Saturday, December 31, 2011

I baked a chicken

Here it is, New Year's Eve, man. You going anywhere?

No, farmboy. I'm just going to stay home and read. How about yourself? Are you going out to a party or music or anything?

No. I thought about it. But I'm so fuckin' boring, man. I get some Irish whiskey if I feel like drinking, and I have some weed. I baked a chicken. (laughs)

Sounds good to me. How about resolutions?

Um...I really want to take better care of myself, physically. And to make the CD. I need to find a way to do better financially, so I'd like to get business-wise as far as booking goes. I guess self-responsibility would be the foundation of my resolutions.

It's funny. 2011 has been a fucked year for me, in many ways...

You sure went through enough stress.

Fuckin' A, man, it's no surprise that I'm ending the year with my ulcer condition causing me problems. Actually, it;s my pre-ulcer trying to become a fuckin' full-grown adult ulcer. I have to be accurate in all things, you know.

But 2011 was a good year for me creatively, and I'm ending it with the working on the CD, which has been great. I am hoping for 2012 to be a lot better, though.

I hope it is, farmboy.

Yeah, man, for you and me both.

Friday, December 30, 2011

I could win awards

I think way too much
my dad said "you dwell on things"
he may just be right

I hate to worry
but it is what I'm best at
I could win awards

I could give speeches
instead I'm choosing to dwell
on dwelling itself

it's very meta
I'm not sure you'll understand
plus it don't matter

it don't matter

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Second nature

Hey, man, how's it going?

Good. And you?

I'm good. Man, I tell you what, this CD making is a lot of hard fuckin' work. I just wasn't in much of a mood to practice and...

Wait, farmboy. Before you go on, I need to know if you did practice.

Um, yeah, I practiced. But I just really didn't feel...

Congratulations, farmboy. You did something you didn't want to do because you knew that there would be benefits down the road. You're a lot better at self-discipline than you think.

Yeah, if it's something I care about. Like making a CD.

It's funny, you know. It's kinda like second nature for me to work hard when I want something badly enough. Or...that sounds weird, man, let me rephrase that. I don't know how not to work hard when it's making a CD. I would love to apply that to other things in my life, you know, getting in good physical shape, maybe learning Spanish, that kind of thing. But I don't know how to do that. Yet, that is. I fully intend to take advantage of that intensity.

I'm feeling the songs getting stronger, performance-wise, and that's because of the almost-daily rehearsing.

That's important.

You bet it is. I gotta be confident, I gotta be smart when making this album.

This is gonna take a lot of work, but, fuck it, man, I'm up for it.

That's the attitude, farmboy.

I'm just gonna relax and watch myself work my ass off, man.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tradition of the Christmas nap

Well, I finally got the new computer. More debt to pay off, but I really do need to have a computer, especially with the new CD happening. I've been practicing, man. Every single fuckin' day. Well, except for when Ii was at my brother's house for Christmas.

So it sounded like Christmas was pretty good.

Yeah, it was. I didn't get into any drama or get sucked into the whole present-giving-and-receiving thing. And the presents I got were great, you know, a couple of good books, a CD. It was good to spend time with my brother and his wife and daughter. And -- I've probably told you this -- but I love my self-imposed tradition of the Christmas nap.

Your Christmas was good, as I recall. Let's was low key, right?

Right, farmboy. Just like yours.

We're such exciting people, I tell you.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas, man!

Hey farmboy, where you been?

Oh, man, putting out those winter break fires. My fuckin' computer finally died, after years of service, so I've had to figure that out.

What did you do?

I applied for and received a credit card from the Apple folks, and I changed a brand-new computer.

Apple, huh?

Yeah, because it has Garage Band built in. That's a really important feature. It costs plenty to get it installed in a PC, as I remember.

Also, I had to get some minor dental work done. I bit on a piece of Christmas toffee and a crown came off of one of my teeth. It was pretty trouble free, except that it's gonna cost money. But, hey, it was pretty minor.

So...hey! Merry Christmas, man! How's your day been?

Very low key, farmboy, just the way I like Christmas.

Yeah, me too. I just got up from my annual Christmas nap. It's like the high point of the day for me. I'm at my brother's right now. I stayed last night and I'm gonna stay tonight, too. Christmas dinner should be in a couple hours. It's been a good Christmas. I got a couple great books and a Louis Armstrong CD. I love Louis Armstrong. He plays Fats Waller tunes on this CD. Pretty cool, eh?

Two greats, that's for sure.

