Saturday, April 30, 2011

Can't feel the guitar strings

Hey! Where are you at, farmboy?

I'm at my brother's house. He and his wife are putting their daughter to bed.

That's the niece you speak about...

Oh, yeah, that's her. Four years old. She so smart and so cute, and I'm her Uncle farmboy.

Anyway, I just wanted to call and check in. I won't be getting home until late, so I just thought I'd give you a call.

And I'm glad you did. How was the gig last night.

It was good, but I had problems with my hands. I'm not sure what I'm gonna do about that. Maybe get some acupuncture. That's what worked before when it got real bad.

How bad did it get, farmboy?

It got pretty fuckin' bad, man. As I remember it, I played six songs in four months.

That's it?

Yeah. And nothing I tried helped much, except maybe the braces I wear on my wrists at night. But acupuncture had an immediate effect. The only concern I have now is affording it. Plus summer is coming and that's always rough. But it's there, you know? If I can afford it...well, I mainly need to do some research about this acupuncture here. I've never had acupuncture here in the Pacific Northwest. Maybe there's a school where I can get reduced rates.

It's worth checking out. This Carpal Tunnel Syndrome seems like a pretty serious deal.

Especially if you play stringed instruments. It's pretty fuckin' miserable sometimes when you're onstage and you can't feel the guitar strings. Man, I hate that. Pisses me off.

So anyway, they're finished putting the Munchkin to bed, so I'm gonna go out and watch TV with them or talk or something.

Have a good time, farmboy.

You too, man. Good night.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Major dose of adrenaline

I'm performing tonight!

Where at, farmboy?

At the coffeehouse -- they had a cancellation and I was asked to play. I don't know what I'm gonna play. I always go through this. I get all stressed out and my confidence gets...well, shaky. It's not that I don't have any confidence, I just get this idea that I need to please everybody, and that's just not possible.

Do you get stage fright?

Yeah, I do. Pisses me off. I also get this major dose of adrenaline and my mind is just going and going and I find it hard to relax. Plus I'm feeling all anxious and that makes my fuckin' carpel tunnel worse and I doubt my tuning and my memory. I'm a fuckin' mess.

So what should I play?

Pick your favorites, farmboy.

That'll be interesting. Let me work on that.

I better hurry.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

If I had a dog

I tell you man, I just do not have anything right now to write about. My imagination...well, I just haven't...I just want to write a fuckin' song, you know?

What if you stop thinking about it so much, farmboy...

Oh, man, I know and I completely agree. I'm too fuckin' conscious to write a good song. Pisses me off.

Think about other things. What's something you're interested in?

Um...I'm fascinated by wild animals. I'm fascinated by dogs. I love dogs.

I know you do.

Man, if I had a dog my life would be so much better. But, you know, I live in an apartment and I work all fuckin' day and I doubt that I can really afford a dog. But it's something to work on.

You'd feel less lonely, farmboy.

Yeah, I know. It really is something I definitely want in the future.

Listen,, man, I'm gonna go to bed. I'm just now realizing how tired I am.

Get a good night's rest, farmboy.

You too, man. I'm gonna continue thinking about dogs. Maybe I'll dream about dogs. Couldn't hurt.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Blessedly uneventful

I didn't hear from you today and I took that as a good sign.

Yeah, man, it was an okay day. Nothing great, nothing super awful.

That's a good day.

That's a blessedly uneventful day. Which is just fuckin' all right with me.

Yes, sometimes that's the best you can hope for.

I can't let myself take it for granted, you know, when these nothing days happen. You can fill them up with lots of stuff. A friend of mine once said that a smart person is never bored.

I'll remind you of that, farmboy.

You have my permission to do just that. I can't take nothin' for granted, man.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

At orange alert

Damn, man, I got some weird shit going on here. You know, I've been depressed and, anyway, I've called in sick the past two days. I mean, don't worry, tomorrow I'm going. But, man, all this stuff. I gotta get de-stressed. It'll all taking its fuckin' toll.

Tell me more, farmboy.

I'm smoking weed way too much. I'm still exercising, still trying to make good choices, nutritionally speaking. I've been feeling defeated lately, like a drug.

Damn. I gotta get back up, man.

And you will. And you are.

Yeah, you know, I don't want to get all dramatic about it. Life has enough drama that it never has to be added.

Basically, 'cause, yeah, I will get back up. I really need, though, to cut out as much stress as possible. Including all the stressful stuff I make up for myself. Fuck man.(shakes head) You know, it will change and that's good. I need to believe in myself more.

Well, there you go, farmboy. I'm glad you realize that.

Thanks. It's true, man.

