Friday, June 29, 2012
I'm depressed. I'm scared. I'm confused. I'm angry. My thoughts are all over the fuckin' place and I don't know what to do. If I had some weed I'd smoke it, but I don't, and I don't want to have to self-medicate every time something goes wrong. You know what I miss, man?
I don't have a clue, farmboy. What do you miss?
I miss being having parents. I miss my mom and dad. (starts crying) Fuck.
It's okay, farmboy. It's all going to be okay.
(wipes eyes) Shit. I hate crying, and I really hate crying in front of people. It's just that it gets to the point where I'm like a pressure cooker that's been on the fire too long, and I'm gonna explode any minute. And nothing's helping. All the positive thinking, all the deep breathing, nothing.
And I know, I know that it will end and that things will kinda maybe be okay, but fuck, man...I ain't having a good day, man.
I know. Just settle down...
I'm trying, man.
I know. You are trying. Your life's been hard lately. You're off for the summer without a job and you're scared about money. You've been sick with a bronchial infection and it's been a long time. Your sleep has been extremely uneven, and you've been isolated quite a bit.
No wonder I'm so fuckin' depressed.
No shit? You never talk that way. I cuss enough for the both of us. And then some.
Look at it, farmboy. You're depressed. I know you probably don't believe me, but life is going to turn around. Hopefully it'll be this summer.
Hopefully. We'll see. In the meantime, what do I do with myself?
Just settle down. Read a good book. Play guitar. Write a song. Listen to music or one of those podcasts. Watch a movie on Netflix. Meditate.
Meditate, farmboy. You need to relax. All this stress isn't helping your illness to go away.
I know. I'm just sick of myself. Maybe I do need to read, or watch a movie. There's gotta be something I can listen to. But I gotta get out of myself. Maybe I'll go lie down and listen to something and fall asleep.
Check in with me this weekend, farmboy. I'd like to know how you're doing.
Will do, man. Chances are I'll be whining away, as usual.
Stop that, farmboy.
Stop that. You're depressed. It's okay. You're in pain. I'm not sure that I'd call it whining.
Yeah, well, I still feel like I'm whining all the time. But I am in pain. I'm gonna try to give it a rest. Thanks for your help, man. I'll check in this weekend. Hopefully things will be going better, at least somewhat. I'm hoping, man.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Hey, I thought I'd give you a call.
How did it go, farmboy? Did you go to one of the places you're looking to perform at?
Fuck, man, I went to fuckin' four places. Then I went to the coffeehouse, where I found out that I got the grant to play for children who live at the center for medically fragile children. All of the students I work with live there!
Not to mention that you're perfect to play at that kind of place. And it's good work. You're providing a real service to those kids.
Thanks, man. I'd like to think so.
How do you feel, farmboy?
Okay. I always feel like I haven't done enough. And to be honest, I probably haven't done enough. But I did something. I got out there. So as lousy as I feel -- which is anxiety and guilt and stress -- it's good to know that I did something.
I wish you felt better when you do things, farmboy.
If I was coming home to smoke weed, I'm sure I'd be a lot happier. But, you know, I'll get to have some fun this weekend. And I will have earned it, in a way. And that's good.
But I feel all right, man. I feel fine.
I fucked up, man. I got up really early this morning, so I went and smoked...well, not weed, but the resin I scraped from the pipe. Desperate times, man.
I guess. You've run out of marijuana, I take it?
No, actually. I can't afford it and it takes up too much time and energy in my life. I love it, but it's like fuckin' donuts, you know? If there's a donut in the apartment, I'm gonna eat it. But I don't really want to completely quit. So what I did was I took my weed (which wasn't a whole lot) and stashed it somewhere where I have to drive to get it. So, like, even if I want it, I can't readily get ahold of it.
Of course, if this doesn't work I'll have to give it up completely, I guess. I'm addicted, which I've accepted. But I don't want to be addicted anymore. So we'll see.
So I knew it was gonna be rough and that I would do things like scrape the bowl. And that's fine, 'cause I'm not gonna get a whole lot from it, believe me. In fact, there's not much more I can get. which I'm really glad about.
So, farmboy...what would you say the problem is?
