Friday, December 31, 2010

Ain't much of a drinkin' man

Hey farmboy? Answer me this: Should old acquaintance be forgot?

How the fuck should I know? And, for the record, it's auld.

So it's a little over two hours and change. What's up for New Year's Eve?

Oh, nothing, really. The nice thing about this time of year is that you get all those year-end music radio shows and lists and podcasts and you get to hear what some people think is the best music of the year.

Hey, wait. Excuse me.

(farmboy goes to cupboard, pulls out a small bottle of Kentucky bourbon.)

What's that, farmboy?

Whiskey. From Kentucky. Old Crow.

Isn't that a band?

That's Old Crow Medicine Show. They're a great band.

Anyway, I'm not much of a drinker... (passes a glass to the interviewer, who declines the offer.)

You go ahead, farmboy.

I ain't much of a drinkin' man...but what the's a fuckin' new year!

2011, here we come!

(farmboy opens the bottle and takes a swig.)

Man, that' do people drink this shit?

(the interviewer laughs)

Practice, farmboy, practice.

Maybe I'll just stick with weed.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's actually good for me

Year's almost over.

Tell me about it. So's my winter break.

At least you had a winter break.

Oh, I'm not complaining, believe me. I am fuckin' thankful for every moment of freedom, you know? Plus, I've gotten to rest a lot during this break, even though I had a hard time doing that.

What do you mean, farmboy?

Oh, it's just that pressure I put on myself that I should be doing something. And I have. It's just kind of dangerous for me to have marijuana and a good deal of time off. I mean, I looove marijuana...

I know.

You mean you've noticed? Smart ass.

Anyway, I love it, but it's not really a replacement for real life, you know what I mean? I did, however, go see a friend today and that was fuckin' great. We played guitar and talked music. So that was cool. I've done other things, seen other friends, saw my brother and his family, took my niece to the movies...

What movie?

Um...I think it's called Tangled. It's about Rapunzel and that whole thing. Better than I expected, that's for sure. Disney threw a bunch of money at it and it shows. It is pretty spectacular. My niece liked it. And she likes the ice cream afterwards, too. She wants me to do the movie thing with her again. And, of course, I enjoy it.

So, anyway, the break's ending, but that's okay. It's life. And it's actually good for me, but don't tell me that on Monday.

Until then you have a three day weekend, farmboy.

I am so thankful.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

You know that, man

So I've only got a few days left of winter break left, man. I've just been laying back, you know, not doing much. Trying to formulate a plan for life after school begins.

Hey, man, I gotta tell you that I can't fuckin' believe that we've been talking for over a fuckin' year now.

Yeah, pretty amazing, eh, farmboy?

You have been so fuckin' great to me, man. Thank you.

Ah, I remember you as a little farmboy a year ago...

(laughs) Hey, cut that out!

It took a while for you to trust me, remember?

I don't fuckin' trust nobody. You know that, man.

I know. You have reasons.

Well, I'm not so sure about that.

Anyway, farmboy, here's to more years as friends!


starless sky (free writing)

I see your face in the starless sky
I hear your voice in the wind
I try to breathe life into your memory
but you won't let me in
and why do I even try
to beg of forgiveness for sins
it's a gamble i can't win
still I play
again and again

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Clip Show

Okay, it's fuckin' time, all right? What did you need to tell me, man?

How are you farmboy?

I'm fuckin' anxious, okay? Tell me stuff.

I keep track of these things, farmboy. I'm a little OCD at these things.

What the fuck are you talking about?

Oh, just that today is our 250th time together.

Really? Oh man, that's a lot of time. I've never spent that much time with anybody. 250...are you sure?

Positive. And get this...


We've now been friends for over a year.

No shit?

No shit.

Man! If we were a TV situation comedy, we'd have a clip show!

Hosted by...

Um...Charles Nelson Reilly? Is he still alive?

If we can bring back the deceased, I would choose Mitch Hedberg.

Oh, yeah, man. That would be the fuckin' coolest!

