yet to be a funeral dirge sung for it. Yes, there may be pockets of musicians and business veterans who carry the banner of tradition (and to them, I give kudos) but Sony-BMG, Universal, EMI and my alma mater, Warner Music Group have not grasped the notion that:

a) people--especially young people--are sick to death of paying (now) $16/17.99 (possibly more) for CD's (the mark-up/profit margins for the labels are somewhere in the neighborhood of 150%--I'm not kidding, I know)
b) no one's going to spend said money on a CD of substandard material, especially in this musical climate
c) the ease of downloading music is just that--easy. No one has to look for a record store (which is sad) or seek out that rare item, locate it and then pay for shipping and handling. Downloading is here and there's fuck all you can do.
d) music just isn't as important as it used to be--the younger generation don't see it the way people of my age group (40) and up saw it. It's just an additional commodity to them (which, on a greater scale, may be the real tragedy here).

Meanwhile, the dumbshits in the industry just continue to toil in obliviousness, filled with their bloated self-congradulatory backslapping and gladhanding of "gee, things are looking brighter for the music industry". Tap, tap, tap on the shoulder--uh, sorry, but NO. It's NOT. You're living on borrowed time, you idiots.

My own opinions veer from pro to con. As a music industry professional (and at this late date, veteran; I think 22 solid years of working within the music industry does qualify me, in case anyone thinks they can challenge me or equal my track record), I applaud the reaction from the consumers and the tech-wiz designers who have found the way to circumvent the rip-off factor of record companies. Of course, I also bemoan the loss of jobs for many good people (myself not withstanding; I've done alright) due to the collapse of the labels as we knew them. Then again, the mega-mergers didn't help one iota. Going back to a more old-fashioned ethic, think of this: when 45's still existed and were the backbone of exposure and success for an artist, you usually paid $.99 or so for a single--the "hit" on the A-side, the (most common) "throwaway" on the B-side. With creations such as the Apple iMusic store, et al, you can have two songs by an artist for $1.98. Sometimes you do have to go back to go forward. Now if the music companies would just come out of their collective coma, which they've been in since the onslaught of the fucking boybands and popsluts, there may be hope and a road built for compromise: download the songs for $1.98 and then you can go out and get the "hard" product if you actually like it. The record companies would do well to LOWER THE COST of the fucking CD's and make music accessible again by making it affordable. Oh, and FIND SOME REAL MUSICIANS. Not these lame teenage halfwits. REAL musicians. I hope everyone on American Idol burns in Hell (especially that Clay Aiken). I mean it. I swear, anyone who advocates their kids listening to dogshit like that stupid, arrogant and talentless cunt Ashlee Simpson, etc. should immediately be taken out and shot in the back of the head. No shit. Quick executions for spreading this aural filth and for turning your kids into bigger morons.

A cool thing happened yesterday. Got an e-mail from an old friend who was my counterpart at Roadrunner in the U.K. back in the early '90's. He wound up leaving Roadrunner not long after I did and moved over to Creation, where he was #2 to McGee for the duration. Good man, Andy. Always liked him. Glad to hear he's well and has his own PR firm in the Big Black Smoke. Hearing from old friends like him always pleases me.

Back to Year One (1979, the year I started playing guitar and writing songs). Listening to The Who and The Kinks non-stop. Townshend and Davies--the two single most important and finest songwriters to come out of the Motherland. Thank God for them.

By the way, if you think I was being harsh or judgmental, fuck you. I can be. I've earned the right to be. When you've worked for record labels, etc. for as long as I and some of my compatriots have, you can stick your two cents in. Otherwise, shut up and go away--you know nothing of which you speak. If you're offended, it must mean you're one of those peasants who would let their wretched offspring extol the virtues of Hillary Duff or some piece of shit rapper while you listen to Billy Joel or Rod Stewart. Go back to listening to WLTW Radio and fuck off. Read no further--this is way beyond your banal scope. Thank you.

That felt good. A verbal purging for the bile stored in my musical diet. Now back to the sofa to rest some more. Being run down is a misery.

More later when I feel physically better and the streets have been snowplowed.

Friday, January 21, 2005

The picture of health?

