Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Stupid obsessive thought


You sound dejected, farmboy. What's wrong?

I'm depressed, I'm confused, I'm anxious, and I don't know why. Ain't nothing serious enough. Pisses me off.

I hate to ask you this, but...


Do you need to take a anti-anxiety pill?

I don't think so, and I don't really have any problem in taking medication, as you know.

Do you want to talk about it? I'll listen...

No, I'm aware this is all about nothing. My mind does this, it goes from stupid obsessive thought to stupid obsessive though. It's no fuckin' good and I can't win. so I'm gonna try ignoring them.

So...are you okay? Do I have cause for worry?

Oh, man, I'll be fine. Some marijuana, some sleep,, I'll be fine.

You sure?

Yeah, really. Hey, if I'm gonna tell anybody anything it would be you.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Is it Irish?

I'm tired.

So go to bed, farmboy.

It's too early. It's, like, seven o'clock. Hey, why is it "o'clock?" Is it Irish?

Good question.

I'm full of good questions. Like, why is it cold on the tops of gigantic mountains? I mean, they're closer to the sun than deserts, you know? What gives? Who's in charge of this stuff?

You got me, farmboy.

Yeah, well, see? It's always been a fuckin' problem, you know, this questioning stuff. It's what I do. Hangs me up, you know?

But you've always been a curious guy.

I'm real curious. I want to know about animals, what they think in their way of thinking, We human beings think we're so smart, that we're so superior to everything else. I want to know: Does every creature think they are the chosen ones?

It wouldn't surprise me one bit.

Yeah, but we humans, we're so fuckin'...cocky about it all. We're so fuckin' intelligent. What about spiders? They make these webs that are like that fuckin' building in, where is it...Dubai? You know, the one with, like, 160 stories or something? Look, a spider makes that kind of thing, like, every day, you know?

This is all great stuff for discussion...

Or like Greenland and Iceland. Greenland has a lot more ice than Iceland, and I betcha Iceland has a lot more green than...


Yeah. I need to find out all this stuff. I'm always on Wikipedia because of it.

You know what I really like? Atlases. They're the best. I love the way maps look, with all those fjords and inlets and straits and stuff. I'm real good with geography. I ace in that category on Jeopardy!

I bet you do, farmboy.

Damn fuckin' right I do.

For somebody who's so tired, you sure have a lot of questions.

Yeah. Maybe I should go to bed.

No, that's not what I meant. It's good to ask questions.

Good thing. 'Cause otherwise I'd be fucked.

Trust me, questioning is a positive trait.

Are you sure of that? What if it isn't? What if curiosity really did kill the cat, huh? Did you ever think of that?

Of course it can be overdone. Good night, farmboy.

Hey, but wait, I got more stuff to ask you...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

This overactive imagination

My Thanksgiving long weekend is over. I get to be up for a couple more hours then I have to go to bed so I can wake up and go to work. Tuesday is payday and I'm very thankful. In three weeks I'll have the winter break, and then...

Hey, farmboy, why don't you just live for right now? You know, have a good, relaxing night.

I know, I know. It is so fuckin' hard. I've always lived in the future. I'm very aware of that. That, and that I've lived an awful lot of my life in fantasy. I mean, I know it's fantasy. I've always had this overactive imagination and I'm good at imagining. Real good.

It's a defense mechanism, farmboy.

What do you mean?

You've had to live in the future. You've had to make plans for your escape.


Oh, you'll see, farmboy, you'll see. This music you make, that's the major part of it.

Now I am totally fuckin' confused.

I'm being vague, I know.

I do understand about the escape thing, though.

You escape through your music. And through your musical ambitions.

It's served me well. But I still don't understand...

You will.

Now about living in the present...

I will do that. But I'm still confused.

And that's okay. It really is, farmboy.

I feel like you're a couple of steps in front of me...

Well, farmboy, I am.

So guide me a little bit here, would you?

I am.

Anyway, you don't really have to think about any of this stuff yet.

So why did you tell me?

I thought you knew that your imagination is a defense mechanism.

I never thought about it.

Do you want to think about it?

I don't know. I feel like I might be jinxing things if I analyze them too much. I'm good at musical intuition. I don't know if I want to fuck with that.

That's understandable.

