Posted in rants - political and otherwise

turmoil

 

 

now playing: marty higgins, “california”

 

dylan spent the night last night – he’s getting bogged down with homework, and i’m starting to feel ill-equipped to help him deal with it all. i feel as though i should be able to provide him with a certain amount of guidance, but i find myself having to make assumptions about his instructions, and second-guessing myself with regards to the help i’m giving him. last night, he was pretty lethargic and ended up going to bed early – although he was still awake an hour and a half later. (i had to enforce a lights-out to get him to finally go to sleep.)

the guidance counselor at his school has been operating on the assumption that he’d be out for two weeks – the initial word from the doctor was that he’d probably only be out for a week…it’s starting to look like mr. hoover had it about right. his mom wants him to go back mid-week this week, but i don’t know how this is all going to play out yet. right now, he seems to have his good days and his bad days.

i need to call blake and check in…he went through something of a work crisis recently, a bit of an “agree to disagree” moment with one of the customers he’s responsible for. i don’t know how he does what he does – i mean, i can see where the job fits into his life, in terms of allowing for other things…but i’m not sure how he manages to deal with some of the people he has to deal with. (this spoken from a person who has to deal sporadically with raving lunatics as part of his routine) at any rate, his conflict was apparently refereed by someone higher up in his company – and he seems to be ok with the way things panned out, judging from his outlook when i last spoke to him…but he’s rounding the last turn with his record, and i’m hoping that his decision-making apparatus is intact and that he’s able to fully concentrate on the task at hand.

i have a few opinions about making a record in the midst of personal turmoil…although while i might advise against it, certainly history has proven that some great art comes from said turmoil. i can’t help but imagine that plenty of absolute horseshit has come from the same turmoil…but horseshit generally goes unnoticed by the world at large, so it’s hard to say.

an example of horseshit that hasn’t gone unnoticed would be practically every song written in the aftermath of 9/11… i’ve yet to hear one that hasn’t been a trite collection of rhyming cliches. it’s a subject that really defies the act of committing it to verse, i think. certainly, it defies being committed to verse by anyone whos’ trying at the moment. i wonder if even dylan at his most relevant could’ve done it in a way that didn’t seem blatantly opportunistic…certainly alan jackson never had a shot.  the closest anyone was able to come was springsteen’s my city in ruins.

says a lot about the state of creativity in our times.

and i’m not even gonna get into the whole ashley simpson thing again.

(except to say that i hope her band walks the hell out on her and she has to tour with mannequins – that is, to say, if she even bothers to tour, save for the occasional tv show.)

Posted in yesterday. today. tomorrow.

a brief mastercard moment

 

 

now playing: chicago, “wishing you were here”

 
tab at the save-a-lot on the way home from work: $4.70

bottle of preperatory post-game champagne: $12.40

shouting who’s your daddy now, bitches?!??? at the tv after midnight: priceless

from today’s new york times:

It was actually happening. The nerd was kissing the homecoming queen. Paper was beating scissors; scissors were beating rock. Charlie Brown was kicking the football. The Red Sox were beating the Yankees for the American League pennant.

none of the die-hard fans will admit this out loud, but it almost doesn’t matter if they win the world series now or not. after what they’ve accomplished in this series, they have plenty of reason to be proud of their boys.

Posted in music and the music business, yesterday. today. tomorrow.

polishing the brass

 

 

now playing: steely dan, “FM” 

 

i remember the summer that movie (FM) came out…the soundtrack was all over the radio. that movie came out at around the same timeframe as the awful movie version of sargeant pepper’s lonely hearts club band with george burns, peter frampton, the bee gees…grease with olivia newton john and john travolta, saturday night fever, later xanadu…it was 1978/1979…soundtracks were finding their legs as marketing tools, really. this movie of which i speak, the FM movie, was a huge failure as a cinematic experience, but the soundtrack sold an assload of records. 