The problem is I didn't go out today and hunt for work. I made a list of places and I'm ready for tomorrow but that doesn't help me from feeling bad today.
Okay, farmboy, here's what you do. Get ready, get your stuff, and drive to at least one place and give the activity director your stuff.
It'll be okay. I just want you to know that you can do it, that you can take action. Then you can come back and call me if you want and tell me how it went. But you need to get out of your apartment.
(farmboy gets up from his chair.)
Okay. Call you in a few.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
I don't believe in Satan
but please don't tell my mom
'cause it's the only ammunition
for this war that's raging on
she looks at me with fear
like I've just fired an atom bomb
from here to kingdom come
I am not the prodigal son
I am not the prodigal son
she don't like the clothes I wear
but she don't say anything to me
she just stays behind the bedroom door
and turns up the TV
on her to-do list of tragedy
I'm her top ten number one
and I've only just begun
I am not the prodigal son
I am not the prodigal son
I will get even
if it's the last thing I do
tonight I'll dye my hair again
black as the dark night of my soul
sit upon my skateboard
find a way to finally lose control
come home drunk as shit
so she can see what I've become
look what I done
I am not the prodigal son
I am not the prodigal son
it ain't me
it ain't me
I ain't no prodigal son, no...
(with apologies to John Fogerty)
Monday, June 25, 2012
Farmboy, what was going on the other night? I've been concerned ever since we talked that night.
Yeah, well, man, I'm so fuckin' sorry about that. I don't like when I involve people in my problems, in this mental illness shit.
You don't need to apologize, farmboy. I was just concerned, is all.
I was panicking and I was angry and frustrated and fuckin' scared, man. I was all fuckin' messed up. And I should just maybe accept that sometimes that's gonna happen. Plus I was dealing with technology, computer stuff, and I was miserably frustrated because I have problems with that kind of thing. I don't know why.
But I gotta tell you, I've been succeeding lately at technology...well, the last couple days, anyway. I hooked up the printer and it works! And I uploaded my first video-thingy on YouTube. I mean, it's just a picture of yours truly -- the main thing is the audio, which is one of my songs.
That's great, farmboy! I'm proud of you.
Thanks, man. I gotta do this stuff. I gotta get moving. I gotta -- what's that word? -- challenge myself. And today's challenge was YouTube. And I gotta remember to give myself credit for at least trying, for at least making an action.
Thing is, man, I want to make actions. Even if I'm scared, fuck, man, there's life out there, and I'm so afraid of not experiencing it because of fear of the unknown, you know?
You're experiencing a lot of that lately.
I know, man. But I gotta learn to deal with it. I gotta, man. I gotta succeed this time.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
You knew this would happen, didn't you? That I would end up freaking out, man, just fuckin' freaking out. I all fuckin' weird, man, and I don't know what I can do...
Whoa, farmboy! I don't know what you're talking about.
I'm talking about everything, man.
(phone rings and farmboy answers)
It's my brother. I need to go pick him and his wife and kid at the airport.
Okay. But first let me know what this is all about. Take a deep breath. And another one. You need to get yourself settled down.
I'm just having a meltdown, man, about money and this summer and my life and I'm sick and I haven't seen family or friends in days and I'm just a fuckin' mess, man.
Would you say you're in a state of panic, farmboy?
Yeah. (farmboy breathes deeply, begins to calm down) Fuck, man, fuckin' panic, fuckin' anxiety. I knew this would happen at some point. Man, it's a fuckin' killer, and this fuckin'...I been sick since before school ended.
Listen, man, I think the worst of it is over...and I think it's because I got to talk to you. Thanks, man, thanks. I just needed to talk to somebody, I'm so fuckin' isolated and scared and sick and alone, and...
Listen, man, I gotta go to the airport...
Are you okay, farmboy?
I think so.
Call me if you need me.
Will do, man. Thanks.
Friday, June 22, 2012
come and take our picture
dad and mom and the three kids
of all the fun stuff we did
had to pull through
on not enough pay
but we had each other
so it was okay
love was free
come and take our picture
from the family
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Man, this is so fuckin' rough. I have to write this bio thing to try to get gigs at rest homes and day-care places. Kids and seniors. Anyway, it's just been hard writing this thing. Can I bounce some ideas off you?