This cold/flu/virus that's been circulating around my office is still plaguing me; it's still hitting all of us. I keep taking Airborne, Advil, Ricola honey-herb cough drops and now Vicks 44M; I'm not yet over what elements I have, but I'm thankful that it didn't hit me the way it's seemingly hit others. I haven't had the full-blown flu symptoms; I just feel like crap. Run down, not sleeping soundly, etc. The discomfort of the "underwater" feeling. Add to that these remedies, et al., are wreaking havoc with my system. Chalk this up to the Bush Administration not having flu shots available. Say what you will; I've had one every year for the last 10 years and I haven't fallen ill once during flu season. Thanks for fucking up again, Mr. President.

Nonetheless, feeling as lethargic as I do, I haven't been to the gym since Tuesday. I feel like a sloth, but I don't have the energy to push myself, which would probably make me even worse. I keep trying to right the wrongs of my inadequate eating patterns since Monday and clearing my head of all these non-to-down thoughts that keep swimming around. Ugh. Negative mind equals negative body and it's pissing me off.

Really needed to get that off my chest.

Funnily enough, when this started last week, both Bob and Chris were saying "man, you look great". Even being sick, I've been feeling that the visual/physical improvement is there, or at best, beginning. Until this illness came along, I've been feeling better than I have in God only knows; my mind has been sharper--everything has been falling into place (for what it's worth) and I couldn't be more pleased. My intellect has been reawakened; my desire to know and learn and create has been aroused--even my semi-dormant musical endeavors (playing guitar, singing and approaching songwriting) has re-risen to heights that they haven't been to in years.

Time to shake this off on all levels and get back in line with working out, eating right and feeling it.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Fact or fiction -- what's the difference?

So today is Inauguration Day, Version 2. While I can't begin to imagine (or really don't want to, at this particular moment) what the next four years holds, I can say that I am uncomfortable knowing who is "in control". The arrogance of this administration has brought this country great embarrassment, a now-openly hostile view from the rest of the world and endless confusion. I don't feel like getting on my soapbox; I will simply say that I will wait and see.

I don't think I'm the typical "Liberal". I believe in the most base of ideals--live and let live. The "new Left" has taken this to idiotic extremes of neo-Fascistic discomfort (and really, no different than the Bible-toting Right). I'm Liberal--not stupid. I don't subscribe to the party platform, as there is no platform except for shouting into the wind. For those of us who prefer the left/progressive/forward-thinking way, let us step back for a moment and re-address the (so-called) party's needs. Like firm leadership. A clear mind with a straight message. Something to really base what the fundamental needs of people will be if you eliminate the current state of affairs and what the Bush 2 administration has wrought upon all of us. The problem is, the Democratic/Liberal party have no one and nothing--simply put, this last bunch were more full of shit than the previous bunch. Are we fucked?

As much as I truly believe that John Kerry is a good man; a genuinely decent, righteous and open-hearted individual, he totally shot himself in the foot by getting up there and uttering that galling "I'm John Kerry and I'm reporting for duty". Lesson 1: DON'T fucking pander to the convention crowd. It made me cringe and right there I knew "we will not win". Playing up to the whole gay-marriage frenzy was the suicide leap. This was NOT the election to make the subject an issue (or more insidiously, a cause celebre). Lesson 2: wait until the hoped-for candidate wins the election--THEN bring it up for debate/speculation. Once again, this last year's Democratic rally was simply "we're anti-Bush". That's NOTHING. Lesson 3: have SOMETHING TO SAY. Give the party back a true, focused platform. And somebody please tell the musicians who were trying to get the vote out that your antics of outright disrespect pissed more people off than it galvanized them. Lesson 4: be PROUD to be an American and voice your discontent in a manner that people will actually listen to. Use facts, subtlety and gentle persuasion. Take your God-given right as an American to use your intelligence, success and resources (like money and exposure) to convey the message that this government is not the right one by NOT screaming "Bush sucks" or whatever. Do NOT fake the whole "I'm ashamed to be an American". THAT's bullshit. I'm American, I'm proud to be an American and I believe in the rights of all people, but I don't believe in kissing the ass of a world that has now shown itself to despise us in the grand scheme. I voted for Kerry because I believe in him as a good man--I wasn't sold on his leadership skills or his definite (to cop the buzzword from the Right) flip-flopping ways, but at the end of the day, he's a better person. I disliked Kerry's unwillingness to fight Bush/Cheney/Rove on equal ground--he took the coward's approach in defending himself rather than rising to the occasion and challenging them. He's the smarter man; he could have destroyed them/their (questionable) credibility, but he didn't. He put up a shield, rather than pull out his own machine gun etiquette to take Bush, et al. to task. And (as editorializing as this is) I don't give a shit if he isn't the most electrifying or charming guy on the planet; I couldn't care less if he was fat, had a harelip and a monocle. As long as he's competent enough to get the fucking job done, that's all that matters. Sad to say, that while many people oddly find President Bush to be "charismatic", the man is (for all intents and purposes) one of the most obviously feeble-minded individuals to serve in a public capacity, as far as my memory can reach.

