ManicRobThrill

Thursday, July 07, 2022

Movement

 A week into this month and I actually have a rapidly growing agenda - days on the upcoming calendar are filling up and I can only hope to have enough energy to carry it all through!

A doctor's appointment for the first time in years this Saturday - do I have my concerns?  Yes.  And a list of questions to ask, now that I'm at this age.  I was at the dentist two weeks ago and all is well there.  Seeing family this past Saturday, during the long and very relaxing holiday weekend.  Getting together with a very dear friend next week and then 3 days away from home as we drive up to Niagara Falls.  I don't remember the last time my dance card was this full!

It's a nice feeling; it takes away from the daily routine and the way I sometimes feel worn down by the end of each day.  It would be welcomed - that burst of renewed energy that new(ish) experiences and small triumphs give you.

Motivation is everything.  I haven't thought about it lately, but I do feel like something's happening without over-contemplation.  I think I may be on to a good thing here...

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Here comes the summer (redux again!)

I didn't even realize that summer has officially begun as of this morning; it's been deliciously comfortable these last two or so weeks - the perfect spring feeling that's been missing for years.  But it's already over and here we are again.  

Having been buoyed up by seeing my family a few weeks ago, I think that was a key table-setter for this good mood I've been immersed in.  I've tried my best - and pretty much have succeeded - in not letting stupid or unimportant things upset me.  There's no point to any of the petty aggravations.  So that's helped.  Getting a clean bill of health from my dentist was another.  And finding a new doctor after 40 years is another huge accomplishment.  Making plans to see old friends who I've missed and getting away for a quick two-day trip really helps.

I work ridiculously long hours every day - in by 7:45 and leave at 6 - so I've taken the initiative and dipped my toe in the water to see what else may be out there, as this isn't the right situation for me.  I wanted to give it a year; I've surpassed it, but it's really time to look beyond this.  And because I have that already resolved in my mind, I haven't let that become a source of frustration or stress.  

There is no pressure to write (except from some publicists); I am under no deadlines to listen to albums or interview anyone; even the podcast is a bit quiet - Jon's been ill and when he's well, I'm sure we will do a  new episode - thankfully, we're not backdated with our shows; there aren't any in the can and whatever comes next will be fresh.

So I'm feeling pretty good about most things at the moment - whatever is happening in the world isn't my concern - my own little slice of pie is more than enough for me. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Feeling the space...

Today feels like a proper May day.  It's a beautiful, clear day - comfortable, full of sun and helping me deal with the daily madness of work and commuting.  It's also a day to celebrate the birthdays of one of my ex-bandmates and my uncle.

May is, as everyone knows, traditionally my favorite month.  The two people I love most in the world were born in May (as were a few others); it was in May that Susan and I met and would spend 7-plus years together; one of the most meaningful relationships I ever had began in May  - and even though it's a painful event, my dad passed in May.  But I think we were all ready for when he went and it was peaceful and dignified.

The month always signifies good things to me - I don't know if it's because as a child, I aligned it with the baseball season ramping up and getting going (and me usually being taken to see the Mets play), but rather than pontificate on the "why"'s and a deeper context, I'm just going to soak it in and enjoy as much as I can while it lasts.

Friday, April 08, 2022

Time and time again (redux)

Early April - spring; that time of renewal, hope and joy - and rain.  Another grey and miserable day does not make New York City feel too embracing.  Maybe part of it is my disconnect from here - as I've said so many times, I don't feel like a New Yorker anymore.  And I am a little tired, physically - it's been a draining couple of weeks.  

You would think that since today is Opening Day in baseball, that would buoy me up, but no - that's been an irksome reminder of how the powers-that-be have fucked with tradition and made the game I loved look so shoddy.  

I'm not in a bad or negative mood - I know it sounds that way, but I'm not.  The darkness of the day unfortunately colors my words, which isn't exactly fair.

I do know this much - I've felt a lightness I haven't had for a while, which is well-embraced.  I've been trying not to overthink things that I have either slight or no control over.  I definitely now enjoy the little things even more than I used to.  I've pared it down considerably.

In a time when this pandemic nightmare is subsiding, people are still looking for a reason to be bastards towards one another - this social psychosis of public shaming is beyond fucked up and intolerable and I do hope pushback will start to happen.  Everyone seems to be hypersensitive in an insane manner towards individuals and topics that have nothing to do with them - talk about not being able to mind one's business - and this needs to stop.  