I'm glad I know you, farmboy.

Same here, man.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Will do, you too

Oh, man, it's Christmas and I'm at my brother's house. It's been pretty busy so I thought I'd call you while I still have the chance.

Merry Christmas, farmboy! How's it going?

Good. Very nice. My niece woke me up this morning and we're gonna have Christmas dinner in a little while. We had tamales this morning. That's the tradition in our family.

No sign of depression?

It's going pretty good this year, which I am extremely happy about. You know, depression during the holidays seems to have no predictability for me. I'm just super fuckin' glad I'm not dealing with it this year.

Enough about me, though. How are you doin', man? Are you with family? If not, you can come over and join us.

Thanks, farmboy. I am with family, though, and this Christmas has been wonderful. I am so glad it's going good for you.

Hey, farmboy, if you get the chance would you get in touch with me tomorrow? I've got something to talk to you about. this bad news? Can't you tell me now?

It's not bad news at all. It's good, in fact, but I'd really like to wait till tomorrow. Don't worry about anything, farmboy. I just want to have the time so we can talk. But please don't worry. I know you worry.

As long as it's not bad news...

It's not.

I should get off the phone. We've got company here and supper will be ready any minute now.

Well, farmboy, you continue to have a merry Christmas.

Will do, you too. Talk to you tomorrow. Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

same old same old stuff (free writing)

I been not sleeping
I been worrying about you-name-it
either nothing's worth keeping
or I'm not around to claim it
all those far-fetched schemes
all those worn and weathered dreams
all the well-oiled machines
of my imagination
I see none of those now
no, they are not allowed
there's just this questioning how
did I get in this situation

I been not thinking
I been pretending all night
eyes involuntarily blinking
something just ain't right
all my usual solutions
taught at the leading institutions
ways to lead out from confusion
they're failing me these days
I'm acting out in self defense
I'm living in the present tense
my hard-earned common sense
is worthy of your praise

you really should be amazed

but it's not enough
it's not enough
it's just a never ending circle
of the same old same old stuff
it's not enough
it's not enough
but it will somehow have to do

I been asking
I been wandering alone
I been multi-tasking
the whole way home
all my cautious indecisions
all my deafening opinions
multiplying by the millions
they don't do me any good
every minute
every hour
every second
to the second power
I need to know how, sir
I mean, I would if I could

but it's not enough
it's not enough
it's just a never ending circle
of the same old same old stuff
it's not enough
it's not enough
but it will somehow have to do
it will somehow have to do

you really should be amazed

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Favorite albums of 2010

It's time, farmboy.

Time? Time for what?

It's time for you to list your favorite albums of 2010.

My favorites? That's gonna be interesting, man. I can't afford to buy no fuckin' albums any more. I don't know if I've even heard ten albums this year.

Well, do five, then.

Okay, then. The big number one is High Violet by the National, which may be the only CD that I really surrendered to.

Number two? I guess that would be This is Happening by LCD Soundsystem. 'Cause James Murphy is always fascinating. And funny.

Three: Ali and Toumani by Ali Farke Toure and Toumani Diabate, from North Africa, Mali.

And then number four would be, um...

I told you I haven't heard much. I've been more concerned about my own music, my songwriting, this year.

So is this quits, then?

No, no, there's got to be...Okay, number four is The Suburbs by Arcade Fire. Which means number five has got to be The Age of Adz by Sufjan Stevens.

But, man, I'm leaving so much out, not to mention all the music I haven't heard this year. I haven't heard Mavis Staples' new album. and I love Mavis Staples. There's groups like the Local Natives and Surfer Blood and Freelance Whales that I love but I haven't heard their CDs. I haven't heard the new one by Kanye West, and that's supposed to be great.

I think it's great that you've been working on your music so much this year.

Thanks. I think so too. I also think it's pretty good when too much quality music is a problem, you know?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The poster child of introversion


Hey yourself. What are you doing here?

Oh, sor-ry!

That's not what I mean. I thought you were going to a party tonight. Did I get the date wrong?