However, for all his flaws and the fault I find with him and the way the party approached this election, I still feel good about my reasons for voting for Kerry. He's still the better man. And I have to say, I do like and respect John Edwards immensely; I hope we hear more from him in the not-too-distant future.

Okay, so I got up on the soapbox. Sue me. I remember the last Inauguration Day; a rainy and miserable Saturday in which Liz and I sat around chain-smoking, being nervous and emotionally-distraught, me drinking endless pints of Bass Ale and getting more and more pissed off as I watched with both fascination and being appalled by this man who had been given a free pass to become the Chief Executive. A complete irony in that he never had any kind of success in any of his previous jobs. He's still a lousy employee. But today is sunny; Liz and I are both healthier, older, wiser and have weathered the first four years of madness, so I figure we'll make it through the next four. At least I hope we do. I hope we all do.

Monday, January 17, 2005

B'dum b'dum

Another Monday holiday off equals coffee and blog time in the morning. A day of semi-grey skies and a trip to the laundry room in a little while.

Good workout yesterday; spent increasing resistance on the elliptical and using the weights to regenerate muscle tone. If I keep this up (as I intend to) the way I envision it, then I should be in fairly good shape by the time the weather gets warmer and the plausibility of playing in front of an audience, be it solo acoustic or with The Punch Line, becomes more of an inevitability. Of greater importance than playing shows that I won't be participating in/let happen unless necessary, I'm geared towards being as healthy as possible. Far too long to be negligent and now I'm making up for lost time.

Seems to be a dearth of good reading materials--i.e. books--about at the moment. I've been mired in periodicals since before the elections... Help!

Check out Coolfer--a very smart blog about the current state of music:

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Sailing the seas of wry

Quick entry.

Just got back from Synchronic West's temporary setting in Chris' living room. Had a productive afternoon. The last overdubs, vocal tracks, etc. were completed, exactly how I wanted to spend this day. All items on my musical agenda were tended to quickly and with quality performances, so we can now look directly at the last three songs to record; before too long, this album will be finished. I'm pleased by the fact that although I woke up feeling better than I had yesterday, I'm still not 100% but I didn't feel too bad while at Chris'. It may have had something to do with the fact that I was up and out of the house early, got to Bloomfield by 10 (call time) and ready to focus when Bob arrived. Feeling a bit shagged out at the moment, but at last we (as a band in the studio) can move on. It was also really nice to see Bob and Chris after nearly two months; had a few laughs and little-to-no tension. Add to that I'm glad I got a chance to use the new Strat for the first time on two tracks.

Even though I'm not at peak health at the moment, I'm looking forward to getting to the gym tomorrow, first thing after breakfast. Tomorrow is "working with the weights" day. I need to start adding elements to my regimen besides the treadmill and elliptical. While I've seen the first changes in my body manifest themselves, I want to start getting into the discipline of toning up.

Have Monday off; another 4 day week. I like this. It should be law.

Need to freshen up the CD' s in my bag. Time to rock out again.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Oooh, how you doin'?

