just keep blogging

Let’s keep this goodness going.

This was when we parodied Cats at the Long center for Over the Lege.
  1. My brain is fried. I feel like lava does when it has broken up with someone. You want to explain but you really can’t go back now, can you?
  2. I have to finish writing a stand up comedy routine, of all things. I do not feel very funny today, or even silly. I open my mouth and this strange whiny noise comes out.
  3. I have not worn makeup in many a moon so I found a mascara-laden portrait of myself which I took in a dressing room.
  4. I like when I practice piano but I will go on and on with that and it’s not really constructive the way I do it, like I’m trying to board an enemy ship.
  5. I’m concerned about my hands because they go numb a lot and I don’t know why. I’m trying not to over-do the elderly schtick.
  6. I do miss working the way I used to and I miss the theater.
  7. I miss doing musical improv. I didn’t think it would happen. Maybe I will do some soon. You can do that over the internet and you can even do it with other people. I just haven’t been wild about trying with anyone in particular–and I know that this is really on me.
I’ve been making random font photos in instagram but I think I’m just doing it to be a jerk.
  1. I have a person who is annoying and I have complained about this person before. Apparently they are on facebook again, taking credit where credit is don’t. This should be like that Far Side cartoon. Like acid off a duck’s back?
  2. I have been way too caught up in old mentalities. There are so many of them to choose from. They make me dusty and unfunny. I do not think to speak in funny accents and it wouldn’t occur to me to put on a jaunty hat. I wrote about important things before but I also did so while I was reading far too many news articles. I think coming across as stodgy for the sake of stodge is not very important. No one wants to wade through a lake of word brick. I think I have strong opinions about this.
  3. I sound like an old movie that did not make the list of better podcast options.
  4. I have a new fear of the old vampires. Not the sexy kind either.
  5. If I’m out of the contest that’s all fine. I need to get used to the fact that the thing about a list of things to do is that it has items on it and that one ought to do them.
  6. I’ll just fix my song in a leisurely way and do things that are the most important as the priority. Move toward what will get me paid first. Song contests feel good and you meet deadlines but you are not getting money to do this. Of course, if I did not do all the things that did not give me money, I would die in obscurity and no work would be done at all ever.
  7. have actually been putting things up on the internet more than I used to so there is a small line of credit going into my self-satisfaction pig bank.
  8. I have most assuredly been drinking too much. I am most definitely too old to be doing so. I’ve never even been that much of a drinker. But beer tastes better when you ought to stay home. Hey! That’s on an unlucky number! :O
  9. Gardening is more difficult for some people than for others.
  10. Don’t even ask about dental floss. It’s insane to speak of these matters.
  11. I think this blog right now is meaningless. But I don’t care. I need to start just doing things for myself or I am going to disappear.

This Is Fine

I wrote a song yesterday (last day/night) which I have not done in ages.

some scratch-lyrics I did in prep that week. Before recording started.

It was written in a very brief amount of time. I don’t know how close I am to making it something I feel songfully about. I don’t know if I got this blog entry about it right. I don’t typically write “song bios.” I was thinking about starting to make videos about my process. Before I didn’t. It seemed self indulgent. But maybe I ought to get over this, and get out here. I ought to admit that I am interested in myself, because people are interesting and I am actually not a cynical person.

I wrote this blog entry last night in the dead of night and hit publish quickly–much like I rushed to get my song entry into the Song Fight people last minute. This time, I am going to say I got my point across through mood and content rather than through production and flash. Now I don’t believe that mixing properly is bad, not at all, I just think that in my case the pursuit of perfection holds me back from the actual composition of the thing.

I was going for a feeling of detached concern and a deeply passionate but distanced advocacy. Sort of surfing the breakers of white guilt.

White guilt is a fraught, bullshit topic and there is really no pretty way to be frank about it. Its awkward how atrocious my presence is in this conversation, no matter what I would say, even if it is helpful. This is not about me in the least. I wanted to try to explain this last night, because if you don’t say anything you are just wearing your fuzzy blanket, really.

I have wanted to explain it before. But wanting to explain a horrible thing and NEEDING to explain a horrible thing and having a responsibility either to DO or to JUST SHUT UP or to Show Up quietly is sometimes a thing that it is on just each Individual to navigate. Thusly, this is a song TO me, and for my sake and feelings. There’s a “you know why” line that’s an elephant in the room. And it’s addressing people like me because we know why all of those things in the song and we’re “sure that…” Ellipsis. Because what can one add to the conversation?