i remember buying my first records ever back then…my first 45 was love is like oxygen by sweet, followed by i’m not gonna let it bother me tonight by atlanta rhythm section. my first album was infinity by journey, followed by two albums that i got for christmas, point of no return by kansas and don’t look back by boston. the boston album had a gatefold cover, and had pictures of the band playing live in it, and i remember staring at the pictures, wondering who played what parts on the record and things like that. i remember drawing pictures of bands, pictures of stages, pictures of huge, elaborate drumkits (what i wouldn’t give to have some of those pictures back now, man….). 

a little while ago, the radio station i listen to most days played the theme song from welcome back, kotter and it got me to thinking about this particular time in my life…they seem to be hitting a lot of songs from late elementary/early junior high school today, and i seem to be tuned into that pretty vividly. i don’t know where that comes from, and how it is that i usually don’t really think about that time in my life at all, and then on other days, i’ll hear a song and i can remember little snippets of my life so clearly. i can remember the clock radio i had as a kid that was my lifeline to the outside world, where music was concerned – how whenever we’d go to my grandparents’ house, i’d bring it with me because i couldn’t stand not listening to music until i got home. i had the radio on constantly. after a while, i stopped even trying to reset the clock. later, i took the thing apart and actually melted a hole in the back of it big enough for a 1/4″ jack, and i wired it so that i could plug headphones into it. then later, i had a pair of car speakers that i wired up to plug into the headphone jack when i was home, because they sounded better than the speaker that was in the clock radio itself. 

i built a drum set. out of scraps that were lying around the yard and my grandfathers’ shop. buckets, with the bottoms cut out and plastic lids for heads, nailed to strips of wood and driven like stakes into the ground. old tires that were patently useless from a functional standpoint as a bass drum (later, i’d have two, because all the cool drummers played double bass kits), and whatever i could find that was round and made of metal for cymbals…the best ones i could find were a pair of tub covers for the wringer washer in the basement that i stole to make cymbals from. 

i’m sure my entire family thought i was completely off my rocker. i would sit out in the back of the yard with all this crap set up, stakes driven into the ground with the tires propped up in front and buckets nailed to them, some with big clanging metal disks on top of them, flailing away like a lunatic…making no sense at all at first, but slowly but surely beginning to figure it all out for myself. 

i would stay up and watch the midnight special on friday nights, any live music i could possibly see on tv i wanted to see. i’d watch saturday night live and wait up for the musical guest, no matter who it was. i saw jackson browne my first time on SNL. he played running on empty and then it seemed like hours went by…i remember gilda radner playing a hispanic in one skit, bemoaning the fact that she couldn’t buy gasoline for her low rider because, in her words, i gotttoo drive de big car dat sits low to de ground, and i gottooo have gaaaas! i actually turned the tv off, because i thought he wasn’t coming back on again, but then i couldn’t sleep because i figured i had turned it off too soon, so a few minutes later i turned it back on and he was just beginning to play the pretender. i saw talking heads, james taylor, patti smith, billy joel…and i was always trying to see what the drummer was doing. i remember seeing journey on the midnight special and being heartbroken when i saw that aynsley dunbar wasn’t behind the drumkit and i had no idea who the new guy was and feeling like he had no place in my precious band…. 

sheesh. 

teenagers. 

everything i picked up about playing drums was second and third-hand this way…watching other people play and trying to apply it to that godawful pile of shit in my grandpas’ back yard. over time, it fell into place and i started getting the hang of it. i was completely singular of purpose…i was going to figure this out for myself and then i was going to get into a band and move away and become famous. but, first, i had to get an actual drumkit. 

i couldn’t even play the snare drum in the band because it cost twenty bucks a month to rent a drum and take lessons at school. you can’t begin to imagine how prohibitive that was for my family at that point in time. it may as well have been a million dollars. 

but i had my buckets, man.  i’d make do for the time being. 

eventually, i had one drumkit-like contraption at my grandparents’ house and one at home, on the back porch, away from everyone else in the house so that the hullaballo wouldn’t distract from the rest of the familys’ tv addiction. 