Just like us, man. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2011

A good deal of progress

Well, today was the first all-album rehearsal and it went very well, I gotta tell you. I just kept adding songs.

Also, I talked to the guy at the studio and I'll most likely be doing some demo recording the week after Christmas.

And I've finally come up with a tentative order of songs. So there's been a good deal of progress since winter break started, even though I guess today is really the first day of it. The weekend would have happened anyway. This is the first workday of the break.

So it sounds like you've been busy, farmboy.

I have, kinda. I've had plenty of time just doing whatever I fuckin' please. You know, staying in bed and listening to podcasts and stuff. It's just started, but it's been good.

What's next in your plans?

I gotta keep practicing, I gotta type up lyric sheets for the recording. The recording's gonna take up a lot of my attention, which is just fine with me. I need to be practiced, I need to know these songs as well as I can. That's what this break is gonna be about.

Which is a good thing.

It's a very good thing, man. It's what pulls me through this here life.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I trust compassion

I trust compassion
and believe it is alive
in tiny actions

I've seen the helpless
and I have been helpless, too
pushing against grief

I see a child
who sees me hurt my finger
and she bows her head

and silently she
lightly kisses where it hurts
and she is correct

it hurts no longer
she helps, as if by magic,
puts an end to pain

with a single act
of the simplest kindness
which she has been taught

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Top ten favorite recordings of 2011

Okay, farmboy, it's that time of year where you get to share your top albums of the year.

This is always fun, but, man, this year I just couldn't afford to buy many CDs so I'm changing this to my top ten favorite recordings of 2011.

Fine with me.

Well, here goes:

1. The Harrow & the Harvest by Gillian Welch. Hands down the best album I've heard this year.

2. Bad as Me by Tom Waits.

3. "Helplessness Blues" by Fleet Foxes (track)

4. The Year of Hibernation by Youth Lagoon

5. The King is Dead by the Decemberists

6. Kiss Each Other Clean by Iron and Wine

7. KMAG YOYO by Hayes Carll

8. Bon Iver by Bon Iver

9. The Whole Love by Wilco

10. "Rewrite" by Paul Simon (track)

Man, there is just so much out there that I'm just not familiar with. It's so fuckin' sad. There's a lot of good music out there, man.

That's for sure, farmboy. It might not be so hard next year, though.

And why's that?

Your CD will have been released...

Now you're talking, man.

Friday, December 16, 2011

winter break

finally it's come
the day I thought would never
arrive has arrived

winter break is here
seventeen glorious days
to stay late in bed

to go see my friends
spend Christmas with family
have good time alone

i get to stay warm
when it's cold in the morning
I love winter break

Thursday, December 15, 2011

One great day

So tomorrow is the day I've been waiting for, the day I thought would never come, one of the happiest days of the year: the last day of school before winter break. It's gonna be one great day tomorrow afternoon when work is out.

Looking forward to it, eh, farmboy?

Eh? Are you turning Canadian on me? Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Yeah, I'm looking forward to school being out. Two weeks is a good amount of time. That first day, though...that's the best. It's just so fuckin' great.

This is the first lengthy vacation -- public-school-speaking -- you've had after an extremely long period of uncertainty. You've been through a lot. You've earned this rest, farmboy.

Thanks, man. I feel like just sleeping for at least the first week. I plan to play a lot of music, to work on the CD. Hopefully I'll get to do some recording the week between Christmas and New Year's.

Anyway, man, I'm gonna eat something and go to bed.

So you can wake up for the last day of work for 2011.

You got that right, man.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sinatra's ghost

Two more days. Will our hero make it to the finish line? Will thousands stand and cheer? Will Sinatra's ghost sing "My Way"?

Just wait and find out...

Damn fuckin' right, man. I know I'm a broken record, but I can't wait for this vacation. Man, I can't wait. I'm fucking chomping at the bit. Or is that champing at the bit? I never got that figured out.

Anyway, just a quick check in, man.

I appreciate it, farmboy. Are you doing all right?

Yeah, except for my impatience. Had a good practice session today. How you doin', man?

Doing okay, thanks.

Glad to hear it.

It's good to notice that things are all right when things are all right. Right now...

...things are all right.

Yes, indeed.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The heavy lifting

Okay, so this is the way it is, this is what happened...

What, farmboy, what?

Oh, nothing. I just wanted to start our conversation kinda the same way Ira Glass starts his show. You know, kind of conversational.

And here we are having a conversation! How about that?

Full fuckin' circle, man! It's like Zen or something, you know, man?