In the song I talk about being at the end of a life but paradoxically knowing you’re “not going to die.” This basically means that there’s a likelihood of a long life and statistics are kind if you are privileged in society. I used a lot of words like ‘lies’ and ‘smile’ and ‘sneak’ and ‘teeth.’ Words that make my voice sound tinny and cause hastily applied last minute effects to jar a bit. I wanted some more little treasures I may add later and help with proper mixing and of course a real master. I had a metallic piano and some scrapes. I’d recorded some dripping water from my kitchen and a steam sound and I have an immersion microphone in the mail coming to me; and I was going to do some things with that. The song is worthwhile, so sauce will be added later. I have a few songs like this so maybe they can make an entire recording. You never know…

The more I listened to it, the more I liked the presentation. I like the pauses. My recording itself is cleaner and my ears are improved, I think. I didn’t worry that it needed a bridge and rush to clutter the song with more and more changes. It feels songwriterly… again. My other recent material does not. It feels like part of shows, which is different.

I almost didn’t need to blog about it, but you come to a realization that it is your blog, at a certain point. So I have to stand for something and report my whereabouts even if I am vague and quiet about it. And to say that I do not support the wanton carelessness of one group of humans toward another–let alone the violence–that’s necessary. But if every effort I make to even feel towards a thing is lost in a sea of pleasant couch cushions, this is also an issue. It’s problematic if we are silenced by the huge reality of our own insultingly mundane unimportance in the scheme of things. We are raised to feel exceptional. We are not, and we are not necessary. And it’s dangerous … to feel -unUnique. For ANYBODY.

It’s a hypothetical that isn’t so hypothetical. It’s about a shade of gray that is actually quite black and white in this case. It might mean different things to different people, but this is what it means to me. In any case, it would be about personally showing up morally unprepared and trying to put a cartoon bandaid over a gaping hole and showing up to a funeral in your stupid party dress. So making excuses.

It’s hard to explain my emotions. The recording was like this. I was in half a new room setup. I was setting up a new machine and the last times Ive tried to do a round of one of these on a brand new machine I’ve taken collaborators down with me because the sound’s been off. At the end, I had to swap machines to get a vocal down because my newer machine didn’t want to talk to my legacy interface and was having assignment and routing problems. These things make me feel like a dork, particularly after getting quick at routing and problem solves–but at I’m a little better at slapping apology demo FX on things now. She says this after sending a mildly distorted track 🙂

After some self-flagellation on the forums which I did not need to do, I regretted saying anything because I think now this track has sort of grown on me. I like the chords I chose and the ebb and flow of intensity like it’s also a musical option to just opt out. I feel like I ought to give myself more credit for making good musical choices and having the intent there in the beginnings of things. It’s important I respect this songwriter thing in myself or I’m going to get into a bad habit of abandoning my work again at the first sign that someone thinks a negative thing about it. Maybe they are right about me, I will think, although I ought to know better by now that the opinions of others do not really matter and this is a head game. Making songs for other people will always leave your work sounding contrived and fake-ish (at least for me). Even if you have a commission or an assignment of some kind or a fan base to please–they have requested YOU, and so you must show up with your whole mind and body.

This is a highly edited entry, as I said before, and I probably should try a little harder with song bios next time. This is probably true of songs as well. All I know is that my sleep is off and I have comedy to write-write for a class I am taking; and also.must cook and bake and get back to normal. There’s bread, I hopped on that train. And who knows if I’ll be back in here to change more of the record. Or not. Maybe I’ll just make a list-ier one later about other random stuff (no one believes).

To close (finally! :D) I honestly don’t expect much or to get through to be top 25 of 41 people with my rushed little offering, no matter that it was earnestly performed. But you never know because sometimes the weirdest things of mine get liked the most. I made second place with an educational “bad rap” about a piranha track I did in less than 2 hours. I think people were surprised. No one will be surprised about exposed vocal and sparsely emotional piano. Either way, this could be me making personal history fizzling out of Nur Ein in a Round 0 or even just skating thru to an ultimate and unlikely stupid win (HA!)…so we’ll just have to see.

Hell in a

I thought I’d write a blog, as I haven’t in a while and my whole personality feels changed and like stars that aren’t allowed to live in space.

1. The fact that my blogging came to a grinding halt around the month of that Particular Election and then just gross weird sputters is not a coincidence.

2. I have not been on social media much. But everyone is done past hearing about this. I get on twitter sometimes to check in and sometimes post things about issues I care about.

I cared a lot about coming out day, and thusly said nothing. Paradox? Maybe. It’s a little confusing.