i would literally go out back to the porch when i got home from school, take a break to eat dinner, and go back out there until someone would come and tell me to stop at bedtime. even when i was in school, i’d be gently and inaudibly tapping out rhythms on my desk in class. it was my sole motivation for getting out of bed in the morning. 

later on, in junior high, a good friend of mine sold me a drumset for $40 that was barely an upgrade from what i’d already been playing on, but they were real drums. that was good enough for me. sure, i still had to use some of my homemade stands and such, but i didn’t mind. they were real drums

they were a mish-mash of stuff, really…there was a ludwig bass drum and two tiny toms, mounted on a hoop that was fastened to the bass drum itself, then a floor tom that didn’t actually have any legs (it ended up sitting on a couple of stacks of books), and a tiny (for those days) 13″ snare drum. no cymbals – i ended up getting some really crappy cymbals from my mentor, david phillips, for a time (they were cracked and ridden hard, but they were real cymbals, and that’s all that mattered to me). and i had my first “real” drumkit. (i have a picture of myself as a teenager playing them, but it’s a pretty sorry picture…maybe i’ll scan it and try to clean it up someday.) 

so i held onto that set until i was a couple of years older and ready to start thinking about playing in bands. then, i collected the pieces that weren’t homemade and took them to david phillips’ music store and traded them in for a legitimate drum set, one that you could actually take out and play in front of people without getting the quizzical looks that i used to get from my cousins. i played my first shows in public with that kit. that’s the kit i was playing the first time my grandfather saw me play on, with a country band that was all brothers, plus dad, mom, and me…my first actual band. 

i’m not sure how exactly to explain the sensation that you get from the first time you go from playing by yourself or playing along with records to playing as part of an ensemble that has its own momentum…you’re no longer playing along with the finished product in your headphones, you’re creating a piece of the whole, something that has its own pace – and as a drummer, you’re actually driving that momentum, that pace. 

it’s a rush that you really can’t get anywhere else. i know that sounds corny, but it’s true. 

what led to this diatribe in the first place, you’re probably wondering by now…. 

today, i went to my favorite italian place for lunch (it’s only a few minutes from where i work, and i never go. i don’t know why. the only reason i went today is because i had to go to the bank to begin with, and it’s less than a block from the bank.) 

i was sitting there, at around 2 o’clock, the only non-employee in the place, and one of the kitchen workers was polishing the brass fixtures on the booths where i was sitting with Brasso…and i remembered that smell very vividly from when i was a teenager, polishing my cymbals in the room in the back of the house. 

between that and the music that keeps coming up on the playlist today, i’m finding that i very much feel like i’m fourteen again right now…sitting in that pink-walled room with the christmas lights hung from the ceiling, in a house that’s long since been torn down, trying to figure out exactly how this whole “musician” thing works. 

and before i shut the hell up, i just gotta say…copacabana sure is a goofy-assed song, coming from the same guy who did weekend in new england, man. 

goofy. 

Posted in rants - political and otherwise

a not-so-sad goodbye

 

 

now playing: the silence that follows the shutoff of the tv

 

today, i cut the cord.

as of this moment, i stand and hold my hand up to you and say, no more.

i am setting myself free of the perpetual heartache, the constant sense of tension brought about by wondering when the shoe will fall…for history has proven to me that it’s not a matter of if, but when.

as of right now, i am a red sox fan no more.

it was so easy, early on…you were easy to fall for. the lovable underdogs, constantly railing against the evil empire – everyone loves a winner, but everyone’s heart breaks for a loser, and i couldn’t help but take up your cause.

the yankees were like the cute cheerleader…the homecoming queen…the most popular girl in school. you, boston, were the really smart, cute band geek that i couldn’t resist being attracted to. i knew that you were something special, but you couldn’t possibly compare to the homecoming queen in the eyes of the rest of the class.

so i allowed myself to be taken in by your rough-around-the-edges charm…and i’ve regretted it ever since.

you wasted no time going from a pleasant pastime to an addiction – a sorry-assed codependent relationship that was completely one-sided. no matter how faithful i was, you always let me down. you’d fuck up, and then you’d be back on my doorstep, saying all the things a spurned lover normally says in those situations….