So what's up?

Not much. Working on the CD. Practicing. Played Saturday night at the coffeehouse. I didn't forget any words, I was okay. I mean, I didn't totally embarrass myself, you know, it was just partial self-embarrassment.

Boy, you know, I really want to get comfortable with performing once again. I used to really love it, and I still do when my fuckin' nerves and doubts aren't getting the better of me. I hate being afraid to perform. I especially hate all the fuckin' self-doubt: What if I forget the words? What if I fall? What if I can't get my guitar in tune?

What if, what if, what if...

It's fucked, man. It's fuckin' self-sabotage. It's completely useless as far as I can see. But I don't know how to get out of it.

Are you still seeing a counselor, farmboy?

No, but, fuck, I'd like to see one again. I've been thinking that's what I need. Even if it's just a couple times a month.

I think that's a good idea, farmboy.

Yeah, I think I'll look into it. I could discuss this self-sabotage thing. It's in other areas besides performing, man. I may wait till after the holidays, though.

That's fine.

I'm glad I talk to you, man. I feel like I figured something out with your help.

Nah, farmboy. You're the one doing the heavy lifting.

Still, man, thanks.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

going to bed

I'm going to bed
gotta wake up early, man
monday morning sucks

can't wait till friday
best fuckin' day of the week
when I get off work

five days to get through
five days to wish were over
what a waste of time

and it's such a shame
to take the gift of five days
and wish it were dead

Friday, December 9, 2011

I am the horse

It's Friday. The day that you thought was never gonna come has finally come. No fuckin' work for two days.

What are you going to do this weekend, farmboy?

You'll be proud of me. I'm going to be social, for a change. I'm going to have dinner with a friend of mine then I go to play the holiday concert at the coffeehouse. This should be fun. Then a friend of mine has his birthday on Sunday and there's gonna be a party that I'm going to go to for a little while. And in between all that, I've gotta go over my brother's house so I can wash clothes.

You're performing?

Just a few songs. I'll probably sing "Hot Buttered Rum," a song by Tommy Thompson of the Red Clay Ramblers, who are one of my all-time favorite bands. That's a good winter-type song. I should do a Christmas song. Maybe "Away in a Manger." We'll see.

I've been getting so nervous lately. I really want to be relaxed on stage tomorrow.

Are you going to practice beforehand?

Oh, yeah. I'm gonna make up my mind as to what I'm playing, then hopefully rehearse them a few times.

Man, it feels so fuckin' good to know that I don't have to go in to work tomorrow morning.

One more week until winter break.

Which is the carrot and I am the horse. Which, really, is what life is all about. Well, except for love and art and music and sex. Which I approve of. Which I am in favor of. I have never used the word "which" so much in my life, by the way.

You're right, though, farmboy. We all need rewards.

We need something to anticipate, something to look forward to. I think that's part of being a human being.

Something to work towards?

Oh, definitely. I can't imagine not being ambitious. And that, ultimately, may be my problem in life. Or one of my many blessings, I don't know.

Maybe both.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Let's move on, okay?

So, farmboy, how goes it?

It goes like this: I'm feeling mega-guilty because a friend wanted me to go out and I said was too tired. Which is true.

So what's the problem?

Oh, you know, I'm being selfish, I'm being anti-social, I'm just a fuckin' stoner. Which is all true, too, probably. All I know is that it would have ruined my whole day had I gone because it was something I really didn't want to do. Plus I was kinda angry at my friend, who knows my job is hard and physical.

Anyway, it's all over with now.

Except for the guilt.

Yes. It's there. Let's move on, okay?

Tomorrow's Friday. Then one more week and then winter break. Two glorious weeks off. Plenty of time before Christmas to hang out at home and at my brother's place. Then, hopefully, I'll do some recording that second week.

The demos for the new CD? The ones you'll be recording solo?

Yep, those are the ones. Man, it's so much work. But it's good work.

I'm looking so forward to having that time off, getting to stay up late, getting a lot of sleep. Doing music, of course.

(yawns) I'm so tired. Hey, man, how 'bout we meet up tomorrow and call it a night tonight.

Sounds good. See you tomorrow, farmboy.

Tomorrow, man.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

In dread of the future

Hey, man.

You okay, farmboy?

I'm sad because it's time to go to bed and the night passes so quickly. Before I know it, I'll be back at work. Fuck.

You've been feeling like that a lot recently, I've noticed.