No, I just was feeling really burnt-out,, so I stayed home. I stayed home and made soup with turkey sausage and lots of vegetables. I put hominy in it. I'm not sure I've ever put hominy in a soup before. It was good. I put too much salt in it, though.

You just didn't feel like going, farmboy?

Oh, man, I don't know...I think I wanted...I day to myself.

And that's okay.

Yeah, I know. I just feel guilty about not going, but, you know, I feel guilty about pretty much fuckin' everything. But, yeah, I know it's okay. I just don't feel social and I was social last night. I get exhausted if I'm too social.

That's because you're an introvert, farmboy. Introverts lose energy from being social; extroverts gain energy from it.

Yeah, then, I am introverted.

And that's...


You got it, farmboy.

I'm the poster child of introversion. Is that a word?

I think so.

Then that's what I am.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I don't feel worthy sometimes

Winter break is here!

Yeah! So I've smoked weed for much of the day and then I went to play at the CD release for the compilation I'm on. Tomorrow's a birthday party for a friend of mine, and then the week after Christmas I'm gonna see a few friends. So cool, so fuckin' great.

So, I really did just come by to check in, to see how you are.

I'm good, farmboy. I love this time of year.

Me too. I like the lights, all the colors. I like playing instrumental Christmas songs on guitar. I like to see kids, my niece, my students.

So life is good.

So keep it up. Even though...I'm detecting a little sadness.

Um...I'm okay. I'm a little confused because I was given some money for a gig that I thought I had been paid for, so I don't know if it's extra or what or if I've forgotten something or what, but they really wanted to give it to me. I can use it, for buying Christmas presents for my brother and his wife and daughter.

Anyway...I'm good. I really am.


Oh, I get a can I put this? I go to the coffeehouse and I see all these people and they all say nice things about me and to me and I don't feel worthy sometimes.

(dryly) What a surprise.

Oh, man, I know. But I also know not to make a big deal out of it. I know not to give it anymore attention than what it deserves.

So you move on.

Yeah. And I'm going to.


Hey, I've learned at least a couple things about myself. Gotta move on, that's what I'm gonna do.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Two weeks off!

Tomorrow's the day, man. The day that I wait for like I'm an eight-year-old: Getting out for winter break. I love this about working in public education. You get these days that are so fuckin' dramatic in a way. I love this. And tomorrow is that day.

It'll be good for you to get a break. Planning anything fun?

Playing this Saturday at a CD release concert. The coffeehouse is putting out its first compilation CD and I'm on it.

Wow! Congratulations, farmboy.

Thanks. I'm all happy about it. I've got other friends playing, too.

Sunday I go to a birthday party for a friend, a music friend. And I'm gonna see some other folks during the break, mostly music folks and my brother and his family.

Sounds good...

And I get to hang out some with you, too. Two weeks off! Man, this is going to be great! I can go to bed late and sleep late and stuff like that.

Talk with you tomorrow, farmboy?

You betcha, man.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The point is to just write

So, farmboy, tell me about these lyrics you write, the ones you've let me see.

You know, I've been letting you see stuff that I haven't rewritten at all, only first drafts. Some go on to become actual songs with arrangements and stuff. I showed you one a while back called "Snow" that became a song. So did "Imperfect Prayer." But those are only two. I know some of it...maybe even most of it...has not been any good, but that's not the point. The point is to just write.

Hey, why do you ask?

I was just thinking about one of the last set of lyrics you showed me, the lullaby song...

Yeah, that's called "Day is Over."

I was thinking that it would make a very nice song.

I'm working on that one, actually. I worked on it today. I'm glad you like it.

And, hey, thanks also for looking at my stuff. You're the only one I show it to, you know.

I know. And I'm pleased that you trust me enough to show me what you're writing while you're in the process.

And...I really like your writing. A lot.

Ah, thanks, man, that means the fuckin' world to me.

It's true, farmboy.

