Saturday, July 28, 2007

The home stretch

A gruelling week, no doubt. The office move has had snags and bumps through no fault of our own. Suffice it to say that landlords, like politicians, are the same eternal scum as far as I'm concerned. Being that I spent nearly 8 hours yesterday waiting for the phone lines to be run (which they were) and only an hour (at the most today) from the time the moving truck arrived and unloaded is a good enough tandem. I was driving out of Manhattan by 10:15 this morning. Afterwards, grocery shopping for us and my dad, a quick trip for a buzzcut and then over to Whole Foods for lunch. I am exhausted.

This will, in all likeliness, be another harum-scarum week. The office isn't being painted until Tuesday; carpeting, furniture and phone system installation Wednesday and my guess is the printers won't be connected and running until Thursday. After that, I'd say we're near ready.

I'm looking forward to the oncoming weeks when I can start to re-focus on music and our own move back to S.I.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Is it time to go home yet?

Came across this article (via Coolfer); wow, talk about a lifetime ago. In a mere 6 year period, an entire industry has been turned upside down on its' head, shaken to its' very core and STILL nothing changes nor improves. It's the same mistakes, treading upon the same tracks and pushing the same garbage onto the consumers. And they wonder why music isn't selling? Liz and I were talking yesterday about the amount of music we haven't purchased this year. I truly believe this is probably the year where I have bought (and supplemental to that, had the least amount of interest in) very little musical product. A few tracks from iTunes and perhaps a handful of CD's--none of which were "new" or by "new artists". I think the gamut ran from compilations to compilations and that was it. Then again, is it any wonder? Case and point: in September, Rhino is issuing the next "deluxe editions" in The Monkees' re-issues series. Is there anyone putting out anything that compares to Headquarters or Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.? Sorry to either disappoint or offend, but the answer would be a resounding "no". This is what it comes down to. This may have been more egregious to me a few years ago, but like I've said so many times before, it doesn't mean what it used to. There's still something of a loss--no different than if your favorite book series or television show has come to an end--but there are higher priorities in my life.

Riding the train into work this morning, where it's grey, gloomy and wet outside, it makes me so glad that we will be moving back to Staten Island in just a mere four months. Better to take the ferry in than have to drive to the train, wait for the train and then be bounced from one train to the other. I will say this--noticed were many riders with the final installation of Harry Potter. I don't care what anyone says--I much prefer to see people of any age lining up for a book than for some horrible "entertainer" (like a Britney Spears or shit of her ilk).

I would really like to be at home today with a good movie and no urgency to be in the city!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Helpful hints?

Another beautiful and quiet Sunday morning where I have time to write. This weekend, along with the next two, are going to be busy--next Saturday, I have to be in the city before 9 a.m. to await the moving truck with the office's items; the following week we take my dad for his doctor's appointment. Yesterday was the first oil change for the RAV4, so it's been pre-planned Saturdays.

Since I don't have any great revelations or insights, I thought I'd share some of the basics with you. These are products I've used for years.

I read this already. Now we know.

These items have been getting me through the summers of the past decade. If you're a dude like myself, you need them. Even though the barnet is at a minimum, you should use this to maintain healthy body.

Timeless, from style to style. Whenever I need a new pair, they're always easily found. In another lifetime, I swore by the button-fly originals. I've grown up since then. Another change in the fashion cycle is the eschewing of striped t-shirts (!); that was the '80's edition. These are the only t-shirts you need. And yes, all my "rock" t's are gone. Only non-graphic t-shirts at 42, thank you.

Go to this website and read this writer. He's a fucking genius. If you don't laugh or think, you're an idiot. I'm adding this link to my webpage.

Continuing the process of constantly rifling through my items--clothing, books, CD's, etc. and tossing the non-essentials. It never ceases to amaze and irritate me that I still have so much unnecessary shit and that I actually spent money on this stuff. Can't help but shake my head. What's done is done, but did I really need it all? (That was a rhetorical question--of course I didn't.)