A grey, wet and uncomfortably humid morning. The temperature is supposed to drop considerably tonight. The Punch Line has its' first recording session in nearly two months tomorrow and I have a slightly scratchy throat, which my co-workers tell me has been the first/oncoming warning shot of the flu that's been plaguing my office. Oh, great. As it stands, I'm still trying to psych myself into tomorrow's session and having no luck. It seems more like a chore than a pleasure; I'm also not keen on being trapped in a smoke-filled house for endless hours, no privacy to record, etc. Hopefully, not-100% health won't add to the misery. At the very least, I'm prepared for tomorrow (i.e. what guitars, effects and things that need to be done) and have an eye on attempting to complete them all so that these tracks are considered "finished" (pre-mixing) and we can focus on the final three songs that have yet to be recorded.

There is a new addition to the "contributors" list, Le Fig. Her blog, Clementine's Folly, has already been graced by her witty views on life around her. Please take a look and read her musings. Also, if I haven't mentioned it before, check out Boblog, by someone who needs no introduction, Bob Mould. Please look at his blog as well; he has a lot of good things to say.

As I hit the gym Tuesday and last night, it was complete cruiser's central. I'm not gay, which is fairly well-known, but I thought, "dudes, do you have no discretion?". Admittedly, I was checked out by some of the towel-less brigade and I realized there is a code of cruising in the gym: if you're wearing a towel and headed for the showers, you're probably actually going to take a shower. If you're headed for the showers or sauna without a towel, you're looking for action. I head to the showers, fully dressed in my workout gear. Sure enough, I could feel the eyes on me... hmmm, is the fleet in? Flattering as it may be, I have to think, if a gay man wants me, he must really be desperate. Besides, 2 factors tell you immediately I'm straight: my wedding ring and the woman's name tattooed on my left arm. Thanks for looking and the invite to the party, bois, but I really don't want to come at or on it.

Take THIS quiz:
"What Kind of Elitist Are You?" - Results:
You speak eloquently and have seemingly read every book ever published. You are a fountain of endless (sometimes useless) knowledge, and never fail to impress at a party. What people love: You can answer almost any question people ask, and have thus been nicknamed Jeeves. What people hate: You constantly correct their grammar and insult their paperbacks.
Now that's a result I can agree with...

Go here:

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Lefty of the dial

I took this test to see its' accuracy against my socio-political views. Here are the results (and I have to say I don't quite agree):


The political description that
fits you best is...



LIBERTARIANS support maximum liberty in both personal and

economic matters. They advocate a much smaller government; one

that is limited to protecting individuals from coercion and violence.

Libertarians tend to embrace individual responsibility, oppose

government bureaucracy and taxes, promote private charity, tolerate

diverse lifestyles, support the free market, and defend civil liberties.

The RED DOT on the Chart shows where you fit on the political map.

Your PERSONAL issues Score is 80%.
Your ECONOMIC issues Score is 70%.
(Please note: Scores falling on the Centrist border are counted as Centrist.)

Anyone who knows me knows that I fall firmly to the left and have always been an outspoken Liberal; I don't particularly veer (even near) to the center. I've always thought of Libertarians as nothing more nor less than pot-smoking Republicans. Nonetheless, the analysis via this test is inaccurate for me, but hey, what can you do?

Take the quiz yourself. Go here:

And then there's this, for a laugh (from

Quiz Result: You are aqua
you are aqua

Your dominant hues are green and blue. You're smart and you know it, and want to use your power to help people and relate to others. Even though you tend to battle with yourself, you solve other people's conflicts well.

Your saturation level is very high - you are all about getting things done. The world may think you work too hard but you have a lot to show for it, and it keeps you going. You shouldn't be afraid to lead people, because if you're doing it, it'll be done right.

Your outlook on life is very bright. You are sunny and optimistic about life and others find it very encouraging, but remember to tone it down if you sense irritation.
the html color quiz

Go to the above link to take the test!

Aqua... I like that. A lot.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

My ride's here

This is the Mini Cooper that Liz and I have had our eyes on for at least 3 years. No, the mid-life crisis still hasn't happened; we just don't own our own car...not yet. The one pictured above is customized by me and I'm thinking we'll be able to buy it by year's end. The convenience of going to Mini's site and being able to pick out every detail, right down to the financing plan, is brilliant. I didn't go for ridiculous accoutrements (like a Union Jack on the roof or extraneous bullshit like that); I took their best, yet economical package and this is THE car. I've downloaded and saved all the information, so if anyone wants to buy the above auto for us, in the color pictured, it will be heartily accepted.