I went to the capitol and participated in some government enough to notice the futility of such things. Remember government? It’s REALLY hard to do government. The rules are always changing and if you want to do anything to make a difference you have to spend a lot of time researching stuff that they are trying to sneak past deadlines at the last minute in the dead of night and change at the eleventh hour. Nothing is sure and nothing is permanent. And the odds are always stacked. It takes lots of money and lots of time. That’s my take on absolutely every single issue ever that matters. Its all very crooked and not at all honest, seemly, or above board. It’s all dirty pool and immoral as hell. And nothing you want comes to pass except failure and evil triumphing. (not always, but hell….) And I’m sorry I just feel tired and cynical a lot now after mostly silently trying and just failing to make a damn bit of difference.

3. As usual, my breath could improve.

4. America as a nation is living on borrowed time. I have no idea if we can work out our differences here and survive as a nation. I don’t see an America as we know it even existing in fifty years (maybe less). The post apocalyptic worlds we acted out in my improv class during the summer intensive program I took felt eerie, like something cresting just over a possible horizon. And this probably is true in other nations as well, it just might look slightly cosmetically better or maybe way worse…. Or maybe other countries are probably also just kidding themselves and its all probably just a matter of time before everything goes to hell as humans are all shitty people to one another.

5. I tried to go on a diet, “for my health.” It didn’t go well. I’ll try this again next week. This has been a stupid year for food and me. This is a long series of dumb stories I’ll discuss later in life.

6. Back here at home, the only thing to wonder over is whether or not there will be a United States of anything at all, or whether it will be torn apart completely by warring extreme factions and then will descend entirely into anarchy. I’m not personally invested in any outcome–hoping only that as many humans as possible can continue to view one another with compassion and dignity and not break down into a state where we are hunting each other through the streets for food and sport. I hope if those days come, I am not marked as an enemy just because I’m not loudly present in some mob calling for heads and blood.

7. I have some seriously intelligent cats. Genius level. A lot of peopl THINK their cats and children are this level of smart. But mine actually are. They invented a cat language to talk to me, and their own games with complicated kitty rules. Make of this what you will.

8. I have not written any songs in well over a year, except for one in which I am sarcastic and talk about how corn is nasty. Because of my 😂vast😂 and diverse audience I shouldn’t link to it–as it has an Extreme Swear Word in it and I do try at times to be Seemly.

It feels frivolous to make music, like I should be making social commentary instead. Then I read my social commentary and think that my point of view is irrelevant and privileged.

9. I started doing improv, about six months ago. Only doing things that were entertaining and spontaneous and ready-made, DIY sorts of productions … only that seems real and relevant in these times. This is not the right way to think about the subject of improv at large…and is not the point of improv at all. The point of improv is fun and child mind…at least I think so.

I felt like soon we shall all be in roving bands of survivors and will need people with Art Memories. People who could call to mind dramatic form or the ways of storytelling or who could record quickly into any phone or tape or format or play/dance/act any collection of ragtag materials. Anything to tell a tale or song or some semblance of the way things were. The tellers of tales. As we sit by fires in whatever we can scrape together. Mourning the loss of all we were in the last days of our precious “civilization.” Sorry. That got weird. I’ll try again later. I’m crusty at this.

Also, everytime I try to do a thing these days I am interrupted often because these are the days of almost constant interruption. This is why you see less of me. It is as though I have forgotten I have a butt and cannot remember how to sit down!

Debating Debates

The first week of November, I guess we’ll have to remember there are other elections, other causes, other ways in which to get involved … here in the U.S. Hopefully, Americans will take the next four years to reflect on what brought us to this point in history. On EXACTLY where we are situated in relation to the rest of the world. On how we react to the media, to advertising in general, to each other. What we think about ourselves and our families and all humanity and the future of ourselves and this planet and what our responsibilities are to the future of the entire cooperative earth.
Or, depending on the outcome, we can start learning real survival skills, moving inland, gardening/canning/preserving, and collecting rainwater too. I may post more too. 🙂 who knows how long the power grid will stay up. I suggest we all use the internet to talk to one another about longevity and space travel–rather than for Twitter call outs and entitled bickering.
#justsomethoughts #newiceage #extinctionlevelevents #noonewillhearyourfirstworldscreams
(photo created with PRISMA app)

#throwbackEffinFriday

  
1. I made this Digital Painting myself, back on my birthday in November of last year when dinosaurs roamed the earth (what?) and hope was high and liiiiiife WORTH livinnnnnnnngggg…… I wouldn’t hang it in my house but it fits in your eyeballs.

2. I am 42 now, but I do not know The Awnser.

 3. I am grateful for a house full of clean laundry.

4. Obama is in Austin for Smurf by Smurf West. He is not coming to my house for dinner. I am trying not to feel surly about SX Or the length of my grass of that my garage is still in disarray-re.