I'm a little worried about you...

Don't worry, I'm okay, I'm all right. I've just been kinda down and sad and lonely and especially isolated. Which I can get myself out of, and will get myself out of, when I drag my sorry Mexican ass to work tomorrow. Not that being Mexican has anything to do with it...

Or sorry, for that matter.

Yeah. Or sorry. It's all cool, man. No need for concern here.

You sure?

Let me tell you this, pal. If there is any kind of problem I can't handle, I'll will be calling on you pronto. I'm being serious, man. I'm scared...

I thought so.

You know me.

I just want you to know, man, that my inner emotional warnings are now at orange alert and I am aware of...I don't know...

Then you're not aware.

Maybe aware isn't the right word. Or maybe it is. I'm aware that there's a possibility of me losing my shit and so I need to know when to leave, when to be quiet. And I know it's me that is the source of this anxiety.

So I will get to you first chance I get if I need your help.


(The interviewer turns to leave, then turns back around)

Hey farmboy?


You'll do okay.

Piece of cake, man.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Some good quality reality

Been depressed, man. Been scary depressed. Fuckin' mental illness, man. Fuck.

Why do you always refer to negative factors in your life as mental illness, farmboy?

Are you serious, man?

I'm just curious about the answer.

Fine. I'm under medication -- two different types -- for depression. One pill for anxiety. I've spent many years seeing therapists and tried many antidepressants. On top of all that I self-medicate with marijuana and food.

And all that is just for starters and I really don't want to give it any more attention today than it's already got.

That's wise.

I hope so. Let's talk about something else, okay?

Fine with me.

Hey, I went to my songwriting group tonight. I didn't have a new song but, fuck, it was good to see music friends, you know. I'm so glad that I went. I've just become super aware that I isolate myself way, way too much. Also, I'm smoking too much weed. I gotta make some changes, man.

You know, I am very proud of you, farmboy.

Where the fuck did that come from?

I just thought you should know.

I appreciate it. I really do, man. I'm being serious.

You know, I was so fuckin' depressed earlier. I laud in, lay or lie? I always get that stuff mixed up...

Go on. You were depressed...

Yeah. I just stayed in bed and listened to podcasts and fantasized about a woman being compassionate and smoothing my hair and giving me a kiss and then I fall asleep and I feel...I'm not loved? I just don't fuckin' know anymore, man.

Sounds like you needed a little affection, farmboy.

Man, I'm just like a puppy sometimes. I just want affection, attention, that kind of stuff.

Humans want that stuff, too.

Yeah, I know. The fantasizing did make me feel a little better. I hope I have good dreams tonight.

You know, it's okay to fantasize, farmboy.

Yeah. But, man, I would love to not have to rely on my imagination so much. I would like some good quality reality to come my way.

Maybe it is and you're not accepting it.

Isolating myself. Mental illness. These are all factors.

But I also know you're right, and that's what makes life so frustrating.

I bet.

It's really horrible. And sad. Real sad, man.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

will you remember me

when my troubles and trials are past
and the evening sun is sinking fast
when my grave says "Home at Last"
will you remember me

if you could keep only one thing
from your memory of me
please let it be my love for you
if you will remember me

All hail John Prine!

So I've made a decision.

(teasing) About time.

Fuck off, asshole.

Ooh! I'm scared!

Yeah? Well,

(laughs) What's your announcement, farmboy?

I'm taking the day off!

Good for you!

It's been a rough week and I have to go out tomorrow night and, I don't know, I just want one day to do whatever I fuckin' want. Which is smoke pot and drink beer and play guitar and surf the internet and, you know, jerk off and stuff. I figure I can tell you that.

It's a natural function. I've heard "Donald and Lydia."

John Prine! All hail John Prine! He's just the fuckin' best, man, ain't no one better.

You're changing the subject. farmboy.

Well, duh. You're talking about John Prine.

So I know the amount of stress you've been under and I think it's good that you took the day off. You deserve it. Now get some rest and take it easy on the buttermilk donuts.

You know, I'll have you know that I smoked some weed just so I wouldn't jump in my truck and drive to the evil supermarket where evil food waits for me.

Good choice.

Yeah, I'm sure I'll regret it in a few hours.

Friday, April 22, 2011

on forgiveness

I don't know what you want from me
I don't know where to turn
I don't know any purpose
for these lessons I have learned
all I know is guilt
is the weight I carry
even though all my sins
are imaginary

forgive me father
for I have been a witness
turning my own back
on forgiveness
forgive me father
let's get back to business
i have turned my back
on forgiveness

it's a long hard road to freedom
when you're in shackles and chains
in the end the love you make
is all that will remain

I don't know where to go with this, but maybe if I let, you know...steep for a while, maybe I'll find a use for it. Or parts of it. Hell, I don't even know what it fuckin' means.