Yeah. I'm hoping it will pass soon. I fuckin' hate living like this, this constantly living in dread of the future, just whining my life away. I need to practice living for the moment, whatever the fuck that is. Maybe I'll do some of that this weekend.

Why don't you do that now. farmboy?

It doesn't feel right. (laughs) It feels like something I should do trying to fall asleep.

You can do it anytime. Go ahead, try it.

Okay, man. Here goes.

(farmboy leans back, closes his eyes, and breathes deeply.)

All right, I'm back.

How was it?

I almost fell asleep. (laughs) It was good, it was nice. I plan to do it again, real soon.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

biography, kind of

I'm way too proud of my ignorance
I should listen more to my common sense
I say these words in self-defense
I give too much of a damn
I'm so fuckin' tired of analyzing
you may or may not find it surprising
but I don't care what I am

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Many cans of worms

Aw, man, I am so fuckin' depressed.

Why, farmboy?

Because I have to go to work in the morning. How many years do I have to do this before I accept and get used to this Sunday night/Monday morning shit? Damn it.

Okay, enough of that. I just thought I'd express it and now it's time to move on.

I've noticed that I've been getting really into listening to these podcasts with people like Marc Maron and Riki Lindhome that are, like, in-depth interviews with performers about their real lives as people in the performing business. I'm thinking I'm gonna take it as kind of an omen that I'm gonna start performing more.

I need to, you know. Perform, that is. That's how I'm gonna get these songs heard. And I perform so seldom now that I'm, like, severely anxious and nervous and my hands get numb and my memory goes...I gotta get past all that shit. And performing's the way that's gonna happen.

Plus I need to earn more money. Even if it's just for tips, that's okay.

You've been thinking a lot about tour musical life, haven't you?

Yeah. The CD project is opening up many cans of worms. I'm thinking that maybe I want to change my life.

It seems to me like you want to continue on the journey you've been taking, farmboy.

Yeah, that's probably it. There's gotta be some way that I can express that is farmboy-terms, you know...

Less self-help sounding...

Yeah. Less new agey. I've been thinking I'd like to use humor more. Not necessarily novelty songs, but songs with humor in them. I mean, there's a lot of humor in life. Life is really funny sometimes.

But, yeah, you're right. I really hope I'm getting closer.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

This is me having my say

So today I worked on practicing for the CD. I think there's a lot of improvement to be made, but it's going well and it's gonna pay off, man, I know it.

Sounds like you're making steady progress, farmboy. That's great.

So one more thing I want -- I need -- in my goals is that I need to take better physical care of myself. You know, eat better, exercise, that kind of stuff. I need to be organized in that regard. I think the health thing is really important, if only for the vocal performances.

I know you've probably heard all this stuff before, but this album is really fuckin' important to me.

As it should be. It's the work you were born to do.

Exactly. I may be taking it too seriously, but I need to take it seriously. This is my chance to be me. This is me having my say.

I'm glad you're taking this seriously. And I'm also glad I get to be along for the ride.

You and me both, man. I'm glad you're here and that you listen to all these ramblings. Thank you.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Backwards and forwards

Hey, farmboy, what have you been up to? It's been a couple of days.

I wrote some stuff. I emailed it to you.

Yes, I read it. You've got some good ideas there.

Thanks. I'm going to have to look through it. There may be some stuff I can use in other things. This writing stuff, man, it's hard fuckin' work. I mean, it's definitely worth it, but it's hard. Probably like lots of other things.

So what have I been doing? I'm focusing my practice sessions on the three songs for the CD that are the most demanding, guitar-playing wise. One's ragtimey, one's bluesy, and one's kinda swing-like. And that's working well, so far. I want to become intimately involved with these songs.
(laughs) I really want to know them, backwards and forwards, for when I record the demos.

Sounds good, farmboy.

I think it's going well. I need to contact the recording studio and see if I can record the demos during winter break. Maybe I'll get lucky and there'll be some snow days so I won't have to go to work and I can stay at home and work on my music. That would be so bitchin'.

Bitchin'? I haven't heard that old term in years.

It's coming back, I hear.

Anyway, snow, I love 'em. A few years ago it snowed so much that we got three days off and I didn't leave my apartment until Christmas eve. My brother drove over here and picked me up, which was amazing 'cause there was so much snow.

I think about how much work I could do on the CD if I had that time.

But you are working on it...

Okay, then maybe I just want the time off so I won't have to go to my fuckin' job.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

god and science

god and science had a meeting
back when the world was new
they said "let's create the humans
and confuse them with us two"