Sure, farmboy. I'd love to hear whatever you've got. I'm glad to see you've been working.
That's tough, too. Tough to get disciplined, hard to get past the guilt and shame. But we can go over that at another time...
Yes, I think it's better if you tackle the bio today. Just concentrate on that for right now. It's a concrete action. Not that there's not a time for planning and thinking and daydreaming, it's just that I want you to feel like you've accomplished something when you go to bed tonight.
Okay, man, here's the first paragraph:
With fingers on strings and joy in his voice, farmboy has been entertaining people for over ___ years. He utilizes his skills on guitar, banjo, and piano to accompany himself performing American folk music. The songs he sings -- from such writers as Woody Guthrie and Stephen Foster, as well as traditional songs -- lend themselves to group participation and singing along. Everybody is apt to have a good time when farmboy performs.
How does that sound? Is it too flowery?
What I would suggest, farmboy, is that you write whatever comes to mind and then edit and rewrite later.
Kinda like how I write songs?
Okay. Here goes nothing.
farmboy's music has taken him to such diverse venues as senior centers and daycare facilities, churches and festivals, radio and television programs, coffeehouse and county fairs. He has opened concerts for musicians like Ricky Skaggs, Lucinda Williams, and Portland's own Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer. He currently works for Portland Public Schools in special education, where he plays music for his students, among other duties.
His musical accomplishments since moving to the Pacific Northwest include winning first place in the songwriting competition at Artichoke Community Music's folk music festival in Portland, Oregon in June 2007. farmboy has released four CDs of original material and is currently recording a fifth recording.
Wow, farmboy! I had no idea you had four CDs.
I have a lot of songs, man. That's what I do.
So how does that sound? I'm figuring that I'll put a photo of myself playing guitar on the bio, and contact information at the end. I also need to get some music on You Tube at some point.
So that's it, man. I'm keeping it short and sweet. Just one page, that's all I want.
I think you have it, farmboy, but I'd read it over again tomorrow and see what you want to change. I like the way it's worded; it doesn't limit you to just playing one kind of place.
Thanks, man. Thanks for listening and thanks for your input. So tomorrow I'll firm this up and make a master copy that I can use. And I'll look into my method of getting them to places, which I think may be driving to places with my ukulele in case they want a sample.
How do you feel?
Like I haven't done anything. Like I'm a fuckin' lazy slob that can't do anything right.
You're wrong, farmboy.
Man, I hope so. I'm so fuckin' tired of being a failure.
Stop that, farmboy. No putting yourself down.
I know, man. It's hard...
But not impossible.
let me take your picture
you upon my knee
someday we'll look back and say
ah, how we used to be...
we were so young
life was so good
all the questions refused
to be misunderstood
we were free
let me take your picture
I need to keep this with me
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
How did today go, farmboy?
Not bad. Not perfect, but in the right direction. It started out really confusing, in a way. Then I eventually started feeling guilty so I started doing stuff. Action. So it kinda snowballed for awhile but, fuck, I think I'm pleased for a first day. I can see, I can feel a little panic glancing around the corner, and I'm hoping I can do enough good, enough action to circumvent it.
So, not too fuckin' bad. But not perfect. I want perfect, but I gotta realize that I'm just starting, I just trying to figure out a way. I'm fumbling around in the fuckin' darkness sometimes, man. I'm always stumbling around. I carry a whole lot of failure on my back, you know, but there have been times when I surprise myself. I want this summer to be one of those times. It's important to me.
So I need to be on the lookout for things like depression, self-pity, feeling completely defeated. I can't afford to think those thoughts, man. Not now. There's too fuckin' much at stake here.
It sounds like you're giving yourself some good advice, farmboy. I'm proud of you. It's okay to have high expectations for yourself, but you really don't want to set unattainable goals. Just keep moving in the right direction, as you say. You'll see a payoff.
You know, that's where I'm placing my trust. I'm trusting that things will turn out right. Which isn't an excuse not to work or anything. Believe me, I ain't spending any money unnecessarily. But I need to trust that life will go okay. 'Cause right now...
...you can't afford to have a negative thought.
