Thursday, July 29, 2010

Here in California

Hey! Long time no hear!

Yeah, it's been busy here in California and I just have a minute so I thought I'd get in touch. All is pretty good and the family reunion was fuckin' amazing. I'm so glad I went. Now I'm staying in my hometown with my stepmother and it's been good. There's been some stress having to do with friends and phones but nothing I can't take care of.

I'm glad you're having a good time. I've missed you.

I've been missing you too. But I'll be back next week.

Man, I hate saying this but I need to go. My ride's here.

Thanks for getting in touch, farmboy. See you next week.

You got it, pal. I'm looking forward.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Adios, amigo

Oh, man! I 'm going to California in just a little while.

Are you nervous?

Oh course I'm fuckin' nervous. But it'll only be two and a half hours, then I'll see my brother and my stepmother and all sorts of family.

But I will miss you...

There are phones, you know. Call any time.

I will.

Have a good, safe, fun trip.

I'm going to. You have a good time here, okay?

I will, farmboy. See you in a couple weeks.

Adios, amigo.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I seriously love many people

I wished I liked alcohol.

That's an interesting way to start a conversation.

I'm serious. I haven't been drunk in years. I like marijuana better.

(rolls eyes) Really? I would have never noticed.

Fucker. Fuckin' sarcasm does not suit you well, pal.

What brings up alcohol?

I'm going to my family reunion day after tomorrow, and I should maybe figure out my drinking procedure.

What do you think?

Actually, I should just see what's there and how I feel. With luck or the Good Lord willin' I'll get some marijuana and I won't have to deal with any of this stuff.

You could just be sober and straight.

Believe me, the family reunion is best done under the influence. It's just a fuckin' great time. I seriously love many people there. And there's Mexican food, of course.

Which makes me think: I could just buy a 12-pack of Coronas and some limes.

Which would go well with marijuana...

Now you're talkin', son.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Twelfth day walking

Farmboy, did you just walk in from being outside?

Yeah, how'd you know? (sniffs armpits) I didn't sweat that much.

I looked for you in here, but you weren't here.

I went on my fuckin' walk. I'm trying to walk every day. Started a couple weeks ago. Today was my twelfth day walking.

Good so far.

I guess.

Try to enjoy the process, farmboy. Really, walking can be fun.

I went through an illness several years ago and I never really recovered. It can be hard for me to walk.

Damn, farmboy, I had no idea.

Yeah. Anyway, I'm trying to get more stamina. I'm eating better and I'm more active. And you're right, I need to learn to enjoy the process. I've never been good at that. Except for the first, like, 10 years of writing songs. I couldn't not write then.

Anyway, I want to walk, I want to be active, I want to be part of the human race before I die,you know? I know I'm being overdramatic, but I want to learn to enjoy the movements of my body. I'm tired of being afraid of my body and my mind.

I'm here to support you in this. I'm proud of you, farmboy. I'm glad to see you take action.

Thanks. I really didn't want to go walking today.

But you did.

Yeah. Boy, it's hard, man, because some days I just don't want to go out that door.

I know. You want to isolate yourself.

Isolation...It just seems so much safer.

But it's not, farmboy. Not to that extent.

I know. I've been doing better with that this summer.

I've noticed.

It's been pretty positive so far.

You've been pretty positive...

So far.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I want perfection now, damn it!

Man, you know, the music thing...I never wanted anything so badly. It's amazing to me. I would ask "What is this music stuff?" except I really kind of like the whole mystery thing. And I was born to it. I was born to this. Even if I never make a dime, I'm a pretty lucky guy. I've had a blessed life.

I'm glad you know that. I'm glad you don't take it for granted.

So, let's see, now that I've done that fuckin' highfalutin' musical philosophy stuff, what question can I ask you today?

I think we should stick to musical philosophy, farmboy.

Nah. I'm done tuckered out.

What if I ask you questions?

Oh, yeah, sure.

If you could sing like any singer, who would you sing like?

That's easy. Marvin Gaye.

Marvin Gaye?

Marvin Gaye. He could be smooth, he could be rough, he knew jazz, he knew standards. Dude fuckin' had it all.

Well, except for a dysfunctional father...

Yeah, well, I ain't talking about that. I'm talking about the voice, the phrasing. Dude had a God-given talent...

Like you.

I fuckin' wish, man.

In your own way, with the songwriting.

Okay, I'll accept that and I'll say thank you. But I'm not sure I deserve it. I got a ways to go.

It's that old process thing.
Pain in the fuckin' ass. I want perfection now, damn it!

Do you enjoy processes?

You mean, in general or the process of, say, writing.