5. Nonetheless, after alienating most of the Internet and nearly all my friends and loved ones with my anger and depression, I feel sort of on the ball and have arrived safely at adulthood without any truly alarming or self-destructive Incident. 
5. Stay tuned for exciting developments in the coming year such as personal successes and an improved commitment to flossing. Or don’t. You may be past done with my malarkey.

“Do I Want To?”

  
January. Not quite the start that I hoped for, but I am resolute.

I think one of the things that I have learned over the years is that I can only control what is INSIDE of me. I can’t expect perfection out of my grand plans. From these Resolutions. There is something to be said for the small, bite-sized goals–even though I prefer to be grandiose. I have allowed myself some grand plans, then. But they are not set in stones. So I have only made one real RESOLUTION; and lots of detailed, flexible lists.

My resolution? Just a question. 

“Do I Want To?”

More of a guiding principle, really. And then of course, the follow-on. 

“Then why am I______?” 

It could apply to everything. Places you are going. Clothes you are wearing. Food you’re stuffing into your mouth. Relationships you continue, or that you decide against will to break off because your family or friends disapprove. Alcoholic drinks you are consuming or maybe you are being too restrictive with your diets or excessive rules you apply to yourself. Do you really want to police every bite of sugar you eat all until the end of your days? Maybe not. Maybe YES. Who knows? Trips you are taking or are deciding not to take because you think you cannot afford them or they are too impractical. Maybe the wise choice, or maybe you are trying to please your inner miser. Or someone else’s …..

Think. About. What. YOU. Want. Your inner child. Your inner old person on their deathbed. WHAT DO THEY WANT? What will they say “DAMMIT, YOU!!!! Why didn’t you ______?!?!?!”

Then, do the things that you can control. You can try to do everything that is in your control that doesn’t involve making other people do things. Example: I can make music, but I might not get a Grammy Award. Doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try; that it can’t be a GOAL. I might even make it a goal.

#107. Write Grammy Speech.
#108. Collect award
#109. Don’t get drunk at party, old woman.

You can start dating again, but you may not be able to make that ONE guy love you. Maybe he’s just not that into you. Who knows? It’s just maybe not in the cards. Time moves forward. 

This is how being an individual in your own sphere of influence under your own control works. You are autonomous. You are part of a community, but you are unbreakable because you create your own options.

This is wildly unorthodox thinking. We are programmed to think of what our parents, our siblings, our teachers, our religions … Everyone but ourselves–might wish. But in the absence of our own wills deciding and of our own wills determining what we are basing our guiding principles on, chaos will rush to fill a vacuum.

I could say a lot more about the particular types of chaos that each of us might battle in our lives–but I think those are our own autobiographies. I have not decided how much I will start leaking out about my own, here. The nature of blogs has changed since I started my livejournal in 2001ish. But I can tell you that I once thought I would make all my back journals “private” because they just didn’t look very clean or professional. And now, I don’t care. I once went through this time called my 20s and 30s. I was younger and a little more immature. I was going through these times where I was growing and I had to learn stuff. 

I’m not editing a damn thing. Mistakes were made.

And even now, nasty surprises may come up. As a person, I’m a glorious mess. So yes to the pulling out of a rug of support under one’s feet when it is least expected. The changing of plans at last minute. The mercurial nature of finances. The invisibility of germs as long as they do not attack my more vulnerable friends (although they certainly mess me up QUITE enough). The heaping of emergencies on top of one’s head. All of the above and all at the same time, and all during the tenacious clinging of a nasty winter/summer/seasonal/jet-lag depression that is confusing as hell and won’t quite get shaken off. Maybe this makes better songs, sharper poetry. Maybe this creates CONTENT. It’s utterly miserable but I don’t care. Progress brings me out of it and makes me stronger and more resolute. And I remember that I can succeed. Plus, my lists are back on track. I have huge plans. I have a great support system in my life and at home. I’m very lucky in many ways that my worst enemy is myself. 
I will get braver this year and stop worrying about what shadows and phantoms lurking in the darkness might be thinking. I will continue to try to find the light, whatever this means. And no, things aren’t going poorly and I’m lucky and life is positive. As always, I could stand to lose a few pounds and for my dental hygiene to improve, as well as my mixing. I have serious plans for all of those concerns. Old patterns=old quilts. 

What Happens in Portland…

1. I’m back from a trip I took about a week and a half ago to Portland for this thing called SongFight! Live. I did my own tiny set for a mildly smily-but-challenging crowd. They were a bit more chatty than I’m used to, requiring me to bring out the emotional pyrotechnics and stage pizzaz. I’d give my performance a solid 6 out of 10.