Fuckin' bingo, man.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
So now it's finally summer, my summer, you know? School's over, today was the last day of the training, and now I can't seem to get my mind off of all the work that I need to do to survive the next few months. But, fuck, man, I gotta find a fuckin' way. And not just that,, but I need to make more money year round, and the best thing to do that I can see is working with music.
farmboy, I want this to be successful for you. Remember that. You can do this, farmboy.
Thanks, man, 'cause I don't know if I can...
Stop there, farmboy. Don't even let that type of thought in your mind. It's not a time to be doubting yourself.
You can do this. I want you to be convinced that you can. I want you to believe that you can accomplish making your living in music this summer. More than anything I want you to believe this.
More than anything I want to believe it. I think it's one of those things that I'm going to have to prove to myself.
And you can do that, farmboy.
Man, I tell you, I want to.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
So the school year has ended. I spent Friday night at my brother's place so I could drive them to the airport the following morning, then I got back to the apartment and started my "you've worked hard all year" celebration. Tomorrow I'm going to a training for work, but it's an extra thing where I get paid to go to.
Then I work my fuckin' ass off making money with music so I can retain my laughingly small version of self-respect. And clean this fuckin' apartment. (laughs) And make a CD. And, let's see...maybe I should tackle world peace. I just don't have enough on my fuckin' plate, man.
So getting back to this weekend -- what does this celebration consist of, farmboy?
Basically smoking weed and playing music and surfing the internet. Which, in a way, is like every other weekend in my life minus any kind of socializing.
It is been good. It's -- I'm being serious here, man -- to acknowledge and celebrate the fact that I've just completed a very, very hard school year with many challenges. I fuckin' deserve this weekend, man.
Good for you, farmboy. I'm glad to see you finally give yourself a pat on the back for something.
Well, tomorrow's a two-day training called "Beyond Diversity." I'm kinda actually looking forward to it, but I'm into that kind of thing. But, anyway, it's back to work for a couple days. Gotta make that money, man.
Saturday, June 16, 2012
this wasn't just a warning
they were out to do some damage
and you're the poor forsaken stranger
that they found along the way
so they threw you to the sidewalk
and they took your leather wallet
the one your daughter gave you
on some distant father's day
life seemed so simple then
that they call way-back-when
but, no sir, you ain't
going back there again
that everything has changed
everything in your life
nobody understands you
everything has changed
everything has changed
Friday, June 15, 2012
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Fuck, man, I'm so fuckin' sick, man. I went to work and luckily I got to come home about an hour early. I feel like shit.
I'm sorry, farmboy. Now that you're home, are you going to rest up?
I'm gonna try to, man. I really need to rest. This fuckin' sickness affects my sleep, even though I am at least getting a good amount of sleep. That's important, I think.
Sleep is very important.
Man, you got that right. So I'm drinking lots of fluids and now that I'm home, I don't have to spend much energy on anything. That's what I've noticed about this illness -- any exertion of energy makes it worse.
I hate being sick.
This kind of stuff makes me realize how glad I am that quit smoking cigarettes. And I loved cigarettes.
They're no good for you, farmboy.
No fuckin' shit. Yeah, they're kind of seductive little things. Come in nice little boxes. They cost a lot of money.
So I'm gonna rest and read the new John Irving novel. At least it's good timing for that.
Enjoy yourself, farmboy. Get some rest.
Thanks, man. I will.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Hey, man, thought I'd give you a call. I'm sick.
I figured so, after I talked to you yesterday. Did you go to work today, farmboy?
Yeah, I have no sick leave, so I have to or else I'll lose that precious fuckin' money, you know? But I'm not that bad...I mean, I feel bad, and all that stuff. I feel really fuckin' lousy, to be honest with you. But I can still go to work.
I just wanted to check in, man. I'm gonna go to bed pretty soon. What you got going for tonight, man? Anything special?
Let's see. It's a Tuesday night. I'll probably read for a while, then turn in early.
Well, man, you have a good one, okay? I'll be talking with you soon.
Monday, June 11, 2012
I don't feel too good. I've gotten some kind of summer cold or something, I don't know. Pisses me off, but what can you do,right? Anyway, I'm sneezing and my body is achy and my stomach hurts. Ain't no fuckin' fun, man.