I can't allow this kind of nonsense to interfere in my life and I don't.  I'm concentrating on the good things now and coming in the not-too-distant future.

Friday, March 25, 2022

That ever-hopeful feeling

Spring is my favorite season and it's finally here.  I'm always filled with joy at the prospects of warmth, lighter clothing, a new baseball season, green trees and grass.  It always seems to make the load lighter - case and point:  leaving the office while there's still daylight and walking home from the ferry before it's dark.

I don't have any particular targets or goals for the new season - albeit to do a minor purge of extraneous items - these last two years have made it so you don't really want to plan too far ahead.  

It's remained a quiet time, which I'm fine with; I think the world is living on a "wait and see" approach; I can understand it.  Plus, you get to an age like 57 and you think to yourself, "well, what's next?".  Then add to that - at this particular moment, especially - the very unsettling war-like direction the world has shifted into and you have a sense of "how do you plan for a future?"

I don't have an answer for any of this - and I'm not being fatalistic - but I can't really think too far ahead.  I'd rather just enjoy the here-and-now, as it is.  

Sunday, March 06, 2022

And life's little ironies seem so obvious now...

Talk about coincidence and happenstance.  No sooner than I put up my last posting, I found three copies of The Punch Line's "The Wild Flowers" 45 on Discogs selling for $60, $70 and $80.  But nothing prepared me for the surprise of finding an email from Marc, the guitarist in The Punch Line's original line-up.  It's been since 2005, when I last heard from him.

He had emailed my website address on Christmas Eve, concerning the death of Michael Nesmith and I had only just decided to sign in and see if I needed to clear out my inbox, which I'm very glad I did.  It was a nice exchange and I'm happy to hear that he's well and healthy, as is his brother (the band's bass player and the only person I ever collaborated on songs with).  

It's little things like this that make you smile.  And I definitely appreciated the reconnection, however minute it may be.

Thursday, February 03, 2022

Yes & no

I honestly don't know why, but in the last few months, the question I'm asked most often is "do you miss playing in a band"?  I don't think at any time I've implied that I do or would like to again - it's fine and I'm happy to answer in as best a manner as possible, but it is surprising - the frequency that it comes up.  I very rarely speak about my band experiences because it's now so far in the past, so it's interesting that I'm still aligned with having been a musician.

It could be partly because of the re-connections I've made recently, which is wonderful - having people re-enter your life is great thing.  Especially when you're able to find completely mutual ground.  So I understand why they might be curious and I'm happy to fill in the blanks.  But because I've been asked a lot, I've actually thought about a proper answer.

Which is both "yes" and "no".  And neither can be looked upon negatively.  I miss playing with other musicians in general.  It's a great spirit and camaraderie; when you can make music you enjoy with people who enrich your life - that's powerful and moving.  It's pure joy and spiritually uplifting, especially as you get older.  If it's a "band" - like The Punch Line were - it's something that you and your bandmates created; it belongs to you and there's an emotional bond that can't be accurately put into words.  I miss the simple "fun" factor - even though it has to be seen from a now much-older perspective.  Being able to laugh at silly in-jokes, etc. - again, it was something that was all ours.  And the music you bring to life - as a collective; say what you will - there's something still magical about it.

The "no" is also not negative, because you have to look at everything with time, temperance and perspective - I don't miss it because I'm 57 now.  It takes energy - something, at the moment, I don't have a great deal of.  Time and emotional investment - also unavailable.  It's work and having been through it previously, I wouldn't want to repeat that intense cycle.  Of the obvious, I certainly don't miss the fighting, silly politics, self-absorbed nonsense - and I am equally guilty/culpable of just as much as the other members of the band.  We're also strangers now and I don't know if I would feel comfortable around them - I'm not great at "feeling out" processes anymore.  

At the same time, as I said earlier, there have been a lot of surprising and welcomed reconnections in my life.  If any of my former bandmates were to be in touch, etc., I don't see any reason why we couldn't create a foundation for renewed friendship.  That's a good enough criteria to start with.  Anything else would be speculation, which I don't think is right.  

But as the saying goes, "never say never".