Oh, I'm not questioning anything, man.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Long time coming

Man, I can't fuckin' wait for Friday to come. I live for days like that. That's one of the main perks in having a job in education: you get those breaks. You get a winter break, a spring break,, and the summer, which is amazing.

But, man, it just feels like time is standing still. Hey, I'm gonna change the subject here...

Go ahead, farmboy.

Thanks. I took yesterday off and did a bunch of work on my apartment. I bought groceries and I made a stew that has a whole lot of vegetables. But the main thing, at least as far as I'm concerned, is that I cleaned and threw away things and just did a whole lot of fuckin' work. Man, in a lot of ways I'm just trying, little by little, to live like a normal human in a first world country. I want to have that kind of respect for myself. I really do.

I'm really proud of you, farmboy.

For what?

For working on having respect for yourself. It's been a long time coming.

You can say that again.

It's been a long time coming.

(laughs) Asshole. Excuse me: fuckin' asshole.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

bookcase from ikea

you analyze me
like I'm just a bad idea
you build me up and break me down
like I'm a bookcase from ikea

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Perks of being obsessed

I want to write a song. I have a song I rote a week ago...I mean, basically, lyrics...

Did you show me that one? Was that the lullaby?

Yeah. You remembered!

Why does that surprise you, farmboy?

'Cause, basically, I expect to go through my whole life invisible and unnoticed.

That's not true. You've won awards, you've made albums, you've performed -- what? Hundreds of times? Over a thousand?

I have no idea.

How many songs have you written, farmboy?

I don't fuckin' know. (irritated) C'mon, give me a fuckin' break!

Have you finished the Malcolm Gladwell book yet?

I'm close. I've got, like, forty or so pages to go.

Sound familiar? You, my talented friend, are an outlier.

(grudgingly) Yeah, I guess I am. That's one of the perks of being obsessed all your life.

And how does that make you feel?

It actually gave me some confidence, you know, a little hope. Like I haven't wasted my life, maybe.

You could use a little confidence, farmboy.

I could use a little hope, too. I ain't complaining about this Outliers thing. I'll take all the fuckin' encouragement I can get, I tell you what.

I'm glad you read the book, farmboy. Did you like it?

Yeah, this Gladwell dude is a good writer. He's, like, effortless to read. Thanks for recommending it, man.

You're welcome, farmboy.

Yeah, thanks. I'm glad you assigned it.

Homework is good to have sometimes.

Yeah, but don't press your fuckin' luck, pal.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Changing the channel

I'm tired. I'm sorry.

Why are you sorry, farmboy?

Because I ain't no fuckin' good, man.

farmboy, what's going on?

I'm just tired and depressed. I'm sad. And now I seem to be obsessed with these depressed feelings, and I can't get my mind off them. It's really a fuckin' drag. Why can't I stop thinking, thinking?

Action, farmboy. That's how you can change it.

I know. But I'm really super tired, too.

So go to bed. Get something involving to listen to, a podcast or something.

I tried that, but I think I'm gonna try again.

Have you eaten anything?

Yeah. That's another reason for going to bed, 'cause I ate enough and I could easily eat a whole lot more. Like a whole pizza. 'Cept I don't have a pizza.

That's probably a good thing.

I think so.

Go to bed, farmboy. Just for a little bit. Think of it as changing the channel, emotionally speaking.

Okay, Wish me luck.

Good luck, farmboy. And good night.

Good night.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wade in the chatter

How're you doing, farmboy?

You know, I'm okay. I'm kinda just roaming through this life,trying to wade in the chatter, you know, the thought in my head. Pisses me off. man. It ain't no fuckin' good. I've had this shit since I was a little kid, you know. When I try to do something good, like praying, or when I should be having good thoughts, the bad thoughts just come on in, take off their shoes, and make themselves comfortable. Just your, you know, obsessive-compulsive behavior.

Whoa, farmboy. How do you handle this?

I try to ignore it or not get it started. It's like a fuckin' race sometimes, but it doesn't interfere nearly as much as it used to.