It was a perfect birthday, spent the way I wanted and ending with just Liz and I alone in the splendor of peace and quiet. Of course, this morning is grey and raining, so thanks be to the sun for shining yesterday.

Part of the afternoon was spent revisiting and tightening up my acoustic solo set. For some strange reason, I felt an urge like I hadn't in years, to get out the 12-string and see if I could remember some of the old songs. I'm proud to say that not only do I know the songs and can still perform them with the necessary vibe, but I somehow started playing some of the songs that were demo'd but never performed anywhere else. Suffice it to say that I have a quite formidable set at the ready, so it's safe to presume that I will be booking a show or two, come the warmer weather.

(Post-script re: mid-life crisis... When it happens, it just means I'll buy a Vespa.)

Friday, January 07, 2005

This can't be today

My day. My 40th birthday. The one time I will agree to acknowledge the importance--the significance--of this day in particular. I am taking the day off from work as my treat to myself for reaching this plateau. Liz has left for work and I sit with my first cup of coffee, the sun beginning to rise (which it NEVER does on my birthday in general) and blog time. A most excellent start.

A day to actually take the time to genuinely reflect on my own life to this point. Many things I'm proud of; many I'm not and wish could be erased from my lifebook, but instead look at with perspective rather than regret (none of that wanting to rewrite history for me; it's one of those pseudo-analyses that makes me cringe). Knowing and accepting that my life is half over, not in a morbid or negative way. That I am smarter, wiser, more open minded and sedate; that I'm not willing to compromise my health or happiness any longer and that the most important thing in my life is Liz. No grand testimonials or sanctimonious bullshit. My wife is the only person that completely matters. I have a wonderful family, normal in that they are as emotionally waylaid as anyone else's family, but I love them nonetheless; my closest/most trusted friend is valued beyond words and the brother I wish I had and therefore gives me pause to celebrate a very fortunate life. My cats bring me unconditional love, joy and laughter and while Liz and I don't have money, our apartment is a home; it is warm and comfortable, filled with the best elements of the two of us, thus making it truly ours.

"40" says a lot. At moments, playing in a rock group makes me feel like I may be in a state of arrested adolescence or at best, re-visiting a past that I waved goodbye to a decade ago. I know that many of the musicians/bands I admired came back well into their 40's and have put out some of the finest music of their careers and that you can do this in a respectable fashion. Nonetheless, I want to see this Punch Line album through to completion and I'll make my final decision whether or not to continue. As I've said so often, I believe in growing older with dignity--and to many degrees, being back in the band--a band I started at 18 (by virtue of consistency)--is fairly undignified, but if the music is good and (at the end of the day) what I envision it/want it to be as it comes from my pen, then I'll take it one step at a time with no delusions of anything more nor less than quality of recordings and performances (sporadic as those will be) by my standards. If it doesn't measure up or it becomes remotely close to what it was twice before, then I'll walk away with no regrets, no recriminations and no return. The beauty of age? Knowing--the certainty that you no longer need something you once loved/lived for in your youth. The beauty of age? Knowing that you control everything in your life. Knowing how to say "no" and being comfortable without false compromise. The beauty of age? Being able to be diplomatic and subtle when necessary. The beauty of age? Allowing yourself the grace of growing smarter if you so choose. There are a lot of people at this age who are just so fucking willfully ignorant, it leaves me stunned and contempt-filled. Does that make me sound arrogant/pompous/self-righteous? Sure, but so what? No one holds a gun to your head and says "be a fool; play the clown for the rest of your life". I don't owe anyone an apology; I don't owe anyone anything. The beauty of age? Not having to say you're sorry or put on false politeness. The beauty of age? Strength.