In general.

I think once I'm in them and there's no way back, I can get an enjoyment of the process. It's the fuckin' waiting for something to happen that fuckin' pisses me off, y'know? It causes me a lot of anxiety. But once I'm going I'm good.

I glad to hear you say that. Because your in the middle of a big process right now.

Oh yeah? A process for what?

I can't tell you, but it's musical. And it's personal.

That's it?

Hey, I'm not a fortune teller. I'm an interviewer.

Then how do you know this stuff?

I just know, farmboy.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Freckles and a good heart

Man, I'm so fuckin' dissatisfied with my life. I wish...

Wait! Here's an idea. Tell me everything you wish for concerning yourself. Just make a big list. Don't think at all. Just get it all out in the open.

What? I don't think so. Sounds like one of those self-help exercises on the internet. I ain't gonna do it. No way, man.

Fine by me. If you're too scared to do it...

You fucker. Okay. (takes deep breath) Here goes.

I wish the summer wasn't going by so fast.
I wish I could make a living with music.
I wish I was better looking.
I wish I wasn't so afraid all the time.
I wish I was more physical.
I wish I could get laid.
I wish I didn't know so much.
I wish I knew more stuff.
I wish I was out of debt.
I wish my bedroom was clean.
I wish my parents were still alive.
I wish I was younger.
I wish I didn't have to die.
I wish I liked drinking whiskey.
I wish I lived back in Austin, Texas.
I wish I could always live by my brothers and my sister and their families.
I wish I could live my childhood over again and get it right this time.
I wish I could afford to buy fresh salmon and take-out Thai food.
I wish that the guitar that got stolen would magically return.
I wish I had smoked marijuana in high school.
I wish the CD player in my car still worked.
I wish I could buy a new computer.
I wish I was good at swimming and bicycling.
I wish I could fall in love with a country girl with freckles and a good heart.
I wish I liked vegetables more.
I wish I wasn't so financially unstable.
I wish I enjoyed Christmas more, because it can be a beautiful time.
I wish I could meet Willie Nelson, Ira Glass, and Bruce Springsteen.
I wish I liked red wine and feta cheese.
I wish I had a good ol' dog.

There. I'm done. For now.

Well, I'm glad you got all that out of your system. It can be relieving to let out some of your emotions.

So, were there any surprises?

Yeah. A big one. I had no wishes concerning the quality of my own music.

Also, you had no wishes concerning new friends and family.

Interesting, huh? I'm actually leaning about myself here. Maybe I'll do more lists like this.

Try it. It couldn't hurt.

Except I'm sure that this has got to be very, very, very boring.

Not at all. You're learning about yourself, that's all that matters.

I'm glad you think that,because this all seems a bit...well, self-centered. Beyond self-centered. Is there a word for it? Narcissistic?

I don't think that's the word. I wouldn't worry about any of this, farmboy. You're learning about yourself.

Okay. I'll take your word for it. But I'm not sure...

Well, then you're not taking my word for it, are you?

My head fuckin' hurts.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My summer of being human

So do you have your apartment to yourself again?

Yeah. My friend left this morning, but he'll be back in a week. He's going to stay here while I'm in California. He writes books as well as songs and he wanted to have a place he could stay for a little while to write.

Did you have a good time?

I did. It was fun. Which was a surprise for me.

You know, I'm doing this new thing. Last summer I did nothing but worry and worry and worry about money. This summer is my summer of being human. Of accepting the fact that I'm a member of this fuckin' species. So that means I see people and have fun and walk and eat good things. I don't isolate myself all the time.

That sounds great, farmboy. It really does.

Well, we'll see how it goes. I want experiences this summer. I want to take chances. I want to not be so fuckin' afraid of everything. You know, I figured out recently that I walk on eggshells...around myself! I mean, is that the most stupid thing in the world? I mean, jeez, c'mon, give me a fuckin' break.

It is pretty useless...

You got that right. I figure if I don't like it I can always go back to being miserable.

But it's gonna be...interesting, y'know? 'Cause if I'm opening myself up by being human then I'm opening myself up for all those fuckin' feelings, y'know? Fuck. But, shit, I wind up having all those negative feelings anyway. I mean, I'm not exactly the poster boy for mental health.

You've been growing, farmboy. This summer's been good for you.

Yeah, I've been lucky in a lot of ways.

You have been eating better from what you've told me.

Yeah, and I actually think that may be part of things improving. But I haven't had to go through all sorts of trials this summer. I've been very fortunate. I've been very blessed. But I'm very aware that everything could just fall through, crash through the roof, y'know? I'm just hoping to build up some muscles before anything happens.