“look, i’ve changed. i’ve seen that i haven’t been what i should’ve been. look, i even went out and brought in schilling and keith foulke! i even cut nomar’s non-productive ass loose, just to make you happy! it can be better than it was, i promise!”

and i fell for it. again.

you became like a drug to me, impossible to justify to myself, and just as hard to turn my back on.

but, like any addict who eventually beats their disease, i think that tonight you’ve given me the reason i need to say no to you.

tonight was the night you were supposed to make it all right. you were home, you’d taken a beating the first two games, but you were playing against a pitcher whom you’d ravaged in a regular season game that seemed like it was no more than half an hour ago…everything seemed to be in place. things were gonna turn around, i could hear you saying. we’re gonna fix this.

when i turned off the tv in disgust, the score was 19-8.

i will not wait up to see what the final is, for i honestly don’t care anymore.

there will be no more wasted hours in front of the tv watching you set me up to knock me down again, no more planning my evenings to make time to share with you. there are far too many other things that need and deserve my attention, and you’ve proven over and over again that you’re simply not worthy.

i will not piss away my valuable time on a one-sided relationship.

so goodbye, boston red sox. and fuck you.

seriously, Fuck You.

Posted in yesterday. today. tomorrow.

dylan

 

 

now playing: sarah mclachlan, “fallen”

 

so dylan is resting at home – he slept a good chunk of the afternoon after having a pretty shitty night last night in the hospital. he woke up a couple of times feeling as though he was choking, and i think it freaked him out a little bit.

earlier in the night, he was still feeling the effects of his pain medication. the stuff they gave him had vicodin in it…and when they said the word “vicodin”, he grabbed his sheet and pulled it up over his crotch and croaked, “that’s not like viagra, is it?”

then later on that night, the nurse came in to check his temperature with one of those wonderful, high-tech thermometers that fits just inside your earlobe. after she retracted it from his ear once it had emitted its customary three beeps, dylan looked at her and asked, “how much do i weigh?”

when his sister asked him at one point how he was feeling, he said, “that stuff really takes the edge off….”

he’s such a goofball.

i don’t know where he gets such behavior….certainly not from his father, who was pulling latex gloves over his head and blowing them up from the inside.

he seemed much more laconic this morning than yesterday, though – after all the effects of the anesthesia had worn off, he was starting to feel stuff through the pain medication he’d been put on after the fact. he seldom made any attempts to speak this morning, and restricted himself to nods and shakes of the head, with a few exceptions. he was sooo eager, though, after the doctor having said last night that he could have actual food today, to get something to eat when we left the hospital. i took him straight from the hospital to the drive thru window at KFC and got him a large takeout order of their mashed potatoes, which he loves…once we got home and i got him situated on the sofa, he ate a pretty large bowl of them and didn’t complain once about whatever sensation swallowing might’ve given off.

i’m glad i was there….glad i was there yesterday before he went in, and glad i was there today to spend the morning with him after his crappy night, glad i was able to take him home and hang on the sofa with him, watching tv while he drifted in and out of sleep after he ate.

i’m not sure why it is, really…that i’ve come to find parenting to be more rewarding as my kids have gotten older. the only real reason i can point to is my own level of maturity (or more accurately, the lack of such when they were younger). or maybe it was just that i didn’t really have the grasp on it then that i do now. maybe it took their mom and i splitting up to drive the point home for me. i’m feeling like i might’ve talked about this here before, i can’t remember. i just know that while i enjoyed my role in their lives when we were all a ‘unit’, i think that my general unhappiness with my marital situation overshadowed everything else enough that it dampered my appreciation for my overall situation. or, my marriage sucked just enough to keep me from realizing just how special those early years with my kids really were.

i’m glad that i’m in a place where this has changed considerably, and where i can still participate in their lives.