Sounds terrible.

It is, man. It's demeaning. It's dehumanizing. It pisses me off big time, I tell you what.

But I've made progress, like, in the past year or six months or whatever. But, believe me, it takes practice.


I wouldn't congratulate me so soon. It's a many-times-a-day struggle. And I struggle sometimes, believe me.

Jesus, this is beginning to sound like Alcoholics Anonymous or something, and this is nothing like that at all.

But, yeah, anyway. I'm just flyin' low through the static, man.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fine. You?

Oh, man, I almost forgot to check in!

I didn't mean to stress you when I asked you to check in. I didn't want to pressure you in any way.

I didn't take it that way, man. I mean, I like checking in, you know? It just fuckin' escaped my mind, that's all.

So how are you?

Fine. You?

I'm fine too.

Good. Hey, it's late...

Good night, farmboy.

Good night. man. Hey?


I'm gonna check in tomorrow. But don't wait up, okay?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Maybe it'll even snow

Man, I tell you. I tell you what, there's two weeks to go before the winter break, and I just can't fuckin' wait. I am, like, emotionally salivating for the break.

You're worse than the students, farmboy.

Fuckin' yeah. Man, I just want two weeks without having to meet deadlines, you know? I mean, it'll be cold and maybe it'll even snow for two weeks of freedom, fuck, man.

So I just gotta make it through, right?

Right. And you can do that.

I'm going to have to.

Anyway, just wanted to check in. It's Monday night and I'm tired and I ain't no fuckin' good on Monday nights anyway.

Well, have a good night, farmboy. Check in tomorrow, if you can.

Will do, man.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

day is over (a lullaby)

day is over
time for sleep
rest your tired mind
may all your dreams
be yours to keep
until the end of time
the moon is shining through the trees
reflecting off the branches
like snowflakes carried by the breeze
look at how it dances

day is over
time for rest
close your weary eyes
you have done
your level best
god knows how hard you try
the northern star will guide the way
and worrying will cease
tomorrow is a brand new day
tonight is time for peace

day is over
crickets sing
sunlight's work is through
you are part
of everything
remember i love you
remember i love you

Friday, December 3, 2010


I did some work on cleaning up my apartment today. Man, what a fuckin' mess! It's like my father said: farmboy, you live in a pigsty. I can't believe I respect myself so little as to live some place that is the very definition of the word squalor. I mean, what the fuck is wrong with me? Huh? I'm so fuckin' pathetic! I don't see how...


Yes, sir!

Cut that shit out. Stop it.

It's hard.

I know. But you can do it.

Let me remind you of what you first said to me.


"I did some work on cleaning up my apartment today."

In other words, farmboy, you took action. I'd like to see you giving yourself even just a little credit sometimes.

Are you reading that Malcolm Gladwell book yet?

I'm, like, a little more than halfway through.

What do you think?

It's really interesting. We'll have to discuss it when I'm finished. Which will be soon, it's pretty fast reading, this Outliers.

How about your apartment?

I've got too get this place clean. I mean, it's fuckin' ridiculous that I could even think of living in such a...


Okay, okay...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Drugs, on the other hand...

Damn. I've been tired all night long, and now because it's time to go to bed I'm not tired at all. And I have to get up in the morning to go to work and now I'm gonna get all anxious and, shit, this is no fuckin' good.

What if you just go to bed. If you can't fall asleep you can get up. I don't know if you force sleep.''

Yeah, I know. That never works, Now drugs, on the other hand...

Are you joking, farmboy?

Oh, I'm just talking about, you know, clonazepam, stuff like that. Weed helps in that it can be entertaining. (laughs) You know, when you just think but it's good thinking.

I house sat for a friend of mine this past summer and I got stoned and just sat in the dark next to his dog. So I was just petting the dog and thinking, thinking. I love weed. But you know that.

Hey! I've calmed down! I'm no longer anxious!

Great, farmboy! Now go to bed while the going is good.

I'm going to.

Good night, farmboy.

You too, man.