Let's see, Maybe I will want to analyze this stuff. I don't know.

I'll let you know if I do.

Fair enough, farmboy. It's your choice.

Yeah. Gotta remember that.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Oh, man, I am so fuckin' tired of not being satisfied with who I am, it just pisses me off. What am I going to do? I've always felt this way. I'm not smart enough, I'm ugly, I'm awkward, I have wasted my whole fuckin' life. I am a complete loser.

Well, say what you will, farmboy, but I disagree. On all accounts. I think you're a success...

Yeah? What do you mean?

You have worked so hard on songwriting for most of your life. You weren't even aware of it.

Ever read Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers?

What about it?

That's you. You're an outlier. Read the book, you'll see.

I started it once and never finished it. Maybe I'll read it.

That's your homework then, to read the book.

Homework? What are you, man, a fuckin' teacher?

Well, farmboy, everyone is your teacher. So...oh, just read the book.

What do I get if I read it?

Knowledge, farmboy. But some other stuff, too. You have to read it to find out.

Okay. But I better enjoy it.

You will.

I better.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Ain't no time for cynicism

Hey, happy Thanksgiving, man!

Happy Thanksgiving, farmboy! So, what are you thankful for this year?

I'm thankful for it all, man. For family and friends, for food and shelter, for music and for my place in it, my creative place in it. I'm thankful for whatever health I have, both mental and physical. And spiritual. And I know that there are lots of other things to be thankful for.

Thanksgiving ain't no time for cynicism, you know?

I know.

I take Thanksgiving very seriously.

You take everything seriously, farmboy.

I know. It's this fuckin' problem that I have. But not today, man, today I'm just fuckin' thankful.

But...I'm being absolutely serious here...I'm really thankful for your friendship and help this year. Man, you are so fuckin' great, you and your listening. Thank you.

Well, thank you for your friendship, farmboy. Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

To wear a cowboy hat

Whatcha up to, farmboy?

That's pretty informal of you, man.

What's informal?


It's colloquial.


You went to play tonight. Was it fun?

It was good. I played an in-the-round put together by an old friend of mine from the Kerrville Folk Festival. Didn't sell anything, but I got to have a cheeseburger and coffee on the house. I was the only performer who wasn't wearing a hat, so the bartender came over and put his cowboy hat on me. Which I loved, because, you know, I don't let myself do things like wear cowboy hats. And it felt good to wear a cowboy hat. It's really fun, like being a kid, 'cept it was a whole different kind of kid than what I was.

But let's not get into that. So, yeah, I had fun.

What did you do?

I just hung around, played on the computer.

Was it fun?

Yes, actually, it was.

Tomorrow's Thanksgiving. Going to your brother's?

Yeah. I'm making pumpkin pudding with my niece. I'm also making a cranberry-walnut desert. I like Thanksgiving. We should have a day for being thankful. Plus we haven't spoiled it with presents and cards and all that fuckin' commercial shit, you know? Plus it's good food. I like turkey and stuffing and gravy and stuff like that.

Green bean casserole?

No, never been too much for green bean casserole. You?

It's all right, I guess. Not one of my favorites.

I'll check in with you tomorrow, man. Happy Thanksgiving!

Same to you, farmboy.

See ya.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Two sorry people

Hey! farmboy! Where you been?

Oh, man, I'm sorry. I know it's been been a couple days.

Are you okay?

Yeah. Jeez. It's only been a couple days. Gimme a fuckin' break, man.

Sorry. Didn't mean to nag.

So...are you okay? You seem stressed lately.

When am I not stressed? I am okay, though. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to bite your head off.

Boy, we're just two sorry people tonight, eh?

Yeah. Let's start over.


You first.

I don't remember what I said.

"farmboy, where you at." Or something like that.

That's not so great. How about "farmboy, it's good to see you."

That'll work. Thanks.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I feel ashamed

You know, man, I'm just checking in. Thanks for listening to me. I don't know why you do, but I'm glad you do it. I mean, why...

I like listening to you, farmboy. Thanks why I'm here. You don't have to worry about the "why."

I know, but...

How was last night?

Good. Very good. Calm. I think the crying and talking to you helped an amazing amount.

It helps to get things out, farmboy.