Posted in music and the music business, yesterday. today. tomorrow.

autumn leaves

 

 

now playing: the innocence mission, “tomorrow on the runway”

 

last night barry gave his notice to stone road.

i knew that something was going on, taking into consideration the conversations that had gone down since friday – and barry had made it clear to darryl that he was unhappy, but i didn’t think he was this ready to take a walk.

the odd thing is how indifferent to it i feel.

when we reorganized the band, it’s hard to overstate what a shot in the arm barry was. he sang well, and he had a great range, and it really added to our vocal sound…now in the time since, what with shawn being exiled from the band, our vocal sound has suffered considerably, and with barry taking a walk, i’m not sure that doing songs with vocal harmonies is even within our grasp. donnie sings, and he can sing harmony if pressed, but it’s not something that excites him..or so it would seem – outwardly, at least.

so where does that leave us? we decided initially last night that we’ll attempt to find another bass player, because there were two clubs that wanted to book 2005 dates with us, and they wanted to book them yesterday. the consensus was that we’d go ahead and take the work, and if things didn’t pan out with another bass player, we’d have the option to cancel down the line….and there are always bands looking for work that’d be willing to take the cancelled dates for us.

so that’s where things stand at the moment, regarding the band.

i had known this was going to happen, though…i’m not sure how i knew, but i had even said to people in conversation that i didn’t think the band would last past the end of the year. barry had actually said last night when he came in that he’d hoped that someone else would pull the plug before he had to quit, but that didn’t happen so it fell upon him to bail.

so the question comes down to – will this actually die down to ashes, or do we decide to keep it going?

i’m torn, personally.

i’m not so certain that this will ever really regain its former stature, personally. i think that in order to get the harmonies back to where they used to be, we’d have to hire two players with strong vocals. i did mention to darryl that i felt that we took a serious hit when we lost quin, and he knows how i feel about that. quin was our ace in the hole…the thing that gave us an edge, that made us just a little better than the countless other area bands that had the traditional “beatles lineup” – two guitars, bass and drums – and when we went back to that, i was pretty dejected about it. i mean, even the great “guitar bands” from back in the day – skynyrd, the allman brothers, all these bands that were revered for their guitar playing – had great, a-list keyboard men in the band.

at this point in my life, i just don’t want to be involved with anything mediocre.

nik’s band is a bright spot, and there are a few other things unexplored on the horizon that i haven’t really pushed – including some personal projects that i’d like to work on as time is freed up for them…especially now that the studio is falling together as well as it has. blake’s record is being mixed, with new parts being added here and there, but it sounds great thus far. i’d like to work on more records as the opportunity presents itself, and i’d like to play in a really tight, close-knit band that has its shit together.

whether any of this happens or not, i can’t say. we’ll see what opportunities arise.

i walked outside earlier today to go across the street to the supermarket to root something out for lunch that wasn’t a sandwich with the word “salad” in it – which is what i’d have settled for if i’d hit the machines in the lunchroom (seriously – every day here is an endless parade of egg salad, chicken salad, tuna salad, ham salad, turkey salad, ad infinitum…i’m waiting for them to introduce deer salad, squirrel salad, or quail salad as hunting season approaches)…

it was a typical fall day, for the most part – grey, but comfortable. brisk. i took a couple of deep breaths as i walked across the parking lot and remembered the drive back to work recently when i had gotten lost on the backroads and ended up taking an extended drive on a perfect day that was exactly what the doctor ordered. i thought about just continuing to walk down the road a bit, for no particular reason but to be walking – but today just doesn’t feel as though it would have the same cobweb-clearing effect as the other day did. not that it wasn’t somewhat invigorating to be outside, but my head feels a bit too cluttered today for any time spent in such a manner to have maximum effect.

tomorrow morning, dylan goes in for his surgery at 7:10am. i asked him last night, while we were driving home, if he was having cold feet…typical of dylan, he replied, “no, not really…but my face is a little chilly right now.” he came home with (get a load of this shit…) a copy of gone with the wind. i asked him, “dude…you’re reading that?”

he said, “well, yeah…i gotta do something while i’m sick.”