40 can be an amazing number; it's sad how many people look at it with dread. I'm embracing this turning point and reveling in it. Seeing my here-and-now, using the past as a guide to non-repetition and taking the future in small doses. Life is about additions and amputations. I've had many periods of loss and reconnection. Sometimes the circle comes back together and I couldn't be happier (case and point, my relationship with Valerie); sometimes it was better left in yesterday; sometimes you shouldn't go home again, but this is part of learning. As I grow older, I learn more. 40 = a happy marriage, a loving family, good friends, a decent job and seeing my songs come to life. When you put it in those terms, it is a happy birthday.

Valerie called last night because she wanted to be the first to wish me a Happy Birthday; Liz and I will have a nice dinner tonight and I have this day all to myself. No finer a birthday I've had.

My day.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

An interesting story, of sorts (ad infinitum)

If you are an aficionado of analog recording, here's a link the Wolfe sent me:

The last outpost?

I took this quiz (link below)...

Check this out (this is my result):

Category IV - The Musketeer
"You have a small, highly edited social group, and you like it that way".

Sounds like me, don't you think?

Take the test here:

Sidebar: everyone sang "Happy Birthday" to me at work and bought an amazing chocolate cake for me. It was beyond kind and sweet (not to mention outrageously delicious--Dean & DeLuca is ALWAYS fab) and I have to admit, I'm very moved by it. It's nice to not be so cynical and to be appreciated by your co-workers. Of course, I will be petulant here and say even though I schlepped my bag with me, after that cake, I headed home rather than to the gym. If you can't treat yourself on the eve of your 40th birthday, what's the fucking point?

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Sunday morning sun

A fine start to the morning. Sun shining, coffee and some blog time. Liz is already up, the cats are fed and I'll be hitting the gym in a little while.

Nice day yesterday, going out to do errands, etc. Bought a practical, yet stylish knapsack so when I go to the gym from work, I don't have to give my back any greater strain when carrying my usual bag on my shoulder and my gym bag. This will now serve as my everyday bag. Picked up a new pair of jeans as well. Also bought groceries to carry me through the week to not buy lunch. Didn't eat anything beyond breakfast and felt really good by day's end. All in all, the first day of a new year and I'm in complete discipline and control mode.

I didn't do any recording yesterday. By the time we got home, I was pretty tired. I'm looking toward the weekend of the 15th, when I have to be in a formal musical mindset again. The thing is, at the moment, I have no interest in rock music (save for a few bands, sparingly and not counting my own music). I've been listening to more pure country than anything else. Not surprising, either. The quality of the music, the lyrics and the vocals by most of the artists I like are simply that--quality. I've grown tired again of the posturing nature of rock/rock musicians. Most of us who came of age in the punk or post-punk scene (and its' various offshoots) have grown up and moved on, both musically and on a personal plane, but there are some absolute twats from back then who have resurfaced (with no progression as human beings) . You can make music and keep your dignity, but there are so few musicians who keep this ethic in mind. It poses an interesting question for me to mull over in the coming days/weeks/months, concerning my approach with the completion of The Punch Line's album on the horizon.

Okay--got to motor. Time to workout.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Begin here

Happy New Year.

A good way to start the morning and the year (!) in general: blueberry bagels, coffee and my thoughts in order for some blog time while Liz still sleeps. Staying up until 1 a.m. is not something either one of us are good at/enjoy/can/want to do anymore. Whether I like it or not, my internal clock makes me rise no later than 6:30 and my small, fuzzy external clocks (the girls) will see to it that I get up and feed them. So here I sit.

Got an e-mail from Chris late last night which angered me, rightly or wrongly--he found some "record label" calling itself "Synchronic Records", which we've had since '86. A rap label, naturally, which set my teeth on edge. I looked through their site and found nowhere the word "copyright". I wrote back to Chris, saying we must now go full-on to get the name of "Synchronic Entertainment" recognized with either New York or New Jersey as a legal business entity and to do it immediately (perhaps this week). In other times, I probably would have been raging like a madman; now, it just pissed me off. Okay, fine--fuck them. We register, do everything by the numbers and then make sure they "cease and desist".

Need to set aside some time this morning after breakfast to do my Sahaja Yoga exercise. Been neglecting it all week.

The sun is starting to come up. I like that while I have my breakfast.

No gym today, obviously. Hopefully, some time in the "studio" to continue working on demos.

Must go now and pour that second cup of coffee for full effect.

More later...