I like the first verse a lot, farmboy.

I do too. 'Course, it's also pretty fuckin' accurate.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Yeah, a-fuckin'-mazing. man

This fuckin' week, man, what a fuckin' week it's been. So I got to remember that tomorrow is Friday, praise the Lord. Seriously and literally.

How are you going to celebrate, farmboy?

You know, get high, buy something fun to eat, maybe watch Breaking Bad, which I checked out of the library. Play guitar, listen to music, stay up late...

Go out?

I doubt it. I'm going to see my brother and his family Saturday and then I'm meeting with my songwriter group Sunday night.

I'm hoping I can write a song for my songwriter group before Sunday. Man, it's been so fuckin' long. I feel so, I don't know, so...empty when I have a hard time writing.

And yet it always comes back.

Yeah, a-fuckin'-mazing. man. That's the funny thing about it. It always comes back, you're right. That's why I hate romanticizing this shit, you know, the fuckin' writer's block shit. The less attention paid to that, the better.

You sound angry, farmboy.

Oh, I'm pissed. (laughs) But I'm okay. I just want to write songs, that's all. I'm just fuckin' horny for songwriting, man.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Someone on my side

I feel defeated and tired and there's two more fuckin' days at work until the weekend, which I am looking forward to like you would not believe.

You'll make it, farmboy. Just hang in there.

Oh, yeah, I know. (sighs) I just need for these next couple days to pass quickly.

Anyway, man, I just thought I'd stop by so I could hear a friendly, supportive voice. Sometimes I just need someone on my side, you know?

I can do that, farmboy.

I figured you would.

So just tell me that I'm okay and not worthless and not stupid. I feel so fuckin' trapped by everything and everybody, by money and politics and people with their stupid-ass judgements. The sad part is that a good amount of that shit in my life is wholly imaginative. It's just me projecting my own feelings on others.

I may be hopeless. I may be a desperate man.

Do me a favor, man. Tell me I'm okay. Tell me you like me.

farmboy, c'mon. You know you're more than okay. It's just some kind of thinking that you go through. You know you're a smart guy. And lots of people like you, myself included. And farmboy, you know, as your friend I love you.

Ah, thanks, man. I feel the same, you know. I mean...I love you too. As a friend.

(Both farmboy and the interviewer fall silent for a minute)

Uh...boy, I gotta get going, man.

Yeah, I need to get a good night's sleep. Good night, farmboy.

'Night, man.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

It's like you're holding my place

Oh man, I just don't feel good emotionally and I just can't let it go. I got into a little trouble at work -- nothing major -- but I can't let go of stuff. I have to think about it and obsess about it and you know I'll never win and winning's not even important here but I always do this. I mean, it's fuckin' over. Time to let it go. But I can't, man. Pisses me off.

I bet. I also know you don't like talking about work, so I won't ask you anything about it, farmboy.

Thanks. 'Cause it's really pretty unimportant.

What's important is music.

Yeah, but right now I feel defeated. And it's like I don't have the self-esteem for music.

Really? That's awful. Plus, one thing has nothing to do with the other.

I know.

So just let it go.

I can't.

You will.

I know. It just won't happen on demand.

That's tough. So be good to yourself tonight. And remember, summer is coming. And you're going to make a new CD and you'll have new songs and life will be good.

I have a hard time believing that right now.

It's true. Just give it time.

Oh, I will. I don't want to give this any more attention than it's already received.

So just go on living and doing and planning and working and practicing. You're on the right path, farmboy. It's all going to be fine.

I know, but I'm too busy hating on myself.

So be good to yourself tonight. You'll be fine.

I hope so.

You will.

You know, I really appreciate that you believe in me at those times when I can't believe in myself. It's like you're holding my place or something.

That's exactly what I'm doing, farmboy. I'm holding your place until you get there.

Thanks, man.

You're welcome. It's my pleasure.

I'm glad you're here. You're one of the good guys, man.

Monday, April 18, 2011

11:30 in the p.m.

Hey, how're you doing, farmboy?

I'm groggy. I just woke up, man, and it's, like, fuckin' 11:30 in the p.m. I just laid down to listen to a Fresh Air podcast and of course I end up falling asleep. But that's okay.

How 'bout you,man? How you doin'?

I'm good, farmboy. Thanks for asking.

(long pause)

What do we talk about now?

Anything on your mind?

Nuthin', man. I'm just not quite awake yet.