he must be planning on being sick for a while….either that, or his inner drama queen is gearing up for a very busy week.

he did read the fan man by kotzwinkle recently, though, and got a real kick out of it. he usually doesn’t comprehend books once he’s read them – or at least he hasn’t historically. but he was actually able to talk about scenes from the book, and recalled what he’d read…which was pretty much unprecedented, i thought. i was impressed. i think that maybe i’m finally witnessing the transformation of dylan the begrudging reader to dylan the curious.

maybe. just maybe.

don’t bet any money on this yet. old habits die hard.

is there a sentimentality epidemic brewing?

i wonder, because everywhere i turn lately, i’m confronted with it…lazy breezes of nostalgia blowing in from here and there, wistful remembrances of the past cropping up sporadically. it’s definitely permeating the blogosphere…i’ve read some things of late that just make my heart hurt. this entry at spencer’s journal is a great example:

“Where is she now? I think about her now and then. I can’t remember how she smells but I can remember her face clearly. I can’t remember the way she walked or moved through a room but I can remember the way she danced. She looked like a marionette when she danced alone. And when she danced with me it was like she came alive. The female version of Pinocchio. I can remember what she felt like. The feel of her hands over my eyes when she used to find me in dark bar rooms. Pressing up against my back. I replay her voice like a scratchy, overplayed record in the dusty attic of my brain. I recall the jacket she used to wear. The way it looked on her. When I was near her no other woman mattered. And for a long time after she left my life it was the same. No other woman mattered.”

i mean, that’s just an achingly beautiful sentiment. without putting everyone whos’ written anything remotely wistful on the spot, i’ll just say that this isn’t the only example of this i’ve come across lately. my friend mitch, for instance, surprised me at home on sunday and stopped by – he’d managed, after over 20 years, to track down a couple of his college buddies from ohio, and was justifiably excited about having googled them down to a phone number with a voice on the other end. rachel had an erstwhile visitor who linked to her relatively new blog (still has that “new blog smell”) that’s just laced with heartache and loss.

what is it about this time of year?

for a long time, i thought it was just me.

i still have memories of things like driving down the hill at hay creek on route 10 in october early on a saturday morning, with chris and jake and dylan in the van, and being mesmerized by the swirl of leaves both in the air and on the ground on our way to dylan’s football game. i remember walking along the ridge above the christmas tree farm in mohnton with the kids’ mom before we were even married, feeling the new briskness in the air and enjoying feeling the chill on my cheeks, relieved that i was finished suffering the staggering humidity of that year’s summer. walking from our old house up the street to the school where jayda and dylan both went, to meet them and walk them home afterward. i remember going to a campground with jayda and dylan and chris and jake, raking huge piles of leaves so that they could jump into them and start all over again….hayrides at an orchard…

it’s been a perpetual time of elevated emotional sensitivity and heightened nostalgia, for me. it’s become inescapable, especially as i get older and i see my children rise from infant to toddler to kindergartener, then through to preteen and to their present states – both of my children are tall enough now to look me in the eye standing in front of me. i look in the mirror at the greying hair that has elected to remain on my head, into the tired eyes that have life left in them on some days, on others i stand there and brush my teeth and i’m just not sure if anyone’s in there at all.

but then i go outside in the early afternoon to walk across the street for lunch, and the air is brisk…brisk enough to warrant the sweater that i just pulled out this morning for the first time, and walk across to redner’s with my hands in my pockets…i can hear the kids on the playground at schuylkill valley school in the distance – i can almost see them across the field, but not quite.

i almost want to just keep walking…..