I know, but it's so fuckin' hard for me. I feel so ashamed after I cry. Fuck, I feel ashamed while I'm crying. This is what I waste a great deal of time on: shame and telling myself no.

You don't have to tell me twice.

Anyway, man, I just wanted to tell you I'm all right and thanks.

No problem, farmboy.

Hey, you doin' okay?

I'm doing just great, thanks.

No problem.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Everything snowballs

(farmboy's face is wet with tears)

farmboy! Why are you crying? You almost never cry.

It ain't nothing, man. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

What's wrong, farmboy? Talk to me.

It really is nothing. It's just that I'm under so much stress all the fuckin' time and it doesn't seem to ever end, and (starting to cry again) one thing turns into another, emotionally speaking, and everything snowballs, you know, and then I start thinking too much and I'm angry all the time and there just hasn't been a break lately.

So it's money, of course. I have $21 and change to last me the month, and that's like a week and a half, an that's because my prescription group took the majority of the money for November out of my account. And a relative's birthday is coming up and she's expecting a present. So...I got one present on my birthday, or actually after my birthday.

I thought you didn't get anything.

I didn't. This came after I spoke with you.

So, anyway, I ended up spending that present -- it was a gift card -- to get that present for my relative. Whom, by the way, I don't hold it against. It just seems like such a pathetic thing to have to do.

So that just led me in to my annual birthday depression, which then leads to my Christmas depression. It's starting early this year. I just need to give up on holidays, because they just keep getting taken away from me. Plus it's coming on winter, and here in the Pacific northwest it just gets fuckin' cold and dark and wet and it's, like, the most fuckin' depressing weather I have ever seen.

So it all just snowballed -- if that's even a word.

So, farmboy...

But wait! There's more!

So I go to the grocery store and they don't take my coupon...

This is after you bought the gift?

Yeah. So I'm already feeling like a fuckin' loser and I have to be careful about every single fuckin' cent I spend. Then that happens and I go in the parking lot and try to pull out and there's this fuckin' bitch behind me who's blasting her horn and doesn't give me room to pull out. So I pull out as much as I can and I get out of the car and tell her she needs to give me room, which of course sets her off.

See what I mean about nothing? This is all small, small shit. These are all minor inconveniences. I mean, really minor. But they all snowball, you know, it's like everything just escalates. It all adds together.

So I come home and get an email that a friend of mine has a brain tumor, which is not small shit. And so now there's guilt about feeling so bad, but that's nothing compared to the concern about my friend. Which is just so fuckin' unfair. My friend getting a brain tumor, that is.

This is also the weekend that I'm supposed to be in Los Angeles for my friend's birthday party.

The one you planned?

The very same.

Let me guess -- money?

Couldn't fuckin' afford it, Of course. Fuck.

I'm sorry about your friend, farmboy.

Oh, man, me too.

So don't worry. Except for my friend, it's nothing big, like I said. It just sucks, and it seems to be never ending. I feel bad about feeling bad. But at least there was some kind of relief, which there usually isn't. Except for my friend, those are silly things to cry about, and it's all just selfish self-pity. But it's good to have, for once, some kind of relief.

So there is something positive that came out of it.

Yeah. 'Cept now I feel like a fuckin' fool.

Do you have any of your anti-anxiety pills?


You might want to consider taking one, farmboy.

I might,

I do know I'm gonna smoke some weed. I'll eat something, I don't know what. Usually I eat something fun on Fridays, but I can't afford it. But that's little shit, too.

I'm gonna go smoke pot now. Thanks for listening, man. There are times I don't know what I'd do without you.

You're home and safe. You take care of yourself, farmboy.

I will. Thanks.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

the bankruptcy waltz

all these hands
reaching out for more money
more than I have
in this wallet of mine
you can ransack my home
but I'll tell you buddy
but there's just no more money
for anybody to find

not one single cent
not one penny is found
in my bank account
in my credit limit
there's no change in my pocket
for making a sound
if you're thinking about debt
man, I'm sinking in it

so let’s drink to those
with our best interests at heart
and hope for the courage
to make a new start
you can pour me a beer
and tell me some schmaltz
while we dance to
the bankruptcy waltz

dance one two three
whoops, there goes the savings
lost in an satchel
of financial distress
dance while the
economy's masturbating
where the dollars will come from
is anyone's guess

so raise a glass to the bankers
the economists, too
all those who drink
of political wine
but keep one eye open
whatever you do
'cause smiling faces
can sometimes tell lies

so let’s drink to those
with our best interests at heart
and hope for the courage
to make a new start
as we stumble on through
this financial assault
while we dance to
the bankruptcy waltz

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

When it's always there

I would like to walk on the straight and narrow
but sometimes I wobble
and often I fall

How's that for a song beginning? I mean, I hope it's good. Maybe it's not the beginning. I'll find out, I guess.