Just checking in?

Just checkin' in.

I'm glad. Thanks.

Any time.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

My first-class world problem

I don't feel so good, man.

What's wrong, farmboy?

I ate too much but didn't realize it till it was too late. So I just drank this, like, generic version of Alka-Seltzer. You know that stuff?

Of course.

I love that stuff. That's why I like mineral water. It tastes like Alka-Seltzer to me.

So anyway, I haven't been so stuffed in a long time. And it's that seriously uncomfortable stuffed feeling. I mean, it'll go away, I know, but I fuckin' hate it.

So there's my first-class world problem today.

What else did you do today, farmboy?'s Saturday. What did I do? Do I have to be honest? Okay, I fuckin' looked at porn on the internet and I jerked off. Then I listened to podcasts until I fell asleep. So I took a nap. Then I bought some groceries and then I went over to my brother's house where I did my laundry and ate too much homemade pasta.

How was it?

Fuckin' delicious, man. If I had to overeat I'm glad it was that. My sister-in-law made it. She's really a great cook.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Talk, that is

I've missed you, man. Life's gotten a little out of hand. Ain't nothing major, just fuckin' life, you know? But I wanted to talk with you, and now I'm glad we can. Talk, that is.

Everything okay, farmboy?

Yeah, it really is. Just everyday stuff that needs attending to once in a while. And now we can move on. Right?

Whatever you want, farmboy. Seriously.

But what if I want to move on? I feel guilty not going into details about why I haven't been able to talk with you for a couple of days.


I don't know. I mean, I honestly don't know why.

So change the subject.

Okay, then.

There's this Panda Bear dude from Animal Collective and he, like, put out one of my two favorite albums of the last ten years. I love this guy, man. He sings like a fuckin' young Brian Wilson and he has all this musical imagination that I can't even conceive of. He's amazing, man. Anyway, he's got a new album out and I want to get stoned and listen to it through headphones.

So let me ask you a question, farmboy.

Sure. What?

What was the other favorite album of the last ten years?

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot by Wilco. But we'll talk more about that some other time.

Here's another question, farmboy. What did it feel like to go on to the next topic?

Uh...I'm, like, really resistant at first and then I get into whatever I'm into and I don't give the other thing hardly a thought.

The mind, you know, is an amazing and mysterious thing.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Fight the good fight, you know?

So. Listen, man, I wanted to say thanks for the last time we talked. You remember, we talked about movement and fear and stuff like that.

Being healthy. I remember.

So I didn't even know how strongly I felt about these things and I felt good, man, I felt fuckin' hopeful. And, i tell you...remember that trip to California a couple weeks ago?

I remember, farmboy.

Well, I was fuckin' miserable the whole time. I was afraid of everything. I spent the entire trip this way.

Even when you were with family?

Oh, I loved seeing them. It was more just me, you know? I did not want to get up in the mornings when I was at my stepmother's place.

Which is the house you grew up in, right?

Yeah, man. It's always really great to see her, too. But I just wanted to hide away from the world and not be so fuckin' anxious all the time.

And the driving down...Fuck, man, it's like I'm afraid of the road and other cars but mostly my own driving. Thank God my brother drove the whole way.

So basically it was a long drawn-out panic attack. Fuck. Seriously, fuck.

But talking with you the other day made me realize that I still can...fight the good fight, you know?

I know, farmboy.

Thanks, man.

All I did was listen.

Yeah, but you do such a fuckin' good job of it, man.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Movement is not my enemy

Man, there are so many things I want to accomplish before I die.

That's an interesting way to start a conversation, farmboy.

(laughs) Yep, I'm the fuckin' life of the fuckin' party, for sure.

As I was saying -- before I was so rudely interrupted -- there's so much and I don't know if I can do0 them all.

Give me one example. One specific example.

Okay. I want to look good. But more than that, I want to feel good. I've never been a physically minded person, but I want to be one. I mean, I want to know how good it feels to move around, to not be so afraid of your own body.

You're afraid of your own body, farmboy?

Yeah. And my mind. Always have been.

That's so...sad.

Ain't it?

So I'm exercising more and trying to eat better. And if I'm not always perfect, at least I'm eating better, and hopefully not digesting as many of those evil calories.

But I really want to feel good. I want to move, I want to hike, I'd like to even try to ride a bike. I'd like to swim. And I want to know that movement is not my enemy; it can feel good to be healthy.

I guess what I really want to do is learn to enjoy my body moving, being active.

Being active...

Sounds good, don't it? It's kinda like learning how to be free. And I don't know about you, but that's what my whole life has been about.

