Monday, December 25, 2006

Two years on

It's somewhat surprising that two years ago I started this blog and here I am, still continuing to do this; many of my friends and fellow bloggers have abandoned the process, but I still enjoy it.

One thing's a certainty--it's been an interesting year. Moving from Staten Island; finishing off the album and then subsequently ending the band; changing jobs--not exactly a humdrum period! The move and change of jobs were warranted; what had been conscientiously done out of necessity, in reality, was a mistake. Lesson learned, and that's fine. I'm working in the city again, as I wanted and although we renewed our lease for this year, we'll be moving in '08.

Ending The Punch Line was the easiest thing of all. I can't count how many e-mails, calls and questions I've answered, but the facts are simple:
a) I wasn't enjoying any of it.
b) The music was stale. I am not the person who wrote those songs 20 years ago anymore.
c) The playing was lackluster.
d) There wasn't a real relationship between myself and the others in the band. We were not friends but loose business associates (as that was what the band was shaped as).
e) I have no desire to continue living in the past. I don't enjoy pretending I'm 18 or 21 or whatever for the sake of others.
f) I left it behind 13 years ago when I stopped playing in bands.

That's it in a nutshell. And yet I found myself having to explain this when someone said they didn't believe that I didn't care about it. I don't know why people cannot accept things as they are. I said it woudn't have mattered if I never played again; I'd done it and life goes on -- the response was "I don't believe you; you won't convince me". How do you argue with that? Rather than dispute it, truth speaks for itself. I started the band (along with Marc) 20 years ago--we had it end twice previously due to others' irresponsibility; I named the band, wrote all the songs, was the one constant and (in this go-round) I footed the predominant amount of bills for the release of an album that was 19 years too late. The Punch Line was my band (as much as that statement may offend some, it seems the rest of the world saw it that way, beyond even my point of view). I did the lion's share of the work; I own the name of the band, the music company and everything that had to do with The Punch Line. Being astute enough to not let anyone try to cheat me, I took all the necessary legal avenues and steps--and since I have that comfort, I'm the one who can end it and I did. Players can come and go but I was able to end The Punch Line on my terms, not aribtrarily like it had been in the past. Another lesson learned and that should be the last word on The Punch Line.

It's also been a year where I consciously jettisoned many people from my orbit who I mistakenly viewed as friends, but in reality were acquantances. It's not healthy to keep people in your life who don't add anything, bring nothing but negative words and vibes and generally let you down. It used to be a hard thing to accept; it's the easiest thing to do when you see at as it is. I'm no longer encumbered by having to pretend to be someone from years past for the necessity to sustain a shallow relationship; I will no longer allow myself to partake in conversations that always begin with "remember back in... ". At the same time, I've reconnected with many people from years past who always had warmth and good things to say and bring to the table and not talk about what was but rather what is and could be.

Now back to the real world...

Spent a nice Xmas Eve at my mother-in-law's. My brother-in-law and his lovely wife were there; I missed last year's Xmas at home, ill, so this was a welcome return. Had a lot of laughs, exchanged gifts and enjoyed a fun lunch together. Afterwards, it was a quick ride home and a quiet evening watching movies. While I've never been big on Xmas (obvious reason aside), this last week has been great. Been spending a lot of time throwing out, giving away and selling much of the extraneous remnants of my yesterdays.

If it seems like I'm more thoughtful or philosophical, well, it's the end of the year. No time like now, with the calm and quiet that I'm currently immersed in. My life is wonderful; I have no complaints, only pleasure.

Yet again, however, I find a posting end on another sad note. A hard one to take for Xmas morning, but The Godfather of Soul has left the building. Soul Brother #1 is no more; God bless you, J.B.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Ebb and flow

Yes, I'm still one of the blogging cognoscenti -- thanks for asking...

It's been a busy few weeks. Work has been a whirlwind by virtue of my training, the end-of-the-year wrap up and the holiday party, which is tonight. Should be great; Liz is accompanying me and it's at The River Cafe in Brooklyn, which has a lovely atmosphere. Plans for the holidays have been taking shape and solidified, culminating in New Year's Eve in A.C.; in the few days off from work, I'm hoping to focus on recording some new material.

The creative juices have been flowing; the house is physically in order and I think things have gotten to a point where I can exhale and start to let the natural progression resume - work, marriage AND my own artistic exercises, which I'd put on the back burner. It seems to me that everyone I know who is my age/in my age bracket bitches about getting older. Such a fucking cliche. When you stop for a moment and look at what you have or what you've worked for and toward, age gives you the perspective to appreciate it all. At least I do. So now that I'm at a point of balance, I can make the appropriate time for musical projects.

I'll ruminate more on this later; I have something in mind for the annual musical review/posting!

Sadly, I'll end this with a link. If you know me, you know how I feel. It's all over now. Thanks for everything, Boss -- it was an honor.