It gets more and more important to me, as I get older, to write songs that are great. Seriously. I feel so conceited saying that, but it's true. They have to strive for greatness.

Saying that, you know what I need?

What's that, farmboy? What do you need?

To start another song, so I can obsess about it. (laughs) I love being obsessed by a song that's in that process, you know?

Actually,, I don't know. What process is that?

The process of when it starts being the song you work on whether you plan to or not. You know, when it's always there. In your mind, you know, endless loop. You can't help working on it.

Maybe it's like love. That just sounds too fuckin' corny, but maybe it is.

And there's nothing wrong with that.

Ain't nothin' wrong, man. It's exactly where you should be.

Monday, November 15, 2010

everything gets taken away

everything gets taken away
it doesn't matter what wise words you say
time spins out of control
grains of sand
impossible to hold
the ending of a foreign film
fading to gray
everything gets taken away

hold me close
i need to feel you next to me
hold me close
and let me cry
i have tried
to do my best, you see
hold me close
don't say goodbye

everything gets taken away
it's an old time waltz
that will always be played
time escapes
without a sound
so far away
homeward bound
it's your final glimpse of glory
before the decay
everything gets taken away

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Real good at abdicating responsibility

What have you been thinking about lately, farmboy?

A lot of things, but mostly worrying about whatever.

Let me tell you about a couple of things. One has to do with songwriting, which is just that I can take lots of stuff this world throws at me, but here's the bottom line: I need to write songs that are fuckin' great -- that are great to me -- and I need to stop turning away from music. 'Cause that always leads to no good. It leads to bitterness and anger and hatred and self-pity.

Which brings me to thought number two.

Now I'm curious...

My co-pays on my health insurance have gone down, if you can believe it, to ten dollars a visit. Which means I can go see a counselor to help me shed this self-destructive and self-defeating skin. We can work not just on the reasons why and the fears and the lack of confidence, I think I can find a way to do this.

That's great, farmboy. So how are you going to do this? Do you have any goals?

Well, I'd like to make my entire living making music...

Which you can do. That's what you're working toward. But I think it would be good for you to have some short-term goals. What are your goals for this week. Even just one goal is enough.

Um...Okay. I will call the insurance company about getting started with this mental health stuff.

Good, farmboy.

And, look, here's a second one. I will take a demo CD and a resume to this venue that I'd like to play at.

Two goals -- very good. How can I help?

You can get mad at me if I don't do it.

No, no, that's not my department. You have to do that for yourself. You're a grown man who is responsible -- you do it.

Yeah, I figured you'd say that.

So why did you ask?

Doesn't hurt to try. I'm real good at abdicating responsibility.

You are, are you?

I'm really trying not to do that any more. It is important to me to be responsible, to be independent. Unfortunately, that collides with my laziness and depression.

But you're a good worker, farmboy. I've seen you work.

That's because I'm afraid of my own laziness. Seriously.

That might not be such a bad fear. At least not at this time.

At this time I need all the help I can get.

That's why I'm here.

You're gonna have a lot of fuckin' work, man, A lot of work.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Not much to talk about, or not much I want to talk about. It's just the same, more of the same. Worrying, stress, money, my existence on this planet. All of it. You know?

farmboy, have you been smoking marijuana?

Well, yeah. How can you tell, O Great Interviewer?

I just can. There's nothing wrong with it. Don't act so guilty.

It's just my fuckin' conditioning. Catholic upbringing, you know.

What's that you're listening to?

A recording of this great concert by Emmylou Harris and Ricky Skaggs in Santa Cruz, California. 1979.

Anyway, there's just not a whole lot to say tonight. I just wanted to say howdy.

Howdy yourself. Have a good night, farmboy.