Well, that and songwriting.

Friday, April 8, 2011

before it's too late

I need to know
how it feels
to not be afraid
of my own skin
I need to take
an honest breath
I need to walk
without the fear of falling
I need to live my life
before I face my death

I want to love
and not be lonesome
all my days
I want to breathe
free and easy
I want to shout and holler
like the lone coyote
I want to need
somebody who needs me

I am waiting
that love finds me
before it's too late
I am trying
stopped denying
will love find me
before it's too late

Thursday, April 7, 2011

No authority in my own life

Well, let me tell you, man, I am so fuckin' lazy. But if I look at my day I, like, worked, I played guitar and I sang and played at work and I exercised and I walked. I mean, that's good stuff, right?

Really good stuff, certainly.

So then I get to surf the internet and listen to podcasts?

Sure, farmboy. You don't need my or anyone else's permission.

Oh, I know. I guess I'm trying to give myself permission.

And how's that going?

You know, it's so fuckin' hard. I have no authority in my own life. Ain't that pathetic as fuckin' hell? Pisses me off.

I bet.

Yeah. So what do I do, Mr. Interviewer Sir?

It's simple, farmboy.

Yeah? Well, don't keep me in suspense.

Action. Take action. Surf the 'net, listen to podcasts, whatever. You've earned it.

Cool. I'm off.

You're welcome.

Uh, yeah. Thanks, man.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Renaissance man

Hey, man, help me.

You okay, farmboy?

Yeah, it's just that I...I keep thinking about my failings tonight and I need to get myself out of it. Everywhere I turn, I run into ways where I have failed people, failed myself. It fuckin' pisses me off, man.

In the meantime, I'm eating broccoli. Which is good for me, right?

Right. Now there's something productive you're doing. You're taking care of yourself. Good for you.

Are you makin' fun of me?

Me? I want to encourage you. I meant good for you. Sheesh.


So, O wise one, what the fuck should I do?

You're doing it. Play music, eat broccoli, write, exercise.

Yeah, I'm a fuckin' Renaissance man.

You know what I mean, farmboy.

Look, I'm trying...

That's what I'm saying! You are trying, you are taking action. Don't drag yourself down, farmboy.

Okay. But I'm afraid it's gonna be hard.

C'mon farmboy, you know it's going to be hard.

I know. That's why I'm procrastinating.

Monday, April 4, 2011

I'm a little bit wobbly

How are you, farmboy?

I'm hanging in there, man, wherever fuckin' there is. You know?

As a matter of fact, no. Tell me more and then I'll tell you if I know it.


Never mind.

So I'm working on changing a few things in my life so I'm a little bit wobbly. I'm exercising, working on eating better, that kind of stuff. All of a sudden I've become interested in doing something for myself. Or maybe I'm just fuckin' bored with the farmboy who never seems to take action. Or maybe it's because of my brother's stroke. Or maybe it's some of each.

How is your brother?

I talked with him today. He's doing well, thank you. He sounds great, and he's going home from the hospital on Friday.

That's good news, farmboy.

Oh, yeah, couldn't ask for better.

This action plan sounds good to me.

Did I say i had a plan?

You mentioned it a while back. that it was the secret to success or something...

I said that?

Well, maybe not those exact words...

I remember now! Yeah, I did say something like that. I'm such a pretentious sonovabitch. Don't listen to me. Somebody needs to put a muzzle on me...


(Farmboy looks equally surprised and afraid)

I...I'm sorry, man.

(quietly, kindly) I just don't want you saying bad things about yourself any more, farmboy. That's an action you might want to start right now.

Are you mad at me?

No, farmboy. But stop tearing yourself down. There's plenty of other people who will do that for you. So you need to be on your own side. Okay, farmboy?


I'm just looking out for you.

Thanks, man.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

I been isolating myself

Man, I thought I'd drop by, 'cause I haven't been doing much stuff lately. I been isolating myself and it's fuckin' pissing me off, you know?

Why do you isolate yourself, farmboy?

I guess it's because life is safer that way, maybe. I have something else that may be adding to it.

Which is...?

I may be smoking too much weed.

You think?

Fuck you.

I'm sorry.

Anyway, that's something I need to do some thinking about and make some decisions and take some measures toward.

Also, I really need to write a song. It's like having emotional constipation not writing.

You have such a way with words, farmboy.

Well, you're being a fuckin' smart-ass today.

I'm sorry.

Oh, no, I kinda like it.

Hey, anyway, I got supper waiting. I made a tofu stir-fry with rice noodles.

Sounds healthy.

Yeah, that's another thing I'm working on. Tell you more about that later.