2. Videos were made of this performance  and I put a couple of them on G+. You can find them then if you’re just DYING to see them. Otherwise, maybe I’ll post myself singing and playing music some other day.

3. I also sat in with someone and played Mysterious Organ, was in three-ish other bands on various instruments. and participated in the live fight wearing a green mask. There were glow sticks.


4. However, I probably caught Airline Hospitality Flu on the way up there. I did not know it at the time, and mistook the illness for a hellish evening of food poisoning that kicked off violent night shakes and sweating fever-chills with weird cold-y fatigue symptoms during the day. I felt gut wrenching guilt over other people’s (probably) unrelated colds, and obsession over germs I figured I’d certainly sprinkled willy-nilly over each shared meal. And I accidentally left a charming parasol behind in my hotel; although it had Random Chinese Characters on it. So in retrospect, perhaps I dodged a cultural insensitivity bullet.

5. All-in-all, it was a little hotelzo-hectic, and there were a few other really emo things that went down that are more diary-than-blog worthy. And they CERTAINLY, *CERTAINLY* aren’t social media worthy in my opinion. But there’s really no reason I should still be a wreck because there was lots of Nice. Yet I am still somehow moody and fragile and there’s also probably no Vitamin B left in my body–add to this the lunar landing modules are being trashed again by the Travelling Minstrels in Space and we all KNOW what THAT means …….

6. I’m going to BlogathonATX in September but I still need a ticket. I need to get geared up for this. I am also rather vigorously working on incidental and accompaniment music for a friend’s musical, and on my own Next Steps.

7. Anyway, this is my demeanor during and now after the trip. And I’m NOT in good driving mode anymore … off my game, so fellow Austinites are now trying to pick me off in this Automotive Darwinism thing we have going. Portland driving is very cerebral, motorists take the time to exchange meaningful eyerolls and fraught glances that could mean anything at all. And I wish I was used to the blind inconsiderate-ness of the driving back home yet, but I’m really angry still (I’ll tell my Highway Story later).

8. I don’t know how to act on social media anymore, that’s been utterly destroyed. I told a story on Twitter about a Thing that happened to me in Portland. EPIC saga of a man yelling at his companion … who then cleverly stole his keys while his back was turned! So I ended up being the person from out of town talking about people I don’t know behind their backs on the Internet. But I think I was just trying this ‘People of Wal-Mart’ style of “journalism” on to see if it worked. Why? Who cares? Does this have anything meaningful to do with my Portland experience? Maybe I am being too hard on myself and it was mildly clever entertainment. But did it do ANYTHING to edify or change my narrative? Should I have talked about what was REALLY going on?

What DID really happen in Portland and … in the last few years even, and why can’t I just DEAL? Why is this trip the mental situation, a Vest Factory come to a head? I played some music there. I had some interactions. I took a few photos. But, life is not a Wes Anderson film, and my head is not a pashmina to be wrapped around an elephant in the tastefully lit room.



9. I think it’s just going to take me a while to sort out my feelings.



But ultimately I can change and learn and adapt if I feel safe and can breathe. This is what I figured out.

10.   So I thought a lot in Portland and it turns out I’m not nearly as adept at subtlety or subtext as I thought I was. Nutshell–I know I didn’t fit in, but damn I over-tried. But it was Song Fight, so I ALWAYS try just a smidge too hard anyhow. And I’m usually overthinking what maybe probably isn’t an epic fail? Unless it was. Except it really wasn’t..? You know, or not. Hell, I don’t know. 



(untitled)

I will not die today, because it is raining.
Rain has already decided it is going to stop being sad in advance; because when the sky finally stops weeping, she will be told to take two naproxen sodium and get over herself. This is how things work with most hysterical diseases that leak from sockets. So the rain and I will learn from the sky and not feel typecast about these things. We’ll ride out the headache. It’ll be two coffees for us, thanks.


mayday (the summer comes in silence)

IMG_0096.JPG
it hits hard,
the perfume of coffins.
I’d rather have mosses.
I’d rather hide deeply in trees.

I’d rather just drink 
the laced water
and try not to slow-starve
while smiling.
I’d rather give up
than hope foolishly,
acting like this type of 
sunburnt, mosquito-drenched living
would suit me.

I’d rather accept …
just die gracefully,
not bite down the poison
and pretend the kind years
were anything more
than a sickness of jokes
and a windup of fears.
~5/1/2014

photo is from popular app game Monument Valley