You too, man.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

More free writing

nothing you can say
can make me feel better
'cause I don't want to feel better
I want to yell and hit and cuss
nothing you can do
is going to help me feel love
'cause I know any real love
can never be enough

hold me now
'cause I can't stand up any more
the wolf is waiting outside my door
and I'm letting it in


So last night was the first night in a long time -- like, two weeks or more -- that I slept without physical pain. And it was great, man, even though I woke up like four times. And I was aware each time that I was feeling good, that I was pain-free.

I'm glad to hear it, farmboy.

I'm real thankful, I tell you what. There's nothing that feels as good as the absence of pain after living in constant, chronic pain. Except maybe getting sleep after having to stay awake for too long,

And speaking of chronic pain, man, maybe this can be my entryway to the land of medical marijuana. About fuckin' time...

If it happens...

If it happens. Yeah, I better not depend too much on it happening. It's not good to take that stuff for granted.

Aren't you up pretty late?

It's only midnight.

What about work?

It's Veteran's Day, my good man. I've got the day off. Cool, eh?

What are you going to do?

I don't know. I don't have any money, so there's not much I can do. Maybe I'll go to a cheap matinee or something. Got any ideas?

Yeah. Get out of the house for a little while.

I think that's probably a good idea.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

This little brown Mexican kid

I'm trying to be calm. I'm trying not to panic. I'm doing deep breathing. Life has become hard. My stomach hurts sometimes, especially when I wake up during the night. But I think I may be depressed and I'm angry all the time and I don't like this one fuckin' bit. Pisses me off.

But I have to remain calm. I'm just not feeling physically well, or mentally well for that matter. But I'm generally okay, I'm just depressed. And it's only November 9, but it feels like we're in that deep winter weather. And maybe that's adding to things, I don't know.

You're being quiet...

Have you seen a doctor, farmboy?

I have an appointment for next week.


This will pass, right?

Right. It will.

You know what I wish?

What do you wish?

I wish I was a child, you know, this little brown Mexican kid. And my mother would be alive and my father would be alive, and I would like winter because of Christmas and, and...


Yes sir?

Don't call me sir. Please.

Okay. Sorry.

Don't worry about it. I just don't like being called "sir."

farmboy, are you going to be okay tonight?

Yes. I will. I just need to be calm. I can't let the, the...thoughts overtake me. I really...

Need to be calm?

Yeah. And I will.

Call me if you need me.

I will. Thanks.

Let me ask you one more time: Are you okay?

Yes. I'm home. Don't worry about me. I'm all right.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Start over clean

Oh, man, I'm feeling so fuckin' vulnerable lately. And my stomach hurts all the time. And...everything is so stressful. I feel like taking one of my anti-anxiety meds.


Yeah. I, like, never take them. Or hardly ever.

I think you should take one, farmboy.

Okay. (takes pill)

I don't feel anything.

Of course not. You just took it!

I know. I'm just playing with you.

I need to go to work tomorrow, I have to sleep, and I have to feel better. I'm just tense. So maybe it's a good thing I took the Clonazepam. I need to relax, I need to...start over, you know? Start over clean.

Well, hopefully that'll happen, farmboy.

Man, that would be so great.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


a miracle of science
or a miracle of god
who deserves the credit
and the blame
all the figures
all the facts
all those mental midnight snacks
it's a miracle all the same

Friday, November 5, 2010

I'm not finished beating myself up yet

Been a bad day and I don't come across good in it. I don't want to go into the sleazy, slimy details, but I lost my temper at some people and I yelled and I cursed and something took hold of me and I'm not proud of myself. And now I have to go perform and what do I do?

Go perform. Do a good job. Forgive yourself and move on.

Move on?

Move on. Go ahead, try it.

But...but I'm not finished beating myself up yet.

I don't care. Move on anyway.


But what, farmboy? You're sorry, and I know there's nothing else you can do about it. You've learned what you were supposed to learn. Move on...


Try it. You know that you obsess over anything where you come out as the loser. Just say, yeah, yeah and move on.

Okay. I'll give it a try.


But it's gonna be hard. Fuckin' hard, man.

I know, farmboy. But I want you to try. I really think it'll be good for you.

Al right.

Here you go!

Here I go...