So yeah, this summer's been good so far. I'm hoping it stays that way.

Well, you're doing your part, farmboy.

Well, I'm fuckin' trying.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

In the here-and-now

Hey, I hope you don't think I'm ignoring you.

I don't.

Well, good. First there was the housesitting and now I have a friend spending a couple of days. It'll get back to normal soon. 'Course then I have to go to California for a little while.

Which is good. Very good, to be correct. This is what you're supposed to do: See friends, play music, live life.

Oh, I don't know if I want to go that far...

That's what you're doing. Living life, having experiences. I know it's fun to live in solitude with the internet and marijuana and food, but it's not good for you to do that all of the time. Think of it like an investment: You're saving up experiences to be memories in your future.

Even though you could just enjoy them in the here-and-now, farmboy.

I know. But I fuckin' like isolating myself...

It's like I said, that's fine sometimes. But not all the time.

But, anyway, you're doing fine. You're being social. I'm proud of you for that, I really am.

Thanks. I appreciate that.

I'm gonna go out, go to the music store and hang out and look for a birthday gift for my niece. She's gonna be 4 years old on Thursday.

Are you going to get her something from the music store?

I hope so. I'm gonna look.

Have a good time, farmboy.

Hey, it's a fuckin' music store! How can I not have a good time?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

In the dark

(farmboy walks in the door)

Honey, I'm home!

(laughs) You're back! How was the housesitting?

It was air conditioned.

That's all?

Oh, man, that's enough. It was so fuckin' hot...

It reached 100 degrees!

Man! I was so fuckin' glad to have air conditioning. Plus there's Annie the dog and I just spent a lot of time sitting with her. What a beautiful dog. I did play the piano, but not much. Mostly I listened to podcasts -- some Ira Glass stuff -- and sat in the dark with Annie and thought.

It was good fun. But it's so fuckin' good to be back. What did you do?

Now, farmboy, this is about you. Remember?

Hey! You told me I could ask you questions but only one at a time. So that means I get to ask you a question: What the fuck did you do this fuckin' weekend?

Okay. Simple enough. I did some reading. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. Interesting book. Have you read it?

No, but I keep meaning to.

It's good. Also, I listened to some music. I laid on the floor in the dark and listened to Miles Davis.

Cool. Were you high?

One question only, kiddo.

I guess I know the answer to that one then.

The answer is no.

Did you inhale at least?

Let's move on, farmboy. You like some Miles?

I'm so ignorant of jazz. I've heard just a little bit of Miles Davis. I have a couple of recordings of him,which I should listen to more. So you like jazz?

I'm like you, I just want music I like. I don't know contemporary jazz at all, but I like a lot of the older stuff.

Wow. I'm glad you told me that stuff. I always wondered what kind of music you like.

We can talk more about music any time. I listen to a lot more styles than jazz. I'd like to hear recommendations from you.

I didn't know other people listened to music in the dark. I love doing that. Most of the time when I'm listening to music in the light of day I end up closing my eyes. It's better for concentration. I think listening is an art all unto itself.

I agree.

Thanks for answering my question, man.

Thanks for asking.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Suenos dulce

So. Hot enough for you?

I wasn't aware that it was Cliche Day.

Yeah, it's hot. High of 97 degrees, man. So I'm going to be housesitting the next few days. A house with air conditioning, man!

Cool. Literally.

Air conditioning and a dog. And a piano.

What are you going to do there?

Probably write a song and figure the CD out and probably read, I'm not sure what yet. Stay cool. I don't do hot all that well, when you get 95 and above.

What else is going on, farmboy?

I'm going to California in a couple weeks and...I just don't feel like going into the money stuff right now. I'll just say that there ain't nothin' new.

Plus, you know, I just want to ignore all the stuff in my mind and...I don't know. Relax isn't the word I have in mind. Not deal with things until tomorrow.

What did you do today?

I filled out the volunteer form, which was a pain in the fuckin' ass. This is for the grant thing I told you about. Went to an orientation meeting. also for the grant thing, the playing music for kids with disabilities thing. Made the decision to go to Cali and bought plane tickets. Muy cool, verdad? I am so surprised I did that. I'm proud of myself.

Wait, I didn't hear you, what did you say?

I said I was proud of myself...

You said what?

I said I motherfuckin' sonovabitch! (laughs) Okay, you got me, man, I'm fuckin' busted.

Have a good night, farmboy. Suenos dulce.

Yeah, sweet dreams, you too, man.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Can I afford this pound of ground turkey?

Oh, man, I tell you, I'm having a rough time today.

What's up, farmboy?