Plus, see, I have no sick leave. I can't get sick now. I've only got a week to go, fer chrissake!
So you know the drill, farmboy. Fluids, aspirin, rest. Maybe you should go to bed early.
Naw, I won't sleep. I just drank a big ol' cup of strong coffee.
Why are you drinking coffee for at this hour, farmboy? Won't the caffeine keep you up? And didn't you say your stomach was hurting?
And aren't you so full of fuckin' questions? The answer to all your questions is: I just don't care about work. I get rebellious. (laughs) Other people shoot heroin, I drink a cup of coffee.
But, yeah, I know you're right. I need to watch it and I need to get rest and sleep and that sort of stuff. It goes like this every time about this year: I just don't care. The good thing is that I'm aware of this and I can watch it.
So, yeah, the main thing is to get well and to not stress out about stuff -- 'cause that's just gonna make my health worse.
That's true, you know. You have a tendency to be stressed, farmboy.
And anxious and freaked-out and scared...
Yeah, yeah, this human stuff, I don't know, man. I just don't know. We human beings are just so stupidly complicated. And everybody everywhere thinks they know your life better than you do. So you gotta rebel!
Drink a cup of coffee!
That'll show 'em!
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Man, I tell you. Sometimes my tendency towards sadness just gets overwhelming. Plus, it's just so much fuckin' work! I start thinking about one thing, then my mind goes "Why are you thinking about this?" So I move onto another thought, which, of course, I shouldn't be thinking about, and then I repeat everything. Fuck.
So it's Sunday night, and nothing good ever gets done on a Sunday night. But, wait, man...This week is the last week of school!
So how do you feel about that, farmboy?
Are you a professional therapist?
No, I'm not. Why do you ask?
You sure sound like one.
But thanks for asking. I am trying not to be in denial about the summer. I do not have a summer job and I have no money, so I got to get working musically. So, basically, I'm nervous and scared shitless but I want to do actions instead of panic. You know what I mean, man?
I think I do. You want to take the energy that you would use beating yourself up and worrying and apply it to actions that will help you to make money with music. Am I right, farmboy?
You're exactly right.
I want to enjoy the summer with some dignity. Especially self-dignity. I love summer, and, I gotta tell you, summer is fuckin' beautiful here in the Pacific Northwest. I gotta figure out ways to make money with music.
Which is what we were talking about the other day. Remember?
Yeah. Which was great, by the way. Thanks for listening, man. I don't say it enough, but I really appreciate you listening to me ramble on and whine.
But, yeah, remember. I just gotta put some of these ideas into action now. And I gotta start treating myself with some respect. And I gotta be brave.
You're learning a lot, aren't you, farmboy?
Fuck, man, that's all that ever happens in this old life of mine.
Saturday, June 9, 2012
what I am looking for
I ain't sure
but I'm thinking it's
some kind of cure
pure and solid
to heal me from
the likes of you
what I'm needing
I don't know
but I'm betting
it's not the same old
where I'm going
I have no clue
the likes of you
Friday, June 8, 2012
can't stop the voices
from arguing in my brain
it's like the roar of thunder
an overture of rain
over and over again
telling me I'm to blame
telling me I'm to blame
and there ain't nothing I can do
"forgive me," I say
but the voices keep arguing
and they never stop
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Okay, man, coffee's brewing and I'm all ready to discuss what I can do to make some money this summer. I'm thinking of actions rather than just ideas, but I want ideas, too.
So let's discuss this stuff. See, man one of the things I want to do is avoid the problems of last summer, which led me to panic, which brought that fuckin' mental illness stuff out to play. And I can't have that this year. So let's talk about...
Not so fast, farmboy. What I would like you to do is take a few minutes to write me a list, and then let me hear it. Then we'll discuss what you've come up with.
Whatever you say. man.
(farmboy sits down at the kitchen table and writes for a while, then thinks, then writes again. Then thinks again, then writes again.)
Okay, man, I got some stuff here. Some ideas that can lead to actions.
Great, farmboy. Let me hear them.