Posted in yesterday. today. tomorrow.

monday

 

 

now playing: tom petty and the heartbreakers, “straight into darkness”

 

i don’t think i spent more than half an hour in front of my computer all weekend, and it felt pretty good. i did some ebaying, looking at new monitors for the studio, but that was about it. i found out during my last session that the ones i’m using at the moment aren’t getting the job done…the mixes i did for todd were a little muddy, probably due to my adding in too much bass in the mix to compensate for an obvious lacking in the bass response of the monitors i’m using now.

unless a real bargain becomes available between now and after the first of the year, though, i’ll probably hold off for now.

collecting thoughts here….

i don’t know what to say about the debates that hasn’t already been said by folks on my link list who would probably say it better than i would…the kids and i went for chinese food and hunkered down in front of the tv in time to watch dubya lose his mindat charlie gibson, entitled little frat boy that he is…i couldn’t believe it. after the debates were over, we flipped over to msnbc for a bit, and jayda got up to leave…she said, “i can’t watch this. it’s like they’re all for bush to win, and they had their minds made up before the debate even started.”

and she went upstairs to her room.

she’s fourteen, mr. matthews…and she has your number.

anyway, let’s see…the things that i actually did this weekend that i’d planned on doing:

* began garage reorganization, threw stuff out with the trash, set up workbenches along common wall and took some of the other stuff up to the garage attic that didn’t belong downstairs.
* opened up the freebie wurlitzer organ in the studio to begin troubleshooting – no real progress made. i had originally thought that it may just need to be cleaned up to get rid of some of the intermittent problems with the keyboard, but it seems to go deeper than that…i may end up putting it on the curb, too, by thursday if i don’t get a clear idea of what’s wrong with it.
* reorganized the laundry room and washed every dirty item of clothing in the house as of sunday morning.
* all dishes in the house as of after dinner last night are clean.
* got dylan’s computer up and running, hung his gigantic “school of rock” poster, and attached a wooden pegboard to his bunkbed for hanging stuff on.
* hung some of the posters, etc, in the studio that i got frames for.

what i didn’t get done:

* assembling the wall unit upstairs in the garage.
* complete rebuild of the studio computer, to include installing the DVD burner that i bought for it months ago, memory upgrade, and new primary hard drives (serial ATA RAID configuration), reinstall XP and recording software.
* take dylan to see “shawn of the dead” (we’re going to go this week before his surgery).
* organize what few medical bills that fall on my side of the desk so that we can submit them to insurance this week.

i think that, all in all, the list leaned in the direction i wanted it to. i’ll probably tackle the medical bills tonight, though…i want to get that stuff in so that we can start evening this situation out a bit. we have an alternative benefits plan at work that i agreed to sock a hefty amount of money into, and it’s looking like i’m not going to come close to getting it all back.

if worse comes to worse, i may have to (gasp!) go to the doctor myself for something. ack!

i extended an offer to fellow poconut dave isaacs to stay over at my place the last weekend of the month, since they’re going to be in town for the poco/pure prairie league show in collingswood that i’m not going to be able to go to. we’ve exchanged emails in the past (he’s a fellow musician) here and there, but i’ve never actually met him – remains to be seen whether that’ll pan out or not. waiting to hear back from him.

i also got a call on friday night from darryl – the drummer from stone road. apparently, he’d just gotten off the phone with barry, our bass player, and he’s not terribly happy with the way things are going in the band right now. i think that, in a sense, that’s probably true of us all – i know that i’ve personally been on autopilot for some time now. but, apparently, the gist of barry’s call revolved around the thinning of the crowds of people who come to see the band, and (this was the part that i found intriguing) the fact that we play the same songs over and over again.

now, it should be pointed out, barry is the guy in charge of the setlist…when we play live, he calls the songs out. we don’t write up set lists in the traditional manner, we work from a master list – which barry has in his possession.  he then calls the audibles out as we go.

so, i guess that in my mind, barry complaining about the set list would be like the cook complaining about what’s for dinner.

but, at any rate, darryl and i talked about all this for over half an hour, and the decision we parted with was that we’d have a meeting on tuesday night to determine whether or not we were going to continue on from here or finish out the dates we have on the books and be done with it all.

should be interesting. i think that a number of minds are already made up, from what we talked about on the phone last week.

anyway – the tempo of this particular day has turned this post into another segmented, impossible-to-concentrate-on-fully diatribe…so i’ll try to collect my thoughts later.