Two weeks into summer and today...I always feel like I'm such a failure. And today I woke up and smoked pot, which I've been doing way too often. I felt ashamed, so I did the things I was supposed to do. I even though about it triage-style last night. You know, what needs to be done most, what do I need to start doing. And I did a lot of that stuff, even though I really didn't want to. But it wasn't this apathy thing, it was like "I'm tired of always having to do things."

Were you feeling rebellious?

You know, even that's the word for it. It's more that I was just fed-up and I'm tired of worrying and being stressed out. You know, I get tired of being so fuckin' afraid all the time, like I'm going to be found out. All these fuckin' insecurities, you know? Pisses me off.

I've got all this stuff going on. I'm really working on eating better and exercising and I'm doing pretty well. But, you know, it takes a while to feel different and I'm still at these fuckin' baby steps with that. And I got to figure out my family reunion and I want to make a CD before I go and...

Sounds like a lot of stuff, farmboy.

Yeah,, and I've been performing, too, and I'm always concerned about money,

Anyway, I just wanted to get that off my chest. And I wanted to have a witness that I'm walking and eating fruits and vegetables and playing guitar and being social.

I just get so tired of worrying sometimes. I'm so tired of living in fear, like, can I afford this pound of ground turkey? Am I doing okay? What about rent? What about credit card bills? I need my songs to be better! What if I forget the words? Why aren't I in a relationship? Why don't I feel the need to be in a relationship? What the fuck is wrong with me? Why am I never good enough? What happens after death? Look at all these people in need in the world! What if the economy never gets better?

That's a lot of worries, farmboy.

Yeah, and I haven't even skimmed the surface.

Oh well. Thanks for letting me vent.

No problem. (laughs) Now go on your way unencumbered through life!

Oooh, what kind of high-falutin' talk is that?

I was referring to that Emerson quote you have on your refrigerator, farmboy.

Yeah, he's a smart guy.

Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Start over tomorrow

Man, I tell you, my mind's so fuckin' scattered. But, look, I did the deep breathing thing...


,,,and I've come to the conclusion that all I can really do about it is just fall asleep and, like, start over tomorrow.



Okay, farmboy.

You're not going to analyze things, or ask all kinds of questions, or...

Nope. You're free.

I appreciate it, man.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A little after midnight

Hey! Good to see you.

Did I wake you?

No, it's just a little after midnight. I was up, it's fine. What's up?

Oh, I'm just checking in, man, let you know I'm around.

Yeah, it's been a couple of days. Have you been busy?

A little, yeah. Took my niece to see Toy Story 3. It was a great movie, best of all those Pixar films that I've seen. Really fuckin' excellent.

I had a great time with my niece. She's so smart, she's so happy. I mean, she has moments, you know, like every kid. But I see a lot of happiness in her. I love her so much.

You know, it's late and...

We'll just talk again tomorrow or day after. But I want to know: Are you okay, farmboy?

Yeah. I'm just a little tired. But, yeah, I'm okay.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I ain't never fuckin' satisfied

You know, I just don't know what I'm gonna do with myself.

How so, farmboy?

I'm never fuckin' satisfied, y'know. I ain't never fuckin' satisfied. There's an early Steve Earle song called that. "I Ain't Never Satisfied." Good song.

So tell me about that. You sound like you're really angry -- at yourself.

I am. 'Cause I really am never satisfied. Like, see, I saw that there's gonna be this big folk music festival in August, I think, and I got super bummed-out because I'm not playing in it. So I'm driving to the coffeehouse and I see some people walking somewhere so I start thinking "I bet they're having fun." And then I think, what the fuck, I'm going with my guitar to the coffeehouse where I'm going to see friends and play music. What the fuck. man! I am such a fuckin' asshole.

No you're not. If you were an asshole, you wouldn't have noticed it or questioned it.

Oh. (pauses) That's true, I guess.

But it still pisses me off that I'm always wanting somebody else's life -- not even real life, but what I'm projecting onto these strangers. Fuck. I hope you know what I'm trying to say.

I think I do. Are you stoned?


Never mind. In this case, farmboy, I think it's a really good thing that you're not satisfied. You have a right to live your own life.

Thanks. I'm glad you understand.

It's the anger at yourself that's not any good. Take a deep breath...

Again with the deep breaths...

,,,instead of immediately beating yourself up. Move on, farmboy.

Move on?

Yes. Instead of all the self-loathing and self-hatred.

I don't know if I can.

It might take some practice. It might be hard. But just try it, farmboy.

Um...let me think about this, okay?

Can we come back to this stuff?



I said yeah.

Tomorrow, farmboy?

You got it, man.