(farmboy begins reading)
- convalescent homes
- performances for children
- performances for people with special needs (day programs)
- CD sales
- sales of new CD (August)
- California tour
- family reunion
- open mikes
- playing on the street
- rent party? house concert?
Well, man, that's what I've got. Hopefully, there'll be more. What do you think?
I think it's a good start, farmboy. It's going to take a lot of work, especially finishing the CD and having it out by August. But it's not impossible. When you say actions, what do you mean? Give mean an example, please.
Okay. For convalescent homes, it would involve making a one-sheet bio/resume thingy that would inform activity directors about what I do. Which, in their cases, would be American folk music, you know, old songs, the "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" kind of songs.
Performances for children would hopefully mean a regular show once a week, maybe at the coffeehouse. You know, with kids' songs. I've done this more since moving to Oregon, so I'm no stranger to it.
I would also like to find some places to play -- coffeehouses, mainly -- where I can focus on what I normally do, plus some cover tunes.
You've been giving this some thought.
Well, man, I'm reaching desperation time. I love summer, but not when I'm fuckin' worried about money every step of the way.
Let's keep talking more about this, farmboy. I want you to have a good summer.
So do I, man. So do I.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
So I'm taking tomorrow off of work, man. I have a day I have to use, so tomorrow's it.
What are you going to do tomorrow, farmboy? Do you have any plans, any ideas?
I got a couple of things I should do, but there's not anything, you know, fun. Maybe I'll go to the movies. Maybe I'll work on a new song. I don't know. Everything's wide open. (laughs) Maybe I'll just listen to podcasts and sleep all day.
Which would be okay.
Fuckin' right, man. There's just this part of me that feels like I should be accomplishing something. Especially since summer's coming on, and I'm going to have to wrack my brain to figure out some ways to make money.
So what if you spent part of the day making a list of ideas to make money?
Hopefully I will. I heard the other day that "hopefully" is not really a word. Is that true? Do you know?
I just presumed it was a word.
Well, hopefully I will spend some time figuring some things out. That would be a good thing to do.
I can help if you want, farmboy.
Yeah, that would be good. Let me see what's going on.
Monday, June 4, 2012
I wish I could know
what it's like to be human,
thought the old black dog
I would be in charge
but I'm not so sure I'd like it
it's a lot of work
has never been my passion
I am glad to be
a dog, because my whole life
is mostly about love
can't forget food
Sunday, June 3, 2012
when you're born
they pass out cigars
and all the cameras
are pointed at you
even if you're ugly
they say you're cute
oh, it's all one big
but the older you get
the less people care
they hurry on past
like you're not even there
everyday you're a little bit
harder to see
someday you'll be
as invisible as me
when you're a child
they say you're special
chip off the old block
that you talk
but when you're my age
nobody will notice
you're an old black-and-white
a bit out of focus
like a dim memory
someday you'll be
as invisible as me
Well, man, that's what I've got for now. It feels good to write. I don't know how to end it, though. I'm hoping I haven't painted myself in a fuckin' corner. Or something like that.
I'll be interested to see where it goes, farmboy.
Yeah, me too.
I did have this little bit left over. I don't think it fits in this song lyric, but I kinda like it.
there you are
you're the cat's meow
I don't know what song that'll go in, if it goes in any song. I like the "ten fingers, ten toes" part, but I'm not so sure about "the cat's meow."
That's why you have rewriting and editing.
Man, I tell you.
Saturday, June 2, 2012
It's Saturday night, and here I am with a cup 'o joe and a marijuana-chocolate-chip cookie. Life is okay as long as I don't really think of things.
So it's kinda diversion city. I got the Levon Helm autobiography and the new John Irving novel, and there's film noir on Netflix. So things are okay right now.
I was wondering, farmboy. Have you ever thought of writing your autobiography? Even just for yourself?
I can't even imagine wanting to. I mean, it would be so fuckin' boring. I could see writing a musical history, just for myself. I sorta measure everything by the music I listen to.
That makes sense.
That's the way it's always been. I ain't complaining, though. It's a good way to go through life, you know, with your own individualized soundtrack. I have my inner iPod, so to speak, and I check in on it from time to time to see where it's gonna take me.
How's it working?
Batteries are charged and it's on shuffle, man.