Okay--shower time and head out to take care of the laundry.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Time alone is the best medicine

Backpains aside, I needed a day like today to be alone in the quiet. Things are going well, at work and with the new songs I've been working on, but I need to recuperate from the discomfort (to put it mildly) and being worn out.

About my job--love it; thrive on it and enjoy what I do with the people I work with. Been busy with my daily responsibilities and more so with our upcoming office move, which bumps and twists aside, should be complete by the first week of August. Went into the office this past Saturday and after lifting heavy file boxes for two days, back problems were bound to happen. I tried to avoid it, but what can you do? Things need to get done. After that, it was off to Staten Island to take care of my dad's needs and our own shopping and chores.

The last few weeks have been flying by but great. Made a surprise visit to Brother B. two Saturdays ago; an impromptu mini-road trip suggested by Liz. Took the new ride to PA. and shocked the Dude Supreme by calling him from outside his door. Did us a world of good to see him and I think he was pretty buoyed up by it as well. Weekends beyond that have been all about household duties, prepping for our move back to S.I. (the list of items to toss out seems to continue, week after week!) and making sure my dad is comfortable.

After getting the new 12-string back and getting more familiar with it, I'm feeling stronger on a lot of the songs I've been focusing on, which is a nice return. To play live and solo is an intimate and frightening thing, but really, it's also a joy to not have to hide the songs behind electric guitars, drums, bass and whatever other embellishments. If the songs are strong enough, the voice and guitar should work when you're alone. Recording is a different story, but for this upcoming jaunt, I'm trying to not feel any fear or hesitation about playing completely solo. Again, this is all about enjoying making music, not a re-kickstart to a music career. I do plan on recording, but I like the fact that there is no immediate timetable or sense of urgency. When I feel it, I'll do it.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Fresh air in the mind

I'm not sure when I last blogged this early on a Sunday morning, but this is the result of a good (early) night's sleep and waking up at 4:45 a.m., feeling refreshed. The cats are already fed; I've already had breakfast and am letting the caffeine run its' course through my veins and Liz is still sleeping soundly. With the living room window open and the sun pouring in, could I ask for a better scenario?

Picked up the 12-string on Friday night; the guys at Sam Ash did a great job (huge props to Avi) and I'm finally able to become acquainted with it. The songs have come back to me quickly and easily and the guitar sounds warm. It's still unusual--not playing the Madeira--but aside from not having the guitar-string-blisters/hardness on my fingers anymore, I find the songs are all there and my fingers still know the chords with ease. I did investigate inexpensive electronic drums, which, if I feel a strong enough desire to start full-on recording, I may invest in. A greater scope of quality in recording (especially digitally) and I would also buy a new keyboard. Out with the old, unfortunately. My current Casio has seen better days! The great thing is that I do have several songs I'd like to commit to record, so I would say there are definitive plans; it's now just a case of when will I have the actual time?

Being up this early means I should be en route to the gym in about 45 minutes. That's the other great reclamation of the moment. Getting back on track with myself. I shouldn't fail to mention practicing SY daily/nightly.

Keeping in concert with the upcoming return/changes to our home (and homelife), I've been spending a lot of time purging again. No one ever has to ask whether or not we do "spring cleaning", etc., as this is a fairly regular occurence. It's another round of throwing out clothes and shoes that are no longer appropriate (think "Mod" or any kind of "rock" attire); notes and papers from my years of playing in bands (lyrics/lyrical attempts (ha ha ha) by others, meeting minutes, ads, etc. - I'm not keen on scrapbooks), old software (what could OS 9.1 possibly be used for now? Especially since once we move, we're getting a new iMac. Holy smokes!), photos and just plain old junk. Sorry to sound like a broken record but pack-ratting is something I have NEVER done or will ever succumb to. And every two or three years, you should go through your papers and files. Aside from regularly purging the closet, that is. I'm just not sentimental enough to keep letters and printed e-mails from acquaintences come-and-gone. Does this make me a minimalist?

Spending a lot of time on Staten Island as of late--due diligence in preparation for our move back. Patience aside, it will be great to close the last of the negative chapters. Only four months to go.

All that aside, la vida es sueno.